Tag Archives: claims

Review of Prof. Maurice Casey’s Scholarly Critique of the Work of Jesus Mythicists

I blogged a short time ago to alert readers about this book. Maurice Casey was a New Testament scholar and Aramaic specialist. He was also nowhere close to being a “Bible believer” – the sort of people that Jesus mythicists love to mock. It’s Casey doing the mocking here. All the familiar mythers (e.g., Acharya S) are in the cross-hairs and fare rather poorly.

Dr. James McGrath recently reviewed Casey’s book. The review (and of course the book) tracks through all the well-worn bogus methods and argumentation made by the tiny-but-vocal Jesus mythicist clique (think the Zeitgeist nonsense). Here’s one of McGrath’s concluding paragraphs:

I suspect that many will find the tone of Casey’s volume rather too acerbic—especially if they  have  never  had  to  deal  with  online  mythicists  themselves.  One  must  keep  in  mind the  risks  that  were  involved  in  writing  a book  like  this.  As  scientists  and  historians  who have tackled pseudoscholarship of other sorts have often learned, the very act of engaging proponents  of  these  views,  even  in  the  interests  of  debunking  them,  can  seem  to  add credibility  to  their  claims,  since  they  are  being  deemed  “worthy  of  engaging  with.” It seems  to  me  that  Casey’s  approach,  while  not  above  criticism,  strikes  an  important balance. He took the highly problematic character of mythicism seriously enough that he thought  it  worth  showing  unambiguously  why  it  does  not  deserve  to  be  taken  seriously. Casey shows in detail the ways in which mythicism is not merely wrong in the ways that scholars are often wrong but rather grossly incompetent, shoddily argued and evidenced, utterly lacking in plausibility, and often seeming to willfully distort the evidence, all while its proponents maliciously malign mainstream scholars.

Amen. Been there many times.

McGrath’s review is an excellent overview of the book, which is must reading for anyone who’s been annoyed or disturbed by the claims of those who insist Jesus never existed.

Read More