Talking Sense about Jesus’ Historicity
I thank Steven Jake for notifying me of the interview he has posted with Prof. Dale Allison (a fellow NT scholar high on my admiration list) on questions arising in the relatively-recent re-appearance of the idea that Jesus of Nazareth was a mythical figure (another of the “zombie” theories that I’ve mentioned: ideas that get killed off with solid reasoning and evidence but then pop back up after a while when people who don’t know the history of scholarly debate hear it for the idea for the first time). I suspect that my posting this will elicit a torrent of inadequately-informed comments (and abuse), but . . . what the hey.
Allison’s stance is likely representative of scholars, not just scholars in NT/Christian Origins, but also other historians of antiquity. We’ve heard it all before. It didn’t convince then, and it doesn’t now. As he says, however, the new factor is the internet, which allows (for better or for worse) such ideas to be floated without first having to pass muster with appropriate critical testing. (And, then, there is now also the “X-Files” mentality: If the experts say something, it’s because they’re in a conspiracy and so “the truth is out there” somewhere else. Sigh!)
Anyway, the link to the Allison interview is here.