The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

Book Recommendation: The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin With A Mythical Christ? (Earl Doherty)


From the Back Cover

Why are the events of the Gospel story, and its central character Jesus of Nazareth, not found in the New Testament epistles? Why does Paul’s divine Christ seem to have no connection to the Gospel Jesus, but closely resembles the many pagan savior gods of the time who lived only in myth? Why, given the spread of Christianity across the Roman Empire in the first century, did only one Christian community compose a story of Jesus’ life and death-the Gospel of Mark-while every other Gospel simply copied and reworked the first one? Why is every detail in the Gospel story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion drawn from passages in the Old Testament? The answer to these and other questions surrounding the New Testament will come as a shock to those who imagine that the origins of Christianity and the figure of Jesus are securely represented by Christian tradition and the Gospels. With the arrival of the third millennium, the time has come to face the stunning realization that for the last 1900 years, Christianity has revered a founder and icon of the faith who probably never existed.

January 25, 2012 Posted by | Apologetics, Biblical Criticism, Biblical Scholarship, Books (Recommended) | 1 Comment

Book Recommendation: The Pre-Nicene New Testament (Robert M. Price)


Not until AD 367, forty-two years after the famous Council of Nicea, would Saint Athanasius begin sorting through and determining which works should be granted special status. Prior to that time, Christians had recognized only the Hebrew Bible as scripture, all other works being seen as expressions rather than as sources of faith. Out of political necessity, and for the sake of unity and order in the church, canonization was harshly imposed on the churches. Professor Price offers the earliest extant versions of fifty-four books, all of which were once considered sacred, including both the New Testament books and lesser known works.

  • Hardcover: 1248 pages
  • Publisher: Signature Books; First Edition edition (October 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560851945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560851943

January 1, 2012 Posted by | Biblical Scholarship, Books (Recommended), Church History | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Archaeology Killed Biblical History


The more we discover about the ancient world, the less reliable we find the Bible.

Hector Avalos calls for an end to biblical studies as we know them. He outlines two main arguments for this surprising conclusion.

First, academic biblical scholarship has clearly succeeded in showing that the ancient civilization that produced the Bible held beliefs about the origin, nature, and purpose of the world and humanity that are fundamentally opposed to the views of modern society. The Bible is thus largely irrelevant to the needs and concerns of contemporary human beings.

Second, Avalos criticizes his colleagues for applying a variety of flawed and specious techniques aimed at maintaining the illusion that the Bible is still relevant in today’s world. In effect, he accuses his profession of being more concerned about its self-preservation than about giving an honest account of its own findings to the general public and faith communities.

January 1, 2012 Posted by | Atheism/Agnosticism, Biblical Criticism (Video), Biblical Scholarship | , , , , | Leave a comment