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Old 11-16-2001, 02:50 AM   #21
Bob K
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Note: Because of its extreme length and depth, this Reply will be separated into three parts.

Part One

Nomad:

Nomad Quote:
Quote:
Bob, although your stubborn tenacity should probably be commended in some fashion, your unwillingness to see or understand my points is becoming quite disheartening. I see you have made some minor changes to your web sites, but not all of them have been included. Further, you fail to understand the difference between a composite, and a specific, and finally, you have yet to establish any kinds of links beyond the barest of generalities. Let’s take a look at what you have offered:
I have observed that religionists who attempt to argue against what is obvious truth engage in tactics by which they deny/evade/obfuscate/attack.

Deny = Say it isn’t so when in fact it is so.

Evade = Change the subject or shift the emphasis away from the focus on the issue.

Obfuscate = Bring in irrelevant concepts/principles/techniques that do not clarify but only confuse the focus on the issue. Closely related to evasion.

Attack = Say negatives about the person who disagrees--negatives which do not provide evidence which support/prove any arguments, as if to say that a person with all those negatives cannot have any positives and that, therefore, his arguments are all automatically crap.

Let’s see how you stack up.

Attack: “Bob, although your stubborn tenacity should probably be commended in some fashion, your unwillingness to see or understand my points is becoming quite disheartening.”

Is this or is this not a left-handed compliment [in which what appears to be a compliment {stubborn tenacity} is in fact a criticism]?

Evasion: My unwillingness to see/understand your points is disheartening to you because (A) I do not agree with your points AND (B) you deny the veracity of my points. I do in fact see/understand your points but DO NOT AGREE WITH THEM!!! Get it? And, also in fact, I have presented counterarguments refuting your arguments. The fact that you have not successfully refute my counterarguments likewise is also disheartening—to you, not to me.

Evasion/Obfuscation: “I see you have made some minor changes to your web sites, but not all of them have been included.”

Minor changes on my website which I perceived to be warranted were in fact changed, representing, by the way, a willingness to see/understand some of your “points,” but not all of your “points” were accepted at the time the minor changes were made, pending more research.

The reason I perceive this sentence to be evasion and obfuscation can be summed in a question: Why does my making minor but not major changes to my website in accord with your “points” relate to the fundamental focus which is the issue of whether or not the Langdon transcription/translation of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet and the presence within it of parallels to the Jesus myth is/are correct? By your statement you evade the issue and you obfuscate with complaints about making minor but not major changes.

Obfuscation: The difference between a composite and a specific? That’s your invention and concern. not mine, nor necessarily anyone else’s.

If some of my views of the Xn Babel OT/NT are in some respects composites while others are specifics what is more important is whether or not those views are true. They are not automatically false because you think they are composites when you think they should be specifics and vice versa. You confuse yourself by your own thinking if you truly believe the necessity of describing/defining/categorizing my views into composites vs. specifics. And you try to confuse and therefore obfuscate the argument when you try likewise to so describe/define/categorize.

Evasion: Your notion of establishing links appears to be relegated to showing how an Xn mythwriter could have known about the mythical elements in the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text.

You have not produced any standards by which such “links” could be established. Therefore, you are trying to evade the fundamental issue relating the Bel myth to the Jesus myth of whether or not similar mythical elements appear in both myths.

My standard for linking the mythical elements of two myths is the presence of the same or similar mythical elements in both myths.

Assuming the Zimmern/Langdon/Pallis transcriptions/translations are reasonably similar and accurate, the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations prove that the Jesus mythical elements ARE present in the Bel myth and vice versa.

The Jesus myth is younger than the Bel myth, and vice versa, therefore the clear implication is that the Jesus mythwriters copied mythical elements from the Bel myth and therefore the Jesus myth is a copycat myth.

At this time we do not have an ancient writing in which an Xn mythwriter confessed that he stole mythical elements from the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text and fabricated those elements into the Jesus myth.

And at present we are not able to resurrect an Xn mythwriter and torture him until he confesses that he fabricated the Jesus myth using mythical elements from the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text.

Therefore, the presence of mythical elements in two or more myths is itself a link.

The link is strengthened when geography and history place two cultures which produced myths close together in distance and time.

Geography: Assyria/Babylon are not so far from Israel that travelers could not have brought an exchange of myths. Thus, the folks in Israel could have heard of the Bel myth death/resurrection mythical elements from travelers.

History: The Bel myth, being older, could have been a source of mythical elements for the Jesus myth, but not vice versa, since the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text is older, circa 700 B.C. Thus, the folks in Israel could have had time to have heard of the Bel myth death/resurrection mythical elements and to have copied them into the Jesus myth.

Nomad Quote:
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2) Bel is tried in a great hall, Jesus is tried in the "Hall of Justice".

Where did you get this bit? The phrase "Hall of Justice" is never used in the Gospels. Did you assume it? And if so, why? The Synoptics simply have Jesus appear before Pilate, never saying where this happens, and John has it at Pilate's palace. It would be better to nix this one as inconclusive at best.
Bob K Quote:
Quote:
: St. John 18:28: Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment ... 29: Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? ... 31: Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, ...

Apparently the phrase ‘Hall of Justice’ is used by Findlay/Zimmern to refer to the judgment hall referenced in St. John.

Hall of Justice = Judgment Hall: Reasonable claim herein for a parallel.
Nomad Quote:
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Look, the “Hall of Justice” is a proper name. A judgment hall is not. This is simply an example of desperate reaching on the part of your translators, and should be dropped. We have no idea, from the text (and then only in John) as to what is the nature of this hall, let alone if it is “great” or not.
You deny: Hall of Justice = Judgment Hall.

If not perfect, close enough to be a parallel.

Note the KJV St. John quote which actually mentions ‘hall of judgment’ and not Pilate’s palace. Further, St. Jn 18:15 mentions taking J into “the palace of the high priest” and definitely not Pilate’s palace. This ‘high priest’ is Annas, the father-in-law to Caiaphas (St. Jn 18:13.) Pilate may have had a palace, but he is linked to a ‘judgment hall’ and to a “judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.” (St. Jn 19:13.) Whether or not Pilate’s palace, if he had one, had a judgement hall and a judgement seat in the Pavement/Gabbatha section of the palace does not change the fact that the phrase ‘judgment hall’ was used in St. Jn of the Jesus myth and parallels the phrase ‘Hall of Justice’ in the Bel myth.

Evasion: You try to claim that Hall of Justice is a proper name and judgment hall is not.

Again, Hall of Justice = Judgment Hall. [Note the use of upper case letters.]

Or hall of justice = judgment hall. [Note the use of lower case letters.]

Close enough for a parallel.

The parallel stands.

Attack: “This is simply an example of desperate reaching ...”

It seems to me that you are guilty of the Freudian defense mechanism of projection in ascribing to me the desperate reaching that you, yourself, appear to be going through when you state “We have no idea, from the text (and then only in John) as to what is the nature of this hall, let alone if it is “great” or not.”

Evasion: “We have no idea, from the text (and then only in John) as to what is the nature of this hall, let alone if it is “great” or not.”

The nature of this hall is a judgment hall which would be a Hall of Justice with or without the capital letters. Hall of Justice = Justice Hall = Judgment Hall = Hall of Judgment = hall of justice = justice hall = judgment hall = hall of judgment.

What in the hall do you really expect from all this? [Joke: “hall” = “hell” in case you missed it ]

Obfuscation: We need not know if or not the hall is “great”--only that it is a hall in which there is judgment/justice.

What do you mean by “great?” Big/large/size? Wonderful/impressive/adjective? Who cares how big or how wonderful the “hall” might be? Bringing in these words only obfuscates/confuses the issue, which is whether or not there are mythical elements of judgment/justice halls in BOTH the Bel AND the Jesus myths.

Nomad Quote:
Quote:
Here you would have to establish that John is aware of the tablet, yet many of the other parallels you list are not found in John, but in another Gospel. If you wish to argue that John selectively used the tablet, then you have to show how you can know this.
Evasion: How would anyone prove beyond a doubt that John--whoever he was--was aware of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet and plagiarized its mythical elements?

Capture him and torture him until he confesses?

Look for ancient writings in which John identifies himself and confesses?

A parallel stands on its own. If is is present in the earlier text, then it very easily can be plagiarized for a later text. Geography and history suggest the possibility that John was aware of the Bel myth death/resurrection mythical elements.

Nomad Quote:
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What evidence do you have that John knew of, and could read, this tablet?
Obfuscation: John only had to have heard of the parallels from someone telling him [i.e., hearsay] of the Assyrian Bel myth as found on the Assyrian Bel myth tablet, but also from that storyteller’s having attended an Akitu--a Babylonian New Year’s Festival.

I.e., John did not have to have known of and have read the text on the tablet--he only needed to have heard of the tablet and the myth/mythical elements.

Geography and history strongly suggest the linkage of John with the Bel myth.

Nomad Quote:
Quote:
Again, you are trying to make a link based on a composite of the Gospel account of the passion of Christ, rather than a specific case based on one of those Gospel accounts. This is poor argumentation.
Obfuscation: Whether to a composite or a specific I am replying, the parallels still stand.

Bob K Quote:
Quote:
Langdon appears certain. (Re: his translation of point 5)
Nomad Quote:
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How do you know this? Other scholars that have studied his works appear unconvinced. This is why I told you his theories are not even topic of discussion for scholars any longer.
Why don’t you request a photocopy of the Langdon translation for yourself?

Within it you will see a transcription--a presentation of the Assyrian words in English letters (but not English words) on the even-numbered/left-hand pages and his translation of the transcription into English on the odd-numbered/right hand pages, with his footnotes below the transcription/translation and his comments before and after.

When you present BOTH a transcription and a translation you certainly do more than present a translation because where in a translation you give critics one chance to criticize your work in the transcription you give critics a second chance to criticize your work.

Langdon has done both a transcription and a translation.

Critics have TWO (count ‘em!!!) chances to criticize Langdon’s work.

I want to see critics criticize BOTH his transcription AND his translation point-by-point and word-by-word and line-by-line and present therefore an ‘accurate’ transcription AND an ‘accurate’ translation.

If all you can present are unsupported blanket opinions critical of Langdon’s translation without telling precisely where he screwed up, as with the quotations from Miller’s copycat Christ, then Langdon’s transcription AND his translation stand.

To answer your question: I personally judge Langdon’s work to be certain because (A) of the effort he made to include BOTH a transcription as well as a translation and thus enable critics to offer two kinds of specific/precise point-by-point/word-by-word/line-by-line criticisms, none if which I have seen/heard you offer, AND (B) to date I have not seen a point-by-point/word-by-word/phrase-by-phrase/line-by-line criticism of Langdon’s transcription and translation AND a ‘correct’ transcription and translation approved by thousands of nonXn critics denying the existence of the mythical elements of arrest, trail, judgment, scourging, execution, burial, resurrection, etc., in the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text.

