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Old 03-14-2001, 07:08 PM   #1
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Question Christianity: Roman Last Ditch Effort (that worked)?

Hypothesis: Rome, under Constantine, recognizes the downfall of the Empire to the local religious factions (the Jews, possibly Essenes and other sects) they tried so desperately (and unsuccessfully) to exterminate from the region. With the Jesus myth (delivering the religious fanatics their Elijah), Constantine is able to give birth to the notion of Church and State being one, thereby usurping their enemy from "within."

Since the victors write the history (and within religious circles, the Roman Catholic Church was clearly the historical power structure and they most definitely wrote the history, i.e., the New Testament) Constantine retains the power of the Roman Empire through misdirection and endgame strategy by simply using an enemy's strength against them.

Question: Given this hypothesis and temporarily setting aside current textual interpretation, does this hypothesis answer most questions about the pervasiveness of the Christian cult as well as the dual messages of "love" and "fear" repeated throughout the NT?

What evidence is there to support this hypothesis and what supportable arguments exist to detract from it?

In other words, is the New Testament a Roman engineered "theological virus" (metaphorical biological warfare) designed to supplant Judaism at the spiritual core of the Jewish opposition, thereby insuring victory and longevity to the outwardly "transformed" Roman Empire without overt military operations for the first time in Roman history?

(edited for the other words - Koy)

[This message has been edited by Koyaanisqatsi (edited March 14, 2001).]
 
Old 03-15-2001, 05:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Koyaanisqatsi:

Since the victors write the history (and within religious circles, the Roman Catholic Church was clearly the historical power structure and they most definitely wrote the history, i.e., the New Testament) Constantine retains the power of the Roman Empire through misdirection and endgame strategy by simply using an enemy's strength against them.

Question: Given this hypothesis and temporarily setting aside current textual interpretation, does this hypothesis answer most questions about the pervasiveness of the Christian cult as well as the dual messages of "love" and "fear" repeated throughout the NT?
</font>
One rather massive piece of evidence refutes this argument. There are numerous manuscripts of various New Testament books which pre-date Constantine (325 C.E.), and there are no major differences between the pre-Constantine and post-Constantine manuscripts. Therefore, the New Testament books as we know them were written and generally recognized as authoritative long before Constantine arrived on the scene.

Now if you're asking whether or not Constantine wanted to use Christianity for political purposes, then I might find some agreement with you. However, its obvious that he did not doctor the New Testament books in order to serve his purposes. There is absolutely no evidence for this.

Peace,

Polycarp



[This message has been edited by Polycarp (edited March 15, 2001).]
 
Old 03-15-2001, 07:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Koyaanisqatsi:

Since the victors write the history (and within religious circles, the Roman Catholic Church was clearly the historical power structure and they most definitely wrote the history, i.e., the New Testament) Constantine retains the power of the Roman Empire through misdirection and endgame strategy by simply using an enemy's strength against them.

Question: Given this hypothesis and temporarily setting aside current textual interpretation, does this hypothesis answer most questions about the pervasiveness of the Christian cult as well as the dual messages of "love" and "fear" repeated throughout the NT?
</font>
One rather massive piece of evidence refutes this argument. There are numerous manuscripts of various New Testament books which pre-date Constantine (325 C.E.), and there are no major differences between the pre-Constantine and post-Constantine manuscripts. Therefore, the New Testament books as we know them were written and generally recognized as authoritative long before Constantine arrived on the scene.

Now if you're asking whether or not Constantine wanted to use Christianity for political purposes, then I might find some agreement with you. However, its obvious that he did not doctor the New Testament books in order to serve his purposes. There is absolutely no evidence for this.

Peace,

Polycarp



[This message has been edited by Polycarp (edited March 15, 2001).]
 
Old 03-15-2001, 07:47 AM   #4
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Well, fine, then not Constantine. An earlier Roman leader, then? Though I would contend that we don't have the most important Pauline Christian propaganda (which establishes much of the slave mentality and social model of the "perfect Christian") until after Constantine.

