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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:40 pm 
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Apollonius, Jesus and Paul: Men or Myths?
http://www.truthbeknown.com/apollonius.html

Christ Conspiracy pages 173 to 177

Quote:
"Over the centuries, not a few people have noticed a resemblance between the lives of the ancient sage Apollonius of Tyana and the Christian savior Jesus Christ, a comparison most notably brought to light by the "very important Roman official" Sossianus Hierocles in the fourth century. Apollonius was said to have lived in the first century, precisely at the time of Jesus's advent, although the former supposedly lived to be around 100 years old, while the latter allegedly died several decades earlier. It is claimed that hundreds of statues of Apollonius were erected during the first centuries of the Christian era, with his fame as a "divine man" widespread around the Mediterranean. Numerous events in Apollonius's life, as provided to us principally from a biography created around 210 by Philostratus, commissioned by the empress Julia Domna, peculiarly parallel those of Christ. It is difficult to determine what, if any, of Philostratus's Life of Apollonius constitutes history, although there appears to be confirmation at least of Apollonius's existence. In fact, from the odd coincidences between his life and that of Jesus, it has been suggested by not a few people that Jesus Christ is a fictional character based in large part on Apollonius of Tyana, although Christians beginning in early times cast the accusation of plagiarism in the opposite direction. In addition to this possible development are striking correlations between the lives of Apollonius and the apostle Paul, who, like Jesus, strangely finds no place in contemporary history, despite claims to his having made quite a ruckus in a populated and well documented part of the world. It appears that the stories of both Jesus and Paul were in part fabricated from that of Apollonius. The opposite is also possible, although, in this author's studied opinion, unlikely. It also may be that both Apollonius and Jesus were historical figures who did and said everything they are reported to have done and said, in which case we would be dishonest in accepting one without the other, both representing "God on Earth.""

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:55 pm 
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"He was the son of God sent from Heaven as a savior. He performed miracles including raising the dead, healing the blind and casting out evil spirits. He went to Jerusalem, was condemned by Roman authorities, and eventually was assumed back to Heaven after leaving a new dispensation. His name was Jes...no, he was Apollonius of Tyana, one of the most overlooked, prodigious figures of antiquity that might have been the precursor for the Orthodox Messiah. Special Guest-- Acharya S., author of 'The Christ Conspiracy', 'Suns of God' & 'Jesus Who?'. Topics Discussed: --The life and times of this first century miracle-working, wandering sage, religious reformer who had Imperial Temples built in his honor and was wined and dined from Emperors in Rome to Brahmins in India. --Not only the striking parallels between Apollonius and Jesus, but the just as striking parallels between Apollonius and Paul of Tarsus. --Evidence pointing that after Marcion came back from Antioch to Rome with the Gospel of Luke and the Pauline Letters, what he originally had retrieved was nothing more than The Gospel of Apollonius of Tyana. --Could Apollonius also be the original author of the Epistle to The Hebrews? --The Orthodox Church spent volumes of paper and energy condemning the Classic Gnostics, Manicheans, Jewish Christians, Pagan philosophers and their gods, Simon Magus and Marcion; but why is there an almost complete silence and cover up when it comes to Apollonius of Tyana, a character who was a worldwide celebrity in the first century? --Acharya's views on astrotheology, mythology, and the virus that is Orthodox Christianity. --An eerie thread starting with Paul and Apollonius, leading back through Pythagoras and all the way to Orpheus. It's a daring bridge we cross, my Truthseekers, but regardless of what you think the point of fact is that Apollonius of Tyana has been a missing piece of several puzzles in understanding the Esoteric and early Christianity. And certainly the historical Jesus of Nazareth."

- The Chronicles of Acharya by Miguel

http://www.thegodabovegod.com/shop/inde ... em&item=73

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Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:50 pm 
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John Oakes's Evidence for Christianity Apollonius-Jesus Article Rebutted

Code:
How do you respond to those who say Jesus is a fabricated story like Apolonnius of Tyana or Honi ha-M’agel?

by Dr. John Oakes (who's a Chemist not a theologian. "He is the president of Apologetics Research Society, a California non-profit corporation. The corporation and its board of directors support the evidenceforchristianity.org website and many other projects. The past six years, they have put on the International Christian Evidences Converence ...")

http://www.evidenceforchristianity.org/how-do-you-respond-to-those-who-say-jesus-is-a-fabricated-story-like-apolonnius-of-tyana-or-honi-ha-magel/

Apollonius, Jesus and Paul: Men or Myths?

John Oakes wrote:
1. There is sufficient evidence, from non-Christian sources (Josephus, Talmud, Seutonius, Tacitus, Pliny, Celsus Thalus and others), from the quality of New Testament witnesses, evidence from early Christian fathers, fulfilled messianic prophecy, very early New Testament manuscripts and from the quality of the New Testament as history (especially Luke/Acts) to reasonably conclude that the Jesus of the gospels is the Jesus of history.

Ahh, the standard Christian apologetics and false claims that have been debunked throughout this forum handily. I'll simply repeat what I've posted elsewhere on this issue below, for example, Christian apologists also love to claim 40/42 authors mention Jesus within 150 years of his life:

Quote:
"42 authors mention Jesus within 150 years of his life"

9 traditional authors of the N.T.:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, author of Hebrews, James, Peter, Jude

20 early Christian writers outside the N.T.:

Clement of Rome, 2 Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp, Didache, Barnabas, Shepard of Hermes, fragments of Papias, Justin Martyr, Aristides, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch Quadratus, Aristo of Pella, Melito of Sardis, Dhognetus, Gospel of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, Epistula Apostolorum

4 heretical writings:

Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Truth, Apocryphon of John, treatise on resurrection

9 secular sources:

Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Phlegon, Lucian, Celsus, Mara Bar-Serapion, Suetonius, Thallus.

It's not always just what devotees (or scholars) say that is wrong it can often be what they don't say. For example, not a single one of the "42 authors" ever met Jesus while he was alive. The four canonical Gospel writers were all anonymous until the names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were added as authors late in the 2nd century. There is no contemporary eyewitness testimony for Jesus at all whatsoever. Nobody ever wrote about Jesus during his lifetime and the canonical gospels didn't exist as we have them today until around 180 C.E. - that is what the literary and historical records show i.e. evidence that actually exists.

Ten Reasons to Reject the Apologetic 10/42 Source Slogan

Here's an image from a former preacher of 20 years in his article Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead? listing some of the: "extraordinary" (natural and supernatural) in the stories between the crucifixion and ascension of Jesus: earthquakes, angel(s), rolling stone, dead bodies crawling from Jerusalem graves ("Halloween"[32]), Jesus appearing out of thin air ("Now you see him") and disappearing ("Now you don't"), the "fish story" miracle[33], Peter's noncanonical "extravaganza" exit from the tomb (see below), a giant Jesus with head in the clouds, a talking cross, and a bodily ascension into heaven."

Image

Historians, philosophers and other writers of the day during Jesus's lifetime and supposed ministry fail to ever notice him at all:

Quote:
"One would think that if all these things happened, someone somewhere would have written about them or otherwise recorded them for posterity. But, inspecting the literary, historical and archaeological record of the time produces nothing. The dearth of evidence is not for want of suitable reporters, as during the first century the following historians and writers depicted life in and around the Mediterranean, including in some of the very places that Jesus and his disciples purportedly moved about:

Aulus Perseus (60 AD)
Columella (1st cent. AD)
Dio Chrysostom (c. 40-c. 112 AD)
Justus of Tiberius (c. 80 AD)
Livy (59 BC-17 AD)
Lucanus (fl. 63 AD)
Lucius Florus (1st-2nd-cent. AD)
Petronius (d. 66 AD)
Phaedrus (c. 15 BC-c. 50 AD)
Philo Judaeus (20 BC-50 AD)
Phlegon (1st cent. AD)
Pliny the Elder (23?-69 AD)
Plutarch (c. 46-c. 119 AD)
Pomponius Mela (40 AD)
Quintilian (c. 35-c. 100 AD)
Quintus Curtius Rufus (1st cent. AD)
Seneca (4 BC?-65 AD)
Silius Italicus (c. 25-101 AD)
Statius Caelicius (1st cent. AD)
Theon of Smyrna (c. 70-c.135 AD)
Valerius Flaccus (1st cent. AD)
Valerius Maximus (fl. c. 20 AD)

Oddly enough, not one of these writers recorded any of the amazing and earth-shaking events reported in the gospels, even though this period was one of the best documented in history and although some of these authors lived or traveled in the same small area in which the gospel story was set. Neither Jesus nor his disciples are mentioned by any of them—not a word about Christ, Christianity or Christians."

- Who Was Jesus?, page 85

Even top Christian New Testament scholars disagree that there's credible evidence for the historical existence of Jesus:

Quote:
"One would naturally expect that the Lord Jesus Christ would be sufficiently important to receive ample notice in the literature of his time, and that extensive biographical material would be available. He was observed by multitudes of people, and his own followers numbered into the hundreds (1 Cor. 15:6), whose witness was still living in the middle of the first century. As a matter of fact, the amount of information concerning him is comparatively meager. Aside from the four Gospels, and a few scattered allusions in the epistles, contemporary history is almost silent concerning him."

- Merrill C. Tenney

- Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ (WWJ) 85-86

* Dr. Tenney is a conservative evangelical Christian who was a professor of Theological Studies and the dean of the school of Theology at Wheaton College. Tenney was also one of the original translators of the NASB and NIV editions of the Bible.

Quote:
"Apart from the New Testament writings and later writings dependent upon these, our sources of information about the life and teaching of Jesus are scanty and problematic"

- F.F. Bruce, a founder of the modern evangelical movement

- Who Was Jesus? (WWJ), page 84

Quote:
"...there are very few sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus beyond the four canonical Gospels. Paul and Josephus offer little more than tidbits. Claims that later apocryphal Gospels and the Nag Hammadi material supply independent and reliable historical information about Jesus are largely fantasy. In the end, the historian is left with the difficult task of sifting through the Four Gospels for historical tradition."

- John P. Meier

- WWJ page 86

* Dr. Meier is a Catholic University New Testament professor, Catholic priest and monsignor

Quote:
"The gospels are in fact anonymous"

- Dr. Craig L. Blomberg

- WWJ, page 60

In over 20 passages throughout the canonical gospels claiming Jesus was famed far and wide not a single one has ever been substantiated with credible evidence.

Quote:
Jesus famed far and wide:

These "great crowds" and "multitudes," along with Jesus's fame, are repeatedly referred to in the gospels, including at the

Matthew 4:23-25, 5:1, 8:1, 8:18, 9:8, 9:31, 9:33, 9:36, 11:7, 12:15, 13:2, 14:1, 14:13, 14:22, 15:30, 19:2, 21:9, 26:55;

Mark 1:28, 10:1;

Luke: 4:14, 4:37, 5:15, 14:25, etc.

- WWJ page 85

"Additionally, even though many times in the gospels Jesus was claimed to have been famed far and wide, not one historian of the era was aware of his existence, not even individuals who lived in, traveled around, or wrote about the relevant areas. The brief mentions of Christ, Christians or Christianity we possess from non-Christian sources are late and dubious as to their authenticity and/or value. Nor is there any valid scientific archaeological evidence demonstrating the gospel story to be true or even to support the existence of Jesus Christ. Despite this utter lack of evidence, Christian apologists and authorities make erroneous and misleading claims that there are "considerable reports" and "a surprisingly large amount of detail" regarding the life of Jesus and early Christianity."

- WWJ page 257

The one constant theme is, there's no credible evidence for a historical Jesus, same as there was no valid evidence amongst the 1st Xians either. The earliest Christians never had any evidence they could point to in order to demonstrate Jesus actually existed. If Jesus was really a carpenter, there was no work done by his hands. There were no paintings, rock carvings, writings - nothing by him at all. And, there's no evidence that the earliest Christians ever tried to claim anything by him ever existed. And what about Jesus' own family? Isn't it odd that nobody ever went to them for an interview of any kind? Where's Jesus' supposed family today? If they were real people i.e. Joseph, Mary and Jesus' siblings etc. don't you think Constantine and his mother would've sought them out? NOPE, nothing, notta, zippo, ZERO! There's never been anything beyond 'anecdotal evidence' or evidence based on hearsay.

So, it appears that in 2,000 years nothing has changed. Which is significant considering all the research, investigations and all the money / funding spent on them. So, it's really bad form for NT & biblical scholars to rigidly adhere to the a priori assumption that Jesus must have existed when there's no valid evidence substantiating that claim.

Posted previously here:

40/42 Sources for the life of Jesus
http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... =15&t=4085

And that's using the earliest Christian conservative dating of the Gospels, which don't really show up in the historical or literary records until the mid to late 2nd century:

The Gospels: A 2nd Century Composition

The Nazareth / Bethlehem Debate

John Oakes wrote:
2. Then there are these supposed parallels between the Jesus of the New Testament and the Near Eastern god/man myths such as that of Mithra (a Persian religion/myth) to be dealt with. I have spent quite a bit of time looking at these supposed parallels between Jesus and Mithra, Isis/Osiris, Apolonius of Tyana, Empodocles, Krishn and others.

"...Christian scholars over the centuries have admitted that ... "there are parallels between the Mysteries and Christianity"1 and that "the miracle stories of the Gospels do in fact parallel literary forms found in pagan and Jewish miracle stories,"2 "...According to Form Criticism the Gospels are more like folklore and myth than historical fact."3

1. Metzger, HLS, 8.
2. Meier, II, 536.
3. Geisler, CA, 320.

- Who Was Jesus? 259

John Oakes wrote:
Osiris is an Egyptian god/man myth. He is obviously mythical–not a real person. According to the myth, he was killed by his brother. His body was cut up into 13 pieces. His wife Isis reassembled his body from twelve of the parts (see the parallel with the twelve apostles?). He then came back to life to rule in the underworld. The parallels with Jesus are very slight, to say the least.

Osiris was actually torn into 14 pieces symbolizing the 14 days of the waning moon. Here's a video with Egyptologist Dr. Mojsov admitting parallels between Osiris &/or Horus with Jesus:



For more on Isis see, viewtopic.php?p=27655#p27655

I especially love how John Oakes without hesitation calls all other gods "myths," while the special pleading for Jesus's historicity is transparent as glass. We can agree that all of those gods are in fact myths same as Jesus:

John Oakes wrote:
Here is one big difference between Jesus and these myths from which it is claimed the New Testament writers borrowed. Isis was not a real person. Neither was Krishna or Tammuz or Mithra. We know where Jesus lived, how he died, the name of his mother and father and at least two of his brothers. We have the writings of several people how met him personally.

I just have to laugh out loud, nothing he stated there about Jesus is true at all - there exists absolutely zero credible evidence for a single claim Dr. Oakes said about Jesus.

Quote:
"The only definite account of his life and teachings is contained in the four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All other historical records of the time are silent about him. The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations; in Jewish writings there is no report about Jesus that has historical value. Some scholars have even gone so far as to hold that the entire Jesus story is a myth…"

- The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

- Who Was Jesus? 84

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

- Sir Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71), Historian


Here's an image of the list of evidence between Jesus and Caesar

Image

John Oakes wrote:
...If you look at the supposedly convincing evicence that the Jesus story is borrowed from that of Mithra and others, this claim falls apart of its own weight if one bothers to actually look at the stories in context from which the Jesus story is supposedly borrowed. Besides, the evidence that the New Testament writers are reliable witnesses is very strong. This argument has been blown way out of proportion by scholars who have an modernist or postmodernist presuppositional agenda based on the assumption that the Jesus of the Bible cannot possibly be historical. Those who begin the investigation having already reached their conclusion cannot be trusted as unbiased sources, to say the least. You can rest assured that these arguments are virtually without basis at all and the appearance of a basis disappers in view of the strong evidence that the New Testament picture of Jesus is essentially historical.

Dr. John Oakes should follow his own advice by checking his very own blatantly obvious Christian biases and agenda that are as transparent as glass for all to see. We see it constantly even by preachers, pastors, priests, reverends, ministers - you name it. Aren't they held to a higher standard and don't they have a special requirement to tell the truth? Aren't there at least minimum requirements for accuracy? No, absolutely not! Give this thread a very serious going over:

Religion and the Ph.D.: A Brief History

Decent and far more honest Christian New Testament scholars prove John Oakes wrong in the quotes I provided above. It appears Oakes has never really checked into the evidence or lack of evidence for Jesus unless he's just duped into believing that the bible is a credible source, which even Christian New Testament scholars disagree:

Quote:
"The Gospels are neither histories nor biographies, even within the ancient tolerances for those genres."

