Richard Carrier: History
Please note this is an old version of this entry, which may differ significantly from the current revision.
Subjects: Religion
  • ancient history
  • historicity
  • history of science

Basic Information

Richard Carrier
Name: Richard Carrier
(Dec 1969–)
Titles: Historian Atheist activist Author Public speaker Blogger
Affiliation: Unknown
Honor: Unknown

1. Introduction

Richard Cevantis Carrier (born December 1, 1969) is an American historian, atheist activist, author, public speaker and blogger.

Carrier has a doctorate in ancient history from Columbia University where his thesis was on the history of science in antiquity. He originally gained prominence as an advocate of atheism and metaphysical naturalism, authoring many articles on The Secular Web and later defending his basic position in his book Sense and Goodness Without God.

His blog appeared on Freethought Blogs and he has frequently been a featured speaker at various skeptic, secular humanist, freethought and atheist conventions, such as the annual Freethought Festival in Madison, Wisconsin, the annual Skepticon convention in Springfield, Missouri and conventions sponsored by American Atheists. In 2016, he left the Freethought Blogs network.

Carrier has frequently debated with Christian apologists such as William Lane Craig and David Marshall both in person and online. The Craig debate was broadcast on Lee Strobel's television show Faith Under Fire.[1]

His recent books on the historicity of Jesus have established him as a leading supporter of the Christ myth theory,[2] which claims that neither the historical Jesus nor the biblical Jesus existed in reality. Carrier asserts that in the context of his Bayesian methodology,[3] the ahistoricity of Jesus[4] and his origin as a mythical deity are "true" (i.e. the "most probable" Bayesian conclusion),[5][6] arguing that the probability of Jesus' existence is somewhere in the range of 1/3 to 1/12000, depending on the estimates used for the computation.[7] Nearly all contemporary scholars of ancient history[8] and most biblical scholars have maintained that a historical Jesus did indeed exist [9][10]

2. Career

Carrier received a PhD in Ancient History from Columbia University in 2008. His thesis was entitled "Attitudes Towards the Natural Philosopher in the Early Roman Empire (100 B.C. to 313 A.D.)."[11] He has published several articles and chapters in books on the subject of history and philosophy. He was formerly the editor of and a substantial contributor to The Secular Web. His contributions there include an autobiographical essay From Taoist to Infidel in which he discusses his upbringing in a benign Methodist church, his conversion to Taoism in early adulthood, his confrontation with Christian fundamentalists while in the United States Coast Guard, and his deeper study of religion, Christianity, and Western philosophy, which eventually led to his embrace of naturalism.[12] This was reprinted in his major work defending atheism and naturalism, Sense and Goodness without God.

In his contribution to The Empty Tomb, Carrier argues that the earliest Christians probably believed Jesus had received a new spiritual body in the resurrection, and that stories of his old body disappearing from its tomb were developed later.[13] He also argues it is less likely, but also possible, that the original body of Jesus was misplaced or stolen. This work was criticized by philosophy professor Stephen T. Davis in Philosophia Christi[14] and Christian theologian Norman Geisler.[15]

In Not the Impossible Faith, he wrote on the social and intellectual context of the rise and early development of Christianity. Though originally skeptical of theories about the ahistoricity of Jesus, since late 2005, he has considered it "very probable Jesus never actually existed as a historical person."[16] He also said "though I foresee a rising challenge among qualified experts against the assumption of historicity [of Jesus], as I explained, that remains only a hypothesis that has yet to survive proper peer review."[17]

Carrier was initially not interested in the question of the historicity of Jesus.[18] Like many others his first thought was that it was a fringe conspiracy topic not worthy of academic inquiry; however a number of different people requested that he investigate the subject and raised money for him to do so. Since then he has become a leading expert on the Jesus ahistoricity theory.[4][5][6] Other scholars who hold the "Jesus agnosticism" viewpoint or "Jesus atheism" viewpoint,[19] include; Arthur Droge, Kurt Noll, Thomas L. Brodie, Earl Doherty, Robert M. Price, Thomas L. Thompson, Raphael Lataster, Hector Avalos and still others like Philip R. Davies, who have opined that the viewpoint of Carrier et al. is respectable enough to deserve consideration.[20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28]

2.1. Investigating Antony Flew's Changed Opinion on God

When reports spread in 2004 that Antony Flew changed his mind on his rejection of the existence of gods, Carrier engaged in correspondence with Flew to find out what happened and published an extensive analysis of the situation on The Secular Web, finding among other things that Flew changed his position to there being some sort of "minimal God," as in Deism. According to the author of the book in Flew's name, Roy Abraham Varghese, Flew had released a statement through his publisher (without addressing Carrier's correspondence), stating, "My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 percent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I’m 84 and that was Roy Varghese’s role. This is my book and it represents my thinking."[29] Carrier concluded that Flew's changed ideas were not accurately represented in the book written for Flew, There is a God.[30][31][32]

2.2. Investigating Quotes Attributed to Adolf Hitler Regarding Christianity

Richard Carrier, in collaboration with Reinhold Mittschang, challenged several anti-Christian statements attributed to Adolf Hitler in his collection of monologues known as the Table Talk. Carrier's paper argues that the French and English translations are "entirely untrustworthy"[33] and suggests the possibility that François Genoud had doctored portions of the text to enhance Hitler's views.[34] Carrier put forward a new translation of twelve quotations based on Henry Picker and Werner Jochmann's German editions, as well as a fragment from the Bormann-Vermerke preserved at the Library of Congress, which challenge some of the quotations popularly used to demonstrate Hitler's hostility to Christianity. Carrier concludes that Hitler's views in the Table Talk, "resemble Kant's with regard to the primacy of science over theology in deciding the facts of the universe, while remaining personally committed to a more abstract theism."[35] Carrier also maintains that throughout the Table Talk Hitler takes a cynical view of Catholicism, "voicing many of the same criticisms one might hear from a candid (and bigoted) Protestant."[36]

In the new forward to the Table Talk, Gerhard Weinberg commented that "Carrier has shown the English text of the table-talk that originally appeared in 1953 and is reprinted here derives from Genoud's French edition and not from one of the German texts."[37] Derek Hastings cites Carrier's paper for "an attempt to undermine the reliability of the anti-Christian statements."[38] Carrier's thesis that the English translation should be entirely dispensed with is not accepted by Richard Steigmann-Gall, who despite referencing the controversies raised by Carrier,[39] "ultimately presume[d] its authenticity."[40]

