Robert M. Price
|Robert M. Price|
|Born||Robert McNair Price
July 7, 1954
|Education||BA, MTS (1978)
PhD in Systematic Theology (1981)
PhD in New Testament (1993)
|Alma mater||Montclair State University
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
|Employer||Professor of biblical criticism for the Council for Secular Humanism's Center for Inquiry Institute|
|Known for||Views on the historicity of Jesus|
|Spouse(s)||Carol Selby Price|
|Children||Victoria and Veronica|
Robert McNair Price (born July 7, 1954) is an American theologian and writer. He teaches philosophy and religion at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, is professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on theology and the historicity of Jesus, including Deconstructing Jesus (2000), The Reason Driven Life (2006), Jesus is Dead (2007), Inerrant the Wind: The Evangelical Crisis in Biblical Authority (2009), The Case Against the Case for Christ (2010), and The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul (2012).
A former Baptist minister, he was the editor of the Journal of Higher Criticism from 1994 until it ceased publication in 2003, and has written extensively about the Cthulhu Mythos, a "shared universe" created by the writer H. P. Lovecraft. He also co-wrote a book with his wife, Carol Selby Price, Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush (1999), on the rock band Rush.
Price is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, a group of 150 writers and scholars who study the historicity of Jesus, the organizer of a Web community for those interested in the history of Christianity, and sits on the advisory board of the Secular Student Alliance. He is a religious skeptic, especially of orthodox Christian beliefs, occasionally describing himself as a Christian atheist. He is known in particular for his skepticism about the existence of Jesus as a historical figure, arguing in 2009 that Jesus may have existed but "unless someone discovers his diary or his skeleton, we'll never know." (see also Christ myth theory)
In books like The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man and Deconstructing Jesus, Price challenges biblical literalism and argues for a more skeptical and humanistic approach to Christianity. He views Jesus of Nazareth as an invented figure conforming to the "Mythic Hero Archetype."  In the documentary The God Who Wasn't There, Price supports a version of the Jesus myth hypothesis, suggesting that the early Christians adopted the model for the figure of Jesus from the popular Mediterranean dying-rising saviour myths of the time, such as that of Dionysus. He argues that the comparisons were known at the time, as early church father, Justin Martyr had admitted the similarities. Price suggests that Christianity simply adopted themes from the dying-rising god stories of the day and supplemented them with themes (escaping crosses, empty tombs, children being persecuted by tyrants, etc.) from the popular stories of the day in order to come up with the narratives about Christ. He has argued that there was an almost complete fleshing out of the details of the gospels by a Midrash (haggadah) rewriting of the Septuagint, Homer, Euripides' Bacchae, and Josephus. At the same time, Price cautiously concludes that "a genuine historical figure" ultimately lies at the root of the Christian religion. Because that figure (about whom no mundane, secular information seems to have survived) was eventually made into God, Price describes his view on Jesus as "euhemerist," namely, the view that a person of history ultimately underwent deification through apotheosis. But Price admits uncertainty in this regard. He writes at the conclusion of his 2000 book Deconstructing Jesus: "There may have been a real figure there, but there is simply no longer any way of being sure."
H. P. Lovecraft scholarship
As editor of the journal Crypt of Cthulhu (published by Necronomicon Press) and of a series of Cthulhu Mythos anthologies, Price has been a major figure in H. P. Lovecraft scholarship and fandom for many years. In essays that introduce the anthologies and the individual stories, Price traces the origins of Lovecraft's entities, motifs, and literary style. The Cthulhu Cycle, for example, saw the origins of the octopoid entity in Alfred Lord Tennyson's "The Kraken" and particular passages from Lord Dunsany, while The Dunwich Cycle points to the influence of Arthur Machen on Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror".
Price's religious background often informs his Mythos criticism, seeing gnostic themes in Lovecraft's fictional god Azathoth and interpreting "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" as a kind of initiation ritual.
Most of the early Cthulhu books by Chaosium were overseen by Price; his first book was The Hastur Cycle (1993), a collection of short stories which traced the development of a single Lovecraftian element, and this was followed by Mysteries of the Worm (1993), a collection of Robert Bloch's Mythos fiction.
