Kirby's blog and sundry essays about early Christianity. Christian Origins is dedicated to publishing articles distinguished by their attention to detail and reasoned approach. A gamut of viewpoints are presented in essays by laymen and scholars. Send an e-mail with ideas for an article or book review.
Christian Origins is not a blog! 2009-01-25

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:25 PM | Permalink

Even though the contents are still being indexed in the reverse chronological order (best known from the practice of blogs), Christian Origins has had all of its chatty material deleted to expose more clearly the links to the substantive essays hosted on the Christian Origins website.

If you'd like to see a blog by Peter Kirby, please head over to the blog at for some "late Peter Kirby writings." It has any new comments on Early Christian Writings, Early Jewish Writings, and other subjects of interest.
Review of Akenson's "St. Saul: A Skeleton Key" 2004-10-02

Posted by Peter Kirby at 1:18 PM | Permalink

Michael Turton has written a book review of Donald H. Akenson's St. Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus. Among other things, Turton observes that there is not enough focus on Paul himself (or on Paul in relation to the historical Jesus), and the book is not recommended. Read it now.
The Miracles of Jesus: A Historical Inquiry 2004-09-13

Posted by Peter Kirby at 9:04 PM | Permalink

An overview, written by Chris Price, of arguments for the miracle-tradition about Jesus. Read it now.
A Review of "The Jesus Puzzle" by Bernard Muller 2004-09-12

Posted by Peter Kirby at 9:01 PM | Permalink

A review of Doherty by Bernard Muller (updated) focusing on interpretation of the epistles. Read it now. See also his site Jesus, a historical reconstruction.
The Religion of Flavius Josephus 2004-04-17

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:31 PM | Permalink

James Montgomery explores the views of Josephus concerning the divine, destiny, allegory, and Jewish customs. Read it now.
The New "Fragment of an Uncanonical Gospel" 2004-04-16

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:30 PM | Permalink

A. Büchler defends the historicity of P. Oxy. 840. Read it now.
Three Articles by G. R. S. Mead 2004-04-15

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:28 PM | Permalink

Mead wrote a five article series in The Theosophical Review, of which three are presented here (omitting the first and the last): The Outer Evidence as to the Authorship and Authority of the Gospels, The Present Position of the Synoptical Problem, and The Fourth-Gospel Problem.
Review of Secret Mark by Achtemeier 2004-03-13

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:26 PM | Permalink

Paul J. Achtemeier wrote this review of Smith's books on the Secret Gospel of Mark for the Journal of Biblical Literature in 1974. Read it now.
Review of Jesus After 2000 Years by Lüdemann 2004-03-12

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:25 PM | Permalink

Michael Turton briefly discusses the huge historical-critical commentary undertaken by Gerd Lüdemann. Read it now.
Jesus: Pagan Christ or Jewish Messiah? 2004-03-11

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:23 PM | Permalink

Excerpts from a book by the Daltons on the historicity of Jesus that contends that the Jesus of Mark and the letter-writer Paul were actually pagan. Read it now.
First Person Perspective in Ancient Sea Travel 2003-09-21

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:22 PM | Permalink

Peter Kirby examines the relationship between first person narration and tales of maritime voyages in several ancient documents. Read it now.
Paul and Damascus 2003-09-20

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:20 PM | Permalink

R. E. Lay looks at the authenticity and meaning of the New Testament accounts of Paul's activity in Damascus. Read it now.
A Suspected Interpolation in 2 Corinthians 2003-09-12

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:19 PM | Permalink

Sid Green argues that the words in 2 Corinthians suggesting that Paul escaped from Damascus in Syria, allegedly under Nabataean rule, are later additions to the text. Read it now.
External References to Islam 2003-09-11

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:16 PM | Permalink

Peter Kirby presents dozens of outsider sources on formative Islam, based on Hoyland's book Seeing Islam as Other Saw It. The compilation should be helpful in reconstructing early Islamic history, the origins of the Qur'an, and the life of Muhammad. Read it now.
Euripides and Luke 2003-08-30

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:15 PM | Permalink

Peter Kirby illustrates that two items in Acts are most likely dependent on a large swath of Greek literature and culture, not Euripides in particular, by showing additional parallels. Read it now.
Review of The Historical Jesus by Theissen and Merz 2003-08-05

