Dr. Goodacre has done an absolutely marvelous job on this issue of the evidence for Jesus. He is dead on:
I love this joke, and I like the lesson that Beard draws from it. And it reminds us once again, as if we needed it, that doing ancient history is not like doing modern history. The vast majority of ordinary punters made no impact on the archaeological record from antiquity. Their impact, their “existence”, if you like, can only be measured in so far as they influenced the memories of those who told their stories, and only in so far as those embellished, interpreted, creative memories ultimately found their way into the texts that managed to survive.
Oh, and Q doesn’t exist. Only if we count the existence in the mind of hopeful scholars, but Plato wasn’t correct about everything after all….
Anyway, read the post. Good stuff.
I am, in my book project, about to get started on how I hope my work turns the Farrer-Goulder-Goodacre hypothesis into a law. It is difficult because I tend to agree with Dr. Goodacre so, the judge is still alive, if you know what I mean.