Reviews of my Lecture at NYC

Rook_Hawkins's picture

Here are some of the reviews I have received from some of the 40 or so wonderful people who attended my lecture in New York City yesterday afternoon. 

From LorMarie (a Christian):

Quote:
In addition to church, I attended a lecture by Rook Hawkins of the Rational Response Squad. His presentation focused on how OT texts created the “character called Jesus.” I of course do not agree with his assertion but I have to admit one thing. He’s well read, serious, and dedicated to his cause. I was impressed.

 

From Harry at the NYCA Meetup Site:

Quote:
The speaker's thesis is not highly original, but I think he has contributed to the scholarship on the subject. We'll just have to see what the peer reviewers say.

 

From Jane Everhart:

Quote:
Big crowd, nice people. The talk by Rook Hawkins of Philly's Rational Response Squad was informative & deeply researched. It was surprising to see that this young man, one of Atheism's "Bad Boys," turned out to be a nice, respectable, well-informed, gracious young man who was accompanied by his Dad. Viva the Nice Bad Boys!

 

From Serge Ledan at the NYCA Meetup Site:

Quote:
The young speaker seemed to know his topic but could not limit the scope of his presentation and tried to present too much with the limited time at his diposal. As a result what could have been a more focussed and pointed attack on the Bible became verbose, diffuse, and redundant. Having said that, I must admit that his presentation was scholarly. Too much perhaps for the time available. Having to pack too much information in a limited time, he also was forced to talk too fast ( which did not help clarity ).

 

From Kenneth Bronstein:

Quote:
ROOK WAS TERRIFIC VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE

 

From Martin of the NYCA:

Quote:
I liked your talk at NYCA Sunday. It was one of the most scholarly talks we've had.

 

I have to say I was very pleased with the reception of my lecture.  Although I probably did speak quickly, I also handed out packets with a lot of information, including a page worth of books for further reading and some charts with information on them, I found the NYCA to be a very interactive group who were not only attentive and insightful, but pleasant and fun to talk to.  It was a great experience to speak there.  Even with the large group of ignorant haters who spent their wasted lives trying to sabotage the event like a bunch of immature high-school kids, it went off smashingly with no pitfalls with the exception of the long wait for food (which was perhaps due to the fact that the restaurant opened at 12--the time when we were initially supposed to begin).   A video will be posted as soon as I get to it, so those who missed some things will be able to watch it again for details.

Thanks again for all who attended.

Highest regards,

Rook

 

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

Sapient's picture

Rook_Hawkins wrote:Even with

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Even with the large group of ignorant haters who spent their wasted lives trying to sabotage the event like a bunch of immature high-school kids

If only we had as much time as they do maybe we'd go into their sabotage attempts.  Maybe the pleasant and well loved Jane Everhart would make a comment about their harassing late night phone calls to her at some point.  Oh wait... she lives a positive and proactive life as well.  Drats, at least they kept our bad boy image in tact. 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Good job!

I think you did a great job with the limited amount of time you had to speak.  A lot of people discussing the same topic have a hard time making it seem interesting, but you made it seem easy.  Good work!

Congratulations!

Sounds like a job well done!

All the best with your future projects.

Dragon slayer,  brother

Dragon slayer,  brother warrior Rook .... with "gawed" on our side    Kicking ass. Read his caring written words .... zero bull shit .... and more to come , long live Rook ....

JillSwift's picture

=^_^= Well done, Rook!

=^_^= Well done, Rook!

Renee Obsidianwords's picture

Way to go Rook! I would like

Way to go Rook! I would like to get a copy of the materials you handed out  Smiling

Did your dad really attend? What did he think?

Would you have thought a few years ago that you would be doing these lectures?

Will you be going on a book tour soon!?

-Renee

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/

The real reviews

Quote:
As usual, the RRS only presents one side of the story. Here are some reviews from attendees who were not as impressed.

http://atheists.meetup.com/24/boards/thread/5222548/

MOD EDIT: There were only two comments by people who were there who did not like it.  The others on the board did not attend but rather are some of the same haters who called Jane Everhart at 3am to try to sabotage the event.  Roy is not a scholar he's an architect and the other person there did not bother to ask me any questions during the Q&A.  I recall, actually, that Roy was sleeping during my presentation...he was the only one.  This tells me that he is not the authority to speak about how my presentation went.  But thanks for showing how much of a complete tool you are, 50 cent.

Jeffrick's picture

Congrats Rook

 

    Way to go and the honesty of the reviews is a nice touch.

    btw who is that Jane Everhart and why is she so insultingly condesending?  Or did you realize she was telling theists you were actually harmless to their imaginary friend.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?

Renee Obsidianwords's picture

The real reviews

As written above

The real reviews

Submitted by 50 cent (not verified) on August 12, 2008 - 8:29am.

As usual, the RRS only presents one side of the story. Here are some reviews from attendees who were not as impressed.

