Take Any of Ten Online Courses in Any Future Month!

I am now offering ten online courses, starting on the first of any month! All are one month long, learn-at-your-own-pace, and involve as much or as little work as you want to put in. You’ll also get to ask all the questions you want of a published and experienced philosopher and historian with a Ph.D. in intellectual history. Descriptions of each class are in the following links. And how to register is explained below. Let others know who might be interested, too. And sign up anytime!

How to Register

Registration for any single one-month course is only $49. Every course also requires you to purchase a single course text, in either print or digital format, which you should give yourself plenty of time to receive before starting the course (print editions can take one or two weeks to arrive depending on the supply chain). The required text is explained in each course description (see links above).

Additional course readings will be provided for free.

Students will require a Google Account (creating one is free and easy and has many other uses) and must pay the registration fee using my PayPal portal (you don’t need a PayPal account; any suitable credit or bank card will do). After paying the $49, email me with a note that you’ve paid and what for (which month and which course; you can choose to start in any future month, and any course I am offering; remember to also get the course text, per above). In that email please provide me the same name you used with PayPal, and your Google Account email address, so I can invite you into the course forum. You will be sent that invite by email on or before the first of the month you chose.

Then participate as much or as little as you like! Read the assigned course materials each week, answer the forum challenge questions if you want, and post any questions or challenges you have on the subject. I’ll provide serious and attentive answers and assessments and continue to engage with you as much as you need throughout the month.


Special Note for Those Strapped for Time: That registration fee is for one month of my attention and time evaluating your work and answering your questions. If however you have an external schedule that means you need to spread one month’s course work over two, then just mention that in your registration email to me and I can extend the course duration for you to two months rather than one. I don’t want to falsely advertise I’ll do twice as much work, however. So this option is only on the honor system for anyone who really does have less time to attend to the class on a weekly basis, and wants to complete only one month of work over the space of two. You should also be aware an extended course schedule will result in the downside of less interaction with other students and the resulting benefits, as most will be completing in the standard one month.



  1. In your latest online interview on the historicity of Jesus, you state that in the first Roman war the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, banned anyone from living there and sold Jews into slavery. I thought the banning and selling into slavery and totally destroying Jerusalem occurred in the second Roman war in approx 32 CE. Which is correct? Thanks.

    1. The second Jewish war was in the 130s AD.

      By that time Jerusalem had been a desolate ruin since the 70s AD. Josephus reports the temple was burned to the ground in 70 and after that a military cohort was stationed just outside the city to prevent anyone returning. It was never rebuilt (city or temple) until Hadrian.

      The second war (the Bar Kokhba revolt) was in part started by Hadrian’s building a new pagan city and temple on top of those ruins (or his announcing plans to, which plans were completed after the war), Aelia Capitolina. It would never be renamed Jerusalem again until the Middle Ages, but by that point it was Muslim controlled, occupying what had been the pagan city rebuilt on the long-desolate ruins of the Jewish one. Jews were in fact continually banned from the city until the Middle Ages.

      As Josephus reports in the late 70s AD:

      Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind. But Caesar resolved to leave there, as a guard, the tenth legion, with certain troops of horsemen, and companies of footmen.

      Rome also settled men at Emmaus nearby, which became the only pertinent commercial or residential center outside the military base set in the ruins of Jerusalem. Until Hadrian rebuilt the city, renamed it, and continued the ban on Jews ever returning there.

  2. Heather Maynard March 2, 2021, 2:39 pm

    Richard, I’m interested in taking one of your 2021 classes but having difficulty finding them. Please send me a link.

    1. They are listed above in this article: each one is hyperlinked with a page that describes each one. So just find the one you are curious about above, click it, and read the description, and if it’s one you want to take, follow the instructions under “How to Register” (either here or there; they are the same instructions for every class).

      The actual courses themselves will be taught in Google Groups. Once you have registered, you’ll be emailed an invite link to join that class in Google Groups (and you should post everything you want to the group on the web there; you can get updates by email, but actually responding or posting will be in the website). That invite will come a day or two before the first day of the month you registered for.

  3. Hello Mr Carrier. I am interested in taking your courses, but I am also starting to read your (every) book. Will the courses in any way be diminished or clash with your books? E.g. will it be more fruitful for someone to go into the courses first without exposure to the books? Not to worry – in any case I will still be diving into your books. Thank you

  4. Dr. Carrier,

    I am a lifelong Catholic, who went to a Catholic school where we were always taught about history, and well some of the blatant contradictions that were apparent. (i.e. Jesus’s resemblance to other savior Gods)

    However, in adulthood, and as a person who is a professional criminal investigator, it is the why that gets me. Why would Paul, whoever the author is write such stories as history celestial or not? Why would others propagate such stories, because surely Paul was not alone, and why then does Mark adopt such authoritative narratives on it? What was their end goal?

    As a Christian in free fall of his faith how could it be that so many people bought into these narratives in antiquity?


    1. Answering that question occupies a significant part of my book On the Historicity of Jesus (see, particularly, chapters 4, 5, and 10). And my answer is thoroughly evidence-based, and indeed even mainstream: because historians have already answered this question for every other religion this exact same sequence of events happened to (Euhemerism was actually fashionable at that time). “Why would Egyptians invent the ethereal god Osiris? Why would they then later invent the claim that he was once a historical pharaoh who died and was resurrected on Earth? Why would they then teach initiated members that this was all just a metaphor for a cosmic execution and resurrection that never happened on Earth?” The answers to those questions, are entirely the same as for Jesus. Likewise numerous other gods with similar religious histories. Indeed, in context, Jesus isn’t in any way unusual in these respects; he is actually a late comer to what was already a going fad of the time. The rest comes from already-existing trends in Judaism, which I likewise document.


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