FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.

Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-23-2001, 09:03 AM   #61
Posts: n/a

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
This is an interesting issue. But I think you are overlooking an important point. The pressure on the early church would have driven them to remain Jewish, rather than branch out on their own.</font>

Well, this raises strange questions certainly about the early cult members more so than the cult creators, which is where I wished to focus the emphasis of my hypothesis; the shepherds vs. the sheep, so I don't know if I want to necessarily go down this road.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You see, the Jews were protected by Roman law.</font>

How so? "Protected" is a rather interesting choice of words and far too apologetically vague for my tastes. The Jews were not protected in the sense of human rights or free from bodily harm; you mean that their religion was not officially condemned by the State. That's a far cry from Jews being "protected" under Roman law.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Although it was exclusive, a trait Roman authorities found subserive, Judaism was also ancient. Moreover, the Romans did not want to start another revolution.</font>

There never were "revolutions;" those are words only the victors use to aggrandize their cause. To the Romans, their were perhaps "uprisings" and certainly "wars."

I make these delineations purposefully, by the way. I'm not just splitting semantics hairs, here. A common problem with apologetics is to begin with very broad definitions about very specific issues and then arriving at even broader conclusions based upon the vague language of the premises, so please don't take offense.

It's this kind of mythology that I am trying to avoid in order to get at the myth makers.

Though, I suppose in a sense, you're one of them, Layman

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">So, Jews, peculiar among those times, were given special status under the law. Their religion was recognized and they were not required to worship pagan gods. </font>

Yes, now here you have the only point (so far) that can be readily granted. Everything prior to this point, as I said, is too easily classifiable as propaganda and/or revisionist history (yes, I am aware of the irony), so I'd like to leave that behind for now.

So, to recap, what you should have originally stated was that Roman law "recognized" the Jewish religion and exempted Jews from other State sponsored worship.

I think we can both agree that the above statement is far more benign than, "The Jews were protected under Roman law," which implies that the Jews and the Romans were on some level equals, if not in collusion, which is one of the lies through implication of the New Testament.

The Romans murdered and persecuted the Jews hundreds of times more directly and more terminally than they ever did any early Christians, which is yet another fact that the New Testament takes no great pains to focus upon.

Again, this is extremely odd for a book which "advertises" itself as being the second act (and third, if you believe Revelations) to the Old Testament; the saga of the Jewish people and their deliverance through their messiah.

Your marginal terminology and my speculative investigation illustrates this quite well, by the way. We're seeing first hand how a myth can easily be marginallized into the "fuzzy truth."

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">At first, Christians were assumed to be just another Jewish sect. So long as the Romans retained that perception, they were also protected by Roman law.</font>

See, this is why I had to point out everything above. You are now making it seem that it was actually more dangerous to be called a Christian than it was to be a Jew and that's just not true.

You are also implying that the early Christian cult necessarily (therefore) had to bravely hide their religious "truth" under the guise of Judaism so that the Romans would not punish them!

The Christians were not persecuted at all compared to what the Romans were doing to the Jews, but your terminology is making it seem as if the early Christians were to be lauded for their cunning in hiding "the truth" so well within the Jewish/Roman detente, which did not exist.

This, too, goes more to my hypothesis than it does to the factual existence of God on Earth being recognized only by a select few who hide this knowledge (at the same time they are spreading it), for fear of Roman reprisal.

Once more, the story just doesn't wash. It does not fit the historical realities of that region or the struggles that occur to this very day there.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">But as the schism between Jews and Christians grew, it became more and more apparent to the Roman authorities that they had a new religion, rather than a new sect, on their hands.</font>

Well, this speculation fits my speculation to some degree, but I would also point out that the "schism" per se would not have made any difference at all to the Romans.

That's a lot like saying, "Among the American Indians of the early days of Manifest Destiny, it became more and more apparent to the U.S. Authorities that there were more sun worshipers than there were tree worshipers."

So, again back to my hypothesis, there must have been a significant reason for the Roman interest in the Christian myth; a reason for the shepherds to herd the sheep.

According to what most have posted here and the New Testament (set aside the hypothesis), Christians were not directly Roman enemies and went through great steps to hide their religion; Jews were, on the other hand, which is why they were slaughtered. Yet, we also have the contradiction that Christians were Jews on their way to becoming Christians and it was this transition period (how ever the hell that works out), which is hidden under Judaism's detente with Rome??

NONE of this makes any sense at all unless the whole thing is Roman revisionist propaganda; a "We are no longer at War with Christianity; We have never been at War with Christianity"--Orwellian process.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">That is when the Roman persecutions began (although these ebbed and flowed). </font>

Once more, this makes no sense (and goes more toward my hypothesis). You're saying that a Jewish splinter group slowly formed over time into what we commonly refer to as "Christians" by initially using Judaism's "pact" with the Romans as a means to grow--beneath Roman radar--only to become so threatening that Rome finally had to deal with this potential "revolution" and blah blah blah...

This is textbook "victor's propaganda" and it makes about as much sense as any of that kind of ridiculous aggrandizement.

The Romans were persecuting the Jews (which led, of course to many uprisings, beginning in 70 CE); if there were a "Christian" sect growing in numbers so large and powerful as to divert the Roman preoccupation from Jewish persecution, then where are the Christian uprisings? Where are the thousands of Christians slaughtered at Mt. Gerizim? Are these Jews for Jesus hiding out in the Qumran or Nag Hammadi caves?

Do you understand what I'm getting at here? The realities of the way real people exist and operate do not coincide with the mythology of the Jewish splinter cult you are aggrandizing.

You are making it seem as if the early Christians were some form of ancient French Resistance group, cleverly avoiding detection until the point where their numbers just grew too strong and their convictions too overwhelming. That's all well and good and vive la resistance and everything, but we're also talking about a group of people that have (supposedly) met, touched, talked, walked, and broken bread with The One True God of All Existence.


This obvious propaganda is chronicled, categorized and taught as Divine Truth; so whatever speculation we delve into from a cult mindset will necessarily be useless.

Again, this is not about ignorant, innocent people being fooled by a cult; this is about who created the cult and why?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I think that this suggests that the schism was theological in nature, resulting from the two movements recognizing that they were theologically irreconcilable.</font>

Probably correct, but irrelevant to the people who created the myth to begin with.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I recently posted a piece on the Epistle to the Hebrews. Therein, I discuss this very issue. I'll bring it up to the top for your to read if you desire. </font>
That's ok. But if you'd like to add a link to it for anybody else who would be interested, by all means.

So, to recap, perhaps we don't necessarily need evidence in support of my hypothesis after all, since these posts are serving nicely to not only debunk the myth, but also point out the glaring flaws which only get answered by the hypothesis.

Oh, and thank you for indirectly accepting my apology. I've noticed that in here, passionate debate can easily become frustrated childish anger. It's always surprising, however, when you realize that you're the one being childish (meaning, me, of course )

(edited for addendum - Koy)

[This message has been edited by Koyaanisqatsi (edited March 23, 2001).]
Old 03-23-2001, 12:14 PM   #62
Posts: n/a

Let us see what we agree on.

The practice of Judaism was legal. So was Christianity so long as Romans thought they were Jews. Once it became obvious to the Romans that they were not practicing Judaism, it was recognized that Christianity was illegal. Thereafter, many Roman officials began torturing and killing Christians.

You make a lot of statements about how Romans slaughtered Jews without providing any context whatsoever. Jews were not persecuted for their worship of God and refusal to worship the pagan dieties. Christians were.

Romans killed Jews because Jews were offering armed resistance to Roman rule in Palestine and Gallilee, not because of their religion. Those Jews, in the diaspora and even in Palestine and Gallilee who did not revolt, did not become zealots, did not resist Roman occupation were left alone (until the armed revolt which ended at Massada).
Old 03-23-2001, 01:14 PM   #63
Posts: n/a

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Let us see what we agree on.</font>

Almost nothing, I'm afraid.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The practice of Judaism was legal.</font>
I suppose so, yes, but this does not mean that they weren't persecuted for their beliefs. Being a black man in America was "legal," but that sure as shit didn't mean anything.

The short answer is, I don't really know this so it's hard to "agree" on it.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">So was Christianity so long as Romans thought they were Jews. Once it became obvious to the Romans that they were not practicing Judaism, it was recognized that Christianity was illegal.</font>

I don't agree with this either as it also falls under the auspices of my hypothesis (revising history in order to make Christianity stand out as seemingly more important than Judaism).

Not to mention the fact that the early Christians were always Jews, they simply believed their Elijah/Emmanuel had come.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Thereafter, many Roman officials began torturing and killing Christians.</font>

Christian cult apologetics/propaganda. Falls more in line with my hypothesis than anything else.

