Alex, I know you've asked to have a scholar come on and debate Atwill's ideas. Maybe Joel Watts would accept? He's the author of Mimetic Criticism and the Book of Mark**, and his blog, Unsettled Christianity, presents him as an an informed believer who is open to being "unsettled" and discussion: Unsettled Christianity is a way to meet the challenges presented in our current world. From theological differences, cultural changes, and biblical studies, Christianity faces difficulties in remaining centered on Christ. Further, we have become too settled in this world, and in large ways, are experiencing a resurgence of modern-day Constantinism – pleading with the Government or other culture structures to give us peace and to cover us with their cloaks of protection! We settled for a seat at the table in post-modernity, when instead, we have a voice which should be at the door, heard loud and clear. My Christianity has been unsettled due to biblical studies, theology, science, and culture. I am not secure in my Christianity, but my faith is more assured. This blog started as a small and feeble attempt to rid myself of words and thoughts that needed expressed. It was my feeble attempt to do something for the Kingdom of God. It has grown beyond my original intentions. I will focus on doctrine, on helps, and of course on bringing you news that interest me. I like to study. I like to know. Further, I like to know why and what I study and what and why you study what, well, you study. I want to learn more about what I believe, and why I believe it; if I find that my beliefs need to be changed, I will change it. My writing is not the most developed because this is a blog. For me, it is about getting points across and maybe not always fully. But, again, it is a blog. I enjoy a good debate and will often post things just for discussion. The one thing that I do not like is debating with the witless. Please do not come to a discussion with some special insight or revelation. I seek to engage atheists, agnostics, pentecostals, or any one really. (...) I am blogging to understand my faith and to defend the Faith. I enjoy deep theology, believing that if a theological precept cannot be proved by the Scriptures, it must be abandoned forthwith. http://unsettledchristianity.com/about-1/ Sounds like he's got the Skeptiko spirit. --- **What if the story of Jesus was meant not just to be told but retold, molded, and shaped into something new, something present by the Evangelist to face each new crisis? The Evangelists were not recording a historical report, but writing to effect a change in their community. Mark was faced with the imminent destruction of his tiny community--a community leaderless without Paul and Peter and who witnessed the destruction of the Temple; now, another messianic figure was claiming the worship rightly due to Jesus. The author of the Gospel of Mark takes his stylus in hand and begins to rewrite the story of Jesus--to unwrite the present, rewrite the past, to change the future. Joel L. Watts moves the Gospel of Mark to just after the destruction of the Temple, sets it within Roman educational models, and begins to read the ancient work afresh. Watts builds upon the historical criticisms of the past, but brings out a new way of reading the ancient stories of Jesus, and attempts to establish the literary sources of the Evangelist.