What is the Jesus Mythicist's Position?

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What is the Jesus Mythicist's Position?

The Rational Response Squad is a Jesus-Free™ team. What does this mean? It means we are all Jesus Mythicists. You may ask yourself, what is a Mythicist? (And more importantly, are you one as well?) These are excellent questions and you probably have more, which is what this bulletin is about to cover.

Here is one brief synopsis into what the Jesus Mythicist stance is:

  1. Earl Doherty argues that Christianity began as a mystical-revelatory religion, very different from the "deviant" sect that won the propaganda war to become the eventual "orthodoxy." The latter gained prominence in the 2nd century and achieved total victory by the 4th. According to this theory, the idea of an historical progenitor was not original to the faith even in Paul's day, but evolved over the course of the later 1st century. As Doherty argues, "Jesus Christ" (which means "The Anointed Savior") was originally a heavenly being, whose atoning death took place at the hands of demonic beings in a supernatural realm halfway between heaven and earth, a sublunar sphere where he assumed a fleshly, quasi-human form. This and the rest of the "gospel" was revealed to the first Christians in visions and inspirations and through the discovery of hidden messages in the scriptures. After the confusion of the Jewish War and persistent battles over power in the church, rooted in a confused mass of variant sectarian dogmas, a new cult arose with the belief that Jesus actually came to earth and was crucified by Jews with the complicity of the Roman authorities. To defend itself against sects more closely adhering to the original, mystical faith, the new church engaged in polemics and power politics, and eventually composed or adopted writings (chiefly the canonical Gospels) supporting its views.

    The "scandalous" consequence of Doherty's theory is that Jesus didn't exist. But it cannot be emphasized enough that Doherty's thesis is not "Jesus didn't exist, therefore Christianity started as a mystical-revelatory Jewish sect" but "Christianity started as a mystical-revelatory Jewish sect, therefore Jesus didn't exist." This is significant. Most scholars who argue that Jesus didn't exist (who are called "ahistoricists," because they deny the "historicity" of Jesus, or "mythicists," because they argue Jesus is mythical) have little in the way of reasons beyond a whole complex of arguments from silence. Doherty, in contrast, uses arguments from silence only to support his thesis. He does not base it on such arguments, but rather on positive evidence, especially a slew of very strange facts that his theory accounts for very well but that traditional historicism ignores, or explains poorly. By far most of the criticism or even dismissal of Doherty's work is based on the criticism or dismissal of the Argument from Silence, or his (often supposed) deployment of it. This completely misses the strongest elements of his case: evidence that Christianity did in fact begin as a mystical-revelatory religion.

    (This is Richard Carrier’s overall synopsis of The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus, a work by Earl Doherty; Canadian Humanist Publications: Ottawa, Canada; revised edition, 2000)

A simpler summary is that around the turn of the First Century CE, a Hellenized cult formed around Jesus Christ (Greek: Iêsou Christou) who was a spiritual being which brought about the Gnosis (knowledge) of the Logos (The forethought, or first thought) – sometimes referred to as the Monad or “one” (The Secret Book of John) by which was only achieved through Sophia (or wisdom). It is even said that this being was also a rank, achievable just by attaining Gnosis. (Gospel of Thomas)

The confusion of the early centuries of the Common Era (CE) bring on multiple different interpretations of this cult, and from it springs Orthodox Christianity. Over time, and various slander wars, the Orthodox Church wins out and crushes the Gnostic and Mystics movement. They burry or destroy the texts and canonize the books that fit their philosophy. What doesn’t fit originally is made to fit with forgeries and minor altercations of the texts. (Codex Siniaticus, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Alexandrinus, etc…)

This is the Mythicist standpoint. The fact that a spiritual and non-physical Christ became euhemerized into history.

There may be some of you out there who seem to think you have evidence of a historical Jesus’ existence. You feel you have texts, although you’ve probably never read them yourself, that prove Jesus’ existence as a historical person. Of course there’s always a few of you. Let’s look at the evidence quickly (I’ll only include a few in this thread, the rest will be available on this board):

SUETONIUS:

  1. (1) Suetonius wrote in the year 115 CE, so this is FAR from a contemporary account. He doesn't cite or list sources and Christianity would have been decently established by this time.

  2. (2) Surely no one will contend that Christ was inciting riots at Rome 15 years after he was supposedly crucified at Jerusalem. And why would Jews be led by Jesus to begin with? But by citing this you are assuming this is the case.

  3. (3) This passage contains no evidence for the historicity of Jesus, even if we substitute "Christus" for "Chrestus." Christus is merely the Greek-Latin translation of "anointed" and the phrase "at the instigation of Christus" could refer to a group of people just as much as it could have meant one person. This is reminiscent of the name Theophilus mentioned in the beginning of Acts and Luke, (whom the narrator/author of the books are addressing the prose too) which simply means "lover/friend of God." Which can apply to many people instead of one singular person (maybe even a congregation of people).

