Well, it probably comes as no surprise—after all, my most recent post to Mythicist Papers was over one month ago. That post terminated a long, detailed commentary on Dr. Hermann Detering’s recent ground-breaking work linking Buddhism and early Christianity.
It is understandable that both Detering’s work and my own have received no acknowledgment from traditionalist Christian circles. However, the present lack of any significant ‘Jesus mythicist’ community places engagement with these incisive views out of reach. Such engagement would have permitted the discussion to go forward.
The original—and continuing—purposes of this website/blog are to provide reliable information and objective consideration of Christian origins. Those purposes are as valid today as they were yesterday, and they will continue to be valid tomorrow. Hence, this blog will remain online primarily as a resource for those (unfortunately too few) who are open to truthful evaluation of the very sensitive matters of Christian faith.
According to the website’s dashboard, the first Mythicist Papers blogpost was on Oct. 2, 2012. It was the first of a three-part series mirroring a chapter of Robert Price’s Jesus is Dead. Price considers whether John the Baptist ‘was’ Jesus. In the intervening six years, this blog has published 245 posts.
It is possible that I will re-activate Mythicist Papers in future. Believe it or not, I still have not said everything I’d like to say on Christian origins. I have not introduced readers to the much-overlooked and maligned Gospel of Barnabas—a ‘secret’ interest of mine for the past several years. The Gospel of Barnabas is an enormously long text—about the length of all four canonical gospels combined. Read what you like about this gospel—that it is a Muslim work, medieval, derivative, etc—and beware. In fact, GBar contains much new and authentic material—including otherwise unknown logia and parables—that go back to the founding prophet behind Christianity, a figure of history whom I have identified as the Yeshu ha-Notsri of Rabbinic lore. The Gospel of Barnabas is an early Ebionite text, one that was much and repeatedly expanded over a great length of time. Its earliest stratum is certainly pre-canonical. It may even be the lost ‘Hebrew’ gospel of Matthew alluded to by Papias.
I am 66 years old. I have made a living primarily in hospital work (as a psychiatric attendant/worker), and also as a piano teacher. I have three great loves: caring for others, understanding life, and music. The first continues in that my 94 year old mother lives with me and has for a decade. My second love, ‘understanding life,’ links me to the investigation of Christian origins.
And, then, there is music. A trove of original compositions await attention in forgotten drawers and closets of my apartment. That is not right. So, I’ve decided to devote my principal energies going forward to putting some order into these works of the musical genre. They require revision, completion, and publication. All that requires energy, application, and effort.
The next mythicists
It is now time for a younger generation to take up the Jesus mythicist banner. Recently, Earl Doherty, Robert Price, and Frank Zindler have entered ‘retirement.’ Their contributions remain as fertile seeds for the next generation. And mine also remain. As long as I am able, I will renew the license to ensure this blog’s continuing online presence—that is, until the WayBack Machine takes over. But the world is now a much more unpredictable place than it was just a few years ago. You never know, anymore, whether long-held assumptions, expectations, hopes, are reliable… I quietly urge those of you who are interested in this blog’s material to copy, paste, archive, and otherwise mirror the content of what you now read on Mythicist Papers. You never know when that content might suddenly disappear.
Jesus mythicism is old—it’s now been around for some three hundred years. In all that time the conversation hasn’t really changed. That’s a tribute to the power of faith. The conversation has, however, become polarized. The camp of the faithful is getting smaller. Unbelievers are growing in numbers. Skepticism is rampant. And, perhaps most importantly, the Catholic Church is under siege and in disarray. Here, too, long held assumptions may soon be overturned. Up until the present Jesus mythicism has been a fringy, even ‘kooky’ view. But just wait ten or twenty years. I suspect things will then look very different… (Smile.)