When I got it home I looked through the Table of Contents and was surprised to find one of the chapters was “Did Jesus Die on the Cross?” I don’t believe that there is any question about that except for certain heretics, some pagans and all Muslims. People might not believe in the resurrection, but why question the crucifixion? I read this chapter first and it gave me a good view of his research style. He went through every attack on Christianity from the early Gnostics to the current Jesus Seminar. He gave none of the historical or logical reasons to support the death and resurrection. It was a one sided, anti-Christian hit piece.
I found the “scholarship” to be rather shallow in the rest of the book. I continue reading to see if there is anything I can learn, but I have my doubts.
What brings me to this today is a statement he made on page 90. He is discussing the “sign” that Joan of Arc gave to Charles to convince him to trust her. He establishes in the first few sentences that no one knows but that does not stop him from repeating all the theories produced out of empty air and possible heads running on fumes. The one position he totally discounts is the one with the most first person support.
“...historians are asking the same questions as Joan’s inquisitors: Were there angels at work here? Or devils?Why? He quotes the most ridiculous theories and says they can’t be proven but might be true and discounts the words of the people who were there because he has chosen not to believe in the supernatural. There is the assumption that people who believe in things science can’t measure are ignorant simpletons who don’t seem to realize that fire can make things hot.
“To a historian, of course, the answer must be no.”
Beware of assumptions when you read. People come to write with limitations on their thinking. We all do. Filter what you read the way you would water from an unknown source. Paul Aron comes with anti-Christian assumptions. He seems to be willing to give some credibility to the idea of the Minotaur in the Labyrinths of ancient Crete and the magic of Merlin in King Arthur’s court but assumes that the cross was a hoax and that angels could not have spoken to Joan.
homo unius libri