Richard Carrier

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Richard Carrier
RichardCarrierSM.jpg
Born
Richard Cevantis Carrier

(1969-12-01) December 1, 1969 (age 49)
NationalityAmerican
EducationB.A. (History), M.A. (Ancient history), M.Phil. (Ancient history), Ph.D. (Ancient history)[1]
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley, Columbia University[1]
Spouse(s)Jennifer Robin Carrier (1995–2015)
Websitewww.richardcarrier.info

Richard Cevantis Carrier (born December 1, 1969) is an American atheist activist, author, public speaker and blogger.

Carrier has a doctorate in ancient history from Columbia University where his thesis was on the history of science in antiquity. He originally gained prominence as an advocate of atheism and metaphysical naturalism, authoring many articles on The Secular Web and later defending his basic position in his book Sense and Goodness Without God.

His blog appeared on Freethought Blogs and he 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. In 2016, his blog on the Freethought Blogs network was suspended amid sexual assault allegations.[2]

Carrier has frequently debated with Christian apologists such as William Lane Craig and David Marshall both in person and online. The Craig debate was broadcast on Lee Strobel's television show Faith Under Fire.[3]

His recent books on the historicity of Jesus have established him as a leading supporter of the Christ myth theory,[4] which claims that neither the historical Jesus nor the biblical Jesus existed. Carrier asserts that in the context of his Bayesian methodology,[i] the ahistoricity of Jesus[ii] and his origin as a mythical deity are "true" (i.e. the "most probable" Bayesian conclusion),[5] arguing 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.[6] Nearly all contemporary scholars of ancient history[7] and biblical scholarship have maintained that a historical Jesus did indeed exist [8][9]

Career[edit]

Carrier received a PhD in Ancient History from Columbia University in 2008. His thesis was entitled "Attitudes Towards the Natural Philosopher in the Early Roman Empire (100 B.C. to 313 A.D.)."[10] He has published several articles and chapters in books on the subject of history and philosophy. He was formerly the editor of and a substantial contributor to The Secular Web. His contributions there include an autobiographical essay From Taoist to Infidel in which he 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.[11]

In his contribution to The Empty Tomb, Carrier argues that the earliest Christians probably believed Jesus had received a new spiritual body in the resurrection, and that stories of his old body disappearing from its tomb were developed later.[12] He also argues it is less likely, but also possible, that the original body of Jesus was misplaced or stolen. This work was criticized by philosophy professor Stephen T. Davis in Philosophia Christi[13] and Christian theologian Norman Geisler.[14]

In Not the Impossible Faith, he wrote on the social and intellectual context of the rise and early development of Christianity. Though originally skeptical of theories about the ahistoricity of Jesus, since late 2005, he has considered it "very probable Jesus never actually existed as a historical person."[15] He also said "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."[16]

Carrier was initially not interested in the question of the historicity of Jesus.[17] Like many others his first thought was that it was a fringe conspiracy topic not worthy of academic inquiry; however a number of different people requested that he investigate the subject and raised money for him to do so. Since then he has become a leading expert on the Jesus ahistoricity theory.[4]

Antony Flew's changed opinion on God[edit]

When reports spread in 2004 that Antony Flew changed his mind on his rejection of the existence of gods, Carrier engaged in correspondence with Flew to find out what happened and published an extensive analysis of the situation on The Secular Web, finding among other things that Flew changed his position to there being some sort of "minimal God," as in Deism. According to the author of the book in Flew's name, Roy Abraham Varghese, Flew had released a statement through his publisher (without addressing Carrier's correspondence), stating, "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."[18] Carrier concluded that Flew's changed ideas were not accurately represented in the book written for Flew, There is a God.[19][20][21]

Quotes in Hitler's Table Talk[edit]

Richard Carrier, in collaboration with Reinhold Mittschang, challenged several anti-Christian statements attributed to Adolf Hitler in his collection of monologues known as the Table Talk. Carrier's paper argues that the French and English translations are "entirely untrustworthy"[22] and suggests the possibility that François Genoud had doctored portions of the text to enhance Hitler's views.[23] Carrier put forward a new translation of twelve quotations based on Henry Picker and Werner Jochmann's German editions, as well as a fragment from the Bormann-Vermerke preserved at the Library of Congress, which challenge some of the quotations popularly used to demonstrate Hitler's hostility to Christianity. Carrier concludes that Hitler's views in the 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."[24] Carrier also maintains that throughout the Table Talk Hitler takes a cynical view of Catholicism, "voicing many of the same criticisms one might hear from a candid (and bigoted) Protestant."[25]

