I just finished listening to a conversation/debate between Richard Carrier and Mark Goodacre on a UK Christian radio program called Unbelievable? In that conversation they talk about the possibility that Jesus was never a historical person. Richard takes the view that Jesus was originally a celestial being, while Mark believes that the best explanation of the evidence is that Jesus was indeed a historical person. You can listen to that program with these two here.
I’m glad the conversation was between these two. Richard is a proper historian, and Mark’s scholarship and demeanor is probably the best when dealing with this view. The host of the program seemed to be fair in allowing each side to talk. I do wish there was some more direct back-and-forth between Mark and Richard, but that will have to be saved for later when Richard published his book next year.
Who one in this exchange? That will probably be decided by which side of the fence you’re on, which is the case with most intellectual debates. However, I think both were able to make appropriate statements, and neither of them made howling bad arguments. It should also be a model for how the conversation on this subject ought to be done. I currently have by own way of leaning on this issue, but indeed the evidence isn’t clear-cut. Let the debate continue!