Richard Cevantis Carrier
December 1, 1969
|Education||B.A. (History), M.A. (Ancient history), M.Phil. (Ancient history), Ph.D. (Ancient history)|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University|
|Spouse(s)||Jennifer Robin Carrier (1995–2015)|
Richard Cevantis Carrier (born December 1, 1969) is an American author and activist, whose work focuses on empiricism, atheism, and the historicity of Jesus. A long-time contributor to philosophical web sites, including The Secular Web and Freethought Blogs, Carrier has published a number of books and articles on philosophy and religion in classical antiquity, discussing the development of early Christianity from a skeptical viewpoint, and concerning religion and morality in the modern world. He has publicly debated a number of religious scholars on the historical basis of the Bible and Christianity. He is a prominent advocate of the theory that Jesus did not exist, which he has argued in a number of his works. However, Carrier's methodology and conclusions in this field have proven controversial.
- 1 Background
- 2 Public debates and other media
- 3 Publications
- 4 Historicity of Jesus
- 5 Publications
- 6 See also
- 7 Footnotes
- 8 References
- 9 Sources
- 10 External links
In his autobiographical essay, "From Taoist to Infidel", Carrier discusses his upbringing in a benign Methodist church, his conversion to Taoism in early adulthood, his confrontation with Christian fundamentalists while in the United States Coast Guard, and his deeper study of religion, Christianity, and Western philosophy, which eventually led to his embrace of naturalism. From 1995 to 2015, he was married to Jennifer Robin Carrier. Announcing the end of their marriage, Carrier revealed that he is polyamorous, and that after informing his wife of his extramarital affairs, the last two years of their marriage had been an open relationship.
In 2007, famed English philosopher Antony Flew, who had long advocated atheism in the absence of empirical evidence of divinity, published his final book, There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. In this work, co-authored by Roy Varghese, Flew espoused the position that there was an intelligent creator, thereby embracing the concept of Deism. Carrier wrote to Flew, and discussed the philosopher's supposed conversion on The Secular Web. In Carrier's analysis, There is a God was authored primarily by Varghese, and misrepresented Flew's opinion regarding religion. Without addressing Carrier directly, Flew released a statement through his publisher: "My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 percent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I'm 84 and that was Roy Varghese's role. This is my book and it represents my thinking."
In 2008, Carrier received a doctorate in ancient history from Columbia University, where he studied the history of science in antiquity. His thesis was entitled "Attitudes Towards the Natural Philosopher in the Early Roman Empire (100 B.C. to 313 A.D.)." He has published several articles and chapters in books on the subject of history and philosophy.
For a number of years, Carrier was editor of and a substantial contributor to The Secular Web, where he wrote on the topics of atheism and metaphysical naturalism; these later formed the basis for his book Sense and Goodness without God. He also authored a regular column on the web site Freethought Blogs; this was suspended in 2016 amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Carrier has frequently been a featured speaker at various skeptic, secular humanist, freethought and atheist conventions, such as the annual Freethought Festival in Madison, Wisconsin, the annual Skepticon convention in Springfield, Missouri, and conventions sponsored by American Atheists.
Public debates and other media
Carrier has engaged in several formal debates, both online and in person, on a range of subjects, including naturalism, natural explanations of early Christian resurrection accounts, the morality of abortion, and the general credibility of the Bible. He debated Michael R. Licona on the Resurrection of Jesus at the University of California, Los Angeles on April 19, 2004. Carrier debated atheist Jennifer Roth online on the morality of abortion. He has defended naturalism in formal debates with Tom Wanchick and Hassanain Rajabali. He has debated David Marshall on the general credibility of the New Testament. His debates on the historicity of Jesus have included professor of religious studies Zeba A. Crook, Christian scholars Dave Lehman and Doug Hamp.
The March 18, 2009 debate Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? with William Lane Craig was held at the Northwest Missouri State University and posted online in two parts by ReasonableFaithOrg (YouTube channel). Prior to the debate, Carrier commented that "I originally insisted we first debate [on the topic] Are the Gospels Historically Reliable? for the simple reason that you can't honestly debate the former until you've debated (and in fact settled) the latter." In his post debate commentary, Carrier argued that Craig "focused almost entirely on protecting the Gospels as historical sources, and it was there that his shotgun of arguments got well ahead of my ability to catch up." Another debate with Craig was broadcast on Lee Strobel's television show Faith Under Fire.
The October 25, 2014 debate Did Jesus Exist? with Trent Horn was held in San Diego, California, and posted online by the "MABOOM Show" (YouTube channel). In the "Question and Answer" session, Horn recommended several books defending the historicity of Jesus, by Shirley Jackson Case, Robert Van Voorst, Paul Rhodes Eddy and Greg Boyd, and Bart D. Ehrman. Horn described Ehrman's book as, "a good popular introduction... unfortunately it is not a scholarly treatment like Dr. Carrier's". Horn stated that "there really is not a scholarly treatment of the issue from the historical view" (time 1:38:30).
A debate with Craig A. Evans, entitled Did Jesus Exist? was held at Kennesaw State University on April 13, 2016, and posted online by KSUTV. Carrier described Evans' opening remarks (time 6:30–28:30) as "the best case I think you can make for the historicity of Jesus" (time 28:30).
In 2006, Carrier was the keynote speaker for the Humanist Community of Central Ohio's annual Winter Solstice Banquet, where he spoke on defending naturalism as a philosophy. Carrier appears in Roger Nygard's 2009 documentary The Nature of Existence, in which persons of different religious and secular philosophies are interviewed about the meaning of life.
Carrier's best-known works concern the development of early Christianity, as well as modern views of religion and philosophy.
Criticism of Hitler's Table Talk
In collaboration with Reinhold Mittschang, Carrier challenged several anti-Christian statements attributed to Adolf Hitler in a collection of monologues known as Hitler's Table Talk. Carrier's paper argues that the French and English translations are "entirely untrustworthy", and suggests that translator François Genoud doctored portions of the text to enhance Hitler's views. Carrier put forward a new translation of twelve quotations, based on the German editions of Henry Picker and Werner Jochmann, as well as a fragment of the Bormann-Vermerke preserved at the Library of Congress, challenging some of the quotations frequently used to demonstrate Hitler's hostility to Christianity. Carrier concludes that Hitler's views in Table Talk "resemble Kant's with regard to the primacy of science over theology in deciding the facts of the universe, while remaining personally committed to a more abstract theism." Carrier also maintains that throughout Table Talk, Hitler takes a cynical view of Catholicism, "voicing many of the same criticisms one might hear from a candid (and bigoted) Protestant."
In a new forward to Table Talk, Gerhard Weinberg comments that "Carrier has shown the English text of the table-talk that originally appeared in 1953 and is reprinted here derives from Genoud's French edition and not from one of the German texts." Derek Hastings cites Carrier's paper for "an attempt to undermine the reliability of the anti-Christian statements." Carrier's thesis that the English translation should be dispensed with entirely is rejected by Richard Steigmann-Gall, who while acknowledging the controversies raised by Carrier, "ultimately presume[d] its authenticity." Johnstone writes that Carrier only purports to show that four of the forty-two anti-Christian comments in Table Talks have been misrepresented, without discussing the rest; for this reason Johnstone contends that Carrier has been far from successful in removing the historical view of Hitler's anti-Christian character.
The Empty Tomb
In "The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb", Carrier argues that the earliest Christians probably believed that Jesus received a new spiritual body in the resurrection, and that stories of his original body disappearing from his tomb were later embellishments. Alternatively, he suggests the possibility that Jesus' body was stolen or misplaced. Carrier's analysis was criticized by philosophy professor Stephen T. Davis and Christian theologian Norman Geisler.
Historicity of Jesus
Earlier in his career, Carrier was not interested in the historicity of Jesus. His first thought was that it was a fringe theory, not worthy of academic inquiry; but a number of individuals requested that he investigate the subject, and raised money for him to do so. Since then, Carrier has become a vocal advocate of the theory that Jesus was not a historical person.
In Not the Impossible Faith: Why Christianity Didn't Need a Miracle to Succeed (2009), Carrier writes on the social and intellectual context of the rise and early development of Christianity. Despite his initial skepticism of Christ myth theory, since late 2005 Carrier has considered it "very probable Jesus never actually existed as a historical person." In a blog entry from 2009, he writes "though I foresee a rising challenge among qualified experts against the assumption of historicity [of Jesus], as I explained, that remains only a hypothesis that has yet to survive proper peer review."
