Fuller Reply to Richard Carrier
by Bart Ehrman
Richard Carrier is one of the new breed of mythicists. He is trained in ancient history and classics, with a PhD from Columbia University – an impressive credential. In my book, Did Jesus Exist, I speak of him as a smart scholar with bona fide credentials. I do, of course, heartily disagree with him on issues relating to the historical Jesus, but I have tried to take his views seriously and to give him the respect he deserves.
Carrier, as many of you know, has written a scathing review of Did Jesus Exist on his Freethought Blog. He indicates that my book is “full of errors,” that it “misinforms more than it informs” that it provides “false information” that it is “worse than bad” and that “it officially sucks.” The attacks are sustained throughout his lengthy post, and they often become personal. He indicates that “Ehrman doesn’t actually know what he is talking about,” he claims that I speak with “absurd” hyperbole, that my argument “makes [me] look irresponsible,” that I am guilty of “sloppy work,” that I “misrepresent” my opponents and “misinform the public,” that what I write is “crap,” that I am guilty of “arrogantly dogmatic and irresponsible thinking,” that I am “incompetent,” make “hack” mistakes, and do not “act like a real scholar.”
Most of his review represents an attempt to substantiate these claims. Some readers may find the overblown rhetoric offensive, but I have no interest in engaging in a battle of wits and rhetorical flourishes. I would simply like to see if the charges of my incompetence can be sustained…
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