In the new forward to the Table Talk, Gerhard Weinberg commented 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."[26] Derek Hastings cites Carrier's paper for "an attempt to undermine the reliability of the anti-Christian statements."[27] Carrier's thesis that the English translation should be entirely dispensed with is not accepted by Richard Steigmann-Gall, who despite referencing the controversies raised by Carrier,[28] "ultimately presume[d] its authenticity."[29]

Public debates[edit]

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.[30] Carrier debated atheist Jennifer Roth online on the morality of abortion.[31] 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.[32] His debates on the historicity of Jesus have included professor of religious studies Zeba A. Crook,[33][34][35][36] Christian scholars Dave Lehman and Doug Hamp.[37][38][39][40]

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."[41] And then per his post debate commentary, Carrier noted 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."[42][43]

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). Per the Question and Answer session, Horn lists some of his recommended books for defending the historicity of Jesus. Horn notes works by ; Shirley Jackson Case,[44] Robert Van Voorst,[45] Paul Rhodes Eddy and Greg Boyd[46] and Bart D. Ehrman.[47] Per Ehrman's book, Horn states, "a good popular introduction might be Bart Ehrman's book Did Jesus Exist?. Unfortunately it is not a scholarly treatment like Dr. Carrier's [book]" and "there really is not a scholarly treatment of the issue from the historical view" (time 1:38:30).[48]

The April 13, 2016 debate Did Jesus Exist? with Craig A. Evans was held at the Kennesaw State University and posted online by KSUTV. Per Evans' opening remarks (time 6:30–28:30), Carrier states, "That is the best case I think you can make for the historicity of Jesus" (time 28:30).[49]

In news and media[edit]

Richard 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.[50]

He also appears in the documentary The Nature of Existence in which film-maker Roger Nygard interviews people of many different religious and secular philosophies about the meaning of life.[51]

Personal life[edit]

Carrier announced in 2015 that he and his wife had ended their 20-year marriage. He also revealed that he is polyamorous, and that the last two years of his marriage had an open relationship agreement, after informing his wife of his extramarital affairs.[52]

Jesus ahistoricity theory[edit]

Carrier has authored two Jesus historicity books: Proving History and On the Historicity of Jesus. The first of these books advances a methodology, based on Bayes' theorem,[i] as the standard by which all methodology for any historical study must adhere in order to be logically sound. The second applies this methodology to the question of the historicity of Jesus, and reaches a conclusion for the ahistoricity of Jesus.[ii]

Carrier's first major book, Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus, published in 2012 by Prometheus Books, describes the application of Bayes' theorem to historical inquiry in general and the historicity of Jesus in particular.[53]

In June 2014, Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt was published by Sheffield Phoenix Press.[54][55] Carrier notes that it is "the first comprehensive pro-Jesus-myth book ever published by a respected academic press and under formal peer review."[56] Carrier argues that there is insufficient Bayesian probability, that is evidence, to believe in the historicity of Jesus. Furthermore, he argues that a celestial Jesus figure was probably originally known only through private revelations and hidden messages in scripture which were then crafted into a historical figure, to communicate the claims of the gospels allegorically. These allegories then began to be believed as fact during the struggle for control of the Christian churches of the first century.

Marcan priority assumes that the Gospel of Mark was the first gospel to be written.[57][58] 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 gospel prior to the first-written gospel.[59][60] In addition to the Gospels being written decades after Jesus' death, Carrier claims that the Gospels are "wildly fictitious" and he believes that Mark, in particular, is an extended meta-parable.[61] Carrier has claimed that post-biblical writings on Jesus are not independent sources for Jesus given the possibility they rely on the Gospels for their information.[62]

Carrier contends that apart from the hero archetype pattern, nothing else in the Gospels is reliable evidence for or against the historicity of Jesus.[63]

Celestial Jesus[edit]

Carrier asserts that originally "Jesus was the name of a celestial being, subordinate to God, with whom some people hallucinated conversations"[61] and "The Gospel began as a mythic allegory about the celestial Jesus, set on earth, as most myths then were".[61] Stories were created that placed Jesus on Earth, in context with historical figures and places. Eventually people began to believe that these allegorical stories were real.[61][64] Carrier argues that Jesus was originally considered a god like any other god, and was later historicized.