Dr. John Dominic Crossan

- Who Was Jesus? 24

There are many problems with the credibility of the bible that apparently people like John Oakes either are not aware or simply does not want others to find out:

The Jesus Challenge

For Christ sakes, even the Catholic encyclopedia admits it borrowed many ideas and concepts from Mithraism and elsewhere, for example:

Quote:
"The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date. For the history of the solar cult, its position in the Roman Empire, and syncretism with Mithraism"
- Catholic Enc. Christmas

Quote:
"Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season."
- Catholic Enc. Mithraism ...

* Notice the word "REBIRTH," which means that the sun was perceived to have symbolically died & resurrected.

I think it's fair to say that Dr. John Oakes has lost all credibility on this subject as he's easily proven wrong on everything significant thus far so, he should probably just stick to chemistry.

Speaking to a Christian Audience

Nevertheless, I want to address the fallacious arguments from Christian apologists and other theists or even some atheists who often simply do not know what they're talking about when it comes to the parallels. They'll often use terms like "carbon copy" or 'copycat" or even "parallelomania," but those often tend to be fallacy arguments used as hand-waving dismissals to end the discussion. I'll use John Oakes comment from his #2 to get us started:

John Oakes wrote:
Let me summarize as follows. Such parallels without exception involve cherry picking and massive stretching of supposed parallels. I am sure that if we cherry pick from dozens of Near Eastern religions we can find parallels with just about anything we like. We can probably prove that Abraham Lincoln is essentially a mythical figure.

One might gather from that comment that the parallels are just some sort of Rorschach inkblot test for the crazy (SARCASM). In actuality, scholars refer to these parallels or 'borrowing' as syncretism. That's right, there's even a scholarly term for it - so no need for any parallelophobia. Those who actually study these subjects should be very familiar with the word "syncretism" and if they are not - you should immediately question their credibility. The claims of proving Abraham Lincoln a myth are completely absurd. We have government documents written by his own hand and so much more proving his existence. Those are exorcises that fundamentalist Christians perform in an attempt to persuade others into their bigotry and their intellectually dishonest anti-mythicism stance we've become all too familiar with. Again:

Quote:
"...Christian scholars over the centuries have admitted that ... "there are parallels between the Mysteries and Christianity"1 and that "the miracle stories of the Gospels do in fact parallel literary forms found in pagan and Jewish miracle stories,"2 "...According to Form Criticism the Gospels are more like folklore and myth than historical fact."3

1. Metzger, HLS, 8.
2. Meier, II, 536.
3. Geisler, CA, 320.

- Who Was Jesus? 259

The fact is, the general lists of parallels exist, in part, because we had people in the 19th century like, for example, Gerald Massey (who was heavily peer reviewed by the top Egyptologists of his day) trying to explain these parallels to a mostly Christian audience who knew absolutely nothing about the Egyptian religion. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs weren't translated until after the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. "until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone by Napoleon's troops in 1799 and the subsequent translation of such by Champollion in 1822, no one could read Egyptian hieroglyphs!"

They were trying to explain the pre-Christian parallels in such a way that Christian authorities and even laymen would understand. Justin Martyr did something similar around 150ce in his first apology except in reverse - Justin was speaking to a largely Pagan audience:

"And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you [PAGANS] believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter...."

The parallels do not have to be exact carbon copies and, in fact, it's absurd to expect them to be. These concepts have evolved over time with similarities and differences due to environment, culture and era. The point is that the CONCEPTS existed throughout the Egyptian religion and influenced many religions, including Christianity.

So, what we have today is the same thing that happened to those 19th century scholars connecting the parallels; people like Acharya S and many others getting abused and derogated for trying to explain the Egyptian myths in a format that even Christians could understand. It appears that Christians detest seeing any connections made probably because it exposes Christianity as based on a house of cards.

For more Christian apologists who've been exposed and debunked:

Dr. Chris Forbes on Zeitgeist part 1, DEBUNKED

Challenging the Zeitgeist Movie by Dr. Mark Foreman, DEBUNKED

Did Jesus Really Exist? by Dr. Paul Maier, DEBUNKED

Is Jesus a Myth? by S. Michael Houdmann, DEBUNKED

William Lane Craig, DEBUNKED

Pagan Parallels: Achilles Heel of Christianity

Religion and the Ph.D.: A Brief History - a must read

_________________
2013 Astrotheology Calendar
The Mythicist Position
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
Stellar House Publishing at Youtube


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