Bob K quote:
Quote:
Your complaint actually supports my contention that the earthquake in Matthew contradicts the lack of an earthquake in Mark/Luke/John. Herein is a classic case of contradiction by exclusion in Mark/Luke/John and inclusion only in Matthew.
Nomad Quote:
Quote:
Here is a classic example of the kind of confusion I have been talking about. We are not talking about contradictions in this thread, we are talking about whether or not the Gospel writers used the Bel Myth Tablet in constructing their stories. As only Matthew can be even a potential user of this particular parallel, you need to explain why you think that he got it from the tablet, and not some other source? Your reasoning is simply the worst kind of special pleading Bob, and it is my hope that you will come to realize this. Since Mark, Luke and John have nothing like what you mentioned here, they obviously did not use the parallel at all. Since Matthew did use this story, even if he was making it up out of whole cloth, you need to show why it is probable that he did so based on a 700 year old stone tablet, the existence of which he may very well not even known.

What evidence do you have that Matthew knew of, and could read, this tablet?
Evasion: The mythical elements are present in both myths. The real question herein is where did Matthew get the notions of an earthquake and dead risings that were not reported verbatim in other Gospels. The mythical element of a commotion resulting from the death of a god/godman in the Bel myth is strongly similar to the mythical element of a commotion resulting from the death of the god/godman in the Jesus myth and therefore stands as a parallel. Notice that the Xn mythwriters did a one-up/my-god-is-better-than-your-god bit when they had dead risings and walkings about and talkings with living humans, surely a fact which, if true, would have been reported in other accounts, not just one.

Bob K Quote:
Quote:
The fact that the earthquake and the risings of the dead are present in one and not the others, when they are so striking and therefore significant, suggests strongly that the Bible is truly fiction and therefore should be regarded to be the Babel.

If Matthew is the only Gospel writer who mentions the earthquake, then I would agree that it is reasonable to say that Matthew was influenced by the Assyrian version of the Bel myth.
Nomad Quote:
Quote:
I must say, your reasoning is truly astonishing here. The first sentence makes no sense at all. The second is a leap in logic that is quite dizzying. Why do you think that this is the only logical possibility?
Attack: My reasoning is astonishing? You surely are attacking, not complimenting. Your attack does not provide evidence to support your argument.

Evasion: You do not explain how my reasoning is negatively astonishing.

Attack: The second sentence makes no sense at all? If J/L/Mk did not read/hear of the Bel myth, then we would not expect them to have reported the earthquake/dead risings; and if Matthew reported the earthquake/dead risings then we have reason to believe that he did in fact read/hear of the Bel myth. It is entirely possible that Matthew could have fabricated the earthquake/dead risings, but that only supports my contention that the NT of the Babel is fiction/fabrication/mythwriting. Either way, the presence of such an astounding report in Matthew but not J/L/Mk is evidence that either Matthew read/heard of the Bel myth and was copying or that Matthew fabricated the report, and, either way, we certainly have good reason herein to believe that the Babel was fabricated in at least some important details.

Bob K Quote:
Quote:
We do not have to look at the OT for any reason for the inclusion of this by Xn mythwriters than their need to keep up with the neighbors and to make sure their god was as at least as good if not better than anybody else’s god(s), hence their need for a similar story in which Jesus’ clothes are carried away.
Nomad Quote:
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Here you just missed the point completely. Anyone that reads the Gospels knows that the authors used the Old Testament frequently. When we find a reference that clearly can be found in that Old Testament, it is logical to say that they got it from that passage. The reference to soldiers taking Jesus’ clothes is found in Psalm 22, therefore the most reasonable assumption is that the evangelists used it as their reference point, or parallel if you will. How you can still claim that it is more probable that they got it from an ancient Assyrian tablet which may or may not have been known to them is beyond me.
Denial/Evasion/Obfuscation: A reference to Jesus in Psalm 22? A specific reference to Jesus in Psalm 22?

How could you prove that this Psalm specifically refers to J?

My Xn KJV Babel is inscribed thus: Psalm 22: To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shatar. A Psalm of David. Clearly, if this is a Psalm written by David, then this is of a previous time to J. Within it there are references (A) to danger, to being attacked, to being pierced of hands and feet (and to unicorns!!!)--but no mention of execution/crucifixion, and references (B) to garments being parted and lots cast for vestments, but no mention of death to the writer or the subject of the Psalm, therefore we do not have a complete parallel herein, yet it is similar. Is this a prophesy? Or evidence of a fabrication wherein Xn mythwriters decided to make J appear to fulfill prophecies claimed to be in Psalm 22, when, for all we know, Psalm 22 was not intended to be a prophecy? Thomas Paine and Randel Helms have clearly stated and proven that Xn Babel OT texts do not necessarily prophetize/predict J in the NT and that, therefore, there is within the texts of the NT evidence that the NT mythwriters were fabricating/fictionalizing for the purpose of trying to make J appear to fulfill the OT, with the intent to have J in the NT legitimize the OT and the OT prophecize and therefore legitimize the NT and J.

In the Bel myth and the J myth we have the parting of garments and casting of lots over vestments related to the death of a god/godman. Clearly parallels. The NT mythwriters only had to have heard of the Bel myth and the linkage of partings/wagerings for garments/vestments/clothes to the death by execution of a god/godman to have decided that their god/godman also had to have had his clothes parted/wagered for--to make sure their god/godman did not suffer any less than someone else’s god/godman, to keep up with the Joneses, you see.

[ November 16, 2001: Message edited by: Bob K ]
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Old 11-16-2001, 03:05 AM   #22
Bob K
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Part Two

Nomad:

Bob K Quote:
Quote:
As I mentioned, the translation of the transcription is jerky, chronologically erratic, and definitely difficult to read, which is why I had to re-read it several times before the mythical elements began to stand out.

There is no question that in Langdon’s translation Bel dies, is buried in a grave/tomb, and is resurrected.
Nomad Quote:
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No, you have him buried in a mountain.
Denial: Bel is in the mountain but also in a tomb/grave. If you will re-read Line 1 and Line 3 of my interpretation, you will find this is so.

Bob K Quote:
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I present therefore my personal paraphrases of the highlights of Langdon’s Lines of translation.

Line 1. Bel is confined in a mountain.
Line 3. Someone unnamed brings Bel from the mountain.
Line 11. A female goes to seek Bel at his grave.
Line 12. Twins are appointed to guard Bel at the Gate of Esagila.
Line 13. Bel was bound by the gods and caused to perish.
Line 14. The gods caused Bel to descend from the sun and light.
Line 15. Bel is/was wounded.
Line 16. A goddess descends into the mountain for the welfare of Bel.
Line 18. Bel was judged.
Lines 20 and 21. A malefactor (criminal) was slain with Bel.
Line 23. After Bel went to the mountain/lower world, the inhabitants of the city where Bel was slain rioted because of Bel’s death.
Line 29. A female (goddess?), Beltis, of Babylon, looks for Bel, weeps for Bel, says, “O my brother! O my brother!”
Line 30. Bel’s garments were taken from him.
Line 31. Bel’s silver, gold, and jewels were taken from him.
Line 32. There was a garment put upon Bel when he was put into his coffin.
Line 33. Bel was nursed and reared by Ishtar of Nineveh.
Line 34. The hymn, “When On High,” was recited and sung by Bel’s followers during the month of Nisan, when he was bound/slain.
Line 36. The high priest says “These benefactions for Asur (Bel/Marduk) I do” and asks, “What is his sin?”
Line 38. [H]e (Bel) comes from within the mountain. (Bel is to be resurrected.)
Line 51. Bel was seized in the Month of Nisan.
Line 52. After Bel was taken away (from from the building in which he was tried and judged), water for handwashing was brought to the building.
Line 67. A goddess wails and a woman weeps (for Bel?).
Note Line 1: Bel is confined in a mountain and Line 3: A female goes to seek Bel at his grave. Mountain AND grave: mountain/grave.

The phrase “confined in a mountain” means death and burial, meaning Bel is dead and buried in a mountain, in a grave on a mountain, in a tomb in/on a mountain, etc.

Nomad Quote:
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You also have the women at that mountain BEFORE he is buried in it, ...
Denial: Lines 1 and 3 relate Bel in the mountain/grave/tomb/etc. and a female seeking him at his grave AFTER he is confined/buried/etc. in the mountain/grave/tomb/etc.

Nomad Quote:
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...and you have some women crying for someone who may or may not be Bel AFTER he is buried.
Line 67. A goddess wails and a woman weeps (for Bel?).

Thus, where the parenthetical expression (for Bel?) found in Langdon clearly indicates a question of for whom and when the women/females were weeping, you are correct. We can make a reasonable assumption that the presence of weeping females in the Bel myth is directly related to weeping for Bel after his execution and burial at his grave.

This question/assumption does not invalidate the presence of the weeping females mythical elements which are parallels to the Jesus myth.

Are you saying that because the question of for whom the women/females are weeping is present in Langdon’s translation that the whole translation is incorrect?

Nomad Quote:
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It is confused and disjointed, and any attempt to draw a parallel here is quite pathetic.
Obfuscation: I have said that the transcription is jerky/disjointed but I have also said that the mythical elements are nevertheless present, and I have also said that from the entire narrative it is possible to construct a timeline/temporal sequence wherein Bel is arrested, tried, judged, scourged, executed, buried, and resurrected. this requires paying attention to past tenses in the translation, and figuring a logical sequence wherein a person who was executed had to have been previously arrested, tried, judged, scourged, etc., before being executed, and that a resurrection would occur after the execution.

Regardless of all the confusion of sequence, the mythical elements of death and resurrection are still clearly present.

You should request your own copy and then spend several attempts to read it to experience the same phenomenon that I did--to wit, that the mythical elements stand out after you have read and re-read and become accustomed to the text and the way it was written by the original Assyrian writers.

Attack: “... any attempt to draw a parallel here is quite pathetic.”

The mythical elements, which are parallels to the mythical elements in the Jesus myth, are nevertheless present in the Bel myth as presented in Langdon’s translation of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet.

Nomad Quote:
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Jesus is not buried in a mountain, he is buried in a tomb. Since this is pretty common (after all, burial in a tomb is hardly exceptional), your desire to pull this detail from a jerky and confused translation of an ancient tablet is curious to say the least.
Obfuscation: The expression “confined in a mountain” as found in the Bel myth means a person/god/godman is dead and buried in a grave. Mythical expressions of travel to an ‘underworld’ are common in many myths and clearly indicate that to the people of the ‘overworld’ saw the ‘traveler’ die and being buried in a grave/tomb.

Bob K Quote:
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If we leave weeping women out of the Jesus myth, we still have women going to the tomb, so the parallel stands.

But, as you have mentioned, if John has Mary Magdalene, a woman, weeping after she and others find the tomb empty, then we still have a weeping woman at the tomb, and this parallel stands.
Nomad Quote:
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You strike me as a very serious fellow Bob, but here you have got to be kidding.
Attack: Left hand compliment?

We have women weeping at tombs in both myths. The parallel stands.

Nomad Quote:
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Even in the Bel translation you are not certain that the women are crying for Bel at the tomb. Further, the ONLY Gospel that has a crying woman at all is John, and then only AFTER she finds the tomb empty. In any event, women are the ones who prepare bodies for burial, so it is expected that women would be at the tomb in the Gospel accounts, so there is no reason to go hunting for an obscure source for this account.
Nomad: Get this straight: In BOTH myths we have weeping women/females.

Line 29. A female (goddess?), Beltis, of Babylon, looks for Bel, weeps for Bel, says, “O my brother! O my brother!”

A female, Beltis, looks for Bel and weeps for Bel. Therefore, a female looks for and weeps for Bel. Therefore, at least one female looks for and weeps for Bel.

Line 67. A goddess wails and a woman weeps (for Bel?).

Line 67 presents a clearly demarked question of for whom a goddess and a woman, both females, wail/weep, but still stands as a mythical element wherein females wail/weep, most likely for Bel, since his death/resurrection is the concern of the text, and since the mythical element of wailing/weeping females [in contrast to wailing/weeping men] is present, it stands as a parallel to the weeping woman/women in the Jesus myth.

And if Mary in the Jesus myth is elevated to a goddess status, being the Virgin mother of Jesus [and no less appears to be claimed by Catholics since they appear to pray to The Virgin Mary, to The Virgin Mother, etc., in such Catholics rituals as reciting Hail Marys, etc.], then the wailing goddess in the Bel myth parallels the Virgin Mary in the Jesus myth, and the woman in the Bel myth parallels any non-Virgin-Mary/nongoddess woman in the Jesus myth.

Bob K Quote:
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Again, I refer to the sequence of text as not being consistent with a time sequence and the necessity to read the text carefully many times to see clearly the people/things/events described and to put them into their chronological sequence and thus construct a timeline.
Nomad Quote:
Quote:
You honestly do not see why scholars have rejected this translation? Worse yet, you do not see why confusions in this translation makes its use specious? Please try to be more discriminating, and less credulous Bob.
Evasion: Get your own photocopy of the Langdon transcription/translation of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet and see for yourself.

I have told you that the disjoint in the text sequence from a chronological timeline does not mean you cannot figure out what the actual timeline is. In some lines of text there are references to people/things/events who/which happen later and references to people/things/events who/which happened before, but when you read and re-read the whole text you soon enough should be able to see the chronological sequence of people/things/events regardless of their textual sequence and therefore be able to construct an accurate timeline.

Langdon, to his credit, did not attempt to edit the sequence of text lines. He presented them as they are.

Why the writers of the Assyrian Bel myth text wrote as they did is unknown at this time, but, nevertheless, their writings are translatable into a timeline.

Bob K Quote:
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In the Bel myth a priest/judge asks “What is his sin?”
In the Jesus myth, Pilate asks a similar question.

You could argue that such questions were common to the area and the times and that, therefore, the questions are not parallels; but I could argue that since they WERE mentioned they ARE significant and therefore parallels.
Nomad Quote:
Quote:
Now you are compounding your error by trying to throw in additional specious arguments. At a trial, a judge would be expected to ask what the crime/charges against the accused happen to be. Again I am going to ask you to use at least some critical judgments here.
Evasion: A trial judge by his choice may or may not ask such question because the accused has a chance to state “guilty” or “not guilty” or “nolo contendere” or whatever in response to someone else’s questioning.

By the way: In some Gospels at his trial J says nothing but in others he speaks. Contradiction herein? Hmmmmm?!?!?

Attack/Denial: Telling me to use critical judgment herein. I AM using critical judgment herein.

Bob K Quote:
Quote:
You could argue that the wrapping of dead bodies in garments was common to the area and to the times; but I could argue that since they WERE mentioned they ARE significant and therefore parallels.
Nomad Quote:
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The wrapping of the body is required for Jews. This simply shows that Jesus’ burial was done properly, and in accordance with Jewish laws and practices. When we look for sources, we try and use the most probable Bob, and here it is not a stretch to say that the evangelists wanted to show that Jesus was properly buried. They certainly don’t have to go to an Assyrian tablet to find their reason for mentioning this detail.
Evasion: It is possible to bury a naked body/ungarmented body in a grave. A specific mention of body wrapping is made in both myths. If body wrapping was a common custom/ritual/tradition/law, it is possible to leave it out and allow people to assume that it was accomplished as per custom/ritual/tradition/law. Yet it was mentioned in both myths.

Was wrapping a body required for Assyrians/Babylonians? It would seem so, but the parallel IS mentioned in both myths, therefore it stands.

Nomad Quote:
Quote:
The existence of a tablet, or even a legend or myth does not automatically mean that it was known to those who later created their own stories. I recently watched a movie called “Iron Monkey”, a Chinese legend about a man who stole from the rich, and gave to the poor. The parallels with Robin Hood are obvious, yet establishing that either was derived from the other requires more than the demonstration of a few general parallels. One must show evidence of actual copying. Here, you do not even come close, as you must appeal to a composite of the Gospel accounts (as opposed to a specific Gospel) for some of the parallels, and other parallels have more obvious sources (like common practices, or the Old Testament).
Evasion/Obfuscation: How do you establish “evidence of actual copying”? Find confessions in ancient writings? Resurrect mythwriters and torture them until they confess?

It is possible that an individual does not have to travel to a land wherein the natives have myths to have heard of/read the myths; likewise, it is possible to have traveled to a land wherein natives have myths and to not have heard of/read the myths. So, proof by means of travel evidence/physical proximity is not necessarily conclusive evidence of either a link or a nonlink. Yet geography and history do in fact work together to suggest that the Xn mythwriters had time and proximity to Assyria/Babylon to have known of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text, and the akitu New Year’s Festival.

Nomad Quote:
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Your fallacy appears to be that you think a vague similarity is clear evidence of copying. Unless you can do better, and offer some kind of evidence in support of your views, only the already convinced (or extremely gullible) are going to find your arguments compelling.
Attack: “Your fallacy ...”

Denial: “...a vague similarity is clear evidence of copying.”

A similarity is a similarity and evidence of copying if a local myth predated a later local myth if similar parallels/mythical elements are found in both myths.

Understand this: We ARE talking about myths. MYTHS!!! We have no evidence for the existence of Assyrian/Babylonian/Christian gods, hence ANY stories about those gods are myths.

Denial: “Unless you can do better, and offer some kind of evidence in support of your views ...”

I HAVE offered evidence in support of my views; AND the evidence IS the parallel mythical elements found in BOTH myths!!! The geography/proximity and history/time factors work to provide an excellent possibility and therefore link of the Bel myth to the Jesus myth.

Attack: Only the “extremely gullible.”

And you do not think anyone who believes in gods/goddesses/demons/demonnesses he/she cannot see/hear/touch/smell/taste is not gullible? EXTREMELY gullible?

Denial: You claim my arguments or not compelling.

Yet you cannot prove they are not.

Nomad Quote:
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Now, where did you get the idea that Bel was crucified, if Jackson did not have it, nor did the tablet?
I made that error myself. It is not in Jackson’s paraphrase of Findlay nor in Goodman’s summary table.

But it is clear that Bel is executed, denoted by phrases found in the following Line from Langdon’s translation:

Line 13. Bel was bound by the gods and caused to perish.
Line 23. After Bel went to the mountain/lower world, the inhabitants of the city where Bel was slain rioted because of Bel’s death.
Line 34. The hymn, “When On High,” was recited and sung by Bel’s followers during the month of Nisan, when he was bound/slain.

Note the expression in Line 13 that “Bel was bound by the gods and caused to perish” and the expression in Line 34 “Bel ... was bound/slain.” I have read that sometimes criminals/traitors were first killed and then hung upon a tree or a cross for days so dogs and birds would eat their flesh and the resulting mess would stand as a suggestion to would-be criminals/traitors of the thrills and excitements and adventures they can look forward to should they be caught. If Bel was bound/slain, this expression very well could have been a description of a crucifixion.

Note that in ...
http://www.askwhy.co.uk/awmob/awpaga...rSaviours.html

... Dr. M. D. Magee writes:
Quote:
The word crucifixion refers nowadays to a cross, but the ancient punishment which it represents is most commonly hanging on a tree, a form that applied to several ancient gods. Most scholars, even Christian ones, recognize that the cross is a symbolic tree. Indeed the scriptural reference to it in Deuteronomy 21:22—often taken as prophetic of Jesus—is to hanging on a tree, and Peter and the apostles (Acts 5:30;10:39) say Jesus had been hanged on a tree. Crucifixions generally did not involve nailing but tying, and tying even when the hands or wrists were nailed to make sure the weight was carried even if flesh yielded.
Note the Acts quotes (Acts 5:30;10:39) which clearly indicate that Jesus was slain and then hung upon a tree, and not slain while hung upon a tree.

Note the fact that crucifixions were conducted by tying hence binding and that, therefore, the reference to Bel’s being bound could very well mean that he was bound to a tree/cross/crucified and died thereupon.

Therefore, my “interpretation” of Bel’s execution as being a crucifixion may not be far off the mark if it is off the mark at all.

Nomad Quote:
Quote:
Further, why do you consider Jackson to be a reliable source?
Jackson is quoting Arthur Findlay who is paraphrasing if not quoting a translation of of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text. I do not know if or not Findlay was fluent in German and reading the Zimmern translation directly.

Further, Jackson is quoting/paraphrasing George. R. Goodman.

My receipt and interpretation of Langdon’s transcription/translation proves that the Zimmern and Goodman summaries are accurate. Except for the statement that the Bel myth tablet was found in Babylon and dates circa 2000 B.C., Jackson basically got the rest of the Bel myth tablet text right. The assertion of the 2000 B.C. date may have come from Findlay and not Jackson.

Nomad Quote:
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Finally, I have specifically asked you if you know of any scholars since the 1930’s have thought that Zimmerman’s and Langdon’s translations have any value, and you have failed to reply.
Correction: Zimmern, not Zimmerman.

Goodman’s summary table was published in 1965. I do not know if or not he referenced either Langdon or Zimmern.

AT THIS TIME I do not have any other scholar who has stated thus: “The transcriptions and translations of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet found in Nineveh and dating circa 700 B.C. by Zimmern and Langdon are 100% correct BECAUSE ...” [Paraphrase, of course.]

But I do not see/hear you providing nonXn scholars who state thus:

“The transcriptions and translations of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet found in Nineveh and dating circa 700 B.C. by Zimmern and Langdon are 100% incorrect BECAUSE ...

... Zimmern mistranscribed thus: __________ (?) [complete listing of Zimmern’s mistranscription 100% supported by at least 10,000 other nonXn scholars] whereas the correct transcription is thus: __________ (?) [complete corrected and accurate transcription 100% supported by at least 10,000 other nonXn scholars] ...

... AND ...

... Zimmern mistranslated thus: __________ (?) [complete listing of Zimmern’s mistranslation 100% supported by at least 10,000 other nonXn scholars] whereas the correct translation is thus: __________ (?) [complete corrected and accurate translation 100% supported by at least 10,000 other nonXn scholars].” [Paraphrase, of course.] ...

... AND ...

... Langdon mistranscribed thus: __________ (?) [complete listing of Langdon’s mistranscription 100% supported by at least 10,000 other nonXn scholars] whereas the correct transcription is thus: __________ (?) [complete corrected and accurate transcription 100% supported by at least 10,000 other nonXn scholars] ...

... AND ...

... Langdon mistranslated thus: __________ (?) [complete listing of Langdon’s mistranslation] whereas the correct translation is thus: __________ (?) [complete corrected and accurate translation 100% supported by at least 10,000 other nonXn scholars].” [Paraphrase, of course.]

HOWEVER, YOU have provided evidence that some scholars after the 1930s did in fact think the Zimmern translation had value when you provided the following quote copied from Miller:
Quote:
"According to an earlier hypothesis(Zimmern 1918: 2–20; Pallis 1926: 221–43), the New Year festival's cultic drama included another episode, in which Marduk, prior to his battle with Tiamat, was put to death, taken down to the netherworld, and resurrected, in imitation of the cult of the dying god Dumuzi—Tammuz. However, the NA cultic commentary, on which this hypothesis is based, turned out to be nothing but an anti-Babylonian or pro-Babylonian propaganda. The purpose of this text was either to justify Sennacherib's destruction of Babylon and capture of Marduk's statue, in terms of a divine trial (von Soden 1955:51: 130–166), or to explain Marduk's exile and his return to his city, in terms of death, descent to the netherworld, and resurrection (Frymer-Kensky 1983: 131–44). In any case, this vestigial and late addition to the New Year's Day ritual has nothing to do with the motif of the dying fertility god."
(Anchor Bible Dictionary, David Noel Freedman [main ed.], DoubleDay:1992, "akitu")
Note the referenced authors von Soden/1955 and Frymer-Kensky/1983. Their quotes directly reference Zimmern’s translation as well as Pallis’ translation and clearly indicate a post-1930s value to both translations as evidenced by means of statements from von Soden and Frymer-Kensky attempting to determine the purpose or intent of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text.

More on all this below.

Nomad Quote:
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Your argument is out dated, and rejected with good reason. Your desire to cling to it, and even try to expand on it speaks of a person more willing to cling to his faith than to examine the evidence with any kind of objectivity.
Denial: “Your argument is outdated.”

My argument is based upon my own reading of a photocopy sent to me by an official of The British Museum of S. Langdon’s 1923 transcription and translation into English of the text of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet dated circa 700 B.C. on which there exists, chiseled in stone—not a cliché, but an actual reality, no less—a text describing the Babylonian Akitu/New Year’s Festival in which the mythical elements of arrest, trial, judge’s question, judgment, judge’s washing of his hands, scourging, execution/death, carrying away of clothes, body wrapping in a special garment, rioting/commotion/etc. in the streets of a city, burial in a tomb/grave [mountain = tomb/grave/underworld], women at the grave/weeping women at the grave, and resurrection of an Assyrian/Babylonian god/godman named Ashur [Asur]/Bel/Marduk, said transcription/translation apparently similar to a previous translation in German by Zimmern [evidence: very few serious disagreements by Langdon with Zimmern] and apparently similar to another translation of which the language is unknown to me by S. Pallis [evidence: no known clear and obvious overt outcry by other nonXn scholars supported by evidence consisting of specific/precise listings of mistranscriptions/translations with corrected transcription/translation—and in this case, lack of evidence IS evidence].

Your argument is based upon a nonreading of a photocopy and a total reliance upon the unsupported opinions of other scholars who are potentially jaded by being Xns. I have read the evidence from two of these scholars which you have offered [Miller/Copycat Christs and Peterson/Psychobabble] and have proven them to be nonsense, and Peterson’s opinion to be psychobabble. You sent me on what I reasonably determined to be a wild goosechase on these two and now you want me to chase more potential wild geese without offering referenced quotes or paraphrases from these authors in a similar manner to the quotes and paraphrases I presented from Langdon and Findlay/Goodman via Jackson.

Attack: Bob K = No objectivity.

I AM being objective. You are being subjective in reacting subjectively/emotionally to my being objective.

Nomad Quote:
Quote:
Please try to do better. More importantly, I think it would be in your interest to simply admit that the evidence is insufficient, and the arguments too weak to draw any kind of conclusions based on Langdon’s work.
Attack/Denial: “Please try to do better.” As if you are an expert in analyzing assertions and refutations?

Denial: “... I think it would be in your interest to simply admit that the evidence is insufficient, and the arguments too weak to draw any kind of conclusions based on Langdon’s work.”

I think it would in YOUR interest to (A) find better evidence which refutes/discredits the Zimmern/Langdon/Pallis transcriptions/translations with specific critical references and retranscriptions and retranslations or (B) simply admit that YOUR evidence is insufficient and YOUR arguments are too weak to condemn the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations.

Bob K Quote:
Quote:
But one conclusion is clear: Without proof of the existence of gods, we should not include them in our considerations for public policies, for any decisions based upon belief/opinion not supported by proof are likely to be bad decisions.
Nomad Quote:
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Your conclusions may or may not be valid, but have nothing whatsoever to do with this specific argument. You wish to demonstrate that the Gospels used the Bel Myth Tablet as a source. You have yet to establish the links, nor accounted for other evidence and arguments. You have admitted the translation is disjointed and confused, yet you place faith in it. You have not shown that any scholar treats it seriously since the 1930’s, demonstrating that the ideas are seriously out dated, and were rightly rejected long ago. Quite frankly, this discussion has been very nearly surreal in my opinion, taking on the characteristics of someone that wants to defend Creationism as a science, with fallacious reasoning, appeals to authority, and special pleading. Your addition of the Horus legends only compounds the error further, but as you have not tried to defend it here, I think it is best left alone.
Denial/Evasion: The text of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet is disjointed, hence any transcriptions and translations would appear to be disjointed insofar as timelines are concerned.

But when past tenses in the transcription/translation are accounted for, a timeline can be constructed.

Regardless, of any disjoints, the fact is that there exist in Langdon’s transcription/translation of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet mythical elements which parallel mythical elements in the Jesus myth.

I will show at the end of the Reply that some scholars since the 1930s do in fact treat the Zimmern/Pallis Bel myth tablet text translations seriously, and, by implication, since the Langdon translation is similar, do in fact treat the Langdon translation seriously.

You have not shown any scholar who has criticized the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations word-for-word by giving his specifics and his reasonings and his corrected transcription/translation so we can know for certain what the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text actually says--what is its content.

Have you no curiosity for learning what the words of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text say/mean? I find this lack of curiosity to be curious, to say the least, and, to say the most, to be proof that you are evading the most obvious question herein: What does the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text say?

[ November 16, 2001: Message edited by: Bob K ]
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Old 11-16-2001, 03:19 AM   #23
Bob K
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Part Three

Nomad:

Nomad Quote:
Quote:
In the meantime, I will refer you again to a site that discusses the issue of parallels between Jesus and other religions/gods in considerable depth. I would recommend that you read it in detail before spreading more of this tripe.

Jesus: Copycat Savior? Part A
Jesus: Copycat Savior? Part B
Evasion: You are to refer me to a site I have already read in which I find no evidence of a refutation of both the Zimmern/Langdon/Pallis transcriptions AND translations with retranscriptions and retranslations but which only has a weak quote which you have cited and which I have refuted.

Attack: “I would recommend that you read it in detail before spreading more of this tripe.”

Tripe? You have not proven so, therefore your attack fails. What kind of scholarly gem did you ask me to read in Peterson/Psychobabble? What kind of conclusive evidence is offered in Miller/CopyCat Savior?

The following are your copies of Miller’s text in Was Jesus a Copycat Savior? and my comments.

Quote:
"There is no hint of Marduk's death in the triumphant account of his cosmic kingship in Enuma elish......The so-called Death and Resurrection of Bel-Marduk is most likely an Assyrian political parody of some now unrecoverable Babylonian ritual...it is doubtful that Marduk was understood as a dying and rising deity...There is no evidence that the Babylonian Marduk was ever understood to be a dying and rising deity..."
(The Encyclopedia of Religion: "Rising and Dying Gods, by J. Smith, [Macmillan Press, 1987], pg. 523).

"There is no hint of Marduk's death in the triumphant account of his cosmic kingship in Enuma elish......The so-called Death and Resurrection of Bel-Marduk is most likely an Assyrian political parody of some now unrecoverable Babylonian ritual...it is doubtful that Marduk was understood as a dying and rising deity...There is no evidence that the Babylonian Marduk was ever understood to be a dying and rising deity..."
(Ibid. pg. 524)
Problem: The Zimmern/Langdon/Pallis translations all stand as evidence of the Akitu mystic ritual and death/resurrection of Bel-Marduk.

Langdon references small fragments of tablets/texts Rm 275 and K. 9138 from Nineveh in Assyria which prove that the mystic ritual of Bel was practiced there in Nineveh.

J. Smith makes a curious statement: The so-called Death and Resurrection of Bel-Marduk is most likely an Assyrian political parody of some now unrecoverable Babylonian ritual.

By this statement Smith admits there is evidence of the existence of the mythical elements of the death and resurrection of Bel-Marduk but tries to minimize it by saying that it “is most likely an Assyrian political parody of some now unrecoverable Babylonian ritual.”

And then he tries to claim that “[there] is no evidence that the Babylonian Marduk was ever understood to be a dying and rising deity...”

Once again, read and re-read Smith’s statement until you see clearly that Smith writes as if he has seen evidence of the death and resurrection mythical elements in the Assyrian version of the Bel-Marduk myth but that he is trying to discount the evidence as merely being part of a political parody. Thus, Smith contradicts himself.

Further, the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text clearly show death/resurrection mythical elements that clearly show the Assyrian version of Bel-Marduk, called Assur or Ashur, was a dying/rising god/deity regardless of what is the Babylonian version of the Bel-Marduk myth.

And, once again, I remind you that the determination of whether or not the Bel-Marduk death/resurrection myth is a political parody is an obfuscation which attempts to evade the fact that the death/resurrection mythical elements are nevertheless present in the Assyrian version of the Bel-Marduk myth as found in the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text as transcribed/translated by Z/L/P.

Again, regardless of what the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text is, it contains, according to Zimmern, Langdon and Pallis, mythical elements similar to mythical elements found in the Jesus myth.

