Oddly interesting read

A_Nony_Mouse
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Oddly interesting read

I came across a reference to Diodorus and Antiochus putting down the revolt in Judea and looked further and came across this. Just an interesting read.

www.gutenberg.org/files/37696/37696-h/37696-h.htm

ARGUMENTS OF CELSUS, PORPHYRY, and THE EMPEROR JULIAN, AGAINST THE CHRISTIANS;

ALSO EXTRACTS FROM DIODORUS SICULUS, JOSEPHUS, AND TACITUS, RELATING TO THE JEWS, TOGETHER WITH AN APPENDIX;

CONTAINING: THE ORATION OF LIBANIUS IN DEFENCE OF THE TEMPLES OF THE HEATHENS, TRANSLATED BY DR. LARDNER; AND EXTRACTS FROM BINGHAM'S ANTIQUITIES OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

By [Thomas Taylor] MDCCCXXX.

 

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


Cpt_pineapple
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A_Nony_Mouse
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Cpt_pineapple wrote:

0

Nasty.

OTOH consider a world in which intelligent, rational people raised such issues and did so because they were the embodiment of the ideas of the time.

Also notice Julian, the emperor, is NOT ordering Egypt to do things.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


x
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Entertaining

At first I thought that I wouldn't have time to read yet another 300 page book, but this isn't. It is quite a manageable little tome and is divided into tasty snack-sized morsels.

Have only read the Celsus section so far though. Quite a coherent fellow. No doubt the original book of his had even more sensible talk about Christianity, considering that Origen, like any apologist, only selected the bits he felt he could attempt to answer.

Much of it is quite familiar in that we still have many of the same arguments today on this very website.

The Christ from Panthera theory can be added to the collection of Jesus origin stories.

It is also interesting to see what Christians were up to in the second century from the viewpoint of an outsider. I gather that this is the earliest known detailed analysis of Christianity. It also confirms that the stories about the Roman gods were not taken literally.

 

This bit is going to need more research as I'm not familiar with these Egyptian names in this form.

 

That to the least of things, however, are allotted guardian powers, may be learnt from the Egyptians, who say that the human body is divided into thirty-six parts, and that dæmons* or certain etherial gods who are distributed into the same number of parts, are the guardians of these divisions of the body. Some also assert, that there is a much greater number of these presiding powers; different corporeal parts being under the inspection of different powers. The names of these also in the vernacular tongue of the Egyptians are Chnoumën, Chnachoumën, Knat, Sicat, Biou, Erou, Erebiou, Ramanor, Reianoor.

 

Some highlights:

 

"What is said by a few who are considered as Christians, concerning the doctrine of Jesus and the precepts of Christianity, is not designed for the wiser, but for the more unlearned and ignorant part of mankind. For the following are their precepts: 'Let no one who is erudite accede to us, no one who is wise, no one who is prudent (for these things are thought by us to be evil); but let any one who is unlearned, who is stupid, who is an infant in understanding boldly come to us.'
 

Celsus after this, in his usual way deriding both Jews and Christians, compares all of them to a multitude of bats, or to ants coming out of their holes, or to frogs seated about a marsh, or to earthworms that assemble in a corner of some muddy place, and contend with each other which of them are most noxious.

 

Extending to the multitude these insane and perfectly obscure assertions, the meaning of which no intelligent man is able to discover,—for they are unintelligible and a mere nothing,—they afford an occasion to the stupid and to jugglers of giving to them whatever interpretation they please.

 

Further still: If God, like Jupiter in the comedy, being roused from a long sleep, wished to liberate the human race from evils, why did he send only into a corner of the earth this spirit of whom you boast? though he ought in a similar manner to have animated many other bodies, and to have sent them to every part of the habitable globe. The comic poet indeed, in order to excite the laughter of the audience in the theatre, says that Jupiter, after he was roused from his sleep, sent Mercury to the Athenians and Lacedæmonsians:—but do not you think that it is a much more ridiculous fiction to assert that God sent his son to the Jews?

 


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x wrote:

At first I thought that I wouldn't have time to read yet another 300 page book, but this isn't. It is quite a manageable little tome and is divided into tasty snack-sized morsels.

Google-sized bites.

Quote:
Have only read the Celsus section so far though. Quite a coherent fellow. No doubt the original book of his had even more sensible talk about Christianity, considering that Origen, like any apologist, only selected the bits he felt he could attempt to answer.

Much of it is quite familiar in that we still have many of the same arguments today on this very website.

The Christ from Panthera theory can be added to the collection of Jesus origin stories.

After reading the old stuff for a while I came to a few conclusions. They did not think like us, period. We cannot think like them, period. Oddly they came to much the same conclusions. I have since been mostly frustrated with people who tell me about the ancients using modern terms which they did not and could not have used. When I read it I get ready for an attack simply by reading what they did say.

For example, in another forum I was talking about the arbitrary selection of the gospels and some clown cited some ancient as having definitively answered the question as to why there were four way back when. I looked up what the man did right. He gave a long list of things the come in fours like directions and winds and concluded there could only be four gospels. The only confirmation of fours being necessary is I had to repeat the refutation of his source four different times before he dropped it.

But his source is still a common and popular citation by many others.

