|Born||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|
Richard Cevantis Carrier (born December 1, 1969) is an historian, atheist activist, author, public speaker, and blogger. He has a doctorate in ancient history from Columbia University where his thesis was on the history of science in ancient 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, WI, the annual Skepticon convention in Springfield, MO, and conventions sponsored by American Atheists. Following multiple sexual harassment allegations, his blog was suspended and he left the Freethoughtblogs network. He was also permanently banned from Skepticon.
Carrier has frequently debated 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.
His recent books on the Historicity of Jesus have established him as a leading expert on Jesus ahistoricity theory (also known as Christ myth theory). 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).
- 1 Career
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Jesus ahistoricity theory
- 4 Publications
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
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.)." 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 includes 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 U.S. Coast Guard, and his deeper study of religion, Christianity, and Western philosophy, which eventually led to his embrace of naturalism. This was reprinted in his major work defending atheism and naturalism, Sense and Goodness without God.
Carrier contributed two chapters featured in Christianity Is Not Great on the Dark Ages, American democracy and how the U.S. Constitution was not based on the Ten Commandments. He also contributed chapters to two books of counter-apologetics edited by John W. Loftus featured in The Christian Delusion and The End of Christianity, on whether the historical evidence confirms Jesus rose from the dead and whether the origins and rise of Christianity really were supernatural. 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. 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 and Christian theologian Norman Geisler.
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." 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."
Carrier was initially not interested in the question of the historicity of Jesus. 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 Jesus ahistoricity theory.[ii]
Investigating Antony Flew's leaving atheism
When reports spread of Antony Flew's rejection of atheism in 2004, 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 belief into there being some sort of "minimal God," as in Deism. Carrier also came away with the opinion that Flew's changed ideas were not accurately represented in the book Flew co-authored, There is a God. However, Flew released a statement through his publisher (without directly addressing Carrier's statements):
- 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.
Investigating quotes attributed to Adolf Hitler regarding Christianity
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" and suggests the possibility that Francois Genoud had doctored portions of the text to enhance Hitler's views. Carrier put forward a new translation of twelve quotations based on Picker and 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." 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."
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." 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 entirely dispensed with is not accepted by Richard Steigmann-Gall, who despite referencing the controversies raised by Carrier, "ultimately presume[d] its authenticity."
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 UCLA 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, Christan Scholars Dave Leaman and Doug Hamp.
The March 18, 2009 debate Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? with William Lane Craig was held at 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." 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."
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; Case, Voorst, 'Eddy & Boyd' and Ehrman. 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).
The April 13, 2016 debate Did Jesus Exist? with Craig A. Evans was held at 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).
In news and media
Carrier appeared on national television in 2004, debating William Lane Craig on Lee Strobel's talk show Faith Under Fire on the PAX network (now ION Television), in a segment on the resurrection of Jesus.
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.
Carrier is listed in Who's Who in Hell.
On June 20, 2016, the organizers of Skepticon announced on their web site that they are officially prohibiting Richard Carrier from attending any future Skepticon meetings due to allegations that he had engaged in "sexual harassment, unwelcome attention, and/or unwanted behavior"." Carrier had been a frequent speaker at these annual meetings. This action came on the heels of the revelation that a complaint of sexual harassment and unwanted touching had been made against Carrier by a student attending a meeting of the Secular Student Alliance that Carrier was a speaker at; an incident that led the SSA to remove Carrier from their official speaker's list. Carrier has disputed the allegations against him, and has claimed that he has been defamed in a post on his blog. His blog at Freethought Blogs (FtB) was initially suspended pending an investigation by the FtB ethics committee, and he subsequently voluntarily removed his blog from that site and left the organization.
Jesus ahistoricity theory
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] Per Carrier's Bayesian methodology,[i] Raphael Lataster writes, "Given the problematic sources that historical Jesus scholars have access to, and the failings of many of their methods, it seems appropriate to call for a thorough, and Bayesian, analysis of the evidence in order to determine if Jesus’ historicity or ahistoricity is more probable."
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.
Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013, published January 2014, is an anthology of Carrier's published papers on history—of which some are peer reviewed journal articles on the historicity of Jesus and are also cited as source references in Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus.
In June 2014, Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt was published by Sheffield Phoenix Press. Carrier notes that it is "the first comprehensive pro-Jesus-myth book ever published by a respected academic press and under formal peer review." 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.
Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists, was published November 12, 2015, with foreword and afterword by Richard Carrier. The book by Raphael Lataster compares the claims of Bart Ehrman, Maurice Casey and Richard Carrier and was positively reviewed by atheist author David Fitzgerald, who wrote that the book "doesn’t just inform and invigorate the debate – arguably, it settles it." Fitzgerald additionally notes Lataster's excoriation of Bart Ehrman, "taking Ehrman to task over his misuse of that same evidence, double standards, outright errors, and most of all, what he terms 'Ehrman’s Law', his propensity to uncritically appeal to hypothetical sources (a tendency shared by all too many historicists)." Lataster previously wrote the only book review—that was peer reviewed—on Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus which is used as the base for the section on Carrier and then expanded upon for the lay reader. Per any evidence outside of the New Testament, for Jesus’s existence, Carrier writes;
There is no independent evidence of Jesus’s existence outside the New Testament. All external evidence for his existence, even if it were fully authentic (though much of it isn’t), cannot be shown to be independent of the Gospels, or Christian informants relying on the Gospels. None of it can be shown to independently corroborate the Gospels as to the historicity of Jesus. Not one single item of evidence. Regardless of why no independent evidence survives (it does not matter the reason), no such evidence survives.
Carrier asserts that originally "Jesus was the name of a celestial being, subordinate to God, with whom some people hallucinated conversations" and "The Gospel began as a mythic allegory about the celestial Jesus, set on earth, as most myths then were" (see Jesus in comparative mythology). Stories were later created that placed Jesus on earth in context with historical figures and places. Eventually people began to believe that these allegorical stories were real.
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 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.
Carrier reviewed Doherty's work in 2002, 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). Carrier remained a historicity agnostic until he began formal research on Jesus ahistoricity theory in 2008, which eventually convinced him that the evidence actually favored the core Doherty thesis.
- A celestial being, subordinate to God:
- Carrier notes, "Jesus was originally a god just like any other god (properly speaking, a demigod in pagan terms; an archangel in Jewish terms; in either sense, a deity), who was later historicized."
- Hallucinated conversations:
- Carrier gives as example Joseph Smith—the founder of Mormonism—who declared that he had conversations with the Angel Moroni.
- The gospel:
- Marcan priority assumes 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 gospel prior to the first-written gospel. Per the Gospels status as reliable historical sources, Raphael Lataster writes, "The Gospels, and indeed all the sources concerning Jesus, are not primary sources; they are not contemporary to the events they describe, nor is it reasonable to assume that they were written by eye-witnesses. The extant sources concerning Jesus are, at best, secondary sources." and Carrier additionally notes that:
- "The Gospels come decades later and are the first we hear of an earthly story for Jesus."
- "The Gospels are wildly fictitious in their content and structure."
- "Every story has discernible allegorical or propagandistic intent."
- "The first (Mark) looks like an extended meta-parable (outsiders are told a story, while insiders are told what it really means)."
In regards to plausible theories for the origination of Jesus in relation to the founding of Christianity, the most probable is contested between three competing theories; Mythological Ahistoricity, Supernatural Historicity, and Natural Historicity. In regards to Mythological Ahistoricity, Carrier reviews Ehrman's How Jesus Became God and notes, "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."
|Mythological Ahistoricity||Supernatural Historicity||Natural Historicity|
|Carrier asserts that the most probable origination of late Christianity (being primarily based on the Gospels) is via:
- Birth of a deity:
- The creation story of celestial Jesus is not known, but as Carrier notes, "This 'Jesus' would most likely have been the same archangel identified by Philo of Alexandria as already extant in Jewish theology. Philo knew this figure by all of the attributes Paul already knew Jesus by: the firstborn son of God (Rom. 8:29), the celestial 'image of God' (2 Cor. 4:4), and God’s agent of creation (1 Cor. 8:6). He was also God’s celestial high priest (Heb. 2:17, 4:14, etc.) and God’s 'Logos.' And Philo says this being was identified as the figure named 'Jesus' in Zechariah."
- An incarnated (cloned) human body:
- When Paul writes that Jesus “came to be” from the sperm of David, in the context of Jesus' incarnation, this meant that an adult human body was cloned/grown from the sperm (seed) of David, for Jesus to use (Paul's previous usage of the contextually unique term Greek:genomenos—came to be—meant a human body manufactured by God). 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. Per the incarnation of Jesus, Carrier writes, "[Paul] saying (in Phil. 2. 7) that Christ was not actually a man, but came 'in the likeness of men' (homoiomati anthropon) and was found 'in a form like a man' (schemati euretheis hos anthropos) and (in Rom. 8.3) that he was only sent 'in the likeness of sinful flesh' (en homoiomati sarkos hamartias). This is a doctrine of a preexistent being assuming a human body, but not being fully transformed into a man, just looking like one, having a flesh-and-blood body to abuse and kill."
- The abodes of mythological deities:
- Merkabah mysticism is a school of early Jewish mysticism, c. 100 BCE – 1000 CE, centered on visions such as those found in the Book of Ezekiel or in the hekhalot literature, concerning stories of ascents to the heavenly palaces and the Throne of God. Per the difference between the heavens and the firmament in regards to the location for the incarnation of Jesus, Carrier writes, "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: combining a foreign cult deity with Hellenistic elements."
