Was Jesus created as Roman propaganda?

A controversial topic will be presented by Biblical scholar Joseph Atwill: The entire story of Jesus was fabricated.

Ancient Confession Found: ‘We Invented Jesus Christ’.

The talk will be part of a symposium taking place in London on October 19th. How will this be received? Probably skeptically.

Although to many scholars his theory seems outlandish, and is sure to upset some believers, Atwill regards his evidence as conclusive and is confident its acceptance is only a matter of time. “I present my work with some ambivalence, as I do not want to directly cause Christians any harm,” he acknowledges, “but this is important for our culture. Alert citizens need to know the truth about our past so we can understand how and why governments create false histories and false gods. They often do it to obtain a social order that is against the best interests of the common people.”

Atwill asserts that Christianity did not really begin as a religion, but a sophisticated government project, a kind of propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of the Roman Empire.

That he regards it as conclusive is no big deal – everyone loves their own theories. He claims Jesus is not a real person. The historicity of Jesus has been debated before. However, we are dealing with something far more pliable and strong than facing reality, we are contending with faith that will gladly eschew facts. Atwill is clearly not a fan of Christianity, saying it can be an “insidious form of mind control”. Hey, it’s a free country. Religion should be just as open to criticism as every other topic and not given a free pass or special treatment.

I’m not well versed in Biblical scholarship so feel free to add your commentary. (Attempts at conversions or people telling me I’m going to hell will be disallowed.)

Here is Atwill’s website for more. http://www.covertmessiah.com

More:
Historicity Of Jesus FAQ.

Episode 197 – Did Jesus Exist? Dr. Richard Carrier and Dr. Robert M. Price | Strange Frequencies Radio.

Did Jesus Really Exist? | Fortean Squirrel.

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This is not a forum or free-for-all. Only thoughtful additions and pertinent opinions will be approved.

  41 comments for “Was Jesus created as Roman propaganda?

  1. October 9, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    This is a subject I have always been curious about…What is the actual evidence for a historical Jesus? Is their anything outside of the Bible?

  2. Eve
    October 9, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Wait, his conclusive evidence comes from Josephus? A writer biblical scholars have read and reread over and over? But no one ever noticed it before? Because conspiracy?

    CHRISTIANITY WAS AN INSIDE JOB!!!!!1!1!!

  3. cj
    October 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I’m not going to try and adress Atwill till I have more time and patience. In fact I probably won’t then. For Richard however an answer to his question from my blog http://jerome23.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/debunking-the-myth-that-jesus-never-existed-the-historical-sources-for-jesus-part-one/

  4. Chris Howard
    October 9, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    It seems to me that if Jesus was fabricated they did a really poor job.

    I mean if you’re going to create a savior, as foretold be Jewish prophecy, you’d want to get your facts straight, and make your guy conform to the letter of said prophecy. We don’t have that with the Jesus story as it is.

    So it seems to me that what we have is a real person that the stories are based upon, but very early on there was a realization that the stories of Jesus didn’t quite jive, as illustrated by the many attempts made to make his story conform more closely to the Jewish prophecies regarding the messiah.

    Of course the reason for that could be because the Romans invented Jesus, but I doubt it.

    Very interesting theory, though.

  5. Chris Howard
    October 9, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Of course “Covert Messiah” just made my “Best Band Names, Ever.” list. ;-)

  6. Dale S
    October 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    For those who believe… no proof is necessary. For those who deny, no proof is plausible.

  7. Robert J.W.
    October 9, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    cj – I read your blog and you provide zero evidence. Nothing whatsoever.

  8. Dale S
    October 9, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Science and religion agree: There is no chemical trail to God. It would be an investment, not faith. So this materialistic generation is going to have to accept that just because it’s not tangible, not on Cable tv and there is no app for God, doesn’t mean there isn’t something to it. When humans outlive life and never have to eat, sleep, get sick or die, I will always agree that they are their own god.

  9. Chris Howard
    October 9, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Very true Dale.

    It’s always seemed to me that the traditional concept of faith (I believe because it is impossible/rediculous) is lost on the current generation.

    My view, don’t enter into a false debate when all you have to say is “I believe it, so it’s true.”

  10. Shane
    October 9, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Seems there is no independent contemporaneous evidence of a man called Jesus. Citing Josephus or Pliny referring to Christians 50 to 100 years after Jesus’ death so therefore Jesus existed is only evidence of Christians. It’s like saying that in 50 years time if some people still put Jedi down as their religion in the census Obi Wan existed.
    This guy better have some convincing argument if he is going to get anyone to take him seriously though.

