Atwill’s Cranked-up Jesus Richard Carrier Blogs Freethought Blogs Review

Richard Carrier believes Jesus was not crucified on Earth. Richard Carrier has a reading comprehension problem. When asked for his peer-reviewed article which will show whether or not he has examined the Testimonium Flavianum as a sarcastic inclusion by Josephus, he does not provide the name of the journal and the name of the article so a person can search for it at a seminary library.

“Others propose that Josephus included the passage so as to curry favor with the Christians, because he was in trouble with his own Jewish compatriots. Still others interpret the passage as intended sarcasm, though the argument for that view is too convoluted to summarize here.”
– p. 234 of Josephus and the New Testament, Second Edition by Steve Mason

In a thorough examination, even challenging views must be heard for a final decision to be claimed. One version of the sarcasm view is not all that convoluted. Joseph Atwill advises that one simply read the passage after the Testimonium Flavianum and see 1) Decius Mundus as a sarcastic reference to Savior of the World/Mundus and 2) Decius Mundus appeared to one who loved him on the third day, as did Jesus appeared to those who loved him on the third day.

Re: Page 225-227 of Josephus and the New Testament, Second Edition by Steve Mason

My reply:
I would like to introduce my reply with a preview of the bottom line, which is beyond page 227, but on page 236, and I quote: “…since most of those who know the evidence agree that [Josephus] said something about Jesus, one is probably entitled to cite him as independent evidence that Jesus actually lived, if such evidence were needed. But that much is already given in Josephus’s reference to James (Ant. 20.200) and most historians agree that Jesus’ existence is the only adequate explanation of the many independent traditions among the NT writings.”

What you have written is this:

The most credible alternative theory of Christian origins is that Jesus began life as a celestial being, known only through private revelations, who was believed to have been crucified and resurrected in the lower heavens. The Gospels were the first attempts to place him in history as an earthly man, in parables and fables meant to illustrate Christian theology and ideals. Their picture of Jesus then became the most successful among the competing varieties of Christianity over the ensuing generations, and the eventually triumphant sects only created and preserved documents supporting their view, and very little supporting any other.

To date the best case presented for this hypothesis is by amateur historian and classics graduate Earl Doherty (in his two books, The Jesus Puzzle and Jesus: Neither God Nor Man). My own forthcoming book, probably titled On the Historicity of Jesus, inspired by his work, will be the first making the case for this hypothesis to pass academic peer review. It will be published this February by the publishing house of the University of Sheffield.

http://www.strangenotions.com/questioning-the-historicity-of-jesus/

YOU ARE MAKING THE POINT THAT JESUS AS A CELESTIAL BEING IS HISTORICAL BUT JESUS AS FLESH AND BLOOD IS NOT HISTORICAL? Crucified and resurrected in the lower heavens but not as low as the Earth?!

Moving on, if you would have mentioned the title of the article and the journal, I could have been on my way to Dallas Theological Seminary or Bridwell after work or on a weekend to do some reading. Your comment 145.1 does not give me and other readers that information. So your criticism is premature. I REALLY WANT TO READ WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN ON THIS TOPIC.

Now, I want to clash directly with what you’ve written: “Josephus is just listing disasters that increased tensions between the Romans and the Jews. None of those disasters are commentaries on Christianity. They are simply things that happened that increased tensions between the Romans and the Jews.”

My reply, the Decius Mundus passage is a story about a believer in Isis. The Decius Mundus passage did not make the zealots and rebels more angry at Rome! You are mistaken. ON page 226, Mason even relates this not to an expulsion of Jews from Rome but an expulsion of Egyptians from Rome. I direct the readers of this post to score this point to me.

What Mason does say about the Isis Decius Mundus incident is this: it shows both that the Jews are no worse than other national groups and, second, and more important: Jews share the morals of the Romans.