2.3. Public Debates

Carrier has engaged in several formal debates, both online and in person, on a range of subjects including naturalism, natural explanations of early Christian resurrection accounts, the morality of abortion, and the general credibility of the Bible. He debated Michael R. Licona on the Resurrection of Jesus at the University of California, Los Angeles on April 19, 2004.[41] Carrier debated atheist Jennifer Roth online on the morality of abortion.[42] He has defended naturalism in formal debates with Tom Wanchick and Hassanain Rajabali. He has debated David Marshall on the general credibility of the New Testament.[43] His debates on the historicity of Jesus have included professor of religious studies Zeba A. Crook,[44][45][46][47] Christian scholars Dave Lehman and Doug Hamp.[48][49][50][51]

The March 18, 2009 debate Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? with William Lane Craig was held at the Northwest Missouri State University and posted online in two parts by ReasonableFaithOrg (YouTube channel). Prior to the debate, Carrier commented that "I originally insisted we first debate [on the topic] Are the Gospels Historically Reliable? for the simple reason that you can't honestly debate the former until you've debated (and in fact settled) the latter."[52] And then per his post debate commentary, Carrier noted that Craig "focused almost entirely on protecting the Gospels as historical sources, and it was there that his shotgun of arguments got well ahead of my ability to catch up."[53][54]

The October 25, 2014 debate Did Jesus Exist? with Trent Horn was held in San Diego, California and posted online by the "MABOOM Show" (YouTube channel). Per the Question and Answer session, Horn lists some of his recommended books for defending the historicity of Jesus. Horn notes works by ; Shirley Jackson Case,[55] Robert Van Voorst,[56] Paul Rhodes Eddy and Greg Boyd[57] and Bart D. Ehrman.[58] Per Ehrman's book, Horn states, "a good popular introduction might be Bart Ehrman's book Did Jesus Exist?. Unfortunately it is not a scholarly treatment like Dr. Carrier's [book]" and "there really is not a scholarly treatment of the issue from the historical view" (time 1:38:30).[59]

The April 13, 2016 debate Did Jesus Exist? with Craig A. Evans was held at the Kennesaw State University and posted online by KSUTV. Per Evans' opening remarks (time 6:30-28:30), Carrier states, "That is the best case I think you can make for the historicity of Jesus" (time 28:30).[60]

2.4. In News and Media

Richard Carrier was the keynote speaker for the Humanist Community of Central Ohio's annual Winter Solstice Banquet where he spoke on defending naturalism as a philosophy.[61]

Carrier appeared on three episodes of The Polyschizmatic Reprobates Hour podcast with host Dan Sawyer.[62][63]

He also appears in the documentary The Nature of Existence in which film-maker Roger Nygard interviews people of many different religious and secular philosophies about the meaning of life.[64]

Carrier is listed in Who's Who in Hell.[65] Carrier was featured in the documentary film The God Who Wasn't There, where he was interviewed about his doubts on the historicity of Jesus.[66] He is also featured in the 2017 documentary film Batman & Jesus by Jozef K. Richards, as well as his series, "Holy Shit", where Carrier appears in a skit as the biblical character, Absalom, alongside comedian Reuben Glaser.[67][68]

3. Personal Life

Carrier announced in 2015 that he and his wife had ended their 20-year marriage. He also revealed that he is polyamorous, and that the last two years of his marriage had an open relationship agreement, after informing his wife of his extramarital affairs.[69]

4. Jesus Ahistoricity Theory

Carrier has authored two Jesus historicity books: Proving History and On the Historicity of Jesus. The first of these books advances a methodology, based on Bayes' theorem, as the standard by which all methodology for any historical study must adhere in order to be logically sound. The second applies this methodology to the question of the historicity of Jesus, and reaches a conclusion for the ahistoricity of Jesus. Per Carrier's Bayesian methodology, Raphael Lataster writes, "Given the problematic sources that historical Jesus scholars have access to, and the failings of many of their methods, it seems appropriate to call for a thorough, and Bayesian, analysis of the evidence in order to determine if Jesus’ historicity or ahistoricity is more probable."[6] Thus the historicist and ahistoricist argument for Jesus hinges on how well each theory predicts each item of evidence, which items of evidence count, and how they count towards the most probable Bayesian conclusion.

Carrier's first major book, Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus, published in 2012 by Prometheus Books, describes the application of Bayes' theorem to historical inquiry in general and the historicity of Jesus in particular.[70]

Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013, published January 2014, is an anthology of Carrier's published papers on history—of which some are peer reviewed journal articles on the historicity of Jesus and are also cited as source references in Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus.[71]

In June 2014, Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt was published by Sheffield Phoenix Press.[72][73] Carrier notes that it is "the first comprehensive pro-Jesus-myth book ever published by a respected academic press and under formal peer review."[74] Carrier argues that there is insufficient Bayesian probability, that is evidence, to believe in the historicity of Jesus. Furthermore, he argues that a celestial Jesus figure was probably originally known only through private revelations and hidden messages in scripture which were then crafted into a historical figure, to communicate the claims of the gospels allegorically. These allegories then began to be believed as fact during the struggle for control of the Christian churches of the first century.

Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists, was published November 12, 2015, with foreword and afterword by Richard Carrier. The book by Raphael Lataster compares the claims of Bart D. Ehrman, Maurice Casey, and Richard Carrier[75][76] and was positively reviewed by atheist author David Fitzgerald, who wrote that the book "doesn’t just inform and invigorate the debate – arguably, it settles it." Fitzgerald additionally notes Lataster's excoriation of Bart Ehrman, "taking Ehrman to task over his misuse of that same evidence, double standards, outright errors, and most of all, what he terms 'Ehrman’s Law', his propensity to uncritically appeal to hypothetical sources (a tendency shared by all too many historicists)."[77] Lataster previously wrote a book review—that was peer reviewed—on Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus[78] which is used as the basis for the section on Carrier and then expanded upon for the lay reader. Per any evidence outside of the New Testament, for Jesus’s existence, Carrier writes;

There is no independent evidence of Jesus’s existence outside the New Testament. All external evidence for his existence, even if it were fully authentic (though much of it isn’t), cannot be shown to be independent of the Gospels, or Christian informants relying on the Gospels. None of it can be shown to independently corroborate the Gospels as to the historicity of Jesus. Not one single item of evidence. Regardless of why no independent evidence survives (it does not matter the reason), no such evidence survives.[79]

Thus, according to Carrier, no reliable conclusion on the historicity of Jesus is possible from the so-called "independent" and "objective" sources dated after the Gospels (see Sources for the historicity of Jesus). They could be reliant on the Gospels and therefore would not be independent, nor objective.[80]

Marcan priority assumes that the Gospel of Mark was the first gospel to be written.[81][82] However, biblical scholars do not have access to any primary sources for the Gospels (see Historical reliability of the Gospels), which makes any conclusions about them susceptible to doubt as is also the case with any oral transmission of the gospel prior to the first-written gospel.[83][84] Per the Gospels' status as reliable historical sources, Raphael Lataster writes, "The Gospels, and indeed all the sources concerning Jesus, are not primary sources; they are not contemporary to the events they describe, nor is it reasonable to assume that they were written by eye-witnesses. The extant sources concerning Jesus are, at best, secondary sources."[85][86][87] and Carrier additionally claims that:

  • "The Gospels come decades later and are the first we hear of an earthly story for Jesus."[88]
  • "The Gospels are wildly fictitious in their content and structure."[88]
  • "Every story has discernible allegorical or propagandistic intent."[88]
  • "The first (Mark) looks like an extended meta-parable (outsiders are told a story, while insiders are told what it really means)."[88]

Carrier contends that apart from the hero archetype pattern, nothing else in the Gospels is reliable evidence for or against the historicity of Jesus.[89]

4.1. Celestial Jesus

Carrier asserts that originally "Jesus was the name of a celestial being, subordinate to God, with whom some people hallucinated conversations"[88] and "The Gospel began as a mythic allegory about the celestial Jesus, set on earth, as most myths then were"[88] (see Jesus in comparative mythology). Stories were created that placed Jesus on Earth, in context with historical figures and places. Eventually people began to believe that these allegorical stories were real.[88][90]

  • A celestial being, subordinate to God:
Carrier notes, "Jesus was originally a god just like any other god (properly speaking, a demigod in pagan terms; an archangel in Jewish terms; in either sense, a deity), who was later historicized."[5]
  • Hallucinated conversations:
Carrier gives as example Joseph Smith—the founder of Mormonism—who declared that he had conversations with the Angel Moroni.

Earl Doherty originated the premise that Jesus originated as a myth per Middle Platonism (with some influence from Jewish mysticism) and that the belief in a historical Jesus emerged only among Christian communities in the 2nd century. Doherty asserts that Paul the Apostle and other writers of the earliest existing proto-Christian Gnostic documents did not believe in Jesus as a person who was incarnated on Earth in an historical setting, rather, they believed in Jesus as a heavenly being who suffered his sacrificial death in the lower spheres of heaven, where he was crucified by demons and then was subsequently resurrected by God (see Dying-and-rising god). This mythological Jesus was not based on a historical Jesus, but rather on an exegesis of the Old Testament in the context of Jewish-Hellenistic religious syncretism heavily influenced by Middle Platonism, and what the authors believed to be mystical visions of a risen Jesus.[91]

Carrier reviewed Doherty's work in 2002,[92] concluding that Doherty's thesis was plausible, however, Carrier had not yet concluded it was probably more true than the minimal historicity thesis (he also noted that some of Doherty's points were untenable and that only his core thesis was at least coherent with the evidence). Carrier remained a historicity agnostic until he began formal research on Jesus ahistoricity theory in 2008, which eventually convinced him that the evidence actually favored the core Doherty thesis.[93]

In regards to plausible theories for the origination of Jesus in relation to the founding of Christianity, the most probable is contested between three competing theories; Mythological Ahistoricity, Supernatural Historicity, and Natural Historicity. In regards to Mythological Ahistoricity, Carrier reviews Ehrman's How Jesus Became God and notes, "It does soundly establish the key point that Jesus was regarded as a pre-existent incarnate divine being from the earliest recorded history of Christianity, even in fact before the writings of Paul, and that this was not even remarkable within Judaism."[94][95]

Mythological Ahistoricity Supernatural Historicity Natural Historicity
  • Birth of a deity.
  • An incarnated (cloned) human body was crucified, thus the religious requirement for a human/god blood sacrifice was fulfilled.
  • These events occur in the abodes of mythological deities (see Seven Heavens).
  • Birth of a deity, from a human mother, thus a human demigod.
  • A demigod human body was crucified, thus the religious requirement for a human/god blood sacrifice was fulfilled.
  • These events occur on Earth.
  • Birth of a human.
  • A human body was crucified.
  • These events occur on Earth.
Carrier asserts that the most probable origination of late Christianity (being primarily based on the Gospels) is via:
  • Mythological (authentic Pauline epistles[96]) Supernatural (Gospels)
  • Birth of a deity:
The creation story of celestial Jesus is not known, but as Carrier notes, "This 'Jesus' would most likely have been the same archangel identified by Philo of Alexandria as already extant in Jewish theology".[97] Philo knew this figure by all of the attributes Paul already knew Jesus by: the firstborn son of God (Epistle to the Romans 8:29), the celestial 'image of God' (Second Epistle to the Corinthians 4:4), and God’s agent of creation (First Epistle to the Corinthians 8:6). He was also God’s celestial high priest (Heb. 2:17, 4:14, etc.) and God’s 'Logos.' And Philo says this being was identified as the figure named 'Jesus' in the Book of Zechariah.[98]
  • An incarnated (cloned) human body:
When Paul writes that Jesus “came to be” from the sperm of David, in the context of Jesus' incarnation, this meant that an adult human body was cloned/grown from the sperm (seed) of David, for Jesus to use (Paul's previous usage of the contextually unique term Greek:genomenos—came to be—meant a human body manufactured by God). Thus Jesus possessed a surrogate human body, therefore the religious requirement for a human/god blood sacrifice was fulfilled during his subsequent crucifixion by demons. Per the incarnation of Jesus, Carrier writes, "[Paul] saying (in Phil. 2. 7) that Christ was not actually a man, but came 'in the likeness of men' (homoiomati anthropon) and was found 'in a form like a man' (schemati euretheis hos anthropos) and (in Rom. 8.3) that he was only sent 'in the likeness of sinful flesh' (en homoiomati sarkos hamartias). This is a doctrine of a preexistent being assuming a human body, but not being fully transformed into a man, just looking like one, having a flesh-and-blood body to abuse and kill."[99]
  • The abodes of mythological deities:
Merkabah mysticism is a school of early Jewish mysticism, c. 100 BCE – 1000 CE, centered on visions such as those found in the Book of Ezekiel or in the hekhalot literature, concerning stories of ascents to the heavenly palaces and the Throne of God. Per the difference between the heavens and the firmament in regards to the location for the incarnation of Jesus, Carrier writes, "Mythicism places the incarnation of Jesus below the heavens ...being the whole vast region between the earth and the moon [the firmament], was well-established in both Jewish and pagan cosmology (see Element 37, Chapter 4, OHJ, pp. 184-93)."[100][101][102]

4.2. Jewish and Hellenistic Syncretism

Carrier notes four major trends in religion, occurring prior to the formation of Christianity:

  1. "Syncretism: combining a foreign cult deity with Hellenistic elements."[88]
  2. "Monotheism: transforming polytheism into monotheism (via henotheism)."[88]
  3. "Individualism: agricultural salvation cults retooled as personal salvation cults."[88]
  4. "Cosmopolitanism: all races, cultures, classes admitted as equals, with fictive kinship (members are all “brothers”); you now “join” a religion rather than being born into it."[88]

Carrier writes that per syncretism, "Mithraism was a syncretism of Persian and Hellenistic elements; the mysteries of Isis and Osiris were a syncretism of Egyptian and Hellenistic elements. Christianity is simply a continuation of the same trend: a syncretism of Jewish and Hellenistic elements. Each of these cults is unique and different from all the others in nearly every detail—but it's the general features they all share in common that reflect the overall fad that produced them in the first place, the very features that made them popular and successful within Greco-Roman culture."[103]

Carrier contends that Christianity originated from a Jewish sect,[104][105] writing;

Christianity, as a Jewish sect, began when someone (most likely Cephas, perhaps backed by his closest devotees) claimed this [celestial deity] “Jesus” had at last revealed that he had tricked the Devil by becoming incarnate and being crucified by the Devil (in the region of the heavens ruled by Devil), thereby atoning for all of Israel’s sins. [...] It would be several decades later when subsequent members of this cult, after the world had not yet ended as claimed, started allegorizing the gospel of this angelic being. By placing him in earth history as a divine man, as a commentary on the gospel and its relation to society and the Christian mission.[90]

5. Reception

On the Historicity of Jesus was reviewed by Raphael Lataster in the Journal of Religious History, who concurs that according to the Gospels, "Jesus fits almost perfectly" the Rank-Raglan mythotype, and notes that there is "not a single confirmed historical figure" that conforms to the mythotype.[106]

Carrier's methodology in his work on the historicity of Christ was reviewed by Aviezer Tucker, a prior advocate of using Bayesian techniques in history. Tucker expressed some sympathy for Carrier's view of the Gospels, stating: "The problem with the Synoptic Gospels as evidence for a historical Jesus from a Bayesian perspective is that the evidence that coheres does not seem to be independent, whereas the evidence that is independent does not seem to cohere." However, Tucker argued that historians have been able to use theories about the transmission and preservation of information to identify reliable parts of the Gospels. He said that "Carrier is too dismissive of such methods because he is focused on hypotheses about the historical Jesus rather than on the best explanations of the evidence."[107]

Reviewing On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, Christina Petterson of the University of Newcastle, Australia, in the academic journal Relegere, writes, "Even if strictly correct, the methodology is tenuous. In addition, the numbers and the statistics seem like a diversion or an illusionary tactic which intentionally confuse and obfuscate", and that, "Maths aside, nothing in the book shocked me, but seemed quite rudimentary first year New Testament stuff." Petterson says Carrier's conclusion that the later tales of a historical Jesus should be studied for their literary and rhetorical purpose and not for their specific historical content "reveals Carrier's ignorance of the field of New Testament studies and early Christianity", but states that "the historical Jesus haunts biblical scholarship".[108]

Responding to what he sees as the main elements in the same book, Emeritus Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at the University of Edinburgh, Larry Hurtado, has written that, contrary to Carrier's claims, Philo of Alexandria never refers to an archangel named Jesus. Hurtado also states that the apostle Paul clearly believed Jesus to have been a real man who lived on earth and that deities of pagan saviour cults such as Isis and Osiris, etc., were not transformed in their devotees' ideas from heavenly deities to actual people living on earth.[109]

In Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus Daniel N. Gullotta, reviewing Carrier’s On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, says Carrier has provided a "rigorous and thorough academic treatise that will no doubt be held up as the standard by which the Jesus Myth theory can be measured" though he finds Carrier's arguments "problematic and unpersuasive", his use of Bayesian probabilities "unnecessarily complicated and uninviting" and criticizes Carrier's "lack of evidence, strained readings and troublesome assumptions." Gullotta also says that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, either documentary or archaeological, that there was a period when Christians believed that Jesus only existed in heaven rather than living as a human being on earth, which he says is Carrier's "foundational" thesis.[110]

6. Publications

6.1. Selected Articles

  • "Flash! Fox News Reports that Aliens May Have Built the Pyramids of Egypt!". Skeptical Inquirer 23.5 (September–October 1999).
  • "The Guarded Tomb of Jesus and Daniel in the Lion's Den: An Argument for the Plausibility of Theft". Journal of Higher Criticism 8.2 (Fall 2001).
  • "Pseudohistory in Jerry Vardaman's Magic Coins: The Nonsense of Micrographic Letters". Skeptical Inquirer 26.2 (March–April 2002) and 26.4 (July–August 2002).
  • "The Function of the Historian in Society". The History Teacher 35.4 (August 2002).
  • "Hitler's Table Talk: Troubling Finds". German Studies Review 26.3 (October 2003).
  • "The Argument from Biogenesis: Probabilities Against a Natural Origin of Life". Biology & Philosophy 19.5 (November 2004).
  • "Whence Christianity? A Meta-Theory for the Origins of Christianity". Journal of Higher Criticism 11.1 (Spring 2005).
  • "Fatal Flaws in Michael Almeida's Alleged 'Defeat' of Rowe's New Evidential Argument from Evil". Philo 10.1 (Spring-Summer 2007).
  • "On Defining Naturalism as a Worldview". Free Inquiry 30.3 (April/May 2010).
  • "Thallus and the Darkness at Christ’s Death". Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 8 (2011-2012).
  • "Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200". Journal of Early Christian Studies 20.4 (Winter 2012).
  • "The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44". Vigiliae Christianae 68 (2014).

