Robert Price's "The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man"

In his continuing quest to unseat Christianity, Robert Price has once again shown why he publishes with Prometheus Books and not Fortress Press, and why he had to start The Journal of Higher Criticism to get anything of his published in a periodical. No peer-reviewed journal would ever let pass the sort of declarations Price brings to bear; we saw this in Deconstructing Jesus, which was full of material addressed and already refuted on this site. The same can now be said of The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man, which uses the same techniques as DJ (for example, taking late evidence from the Talmud as more reliable that the Gospels) so all we really need to do is highlight some of the monumentally counter-consensus positions Price wishes for us to accept:

Price seems himself in a struggle with "demagogues" who want to "bypass rational argumentation and win assent to their opinions by cultivating superstitious fears." [10] So per his usual methods, Price assumes to take the high ground by prior to all else branding any disagreement with him as irrational and superstitious "opinion". Let that and such statements as "we will show the superiority of our approach" [11] speak for itself.

Price considers lack of archaeological confirmaiton of "synagogue buildings" in Galilee to be a problem for the Gospels, unaware of the fact that a "synagogue" referred to the assembly of persons (who could just as well meet outdoors), not a building.

Also not knowing of the social sciences and the Context Group, Price refers to sayings of Jesus as "conscience-intimidating" as part of his social conspiracy theory. "Conscience" as we know it did not exist in that culture.

And, Price still has not learned the social-science secret behind the so-called Messianic secret, or about the use of literary imitation.

Contrary to eminent scholars such as Metzger and Jenkins, and their detailed work on the dates, origins, and nature of such documents, it is "sheer theological arbitrariness to draw a line" between canonical and non-canonical books. [29]

Contrary to everyone except those writing for his own journal, Mark 13 is to be dated to the time of the Bar Kochba rebellion (132 AD) while Matthew is to be dated to the middle of the second century along with Luke-Acts. [33] Despite what expert textual critics say, and with no reasons given to disbelieve them other than alleged lack of samples (not explained), the Rylands Papyrus could be dated as late as 175. In fact the Gospels may date as late as the third century while Jesus may have lived in the first century BC [40]. Sourced for this point is not a serious scholar, but G. R. S. Mead.

Papias may have actually been referring to The Preachings of Peter and his work The Oracles of the Lord may not have actually existed [38] and just been a false document used by patristic writers to create a source for sayings and material they pulled out of the air.

In John's Gospel, John intended the reader to understand that he, the author of the Gospel, was the predicted paracletos. [37]

Material from late infancy gospels is actually earlier than and influenced canonical accounts [76].

"Brothers of the Lord" may have been a special group, not actual siblings of Jesus [88].

The passage on John the Baptist in Josephus is "perhaps an interpolation" meant to "correct a sacramental interpretation of John's baptism" or else a correction of Mark's description. [103]

Despite decades of being refuted, it is still theorized that the Logos hymn of John has Gnostic origins. [114] Price notes responses exist but makes no effort to reply, leaving this admission in an endnote.

Little more needs to be said. Price is again on his own in the world of scholarship.

See another analysis here.

-JPH