Quote:
“This interpretation of the so-called enthronement Psalms unfortunately has continued for quite some time, notwithstanding the fact that Assyriologists doubt whether the resurrection of Marduk was in fact part of the cult. It has been shown by W. von Soden (130-66) and P. Welten (297-310) that texts KAR 143 and 219 could not be understood as part of the main festival, and therefore could not be held as proof of the glorious reappearance of Marduk."
[New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, William A. VanGemeren (gen.ed.). Zondervan:1997, s.v. Melek; note: the Enuma Elish certainly does not describe a death for victorious Marduk, but some have argued that the New Year's festival of Apiku did relate some such story. This is what the KAR 143/210 documents are referring to.]
Note that Van Gemeran testifies that “some have argued that the New Year’s festival of Apiku did relate some such story [of a death for Marduk].” Langdon has stated that the only evidence of the death/resurrection mythical elements of the Bel myth are found in the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text, therefore those “some” in Van Gemeren’s statement must have seen/heard/read the text directly and provided their own transcriptions/translations or otherwise are referring to the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations and are basically agreeing with them.

Note that Van Gemeran stated “...some have argued that the New Year's festival of Apiku did relate some such story. This is what the KAR 143/210 documents are referring to.” From his words, “This is what the KAR 143/210 documents are referring to,” I conclude that the KAR 143/210 documents are indeed referring to the death/resurrection mythical elements in the Assyrian Bel Myth Apiku New Year’s Festival ritual, which would then clearly support the contention that the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations are accurate.

Langdon cited small fragments of tablets/texts Rm 275 and K. 9138 from Nineveh in Assyria as proof that the mystic death/resurrection ritual of Bel was practiced in Nineveh. It is entirely possible that the Bel death/resurrection mystic ritual was not practiced by a majority but nevertheless could have been practiced by a minority.

Quote:
"According to an earlier hypothesis(Zimmern 1918: 2–20; Pallis 1926: 221–43), the New Year festival's cultic drama included another episode, in which Marduk, prior to his battle with Tiamat, was put to death, taken down to the netherworld, and resurrected, in imitation of the cult of the dying god Dumuzi—Tammuz. However, the NA cultic commentary, on which this hypothesis is based, turned out to be nothing but an anti-Babylonian or pro-Babylonian propaganda. The purpose of this text was either to justify Sennacherib's destruction of Babylon and capture of Marduk's statue, in terms of a divine trial (von Soden 1955:51: 130–166), or to explain Marduk's exile and his return to his city, in terms of death, descent to the netherworld, and resurrection (Frymer-Kensky 1983: 131–44). In any case, this vestigial and late addition to the New Year's Day ritual has nothing to do with the motif of the dying fertility god."
(Anchor Bible Dictionary, David Noel Freedman [main ed.], DoubleDay:1992, "akitu")
The more I read this statement the more I notice wordings that indicate clearly that the death/resurrection dying/rising mythical elements were clearly present in the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text.

Quoting Freedman: “The purpose of this text was either to justify Sennacherib's destruction of Babylon and capture of Marduk's statue, in terms of a divine trial (von Soden 1955:51: 130–166), or to explain Marduk's exile and his return to his city, in terms of death, descent to the netherworld, and resurrection (Frymer-Kensky 1983: 131–44).”

I note that Langdon was not referenced by N. Freedman in the above quote. I wonder why, since his transcription/translation follows Zimmern’s but is ahead of Pallis’.

I am not familiar with the phrase ‘NA cultic commentary,’ so if you can translate it, please do.

If it refers to the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text, then the author must prove that the text is propaganda.

Proof would have to include the direct reference to the Bel myth tablet, to the Z/L/P transcriptions and translations, citing lines and words which are not correct, and providing proof/supporting evidence that clearly explains why the lines/words are not correct, and a complete ‘correct’ transcription and translation.

At present we have only an unsupported opinion in the Freedman quote shown above.

I notice that the quote above has both the phrase “anti-Babylonian” and the phrase “pro-Babylonian” in reference to the word “propaganda.” I have to wonder why both phrases are used to refer to the “NA cultic commentary” because I cannot imagine the same ancient text was both pro-Babylonian propaganda and anti-Babylonian propaganda at the same time. I notice that Smith could not make up his mind which is the correct.

If you read carefully, and objectively, you will see clearly that Freedman says that the purpose of the Bel myth tablet text is either (A) “to justify Sennacherib's destruction of Babylon and capture of Marduk's statue” or (B) “to explain Marduk's exile and his return to his city, in terms of death, descent to the netherworld, and resurrection” (note that Freedman does not assert which is correct).

You will see that Freedman admits (A) that the tablet exists, (B) that it was transcribed/translated by Zimmern/Pallis as having the mythical elements of execution/death/resurrection, and thereby Freedman (C) does not claim/assert that the Zimmern/Pallis transcriptions/translations are faulty/incorrect (and therefore Freedman certainly does not prove that the Z/P transcriptions/translations are faulty/incorrect).

You will see that Freedman is admitting that the ritual mythical elements found in the Z/P transcriptions/translations were in fact known and practiced/believed when he refers to the Akitu/Bel myth ritual thus “this vestigial and late addition to the New Year's Day ritual ... .”

Freedman then asserts that the death/resurrection “motif” in the Bel myth “has nothing to do with the motif of the dying fertility god.”

This assertion is an admission, again, of the existence of the death/resurrection mythical elements in the Assyrian Bel myth, just as Langdon transcribed/translated, as did Zimmern and Pallis.

Moreover, the death/resurrection in the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text does in fact relate to the motif of a dying fertility god, and, surprise, Freedman admits it when he writes “The purpose of this text was either to justify Sennacherib's destruction of Babylon and capture of Marduk's statue, in terms of a divine trial (von Soden 1955:51: 130–166), or to explain Marduk's exile and his return to his city, in terms of death, descent to the netherworld, and resurrection (Frymer-Kensky 1983: 131–44).”

Is Ashur-Bel-Marduk a fertility god?

http://raven.cybercom.com/~grandpa/mideast.html#A4

Ashur
(Assyria) Chief deity; god of war and fertility.

http://raven.cybercom.com/~grandpa/mideast.html#B4

Baal (Bel)
(Phoenicia) Baal has the titles "Almighty" and "Lord of the Earth." He is the god of the thunderstorm, war, good harvests, and fertility; the most vigorous and aggressive of their gods. Baal is usually depicted holding a thunderbolt. There is a myth that tells of a challenge to him from Yamm, the Sea God. Armed with magical weapons made by the craftsman god, Kothar, Baal manages to overcome Yamm. Another myth concerns Baal's relations with Mot, god of Death, whom he initially defies, but to whom he eventually succumbs. Anath disposes of Mot, and then dreams that Baal is alive again, and so it is. Mot also returns to life and they renew their war. This occurs year after year, symbolizing the return of the seasons.

http://raven.cybercom.com/~grandpa/mideast.html#M4

Marduk
The fertility god and the lord of all the gods. In Babylonian religion, the supreme god. Originally, he was a god of thunderstorms. According to Enuma elish, an ancient epic poem of creation, Marduk defeated Tiamat and Kingu, the dragons of chaos, and thereby gained supreme power. Acknowledged as the creator of the universe and of humankind, the god of light and life, and the ruler of destinies, he rose to such eminence that he claimed 50 titles. Eventually, he was called simply Bel, meaning "Lord."

Notice the death/resurrection and dying/rising god mythical elements in the Bel and Marduk descriptions.

Thus, Freedman contradicts himself. The Assyrian Bel myth Apiku ritual does in fact directly refer to a motif of a dying fertility god, in fact, a dying/rising fertility god.

Notice that Freedman quotes Frymer-Kensky 1983: 131-44 as the source of the contention that one of the purposes of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text as translated by Zimmern and Pallis is “to explain Marduk's exile and his return to his city, in terms of death, descent to the netherworld, and resurrection.”

Notice that the Frymer-Kensky cite is from 1983 and is, therefore, proof that scholars as late as 1983 agreed that the mythical elements of death and resurrection are present in the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text.

Quote:
"The category of dying and rising gods, once a major topic of scholarly investigation, must now be understood to have been largely a misnomer based on imaginative reconstructions and exceedingly late or highly ambiguous texts."
(The Encyclopedia of Religion "Dying and Rising Gods", by J. Smith)
Herein J. Smith asserts, to paraphrase, that there are no dying/rising god myths when he says that dying/rising god myths “must now be understood to have been largely a misnomer based on imaginative reconstructions and exceedingly late or highly ambiguous texts.”

Unfortunately, when you read between the lines of the Smith quote you should see that Smith writes as if he has to admit that the dying/rising god mythical elements exist in “exceedingly late or highly ambiguous texts.”

He did not say “The category of dying and rising gods ... must now be understood to have been largely a misnomer based on imaginative reconstructions of exceedingly late or highly ambiguous texts.”

Instead, he said “The category of dying and rising gods ... must now be understood to have been largely a misnomer based on imaginative reconstructions and exceedingly late or highly ambiguous texts.”

The “and” instead of an “of” makes a big difference: it shows that Smith must have seen/heard/known of evidence that the death/resurrection dying/rising god/godman mythical elements were present in the late/ambiguous texts to justify his statement.

Read and re-read Smith’s statement until you see clearly that the reference to late/ambiguous texts nevertheless states that mythical elements of death/resurrection must have been present in those texts regardless of how late or ambiguous they were.

This kind of reading-between-the-lines reveals to me the excellent possibility that even though the Bel-Marduk text may have been “ambiguous” nevertheless the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations were/are acceptable in presenting reasonable evidence of the death/resurrection mythical elements in the Bel myth text.

Notice that Smith did not reference the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text directly and therewith condemn all of them with explanations/reasons for his condemnations.

He writes as if he is aware of the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text and merely tries to discount them by a statement of opinion without presenting reasons for the discount.

It is entirely possible that Freedman intended to write “of” instead of “and” but “and” is what he wrote and thus we must respond to what was written and not what was intended.

Thus, where all these quotes came from the Miller/Copycat Christ website, the fact is that these quotes actually contain evidence of a death/resurrection and dying/rising god mythical element present in the Apiku Assyrian New Year’s Festival Bel myth ritual as described in the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations of the 700 B.C. Assyrian Bel myth tablet text and therefore show that there was at least one dying/rising god mythical element present in a myth preceding the Jesus myth with geography/proximity and history/time factors favoring the likelihood that the Xn mythwriters knew of and used the Bel myth dying/rising mythical element for the fictionalization/fabrication of the Xn Jesus copycat christ myth.

In short, Miller screwed up.

In summary, what we have is an ancient Assyrian tablet upon which is chiseled in stone a text which has been transcribed and translated by three individuals (Z/L/P) whose individual transcriptions/translations basically agree with each other and provide mythical elements similar to mythical elements in the Jesus myth.

I am curious to know what is an accurate transcription/translation of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text if the Zimmern/Langdon/Pallis transcriptions/translations are inaccurate.

I notice that you have expressed no curiosity and therefore no interest in discovering accurate transcriptions/translations of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text.

We have an ancient Assyrian tablet upon which is chiseled in stone a text which we could and ought to transcribe and translate so we know what the words mean.

Words have meanings.

I would like to know what the words of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text mean.

What about you?

