Caesar's Messiah

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Capstone, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Capstone
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    Capstone Gold Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUPoLMW6dNM]Caesar's Messiah Documentary Trailer - YouTube[/ame]

    So, Atwill’s chief premise is that Christianity was a Roman invention designed to squash the post-Jewish War uprisings and create a pacified version of messianic Judaism. To support his premise, Atwill demonstrates a strange relationship between certain events in the four Gospels and events recorded in Josephus's historical account, Wars of the Jews. When read inter-textually, the Gospels appear to be a satire of the Jewish uprisings and Roman victories of the first century. It seems the Flavians were getting their jollies from the esoteric joke, as well as reaping the benefits of the newly-formed religion!

    The most compelling aspect of Atwill’s argument rests not so much on the parallels themselves—which are subject to interpretation—but on the fact that at least 12 instances of these “peculiar similarities” also happen to coincide chronologically between the texts. It's difficult to imagine how remote the odds are that this inter-textual phenomenon could have occurred independently.

    An excellent summary can be found here.
     
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  2. Capstone
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    Capstone Gold Member

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    Christians:

    In case the significance of these findings has escaped you, the notion that your entire belief system has a fictional basis is now empirically demonstrable.

    Burying your heads even more deeply in the sand than they've been ...isn't going to make the uncomfortable truth go away.
     
  3. peach174
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    peach174 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    A couple of things has been left out of what he says.

    First - the Work's of Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews and a History of the Jewish Wars, describes how Jesus looked. That he says the man did exist.
    Second - there is evidence of Aramaic manuals.
    "Is It True That Some NT Documents were First Written in Aramaic/Syriac and THEN in Greek?" - Probe Ministries
    Textually speaking, there is little manuscript evidence to substantiate an Aramaic precedent over the Greek. There are however, ten different Syriac manuscript sources which have survived, dating from the fifth to the tenth centuries A.D. The earliest, a palimpsest written in the 4th or 5th century, is the oldest extant manuscript which is a representative of the Old Syriac translation (which probably originated around 200 A.D). All of these manuscripts give evidence of having borrowed from pre-existing sources--the Hebrew, the Greek Septuagint, or the Massoretic tradition.

    By far the best Aramaic specimen of the Syriac Peshitta is found in the Ambrosian Library in Milan, and dates from the sixth or seventh century A.D. Close behind is one in the British Museum in London which dates from the ninth or tenth century A.D.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  4. peach174
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    peach174 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    If we look at the Bible simply as a historic document, it should be among the most reliable on record compared with others.

    Historians routinely cite Herodotus as a key source of information. He wrote from 488 B.C. to 428 B.C. and the earliest copy of his work comes from 900 A.D. (1,300 years later). There are only eight known copies of his work.

    By contrast, the New Testament of the Bible (with all its information about Jesus) was written between 40 A.D. and 100 A.D. The earliest known copy is from 130 A.D. and there are 5,000 known copies in Greek, 10,000 in Latin and 9,300 in other languages.

    Still, to put to rest the notion that there is no historic and scientific proof of Jesus outside the Bible, we may look to Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and to Roman historian Carius Cornelius Tacitus - both well known and accepted.

    Josephus, in the book Jewish Antiquities" wrote:

    "At that time lived Jesus, a wise man, if he may be called a man; for he performed many wonderful works. He was a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. . . .And when Pilate, at the instigation of the chief men among us, had condemned him to the cross, they who before had conceived an affection for him did not cease to adhere to him. For on the third day he appeared to them alive again, the divine prophets having foretold these and many other wonderful things concerning him. And the sect of the Christians, so called from him, subsists at this time" (Antiquities, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 1).

    Tacitus, in writing about accusations that Nero burned the city of Rome and blamed it on Christians, said the following:

    ". . .Nero procured others to be accused, and inflicted exquisite punishment upon those people, who were in abhorrence for their crimes, and were commonly known by the name of Christians. They had their denomination from Christus (Christ, dm.), who in the reign of Tibertius was put to death as a criminal by the procurator Pontius Pilate. . . .At first they were only apprehended who confessed themselves of that sect; afterwards a vast multitude discovered by them, all of which were condemned, not so much for the crime of burning the city, as for their enmity to mankind. . . ." (Tacitus, Annals, 15, 44).
     
  5. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    If Tacitus is at all historical, you do have to tale some Roman "histories" with a grain of salt, that totally destroys the author's argument, because Nero ruled before the Flavians supposedly invented Jesus.
     
  6. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    Maybe if you threaten to hold your breath until you turn blue...?



    What's it matter to you, anyway? You don't want to believe in God? Fine. Don't. But why do you have your panties in a bunch that other people do?
     
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  7. Capstone
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    Capstone Gold Member

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    From the link to the summary in the OP:

    As for this:

    The Roman Empire under Titus was quite large, with Jewish factions fairly widespread. Obviously, if a large portion of the intended audience spoke and read Aramaic only, the Evangelion manuals (read The Gospels) would have been widely distributed in Aramaic. In other words, the presence of early Aramaic and Greek texts is not only perfectly consistent with Atwill's thesis ...it would actually be an expectation of it.

    In stark contrast, Biblical scholars are far more challenged by the very things predicted by the Flavian hypothesis.

    Your other post (with citations from Josephus and Tacitus) is further evidence that you don't even understand what Atwill has argued. In line with his theory (which is largely explanatory in nature), only a relatively few elites would have been privy to the grand Roman joke, but the actual existence of Titus's literary counterpart would have been promoted as a means of lending legitimacy to the character they wanted the Jews to worship -- hence, again, the mention of Christ by Roman historians of the era would actually be an expectation.

    Do yourself a favor in the future: try reading up on the topics of discussion before posting your arguments against them.
     
  8. Capstone
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    Capstone Gold Member

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    Just before, since Nero directly preceded Vespasian (Titus's father) and was actively engaged in putting down Jewish revolts and punishing those responsible. It's easy to see how a writer may have jumbled some of the facts 48 years later, particularly if the process of legitimizing the character of Christ included a bit of historical post-diction on the part of its creators.
     
  9. Capstone
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    Capstone Gold Member

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    Unfortunately, Christianity is still being used very much as its inventors envisioned -- to control the masses and to realize highly questionable political agendas (including war profiteering). The sooner it goes the way of the Greco/Roman mythology that preceded it ...the better.
     
  10. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    The fire in Rome occurred in 64 CE, while the Jewish War didn't break out until 66. Nero was already persecuting Christians in Rome as scapegoats before that. Kind of strange for a religion that hadn't been "invented" yet!
     

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