Mark Goodacre and Richard Carrier on “Did Jesus Exist?”

This is a 1:20:02 audio replay of a UK radio program (Justin Brierly’s Unbelievable?) which recently presented Richard Carrier and Mark Goodacre in discussion.


Richard Carrier is the world’s foremost proponent of the “mythicist” view of Jesus – that he never actually existed as a historical person. He explains his theory that St. Paul only ever spoke of Jesus in the spiritual realm and that the Gospels are “extended parables”. Mark Goodacre is NT professor at Duke University. He contends that Carrier’s mythicist view is extremely far-fetched and the evidence for the historical Jesus is beyond reasonable doubt.

Interestingly, Richard Carrier during the program says that nothing can be proven one way or the other (a point he has made in other venues as well).  It’s just a matter, he says, of which theory you think is more likely.  Thus he is not “doing history.”  Rather, he wants to “undo history.”  What he’s really arguing for is agnositicism.  He’s making the case that no one can know for sure whether Jesus existed or didn’t exist – that history in the case of Jesus is impossible.  Goodacre essentially describes this as hyper-skepticism.

NT Blog: Did Jesus Exist? with Richard Carrier and me on Unbelievable?.

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