Are there mythicist books going in print?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Chris Hansen
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Re: Are there mythicist books going in print?

Post by Chris Hansen »

Not sure what we are counting as "historicist oriented" (any book discussing the historical Jesus? Or books specifically devoted to arguing for Jesus' historicity, because mythicists have historically published far more in the latter category).

And no problemo. I was just curious. From my perspective, when it comes to the debate on whether or not Jesus existed, mythicists have published a far greater volume of works on the issue, but this isn't surprising. Historicists for the last several decades have primarily treated the issue within academic journal articles, rather than in full-length books. Mythicists have published books largely in non-academic spaces, which tends to mean they are not required to have particular academic rigor either. There are exceptions to this (Carrier, Brodie, Lataster, Magne, and Kryvelev being the most recent), but by and large they tend to be self-published or published by pop presses (like Pitchstone or American Atheist). So, academics also just... tend not to even see them. I mean, I didn't know squat about D. O. Smith's new book until it was released, in no small part because the press he published with his this tiny little thing that has no website as far as I know, and only a poorly designed FaceBook page with banners that look like they were made in MicroSoft Paint ca. 2002 for someone's travel blog.

Given how most are self-published or small-time published, it is no surprise we don't really hear that much. There probably are several books that will be released in the coming months and in 2023. They are probably just low radar volumes, because that is what most of mythicist material is now, especially now that there are no major academic supporters for it, at least not to my knowledge (the last mainstream scholar who was partial to mythicism was Hector Avalos, as far as I know, and he's gone now).
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Giuseppe
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Re: Are there mythicist books going in print?

Post by Giuseppe »

I was lamenting the absence of mythicist books, when just today I have heard about this, written in Italian:

Image
gryan
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Re: Are there mythicist books going in print?

Post by gryan »

Giuseppe wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:44 am I was lamenting the absence of mythicist books, when just today I have heard about this, written in Italian:

Image
Giuseppe,

Assuming Italian is your first language: What an impressive synchronicity for you!
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Giuseppe
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Re: Are there mythicist books going in print?

Post by Giuseppe »

Really! I am a bit sorry since I have just left some day ago just the Italian region where there is the library where physically prof Bermejo-Rubio and Dr. Richard Carrier would have shown the book. It would have been an opportunity for an autograph by both!
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Re: Are there mythicist books going in print?

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin »

Based on the title, we can assume that the book is dedicated to Giuseppe.
gryan
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Re: Are there mythicist books going in print?

Post by gryan »

Yes Giuseppe, I can relate to that feeling of being "a bit sorry" about missing a book signing featuring your writing heros, a feeling sharpened by the fact that you recently left that very region!

Indulge me, if you will, while I share a somewhat similar synchronicity story of my own. It is a bit complicated. It happened back in 2008:

The evening before a long anticipated, once-in-a-lifetime tour of the Grimway Farms "peeled baby carrot" plant in Lamont, California, I was hanging out in a public library. At the library, I beheld a picture of "Al Young" displayed on a poster. The poster announced that "Al Young" was poet laureate of California and he would be coming to that particular region of California for a poetry performance.

I could hardly believe my eyes. Seeing Al Young's face on the eve of my peeled baby carrot factory tour was a shocking syncronicity for me: I knew him personally as a teacher, and he--the Poet Laureate of California--knew me! He knew little me as a quirky dreamer with a deep fascination with "peeled baby carrots"! I stared into his eyes on the poster and it was as if he was a psychopomp looking back at me--looking into my soul!

Twenty years earlier, in Bloomington, Indiana, the very same "Al Young" had been my writer's workshop instructor. I had presented a work of fiction featuring the magical powers of peeled baby carrots from that very Grimmway Farms plant! It was based on a dream I had experienced (I found some of these carrots in the refrigerator the morning after my dream). Al Young had read my work of "peeled baby carrot" fiction, he had made comments in red pencil, and he had talked one on one with me for maybe twenty minutes. Regarding my story, he had said, "There's something deep going on." Al Young was one of a handful of people in the world who had ever known about my deep fascination with the peeled baby carrots from Grimmway Farms! You can imagine my shock--I was standing there in a public library 20 years later, learning that he (an amazing teacher), and I (just one of his many students), were visiting that very region at around the same time! What are the odds?