6.2. Books and Chapters

  • On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014) ISBN:978-1-909697-49-2 ISBN:978-1-909697-35-5
  • Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013 (Richmond, CA: Philosophy Press, 2014) ISBN:978-1-49356-712-6
  • Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2012) ISBN:978-1-61614-559-0
  • Chapter: "How Not to Defend Historicity", in Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth, (Cranford, NJ: American Atheist Press 2013) ISBN:978-1578840199
  • Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith (Philosophy Press, 2011) ISBN:978-1-45658-885-4
  • Chapters: "Christianity's success was not incredible", "Neither life nor the universe appear intelligently designed", "Moral facts naturally exist (and science could find them)" in The End of Christianity edited by John W. Loftus (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books 2011) ISBN:978-1-61614-413-5.
  • Chapters: "Why the resurrection is unbelievable", "Christianity was not responsible for modern science" in The Christian Delusion edited by John W. Loftus (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books 2010) ISBN:978-1-61614-168-4.
  • Chapters: "Bayes's Theorem for Beginners: Formal Logic and Its Relevance to Historical Method", in Sources of the Jesus Tradition: Separating History from Myth ed. R. Joseph Hoffmann (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books 2010).
  • Not the Impossible Faith, Why Christianity Didn't Need a Miracle to Succeed (2009) ISBN:978-0-557-04464-1
  • "Abortion Cannot be Regarded as Immoral". In The Abortion Controversy (edited by Lucinda Almond) Greenhaven Press (2007) ISBN:0-7377-3274-1.
  • Chapters: "The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb", "The Plausibility of Theft", "The Burial of Jesus in Light of Jewish Law". In The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond The Grave (edited by Robert M. Price and Jeffery Jay Lowder) Prometheus Books (2005) ISBN:1-59102-286-X
  • Sense and Goodness without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism. AuthorHouse (2005) ISBN:1-4208-0293-3.
  • Entries on "Epicurus", "Lucretius", "Philodemus", "Second Sophistic", and "Soranus of Ephesus" in Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (edited by Thomas J. Sienkewicz). Salem Press (2002). ISBN:0-89356-038-3.

The content is sourced from:

Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions.