 

Ummmm so those are the REAL reviews? Admit it, you label it that way because they don't show Rook in a positive light. As a Rook and RRS hater, you are more likely to read the bad ones and grin in delight. The ones posted here and the ones on the site you posted are ALL reviews, get it straight.

As with any review, you are going to have those that support and those that knock down. If I were Rook I would show everyone the great reviews too. Guess what? I already saw the ones you posted do you know why? Because I knew that with a handful of good reviews come a handful of bad and I wanted to see both so as soon as I read this post I did a google search(a very long google search) as I am sure everyone else in these forums will because we are a curious, investigative group of people.

 

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/

Rook's presentation.

The complaints were from other atheists who are sick and tired of Rook's labeling himself as an expert.

Roy Pertchik wrote:

"Kid, you are scary... atheist or not, the world will not be made safer or better by yet another meticulous and compulsive reading and re-interpretation of ancient texts! Find another way to get over your early catholic school trauma, ok?

If you insist on persevering at this, talk m-u-c-h m-o-r-e s-l-o-o-o-w-l-e-y! I have an IQ in the 99th percentile, and I could barely follow your stream-of-consciousness-stringing-together of scores of references to names and occurrences from antiquity. And, include only sparingly those dead pan asides to even more esoteric references to colleagues' counterpoints which can only be appreciated as wit by those who are following your central thread, but otherwise are distracting, and don't nest them deep within parentheses, if you're going for comic relief, then go for it, and...gasp... breathe.

Please take this as constructive criticism....

Presentation 101: State you thesis. Give one example and describe it carefully. Build your point. Make eye contact. Look for nods of assent...(they look different than nods of hypnotic sleepiness..) Then explain why that example proves your thesis. Then restate your thesis and claim it is proven. If you want, mention that you have other similar examples in your forthcoming book. Or say, as I believe is your case, that that's just one kind of evidence, and that you have two other kinds of evidence, and that you will present one example of each of these. Give one. Then explain why that example proves your thesis, and why it's in a different way than the first example. Make eye contact. Look for nods of assent.. Ask if everyone is still with you. Maybe give one more example.
Then take Q & A. And let the questioners finish their questions before you start answering.

Listen to a tape of your presentation.

Bill C wrote:

I thought that was a bit of a brutal summary of Rook's talk, but I, too found Rook unpersuasive.

I see three major explanations of the Gospels:

A: They are basically true, at least as much as would be possible given their inconsistencies. I do not expect anyone in this venue to promote this explanation.

B: Jesus existed, but the Gospels were written decades, if not generations, after the fact, with much embellishment, and contain many things, including all the miracles, that are not true.

C: The Gospels were written as fiction about a non-existent character, and at some later date were reinterpreted as non-fiction.

Rook, clearly, is promoting C over B. I think, given the evidence we have, we might conclude something like a 90% probability of B and 10% probability of C. But Rook wasn't talking in terms of probability, he was talking about a certainty of C. That is a strong claim, and some evidence should be expected.

One thing that someone promoting C should be expected to do is provide an explanation for when and how people changed from interpreting the Gospels as fiction to actually worshiping a Jesus they believed to be real. I asked Rook about this at the talk and got impatient with him when it became apparent he didn't have a clear answer ready. This issue is so central, it should have been addressed in the talk and at length, and when asked, he should have had details on the tip of his tongue.

Most of the talk demonstrated that Rook has spent a lot of time reading ancient scripture, but he was *not* establishing C over B. For example, he went on and on drawing parallels between Old Testament passages and passages from the Gospels. I'm sure that if I looked hard enough, I could find Old Testament passages that are similar to the story of George Washington chopping down a cherry tree, or his throwing a silver dollar across the Potomac. This would *not* establish that George Washington did not exist. This is significant, 95% of Rook's talk was drawing these kinds of parallels, and the whole time I was waiting for him to cut to the chase and *prove* anything. The whole thing felt like a snow job, Rook establishing that he's done a whole lot of work, as though work in and of itself proves a point.

I had an uncle who was a John Bircher, believed a lot of conspiracy theories about Communists. Once he got started, he'd rave on and on, you couldn't stop him -- he knew all these names and dates and places, so much detail -- there was just so much material he'd covered it would have taken a lifetime of scholarship to argue with him. But most people responded by just not listening to him. My uncle, like Rook, had done a *lot* of work, but that didn't mean he was right, and it didn't mean he was going to be listened to.

-- Bill

I intend to bring up this mess at AAI. Jane's response to valid criticisms regarding Rook were unprofessional and an embarrassment to all atheists, to say the very least. She accused other atheists of being "part of a Vatican conspiracy" and of being child molesters.

See entire, sickening conversation here.

 

 

 

Sapient's picture

Don't mind if I slap my 36

Don't mind if I slap my 36 inch long internet penis on the table...

THESE ARE "THE REAL COMMENTS" (stomping around room like child) FROM SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY SHOWS UP AT THESE THINGS IN REAL LIFE...

