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Jan 21 2014

Hitler Homer Bible Christ: A Surprise New Book by Richard Carrier

While waiting for Sheffield to finish and release On the Historicity of Jesus (the book everyone is waiting for, presently projected for late March or early April), I decided to produce my own anthology of all my published papers on history. That volume, Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013, is now available, in print and kindle.

The publication description reads as follows (emphasis added):

Richard Carrier, Ph.D., philosopher, historian, blogger, has published a number of papers in the field of ancient history and biblical studies. He has also written several books and chapters on diverse subjects, and has been blogging and speaking since 2006. He is known the world over for all the above. But here, together for the first time, are all of Dr. Carrier’s peer reviewed academic journal articles in history through the year 2013, collected with his best magazine articles, research papers and blog posts on the same subjects. Many have been uniquely revised for this publication. Others are inaccessible except through libraries or paywalls. Twenty chapters include his seminal papers on the scandal of Hitler’s Table Talk, the Jerry Vardaman microletter farce, and the testimonies to Christ in Josephus, Tacitus, and Thallus, as well as Carrier’s journalistic foray into ancient pyramid quackery, his work on the historical & textual errancy of the bible, and more.

Cover of Hitler Homer Bible Christ. Olive or brown with dark greek falling leaves is the only graphic. The rest is just the title, subtitle at the top, and author at the bottom all in white lettering.The biggest attraction will be the fact that my peer reviewed paper showing that the reference to Christ in Tacitus is an interpolation, which is slated to appear in the academic journal Vigiliae Christianae later this year, is included in this volume, as well as my two other peer reviewed, academically published papers on the historicity question, the one on Thallus not having mentioned Jesus, and the other on the two references to Jesus in Josephus being interpolations (the one deliberate, the other accidental), published in the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism and the Journal of Early Christian Studies, respectively.

Also included is my brief but now hard-to-find article for The History Teacher published years ago, and all the articles I published in The Skeptical Inquirer (on the FOX special promoting pyramidiocy, and the two articles on the Jerry Vardaman microletters debacle), and most interestingly for some, my game-changing, peer-reviewed article in the academic journal German Studies Review, exposing the dubious nature of the still-only English translation of Hitler’s Table Talk, largely bogus quotes from which make Hitler look more atheistic than he was. Of particular value to anyone who keeps seeing those quotes repeated and wants ready access to the definitive take-down. I have also included a new afterword on the impact that paper had on Hitler studies, and expanding the analysis to include all the passages you’ll find cited from the Table Talk (and even some quotations elsewhere) to argue Hitler was godless.

All of the above are hard to find or get. I only have the rights to publish them in an anthology of my own works. So I did.

I have also included several online articles, from my blog and elsewhere, many revised for this volume, to produce a handy collection of my best and most useful work in the field of history. The table of contents reads as follows:

– Doing History –

1 :: The Function of the Historian in Society

2 :: History Before 1950

3 :: Experimental History

4 :: B.C.A.D.C.E.B.C.E.

– History Done –

5 :: Heroic Values in Classical Literary Depictions of the Soul: Heroes and Ghosts in Virgil, Homer, and Tso Ch’iu-ming

6 :: Herod the Procurator and Christian Apologetics

7 :: Herod the Procurator: Was Herod the Great a Roman Governor of Syria?

8 :: On the Dual Office of Procurator and Prefect

– Debunking the Bogus –

9 :: Flash! Fox News Reports that Aliens May Have Built the Pyramids of Egypt!

10 :: Pseudohistory in Jerry Vardaman’s Magic Coins: The Nonsense of Micrographic Letters

11 :: More on Vardaman’s Microletters

12 :: Hitler’s Table Talk: Troubling Finds

– The Vexed Bible –

13 :: Ignatian Vexation

14 :: Pauline Interpolations

15 :: Luke vs. Matthew on the Year of Christ’s Birth

16 :: Mark 16:9-20 as Forgery or Fabrication

– The Troublesome Evidence for Jesus –

17 :: The Nazareth Inscription

18 :: Thallus and the Darkness at Christ’s Death

19 :: Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200

20 :: The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44

In all, Hitler Homer clocks in at 395 pages.