Three years later, in Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus, Carrier, describes the application of Bayes' theorem to historical inquiry in general, and the historicity of Jesus in particular. According to Carrier, the Bayes theorem is the standard by which all methodology for any historical study must adhere in order to be logically sound. In his Bayesian analysis, the ahistoricity of Jesus is "true": that is, the "most probable" Bayesian conclusion. By the same methodology, Carrier posits that Jesus originated in the realm of mythology, rather than as a historical person who was subsequently mythologized. Carrier argues that the probability of Jesus' existence is somewhere in the range of 1/3 to 1/12000, depending on the estimates used for the computation. A number of critics have rejected Carrier's ideas and methodology, calling it "tenuous", or "problematic and unpersuasive". Simon Gathercole writes that Carrier's arguments "are contradicted by the historical data."
In On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt (2014) Carrier continues to develop his Bayesian analysis of the historicity of Jesus. Carrier described his work as "the first comprehensive pro-Jesus-myth book ever published by a respected academic press and under formal peer review." The essence of his argument is that there is insufficient evidence, in the context of Bayesian probability, to believe in the historicity of Jesus. Furthermore, Carrier posits that as a celestial figure, Jesus was probably known originally only through private revelations and hidden messages in scripture, which were then elaborated into an allegorical person, communicating the claims of the gospels. The allegorical aspect of Jesus was then lost during the struggle for control of the Christian churches during the first century.
The hypothesis of Marcan priority holds that the Gospel of Mark was the first gospel to be written. However, biblical scholars do not have access to any primary sources for the gospels (see Historical reliability of the Gospels), which makes any conclusions about them susceptible to doubt, as is also the case with any oral transmission of the gospels prior to the first-written. Noting that the gospels were written decades after Jesus' death, Carrier claims that the gospels are "wildly fictitious", and proposes that the Gospel of Mark is really an extended meta-parable. He further claims that post-biblical writings mentioning Jesus should not be regarded as independent sources for his existence, since they may have relied on the gospels for their information. Apart from the hero archetype pattern, Carrier contends that nothing else in the Gospels is reliable evidence for or against the historicity of Jesus.
In 2002, Carrier reviewed the work of Earl Doherty, who posited that Jesus was originally a mythological being who subsequently came to be regarded as a historical person. Carrier concluded that Doherty's theory was plausible, although at the time he had not yet concluded that this hypothesis was more probable than the historical Jesus. He also criticized some of Doherty's points, which he considered untenable, although he regarded the basic concept as coherent and consistent with the evidence. Over time, Carrier's views shifted to the point that he accepted Doherty's premise as the most likely explanation of Jesus. He wrote, "It does soundly establish the key point that Jesus was regarded as a pre-existent incarnate divine being from the earliest recorded history of Christianity, even in fact before the writings of Paul, and that this was not even remarkable within Judaism."
Elaborating on this hypothesis, Carrier asserts that originally "Jesus was the name of a celestial being, subordinate to God, with whom some people hallucinated conversations", and that "The Gospel began as a mythic allegory about the celestial Jesus, set on earth, as most myths then were." Stories developed placing Jesus on Earth, and placing him in context with historical figures and places. Subsequently his worshipers came to believe that these allegories referred to a historical person.
Carrier asserts that the idea of a pre-Christian celestial being named "Jesus" is known from the writings of Philo of Alexandria on the Book of Zechariah. He argues that Philo's angelic being is identical to the Apostle Paul's Jesus: he is God's firstborn son, the celestial 'image of God', and God's agent of creation. However, Larry Hurtado contends that the figure named "Jesus" in Zechariah is a completely distinct figure, and that the Logos Philo discusses is not an angelic being at all.
In Carrier's view, Paul's reference in Romans 1:3 to Jesus being the "seed" of David describes his incarnation from a "cosmic sperm bank", rather than the usual interpretation of Jesus as a descendant of David. In Carrier's interpretation of Paul, Jesus possessed a surrogate human body, and thus the religious requirement of a blood sacrifice was fulfilled by his crucifixion by demons. Gathercole, however, notes that Paul's reference in Romans 1:3 is a common expression in the Septuagint, which simply refers to a "descendant", and that the theme of the descendants of David is common throughout the Old Testament. Carrier argues that like the school of early Jewish mysticism (100 BC– AD 1000), known as Merkabah mysticism, together with its views on the heavens and firmaments of creation, "Mythicism places the incarnation of Jesus below the heavens... being the whole vast region between the earth and the moon [the firmament], was well-established in both Jewish and pagan cosmology (see Element 37, Chapter 4, OHJ, pp. 184–93)."