  • Pre-Meetup comments below
  • Jane Everhart Posted Aug 9, 2008 3:40 PM Jane Everhart
    • Assistant Organizer
    Rook's answer to Wrathpig is, "There are plenty of guys who get credentialed in religion or theology degrees and then go teach religious crap to unsuspecting kids." You don't need a Ph.D. to speak the truth, Wrathpig!
  • Jane Everhart Posted Aug 9, 2008 3:35 PM Jane Everhart
    • Assistant Organizer
    Never underestimate the wrath of a rabid religionist (Is it really Wrathpig?)They hate it that there's a bunch of young people in Philly who haven't fallen for the supernatural claptrap and are in fact, turning other young people away from pie-in-the-sky when you die. I've heard that there are "missionaries" appointed by various fundamentalist evangelical groups whose mission is to use technology to follow around guys like Rook on the net and discredit them.
  • Jane Everhart Posted Aug 9, 2008 3:23 PM Jane Everhart
    • Assistant Organizer
    Rook tells me that this guy William Rathpig belongs to a Christian group that has been following him and the other Rational Responders around on the blogosphere trying to discredit them. In fact, they've had death threats that they think come from this group. To me, this shows that Rook and the Rational Responders have been effective in fighting the religionists. Three cheers for Rook and reason!
  • Jane Everhart Posted Aug 8, 2008 5:38 PM Jane Everhart
    • Assistant Organizer
    We feel lucky to get Rook Hawkins, one of Atheism's Bad Boys (say fundamentalists) and with Brian Sapient, founder of the Rational Response Squad and the Blasphemy Challenge. What's even more surprising is that Rook has translated the New Testament from the Greek. Go figure. Maybe Bad Boys are really good when They're Bad?


 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Sapient's picture

entomophila wrote:See

entomophila wrote:

See entire, sickening conversation here.

Didn't look very sickening. 

Ento, are you wrathpig?

 

 

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Sapient's picture

50 cent wrote:As usual, the

50 cent wrote:

As usual, the RRS only presents one side of the story...

Says the guy presenting another side of the story on the RRS site and having his comment approved by RRS. 

(did you even notice that Rook quoted some negatives, he simply left out YOUR stalking?)

 

And the OTHER side to the story is... stop calling Jane Everhart at 3 am when she's asking you to stop just to talk smack on Rook.  Grow up.

Love this one... One of the negative commenters is from "Cedar Park, TX" has been a member since "August 12, 2008" and his introduction was "I joined to comment on the travesty that is Rook Hawkins speaking at NYCAtheists."  He didn't attend, but has plenty of shit leftover from lunch.

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Jeffrick's picture

Jane Everhart

 

     Now that I know who Jane Everhart is can you tell me why she was insulting  and  condesending toward Rook?  I did not attend the conference, but still Jane Everhart sounds like she is trying to convince theists that Rook is not to be worried about after all he's "...nice young man who came with his daddy".   What did his father have to do with the confrence?

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?

Sapient's picture

Jeffrick wrote: What did

Jeffrick wrote:

 What did his father have to do with the confrence?

If it came out wrong, then it came out wrong, but I'm reasonably certain Jane was speaking in a positive light.  I think she was inferring that he has a good relationship with his father, that he's obviously proud of his son, and that says a little something positive about Rook as a person that might not be your typical idea of an atheist activist. 

Jane is a very integral part of running the NYC atheists for quite some time, and she's always been the first one to refute the naysayers of RRS in a fervent manner.  She believes in how we do things, understands our approach, and understands that there will be haters.  Further she recognizes that the haters validate our efforts.

I was just thinking today that maybe if there wasn't a knee jerk reaction to say or do anything to discredit someone who would say Jesus never existed, the position would be more widely accepted.  Rook seems to be suffering the same fate as others through history.  I wonder how many people throughout history just kept their mouth shut about the non existing Jesus for fear of having to deal with ad hominem attacks (reminds me a little of Darwin and his fears about writing on natural selection).  How many times do we need to fight over whether Rook is a "historian" a "professional" a "scholar" a "public historian?"  When will those people actually fight the issues he discusses rather than some menial issue that has nothing to do with his work? 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Rook_Hawkins's picture

Funny that I received two

Funny that I received two bad reviews, one from a man (Roy) who was sleeping during the presentation and the other from somebody who did not ask me any questions directed at my thesis.  I'm not impressed by these poor reviews.  Overall, 40 people attended.  If I get two bad reviews, I'm not concerned.  Especially when, in the thick of it, Frankie boy Walton (AKA Timmy O'Neil) and Rathpig were coming to their defense as if somehow they attended.  I'm really not interested.

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

Rook_Hawkins's picture

Quote:Rook, clearly, is

Quote:
Rook, clearly, is promoting C over B. I think, given the evidence we have, we might conclude something like a 90% probability of B and 10% probability of C. But Rook wasn't talking in terms of probability, he was talking about a certainty of C. That is a strong claim, and some evidence should be expected.

