Did Jesus Exist? Interview by Guy Raz

On April 1, 2012, I had an interview with Guy Raz, previous weekend host of NPR News’ signature afternoon news magazine “All Things Considered” and now host of TED Radio Hour. The topic was my book Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth.

As readers of this blog probably know, there is a large contingent of people claiming that Jesus never did exist. These people are also known as mythicists.  As I say int he interview, “It was a ...

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Who Changed the Bible and Why? Diane Rehm Show

When my book Misquoting Jesus came out, I had a number of radio and television interviews, including this — one of my favorites, on the The Diane Rehm Show (December 5, 2005).  The show is produced at WAMU 88.5 and distributed by National Public Radio, NPR Worldwide, and SIRIUS satellite radio. This episode was called “Who Changed the Bible and Why?”

In the interview I talk about how scribes copying the NT made both mistakes and intentional changes, and how some of these ...

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The Life of Brian & The Apocalyptic Jesus

On the blog some months ago I mentioned the “Jesus and Brian” conference in London this past summer, devoted to exploring the Historical Jesus in light of Monty Python’s Life of Brian. The event was held at the King’s College London, Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s Building, Strand, London WC2R 2LS on June 20-22nd, 2014.   I gave one of the talks at the conference, and it is provided here thanks to the labors of the audio-video team at ...

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Yale Shaffer Lectures 3 of 3 – Christ Against the Jews

Here is the third of my Shaffer Lectures delivered almost exactly ten years ago.   This final one has to do with textual variants and apocryphal texts that show evidence of Christian anti-Judaism.  I call this one: Christ Against the Jews.   It is a topic that I continue to be interested in, and on which I plan to write a book for a general audience, at some time in the next few years (not about textual variants, but about ...

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Yale Shaffer Lectures 2 of 3 – Christ The Divine Man

As I indicated in a post last week, on October 12-14, 2004 I gave the three Shaffer lectures at Yale University,  on “Christ in the Early Christian Tradition: Texts Disputed and Apocryphal.” This is the second of those lectures, dealing with Christ as a Divine man.  (Again, the quality is not as high as we have come to expect over the past couple of years, because it was recorded originally on VHS.  But it’s been worked over to make it still ...

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Yale Shaffer Lectures 1 of 3 – Christ Come in the Flesh

Ten years ago now — October 12-14, 2004 — I delivered the Shaffer lectures at Yale University Divinity School. The central theme of the series was “Christ in the Early Christian Tradition: Texts Disputed and Apocryphal.” Among other things, I tried to show how early Christian groups tried to restrict readings of their sacred texts to suit their own purposes. This first lecture is entitled on “Christ Come in the Flesh.” (The video quality will not be ...

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Freedom From Religion Foundation Lecture

On May 3 of this year I gave a lecture at a meeting of the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Raleigh NC.    The lecture is about what it is like to be an agnostic who writes about religion.  That’s an irony that I am constantly aware of and most of the lecture is about my experience as a non-religious person who is an expert in something he doesn’t believe in.

I also used  the lecture  to stress that being “free ...

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National Cathedral Lecture – Misquoting Jesus

Here is a version of my lecture “Misquoting Jesus.”   Some of you have seen a different version of the lecture (I’m sure I’ve posted one!); I’m particularly fond of this particular one, both because of its setting in the Washington National Cathedral and because, well, I just think I was on better form than usual.   The lecture was given on Feb. 6, 2007.

 

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My Debate with Dinesh D’Souza on the Problem of Suffering

A prominent figure in the news lately has been Dinesh D’Souza. Dinesh is best known as a hyper-conservative political commentator. His most recent book is America, and this week it is #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for non-fiction. It has a companion documentary film. If you’re politically very-right-wing conservative and despise Barack Obama and everything he stands for — this is the book for you! Dinesh was a policy analyst in the Reagan White House as a ...

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Brian and the Apocalyptic Jesus Part 3

Here is the third and final section of the paper that I read at the Life of Brian conference.  The entire paper tried to argue that parody can be an effective historical method.  By providing a caricature of a narrative or an alleged historical event, the film was able to highlight some very important historical realia that otherwise are too easy to miss, or that have not been given enough prominence by biblical scholars and historians.

This third part of my ...

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