Brother AACOOLDRE : How The flavians wrote the Gospels

Discussion in 'AACOOLDRE' started by AACOOLDRE, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. AACOOLDRE

    AACOOLDRE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    How the Flavian Emperors Wrote the Gospels


    This is the most exciting book on Jesus that I know. I was fortunate to read it in galleys and have had some time to reflect on it. Every church, every synagogue and seminary should set up groups to work on its implications. These extraordinary new discoveries will have a major role to play in the current 'culture wars' about the place of religion in public life.

    Professor Robert Eisenman, Director of the Institute for the Study of Judeo-Christian Origins, California State University, calls Atwill's work "challenging and provocative". Professor Rod Blackhirst , Professor of Biblical Studies, La Trobe University, calls it "Fascinating and of course profoundly challenging....a milestone in New Testament studies.....a fantastic, ice-breaking contribution". Both these scholars used the word "challenging". They are right. Atwill's book is a major challenge to the existing model of how Christianity originated, and a major threat to the hypothesis of the Historical Jesus---seeing him instead as a literary character in a Roman fraud.Caesar's Messiah has three unique and amazing features:(1) Atwill is willing to look objectively at the facts and discard false assumptions. He makes rational judgments of the evidence and follows the implications wherever they lead. He is therefore able to show what others have missed. This is enormously exciting and refreshing.

    (2) His discovery that the key events in the life of Jesus are literary satires of events in the Roman military campaign in Judea (66-70CE) shows definitively that these parts of the gospels (and one might infer probably the rest as well) were created by the Romans to deceive the Jews into worshipping a false literary messiah.

    (3) His discovery that the so called 'Testimonium' passage in Josephus's book Jewish Antiquities is essentially a confession by the Flavian Emperors that they wore the 'mask' of Jesus as a false god to seduce the Jews into worshipping them in disguise, is also an ground-breaking discovery.
    Atwill heads an independent research group, the Roman Origins Institute, and previously worked on the dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Now, his latest work will transform the field of NT research. However this new paradigm of Jesus does raise several concerns:

    (1) It is emotionally hard to learn that the character of the Virgin Mary was really a satire of Cannibal Mary during the siege of Jerusalem, and that a close reading of the Gospel of John shows that Lazarus is taken out of the tomb only to provide the substance for a cannibal feast. As the text says 'they made him a supper' (KJV,ASV, NASB,LITV translations).

    (2) Caesar's Messiah does not situate its findings within the existing NT scholarly literature and does not spell out how the entirety of the Gospels was actually created. It also does not discuss the implications of its thesis on the Pauline Letters and on the Book of Acts. If the Gospels are literary fakes then can both the Letters and Acts be proven to be fakes as well? The Institute's next book, covers these issues in detail, providing additional support for Atwill's thesis.

    (3) Atwill will not endear himself to other NT scholars. He insists on a very high standard of evidence, and backs his findings where necessary with statistical analyses. This is similar to his ground breaking work on dating the Scrolls, published in the Dead Sea Scrolls Journal. Atwill sets standards that, to their frustration, other scholars will have difficulty in matching.
     
  2. Fine1952

    Fine1952 Happy Winter Solstice MEMBER

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    I nearly forgot that I generated a post about Josepheus, the Jew --in 2006.

    The made up lie of Jesus and Mary is well documented in "The Historical Origins of Christianity" by
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Dr. Walter Williams who does a most excellent job of breaking down this incredible lie.

    ~~~~​

    I found the source and answered my own question: the link to this blog
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Keita Kenyatta

    Keita Kenyatta going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Seems that a lot of people in the ancient world knew that Jesus was a fake !!! I trust them more than those today simply because they were closer to the time frame and events than we are. We are 2,000 years away from that time frame attempting to look back...they were there! So I seriously ain't trynna hear the garbage that some conditioned minds are attempting to spit as if the fake is real....thus my signature. If it was going on in Platos time, we become very very foolish to think that it isn't happeing today with all the technology and ability to mass produce the written word....where as back then, everybody couldn't write and whatever was written had to be done in scrolls to be preserved. So in a word...we are dealing with some serious nuts today!!!
     