Jewish and Hellenistic syncretism
Carrier notes four major trends in religion, occurring prior to the formation of Christianity: syncretism, the development of monotheism, the transformation of agricultural salvation cults into personal salvation cults, and cosmopolitanism.
Carrier writes that "Mithraism was a syncretism of Persian and Hellenistic elements; the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris were a syncretism of Egyptian and Hellenistic elements. Christianity is simply a continuation of the same trend: a syncretism of Jewish and Hellenistic elements. Each of these cults is unique and different from all the others in nearly every detail—but it's the general features they all share in common that reflect the overall fad that produced them in the first place, the very features that made them popular and successful within Greco-Roman culture." Furthermore, Carrier says;
Christianity, as a Jewish sect, began when someone (most likely Cephas, perhaps backed by his closest devotees) claimed this [celestial deity] "Jesus" had at last revealed that he had tricked the Devil by becoming incarnate and being crucified by the Devil (in the region of the heavens ruled by Devil), thereby atoning for all of Israel's sins... It would be several decades later when subsequent members of this cult, after the world had not yet ended as claimed, started allegorizing the gospel of this angelic being. By placing him in earth history as a divine man, as a commentary on the gospel and its relation to society and the Christian mission.
Reception and criticism
On the Historicity of Jesus was positively reviewed by collaborator and fellow mythicist Raphael Lataster in the Journal of Religious History, who concurs that according to the gospels, "Jesus fits almost perfectly" the Rank-Raglan mythotype, and claims that there is "not a single confirmed historical figure" that conforms to the mythotype.
However, most contemporary scholarship has been critical of Carrier's methodology and conclusions. Both classicists and biblical scholars agree that there is a historical basis for a person called Jesus of Nazareth. Writing in 2004, Michael Grant stated, "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." More recently, Patrick Gray posited, "That Jesus did in fact walk the face of the earth in the first century is no longer seriously doubted even by those who believe that very little about his life or death can be known with any certainty."[i] For this reason, the views of Carrier and other proponents of the belief that a historical Jesus did not exist are frequently dismissed as "fringe theories" within classical scholarship.
Aviezer Tucker, previously an advocate of applying Bayesian techniques to history, expressed some sympathy for Carrier's view of the gospels, stating: "The problem with the Synoptic Gospels as evidence for a historical Jesus from a Bayesian perspective is that the evidence that coheres does not seem to be independent, whereas the evidence that is independent does not seem to cohere." However, Tucker argues that historians have been able to use theories about the transmission and preservation of information to identify reliable parts of the gospels. He says that "Carrier is too dismissive of such methods because he is focused on hypotheses about the historical Jesus rather than on the best explanations of the evidence."
New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman writes that Carrier is one of only two scholars with relevant graduate credentials who argues against the historicity of Jesus. Discussing Carrier's theory that some Jews believed in a "humiliated messiah" prior to the existence of Christianity, Ehrman criticizes Carrier for "idiosyncratic" readings of the Old Testament that ignore modern critical scholarship on the Bible. Ehrman concludes by saying "[w]e do not have a shred of evidence to suggest that any Jew prior to the birth of Christianity anticipated that there would be a future messiah who would be killed for sins—or killed at all—let alone one who would be unceremoniously destroyed by the enemies of the Jews, tortured and crucified in full public view. This was the opposite of what Jews thought the messiah would be."
Reviewing On the Historicity of Jesus, Daniel N. Gullotta says that Carrier has provided a "rigorous and thorough academic treatise that will no doubt be held up as the standard by which the Jesus Myth theory can be measured"; but he finds Carrier's arguments "problematic and unpersuasive", his use of Bayesian probabilities "unnecessarily complicated and uninviting", and he criticizes Carrier's "lack of evidence, strained readings and troublesome assumptions." Gullotta also says that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, either documentary or archaeological, that there was a period when Christians believed that Jesus only existed in heaven, rather than living as a human being on earth, which is Carrier's "foundational" thesis. Gullotta describes the belief that a historical Jesus never existed as a "fringe theory" that goes "unnoticed and unaddressed within scholarly circles".
Concerning the same book, Christina Petterson of the University of Newcastle writes, "Even if strictly correct, the methodology is tenuous. In addition, the numbers and the statistics seem like a diversion or an illusionary tactic which intentionally confuse and obfuscate". Unlike Gullotta, Petterson describes On the History of Jesus as somewhat amateurish: "Maths aside, nothing in the book shocked me, but seemed quite rudimentary first year New Testament stuff." With respect to Carrier's argument that the later tales of a historical Jesus should be studied for their literary and rhetorical purpose, and not for their historical content, Petterson says that this "reveals Carrier's ignorance of the field of New Testament studies and early Christianity."
Professor Emeritus Larry Hurtado of the University of Edinburgh writes that, contrary to Carrier's claims, Philo of Alexandria never refers to an archangel named "Jesus". Hurtado also states that the Apostle Paul clearly believed Jesus to have been a real man who lived on earth, and that the deities of pagan saviour cults, such as Isis and Osiris, were not transformed in their devotees' ideas from heavenly deities to actual people living on earth. Similar criticisms were voiced by Simon Gathercole of Cambridge, who concludes that Carrier's arguments, and more broadly, the mythicist positions on different aspects of Paul's letters, are contradicted by the historical data, and that Paul's description of Jesus' life on Earth, his personality and family, tend to establish that Paul regarded Jesus as a natural person, rather than an allegorical figure.
- "Flash! Fox News Reports that Aliens May Have Built the Pyramids of Egypt!". Skeptical Inquirer 23.5 (September–October 1999).
- "The Guarded Tomb of Jesus and Daniel in the Lion's Den: An Argument for the Plausibility of Theft". Journal of Higher Criticism 8.2 (Fall 2001).
- "Pseudohistory in Jerry Vardaman's Magic Coins: The Nonsense of Micrographic Letters". Skeptical Inquirer 26.2 (March–April 2002) and 26.4 (July–August 2002).
- "The Function of the Historian in Society". The History Teacher 35.4 (August 2002).
- "Hitler's Table Talk: Troubling Finds". German Studies Review 26.3 (October 2003).
- "The Argument from Biogenesis: Probabilities Against a Natural Origin of Life". Biology & Philosophy 19.5 (November 2004).
- "Whence Christianity? A Meta-Theory for the Origins of Christianity". Journal of Higher Criticism 11.1 (Spring 2005).
- "Fatal Flaws in Michael Almeida's Alleged 'Defeat' of Rowe's New Evidential Argument from Evil". Philo 10.1 (Spring-Summer 2007).
- "On Defining Naturalism as a Worldview". Free Inquiry 30.3 (April/May 2010).
- "Thallus and the Darkness at Christ's Death". Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 8 (2011–2012).
- "Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200". Journal of Early Christian Studies 20.4 (Winter 2012).
- "The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44". Vigiliae Christianae 68 (2014).
Books and chapters
- On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014) ISBN 978-1-909697-49-2 ISBN 978-1-909697-35-5
- Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995–2013 (Richmond, CA: Philosophy Press, 2014) ISBN 978-1-49356-712-6
- Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2012) ISBN 978-1-61614-559-0
- Chapter: "How Not to Defend Historicity", in Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth, (Cranford, NJ: American Atheist Press 2013) ISBN 978-1578840199
- Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith (Philosophy Press, 2011) ISBN 978-1-45658-885-4
- Chapters: "Christianity's success was not incredible", "Neither life nor the universe appear intelligently designed", "Moral facts naturally exist (and science could find them)" in The End of Christianity edited by John W. Loftus (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books 2011) ISBN 978-1-61614-413-5.
- Chapters: "Why the resurrection is unbelievable", "Christianity was not responsible for modern science" in The Christian Delusion edited by John W. Loftus (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books 2010) ISBN 978-1-61614-168-4.
- Chapters: "Bayes's Theorem for Beginners: Formal Logic and Its Relevance to Historical Method", in Sources of the Jesus Tradition: Separating History from Myth ed. R. Joseph Hoffmann (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books 2010).
- Not the Impossible Faith, Why Christianity Didn't Need a Miracle to Succeed Lulu.com (2009) ISBN 978-0-557-04464-1
- "Abortion Cannot be Regarded as Immoral". In The Abortion Controversy (edited by Lucinda Almond) Greenhaven Press (2007) ISBN 0-7377-3274-1.