- "Monotheism: transforming polytheism into monotheism (via henotheism)."
- "Individualism: agricultural salvation cults retooled as personal salvation cults."
- "Cosmopolitanism: all races, cultures, classes admitted as equals, with fictive kinship (members are all “brothers”); you now “join” a religion rather than being born into it."
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."
- "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.
- Christ myth theory
- Criticism of Christian origins
- Historicity of Jesus
- Internet Infidels
- List of American historians
- List of atheist activists and educators
- Metaphysical naturalism
- 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.
- 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:
- "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.)
- "This is the same Jesus who was claimed by some of his followers to have been executed by the Jewish or Roman authorities." (Ibid.)
- "This is the same Jesus some of whose followers soon began worshiping as a living god (or demigod)." (Ibid.)
- "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). October 7, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- "The FtB Ethics Committee on Richard Carrier". freethoughtblogs.com. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- Lane, Lauren (20 June 2016). "Keeping Skepticon Safe: Richard Carrier to be Banned". Skepticon.com. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- Audio Archive of Debate
- Casey, Maurice (2014). Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?. Bloomsbury T&T Clark. pp. 14–16. ISBN 9780567447623.
- Carrier, Richard (2014). On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield Phoenix Press Limited. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-909697-49-2.
[T]he basic thesis of every competent mythologist, then and now, has always been that Jesus was originally a god just like any other god (properly speaking, a demigod in pagan terms; an archangel in Jewish terms; in either sense, a deity), who was later historicized.
- 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.
Given the problematic sources that historical Jesus scholars have access to, and the failings of many of their methods, it seems appropriate to call for a thorough, and Bayesian, analysis of the evidence in order to determine if Jesus’ historicity or ahistoricity is more probable. Indeed, just such a task has been completed by independent historian Richard Carrier.
- "Clio Holdings Information". Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "From Taoist to Infidel". The Secular Web. 2001. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- Carrier, Richard. "Spiritual Body FAQ". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- Carrier, Richard (March 25, 2009). "Richard Carrier Blogs: Craig Debate Wrap". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- "Did Jesus Exist? Dr. Robert M Price, Dr. Richard Carrier, David Fitzgerald Interview Part 1".
- Carrier, Richard (October 10, 2004). "Antony Flew Considers God...Sort Of". The Secular Web. 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.
- Varghese, Roy Abraham (January 13, 2008). "'There Is a God'". New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- "'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.
- "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 16 May 2016.
Branch: Centre for Inquiry Ottawa
- "I’ll Be Debating the Historicity of Jesus in Ottawa, Canada". Richard Carrier Blogs. 26 March 2014.
- "Ottawa Historicity Debate: A Commentary". Richard Carrier Blogs. 29 May 2014.
- Abbass, Veronica (May 11, 2014). "Jesus of Nazareth: Man or Myth?". Canadian Atheist. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- "Videos of Mark Smith - Debate: Was There An Historical Jesus?". www.jcnot4me.com. October 23, 2014. Retrieved 25 May 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 25 May 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 (22 October 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 17 May 2016.
- Carrier, Richard (March 20, 2009). "Craig Debate Wrap". Richard Carrier Blogs. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- William Lane Craig; Richard Carrier (March 18, 2009). "Debate: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?". ReasonableFaith.org. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
Hosted by the Philosophy Club student organization and posted online part-1 & part-2
- Case, Shirley Jackson (1934). Jesus: A New Biography. University of Chicago Press.
- 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. (1 August 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. (20 March 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 16 May 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 14 May 2016.
Co-hosted by Ratio Christi and the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at KSU.
- "The End of Faith" (Faith Under Fire episode 1, season 1, aired October 2, 2004). Reported by WorldNetDaily.com ("Faith Under Fire hits TV screens: PAX series looks at religion, spirituality, morality"), EvangelicalNews.org (Randall Murphree, "Is God Republican Or Democrat? New PAX Series with Lee Strobel Debates Issues"), and IIDB.org (Richard Carrier debates William Lane Craig on "Faith Under Fire").
- "Speaker will defend godless worldview". The Columbus Dispatch. 2006-12-22. p. 03C – via LexisNexis.
- "Reprobates Hour Archive". J. Daniel Sawyer. 26 July 2012.
- Season 1 Episode 3 - Richard Carrier talks World Views, Morality, and Naturalism: an interview on his book about metaphysical naturalism, Sense and Goodness without God.
- Season 3 Episode 3 & 4 - Richard Carrier talks Ancient Science contra Rodney Stark: a two-part series on Rodney Stark's claim that Christianity made science possible.