[ November 16, 2001: Message edited by: Bob K ]
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Old 11-17-2001, 07:48 AM   #24
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I was thinking this morning about Gilgamesh and Paul Bunyan. Gilgamesh and his human/animal companion went to the forrests of Lebanon and cut down all the trees and brought them home to build Babylon, or so the story goes. Paul Bunyan and his animal companion also cut down forrests etc. did the pioneers adapt the Gilgamesh story? Unlikely since 'The Epic of Gilgamesh' was not discovered and translated until the late 19th early 20th century.
Unless we can establish a clear pattern of 'big forrest cutting guy stories' following cultures and times from Babylon to the pioneers we can't make the claim. However in the Middle East we do have a better chance of following the dying/rising god story from the far past to Jesus time, proximity, trade routes, Jews who lived in both Egypt and Babylon, a tradition of a scapegoat/sinbearer etc. all combined over a number of years.
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Old 11-22-2001, 01:23 AM   #25
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copernicus:

Thanks for the reference to Larue and his mention of the death/resurrection of Marduk.

I had read of the Apiku ritual in Jackson and others but had not recognized the death/resurrection elements in the ritual itself.

See
http://www.aina.org/aol/Nissan.html

and
http://www.assyriansocietycanada.org..._mythology.htm

for a description of the KHA B'NISSAN (APRIL 1ST) Assyrian New Years Festival by Emanuel Y. Kamber, Ph.D.

The concept of sin is relative and not universal.

I, too, have always wondered how a suffering saviour could "save" anybody from their sins.

It has seemed to me for some time necessary for an individual to "save" himself from someone else's definition/specification of "sin" by rejecting that person's definition/specification of "sin".

And, rather than die himself/send a surrogate to die as atonement for the sins of humans, it would seem easier for a god to merely redefine/respecify what is a sin/what are sins and therefore live and let live.

And then we have the problem of determining if man has free will and therefore is truly responsible for his "sins" or if he has no free will/is predetermined/is predestined by the gods to to "sin" and therefore cannot/should not be condemned by the gods for being what they supposedly created him to be.

We would al certainly benefit if the gods were to show up in forms we could perceive and understand and do some tricks for us to prove that they have greater knowledge and capabilities than man and therefore are indeed gods, such as generating missing limbs [no missing limb miracles in the Xn Babel]. resurrections of people truly known to be dead/have been dead for some time [I would like to see my long-gone Mom and Dad/family members/friends again--and I have to believe at least some other people similarly like to see their long-gone Moms and Dads/family members/friends again], or preannounced changes in the weather, geology, astonomy, etc. [no taking credit for what happened after the happening!], and answering questions, telling us what they actually expect of us, etc.

One of the slogans nonbelievers could offer to believers is simply thus:
Quote:
Theists! Show us the gods!!!
But then we would have the problem of determining if or not what we think we perceive to be gods are gods who intend to help us or demons who intend to deceive and therefore hurt us.

At present, the only way I can think of to determine if or not what we perceive to be a god is a god who/which intends to help us rather than a demon who/which intends to hurt us is for that god to engage in a long-term relationship in which it shows up periodically or in response to prayers and continues to do good works that actually help people. If the god continues good works consistently, then we would have good reason to think it to be an actual god/no reason to think it is an actual demon/not a god.

So far I have seen/heard/touched/etc. no gods.

Have you?

[ November 22, 2001: Message edited by: Bob K ]
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Old 11-22-2001, 03:07 AM   #26
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Marduck:
Quote:
Hey! stop talking about me behind my back! my uncle Shamash was the Sun God, and it was Dummuzi & Inanna that took turns in and out of the underworld. I was made chief of all the Babylonian Gods! even Anu!
‘Sorry, Lord Marduck, for what seems to be subterfuge/general sneakiness.

I did not know you were still around and interested in all this stuff.

Do you do miracles?

I’ve got this hearing problem, and I’m a professional musician, among other things, so, ...

Marduck:
Quote:
Nomad said:

"How you can still claim that it is more probable that they got it from an ancient Assyrian tablet which may or may not have been known to them is beyond me."

This doesn't sound that far fetched to me, these stories, like the flood myths of Gilgamesh, most likely made the rounds of the middle east for ages. Telling stories was one of the few forms of entertainment going in those days.
I agree.

The proximity factor is strong, and storytelling factor has to be strong, so the presence of borrowed parallels in the JC myth is certainly possible.

MortalWombat:
Quote:
I don't think that anyone here has said that the gospel writers deliberately sat down with some Assyrian, Egyptian, etc. tablet and said, "Hey, this is a good story, lets copy it and change the names around a bit." The point is that these are stories and myths that were "in the air" so to speak. They are were the minds and traditions of people who lived in the Middle East and surrounding areas during ancient times. Just as stories involving "Guy meets girl, guy loses girl, guy gets girl back" are prevalent in many of our present day stories.
Certainly the themes present in myths throughout the world point to a human tendency to use universal themes in mythwriting.

I would not be surprised if under the human tendencies (A) to “keep up with the Joneses” and (B) to proclaim “my _____ (?) [fill in the blank] is better than your _____ (?)” the Xn mythwriters actually did in fact sit down with various current/previous myths and decide which mythical elements had to be present to portray J as (A) at least as good as the Jones’ god and, preferably, (B) better.

Too bad we could not (A) find an ancient manuscript in which an Xn mythwriter confessed to fictionalizing the JC myth with mythical elements from prevalent/previous myths or (B) resurrect an Xn mythwriter and torture him until he “confesses” that he fictionalized the JC myth with mythical elements from prevalent/previous myths.

Marduck:
Quote:
in the Middle East we do have a better chance of following the dying/rising god story from the far past to Jesus time, proximity, trade routes, Jews who lived in both Egypt and Babylon, a tradition of a scapegoat/sinbearer etc. all combined over a number of years.
Agreed big time!

Kosh:
Quote:
NOMAD Quote:

4) Bel is led away to the Mount (a sacred grove on a hilltop). Jesus is led to
Golgotha, the "Place of Sculls"

As Bel dies in a sacred grove, and Jesus dies on a hill made specifically for
executions, this is hardly a parallel. This too should be nixed.

BOB:
This can be nixed without destroying the remaining parallels.
Kosh Quote:
Quote:
I don't think any concession here is necessary. That the intended or current function of the locations is not identical is not significant. The point is (as admitted by Nomad), they both had a HILL for the KILL.

My count still stands at 14.
HILL for the KILL!?!?!

I like it!!!

‘Think I’ll add it to the list!

While I’m at adding to the list, there is a reference in the Xn Apostle’s Creed to J descending into hell/underworld that parallels the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text’s “confined in a mountain” mythical element, so descent into an underworld/hell ought to be added to the list.
Quote:
The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; henceforth he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. [Emphasis added.]

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
We’re now up to 16 parallels.

[ November 23, 2001: Message edited by: Bob K ]
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Old 11-22-2001, 11:03 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by MortalWombat:

I'm obviously not speaking for marduck, and I'm sure he'll offer his own opinion, but I think this is one of the sticking points in talking to apologists about influences of ancient stories on the Jesus story. I don't think that anyone here has said that the gospel writers deliberately sat down with some Assyrian, Egyption, etc. tablet and said, "Hey, this is a good story, lets copy it and change the names around a bit." The point is that these are stories and myths that were "in the air" so to speak. They are were the minds and traditions of people who lived in the Middle East and surrounding areas during ancient times. Just as stories involving "Guy meets girl, guy loses girl, guy gets girl back" are prevalent in many of our present day stories.
Hey MW, nice to meet you. I'll address my reply to you and marduk, as you both say pretty much the same thing.

First, Bob has stated clearly that he thinks that the Gospel writers used this specific tablet when they wrote the Passion Narrative portion of their Gospels. You and marduk do not believe this, but he does.

Now, to be honest, I don't have a problem with your take on this subject, only Bob's. Clearly people draw from similar themes and motifs when presenting their stories. We still do this to this very day. After all, how many people still refer to the Kennedy Presidency as Camelot? If the only claim was that the New Testament makes use of commonly used themes from the ancient world, then I would not have a problem at all. Obviously they did do this. On the other hand, did they use an obscure Assyrian tablet? No. Did they use a theme of a dying and rising god? Of course they did.

My point all along is that if one wishes to show that one story drew directly and specifically from another (as Bob hypothecizes with the Gospels and the Assyrian tablet), then it is necessary to establish some very clear and obvious links and examples of copying. General themes will not show that one story served as a source for another. Further, we must always remain conscious of other more probable and plausible sources for stories. In this particular case, the practices of 1st Century Judaism, as well as the Hebrew Scriptures are our best and most logical source to examine for parallels with New Testament stories. As you and marduk (and no doubt others that have bothered to read this thread) accept this obvious fact, then I am content. Bob can, and will, believe whatever he wishes, and I cannot hope to convince him.

As an aside, you may be interested in a very good, and reasonably short book on this subject by C.S. Lewis. It is called The Abolition of Man where Lewis discusses how many of the themes found in the Bible are found in other cultures and myths. It is very good, and quite enlightening in my view.

So on that note, thank you gentlemen. It has been interesting.

Nomad
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Old 11-26-2001, 01:10 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>
First, Bob has stated clearly that he thinks that the Gospel writers used this specific tablet when they wrote the Passion Narrative portion of their Gospels. You and marduk do not believe this, but he does.</STRONG>
Nomad, this is at least twice now that you've
made this assertion. So I went back and
re-read all of Bob's comments, as well as
his website. Also, he refuted this very claim
that YOU interjected earlier in the thread.

No where in this thread does he claim that
that they used this specific tablet (ie,
sat down and read it) themselves. His
assertion (and a very solidly argued one)
is that the myth represented on the tablet
has an amazing number of parrallels to the
passion narrative.

Your attempt at diversion is unfounded. He
does not claim that the gospel writers
"used this specific tablet" as a basis of
their story, simply that the tablet proves
that the myth existed prior to Jesus' time
and therefore could have been available to
be copied.

I find it hard to believe that you can miss
this point, especially when it was pointed
out by Bob, so I must conclude that you are
purposefully trying to confuse the topic
by diverting the topic of the debate.

Fact: The tablet exists
Fact: the tablet contains significant parrallels to
the gospel passion narrative
Fact: The tablet pre-dates the passion
narrative.

If you still think Bob is claiming they
used that exact tablet, or had knowledge
of that tablet (in contrast to simply having
knowledge of the myth in circulation), then
show us where Bob made that claim.
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Old 12-02-2001, 06:49 PM   #29
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NOTE: This Reply is extensive and therefore shall be presented in at least three parts.

Part One

Nomad:

Nomad Quote:
Quote:
Time to wrap up, as this conversation has deteriorated into the surreal.

Let me focus on a couple of points.
Attack: “... this conversation has deteriorated into the surreal.”