Steve Mason does not catch the connection of Jesus appearing to believers on the third day and Decius Mundus appearing to a believer on the third day. So, your claim, Richard Carrier, is wrong: the Decius Mundus – Isis passage was not written to give a count of incidents that fueled the rebels, bandits, and zealots. So, while you thought you scored a point on me, I’ve justified my statement, and on top of that, I’ve proven your reading comprehension of page 226 of Mason’s book is in error.

Visions of Jesus by Those Who Had Come to Love Him / Testimony of Josephus (Testimonium Flavianum) Is Authentic

Question:
Specifically, what evidence do we have, apart from the Gospels, that any of Jesus’ disciples actually had visions of Jesus after his death?

Dr. Bart D. Ehrman:
The short answer is that apart from the Gospels the only other good evidence we have are the book of Acts and the letters of Paul

Steefen (personal essayist), author of Insights on the Exodus, King David, and Jesus / The Greatest Bible Study in Historical Accuracy, 2nd Ed.:

He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, * * those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them * * spending a third day restored to life,  – First century historian, Joseph ben Matthias (Josephus) contemporary to James, brother of Jesus.

Note: The Testimonium Flavianum is authentic. Scholars who said it was not gave reasons. One reason was that it was out of context, unrelated to the passage following it. That simply is not true. The Testimonium Flavianum is followed by a passage of a god appearing to a woman and spending time with her – god made man and walking among us, a claim of Christianity. Furthermore, this god appeared to her on the third day. As we know, Josephus changed camps from Jewish rebel leader against Rome to supporting the Romans against the Jewish rebels. IN CHARACTER, Josephus tells us the God who appeared to the lovingly devout woman and spent time with her revealed that he was not god.

This is Josephus’ stance of atheism against his former religion which was warranted because after the Babylonian exile, after the Seleucids, after Rome wipes away the success of the Macabbees, after Rome takes away a Jewish king in Jerusalem, after the garments of the high priests have to be given to Romans, and after the handwriting on the wall that Rome was going to win the Jewish-Roman war, after Joseph ben Matthias (Josephus) gave his speech with tears in his eyes and speaking (while crying) to the rebels, explaining if they did not stop, we would lose the Temple to destruction, after all this and more, zealotry for the Jewish God was not amounting to anything but demise.

The TF is not just Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 3 but Sections 3 and 4! (This will appear in the 2nd ed of my book and will be on my website in a few weeks: http://www.waterbearingfish.com/SaulJosephus_ben_Matthias.html

The second reason the TF is authentic is because while Vespasian enriched Josephus for his support of the Romans, Vespasian also enriched another rabbi, Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai who headed the university of Yavne after the Jewish Revolt was put down. Rabbi Joseph ben Matthias and Rabbi Johanan proclaimed the Christian story. We know of the TF. As for Rabbi Johanan, he proclaims the impregnation of Mary by God, the Lion of Judah, and that God tried to save his people through her son.

Jesus Loses Points for the Exorcism at Gadara

This is what I read earlier today:

Joseph Atwill, the author of Caesar’s Messiah looked at the story of the man possessed by Legion.

The man was possessed by Legion in the city of Gadara.
Jesus got rid of the demons.
The demons took possession of pigs/swine.
The swine started running. They ran into water and drowned.

Jesus was not a great exorcist in this instance because this is a spiritual analogy of an history event. Here’s the history that actually happened.

By this time John was beginning to tyrannize. Now, some submitted to his tyranny out of fear and some out of goodwill. All of their reasons for militant action against Rome was now being reduced to one head, one leader, John.

John and his men were too small to be an army but too many to be just a gang of troublemakers. A legion (an ancient army term) is not an army and a legion has more members than just a gang of troublemakers. John and his followers are Legion.

Let’s say, Gadara was a community with some sense of peacefulness. They had their rich members in the community. Gadara wasn’t looking for trouble with Rome.

John comes to Gadara and he’s more militant than the Sicarii. He recruits men. Some recruits are made recruits by force. John is the possessor. John and his men are Legion.

Well, who is Jesus? Jesus is the Roman general who becomes Caesar, or emperor: Vespasian.

Vespasian comes to Gadara and sends John and his Sicarii running. They ran away from the power of Christ Vespasian. Many ran into the Jordan like the swine in the bible story. The Sicarii were deemed swine because Jews do not like swine (pork) and the Jews of Gadara didn’t appreciate John coming into the city causing trouble, recruiting their sons to their death. The only thing they got for going against the powerful Romans was a split-second of courage before getting stabbed through their guts or through their chest with a Roman sword or chopped in the face with a Roman sword or have their heads cut off at the neck by Roman sword or killed by Roman darts.

Dart
Main article: Plumbata

Late infantrymen often carried half a dozen lead-weighted throwing-darts called plumbatae (from plumbum = “lead”), with an effective range of c. 30 m, well beyond that of a javelin. The darts were carried clipped to the back of the shield.

So, the New Testament account is nothing more than a spiritual analogy of what actually happened at Gadara.

Jesus is not Jesus: Jesus is Rome, Jesus is Vespasian.

Letter to a Christian Nation and to the Christian World

Someone said: All it takes is your belief that he died on the cross for our sins.

Response: Don’t put too much stock in that.

The historical Jesus didn’t die for that reason. Jesus died because he staged a Palm Sunday event which he thought God would enhance into kicking off the Kingdom of God ruled by the Son of Man. There are indications in the New Testament that Jesus would be that Son of Man.

Caiaphas and other members of the Temple establishment saw this as a threat and idolatry.  In the Talmud (Babylonian Talmud) Jesus is charged with leading the country into idolatry. Jesus was a healer and people were being healed in his name. This is part of the idolatry. Why wasn’t it sufficient that healing be done by mentioning, uttering, saying “The Lord God is my healer” instead of saying in the name of Jesus.

When there is grumbling in the New Testament against Jesus, that opposition is significant.

Furthermore, Jesus complained about the Temple and his actions foreshadowed a Post-Temple Judaism. The Temple establishment won a short term victory by having Jesus eliminated but the Age of Pisces did not need a temple where people had to buy birds and lambs (Age of Aries) as sacrifices for sins.

Although Christopher Hitchens spoke greatly for personal responsibility, having no one bear the sins of others, it is possible that the end of the Age of Aries and the marker for the end of Temple Judaism did require the death of Jesus and the martyrdom of Stephen–and the death of James, brother of Jesus.

The Bart Ehrman Blog End of the Year Blog Reflection

Bart D. Ehrman: I do the blog not only because I want to disseminate knowledge about the New Testament, the historical Jesus, the history and literature of early Christianity…

Steefen: It goes without saying, you like the extended comments and Q&A with your lecture and debate audiences, video watchers, and book readers?

Second, I guess I’ll never forget what a teacher said about writing at NYU School of Continuing Ed more than two decades ago: Write to discover.

In an Edith Wharton book, Lilly Bart saw how she was in the laboratory where Seldon’s thoughts were being formed. House of Mirth is the book. At least one of the blog readers, me, is interested in how new concepts of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, the history and literature of early Christianity, and so on are formed. Really, is 90% of the work already done? In some fields, I’d say yes. For example, haven’t 90% of New Testament works been translated and made public? How much more do our thoughts about the Jewish God of Jesus need to change? Jesus left this Earth in 36 C.E. His successful legacy is his healing not heavenly salvation because the Kingdom of Heaven did not manifest greater than the Roman Empire. When Jesus went into the spiritual world, the Kingdom of Heaven did not dress him as the Son of Man for his return from either a Near Death Experience, a Lazarus Syndrome resurrection, or a buried alive incident. The Temple was destroyed. Bar Kokhbah failed as well.

Joseph (Latinized to Titus Flavius Josephus), Yohannan ben Zakkai and Hellenists resurrected Jesus to a Gentile Jesus Christ as opposed to a Hebrew Jesus Messiah harbinger to a spiritual Son of Man.

So, I now have a post-Hebrew-Jesus-Messiah mindset. Will I soon have a completely Post-Christian mindset?

What will fill an informed person’s astrological ninth house of religion?

