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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 4:18 pm 
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To explore this latest bizarre encounter with Neil Godfrey (link also at Godfrey thread), I emailed my initial comment about Nazareth and Neil's response to Rene Salm, prompting the following email exchange.

Rene Salm says he agrees with me, and copies the exchange to Godfrey. Neil Godfrey then responds by comparing Rene and me to climate science deniers, 9/11 conspiracy theorists and ancient alien fruitcakes, just for arguing that Nazareth post-dated Jesus.

I feel it is reasonable to make this discussion public. Neil presents himself on his blog as a rational mythicist, and has written respectfully about Rene Salm's analysis of Nazareth, but now he compares Salm to Von Daniken.
Neil Godfrey wrote:
Robert's "it makes complete sense" explanation for the foundation of Nazareth is both as cogent, yet as logically invalid, as conspiracy theory explanations for 9/11 or climate change science. It is based on the same logical fallacies as the astrotheology or any Von Daniken arguments.
Neil

Quote:
On 11 May 2013 04:23, Rene Salm wrote:
No, Robert. . . I don't find it embarrassing at all. In fact, I agree with what you write.
It surprises me that Neil's removed the comment. . . It makes a nice wrap-up of the discussion.
Perhaps Neil is thinking of saving Carrier from embarrassment?
Rene
cc: Neil G.

Quote:
On May 9, 2013, at 8:05 PM, Robert Tulip wrote:
Hi Rene
I was perplexed by Neil Godfrey's statement "This comment was from one who has contributed from time to time to the comments on this blog but I decided to withhold his name to protect him from public embarrassment." The comment was from me. Do you see it as potentially embarrassing?

Code:
http://vridar.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/richard-carriers-review-of-bart-ehrman-and-the-quest-of-the-historical-jesus/#comment-44386


Regards, Robert Tulip

My Comment

Carrier’s arrogance here is breathtaking. In my view, the most reasonable hypothesis is that Nazareth was invented to conceal the Gospel references to the proscribed Nazarene sect. These references were unwelcome both for the Romans due to politics and for Christians due to the gnostic ‘watcher’ content and the desire to distance themselves from Roman perceptions of subversion. The construction of Nazareth conveniently enabled Christians to say “Jesus the Nazarene” meant “Jesus of Nazareth”, deflecting the explosive politics and serving the ever-growing crude historical agenda of Jesus as actual person.

It makes complete sense that Nazareth post-dated the Gospels within a mythicist framework. Christians had abundant motive and opportunity and means to establish the town, building a Potemkin home for their imagined saviour. But Carrier audaciously presents a quasi-apologetic assertion that a late inscription is historical evidence for Nazareth at the supposed time of Jesus. In the context of how gullible faith-based arguments have perverted reasoning on this topic, such “evidence” deserves to be taken with a few pillars of salt.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:26 pm 
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Rene Salm has continued writing several blogs about the Carrier / Caesarea Inscription issue:

Is the Caesarea inscription a forgery?

Nazareth, the Caesarea Inscription, and the hand of God—Pt. 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

The most recent from July 15, 2013: A Linear Comparison of Fragments A, B, and C of the Caesarea Inscription

Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
Oh good, thanks for sharing that link to Rene Salm, MightyAgrippa.

Here's a small taste of the Salm/Carrier exchange:

Quote:
"... You’re looking at the Nazareth issue through some cock-eyed lens where the Caesarea inscription is central, and you berate everybody for not seeing it that way. (Gee, Acharya and I didn’t even mention it!) You call it “key evidence”, “proving [Nazareth] existed in 70 AD,” write that my not mentioning it is a “fatal error” and an example of “many errors of [my] logic.” You’re wrong on all these counts, and I wonder about YOU as a logical thinker. You even give opinion that weakens your own position (Leibner). Weird…

Another reason to question your logical ability is that you seem to be missing the vital mainstays of my argument: (1) the oil lamps are all post-25 CE; (2) the tombs are all post-50 CE; (3) no artefacts are demonstrably before 100 CE; and (4) the venerated area of Nazareth is riddled with tombs. It’s really not about the Caesarea inscription at all… For the record, that’s your Holy Grail but is a fairly minor consideration in the Nazareth discussion when compared to these other elements."

