04. Debating Jesus Mythicists



In Debating Jesus Mythicists: Combating the Quackery, Albert McIlhenny gives Christians a leg up in internet exchanges with Jesus mythicists. He exposes, in successive chapters, their differing perspectives, how they misuse scholarly sources, their twisting of primary texts to suit their agenda, their poor understanding of the Bible, their logical fallacies, the dubious nature of the supposed pagan parallels they cite, their poor grasp of history, and the responses they will commonly employ. A final chapter gives some considerations if the debate is to take place in a more formal setting.

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The contents of the book are as follows:

Preface

Series Introduction

Introduction

Chapter 1 – A Matter of Perspective
1.1 – Classifying the Perspective
1.2 – Framing the Exchange
1.3 – Dealing with Questionable Sources
1.4 – Retaining Focus
1.5 – Skeptical Jesus Mythicists
1.6 – Conspiratorial Jesus Mythicists
1.7 – Esoteric Jesus Mythicists
1.8 – Ideological Jesus Mythicists
1.9 – Conclusion

Chapter 2 – Consider the Sources
2.1 – Insular Sources
2.2 – Camouflaged Sources
2.3 – Outdated Sources
2.4 – Out-of-Context Sources
2.5 – Exaggerated Sources
2.6 – Compound Sources
2.7 – Conjecture-as-Fact Sources
2.8 – Out-of-Field Sources
2.9 – Rogue Scholars
2.10 – Mystery Sources
2.11 – Unsubstantiated Sources
2.12 – Conclusion

Chapter 3 – Primary Text Twisting
3.1 – Outdated Translations
3.2 – Anachronistic Texts
3.3 – Genre Similarities
3.4 – Isolated Phrases
3.5 – Conclusion

Chapter 4 – Biblical Errors
4.1 – Prooftexting the Bible
4.2 – Mistranslations
4.3 – Faulty Dating of Texts
4.4 – Ignoring the Jewish Context
4.5 – Crackpot Etymologies
4.6 – Conclusion

Chapter 5 – Faulty Reasoning
5.1 – Anachronisms
5.2 – Conflation
5.3 – Tunnelvision
5.4 – Overgeneralizations
5.5 – Conclusion

Chapter 6 – Sources of Parallels
6.1 – Syncretism
6.2 – Situational Parallels
6.3 – Genre Parallels
6.4 – Cultural Norms
6.5 – Natural Metaphors
6.6 – Common Rites
6.7 – Coincidence
6.8 – Conclusion

Chapter 7 – Mythicism and Pseudohistory
7.1 – New Testament Texts
7.2 – Council of Nicaea
7.3 – Evidence for Jesus
7.4 – Conspiracy Theories
7.5 – Mythicist Memes
7.6 – Conclusion

Chapter 8 – Responses
8.1 – Encyclopedia Surfing
8.2 – Alleged Strawmen
8.3 – Apologetics Bias
8.4 – Appeal to Authority
8.5 – Lack of Expertise
8.6 – Obscure Sources
8.7 – Overspecialization
8.8 – Fear of Persecution
8.9 – Mystery Appeal
8.10 – Evidence Destroyed
8.11 – Ancient Pagan Sources
8.12 – Vast Christian Conspiracy
8.13 – Conclusion

Chapter 9 – Formal Debates
9.1 – Know Thy Enemy
9.2 – Choosing a Thesis
9.3 – Format
9.4 – “Radio” Format Debates
9.5 – Communicating a Message
9.6 – Conclusion

Conclusion

Appendix 1 – Acharya S, David Ulansey, and the “Age of Taurus”

Appendix 2 – Dying and Rising Gods, T. N. D. Mettinger, and Acharya S

Appendix 3 – The Body and Blood of Mithra

Appendix 4 – Luke 22:10 and the “Age of Aquarius

Appendix 5 – Dan Barker on God and Evil

Appendix 6 – Acharya S on Christmas

Appendix 7 – Zeitgeist, Luxor Temple, and the Nativity of Jesus

Appendix 8 – Acharya S and the Crucifixion of Horus

Bibliography

Notes