On the Gullibility of Bart Ehrman & the Asscrankery of Tim O’Neil

As someone recently clued me to, the indomitable asscrank Tim O’Neil had posted a comment on Ehrman’s blog back in 2013 lambasting my peer reviewed article on the James passage in Josephus, to which Ehrman responded “Terrific comments!! Many thanks.”

Hmm. In the comment Ehrman gullibly praised, O’Neil, who has no relevant qualifications but claims to know more than the peer reviewers for the prestigious Journal of Early Christian Studies, told Ehrman that my paper they published (which you can find reproduced, along with my peer reviewed papers on the Thallus and Tacitus passages, among other items, in Hitler Homer Bible Christ) was “riddled with problems,” yet never discusses any of my paper’s actual arguments, or any of my paper’s actual evidence, and instead spews his own lies and mistakes.

First up:

To begin with, for the Jesus at [Jewish Antiquities] XX.9.1 to be the same person as the later mentioned high priest “Jesus, son of Damneus”, we have to believe that Ananus executed this son of Damneus’ brother and then very soon afterwards uses rich gifts so he “cultivated the friendship of Albinus, and of the high priest”. So we’re supposed to believe that within months of seeing Ananus kill his brother, the son of Damneus was cosying up to his brother’s murderer thanks to some gifts? This makes no sense.

Um, no, Mr. O’Neil. I think you’ve got the wrong Ananus.

Josephus wrote (in JA 20.203) that after the high priest Ananus illegally executed James the brother of the disputed Jesus, the Jewish and Roman elite were outraged and punished Ananus:

Whereupon [the Roman governor] Albinus complied with what [members of the Jewish elite] said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.

I adduce abundant evidence in my article that the text originally read that this was the Jesus of whom James was the brother. Thus explaining the punishment. You can read my article yourself. O’Neil won’t tell you what its actual arguments are.

O’Neil thinks this is the same Ananus who later courts Jesus ben Damneus. But O’Neil does not check his facts. Josephus had earlier written (in JA 20.197ff.) that:

After the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, he bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man. For he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent.

Three guesses which Ananus killed James.

Immediately after Josephus reports Jesus ben Damneus replacing the Ananus who murdered his brother, after many in the Jewish and Roman elite had turned on that Ananus and condemned him, Josephus goes on to report (in JA 20.204ff.):

Now as soon as Albinus was come to the city of Jerusalem, he used all his endeavors and care that the country might be kept in peace … But as for the high priest Ananias, he increased in glory every day, and this to a great degree, and had obtained the favor and esteem of the citizens in a signal manner. For he was a great hoarder up of money: he therefore cultivated the friendship of Albinus, and of the high priest [i.e. Jesus ben Damneus], by making them presents. … So the other high priests acted in the like manner.

Notice there are a whole lot of high priests here. Which Ananus are we talking about then? Certainly not the one who was just condemned and disgraced by everyone in power. That would not agree with the statement that he kept “increasing in glory every day.” No. This is the Elder Ananus, whose glory has been tracked by Josephus across several passages so far. His only setback was the disgracing of his son, the Younger Ananus (the one “bold in his temper, and very insolent”). Whom he evidently renounced, to court the reigning high priest who replaced him. Probably, indeed, precisely because he now did not have a son controlling the position. Politics has always been dirty. (Though Josephus’s interpretation may have been cynical; paying restitution to the victims of one’s kin to normalize relations, rather than unleash an inter-family feud, was not uncommon in antiquity.)

Note that even the venerable Whiston’s edition of the English translation of Josephus here adds this comment:

This Ananias was not the son of Nebedeus, as I take it, but he who was called Annas or Ananus the Elder, the ninth in the catalogue, and who had been esteemed high priest for a long time; and, besides Caiaphas, his son-in-law, had five of his own sons high priests after him, which were those of numbers 11, 14, 15, 17, 24, in the foregoing catalogue. Nor ought we to pass slightly over what Josephus here says of Annas, or Ananias, that he was high priest a long time before his children were so; he was the son of Seth, and is set down first for high priest in the foregoing catalogue, under number 9. He was made by Quirinus, and continued till Ismael, the 10th in number, for about twenty-three years, which long duration of his high priesthood, joined to the successions of his son-in-law, and five children of his own, made him a sort of perpetual high priest, and was perhaps the occasion that former high priests kept their titles ever afterwards; for I believe it is hardly met with before him.

