Dec 192015

mythicismThis book is exactly what it says on the tin: a collection of various interviews, mostly with people who identify themselves as “mythicists” regarding Jesus. It’s also a translation; at times it shows, but the translation is fairly good overall. It couldn’t do much better at doing what it set out to do, which is to collect a large number of brief interviews with notable figures (and less notable figures) promoting mythicism or researching aspects of ancient history otherwise, which is why it deserves a good review. The book doesn’t advance the state of the question on this subject, nor does it set out to do so.

Another question to ask might be whether the book is worth reading, and that depends on who’s asking. If someone is keenly interested in the personalities that are discussing the historical existence of Jesus, the book is worth reading. If one is stimulated by a broad-strokes overview of many different ideas regarding the origin of Christianity, the book is worth reading. Otherwise, the book might be passed over with little lost.

None of the individual authors interviewed really get the opportunity to develop their ideas in a very convincing way, primarily because of the requirements of space. Personally I enjoyed reading the interviews with Robert Price, with Earl Doherty, with Richard Carrier, and with Maria Dzielska, an expert on Apollonius of Tyana (and some others). But I would certainly not recommend reading these interviews instead of reading the books themselves. What’s presented here is simply a small literary morsel for those still left with an appetite after enjoying the main course found in such works.

Other comments regarding Jesus Mythicism: An Introduction online.

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