I don’t always agree with Ehrman, but when I do, it’s because he’s insulting mythicists

“I wanted to approach this question as an historian to see whether that’s right or not,” Ehrman tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

The answer is straightforward and widely accepted among scholars of all faiths, but Ehrman says there is a large contingent of people claiming that Jesus never did exist. These people are also known as mythicists.

“It was a surprise to me to see how influential these mythicists are,” Ehrman says. “Historically, they’ve been significant and in the Soviet Union, in fact, the mythicist view was the dominant view, and even today, in some parts of the West – in parts of Scandinavia — it is a dominant view that Jesus never existed,” he says.

via ‘Did Jesus Exist?’ A Historian Makes His Case : NPR.

Oh… and if the only person you can refute is Stanley Porter, son, you’ve got some credibility issues.

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9 Replies to “I don’t always agree with Ehrman, but when I do, it’s because he’s insulting mythicists”

  1. hasn’t this all been done before? hasn’t there been books written about this very topic, even in the last several years? but, it is ammusing to hear Ehrman state the he believed Jesus existed (of course his Jesus is different than Christianity’s belief).

  2. I was once a Christian, but not like you. I always believed it was a sin to relish in insulting people. Does that mean I was a false Christian? Is that why I left the fellowship?

  3. A viable historical solution to the Jesus puzzle has taken place within the only discipline capable, not only of identifying our primary Scriptural source of apostolic witness, but of appropriately interpreting this source. Howevert, “few are they who find it” even among well-known NT scholars. Finding it is “a task to which specialized knowledge in the areas of philology, form and redaction criticism, literary criticism, history of religions, and New Testament theology necessarily applies.” (Betz). “Over the last two centuries , there gradually emerged a new access to Jesus, made available through objective historical research.” (Robinson). Under the force of present historical methods and knowledge this new access has been brought to a highly creditable understanding. This calls for a radical reconstruction of posthumous Jesus traditions. Ogden: “We now know not only that none of the Old Testament writings is prophetic witness to (Jesus), but also that none of the writings of the New Testament is apostolic witness to Jesus as the early church itself understood apostolicity. The sufficient evidence for this point the case of the New Testament writings is that all of them have been shown to depend on sources, written or oral, earlier than themselves, and hence not to be the original and originating witness that the early church mistook them to be in judging them to be apostolic. – – the witness of the apostles is still rightly taken to be the real ‘Christian’ norm, even if we today have to locate this norm, not In the writings of the New Testament but in the earliest stratum of (Scriptural) witness accessible to us, given our own methods of historical analysis and reconstruction. Betz identifies this earliest stratum to be the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3-7:27). “This source presents us with an early form – deriving from (the Jerusalem Jesus Movement) of the ‘Christian’ faith as a whole, which had direct links to the teaching the historical Jesus and thus constituted an alternative to Gentile Christianity as known above all from the letters of Paul and the Gospels, as well as the later writings of the New Testament. If the – – Sermon on the Mount represents a response to the teaching critical of that of Gentile Christianity, then it serves unmistakably to underline the well-known fact – – of how little we know of Jesus and his teaching. The reasons for our lack of knowledge are of a hermeneutical sort and cannot be overcome by an access of good will (apologetics). The Gentile Christian authors of the Gospels transmitted to us only that part of the teaching of Jesus that they themselves understood, they handed on only that which they were able to translate into the thought categories of Gentile Christianity, and which they judged to be worthy of transmission.” (More to the point they included no more than they felt sufficient to lend credence to their Christ of faith myth). This calls for a new reconstruction of posthumous Jesus traditions. Ed Jones Dialogue – Vridar is such an attempt.

  4. Joel, It might be of interest to check out the sources of the quotes. Two articles online: Faith and Freedom by Schubert M. Ogden, The Real Jesus of the Q Sayings, the last half of both articles.
    Essays on the Sermon on the Mount by Hans Dieter Betz

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