  1. Audio Archive of Debate
  2. Casey, Maurice (2014). Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?. Bloomsbury T&T Clark. pp. 14–16. ISBN 9780567447623. 
  3. Per probability interpretations, Evidential probability, also called Bayesian probability, can be assigned to any statement whatsoever, even when no random process is involved, as a way to represent its subjective plausibility, or the degree to which the statement is supported by the available evidence. Per On the Historicity of Jesus, Carrier performs Bayesian analysis on evidential assumptions, many of which are supported by background knowledge (and thus have high probabilities of being true) and others that are not (and thus have standard chance probabilities, which reduce the prior probability accordingly).
  4. Jesus ahistoricity theory is the antithesis of a given Jesus historicity thesis. Thus for the sake of argument (via Bayesian analysis), Carrier posits three criteria for his minimal historical Jesus: "An actual man at some point named Jesus acquired followers in life who continued as an identifiable movement after his death." (Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 34.) "This is the same Jesus who was claimed by some of his followers to have been executed by the Jewish or Roman authorities." (Ibid.) "This is the same Jesus some of whose followers soon began worshipping as a living god (or demigod)." (Ibid.) "If any one of these premises is false, it can fairly be said there was no historical Jesus in any pertinent sense." (Ibid.)
  5. Carrier, Richard (2014). On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield Phoenix Press Limited. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-909697-49-2. "[T]he basic thesis of every competent mythologist, then and now, has always been that Jesus was originally a god just like any other god (properly speaking, a demigod in pagan terms; an archangel in Jewish terms; in either sense, a deity), who was later historicized." 
  6. Lataster, Raphael (2015). "Questioning the Plausibility of Jesus Ahistoricity Theories — A Brief Pseudo-Bayesian Metacritique of the Sources". The Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies 6:1: 91. "Given the problematic sources that historical Jesus scholars have access to, and the failings of many of their methods, it seems appropriate to call for a thorough, and Bayesian, analysis of the evidence in order to determine if Jesus’ historicity or ahistoricity is more probable. Indeed, just such a task has been completed by independent historian Richard Carrier.". 
  7. Carrier, Richard (2014-06-30) (in English). On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt (kindle ed.). location 40476: Sheffield Phoenix Press. 
  8. Ehrman, Bart (2011). Forged:Writing in the name of God. HarperCollins. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. 
  9. "Did Jesus Exist? Dr. Robert M Price, Dr. Richard Carrier, David Fitzgerald Interview Part 1". 
  10. Burridge, Richard A.; Gould, Graham (2004). Jesus Now and Then. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-8028-0977-3. 
  11. "Clio Holdings Information". Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  12. "From Taoist to Infidel". The Secular Web. 2001. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  13. Carrier, Richard (2005). "The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb". in Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffery Jay. The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Prometheus Books. ISBN 9781591022862. 
  14. Davis, Stephen T. (2006). "The Counterattack of the Resurrection Skeptics: A Review Article". Philosophia Christi 8 (1): 39–63. 
  15. Geisler, Norman (Spring 2006). "A Critical Review of The Empty Tomb: Jesus beyond the Grave". Christian Apologetics Journal 5 (1): 45–106. 
  16. Carrier, Richard. "Spiritual Body FAQ". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  17. Carrier, Richard (March 25, 2009). "Richard Carrier Blogs: Craig Debate Wrap". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  18. "Did Jesus Exist? Dr. Robert M Price, Dr. Richard Carrier, David Fitzgerald Interview Part 1". 
  19. Price, Robert M.. Deconstructing Jesus. Prometheus Books, Publishers. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-61592-120-1. "Generations of Rationalists and freethinkers have held that Jesus Christ corresponds to no historical character: There never was a Jesus of Nazareth. We might call this categorical denial “Jesus atheism.” What I am describing is something different, a “Jesus agnosticism.” There may have been a Jesus on earth in the past, but the state of the evidence is so ambiguous that we can never be sure what this figure was like or, indeed, whether there was such a person." 
  20. Carrier, Richard (24 July 2012). "Ehrman on Historicity Recap - Richard Carrier". Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  21. "Questioning the Historicity of Jesus". Brandon Vogt. Retrieved 6 April 2016. "The hypothesis that Jesus never really existed has started to gain more credibility in the expert community. Some now agree historicity agnosticism is warranted, including Arthur Droge (professor of early Christianity at UCSD), Kurt Noll (associate professor of religion at Brandon University), and Thomas L. Thompson (renowned professor of theology, emeritus, at the University of Copenhagen). Others are even more certain historicity is doubtful, including Thomas Brodie (director emeritus of the Dominican Biblical Centre at the University of Limerick, Ireland), Robert Price (who has two Ph.D.’s from Drew University, in theology and New Testament studies), and myself (I have a Ph.D. in ancient history from Columbia University and have several peer reviewed articles on the subject). Still others, like Philip Davies (professor of biblical studies, emeritus, at the University of Sheffield), disagree with the hypothesis but admit it is respectable enough to deserve consideration." 
  22. Lataster, Raphael. "IT'S OFFICIAL: WE CAN NOW DOUBT JESUS' HISTORICAL EXISTENCE". Think 15 (43): 65–79. doi:10.1017/s1477175616000117. 
  23. "Hector Avalos: Who was the historical Jesus?". Ames Tribune (GateHouse Media). Mar 2, 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2016. "[Hector Avalos, professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University] My own opinion, as an academic biblical scholar, is that there is not enough evidence to settle the question one way or the other. I am an agnostic about the existence of the historical Jesus. A main problem continues to be the lack of documentation from the time of Jesus to establish his existence definitively. Jesus is supposed to have lived around the year 30. But there is no mention of him anywhere in any actual document from his own time or from the entire first century." 
  24. Tom Dykstra (2015). "Ehrman and Brodie on Whether Jesus Existed: A Cautionary Tale about the State of Biblical Scholarship". The Journal of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (JOCABS) 8 (1): 29. "As for the question of whether Jesus existed, the best answer is that any attempt to find a historical Jesus is a waste of time. It can’t be done, it explains nothing, and it proves nothing. [Vol. 8, No. 1 (2015)]". 
  25. "Jerome Murphy-O’Connor versus Thomas Brodie". 20 July 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2016. "[Thomas L.] Brodie’s book doesn’t have to convince everyone. What it does accomplish is help establish that a serious scholar can indeed take a mythicist position. It helps show that mythicism is an intellectually viable position even if not universally convincing." 
  26. Davies, Stevan L. (1 November 2014). Spirit Possession and the Origins of Chr. BARDIC Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-906834-19-7. "Mythicists have discovered problems in the supposed common-sense of historical Jesus theories that deserve to be taken seriously." 
  27. Law, Stephen (20 April 2012). "Stephen Law: EVIDENCE, MIRACLES AND THE EXISTENCE OF JESUS". Retrieved 18 November 2016. "[Published in Faith and Philosophy 2011. Volume 28, Issue 2, April 2011. Stephen Law. Pages 129-151] The vast majority of Biblical historians believe there is evidence sufficient to place Jesus’ existence beyond reasonable doubt. Many believe the New Testament documents alone suffice firmly to establish Jesus as an actual, historical figure. I question these views. In particular, I argue (i) that the three most popular criteria by which various non-miraculous New Testament claims made about Jesus are supposedly corroborated are not sufficient, either singly or jointly, to place his existence beyond reasonable doubt, and (ii) that a prima facie plausible principle concerning how evidence should be assessed – a principle I call the contamination principle – entails that, given the large proportion of uncorroborated miracle claims made about Jesus in the New Testament documents, we should, in the absence of independent evidence for an historical Jesus, remain sceptical about his existence." 