The Ninth House The ninth house covers long journeys and religion (the longest journey of all). Here is what remains of the purification that takes place in the eighth house — the seed, or essence, of an entire cycle of experience. Religion comes from a Latin word that means to bind back, and thus refers to all things that last or endure, such as the truth. Essential ideas, philosophy, and all that is the very heart of things belong here. (http://www.astrology.com.tr/houses.asp)

What solar system object will fill an informed person’s house of religion or for another house, the 12th house of sacrifice for what is really important?

(Apparently, the Son of Man and Jesus’ concept of the Kingdom of God/Heaven is not really important since IT DID NOT DELIVER and has yet to deliver. How can you go from a crucified Jesus to a destroyed temple to the Inquisitions and have anything left for the historical Jesus and his apocalypse?)

I have read scholarly books and this blog to inform my thoughts about, no longer Noah’s God, no longer Moses’ God, and no longer Jesus’ God, now.

Wheh!

It is, as called in Vedic Astrology, the “planetary deity” of Neptune. The astrological principle of Neptune is Transcendent freedom; unification; freedom from ego-self. What’s beyond the material world(?): Quantum mechanics, the non-locality principle, the paranormal, and heavens yearned for and created.

We know something is beyond our Local God, the Sun Invincible with his planetary deity Cabinet Members because we know of other planets with Moons, we know other stars with planets, we know there are other galaxies, we have theorized mathematically other dimensions of existence (Brian Greene, Theoretical Physicist).

My thoughts about Neptune (God) is life on this Earth will not become heavenly, we can only have moments of escape and bliss. Neptune reports to the Sun. Totalitarian human will power cannot hold a heaven together here on Earth over long timespans and distances–let alone a thousand years (Jesus, I’m talking to you and your believers).

At some point, I’ll read your content plans for the 2014 blog. As you can tell, what will be important to me is what happened at Edessa, what happened at Yavne with Josephus and Johannan ben Zakkai giving testimony to a Christ and Messiah.

Although there now is much Post-Christianity world view, I still honor the principles of St. Michael and St. Jude. The former cares that souls not be ruined and the latter cares that we live through despair as best as possible. .

The Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem

Mysticism is only as good as the Astrology upon which it is built.

For Jesus and Paul to overstate the transition of the Age of Aries to the Age of Pisces as they have in the New Testament is so misleading.

What I can say in support of Jesus and the Age of Pisces is that a Temple of animal blood spilling is SO Age of Aries. The destruction of that temple is a great marker for the end of the Age of Aries.

Excommunicating St. Paul

Eventually, people will come around to know Paul discredits himself and Paul is discredited by others. Journey of the Souls by Michael Newton, Infinite Mind by Valerie V. Hunt, books on reincarnation and the paranormal give no “peer review” nod to Paul’s notions of almost 2,000 years old. Paul got it wrong. So much of what Paul has added to the New Testament needs a long strikethrough. Paul is not reliable on the afterlife. He may be reliable on his personal hopes about the afterlife. Hopefully waves of Post-Christianity will wash away notions of Paul that have little weight of anchor.

It’s one thing for Mark to use the Homeric Epics in the Gospel of Mark. It’s quite an important thing for Luke, in Acts of the Apostles, to use Pyrhhus: The Fool of Hope by Plutarch (first century common era historian) against Paul. http://www.thenazareneway.com/The%20Gospel%20of%20Paul.htm

So, in addition to biblical scholars and writers needing to read Josephus to get a broad view of what really went on in the first century, common era, the contribution of Jesus’ legacy to Jewish Revolt, we should be aware of what does not hold up for Paul and Paul’s teachings.

Jesus was more masterful than Paul who “popularized” a corrupt version of Jesus’ movement.

Keeping Paul’s pseudo-spirituality in higher standards of Christianity and Post-Christianity that are constantly being raised is like keeping the worse parts of Biblical Creationism in Human Evolution Studies.

That Saul-Paul persecuted followers of Jesus, then set up a rival Gospel and a rival movement against Jesus’ movement proves his conversion did not stop him from working against Jesus’ aims.