Talk:Jesus myth theory
- 1 Against Jesus Mythicists
- 2 Response to Against Jesus Mythicists
- 2.1 There are no contemporary accounts or mentions of Jesus. There should be.
- 2.2 The earliest Christian traditions make no mention of a historical Jesus and clearly worshipped a purely heavenly, mythic-style being.
- 2.3 Parts of the Jesus myth goes into la la land but that doesn't mean the idea is totally off the wall
- 3 New work by R. G. Price (Not to confuse with Robert M. Price)
- 4 Consensus
- 5 The range of the Jesus Myth
- 6 Another theory
- 7 r/atheism historical Jesus FAQ
Against Jesus Mythicists
- Tim O'Neill (2 June 2014). "An Atheist Historian Examines the Evidence for Jesus (Part 1 of 2)". Strange Notions.
- Tim O'Neill (6 June 2014). "An Atheist Historian Examines the Evidence for Jesus (Part 2 of 2)". Strange Notions.
- Many of the arguments for a Mythic Jesus that some laypeople think sound highly convincing are exactly the same ones that scholars consider laughably weak, even though they sound plausible to those without a sound background in the study of the first century. For example:
- The weaknesses of the Mythicist hypothesis multiply when its proponents turn to coming up with their own explanation as to how the Jesus stories did arise if there was no historical Jesus. Of course, many of them don’t really bother much with presenting an alternative explanation and leave their ideas about exactly how this happened conveniently vague. But some realise that we have late First Century stories that all claim there was an early First Century person who lived within living memory and then make a series of claims about him. If there was no such person, the Mythicist does need to explain how the stories about his existence arose and took the form they do. And they need to do so in a way that accounts for the evidence better than the parsimonious idea that this was believed because there was such a person. This is where Mythicism really falls down. The Mythicist theories fall into four main categories:
If the Romans had wanted to create a religion that was attractive to 'the locals' it would have more-Rome-friendly sentiments.
John the Baptist was also a preacher-man: and how do you accommodate the number of apocryphal texts (The Gospel according to..., The Revelation of... etc)? Were other preacher-people making use of the 'Joshua ben Joseph brand' to promote their own agendas? Anna Livia (talk) 19:00, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
- You've made some good points Gewgtweg, though I have to say: Krishna, Orunmila and Väinämöinen could also be 'real' I guess, or based on real people, even though there are scant records of them besides epic literature and in the case of Väinämöinen & Orunmila, oral tradition. Mí má kȍhà hńg gǀȕì ō ǁȁhìn-ā ō hȁ ō gǀè gù ǀxūúnnu. (talk) 06:32, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
- Could this discussion be copied to 'a relevant Jesus article talk page' rather than merely gurgle down the RW tubes into an archive page?
- Repositioning the topic: assuming that there was a 'Joshua bin Joseph, profession preacher man', there will have been various 'Jesus-philosophy-preachers and interpreters', and groups and audiences making their own interpretations of the material to hand (and possible syncretist elements), and include 'communications difficulties at the time.' The result might well be 'many Jesuses but only one real Jesus.'
- What was the social-cultural-political world in which Jesus etc operated - to what extent were there other radicals, 'nationalists'/'anti-colonialists' (to use modern terms), preachers and doom-mongers, anti-local-leadership groups etc? Anna Livia (talk) 15:33, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
- The Essenes? Mí má kȍhà hńg gǀȕì ō ǁȁhìn-ā ō hȁ ō gǀè gù ǀxūúnnu. (talk) 22:30, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
- Tim O'Neill dismisses the apologist use of writers that simply make reference to early Christianity and not Jesus as a historical person.
O'Neill (6 June 2014). "An Atheist Historian Examines the Evidence for Jesus (Part 2 of 2)". Strange Notions.
Christian apologists often cite a long list of writers who mention Jesus, usually including Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Suetonius, Lucian, Thallus and several others. But of these only Tacitus and Josephus actually mention Jesus as a historical person - the others are all simply references to early Christianity, some of which mention the "Christ" that was the focus of its worship.