  28. Dawkins, Richard (16 January 2008). The God Delusion. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 122. ISBN 0-547-34866-5. "It is even possible to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all, as has been done by, among others, Professor G. A. Wells of the University of London." 
  29. Varghese, Roy Abraham (January 13, 2008). "'There Is a God'". New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  30. Carrier, Richard (November 17, 2010). "Antony Flew Considers God...Sort Of". The Secular Web. Retrieved May 21, 2017. 
  31. "Leading Atheist Philosopher Concludes God's Real". FOX News. Associated Press. December 9, 2004. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  32. Oppenheimer, Mark (November 4, 2007). "The Turning of an Atheist". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  33. "'Hitler's Table Talk': Troubling Finds." German Studies Review 26 (3): 561-576.
  34. Carrier (2003), p. 565.
  35. Carrier (2003), p. 574.
  36. Carrier (2003), p. 573.
  37. Weinberg, Gerhard (2003). Foreword In Hugh Trevor-Roper, ed. 2003. Hitler's Table Talk 1941–1944. New York: Engima Books, p. xi
  38. Hastings, Derek (2010). Catholicism and the Roots of Nazism: Religious Identity and National Socialism. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 251.
  39. Steigmann-Gall, Richard (2003). The Holy Reich: Nazi conceptions of Christianity, 1919–1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 255–256.
  40. Steigmann-Gall, Richard (2007). Christianity and the Nazi Movement. Journal of Contemporary History 42 (2): 208. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-13. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  41. "Licona vs. Carrier: On the Resurrection of Jesus Christ". April 19, 2004. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  42. "On the Issue of Abortion". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  43. "Marshall vs. Carrier: Richard's opening argument". Christ the Tao. March 25, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  44. "Debate: Jesus of Nazareth: Man or Myth?". Centre for Inquiry Canada. April 5, 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2016. "Branch: Centre for Inquiry Ottawa" 
  45. "I’ll Be Debating the Historicity of Jesus in Ottawa, Canada". 26 March 2014. 
  46. "Ottawa Historicity Debate: A Commentary". 29 May 2014. 
  47. Abbass, Veronica (May 11, 2014). "Jesus of Nazareth: Man or Myth?". Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  48. "Videos of Mark Smith - Debate: Was There An Historical Jesus?". October 23, 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2016. "Dr. Richard Carrier & Mark Smith -vs- Rev. Doug Hamp & Dr. Dave Lehman, Huntington Beach, CA" 
  49. "Debate #12 - The Historicity Of Jesus - Richard Carrier and Mark Smith vs Doug Hamp and Dave Lehman". October 23, 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2016. "Atheism Vs Christianity Debate Series. Please note that the first 4 minutes of this video are not available due to technical issues." 
  50. "Upcoming Events | Christianity/Atheism Debate – Huntington Beach, CA |". 
  51. Coker, Matt (22 October 2014). "Christians and Atheists Debate in Huntington Beach Over Whether Jesus Was a Real Dude". 
  52. Carrier, Richard (January 30, 2009). "W.L. Craig Debate". Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  53. Carrier, Richard (March 20, 2009). "Craig Debate Wrap". Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  54. "Debate: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?". March 18, 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2016. "Hosted by the Philosophy Club student organization and posted online part-1 & part-2" 
  55. Case, Shirley Jackson (1928) [1912]. The Historicity of Jesus Christ: A Criticism of the Contention That Jesus Never Lived, a Statement of the Evidence for His Existence, an Estimate of His Relation to Christianity (2 ed.). University of Chicago Press. pp. 306 pages. "[1st ed. (1912) pp. 352 pages.]" 
  56. Voorst, Robert Van (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-8028-4368-5. 
  57. Eddy, Paul Rhodes; Boyd, Gregory A. (1 August 2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. Baker Academic. ISBN 978-0-8010-3114-4. 
  58. Ehrman, Bart D. (20 March 2012). Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-208994-6. 
  59. "Debate: Did Jesus Exist?". Google+ MABOOMShow. October 25, 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2016. "Hosted by The San Diego Coalition of Reason (cosponsored by "The Humanist Fellowship of San Diego" and "The San Diego Association of Rational Inquiry")." 
  60. "Kennesaw State University - KSUTV - Videos - Debate: Did Jesus Exist?". Kennesaw State University. April 13, 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016. "Co-hosted by Ratio Christi and the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at KSU." 
  61. "Speaker will defend godless worldview". The Columbus Dispatch: p. 03C. 2006-12-22. 
  62. "Reprobates Hour Archive". 26 July 2012. Season 1 Episode 3 - Richard Carrier talks World Views, Morality, and Naturalism: an interview on his book about metaphysical naturalism, Sense and Goodness without God.Season 3 Episode 3 & 4 - Richard Carrier talks Ancient Science contra Rodney Stark: a two-part series on Rodney Stark's claim that Christianity made science possible.
  63. Richard Carrier discusses Metaphysical Naturalism on The Polyschizmatic Reprobates Hour
  64. Imdb cast listing
  65. Smith, Warren Allen (2000). Who's Who in Hell. Barricade Books. p. 186. ISBN 1-56980-158-4. 
  66. Biederman, Patricia Ward (August 20, 2005). "Documentary Questions the Existence of Jesus". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  67. "Richard Carrier" (in en-US). 
  68. "Richard Carrier". 
  69. Carrier, Richard (February 18, 2015). "Coming Out Poly + A Change of Life Venue". Richard Carrier Blogs. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  70. Carrier, Richard (2012). Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 9781616145606. 
  71. Carrier, Richard (January 2014). Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013. Createspace Independent Pub. ISBN 978-1-4935-6712-6. The Nazareth InscriptionThallus and the Darkness at Christ’s DeathOrigen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44
  72. "Sheffield Phoenix Press - Display Book". Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  73. Carrier, Richard (2014). On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield Phoenix Press. ISBN 9781909697355. 
  74. Carrier, Richard (July 17, 2013). "Update on Historicity of Jesus". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  75. Lataster, Raphael (Nov 12, 2015). "Chapter 1 & 2, Ehrman and Casey respectively". Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists. ISBN 1514814420. "Length: 458 pages" 
  76. Carrier, Richard (December 2, 2015). "Lataster on the Historicity of Jesus Being a Debate Among Atheists". Freethought Blogs. Retrieved 20 March 2016. "Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey, were neither published by academic presses, nor underwent any formal peer review. But Lataster works with what the academy has given him. And so he surveys the merits of those two books anyway. And compares them with mine, On (see below)the Historicity of Jesus, which was published by an academic press and did pass formal academic peer review." 
  77. Raphael Lataster. "Jesus Did Not Exist reviewed by David Fitzgerald - Raphael Lataster". 
  78. Lataster, Raphael (December 2014). "Richard Carrier: On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014; pp. xiv + 696.". Journal of Religious History 38 (4): 614–616. doi:10.1111/1467-9809.12219. 
  79. Lataster, Raphael (November 12, 2015). "Afterword by Richard Carrier". Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists. p. 418. ISBN 1514814420. 
  80. Lataster, Raphael (2015). "Questioning the Plausibility of Jesus Ahistoricity Theories — A Brief Pseudo-Bayesian Metacritique of the Sources". The Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies 6:1: 75. "Richard Carrier also raises the possibility (and perhaps the need to be cautious) that all sources dated after the Gospel of Mark could have been tainted by it, and that this simply cannot be ruled out.". 
  81. Carrier, Richard (2000). "The Formation of the New Testament Canon". Internet Infidels. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  82. Carrier, Richard. "CanonNTSpecialEdit.pdf". Retrieved 19 November 2016. "The Formation of the New Testament Canon" 