Price runs The Bible Geek, a broadcast show that allows people to ask the Bible Geek questions that he will answer. In 2010 he became one of three new hosts on Point of Inquiry (the Center for Inquiry's podcast), following the retirement of host D. J. Grothe from the show. Having appeared on the show twice before as a guest (see external links below), he hosted until 2012.
- On religion
- The Widow Traditions in Luke-Acts: A Feminist-Critical Scrutiny Society of Biblical Literature. ISBN 0-7885-0224-7 (Mar 1997).
- The Evolution of the Pauline Canon, in Hervormde Teologiese Studies, Number 1&2 June 1997, 36-67
- Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush Borgo Press. ISBN 1-58715-102-2. with Carol Selby Price (1 Nov 1998)
- Deconstructing Jesus Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-758-9. (20 Mar 2000).
- The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man: How Reliable is the Gospel Tradition? Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-121-9. (20 Dec 2003)
- The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond The Grave Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-286-X edited with Jeffery Jay Lowder (20 April 2005) with the following articles: "Introduction: The Second Life of Jesus," "Apocryphal Apparitions: 1 Corinthians 15:3-11 as a Post Pauline Interpretation" and "By This Time He Stinketh: The Attempts of William Lane Craig to Exhume Jesus."
- The Da Vinci Fraud: Why the Truth Is Stranger than Fiction Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-348-3. (20 Sep 2005).
- The Reason Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For? Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-476-5. (1 Sep 2006).
- The Pre-Nicene New Testament: Fifty-four Formative Texts Signature Books ISBN 1-56085-194-5. (30 Oct 2006)
- The Paperback Apocalypse: How the Christian Church was Left Behind Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-583-4. (1 Sept 2007).
- Jesus is Dead American Atheist Press ISBN 1-57884-000-7. (30 April 2007).
- Top Secret: The Truth Behind Today's Pop Mysticisms Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-608-3 (8 April 2008)
- Beyond Born Again: Towards Evangelical Maturity Wildside Press. ISBN 1-4344-7748-7 (30 Oct 2008).
- Inerrant the Wind: The Evangelical Crisis of Biblical Authority Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-676-8 (1 Dec 2008).
- The Case Against The Case For Christ: A New Testament Scholar Refutes the Reverend Lee Strobel, American Atheist Press. ISBN 1-57884-005-8 (15 Feb 2010)
- Chapter "Jesus: Myth and Method" in The Christian delusion edited by John W. Loftus Amherst, NY Prometheus Books 2010 ISBN 1-61614-168-9
- Jesus Christ Superstar: The Making of a Modern Gospel. eBookIt (1 April 2011)
- Paul: The Lost Epistles eBookIt.com (21 July 2011)
- The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems American Atheist Press. ISBN 1-57884-017-1 (1 August 2011)
- The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul Signature Books ISBN 1-56085-216-X (15 February 2012)
- Bart Ehrman and the Quest of Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist? ISBN 978-1-57884-019-9 edited with Frank R. Zindler the following articles, "Introduction: Surprised by Myth" and "Bart Ehrman: Paradigm Policeman." American Atheist Press 2013 (16 Apr 2013)
- Killing History: Jesus In The No-Spin Zone, Prometheus Books ISBN 978-1-61614-967-3 (2 September 2014)
- On the Cthulhu Mythos (as editor or author)
- Acolytes of Cthulhu
- The Antarktos Cycle: Horror and Wonder at the Ends of the Earth
- The Azathoth Cycle: The Blind Idiot God
- Black Forbidden Things
- Blasphemies & Revelations Mythos Books. ISBN 0-9789911-9-2. (30 Sep 2008).
