Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
maryhelena
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by maryhelena » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:12 am

ghost wrote:
maryhelena wrote:On one thing you are correct - there is no basis for any discussion on the gospel Jesus story once one does not put Hasmonean/Jewish history on the table. Imaginative interpretations of the NT story, interpretations that fail to consider the reality of Hasmonean/Jewish history are futile. All such discussions accomplish is the same any door-step preacher accomplishes any Sunday morning. My interpretation is better than your interpretation. Oh, well, lets see how far Carrier gets with his celestial god, pseudo-human Jesus, celestial god circular mythicist theory.
Because you are relying on Josephus as the provider of the historical background, and he happens to be Hasmonean. If you see it through Hasmonean glasses then it's no wonder it's Hasmonean to you. But that doesn't make it objectively Hasmonean.
The gospel Jesus story is about a Jewish Jesus. Thus..............Hasmonean/Jewish history is relevant to that story. Hasmonean history because it was the last Hasmonean King and High Priest that was executed by the Romans.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by Bernard Muller » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:53 am

Carrier claims several figures :
Osiris
Zeus
Uranus
Hercules
Romulus
But where is the evidence these figures started to be known at exclusively celestial deities?
My initial post: "Can anyone tell me who would be these celestial deities later placed on earth, in history, as divine men, with earthly families, companions, and enemies, etc ...?

Osiris: His parents are gods. Likely the trigger for his story was the remembrance that farming was started in Egypt by some emigrant from the southern Levant (such as Jericho). It is well established that farming began in southern Turkey and from there expanded towards Sumeria and the Levant, then to Egypt. And I see no evidence Osiris was first believed to be a celestial god with all sort of stories attached to him before being described as mostly human & living on earth.

Zeus: a celestial deity from the start who, in a docetist body of his choice, made quick visits to earth, most of the time to have sex with earthly women. Not an adequate example for Carrier original celestial deity turning into human placed on earth.

Uranus: Never described as being human with earthly family.

Hercules: Belongs to humanity from day one, his birth from an earthly woman on earth. Hercules might very well have originated by a strong, well-born, man in early Mycenaean times, with later additions of plenty of accreted legends, including resurrection. Certainly, that would make more sense than a celestial origin, which is rather denied.

Romulus: Romulus is described born from human parents and in a city known to have existed.
I do not see the possibility that Romulus was first believed to be a celestial god.
Furthermore, a story of some princes leading a group of compatriots from an overpopulated city to some unoccupied site offering some advantages (hills for defense, Tiber for water supply) makes a lot of sense, even if most things about Romulus & Remus are obviously legendary.

In short, none of these Carrier' examples are valid in my view, even if Carrier put a lot of weight on them (bolding mine) (page 53 of "On The Historicity Of Jesus"):

"1. At the origin of Christianity, Jesus Christ was thought to be a celestial deity much like any other.

3. Like some other celestial deities, this Jesus as originally believed to have endured an ordeal of incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection in a supernatural realm."

4. As for many other celestial deities, an allegorical story of this same Jesus was then composed and told within the sacred community, which placed him on earth, in history, as a divine man, with an earthly family, companions, and enemies, complete with deeds and sayings, and an earthly depiction of his ordeals."

Cordially, Bernard
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by andrewcriddle » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:23 am

Richard Carrier’s understanding of the Ascension of Isaiah requires the short version of chapter 11 found in the Latin and Slavonic to be original. This is doubtful. The Latin version known to the Cathars is clearly related to the Slavonic/Latin text form but appears to have had the long version of chapter 11 (with details about Christ’s life on earth.)

(Already posted on a blog)

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Carrier on Jesus ben Ananias as model for Jesus Christ

Post by Kapyong » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:54 pm

Gday maryhelena,
maryhelena wrote:If historical figures are relevant to the creation of the gospel Jesus - then, 1) identify them, 2) ask questions of 'why' these figures were of interest to the gospel writers. If it's early christian origins that we are seeking, then such questions have to be asked. As it stands, the Carrier/Doherty mythicist theory is of no use in that search.
Carrier identifies a certain Jesus ben Ananias as one model for G.Mark's Jesus :