Based on what evidence?  There is no reason to assume probability is better for B than C.  If he feels we have evidence for a historical Jesus, and it is more probable, an argument would have been better than assuming what he does here:

Quote:
One thing that someone promoting C should be expected to do is provide an explanation for when and how people changed from interpreting the Gospels as fiction to actually worshiping a Jesus they believed to be real. I asked Rook about this at the talk and got impatient with him when it became apparent he didn't have a clear answer ready.

I gave him an answer he didn't like.  I told him there is no clearly define period when this happened.  It is obvious to anybody who reads the noncanonical Gospels that they were being interpreted as fictions well into the fourth century.  How can we know?  Because there were still people writing new, fictional Gospels about Jesus' life.  We have so many attestations to new Gospels and Acts and epistles being written throughout antiquity that to claim these authors were not interpreting the canonical Gospels as fictions would be to hold ignorance of the process of composition in antiquity.  When I told him this, he was shocked to hear that Gospels were still being written about Jesus in the fourth century, as if he had never heard of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Quote:
This issue is so central, it should have been addressed in the talk and at length, and when asked, he should have had details on the tip of his tongue.

I know about as much as historical Jesus scholars know about Christianity in antiquity.  That there was no clear, decisive way to look at it.  There were thousands of Christianities all vying for power and authority over each other.  It would by like asking me "Hey, which hay-needle in this stack of hay-needles has a sharper end to it?"

Quote:
Most of the talk demonstrated that Rook has spent a lot of time reading ancient scripture, but he was *not* establishing C over B. For example, he went on and on drawing parallels between Old Testament passages and passages from the Gospels. I'm sure that if I looked hard enough, I could find Old Testament passages that are similar to the story of George Washington chopping down a cherry tree, or his throwing a silver dollar across the Potomac.

Once more, this shows a clear demonstration that Bill was not paying attention.  I spent a lot of time discussing how we can be sure that allusions exist, as intentions by the author, including giving quotes from ancient authors, like Seneca, in the notes I handed out.  We know parallels are intentional because it was how ancient authors composed material, using models.  This is simply basic stuff every student of antiquity knows.  I spent time from slides 11-22 proving this to be the case.

Quote:
This would *not* establish that George Washington did not exist. This is significant, 95% of Rook's talk was drawing these kinds of parallels, and the whole time I was waiting for him to cut to the chase and *prove* anything. The whole thing felt like a snow job, Rook establishing that he's done a whole lot of work, as though work in and of itself proves a point.

Talk about a fallacy of false analogy!  Let's see...George Washington - contemporary attestation, enemy attestation, contemporary archaeological evidence with his face on it - Jesus...name is eponymous (like all Jewish fictional protagonists), no evidence for a historical existence.  I spent several slides on this issue.

Further, my point was not that allusions = nonhistoricity.  My point was the fact that the authors used allusions in every instance in the narrative.  They didn't stop to include a historical tradition - they created every tradition using allusion to models.  I not only showed this to be the case in the Gospels, but also in other ancient literature, including Virgil's Aeneid, Euripides' plays, and in Gilgamesh - are you going to suggest a historical tradition behind Odysseus, Romulus, and Enkidu as well?  What about Moses, Joshua, Abraham or Isaac?  Where do YOU as a reader of these ancient texts draw the line as to what is historical and what isn't?  Or did you forget already where I clearly demonstrated in my opening argument why scholarship has failed in presenting the historical Jesus by presenting Jesus through their own lens of interpretation?

Quote:
I had an uncle who was a John Bircher, believed a lot of conspiracy theories about Communists. Once he got started, he'd rave on and on, you couldn't stop him -- he knew all these names and dates and places, so much detail -- there was just so much material he'd covered it would have taken a lifetime of scholarship to argue with him. But most people responded by just not listening to him. My uncle, like Rook, had done a *lot* of work, but that didn't mean he was right, and it didn't mean he was going to be listened to.

So far all you have done is complained and not addressed a single issue that I discussed in my presentation or in the Q&A. 

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

Hambydammit's picture

Quote:So far all you have

Quote:
So far all you have done is complained and not addressed a single issue that I did not discuss in my presentation or in the Q&A.

Shocking.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Rook_Hawkins's picture

Hambydammit wrote:Quote:So

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
So far all you have done is complained and not addressed a single issue that I did not discuss in my presentation or in the Q&A.

Shocking.

 

Seriously.

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

Wonko's picture

 Roy P. wrote: “Kid,

 

Roy P. wrote:
 “Kid, you are scary... atheist or not, the world will not be made safer or better by yet another meticulous and compulsive reading and re-interpretation of ancient texts! Find another way to get over your early catholic school trauma, ok? If you insist on persevering at this, talk m-u-c-h m-o-r-e s-l-o-o-o-w-l-e-y! I have an IQ in the 99th percentile, and I could barely follow your stream-of-consciousness-stringing-together of scores of references to names and occurrences from antiquity. And, include only sparingly those dead pan asides to even more esoteric references to colleagues' counterpoints which can only be appreciated as wit by those who are following your central thread, but otherwise are distracting, and don't nest them deep within parentheses, if you're going for comic relief, then go for it, and...gasp... breathe.”
  