- Chapters: "The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb", "The Plausibility of Theft", "The Burial of Jesus in Light of Jewish Law". In The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond The Grave (edited by Robert M. Price and Jeffery Jay Lowder) Prometheus Books (2005) ISBN 1-59102-286-X
- Sense and Goodness without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism. AuthorHouse (2005) ISBN 1-4208-0293-3.
- Entries on "Epicurus", "Lucretius", "Philodemus", "Second Sophistic", and "Soranus of Ephesus" in Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (edited by Thomas J. Sienkewicz). Salem Press (2002). ISBN 0-89356-038-3.
- Complutensian Polyglot
- Criticism of Christian origins
- List of American historians
- List of atheist activists and educators
- "Although it remains a fringe phenomenon, familiarity with the Christ myth theory has become much more widespread among the general public with the advent of the Internet."
- "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). October 7, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- Casey, Maurice (2014). Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?. Bloomsbury T&T Clark. pp. 14–16. ISBN 9780567447623.
- Tucker, Aviezer (February 2016). "The Reverend Bayes vs Jesus Christ". History and Theory. 55:1: 129–140. doi:10.1111/hith.10791.
- Gathercole, Simon. "The Historical and Human Existence of Jesus in Paul’s Letters." Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 16.2-3 (2018): 183-212.
- "From Taoist to Infidel". The Secular Web. 2001. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- Carrier, Richard (February 18, 2015). "Coming Out Poly + A Change of Life Venue". Richard Carrier Blogs. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- "Leading Atheist Philosopher Concludes God's Real". FOX News. Associated Press. December 9, 2004. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- Oppenheimer, Mark (November 4, 2007). "The Turning of an Atheist". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- Carrier, Richard (November 17, 2010). "Antony Flew Considers God ... Sort Of". The Secular Web. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- Varghese, Roy Abraham (January 13, 2008). "'There Is a God'". New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- "Clio Holdings Information". Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- PZ Myers. Richard Carrier's Blog.
- "Licona vs. Carrier: On the Resurrection of Jesus Christ". April 19, 2004. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- "On the Issue of Abortion". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- "Marshall vs. Carrier: Richard's opening argument". Christ the Tao. March 25, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- Zeba A. Crook; Richard Carrier (April 5, 2014). "Debate: Jesus of Nazareth: Man or Myth?". centreforinquiry.ca. Centre for Inquiry Canada. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
Branch: Centre for Inquiry Ottawa
- "I'll Be Debating the Historicity of Jesus in Ottawa, Canada". Richard Carrier Blogs. March 26, 2014.
- "Ottawa Historicity Debate: A Commentary". Richard Carrier Blogs. May 29, 2014.
- Abbass, Veronica (May 11, 2014). "Jesus of Nazareth: Man or Myth?". Canadian Atheist. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- "Videos of Mark Smith – Debate: Was There An Historical Jesus?". www.jcnot4me.com. October 23, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
Dr. Richard Carrier & Mark Smith -vs- Rev. Doug Hamp & Dr. Dave Lehman, Huntington Beach, CA
- "Debate #12 – The Historicity Of Jesus – Richard Carrier and Mark Smith vs Doug Hamp and Dave Lehman". Backyard Skeptics/Freethought Alliance Streaming Videos. October 23, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
Atheism Vs Christianity Debate Series. Please note that the first 4 minutes of this video are not available due to technical issues.
- "Upcoming Events | Christianity/Atheism Debate – Huntington Beach, CA | CreationEvents.org". creationevents.org.
- Coker, Matt (October 22, 2014). "Christians and Atheists Debate in Huntington Beach Over Whether Jesus Was a Real Dude". OC Weekly.
- Carrier, Richard (January 30, 2009). "W.L. Craig Debate". Richard Carrier Blogs. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
- Carrier, Richard (March 20, 2009). "Craig Debate Wrap". Richard Carrier Blogs. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
- William Lane Craig; Richard Carrier (March 18, 2009). "Debate: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?". ReasonableFaith.org. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
Hosted by the Philosophy Club student organization and posted online part-1 & part-2
- Audio Archive of Debate
- Case, Shirley Jackson (1928) . The Historicity of Jesus Christ: A Criticism of the Contention That Jesus Never Lived, a Statement of the Evidence for His Existence, an Estimate of His Relation to Christianity (2 ed.). University of Chicago Press. pp. 306 pages.
