This website

Mythicist Papers combines articles and pages related to Jesus mythicism together with a blog. “Jesus mythicism” is the view that Jesus of Nazareth is a myth—that he never walked the earth. This is actually only a couple of steps further than most scholars go today, for only the most conservative academics in New Testament studies believe everything in the gospel accounts—the miracles, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection… But the mythicist does away with the whole ball of wax: Jesus of Nazareth did not exist as an historical figure. Period.

The view is quite old, as you will see from the timeline here. Some scholars have doubted the existence of Jesus as long as scholarship in the field has existed.

Most of the material on this site is original (the ‘blog’ part), but I’ve also uploaded important material that I’ve come across in my research and that is virtually unknown. I’ve also translated works from French and German. Thus, this site includes much material that cannot be found elsewhere. My aim is to provide Jesus mythicists with valuable but lesser known resources difficult to find or perhaps not otherwise available on the web. Some of the articles (e.g., those by Georges Ory) I’ve translated myself, and they here appear on the web for the first time. Other pages (e.g., those by Ditlef Nielsen) are old material which has long been forgotten yet, in my opinion, deserves renewed attention by mythicists. There are also pages by contemporary mythicists including Robert Price, Hermann Detering, Frank Zindler, and myself.

My interest as a researcher is on understanding Christian origins, and thus this site also functions as a venue for new primary evidence. A case in point is the Acts of Mark, an apocryphal Greek text for which I engaged a professional translator. That work is now published on this site for the first time in English. The Acts of Mark gives a very different picture of the apostle than we learn from canonical works. (Did you suspect that Mark was a disciple of John the Baptist?)

Though I maintain another site devoted to Nazareth archeology, a few pages relative to the so-called “Caesarea inscription” can be found here. That inscription is the only non-Christian attestation to the existence of Nazareth in Roman times. However, my original research in 2013 determined that the inscription is a 1962 forgery.

Getting information

Clicking on one of the tabs above brings up a page with further links. As of this writing, clicking on the tab “Yeshu ha-Notsri” brings up a page with links to thirty posts.

For a useful shortcut to this entire site’s contents, you can click on the tab “Summary.” This single post encompasses my current thinking on Christian origins, from the birth of Yeshu ha-Notsri ca. 100 BCE to the Muratorian Canon three centuries later.

The sitemap is also a good place to start. I keep it updated and have tried to make it maximally user-friendly. To quickly access the (arguably) most important pages, first read the starred posts found on the Sitemap. Those entries will give you a good overview of my thought and the avenues along which I think ongoing investigations of Christian origins must proceed.

Another resource is the Search box (top right), which scans the site’s content (except for a few PDF’s). Thirdly, the tags at the right give some keywords most used. (At this time I’ve dispensed with the Category list—there simply were too many categories!) If you’d like to see a feature on this site, please email me (link at right).

Finally, don’t forget to sign up for regular alerts. You will receive an email reminder whenever I upload a new post.

I sincerely hope you enjoy and profit from this website.—René Salm.