More balanced view
Comment by Dennis Dean Carpenter—19 August 2014—per Galston, David; Farrin, Cassandra J. "Myth and the Historical Jesus". Westar Institute. 18 August 2014,
Did Jesus exist? It’s possible. The only Jesus Seminar vote I have seen is in “John the Baptist and Jesus,” p. 145. Their rationale was not convincing. They write, “Just as there was a person named John the Baptist, or Baptizer, so there was most certainly a person named Jesus.” My head spins with that argument! (The vote was 96% believing there was this Jesus.) Then, they mention footnotes by Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius and references in rabbinical writings, all written after the earliest Gospels, the first two having whiffs of the Gospels in their summaries, Suetonius rather confusing (Claudius expelling Jews because of Chrestus) and the rabbinical writings extremely late. None of those are compelling or even halfway convincing arguments. (They didn’t mention it, but there are letters of Pliny. These were after Christianity was in full swing, just as Suetonius and Tacitus.)
Colignatus, Thomas (2014). Review by an outsider of ancient history and new testament studies of "Maurice Casey (2014): Jesus. Evidence and Argument or MythicistMyths" [PDF]. thomascool.eu.
Professor Casey's book opposes the historical evidence for Jesus to the mythical origin of the story. Historicism is generally accepted in academic New Testament Studies, mythicism is often adhered to by non-scholars on the internet. The review uses the analogy of Santa Claus to bring forth a point that may have been missed by both professor Casey and the mythicists who he wishes to expose.If there was a historical preacher, healer and exorcist who got associated with already existing ancient myths of resurrection, then it becomes awkward to speak about a historical Jesus, just like with the "historical Santa Claus", because such historical Jesus is at distance from what defines him for the story that people consider relevant to relate.
Myers, P. Z. (20 August 2018). "History is hard". Pharyngula. FreeThoughtBlogs.
I have to recalibrate. What does “Jesus mythicist” mean? Apparently, rejecting the idea of the Son of God wandering about Galilee, and thinking that many of the tales that sprang up around him were confabulations, does not make one a Jesus mythicist. I also don’t know what the “historical Jesus” means. If I die, and a hundred years later the actual events of my life are forgotten and all that survives are legends of my astonishing sexual prowess and my ability to breathe underwater, what does the “historical PZ” refer to? Does it matter if my birth certificate is unearthed (and framed and mounted in a shrine, of course)? Would people point to it and gasp that it proves the stories were all true <swoon>?
- Cf. Godfrey, Neil (23 August 2018). "Just what do you mean... HISTORICAL JESUS?". Vridar.
Godfrey, Neil (1 July 2019). "Definition of a Christ Mythicist". Vridar.
A Christ mythicist is one who believes the literal truth of the myth of Jesus Christ as set out in the epistles and gospels of the New Testament, or who believes that those myths, even if they have only limited or no historical foundation, nonetheless contain symbolic or spiritual value for those of the Christian faith.
Litwa, M. David (2019). How the Gospels Became History: Jesus and Mediterranean Myths. Yale University Press. pp. 215, 218. ISBN 978-0-300-24263-8.
Just because Jesus once lived does not mean that the Christian representations of his life describe what happened. And what happened in the external world of the past, even if it is recoverable, is not a clear measure for what is true or real.
I do not deny the historical basis for some gospel stories (notably the crucifixion); my point is that the mythic imagination transforms historical memory, and it does so in often unpredictable ways. The historical Jesus is always an imaginative creation that, to some degree, fits modern needs—otherwise, no one would make the effort to remember and (re)construct him as a believable figure.
Comment by R. G. Price—3 September 2019—per Lataster, Raphael (August 2019). "When Critics Miss the Point About Questioning Jesus’ Historicity". The Bible and Interpretation.
I think what we can prove is that the Gospel narratives are entirely post-First Jewish-Roman War literary inventions, and that the Jesus character in those stories is derived entirely from scriptures and the letters of Paul. The personality, associates, and teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark are all based on Paul as described in the collection of letters ascribed to him.
- Anyone who reads the Christ myth theory would realize that this isn't exactly new. From the get go one of the founders of the Christ Myth theory, Constantin-François Volney, allowed for confused memories of an obscure historical figure to be integrated in a mythology that compiled organically. In fact, the majority of the Christ Myth theories of the late 19th early 20th centuries were more focused on the Gospel Jesus not existing while accepted the possibly still be a man behind the stories but the myth around that man was so dense that little (if anything) could be gleamed from it.--BruceGrubb (talk) 16:41, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Response to Against Jesus Mythicists
Gads Gewgtweg went on way too long and ignored the range that the Jesus (Christ) myth has and the issues with the evidence. Yes parts of the Jesus myth goes into la la land but that doesn't mean the idea is totally off the wall. nearly all of these points fall into the Reductive (obscure human being who was mythologized) vs Triumphalist (entire Gospels are historical fact) theory Tar baby regarding Jesus.