    • Dale S
      October 9, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Caesar believed he existed. He is documented by Ancient Rome.

  11. TribecaMike
    October 9, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Though he didn’t convince me, I thought Bart D. Ehrman made a compelling case in his recent well-researched and written book, “Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth.”

  12. TribecaMike
    October 9, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I neglected to mention that my previous comment was addressed to Richard Tingley.

  13. Kathy Moyd
    October 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    His book “Caesar’s Messiah” was written in 2005; a new version was issued in 2011 with the “ancient confession.” The reviews on Amazon basically said interesting, but not convincing.

  14. neko
    October 9, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    If the Romans invented him, they were even more stupid than I thought. It certainly involved a lot of blow back then, as they seem to have had so much fun persecuting the new followers of the cult for a century.

    Why would they invent a Jewish superman with claims to a worldwide pontifex maximus? They just finished crushing the Jews, and rejecting their religion at a whole scale. Why would they invent a religion like that? Especially a peace-oriented Religion.

    These were Romans, you know. Romans. Peace. Romans. For the Romans, peace involved your enemy marching under your spears in complete abject humiliation after you raped their… everything. Especially their gods. and then telling them they better show up to fight next time on their side, and pay taxes, as they were now Romans too. Like it, or.

    These are the romans who basically committed the first, and only, act of auto-genocide I know when the peninsula was invaded, sending their old men and children armed with weapons from the tombs of esteemed ancestors in the capital rather than experience the humiliation of defeat in war.

    Those romans? Blessed are the peacemakers?

    I’ve got to hear this one…

  15. ZombyWoof
    October 9, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Although there’s no evidence that Jesus really existed it just doesn’t make sense that the Romans would have invented him.

  16. Dale S
    October 9, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Wow! I’m actually impressed at the thinking here. Being fairly new, I can say it’s true skepticism and the thinking here is above most of the internet (People actually debate and think!) Good job Doubtful News!

  17. Dan C
    October 9, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    I could easily get in over my head here, but… Atwill is not the first biblical scholar to put forth the argument that Jesus was fictional. There is no absolutely conclusive, scientific-verifiable evidence either way. The consensus among scholars, believers or otherwise, is still that Jesus did exist. But getting past the “Christ of faith” to the historical Jesus is extremely difficult. Many writers have attempted to get at the historical Jesus, and through them we can learn a lot about the society and culture of the time of Jesus, but Jesus himself? He has been portrayed as everything from a dewy-eyed mystic to a social rebel to an apocalyptic prophet. The writers of historical Jesus books seem to end up with the Jesus they want to find. The gospels probably (in the view of most scholars) give us some authentic information about the historical Jesus (following the consensus that he was a real person), but the gospels are faith statements, not biographies (though based on earlier, probably mostly oral sources), and the gospel writers have often edited the stories they had, or put them into a new context to bring out their faith aspects or to show a comparison between Jesus and the Jewish Scriptures–or even the Roman emperor. Maybe Jesus, for example, did meet the Samaritan woman at the well, as John 4 relates, but John surely knows that the Old Testament is filled with stories of patriarchs meeting their wives-to-be at wells. In a gospel as filled with symbolism as John’s is, are we to miss the symbolism that Jesus is forming a spiritual marriage with the woman, and with the Samaritan people through her? Symbolism rules here. And yet in other parts of the gospel, scholars are pretty sure John gives authentic historical detail when the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) do not.It would seem that Mark, the first gospel to be written (according to the consensus of most scholars) knows nothing of the virgin birth of Jesus, and yet both Matthew and Luke tell that story twenty years later. Which leads scholars to think that the story may have started circulating widely only after Mark was written. Matthew and Luke tell the nativity story, but they don’t agree on details, which leads us to think they are telling these stories their own way for their own theological reasons. Atwill says the Jesus story was told as Roman propaganda to help with their Jewish problem, but I wonder…by the time Matthew, Luke, and John were written, the Romans no longer had a Jewish problem. The Temple was gone, Jerusalem was rubble, and the Jewish people were slaughtered and scattered. Since any literary evidence for the whole “Jesus born of a virgin and was the Son of God,” theology comes 20 years after the Romans had destroyed the Jewish nation, why would Roman propaganda still be speaking of Jesus in a way that mirrored the language of the cult of the emperor, setting up Jesus as, in a way, the anti-emperor? And the gospels do not agree about details of Jesus’ travels, so how is Atwill comparing them to Roman campaigns as told by Josephus? Theories come and go, and I am sure many Bible-believing people would be aghast to read what I’ve said here. But biblical scholarship is far more complex and the gospels far more sophisticated than many non-believers and believers alike seem to think. Acknowledging the complexity of the gospels does not make a simple faith easy, but in the end, it comes down to whether the gospel portrayals of Jesus are something one wants to base one’s life on, ambiguity and all. Those uncomfortable with the large grey areas of faith, and want only reliable, replicable, testable, verifiable fact will do better sticking only to science. Personally, I’m still trying to hold on to faith, while simultaneously cheering “Yay science!”

  18. October 9, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    My Jesus theory is simply this: A Jewish Nerd boy who fell into a group of users. Happens to the nicest of folks.

  19. Ryuthrowsstuff
    October 9, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    @Richard Tingley Wikipedia tends to have very good overviews of these sorts of things:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

    If memory serves (haven’t read up on it in a while, but going to run through the linked article) there’s a lack of primary or physical evidence for Jesus’s existence. But there are enough secondary sources that independently corroborate one an other for a historical Jesus to be the default assumption. Since we also lack evidence that he didn’t exist, most scholars stick with that default assumption.

  20. October 9, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    > Biblical scholar Joseph Atwill

    He seems to be a self-styled biblical scholar, just as we have “scientific ufologists.” The only credentials he lists in his bio are “studying Greek, Latin and the Bible” while at school as a “youth.” I can find no faculty pages for Atwill, nor any university sites referring to him. JSTOR and Google Scholar have one listing for Atwill, a paper about radio-carbon dating for the Dead Sea Scrolls (Dead Sea Discoveries, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2004). That paper has nothing about textual criticism of ancient texts.

    Atwill’s thesis is that Josephus wrote the gospels — all of them! If you’ve read any textual criticism of the NT, that’s completely insane. Just to start, you have to ignore the profound theological and textual differences between the synoptic gospels and John. Also, you have to ignore the whole subject of canonical criticism: how did these particalar gospels achieve their status at the expense of others? Finally, you have to ignore that while the gospels are four biographies of the messiah — the culminating figure of Jewish history — Jewish historian Josephus, in his own historical works, has only one brief mention of Jesus (and scholars believe this to be an interpolation). Josephus’ acknowledged works should give the messiah significant coverage, but John the Baptist gets more coverage than Jesus!

    Glancing at online reviews, it appears Atwill treats ancient texts the same way ancient astronaut researchers do.

  21. One Eyed Jack
    October 9, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    there is no app for God,

    Google “god apps”.

    There’s an app for that. In fact, there’s hundreds of apps for that.

  22. Brian
    October 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    How about the actual evidence to there being a jesus? There’s enough proof to say neither god or jesus exist at all, and a whole lot saying the whole religion is a scam- purely by going by the evidence: jesus promises of greater works will be done by his followers. His followers have done nothing, and in some cases, worse than nothing. No healings, feeding the poor, or even so much as making the world a better place. You then have (just as one example, I am sure many more can be found, and I am not typing *that* much.) the starving, dying, and abused children *everywhere*. Supposedly, jesus’ favorite people. Have they been helped supernaturally? NO. And let’s split hairs…. has his followers done much more? (remember ‘greater works than he) NO. They just keep going on about how much money they need, when they should be able to do this sans buck.

    Also… it almost makes sense that the romans would invent jesus and the religion… when you really look into it, it is a system of control. They have used it successfully to control people throughout history. Its used NOW for control, in fact.

    • Dale S
      October 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      One of the greatest mental tricks of propaganda is to pull people into an argument over something. The argument itself wins for the agenda. For example, if you want to take down Christianity, just make an argument that Christ was propaganda, you may not win the facts and argument, but especially in these days of the anti Christ sentiment, you won when you put that argument out there because of the doubt so many crave.

  23. October 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Although simple logic should show us that the idea of ‘God’ is more than unlikely, there was probably a historic person called Jesus. Historian Flavius Josephus mentions him only about 50 or 60 years after the events described in the NT.

    For me, all religions have evolved to help our ‘thinking’ species cope with life. Although they are all illusions, I am of the opinion that they are slightly more beneficial than harmful. In any event, they are here – they exist. It will be a long time before determinists (like myself) are generally believed!

  24. Richard
    October 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Bart Ehrman, New Testament scholar, one-time conservative pastor now agnostic, writes that there is evidence Jesus existed BUT we probably have very little reliable information about him (for example the miracles and speeches all seem to be Midrash, the apostle lists and dates disagree wildly even though the 3 synoptic gospels all depend on Mark for source data and outline, and John is so different it’s almost like he’s talking about somebody else). And there were several other “Messiahs” and “Wonder-workers” running around at the time as well. That Romans would invent the Jesus mythos seems excessively improbable.

    • Shane
      October 14, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      Even Ehrman acknowledges there are no independent non-christian sources of any physical or written evidence of Jesus the man. Just oral tradition essentially. Ehrman basically asserts that Jesus existed because scholars have always believed he existed.

      • cj
        October 14, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        There are no contemporary records or physical remains for Theudas, The Egyptian, Joseph of Gamala or many other prophetic claimants from the area and time. We know of them from Josephus. The same is true of many first century figures, so this is nothing unusual at all

  25. Richard
    October 15, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    And for centuries there was no such thing as “Christianity” (and one can make a similar claim today, since post-Reformation there are so many varieties, interpretations, styles, faith systems & theologies). There were “Christians” who held a startlingly wide variety of opinions, as documented in “Jesus Wars” by Philip Jenkins and recent discoveries & translations of additional Gospels, Epistles, and other writings. What we now call “Catholic” or “Orthodox” were merely the winners (usually due to political connections and royal patronage rather than theological consistency and biblical integrity). Some of the “heresies” are truer to the scriptures and easier to believe (for example constructing a theology of the Trinity requires all manner of convoluted rationalizations, and the incarnation/atonement theories are frequently improbable and based upon the concept that blood sacrifice is necessary to appease the angry gods — so god had a son in order to kill him and enjoy his blood? Sounds more like the ultimate child-abuser rather than a loving Father).

    • Dale S
      October 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      Obviously a claim made from hate, not study.

  26. Colin Davis
    October 15, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Michael Greening, if there was an historical person, he wouldn’t have been “called Jesus”, would he, at least not during his life? He’d have been called Jehoshua, or some such Israelite name.

    Dale, “a claim made from hate”, you say. You want to see what hate is like, take a look at “The God Delusion” and read some of the letters Richard Dawkins has received from believers.

  27. Dale S
    October 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    ..most important part is ‘not from study.’

  28. October 16, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    “Do you have worthwhile information to add to this story?”

    Yes, actually, I do. I have not only read _Caesar’s Messiah_, I’ve studied it quite extensively.
    Atwill is correct.

    In one part, he concludes that a character in Josephus, “Eleazar”, was the prototypic Christ.
    This “Eleazar” was “Pruned” and replaced by the Roman Cipher.
    Atwill is most assuredly correct. From my own work, I know that “Eleazar” comes from 1 Chronicles 24.
    King David gives 24 Groups the assignment of Temple Service, known as “Mishmarot”. These 24 Groups come from “Eleazar” and “Ithamar”. “Eleazar” provides the first 16 Groups.
    The Hasmonean Dynasty proclaims itself the Leading Members of Jehoiarib, the first named group here. The last Group of Eleazar is “Immer” which (without diacritical marks) looks like “Lamb” – as in “Lamb of God”. A quite unexpected Story Line appears because of this fact (See the archeological settlement of “Jabnit”, inhabited by members of Immer who believed that Hasmoneans came from them.). “Eleazar” is indeed a threat to the Romans!

    Thus, Atwill is correct about Eleazar, although he comes to this conclusion from an entirely different angle than I do.

    Rome “Pruned” the Promises made through the Hasmoneans, of Rulers and High Priests, and “Grafted” the Roman empire onto these promises. The fulfillment of these promises were therefore to found in the Romans!

    CW

  29. October 17, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    Please allow one slight correction – If I’m going to use Atwill’s Terminology, I should get it right!
    Obviously, to Atwill, Eleazar was “Pruned”. The Romans indeed grafted meek, tax paying Jews onto the wild Messianic stock to produce “Good Jews”. I merely ask, “What of the Promises of Rulers and High Priests that were made to the Mishmarot Groups?”.