Carrier, OHJ, pp428-430, on Jesus ben Ananias as model for Jesus Christ

"Indeed, even how Mark decides to construct the sequence of the Passo­ver narrative appears to be based on the tale of another Jesus: Jesus ben Ananias, the 'Jesus of Jerusalem', an insane prophet active in the 60s ce who is then killed in the siege of Jerusalem (roughly in the year 70).84 His story is told by Josephus in the Jewish War, and unless Josephus invented him, his narrative must have been famous, famous enough for Josephus to know of it, and thus famous enough for Mark to know of it, too, and make use of it to model the tale of his own Jesus. Or if Josephus invented the tale, then Mark evidently used Josephus as a source.85 Because the parallels are too numerous to be at all probable as a coincidence.86 Some Mark does derive from elsewhere (or matches from elsewhere to a double purpose), but the overall scheme of the story in Josephus matches Mark too closely to believe that Mark just came up with the exact same scheme indepen­dently. And since it's not believable that Josephus invented a new story using Mark, we must conclude Mark invented his story using Josephus—or the same tale known to Josephus.

"It would appear this story inspired the general outline of Mark's entire Passover Narrative. There are at least twenty significant parallels (and one reversal):
  1. "Both are named Jesus.
  2. Both come to Jerusalem during a major religious festival.
  3. Both entered the temple area to rant against the temple.
  4. During which both quote the same chapter of Jeremiah.
  5. Both then preach daily in the temple.
  6. Both declared "woe' unto Judea or the Jews.
  7. Both predict the temple will be destroyed.
  8. Both are for this reason arrested by the Jews.
  9. Both are accused of speaking against the temple.
  10. Neither makes any defense of himself against the charges
  11. Both are beaten by the Jews.
  12. Then both are taken to the Roman governor.
  13. Both are interrogated by the Roman governor.
  14. During which both are asked to identity themselves.
  15. And yet again neither says anything in his defense.
  16. Both are then beaten by the Romans.
  17. In both cases the Roman governor decides he should release him.
  18. ... but doesn't (Mark):... but does (JW).
  19. Both are finally killed by the Romans (in Mark, by execution: in the JW. by artillery).
  20. Both utter a lament for themselves immediately before they die.
"Given that Mark is essentially a Christian response to the Jewish War and the destruction of the Jewish temple, it is more than a little significant that he chose this Jesus to model his own Jesus after. This also tells us, yet again, how much Mark is making everything up. (It also confirms that Mark wrote after the Jewish War.)


"84. According to Josephus his arrest and trial take place between 62 and 64 ce, as that was the term of office of Lucceius Albinus. the prefect overseeing his trial.

85. The Jewish War of Josephus was written between 74 and 79 ce, as it was written after Masada was destroyed in 74, and was dedicated to Vespasian, who died in 79.

86. Theodore Weeden. Two Jesuses. Jesus of Jerusalem and Jesus of Nazareth: Provocative Parallels and Imaginative Imitation". Forum N.S. 6.2 (Fall 2003), pp. 137-341: Craig Evans, 'Jesus in Non-Christian Sources', in Studying the Historical Jesus led. Chilton and Evans), pp. 443-78 (475-77). "
Last edited by Kapyong on Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by Kapyong » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:58 pm

Gday maryhelena
maryhelena wrote: The Carrier/Doherty mythicist theory is circular in that - it starts with a celestial god and then becomes a pseudo-human figure and then becomes a celestial god again..ie this theory runs in a circle - it's on a loop. It can continue spinning forever but it can't answer historical questions related to the gospel Jesus story. It's a nonsense answer to the Jesus historicists.
Neil is right - this is not circular reasoning at all - it's merely a process where a god-man leaves heaven, travels to the lower worlds, and returns to heaven (like the oft-mentioned Ascension of Isaiah.)

Different things entirely.

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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by Kapyong » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:02 pm

Gday pakeha,
pakeha wrote:Kapyong, thanks so much for posting up those excepts from Carrier's latest book.
I can't comment on them, except to acknowledge I have a lot of reading to do this summer.
Thanks :)
I figure some people may not have the book, but would like to discuss Carrier's work...

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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by neilgodfrey » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:04 pm

Because the parallels are too numerous to be at all probable as a coincidence.
The principle of "numerous and specific" alone cannot be assumed to give us a direct causal or borrowing relationship. Remember all the many coincidences that are pointed out for the assassinations of Kennedy and Lincoln, and all the very many coincidences that came together to prove that the Beatle Paul was dead. That's how randomness works. Sometimes there are large clusters of real coincidences in one spot and sometimes there are all too few where we have a right to expect more.
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maryhelena
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Re: Carrier's Euhemerized celestial deities

Post by maryhelena » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:50 pm

Kapyong wrote:Gday maryhelena,
maryhelena wrote:If historical figures are relevant to the creation of the gospel Jesus - then, 1) identify them, 2) ask questions of 'why' these figures were of interest to the gospel writers. If it's early christian origins that we are seeking, then such questions have to be asked. As it stands, the Carrier/Doherty mythicist theory is of no use in that search.
Carrier identifies a certain Jesus ben Ananias as one model for G.Mark's Jesus :

Carrier, OHJ, pp428-430, on Jesus ben Ananias

"Indeed, even how Mark decides to construct the sequence of the Passo­ver narrative appears to be based on the tale of another Jesus: Jesus ben Ananias, the 'Jesus of Jerusalem', an insane prophet active in the 60s ce who is then killed in the siege of Jerusalem (roughly in the year 70).84 His story is told by Josephus in the Jewish War, and unless Josephus invented him, his narrative must have been famous, famous enough for Josephus to know of it, and thus famous enough for Mark to know of it, too, and make use of it to model the tale of his own Jesus. Or if Josephus invented the tale, then Mark evidently used Josephus as a source.85 Because the parallels are too numerous to be at all probable as a coincidence.86 Some Mark does derive from elsewhere (or matches from elsewhere to a double purpose), but the overall scheme of the story in Josephus matches Mark too closely to believe that Mark just came up with the exact same scheme indepen­dently. And since it's not believable that Josephus invented a new story using Mark, we must conclude Mark invented his story using Josephus—or the same tale known to Josephus.

"It would appear this story inspired the general outline of Mark's entire Passover Narrative. There are at least twenty significant parallels (and one reversal):
  1. "Both are named Jesus.
  2. Both come to Jerusalem during a major religious festival.
  3. Both entered the temple area to rant against the temple.
  4. During which both quote the same chapter of Jeremiah.
  5. Both then preach daily in the temple.
  6. Both declared "woe' unto Judea or the Jews.
  7. Both predict the temple will be destroyed.
  8. Both are for this reason arrested by the Jews.
  9. Both are accused of speaking against the temple.
  10. Neither makes any defense of himself against the charges
  11. Both are beaten by the Jews.
  12. Then both are taken to the Roman governor.
  13. Both are interrogated by the Roman governor.
  14. During which both are asked to identity themselves.
  15. And yet again neither says anything in his defense.
  16. Both are then beaten by the Romans.
  17. In both cases the Roman governor decides he should release him.
  18. ... but doesn't (Mark):... but does (JW).
  19. Both are finally killed by the Romans (in Mark, by execution: in the JW. by artillery).
  20. Both utter a lament for themselves immediately before they die.
"Given that Mark is essentially a Christian response to the Jewish War and the destruction of the Jewish temple, it is more than a little significant that he chose this Jesus to model his own Jesus after. This also tells us, yet again, how much Mark is making everything up. (It also confirms that Mark wrote after the Jewish War.)


"84. According to Josephus his arrest and trial take place between 62 and 64 ce, as that was the term of office of Lucceius Albinus. the prefect overseeing his trial.

85. The Jewish War of Josephus was written between 74 and 79 ce, as it was written after Masada was destroyed in 74, and was dedicated to Vespasian, who died in 79.

86. Theodore Weeden. Two Jesuses. Jesus of Jerusalem and Jesus of Nazareth: Provocative Parallels and Imaginative Imitation". Forum N.S. 6.2 (Fall 2003), pp. 137-341: Craig Evans, 'Jesus in Non-Christian Sources', in Studying the Historical Jesus led. Chilton and Evans), pp. 443-78 (475-77). "
Hi, Kapyong

There is no historical evidence for the Josephan figure of Jesus ben Ananias. If one is prepared to grant artistic licence to the gospel writers - then, likewise, lets not deny this same ability to the Josephan writer. Carrier, interestingly, seems willing to consider that Josephus invented this figure.

As to gMark using this Josephan story for his Passion story - he had no need to do so. Hasmonean history was right in front of him. Antigonus, the last Hasmonean King and High Priest, was executed by Roman in 37 b.c.e. - hung on a cross, scourged and later beheaded - no parallel with the Josephan figure. 100 years after this historical event, the Josephan writer has a story about Jesus ben Ananias, in 63 c.e. (7 years prior to 70 c.e.) 7 years after the execution of Antigonus, Herod had Hycranus II executed in 30 b.c.e. No need, for the Markan writer, to wait until 70 c.e. to develop his Jesus story. The Josephan story - well now, that could be interesting if that writer had a look at gMark's story.....and borrowed a few ideas.....

If we seek to look for historical models for the gospel Jesus figure - then historicity is the name of the game. No point in proposing figures, from wherever, that can't be historically verified.

My copy of Carrier's book has yet to arrive - so thanks for this quote. My, but your doing a lot of typing..... :)
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by ghost » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:10 pm

Regarding Jesus ben Ananias, how do you know Flavius Josephus and Mark are not the same?

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Carrier on 1st C. CE Messianism (and four 'Jesus Christ's)

Post by Kapyong » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:16 pm

Gday all,

In Element 4 of his background to Christianity Carrier discusses Messianism in the 1st C. CE, and includes 4 examples of Messiah wannabes who are 'Jesus Christ's :

Carrier on 1st C. CE Messianism (and four 'Jesus Christ's)


"Element 4: (a) Palestine in the early first century CE was experiencing a rash of messianism. There was an evident clamoring of sects and individu­als to announce they had found the messiah. (b) It is therefore no oddity or accident that this is exactly when Christianity arose. It was yet another messiah cult in the midst of a fad for just such cults, (c) That it among them would alone survive and spread can therefore be the product of natural selection: so many variations of the same theme were being tried, odds are one of them would by chance be successful, hitting all the right notes and dodging all the right bullets. The lucky winner in that contest just happened to be Christianity.16

"This element is often denied, or its basis not well understood, so I will pause to establish it before moving on. 'Messiah'. 'Son of Man', 'the Righ­teous One', and 'the Elect [or Chosen] One' were all popular titles for the expected messiah used by several groups in early-first-century Judaism, as attested, for instance, in the Book of the Parables of Enoch, a Jewish text composed before 70 ce.17 The Dead Sea Scrolls attest to one or several such cults around that same time. Indeed, messianic apocalypticism was intense at Qumran, where the keepers of the scrolls were already expect­ing the imminent end of the world, and attempting different calculations from the timetable provided in the book of Daniel (see Element 7) to pre­dict when the first messiah would come—and many of their calculations came up 'soon'. The early first century ce was in their prediction window.18 And many of their texts were used by other cults of the time. A copy of the so-called Damascus Document, for instance, turns up a thousand years later in a stash of Jewish texts at Cairo Geniza.19

"Even the early-first-century Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria wrote an apocalyptic text sharing and adapting the messianic expectations of his generation.20 The Gospels likewise assume (or, depending on how much you trust them, report) that 'messiah fever' was so rampant in Judea then that countless people were expecting Elijah to be walking among them, some even believed that Jesus, or John the Baptist, was that very man, risen from the dead, which many Jews believed presaged the imminent coming of a messiah and the ensuing end of the present world order (which many believed had become corrupted beyond human repair), because this had been predicted in Mai. 4.5-6, the very last passage of the traditional OT.21

"The only surviving historian of early-first-century Palestine confirms this picture. Josephus records the rise and popularity of several false messiahs in the same general period as Christianity was getting started. He does not explicitly call them messiahs—he probably wanted to avoid remind­ing his Gentile audience that this was the product of Jewish ideology, and instead claimed it was the product of fringe criminals and ruffians (he like­wise catalogues various other rebel bandits and demagogues as well). But the descriptions he provides belie the truth of the matter. As David Rhoads put it, 'Josephus tends to avoid messianism when he relates the history of the first century*; in fact he deliberately 'suppressed the religious motiva­tions of the revolutionaries by ascribing [to them] evil and dishonorable intentions' instead. But their messianic basis remains unmistakable. Schol­arly analysis confirms this.22 Josephus recounts at least four messianic fig­ures of the early first century, and documents how enormously popular they were, compelling the Romans to mass military action to suppress them.23

" 'The Samaritan' gathered followers and said he would reveal the lost relics of the true Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim—an act with obvi­ous messianic meaning (the Samaritans believing themselves to be the true Jews; this is alluded to even in Jn 4.20-26, which attests the Samaritans also expected an imminent messiah). The original Jewish congregation led by Joshua had stood at God's command 'upon Mount Gerizim to bless the people' after crossing the Jordan (Deut. 27.12), which is to say, when Joshua (the original Jesus—the names are identical: see Chapter 6, §3) crossed the Jordan on the day the nation of Israel was conceptually begun. Thus, the original Joshua inaugurated the nation of Israel by crossing the Jordan and congregating at Gerizim; and since the last messiah (the new Joshua) was to reconstitute Israel, he, too, could expect to begin the task by a blessing on Mount Gerizim.

" 'Theudas' gathered followers and said he would part the Jordan— another act with obvious messianic meaning: Joshua (the original Jesus) had also miraculously parted the Jordan upon beginning his conquest of Israel (Joshua 3), so this was another obvious symbolic starting point for the re-conquest of Israel. Similarly, the Christian Jesus (again, 'Joshua') is depicted as beginning his messianic career by symbolically parting (or passing through) the Jordan, in the form of his baptism.

" 'The Egyptian' (possibly a Jewish cult leader from Alexandria) also gathered followers and preached from the Mount of Olives (just as Jesus Christ does in the Gospels), claiming he would topple the walls of Jerusa­lem—an obvious allusion to the miraculous felling of the walls of Jericho, another deed of the first Jesus (the biblical Joshua), in fact in the first battle that followed his crossing of the Jordan, making this another symbol of beginning the conquest of Israel. Preaching from the Mount of Olives could also imply messianic pretensions—as it was commonly believed a messiah would stand there in the last days (Zech. 14.1-9). Thus, the Egyptian was preaching another metaphor for the re-conquest of Israel, again the very task only the Christ was expected to accomplish. Indeed, as Craig Evans argues, even the very name 'Egyptian' evokes the out-of-Egypt path of the original Joshua (hence 'Jesus').

"Another (unnamed) 'impostor' mentioned by Josephus ('impostor' being obvious code for 'false messiah'—who else would he be pretending to be?) gathered followers and promised them salvation if they followed him into the wilderness—an obvious reference to Moses, and, as Craig Evans shows, this 'impostor' created symbolic allusions to the temptation narrative in Exodus, promising rest in the wilderness and deliverance from evil. So just as those who tempted God in the wilderness lost their God-promised rest, those who ritually reversed this behavior could expect to see the restoration of God's promise.24 The messianic intentions are evident here.

"This means all four of these messiahs, as reported by Josephus, were equating themselves with Jesus (Joshua) and making veiled claims to be the Christ (messiah). In other words, here we have in Josephus four Jesus Christs. Ours simply makes five. The Gospel character of Jesus thus fits right into the trend documented by Josephus.25

"Even 'John the Baptist' (at least as depicted in the Gospels) was a mes­sianic figure (e.g. Jn 1.20; Lk. 3.15), or otherwise telling everyone the mes­siah would arrive in his lifetime (Mt. 3.1-12; Mk 1.1-8; Lk. 3.1-20; Jn 1.15-28). And he was enormously popular (the Gospels and Acts claim so, and Josephus confirms it), thus further exemplifying the trend of the time. This messianic Baptist cult may even have influenced or spawned Christianity itself (see Element 33). The cult of Simon Magus might likewise have been promoting its own messiah. Acts certainly depicts Simon Magus as a mes­sianic pretender (Acts 8.9-11), again with enormous popularity, just like the others in Josephus. The historicity of this Simon has been questioned, but the historicity of his worship as a divine being has not.26 If the biblical account of him reflects the truth (of the historical man or the celestial demi­god he once was) he would be another example confirming the same trend.

" Even skeptical scholars agree there were many pretenders who:
[D]o not simply announce the will of God but (a) lead actions of deliv­erance (b) involving "revolutionary changes' (c) in accord with God's "design' and (d) corresponding to one of the great historical formative acts of deliverance led by Moses or Joshua.27
"There were other messianic pretenders after the first Jewish War as well. But already across the whole generation before that war numerous self-proclaimed "messiahs" were gathering followers and making claims of miraculous powers and the coming end of the world-order at this very time, and we have no reason to assume Josephus has given us accounts of them all, only the most famous or a representative sample. Notably, again, all whom he recorded accounts of were pretending to be a new Jesus ('Joshua'). Jesus would thus be symbolically recognized as a messianic name (see Chapter 6, §3; and Element 6). And all of them reenact Exodus-like events. Even John the Baptist is exploiting Exodus symbolism by baptizing in the Jordan: the waterway crossed from death to life (from the slavery of Egypt to the paradise of the Holy Land—by way of 'the wilderness' in between), using in his own case a baptismal re-birthing ceremony. In everyone's view the messiah was to free the Jews from slavery. The Exodus narrative was an obvious and popular model for that. Hence the fact that the Exodus is often a key motif in the NT suggests similar thinking.

"It is reasonable to infer that once the literal, militaristic versions of this idea had been seen to fail (or indeed to be impossible, given the unstoppa­ble might of the legions), it would not be unthinkable to adapt the same idea to being freed from the slavery not of the Romans or the corrupt Jewish elite, but the slavery of invisible demons (and death itself) instead. Anyone who took that step would essentially end up with a movement like Chris­tianity (see Elements 23-28). For the 'gospel' of Jesus was already seen as the symbolic Exodus ritual and narrative for every Christian's escape from exactly that kind of spiritual slavery (e.g. Romans 7-8; 1 Corinthians 10). The only question is whether this Jesus was a real messianic pretender just like all these others, part of an established widespread trend (into which he would fit very well), who also failed just as they did, being killed by the authorities just as they were, but whose surviving followers merely came up with a successful way to repackage and sell his ideas, turning him into a spiritually victorious messiah, after his superficially material defeat—or whether Jesus was a spiritually conceived messiah right from the begin­ning.28

"Regardless, all the evidence is clear enough on the general fact of the matter: the first century had exploded with messianic fervor, to the point that it's not at all surprising one of these countless new messianic cults would become more successful than the rest (the others being wiped out or not adopting the right mix of popular attributes), even standing a fair chance of becoming a world religion (as any successful cult has a shot at doing). And Christianity is exactly such a messianic cult (as later elements establish), arising exactly when such cults were popular, and in the very same place.

Notes :

" 16. On this being the case see Richard Carrier. "Christianity's Success Was Not Incredible", in The End of Christianity (ed. John Loftus: Amherst. NY: Prometheus Books. 2011), pp. 53-74. 372-75. along with Carrier, Not the Impossible Faith.

17. See M. Black. "The Messianism of the Parables of Enoch: Their Date and Contribution to Christological Origins', in The Messiah (ed. Charlesworth), pp. 145-68; J.C. VanderKam. "Righteous One. Messiah. Chosen One. and Son of Man in 1 Enoch 37—71', in The Messiah (ed. Charlesworth), pp. 169-91; and in Neusner et al., Judaisms and their Messiahs. In the NT Jesus is of course 'the Messiah' (Christ), but is also called 'the Chosen One' (Mt. 12.18; Lk. 9.35: 23.35). 'the Righteous One' (Lk. 23.47; Acts 3.14; 7.52: 22.14: 1 Jn 2.1; Rev. 16.5) and 'The Son of Man" (countless instances, e.g., Mt. 12.30; Mk 14.41; Lk. 22.48: Acts 7.56: Jn 1.51; etc.), among a great many other epithets, both familiar and strange.

18. See John Collins, 'The Expectation of the End in the Dead Sea Scrolls', in Eschatology (ed. Evans and Flint), pp. 74-90 (esp. 76-79. 83).

19. See Lawrence Schiffman and James VanderKam (eds.). Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2000). 1, pp. 166-70.

20. Philo. On Rewards and Punishments 79-172 (esp. § 95).

21. See Mk 9.9-13: 8.27-28: 6.14-16; Mt. 17.10-13: 16.13-14: Lk. 9.18-19; 9.7-9.

22.See D. Mendels. 'Pseudo-Philo"s Biblical Antiquities, the 'Fourth Philosophy', and the Political Messianism of the First Century ce'. in The Messiah (ed. Charlesworth), pp. 261-75 (quote from Rhoads: p. 261 n. 4); which is thoroughly supported by Craig Evans, 'Josephus on John the Baptist and Other Jewish Prophets of Deliverance', in The Historical Jesus in Context (ed. Amy-Jill Levine, Dale Allison, Jr and John Dominic Crossan; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 2006), pp. 55-63, which contains all the relevant references in Josephus.

23. Which may have been a key to Christianity's success: by avoiding mass territorial action (and focusing instead on spiritual combat), they avoided armed conflict and thus survived, by gaining more converts over a wider area than were lost to sporadic persecutions. See Carrier, Not the Impossible Faith, pp. 219-45, with pp. 147-60. 259-96. This may even have been a lesson learned from observing the fate of other movements. But natural selection alone would determine it: agitative cults would be wiped out. leaving more pacifist cults to dominate the market (then it became simply a competition among products for sale). A non-existent messiah (whose lordship and victory were known only spiritually and thus never a worldly militaristic threat) would thus have an enormous competitive advantage at these earliest stages (see Elements 23-28).

24. Evans, 'Josephus on John the Baptist', whose analysis is corroborated by Rebecca Gray, Prophetic Figures in Late Second Temple Jewish Palestine: The Evidence from Josephus (New York: Oxford University Press. 1993). See Exod, 17.1-7; Num. 20.1-13; and Ps. 95.7b-ll. a passage that Evans notes is cited and commented on in the NT as Well (in Heb. 3.7-4.13). The temptation narrative in the Gospels bears the same connection (see Chapter 10, §4).

25. We should at least consider the possibility that all these stories are fiction (the fact that all emulate Joshua but each, conveniently, in a different way could suggest literary or parabolic fabrication), but if so. this story-cluster can have only two origins: the Jewish public (i.e.. oral lore picked up by Josephus) or Josephus himself (or some other Jewish author he is using as a source, most likely in this case Justus of Tiberias, or some lost Jewish apocryphon). In the one case we still have confirmation of the same messianic fad (in this case creating popular tales and rumors of messiahs). and in the other case we have an improbability (that a single Jewish author invented a messianic fever with remarkable coincidence precisely when the messianic cult of Christianity arose and messianic cults were composing the texts stashed at Qumran, yet this same author doesn't position Christianity among them or mention the cults of Qumran. and is even too coy to identify the fad he thus invented as messianic). The most probable fabrication hypothesis is that Josephus (or Justus of Tiberias?) took actual rebel movements and mapped onto them this 'new Joshua* motif himself, yet that would mean the idea of inventing miracle-working, popular-movement-style "Jesus Christs" readily occurred to him. The improbability of this coinciding (in time and concept) with an 'actual' Jesus Christ (which the author completely fails to connect with them by the same motifs) would then argue in favor of our Jesus Christ being as fabricated as these. But note also how most of them also die at the hands of the Romans. If they were historical, then these figures might have even been trying to get themselves killed, so as to fulfill the prophecy of Dan. 9.26 and thereby usher in the end of the world as promised in Daniel 12. God had promised that the Jews would rule the universe (Zech. 14), but their sins kept forestalling his promise (Jer. 29: Dan. 9), which would also create a motive for would-be messiahs to perform atonement acts, which could include substitutionary self-sacrifice (see Element 43). out of increasing desperation (Elements 23-26). Christianity almost becomes predictable in this context.

26. See Stephen Haar, Simon Magus: The First Gnostic? (New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2003), pp. 11-15; challenging this Simon's historicity is Gerd Ludemann, Untersuchungen zur simonianischen Gnosis (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 1975).

27. R.A. Horsley, '"Messianic" Figures and Movements in First-Century Palestine; in The Messiah (ed. Charlesworth), pp. 276-95 (282). Horsley still insists these are not messianic movements, but that assertion depends on an implausibly specific definition of 'messiah' (or an excessively irrational denial of obvious inferences): see my discussion of definitions (§3). Similarly in Sean Freyne, 'The Herodian Period', in Redemption and Resistance (ed. Bockmuehl and Paget), pp. 29-43: like Horsley. Freyne is only skeptical in respect to an over-restrictive definition of "messiah": whereas given my definition, his evidence completely confirms my conclusion. The same can be said of Martin Goodman, 'Messianism and Politics in the Land of Israel. 66-135 ce.'. in Redemption and Resistance (ed. Bockmuehl and Paget), pp. 149-57.

28. If Jesus did exist, his followers may have repackaged the dead Jesus into a spiritual one consciously or not—that is. by merely claiming to have been visited by his risen spirit or by their subconscious minds constructing that experience for them (see Element 15). "

[ed: Actually maryhelena, I have been scanning these, then manually adding the BB codes for italics etc. I understand up to 10% of a work can be presented this way for review, and I am still under 60 pages easily.]
Last edited by Kapyong on Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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