- Richard Carrier discusses Metaphysical Naturalism on The Polyschizmatic Reprobates Hour
- Imdb cast listing
- Smith, Warren Allen (2000). Who's Who in Hell. Barricade Books. p. 186. ISBN 1-56980-158-4.
- Biederman, Patricia Ward (August 20, 2005). "Documentary Questions the Existence of Jesus". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- "Dr. Richard Carrier and the Secular Student Alliance • Background Probability". Skepticink.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- On the Recent Defamation of My Character
- Carrier, Richard (February 18, 2015). "Coming Out Poly + A Change of Life Venue". Richard Carrier Blogs. 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.
- Carrier, Richard (January 2014). Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013. Createspace Independent Pub. ISBN 978-1-4935-6712-6.
- The Nazareth Inscription
- Thallus and the Darkness at Christ’s Death
- Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200
- The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44
- "Sheffield Phoenix Press - Display Book". Sheffieldphoenix.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- 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.
- Lataster, Raphael (Nov 12, 2015). "Chapter 1 & 2, Ehrman and Casey respectively". Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists. ISBN 1514814420.
Length: 458 pages
- Carrier, Richard (December 2, 2015). "Lataster on the Historicity of Jesus Being a Debate Among Atheists". Richard Carrier Blogs. Freethought Blogs. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey, were neither published by academic presses, nor underwent any formal peer review. But Lataster works with what the academy has given him. And so he surveys the merits of those two books anyway. And compares them with mine, On (see below)the Historicity of Jesus, which was published by an academic press and did pass formal academic peer review.
- Raphael Lataster. "Jesus Did Not Exist reviewed by David Fitzgerald - Raphael Lataster".
- 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.
- Lataster, Raphael (November 12, 2015). "Afterword by Richard Carrier". Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists. p. 418. ISBN 1514814420.
- Carrier, Richard. "So...if Jesus Didn’t Exist, Where Did He Come from Then?" (PDF). www.richardcarrier.info. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
The Official Website of Richard Carrier, Ph.D.
- Did Jesus Exist? Earl Doherty and the Argument to Ahistoricity
- Ehrman, Bart D. (1 March 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 16 April 2016.
Memory research has cast doubt on the few things we knew about Jesus, raising an even bigger question.
- Lataster, Raphael (1 January 2014). "The Fourth Quest: A Critical Analysis of the Recent Literature on Jesus’ (a)Historicity". Literature & Aesthetics 24 (1): 17. ISSN 2200-0437.
- 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: 65–66.
Primary sources are vital to historians, not only as they provide direct evidence, but also serve as the benchmark by which secondary sources are measured.[Leopold von Ranke, Sarah Austin, and Robert Arthur Johnson, History of the Reformation in Germany (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1905), pxi.; Louis Reichenthal Gottschalk, Understanding History: A Primer of Historical Method (New York: Knopf, 1950), p. 165.]
- Howell, Martha C.; Prevenier, Walter (2001). From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods. Cornell University Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-8014-8560-6.
Historians must thus always consider the conditions under which a source was produced—the intentions that motivated it—but they must not assume that such knowledge tells them all they need to know about its “reliability.” They must also consider the historical context in which it was produced—the events that preceded it, and those that followed.
- Ehrman, Bart D. (25 March 2014). How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-225219-7.
- Bart Ehrman on How Jesus Became God
- 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, Ph.D. (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 12 May 2016.
- Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 570.
- Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, pp. 184-193.
- Richard Carrier (14 February 2016). "Can Paul’s Human Jesus Not Be a Celestial Jesus?". Richard Carrier Blogs. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
- Hetherington, Norriss S. (2014) [1st. pub. 1993]. Encyclopedia of Cosmology (Routledge Revivals): Historical, Philosophical, and Scientific Foundations of Modern Cosmology. Routledge. p. 267. ISBN 978-1-317-67766-6.
The seven Jewish and seven Islamic heavens may have had their origins in Babylonian astronomy rather than in Ptolemaic thinking, especially since the Jewish heavens predate the Ptolemaic. Or perhaps all three share common roots in observable phenomena, and perhaps cultural artifacts as well. All three cosmologies place God in the highest of the heavens.
- Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 100.
- Official website
- Publications (pdf). April 26, 2016.
- Official blog at Free Thought blogs
- Richard Carrier's writings at Internet Infidels
- Richard Carrier at The God Contention
- Richard Carrier at the Internet Movie Database
- "Richard Carrier Interview". Best Schools. Dec 31, 2011.
- Andrews, Seth (Oct 6, 2015). "Christianity: Mystery Faith" (Video). Interview. Thinking Atheist. 241.
- Burdick, Scott (June 3, 2016). "Richard Carrier Interview".