Richard Carrier Is Not a Historian – He’s an Anti-Historian

I just wrote this comment to Richard on his blog:


It’s really inappropriate for anyone to call you a historian. A historian seeks to tell us what happened. You seek to tell us what probably didn’t happen, what couldn’t have happened, and all the other possible things that might have happened instead of a broad consensus of professional historians and scholars have written happened. Therefore, you are an anti-historian.

Richard is a very smart guy.  And he’s a very educated guy.  But he’s on a mission, and that mission is not to establish history.  Rather, he’s intent on erasing it.

Jesus of Nazareth lived perhaps the most historically-attested life of all time…in spite of the fact that He died penniless, without a visible supporter, and certainly without the acclaim that historians normally seek to document.  In fact, if He hadn’t been raised from the dead, none of us would have any idea who He was.

None of this, however, dissuades Richard from his mission to erase Jesus from the annals of antiquity.  In fact, Richard is perhaps the most voluble person I have ever known.  He’s indefatigable is producing clouds of words, which is why J. P. Holding described Richard’s antagonists as simply worn out (though, thankfully, J.P. keeps rising to the task, and even Bart Erhman weighed in to try to stop the madness).

Richard uses the language of historians to overturn what historians do.  More than an anti-historian, though, he’s an anti-Christ.  That is, Richard is against Christ.  The good news for Richard is that, in spite of this, Christ is for Richard.  (See Everyone Is Going to Heaven.)


10 Replies to “Richard Carrier Is Not a Historian – He’s an Anti-Historian”

  1. So true about Richard. I had my interactions with him on his blog as well over the past two weeks. He just won’t ever budge on any evidence that suggests his dying and rising god thesis is outdated. Thanks for posting our link on the birth of Christianity/Christology.

  2. Well at least everyone is going to heaven. Then the Christian god can tell us all whether or not he inspired myths about Jesus for Christians to believe in or whether he bothered to incarnate himself and have that bad weekend that one time.

      1. Will that be about the same time you regret only having empty threats to dish out in the meantime rather than good evidence?

        1. Is a person who tells you you’re driving the wrong way on a one-way street threatening you?

          As for good evidence, the New Testament documents are good evidence of Jesus’ life and the Old Testament documents are good explanation of why He was here.

          1. That’s a bad analogy since the warning is about the intentionality of someone you morally agree with. In other words, rather than warning of random people who might be driving the opposite direction in cars and have no concern for my well being, you are more like a member of the mafia who is reminding someone that they have been made an offer they cannot refuse by their mob boss. Those are *completely* different moral categories and yes it is a threat.

            And “the Bible says so” is unimpressive.

  3. Ben,

    You already know that I believe everyone is going to heaven. To say that I have ill will toward you and invoke the mafia is ludicrous.

    If you find the Bible unimpressive you certainly won’t be impressed by anything you read on this blog. I myself find the Bible the most impressive book – actually it’s a collection of books – I have ever read.

    1. So…I’ll be “deeply regretting” speaking my mind in life and then learning new information about how the world works after I die? I think the thing I’ll be wondering why I wasn’t told what was going on in any credible way when it mattered and why the Christian religion has lied to everyone about eternal damnation for millenia.

      1. The institutional church, and indeed all forms of organized religion, are more interested in promoting themselves than in promoting God.

        Jesus Christ told the truth, but not everyone who has claimed to represent Him has done so truthfully. Many lie in His name. Some are well-intentioned but ill-informed.

        I am telling you right now that Jesus Christ is true, and that He is as present with you. He loves you and He loves Richard Carrier.

        There is much in the world to discourage us, but Jesus Christ is true.

        There is no doubt you will know Him when you die. What I am hoping is that you come to acknowledge Him much sooner than that.

        Do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Religion deludes, but Jesus Christ is true.

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