1. “There are no contemporary accounts or mentions of Jesus. There should be, so clearly no Jesus existed.”
- A more accurate version would be 'There are no contemporary accounts or mentions of Jesus. If the Gospel accounts are remotely accurate there should be, so clearly that Jesus didn't exist.
2. “The ancient writer X should have mentioned this Jesus, yet he doesn’t do so. This silence shows that no Jesus existed.”
- A more accurate version would be 'If the Gospel accounts are remotely accurate ancient writer X should have mentioned this Jesus, yet he doesn’t do so. This silence shows that version of Jesus didn't exist.' Philo Judaeus non mention of Jesus was such an issue the Christians were claiming he knew the apostles personally! Josephus two supposed references have issues and there is serious doubt that either was actually by him. I should point out that Remsburg was arguing against the Triumphalist and NOT a flesh and blood Jesus.
3. “The earliest Christian traditions make no mention of a historical Jesus and clearly worshipped a purely heavenly, mythic-style being. There are no references to an earthly Jesus in any of the earliest New Testament texts, the letters of Paul.”
- See John Frum regarding the reasoning behind this.
The rest all boils down to too many people arguing the clearly (at least to anyone with a functional rational mind) illogical Triumphalist Jesus being historical rather then a Reductive Jesus.--BruceGrubb (talk) 17:09, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
There are no contemporary accounts or mentions of Jesus. There should be.
- The expectation of contemporary accounts is predicated on the contemporary fame of Jesus.
Cf. Neil Godfrey (2018-10-24). Response #2 to the Non Sequitur program: “Not even the gospels say Jesus was famous outside Galilee”. Vridar.
The spurious addendum "...so clearly no Jesus existed" is not asserted by the leading Mythicist scholar(s) who publish peer reviewed work on the matter.
If the contemporary fame of the Gospel figure of Jesus is true, then we should expect contemporary accounts or mentions of Jesus, else the Gospel accounts are not reliable. - Dbz (talk) 18:21, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Jesus was someone else or an amalgam of people combined into one figure in the Christian tradition
- Raphael Lataster points out that if the “historical Jesus of Nazareth (sans miracles and divinity) is a virtually insignificant historical figure”, then it is possible that another different Jesus Messiah also existed—as a virtually insignificant historical figure.
Lataster (2015) [now bolded]. “Questioning the Plausibility of Jesus Ahistoricity Theories – A Brief Pseudo-Bayesian Metacritique of the Sources”. Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies. 6 (1): 63–96. ISSN 2155-1723.
[Per Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews Book 20, Chapter 9, 1] Interestingly, even if “called Christ” was genuine, there is no necessary link to Jesus of Nazareth; there were many Jesuses in 1st century Palestine, and perhaps a few of them claimed to be or were perceived as being Messiahs. It cannot be reasonably assumed that any Jesus or Joshua who is called a Messiah or Christ must relate to the allegedly historic al figure of Jesus of Nazareth — since a purely historical Jesus of Nazareth (sans miracles and divinity) is a virtually insignificant historical figure, barely mentioned, if at all, in contemporary or near-contemporary historical accounts. —(p. 83)Dbz (talk) 21:30, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
The earliest Christian traditions make no mention of a historical Jesus and clearly worshipped a purely heavenly, mythic-style being.
Per Carrier [now bolded], “How Did Christianity Switch to a Historical Jesus?“. Richard Carrier Blogs. 9 November 2017.
The Jewish War of 66–70 destroyed the original church in Jerusalem, leaving us with no evidence that any of the original apostles lived beyond it. Before that, persecutions from Jewish authorities and famines throughout the empire . . . further exacerbated the effect, which was to leave a thirty-year dark age in the history of the church (from the 60s to the 90s), a whole generation in which we have no idea what happened or who was in charge (Element 22). In fact this ecclesial dark age probably spans fifty years (from the 60s to 110s), if 1 Clement was written in the 60s and not the 90s (see Chapter 8, §5), as then we have no record of anything going on until either Ignatius or Papias, both of whom could have written well later than the 110s (Chapter 8, §§6 and 7).
almost all evidence of the original Christian sects and what they believed has been lost or doctored out of the record; even evidence of what happened during the latter half of the first century to transition from Paul’s Christianity to second-century ‘orthodoxy’ is completely lost and now almost wholly inaccessible to us (Elements 21-22 and 44).
even if we granted historicity, then we do not know how some sects transitioned to a cosmically born Jesus in the Christianities Irenaeus attacks as heresies (Chapter 11, §9) or a cosmically killed Jesus in the Ascension of Isaiah (Chapter 3, §1), or to a Jesus who lived and died a hundred years earlier (Chapter 8, §1). Thus, our ignorance in the matter of how the cult transitioned is not solved by positing historicity. Either way, we’re equally in the dark on how these changes happened.
- Tim O’Neill notes that per variant forms of early Christianity: “We’ve mainly got the books written by other people who were arguing against them, because they won the argument, so they got to decide whose books got copied.” See comment quoting O’Neill per Response #4: Non Sequitur’s Tim O’Neill presentation, …. Your turn. Vridar. 2018-10-28. - Dbz (talk) 20:00, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Docetism has been conflated with the original form of Christianity
The so-called “Docetism” refutations (of early date) from apologetic literature are more likely to be refutations of the original form of Christianity, i.e. cosmic-Jesus.
- Second Epistle of Peter
- Irenaeus, per the cosmic-Jesus literature he was attempting to rebut
Cf. “How Did Christianity Switch to a Historical Jesus?“. Richard Carrier Blogs. 9 November 2017.
Comment by Richard Carrier—12 March 2019—>per "Hypothesis: Only Those Who Don't Really Understand Bayesianism Are Against It". Richard Carrier Blogs. 6 March 2019.
Dbz (talk) 01:14, 18 November 2018 (UTC) && 20:43, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
IMO what is usually called Docetism today also did not even exist in the ancient world; and what is mistakenly called Docetism now is actually a slew of unrelated unorthodox sectarian teachings, some of which may in fact be mythicist. The anti-heretical writings that modern scholars “consruct” Docetism from also only address heresies of the late second and early third century; they have no evident knowledge of any of the first century sects (e.g. that Paul was calling anathema and so on), or sects such as attacked by Ignatius or 2 Peter, which actually do not align with any of the sects addressed by the heresy hunters (or else their polemics disguise the real teachings of those sects).
So, in short, no “date” for Docetism is valid. We cannot ascertain when any of the doctrines variously now called Docetic began, or what they looked like when they began. We can barely accurately reconstruct what they looked like by the time we have any writings against them. And those anti-heretical writings are too late to inform us of early heresies at all, much less “accurately.”
Parts of the Jesus myth goes into la la land but that doesn't mean the idea is totally off the wall
- Neil Godfrey defines two types of Jesus mythicism, which should be adopted for this article.
Neil Godfrey (24 October 2018). "There are two types of Jesus mythicism. Here's how to tell them apart". Vridar.
Type 1: Scholarly
The authors engage with not only the source documents of early Christianity but they also address the scholarship that has been written about those documents.
- Carrier gives the authentic letters claiming to have been written by Paul as the only reliable evidence.
Cf. "The Historicity of Paul the Apostle". Richard Carrier Blogs. 6 June 2015.
[T]he book of Acts is near useless fiction (On the Historicity of Jesus, Chapter 9). And all extra-biblical evidence for Paul, which is not based on the letters attributed to him, derives from Acts and no other source (either by using Acts as a source, or embellishing it’s tales with more mythology about Paul). So on those counts, Jesus and Paul are in the same evidential boat: there is nothing attesting them that counts as independent of Acts, and Acts is wholly unreliable as a source of historical facts in this matter.
Except in Paul’s case. Because we actually do have letters claiming to have been written by Paul. We do not have this for Jesus . . . So the historicity of Jesus and Paul are actually not in the same evidential state.
Per latter comment by Carrier—9 June 2015:
As for Paul being famous, I don’t see any evidence of that. He was just one of a dozen apostles, all doing the same things he was, yet all of whom were so obscure we know next to nothing about any of them. Someone just liked bits of his letters more than the others a lifetime later and preserved them (probably Marcion). Had that not happened, we would probably not even know the man’s name.
Scholars asserting that no reliable evidence of authorship is available per the Pauline epistles:
- Hermann Detering (2003) [German 1995]. The Fabricated Paul: Early Christianity in the Twilight. Translated by Darrell Doughty. Independently Published. ISBN 978-1-981040-81-0. "This book shows that all the Pauline letters are all 2nd-Century fabrications, Catholically redacted from Marcionite gnostic dualist-god original versions."
- Robert M. Price (2012). The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul. Signature Books. ISBN 978-1-56085-216-2. "The epistles give evidence of having been written at the end of the first century or early in the second—too late to have been Paul's actual writings."
