Live, This Sunday, on Atheist Analysis!

Advert for the episode of Atheist Analysis, graphically representing the basic info in the post, plus a picture of Richard Carrier editied to have him holding Bayes' Theorem in his hand.The vidcast Atheist Analysis, which streams live at 10pm Eastern this Sunday (Feb. 22) and takes questions from the audience during the show, will be interviewing me. The topic: why Bayes’ Theorem is awesome. (Also, of course, what Bayes’ Theorem is, how non-mathematicians can understand and use it, and especially how it models reasoning about claims in history.) After me they are interviewing FtB founder Ed Brayton, to talk about his comedy, and efforts to make the atheism movement more inclusive and ethical. And then up is Michigan activist Mitch Kale (I think they mean Mitch Kahle) and (I presume) his local fights for church state separation. So it sounds like a pretty good show to catch!

Tune in!

Help Make Secular Women Work

Logo for Secular Women Work, an interlocking series of multi-colored gears.Heina Dadabhoy spells it out far better than I could at Urgent Final Push for the Secular Women Work Conference. Only two days to go. And this new conference deserves to get closer to its kickstarter goal. It has superb people putting it together, it has an important theme, and it will have a lot of excellent speakers–some of whom talk about what makes this conference special and how it will help people change the world. There are benefits to claim at many levels of support in the kickstarter, such as getting to run your own ad in the conference program, or sharing a VIP dinner with a speaker of your choice (their consent required, of course).

The official description of the conference’s goals spells it out well: [Read more…]

Jamila Bey Joins FtB!

Yay! It has now become official! Journalist and beloved radio host Jamila Bey (and that’s Jam-EEL-a Bay) is now blogging on our network. Go check out her own The Sex Politics and Religion Blog. She wrote a little on Black History Month a few days ago, partly by way of introduction. And she has now just yesterday written part one of an autobiographical intro for all you new readers.

[Read more…]

My Online Course on the Bible Starts Tomorrow. Join in. Learn Cool Stuff!

How screwed up are the manuscripts of the New Testament? What aren’t Christian preachers and apologists telling the public? How can you know when they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes about what’s in the Bible…or if they even know they are reporting the facts correctly?

How can you tell which Bible translation is the most honest for any given passage?

How have books been transmitted to us from the ancient world two thousand years ago? Is their text reliable enough to trust? Why? Or why not?

Do the Gospels really disagree on when Jesus was born? Do modern Bibles really contain known forgeries? Has the Gospel of Mark been doctored after the fact?

Answers to those questions, and more, will be covered in this course.

But what questions do you have about the New Testament? Like about its formation and transmission, its survival and accuracy, how it’s translated, what Christians claim about what it says. Or any question in the subject of New Testament studies, or the study of Greco-Roman texts generally.

This is your chance to ask an expert and get as full a response as you want, with as much follow up as you want, within the month of February. So join this class and take advantage of it!

Only one course text is required (and you can get it on kindle): my anthology Hitler Homer Bible Christ.

See you there!

Historicity of Jesus: Live Q&A

This Sunday at 9am Pacific I’ll be doing a live Q&A on the historicity of Jesus. Post questions here in comments or on the matching Facebook post. (Comments here won’t publish, but I’ll see them. I’m still looking for time to get through my queue. But go ahead and submit questions through this blog’s comment field.)

Ask any and all questions you have. The more the merrier. This is your chance to ask that hard question you’ve come across in talking about this subject or that question that’s been bugging you all this time.

This is part of this year’s FtBConscience. Bookmark the free online conference’s Lanyrd page. There you’ll be able to find everything that’s going on this weekend (lots of speakers, talks and panels), including the page for my Q&A which will on the day explain how to watch.

There will also be an associated live chat (which will also be explained on that Lanyrd page in time for the show), so you can ask follow-up questions in real-time. The whole event will be archived for later viewing as well; but you can’t interact then.

I will also be on another panel, with several other commentators, immediately before that: “The True Version of the False: Can Atheists Argue Over the ‘True’ Version of Religion?” So if that sounds interesting as well, catch me there as well.

Join My New Course This February: Intro to Biblical Scholarship on the New Testament

Starting February 1 (2015) I will be teaching an online course, Introduction to Biblical Scholarship on the New Testament. Click that to register.

The required course text (which students should purchase as soon as possible) is my personal anthology Hitler Homer Bible Christ (available there in print or kindle). We will use its contents as springboards for learning and discussing all manner of issues related to textual, historical, and literary analysis in New Testament studies. All other course materials (articles and/or video lectures) will be provided for free, including research papers by various scholars we’ll discuss, and excerpts from critical scholarly editions of the Bible in the original Greek (and no prior knowledge of Greek will be required), public online tools, and other readings and resources. And that’s not all…

Official Course Description:

[Read more…]

See You in Riverside and Lancaster!

These events are definitely on! And I’d love to help both groups see your support. This Friday Antelope Valley Freethinkers surely could use some extra attendance and donations for bringing me in to speak, and for keeping on their activity supporting local atheists, in that bastion of conservative religion they live in. So if you are anywhere in that area, stop by, throw a few bucks in, and meet some folks, learn about history, and ask an expert questions. The Riverside Atheists and Freethinkers can also benefit from a good turnout this Saturday. Help them cover the expenses of bringing me out. And task me with any questions you have! Details for both events here.