As much as I rarely debate this topic anymore, Stephen J. Bedard hits the nail on the head here. I subscribe to him. So this is from a recent email. He says:
Jesus mythicism is growing despite being rejected by the majority of biblical scholars and historians. I have read a lot from Jesus mythicists and have heard their arguments.
From my observations, these are the ten steps to become a Jesus mythcists. They are in no particular order.
- Reject the normal way people do history.
- Rely not on pagan myths themselves but summaries by other mythicists.
- Use a different standard for examining the historicity of Jesus than used for other ancient figures.
- Reject inconvenient evidence as later interpolations.
- Doubt anything that was written by a Christian (ancient or modern).
- Don’t trust trained and recognized Egyptologists or Classicists.
- Label all miraculous births as virgin, even if conception is through intercourse.
- Never worry about chronology. Later texts cam be the inspiration for earlier texts.
- As long as the Bible is considered Scripture, reject it as historical evidence.
- When in doubt, blame Constantine.