You're making it seem (note the word) that Romans and Jews got along just fine, but once a splinter group of Jews started talking about their Elijah come to Earth, suddenly the Romans saw them as a threat and went after them because they weren't "protected" under the Jewish detente? Ridiculous.

I can't agree to that at all. It's prima facie ridiculous that an Empire like Rome would care at all about a cowardly splinter group of Jews who went around preaching that Jesus was God. It wouldn't make any difference to their rule and doesn't threaten them in any way.

So if there were actual persecution and killings of Christians (instead of deliberately concocted lies to present Christians as martyrs in retro-history), then what would possibly have been the Roman motive?

A small group of religious whack jobs think they met the living Messiah? Even if this group were disruptive and threatening local insurrection (which, by all counts posted here they most decidedly were not), no Roman (not even Pilate fearing a "bad review" from the Sanhedrin) would give one tiny shit about them.

It just doesn't make any sense. Please refer to my American Indian analogy for clarification.

Another thing, people are people no matter where they lived or what time period they lived in and this ridiculous notion of ancient people being easily manipulated children believing in fairy tales and leprechauns and all that modern urban bullshit needs to be stopped for the purposes of this hypothesis.

Saying things like, "Well, people back then thought..." has nothing to do with this hypothesis, which is "Who were telling the people back then what they thought..?"

You're claiming that Rome was somehow more "alarmed" or "disturbed" or whatever, by Jews claiming they met Elijah as opposed to those who were claiming they were just waiting for Elijah. How would this possibly threaten the Roman Empire in any way, resulting in the need to openly persecute and kill "Christians?"

You say on the one hand that they successfully hid their beliefs so much so as to actually revise their gospel accounts of the first time God came to Earth in flesh in order to die for our sins and then say on the other hand that their beliefs were so threatening to the Roman Empire that they had to torture and murder them, as if a handful of zealots in a remote dessert had any kind of sway whatsoever over Roman policy during a time when you claim Roman policy was: slaughter the Jews because of armed resistance, not because of religious beliefs.

So one group of Jews is killed for armed insurrection while another group of Jews is killed for believing Elijah had physically touched them?

That's just a remarkably naive analysis and can only be explained through revisionist history.

Let's not forget that the synoptics weren't written until around 70, 80 and 90, which coincides exactly with the Jewish-Roman war, the perfect time for a Roman "black op" like the one I've hypothesized here. In fact, it's textbook.

You've got an unstable region filled with Jews (everyone's traditional pariah and to the Romans historically so) who are offering "armed resistance" (in other words, defending their freedom) as they have always done throughout their remarkable saga and you've got a splinter group of cult members circulating the Jesus myths based on Sayings Gospel Q, which we know has no elements of divinity or trinity in it (that was fun to type ) and is found to be the source for most of the sayings but none of the myth in Matthew and Luke (who are, in turn, based on Mark, so let's dispense with this crap about different, autonomous authors all "coming up with" the same story independently of one another).

How much of a stretch is it to hypothesize that the "anonymous" authors of Mark, Matthew, and Luke are actually Roman "intelligence" operatives (and I'd put money on Paul, as well)? It sure as shit fits the profile!

Mark, Luke and Matthew, particularly, clearly took the Sayings Gospel Q and suddenly (as if from the air) turned a collection of wise sayings (akin to a Middle Eastern Poor Richard's Almanac) and created from Pagan lore the Resurrected Messiah myth that has dramatically (and I argue deliberately) scuttled the Jewish theological "resolve," for lack of a better term.

As you've taken pains to point out, Jews were exempt from Roman law. Why? Out of respect?

The Romans had several bloody wars with the Jews throughout the entire period the books of the New Testament were being created. Why?

The New Testament is the definition of anti-Semitic propaganda, either directly or indirectly. Why? Isn't it supposed to be the fulfillment to the Old Testament?

So far, nothing posted here has answered these (and other) questions adequately enough not to assume the hypothesis and attempt to find evidence in support of it.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You make a lot of statements about how Romans slaughtered Jews without providing any context whatsoever. Jews were not persecuted for their worship of God and refusal to worship the pagan deities. Christians were.</font>

Sorry, this too falls under the hypothesis. Jews have always been persecuted for their beliefs and continue to be to this day! It was the Jews Romans persecuted, tortured and murdered and while it may be true that there was an initial period of laissez-faire during the Roman occupation of the Middle East, the wars (uprisings, revolutions, whatever), which began around the same time as the synoptics were being written certainly weren't because the Jews just didn't like the way the Romans dressed!

