Jesus Historicists: Boy, Are They F##king Mad!

Posted: December 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

As an independent student of Christian origins and ancient religion, I’ve followed the works of mythicists Robert M. Price and Richard Carrier for over a decade. I’ve always been impressed with their knowledge of the myriad topics related to religious studies, though I was skeptical of mythicism for some years, and only within the past few years, with the acquisition of greater knowledge, have I begun to embrace it. But in all that time that I had my doubts, I never once regarded them as fools or nutcases. I kept an open mind, and continued to learn until I finally became convinced of their case. Not because I wanted to become convinced. But because that’s where the facts and arguments ineluctably lead me.

In all this time, too, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that many biblical scholars, and even amateurs such as myself, have nothing short of a Dracula response to mythicism. It is almost always the case that they can’t say anything about it, they simply cannot address it, without being assholes about it.

To wit: Bart Ehrman compared mythicism to Holocaust denialism and the birther movement. Larry Hurtado has made comparisons to flat-earthers and moon-landing conspirators. James McGrath finds it akin to young-earth creationism and ancient alien lore. Tim O’Neill refers to mythicists as “cranks and loons.” And the icing on the cake is this little gem from Michael F. Bird:

Finally, let me add, for all those former Jesus Mythicists out there who suddenly feel their bowels becoming loose because this Jesus thing just got “real,” don’t worry, even if Jesus existed, you can still be an atheist, just not a dogmatic dumbass one.

To which I could not help but leave him the following comment:

Dearest Michael Bird … you’ll have to forgive our loose bowels. If you think mythicism is funny, just imagine the pants-shitting hilarity that is someone who rightly regards the healings of Asclepius and resurrection of Osiris as myth, but, in the case of Jesus, thinks IT ALL REALLY HAPPENED. Although, frankly, I do find the virgin birth exponentially more believable after seeing you in pictures, as you are surely the product of someone having skullfucked Pennywise.

Mind you, I’m not angry about any of this. If anything, I find their utter lack of professionalism funny, and I’m just dishing it back. But one thing is clear from all the charged rhetoric and invective of these historicists. They are mad. The mere notion of a mythical Jesus leads them to resort to all manner of insults and put-downs. And such anger can only come from one of two places: Fear or Pain.

JESUS WAS REAL, GODDAMMIT!!

Coming from the likes of evangelical Michael Bird and liberal Christian James McGrath, such anger comes as no surprise. If you suggest that someone’s all-time favorite person might not have been a real boy, they are, in a delicious twist of irony, quite naturally going to be the ones to lose their shit.

Oh, where did it GO?

But the Bart Ehrmans and Larry Hurtados of the world require a different explanation. Though hardly a difficult one. Just imagine belonging to a professional guild of those who possess esoteric knowledge. Then, one day, such information and knowledge becomes accessible to practically anyone. You aren’t special, anymore. Anyone with a wifi password can become an expert on that for which you had to undergo years of training, spending or borrowing thousands of dollars. You don’t get to call all the shots, anymore. An amateur with Google at his fingertips can possess the same knowledge you have. And can even debunk you.

This is my “pondering murder” face. See it? Mmm. Murder.

Let’s face it: There’s nothing even remotely far-fetched about hypothesizing that a man who was miraculously conceived by a god and a mortal woman like Perseus; who worked fantastic miracles, healing the lame, the blind, and the paralytic, and raising the dead like Asclepius; who soothed raging winds and seas like Pythagoras; and who conquered death so as to extend immortality to his devotees like Osiris, might have been a myth. Especially when that man appears to have already been conceived in the religious and philosophical ponderings of a Hellenized Jew like Philo of Alexandria.

Well FUCK, I do sound fake, don’t I?

Speaking of which, McGrath nearly threw a fit when someone on social media shared my blog, Jesus: Man or Myth? His response? No Jew could have ever conceived of an “anointed one” or “high priest” as anything other than a human figure. And then I quoted Philo as saying just the opposite, that the High Priest was “not a man, but a divine word” (Fug. 108). He simply doubled down, whining about Philo’s “allegorical meanderings,” while tossing out red herrings like one just swam up his butt and exploded.

YAHTZEE!

And that’s what it all boils down to: Butthurt. When you’re so committed to a particular dogma or axiom that you can’t defend it without making sheer misstatements of fact or fallacious arguments, when amateurs and independent scholars are able to beat you at your own game, it is simply a matter of good old-fashioned butthurt. Well before Snoke came along and got halved like a Christmas turkey, you know who said it best…

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