  4. (4) "Chrestus" was not only a familiar personal name, it was also a name of the Egyptian Serapis or Osiris, who had a large following at Rome, especially among the common people. Hence "Christians" may be either the followers of a man named Chrestus, or of Serapis. Historians know what evil repute the Egyptian people, which consisted mainly of Alexandrian elements, had at Rome. While other foreign cults that had been introduced into Rome enjoyed the utmost toleration, the cult of Serapis and Isis was exposed repeatedly to persecution. The lax morality associated with their worship of the Egyptian gods and the fanaticism of their worshippers repelled the Romans, and excited the suspicion that their cults might be directed against the State.

  5. (5) Vopiscus said, "Those who worship Serapis and the Chrestians,.... They are a turbulent, inflated, lawless body of men." Is it not possible that the reference to Chrestus and the Chrestians has been too hastily applied to Christos and Christians? The "Chrestians," who were detested by the people for their crimes,..., are not Christians at all, but followers of Chrestus, the scum of Egypt, the apaches of Rome, a people on whom Nero could very easily cast the suspicion of having set fire to Rome.

  6. (6) The name in the text is not "Christus" but "Chrestus," which by no means is the usual designation of Jesus. It was a common name, especially among Roman freedman. (Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, book 2, letter 8, section 1; "What! Do you suppose that I meant you to send me an account of gladiatorial matches, of postponements of trials, of robberies by Chrestus, and such things as, when I am at Rome, nobody ventures to retail to me?") Hence, the whole passage may have nothing whatever to do with Christianity.

  7. (7) As one source mentioned it, "Thus much we seem to learn from both passages: but the most enlightened men of that age were singularly ill-informed on the stupendous events which had recently occurred in Judea, and we find Suetonius, although he lived at the commencement of the first century of the Christian aera, when the memory of these occurrences was still fresh, and it might be supposed, by that time, widely diffused, transplanting Christ from Jerusalem to Rome, and placing him in the time of Claudius, although the crucifixion took place during the reign of Tiberius." (Suetonius: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars; An English Translation, Alexander Thomson. Philadelphia. Gebbie & Co. 1889.) What is interesting to note here is that if these events had recently just happened (in the Gospels or anything similar) you'd think those who wrote about it would have written about these events and got them down as they remembered them. Apparently this isn't the case.

  8. (8 ) From Suetonius, "He suppressed all foreign religions, and the Egyptian and Jewish rites, obliging those who practiced that kind of superstition, to burn their vestments, and all their sacred utensils. He distributed the Jewish youths, under the pretence of military service, among the provinces noted for an unhealthy climate; and dismissed from the city all the rest of that nation as well as those who were proselytes to that religion, under pain of slavery for life, unless they complied. He also expelled the astrologers; but upon their suing for pardon, and promising to renounce their profession, he revoked his decree." (Lives of the Caesars; Tiberius, 36) What is important to note here is that Tiberius (not just Claudius) also revoked the Jews religious rites and expelled them from Rome. (This is also mentioned in Acts) As this is the case, and upon reading Cicero, it could have easily been in Seutonius' interest to apply the name "Chrestus" to the instigator of the Jewish expulsion. (Read also Josephus, Ant.18:5.)

TACITUS:

  1. (1) It is extremely improbable that a special report found by Tacitus had been sent earlier to Rome and incorporated into the records of the Senate, in regard to the death of a Jewish provincial, Jesus. The execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events conceivable among the movements of Roman history in those decades; it would have completely disappeared beneath the innumerable executions inflicted by Roman provincial authorities. For it to have been kept in any report would have been a most remarkable instance of chance.

  2. (2) The phrase "multitudo ingens" which means "a great number" is opposed to all that we know of the spread of the new faith in Rome at the time. A vast multitude in 64 A.D.? There were not more than a few thousand Christians 200 years later. The idea of so many just 30 years after his supposed death is just a falsehood.

  3. (3) The use of the Christians as "living torches," as Tacitus describes, and all the other atrocities that were committed against them, have little title to credence, and suggest an imagination exalted by reading stories of the later Christian martyrs. Death by fire was not a punishment inflicted at Rome in the time of Nero. It is opposed to the moderate principles on which the accused were then dealt with by the State.

  4. (4) The Roman authorities can have had no reason to inflict special punishment on the new faith. How could the non-initiated Romans know what were the concerns of a comparatively small religious sect, which was connected with Judaism and must have seemed to the impartial observer wholly identical with it.

  5. (5) Suetonius says that Nero showed the utmost indifference, even contempt in regard to religious sects. Even afterwards the Christians were not persecuted for their faith, but for political reasons, for their contempt of the Roman state and emperor, and as disturbers of the unity and peace of the empire. What reason can Nero have had to proceed against the Christians, hardly distinguishable from the Jews, as a new and criminal sect?

  6. (6) It is inconceivable that the followers of Jesus formed a community in the city at that time of sufficient importance to attract public attention and the ill-feeling of the people. It isn't the most popular way to convert and bring people into their religion.

  7. (7) The victims could not have been given to the flames in the gardens of Nero, as Tacitus allegedly said. According to another account by Tacitus these gardens were the refuge of those whose homes had been burned and were full of tents and wooden sheds. Why would he risk burning these by lighting human fires amidst all these shelters?

  8. (8 ) According to Tacitus, Nero was in Antium, not Rome, when the fire occurred.

  9. (9) Three years of the Histories of the Roman Empire and its Provinces are missing from Tacitus. Alarmingly, they are the years 30 – 33 CE, the same three years scholars date Jesus’ ministry, crucifixion and resurrection. There is some scholarly speculation that these years vanished during the early days of Orthodox Christianity, when scribes embarrassingly realized that there was no mention of their savior present in any of them.

  10. (10) And lastly, Suetonius doesn't mention this event in his histories.

For more thorough reviews of the evidence, visit THIS LINK and check out my "Examination of the Evidence for a Historical Jesus." You can also check out the Rational Response Squad’s $666 Prize for contemporary evidence of Jesus. Here are the Rules and the Thread where you can list your evidence, and here is the Peanut Gallery to discuss it.

You can also purchase and download a few of the Rational Response Squad shows which deal specifically with the Mythicist position! Or you can visit this link and pruchase them individually!

Here is a free clip and some show information!

Show 22 with Steve Gregg: Christian Intervention: Steve Gregg a Christian Radio Talk show host was referred to us by a Christian who claims Steve is one of the best most rational defenders of his faith out there. Rook and Steve square up for one of our more animated discussions on the Rational Response Squad so far.

Show 22 with Rook Hawkins discussion on the Origins of Christianity: Rook Hawkins Lecture. Rook Hawkins Squad member and Biblical expert presents a short discussion, explaining parts of his dissertation. Rook is on the verge on some important findings that will help prove that Yeshua the Christ didn't exist. Rook has stumbled upon something big in his research

Show 25 with Richard Carrier and Rook Hawkins: Richard Carrier join us again to discuss his dissertation that he is currently writing to receive a Doctorate from Columbia University. As you may well know, Richard has a bachelors and two Masters degrees already! Rook will also further discuss the dissertation we heard in show 22, that he's currently working on.

If you are ALSO a Jesus Mythicist, feel free to ADD THESE BANNERS to your Myspace and Website, show your pride for your Mythicism!

Brought to you by your Friendly Neighborhood Rational Responder, Rook Hawkins.


Rook_Hawkins
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Because you're not smart

Because you're not smart enough to learn how to use the link function?


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Rook_Hawkins wrote: This

LifeofApollo:

Your comments / response weren''t as long an as rambling (sorry ) as Rook's but I think you made your points.

They were direct, concise / short and right to the point.

When two people debate or exhange opposing ideas, the person who is able to provide the most concise and direct responses - vis-a-vis the other person who tends to ramble on with answers that resemble War and Peace in length - is usually on more solid ground.

The longer the response, ofterntimes, the more insecure about the position the other preson appears.

Well done, LifeofAppolo.

 

 

 


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Rook_Hawkins wrote: Because

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Because you're not smart enough to learn how to use the link function?

 

Rook:

 

As long as you have your hand out looking for other people to buy your Amazon books, perhaps you should add a book on good manners and civility to your wish list.

As an aside, have you heard of these things called jobs..?? 

They're really great - here' how they work.

You do this thing called work and every couple of weeks, somebody will pay you money. You can then take this money and use some of it to purchase your own books at Amazon instead of having to mooch money from other people to do so.

You ought to try it some time..!! 

 

 

 

 


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SRV_Strat wrote: As an

SRV_Strat wrote:

As an aside, have you heard of these things called jobs..??

They're really great - here' how they work.

You do this thing called work and every couple of weeks, somebody will pay you money. You can then take this money and use some of it to purchase your own books at Amazon instead of having to mooch money from other people to do so.

You ought to try it some time..!!

Would you tell a Red Cross worker to get a job? Maybe a Doctor's Without Borders surgeon, would she need to get a job? Or is it just your opinion that author, researcher, historian, etc. is not a true "job"?


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Which doesn't even mention

Which doesn't even mention that we aren't talking about the average $7.95 book here....

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Vastet
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Broncosfan

Broncosfan wrote:
LifeofApollo:

Your comments / response weren''t as long an as rambling (sorry ) as Rook's but I think you made your points.

They were direct, concise / short and right to the point.

When two people debate or exhange opposing ideas, the person who is able to provide the most concise and direct responses - vis-a-vis the other person who tends to ramble on with answers that resemble War and Peace in length - is usually on more solid ground.

The longer the response, ofterntimes, the more insecure about the position the other preson appears.

Well done, LifeofAppolo.

Trust a theist to prefer short simplistic posts over complicated and informative ones.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Hey Guys, I'm new here on

Hey Guys, I'm new here on the boards and I had a few questions to ask. Hopefully we can all get along.

Rook, what are your (I hate to put it this way) "credentials"? I wasn't able to directly find any, however I have been known to skim. You seem to know your stuff and address many issues that others seem to gloss over. But in the world of history and theology, it always helps to have some sort of record of education. Of course you I'm sure are already aware of this.

Thanks


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Rook, here is something that

Rook, here is something that may help you a lot. Check out the Bhagavad Gita. The ninth and tenth teachings have a slew of "I am"'s much like Moses and what you also see in the NT. Not only that, but in the eleventh teaching we discover Krishna is Vishnu incarnate much like Christ is God incarnate. Not only that, Krishna, short after he was born was hustled away to keep the king or whatever the royalty was called from killing him, much like Moses and Jesus. Moses and Jesus are midrashes of Krishna as well as other similar stories written before them.

{fixed} 

Mriana

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I highly doubt the concepts

I highly doubt the concepts of Krishna were used.  These tropes would not have been common among the Diaspora or the home land of Palestine.  I think that this is poor scholarship, on the part of Remmsburg and others, who were not familiar with modern methods (obviously) and new theories on socio-cultural lifestyles of Jews in the Mediterranean.

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists. Books by Rook Hawkins (Thomas Verenna)


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I don't doubt it.  I've

I don't doubt it.  I've been studying Hinduism lately and there are obvious similarities.  So much so that I asked Bob Price about them and he said I was right and even pointed out a couple other midrashes in the NT that relate to the Krishna story.

Mriana

"Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark." ~ Lois Smith as Iris Hineman in The Minority Report


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Mriana wrote: I don't doubt

Mriana wrote:
I don't doubt it.  I've been studying Hinduism lately and there are obvious similarities.  So much so that I asked Bob Price about them and he said I was right and even pointed out a couple other midrashes in the NT that relate to the Krishna story.

I agree with Mriana 

 


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Response

Rook,

Should I repost my earlier response?

If you are too busy to respond then I can just leave it out.


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Slye, this is a conversation

Slye, this is a conversation better left for live conversation.  I have very little time unfortunately to give this subject the attention it deserves in a thread format.  Would you like to come on the show one night where we can discuss this?

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists. Books by Rook Hawkins (Thomas Verenna)


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Rook,   That would

Rook,

 

That would certainly take a bit of thought.  My first question would be, what kind of a time table can I expect?  Weeks, months?  I don't know anything about the show.

 Second, New Testament Studies is my secondary area of study, with philosophy being the primary.  I would likely need time to research and specific issues.

But I am open to the idea, nonetheless.  


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Too me its a moot point.  I

Too me its a moot point.  I mean there will never be anyway to prove it one way or the other.  Its not unlikely he could have existed, people like him hardly would be an unusual accidence at that time period in Israel.

 

I personally was more on the myth side, till I read the New testament, and honestly the things that it clams he did aren't very impressive.  And if it were just all made up, wouldn't read more like the old testament.  I mean both are very possible, but I don't see why the logical position isn't to be agnostic on this issue.


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Rook_Hawkins wrote:I highly

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
I highly doubt the concepts of Krishna were used.  These tropes would not have been common among the Diaspora or the home land of Palestine.  I think that this is poor scholarship, on the part of Remmsburg and others, who were not familiar with modern methods (obviously) and new theories on socio-cultural lifestyles of Jews in the Mediterranean.

 

Could these storytelling devices have just been common ways of telling these kinds of mythic narratives? There seem to be common refrains in the myths of lots of Gods and heroes similar to the Kirshna/Moses/Jesus parallels. Figures who were half God and half human like Hercules or Achilles seem very similar to Jesus from a narrative point of view (God father/human mother) for example.

 

There would seem to be correlation even if we rule out direct causation as very unlikely in the case of Krishna/Moses/ Jesus as well as other myths which may suggest that some of these stories are similar simply because they were all written by human beings who have similar psychology, for example the parentage of children, the desire to safeguard their future, concerns about death and earthly struggle, the right way to live etc.

 

Fascinating reading, Rook. I think the case for a mythological, symbolic character who in later writings became literalized and given a sort of rough folklore biography is very strong and makes alot of sense.

 

 


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Thanks Rook and Todangst.

Thanks Rook and Todangst. This is good stuff. Interesting reading. Happy New Year Folks.


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Rook, PLEASE continue your

Rook, PLEASE continue your great work in showing everyone that Jesus, Moses, the apostles etc. are just mythical characters and help rid the world of the burden of Christianity.  We are doing good since they will be a minority by around 2040 but we must keep the pressure up since they can be fanatical and just ass*holes!!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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AL500 wrote: Why are

AL500 wrote:
 Why are atheists allowed to post links, but we cannot?

Probably because you have been judged weak. The weak exist only to ascend the strong on to their shoulders...

“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)


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AL500 wrote: Why are

AL500 wrote:
 Why are atheists allowed to post links, but we cannot?

Because Christians are inferior scum who don't deserve to live!!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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to Kapkao & JesusNEVERexisted.

 

 

 

            Do you two realize that the last post from that SOB was 2.5 years ago.   btw   I totaly agree with both of you.  i just don't thin AL500 has been here since June 2007. 

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No, I didn't bother to check

No, I didn't bother to check the date.  I guess that theist went to heaven. 

But don't you mean you only agree with me and not him?

 

 

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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Albert wrote:All historians

Albert wrote:

All historians today agree Jesus lived. Those who attack the historicity of Christ, are not abreast in this field of research. Jon Crossan is a liberal Jesus historian, and even he admits Jesus lived. He is considered by the liberals to be the greatest Jesus historian in the world. Gary Habermas has written a good book called "The Historical Jesus." It debunks all the silly claims by those pseudo-scholars and atheists who attack the historicity of Christ. This link also has good material:

(Mod Edit: DSO NOT LINK TO WEBSITES OUTSIDE OF THE RRS - POST THE MATERIAL HERE - DON'T LINK TO OTHER SITES.  First warning.)

What a LIAR!! All historians do NOT agree Jesus actually walked the earth.

Plus even if they did it means NOTHING unless they can corroborate that belief with historical documents and NONE exist.  The earliest historical document of Jesus is the Testomonium Flaviaum by the writer Joshepus Flavius and that was DECADES after Jesus's ALLEGED existence. 

Josephs only got that from a BOOK like any of us would!! So are we historians and eyewitnesses to Jesus too?? LOL!!

 

 

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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The Story Of Jesus

The story of Jesus was one passed down through word and mouth for many years. It was finally written down and as a result much of it is false, if not all. In all likelihood Jesus could have actually been Jebus and it might be that only when someone heared the name wrong and passed it down differently that Jebus became known as Jesus. Just like chinese whispers, the bible is full of them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You cannot disprove the existance of God, but you also cannot disprove the existance of an all powerfull, incomprehesible, pink elephant that lives in the boot of my car.


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That he will return. On the

That he will return.(myth)

On the off chance that he does, I will make a personal point of killing him. Over, and over, and over, and over, AND OVER!

“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)


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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

             Do you two realize that the last post from that SOB was 2.5 years ago.   btw   I totaly agree with both of you.  i just don't thin AL500 has been here since June 2007. 

Maybe I just wanted to GIVE HIM A GOOD *HEADBITE* so he'll NEVER return.

“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)


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Where is Rook Hawkins?? Has

Where is Rook Hawkins?? Has he posted in a while? I sent him a PM but never got an answer.

 

BTW, good answers.

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


BobSpence
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JesusNEVERexisted

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Where is Rook Hawkins?? Has he posted in a while? I sent him a PM but never got an answer.

BTW, good answers.

He has left RRS, and has been concentrating on his book.

He is available on Facebook, under his 'real' name, Tom Verenna - http://www.facebook.com/tsverenna?ref=nf

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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my response to a ridiculous troll...

(I apologize if this isn't the correct forum, but whatever...)

SRV_Strat wrote:

Rook:

As long as you have your hand out looking for other people to buy your Amazon books, perhaps you should add a book on good manners and civility to your wish list.

As an aside, have you heard of these things called jobs..?? 

They're really great - here' how they work.

You do this thing called work and every couple of weeks, somebody will pay you money. You can then take this money and use some of it to purchase your own books at Amazon instead of having to mooch money from other people to do so.

You ought to try it some time..!! 

Since you are easily the most asinine poster I have seen ANYWHERE on RRS:

  1. interpersonal skills!= a measure of a person
  2. regular employment!=measure of a person
  3. willingness to suffer the company of idiots (like yourself, for example)!=measure of a person
  4. actual intellectual capacity= actual, potential measure of a person
  5. actual life talent=measure of a person
  6. economic viability=only if a person believes they should be judged along those parameters

So, in summary, you're a dolt when it comes to being critical of others

BobSpence1 wrote:


He has left RRS, and has been concentrating on his book.

He is available on Facebook, under his 'real' name, Tom Verenna - http://www.facebook.com/tsverenna?ref=nf

And I say to to "Tom": "praise be unto him (or yourself)"!

“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)


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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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2000 Year Old Forrest Gump Story

      The story of Jesus is put together very similar to the film Forrest Gump. A fictional person injected into history to give the story credibility. Jesus is a composite of mythical gods and possibly some ispiration from Jesua bin Pandera who lived around 100 BCE and was executed for sorcery on Passover by stoning and being hung on a tree.

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Perhaps.

 

 

 

 

                 That's one way to look at the fiction charactor.  You should read up on Lord Mithras of the Zoarastrian religion.  {600 BCE}

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VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

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Right on my bros!  HOW LONG

Right on my bros!  HOW LONG you think it will take of all these failed Christian prophecies, Christianity continuing to lose influence, and Jesus NEVER returning for people to FINALLY realize there is something wrong with this Jesus story??

Like the dude is about as real as Bugs Bunny!  Except Bugs Bunny was cuter and a lot more useful!!

 

 

 

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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Mriana wrote:I don't doubt

Mriana wrote:
I don't doubt it.  I've been studying Hinduism lately and there are obvious similarities.  So much so that I asked Bob Price about them and he said I was right and even pointed out a couple other midrashes in the NT that relate to the Krishna story.

Who is Bob Price and what are some of these obvious similarities between Krishna, Hinduism, and the MYTHICAL Jesus?

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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Not sure of his academic

Not sure of his academic credentials, but he's written on mythicism, and appeared in "The God Who Wasn't There" -- mildly entertaining, but grain of salt recommended.

 

 

The similarities would involve a god taking human form and sustaining injury.  It amounts to pattern matching -- not enough to say that jesus is based on krishna or any other myth; at the very least indicates there's nothing unique about the jesus story. 

There are no theists on operating tables.

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zarathustra wrote:Not sure

zarathustra wrote:

Not sure of his academic credentials, but he's written on mythicism, and appeared in "The God Who Wasn't There" -- mildly entertaining, but grain of salt recommended.

 The similarities would involve a god taking human form and sustaining injury.  It amounts to pattern matching -- not enough to say that jesus is based on krishna or any other myth; at the very least indicates there's nothing unique about the jesus story. 

Why do you say that about "The God Who Wasn't There"?  It's not perfect but it does give you the key points as to how Jesus is CLEARLY mythical and, as you said, every major concept of Jesus is simply copied from previous gods and there are NO eyewitness accounts or even contemporary accounts of ANY outlandish bible claims!

 

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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JesusNEVERexisted wrote:Why

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Why do you say that about "The God Who Wasn't There"?  It's not perfect but it does give you the key points as to how Jesus is CLEARLY mythical and, as you said, every major concept of Jesus is simply copied from previous gods and there are NO eyewitness accounts or even contemporary accounts of ANY outlandish bible claims!

 

 

I think the film tried too hard to make the case for a borrowed myth -- or at least should have provided more scholarship in that effort.  It's too reckless a conclusion to draw that the jesus story is copied from other myths on account of the similarities. It's at the very least noteworthy that there are other myths which entail virgin births, resurrections, etc. -- and that Justin Martyr felt compelled to respond to these and attribute them to satan (anticipating jesus).  

One still has to be wary of making too much of this pattern matching, much as some christians do when they try to pair bible verses up with scientific discoveries.  The Zeitgeist film and the work of Acharya S. are examples of this, and are easy targets for believers to bear down on and gain unwarranted credibility.

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zarathustra

zarathustra wrote:

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Why do you say that about "The God Who Wasn't There"?  It's not perfect but it does give you the key points as to how Jesus is CLEARLY mythical and, as you said, every major concept of Jesus is simply copied from previous gods and there are NO eyewitness accounts or even contemporary accounts of ANY outlandish bible claims!

 

 

I think the film tried too hard to make the case for a borrowed myth -- or at least should have provided more scholarship in that effort.  It's too reckless a conclusion to draw that the jesus story is copied from other myths on account of the similarities. It's at the very least noteworthy that there are other myths which entail virgin births, resurrections, etc. -- and that Justin Martyr felt compelled to respond to these and attribute them to satan (anticipating jesus).  

One still has to be wary of making too much of this pattern matching, much as some christians do when they try to pair bible verses up with scientific discoveries.  The Zeitgeist film and the work of Acharya S. are examples of this, and are easy targets for believers to bear down on and gain unwarranted credibility.