  83. Ehrman, Bart D. (1 March 2016). Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-228523-2. 
  84. Bethune, Brian (March 23, 2016). "Did Jesus really exist?". Maclean's. Retrieved 16 April 2016. "Memory research has cast doubt on the few things we knew about Jesus, raising an even bigger question." 
  85. Lataster, Raphael (1 January 2014). "The Fourth Quest: A Critical Analysis of the Recent Literature on Jesus’ (a)Historicity". Literature & Aesthetics 24 (1): 17. ISSN 2200-0437. 
  86. Lataster, Raphael (2015). "Questioning the Plausibility of Jesus Ahistoricity Theories — A Brief Pseudo-Bayesian Metacritique of the Sources". The Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies 6:1: 65–66. ""Primary sources are vital to historians, not only as they provide direct evidence, but also serve as the benchmark by which secondary sources are measured.[Leopold von Ranke, Sarah Austin, and Robert Arthur Johnson, History of the Reformation in Germany (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1905), pxi.; Louis Reichenthal Gottschalk, Understanding History: A Primer of Historical Method (New York: Knopf, 1950), p. 165.]"". 
  87. Howell, Martha C.; Prevenier, Walter (2001). From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods. Cornell University Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-8014-8560-6. "Historians must thus always consider the conditions under which a source was produced—the intentions that motivated it—but they must not assume that such knowledge tells them all they need to know about its “reliability.” They must also consider the historical context in which it was produced—the events that preceded it, and those that followed." 
  88. Carrier, Richard. "So...if Jesus Didn’t Exist, Where Did He Come from Then?". Retrieved 12 May 2016. "The Official Website of Richard Carrier, Ph.D." 
  89. "Two Lessons Bart Ehrman Needs to Learn about Probability Theory - Richard Carrier". 15 November 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2016. "[A]part from what we can determine from and for the Rank-Raglan data, nothing in the Gospels argues for or against historicity: OHJ, pp. 395, 506-09." 
  90. Carrier, Richard (August 2014). "The Bible and Interpretation - Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt: Should We Still Be Looking for a Historical Jesus?". Retrieved 29 August 2016. "Christianity, as a Jewish sect, began when someone (most likely Cephas, perhaps backed by his closest devotees) claimed this [celestial deity] “Jesus” had at last revealed that he had tricked the Devil by becoming incarnate and being crucified by the Devil (in the region of the heavens ruled by Devil), thereby atoning for all of Israel’s sins. [...] It would be several decades later when subsequent members of this cult, after the world had not yet ended as claimed, started allegorizing the gospel of this angelic being. By placing him in earth history as a divine man, as a commentary on the gospel and its relation to society and the Christian mission." 
  91. Eddy, Paul Rhodes; Boyd, Gregory A. (1 August 2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. Baker Academic. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-8010-3114-4. "Scholars such as [G. A.] Wells, [Earl] Doherty, and [R. M.] Price argue that Paul’s view of Jesus was not anything like the recent, contemporary Galilean figure we find in the Gospels. His view of Jesus—which is the earliest view we have—was rather that of a vague cosmic savior figure who existed in the unknown, distant past and/or the mythic spiritual realm. Indeed, the Pauline Christ was actually quite close to the sorts of divinities we find in ancient mystery religions. According to these scholars, this makes it difficult to avoid the conclusion that the earliest Christians viewed Jesus as a sort of vague deity who became historicized as a rather recent figure only after Paul—as oral traditions were passed on and especially when the Gospels were written." 
  92. Did Jesus Exist? Earl Doherty and the Argument to Ahistoricity
  93. Lataster, Raphael (December 2014). "Richard Carrier: On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014; pp. xiv + 696.". Journal of Religious History 38 (4): 614–616. doi:10.1111/1467-9809.12219. "[Richard Carrier's hypothesis of ‘minimal mythicism’], highly influenced by the work of Earl Doherty, states that Jesus was initially believed to be a celestial figure, who came to be historicised over time.". 
  94. Ehrman, Bart D. (25 March 2014). How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-225219-7. 
  95. Bart Ehrman on How Jesus Became God
  96. Carrier, Richard (11 August 2016). "Dating the Corinthian Creed - Richard Carrier". Retrieved 12 August 2016. "[The Corinthian creed (1 Corinthians 15:3-5) etc.] distinguishes Christianity from any other sect of Judaism. So it’s the only thing Peter (Cephas) and the other pillars (James and John) could have been preaching before Paul joined the religion. And Paul joined it within years of its founding (internal evidence in Paul’s letters places his conversion before 37 A.D., and he attests in Galatians 1 that he was preaching the Corinthian creed immediately thereupon: OHJ, pp. 139, 516, 536, 558)." 
  97. Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, pp. 200-05.Jesus being a preexisting archangel: Phil. 2:5-11Jesus was as an angel: Gal. 4:14Jesus knew Moses: 1 Cor. 10:4
  98. "The Bible and Interpretation - Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt: Should We Still Be Looking for a Historical Jesus?". August 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  99. Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 570.
  100. Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, pp. 184-193.
  101. "Can Paul’s Human Jesus Not Be a Celestial Jesus?" (in en-US). 14 February 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  102. Hetherington, Norriss S. (2014). Encyclopedia of Cosmology (Routledge Revivals): Historical, Philosophical, and Scientific Foundations of Modern Cosmology. Routledge. p. 267. ISBN 978-1-317-67766-6. "The seven Jewish and seven Islamic heavens may have had their origins in Babylonian astronomy rather than in Ptolemaic thinking, especially since the Jewish heavens predate the Ptolemaic. Or perhaps all three share common roots in observable phenomena, and perhaps cultural artifacts as well. All three cosmologies place God in the highest of the heavens." 
  103. Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, p. 100.
  104. "Did Jesus really exist? -". 23 March 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016. "[A]ccording to Carrier, a solution that requires no special pleading. His take on Christianity’s origins begins in the religiously roiling Israel of the 30s, when the restive population was starting to rebel against the Temple elite. [...] Through visions, apocalyptic math and study of the Scriptures, one group ...came up with a celestial being made human flesh, killed by the forces of evil in a sacrifice that combined and eclipsed both Yom Kippur and Passover, who rose from the dead and will very soon come again to save the faithful." 
  105. "Reality Trip: Episode 040 - Dr. Richard Carrier: Is Christianity and Jesus a Myth?". Ben Fama. September 28, 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016. "[T]he Christians, they are a Jewish sect, they began as a sect of Jews. Now the Jews were very divided at this time there are many Jewish sects, we've counted between 10 and 30 different Jewish sects, they are very fragmented and there were many fringe counter-cultural sects, many Jewish sects that were breaking away from the mainstream and denigrating the mainstream [temple cult]." 
  106. Lataster, Raphael (December 3, 2014). "RichardCarrier: On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014; pp. xiv + 696.". Journal of Religious History 38 (4): 614. 
  107. Tucker, Aviezer (February 2016). "The Reverend Bayes vs Jesus Christ". History and Theory 55:1: 129–140. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  108. Petterson, Christina. "On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt". Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  109. Hurtado, Larry. "Why the "Mythical Jesus" Claim Has No Traction with Scholars". Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  110. Gullotta, Daniel N. (2017). "On Richard Carrier’s Doubts: A Response to Richard Carrier’s On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt". Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 15 (2–3): 310–346. doi:10.1163/17455197-01502009.
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