Richard Carrier believes Jesus was not crucified on Earth. Richard Carrier has a reading comprehension problem. When asked for his peer-reviewed article which will show whether or not he has examined the Testimonium Flavianum as a sarcastic inclusion by Josephus, he does not provide the name of the journal and the name of the article so a person can search for it at a seminary library.
“Others propose that Josephus included the passage so as to curry favor with the Christians, because he was in trouble with his own Jewish compatriots. Still others interpret the passage as intended sarcasm, though the argument for that view is too convoluted to summarize here.”
– p. 234 of Josephus and the New Testament, Second Edition by Steve Mason
In a thorough examination, even challenging views must be heard for a final decision to be claimed. One version of the sarcasm view is not all that convoluted. Joseph Atwill advises that one simply read the passage after the Testimonium Flavianum and see 1) Decius Mundus as a sarcastic reference to Savior of the World/Mundus and 2) Decius Mundus appeared to one who loved him on the third day, as did Jesus appeared to those who loved him on the third day.
Re: Page 225-227 of Josephus and the New Testament, Second Edition by Steve Mason
I would like to introduce my reply with a preview of the bottom line, which is beyond page 227, but on page 236, and I quote: “…since most of those who know the evidence agree that [Josephus] said something about Jesus, one is probably entitled to cite him as independent evidence that Jesus actually lived, if such evidence were needed. But that much is already given in Josephus’s reference to James (Ant. 20.200) and most historians agree that Jesus’ existence is the only adequate explanation of the many independent traditions among the NT writings.”
What you have written is this:
The most credible alternative theory of Christian origins is that Jesus began life as a celestial being, known only through private revelations, who was believed to have been crucified and resurrected in the lower heavens. The Gospels were the first attempts to place him in history as an earthly man, in parables and fables meant to illustrate Christian theology and ideals. Their picture of Jesus then became the most successful among the competing varieties of Christianity over the ensuing generations, and the eventually triumphant sects only created and preserved documents supporting their view, and very little supporting any other.
To date the best case presented for this hypothesis is by amateur historian and classics graduate Earl Doherty (in his two books, The Jesus Puzzle and Jesus: Neither God Nor Man). My own forthcoming book, probably titled On the Historicity of Jesus, inspired by his work, will be the first making the case for this hypothesis to pass academic peer review. It will be published this February by the publishing house of the University of Sheffield.
YOU ARE MAKING THE POINT THAT JESUS AS A CELESTIAL BEING IS HISTORICAL BUT JESUS AS FLESH AND BLOOD IS NOT HISTORICAL? Crucified and resurrected in the lower heavens but not as low as the Earth?!
Moving on, if you would have mentioned the title of the article and the journal, I could have been on my way to Dallas Theological Seminary or Bridwell after work or on a weekend to do some reading. Your comment 145.1 does not give me and other readers that information. So your criticism is premature. I REALLY WANT TO READ WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN ON THIS TOPIC.
Now, I want to clash directly with what you’ve written: “Josephus is just listing disasters that increased tensions between the Romans and the Jews. None of those disasters are commentaries on Christianity. They are simply things that happened that increased tensions between the Romans and the Jews.”
My reply, the Decius Mundus passage is a story about a believer in Isis. The Decius Mundus passage did not make the zealots and rebels more angry at Rome! You are mistaken. ON page 226, Mason even relates this not to an expulsion of Jews from Rome but an expulsion of Egyptians from Rome. I direct the readers of this post to score this point to me.
What Mason does say about the Isis Decius Mundus incident is this: it shows both that the Jews are no worse than other national groups and, second, and more important: Jews share the morals of the Romans.
Steve Mason does not catch the connection of Jesus appearing to believers on the third day and Decius Mundus appearing to a believer on the third day. So, your claim, Richard Carrier, is wrong: the Decius Mundus – Isis passage was not written to give a count of incidents that fueled the rebels, bandits, and zealots. So, while you thought you scored a point on me, I’ve justified my statement, and on top of that, I’ve proven your reading comprehension of page 226 of Mason’s book is in error.