Ah. Get that? O’Neill can’t even be bothered to read standard annotations.

But sure, Whiston’s remarks are hundreds of years old, so we might want to vet them first.

So why would Whiston have thought this you might ask? Apart from the obvious (the context is of an increasingly glorious Ananus, not one who had just been disgraced), because only Ananus the Elder was renowned as wealthy and influential (JA 20.208-14). After the murder of James, we actually never hear about the younger Ananus again in the Antiquities. The only Ananus ever elsewhere spoken of is the famous and influential one, Ananus the Elder—the younger Ananus’s father. Who would thus have been in his 80s when the war broke—rare but not unprecedented.

The manuscripts do indeed use different spellings: in 20.203, the murderer is “Ananus,” and in 20.204 the courter is “Ananias.” But the manuscripts exhibit creeping errors and no longer spell Ananus consistently. So I wouldn’t rest on that. I suspect Josephus originally spelled the elder Ananias and the younger Ananus, but over time scribes confused the spellings. But who knows. Maybe he expected you to understand from the context which he meant. In a long narrative about Ananus the Elder, you are supposed to forget about the disgraced Ananus the Younger and return to the nevertheless increasing glories of the Elder. The one with all the money who meddles repeatedly in temple affairs.

Though Ananus the Younger is depicted as a prominent peace-advocate in Jerusalem during the siege narrative of the earlier Jewish War, and indeed whose own death Josephus credits for causing the fall of Jerusalem, that is completely absent from the Antiquities decades later. Josephus may have confused the Younger and Elder Ananus in the JW (his account and description of the man in JW 4.214-25 fits the Elder, not the Younger, and JW 4.151 seems to suggest the Elder is meant, yet 4.160 clearly says it was the Younger Ananus who teamed with the high Priest Jesus ben Gamaliel during the siege; the rest of the account all fits the Elder better). He dropped that confusion in the JA.

So O’Neil was simply careless here. He can’t establish the same Ananus is the guy who courted the aggrieved Jesus. Nor can he establish anything would actually have been odd about privately paying restitution for an inter-family murder. Nor can he even establish that the brothers James and Jesus even liked each other.

But O’Neil also goes on to lie, as he usually does, with his next accusation: that my theory of an interpolation “requires” Josephus to have forgotten to designate the patronymic at first mention of a new Jesus. This is a lie, because it omits the fact that in my article I propose the text in fact originally read “James the brother of Jesus ben Damneus” and the scribe, believing a dittographic error had occurred (from the following line that contained “Jesus ben Damneus”), transposed the marginal note “the one called Christ” into its place, believing that to be the intended correction.

Thus, in no way does my “contrived ad hoc work around require” proposing Josephus left that out. Though he may well have; Josephus is not as fastidious as O’Neil claims. After all, he failed to remind O’Neil that the Ananus spoken of in the next passage is a different Ananus than the one just deposed. Ironically, though, O’Neil’s own logic is self-refuting, since it is also the supposedly consistent practice of Josephus to explain the introduction of new terms alien to his audience, thus he could not have said “James the brother of the Jesus called Christ” without explaining what a “Christ” was or why it was relevant to the story—or, if O’Neil is such a fool as to believe the Testimonium Flavianum was written by Josephus, without providing a back reference. Notably, I make both points in my article: that Josephus typically does either, and often does both (and I give examples!). So by O’Neil’s own logic, Josephus cannot have written “James the brother of the Jesus called Christ.” Hm. What then did he write? Three guesses.

Then O’Neil claims I engage in a mere “blithe dismissal” of the passages in Origen, where Origen claims to be referring to a murder of James in Josephus but is clearly mistaken, “on the grounds that Origen was somehow confusing Josephus with Heggisipus.” JECS does not publish blithe dismissals. It publishes detailed and referenced arguments. So, which do you think you will find in my article? A blithe dismissal, as claimed by a liar? Or detailed and referenced arguments, as typify published peer reviewed papers? Three guesses again.

O’Neil then says Origen wasn’t mistaken, because “Origen definitely could have read the trope of ‘the fall of Jerusalem as punishment for the execution of James’ into the text, as detailed by Waturu Mizagaki, ‘Origen and Josephus’ in Josephus, Judaism and Christianity.”

No such argument is in Waturu Mizagaki, ‘Origen and Josephus’ in Josephus, Judaism and Christianity.

Ooops.

Literally. Mizagaki never argues for such a thing. At all. Much less in any “detailed” way. He only discusses the remark on two pages (pp. 335-36), and simply describes what Origen says. He makes no case for it being correct. He doesn’t even say it is correct. There is no plausible way to even claim such a thing. So it is to Mizagaki’s credit that he attempted no such thing as O’Neil’s libel against him would have it.

So, needless to say, when O’Neil says, “Oddly for a peer reviewed article, neither this key piece of research on Origen’s use of Josephus nor Feldman and Hata’s highly relevant collection of articles is anywhere to be found in Carrier’s footnotes,” we can get the punchline. Well, yeah, Mr. O’Neil. Because none of them say anything relevant to my article. Hence my peer reviewers did not require me to refer to them.

What’s weird is that the very next chapter in that same book, after Mizagaki’s completely irrelevant chapter that contains no such argument as O’Neil claims, is specifically on the martyrdom of James, by Zvi Baras. He discusses the passage in question on pp. 341-46. Five whole pages! Know what he says? That Origen’s claim that Josephus credited the fall of Jerusalem to the murder of this James is “a statement not supported by the text reproduced above or by any other extant version.” Done.

Baras goes on to agree with me that Origen can only be confused. Josephus never said any such thing. Baras also mentions the theory that Origen confused Josephus and Hegesippus (the very theory I defend), and offers only one argument against it (that Origen would never make such a mistake), which I refute in my article with examples of Origen making exactly such mistakes—and with an extensive case showing he must have (so insisting he never could have is just circular argument).

And BTW, Baras makes no argument. He just states an assertion. And peer reviewers do not require us to cite undefended assertions. I had evidence backing my statements. Peer reviewers like it when you have evidence backing your statements.

Notably, by this point, O’Neil has not mentioned any of my actual arguments, or any of the evidence and scholarship I cite in support of those arguments. Nor has he made any valid accusation against my article, but has only uttered one mistake, and three lies. So when O’Neil concludes “Carrier is a polemicist and this article shows it,” O’Neil is not just a liar. He is a damned fucking liar.

And, BTW, O’Neil’s blog comment? That’s what being “a polemicist” looks like. Now read my article in JECS. That is not what polemics looks like. That’s what scholarship looks like.

The closing joke is when O’Neil complains of my article’s closing section, concluding “his final paragraphs where he pompously declares that all future discussion on the topic must now bow before his mighty findings are are hilarious as they are fatuous.” This is quite funny. Because it proves O’Neil is an amateur. Many journals require us to write these statements. And indeed this was one such case: the article I submitted had no such section. The peer reviewers insisted that I write it. To oblige them, I did.

So O’Neil is complaining about the “hilarious” and “fatuous” demands of expert peer reviewers serving the editorial standards of a professional academic journal. I’d be sympathetic. Peer reviewers can sometimes be hilarious and fatuous. Except this is actually a legitimate standard. It makes sense to require the author to add a closing “impact statement” explaining the reason why scholars will be interested in what the journal has just published. This is increasingly even becoming an international standard for published research in all fields.

It’s another reason why peer review assures a product of a higher standard than the dishonest, sloppy, and inaccurate internet comments of asscranks.

 

22 comments

  1. Matt Contino April 11, 2016, 2:47 pm

    In getting points across on a polarizing controversial subject, we must continue to educate and articulate our scholarly points. We need the brazen and intellectually clear to continue the fight for the mythicist theory to move quickly into the forefront of mainstream academia. Thanks, Dr. Carrier!

    Reply
  2. Mitch Buchannon April 11, 2016, 3:35 pm

    Great article. You have exposed the incompetence of Ehrman yet again. His defenders will claim that this isn’t a big deal, since the blog comment is a couple of years old. Despite the age of the comment it is quite a big deal, and it undermines what little credibility Ehrman has left.

    The quality of his blog (and the comments on it) are a reflection of the quality of his scholarship. Biblical history scholars have to earn a degree of trust from their readers. Ehrman ‘s job is to inrepret the meanings of ancient texts that are often written in ancient, dead languages. The average reader does not have access to ancient,texts, and does not speak the languages they are in. Ehrman’s readers need to be able to trust his interpretations. When Ehrman can’t even be bothered to check the accuracy of comments on his own blog, that is a problem. If he is that sloppy with something as simple as blog comments. There is no way that his historical scholarship should be trusted. By comparison, your blog is far busier than his, yet you strictly moderate all comments, eliminating trolls and off topic comments. You also do an outstanding job of responding to comments that make false assertions.

