The Work of the Professional Scholar 1: Introduction

                In some of the back and forth that I have been involved with over the past few weeks there have been questions raised about whether “experts” in a field have any privileged standing when it comes to making judgments about the acceptability or force of evidence that is adduced for one position or another.   I am not going to go into that question here, but a related topic did occur to me as I was thinking about it:   My ...

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A Recent Interview

Here, for anyone interested, is a link to a recent interview I did (2012).  It is relatively short (Q&A via email), but it covers a range of topics, with some really terrific questions, I thought.

http://www.theporpoisedivinglife.com/porpoise-diving-life.asp?pageID=657

Post Update 10/2014: The original post resided on now an expired blog “The Porpoise Diving Life: Reality for the Rest of Us or Picking Up Where Purpose-Driven Peters Out” moderated by Bill Dahl, who interviewed me after the printed release of “DID JESUS EXIST?”. The following interview was fully restored ...

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The Text of the New Testament: Are the Textual Traditions of Other Ancient Works Relevant?

I have had three debates with Dan Wallace on the question of whether or not we can know for certain, or with relative reliability, whether we have the “original” text of the New Testament.   At the end of the day, my answer is usually “we don’t know.”   For practical reasons, New Testament scholars proceed as if we do actually know what Mark wrote, or Paul, or the author of 1 Peter.   And if I had to guess, my ...

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Fuller Reply to Richard Carrier

      Richard Carrier is one of the new breed of mythicists.  He is trained in ancient history and classics, with a PhD from Columbia University – an impressive credential.  In my book Did Jesus Exist I speak of him as a smart scholar with bona fide credentials.   I do, of course, heartily disagree with him on issues relating to the historical Jesus, but I have tried to take his views seriously and to give him the respect he ...

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Response to Carrier

A lot of people have been asking me when I will be replying to Richard Carrier’s full-frontal assault (!) on my book. I’ve started to reply in a couple of posts (maybe some haven’t noticed….), but I hope to have a fuller set of comments soon, on his charges of “Errors of Fact.” I know what I want to say, but am simply overwhelmed right now with other things to do. Long story, I won’t bore you with it. But ...

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Concerns for the Blog

I have been getting two unrelated sets of comments lately, and I would like to address them both here.   Some readers have understandably expressed a wish that I would change the format of this blog and make it free.  Many of these readers point out that they already give to charity, and that they think blog content should be available to anyone and everyone.   I have real sympathy for this point of view – especially when it has been expressed ...

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Acharya S, Richard Carrier, and a Cocky Peter (Or: “A Cock and Bull Story”)

     As I indicated in my earlier posting, I will make an exception in this case and post these comments on the Public Forum, although normally I reserve my Responses to Critics to the Members Only section of the blog.
     As many readers know, Richard Carrier has written a hard-hitting, one might even say vicious, response to Did Jesus Exist.  I said nothing nasty about Carrier in my book – just the contrary, I indicated that he was a ...

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What Charities Does The Blog Support?

I was going to entitle this posting “What Charities Does the CIA Support?” but in a saner moment I thought that maybe that was not such a bright idea….

I have received several emails from potential members who have indicated that they are reluctant to pay a membership fee for charities without knowing exactly what those charities are.  Fair Enough!  A couple of these people have also indicated that they aren’t convinced that I am giving all of the money raised ...

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Latest HarperOne Book: Did Jesus Exist?

Book Publication Date: March 20, 2012

Large numbers of atheists, humanists, and conspiracy theorists are raising one of the most pressing questions in the history of religion: “Did Jesus exist at all?” Was he invented out of whole cloth for nefarious purposes by those seeking to control the masses? Or was Jesus such a shadowy figure—far removed from any credible historical evidence—that he bears no meaningful resemblance to the person described in the Bible?

In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible expert ...

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The Burial of Jesus: A Blast from the Past

Two thought-events happened today that oddly enough coalesced.  First, I’ve been thinking about the fact that the blog is approaching five years old in about ten days, and musing on all that has happened on the blog over all this time.  I decided to look up my very first posts, and found this one among them.

Second, as it turns out, this post is exactly on a topic that I happened to lecture on today to my undergraduate class (what I ...

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