I am quite often asked as to whether I am a Jesus mythicist. David Fitzgerald, in that camp, kindly wrote the foreword for my book The Nativity: A Critical Examination, and Derek Murphy, author of Jesus Potter Harry Christ is also a mythicist, and he wrote some blurbs for a few of my books. That said, I am not a mythicist. The work of some of the mythicists does raise a myriad questions which deserve good answers, and, as a result, I often call myself an agnostic who errs on the side of historicity. Richard Carrier’s second volume of his thesis on Bayes’ Theorem and its application to the historical Jesus has just come out at the time of reading this, though I am yet to get hold of the 700-page tome, although Hume’s Apprentice is reviewing it comprehensively here at SIN.
My conclusion to the debate is this:
The Jesus as reported in the Gospels is so far removed from the real and historical figure of Jesus, overlaid with myth, story-telling, propaganda and evangelist agenda, that the end result is synonymous with myth.
So though there probably was a historical figure, given that the movement did take shape and seemed to have real and accessible figures (to some degree) in the very early stages, we can’t really access the core historical truth of that original Jesus figure. It’s not cut and dried, and question remain, which mythicists tightly ask. I don’t really have a horse in either race since none of the options include a godmanspirit who resurrected to sit on his own right hand in atonement for the past and future sins of humanity which were known in advance, designed into the system and actualised by the very same entity. So I’d take mythicism over Christianity any day. And they call mythicists fringe asif the position is absurd? Now that’s crazy.