Nomad Quote:
Quote:
Dr. Smith is Professor of Theology at the University of Chicago and general editor of the Harper Collins Dictionary of Religion. Dr. Anderson is Professor of Old Testament Theology Emeritus of Princeton Theological Seminary and editor of New Oxford Annotated Bible . Dr. Barr is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, Boston University School of Theology. (note, if you want to contact them, write to their universities, I want to focus on what you said ABOUT these authors, none of whom you obviously know anything about).
Bob K Quote:
Quote:
Otherwise, I predict that what I will find is (A) that these authors/scholars are heavy-duty religionists whose credibility is instantly suspect and (B) that none of them offer precise point-by-point refutations of the Langdon/Zimmern/Pallis translations and commonly-agreed-upon alternative translations.
Nomad Quote:
Quote:
Religionists? Umm... what do you mean by this Bob? Surely you are not trying to poison the well here.

If you think that a Professor Emeritus of Princeton does not stack up to Jackson, Goodman and Acharya S (BTW, do you know who she is?) there is little more to be said here. Jackson is a writer for an atheist propaganda sheet. What are his qualifications please? Who is Goodman again? I have not seen you list his credentials. Langdon offered a translation in 1923 that even you have admitted is confused and disjointed, yet you continue to have faith in it. Let me make this easy for you: Acharya S is not a scholar (and if you want me to prove this accusation, just say so, then I will expect both a retraction, and an apology from you for using her after I am finished). She is, in fact, a kook of the weirdest kind. That you would even quote her as a source betrays your willingness to believe anything, so long as it is anti-Christian. Josh McDowell, Earl Doherty and Barbara Theiring look like towers of intellectual might by comparison. You have, however, demonstrated the kinds of sources that you accept uncritically. I am more than content to let my citations stand as is, and allow readers here to judge for themselves who is more credible.
You burn me once, that is your fault; you burn me twice, that is my fault.

You insisted that I check out the contents of the Miller and Peterson websites.

I did.

I found them nonsense and indicated so.

I noticed also that both Miller and Peterson are, from their writings, heavy-duty religionists.

So what did I learn about following your recommendations from my experiences in following your recommendations?

I learned (1) that the websites you recommend are likely to be nonsense; (2) that the websites you recommend are likely to be created by heavy-duty religionists.

What, then, is the possibility that your next recommendations are also going to be nonsense and created by heavy-duty religionists?

Evasion: RE: Smith/Anderson/Barr: You are focusing upon what I say about these ‘scholars’ without realizing that the focus must be upon what they have to say about the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text.

The paperback edition of John G. Jackson’s book Christianity Before Christ was published by the American Atheist Press (AAP). The AAP reprints books which have pro-atheist/anti-religion/anti-Xn information beneficial to atheists/agnostics; the authors of these books are not necessarily slaves to or otherwise owned by the AAP.

You have asked what are Jackson’s credentials.

From “About The Author” in Christianity Before Christ:

John G. Jackson --
* Was born April 1, 1907.
* Lived for fifty years in New York City.
* Lectured at the “Ingersoll Forum” of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism 1930-1955.
* Wrote articles for The Truthseeker magazine.
* Was a writer and associate of the Rationalist Press Association in London, England, 1932-1972.
* Was a lecturer in the Black Studies Department of Rutgers University 1971-1973.
* Moved to Chicago, and became a Visiting Professor at Northeast Illinois University 1977-1980.

Books by Jackson:

Introduction to African Civilizations
A Guide to the Study of African History, Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization
Man, God and Civilization
Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth (Said in the blurb to be a best-seller)

Jackson cites many other authors in support of his opinions and in support of his basic thesis that Christianity existed before Christ, that the JC myth is therefore a copycat myth.

You and I are citing other authors in support of our statements of opinions/assertions of facts, therefore we join Jackson in so doing.

Because Jackson cites many authors who support his opinions his work reaches a respectable level of credibility--you have to discredit the authors he cites by providing facts which discredit what they claim to be facts. Your mere opinion does not count as evidence/facts discrediting the authors Jackson or anyone else cites.

By the way, why do you not get your own copy of Jackson’s Christianity Before Christ and check out his opinions and the citations he offers in support of his work so you are in a better position to discredit him by discrediting the work of the authors he cites and thus increase your own credibility?

Nomad quote:
Quote:
Acharya S is not a scholar (and if you want me to prove this accusation, just say so, then I will expect both a retraction, and an apology from you for using her after I am finished). She is, in fact, a kook of the weirdest kind.
If you want to prove your accusation, do so in private emails, so you can avoid potential lawsuits.

Attack: Acharya S is not a scholar ... She is, in fact, a kook of the weirdest kind.

This quote proves how ad hominem you can be. You have not offered proof of why Acharya S and Wheless are wrong, only attacks.

And who are YOU that I should have to apologize to YOU for citing Acharya S and Wheless as sources?

Look at who YOU quote/cite: Miller? Peterson?

Further, I notice that you selected only a part of my comment to criticize.

Here is the entire comment:
Quote:
I am aware, unfortunately for you, of the opinions of writers that Xns were excessive in their mythologizing. According to Acharya S, [ <a href="http://www.truthbeknown.com/origins.htm" target="_blank">http://www.truthbeknown.com/origins.htm</a> , but also Joseph Wheless as cited in Gordon Stein, A Second Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism, p. 69.], Bishop Eusibius was known to be a liar and plagiarizer. No mention by church fathers or other Xn writers or historians that the texts of the Jewish Historian, Josephus Flavius, contained any references to Jesus (Jesus as the Christ of Xnity) until cited by Eusibius circa 324 suggests strongly that Eusibius himself may have fabricated the Josephus interpolation. [Joseph Wheless in Stein, p. 69.] St. Augustine wrote complaints about the mythologizing and fabrication of the Xn mythwriters in two books, De Mendacio in 395 A.D., and Contra Mendacium in 420 A.D. [Stein, p. 65.] Are we to deny that St. Augustine wrote such? Let us therefore agree that at least some early Xns were liars. Are we to then let their writings cruise through history without wondering if or not they plagiarized earlier myths?
Notice you have failed to criticize Gordon Stein, from whose book the Wheless reference was cited.

Wheless asserted that according to the Catholic Encyclopedia (CE) none of the church fathers or other Xn writers or historians prior to Eusibius contained any references to the passage in Joseph Flavius Antiquities, VIII. iii, 3 which cites Jesus (Jesus as the Christ of Xnity), and that Eusibius was the first Xn writer/historian to so cite the Jesus = the Christ passage in Josephus Antiquities, VIII, iii, 3, circa 324 AD, and, since he was said to be a liar and plagiarizer, he very well could have fabricated the J. Flavius quote re: JC.

J. Wheless stated the Eusibius was known to have forged letters supposedly written by and exchanged by Jesus and another individual named Abgar.

Wheless also shows that in the Contra Celsum written by Origen, over 100 years prior to Eusibius, there is no reference to the Josephus Antiquities, VIII, iii, 3 passage.

The CE/Catholic Encyclopedia, according to Wheless, specifically says “the ... cited passage [of Josephus Flavius, Antiquities, VIII, iii, 3] was not known to Origen and the earlier patristic writers ...”

Now, the fact is that Stein and Acharya S quoted Wheless.

Was Wheless wrong?

What facts can you offer to support any contention that Wheless was wrong? Try to avoid giving us someone else’s opinions--give us just the facts.

Notice that you did not criticize St. Augustine, who is said to have criticized the rampant Xn fabrications/lyings.

Question: Do you deny that St. Augustine wrote complaints about the mythologizing and fabrication of Xn mythwriters in two books, De Mendacio in 395 A.D., and Contra Mendacium in 420 A.D.?

Followup: What proof do you have that St. Augustine did not write complaints about the mythologizing and fabrication of Xn mythwriters in two books, De Mendacio in 395 A.D., and Contra Mendacium in 420 A.D.?

Obviously, if Acharya S and G. Stein correctly quoted Joseph Wheless, and you cannot prove Wheless wrong, then AS/GS/JW stand as quoted, Eusibius is a liar/plagiarizer and the likely author/interpolator of the J. Flavius quote.

And note further the following quote from St. Augustine:
Quote:
That which is known as the Christian religion existed among the ancients, and never did not exist; from the beginning of the human race until the time when Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion, which already existed began to be called Christianity. [Emphasis in original.] (Retract. I, xiii, cited by Dr. Alvin Boyd Kuhn in Shadow of The Third Century, Academy press, Elizabeth, NJ, 1949, p. 3., as quoted in John G. Jackson, Christianity Before Christ, p. 1.)
Kuhn, by way of a commentary, as quoted in John G. Jackson, in Christianity Before Christ, then says ...
Quote:
This astonishing declaration was made in the early fourth century of our era. It can be asserted with little chance of refutation that if this affirmation of the pious Augustine had not sunk out of sight, but had been kept out in open view through the period of Western history, the whole course of that history would have been vastly altered for the better. It is only too likely the case that the obvious implications of the passage were of such a nature that its open exploitation was designedly frowned upon by the ecclesiastical authorities in every age. It held the kernel of a great truth the common knowledge of which would have been a stumbling block in the way of the perpetuation of priestly power over the general Christian mind. It would have provoked inquiry and disarmed the ecclesiastical prestige of much of its power.

For what is it that the Christian saint [Augustine] actually says? It stands as hardly less than a point blank repudiation of all the chief assertions on which the structure of Christian tradition rests. Every child born in Christian parents in eighteen centuries has bee indoctrinated with the unqualified belief that Christianity was completely new, and the first [i]true[\i] religion in world history; that it was vouchsafed by the sole divine emissary ever commissioned to convey God’s truth to mankind [Jesus]; that it flashed out amid the lingering murks of pagan darkness as the first ray of true light to illumine the pathway of evolution for the safe treading of human feet. All previous religion was the superstitious product of primitive childishness of mind. Christianity was the first piercing of the long night of black heathenism by the benignant gift of God.

Augustine shatters this illusion and this jealously guarded preserved phantom of blind credulity. From remotest antiquity, he asserts, there has always existed the true religion. It illuminated the intellects of the most ancient Sages, Prophets, Priests, and Kings. It built the foundation for every national religion, the tenets of which consisted of reformulations of its ubiquitous ageless principles of designations: Hermeticism in ancient Egypt; Orphism in early Greece; Zoroastrianism in Persia, Brahmanism in India; Taoism in China; Shintoism in Japan and China. In no matter what garbled and perverted form, even tribal religionism fostered it. Mystery cultism dramatized and ritualized it in many lands. Social usages all the round of annual festivals, chimney-corner tale and castle ballad, countryside legend and folklore carried it down the stream of time. Always it existed among men; never was it not present in the world. Hardly ever apprehended at its real value, its representations badly misconceived, its import warped and travestied at every turn in popular practice, it yet existed and came down to Augustine’s day. (Kuhn, Shadow, pp. 3-4.)
The gist of all this: Augustine recognized the mythical elements of prior cultures as being similar to and therefore present in the Jesus myth. Thus, Xnity is not new: it consists of mythical elements from prior myths and religions including paganism. Augustine is not talking about the existence of Jesus of Nazareth prior to Xnity; instead, he is talking about the superstitious mythical elements of religions/myths that became incorporated into Xnity and therefore proves that Xnity was not a new religion.

