One of the criticisms of Bible Studies is that not only doesn't it properly follow the historical method, but that it has some major systemic problems; the epistemology and methodology being used is of lower quality than that seen anywhere else in the field of history. This is probably because Bible Studies/New Testament Scholarship tends to be dominated by theologians as well as located within departments/faculties of theology, rather than history.
However Christ Mythism is just as bad with the majority of "evidence" involving taking any idea and running with it...even in the context of history the concept has no real relevance. December 25 is the poster child of this kind of nonsense as this date is the result of an imperial decree to compete with the popular Sol Invictus worship and first appears on a Roman calendar in 334 CE and has nothing to do with the actual Gospel account. (Luke tells us that shepherds were tending their sheep in the fields when Jesus was born, something that shepherds did from June until November.) In fact, before this decree Church Fathers debated as to when Jesus was born with January 6, March 25, May 20, and some time in the month of September being just some of the various dates suggested.
One key point must kept in mind; "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" but (and this is the important part) the burden of saying something happened or existed should always be on those who make the claim. David Kusche's criticism regarding the Bermuda Triangle is applicable regarding a historical Jesus and many of the Christ Myth theories "Say I claim that a parrot has been kidnapped to teach aliens human language and I challenge you to prove that is not true. You can even use Einstein's Theory of Relativity if you like. There is simply no way to prove such a claim untrue. The burden of proof should be on the people who make these statements, to show where they got their information from, to see if their conclusions and interpretations are valid, and if they have left anything out.".
- Avalos, Hector (2007) The End of Biblical Studies, Prometheus Books. some snippets of book
- Richard Carrier puts it rather more bluntly: "Then I discovered that the field of New Testament studies was so monumentally fucked the task wasn’t as straightforward as I had hoped ... the biggest thing I discovered is that every expert who is a specialist in methodology has concluded, one and all, that the methods now used in Jesus studies are also totally fucked".
- "Born on December 25th" Jesus Police (Internet Archive)
- "The Case of the Bermuda Triangle" NOVA Original air date: 1976-06-27
Adapted from material removed from RationalWiki