The Rich Carriage of Space Jesus?

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
To be released next month is Richard Carrier's new book, Jesus From Outer Space: What the Earliest Christians Really Believed about Christ. Obviously, Richard Carrier will have to discuss Space Jesus's rich carriage, i.e. the divine golden space ship. Right?

No, it seems not. He's telling us that the OG Christians, via their Jewish heritage, did not believe their Dude went all the way. Down to Earth that is. Does this mean he was hung on a heavenly cross then? I wonder if the Jesuit astronomers on Mt. Graham are going to read this book, because Carrier explains what all those aliens (see the preface text below) are doing running around in the intermediate heavens.


The earliest Christians believed Jesus was an ancient celestial being who put on a bodysuit of flesh, died at the hands of dark forces, and then rose from the dead and ascended back into the heavens. But the writing we have today from that first generation of Christians never says where they thought he landed, where he lived, or where he died. The idea that Jesus toured Galilee and visited Jerusalem arose only a lifetime later, in unsourced legends written in a foreign land and language. Many sources repeat those legends, but none corroborate them. Why? What exactly was the original belief about Jesus, and how did this belief change over time? In Jesus from Outer Space, noted philosopher and historian Richard Carrier summarizes for a popular audience the scholarly research on these and related questions, revealing in turn how modern attempts to conceal, misrepresent, or avoid the actual evidence calls into question the entire field of Jesus studies--and present-day beliefs about how Christianity began.
Excerpted from his preface:


Jerry Russell

Staff member
What's missing from Carrier's argument, is that our notions of "outer space" today go far beyond what was imagined in the first century. As far as we know, they had no idea that other planets or stars were spherical bodies similar to earth, with surfaces that could conceivably host alien civilizations. There was no concept of traveling on a spaceship from one world to another. Carrier says that the ancients "imagined creatures of various kinds lived in every level", but the idea of "levels" seems far less concrete than our idea of planetary bodies.

So I must agree with Carrier when he says that "heaven" is a bad translation of the ancient text. But it seems to me that "outer space" is just as wrong-headed and anachronistic. Perhaps we could speak of Jesus as a visitor from the firmament.

Also, Carrier's argument revolves around his definition that the early Christian Church basically consists of Paul's followers. Thus he ignores the possibility that there was a sect of Jewish followers of "the Way", who believed that the Messiah had come as Judah the Galilean, or James the Just. Izates and Herod Agrippa also undoubtedly had their followers.


Active Member
There was no concept of traveling on a spaceship from one world to another. Carrier says that the ancients "imagined creatures of various kinds lived in every level"
What about "Elisha" seeing "Elijah" taken to heaven in a chariot of fire, the "flying machine" vision of "Ezekiel", "Peter" seeing a big "tablecloth" of unclean animals being lowered to him from heaven, what "John" saw coming down to earth in "Revelation", etc., were they then all on a bad trip, or is all of this just meant to be symbolic?