The authenticity of key portions of the TF is clear to all but the most radical Christ-Mythicists, who go out of their way to try to argue it out of existence. To this end, G.A. Wells thinks “the whole paragraph has been interpolated”. [G.A. Wells, The Jesus Myth (Chicago and La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1999), 202.] It is significant that nearly all commentators who agree with this view are incidentally adherents to the Christ-Myth thesis.
If I may digress, I have noticed that many people who describe themselves as skeptics first and atheists second tend to be skeptical of conspiracy theories, a category in which the Christ-Myth hypothesis most certainly belongs.
Alternatively, it seems those who describe themselves as atheists first are only overly skeptical of anything they think may help the case for Christianity and yet overly credulous and shockingly unskeptical towards any theory they think may be detrimental to the case for Christianity. A perfect case in point is Jim Lippard, founder and former president of the Phoenix Skeptics Society and a prominent Arizona skeptic/atheist.
In an online review of the film Zeitgeist, which is a big advocate of the Christ-Myth hypothesis, he described Zeitgeist as “pernicious nonsense” and “almost entirely garbage, dependent on crackpot sources”.
On the TF, and hence, on the existence of a historical Jesus, he wrote this: “I think the Arabic text of Josephus' reference to Jesus in Antiquities of the Jews provides strong evidence that Josephus did refer to a historical Jesus and that his text was altered by later Christian interpolation rather than an insertion completely made up out of whole cloth.”
[Jim Lippard, The Lippard Blog
I do not think I could have said it any better myself.
Jun 7, 2009
JOSEPHUS and JESUS part 3
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