I was a bit sad that I was not able to be in California to hear his poetry performance (which was going to be accompanied by a live blues band). My sixty day Greyhound bus pass was expired by then, and I was back "home" in Baltimore, Maryland.
Last edited by gryan on Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:18 am, edited 4 times in total.
schillingklaus
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Re: Are there mythicist books going in print?

Post by schillingklaus »

Carrier is only a pseudo-myther as he believes apologistically in mainstream superstitions such as a historical Paul with authentic epistles and pillars of a Jerusalem Christianity before the fall of Jerrusalem, in addition to Markan Prioritism.
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Re: Are there mythicist books going in print?

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin »

This may have something to do with the fact that Carrier is a historian and not a theologian. He is a man of science and works with sources instead of inventing them.
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John T
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Re: Are there mythicist books going in print?

Post by John T »

Giuseppe wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:06 am I wonder why there is a lot of books on the historical Jesus but very few books, every year, about mythicism.

For example, in 2023, there will be only the next book by Bob Price.

Is it so hard to write books on mythicism ?
The problem is not the lack of mythicists writing fictitious books on the history of Christianity, the problem is how does the publisher make money from it?

Still, you should give it a try. Here let me pitch an idea for you.

Call it: "Jesus and the Bean Stock."

Once upon a time a boy name Jesus traded his soul to the devil for some magic beans. He planted them and overnight it grew into a tall bean stock which reached into outer space. Jesus decided to climb the bean stock only to find a spaceship and when he went inside he found it inhabited by an evil giant called demiurge. You can fill in the details from there but don't forget to claim it is based on a true story and the true origin of the first Christians.


Yeh, that's the ticket, it's going to be a best seller and make a lot of money, just like: "Jesus From Outer Space" by Carrier.

Then again, maybe the mythicists would have better luck writing comic books.
They could be called DC comics, which stands for: Docetism Carrier (DC) comic books.

:tomato:
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Leucius Charinus
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Re: Are there mythicist books going in print?

Post by Leucius Charinus »

John T wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 9:45 am Then again, maybe the mythicists would have better luck writing comic books.

Maybe the heretical authors of the NT apocryphal texts were mythicists since they appear to have written satirical comic books about various characters in the NT.


LEUCIAN ACTS

The Acts of Thomas.


This satire commences with the Apostles standing around and casting lots to see who is going where. The apostles are presented as the Roman centurions casting lots at the crucifixion event in the NTC. Thomas gets India but spits the dummy and refuses to go to India. The Indians already have the truth. But then Jesus appears and orders Thomas to travel to India. Judas directly refuses Jesus' commands. Jesus solves this insurrection event and sells Thomas into slavery. Jesus actually receives a bill-of-sale. The Acts of Thomas is a very long satire against Thomas and the doctrines expressed in the NTC. The academic Gnostic author (Arius?) cleverly places – and thus preserves – an ancient allegorical gnostic text entitled “The Hymn of the Pearl” into the mouth of Thomas in India. Thomas encratite preaching – that sex even within marriage is improper - is very much part of the satire against Thomas. Thomas misrepresents himself to the Indian King as a carpenter. The King gives Thomas a bundle of money to build a new palace. Thomas gives all the money away. “And when the king heard that, he rubbed his face with his hands, and shook his head for a long space.”


The Acts of Peter:

This satire features a miracle contest between Simon Magus and the Apostle Peter in Rome in fine Hollywood and Homerian fashion. Peter performs miracles such as resurrecting smoked fish, and making dogs talk. In the Coptic version, Peter heals the multitudes from his front porch, but fails to heal his incapacitated daughter because it is not expedient to do so.


The Acts of John:

The satire includes docetic comment on the reality of Jesus – his physical and historical existence. The docetic overtones question the physical existence of Jesus. Jesus does not leave footprints in the sand. John cannot seem to touch Jesus' physical body. “Sometimes when I meant to touch him [Jesus], I met with a material and solid body; but at other times when I felt him, his substance was immaterial and incorporeal, as if it did not exist at all ... And I often wished, as I walked with him, to see his footprint, whether it appeared on the ground (for I saw him as it were raised up from the earth), and I never saw it. John's converts the followers of Artemis after destroying their temple


The Acts of Paul:

This satire uses Aesop’s Fables to compare Paul to a mouse. Paul baptizes a talking lion in the wilderness. When thrown to the lions at the conclusion Paul meets the same - now Christian - lion in the arena and is saved. Paul continues to proclaim the need for a life of sexual abstinence and other encratite practices. In versions of “The Acts of Paul and Thecla” the author introduces the noble woman Thecla, who preached like a missionary and administered baptism. Here the satire was directed at the military minded male dominated 4th century state Christendom. How many women are church figures today? Paul prays to God who causes the destruction of another temple – this one to Apollo.


The Acts of Andrew

The satire of the encratite apostles continues. Andrew converts the wife of the Greek proconsul Aegeates to the no-sex religion. As a result of his wife refusing his sexual advances, the proconsul sentences Andrew to be crucified. In the style of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”, Andrew hangs around on the cross for four days, all the while refusing the attempts by his followers to rescue him.


THE “NEARLY LEUCIAN” ACTS

The Acts of Andrew and Matthew


This satire features a thrilling and intrepid rescue mission in the Land of the Cannibals Welcome Aboard !!! Why does Jesus drive a Water Taxi? As in the opening of the Acts of Thomas, the apostles are standing around casting lots for world dominion. Matthias draws the lot for the journey to the Land of the Cannibals. Thousands of poor souls are being devoured each day. But there is a hitch and Matthais gets stuck there. Oh dear! Thousands are being eaten around him!! What does our hero do? He shuts his eyes and prays. Perhaps a miracle will happen? And behold! A rescue mission is mounted by the other apostles. And Jesus appears as the captain of a powerful boat. It has two angels in the back. He says "Welcome Aboard!!" Shades of Batman and Superman.


The Acts of Peter and Andrew.

The sequel to the above! The apostles have just only escaped from the Land of the Cannibals. The apostles travel from place to place with the assistance of a “bright cloud”. Beam us up Jesus! The satire continues to show anything is possible as Peter physically fits a camel through the eye of a needle! The apostles present as aggressive wizards – they order a Christian angel to suspend a woman by her hair at the city gates while they pass out of the city. The local people are at a loss in how to deal with the apostles. ”Alas! these are of the twelve Galilaeans who go about separating men from their wives; What are we to do?”


The Acts of Titus

Only recently translated to English, this text is considered by many to "deliberately imitate the Lucian Acts". Alternatively, this known late book of the NTA had the same author as the books of the Lucian Acts – the imperially damned Arius. In this satire the Christian religion is implemented by imperial control in Crete. Titus is the Apostle to Crete and in the narrative Barnabas raises Paul from the dead at the Pisidian Antioch. Unfortunately the satire is as yet lost to all academic assessment. Contemporary academics understand political fiction but not the political context of Constantine’s despotic fascist revolutionary prohibitions of ancient Greek traditions during which epoch at least some of the NTA must have been written.
  • The institutional form of commission is brought to perfection in this text, which projects the positive reception of Christianity by the Greco-Roman higher class back to the lifetime of Jesus, and presents the introduction of a new cult as the concern of the political establishment of that age. Commission becomes political fiction when the Roman proconsul sends an envoy to Palestine to learn from Jesus, or a Christian sanctuary is built from imperial money under Trajan. [Czachesz, István, Acts of Titus ]

The Acts of Barnabas also "deliberately imitates the Lucian Acts".


The Syriac Acts of Philip:

The satire begs the question that if Philip knew neither Latin nor Greek (the common languages of the Roman empire at that time) was he in fact an illiterate? Why is Philip so annoying since he continually orders the captain and passengers around. Why did the huge wind arise to drive the boat? Did the wind arise on account of Philip's prayer? Or did it arise because of the Jews blasphemy in a sotto voice? What is significant about the destination to which the boat bound at high speed? Carthage - and almost every written line of the Punic language - was destroyed by the Romans. Why does Philip's Christian Angel bind the Jew Ananias by the big toes from the top sail in the gale force wind? In the middle Philip performs a resurrection of the Dead Jew Ananias who had been kicked to death by Jews and then buried inside their synagogue (not outside the walls of the city). Philips’s resurrection with the assistance of a sick ox was successful. At the end, the satire has a Christian angel slaying forty Jewish priests, impressing the locals and gaining many converts.


