I guess it was appropriate that I finished the book on Easter! I would have completed it sooner but I took it out of my laptop back to fit the Surface Pro and work laptop in there.
As I fully expected with Bart Ehrman’s writing, I enjoyed this book immensely. He presented a ton of useful information about the historical criterion for evaluating the likelihood of some past event. It is very difficult to argue against these points.
I was a little disappointed with the section on Josephus. The Antiquities Of The Jews has long been cited by believers as evidence for their stories. I remember the shock of reading (in Earl Dougherty’s book, The Jesus Puzzle and later in Robert Price’s The Incredible Shrinking Son Of Man) that the paragraphs about Jesus are likely later insertions by Christians to beef up their claims. I think that they present a solid case for that claim.
Ehrman makes the opposite claim. To me this part of the discussion feels too much like a He-Said-She-Said argument. Ultimately, neither side will overcome the other. My only other choice is to become a first century historian and Josephus expert myself – something I have neither the time, money or sufficient interest in doing.
As mentioned, I will read some more of the mythicist side regarding Jesus’ existence. Richard Carrier and more Robert Price are likely. There will probably be a palate cleansing read in-between though.
Ehrman’s newest writing concerns how Jesus has been transformed into God over the centuries. There is even a video lecture series about this. I’m very likely to buy this lecture and probably Ehrman’s book too.Tags: Religion, Skepticism