- Rene

Just a Head’s Up: The Salm-Carrier exchange (May 1-2, 2013)
http://www.mythicistpapers.com/just-a-h ... -1-2-2013/

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Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:47 pm 
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I'm glad to see Rene holding down that fort and that he appears to have gained something of value from my analysis of the biblical Nazareth terminology and conclusion that the labeling of Jesus as "from Nazareth" in fact was designed to make of him a Nazarene, part of the pre-Christian religious order of which the solar OT hero Samson was also made a member.

The Nazarenes are a very important part of the Christ-myth configuration, as they were the priestly order of the Mandaeans, the pre-Christian baptist sect that represented the carpenter guild. Hence, the mythical figure of the Nazarene as a carpenter.

The Nazarenes appear to have been originally under the dominion of a carpenter god before they were Judaized and then Christianized. These guilds with gods as their heads are very common and include all the arts as well as numerous other skills and occupations, such as smithy, mason, merchant, sailor, vintner, farmer, shepherd and so on. Each guild had its own deity or deities who was the ultimate craftsman of his or her particularly field.

The most important guilds to those who created a given myth became the central focus, obviously. Jesus as tekton can refer to carpenter, mason or other craftsman. It is an encompassing term for those who create civilizations; hence, whatever the guild, the craftsmen would feel included in this religious worship. And that's how Christianity became "universal" to the extent that it was initially.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:56 pm 
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One of the most important of these mythical gnostic carpenter figures was the Knower who built the ark. (pun)

Noah is a Nazarene type for Christ, with Noah's Ark a type for Christ's manger surrounded by animals.

History has struggled to comprehend the scale of the Roman destruction of Israel, prefiguring Auschwitz and the modern Jewish holocaust, celebrated in the vast Arch of Titus. The Romans were the ancient Nazis. The Jewish spiritual tradition in the holy order of the Nazarenes was obliterated, except for the concealed fragments that survived in the coded myth of Nazareth. These ancient Roman Nazis took control of the church, and rewrote history to suit their imperial agenda.

Acharya wrote:
labeling of Jesus as "from Nazareth" in fact was designed to make of him a Nazarene, part of the pre-Christian religious order of which the solar OT hero Samson was also made a member. The Nazarenes are a very important part of the Christ-myth configuration, as they were the priestly order of the Mandaeans, the pre-Christian baptist sect that represented the carpenter guild. Hence, the mythical figure of the Nazarene as a carpenter. The Nazarenes appear to have been originally under the dominion of a carpenter god before they were Judaized and then Christianized. These guilds with gods as their heads are very common and include all the arts as well as numerous other skills and occupations, such as smithy, mason, merchant, sailor, vintner, farmer, shepherd and so on. Each guild had its own deity or deities who was the ultimate craftsman of his or her particularly field. The most important guilds to those who created a given myth became the central focus, obviously. Jesus as tekton can refer to carpenter, mason or other craftsman. It is an encompassing term for those who create civilizations; hence, whatever the guild, the craftsmen would feel included in this religious worship. And that's how Christianity became "universal" to the extent that it was initially.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:13 pm 
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Hey Robert!

Haven't communicated in a while. Hope you're well.

Hmmmm. Can't say that I agree with your take on how Christianity came to be formulated, if I understand it correctly. No mean Roman "Nazis" stole the precious spiritual treasures of the poor Jews! I'm surprised that would be your perception, after having read Christ in Egypt.

Wealthy Jews, Romans and Others Created Christianity

It's clear that very wealthy and powerful Jews were involved in the creation of Christianity, and the Roman elite did not have any problem with various wealthy Jewish individuals, including the family of Philo, whose nephew was Tiberius Julius Alexander, prefect of Alexandria. It is said that this Jewish family was the wealthiest in the Roman Empire. In fact, Tiberius helped Vespasian and Titus to destroy the Jewish temple at Jerusalem, the very one that his own father had funded in part.

So, no, the Romans weren't mean old Nazis picking on pitiful, powerless Jews. On the contrary, the Romans bent over backwards to accommodate Jews, as had everyone else, until the latter became insufferable in their xenophobia and quest for domination. (Sound familiar?)

