After reading through the comments about my earlier blog entitled "Jesus Didn't Exist, Again?" I realized that I apparently wrote too quickly to make myself clear. So, let me try again, this time seeking to make my point more lucid.
By way of background, a student of philosophy named Derek Murphy has written a book entitled Dead Little Fish which allegedly proves that Jesus never really existed at all. In other words, it is another Jesus Myth book. The book is self-published by Derek Murphy, and I encouraged people not to waste their time reading the book. Now, the clarification and elaboration:
First, my comment about ID was simply directed at people who claim that you can't consider ID because it isn't published in "peer-reviewed" literature. I don't take that position, and so I was simply chiding people who would maintain that position while somehow arguing that this book can be taken seriously. Whether this book can be taken literally depends upon the nature of the claims being made and the support for those claims in both Jesus Myth literature and ID. If you reject ID for reasons other than the fact it isn't published in "peer-reviewed" literature, then I would say that you have that right even if I think you are wrong, but that's not the point of my mention of ID in the post.
Second, my objection to this book is not dependent upon the fact that it is self-published. However, the fact that it is self-published suggests (in this case) that the book wasn't of sufficient interest to publishing companies to make it worth their while to publish. After all, if this book really proves that Jesus was a myth (as opposed to throw out more suppositions from re-interpretations of the Biblical texts and writing of the church fathers), then why in the world wouldn't a major publisher pick it up. You'd think that at least Prometheus Books would pick it up since that company publishes almost anything that supports their atheistic worldview. The fact that this is self-published suggests that this book isn't enough for Prometheus.
Third, I was not saying that Murphy's book shouldn't be considered on its merits. I was saying that it was highly doubtful given what I can glean about his book from the PR release and other information that the book has any merits.
Fourth, I didn't link to the website for the Mr. Murphy's company in my last blog, but I think I need to in order to clarify the problems with this book. Murphy's publishing company is called Holy Blasphemy which should give you some insight into Murphy's thought process. On the "About Us" page, he notes:
While we are not strictly anti-religious, we believe that organized religions begin from a point of fear, and limit the potential of a fearless path to spiritual growth. Blasphemy is the practice of speaking out against dated religious customs and clearing the way to a fuller appreciation of truth, and is considered by us to be a sacred duty fo the spiritually eager.
You see, Murphy takes the point of view that Christianity is spiritually crippling because, in his limited view, it starts with the point of "believe or suffer." Of course, to those of us who understand Christianity, that is not Christianity's starting point. In fact, it is a simple distortion of the Gospel message that is regularly cited by people who are skeptics. At a minimum, Murphy's approach to the Gospels has to be taken as being suspect merely because his entire viewpoint is based on a misrepresentation of the Christian position creating a straw man to attack.
That's all fine and good, but what about his claims that Jesus never existed? Does he have any new information that suggests that's true that hasn't already been presented in such books as The Empty Tomb? Personally, I doubt it. I don't see anywhere in the articles available on the "Holy Blasphemy" webpage or Murphy's personal blog that shows that such a bombshell is in his book. Instead, it is more of the "let's spiritualize Jesus" type of nonsense. Take, for example, the following from an article that is available both on the blog and the "Holy Blasphemy" webpage entitled "Jesus Didn't Exist!":
For example, The Gospel of Judas is making a lot of news today, because Judas was always blamed for betraying Jesus, and now suddenly, it appears as if he was really the best disciple. Taken literally, that may be fascinating...but Judas, like Jesus, is a symbol. Specifically, Judas represents the astrological sign that betrays the sun in winter. Like other crucified saviors, Jesus must pass through the 12 horoscope signs in his one-year ministry. In the gospel of Matthew, both the parables and imagaery [sic] are arranged to match the progression of the sun through the zodiac. Christian symbols like the lamb and the fish and intrinsically astrological, and have to do with the precession of the equinoxes.
I'm sorry, this appears to be projection more than bombshell. Murphy doesn't want Christianity to be true because of his preconceptions about what it is, and so he tries to put it into a spiritual context to explain the Gospels while dismissing them. Wait . . . he doesn't quite dismiss them, but rather he robs them of their true import by claiming that they are still helpful even if Jesus wasn't really the Son of God who was incarnate and died on the cross to save the world from its sin.
Whatever. If you want to waste your time reading this book, I guess you can. But be warned in advance: If you start reading this book expecting to find anything useful about Jesus Christ, it is very, very, very, extremely doubtful that you will come away with better information than you had going in.