New work by R. G. Price (Not to confuse with Robert M. Price)
- Comment by R.G. Price—16 August 2019—per Lataster, Raphael (August 2019). “Questioning Jesus’ Historicity“. The Bible and Interpretation.
The case I put forward in my book [Deciphering the Gospels] is essentially that early Jesus worship developed out of prophetic scriptural interpretation.
- Neil Godfrey (9 September 2018). "Review of R. G. Price's book on the Christ Myth theory...". Vridar.
I have posted a review of R. G. Price’s book, Deciphering the Gospels — proves Jesus never existed, arguing for the Jesus of the gospels being an entirely literary invention...
- Madison, David (2 August 2019). "Is a Real Jesus Hiding Anywhere in the New Testament?". debunkingchristianity.blogspot. John W. Loftus. "A Review of R. G. Price’s Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed".
[W]hat about that title! Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed? Robert M. Price writes in the Foreword: “I don’t think you can ‘prove’ either that a historical Jesus existed or that he didn’t. What you can do, and what [R. G.] Price does, is to construe the same old evidence in a new way that makes more natural, less contrived, sense.” (p. ix)
You certainly can prove, however, that evidence for a real Jesus is weak. You cannot change the nature of the gospels. There is not a single event in the life of Jesus (as opposed to historical persons, e.g., Pilate) that can be verified by documents outside the gospels. So I have no problem with Price’s title; let it be a challenge to Christians to think hard, do the homework, engage in the issues that he discusses. Let them try to prove him wrong.
- Carrier (8 May 2014). "On Evaluating Arguments from Consensus". Richard Carrier Blogs.
I have often been asked how we should evaluate arguments from consensus. That’s where someone says “the consensus of experts is that P, therefore we should agree P is true.” On the one hand, this looks like an Argument from Authority, a recognized fallacy. On the other hand, we commonly think it should add weight to a conclusion that the relevant experts endorse it. Science itself is based on this assumption.
- R. G. Price (1 November 2018). "On the Origin of Jesus by Means of Mythical Propagation". rationalrevolution.
In reality, consensus alone is not a very good indicator of truth. The consensus has been wrong about almost everything at some point. This is a very touchy subject because academic consensus is one of easiest and most direct ways to affirm the truth of a claim, and it makes sense that experts who study a subject will have better judgement about the validity of a claim that non-experts or non-professionals – and in most cases that is true.
However, there are two major fields in particular where academic consensus is highly questionable: economics and religious studies. The academic consensus is suspect in these fields because there are strong incentives for biased findings and the fields do not strictly follow scientific methods.
- Meggitt, Justin J. (6 September 2019). "‘More Ingenious than Learned’? Examining the Quest for the Non-Historical Jesus". New Testament Studies 65 (4): 443–460. doi:10.1017/S0028688519000213.:
[U]nlike ‘guilds’ in professions such as law or medicine, it is not apparent what members of the ‘guild’ of biblical scholars have in common, other than a shared object of study and competence in a few requisite languages, and therefore what value an alleged consensus among them really has, especially on what is a historical rather than a linguistic matter. —(pp. 459–460)
Historians contractually obliged to publicly reject mythicism
Fitzgerald, David (2017). "Myths of Mythicism – Bias Cut". Jesus: Mything in Action. 1. CreateSpace. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-5428-5888-5.
Per Ehrman (28 May 2017) [NOW FORMATTED]. “Would I Be Personally Devastated if the Mythicists Were Right?...“. The Bart Ehrman Blog.
[T]he majority of biblical historians in academia are employed by religiously affiliated institutions. This fact alone explains much of the resistance to Jesus Myth theory even among scholars who personally identify as secular. Furthermore, of those schools, we can quantify that at least 41% (if not 100%) require their instructors and staff to publicly reject Jesus Myth or they will not have a career at that institute of higher learning. So the question shouldn’t be: “How many historians reject mythicism?” but “How many historians are contractually obliged to publicly reject mythicism?”
Despite much lip service given to academic freedom, the sad truth is that for religious institutions (and by extension, the majority of all biblical history positions), academics have only as much freedom as can fit comfortably within the school’s theological constraints. Any scholar whose findings threaten to step over that line — no matter how innocent or innocuous the doctrine in question may seem — is in danger.
When I started my serious study of the New Testament . . . I had a view of Jesus very much like the one most conservative evangelicals have: Jesus was a miracle-working son of God who came to earth principally to die for sins.
• My historical studies eventually changed my views of Jesus.
I think every historian should be willing to change his views based on his study of the evidence.
• Scholars who do not change their views – but come out of a study with the same views they brought into it – are highly suspect.
Would I be traumatized if the mythicists were right after all?
• Not in the least. I would probably feel energized.
Per Carrier (1 July 2019). "Spencer Alexander McDaniel on the Historicity of Jesus". Richard Carrier Blogs.
[On the Historicity of Jesus, published in 2014] arguing that Jesus’s historicity has odds of at best 1 in 3 is also the first to pass peer review in the century long history of arguing such a thesis (and indeed by a respected biblical studies press then run by faculty on the campus of the University of Sheffield). And its critics generally don’t honestly report or address what it argues or contains; a behavior that signals dogmatists circling wagons, not scholars sincerely confronting a thesis. That should warrant concern.
Techniques employed by "historical Jesus" historiansPer Neil Godfrey (28 October 2018). "Response #4: Non Sequitur's Tim O'Neill presentation, .... Your turn". Vridar.
[O]n the whole the “scholars” do not argue for the historicity of Jesus but work on other questions on the assumption that he existed. When asked to justify that assumption the responses are, too often unfortunately, logically invalid, question begging, divorced from normative scholarly approaches to sources, misrepresenting the questions posed, and…. condescending, abusive. On the principle that all authorities ought to be held to account, such responses deserve to be set aside and the question should be pursued.
- One of my major beefs is the inconstancy with which the historical method is used. The best example of this is Sun Tzu. You can hold a translation of his work in your hands, he was written about by a professional historian who noted in his work "I have set down only what is certain, and in doubtful cases left a blank.", and yet we are not even sure if Sun Tzu.even existed. Yet Jesus gets effectively a free ride. How on earth does that work?!?--BruceGrubb (talk) 13:51, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
- Only slightly related, but it's profoundly amazing to me that the words "Historical method" do not appear in this page at all. We don't even talk about the general processes that historians use to approximate the truth about the past in a broader context. The strange and oddball specifics of historic and/or mythical Jesus are so weird to think about in isolation from the techniques the wider field has created for itself. We're so good about discussing the scientific method here, and even philosophical hermeneutics, but we fail at giving history that same "here's the critical thinking toolkit" treatment. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 17:34, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
- It was there but thanks to the convoluted wording it was not clear that the Historical method was what was being talked about. Historical Anthropology for example brings a host of new tools to the historical method namely what cultural influences existed at the time the records were put down that would color the way they portrayed events. In a world where Zeus was postulated as to have been a mortal king of Crete, Osiris was actually an ancient king of Egypt, or Heracles had been a flesh and blood Egyptian who became a king in Argos the idea Jesus may have not exist in any recognizable way becomes far less fantastic. The added comparison of Jesus to Ned Ludd and John Frum kicks the whole 'within living memory' argument in the head.--BruceGrubb (talk) 14:05, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
The range of the Jesus Myth
"One of the biggest problems is thanks to Volney and Dupuis having different views regarding the Christ myth the term (be it "Jesus myth theory", "Christ myth theory", or "Ahistorical Jesus") includes ideas that accept Jesus existed as a human being. The terms of "myth", "historical" and "fiction" are no help either as what exactly they mean varies from author to author. In fact the very term "historical Jesus" has a huge spectrum of hypothesis."
Has  been covered yet?
Changing the topic slightly - how many 'Exit the Roman Empire' activists, and how many 'preacher-men' were there in Judea? Given that there was a period of time between when 'Joshua ben Joseph' seemingly lived and when the gospels and related texts were written down to what extent could there have been a degree of syncretism in writing the various oral histories of such persons - with the 'John the Baptist stories' being another such conflation? Anna Livia (talk) 12:07, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
- That second part is touched on in the Josephus article under Length and a host of holy men and as you can see from that list there were quite a few 'preacher-men' were in Judea. --BruceGrubb (talk) 01:42, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
- The problem is there is this (mistaken) view there there is only one Jesus myth theory which is why the article has the name it does.--BruceGrubb (talk) 01:28, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
- Also, “theory” used in the singular does not necessarily mean there is only one, but can be used to designate a broader “school of thought”, cf. gender theory, queer theory, quantum theory, Marxist theory etc. ScepticWombat (talk) 20:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
r/atheism historical Jesus FAQ
- "FAQ: Did Jesus Really Exist?". Reddit. r/atheism.