(REVIEW) “Varieties of Jesus Mythicism: Did He Even Exist (2021)?” editors John Loftus and Robert M. Price [Review Part 1: Foreword by Richard C. Miller]

To begin our exploration of this volume, in the foreword Miller declares the Quest For The Historical Jesus has been a fool’s errand. Miller comments:

  • Similar to contrived faith-based efforts to class the Gospels within the genre of historiography, despite close familiarity with the genre, early Christians likewise avoided applying biographical labels to the Gospels. Such labels now become perhaps most problematic regarding the matter of literary object, since most assume that a history aims to depict ontological reality and biography an ontological person, whereas such presumptions break down as one further critically contemplates the Gospels. Most all referential objectivity in effect became crushed, buried beneath a dense bricolage of cultural literary models governing the narrative construction. If ever an ontological Jesus did exist, that person was lost to us, indeed made irrelevant behind many layers of charged early Christian literary figmentation. (W. Loftus, John; M. Price, Robert. Varieties of Jesus Mythicism: Did He Even Exist? (pp. 8-9). Hypatia Press. Kindle Edition).

So, we are primed for what is to no doubt be a rich exploration of the various kinds of Christ Myth approaches. Of course, we will also consider the arguments against the Christ Myth Hypothesis, as we see with such commentators as James McGrath, Bart Ehrman, and Tim O’Neill. For instance, O’Neill recently shared this summary of the case against a mythical interpretation of Jesus of Paul’s letters:

Via Christ Myth critic Tim O’Neill on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TimONeill007/status/1583121005106827264

You can imagine these are some hotly contested passages in the Christ Myth debate! And certainly, there is much more to be said by way of critique of the Christ Myth theory, but that can wait for relevant times as we go along. Please join me in this exploration.

John MacDonald

Co-writer at Secular Frontier Blog

(Internet Infidels/Secular Web)