On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt 1909697354, 978-1909697355, 1909697494, 978-1909697492

The assumption that Jesus existed as a historical person has occasionally been questioned in the course of the last hund

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On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt
 1909697354, 978-1909697355, 1909697494, 978-1909697492

Table of contents :
1. The Problem

Isn’t This Just Bunk?
The Debate Today
Myth vs. History
Mythicists vs. Historicists
The Aim of This Book
Summary of Remaining Chapters
Applying Bayes’ Theorem
Elements and Axioms

2. The Hypothesis of Historicity

Myth from History
The Basic Problem
Hypothesis Formation and Prior Probability
The Minimal Theory of Historicity

3. The Hypothesis of Myth

From Inanna to Christ
The Basic Problem
The Minimal Jesus Myth Theory

4. Background Knowledge (Christianity)

A Romulan Tale
Background Knowledge
Elemental Definitions
Elemental Background Knowledge
Elements of Christian Origin
Elements of Christian Religion
Elements of Christian Development

5. Background Knowledge (Context)

Elements of Political Context
Elements of Religious & Philosophical Context
Elements of Literary Context

6. The Prior Probability

Heroes Who Never Existed
Determining Prior Probability
Using the Rank-Raglan Reference Class
The Causal Objection
The Alternative Class Objection
The Complexity Objection
Rapid Legendary Development

7. Primary Sources

What Counts as Evidence?
Breaking Down the Evidence
The Epistles
The Gospels
Extra-Biblical Evidence
The Problem of Compromised Evidence
The Role of Consequent Probabilities

8. Extrabiblical Evidence

Jesus When?
The Socrates Analogy
Missing Evidence
Missing Christian Evidence
Clement of Rome
Ignatius of Antioch
Papias of Hierapolis
Josephus and the Testimonia Flaviana
Pliny & Tacitus
Suetonius & Thallus
Missing Evidence: Contra Myth
Weighing the Evidence

9. The Evidence of Acts

Acts as Historical Fiction
What Happened to the Body?
The Mysterious Vanishing Acts
The ‘Trial Transcripts’ of Paul
Stephen’s Trial Speech
The Possibility of ‘Aramaic’ Sources
Weighing the Evidence

10. The Evidence of the Gospels

How to Invent a Gospel
What Is Myth?
Examining the Gospels
The Mythology of Mark
The Mythology of Matthew
The Mythology of Luke
The Mythology of John
Weighing the Evidence

11. The Evidence of the Epistles

The Passion of Pliny the Elder
The Peculiar Indifference of Paul and His Christians
Epistles from the Pillars
The Earliest Gospels
The Gospel in Hebrews
Things Jesus Said
The Eucharist
Things Jesus Did
Women and Sperm
Brothers of the Lord
Weighing the Evidence

12. Conclusion

The Final Calculation
On Trying to Avoid the Conclusion
What We Should Conclude
The Last Desperate Objection
What Now?

Polecaj historie