Religion and Spiritualism


Review by an Outsider of Ancient History and New Testament Studies of "Maurice Casey (2014): Jesus. Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths"

Authors: Thomas Colignatus

Professor Casey's book opposes the historical evidence for Jesus to the mythical origin of the story. Historicism is generally accepted in academic New Testament Studies, mythicism is often adhered to by non-scholars on the internet. The review uses the analogy of Santa Claus to bring forth a point that may have been missed by both professor Casey and the mythicists who he wishes to expose. For Santa Claus there is the historical bishop Nicolas of Myra (Turkey) but it would be inaccurate to call him the "historical Santa Claus" since the origin of the story is rather the neolithical myth of the Norse god Wodan who rides the sky on the back of his horse Sleipnir. The Church imposed the story of Nicolas on the ancient myth in order to control the heresy. If the historical Jesus was a mere man, he couldn't have walked on water or risen from death, and the story of the resurrection reminds of many similary mythical stories from prehistoric times. For Jesus the religious meaning and the resurrection are the defining issue, for otherwise why tell the story from generation to generation ? If there was a historical preacher, healer and exorcist who got associated with already existing ancient myths of resurrection, then it becomes awkward to speak about a historical Jesus, just like with the "historical Santa Claus", because such historical Jesus is at distance from what defines him for the story that people consider relevant to relate. The review looks into the historical method, Crossley's & Casey's dating of Mark to 40 CE, the value of evidence of the Aramaic language, and some aspects of professor Casey's rejection of the mythical argument. The review is by an outsider of ancient history and New Testament Studies, as the author is an econometrician and teacher of mathematics. His interest is his proposal for a development of a multidisciplinary course on Jesus and the origin of Christianity, explained in his book The simple mathematics of Jesus (2012).

Comments: 23 Pages.

Download: PDF

Submission history

[v1] 2014-12-26 05:16:06

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