I recently wrote a brief amazon review of Richard Carrier’s latest book Jesus From Outer Space. Here it is:
“You may never even have heard of the theory that the Jesus story began with a belief in a Christ who was crucified in the air by demons. You may not realize that quite a few smart and well educated have believed this going back a century: Paul Carus was a 20th century intellectual and proponent of this theory; Robert M. Price, who holds two doctoral degrees and is one of the most far ranging bibliographers I’ve ever read because he cites so much scholarship from many times and places; And of course the author of this book, Richard Carrier, is a historian with peer reviewed books and journal articles on the subject. You may also not realize that this theory has enormous historical plausibility (as Carrier documents, Osiris was thought of in exactly this way by some ancients) and even explains things that a historical Jesus would not. This is the single best, concise case for a mythical Jesus available!”
The analogy with Satan makes the celestial Jesus theory both immediately intelligible and enormously plausible. Satan, “the prince of the air,” (Ephesians 2:2) [read: fictional supernatural being who lived in the sky] is placed in a fictional narrative set on earth (when he tempts Jesus on the mountain in Matthew 4:8). The celestial Jesus theory only says that Jesus too was a fictional being believed to be in the sky and that the gospels are just fictional stories about him set on Earth. How can anyone say it is implausible that the gospel authors would write a fictional story about a sky god on Earth, Jesus, when the gospel writers did exactly that with Satan?