Neil Godfrey — Vridar

The Good

Neil Godfrey runs and maintains the Vridar website (along with Tim Widowfield).[1] Active for nearly a decade now, Vridar is one of the best available resources for the elucidation and purveyance of mythicist thought. The only other source that is arguably as influential as Vridar in this respect is Robert Price's Bible Geek podcast, I think. 

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the style of discourse that is always evident in Vridar is its even-handedness. Neil in fact seems to go out of his way to make sure that the kind of reactionary, rancorous knee-jerking that is the mainstay of most discussions of this sensitive topic is kept to a minimum. That goes for everyone, as he is wont to disapprove of and to censure both the haughty or hostile historicist and the overly derisive or dismissive mythicist. Simply confessing to being a mythicist won't win one special privilege on Vridar; the topic/argument in question is always the focus. That a bad mythicist argument is no better than a bad historicist argument is implicit. The historicity/ahistoricity of Jesus is not some sports event or political campaign to be "won" by partisan solidarity. It is a conceptual and theoretical complex of ideas which, because of the paucity of evidence (both textual and archaeological) make it a necessarily abstract enterprise from the git go.  For both sides of the question. Neil's judicious manner as moderator is commendable.    

Another of the blog's strengths is its breadth viz mythicism.  It spans the gamut from Acharya S. to Frank Zindler ... from docetism to Drews to Doherty.  This site seems to leave no stone unturned in its search for a historical Jesus.  I highly recommend Vridar to anyone interested in New Testament minimalism specifically (or New Testament studies in general).   Its analyses and discussions are fair, informed, and rather erudite. 

The (Not-so) Bad

Like Robert Price, Godfrey and Widowfield don't venture to propose a definitive Christ-myth theory. Though this could be seen as a kind of indecisiveness, it is quite clear from the scope of the posts on Vridar that this is far from the case. On the contrary, if anything, it is a tacit affirmation of the provisional nature of the subject. Many of the cocksure and/or partisan bloggers out there who are busy making a woeful noise resound re: mythicism would benefit from the kind of sober reflective restraint evinced in Neil and Tim's approach to the subject.

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1 — Tim's contributions are as insightful and as incisive as Neil's, but I will focus on Neil here, as he seems to be the most vocal and prolific and invested of the two, and also just to avoid having to review them separately, since I see their blog as a fairly consistently-framed and concerted effort.


  1. I agree.

    In fact the blog is good enough ,that I often hope he is putting a provision in his will, to keep it going in perpetuity!


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