Does Richard Carrier Exist? A Parity On Richard Carrier's Bayesian Argument For The Non-Existence of Jesus by Tim McGrew
Stephen Law's Argument For Agnosticism About The Existence Of Jesus & William Lane Craig's Critique Of It
"Evidence, Miracles, and the Existence of Jesus", Faith & Philosophy 28:2 (April 2011), pp. 129-151. Here's the abstract:
The vast majority of Biblical historians believe there is evidence sufficient to place Jesus’ existence beyond reasonable doubt. Many believe the New Testament documents alone suffice firmly to establish Jesus as an actual, historical figure. I question these views. In particular, I argue (i) that the three most popular criteria by which various non-miraculous New Testament claims made about Jesus are supposedly corroborated are not sufficient, either singly or jointly, to place his existence beyond reasonable doubt, and (ii) that a prima facie plausible principle concerning how evidence should be assessed – a principle I call the contamination principle – entails that, given the large proportion of uncorroborated miracle claims made about Jesus in the New Testament documents, we should, in the absence of independent evidence for an historical Jesus, remain sceptical about his existence.
Here is William Lane Craig's Response:
Testimonium Flavianum: The reference in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of Josephus' Antiquities to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate. The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus with a reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate which was then subject to Christian interpolation.
Without any interpolations, the original passage would have read like:
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and many of Greek origin. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.1
1. For more information, see:
The Criteria of Authenticity (The Quests for Jesus, New Ways Forward, Oral Tradition) by Paul Rhodes Eddy & Article On The Criteria Of Authenticity by Robert H. Stein
Interestingly enough, the cases in which memory can let us down are not significantly disanalogous in various ways with respect to oral tradition (ala Kenneth Bailey and Richard Bauckhman's Models of Oral Tradition), and the all important facts relating to the resurrection: the crucifixion, the burial, the empty tomb, the post-mortem appearances, and the origin of the disciples belief in a bodily resurrected Jesus. Read for yourself.
This Is Pound For Pound The Best Article Covering The Broad Range Of Issues Relevant To Assessing The Historical Value The NT Documents Have With Respect To The Historical Jesus
What Genre Are the Gospels? How Does Ancient Historiography Differ From Modern Historiography? In What Sense Are the Gospels Intended To Be Historical?