One of the poignant ironies about mythicism is its popularity among those who style themselves as freethinkers. Such individuals usually have no trouble criticizing apologists for young Earth creationism or other fringe viewpoints, spotting their weak arguments and taking them to task for rejecting mainstream science. Yet mythicists adopt many of the same weak modes of argumentation that they otherwise criticize.
Jesus mythicism serves as a cautionary tale. It is possible to think critically about a great many subjects and yet to shield one area from scrutiny. People tend to be selectively critical.
I would like to draw your attention to the lecture of dr. Johannes Magliano-Tromp about Reconstructing the First Century Synagogue, which he has published on his weblog:
Today I stumbled upon a nice project called Bibledex. “Bibledex is a project by the University of Nottingham’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies in conjunction with video journalist Brady Haran. The videos are by no means comprehensive – rather they’re a curious assortment of academic insights into what is probably the most famous collection of books in history. Brady, who is not a scholar, produces similar video projects about Chemistry and Physics. Filming with various biblical scholars and theological experts, he hopes the same “outsider’s perspective” comes across in Bibledex.”
Click here for the website Bibledex.com. Here follows one of the videos, the one on Matthew:
Professor of Biblical Studies April DeConick wrote something noteworthy on her blog about the Humanities: “Get Sparked by the Humanities.” She criticizes the way the Humanities are critiquing themselves away and warns to not forget the traditional disciplines.
There is no mind, no knowledge, that floats around out there. Knowledge is made in us and we make it from within the webs of knowledge culturally shared by us in very specific locations. (…)
For now, what I would like to do is to think about Humanities as a spark. (…) Something happened to us when we read Plato, or Josephus, or the Gospel of Thomas, or Dante, or Blake, or Shakespeare. What? What sparked you?
(…) When my religion professor examined biblical texts without preferential treatment, but as cultural productions that had left the imprint of their societies on them, I was so upset I didn’t want to go back into his classroom. Who did he think he was? Obviously I went back, my curiosity winning my private battle of faith. (…) The call to the Humanities would not leave me alone. I had been changed by the encounter. My life had been transformed by its spark.