While equally hard on mythicism and credulity in this 2010 post, I adopted a position that some readers called :Jesus agnosticism’; a more appropriate label would have been “Jesus Fatigue”. I now would argue, qua the Jesus Process, that the historical existence of Jesus is the only reasonable postulate based on the material we now possess; but for reasons I will discuss in further essays, I do not believe that this postulate has been adequately articulated by recent defenders of historicity. A recent attempt by a well-known NT scholar is exceptionally disappointing and not an adequate rejoinder to the routinely absurd ideas of the Jesus-deniers. For that reason, like it or not, I have had to abandon my indifference and get back into the fight–on the side of the son of man.
I have come to the following conclusion: Scholarship devoted to the question of the historicity of Jesus, while not a total waste of time, could be better spent gardening.
In this essay, however, I will focus on why it is not a total waste of time.
What seemed to be an endlessly fascinating question in the nineteenth century among a few Dutch and German radical theologians (given a splash of new life by re-discoverers of the radical tradition, such as G A Wells, in the twentieth) now bears the scent and traces of Victorian wallpaper.
Theologians in the “mainstream academic tradition” have always been reluctant to touch the subject because, after all, seminaries do not exist, nor for that matter departments of religious studies, to teach courses in the Christ Myth. For that reason, if the topic is given syllabus space at all it is given insufficient space and treated…
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