Monday, September 5, 2016

The Minimal Jesus Myth Theory - What Is It?

Minimal mythcism, sometimes called the minimal mythicist theory or the minimal Jesus myth theory, that people like Richard Carrier argue for goes as follows [1]:

  1. At the origin on Christianity, Jesus Christ was thought to be a celestial deity much like any other.
  2. Like many other celestial deities, this Jesus 'communicated' with his subjects only through dreams, visions and other forms of divine inspiration (such as prophesy, past and present).
  3. Like some other celestial deities, the Jesus was originally believed to have endured an ordeal of incarnation, death, burial and resurrection in a supernatural realm.
  4. As for many other celestial deities, an allegorical story of this same Jesus was then composed and told within the sacred community, which then placed him on earth, in history, as a divine man, with an earthly family, companions, and enemies, complete with deeds and sayings, and an earthly depiction of his ordeals.
  5. Subsequent communities of worshipers believed (or at least taught) that this invented sacred story was real (and either not allegorical or only 'additionally' allegorical).

As such, it's important to know what minimal Jesus mythicism is and is not because there's a lot of kooks out there, especially on the internet, proposing preposterous ideas that are backed up by no evidence or horrible scholarship, and it tends to drown out the legitimate arguments like Carrier's. 

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