    Look at John 11 and read it as if the Romans are telling you what they are going to do! “Lazarus” (“Eleazar”) has been dead 4 days. He cannot be resurrected. This “Jesus”, however, will resurrect Lazarus:

    John 11: 4 (RSV):

    [4] But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.”

    Atwill sees this as a most grisly satire on the Siege of Jerusalem. Lazarus is not brought out alive, he is brought out to be eaten. Nonetheless, look at it in its results. “This is for the glory of God” (Vespasian), “so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.” (Titus, dba as “The Son”).

    Here, all roads do lead to Rome. We are both stating the same thing, whether through “Pruning” and “Grafting” or the Story of the Mishmarot Service Groups of Jehoiarib through “Immer”, focusing on a Passover where 3000 die.

    Rome wins.

    Thank you,

    Charles

  30. neko
    October 21, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    The whole theory seems based on distended equivocation. Sheep = goat = sounds like ebenezer = JeSUS, without the SUS! Or, well, it kind of sounds like it, right? So, that’s like…QED.

    It reads like a math proof but is nothing but baseless “wish it were so” and “could it be?” jumps in logic in the direction of hopeful assumptions.

    But the biggest problem is you have to begin with the idea “these texts were all ancient cyphers, which I have the key to, one I have invented myself”. Of course, I could do the same with a modern paperback from a spinning rack, but I’d feel too silly.

    Josephus is formulaic, borrows stories and narrative structures, but is not a stenographic cypher “only we special scholars understand.” How absurd. All you are doing is projecting your wishful thinking between the lines of a much studied and well understood text without a key anyone else thinks is valid. This goes beyond close reading, it’s text ventriloquism.

  31. October 21, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Thank you for your comments Neko but, respectfully, your complaints are misplaced.
    I ask you to do some research and get back to us when you discover which Mishmarot Group was involved with the Temple Service on the Passovers of 4 BCE and 9 CE.
    I do not claim that the texts were all coded with a key only I understand. THAT’S THE POINT! At the end of 8+ years of research, there had to be some END that related the Service Group “Immer” to the Hasmoneans. Such a relation has been found with archeological discovery of the settlement at “Jabnit”. It’s not “ME”, it’s not some mysterious “Q Community” which no one can find.

    It’s there. GET IT? IT’S THERE! It’s in Upper Galilee and IT’S THERE!

    I understand that you feel that you must find some Class to place me into that renders me “Inauthentic” or “Retrograde”.
    Go ahead. You can ALWAYS find such a Class. That, however leaves the argument untouched.

    Next, try to refute the Thesis.

    Mishmarot. Alexander Jannaeus. Salome. The Hasmoneans.

    Revelation 5: 6 (RSV, in part), 10:

    [6]…I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain…

    [10] and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on earth.”

    That’s “Immer”, that’s the Passover Slaughter of 4 BCE, right there. This is what the Romans stole, RIGHT THERE!
    It’s all there. So, go ahead. Use it. Refute the THESIS. Please do not drop to some Low Level Class membership argument. It’s unseemly.

    CW

    • October 22, 2013 at 8:21 AM

      Charles: Red flags go up when anyone says “do some research” since that typically means do the cherry picking that I have done to support my position.

      I don’t allow propaganda on this site even as a rebuttal. There is enough misinformation out there and this site is about countering that but it’s not a debate. Can anyone tell me if Charles’ info makes any sense. If not, I will remove it. We are evidence-based here, not a platform for your personal views.

  32. October 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    I apologize for violating your policy. I did not realize it.
    No Red Flags needed.
    I can give you all the documentation you need. I originally posted in defense of attacks on Joe Atwill.
    Very few people have actually read Atwill and, as I stated above, most resort to a Class Attack. Class Analysis does not refute Atwill’s work in any way.

    His thesis is not even considered.

    My work is published. You have my E-Mail address. I will be happy to provide documentation to you.

    CW

  33. neko
    October 22, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Oh my. OK. Although it seems like this isn’t going to get anywhere, we are starting so far apart.

    Not in the comments on an article, sadly.

    CW, Where did I even argue the provenance of the materials?

    Or say the thesis was too outlandish?

    BTW: when I said “I’ve got the see this…” I meant I’ve GOT TO SEE THIS. I’d love such a ridiculous piece of self-inflicted misery to be true. That would be the best irony. BAR NONE.

    So, please. At least read what I actually said, don’t do to me what you are doing to poor old Josephus. I consider the thesis great, even if it’s fiction. If true, it’s positively amusing. I can offer no higher praise.

