In the question of Jesus historicity, there are three positions: historicist, non-historicist and mythicist. Perhaps some of you didn’t know that Bart Ehrman is a historicist. Perhaps that’s because he isn’t a Christian apologist or scholar arguing the Messiah theory. The follow is a recap of Bart Ehrman’s discussion with Richard Carrier regarding Ehrman’s latest book: Did Jesus Exist? It’s a long read, but it’s worth it; in reading it, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the historicist’s mentality — one that is made even more obvious by Christian scholars and apologists. That mentality is that mythicism is a fringe theory that folds under scrutiny. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Ehrman on Historicity Recap
This is a summary of the current state of the debate after the mini blog war between myself and Bart Ehrman over his latest book, Did Jesus Exist?, which attempted to argue against various scholars (both legitimate and crank) who have concluded, or at least suspect, that Jesus never really existed, but was an invention in myth, like Moses or King Arthur or Ned Ludd. Some of this exchange involved other people, or were tangential to Ehrman’s book. But I will give a state-of-play for everything.
In one case I have concluded I was too harsh. But in every other case my criticisms have stood without valid rebuttal. Most were simply ignored (and thus no rebuttal was even attempted). For others, attempts to rebut them have only generated increasingly ridiculous errors of facts and logic to waggle our head at. Which in the end has only made historicists look just like the hack mythicists they rightly critique. This is not the way to argue for the historicity of Jesus.