[ December 02, 2001: Message edited by: Bob K ]</p>
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Old 12-02-2001, 07:18 PM   #30
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Part Two

Nomad Quote:
Quote:
In order to establish links between two documents, you must first demonstrate that it is probable:

a) that the authors of the later works would have known about the earlier story.
b) the earlier source would be a desirable source to use by the later author
c) the parallels are specific enough to suspect links. Generic ones are not credible, as any two stories can be made to look alike if they are broken down to their most basic elements. See my example of Robin Hood and Iron Monkey above.
d) Other, more plausible and probable sources do not exist (in this case, the Hebrew Bible and Jewish customs provide far and away the most reasonable and probable sources for the evangelists. They wanted to convert their fellow Jews, they WERE Jews themselves, and Judaism was a widely respected and even protected religion within the Roman Empire. Assyrian propaganda, coming from a long dead empire poking fun at the god of another long dead empire (Babylon) is a very unlikely source, and even less likely to be attractive to the evangelists.

Further, you betray your willingness to buy the absolute worst anti-Christian tripe and propaganda when you shamelessly quote Wheless and Archarya S’ lie that “Bishop Eusibius was known to be a liar and plagiarizer.” Offer actual evidence to support your slanders Bob. Your credibility is already shot here, and your credulity is showing very badly.
Links?

(A) The Assyrian Bel myth tablet text is said by an official of The British Museum to have been written circa 700 B.C. There certainly is enough time--700 years--for Xn mythwriters to have learned about the text and its mythical elements. If you claim there was not enough time for the Xn mythwriters, then you must prove that the Xn mythwriters needed more time to have known of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text and its mythical elements.

(B) To make sure their god/godman was at least as good as anyone else’s god/godman, the Xn mythwriters certainly would have found the Assyrian Bel myth tablet attractive as a source of mythical elements they would have had to match to make sure they kept up with the Jones’ gods/godmen.

(C) The Assyrian Bel myth tablet mythical elements ARE similar and credible as the origins of some of the Jesus myth elements. In the Bel myth translation by Langdon we read of an arrest, trial, judgment, scourging, execution, death, and resurrection as the major biggie mythical elements which are certainly similar if not identical to the Jesus myth mythical elements, and then we have the minor mythical elements of the justice hall (instead of a trial in a public place such as a public square), the judge’s question: What is his sin?, handwashing after the judgment, execution along with a criminal, a riot/commotion in the nearby city, parting of clothing, wrapping of the body in a special burial garment, weeping women at the grave/tomb.

(D) The existence of other sources of mythical elements only strengthens the possibility/probability that the Xn mythwriters knew of the mythical elements in those sources and used them to fabricate the Jesus myth. If the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text was only one of several possible/probable sources of mythical elements, it is, nevertheless, a source, and since it actually has many parallels it certainly is likely to be a credible source of the Xn myth mythical elements.

When I cite opinions I tend to cite my sources. I do so critics can check my sources to see if I have cited them correctly--to see if they sources actually said what I have cited.

I do not cite sources in order to provide opponents opportunities for ad hominem attacks on the authors in the sources nor upon myself.

Within reason, I care not what a person is so long as he has something to say that I can examine, analyze, and understand, and for which the individual has proof supporting his contentions/assertions. I am interested in the truth and therefore care not to focus upon an individual but instead upon what he says or does.

This does not mean that I do not categorize people. If individuals consistently deny/evade/obfuscate/attack, then I so note and refer to this pattern/these patterns in my writings/replies/counterarguments/etc. for the purpose of letting the other people know that I am aware of their patterns and that they should stop arguing using these patterns.

In college I saw cases in which individuals made excellent suggestions for solving problems but those suggestions were initially overlooked because many other individuals committed the ad hominem fallacy and therefore did not pay attention to what was said because of who said it.

There is a humorous story that illustrates the folly of ad hominem thinking.

A man had a flat tire in front of a state mental hospital. He attempted to replace the wheel with the flat tire with another wheel holding his spare tire. To do so he had to take off the lug nuts holding the wheel holding the flat tire. He accidentally knocked the lug nuts into a sewer drain and lost them. He did not know what to do to attach the wheel with the spare tire to the car so he could continue his journey.

One of the mental patients said “Take a lug nut from each of the other wheels and use them for the wheel with the spare tire.”

The driver was surprised at the logic of this suggestion and said “That’s a smart idea! Why are you in a mental institution?”

The mental patient said, “I’m here here because I’m crazy, not because I’m stupid.”

I have a degree in psychology and have worked at State Louis State Hospital on Arsenal St. in St. Louis, MO. I can testify that many times I was surprised at the intellect of some of the inmates. Thus, the above story, in my opinion, could have actually happened if it is not based already upon a true story.

I therefore have a tendency to listen to what a person has to say rather than condemn him categorically and not bother with him.

While at St. Louis State Hospital I would listen to inmates (particularly US Military Veterans) tell me of moneys that were due them, take notes on the information they provided, checked with the proper authorities, and find, in most cases, the inmates were right, the moneys were due, and, thus, the inmates got the moneys that were due them. I got a reputation among inmates for being someone who would listen, and although I was responsible only for individuals on one floor soon I was approached by individuals from each and every floor.

Long story short: We are wise to listen to everyone and to separate their words from what we think of them.

Since you have directed me to websites which have proven to be stacked with Xn apologists whose writings did not support your arguments I am now suspicious of any other websites/scholars/writers/etc. you may direct me to. Having been burned already, I am wary of being burned again. Human nature, you see.

Nevertheless, within reason, I will try to approach your directions with a fair amount of objectivity.

If you have a problem with what J. Wheless and Acharya S say in their writings, then you must focus upon the content of those writings and cite what was said and prove why what was said is wrong.

You have asserted that the statements of J. Wheless/Acharya S that Eusibius was a liar and a plagiarizer are “the absolute worst anti-Christian tripe and propaganda” and that the charge that Eusibius was a liar and a plagiarizer is a “lie.”

You asserted, you prove.

You still have to prove that the Z/L/P transcriptions/translations are faulty according to the standards I have established.

The Standards: You must refer to critics who (A) state that the Z/L/P transcriptions and translations are wrong, then (B) cite word-for-word and line-for-line the erroneous transcriptions/translations and then (C) provide word-for-word and line-for-line an accurate/corrected transcription and an accurate/corrected translation--so we can know for certain what the words of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet text mean; these “facts” must be agreed to by at least 10,000 other nonXn scholars.

Are you not curious to know what the words of the text of the Assyrian Bel myth tablet actually mean/say?

Nomad Quote:
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One final point to demonstrate that you still do not understand my arguments:
Bob K Quote:
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If you choose to deny the accuracy of the Langdon/Zimmern/Pallis translations of the Bel myth on the Assyrian Bel myth tablet, then I will require that you produce works in which the translations are refuted word by word and line by line and thousands of objective (nonXn) scholars agree with the refutations plus an “accurate” translation approved/agreed to by thousands of objective scholars.
Nomad Quote:
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I have already demonstrated that even if we accepted Langdon’s translation in full, it still does not serve as parallels for the Gospel accounts. The rioting accompanying Bel’s death is not found in the Gospels (I suspected that rioting was what the tablet said, and that you were covering this fact up). The Gospels have no rioting, and only Matthew has an earthquake and people rising from the dead. Bel is confined to a mountain BEFORE he is executed. Jesus is buried in a tomb, not a mountain. Bel is executed in a sacred grove (and NOT by crucifixion). Jesus is crucified exactly where every other crucified criminal in Jerusalem was killed, Golgotha. There are no weeping women going to the tomb in the Gospels. There is no "Hall of Justice", only a judgment hall, and then only in the Gospel of John. Other parallels are found better in Hebrew Scripture and Jewish custom, yet you prefer to think that these are less likely sources than an obscure Assyrian tablet! You cannot even establish that the evangelists knew the tablet existed at all, let alone that they used it. Finally, in one case where I did show you how Langdon’s translation was faulty, you did not even address this point. He thinks that the Assyrians used the month of Nisan in their calendars, but it is the Jews that did this.
Denial: In the Bel myth tablet text we have numerous parallels: arrest, trial, judgment, scourging, execution, parting of clothes, burial in a grave/tomb (in the mountain = in the grave/tomb), and resurrection (the BIGGIE!).

There is a commotion in a nearby city in both accounts. The Bel accounts describes a riot whereas the J myth describes an earthquake and risings of the dead who walk and talk with the living.

Commotion = Riot

Commotion = Resurrections of the Dead Resulting from an Earthquake

Commotion = Commotion.

Nomad Quote:
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Bel is confined to a mountain BEFORE he is executed.
I covered this: The text of the Langdon translation follows the transcription which follows the original text which does not follow a chronological sequence yet when you read the text it becomes clear that there is a chronological sequence, and in that sequence Bel is confined to the mountain/decends into the underworld/is buried in a tomb/grave after he is executed.

Now, the standard Xn Babel death of Jesus chronological sequence as found in Mark/Matthew?Luke/John is thus: J is executed by crucifixion, in which (1) J is hung on a cross and (2) dies.

Note crucifixion/death sequence in the following:
Quote:
Matthew 27:33. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of the skull, ... 35. And they crucified him, ... 45. Now from the sixth hour there was a darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. ... 50. Jesus, when he had cried again in a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53. And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Mark 15:25. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. ... 33. And when the sixth hour was come, there was a darkness over the whole and until the ninth hour. ... 34. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ... My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? ...37. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

Luke: 23:33. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him ... 44. And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said this, he gave up the ghost.

John 19:14. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour, ... 16. Then delivered he (Pilate) him (Jesus) unto them (men/officers of the chief priests and Pharisees, the chief priests, and the Pharisees) to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. 17. And he bearing his cross went forth unto a place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha (emphasis in original KJV): 18. Where they crucified him ... 30. ... he (Jesus) said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
There are two passages in Acts which contradict this chronological sequence:

Quote:
Acts 5:30: The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree;

Acts 10:39: And we were witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree. [Emphasis added.]
Notice that the sequence in Acts is thus: (1) Jesus is slain/dies; (2) Jesus is hung upon a tree.

The sequence of execution by crucifixion is not the same as the sequence of execution/death by some unknown method and then being hung upon a tree after death.

There is a serious Xn Babel contradiction herein.

But the focus in this discussion is the sequence. If the writer(s) of Acts (said to be Luke, the same as in St. Luke?) simply intended to convey the sequence of execution by crucifixion, as found in the Mark/Matthew/Luke/John gospels, then why did they not give the correct sequence instead of the sequence of execution/death by some unknown means and then being hung upon a tree (after death)?

And if Luke wrote both St. Luke and Acts, then why did he contradict himself by writing the execution by crucifixion sequence in St. Luke and the execution/death then hanging upon a tree sequence in Acts?

[ December 02, 2001: Message edited by: Bob K ]</p>
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