  4. AACOOLDRE

    AACOOLDRE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The last few years have seen the publication of three books arguing that the Jesus story is really the story of a Roman Emperor. These include Jesus was Caesar: On the Julian origin of Christianity, an Investigative Report, by Francesco Carotta, and Gary Courtney's Et tu, Judas? Then Fall Jesus!, both of which argue that that the Jesus story is based on the story of Julius Caesar, and Joseph Atwill's Caesar's Messiah, which makes the case that the Jesus story is the story of Titus. Of these, Caesar's Messiah is by far the best. While Carotta's work virtually ignores modern New Testament scholarship, Atwill is cognizant of it, though he does not locate his narrative within the scholarly paradigms. Caesar's Messiah reads the texts closely, has a fresh perspective, and many original insights. The result is a book that is informative and challenging, and will repay even those readers who reject his main thesis.
    Atwill's main thesis is actually a combination of several ideas. First, he argues that the stories of Jesus in the New Testament are actually stories of Titus' campaign through Galilee and the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple. In this reading, the Gospels are clever satires created by the Flavian Emperors and their supporters. They thus function on the surface as religious tales, but the underlying story is actually a huge in-joke. Second, he argues that Josephus and the New Testament are essentially two sides of the same coin, one written in intimate relationship to the other. For example, discussing the sequence with the demoniac in Gadara/Gergasa, Atwill writes:
    "The reason that the New Testament's demoniac of Gadara can be seen as a satire on Josephus' "tyrant" John and the battle at Gadara is simply because the two stories follow the same plot outline. In other words, the characters and events that can be seen as parallel occur in the same sequence. And it all occurs near Gadara. The satirical version in the New Testament tells the same story that Josephus does but, as is often the case with satire, the characters have different names."(p65)
    In addition to the idea of satire and the close relationship between the NT and Josephus, this passage highlights another important theme of Atwill's: the importance of name switching among these texts. Discussing the famous passage about Jesus in Josephus, Atwill writes, citing Josephus himself:
    "To solve the puzzle the reader must simply do as Decius Mundus recommends in the following chapter and 'value not this business of names.'"(p217)
    The importance of this work lies in the originality of its reading of Josephus against the New Testament. Here Atwill's work resembles that of Cliff Carrington and other exegetes who have come to the conclusion that there is something highly suspicious about the way the two bodies of work are related. Atwill's strength is that not only has he pushed this line of insight farther than anyone else, he has constructed a full-fledged model to explain why this relationship exists. Hence, a good alternate title for this work might well have been There's Something Funky about the New Testament and Josephus.
    After reviewing the history of the day, and exploring the links between the Flavians and early Christianity, Atwill lays out his thesis at the end of Chapter 2:
    "The Gospels were designed to become apparent as satire as soon as they were read in conjunction with War of the Jews. In fact, the four Gospels and War of the Jews were created as a unified piece of literature whose characters and stories interact. Their interaction gives many of Jesus' sayings a comical meaning and also creates a series of puzzles whose solutions reveal the real identities of the New Testament's characters. Understanding the New Testament's comic level reveals, for example, that the Apostles Simon and John were cruel lampoons of Simon and John, the leaders of the Jewish rebellion."(p36)
    Atwill concludes this chapter with a discussion of Mark 1 and Mark 5 and parallels to Titus' first battle on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
    Chapter 3 gives us Atwill's discussion of the strange tale of Cannibal Mary. For readers who have read Josephus many times, Atwill's claim that she represents a parody of Christianity will come as a shock. Yet it is hard to see a woman named Mary who kills and eats her son in the manner of a Passover sacrifice as anything but a satire on the tale of Jesus as told in the Gospels. Atwill observes that the words in her mouth were placed there by Josephus, and if read as a satire on Christianity, they take on a new and portentous meaning:
    "As to the war with the Romans, if they preserve our lives, we must be slaves. This famine also will destroy us, even before that slavery comes upon us. Yet are these seditious rogues more terrible than both the other. Come on; be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets, and a by-word to the world, which is all that is now wanting to complete the calamities of us Jews."(Whiston translation, cited on p46)
    Why should anyone roasting and eating their own child expect it to be a "by-word to the world" and a fury to the "seditious varlets," the Jewish rebels? As Atwill points out, if this scene were in a piece of modern literature, it would instantly be seen by everyone as a parody of Christianity. Nor is Atwill the first scholar to have had this insight into the passage, for Honora H. Chapman noted parallels between the 'Cannibal Mary passage' in Josephus and the symbolic Passover Lamb of the Gospels in her SBL seminar paper 'A Myth for the World', Early Christian Reception of Infanticide and Cannibalism in Josephus' Bellum Judaicum' (2000).
    Over the next few chapters Atwill then attempts to sort out the problem of who Jesus really was and solve the problem of the Empty Tomb. His thesis is that the Gospels were essentially written together, and thus, must be read together. Hence, he reads the Empty Tomb tale as four versions of the same tale, in parts, distributed across the various gospels:
    "My analysis revealed that these four versions were intended to be read as a single story. This combined story is divided into two halves. One half consists of the visits to the tomb described in the Gospel of John. The other consists of the visits to the tomb described in the other three Gospels. In the combined story the individuals described in the Gospel of John meet the individuals described in the other three Gospels and, in their emotional state, the different groups mistake one another for angels. This comedy of errors causes the visitors to the empty tomb to mistakenly believe that their Messiah has risen from the dead."(p129)
    The next few chapters cover the authors of the New Testament and how the tale was constructed. Then comes perhaps the most fascinating chapter in the work, his discussion of the Testamonium Flavianum (TF). Atwill's reading of this and its surrounding passages as a complex satire is perhaps the most revolutionary insight in the work. Unlike his allegorical reading of the New Testament, which is easy for the reader to swat away, Atwill's analysis of the TF and its companion passages will be impossible to ignore. Not only does his reading make sense of this section of the work, it is supported by strong linguistic and thematic links that will be difficult to refute. This chapter alone makes the book worth the price of admission.
    But if a fresh and compelling look at the TF were not enough, Atwill offers in Chapter 13 a very interesting argument that Josephus has adjusted the dates of important events in his works to make them conform to the prophecies in Daniel.
    Caesar's Messiah closes with a discussion of the Apostles and the Maccabees, and other parallels between the New Testament and events in Titus' campaign in Palestine prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. The coincidence of dates and names has also been noted by other authors, most recently in Jay Raskin's piece in the Journal of Higher Criticism on the Maccabees and early Christianity.
    Atwill's prose is spare, even grim, and the book is refreshingly free of the silly attacks on New Testament scholars for being fools and scoundrels that tend to populate works of authors with out-of-the-mainstream ideas. Atwill usually is able to strike a sturdy posture that enables him to explain why no one has made all the connections he has (though a surprising amount of scholars have stumbled across pieces of the puzzle) without sounding triumphalist. My own view is that this work, intended for a lay audience, would have been even better had it presented some of the scholarly support for Atwill's specific claims (a companion volume aimed at scholars due out soon). There are some regrettable moments, such as the statistical analysis of the parallels on p224 that reads like something out of Erich Von Daniken, and the mistaken attribution of a quote on p296 to Jesus rather than to John the Baptist. Overall, the work is clearly structured and very accessible.
    I doubt that the central thesis of Caesar's Messiah will find many takers; nor, ultimately, was this reader convinced. But many of the book's insights commend themselves to thoughtful reconstruction and deconstruction. Well worth the price of admission, both lay readers and scholars will be able to find something in Caesar's Messiah to challenge, to entertain, or simply to get the old gray matter back to pumping iron.
     