[1st ed. (1912) pp. 352 pages.]
- Voorst, Robert Van (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-8028-4368-5.
- Eddy, Paul Rhodes; Boyd, Gregory A. (August 1, 2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. Baker Academic. ISBN 978-0-8010-3114-4.
- Ehrman, Bart D. (March 20, 2012). Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-208994-6.
- Trent Horn; Richard Carrier (October 25, 2014). "Debate: Did Jesus Exist?". Google+ MABOOMShow. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
Hosted by The San Diego Coalition of Reason (cosponsored by "The Humanist Fellowship of San Diego" and "The San Diego Association of Rational Inquiry").
- Craig A. Evans; Richard Carrier (April 13, 2016). "Kennesaw State University – KSUTV – Videos – Debate: Did Jesus Exist?". ksutv.kennesaw.edu. Kennesaw State University. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
Co-hosted by Ratio Christi and the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at KSU.
- "Speaker will defend godless worldview". The Columbus Dispatch. December 22, 2006. p. 03C.
- Imdb cast listing
- "'Hitler's Table Talk': Troubling Finds." German Studies Review 26 (3): 561–576.
- Carrier (2003), p. 565.
- Carrier (2003), p. 574.
- Carrier (2003), p. 573.
- Weinberg, Gerhard (2003). Foreword In Hugh Trevor-Roper, ed. 2003. Hitler's Table Talk 1941–1944. New York: Engima Books, p. xi
- Hastings, Derek (2010). Catholicism and the Roots of Nazism: Religious Identity and National Socialism. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 251.
- Steigmann-Gall, Richard (2003). The Holy Reich: Nazi conceptions of Christianity, 1919–1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 255–256.
- Steigmann-Gall, Richard (2007). Christianity and the Nazi Movement. Journal of Contemporary History 42 (2): 208. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Johnstone, Nathan. The New Atheism, Myth, and History: The Black Legends of Contemporary Anti-Religion. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 90.
- Carrier, Richard (2005). "The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb". In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffery Jay (eds.). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Prometheus Books. ISBN 9781591022862.
- Davis, Stephen T. (2006). "The Counterattack of the Resurrection Skeptics: A Review Article". Philosophia Christi. 8 (1): 39–63.
- Geisler, Norman (Spring 2006). "A Critical Review of The Empty Tomb: Jesus beyond the Grave". Christian Apologetics Journal. 5 (1): 45–106.
- "Did Jesus Exist? Dr. Robert M Price, Dr. Richard Carrier, David Fitzgerald Interview Part 1".
- Carrier, Richard. "Spiritual Body FAQ". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- Carrier, Richard (March 25, 2009). "Richard Carrier Blogs: Craig Debate Wrap". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- Carrier, Richard (2012). Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 9781616145606.
- Lataster, Raphael (2015). "Questioning the Plausibility of Jesus Ahistoricity Theories — A Brief Pseudo-Bayesian Metacritique of the Sources". The Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies. 6:1: 91.
- Carrier, Richard (June 30, 2014). On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt (kindle ed.). location 40476: Sheffield Phoenix Press. ASIN B00QSO2S5C.
- Petterson, Christina (December 2015). "On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt". Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception. 5 (2): 253–58. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
- Gullotta 2017.
- "Sheffield Phoenix Press – Display Book". Sheffieldphoenix.com. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
- Carrier, Richard (2014). On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield Phoenix Press. ISBN 9781909697355.
- Carrier, Richard (July 17, 2013). "Update on Historicity of Jesus". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- Carrier, Richard (2000). "The Formation of the New Testament Canon". infidels.org. Internet Infidels. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- Carrier, Richard. "CanonNTSpecialEdit.pdf" (PDF). richardcarrier.info. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
The Formation of the New Testament Canon
- Ehrman, Bart D. (March 1, 2016). Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-228523-2.
- Bethune, Brian (March 23, 2016). "Did Jesus really exist?". macleans.ca. Maclean's. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
Memory research has cast doubt on the few things we knew about Jesus, raising an even bigger question.
- Carrier, Richard. "So ... if Jesus Didn't Exist, Where Did He Come from Then?" (PDF). www.richardcarrier.info. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
The Official Website of Richard Carrier, Ph.D.