Well, I can’t see how any of the above was the least bit necessary. This guy should have left all of the above out and started instead with, “Please take this as constructive…….” It really riles me when anyone, Atheist or other, starts out by claiming where his/her IQ is positioned. I tend to instantly dismiss those who do it repetitively. I dislike it so intensely that I make note to self…

 To self: IQ in the 95th percentile doesn’t mean a whole helluva lot…. sometimes it doesn’t mean buzzard shit. Don’t let it go to your brain! 

Beyond that, and although I wasn’t there, if I can follow John Moschitta and other such sound-alikes, (or is that speed-alikes?) I can’t imagine having a problem comprehending Rook regardless of his vocal velocity.

 

Lastly, I see nothing inappropriate with esoterism. Someone able to follow the central thread shouldn’t have a problem with humour. Some of Roy's comments are just nit picky crap.

 

 

Rook_Hawkins's picture

There is nothing more

There is nothing more pathetic, in my opinion, than nit-picking and complaining about this and that, and then having a whole slew of 17 year olds who live in their parents house who didn't attend the lecture acting as if they know something about life, history and my presentation.  That whole thread on the meetup site is nothing but a bunch of people (and Frankieboy Waltoon who isn't human by any standards) complaining about menial issues that are so irrelevant and unlearned that I don't have to concern myself with it.  There is nothing by any of my detractors with any substance on that entire board that concerns my lecture.  I'm surprised they could spell my name correctly.

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

Rook_Hawkins's picture

This is the packet I handed

This is the packet I handed out.  Most of the information is related to the slides (in other words, you have to see the slides to know what I am referring to):

 

 

SPOKEN BY THE PROPHETS

Rook Hawkins

 

(Don’t waste paper, take notes or jot down questions)

 

 

* HOW WERE THE GOSPELS COMPOSED?  Additional Citations from Antiquity on Education:

 

“When you meet encomiasts of Homer who tell us that this poet has been the educator of Hellas (hôv tên Hellada pepaideuken), and that for the conduct and refinement of human life he is worthy of our study and devotion, and that we should order our entire lives by the guidance of this poet,’” (Plato, Republic 10.606e)

 

“Listen and reflect. I think you know that the very best of us, when we hear Homer or some other of the makers of tragedy imitating one of the heroes who is in grief, and is delivering a long tirade in his lamentations or chanting and beating his breast, feel pleasure, and abandon ourselves and accompany the representation with sympathy and eagerness, and we praise as an excellent poet the one who most strongly affects us in this way.” (Plato, Republic 10.605c-d)

 

“The soul should accordingly be guided at the very moment when it is becoming able to guide itself.  A Boys study according to direction. Their fingers are held and guided by others so that they may follow the outlines of the letters; next, they are ordered to imitate a copy and base thereon a style of penmanship.  Similarly, the mind is helped if it is taught according to direction.” (Seneca, Epistles 94)

 

* SPOKEN BY THE PROPHETS; Citations from the Gospel authors which cue the reader:

 

From Mark: 6:15; 8:28; 7:6; 9:12-13; 11:17; 12:10, 24; 14:21. 

 

From Matthew: 1:22; 2:15-17; 3:3; 4:4-6; 7:15; 8:17; 12:17; 21:42; 22:29; 26:56

 

From Luke: 1:70-76; 2:36; 3:4; 4:17-24; 7:27; 9:7-9; 10:26-27; 19:46; 20:17; 24:27

 

From John: 2:17; 6:45; 7:38;-42 10:34; 12:14-16; 15:25; 19:22-28

 

A full list will be found in my book, which will be more comprehensive than this.

 

* (3) TABLES - THE MODELS FOR THE GOSPELS; Reproduced here from the slides:

 

Old Testament Parallels

Gos. According to Mark

Mal. 3:1, “Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.” (See also: Mal 3:23, Is. 40:3, Ex. 23:20-21)

Mark 1:1-3, “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is written in Isaiah, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight—’”

Again, we see allegory to Elijah: 2 Kings 1:8, “They answered him, ‘he wore a garment of hair-cloth with a girdle of leather about his loins.’”

John is wearing a camels hair robe and a leather belt around his waste (Mark 1:6)

Ps. 2:7, “I will tell you the degree of the Lord, he said to me, ‘You are my son, today I have begotten you.” (See also: Is. 11:2, 42:1, 61:1, Ex. 4:22-23)

The Baptism of Jesus, where the sky opens up, or is torn open, and the spirit descended upon Jesus and God says, “You are my beloved son, with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10-11)

1 Kings 19:8, “And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.” (See also: 1 Kings 19:4-7, Ex. 14:19, 23:20)

The Temptation in the Wilderness – 40 Days

Angels ministered to him amongst the temptations, (Mark 1:13)

 

Old Testament Parallels

Gos. According to Matthew

Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Look! The young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel (God is with us).” As with many names given to important people in the Bible, they reflect the job of the person. The birth of Immanuel is a sign to Ahaz that God is with Israel.  In the story of Jesus, Jesus is named so because he is the Savior of mankind, and that is exactly what “Jesus” (Yeshua) means – “Savior” or “Yahweh saves”.

 

Matt. 1:18-25 resembles that of the birth of Hezekiah in Isaiah 7:14.  Why Matthew chose to use the Greek word for ‘virgin’ (parthenos) instead of the Hebrew word for ‘young maiden’ (‘almah) is probably due to his reliance on the Septuagint over the Hebrew Bible.  Note also how Matthew changes the verse from present tense to future tense.

The fleeing Moses story is found in Ex 2:11-23, where Moses goes to Midian to wait until the Pharaoh dies, much like when Joseph and Mary wait until the death of Herod to return to Israel.  An angel appears to both Moses and Joseph in both stories to bring them back to where they are needed.  (Matt. 2:19-21 vs. Exodus 2:23-3:12) A large portion of this section of Chapter 2 in Matthew is from the Exodus story.

The escape and return from Egypt in Matt. 2:13-15, 19-23 allude to Moses escape and return to Egypt in Exodus.  The massacre of the infants is the killing of the first born reinterpreted by Matthew as well. Both stories reflect the desire by God to lead his people.  God feels pity upon the groaning Israelites in Egypt, and sends Moses.  In Matthew, God sends Jesus to bring the Israelites to salvation again – but this time it is a spiritual salvation.

 

Romulus Ascension Legend

Gos. According to Luke

“But Julius Proculus was coming from Alba Longa; the moon was shining, and there was no need of a torch, when of a sudden the hedges on his left shook and trembled. He recoiled and his hair bristled up. It seemed to him that Romulus, fair of aspect, in stature more than human, and clad in a goodly robe, stood there in the middle of the road and said, “Forbid the Quirites to mourn, let them not profane my divinity by their tears. Bid the pious throng bring incense and propitiate the new Quirinus, and bid them cultivate the arts their fathers cultivated, the art of war.” So he ordered, and from the other other’s eyes he vanished into thin air. Proculus called the peoples together and reported the words as he had been bid.” (Ovid, Fasti 2.491-512)  In other accounts, Romulus ascends into heaven, is hailed “God, Son of God, King, and Father”, his corpse vanishes when sought for, and both he and Jesus were killed by ruling powers. *(See extended reading list)  

      Two disciples walk on the road to Emmaus where Jesus meets them.  They do not recognize him.  After opening the scriptures to them, they invite Jesus (whom they still do not recognize) back to their home for a meal.  Jesus breaks the bread which sparks their memories to life and reveals himself to them, then “vanished from their sight.”  The disciples then left to report what they had seen to the other disciples. (Luke 24:13-35) 

 

      Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God. (Luke 24:50-53)    

 

*For more examples of the Romulus legend, see also: Cicero, Republic 2.10; Ovid, Fasti 2.491-512; Livy, From the Founding of the City, 1.16; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, 2.63.3-4;

 

Homer’s Odyssey

Gos. According to Luke

Just as Homer’s Odysseus stands before his father Laertes in book 24 of the Odyssey, and his father demands from his son a sign that he is who he says he is.  “First observe this scar,” answers Odysseus to his father, a scar which he knows his father knew well.  “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself,” Luke has Jesus say.  Luke takes it a step further and demands that the disciples “touch” Jesus’ wounds to verify that they are real.  This is a direct response to Matthew’s Gospel, where “some doubted”.  Luke removes that doubt.  He follows this up the same way Homer does, by giving the protagonist (Jesus in this case, similar to Odysseus who feasts in the Odyssey) something to eat.  The trope of the disguised hero is seen throughout Homeric epic.  Mentor, Odysseus, Telemachus, and others “reveal” themselves after being disguised.

       As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace to you!" But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. (Luke 24:36-43)

     

      In the preceding verses discussed in the last slide, Jesus was hidden but revealed himself in the breaking of the bread. 