I already have a contract to produce an audio version of Hitler Homer. Recording will likely begin in a month or so. The audiobook will thus be available probably mid-year. (Meanwhile, I spent most of last week in the studio finishing the recording of Proving History, which you can expect to be released on audio in just a few months. Sheffield wants to do an audio edition of On the Historicity of Jesus but so far hasn’t discussed arrangements with me, so alas, I have no idea when that will be available.)

43 comments

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  1. 1
    Paul D.

    This looks terrific. Purchasing now…

  2. 2
    blotonthelandscape

    I expect you’ll get accusations that you’re trying to raise the credibility of your non-peer-reviewed work by publishing it along with peer-reviewed articles. As somenoe who enjoys your blog, infidels articles and public speaking engagements, I wouldn’t consider that a mark against you (if “peer review” adds anything, it’s a proof that the work is mainstream and accepted by scholars, but the remainder of your work is still of a high quality in my view), but just looking at the contents page, anyone not familiar with your work may not be able to tell straight away. Do you think this would be an issue?

    1. 2.1
      Richard Carrier

      I expect you’ll get accusations that you’re trying to raise the credibility of your non-peer-reviewed work by publishing it along with peer-reviewed articles. As somenoe who enjoys your blog, infidels articles and public speaking engagements, I wouldn’t consider that a mark against you (if “peer review” adds anything, it’s a proof that the work is mainstream and accepted by scholars, but the remainder of your work is still of a high quality in my view), but just looking at the contents page, anyone not familiar with your work may not be able to tell straight away. Do you think this would be an issue?

      I would find that a strange and specious inference or accusation.

      In the book, each chapter comes with a source statement that declares where the material was first published, e.g. items from my blog are said to come from my blog. So no one can honestly claim to be confused about this.

  3. 3
    Alex

    So you asked your publisher which were the words in book titles with the most positive correlation with sales, and strung them together? Smart! But you missed Sex. If it’s not too late, change it to Hitler Home Bible Christ Sex. I’ll buy it anyways, on kindle though :)

    1. 3.1
      Richard Carrier

      My publisher in this case is me. So I suppose in a surreal sense, I did ask me that. (Philosophy Press is my own publishing house. But before anyone gets excited, no, I don’t accept manuscripts. I only use it to publish my own work.)

      (Oh, and of course, no chapters deal with sex, so I couldn’t justify that one. There are important chapters on Hitler and Homer and Biblical and Jesus studies, however, so…)

    2. 3.2
      Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

      Say the title aloud, and think about John Le Carré’s famous book Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy;-) ;)

    3. Richard Carrier

      Indeed, that was my inspiration.

      You’ll notice the title page has the same format as his original cover, too (CreateSpace had no means to make that work on my cover, unfortunately).

  4. 4
    Paul Doland

    This sounds like a useful resource. Thanks for compiling this book. I’ve got it on my shopping cart at Amazon right now.

  5. 5
    Raymond

    Not in Kindle in the UK yet, but Amazon UK has the paperback version.

    1. 5.1
      Richard Carrier

      Foreign kindle editions take longer to get into the distribution network. But it will eventually appear in all kindle markets abroad (maybe in a week or two).

    2. 5.2
      Paul Thomas

      Raymond, odd you say that. I bought mine on the UK Amazon site as soon as I saw Richard’s post this morning (nice little surprise that!).

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hitler-Homer-Bible-Christ-Historical-ebook/dp/B00HYOI8WM/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1390421442&sr=8-1&keywords=hitler+homer+bible+christ

    3. 5.3
      Raymond

      It showed up on UK Kindle, and I got a copy. I’m loving the paper on Tacitus.

  6. 6
    abcxyz

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ#Christians_and_Chrestians

    Richard, why does the “Tacitus on Christ” Wikipedia article make no mention of the theory that the Chrestians were a group of Jewish Zealot terrorists who started the Great Fire of Rome in 64 and were the original subjects of Tacitus’ passage? In fact, the article minimizes the importance of the proven textual alteration with the claim that the terms “Christians” and “Chrestians” were synonymous and interchangeable during Tacitus’ time.

    It looks like this Wikipedia article is heavily biased in favor of the historical Jesus theory, just like the main “Historicity of Jesus” article is.

    Is the Jewish Zealot Chrestian theory accepted by many scholars of Roman history and/or NT scholars? Do you think your recent paper on the subject will change the consensus opinion in favor of the theory?