Christianity was created for multiple purposes, the biggest one of which possibly was to preserve the Jewish scriptures and get them into every household possible, billions globally so far. Nothing could have furthered Judaism and the role of the Jewish elite more than to have millions upon millions of people believing that they are, in fact, the "chosen people" of their tribal god, now raised up as the God of the cosmos. Christianity is the Jewish religious "Trojan Horse."

Quote:
"Our tribal customs have become the core of your moral code. Our tribal laws have furnished the basic groundwork of all your august constitutions and legal systems. Our legends and our folk-tales are the sacred lore which you croon to your infants. Our poets have filled your hymnals and your prayer-books. Our national history has become an indispensable part of the learning of your pastors and priests and scholars. Our kings, our statesmen, our prophets, our warriors are your heroes. Our ancient little country is your Holy Land. Our national literature is your Holy Bible. What our people thought and taught has become inextricably woven into your very speech and tradition, until no one among you can be called educated who is not familiar with our racial heritage.

"Jewish artisans and Jewish fishermen are your teachers and your saints, with countless statues carved in their image and innumerable cathedrals raised to their memories. A Jewish maiden is your ideal of motherhood and womanhood. A Jewish rebel-prophet is the central figure in your religious worship. We have pulled down your idols, cast aside your racial inheritance, and substituted for them our God and our traditions. No conquest in history can even remotely compare with this clean sweep of our conquest over you."

"A Real Case Against the Jews" by Jewish writer Marcus Eli Ravage, published in The Century Magazine, v. 115, no. 3, The Century Co., NY, 1928, p. 346ff

In this quest, the Gnostic Jesus, who was neither historical nor Jewish, was deliberately Judaized and historicized for these various purposes. If the Romans had been trying to steal the religious traditions of the beatific Jews, they would not have made the main figures in the new religion, including God the Father and Christ the Son, into Jews.

The creators of Christianity were wealthy members of the elite who transcended nation and tribe. That's how international mergers are made.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:12 am 
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Acharya wrote:
Hey Robert! Haven't communicated in a while. Hope you're well.
Thanks Acharya – yes I am fine, except it is mid winter here and I have some sniffles. I have been joining some discussion on Christian origins at FRDB, and also doing some work on my interests in algae biofuel. Also sent FTL some material on the blood moons.
Acharya wrote:
Hmmmm. Can't say that I agree with your take on how Christianity came to be formulated, if I understand it correctly. No mean Roman "Nazis" stole the precious spiritual treasures of the poor Jews! I'm surprised that would be your perception, after having read Christ in Egypt.
This question of the role of the Jews in world history is one of the most complicated problems there is. Trying to get to a realistic understanding without veering off into ideological attitudes pro or anti Jews is not easy. It is obvious that many accounts of Jewish history are fabricated, as your work on Moses and Jesus shows. But the facts do indicate that the Roman Jewish War was one of the biggest conflicts of ancient history, that the Roman destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and scattering of the Jews was extremely savage and brutal, and that the Roman triumph celebrated by Titus and Vespasian did involve theft of the spiritual treasures of the Jews, and parading them through the streets of Rome. The Arch of Titus in Rome illustrates the conqueror surrounded by attendants carrying Fasces, the symbol used by Mussolini as the basis for the name of Fascism. At least to that extent we see a continuity between the hostility to the Jews expressed in ancient Rome and modern Nazi anti-Semitism.
Acharya wrote:
Wealthy Jews, Romans and Others Created Christianity …Romans weren't mean old Nazis picking on pitiful, powerless Jews. On the contrary, the Romans bent over backwards to accommodate Jews, as had everyone else, until the latter became insufferable in their xenophobia and quest for domination. (Sound familiar?)
I see it differently. What the Romans found insufferable was the refusal of the Jews to worship the emperor, and their demand for equal human dignity under Rome’s rampant imperial rapacity. I don’t think it is fair to say that an invader such as Rome is accommodating local Jewish culture when they engage in one of the biggest wars ever whose aim is to completely destroy Jewish culture. Nazareth was invented because under Roman tyranny the Jews could not openly say that Nazarene referred to a religious tradition. This need for subterfuge and covert resistance is hardly the mark of an insufferable quest for domination.

