Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
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11-06-2015, 11:48 AM
Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
Does anyone know of any scholarly rebuttals or responses (positive or negative) to Richard Carrier's book On the Historicity of Jesus?

I'm not interested in reigniting the debate (unless you happen to be a bona fide historian). I've seen enough laypeople engaging in ad hominem on both sides to last a lifetime. I want to know what the experts say about the book, its arguments, its methodology, its conclusions, etc.

I'm also not interested in being insulted for asking. (This is not directed at TTA, but it's a defensive reaction to how others treat anyone who has the gall to think this is even a question. Save it).

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11-06-2015, 11:58 AM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
I don't have any direct links, but he's posted some responses to critiques from other historians on his blog. If you skim those posts you may pick up some names to search for at least
http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/arch...gory/jesus

a couple I see in the first few pages:
James McGrath
Nicholas Covington

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11-06-2015, 01:16 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
As Carrier wrote in his conclusion:

Quote:I know many devout Christian scholars will balk and claim to find all
manner of bogus or irrelevant or insignificant holes or flaws in my arguments,
but they would do that anyway. Witness what many Christian scholars
come up with just to reject evolution, or to defend the literal miraculous
resurrection of Jesus (which they claim they can do even with the terrible
and paltry evidence we have). Consequently, I don't care anymore what
Christian apologists think. They are not rational people. I only want to know
what rational scholars think. I want to see a helpful critique of this book by
objective, qualified experts who could live with the conclusion that Jesus
didn't exist, but just don't think the case can be made, or made well enough
to credit. And what I want from my critics is not useless hole punching but
an alternative proposal : if my method is invalid, then what method is the
correct one for resolving questions of historicity?
And if you know of none,
how can you justify any claim to historicity for any person, if you don't
even know how such a claim can be justified or fal sified at all? Also correct
any facts I get wrong, point out what I missed, and if my method then
produces a different conclusion when those emendations are included, we
wi ll have progressY Even if the conclusion is the same, it will nevertheless
have been improved.

Once you dismiss the apologists - and they should rightfully be dismissed - it may take some time for actual scholars to formulate a response. Which is to say that any off-the-cuff remarks are likely to not meet Carrier's standard.

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11-06-2015, 01:29 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(11-06-2015 11:48 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Does anyone know of any scholarly rebuttals or responses (positive or negative) to Richard Carrier's book On the Historicity of Jesus?

I'm not interested in reigniting the debate (unless you happen to be a bona fide historian). I've seen enough laypeople engaging in ad hominem on both sides to last a lifetime. I want to know what the experts say about the book, its arguments, its methodology, its conclusions, etc.

I'm also not interested in being insulted for asking. (This is not directed at TTA, but it's a defensive reaction to how others treat anyone who has the gall to think this is even a question. Save it).

I know Bart Ehrman doesn't agree with Carrier. If I Can find a link I'll post it but if you do a google search you may find it.

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11-06-2015, 01:31 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(11-06-2015 01:16 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  As Carrier wrote in his conclusion:

Quote:I know many devout Christian scholars will balk and claim to find all
manner of bogus or irrelevant or insignificant holes or flaws in my arguments,
but they would do that anyway. Witness what many Christian scholars
come up with just to reject evolution, or to defend the literal miraculous
resurrection of Jesus (which they claim they can do even with the terrible
and paltry evidence we have). Consequently, I don't care anymore what
Christian apologists think. They are not rational people. I only want to know
what rational scholars think. I want to see a helpful critique of this book by
objective, qualified experts who could live with the conclusion that Jesus
didn't exist, but just don't think the case can be made, or made well enough
to credit. And what I want from my critics is not useless hole punching but
an alternative proposal : if my method is invalid, then what method is the
correct one for resolving questions of historicity?
And if you know of none,
how can you justify any claim to historicity for any person, if you don't
even know how such a claim can be justified or fal sified at all? Also correct
any facts I get wrong, point out what I missed, and if my method then
produces a different conclusion when those emendations are included, we
wi ll have progressY Even if the conclusion is the same, it will nevertheless
have been improved.

Once you dismiss the apologists - and they should rightfully be dismissed - it may take some time for actual scholars to formulate a response. Which is to say that any off-the-cuff remarks are likely to not meet Carrier's standard.

Bart Ehrman addresses some of Carrier's claims in his book Did Jesus Exist? (Ehrman's conclusion is "Yes, he did."). He and Carrier have also done some sniping at each other on the internet (on blogs, etc.). I just did a quick Google search for "Bart Ehrman Richard Carrier" and came up with half a dozen or so hits. They are both atheists, but don't seem to like each other much.
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11-06-2015, 01:43 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(11-06-2015 01:31 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Bart Ehrman addresses some of Carrier's claims in his book Did Jesus Exist? (Ehrman's conclusion is "Yes, he did."). He and Carrier have also done some sniping at each other on the internet (on blogs, etc.). I just did a quick Google search for "Bart Ehrman Richard Carrier" and came up with half a dozen or so hits. They are both atheists, but don't seem to like each other much.

The interview with Price that Tonechaser posted talks about Ehrman but not Carrier (as least not directly).

Thread here

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11-06-2015, 02:03 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
Thanks. I've read Ehrman's book, which is designed for popular consumption rather than peer review. It was also written before Carrier's book, so it's by definition not a review of it.

I'm looking for "Richard Carrier was wrong on page X and here's why:" (or Carrier was right and here's why).

And no, I'm not looking for apologists who are predictable. I'm interested in a scholarly critique (either a rebuttal or a "holy cow, you've convinced me!")

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11-06-2015, 02:08 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(11-06-2015 01:43 PM)unfogged Wrote:  ...

The interview with Price that Tonechaser posted talks about Ehrman but not Carrier (as least not directly).
...

Yup. That's what I'm waiting for... Price's critique of Carrier.

That'd be worth reading.

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11-06-2015, 02:12 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
I can't add much from what everyone has already stated. There have been a few short reviews that people have done and a simple google search should lead you to those.

Unfogged mentioned two of them. Ultimately it will take time. Carrier worked on that book for seven years so if someone were to peer review it page by page we won't be seeing it for a while, especially if it comes out in book form and not just a blog somewhere in the back woods of Galilee.

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11-06-2015, 02:14 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(11-06-2015 01:43 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(11-06-2015 01:31 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Bart Ehrman addresses some of Carrier's claims in his book Did Jesus Exist? (Ehrman's conclusion is "Yes, he did."). He and Carrier have also done some sniping at each other on the internet (on blogs, etc.). I just did a quick Google search for "Bart Ehrman Richard Carrier" and came up with half a dozen or so hits. They are both atheists, but don't seem to like each other much.

The interview with Price that Tonechaser posted talks about Ehrman but not Carrier (as least not directly).

Thread here

True, but indirectly many of Carrier's point are addressed in that video ... it's one of the interesting things about it that they seem to agree about some things.

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