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Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths? (Biblical Studies) by [Casey, Maurice]
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Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths? (Biblical Studies) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 288 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


“Maurice Casey strategically lays out his research on the existence of Jesus as a historical person against arguments made by mythicists, or those who do not believe Jesus ever lived. Casey brings to his study a unique depth of knowledge about the Bible, the time in which it was written, and the Aramaic language … the book provides a wealth of powerful arguments and background information, all of value to the interested reader … readers will be rewarded with an abundance of thought-provoking information by which to better understand the biblical context and reasons to believe Jesus is a person, not a myth.” -Melody Diehl Detar, Catholic Library World

“Casey has accomplished [his] purpose with a thorough and rigorous examination of the arguments of his opponents, and with enough wit and flair to make the process far less tedious than such thorough examinations usually are … a masterful and masterfully executed piece of critical scholarship” -Nathan LaMontagne, Catholic University of America, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

About the Author

Maurice Casey is Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature at the University of Nottingham, UK. He has published extensively on the Son of Man problem, and more generally on reconstructing Aramaic traditions about Jesus from the Greek Gospels.

Product Details

  • File Size: 933 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark; 1 edition (January 16, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 16, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,762 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This is not Maurice Casey's first book on the historicity of Jesus intended for a non-specialist audience. His 2010 Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian's Account of His Life and Teaching was a decent review of the evidence as well as an accessible yet fairly comprehensive case for Casey's own view. Yet such books are not new: while few scholars who write about the historical Jesus bother addressing what they deem long shown, still there are several sources that deliberately start with the question of why historians agree Jesus was a historical person.

The same cannot be said for books that address the most well-known authors who argue that there was no historical Jesus, a viewpoint known as mythicism. Only one other book that I am aware of (Bart Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist?) is so devoted to addressing the errors, flaws, and other problems that are found strewn across the internet and in several books written almost without exception by amateurs. Unlike Ehrman, whose title suggests a focus not found in the book, Casey delivers what he promises: a critique of mythicist arguments. Yet he still manages to provide the reader with both a concise yet valuable introduction to historiography as well as a survey of historical Jesus scholarship. His incorporation of such a treatment into his criticism of mythicism is a masterful contrast.

The book is an easier read than is the best of those by mythicists, yet Casey does not attempt to sensationalize or over-simplify. He writes with clarity, precision, and somehow still manages not to provide the reader with a comprehensive treatment in a comparably short work and without overly-technical prose. Though not without problems, Casey's book fills a much needed gap between the popular mythicist sources and the perspective(s) of specialists.
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Format: Paperback
Dr Casey provides a feisty, personal, but well argued response to those who argue that Jesus never existed, and one that he thinks better than Bart Ehrman's recent book on the same subject, "Did Jesus Exist?". However, it is the latter that I should recommend for the general reader. (Casey does commend Ehrman's most important books, "The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture" and "Jesus, Apocalyptic Prophet". And Ehrman has now produced a large, generally attractively organised work for the student of or the newcomer to Biblical studies, "The Bible : A Historical and Literary Introduction" covering all of the Biblical books rightly including the Apocrypha / Deutero-Canonical works.)

Casey's is a quite long book (272 pp) but I read it on bus and train trips over two days - so for me it proved very readable and full of interest. Sometimes crustily (and one understands why) he convincingly answers the arguments not only of some (often ex-conservative evangelical, now atheist) writers who purport to be scholars, but also some enthusiastic bloggers whom, he argues, really do not deserve to be called scholars nor, I suggest, deserving so much attention!

An index of Biblical passages referred to in the text would have helped (and perhaps explains why there is some repetition with regard to relevant Biblical evidence) but for an author with ill-health, the production of this book is a great achievement and of course there is a good and detailed index. Again, there is no bibliography but throughout there are numerous and detailed foot-notes.

The style at times is rather informal, with one or two odd words, though the meaning of "preggers", presumably slang in England, was explained to me by its context !
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very scholarly. I was motivated by reading this book to try to actually learning New Testament (Koine) Greek.
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Format: Paperback
Maurice Casey was an agnostic NT scholar who seems to have reluctantly found himself drawn into this. I suspect it was something like the case with Ehrman where one of his main assistants, Stephanie Fisher, saw mythicism gaining ground on the internet. Casey decided to start looking into their writings. As can be imagined, he and Fisher both found them extremely lacking, and at the same time, extremely confident.

One benefit this book has is a rogues' gallery of who's who in Jesus Mythicism. Casey seems to have a special dislike for people like Earl Doherty, Neil Godfrey, and Acharya S. Interestingly, Ken Humphries is not mentioned at all. It would have been nice to have seen more about Richard Carrier and it would be interesting to know what Casey would have thought if he had got to read Carrier's book.

Casey does rightly point out that we need to avoid fundamentalism, yet too often he seems to go extreme with that as well. How exactly does Ben Witherington get listed as a fundamentalist? He's anything but! It's also important to state that while some institutions of higher learning have a statement of faith, people who sign on to that and agree to teach there already agree with it based on years of research. I can point out that there is just as much on the other end of scholars who are willing to accept any explanation before they'd accept a miracle, no matter how bizarre. Despite that, they can still be excellent scholars and we should avail ourselves of their learning.

A major problem I had with the book of Casey's is that he really makes a lot out of knowing Aramaic.
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