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Author Topic:   Did Jesus Exist? by Bart Ehrman
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2787 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


(2)
Message 31 of 131 (658550)
04-06-2012 4:35 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Jon
04-05-2012 10:23 PM


Re: Less than Impressed
I think the point Carrier makes is quite clear, he thinks the article is bad and goes into some detail why, it may be that the book is great but there was no way to tell that from the article.

You can't keep criticising Carrier for not addressing a book which was only published the same day the article came out when he addressed the article the day after. Unsurprisingly it takes longer to read a whole book than to read an article.

If Ehrman decided to lobotomise his thesis so much in the article that it was essentially inchoherent without reading the book as well, which seems to be what you are saying, then Carrier is right to characterise it as a bad article.

there are far too many people talking about Ehrman's arguments without ever having actually read them.

Then perhaps the blame lies with Ehrman for publishing an article as a way of advertising his book which represented his ideas in a very incomplete and unclear manner. If the article doesn't make arguments that stand on their own merits within the article then it is a bad article. If Ehrman uses terms which he intends to have a specific technical interpretation, such as 'Roman sources' meaning specific official documentation, without specifying that meaning within the article then he is to blame for failing to make the distinction.

If the article doesn't stand up on its own then it is a bad article, which is what Carrier said.

But you wouldn't know that by reading Carrier's review, which reads as though he is arguing against everything Ehrman has ever said.

Seriously?

Carrier writes:

I am puzzled especially because this HuffPo article as written makes several glaring errors and rhetorical howlers that I cannot believe any competent scholar would have written. Surely he is more careful and qualified in the book? I really hope so. Because I was expecting it to be the best case for historicism in print. But if it’s going to be like this article, it’s going to be the worst piece of scholarship ever written. So stay tuned for my future review of his book. For now, I will address this brief article, not knowing how his book might yet rescue him from an epic fail.

...

I’m told Ehrman might make a cleaner distinction between quality and crank mythicism in his book. But many more people will read this article than his book. It’s therefore irresponsible of him to cast this nuance to the wind.

...

When I receive his book in a few days I’ll be able to check. Possibly he does a much better job there, and gets his facts right. We’ll see. But for now, I have to address this article

I can only presume Ehrman builds some sort of argument against my case in his book

I think if you actually read Carrier's post then it would be pretty clear that he is only addressing the abridged arguments that Ehrman put forward in his article. He can't know the extent to which they have been abridged without reading the book and the choices in how they have been abridged are all Ehrman's.

Perhaps Ehrman should have just bought himself some more advertising instead of putting a Hollywood trailer version of his book up on HuffPo.

Is Carrier attacking a strawman version of Ehrman's arguments? Maybe, but is a strawman that Ehrman constructed himself and posted on a high profile site.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Jon, posted 04-05-2012 10:23 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Jon, posted 04-06-2012 10:34 AM Wounded King has not yet responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2787 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


(2)
Message 65 of 131 (659998)
04-20-2012 8:17 AM


Carrier's review of the full book
Richard Carrier has now posted a full lengthy review of this book on his website, and it isn't any more favourable than the review of the HuffPo article although he does say that the book addresses most of the issues he had trouble with in the article more effectively .

A small excerpt ...

Carrier writes:

I cannot recommend books that are so full of errors that they will badly mislead and miseducate the reader, and that commit so many mistakes that I have to substantially and extensively correct them. Did Jesus Exist? ultimately misinforms more than it informs, and that actually makes it worse than bad. Like the worst of mythicist literature, you will come away after reading it with more false information in your head than true, and that makes my job as a historian harder, because now I have to fix everything he screwed up. This is why I don’t recommend anyone ever read bad mythicist literature, because it will only fill your head with nonsense that I will have to work harder to correct. Ehrman’s book ironically does much the same thing. Therefore, it officially sucks.

TTFN,

WK


Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Jon, posted 04-20-2012 12:03 PM Wounded King has not yet responded

  
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