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The missing man-for brother mario

 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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02 April 2011 13:20
 

The conspiracy theory in the Jesus story is in the godman’s existence, not his non-existence.

‘There is nothing more negative than the result of the critical study of the life of Jesus. The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the kingdom of God, who founded the kingdom of heaven upon earth, and died to give his work it’s final consecration, never had any existence. This image has not been destroyed from without, it has fallen to pieces, cleft and disintegrated by the concrete historical problems which came to surface one after another’

Albert Schweitzer

From The Jesus Mysteries, by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy-chapter 7 ‘The Missing Man’

We began our quest for the historical Jesus with the Romans. Jesus is said to have been crucified by the Romans and they were renowned for keeping careful records of all their activities, especially their legal proceedings, so we felt we could be optimistic that they would mention such a celebrated case as that of Jesus. Unfortunately, however, there is no record of Jesus being tried by Pontius Pilate or executed.

This was an extremely literate period in human history. Here is a list of Pagan writers who wrote at or within a century of the time that Jesus is said to have lived:

Arrian
Petronius
Seneca
Dion Pruseus
Pliny the elder
Appian
Juvenal
Theon of Smyrna
Martial
Plutarch
Apollonius
Pausanias
Valerius Flaccus
Florus Lucius
Qintilian
Favorinus
Lucanus
Damis
Silius Italicus
Aulus Gellius
Statius
Columella
Ptolemy
Dio Chrysostom
Hermogeones
Lysias
Valerius Maximus

The works of these writers would be enough to fill a library, but not one of them refers to Jesus. The only Roman writers to mention anything of interest are Pliny, Suetonius, and Tacitus, who were writing at the beginning of the SECOND century. The following post will examine what these authors actually stated about Jesus.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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02 April 2011 13:32
 

Pliny, the governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor, wrote a very short passage to the emperor Trajan in 112 CE requesting clarification on how to deal with troublesome Christians. The Roman historian Suetonius, in a list of miscellaneous notes on legislative matters, relates that in 64 CE, ‘punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and wicked superstition’ But all sources really tell us is that a few Christians existed in the Roman world-which is not in doubt-and that they were not considered of any particular importance. They tell us nothing about Jesus himself.

Suetonius also relates that between 41 and 54 CE (remember he is writing in the second century about this), The Emperor Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome, ‘since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Crestus’ Although Crestus was a popular name, this is often taken as a corruption of ‘Christ’ Even if this were true, however, Christ is simply a Greek translation of ‘Messiah’ and there were at the time any number of would be Messiahs rousing the Jews to rebellion, so the supposition that any reference to ‘Christ’ necessarily refers to the Jesus Christ of the gospels is completely unfounded. Anyway, Jesus is not believed to have ever visited Rome. Again, all we are really being told is that Claudius had to deal with troublesome Jews, which was a regular occurrence in Roman history.

The Roman historian Tacitus does give us a little more. Examination of his writing in the next post.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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02 April 2011 13:57
 

Tacitus, writing about the great fire of Rome in 64 CE, states that nothing could eliminate the rumor that Emperor Nero had himself started the blaze, so Nero blamed the Christians-

‘Nero fabricated as scapegoats, and punished with every refinement, the notoriously depraved Christians (as they were popularly called) Their originator, Christ, had been executed in Tiberius’ reign by the procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. But in spite of this temporary set-back the deadly superstition had broken out a fresh, not only in Judea, but in all of Rome. All degraded and shameful practices collect and flourish in the capital’

The evidence of Tacitus is not contemporary however, but dates from about 50 years after the event. As governor of Asia c. 112 CE, he must have been familiar with Christian ‘troublemakers’, as his friend Pliny obviously was. The only thing that would make Tacitus’ writings an independent testimony to the existence of Jesus, and not merely the repetition of Christian beliefs, would be if he had gained his information about Christ being crucified under Pontius Pilate from the copious records that the Romans kept of their legal dealings. But this does not seem to be the case, for Tacitus calls Pilate the PROCURATOR of Judea when he was in fact a PREFECT, so Tacitus is clearly not returning to the records of the time but quoting hearsay information from his own day.

Despite their obsession with records and histories, that concludes our survey of relevant Roman texts. However it could be argued that other Roman literature, which may well have mentioned Jesus, has been lost over time. But surely any such texts would have been carefully preserved by the Roman Church once it held power in the Empire. Not only this, but it is safe to assume that well-educated early Christians, such as Justin Martyr, would have quoted these texts in support of Literalist Christianity, but they do not.

There are only two credible explanations for Jesus’ conspicuous absence from Roman texts. Either there simply was no historical Jesus or Jesus seemed of so little importance to the Romans that he was deemed not worthy of mention.

A messiah performing miracles in public with large followings of people not even worthy of mention and documentation to Roman historians and Pagan sages? Seems quite ridiculous doesn’t it?

Let us now consider Jewish historians in the next post.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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02 April 2011 14:47
 

Philo was an eminent Jewish author who lived at the same time that Jesus is supposed to have lived and wrote around 50 works that still survive. They deal with history, philosophy, and religion, and tell is much about Pontius Pilate-yet make no mention at all of the coming of the Messiah Jesus.

Philo’s contemporary, Justus of Tiberias, was a Jew who lived near Capernaum, where Jesus was often said to have stayed. He wrote a history that began with Moses and extended to his own times, but again gave no mention of Jesus.

There is still Josephus, however, a younger contemporary of the apostle Paul. He wrote two famous books, The Jewish Wars, and the monumental Antiquities of The Jews. These two works are our most important sources of information on the history of the Jewish people during the first century of the Christian era. Here at last, as one might expect, we seem to find the evidence we are looking for.

The brief passages about the life of Jesus that Josephus writes were seized on by Christian historians as conclusive proof that Jesus existed. Christian scholarship, however, has revealed them to be much later additions to Josephus’ text. They are not of the same writing style as Josephus and if they are removed from the text, Josephus’ original argument runs on in proper sequence. Writing at the beginning of the third century, Origin, whom modern authorities regard as one of the most conscientious scholars of the ancient church, tells us that there is no mention of Jesus in Josephus and that Josephus did not believe that Jesus was the Christ since he did not believe in any Jewish Messiah figure.

Thus we are looking at an ‘interpolated’ passage in the writings of Josephus concerning the historical Jesus figure.

Josephus does mention various would be Jewish Messiah figures-about whom he is entirely uncomplimentary. At the time he was writing, the long-held belief amongst Jews that their God would send them the Messiah to free his people from oppression had become an obsession. But Josephus had his own interpretation of what he calls this ‘ancient oracle’ he did not deny that it was a divine prophecy, but believed that his fellow Jews had misunderstood it completely. According to him, the prophesied ruler of the world had come in the person of the Roman Emperor Vespasian, who had happened to be proclaimed Emperor while in Judea! It is absolutely inconceivable that Josephus could have, quite suddenly, broken with his style of writing, all his philosophical beliefs and his characteristic political pragmatism to write reverentially about Jesus!

Early Christians, who, like us, searched for historical evidence of Jesus’ existence, would have seized on anything written by Josephus as conclusive proof. Yet early Christians do not mention Josephus. it is not until the beginning of the FOURTH century that Bishop Eusebius, the propagandist of the Roman Church, suddenly produced a version of Josephus which contained these passages. From that point onward, Josephus became the foundation for the historicity of Jesus.

Unable to provide any historical evidence for Jesus, later Christians forged the proof that they so badly needed to shore up their Literalist interpretation of the gospels. This, as we would see repeatedly, was common practice.

I will address the writings in the Talmud, concerning Jesus, if bro mar is interested.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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02 April 2011 15:53
 

Jon Romer makes the interesting point that there is no direct evidence of Alexander the Great’s existence aside from his apparent impact on the world.

Why would the Romans find the event remarkable at the time? Messiah eruptions were near continuous in conquered regions. Roman Law killed a guy and moved on. The resurrection scenes passed unknown to them. Why would there be a special record?

If it happened, it was mundane.

And why not? A local spiritual leader or his imitator tries to fake a death in a dangerous scheme that ultimately fails? Is that a stretch? It was a contemporary embarassment that rose again as a triumph after all the sorry witnesses had passed on.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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02 April 2011 16:05
 

There is a lot of precise information concerning the life of Alexander. And keep in mind this was 330 years or so before the Roman occupied Judea. As stressed in my posts, the Romans were obsessive records keepers.

The execution and resurrection of a popular traveling miracle worker, supposedly seen by thousands, would not have gone unnoticed or unrecorded.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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02 April 2011 16:14
 
eudemonia - 02 April 2011 02:05 PM

The execution and resurrection of a popular traveling miracle worker, supposedly seen by thousands, would not have gone unnoticed or unrecorded.

But that may be the bluff. Seen by dozens maybe, and lost in the blur of messiahs turning water into wine… or shampoo, or sun screen, or motor oil, or whatever.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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02 April 2011 16:40
 

I have seen analogies similar to yours about Alexander made NM, but a more appropriate figure would be Socrates, if one is compelled to look for a comparison to the Jesus story.