 

*SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND FURTHER READING

 

ON GENRE:

 

Michael E. Vines, The Problem of Markan Genre: The Gospel of Mark and the Jewish Nove (2002)

Mary Ann Tolbert, Sowing the Gospel (2005)

Marianne Palmer Bonz, The Past as Legacy: Luke-Acts and Ancient Epic (2000) 

Roland Boer, Bakhtin and Genre Theory in Biblical Studies (2007)

Dennis R. MacDonald, The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark (2000)

 

ON LITERARY CRITICISM AND INTERTEXTUALITY:

 

Jay Clayton, Influence and Intertextuality in Literary History (1991)

G. Aichele & G.A. Phillips, Intertextuality and the Bible (Semeia 69/70, 1995)

J. Pucci, The Full-Knowing Reader: Allusion and the Power of the Reader in Western Literary Tradition (1998)

Graham Allen, Intertextuality (2000)

 

ON ALLUSIONS IN THE BIBLE AND ANTIQUITY:

 

Thomas L. Thompson, The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives (1973)

Thomas L. Thompson, Jerusalem in Ancient History and Tradition (2003)

Thomas L. Thompson, The Messiah Myth (2005)

Thomas L. Thompson, The Mythic Past: How Writers Create a Past (2000)

J. Gager, Moses in Greco-Roman Paganism (1989)

Virginia Knight, The Renewal of Epic: Responses to Homer in the Argonautica of Apollonius (1995)

 

ON ANCIENT AUTHORS AND CREATING HISTORY:

 

Philip R. Davies, Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures (1998)

Philip R. Davies, In Search of ‘Ancient Israel (1995)

P. Cartledge, P. Garnsey, E. Gruen, Hellenistic Constructs: Essays in Culture, History and Historiography (1997)

E. Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism: Reinvention of Jewish Tradition (1998)

E. Gruen, Diaspora: Jews amidst Greeks and Romans (2004)

 

READ MORE:

 

            http://rookhawkins.wordpress.com

            http://www.rationalresponders.com/blog/rookhawkins

 

 

CONTACT: RookHawkins@gmail.com         

 

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What bothers me the most that I specifically went out of my way to include "Read more" with links to my blogs.  Did the naysayers or nitpickers bother to see if I had already addressed the issues they brought up?  No.  This is such a representation of intellectual laziness on their part that it is appalling. 

 

Rook

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Rich Woods's picture

there

Well...I *was* there. My wife & I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I will admit that there were some references that went over my head. Rook is obviously really well versed in this stuff...my knowledge of the Bible comes from the Internation Standard Version, and from vicious hate-filled catholic school teachers, which might explain why.

Rook, dude...hope you're not sweating any bad reviews...the people who are hating are the ones who are *suppose* to be hating...that is a theists nature...that is simply what they do.

From the perspective of someone who gives seminars himself, I thought you were lucid, composed, engaging...and your points all strung together nicely.

Nice job, sir.

 

Kay Cat's picture

I just finished reading your

I just finished reading your packet posted here, Rook. I found it quite easy to understand and follow even without the slide show presentation.

Vote for McCain... www.therealmccain.com ...and he'll bring Jesus back

Rook_Hawkins's picture

Thank you Rich.  I really

Thank you Rich.  I really appreciate that.  I am not sweating the haters.  I am just calling them out on their epic failure.

I'm really grateful you and your wife attended.  You two are great people. 

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Rook_Hawkins's picture

Kay Cat wrote:I just

Kay Cat wrote:

I just finished reading your packet posted here, Rook. I found it quite easy to understand and follow even without the slide show presentation.

Thanks Kay!  I will probably post up my whole presentation with commentary in a few days as a treat for those who were not there.

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Wonko wrote: Roy P.

Wonko wrote:

 

Roy P. wrote:
 “Kid, you are scary... atheist or not, the world will not be made safer or better by yet another meticulous and compulsive reading and re-interpretation of ancient texts! Find another way to get over your early catholic school trauma, ok? If you insist on persevering at this, talk m-u-c-h m-o-r-e s-l-o-o-o-w-l-e-y! ....... 

.....Lastly, I see nothing inappropriate with esoterism. Someone able to follow the central thread shouldn’t have a problem with humour. Some of Roy's comments are just nit picky crap.

 

Wow, I'm being quoted on three message boards, that I know of!  Huh.

I was a bit mean.  (I was a bit angry, I felt assailed.)

I'm not a "hater".  I wish Rook well.  I think he should examine some of his own motivations.  It would improve his scholarship.  It would improve his presentations.

I root for anti religious activists.  I'm as religious as a shoe.

My sleepiness doesn't discredit my observations, it validates them Smiling

You're right, the second part of my comments was more productive than the first.

Rook_Hawkins's picture

With a lecture I gave this

With a lecture I gave this past Sunday, I must be doing something right.  I've never stirred up so much controversy.   Detractors have come out of the woodwork, tried to sabotage the lecture, and harassed the coordinator to stop me from giving it.  Blog posts went up about how the position I hold on the figure of Jesus' ahistoricity is ignorant and repulsive, that I am nothing but a High School graduate who believes in conspiracy theories, and that the NYC Atheists should be ridiculed for allowing me to speak at their meeting. 

But, amidst all of this, no issues were ever attacked, my position was never discredited, complaints were made instead of arguments and everyone spelled my name correctly.

Overall, despite everything, I feel pretty good.

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It sounds the whiners are

It sounds the whiners are all dillholes from that asshat site (RnR)  that anyone who is a member of ought to have "asshat" branded on their forehead and be deported from Earth.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team

Topher's picture

Any idea when the video will

Any idea when the video will be posted?