    1. 6.1
      Richard Carrier

      You can always add that to Wikipedia yourself. But it might get nixed because that is a theory not generally accepted by experts. It’s “possible,” not probable (in the eyes of most). I think the theory has merit. But my published paper is just one piece of the argument for it.

  7. 7
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Great idea, and great title! ;-)
    Will you make an epub or PDF edition via Lulu too, like you did for Not The Impossible Faith? Not everybody wants to use the Kindle and other DRM systems.

    1. 7.1
      Richard Carrier

      Kindle won’t let me. If I want the best marketing and royalties (and the best deals for buyers who want both print and kindle), I have to give them an exclusive.

      Note that NIF was published on Lulu. Thus it got all electronic editions–the one thing Lulu has going for it. Otherwise, Lulu is inferior to CreateSpace on every measure, e.g. they charge twice as much for wholesale units (that’s a serious issue for an independent author), they offer smaller royalties, their paper stock is too heavy and cover quality not as good–and weight is an issue as it raises price due to shipping, and also makes their books annoying to transport and carry. And so on. So I won’t be publishing with Lulu ever again. It’s CreateSpace here on out. CreateSpace, being an Amazon company, integrates better with kindle (also Amazon). I lose on only one measure: only one electronic edition gets made (kindle), unless I take a worse deal (and reject the exclusive offer). But on balance, that’s a hit I’m willing to take, since every other issue is more important. Kindle reader apps are free and can operate on every platform.

      Note that I declined DRM (as I usually do) for the kindle edition. Yet they still don’t offer a copy-and-paste function (at least in their iPad app, don’t know about a tabletop app etc.), and I concur that’s a defect. Although there is an awkward workaround: you can select and share text from a kindle book (at least one w/o DRM) on Facebook (not sure what the word limit is). Downside is you have to auto-post it to your Facebook wall, publicly. The upside is that you can then follow the Amazon link that generates on Facebook and copy the whole text you selected and paste it anywhere. I guess that way they sneak-force you to advertise the book every time you want to copy from it.

  8. 8
    Richard Martin

    It’s on Amazon Canada and I’ve already downloaded. Congratulations and thanks Richard. Looking forward to some good reading.

    Richard Martin

  9. 9
    Stella

    I already have a contract to produce an audio version of Hitler Homer. Recording will likely begin in a month or so. The audiobook will thus be available probably mid-year. (Meanwhile, I spent most of last week in the studio finishing the recording of Proving History, which you can expect to be released on audio in just a few months

    Thank you so much for the audio versions. I have most of your books on Kindle, but I can no longer read text, and the robovoice mispronunciations and lack of meaningful expression drive me crazy within about ten minutes.

    Stella

    1. 9.1
      Richard Carrier

      Unfortunately, that problem persists for the bibliographies. It’s cost (and annoyance) prohibitive to include those in the audio editions, so I provide HTML or PDF bibliographies for the visually impaired (at that link), but since they are full of weird proper names and foreign words and other strange things, text-to-speeching them is not that great a solution. It’s just all there is right now. At least you can copy and paste from the bibliography text, though, which is handy for searching items online or in databases or electronic catalogs, or you can have someone with better sight assist you in using them (although you can do that using a kindle edition, too)–so at least it’s better to have made them available for people who only buy the Audible version, so they aren’t wholly left out. It’s my workaround for now.

      BTW, you might send a letter of appreciation to Pitchstone Publishing for this. They have produced all my audiobooks, in a professional studio, at their own cost (I only provide the labor, by voicing them). I think that’s really cool, and I think they’d love to know their doing this is appreciated and helps people.

  10. 10
    Natlove

    Do you have any plans for future audio editions? I love your reading of Not the Impossible Faith and would look forward to similar editions of On the Historicity of Jesus, or this collection.

    1. 10.1
      Natlove

      Whoops! I just saw that you actually address that in your original post. -1 for me on reading comprehension/completeness.

    2. 10.2
      Richard Carrier

      See the last paragraph of the article you are commenting on.

  11. 11
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Would you explain the title “Hitler Homer Bible Christ” to this layman?

    1. 11.1
      Richard Carrier

      Someone here guessed the inspiration ahead of you. But basically, those are the topics covered by the chapters in the book (one important paper on Hitler, one extensive paper on Homer, and lots of papers on the Bible and Jesus, plus a few things relating to doing history generally which all these topics fall under).