- The Book of Eibon
- The Book of Iod (stories by Henry Kuttner)
- The Cthulhu Cycle: Thirteen Tentacles of Terror
- Dark Wisdom: New Tales of the Old Ones (stories by Gary Myers)
- The Dunwich Cycle: Where the Old Gods Wait
- The Hastur Cycle
- The Horror of It All: Encrusted Gems from the "Crypt of Cthulhu"
- H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos
- The Innsmouth Cycle: The Taint of the Deep Ones
- The Ithaqua Cycle: The Wind-Walker of the Icy Wastes
- Lin Carter: A Look Behind His Imaginary Worlds
- Lin Carter's Anton Zarnak, Supernatural Sleuth
- Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos (with Lin Carter) Borgo Pr; Rev Sub edition (Nov 1997) ISBN 978-0-89370-013-3
- Mysteries of the Worm (stories by Robert Bloch)
- Nameless Cults: The Cthulhu Mythos Fiction of Robert E. Howard
- The Necronomicon
- The New Lovecraft Circle
- The Nyarlathotep Cycle: The God of a Thousand Forms
- Shards of Darkness (stories by Edward P. Berglund)
- The Shub-Niggurath Cycle: Tales of the Black Goat with a Thousand Young
- The Taint of Lovecraft (stories by Stanley Sargeant)
- Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos
- Tales Out of Dunwich
- Tales Out of Innsmouth: New Stories of the Children of Dagon
- The Tsathoggua Cycle: Terror Tales of the Toad God
- Worlds of Cthulhu
- The Xothic Legend Cycle: The Complete Mythos Fiction of Lin Carter
- The Yith Cycle:Lovecraftian Tales of the Great Race and Time Travel
Note: many of Price's Cthulhu Mythos anthologies have appeared in French and Spanish editions (some unauthorised).
- Robert M. Price, The Jesus Project, Center for Inquiry.
- Robert M. Price, Westar Institute; Advisory Board Secular Student Alliance, accessed April 15, 2010.
- Advisory Board Secular Student Alliance, accessed April 15, 2010.
- Maurice Casey Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths? T&T Clark 2014 ROBERT M. PRICE p.23-24
- jctseminary.org online courses
- For Price's academic posts, see About CFI Indiana Institute, Center for Inquiry Institute, accessed April 9, 2010; Robert M. Price - Top Secret: The Truth Behind Today’s Pop Mysticisms, Point of Inquiry, May 30, 2008, accessed April 9, 2010; Biography, robertmprice.mindvendor.com, accessed April 9, 2010.
- Journal of Higher Criticism, accessed April 9, 2010; Joshi, S T. and Schultz, David E. An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia. Hippocampus Press, p. 217. ISBN 0-9748789-1-X
- Tokasz, Jay. Scholars to explore existence of Jesus, The Buffalo News, November 30, 2008, accessed February 22, 2009.
- Jacoby, David A. Compelling Evidence For God and the Bible: Finding Truth in an Age of Doubt. Harvest House Publishers, 2010, p. 97.
- Video on YouTube
- Brief Biography of Robert M. Price
- Price, Robert. Deconstructing Jesus. Prometheus Books. p. 250. ISBN 1-57392-758-9.
- Price, Robert M. (2005). "New Testament narrative as Old Testament midrash". In Jacob Neusner and Alan J. Avery-Peck. Encyclopaedia of Midrash: Biblical Interpretation in Formative Judaism. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 90-04-14166-9.
- Price, Robert. Deconstructing Jesus. Prometheus Books. p. 250. ISBN 1-57392-758-9.
- Price, Robert. Deconstructing Jesus. Prometheus Books. p. 261. ISBN 1-57392-758-9.
- Harms, Daniel. The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia. Elder Signs Press. p. XV. ISBN 1-934501-05-0.
- Shannon Appelcline, A Brief History of Game #3: Chaosium: 1975-present on RPG.net
- Joshi, S.T. Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 126. ISBN 0-313-33780-2.
The Cthulhu Mythos remains a popular venue in literature and the media. Since the 1980s Robert M. Price has been a kind of August Derleth redivivus in publishing a dozen or more anthologies of Cthulhu Mythos tales by writers old and new
- Mitchell, Charles P. The Complete H.P. Lovecraft Filmography. Greenwood Press. p. 6. ISBN 0-313-31641-4.
- Hite, Kenneth (2008). Tour De Lovecraft: The Tales. Atomic Overmind Press. p. xiii.
Joshi's only rival for eminence in the field durin the 1980s and 1990s was Robert M. Price
- Price, Robert M.. "Introduction". The Azathoth Cycle. Chaosium. ISBN 1-56882-040-2.
- Hite, Kenneth (2008). Tour De Lovecraft: The Tales. Atomic Overmind Press. p. 84.
Equally importantly and convincingly, Price analyses the tale as a vision-quest, a coming-of-age ordeal ritual, which I have to say is pretty dead-on.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- The Bible Geek
- "Center for Inquiry Announces Three New Hosts for its Popular Podcast, ‘Point of Inquiry’". Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
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- Official website
- Works by or about Robert M. Price in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Robert M. Price at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database