    Great takedown, keep up the outstanding work.

    Reply
    1. I’m more charitable. That he would be sloppy in gullibly believing comments on his blog is indeed gullible, but less serious than doing the same in, say, a peer reviewed journal article or academic monograph. He can’t be expected to exhaustively research everything, especially idle blog comments.

      So it would have been more than adequate of him to simply say he was skeptical of such claims about a peer reviewed journal (as any other expert would be) and that he’d have to investigate before trusting the comment, but won’t have time. He could even ask fellow commentators to vet the claims (thus delegating the labor, esp. if he knows anyone whose judgment he trusts, like a grad student, for whom the task would also be a teaching experience).

      In short, almost any reply except “terrific comment!” would have saved his reputation here. I don’t expect much more.

      Reply
  3. booker April 11, 2016, 6:59 pm

    Asscrank might be a little too kind! Some months back, after having read OHJ and in the interest of knowing what valid criticisms there may be, I googled looking for an honest critique of it and “minimal” Christ myth theory you advance. Unfortunately I ended up finding Tim O’Neill. For someone to be so smugly confident of himself, and hostile to others who might disagree, I found his argument to basically come across as “it’s stupid because I say so.” There are so many errors in his claims, including misunderstandings and misrepresentations of myth theory, to the point that I found him to be utterly worthless on the subject.

    Ironically though I just started reading HHBC last week, which I bought specifically to read further about Josephus and the James passage as I felt that you moved past it rather quickly in OHJ (only about 10 pages total on Josephus, mostly discrediting the testimonium). I’ve not read the HHBC Josephus chapter/article yet, but understand from OHJ that your argument is that it’s likely a scribal error, where a marginal note (“who was called Christ/Messiah”) was copied in. Just curious to your thoughts that the phrase may have been authentic but misread — i.e. high priests were sometimes said to be “anointed,” and Christ/Messiah translates as “Anointed.” How possible would it be that the original phrase was something along the lines of “James, the brother of Jesus, who was called Anointed” (whereby, depending on how your read the clause and who it describes, either James of Jesus could have been called “anointed”)? Just curious, and hopeful that with your background knowledge you could explain why or why not that would be a valid possibility.

    Reply
    1. Yes, indeed, I address that question in the article as well.

      In short, Josephus would have explained what a new and foreign term like that meant. He wouldn’t just use a weird word and assume his gentile audience would know why. It’s really only a Christian writer who would assume obviously everyone knows what a Christ is and why someone would be called one.

      Reply
    2. booker April 15, 2016, 2:03 pm

      Thanks for the reply. So I finished reading the article. The point that Josephus would have explained what a “Christ” is to a gentile as opposed to a Christian audience is a simple but honestly very strong and rational argument against authenticity. Otherwise, as you point out, it just doesn’t seem to fit that this is a passage about Christians (failure to match up with Acts, failure to match up with the story that Eusebius quotes from Origen regarding James the Just). And I think that’s kind of the overall problem with the argument for definitive historicity – things just don’t seem to fit together (things may not always fit together perfectly for non-historicity, but this is to be expected to a degree due to how and which texts were maintained and to what degree they were tampered with). Which is ironic in that O’Neill tries to argue that mythicists have to contort things into a pretzel to make their arguments fit, and in regard to people like Joseph Atwill that may be true. But in regard to this article it’s quite the opposite and in fact appears to provide a great example of untwisting the pretzel, explaining how a passage that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with early Christians would end up so.