    2. 11.2
      Jerry Russell

      Haha. What about “Jesus Potter Harry Christ”, which is a pretty good Jesus mythicist book by Derek Murphy? Might have been a subconscious-level inspiration. Doesn’t seem like a pure coincidence: a sequence of four semi-random words ending with “Christ” as a title for a Christ Mythicist book? How would you calculate the Bayesian odds on that? Richard, have you seen “Jesus Potter Harry Christ”?

      Anyway, I bought the book. Looks very nice, though I don’t agree with the remarks about the Testimonium Flavianum. I really liked the chapter on Tacitus. Haven’t read the rest yet.

  12. 12
    Thud

    I’m enjoying your kindle book, but the illustrations overlay the text, rendering those portions unreadable (on my iPad); description of tettarakontareme is obscured this way.
    Probably you can’t do anything about this. Oh we’ll, just part of the early 21st century epiphenomena.

    1. 12.1
      Richard Carrier

      Thank you for reporting this. This is one of many serious defects with kindle (their software is total shit at the production end). Their preview function shows no problem. And yet, here one is. I tried many times to solve this (among other serious problems), and some just won’t solve. This one appeared to in their preview app. But evidently not. Kindle just doesn’t work like it claims to. But I’ll try one more solution (something more extreme) and see if that resolves the issue. Try updating your kindle tomorrow. I’ll try to have the revision posted by tonight.

    2. 12.2
      Richard Carrier

      Okay, just uploaded a fix. It looks like Kindle takes longer than a day to process an update, however. According to them, they may or may not send all customers an email advising of this (depends on whether they deem the revision major or minor–I should think this was major, but I don’t know how they’ll rule). They say it can take up to four weeks (!) to process a revision request. And if they decide not to notify you, you will have to magically know to go to your Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com to process the update when it’s made available (so, set your calendar to notify you in five weeks to go to Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com and do this, if you didn’t get an email from them sooner telling you to).

  13. 13
    Phillip Hallam-Baker

    The Wikipedia article you link to on Tacitus shows an amusing example of Wikipedian POV peddling.

    Like the article on the inquisition which assures us at every turn that the Catholic Church had absolutely no part in the inquisition and that in any case the Protestants were as bad, a clique is anxious to tell us that the Tacitus reference is to Christ rather than Chrestus and that there isn’t a single scholar of any note who doubts the accuracy of the passage. Looks a bit desperate to me.

    Not that it would actually mean much either way. Tacitus was writing about the great fire of Rome long after the destruction of the temple. And that is very clearly watershed event for Christianity as well as Judaism. Tacitus is writing from secondary sources and is writing at a time when a hatchet job on Nero will be politically expedient.

    The claim of a historical Jesus would have to be established among at least some Christians by 100 AD for the later chronology to work out. At least as far as a public version of events went. Ancient religions tended to guard their trade secrets jealously and writing them up was considered taboo by the Greeks at least.

    The gospel of Mark looks to me to be the sort of thing someone would write as an allegorical explanation for the fall of the temple blaming the priests of the temple cult and the Romans for the catastrophe. If so, the Temple of the gospels is actually Judea and Christ is the temple. The turning out of the money lenders is the revolt, hence ‘sell your cloak to buy a sword’. The trial is the siege and the crucifixion is the fall of the temple.

    1. 13.1
      Richard Carrier

      BTW, there are actually several scholars of note who doubt the passage. Not only do I cite them, but so does the standard reference, Van Voorst. So there is definitely some dishonest Wikipedia editing going on there. Someone more independent than me should fix that. (If I try to, the flying monkeys will cry bias.)

  14. 14
    George

    It took 20 seconds to decide to buy it. Kindle buy with 1-click is awesome. Now I have something tied me over until the next book comes out.

  15. 15
    Barb Noon

    I just bought this book. The other day I came across a magazine article where the author used the “Hitler was an atheist” (as well as Stalin and a few others) in order to try to balance the atrocities committed by Christians in history. His summation was that there was just bad people in the world, but he felt he disproved that religion ruins everything with his few comments about “evil secular leaders.” When I saw your chapter title on Hitler, I knew I had to purchase this book!

    Barb

  16. 16
    Paul D.

