Front Page Mythicist Campaign Info

Rook_Hawkins
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Front Page Mythicist Campaign Info

(1) What is the Mythicist Position?

To be brief, the mythicist position holds that Jesus, the historical and supernatural, never existed. 

 

 

You can watch the video of my presentation "Misquoting Scripture" at the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia here. 

 

(2) What about the Historical Jesus Quests?

The historical Jesus quests (there have actually been three!) have all failed to provide a historical Jesus.  What they have shown is how easy it is for scholars to look down the well of history and see their own reflections staring back at them—and then assuming that reflection is Jesus.  Each quest set out with the goal of demythologizing the Gospels; that is, they intended to remove all the supernatural, legendary, theological, and political embellishments added by the authors of the four Gospels. (Later quests attempted to remove them from deuterocanonical books as well!)  What was discovered is that it is impossible to do so without infecting your search with your own personal goals as a scholar. 

(3) What about Paul?  Didn’t he believe in a Historical Jesus?

Paul did not believe in a historical Jesus, but instead believed in a spiritual Jesus which he considered to be both a mediator between God and man as well as a revealer of knowledge and the mysteries of God.  Paul is the only link between the time period that is generally thought of to be the lifetime of Christ (c. 5-3 BCE – 30-33 CE), yet Paul seems to know nothing at all about this historical man, Jesus, who would have only died a few decades earlier.  Paul even says that he has talked to some of the apostles, but not only does he still remain ignorant, he flat out disagrees with Peter on doctrine and the message of Christianity!  You would think that, as somebody converting into a religion like Christianity, Paul would grant authority to the people who supposedly knew Jesus.  But he doesn’t.  Paul was interpreting scripture, and his savior came from scripture—not from a historical person. 

(4) What are the Gospels?  Aren’t they biographies of Jesus’ life?

The Gospels tell us nothing of a historical Jesus.  They are not biographies at all, unless you redefine biography to mean “a fictional representation of a legend”.  (Or something very close to that)  The Gospels are exactly what their authors intended them to be.  Mark intended his Gospel to be read as edifying fiction, as scripture reinterpretation, much like that of the author of Job and the author of Tobit did.  Matthew, writing later and copying Mark, added new plot lines to his narrative, like a birth story and a short snippet of Jesus as a youth – both of which come from scripture.  But even Matthew was probably writing allegory and fiction.  The canonical Luke was writing a polemical Gospel against Marcion, probably around the beginning or middle of the second century.  Luke changed Matthews birth narrative, and added more extravagance to Jesus’ resurrection story, including a scene which imitates the story of Romulus from Roman fiction.  John, most definitely a Gnostic, wrote his Gospel after Luke or around Luke, and expanded dramatically on Mark’s original composition.  None of these stories are accounts of an actual person.  They are Jewish fiction writing, a genre that was very popular during the Hellenistic period and the period known as the Second Sophistic.   The Gospels are a product of their times, they are not—as is commonly thought—separate from them.

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darth_josh
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Addendum:RookHawkins wrote:I

Addendum:

RookHawkins wrote:

I regret having that material still available online in certain places. I've grown as a person over the past several years and a lot of my perspectives have changed as I grew more educated on certain subjects. This is why I feel I have some authority to speak on this; I was once harangued into believing that content on the internet was generally accurate even though I had no gauge as to what constituted a viable source and what constituted something dated. Now that I have a strong understanding of both, I feel it is my duty as someone entering the field to educate others on the difference between shoddy work on correlations and critical academic investigations into similar social trends. There is a huge difference and that is what I was pressing the most in my dialogue with XXXX. I certainly don't expect people to trust my old research anymore; I never link to it for precisely that reason.

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Kapkao
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Shame. I thought Rook had

Shame. I thought Rook had returned.

Do you two carry on a dialogue in more private vectors?

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


darth_josh
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Kapkao wrote:Shame. I

Kapkao wrote:

Shame. I thought Rook had returned.

Do you two carry on a dialogue in more private vectors?

No. Just this time. I have pressed for his 'repentance of the RRS' a few times in the past.

Posting this is, I guess, my repentance of Rook.

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ApostateAbe
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darth_josh

darth_josh wrote:

Addendum:

RookHawkins wrote:

I regret having that material still available online in certain places. I've grown as a person over the past several years and a lot of my perspectives have changed as I grew more educated on certain subjects. This is why I feel I have some authority to speak on this; I was once harangued into believing that content on the internet was generally accurate even though I had no gauge as to what constituted a viable source and what constituted something dated. Now that I have a strong understanding of both, I feel it is my duty as someone entering the field to educate others on the difference between shoddy work on correlations and critical academic investigations into similar social trends. There is a huge difference and that is what I was pressing the most in my dialogue with XXXX. I certainly don't expect people to trust my old research anymore; I never link to it for precisely that reason.

If Rook Hawkins has repudiated this material, then I think it would appropriate to "unsticky" it from the top of the forum.


Sapient
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I'd rather unsticky it

I'd rather unsticky it because Rook abandoned us.  He wasn't referring to this specifically, just some of what he did.

 

- Brian Sapient


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ApostateAbe
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Sapient wrote:I'd rather

Sapient wrote:

I'd rather unsticky it because Rook abandoned us.  He wasn't referring to this specifically, just some of what he did.

I think it would be a fair thing to do.  They are the kinds of ideas I used to believe, and it really is the sort of material that was believed and promoted primarily because of its anti-religious value, not primarily for its reasonability.  Ancient history is not an easy topic, it turns out, and, especially when it comes to the origins of Christianity, anyone coming into the subject having an axe to grind will tend to promote exactly the explanations for ancient religious mythical evidence that seem to best sharpen the blade.  It think it would be sort of a bummer if that material were permanently attached to my name.