Shuck and Jive

Monday, May 28, 2012

Robert M. Price, "Will the Real Jesus Please Rise?" Part 3, May 31 - June 4

From May 17th through June 18th on Religion For Life I am broadcasting a four-part series on the historical Jesus. It is called “Will the Real Jesus Please Rise?” For four weeks, I interview four of the most prolific and provocative scholars in the United States, Bishop John Shelby Spong, Dr. Bart Ehrman, Dr. Robert M. Price, and Dr. John Dominic Crossan.

Dr. Robert M. Price is my third guest. He is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, a scholarly think tank that during the 1980s and 1990s evaluated all the traditions regarding Jesus to extricate his words and deeds from later fictional elements attributed to him. Even though the Seminar determined that less than 20% of the material attributed to Jesus went back to an historical person, Dr. Price thinks that was too conservative. Dr. Price is the author of The Christ Myth Theory and Its Problems. Here is my review. He makes the case that when you try to separate the mythical elements from Jesus, you are left with myth and no remainder. He thinks that everything about Jesus has antecedents in the Hebrew scriptures or from pagan literature. His interview will be broadcast beginning May 31st. After broadcast, podcasts will be available here.

Listen via livestream…

Thursday, May 31st at 8 pm on WETS, 89.5.
Sunday, June 3rd, at noon on WEHC, 90.7.
Sunday, June 3rd, at 2 pm on WETS, 89.5.
Monday, June 4th at 1 pm on WEHC, 90.7.
Via podcast beginning June 5th.


  1. I've listened to the Spong and Ehrman podcasts -- really interesting material. Thank you for bringing these scholars to an audio format. Much of it is familiar to readers of this blog, but it's still good because we can hear the voices of these scholars.

    Two comments:
    1. Perhaps to tie it all together, after these 4 interviews, interview a pastor to discuss the question, "So what does the local church DO with historical Jesus information?"
    2. I also wonder if honest historical inquiry of this sort is like flinging a thimblefull of fine Merlot into the salt ocean of traditionalism. Really, does it significantly affect anything?

  2. Hey Michael,

    A good suggestion! There are a number of communities, some with a connection to the Jesus Seminar, others to Progressive Christianity, others to Matthew Fox's Creation Spirituality communities that would be good interviews....

    As far as your second question, yes I think so. As Spong said, there are many people hungry for this sort of thing. I am one of them and so are you!

  3. Michael, as a layperson, I suspect that the fine Merlot is tasted more in small Christian ed groups than it is in Sunday worship. If only Merlot were a seed, the metaphor would be easier--I think it's establishing a base. Small, to be sure, in the face of all that traditionalism; but one has to start somewhere, and most parish clergy seem not to have a clue how to use the information. Hope I'm not being unfair, but I've rarely, if ever, heard historical Jesus information from the pulpit. Would love to hear such an interview.

  4. Nancy - we have a boatload of them on our FPCe website!

  5. Snad, thank you. I'll follow up!

    All, I just came upon this, which may be of interest: