Skrbina's view about Jesus

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Giuseppe
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Skrbina's view about Jesus

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So, why this book?  Why do we need yet another Jesus skeptic? To answer this question, let me give a brief overview of some of the prominent skeptics and their views.  I will argue that their ideas, though on the right track, are woefully short of the truth.  They lack the courage or the will to look hard at the evidence, and to envision a more likely conclusion:  that Jesus was a deliberately constructed myth, by a specific group of people, with a specific end in mind.  None of the Christ mythicists or atheist writers have, to my knowledge, articulated the view that I defend here.

Skrbina, David. The Jesus Hoax: How St. Paul's Cabal Fooled the World for Two Thousand Years (p.12). Creative Fire Press. Kindle edition, my bold.
Paul the Uncertain
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Re: Skrbina's view about Jesus

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From the author's website

https://www.jesushoax.com/book
Could it be that Jesus, the miracle-working Son of God, never existed? That he was merely a man, a social agitator, who managed to get crucified? Yes--or so argues Prof David Skrbina in this compelling and even shocking new book. The weight of evidence strongly suggests that the biblical Jesus never existed, and that what we read in the Bible is an elaborate scheme, a hoax, regarding a divine god-man who came to earth to save humanity.
That's consistent with a "minimal" historical Jesus, a rejection of the historical accuracy of the Gospel Jesus and Jesus of Faith, while accepting the ontological existence of a real man who actually lived.

Which is peachy, but not novel. However, it is refreshing to see an academic directly confront the boogeyman of "conspiracy theorist" accusations. (Although there's no need and little evidence for a conspiracy. But that's what they want you to think :D )

I don't mean to rain on your parade, and I realize that you have your own strategic assessment of what furthers Jesus skepticism. From my perspective, it's important that an outside-the-guild elite scholar (Skrbina is a philosopher from the University of Michigan, probably best known, at least here in the USA, for his work on the Unibomber) tilts at the silo of Jesus Studies. Silo busting is more important in the long run than the particular criticism presented, IMO.

Good find, Giuseppe.
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maryhelena
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Re: Skrbina's view about Jesus

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OK - since the kindle book is only £3.11 - maybe I'll give it a look....

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jesus-Hoax-Pau ... B07MTLGLJ5

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Giuseppe
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Re: Skrbina's view about Jesus

Post by Giuseppe »

Paul the Uncertain wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:56 am
That's consistent with a "minimal" historical Jesus, a rejection of the historical accuracy of the Gospel Jesus and Jesus of Faith, while accepting the ontological existence of a real man who actually lived.
Minimal historicity, yes. According to Skrbina, this is all the evidence he finds for a historical Jesus:

Question:  “Why do you accept the idea of an historical Jesus?”  A:  Paul needed a kernel of truth for his hoax.  What better way than to take a real person who was really crucified for his pro-Jewish, anti-Roman activities, and turn him into God?  This makes complete sense.  Other than this, neither I nor anyone else has evidence for an historical Jesus.  The execution of a minor insurrectionist would not be expected to leave any trail, and he didn’t.

The only difference I see between this view and the Doudna's view is that in the latter's case "the execution of a minor insurrectionist" left some trace: Jesus b. Sapphat. For the rest, as to Paul, both would agree that they were going to deceive deliberately people.

I find absolutely necessary this Skrbina's insistence to call things by their name: hoax. I think about Neil Godfrey and Nanine Charbonnel, here, their will a priori to find a kind of 'moral justification' for why the Gospels were written. Someway to forgive the evangelists for what they have done.

A disturbing note of the book is that, without the following precisation, I would have defined the book as an Anti-Semitic libel:

Question:  “The Jews come off looking pretty bad here.  Isn’t all this terribly anti-Semitic?” Answer:  Not at all.  Just because I claim that a handful of Jews lied to the public two thousand years ago, this has no necessary connection to Jews in general or Jews today.  People are overly sensitive these days, particularly about Jews, probably because we hear so much about them and anti-Semitism in the media.  It can’t reasonably have anything to do with World War Two or the Holocaust, since that ended more than 70 years ago and nearly all the actual victims are now gone—despite the fact that the media and Hollywood are working hard to continually remind the public of Jewish suffering during the war and of the evils of Nazism.  I see no good reason why Jews should continue to merit special sensitivity.

Skrbina, David. The Jesus Hoax: How St. Paul's Cabal Fooled the World for Two Thousand Years (pp.97-98). Creative Fire Press. Edizione del Kindle.




Paul the Uncertain wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:56 am
I don't mean to rain on your parade, and I realize that you have your own strategic assessment of what furthers Jesus skepticism.
parade? My "own strategic assessment of what furthers Jesus skepticism", if I have one, regard few Italian forums, not surely this, since I think that you Americans are already enough free from Vatican's influence, differently from here in Vaticanistan... ops, Italy.

I remember that you read frequently James McGrath's posts. I wonder how much patience you should have to tolerate that fool Christian apologist. :notworthy: I confess that I have not resisted a month in talking online, about 10 years ago, with a his Italian clone, Federico Adinolfi.

I only understood one thing: one must stay away from fool Christian apologists.
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maryhelena
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Re: Skrbina's view about Jesus

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Giuseppe wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:34 am

I find absolutely necessary this Skrbina's insistence to call things by their name: hoax. I think about Neil Godfrey and Nanine Charbonnel, here, their will a priori to find a kind of 'moral justification' for why the Gospels were written. Someway to forgive the evangelists for what they have done.

A disturbing note of the book is that, without the following precisation, I would have defined the book as an Anti-Semitic libel:

Question:  “The Jews come off looking pretty bad here.  Isn’t all this terribly anti-Semitic?” Answer:  Not at all.  Just because I claim that a handful of Jews lied to the public two thousand years ago, this has no necessary connection to Jews in general or Jews today.  People are overly sensitive these days, particularly about Jews, probably because we hear so much about them and anti-Semitism in the media.  It can’t reasonably have anything to do with World War Two or the Holocaust, since that ended more than 70 years ago and nearly all the actual victims are now gone—despite the fact that the media and Hollywood are working hard to continually remind the public of Jewish suffering during the war and of the evils of Nazism.  I see no good reason why Jews should continue to merit special sensitivity.

Skrbina, David. The Jesus Hoax: How St. Paul's Cabal Fooled the World for Two Thousand Years (pp.97-98). Creative Fire Press. Edizione del Kindle.
''a handful of Jews lied to the public two thousand years ago,''

That's why I have bought the book....once one goes down the route of a Hoax - in effect some sort of conspiracy - then the danger is that the gospel writers - believed or accepted to be Jews - would be claimed to have ''lied to the public'...And that, methinks, betrays a serious lack of discernment on the part of anyone making such a claim. Just because one fails to get the 'number' of those gospel writers - fails to appreciated that what they have in fact created is a story - and stories don't lie. Stories are what they are stories. To say the story is a lie, that it is a hoax, is to judge the intention of the creator's of that story. Since the creator's of the story are not around to spell out their intention in creating the story - it surely is reasonable for it's readers to refrain from blackening their work by calling them liars.

Yes, the Adam and Eve story was once thought to be historical - but evolution has allowed that story to become a theological or symbolic origin story. For a better, more logical, view of the gospel story, one can turn to history. The gospel story is not a hoax. The gospel story is an attempt by it's creators to reflect and to preserve aspects of Jewish history that they deemed to be relevant. Elements of Jewish/Hasmonean history that the gospel writers found to be relevant to the new spirituality or philosophical world view that they were attempting to articulate. The new theology - spirituality or philosophy - grew from a Jewish root - a historical Jewish root. To dismiss the gospel story is to dismiss the history which gave it birth. There is no hoax here - all such talk does is denigrate the creators of that story.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Skrbina's view about Jesus

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maryhelena wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:21 amThere is no hoax here - all such talk does is denigrate the creators of that story.
Hardly it is a coincidence, I think, that the best Pagan polemists who examined closely the Christian books — Celsus, Hyerocles, Porphyry — would have agreed surely with Skrbina.

The answer of all the last exponents of an entire dying Civilization — Paganism — to Christianity was unanimous: hoax.
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Re: Skrbina's view about Jesus

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Giuseppe wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:32 am
maryhelena wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:21 amThere is no hoax here - all such talk does is denigrate the creators of that story.
Hardly it is a coincidence, I think, that the best Pagan polemists who examined closely the Christian books — Celsus, Hyerocles, Porphyry — would have agreed surely with Skrbina.

The answer of all the last exponents of an entire dying Civilization — Paganism — to Christianity was unanimous: hoax.
If that's your position - that the gospel story is a hoax - then why in heavens name are you so interested in equating Josephus with the Joseph of Arimathea in the gospel story ? Ah - but you want to time-shift the story to the 70s - so - is it your view that the gospel story is only a hoax when it involves Pilate - but move the story to the 70s - and bobs your uncle - you now have the true - the non-hoax story. ?

:confusedsmiley:
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Giuseppe
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Re: Skrbina's view about Jesus

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maryhelena wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:48 am

If that's your position - that the gospel story is a hoax - then why in heavens name are you so interested in equating Josephus with the Joseph of Arimathea in the gospel story ? Ah - but you want to time-shift the story to the 70s - so - is it your view that the gospel story is only a hoax when it involves Pilate - but move the story to the 70s - and bobs your uncle - you now have the true - the non-hoax story. ?

:confusedsmiley:
Using Skrbina's terminology, the traditional historicity view would be described so:

4)     Rumor Thesis:  Stories of an exceptional but mortal man, an historical Jesus, got exaggerated and embellished over time through oral retellings.  After some 40 years, “Mark” heard the stories, innocently believed them, and wrote them down as literal truth.

This is very similar to your view, Maryhelena: "rumors" about the fate of the last Asmonean king increased to become our Gospels, or at least our basic Gospel crucifixion story.

Vermeiren at contrary, would agree more with this Skrbina's view:

Antagonism Thesis:  Jesus was an historical person but not the Son of God.  His story is a fanciful elaboration of a few grains of truth, created by Paul and his friends, in order to create an anti-Roman ideology aimed at corrupting and confusing the masses and thus undermining the empire.

(p.89)

Doudna would emphasize more the anti-Zealot and pro-Roman hidden agenda of Paul.

What served to the author(s) of the hoax was a kernel of truth for his(their) hoax.

According to Skrbina, this kernel of truth necessary for the hoax was the "execution of a minor insurrectionist".

Doudna, Vermeiren and especially George Solomon would agree fully with this Skrbina's claim, by adding only a name for the "minor insurrectionist": Jesus b. Sapphat.
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Re: Skrbina's view about Jesus

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maryhelena wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:25 am


OK - since the kindle book is only £3.11 - maybe I'll give it a look....

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jesus-Hoax-Pau ... B07MTLGLJ5

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I doubt that anyone here who follows the subject is going to find this material very compelling or interesting. It's like he built his thesis off of Wikipedia entries. No depth here.
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maryhelena
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Re: Skrbina's view about Jesus

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Giuseppe wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:02 am
maryhelena wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:48 am

If that's your position - that the gospel story is a hoax - then why in heavens name are you so interested in equating Josephus with the Joseph of Arimathea in the gospel story ? Ah - but you want to time-shift the story to the 70s - so - is it your view that the gospel story is only a hoax when it involves Pilate - but move the story to the 70s - and bobs your uncle - you now have the true - the non-hoax story. ?

:confusedsmiley:
Using Skrbina's terminology, the traditional historicity view would be described so:

4)     Rumor Thesis:  Stories of an exceptional but mortal man, an historical Jesus, got exaggerated and embellished over time through oral retellings.  After some 40 years, “Mark” heard the stories, innocently believed them, and wrote them down as literal truth.

This is very similar to your view, Maryhelena: "rumors" about the fate of the last Asmonean king increased to become our Gospels, or at least our basic Gospel crucifixion story.
The difference is fundamental. My theory relates to a historical figure, a King and High Priest of the Jews executed by Rome in 37 b.c. An exceptional man, a zealot par excellence, brother of a zealot that got beheaded by Rome and a son of a zealot who was 'taken off by poison given him by those of Pompey's party". Yep, a whole family of Hasmonean zealots....


''Dion Cassius says, 'Antony now gave the Kingdom to a certain Herod, and having stretched Antigonus on the cross and scourged him, which had never been done before to a king by the Romans, he put him to death'. The sympathies of the masses for the crucified king of Judah, the heroic son of so many heroic ancestors, and the legends growing, in time, out of this historical nucleus, became, perhaps, the source from which Paul and the evangelists preached Jesus as the crucified king of Judea.'' (History of the Hebrew's Second Commonwealth, 1880, Cincinnati, page 206)

Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise (1819-1900), scholar and novelist

Vermeiren at contrary, would agree more with this Skrbina's view:

Antagonism Thesis:  Jesus was an historical person but not the Son of God.  His story is a fanciful elaboration of a few grains of truth, created by Paul and his friends, in order to create an anti-Roman ideology aimed at corrupting and confusing the masses and thus undermining the empire.

(p.89)
No historical evidence to support a historical Jesus.
Doudna would emphasize more the anti-Zealot and pro-Roman hidden agenda of Paul.

What served to the author(s) of the hoax was a kernel of truth for his(their) hoax.

According to Skrbina, this kernel of truth necessary for the hoax was the "execution of a minor insurrectionist".
Minor indeed - an unknown, unnamed zealot - with no historical evidence for the execution of the unnamed, unknown zealot.
See above - a whole family, names known, of zealots against Roman occupation.

Doudna, Vermeiren and especially George Solomon would agree fully with this Skrbina's claim, by adding only a name for the "minor insurrectionist": Jesus b. Sapphat.
There is no historical evidence for the Josephan figure of Jesus b. Sapphat.
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