Rook_Hawkins's picture

Glad you asked.  The thing

Glad you asked.  The thing is we recorded the thing in a very dark room and needless to say the lighting sucked.  So tomorrow we're re-recording.  I plan to broadcast live through stickem at around noon-2:30 or so EST.

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Rook_Hawkins's picture

A group of kids living in

A group of kids living in their parents' basement, mooching off our hard-earned dollars (and their parents') apparently took the liberty to "correct" my slide 14.

This 'correction' is actually an adequate representation of an error I committed in this slide, at least as far as "their" representation of my slip-up with the Greek.  I simply did not check my notes before publishing them--instead I had transliterated (not "translated" as these kids suggest) them into English (or more properly, Latin) for a handout I gave to everyone on at the lecture and copy-pasted them into the slide, and once more transliterated them back into SPIonic.  I managed to transliterate the other Greek words on the page like grammatikos, philosophia, and athleteon; why I overlooked koine and gymnasion must be due to late nights and not being thorough.  Consequently, due to this lapse, gumnasion (nu not mu) and koinh (epsilon not eta) were latinized.  (By the way, they're not called "glyphs", they're called 'breathings' or 'breathing marks')  

Needless to say, it is certainly a good thing I was not giving a lecture on the importance of Greek vocabulary, or this might be very embarrassing!  Luckily for me though, one error is easily accounted for and I have no trouble admitting that a correction needs to be made and that is was completely due to my inadequate proofreading of the slide (the notes for the slide should be fine).  Indeed, based on the very fact that I was giving a lecture on ancient literature, the dubious claim of Jesus' historicity, and the problems of interpreting Gospels as containing historical memory, I can call this criticism petty on the part of my detractors.

However, their criticism of SPIonic is just like the rest of this "correction" -- It is downright petty.  SPIonic is the font SBL still uses as its font type for koine.  If it is good enough for SBL, the largest society of published academic material in Biblical studies, it is certainly acceptable for me.  (After all, I got SPIonic from the SBL site) By the way, kids, using wikipedia as a source belays your own ignorance.  I would suggest spending the money (or perhaps your parents money?) and picking up the LSJ 9th Ed.  Lay off the interwebs for the big-people research, k?

Additionally, it is interesting that this petty, useless, criticism is actually the best these dolts can muster.  Don't let the terrorists win folks. 

 

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other stuff

Rook, did you translate the bible from Greek? I think if you are honest about this, it will help you. I hope I am right.

Please note that I have offered 1000 times to help you with your writing and presentations, and sent you one of my favorite books, Man and His Gods. And you thanked me. That may sound odd, but perhaps others can read between the lines when it comes to saying "thank you."

Look forward to an article (written by me) in an atheist magazine about Jane Everhart's unacceptable behavior.  Rook, I hope you will chime in and agree that she owes quite a few people an apology.  

 

 

 

Rook_Hawkins's picture

entomophila wrote:Rook, did

entomophila wrote:

Rook, did you translate the bible from Greek? I think if you are honest about this, it will help you. I hope I am right.

Here you would be pleasant by this is but a shield to blind me from the places where you have openly called me a fraud (I do not think you understand the words meaning as it does not apply).

I am always open and honest about everything as long as it does not put me or my loved ones in danger. 

First, no, I never said I translated the "bible" from the Greek.  What I said, and what is quoted from the transcript, is that I spent a few years translating the New Testament from the Greek.  I never said "the whole bible" or "the whole New Testament".  Only ignorant nimrods would ad hoc me about such a thing.  And the statement I made is true - I did spend about three years translating quite a bit of the New Testament.  What was translated?  The whole of the Gos. Mark, parts of John, Luke, Matthew and Romans, all of Galatians and 1 Corinthians and parts of 2 Corinthians, along with Hebrews.  It took me a long time because I had to learn a lot from scratch with no formal training, and I would say I am still learning.  The most difficult part of learning greek is understanding pronounciation which in itself is a challenge because the benefit of formal Greek classes is that a professor speaks the words to you.  When you learn on your own, you can only go by what is written, what you hear in lectures, and from understanding how breathing marks and other accents work in the Koine.  But it a challenge I have worked through and have come out much wiser because of it.

Second, I have several dozen articles online, many containing Greek (although most of it transliterated).  I find it humorous that one slide gets ridiculed as if I have only ever used it once in one slide.  These are the sly (but very ammusing!) tactics of those you now ally yourself with (and have become apart of).  But then again for all I know, you could have been a part of them all along. 

Third, this is nothing but a dodge to avoid the real issues at play. 

Quote:
Look forward to an article (written by me) in an atheist magazine about Jane Everhart's unacceptable behavior.  Rook, I hope you will chime in and agree that she owes quite a few people an apology. 

Yeah okay!  Susan are you completely mental?  She was being harassed!  Only people completely and utterly clueless would make such brash claims in light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  That isn't an attack, that's a damn observation. 

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