Defining Jesus Agnosticism: It is Time for Representation

I am officially ceasing my series ‘Defining Mythicism’ and will now start, at long last, to focus on what I consider myself to be: a Jesus agnostic (that is someone who is agnostic on the question of historicity).   I realized that, for some time, the spectrum has only been at polar opposites.  The only options one seemed to have is either accept the historicity of Jesus or deny it completely and frankly I don’t think either of them are an accurate representation of what I believe.  So beginning here, on this blog, I hope to work up some drafts of the definition and, hopefully, publish something on the matter over the next few months.

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4 Responses

  1. Tom,

    I look forward to it.

    The problem of course is that even if one doesn’t think that mythicism is more likely true than not, the reason for being agnostic (at least for me) is that one thinks that mythicism is as least as viable a possibility as any specific historicist reconstruction because there are some questions to which mythicism provides better answers than historicism. Many historicists think that this is only slightly less (if not every bit as) loopy.

  2. Of course, agnosticism is the most reasonable position, at present.

    It would be interesting to know if there is a single character in the Gospels who the consensus of scholars think never existed.

    Possibly the magi?

  3. [...] Tom Verenna and several usual suspects in the blogosphere now identify themselves as Jesus agnostics. The evidence fails to persuade them (and me) one way or the other. And as far as I can tell, Dr. McGrath, a staunch defender of the status quo, thinks this position is just ducky. I find his acceptance a little odd, since one of the primary reasons James McGrath and Bart Ehrman sanction the belittling and ridiculing of mythicists as an honorable pastime is that there is allegedly so much positive evidence in favor of historicity. [...]

  4. […] Tom Verenna and several usual suspects in the blogosphere now identify themselves as Jesus agnostics. The evidence fails to persuade them (and me) one way or the other. And as far as I can tell, Dr. McGrath, a staunch defender of the status quo, thinks this position is just ducky. I find his acceptance a little odd, since one of the primary reasons James McGrath and Bart Ehrman sanction the belittling and ridiculing of mythicists as an honorable pastime is that there is allegedly so much positive evidence in favor of historicity. […]

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