Saturday, July 28, 2012

Larry Hurtado on mythicism

LARRY HURTADO: The “Did Jesus Exist” Controversy and Its Precedents. Excerpt:
So in one sense I think I’m not alone in feeling that to show the ill-informed and illogical nature of the current wave of “mythicist” proponents is a bit like having to demonstrate that the earth isn’t flat, or that the sun doesn’t revolve around the earth, or that the moon-landings weren’t done on a movie lot. It’s a bit wearying to contemplate! And now, I really must get back to that essay.
I completely agree with Larry here and it is for this reason that I scarcely ever engage with mythicism. I'm glad people like James McGrath are willing to take the time to dialogue with some of the proponents, not because they are going to change their minds, but because some people who might otherwise be taken in will gain a better understanding of the real scholarly issues.

Most of the time I prefer to blog about actual discoveries and real scholarly controversies, although I do sometimes take up "controversies" such as Jewish-Temple denial, because even though the claims have no scholarly merit, they have a political impact, and it is worthwhile for a specialist to point out their vacuousness from time to time.