We can't think like them because so many things are so different in basic assumptions. A rule of baptism is that it has to be with moving water, poured, a river or stream, whatever. It has to be moving. The answer can be found by reading what they were saying. Moving waters were living waters. Now it is trivial to see the difference between moving and stagnant water as the latter stinks. But they worked this idea into everything about water even to the Dead Sea and the idea of flowing downhill did not seem to come into play at all.
Here we can see the meaning of living waters as moving but the entire view of water in all the aspects of those days is beyond us. We have too many contrary ideas that get in the way.

The Roman view of sacrifice to gods was that it obligated the gods. If the god did not respond that required a separate explanation and lead to moving on to another god instead of arguing. The gods are obligated because people who accept gifts are obligated. In important matters, because of the obligation, there other explanation such as having pissed off the god was required. The Christian arbitrary and capricious god avoided that issue but it is all through the jewish view of their god. If Yahweh does not respond then there is some much greater cause of the problem.

The whole thing of reading ancient material is worth the effort. Consider Plato's cave and things being a shadow of what they really are. You can take entire graduate courses on that one concept. In fact it is really nothing more than saying the heavens are a higher level of reality. Really dumb in our terms but the idea was resurrected in suggesting ours is a holographic reality.

Anyway, if you develop a taste for it it is something I have not seen an end to after decades. It will keep you busy, off the streets and out of trouble.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


x
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The Sign of the Four

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

After reading the old stuff for a while I came to a few conclusions. They did not think like us, period. We cannot think like them, period. Oddly they came to much the same conclusions. I have since been mostly frustrated with people who tell me about the ancients using modern terms which they did not and could not have used. When I read it I get ready for an attack simply by reading what they did say.

For example, in another forum I was talking about the arbitrary selection of the gospels and some clown cited some ancient as having definitively answered the question as to why there were four way back when. I looked up what the man did right. He gave a long list of things the come in fours like directions and winds and concluded there could only be four gospels. The only confirmation of fours being necessary is I had to repeat the refutation of his source four different times before he dropped it.

But his source is still a common and popular citation by many others.

For me, briefly reading about Neoplatonism has reinforced the notion that they thought very differently in many areas. Many of the ideas are as strange as Gnosticism and orthodox Christianity, though there is a lot of overlap, especially with the Logos. For that matter, most contemporary religious thought can be described as 'they don't think like us'. Still, this is so thoughout history. Reading Pepys or The Canterbury Tales for example, most of it seems quite normal, but every now and then they stray into strange concepts.

Presumably Irenaeus.

"It is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are, since there are four directions of the world in which we are, and four principal winds...the four living creatures [of Revelation 4.9] symbolize the four Gospels...and there were four principal covenants made with humanity, through Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Christ." (Against All Heresies 3.11.8; cf. M 263)

I'm not sure if he was referring to the Diatessaron ("That Which is Through the Four" ), or to the individual components of it, or both.

He also speculated that the four canonical Gospels correspond with visionary depictions of angels, or "cherubim," found in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel and in the New Testament book of Revelation.

It has often struck me how common this mystical looking for signs in texts, divine patterns in entrails, holy numbers, etc. is. Religions these days don't make quite as much fuss about it, but it's there in their roots.

This leads me to the nightmare subject of astrotheology. I can't help but think that if I am right in believing that astrology was taken seriously by most ancients, then astrology is bound to have heavily influenced their religious beliefs. But by how much and where? The subject is too big for now and there is only so much research into mysticism I can bear. It's a form of angel pinhead dancing, but one does have to have to have some understanding of it in order to better interpret the texts.

 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

We can't think like them because so many things are so different in basic assumptions. A rule of baptism is that it has to be with moving water, poured, a river or stream, whatever. It has to be moving. The answer can be found by reading what they were saying. Moving waters were living waters. Now it is trivial to see the difference between moving and stagnant water as the latter stinks. But they worked this idea into everything about water even to the Dead Sea and the idea of flowing downhill did not seem to come into play at all.
Here we can see the meaning of living waters as moving but the entire view of water in all the aspects of those days is beyond us. We have too many contrary ideas that get in the way.

The Roman view of sacrifice to gods was that it obligated the gods. If the god did not respond that required a separate explanation and lead to moving on to another god instead of arguing. The gods are obligated because people who accept gifts are obligated. In important matters, because of the obligation, there other explanation such as having pissed off the god was required. The Christian arbitrary and capricious god avoided that issue but it is all through the jewish view of their god. If Yahweh does not respond then there is some much greater cause of the problem.

The whole thing of reading ancient material is worth the effort. Consider Plato's cave and things being a shadow of what they really are. You can take entire graduate courses on that one concept. In fact it is really nothing more than saying the heavens are a higher level of reality. Really dumb in our terms but the idea was resurrected in suggesting ours is a holographic reality.

Anyway, if you develop a taste for it it is something I have not seen an end to after decades. It will keep you busy, off the streets and out of trouble.

I've only been seriously dabbling for a couple of years, since I joined this site, but I am finding it to be a very affordable and rewarding addiction and scoring isn't too hard.


A_Nony_Mouse
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x wrote:
I've only been seriously dabbling for a couple of years, since I joined this site, but I am finding it to be a very affordable and rewarding addiction and scoring isn't too hard.

Don't forget to mine gutenberg.org.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml