Back to my debate with Robert Price this past Friday. I started this thread by indicating that the majority of my 30-minute talk was devoted to explaining the positive evidence that I think shows beyond reasonable doubt that there was indeed a man Jesus of Nazareth. I’ll be discussing that evidence later in the thread. I began my talk, however, by pointing out that Mythicists often adduce arguments that simply are not very convincing. At least to me. The first was the topic of my last post, the idea that there was no Nazareth at the time of Jesus, which is both wrong (archaeologists have dug it) and irrelevant (if you wrongly think I was born in Topeka that doesn’t mean I don’t exist).
The second is argued with particular vim and vigor by Bob Price himself in several of his publications. This is that virtually all the stories about Jesus (Bob would say all of the stories, I think) can be seen as modeled on stories known to early Christians, especially in the Old Testament. If Jesus heals someone in the Gospels, that is like Elijah healing someone in 1 Kings; if Jesus can control nature by speaking a word, that is like Moses or one of the prophets doing the same thing; and so on. The stories have been molded on the basis of familiar tales and so cannot be taken as historical.
I have never found this to be a convincing argument for lots of reasons. For one thing…
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