But that's a perfectly valid point by saying the stories of Jesus were just copied from the myths before him because the Jesus myth has NOTHING outside the bible to support it as anything but fiction.

Even CLERGY have admitted the evidence of Jesus outside the bible is scant at best.  The gospels were written AT LEAST 40 to 70 years after they CLAIM Jesus was around and NONE of them ever saw an earthly Jesus.   Even the extra biblical sources of Jesus were also DECADES after he alleged lived and no one ever said their parents or grandparents saw Jesus.  They simply refer to scripture with no eyewitness or even contemporary accounts of him!

This sums it up well:

No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people. There occurs no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. Devastating to historians, there occurs not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus came well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either: unknown authors, people who had never met an earthly Jesus, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

Zeitgest and Acharya both believe Jesus was mythical so when they use pattern matching it's only to show the fraud of Christianity.

 

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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Jesus real or imagined

NO.

 

I don't see any hard evidence for Jesus to have existed.

Apologist's point to Josephus as historical evidence.

I am not aware of any forensic evidence.


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Sadly Josephus isn't

Sadly Josephus isn't contemporary, and doesn't fit the standard of evidence required to say jesus existed with any certainty.
Forensic evidence is unfortunately very likely to be impossible to aquire and identify. Even if some were obtained, it's not like the vatican is holding jesus' hairbrush and tissue samples in storage to compare it with.

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Vastet wrote:Sadly Josephus

Vastet wrote:
Sadly Josephus isn't contemporary, and doesn't fit the standard of evidence required to say jesus existed with any certainty.

The evidence from Josephus alone provides a case for the historical Jesus that is normal in historical practice. Josephus actually mentioned Jesus Christ twice.

The main passage, the Testimonium Flavianum (TF), has scribal editing, so we don't depend on it.

The second passage does NOT apparently have scribal editing, so we can treat it like any other passage in Josephus. It is not exactly "contemporary" evidence for Jesus, but it would be exactly contemporary evidence for "the brother of Jesus, called Christ, whose name was James," who according to Josephus was put to death by the leaders of the Temple of Jerusalem. This would have happened while Josephus was a young man living in the area of Jerusalem, and it would be recounting common knowledge of the time. It is sometimes claimed that this second passage also has a scribal insertion of "called Christ," which would mean that the title of Jesus was ambiguous, but this is unlikely, since it differs from the known interpolation by Christians, phrased, "He was the Christ," and it would require that "Jesus" is unidentified until a few sentences afterward, which does not fit the pattern for Josephus.

The church father Origen (writing in the third century) says that Josephus believed that Jesus was not the Christ, which meant he had a copy of Josephus before the scribal editing, and Origen claims that Josephus wrote about the righteousness of James the brother of Jesus (Christians believed that martyrdom was righteous). We would need to believe that there were two very different scribal edits of Josephus at two different times, with one editor having no clear motivation. The motivation for editing the TF seems clear: Christians didn't want to copy down disparaging words about Jesus. The explanation for the proposal that the second passage is edited would have to be ad hoc. I believe in sticking the evidence we have, not the evidence we wish we had.


Vastet
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Quote:The evidence from

Quote:
The evidence from Josephus alone provides a case for the historical Jesus that is normal in historical practice. Josephus actually mentioned Jesus Christ twice.

Not contemporary, not a valid source, not a normal practice (except amongst theists).

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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 Ditto

 Ditto

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 Ditto

 Ditto

- Brian Sapient


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Great to see you in this

Great to see you in this sub-forum Sapient!

The Josephus refernce to Jesus has been  totally discredited! For pete's sake he never even lived when the bible CLAIMS Jesus did! It's why the mythical Jesus NEVER appears despite clear PROMISES in the bible!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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 The issue over the

 The issue over the borrowing from other myths, I think is often "over thought", particularly by its critics. The main reason, I believe is that the critics are looking so closely at story mechanics and trying to debunk the JMC by looking at the criticism as "accused "plaigarism" (This is false, because this writing style doesn't match that writing style) vs story commonalities. All stories have certain things in common, so much will be shared. This applies to any story. The commonalties exist because of things common in all people. Everyone has a human brain and human values, therefore things like atonement for wrongdoings will be seen in all stories. The belief of being manipulated by supernatural beings is also common to most ancient cultures. The story of Hercules is almost a Gospel version 2.0.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


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Rook_Hawkins wrote:Vast

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Vast majority?  I believe that is a gross overstatement. I would say the currently historian community is split - mainly because of misinformation and bias.  50% would say that Christ did definitely live,the other 50% is split in the manner that 25% feel that Christ may have lived, it's hard to say (and in history it's okay to assume the existence of somebody until evidence presents itself that is contradictory), and the other 25% (which I am a part of) feel that the evidence is contradictory for a historical person to have lived, and in fact, found a way in which Christianity could have started without having a historical Christ - and more potent is the evidence for that theory then the theory in which is suggested he lived.

