Right from the book:
Throughout the preface and first chapter he makes his goal clear, laying out the function and purpose of his book. It is not to discuss the problems of the historical Jesus–his book doesn’t address such a figure and pays it little or no attention. Rather what is clear is that Thompson is concerned primarily with the Gospels and their portrayal of the figure of Jesus. Some may quibble over his interpretation, or his methods–and those who do will need to address them though, and not attack a strawman.
If Thompson’s claim that the function of the Gospels are something other than historical significance, which is not new or fringe–quite the contrary–such a claim has no bearing on a historical figure. It may have implications as to what we might know about such a figure, what we might use as a source of evidence and how we use these sources for that figure. But even if every word of the Gospel is just ancient imitatio, it wouldn’t therefore follow that such a figure never existed; even fiction can be written about a historical persons or events. That is what separates his claims from mythicists.
Again, critics should read what they are criticizing; otherwise they just end up with a foot in their mouth.
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