I'm not suggesting the Jesus myth based upon Sayings Gospel Q didn't exist at all, I'm hypothesizing that Rome began what the Catholic cult and the Christian cult offshoots have been continuously doing for centuries: conquer an individual's body by conquering their mind through supplanting their religions--the birth of Church/State.

In America we constantly hear about the separation of Church and State, so I'm wondering who married the two (historically, that finger has pointed to Constantine) and, more importantly, why? This (plus many other contentions I'll get into later--hopefully) is what primarily led me to the hypothesis.

I contend it was the Romans for several reasons, which I'll get into more thoroughly in response to other posts (if any exist, that is).

For the time being, though, think about the New Testament's emphasis on maintaining slave mentality, bowing down to authority, "giving unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," all brilliantly slanted away from the fact that Rome supposedly killed the Son of God and that Jesus, though a Rabbi, indirectly serves as the primary reason to hate Jews to this day (Christ-Killers).

I'm not just talking about the later authors of the NT revising the myths in order to co-exist peaceably with Rome, I'm positing that Rome (under whoever--that's a sticky point, granted) finally realized that the sword was no good against the Jews in the region (a historically consistent truth, by the way), so someone somewhere in the Roman hierarchy came up with a better plan.

So, perhaps I wasn't as clear as originally intended. What I need help with primarily is finding the evidence which fits first, so that I (we) can destroy the hypothesis, see what I mean?

What evidence exists which would make the case in order for us to deconstruct it later?

Make sense in a weird, sort of roundabout way?

 
Old 03-15-2001, 08:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Koyaanisqatsi:

Well, fine, then not Constantine. An earlier Roman leader, then? Though I would contend that we don't have the most important Pauline Christian propaganda (which establishes much of the slave mentality and social model of the "perfect Christian") until after Constantine.</font>
The "collection" of Pauline letters (all of them minus the Pastorals) that are found in the NT was collected and known to the world no later than 130AD. P46, a complete codex of these works is dated to between 85AD (see my first page of the "Redating the Books of the New Testament" thread) and 200AD. NO ONE argues that these books, or the Gospels were authored any later than the 1st Century AD.

And as for Constantine thinking that the Empire was going to fall to the Jews or the Essene community, where do you come up with these hair brained theories?

Maybe move on to your other contentions and we can see if they are any better than the first.

Nomad
 
Old 03-15-2001, 09:39 AM   #6
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The theory comes from the fact that the New Testament is decidedly pro Roman and deliberately Anti-Jewish, even though Jesus was supposedly Jewish and the Romans clearly murdered him (please don't employ ridiculous apologetics here), so who would benefit from a new theological stronghold in the region and have the authority to enforce it? Historically speaking, it has been the Roman Catholic Church (even to this day the largest and most powerful Church existing), so, naturally the hypothesis springs from extant fact.

By the way, and no offense, if you do not believe that the bible is a collection of myths deliberately created, then you will have little to contribute to this hypothesis (though thanks for adding in current speculation about the date ranges--I was under the impression that parts of the NT, especially aspects of the Pauline letters, were written some four hundred years after the alleged "fact," which, among other reasons, led me toward Constantine)

So, now I (we, whoever might be with me on this) need to figure out when Roman history was revised in order to create the "back story," and who could have done the revision? If not Constantine, then who? Herod? Does anyone know who was Caesar in 70 CE or thereabouts?

Only Romans and jealous Jewish leaders would have the need to create the Jesus myth to usurp the Jewish state, so, given the hypothesis and the fact that the bible is a collection of myths deliberately created, who benefited and why?

Currently, all (my) thoughts lead to Rome...

By the way, why did you post twice, Poly?

(edited for BTW - Koy)

[This message has been edited by Koyaanisqatsi (edited March 15, 2001).]
 
