I’m so glad you brought your concern to Connect! I know there are some very knowledgeable people about your topic on here, and I hope they jump in!
I see that Dr. Price is a self described “Christian Atheist” which gives us a glimpse into his conflict and struggle. He is making up his own definitions from the start.
I am not a historical theologian, but there are philosophical and logical issues with Robert Price’s comments.
Claim 1: Is there a reason that the miracles of Jesus are only valid if they are also in secular sources? Should I expect to find validation for my math problems only if they are also in my history books? By definition secular sources are not concerned with (and even shun) information that is outside of material observation. It is actually one of the problems with relying only on secular sources for all assessment because it doesn’t usually attempt to answer immaterial questions.
I also am not certain that claim is true. I would call Tacitus a secular source and he mentions Jesus and his impact on followers in his records. And if Dr. Price rejects any secular sources that discuss Jesus, he needs to provide evidence for his rejection. One thing I’m seeing more and more is people who have certain authority, like Dr. Price, are being very irresponsible with their statements, and many are led astray because they seem to be authoritative, and not because they are delivering truth.
Here in the U.S. we had a blockbuster movie years ago called The Da Vinci Code. I didn’t consider it significant because it was a lot of fluff put out by a seemingly random author for the sake of making lots of money. Then I found out that people were all into the claims he made about Jesus in the book and movie. He literally made up his claims, and his claims are not backed up by historical record, but many people didn’t know that, and I am still encountering people who believe the inaccuracies promoted in that series!
Claim 2: Not sure if I understand what his claim is here…Is he saying that Paul didn’t preach the actual historical Jesus? Or that recent evidence rejects Paul’s Jesus?
Claim 3: Saying that Jesus didn’t exist or is fake because He has similarities to other parallels is pretty thin logic. Not only is Jesus very uniquely and specifically different in many ways from Middle Eastern parallels (offering salvation from sin’s punishment, forgiveness at no cost, etc.) but with that logic I should be able to claim that WWII didn’t happen because it’s so like WWI. Let’s just toss out what people have known all this time because it’s some kind of copycat.
Would you consider a course in Bible Apologetics?
The RZIM Academy has an upcoming course on the Bible and it’s history and reliability. You can take the course from where you are. I am registered for that class also! The link is here:
Do you enjoy reading?
There are SO many great ones to read on the topic from great minds. I bet many people would be glad to offer you some book recommendations. My only concern is that some of them are written a bit scholarly in dialogue and you get tired of reading. One of my recent favorites is
Cold Case Christianity by J Warner Wallace. He is a former atheist forensic, investigator who applied his knowledge of investigation and legal approach to the claims in the Bible. It is a very interesting read.
Keep asking questions!