Mod+ Is the Bible a political con job? This scholar says the proof is right in front of us |289|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    I'm not allowed to post in this forum, but I'm going to interject here in a way that I hope will be helpful to move this discussion forward.

    Gilius: I think folk have been too harsh towards you on your presentation, particularly your use of colours. I think its actually a pretty clever and simple way of showing exactly what you're comparing in each section.

    You have been criticized for not engaging in actual discussion and there the criticism in justified IMO. I think that you think that bytsetting it out so clearly it makes your argument and conclusions self evident and that makes further discussion is unnecessary. I think you should be open to the fact that there may be different ways of interpreting what you're pointing out that merit discussion.

    In refusing to discuss the matter in any detail but continuing to post more comparisons you effectively turn off your audience. In refusing to engage you miss the chance to convince others but also the chance to critically evaluate your own position and spot potential flaws.

    Anyhow, I think there are people here who want to engage your topic seriously. My suggestion is do so, and if not, there is little point in simply continuing to post more comparisons.
     
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  2. gilius2k14

    gilius2k14 New

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    Arouet, with all due respect I began the discussion with a series of questions about the parallels on page 4, but nobody bothered answering them. Nobody else has begun any serious discussion in response to the 40+ parallels - except for some nit-picking.
     
  3. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    I think you started off engaging, and responded to some points, but then you started posting funny pictures and accusing another poster of being a paid shill (or paid critic). Otherwise you've just posted more of the same.

    Anyhow, just my $0.02. You can take it or leave it. Up to you.
     
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  4. gilius2k14

    gilius2k14 New

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    Don't forget to check out the documentary if you get a chance:
     
  5. gilius2k14

    gilius2k14 New

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    OK guys, I leave you with this...

    During the beginning of this study I didn't realise - but this is very bad anti-semitism! This is when the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed - so this is the part the Romans really wanted to hit home big time. Before I didn't even know what "Woe to you, blind guides" meant, but now everything is so clear. The Romans don't let out at all... the Flavian psychopaths are in your face here!
    [​IMG]
     
  6. chotki

    chotki Member

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    A fellow poster asked that I find the time to continue demonstrating problems with the Atwill hypothesis. I will try to make some comments here and there as I have the capacity. I won't directly criticize one of gilius' tables in this post. What I will do, briefly, is quote a few sources in biblical scholarship on the presence of counter-Roman themes in the New Testament.

    First, from Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now, by Wes Howard-Brook and Anthony Gwyther (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999):

    An example of counter-imperial language is the repeated use of "kingdom/empire," or the Greek word basileia:

    On counter-imperial themes in the letters of Paul, see Neil Elliott, "The Apostle Paul and Empire," in Richard A. Horsley, ed., In the Shadow of Empire: Reclaiming the Bible as a History of Faithful Resistance (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008):

    The introduction to Warren Carter's essay, "Matthew Negotiates the Roman Empire," in the same volume edited by Richard Horsley:

    Turning to Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus. Twentieth Anniversary Edition (Orbis Books, 2008). On the use of the term "gospel" at the beginning of Mark, and it's employment as a means of critiquing Roman pretensions:

    As critics of Atwill have pointed out, this alleged conspiracy would have to be crafty and sneaky enough to hide the true meaning of "Jesus" and, at the same time, dumb-as-dirt to undermine their project with subversive political language. That, and Paul was sowing the seeds of this counter-imperial society well before Jerusalem's walls fell...
     
  7. gilius2k14

    gilius2k14 New

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  8. I don't have an opinion on whether this source is reliable or not but am posting in case anyone might know more about the publications mentioned...

    http://www.godsgrandplan.org/page3
    http://www.tiptopwebsite.com/custommusic2/greber2.pdf

    COMMUNICATION WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD OF GOD - ITS LAWS AND PURPOSE
    Personal Experiences of a Catholic Priest
    by JOHANNES GREBER
    Translated from the German Second Edition
    Translation corrected and revised by Joseph F. Greber and Elsa Lattey (2006)
    ...
    1932
    ...
    One day I unexpectedly received two deliveries of a publication.
    ...
    These publications ... contained proof that a document by the Jewish author Flavius Josephus had
    been most brazenly falsified in favor of the Christian religion by Christian
    copyists, who had made Flavius Josephus, a despiser of Christ, into one of
    his admirers.

    There were also many references in these publications that had been
    sent to me to the intentional falsifications of the writings of the early
    centuries...


    I am wondering if alterations to original manuscripts might be a better explanation than the theory which Atwill is proposing? Does anyone know anything about which books these might have been? I assume they were written in German before 1932.

    UPDATE: I googled "copyists altered works by flavius josephus" and got some hits but I don't know how this information impacts Atwills thesus if at all. Can anyone comment on that?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  9. chotki

    chotki Member

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    I don't know of any significant claims in the scholarship about alterations to Josephus apart from the Testimonium Flavianum. I can't say if selecting between the options of authenticity, partial authenticity, and total interpolation make much of a difference for this already shoddy thesis, although my prima facie hunch is that authenticity would better serve the alleged conspiracy. That being said, I tend to think myself that the entire passage is fake or, if not, that we cannot reliably recover the original.
     