      A couple of other things that O’Neill states firmly but doesn’t back up (and that are easily refutable) are that we have exactly as much or a record of Jesus as we would expect compared to others of his time, and that there is nothing in the record that would support the idea that early Christians believed in a celestial Christ. In regard to the historical record he cites the two Josephan passages, though they are both highly suspect, as well as Tacitus (which, authentic or not, arguably only repeats the beliefs of Christians), and states that this is as much or more than we would expect to have for an itinerant first century preacher; aside from applying zero scrutiny to the authenticity of the passages he also fails to recognize (and in fact completely ignores) the eventual control the Catholic Church had on what was preserved, ignored, or intentionally destroyed, and how that would affect the prior probability of what would have been retained. In regard to evidence of a belief in a celestial Christ he ignores the Ascension of Isaiah, 2 Peter, Hebrews, the authentic Epistles of Paul, etc., not to mention the connection you’ve made between Philo and Zechariah’s “Jesus Rising.” Yet he displays nothing but absolute contempt for anyone who is not completely satisfied that the question of historicity has been answered (while both you and Robert Price, for example, while arguing in favor of non-historicity, do leave the door open that you could be wrong – even if it’s only open less than 1%).

      Also, you can’t help but appreciate the hypocrisy of someone who criticizes others as amateur historians because they disagree with him while at the same time (not to disrespect his education in Medieval Literature), being in fact…(wait for it)…an amateur historian himself.

      Anyway, looking forward to the chapter on Tacitus.

      Reply
  4. Joshua Barchenger April 12, 2016, 1:53 pm

    I don’t remember how I came up with this argument (I may have heard it from somewhere), but I am curious if it is a good argument in favor of interpolation in Josephus.

    Many Christians had knowledge of Josephus, clearly demonstrated in Luke-Acts for example.

    Yet, early Christians never seem to know about this passage about James the Just.

    In fact, due to them not knowing about this passage they seemed to make up a martyrdom for James the Just.

    Now, with the use of Josephus by Christians it becomes hard to believe they didn’t know about this passage, but there isn’t indication of knowledge of it.

    This leads, in conjunction with the arguments you have provided, to the conclusion that this passage didn’t originally refer to James the Just, which is why Christians didn’t seem to know about it in connection WITH him.

    Is this a good argument in favor of interpolation?

    Reply
    1. Absolutely. In fact in my article I devote a whole section to this argument, explaining why it’s effectively impossible the author of Acts would not have used this passage, had it existed in his copy of the Antiquities.

      Reply
    2. MrHorse April 13, 2016, 5:36 pm

      Interestingly, the moniker “James the Just” is not used in the bible ie. it seems to be an extra-biblical term (first used by Hegesippus or Clement of Alexandria, I think). There seems to be at least two James in the bible, and the Catholic Encyclopedia refers to them as

      1. ‘James the Greater’ – http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08279b.htm – and

      2. ‘James the Less’ – http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08280a.htm

      It is only the second of those references that refers to the ‘Just’ tag.

      Reply
  5. Steven G. Clinard April 13, 2016, 5:57 pm

    Even if O’Neil was correct in identifying the correct Ananus, his argument seems to be extraordinarily weak.

    O’Neil suggests that it is unlikely that Ananus (the Younger) would subsequently curry favor with Jesus ben Damneus, the brother of someone he had executed.

    Or, to rephrase, that the disgraced Ananus (the Younger) would curry favor with the newly elevated High Priest Jesus ben Damneus. In an environment where men in power can have other people executed.

    It seems silly to even type that.

    And even if O’Neil had identified Ananus correctly AND we somehow agreed that Ananus’s subsequent behavior toward High Priest Jesus ben Damneus was unlikely, we’d still need to compare this to the unlikelihood of the alternate hypothesis: that Josephus was an uncharacteristically incompetent storyteller in this section of JA.

    If the brother of the executed James was not Jesus ben Damneus and indeed Jesus “the Christ”, we would have to believe that Josephus has an otherwise unknown character appear in the narrative with no introduction or context other than a reference to his brother, a similarly unknown and contextless character who immediately also vanishes from the narrative without further trace.

    Tommy Wiseau would be proud.

    Then, on this hypothesis, the murder of this virtually anonymous James prompts a rather extreme reaction from the Jewish elite, the Roman governor AND the king, for entirely unexplained reasons. The reader is left baffled and in the dark as to anyone’s motivations; it’s a drive-by plot point.

    So, how likely or unlikely is it that Josephus becomes a relatively incompetent storyteller at precisely the place where he references Jesus Christ? [One can make the same observation regarding the TF in its surrounding material]. Less likely than Ananus (the Younger) [again, assuming O’Neil’s (incorrect) identification] giving gifts to the high priest whose brother he had killed?

    So, by my count, O’Neil’s “Gotcha” moment fails in 3 ways:
    1. Wrong Ananus
    2. Ananus’s behavior toward Jesus ben Damneus not particularly unlikely
    3. Ananus’s unlikely behavior less unlikely than Josephus’s uncharacteristic incompetence in a highly coincidental location.