There is much to deplore within Judaism. The First Commandment in Exodus 34 “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going” established a racist monotheism with an alienated transcendental patriarchy that has provided the model for Judeo-Christian contempt for indigenous cultures ever since. So your comment about Jewish xenophobia and domination has some historical truth, reflected today in claims that Jews dominate entertainment, banking and media. But it is very dangerous to interpret such observations simplistically.
Acharya wrote:
Christianity was created for multiple purposes, the biggest one of which possibly was to preserve the Jewish scriptures and get them into every household possible, billions globally so far.
There were several stages in the creation of Christianity. As I see it, the most probable early stage involved secret mystical philosophical discussions among groups of cosmic seers such as the Nazarenes, the Therapeuts and the Pythagoreans. The question they were trying to answer is how to explain a connection between the ordinary world of appearance and the imagined ultimate eternal realm of pure truth revealed to scientific knowledge. The myth of Christ serves to explain this cosmic connection. This early stage was primarily philosophical, not political. It was grounded in respect for cultural diversity, drawing from a range of traditions, notably Egyptian, Babylonian, Jewish, Greek and Indian myth.

What happened, in my view, is that this secret mystery religion of Christ as the imagined anointed saviour gradually evolved into a political tool, as some of its adherents saw how they could use the story to manipulate popular emotion. That is where the Jewish midrash emerged as providing a plausible story about a messiah figure. The Davidic story of little Israel finding its security in God against the big surrounding empires provided a natural context for the messianic picture.
Acharya wrote:
Nothing could have furthered Judaism and the role of the Jewish elite more than to have millions upon millions of people believing that they are, in fact, the "chosen people" of their tribal god, now raised up as the God of the cosmos. Christianity is the Jewish religious "Trojan Horse."
Maybe not having the Romans smash their temple and drive them out of their ancestral lands would have furthered Judaism more than its proxy spread through Christianity. After all, Christianity included toxic bombs for Judaism, such as the blood libel that as Christ killers the Jews had lost their chosen status.
Acharya wrote:
Quote:
"… Our ancient little country is your Holy Land….No conquest in history can even remotely compare with this clean sweep of our conquest over you." "A Real Case Against the Jews" by Jewish writer Marcus Eli Ravage, published in The Century Magazine, v. 115, no. 3, The Century Co., NY, 1928, p. 346ff
In this quest, the Gnostic Jesus, who was neither historical nor Jewish, was deliberately Judaized and historicized for these various purposes.
It is not right for this 1928 article to call Jewish cultural presence in the West a ‘clean sweep’. The pervasive anti-Semitism grounded in Biblical passages illustrates that Jewish prominence has been heavily contested. The rhetoric of “no conquest can even remotely compare with this clean sweep” seems to ignore the scale of conquests of European imperialism, in which Jews played only a secondary role in the destruction of the indigenous cultures of the New World, notwithstanding George Orwell’s definition of the British Empire as “a device for giving trade monopolies to … gangs of Jews and Scotchmen.”

Jesus as Jew has an ambiguous status in terms of indigeneity. On the one hand Christ represents the conquered world of the east, crucified by Rome but spiritually triumphant. On the other hand, Christ represents the conquering world of the imperial west, co-opting a Jewish tradition which had contempt for religious diversity.
Acharya wrote:
If the Romans had been trying to steal the religious traditions of the beatific Jews, they would not have made the main figures in the new religion, including God the Father and Christ the Son, into Jews.

The Roman theft of Christianity came much later, well after the myth of Christ had been invented as a cosmic saviour. My view is that it served Rome’s imperial purpose to seek political unity at the time of Constantine by claiming the highest value resided in one whom the empire had dismissed with contemptuous violence. 'The last shall be first' was a useful imperial slogan to gain loyalty from the poor. Christendom was able to look back into Christian writings and pick out those who saw alliance with empire as the path to victory of the church, while burning the work of those who maintained a seditious interpretation. As Orwell wrote, those who control the past control the future.
Acharya wrote:
The creators of Christianity were wealthy members of the elite who transcended nation and tribe. That's how international mergers are made.

I agree with you regarding the creators of Christendom, but as for the early Gnostic invention of the Christ Myth, I believe it had a far purer and more sublime origin in cosmic vision. The Gnostic origins of Christianity are beatific, but this vision was lost as it used the degraded Davidic story to gain popular traction.


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