    Dr. Carrier, I just finished reading the paper on Tacitus. It was well-written and convincing.

    One possibility you did not mention is the position of historian Stephan Dando-Collins, that the Testimonium Taciteum was originally about the persecution of Isis worshippers. He gives numerous reasons for this in his book on the Great Fire, showing that both the description of the Christians and the tortures inflected to mock their religion fit far better with the situation, history, and rituals of the Isis cult, a foreign religion that was both widespread and despised by the upper classes in Rome.

    1. 16.1
      Richard Carrier

      I don’t discuss Dando’s theory, but I cite his work on this there (so interested readers will be lead to it). I don’t find it at all convincing. His theory requires a more extensive interpolation than mine, one that starts to look less like something a Christian would write.

  17. 17
    rsm

    I’ll be looking forward to the audio version of all three books.

  18. 18
    Patrick Stahle

    As a purchaser of a couple of your audio books, I am glad to here you are coming out with more. Lately I find I do not have much time to devote to reading, but love to listen while doing mindless work. Your audio work is top notch, and as good as the professional readers.

    1. 18.1
      Richard Carrier

      Thank you for saying so. I have years of speaking experience to thank for that. But I’ve also been working with a really great engineer (a local affiliated with the studio Pitchstone has been hiring for the task). Together we bang out a pretty good result.

  19. 19
    James Chapman

    I just the bought the Kindle version and was disappointed that the table of contents lacks hyperlinks to the individual chapters as, for instance, the Kindle edition of Proving History has. Sigh.

    1. 19.1
      Richard Carrier

      There is something wrong with your device, then.

      My kindle edition has a hyperlinked TOC (using it right now). Indeed even the TOCs in individual chapters are hyperlinked.

      (Maybe you are talking about a kindle edition of Not the Impossible Faith, wherein the TOC does fail to work? Otherwise, HHBC has a functioning TOC in kindle.)

  20. 20
    roddersw

    Hi Richard:

    I just published a work called Destiny’s Spear, about the spear used to crucify Christ, and Hitler’s desperate search for it. It also involves General Patton who believed he was reincarnated and was once Michel Ney under Napoleon. In your studies have you come across any stories involving Hitler, Napoleon, Patton and the Spear of Destiny? Check out my blog: blogdestinysspear.com

    1. 20.1
      Richard Carrier

      Sorry, I can’t vouch for any of that.

  21. 21
    Manoj Joseph

    Hi Richard,

    I was having an argument on facebook about Pope Benedict’s comment about the Nazis and atheist extremism.

    The argument turned to how Hitler tried to eradicate Christianity. The following NYTimes article was quoted.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/13/weekinreview/word-for-word-case-against-nazis-hitler-s-forces-planned-destroy-german.html

    and it was said: “The historical evidence showing the plan to eradicate Christianity is so conclusive that one risks outright duplicity in rejecting it.”

    Would you know if these claims are based on Hitler’s Table Talks?

    Here is the facebook thread if you are curious.

    https://www.facebook.com/TheActivistAtheist/posts/775738802459943?comment_id=775804649120025&reply_comment_id=776286029071887

    Cheers

    1. 21.1
      Richard Carrier

      That depends on what one means by “destroy Christianity.” As best we can tell, Hitler wanted to unify all denominations under him as the new messiah. So he wanted to “destroy” specific denominations by forcing them to unite under a common doctrine, just as the Catholic church actively sought to do through much of the Middle Ages. But he wanted Christianity to be the religion of the Third Reich. Likewise, by “Christianity” Hitler almost certainly meant Positive Christianity, and someone who likes saying everyone of a denomination they dislike is not a True ChristianTM might say then that that’s not “really” Christianity, and therefore Hitler wanted to destroy “Christianity.” But one could say the same of the Catholic Church at one point or another in its history.

      For sources and quotes on what Hitler actually thought about religion, see my chapter on it in Hitler Homer Bible Christ (which includes material not in my original German Studies Review article). Just FYI, as I show there, Hitler was an old earth creationist who despised atheists and believed he was chosen by God and would go to heaven when he died, and that Christ was an Aryan whose true and admirable teachings were corrupted by the “Jew” Paul whose distortions were an insult to God, and that the one thing that made “man superior to the animals” was that he could recognize the existence of God the Creator.

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