Jesus Studies

Dr. Carrier has written On the Historicity of Jesus, proposing an origin of Christianity without a historical Jesus; Proving History, on the failure of methodology in the study of Jesus and how to fix it; and Not the Impossible Faith, on the social and intellectual context of the rise and early development of Christianity; and in Hitler Homer Bible Christ he has collected his most important papers on the subject of history and biblical studies up to the year 2013. He has also contributed important chapters to The Empty Tomb, The Christian Delusion, and The End of Christianity on whether the historical evidence confirms Jesus rose from the dead, and whether the origins and rise of Christianity really were supernatural. Below are links to Dr. Carrier's other work on the historical origins of Christianity.



Buy On the Historicity of Jesus!


Buy Proving History!


Buy Hitler Homer Bible Christ!
Buy Not the Impossible Faith!
Buy The Christian Delusion!
Buy The Empty Tomb!
Buy The End of Christianity!


Naturalism as a Worldview
Dr. Carrier's own worldview, evidence for which is also evidence against the supernatural claims of Christianity.

Ehrman on Historicity Recap (2012)
Summarizes the final state of my online debate with Bart Ehrman over whether we can know Jesus ever actually existed.

Casey on Historicity (2014)
Extensive critical review of Maurice Casey's book defending the historicity of Jesus.

Bermejo-Rubio on Historicity (2014)
Critical review of Fernando Bermejo-Rubio's article defending the historicity of Jesus.

Strange Notions Historicity Debate (2013)
Assessment and table of contents of my online debate with Catholic scholars on whether Jesus existed.

Resurrection FAQs
FAQs on Carrier's chapters in The Empty Tomb, addressing common responses to his arguments against the resurrection there.

Stephen Davis Gets It Wrong (2006)
Rebuttal to Stephen Davis' critical review of The Empty Tomb in the journal Philosophia Christi.

Luke vs. Matthew on the Year of Christ's Birth (2006)
Summary case against harmonizing the nativities of the gospels (abridgement of the full article).

Mark 16:9-20 as Forgery or Fabrication (2009)
Surveys the evidence and scholarship establishing that the current ending of Mark was not originally in the text.

Some Godless Comments On Jesus (2003)
Critique of attempts to portray Jesus as a brilliant Hellenistic philosopher ahead of his time, with discussion of the quality of evidence for what Jesus said and did.

Some Godless Comments On Jesus II (2004)
Elaborates in great detail on many issues raised by the first article (above).

Bayes' Theorem and the Modern Historian: Proving History Requires Improving Methods (2012)
Summary of the argument in Proving History for the trade periodical The Bible and Interpretation, on why Jesus studies needs to reform its methods, and learn Bayes' Theorem.

Bayesian Calculator (2012)
Brief explanation and automated calculators for using the logic of Bayes' Theorem to test claims about Jesus (or any claims about history).

With a Ph.D. in ancient history from Columbia University, Dr. Carrier specializes in the intellectual history of Greece and Rome, particularly the history of science and the origins of Christianity. This page is dedicated to the latter, cataloguing his most important work online, more of which is listed at the Secular Web. He also discusses this subject on his blog: see entries indexed under Jesus [old | new], resurrection [old | new], and New Testament [old | new]. For his recommended readings on this subject, see Richard Carrier Recommends.


Dying Messiah Redux (2012)
Collects evidence and arguments that some pre-Christian Jews were expecting the messiah to be killed, inspiring Christianity.

The Will of God: 24 Evil Old Testament Verses (2011)
Collects the worst passages condemning the Bible as immoral.

On Paul's Theory of Resurrection (2008)
Formal debate with theology scholar Jake O'Connell on the merits of my "spiritual body" theory in The Empty Tomb.

Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story (6th ed., 2006)
In many respects outdated but still a useful collection of essays on the subject.

On Kersey Graves (2003)
Explains the essential reasons to distrust the information in The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors.

Did Jesus Exist? (2002)
Critical review of Earl Doherty's The Jesus Puzzle. Finds it is not proven, but nor is it inconceivable that Jesus didn't exist.

Luke and Josephus (2000)
Summarizes Steve Mason's argument that Luke drew material from (and thus post-dates) the work of Josephus.

Review of The Homeric Epics & the Gospel of Mark (2000)
Finds that Dennis MacDonald's thesis (that Mark emulated Homer) is more plausible than his critics might allow.

The Nazareth Inscription (2000)
An inscription on graverobbing doesn't confirm the resurrection of Jesus.

Review of In Defense of Miracles (1999)
Detailed critique (only partly updated in 2005).

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