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:13 PM | Permalink

Peter Kirby provides an overview of the chapters of the book by Theissen and Merz, as well as an outline of their historical hypothesis. Read it now.
Paul's Belief in a Bodily Resurrection 2003-07-21

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:12 PM | Permalink

Chris Price argues against the "spiritual resurrection" hypothesis. Read it now.
By Land and By Sea 2003-07-18

Posted by Peter Kirby at 8:11 PM | Permalink

In this 1978 essay, reproduced here by permission, Robbins attempts to determine the literary function of the "we passages" in Acts. Read it now.
The Christ Passage in Josephus 2003-07-06

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:49 PM | Permalink

Solomon Zeitlin (1928) argues that Eusebius interpolated the Testimonium and that the Slavonic Josephus has no value as evidence for Jesus. Read it now.
Review of The Historical Jesus by Crossan 2003-05-29

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:45 PM | Permalink

Michael Turton criticizes the work of J. D. Crossan. Read it now.
Citations concerning the Testimonium 2003-05-23

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:44 PM | Permalink

David C. Hindley has compiled a compendium of quotes, based on the original appendix to Josephus by William Whiston, that put the debate over the authenticity of Jesus in Josephus in perspective. Read it now.
Marcion, the Canon, the Law, and the Historical Jesus 2003-05-22

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:42 PM | Permalink

Chris Price looks at the thought of Marcion and its influence on the church. Read it now.
Jesus Variants 2003-05-21

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:41 PM | Permalink

Peter Kirby refutes the argument from No Alternate Versions for a historical Jesus by pointing out differences in ancient accounts of Jesus. Read it now.
The Seven Apostles 2003-05-20

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:40 PM | Permalink

Peter Kirby looks at traditions concerning the names and number of the apostles of Jesus, both inside and outside of canonical texts. Kirby identifies a tradition of the Seven that rivals that of the Twelve. Read it now.
Review of Habermas, The Historical Jesus 2003-05-17

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:38 PM | Permalink

Peter Kirby has written a detailed dissection of an apologist's arguments. Read it now.
The Jesus Myth and Deconstructing Jesus 2003-05-16

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:37 PM | Permalink

Concise and incisive comparative review by Michael Turton. Read it now.
The Etymology of Jesus H. Christ 2003-05-11

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:36 PM | Permalink

A very important inquiry. Read it now.
A Note on Trypho 2003-05-08

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:28 PM | Permalink

Peter Kirby corrects a misinterpretation of Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho. The truth is that Trypho accepts the historicity of Jesus. Read it now.
Robert Price vs Gregory Boyd 2003-05-07

Posted by Peter Kirby at 5:26 PM | Permalink

Peter Kirby summarizes a debate at UCLA between Robert Price and Gregory Boyd over whether Jesus was a legend. Read it now.
Sons of Zadok 2003-04-05

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:25 PM | Permalink

Sid Green traces the Zadokite priestly line from before the Hasmonean era to the murder of James the Just by Ananus in the first century. He demonstrates how Zadokite expectations were later misunderstood in the Diaspora and construed as the gospel stories, describing the supposed life and mission of Jesus the Nazorean. Read it now.
Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.? 2003-02-10

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:24 PM | Permalink

G.R.S. Mead wrote this exploratory book suggesting that Jesus may trace back to some time period other than that traditionally assigned, based on references in the Talmud and other literature. Available online for the first time: read it now.
Qumran and Early Christianity 2003-01-30

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:34 PM | Permalink

Sid Green has written this article that explores the relationship between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nazorean sect that became Christianity with some help from Paul and the later Gospel mythmakers. Green concludes that the Jesus story may trace back to a figure in the centuries BCE. Read it now.
The Historicity of Jesus 2003-01-15

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:23 PM | Permalink

Shirley Jackson Case wrote one of the first responses to the Jesus Myth theory, The Historicity of Jesus published in 1912. Available online for the first time: read it now.
Jesus the Nazarene: Myth or History? 2003-01-10

Posted by Peter Kirby at 7:20 PM | Permalink

A prominent defender of the Jesus Myth point of view in the first half of the twentieth century was the French writer M. Couchoud. Couchoud raised such classic arguments as the ideas that Paul spoke of a heavenly non-physical Jesus and that the Evangelists spun their tales out of Old Testament midrash. Maurice Goguel, a respected New Testament scholar, published this book in part to respond to the ideas of Couchoud. Available online for the first time: read it now.


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