 The problem is, most historians have not come across or have religious bias to this theory and still feel the origional contention (i.e. that Christ existed) is still more probable.  I would state that this fiasco is similar to the idea of Caesar crossing the rubicon.

Most historians are uncertain whether Caesar did cross the rubicon, as Caesar never mentions it directly - but the few scholars who directly researched the claims made by those who say he didn't - find their claims unworthy and instead have found through studying extra-Caesar material, that Caesar in fact would have HAD to cross the Rubicon.  (For example, there was no other bridge to cross an army over other then the Rubicon, the fact that one day he was on one side of the Rubicon and a fgew days later he was on the other -merely 10 miles away from the Rubicon crossing). 

 This is laid out very elequently in Carrier's publication Here:  http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/rubicon.html

PS. Still going to help me out with my resources? Eye-wink

 

Is there a brief way you could show stats on scholars in the field and break down their JMC positions? It would be cool if you could also show what schools they came out of and their backgrounds.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


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.

Marty Hamrick wrote:
The issue over the borrowing from other myths, I think is often "over thought", particularly by its critics. The main reason, I believe is that the critics are looking so closely at story mechanics and trying to debunk the JMC by looking at the criticism as "accused "plaigarism" (This is false, because this writing style doesn't match that writing style) vs story commonalities. All stories have certain things in common, so much will be shared. This applies to any story. The commonalties exist because of things common in all people. Everyone has a human brain and human values, therefore things like atonement for wrongdoings will be seen in all stories. The belief of being manipulated by supernatural beings is also common to most ancient cultures. The story of Hercules is almost a Gospel version 2.0.

Agree completely with the problems descrdibing it as borrowing. Then one day I was reading about some new version of an old movie and it was referred to as a reimagining. And that fit perfectly.

There is more to old god stories than is in popular culture. Same god, different stories at different times in the same place, different stories at the same time in different places and a few cases of different stories at the same time in the same place. And NO conflict, not dogma, no holy wars over the differences. And then of course Ishtar, Ashara, Astarte, Aphrodite being clearly the same goddess by name alone, related attributes and local stories reimagined to fit what is popular locally.

Particularly in the Americas many people are "father of the country" because the father meme is popular but all the myths about them are different -- separate from their real histories although I am aware of none that chopped down a coffee tree.

Another consideration is there was no separate concept of a religion until about the 4th c. AD and then fairly shakey.

Another is the idea of true story did not mean factually accurate. Not that it does today but at least we people know what we are talking about. Back then asking if a god story was facdtually accurate would more likely get a blank stare. "They are all stories, dummy." If the word true were used it would mean, Is the story faithful to (true to) the character of the god?

So some how there is a Jesus character as a great person. Great people do certain great things death and rebirth being one of them. So reimagining death and rebirth in a Judean context would be expected.

Roman was big on identifying different gods by name as the same god by mythology. They fit Yahweh into their pantheon. They also observed the mythic similarities between Jesus and Hercules and other died, gone to hell and reborn gods and did in fact confront the Christians with it. Why do you say he is special when he is so clearly the same? kind of observation.

 

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.

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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Marty

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Marty Hamrick wrote:
The issue over the borrowing from other myths, I think is often "over thought", particularly by its critics. The main reason, I believe is that the critics are looking so closely at story mechanics and trying to debunk the JMC by looking at the criticism as "accused "plaigarism" (This is false, because this writing style doesn't match that writing style) vs story commonalities. All stories have certain things in common, so much will be shared. This applies to any story. The commonalties exist because of things common in all people. Everyone has a human brain and human values, therefore things like atonement for wrongdoings will be seen in all stories. The belief of being manipulated by supernatural beings is also common to most ancient cultures. The story of Hercules is almost a Gospel version 2.0.

Agree completely with the problems descrdibing it as borrowing. Then one day I was reading about some new version of an old movie and it was referred to as a reimagining. And that fit perfectly. 

 

Good analogy about the movies. Right now, I'm teaching cinematography basics for the New York Film Academy and one of my students brought in a video for a new software that is supposed to duplicate the look of every old movie genre from black and white film noir to 80's zombie movies. However in one interview of the video, a director comments that these "looks" are not what the theatre goer saw at that time and therefore not what the director and cinematographer originally envisioned. What the software duplicates is a crappy VHS version look because that's what the audience in the 20 to 35 age range grew up seeing.

So in any story, time replaces the original perceptions with that of a new generation and with each passing generation, it gets that much more removed until it is nothing resembling the original intent of the writer and its not even written for the same audience.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."