And again, Socrates, centuries before Jesus, had no Roman chronicilization going on.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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02 April 2011 16:46
 

Yeah, Socrates: but I don’t get to mention Romer that way.

I don’t believe in the divine version of the story but I don’t think it is much of a concession to theism that it may well have grown out of real events with real people full of crazy details that did and didn’t survive their time.

[ Edited: 02 April 2011 17:01 by Nhoj Morley]
 
 
eudemonia
 
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02 April 2011 16:51
 

And you could be right about that NM, but the problem is, all the evidence has appeared to be in and deciphered for hundreds of years now, and we just don’t know.

Historians, Philosophers, and even Theologians are very divided on the historical Jesus issue, and so are they on the importance of it even.

The way I look at it is if the creator of the universe sent his son here to explain it all to us and save us from everlasting damnation, he did a piss poor job.

Billions of humans just never got the message, and with many more to come.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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02 April 2011 17:00
 

That’s the point. If our eternal souls don’t hang in the balance, then “not sure” is okay. I don’t need to be sure about it. Maybe is enough. But not for someone who thinks they must decide over a more critical personage that controls their fate. Then, not sure doesn’t cut it.

 
 
Andrew
 
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02 April 2011 17:00
 
eudemonia - 02 April 2011 02:51 PM

The way I look at it is if the creator of the universe sent his son here to explain it all to us and save us from everlasting damnation, he did a piss poor job.

(Andrew):  Of course Ecurb Noselrub will tell you that we just don’t know that yet.  Things will be balanced on the Judgement Day and then we’ll all understand.

 
 
TheBrotherMario
 
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02 April 2011 17:22
 

Well if that’s the way YOU look at it, then it must be the truth of things. Please. Take a guess how many people this very day will receive a great deal from the life and death of Jesus. You do realize that atheism, and many religions, offer near to nothing for parents who lose children, people born blind or crippled, and on and on, don’t you? To label the life, death, and resurrection of a simple carpenter, and the subsequent change in the world, a “piss-poor” job shows to ME the opinionated and ignorant belief system that atheism truly is. You can hide behind the idea that atheism is a non-belief system all you want, but the posts above show to ME that much is believed with very little proof. And if you understand the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus with true knowledge and understanding, then you would understand that the inner life of humanity (The kingdom is within you.) was God’s intent all along, not political life (My kingdom is not of this world.). So to look at the accounts of political historians as proof that Jesus was a failure or simply didn’t do the things claimed is to look in the wrong place. Well, that’s the rub for the errors of the atheists, isn’t it?

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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02 April 2011 17:24
 

For me the point in all of this is this-modern contemporary Christians, like Brother Mario, do not study or try and understand the History of Christianity, his own chosen belief system. They go to church whenever and let the pastors, ministers and priests do the interpreting for them.

Most modern Christians know very little of first century Christianity, first century human history in the Mediterranean region, early Christian founders and leaders, let alone first century Roman history. Ask a common Christian who Justin Martyr was, or Origin or Eusebius or what they said and did, and they will not have a clue. Modern Christian’s like Bro Mar, still quote and think Josephus is verification of a historical Jesus, although for hundreds of years many scholars have pointed out that his writings are flawed. Many modern Christians, probably most, think that the disciple John wrote the Gospel according to John, and they do not know that the Gospel stories have unknown, unverifiable authorship. How many contemporary Christians know anything about the Gnostic gospels and the Pagan inner and outer mysteries that pre-dated and helped lead to Christianity?

The immense problem is, modern Christians read the bible a little, let their preacher read it to them a lot, but they do not read ABOUT the books in it, the Theology inspired from it, and who actually wrote what and when.

That is why Christianity survives today and is the worlds largest tautology.

However, we have about 1 billion non-believers, 1 billion Hindus, 800 million or so Buddhists etc., so obviously the Jesus story is not the ONLY important story.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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02 April 2011 17:33
 

‘Take a guess how many people this very day will receive a great deal from the life and death of Jesus.’

So we should disregard what is historically true and accurrate and just apply what works for us anecdotally huh?

The term cowardice comes to my mind, along with irresponsibility and intellectual dishonesty.

If we are to live by propaganda, where do you draw the line? Do you live by the sermon on the mount Mario? Of course you don’t, because it is impossible to. It is idealistic and adolescent to think otherwise. The creator of the universe over 40 billion light years across sent his son to us with standards so high, as not one human could possibly live up to them.

Simply what is the point in the game anyway? To dumb ourselves down to live by anecdotes and false hopes and wild speculations?

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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02 April 2011 17:35
 

Once the BM’s start dropping, the threads a goner.

 
 
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