- Raphael Lataster. Questioning the Plausibility of Jesus Ahistoricity Theories — A Brief Pseudo-Bayesian Metacritique of the Sources. The Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies, 2015, 75.
- "Two Lessons Bart Ehrman Needs to Learn about Probability Theory – Richard Carrier". Richard Carrier. November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
[A]part from what we can determine from and for the Rank-Raglan data, nothing in the Gospels argues for or against historicity: OHJ, pp. 395, 506–09.
- Did Jesus Exist? Earl Doherty and the Argument to Ahistoricity
- Lataster, Raphael (December 2014). "Richard Carrier: On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014; pp. xiv + 696". Journal of Religious History. 38 (4): 614–616. doi:10.1111/1467-9809.12219.
[Richard Carrier's hypothesis of 'minimal mythicism'], highly influenced by the work of Earl Doherty, states that Jesus was initially believed to be a celestial figure, who came to be historicised over time.
- Bart Ehrman on How Jesus Became God
- Carrier, Richard (August 2014). "The Bible and Interpretation – Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt: Should We Still Be Looking for a Historical Jesus?". www.bibleinterp.com. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
Christianity, as a Jewish sect, began when someone (most likely Cephas, perhaps backed by his closest devotees) claimed this [celestial deity] "Jesus" had at last revealed that he had tricked the Devil by becoming incarnate and being crucified by the Devil (in the region of the heavens ruled by Devil), thereby atoning for all of Israel's sins. ... It would be several decades later when subsequent members of this cult, after the world had not yet ended as claimed, started allegorizing the gospel of this angelic being. By placing him in earth history as a divine man, as a commentary on the gospel and its relation to society and the Christian mission.
- Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, pp. 200–05.
- Jesus being a preexisting archangel: Phil. 2:5–11
- Jesus was as an angel: Gal. 4:14
- Jesus knew Moses: 1 Cor. 10:4
- Richard Carrier. Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt: Should We Still Be Looking for a Historical Jesus?. Bible and Interpretation, 2014.
- Larry Hurtad. Gee, Dr. Carrier, You’re Really Upset! 2017.
- Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 577.
- Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 570.
- Gathercole, Simon. "The Historical and Human Existence of Jesus in Paul’s Letters." Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 16.2-3 (2018): 191, n. 32.
- Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, pp. 184–193.
- Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 100.
- Raphael Lataster; Richard Carrier. Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
- Lataster, Raphael (December 3, 2014). "RichardCarrier: On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014; pp. xiv + 696". Journal of Religious History. 38 (4): 614. doi:10.1111/1467-9809.12219.
- Ehrman, Bart (2011). Forged: Writing in the name of God. HarperCollins. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6.
- Gullotta 2017, p. 312.
- Michael Grant (2004), Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels, ISBN 1898799881 page 200
- Patrick Gray (2016), Varieties of Religious Invention, chapter 5, Jesus, Paul, and the birth of Christianity, Oxford University Press, p.114
- Robert M. Price (2010), Secret Scrolls: Revelations from the Lost Gospel Novels, p.200
- Ehrman, Bart (2012). Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. New York: HarperOne. pp. 19, 167.
- Ehrman, Bart (2012). Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. New York: HarperOne. pp. 167–170.
- Ehrman, Bart (2012). Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. New York: HarperOne. p. 170.
- Hurtado, Larry (December 2, 2017). "Why the "Mythical Jesus" Claim Has No Traction with Scholars". larryhurtado.wordpress.com. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
- Bernier, Jonathan (2016), The Quest for the Historical Jesus after the Demise of Authenticity: Toward a Critical Realist Philosophy of History in Jesus Studies, Bloomsbury Publishing
- Burridge, Richard A.; Gould, Graham (2004). Jesus Now and Then. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-8028-0977-3.
- Fox, Robin Lane (2005). The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02496-4.
- Gullotta, Daniel N. (2017). "On Richard Carrier's Doubts: A Response to Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt". Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus. 15 (2–3): 310–346. doi:10.1163/17455197-01502009.
- Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8028-4368-5.
- Van Voorst, Robert E. (2003). "Nonexistence Hypothesis". In James Leslie Houlden (ed.). Jesus in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia. 2: K–Z. ABC-CLIO. pp. 658–660. ISBN 978-1-57607-856-3.