Acts of John the Theologian:

In this satire of the new Christian cult, the Jews write a book to the Emperor Domitian complaining about the new and strange nation of Christians. Many recent scholars have pointed out – in other contexts (i.e. Josephus, Eusebius) - the phrases “Nation of Christians” is distinctively Eusebian. Here the phrase is couple with another distinctively Eusebian phrase “new and strange [religion]” which appears in Eusebius’ H.E. Here the author of the “Acts of John the Theologian” is mimicking Eusebius. Fourth century politics suggest that the text may be interpreted as a 4th century satire against the Christians. In this narrative, as a result of the book written by the Jews “Domitian was affected with rage” against the Christians, and the stories later preserved as legends concerning the persecution of Christians under Domitian may be in fact all sourced from this fictional NTA narrative.


The Syriac History of John

As if to reinforce the argument made above concerning the satire of Eusebius, the author of this NTA explicitly states "This history was composed by Eusebius of Cæsarea".
  • The history of John, the son of Zebedee, who lay upon the breast of our Lord Jesus at the supper, and said, "Lord, who betrayeth Thee?" This history was composed by Eusebius of Cæsarea concerning S. John, who found it in a Greek book, and it was translated into Syriac, when he had learned concerning his way of life and his birth and his dwelling in the city of Ephesus, after the ascension of our Lord to Heaven.
The author of this work wishes to credit Eusebius, the orthodox heresiologist as the original author for what reason?


The Acts of Pilate:

This satire has Pontius Pilate telling the Jews categorically that Jesus heals by the power of the traditional Greek healing god Asclepius, whose ancient temples Constantine immediately destroyed upon supremacy c.324 CE. The text itself discloses that it was written by two scribes "Leucius" and "Karinus" – two of the many ancients who were mass resurrected at the time of Jesus’ resurrection. These two zombies were rounded up by the authorities, brought to the court and given writing implements. They separately record the saga of the Descent to Hell, where Jesus meets Adam and a host of ancestors. At the end of the action packed account, the scribes put their pens down only to find that they have provided two absolutely identical word-for-word accounts. One account is given to Pilate and the other to the Jews. "Leucius" and "Karinus" then climactically disappear in the middle of the court with a blinding flash. Academic tradition considers that there must be two - a pagan and a Christian - Acts of Pilate, but that the Christian version only has survived. Here is what Eusebius says about its appearance:
  • Having forged, to be sure, Memoirs of Pilate and Our Savior, full of every kind of blasphemy against Christ, with the approval of their chief they sent them round to every part of his dominions, with edicts that they should be exhibited openly for everyone to see in every place, both town and country, and that the primary teachers should give them to the children, instead of lessons, for study and committal to memory. [Eusebius, HE 11.5]
The reference to Jesus healing by the power of Asclepius is one of many “Pagan satire” flags waving inside the extant text of the Acts of Pilate. Unable to see the pagan satire against Jesus, modern scholars are unable to see indications of “blasphemy” reported by Eusebius. The idea here is that the "Christian" Acts of Pilate is in fact not "Christian"! The "Christian" Acts of Pilate does not exist". The “Acts of Pilate” is a blasphemous pagan satire against Jesus.


GOSPELS


The Gospel of Peter


The satire depicts Jesus being lead from the tomb between two figures. The heads of the two supporting figures reached to heaven, but Jesus’ head is higher than heaven. Furthermore, the cross, not content with immobility and lack of speech, follows along behind the party at a walk, and talks. “YES!”


The Gospel of Mary

This satire presents Mary as having exclusive knowledge not given to Peter. As a result, Peter is peeved. "Did He really speak privately with a woman and not openly to us? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did He prefer her to us? Dan Brown’s "The Da Vinci Code” in part involves exposing and investigating the tension explicit in this satire on the Christian apostles. It is suggested here that what Dan Brown has exposed is but the tip of an iceberg. The tell-tale signature of satire runs through many texts of the NT apocrypha.


Infancy Gospel of Thomas:

This Greek satire presents the Child Jesus as a malevolent trickster wizard. In one of the episodes a child disperses water that Jesus has collected, Jesus then curses him, which causes the child's body to wither into a corpse. (M.R. James translation states that the child "went on, and after a little he fell and gave up the ghost,") Another child dies when Jesus curses him when he apparently accidentally bumps into him. When Joseph and Mary's neighbors complain, they are miraculously struck blind by Jesus. Jesus then starts receiving lessons, but arrogantly tries to teach the teacher instead. All this suggests anti-Christian satire.


And on and on the comic book collection of NT apocryphal texts go.

Extracted from:

Arius Satirized Constantine’s Jesus:
The Hidden History of the New Testament Apocryphal Literature


https://www.academia.edu/37961293/Arius ... Literature
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