historical Jesus

SkepSun #133 (04_05_2015)

On Freethought Radio, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Baker inform us about a recently passed Madison, Wisconsin, City Council resolution that will add atheism as a protected class to city ordinances; FFRF takes out TV and New York Times print ads opposing religious school vouchers and the state and federal Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. After celebrating the birthdays of freethinking songwriters Tom Lehrer and Yip Harburg, they interview Wendy Thomas Russell, author of the new book, Relax, It’s Just God: How and why to talk to your kids about religion when you’re not religious. Then, Gordon Bonnet of Skeptophilia has a look at some of the crazy stuff American Evangelicals have been up to lately. Finally, on this Easter Sunday we’ll consider the question of whether Jesus was an historical figure mythicized, or a mythical figure historicized. Historian Richard Carrier discusses his scholarly theory for a mythical Jesus that he lays out in his peer reviewed book, On the Historicity of Jesus, Why We Have Reason For Doubt. The gospels, and the book of Acts, are unreliable, says Carrier, and neither Paul’s Epistles nor extra-Biblical sources relate any information about a human Jesus on planet Earth. Carrier concludes that the mythicist hypothesis is more probable than a historical Jesus.

[audio http://dl.dropbox.com/s/514iqlki41807lk/SkepSun_04_05_2015.mp3]
Jesus: historical figure mythicized or mythical figure historicized?

Jesus: historical figure mythicized or mythical figure historicized?

SkepSun #101 (07_27_2014)

On Freethought Radio, Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor talk about FFRF’s victory with the IRS, an agreement that they will begin to follow their own policy of enforcing restrictions on political activity by tax-exempt religious organizations and churches and announce their newest lawsuit, filed with the ACLU and Americans United, against a Michigan city that is censoring atheist speech. Then they talk with David Pineda, President of “La Asociación Guatemalteca de Humanistas Seculares,” an exciting new group of freethinkers in Guatemala.We’ll hear an excerpt from a debate in which physicist Sean Carroll of CalTeh makes the case for Naturalism and a song from rapper Greydon Square.  Then, in hour two of Skeptical Sunday, how did Jesus, an apocalyptic prophet from Galilee, come to be regarded as a God by his followers? Bart D. Ehrman (Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) joins the host of the Reasonble Doubts podcast to discuss his new book How Jesus Became God, which traces the historical evolution of early Christian thought about the nature and identity of Jesus.


Cover of the new book by New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman

Cover of the new book by New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman



SkepSun #37 (05_05_2013)

There is hope after faith! On Freethought Radio we  listen to former pentecostal minister Jerry DeWitt “preach” his story of conversion to atheism at FFRF’s 2012 Convention. Then Dan and Annie Laurie talk to another former preacher, Robert Price—scholar, author, Jesus Seminar fellow, and professor of theology—who tells us why many scholars doubt not only the resurrection, but also the very existence of Jesus.  For that matter, what about God?  Philosopher Austin Dacey lays out an empirical case why God’s existence is very improbable.  We’ll hear Steve Baughman’s Theodicy Rag and then the Skeptics rogues let us know if there’s anything to people behavior strangely during a full moon. On the last segment of Skeptical Sunday, we’ll get a 30 minute crash course in critical thinking from Dr. Peter Boghossian of Portland State University. Boghossian says it’s all about having the right attitude. Finally, what’s better, Christianity or beer?

SkepSun #32 (03_31_2013)

This Easter Sunday we deconstruct the Resurrection on Skeptical Sunday. Faith is one thing, but can a Christian claim to have any good reason for believing the resurrection story?  On Freethought Radio, After Dan and Laurie discuss the week’s news on the front lines of the battle of church and state, Dan uncovers the many contradictions of the Biblical account of the resurrection, asking listeners to take FFRF’s “Easter Challenge.”  Bart Ehrman is a New Testament scholar who thinks an historical Jesus one lived, but we’ll hear him make the case that real historians can never sign off on the Resurrection. We then hear Richard Carrier interviewed on the Thinking Atheist podcast. Forget the Resurrection, Carrier doesn’t think that the Jesus guy ever existed.  Well also hear what the late Christopher Hitchens thought on the subject.