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  10. gilius2k14

    gilius2k14 New

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    The Gospels are moulded to fit Josephus - not the other way round! :)
     
  11. Saiko

    Saiko Member

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    http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2015/11/book-review-did-jesus-exist-.html


    Book review: Did Jesus Exist?
    There aren't too many areas where some New Agers and some dedicated atheists find common ground, but one of them is the question of the historical reality – or unreality – of Jesus Christ. If you Google Jesus + myth, you'll come up with thousands of websites arguing that Jesus never lived – that he was invented by his earliest followers, who were influenced by astrology, numerology, pagan myths, and even Hinduism.*

    Enter Bart D. Ehrman. Ehrman is a professor of New Testament studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is not a Christian; he describes himself as an agnostic inclined toward atheism. So we’re not dealing here with a conservative or fundamentalist Christian committed at the outset to the accuracy of biblical accounts. Quite the contrary; Ehrman is very skeptical of much of the material reported about Jesus in the Gospels, and believes that what we can know about him with any high degree of certainty is limited to only a few core statements.

    [​IMG]

    Nevertheless, he is convinced that Jesus was a real historical figure. And in this he is far from alone. As Ehrman takes pains to point out in Did Jesus Exist?, virtually all of his colleagues in academia agree with this basic proposition. He writes:

    I should say at the outset that none of this [Jesus-as-myth] literature is written by scholars trained in New Testament or early Christian studies teaching at the major, or even the minor, accredited theological seminaries, divinity schools, universities, or colleges of North America or Europe (or anywhere else in the world)….

    But a couple of bona fide scholars – not professors teaching religious studies in universities but scholars nonetheless, and at least one of them with a Ph.D. in the field of New Testament – have taken this position and written about it. Their books may not be known to most of the general public interested in questions relating to Jesus, the Gospels, or the early Christian church, but they do occupy a noteworthy niche as a (very) small but (often) loud minority voice….

    The authors of this skeptical literature understand themselves to be "mythicists" – that is, those who believe that Jesus is a myth…. His life and teachings were invented by early storytellers. He never really lived….

    The reality is that whatever else you may think about Jesus, he certainly did exist.​

    Much of the book is devoted to backing up this claim with an extensive and highly interesting discussion of ancient literary sources. I won't attempt to summarize this presentation, which is both readable and concise (though sometimes a bit repetitive). I think any open-minded person – anyone not already committed to the mythicist perspective – would find it convincing.

    Having established with a very high degree of probability that there was a real person named Jesus operating in first century Palestine as a prophet and wonderworker, and that he was crucified by the Romans around the year 30 A.D., Ehrman goes on to critique the more serious proponents of the Christ-myth hypothesis. But early on, before he deals with the scholars who need to be taken seriously, he has a little fun with the non-scholars who've tackled this subject in popular books and on innumerable websites.

    Since these are the authors who seem to have the most influence in both New Age and materialist circles, it's worth quoting some of what Ehrman has to say. In what is quoted below, the material in square brackets is Ehrman's, not mine.

    In 1999, under the nom de plume Acharya S, D. M. Murdock published the breathless conspirator's dream: The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold….

    The book is filled with so many factual errors and outlandish assertions that it is hard to believe that the author is serious. If she is serious, it is hard to believe that she has ever encountered anything resembling historical scholarship. Her "research" appears to have involved reading a number of nonscholarly books that say the same thing she is about to say and then quoting them. One looks in vain for the citation of a primary ancient source, and quotations from real experts (Elaine Pagels, chiefly) are ripped from their context and misconstrued....

    The basic argument of the book is that Jesus is the son-god: “Thus the son of God is the sun of God."...

    Just to give a sense of the level of scholarship in this sensationalist tome, I list a few of the howlers one encounters en route, in the order in which I found them....

    The "true meaning of the word gospel is 'God's Spell,' as in magic hypnosis and delusion" (45). [No, the word gospel comes to us from the old English term god spel, which means "good news" – a fairly precise translation of the Greek word euaggelion. It has nothing to do with magic.]....

    The church father “Irenaeus was a Gnostic" (60). [In fact, he was one of the most virulent opponents of Gnostics in the early church.]​

    Augustine was "originally a Mandaean, i.e., a Gnostic, until after the Council of Nicaea" (60). [Augustine was not even born until 19 years after the Council of Nicaea, and he certainly was no Gnostic.]

    Ehrman has even more to say about the hapless Acharya, with whom I had a brief contretemps online way back in 2007 (see the comments thread of this post). Even in that discussion, Acharya managed to produce another "howler," when she misidentified the author of Revelation as James (it was someone named John; he identifies himself in the text.)

    -> (Cut)
     
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  12. gilius2k14

    gilius2k14 New

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  13. Alex

    Alex New

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    one tid bit that adds support for this -- I've heard that trade/exchange of good and ideas was much more common during the first century than previous thought. the Gospel writers and the Gnostics we borrowing and weaving in a lot of stuff that was floating around.
     
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  14. Stephen Wright

    Stephen Wright New

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    Without an original work - how can one assert that "we" in the modern day know what the heck Josephus actually wrote? A thousand years of copying by people who had motivation to change the text to match their beliefs and it is going to be perfectly accurate to the original? c'mon man
     
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  15. David Eire

    David Eire New

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    I guess you must have missed the bits about genociding various nations that were in the way of the Israelites
    and the explicit orders to kill the women and children and animals
    not to mention all the other barbarities in that awful book
     

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