It always feels good to get a good evening's writing done. i must admit, I am really enjoying writing this new book (working title - 25 Reasons to Disbelieve the Nativity). I am some 20 odd pages in and I will certainly have enough pages to make a decent sized book. It is going to be a job making sure it is concise enough!

I am also rating Gerd Theissen's 'The Historical Jesus'. What a fantastic reference book it is turning out to be! I have just finished my opening background section on the Gospel of Luke. Always a good one. I have included a couple of quotes from Richard Carrier:

There is no ancient history that is entirely accurate and without lies, distortions, or errors. Every qualified historian today agrees with that. It is a universal principle accepted throughout the professional community that no ancient work is infallible. Even the most respected and trusted of historians—Thucydides, Polybius, Arrian—are believed to have reported some false information, especially when it came to private matters witnessed by only a few, and when material was important to an author’s personal or dogmatic biases and presuppositions. And the further any ancient author is from these men in explicit methodology, by that much less are they trusted.


But on top of that we know he lied. For instance, his account of Paul’s mission and the division it created in the Church contradicts Paul’s own account (in his letter to the Galatians) in almost every single detail, and in a way we can discern was deliberate. And if Luke lied about that, he could be lying about anything else. Moreover, Luke cannot be classed with the best historians of his day because he never engages discussions of sources and methods, whereas they did—and that is a major reason why modern historians hold such men as Thucydides and Polybius and Arrian in high esteem: they often discuss where they got their information, how they got their information, and what they did with it. It is their open and candid awareness of the problems posed by writing a critical history that marks them as especially competent. Even lesser historians (like Xenophon, Plutarch, or Suetonius) occasionally mention or discuss their sources, or acknowledge the existence of conflicting accounts, and yet Luke doesn’t even do that