    I realize I’m repackaging a lot of what you’ve already stated. I’m really just looking for a “Terrific comment!”.

    Reply
    1. Indeed, on the latter, I make all of those very points myself in my article. Another example of O’Neil not telling anyone what my actual arguments are. Even when they already refute him.

      Like I said. Damned fucking liar.

      Very well put, though. Likewise the point about additional reasons to curry favor.

      Reply
    2. gshelley April 15, 2016, 4:11 pm

      This is incredibly common. It is one of the reasons why Alternative Medicine is so popular “I got better and people rarely get better on their own, so it must be the treatment”

      People don’t seem to realise this isn’t a valid argument. You can’t put forward two explanations, say “A” is unlikely, therefore “B” unless you have some idea of how unlikely “B” was. In the case of homeoapthy for example, the probability that it really works in spite of contravening known science, and that we have missed it in the hundreds of tests, is probably tens of millions to one, but supporter never consider all the prior evidence.

      It seems almost all of the “Jesus was a real historical figure” arguments are like this. Find ways that you think the opposing argument is unlikely and yours wins by default. Don’t consider how likely your explanation is. and don’t think about how likely the other arguments you use are.
      I was recently watching some Youtube video debates, and they were talking about the best way to translate things such as “born of woman” and “brother of the Lord”. The Christian insisted that these needed to be read in an unusual way so were unlikely. When it was pointed out to him that Paul used the same word he used for Adam (made, or something) and that was how he always used the word, the guy switched with barely a breath to “Yeah well, he could have used it differently this time”

      It was really quite astonishing – only consider probabilities and how “likely” something is when it works against your opponent. A full bayesian analysis might be a bit much to ask, but surely it isn’t wanting too much to hope people would at least try to compare the two options

      Reply
    1. I am employed. I am a writer, teacher, and public speaker. I am filed as a business with the IRS on schedule C. And have been for years. I grossed $41,000 last year, netting $21,000. I make a living. And I very much like my job.

      But it’s a red herring fallacy to assume competence in a field is measured by being employed in a particular business. Competence in a field is measured by peer reviewed publications and qualifying degrees. O’Neil has neither. An amateur is someone who has neither. Therefore only one of us can be so described.

      Reply
  6. Funny. I was searching to find any published papers from O’Neil to compare his closing statements to Carrier’s.

    I came up empty, buy I did find his Quora profile, where he self-describes as “Atheist, Mediaevalist, Sceptic and amateur Historian”

    https://www.quora.com/profile/Tim-ONeill-1

    Comedy Gold, indeed.

    I ultimately care less about academic credentials, employment status, tenure, or popular platforms than whether someone is making a cogent, well-supported argument or not. All those things may indicate whether a writer is more or less likely to have the background and skills to make a solid argument and/or the incentive to do so in order to protect or enhance one’s reputation. Peer review doesn’t guarantee the work is correct, but rather that it is unlikely to be amateurish.

    But ultimately the quality of the research is what counts.

    O’Neil makes an amateurish argument. Maybe surprising, maybe not. At the risk of playing Pop Psychologist I’d say his apparent disdain for Carrier and Mythicism got the better of him. In any case, the episode ought to lower his reputation, to the extent that he has one.

    Ehrman, on the other hand, ought to know better. He’s not an amateur and has a reputation to protect. Again: PopPsy, disdain, yada yada.

    I’m a total amateur, but I can tell the difference between ad hominem and hatchet jobs on the one hand and actual scholarship on the other.

    Reply
  7. redhatGizmo April 15, 2016, 11:03 pm

    Ahh Tim O’Neil the Self appointed Head Inquisitor against Bad history, look at some of his answers in Quora….

    – Testimonium Flavianum is the “Best Evidence” for Historicity of Jesus lol.

    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-evidence-for-a-historical-Jesus

    – Apparently We have less evidence for about “90% of all figures” from the ancient world

    https://www.quora.com/For-which-historical-persons-we-have-less-evidence-they-existed-than-for-the-historical-Jesus

    And he claims that he’s a “Atheist” all while defending Christianity over at r/BadHistory…Overall a pretty annoying Guy.

    https://www.reddit.com/user/TimONeill

    Reply

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