Old 03-15-2001, 09:50 AM   #7
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Hey,

Maybe it was actually Nero. According to the Roman Historian Cornelius Tacitus, Nero had a special place in his heart for Christians. And some evidence even suggests that Nero had a rather profound influence on the course of Peter's and Paul's life.

Also, the dates match, the early 60s. Just about when Christianity really started to take off.

What do you think Koyaanisqatsi?
 
Old 03-15-2001, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Koyaanisqatsi:

By the way, and no offense, if you do not believe that the bible is a collection of myths deliberately created, then you will have little to contribute to this hypothesis (though thanks for adding in current speculation about the date ranges--I was under the impression that parts of the NT, especially aspects of the Pauline letters, were written some four hundred years after the alleged "fact," which, among other reasons, led me toward Constantine)</font>
Now you know why I have and still do think that you are a kook Koy.

I am not "speculating" about the dates for Paul's letters. You are confusing when they were accepted as Canonical (c. 4th Century AD) with when they were written. Once again I will invite you to take a look at my Redating the books of the New Testament. If you have anything serious to add to that thread please do so, but your belief that the Pauline Epistles was authored in the 4th Century is completely without any foundation at all. Where did you pick up this idea?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">So, now I (we, whoever might be with me on this) need to figure out when Roman history was revised in order to create the "back story," and who could have done the revision? If not Constantine, then who? Herod? Does anyone know who was Caesar in 70 CE or thereabouts? </font>
LMAO!!!

Listen Einstein. The Emperor in 70AD was Vespasian. And if you think HE (or any of his cronies) had ANYTHING to do with the writings in the NT then please show us your evidence (And I'll grant you Theopholis for now, since Luke tells us his name at least). You have been good for a few laughes here, but we are approaching serious howler country right about now.

My suggestion is that you pick up a basic history text or two, or even an encyclopedia, and start R.E.A.D.I.N.G. something before you come here with your goofball ideas.

Of all the lame stuff I have seen recently on these boards, your posts are easily in the top 5 (2?) of the strangest.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Only Romans and jealous Jewish leaders would have the need to create the Jesus myth to usurp the Jewish state, so, given the hypothesis and the fact that the bible is a collection of myths deliberately created, who benefited and why?</font>
Huh?

The... Romans... and... Jewish... leaders... created... the... Jesus... myth?!?!? (Sorry, I had to say that one slowly ).

LOL!

Is anyone else on this Board finding this even remotely possible? Does anyone have even a shred of evidence to help out poor old Koy?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Currently, all (my) thoughts lead to Rome...</font>
All your thoughts are, indeed, a mystery Koy. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that you can read, and can look some stuff up on your own.

And on that subject, who or what HAVE you been reading?

Still chuckling...

Nomad
 
Old 03-15-2001, 10:49 AM   #9
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Nomad, relax. This has nothing to do with you and your childish little myths, ok? In case you didn't notice my caveat (if you don't believe the bible is a collection of myths, you'll have little to contribute here) that would apply to you.

You're more than welcome to contribute from a dissenting expert perspective, if you like, but this has nothing to do with theology or questions of divinity, so your defensiveness from a theological bent is unwarranted.

I'm interested in investigating a hypothesis. Whatever factual information you can provide will be most welcome.
 
Old 03-15-2001, 10:59 AM   #10
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Layman: Nero, eh? That's very interesting. It fits, too, since he's legendary for "fiddling" while Rome burned, a patently ludicrous image that, from a propaganda standpoint would be equal to revisionist history of the South during the Civil War.

If Nero saw the writing on the wall of Rome's military downfall, then perhaps he would have been in the right place at the right time to create the idea of the Church/State? The problem, of course, is piecing together who then revised Roman historical timelines, what exactly was revised, and how did this transfer occur? Current speculation is with Constantine (sorry Nomad, but everything about history is necessarily speculation, no matter how many documents exist to support that speculation), so there's a generous time period to consider.

Your thoughts?
 
 

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