    Although, to my mind, unlikely, it’s not impossible. My only question is, “what makes you think that?” It’s certainly entertaining.

    So, let’s get started then. Most importantly, where is the null hypothesis here? You are almost saying, perhaps unintentionally, that I should accept this fellow’s thesis and disprove it. I would say, “don’t be silly. Null hypothesis: no covert roman plot. Now, let’s start.”

    My arguments is not against the materials, but against the method and usage of them as evidence.

    To put it shortly, using similar methods to these, I could argue Superman was secretly created by the Nazis. I think we can both accept this posit is false. But let’s try it.

    Motive: Superman always obeys the law, even when he has to sit in prison he could easily break out of! Ha ha. Silly Americans. Now they won’t resist us. ( twirls mustache )

    Proof: Well, look at the thesis! Why won’t you look a the thesis! Stop your class attacks!

    I’m sorry, I don’t want to offend too much, but that’s where you are starting from. Then, moving on:

    Extra proof: But, oh, if you must, just look at this spinner rack near the comic books at the drugstore! The Nazis admit they did it over there!

    Huh?

    Oh, outright, no, they don’t say it outright. But, here, this passage from this book on Eugenics, which is from an American Nazi, sounds like this dialogue from this book on religion over here, and the word “to” is a homonym for “2”, so if you take this and over here, it sounds like the text from this bubble over Superman’s head and BOOM! Proof, the Nazis had motive, and admitted it!

    Even though they never mentioned superman as superman, it’s clear they are saying superman by exacting geometric logic.

    That’s what I mean. you are positing a secret code, a cypher, that is constructed from clippings you are taking from elsewhere and wild jumps in logic.

    Doing that, I can prove anything is anything, only I’ve proven nothing. Forgive me, but you are invested in the conclusion.

    The whole method is flawed, and we still don’t have a smoking gun, just imagination, jumps in logic and squinting. That’s what I’m saying.

  34. October 22, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Neko-

    OK, OK, we can both manipulate language. You state:

    “The whole method is flawed, and we still don’t have a smoking gun, just imagination, jumps in logic and squinting. That’s what I’m saying.”

    I understand why you are objecting here 100%. I really do. At the other end of this is what Whitehead might term “Bee on flower” (From “Nature Lifeless and “Nature Alive” if you’re keeping score at home.). Your standard just given, however, does not get the job done that you want. Pose this standard to a committed Christian and you might get an even stranger answer than Atwill would give. My work is at about 260 pages now, not including the new discovery of the Herod Story in Mark 9 where Herod drops Giant Millstones in the Sea, not counting the one tied around his neck.

    You wouldn’t probably agree with that one either.

    That’s the nature of the Biz. “To what does language adhere?” Are events Acausal? How much “Cause” is there? Sounds like a mediocre philosophy thesis is in there somewhere. Still, the questions are important.

    I cannot give you much in a half a page of Blog Composition on someone’s Blog.

    What I can do is point out general comments made about Atwill made by people who seem to have read nothing that Atwill has written. I can also point out that my work supports his Ideas. The Blog Operator here has called me to task for violating Protocol. I apologized and I apologize to you. Superman can take care of himself.

    I leave you with an idea from Josephus. It’s methodological in nature in a similar manner as the question “Did anyone ever throw a Giant Millstone in the sea?”

    Josephus states that “Demetrius Eucerus”, camped at Shechem, attacks “Alexander Jannaeus” and destroys Jannaeus’ force and causes Jannaeus to retreat into the mountains. He then states that the Greek General’s Jewish Mercenaries “took pity” on Jannaeus and defected to Jannaeus. Demetrius becomes SCARED and leaves the country. Does this sound reasonable to you?

    Doesn’t to me. It sounds ABSURD and it is. Yet, there is something else going on. I can state the conclusions: It is Demetrius Eucerus who commits the “Appalling Abomination” and when Jannaeus then crucifies 800 Pharisees and murders their children and slits the throats of their wives, you can see parallels in Mark 13 quite easily. “And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days!”

    Without the several pages of analysis behind this, however, it sounds as crazy as belief in a savior/god who appears in a war ravaged land spouting aphorisms and getting in the Sea of Galilee Taxi service to travel around.

    Whatever DID happen at Shechem with Demetrius Eucerus? Why is Shechem important? I dunno anymore. It’s like that bee I saw the other day that landed on that flower. What’s up with that?

    CW

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