Earl Doherty originated the premise that Jesus originated as a myth per Middle Platonism (with some influence from Jewish mysticism) and that the belief in a historical Jesus emerged only among Christian communities in the 2nd century. Doherty asserts that Paul the Apostle and other writers of the earliest existing proto-Christian Gnostic documents did not believe in Jesus as a person who was incarnated on Earth in an historical setting, rather, they believed in Jesus as a heavenly being who suffered his sacrificial death in the lower spheres of heaven, where he was crucified by demons and then was subsequently resurrected by God (see Dying-and-rising god). This mythological Jesus was not based on a historical Jesus, but rather on an exegesis of the Old Testament in the context of Jewish-Hellenistic religious syncretism heavily influenced by Middle Platonism, and what the authors believed to be mystical visions of a risen Jesus.[65]

Carrier reviewed Doherty's work in 2002,[66] concluding that Doherty's thesis was plausible, however, Carrier had not yet concluded it was probably more true than the minimal historicity thesis (he also noted that some of Doherty's points were untenable and that only his core thesis was at least coherent with the evidence). After 2008, Carrier agreed with the core of Doherty's thesis.[67] Carrier further writes that "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."[68]

Richard Carrier argues that the idea of a pre-Christian celestial being named Jesus is known from the writings of Philo of Alexandria in his writings on the Book of Zechariah.[69] Carrier argues that Philo's view of this angelic being is identical to Paul's view of Jesus, such as being the firstborn son of God, the celestial 'image of God', and God's agent of creation.[70] However, Larry Hurtado has said that the figure named Jesus in Zechariah is a mentioned as a completely distinct figure, and that the Logos Philo discusses is not an angelic being at all.[71]

Carrier further argues that Paul's reference to Jesus being a seed/descendant of David in Romans 1:3 refers to Jesus' being incarnated from a "cosmic sperm bank"[72] of David's seed (sperm), rather than the commonly held scholar view that it refers to Jesus as a descendant of David. Thus Jesus possessed a surrogate human body, therefore the religious requirement for a human/god blood sacrifice was fulfilled during his subsequent crucifixion by demons.[73] Simon Gathercole at Cambridge, however, has noted that Paul's reference in Romans 1:3 is a common expression in the Septuagint simply meaning to be the "descendant of", and that the theme of the descendants of David is common throughout the Old Testament.[74] Carrier further argues that like the school of early Jewish mysticism (100 BC - 1000 AD) known as Merkabah mysticism and its views on the heavens and firmaments of creation, Carrier writes that "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)."[75]

Jewish and Hellenistic syncretism[edit]

Carrier notes four major trends in religion, occurring prior to the formation of Christianity, including syncretism, the development of monotheism, the transformation of agricultural salvations cults into personal salvation cults, and cosmopolitanism.[61]

Carrier writes that per syncretism, "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."[76] 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.[64]

Reception[edit]

On the Historicity of Jesus was reviewed by Raphael Lataster in the Journal of Religious History, who concurs that according to the Gospels, "Jesus fits almost perfectly" the Rank-Raglan mythotype, and notes that there is "not a single confirmed historical figure" that conforms to the mythotype.[77]

Carrier's methodology in his work on the historicity of Christ was reviewed by Aviezer Tucker, a prior advocate of using Bayesian techniques in history. Tucker 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 argued that historians have been able to use theories about the transmission and preservation of information to identify reliable parts of the Gospels. He said 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."[78]

Reviewing On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, Christina Petterson of the University of Newcastle, Australia, in the academic journal Relegere, 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", and that, "Maths aside, nothing in the book shocked me, but seemed quite rudimentary first year New Testament stuff." Petterson says Carrier's conclusion that the later tales of a historical Jesus should be studied for their literary and rhetorical purpose and not for their specific historical content "reveals Carrier's ignorance of the field of New Testament studies and early Christianity."[79]

Responding to what he sees as the main elements in the same book, Emeritus Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at the University of Edinburgh, Larry Hurtado, has written 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 deities of pagan saviour cults such as Isis and Osiris, etc., were not transformed in their devotees' ideas from heavenly deities to actual people living on earth.[80]

Daniel N. Gullotta, reviewing Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, says 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" though he finds Carrier's arguments "problematic and unpersuasive", his use of Bayesian probabilities "unnecessarily complicated and uninviting" and 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 he says is Carrier's "foundational" thesis.[81]