  5. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Are you going to supply the link and credit John Hudson's posit as Atwill did in his blog? Fine1952 has already identified this quote.


     
  6. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Flavian/Piso Family theory is very doubtful and has been debunked, and thanks for supplying the link in the absence of the OP:


    Caesars Messiah and Joseph Atwill Debunked
    Atwill says that the New Testament was written in a code that requires you to read Josephus’ War of the Jews alongside the New Testament to get the joke. He, of course, is the only person to crack this code, making him super smart.
    The following are just some of the major problems with this theory. For footnotes and references to the claims I’m about to make, go to the link in the description or to the website ceasarsmessiahdebunked.com.
    One of the biggest problems this theory has is the existence of Christianity before 73 AD, when Atwill says that the idea was concocted by the Romans. Quite simply, if Christianity can be demonstrated to exist before that time, this theory is toast.
    http://caesarsmessiahdebunked.com/

    Caesars Messiah Debunked - Covert Messiah Refuted - Joe Artwill Critique

     
  7. AACOOLDRE

    AACOOLDRE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Flavius Josephus Bar Matthias, writer of War of the Jews is the same as NT Joseph of Arimathea.

    The bible scholar and author David Oliver Smith has agreed with Joe Atwill’s analysis of the “three crucified one survives” parallel that I discovered and presented in Caesar’s Messiah. What is important about David’s concurrence is that he the author of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul: The Influence of the Epistles on the Synoptic Gospels, a highly regarded work that includes analysis of numerous parallels between the New Testament and Jewish Scripture. Robert Price, the scholar who charged Atwill with “parallel mania” in his negative review of Caesar’s Messiah, wrote the foreword to Smith’s book. In the foreword Price simply raves about David Smith’s accuracy in determining real parallels from “parallel mania”: Price wrote:

    “some will cry foul, charging David Smith with parallel mania but it is a simple pitfall to avoid and you will see that Smith is ever on guard against it. With David Smith as your guide you will find yourself gasping at features of this terrain as if you had never held them before.”

    With his co-author David Smith’s endorsement of my analysis of the critical “three crucified one survives” parallel, it will be interesting to see if Price recants his deeply flawed review of Caesar’s Messiah.
    Below is the actual letter from David Smith posted on the “Jesus Mysteries” Yahoo website:

    Let me begin by saying that I agree that Mark’s character Joseph of Arimathea is a hat tip to Flavius Josephus, and I didn’t realize that Joe was the first to recognize it. I’ll give him credit in the future.

    You guys seem to banter around linguistics without looking at the evidence. First, Mark is the first to have the character of Joseph of Arimathea (assuming Markan Priority). Second the assumed pun or hat tip involves the Aramaic “Bar” meaning “son of”. Third, while this is Aramaic, Mark wrote in Greek (Jack Kilmon notwithstanding). Fourth, Mark used Aramaic phrases in his gospel more than the other evangelists; therefore, he knew Aramaic and may have been a native Aramaic speaker.

    Let’s look at how Mark handled the Aramaic “Bar” in other portions of his gospel. There are 3 uses: in the name of the disciple Bartholomew (Son of Ptolomy), Bartimaeus (Son of Timaeus) and Barabbas (Son of the father). In the Greek rendition (at least in the textus receptus), Mark renders these “Bar”: beta alpha rho. Curiously, when introducing James and John, he does not use “Bar” but calls them “son of Zebedee.”

    Another interesting fact is that when Mark is naming the 12 disciples at Mk 3:16-19, the disciple Bartholomew is named immediately prior to the disciple Matthew. Coincidence? This is the only time the name “Matthew” is used in Mark and only one of 3 times he uses the prefix “Bar.” So, what we can say is that Mark knew Aramaic, and when he had a character who was a “son of” he transliterated the “Bar” in Aramaic into Greek (except in the cases of James and John).

    To answer Joe’s question, in order to make a pun on Josephus’ Aramaic name, Mark may well have dropped the beta in “Bar” and added a vowel between the rho and mu. One would not put a consonant between a rho and a mu, resulting in 3 consecutive consonants. So, he either had to put a vowel or nothing. Mark is nothing if not subtle, so using “Armathea” (without a vowel between rho and mu”) might not have been subtle enough for him. Mark wants you to work to get his gospel.
    I’m convinced.
     
  8. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So, Christianity is like a major Ponzi scheme gone bad. It was designed for non Jews with Jewish bankers kinda like tax collectors even though they not supposed to profit from banking.
     
  9. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The link to the text.
    http://www.ivantic.net/Ostale_knjiige/TrueAuthorship.pdf
     
  10. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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