When I began reading Bart Ehrman’s new book on the historicity of Jesus, I expected that it would reflect the kinds of scholarly controls that I am familiar with in his other books. However, all one has to do is to turn the next page in his Jesus book to be confronted by another example of bias. I’m not really interested in the historicity of Jesus. To me the question is largely irrelevant. The sources are too tainted, and should be acknowledged to be so, to qualify as sources of reliable historical data. The idea that there was a man who was actually, as Christians have claimed for two thousand years less a decade or two, a representative of a god, is about as implausible as Santa Claus making his once yearly journey to the homes of all the boys and girls in the world. So, whether there was an historical person at the centre of the myth — and that needs to be stressed — at the centre of the myth – of the Son of God, is completely irrelevant to anything that should concern you or me. If there was such a person, he lived a long time ago, and is only loosely connected with the mythology that Christians built up around him. If there wasn’t such a person, the myths remain roughly the same, and have the same import. The mythical Jesus of miracles and profound teachings (most of them, as it happens, borrowed), and his questionable morals, is forever beyond the reach of history. If there was a man, he would not recognise the mythology that grew up around his single human life. The birth and the passion stories are almost entirely prophecy historicised. The rest of the story is composed of sayings and deeds which can only with difficulty be ascribed to a human being. The importance of Jesus is the importance of the mythology that grew up around the name of a man who may or may not have lived in first century Judaea. Trying to pin it on a man is a hopeless gesture of faith or faction. I see no point in it.