Don't you find it at all obvious and at the very least too conveniently coincidental that the history of one people, the Jews (persecution, torture, murder) somehow gets magically transformed to the history of another people, the Christians, who just happen to be the victors in that region and who base all of their theology on Pagan history, rewriting and co-opting Jewish history in the process?

Yes, no?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Romans killed Jews because Jews were offering armed resistance to Roman rule in Palestine and Galilee, not because of their religion.</font>

Well, again, I don't know so I can't agree (and I don't think it is possible to know, but then that's the point of this room so far--speculation), but even if this is granted, then there would also be no conflict with the Jews who believed in Jesus, then would there? They weren't "Christians" in the eyes of the Romans, they were Jews who believed their Messiah had come and wouldn't have even shown up on Roman radar so what would apply to one group of Jews would apply to another (once again I reference my Native American Indian analogy for clarification).

As you and others have stated repeatedly, these Jews for Jesus were supposedly hiding their beliefs from the Romans. It makes absolutely no sense that suddenly the Romans would hear the word "Christian" and say, "By Mercury's Wings! Now these Jews have gone too far. Don't kill the others, but let's start killing these Jews or our Empire will crumble!"

That is grade school level propaganda. If you don't believe me, pick up a grade school American or Russian history book and you'll see the exact same kind of simplistic nonsense.

Revisionist history, when deconstructed, can always be detected and the more we delve into this "ridiculous" hypothesis of mine, the more it all makes sense from a realistic, mature point of view. Someone had to deliberately create the myth for a specific purpose. Once you grant that, then the only question is who?

It certainly wasn't the Jews!

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Those Jews, in the Diaspora and even in Palestine and Galilee who did not revolt, did not become zealots, did not resist Roman occupation were left alone (until the armed revolt which ended at Massada). </font>
All I can say is I feel your position is too easily dismissed given my hypothesis and the central fact that the Jews have been thousands of times (millions of times) more persecuted (and murdered) than what are traditionally refer to as the Christian martyrs, so there is a bizarre dichotomy still unanswered here.

If the New Testament is supposed to be the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old, then it fails miserably on so many levels as to be laughable.

The only answer that makes sense--especially when you remind yourself of when the synoptics were supposedly written--is my hypothesis.

The New Testament and the subsequent Jesus myth was a deliberate (and successful) usurpation of the Jewish theological "resolve." That's extant.

Once that power was utilized (the power of myth to control and subjugate) and wielded by whichever Roman it was that started the whole thing (as evidenced by Constantine's revealed actions later) was the moment not unlike any other moment in Western Man's illustrious power hungry status quo; a coup d'etat without bloodshed.

Just look at the "Judas' Kiss" and the "Doubting Thomas" and the befriending of the Tax Collectors fables for chrissakes! These are textbook examples of propaganda designed to indoctrinate not educate (as they make no logical sense given Jesus' supposed revealed divinity).

After all, the history of the Christian church has been to follow exactly this process; wherever it went it supplanted (deliberately and as part of its dogma) the indigenous religions along the way. That has always been the Christian cult's modus operandi (they just call it "witnessing"), so why is it that difficult to trace it back to the origin?

Only a politically devious people (i.e., the Romans), who were centuries old experts at political machinations and civilian control subjugation as much as they were at overt, military juggernauts, could concoct such a brilliantly divergent theology, based on fear and acquiescence to authority, which promises heavenly rewards only after you've submitted to a slave mentality and hide the whole damn thing within cognitively dissonant "Eternal Love."

It's purely Pagan/Roman (and heavily Hellenistic, which accounts for the Greek aspects) if only, admittedly, prima facie Pagan/Roman and its one hundred and eighty degrees opposite from the theology which it purports to fulfill!

Why is it I can see this so clearly and no one else can?

Probably because I'm not burdening myself with proof, yet

Still, it's food for thought and I feel legitimate enough to continue the discussion. Unfortunately, so far few others agree with me

(edited for formatting and addendum - Koy)

[This message has been edited by Koyaanisqatsi (edited March 29, 2001).]

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:38 PM.


This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.