Joe Atwill on why Josephus included the Testimonium and the story of Paulina and Decius Mundus

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Ken Olson
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Joe Atwill on why Josephus included the Testimonium and the story of Paulina and Decius Mundus

Post by Ken Olson »

Joe Atwill expounds his theory on why Josephus included the Testimonium Flavianum and the story of Paulina and Decius Mundus on Jacob Berman's History Valley YouTube channel. (The episode is an hour and twelve minutes long).

His theory is found in published form in chapter 11 of his book Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus (2011) 226-249, which has been mentioned a few times previously on this forum.


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Re: Joe Atwill on why Josephus included the Testimonium and the story of Paulina and Decius Mundus

Post by dbz »

Ken Olson wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 6:54 am Dr. James H. Charlesworth, Professor of New Testament Language and Literature Emeritus Princeton at Theological Seminary, appears on a brief (6 minutes) new episode of Jacob Berman's History Valley YouTube channel today to state his position on the Testimonium Flavianum, which he enumerates as 7 main points and 4 minor points.
• "Jesus in the writings of Josephus Flavius - Dr. James H. Charlesworth". YouTube. History Valley. 12 November 2022.
Fascinating interview in which Ken Olson speaks about why the Testimonium Flavanium is definitely a forgery and reveals not only skepticism about the James passage in Josephus but also skepticism about whether Galatians 1:19 (‘James the brother of the Lord’) means “James the biological sibling.” Though Olson describes as a historicist, I can’t help but wonder if he is teetering towards mythicism (maybe one day he’ll look back and see himself now that way). After all, if three important pieces of evidence for a historical Jesus fall apart, it would certainly make me wonder about mythicism if I were in Olson’s epistemically shoes. “Hmmm… How many of these other arguments for a historical Jesus are as good as they look?” I’d be wondering.
Covington, Nicholas (2 November 2022). "Ken Olson on Josephus and James". Hume's Apprentice.
• "Is The Testimonium Flavianum A Complete Forgery By Church Father Eusebius? | Ken Olson". YouTube. MythVision Podcast. 18 March 2022.
The Testimonium Flavianum and the Decius Mundus puzzle

Atwill argues (contrary to many scholars) that the Testimonium Flavianum (Ant. 18.3) is genuine because he sees it as the introduction to a literary triptych. Immediately following the Testimonium Flavianum is the story of Decius Mundus, who pretends to be the god Anubis, to trick a woman named Paulina into having sex. Atwill sees Decius's name as a pun on Publius Decius Mus, a sacrificial hero of the Roman Republic. As the story continues, Paulina's husband Saturninus agrees that it would be no sin for Paulina to have sex with a god. So Paulina and Decius Mundus sleep together, but Mundus returns on the third day to boast that he is not a god. Atwill argues that Mundus's return is a parody of Jesus's resurrection, and that his worshippers Paulina and Saturninus have obviously been swindled.[40]

Albert Bell, in his paper "Josephus the Satirist?",[41] speculated that the satirical nature of the Decius Mundus story was understood in the 4th century. According to Bell, the author of pseudo-Hegesippus may have elaborated on the joke by making Paulina become possibly pregnant by Anubis, thus making her parody of the Virgin Mary.

The authors and purpose of the Gospels

As stated above, Atwill states that the authors of the Gospels were mainly Flavius Josephus, the Herodian princess Berenice, and the military general Tiberius Julius Alexander, with contributions from (the Gentile) Pliny the Elder. However, the book ends without Atwill offering any timeline or scenario in which these individuals collaborated for a years-long project. Nor does he explain how the work was disseminated, or why it was adopted by (purportedly) messianic Jews around the Mediterranean, or how this provenance segues into the known history of second-century Christianity. As for the theological and narrative differences among the Gospels, they were deliberate. Atwill explains, "The New Testament is designed as a sort of intelligence test, whose true meaning can be understood only by those possessing sufficient memory, logic, and irreverent humor."[42] Price writes, "Atwill implicitly congratulates himself as the only one in history who has ever passed it...It is Atwill himself whose creation demonstrates the limitless possibilities of perverse and gratuitous interpretations of the text."[32]
"Caesar's Messiah". Wikipedia. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
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Re: Joe Atwill on why Josephus included the Testimonium and the story of Paulina and Decius Mundus

Post by MrMacSon »

Disclaimer: I had no knowledge of the following book before I internet-searched 'Decius Mundus' five minutes ago
( and in no way do I support the proposition that the Flavians (or any other similar Roman leaders, real or imagined) created the 'NT scriptures' )

Paul Amatucci (2014) The Puzzle Code of Decius Mundus: How the Romans Created Jesus by switching names

Decius Mundus was a Roman knight who lived during the reign of Tiberius Caesar, who was posing as the god Anubis with a member of the Roman high society for his favors to his knowledge, in the context of the practice of Hierogamy. (Hierogamy: The ritual enactment of sexual relations between gods and goddesses in order to guarantee fertility of crops).

These puzzle stories written by Flavius Josephus under the supervision of Domitian Flavius Caesar are complex, and quite mysterious!
Solving these 3 'puzzle stories' from the book (Antiquities of the Jews) by "Flavius Josephus", in 94 AD, reveals the true nature and purpose of the imposed version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how they grafted and attached a new messianic branch to Judaism without anyone knowing it, by simply switching the names of the main characters from Decius to Jesus in 'the puzzle stories'.

The Flavian dynasty of Caesars, with Josephus/Saul/Paul leading the writing team, were the original authors of the New Testament Scriptures we have today.

Josephus felt free to put into his writings, 'the puzzles' and 'codes' that "informed" the educated classes on the true origins of his new religious hybrid “offshoot” of “Gnosticism” and “Judaism” called “Christianity”.

The new religion was the perfect tool to unite the Roman Empire and put an end to all the rebellious uprisings of the dreaded “4th philosophy of Judaism” ... l+Amatucci

Paul Amatucci seems to write books on a range of topics
eg. Jesus Was A Gnostic: Who Was The Real Heavenly Father Of Jesus?, November, 2021,
(based on, it seems, “a few portions from the 1st chapter of the forbidden 'Gnostic' "Secret Gospel of John".”) ... l+Amatucci
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Re: Joe Atwill on why Josephus included the Testimonium and the story of Paulina and Decius Mundus

Post by StephenGoranson »

Is it fair to note that people associated with what they call their "intelligence community" tend to overrate their psy-ops imaginings?
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