They are nuts. Every last one of them. They have hatched, in one way or another, some various scheme to suggest Jesus is not a historical person, but created as part of this-or-that conspiracy.
Ralph Ellis has recently published a book proposing that Jesus is the King of Edessa. His publisher is one of the finest, no, I mean, oddest conspiracy publishers on the market. Tom does a good job of taking him down, so read his post too.
Update: Tom has a second post up now.
But, this is just another in a long line of mythicist tripe using baseless “notions,” boundless imaginations, and conspiracy hacks to peddle this or that drug-induced idea. Joseph Atwill suggests Jesus is a figment of the Roman imagination, whereby the authors conspired to use a created Jesus to subdue the Jews. Others suggest that all of recent history is under the control of the Piso family, the remnants of the Flavians. This one, recently pointed out to me (HT to DM via FB), is completely crazy. Wait, I mean, I’m looking at Atwill and Ellis and Piso together… all are completely crazy.
And here’s the problem. My book, I am afraid and I admit so in the book, suggests that the Gospel is used to counter Flavian imperial ideology. But, I believe we can tag this to a real, live, historical Jesus. While Mark uses literary sources (Matthew uses Mark and some undefined sources, Luke used Matthew and Mark while John takes a heavy shot of theological reflection and uses the Synoptics) this doesn’t mean that the story of Jesus if made-up from the ground up. What this means, I would propose, is that the choices of literary sources indicate Mark’s theological or ideological implication.
- More Nutbaggery About Jesus (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Farrer Theory in Practice – The Prologues and Genealogy (unsettledchristianity.com)
- Blogging my Book – Oh, Tom now… come on… it’s all about reception (unsettledchristianity.com)
- Historical Reconstruction or a “Mad House”? (vridar.wordpress.com)
- Initial response to Hoffmann’s latest (vridar.wordpress.com)