Simon Gathercole at Cambridge has written regarding mythicist arguments relating to the claim that Paul believed in a heavenly, celestial Jesus who was never on Earth. Gathercole 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 says a number of things regarding Jesus' life on Earth, his personality, family, etc.[82]

Publications[edit]

Selected articles[edit]

  • "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[edit]

  • 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.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Per probability interpretations, Evidential probability, also called Bayesian probability, can be assigned to any statement whatsoever, even when no random process is involved, as a way to represent its subjective plausibility, or the degree to which the statement is supported by the available evidence. Per On the Historicity of Jesus, Carrier performs Bayesian analysis on evidential assumptions, many of which are supported by background knowledge (and thus have high probabilities of being true) and others that are not (and thus have standard chance probabilities, which reduce the prior probability accordingly).
  2. ^ a b Jesus ahistoricity theory is the antithesis of a given Jesus historicity thesis. Thus for the sake of argument (via Bayesian analysis), Carrier posits three criteria for his minimal historical Jesus:
    1. "An actual man at some point named Jesus acquired followers in life who continued as an identifiable movement after his death." (Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 34.)
    2. "This is the same Jesus who was claimed by some of his followers to have been executed by the Jewish or Roman authorities." (Ibid.)
    3. "This is the same Jesus some of whose followers soon began worshipping as a living god (or demigod)." (Ibid.)
    "If any one of these premises is false, it can fairly be said there was no historical Jesus in any pertinent sense." (Ibid.)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). October 7, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  2. ^ PZ Myers. Richard Carrier's Blog.
  3. ^ Audio Archive of Debate
  4. ^ a b Casey, Maurice (2014). Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?. Bloomsbury T&T Clark. pp. 14–16. ISBN 9780567447623.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Ehrman, Bart (2011). Forged:Writing in the name of God. HarperCollins. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6.
  8. ^ "Did Jesus Exist? Dr. Robert M Price, Dr. Richard Carrier, David Fitzgerald Interview Part 1".
  9. ^ Burridge, Richard A.; Gould, Graham (2004). Jesus Now and Then. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-8028-0977-3.
  10. ^ "Clio Holdings Information". Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  11. ^ "From Taoist to Infidel". The Secular Web. 2001. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  12. ^ Carrier, Richard (2005). "The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb". In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffery Jay. The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Prometheus Books. ISBN 9781591022862.
  13. ^ Davis, Stephen T. (2006). "The Counterattack of the Resurrection Skeptics: A Review Article". Philosophia Christi. 8 (1): 39–63.
  14. ^ Geisler, Norman (Spring 2006). "A Critical Review of The Empty Tomb: Jesus beyond the Grave". Christian Apologetics Journal. 5 (1): 45–106.
  15. ^ Carrier, Richard. "Spiritual Body FAQ". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  16. ^ Carrier, Richard (March 25, 2009). "Richard Carrier Blogs: Craig Debate Wrap". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  17. ^ "Did Jesus Exist? Dr. Robert M Price, Dr. Richard Carrier, David Fitzgerald Interview Part 1".
  18. ^ Varghese, Roy Abraham (January 13, 2008). "'There Is a God'". New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  19. ^ Carrier, Richard (November 17, 2010). "Antony Flew Considers God ... Sort Of". The Secular Web. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  20. ^ "Leading Atheist Philosopher Concludes God's Real". FOX News. Associated Press. December 9, 2004. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  21. ^ Oppenheimer, Mark (November 4, 2007). "The Turning of an Atheist". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  22. ^ "'Hitler's Table Talk': Troubling Finds." German Studies Review 26 (3): 561–576.
  23. ^ Carrier (2003), p. 565.
  24. ^ Carrier (2003), p. 574.
  25. ^ Carrier (2003), p. 573.
  26. ^ Weinberg, Gerhard (2003). Foreword In Hugh Trevor-Roper, ed. 2003. Hitler's Table Talk 1941–1944. New York: Engima Books, p. xi
  27. ^ Hastings, Derek (2010). Catholicism and the Roots of Nazism: Religious Identity and National Socialism. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 251.
  28. ^ Steigmann-Gall, Richard (2003). The Holy Reich: Nazi conceptions of Christianity, 1919–1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 255–256.
  29. ^ 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)
  30. ^ "Licona vs. Carrier: On the Resurrection of Jesus Christ". April 19, 2004. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  31. ^ "On the Issue of Abortion". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  32. ^ "Marshall vs. Carrier: Richard's opening argument". Christ the Tao. March 25, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  33. ^ 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
