Bayesian Analysis of Craig Keener, “Otho: A Targeted Comparison”

Recently I received feedback from ancient historian Richard Carrier about my previous review of Craig Keener’s article–“Otho: A Targeted Comparison of Suetonius’ Biography and Tacitus’ History, with Implications for the Gospels’ Historical Reliability”–which is chapter 6 of Biographies and Jesus: What Does It Mean for the Gospels to Be Biographies?.

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Carrier uses Bayes’ theorem to make an inductive critique of Keener’s analogical reasoning that, since historical biographers like Plutarch and Suetonius state that they consulted eyewitness and documentary sources, we can infer that they did so, and yet, even when the Gospels don’t cite such sources, we can make the same inference, based on other similarities shared with these biographers. Carrier’s analysis can be read here:

I’ve posted it on the sister-blog of this site, Civitas Humana, due to the emphasis on probability theory and epistemology.

-Matthew Ferguson

This entry was posted in Ancient Biography, Ancient Novel, Apologists, Classics, Guest Blogs, Historical Jesus, History, Philosophy, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bayesian Analysis of Craig Keener, “Otho: A Targeted Comparison”

  1. Mike says:

    Bayes Theorem and Richard Carrier (and even “on” Richard Carrier):
    [Link removed out of violation of section 3 of my Comment Policy. -MWF]

    • Celsus says:


      You have violated section 3 of my Comment Policy, which asks people commenting not to just post links to other websites, but instead to provide substantive content related to the blog commented under.

      For your information, I don’t even support Carrier’s Bayesian case for Mythicism, and it’s irrelevant to the content of this post. If you wish to comment on this particular blog, please actually provide a substantive analysis of Carrier’s response to Keener’s logic in “Otho: A Targeted Comparison.”

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