  34. ^ "I'll Be Debating the Historicity of Jesus in Ottawa, Canada". Richard Carrier Blogs. March 26, 2014.
  35. ^ "Ottawa Historicity Debate: A Commentary". Richard Carrier Blogs. May 29, 2014.
  36. ^ Abbass, Veronica (May 11, 2014). "Jesus of Nazareth: Man or Myth?". Canadian Atheist. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  37. ^ "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
  38. ^ "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.
  39. ^ "Upcoming Events | Christianity/Atheism Debate – Huntington Beach, CA | CreationEvents.org". creationevents.org.
  40. ^ Coker, Matt (October 22, 2014). "Christians and Atheists Debate in Huntington Beach Over Whether Jesus Was a Real Dude". OC Weekly.
  41. ^ Carrier, Richard (January 30, 2009). "W.L. Craig Debate". Richard Carrier Blogs. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  42. ^ Carrier, Richard (March 20, 2009). "Craig Debate Wrap". Richard Carrier Blogs. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  43. ^ 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
  44. ^ Case, Shirley Jackson (1928) [1912]. 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.]
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ 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.
  47. ^ Ehrman, Bart D. (March 20, 2012). Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-208994-6.
  48. ^ 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").
  49. ^ 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.
  50. ^ "Speaker will defend godless worldview". The Columbus Dispatch. December 22, 2006. p. 03C.
  51. ^ Imdb cast listing
  52. ^ Carrier, Richard (February 18, 2015). "Coming Out Poly + A Change of Life Venue". Richard Carrier Blogs. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  53. ^ Carrier, Richard (2012). Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 9781616145606.
  54. ^ "Sheffield Phoenix Press – Display Book". Sheffieldphoenix.com. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  55. ^ Carrier, Richard (2014). On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield Phoenix Press. ISBN 9781909697355.
  56. ^ Carrier, Richard (July 17, 2013). "Update on Historicity of Jesus". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  57. ^ Carrier, Richard (2000). "The Formation of the New Testament Canon". infidels.org. Internet Infidels. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  58. ^ Carrier, Richard. "CanonNTSpecialEdit.pdf" (PDF). richardcarrier.info. Retrieved November 19, 2016. The Formation of the New Testament Canon
  59. ^ 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.
  60. ^ 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.
  61. ^ a b c d e 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.
  62. ^ 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.
  63. ^ "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.
  64. ^ a b 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.
  65. ^ 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. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-8010-3114-4. Scholars such as [G. A.] Wells, [Earl] Doherty, and [R. M.] Price argue that Paul's view of Jesus was not anything like the recent, contemporary Galilean figure we find in the Gospels. His view of Jesus—which is the earliest view we have—was rather that of a vague cosmic savior figure who existed in the unknown, distant past and/or the mythic spiritual realm. Indeed, the Pauline Christ was actually quite close to the sorts of divinities we find in ancient mystery religions. According to these scholars, this makes it difficult to avoid the conclusion that the earliest Christians viewed Jesus as a sort of vague deity who became historicized as a rather recent figure only after Paul—as oral traditions were passed on and especially when the Gospels were written.
  66. ^ Did Jesus Exist? Earl Doherty and the Argument to Ahistoricity
  67. ^ 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.
  68. ^ Bart Ehrman on How Jesus Became God
  69. ^ 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
  70. ^ Richard Carrier. Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt: Should We Still Be Looking for a Historical Jesus?. Bible and Interpretation, 2014.
  71. ^ Larry Hurtad. Gee, Dr. Carrier, You’re Really Upset! 2017.
  72. ^ Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 577.
  73. ^ Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 570.
  74. ^ 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.
  75. ^ Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, pp. 184–193.
  76. ^ Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 100.
  77. ^ 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.
  78. ^ Tucker, Aviezer (February 2016). "The Reverend Bayes vs Jesus Christ". History and Theory. 55:1: 129–140. doi:10.1111/hith.10791.
  79. ^ 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.
  80. ^ Hurtado, Larry (December 2, 2017). "Why the "Mythical Jesus" Claim Has No Traction with Scholars". larryhurtado.wordpress.com. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  81. ^ 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.
  82. ^ 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.

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