Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
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06-06-2014, 07:51 PM (This post was last modified: 06-06-2014 08:03 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(06-06-2014 04:58 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(06-06-2014 04:16 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE..."Paul was not the first christian, he converted after all. Someone would have had to tell Paul about it."

Paul's "conversion" is a myth. The "road to Damascus" story is only in Acts, and is never mentioned in Paul' own writing. This is how Paul sourced his ideas...

The Source of Paul’s Theology
One might assume that Paul had a legitimate and verifiable source for his hypotheses, but he didn’t. I’ve imagined going back in time to ask him what he thought it was. He got anxious when his credibility was questioned, so his answer would be intense. He frequently wrote at length about himself, so he’d probably tell me how hard he works, how genuine he is, how he’s suffered for his beliefs, and how sure he is that what he preaches is the truth. The actual answer to the question would be a long time arriving.

Paul wrote,
“The fact is, brothers, and I want you to realize this, the Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learned only through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You must have heard of my career as a practicing Jew, how merciless I was in persecuting the Church of God, how much damage I did to it, how I stood out among other Jews of my generation, and how enthusiastic I was for the traditions of my ancestors. Then God, who had specifically chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his son in me, so that I may preach the Good News about him to the pagans” (Gal. 1:11–24, NJB.) This is from one of his best-known letters. He specifically stated that the message he preached came not from human sources, but from God, “through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”

This was not the only occasion he said God inspired him;
“I, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle” (1 Cor. 1:1, NJB) and “But our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5 NKJB.)

What he meant was that he thought he had a God given talent enabling him to interpret scripture. That was, after all, the job description for a Pharisee. He bragged that his God, a character he thought he had a special relationship with, was the source of his “Good News.” That may have impressed naïve people two thousand years ago, but today we can read any number of over imaginative accounts from people who also claim, without evidence, that they’ve talked to God. Some of them are mentally unwell. Paul had no more credibility than them.

Paul took things one step further than his more traditional colleagues when interpreting scripture. He thought he alone had a divine mandate from God. Consider the opening lines of his letter to the Romans:
“From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus who has been called to be an apostle, and specially chosen to preach the Good News that God promised long ago through his prophets in the scriptures” (Rom. 1:1–3, NJB.) He promoted himself as a uniquely special interpreter of scripture, and he bad-mouthed anyone who happened to disagree with him (see 1 Corinthians 15:1–3, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?sea...sion=KJV).

Yet Jewish scholars are adamant that Paul’s “good news” isn’t in scripture. (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articl...f-tarsus). Moreover, Paul often changed the meaning of scripture to suit himself. For example, he wrote,
“so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of the Father” (Phil. 2:10–11, NJB.) The source of this was “Before me every knee shall bend, by me every tongue shall swear, saying ‘From Yahweh alone come victory and strength.’” (Isa. 45:23–24, NJB.) Paul replaced Yahweh with Christ, to fit with his own manufactured theology. One of Paul’s main themes was that Gentiles could be God’s special people too. He wrote,
“Well, we are those people; whether we were Jews or pagans we are the ones he has called. That is exactly what God says in Hosea: ‘I shall say to a people that was not mine, ‘you are my people,’ and to a nation I never loved ‘I love you’” (Rom. 9:24, NJB.) However a reading of chapters one and two of Hosea (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?sea...rsion=KJV) reveals that “God” wasn’t referring to Gentiles, but Jews whom he was accepting back under his wing after a misdemeanor. Paul changed the meaning of scripture to sell his own story to Gentiles living in Rome.

Just why “God” would need to talk to Paul via “a revelation of Jesus Christ,” when Jesus could speak for himself, is never explained in today’s Christian circles.

Mithras, the pagan god of an ancient Persian cult, had remarkable similarities with Paul’s Christ, and Paul’s home town was a major center of Mithraic belief. (http://jdstone.org/cr/files/paulandthepa...ism.html).
I think Paul manufactured his Christ to counter the dreams of the Nazarenes, who were hoping for a political messiah.

Paul’s theology was the product of a complex mishmash of concepts from other cults, innovative interpretations of Jewish scripture, his personal ambitions, his desire to undermine messianic Judaism, his own imagination, and maybe elsewhere (I think from the government.) He was clearly a master confabulator, inventing fictions and interpretations to support his own views. I don’t think any of his possible sources add any credibility to his theology.

He must have known he was fabricating, but didn’t let that niggle at his conscience. He was on a mission to snare converts, and the end justified the means. I suspect the more he thought and talked about the divinity of Christ, his sacrificial death, and his resurrection, the more real and useful these ideas became to him. I think it either didn’t bother him, or he wasn’t aware, that his ideas were fundamentally odd. He wouldn’t have wasted time questioning his own themes. He was too busy for that, too obsessed with winning people over. He wouldn’t have known his letters would one day be critically examined and compared with each other.

He was preaching and writing to people who, judged by today’s standards, were naïve, unsophisticated, isolated, and unread. Most of them would have had Paul’s epistles read to them. A well-written letter must have been impressive. When he appeared in person he was probably a self-righteous and confident teacher, which would have been enough to give him some credibility. He presumed his readers would be impressed by his claims that God inspired him, yet there’s clearly no objective reason why modern readers should be.

Paul as principle architect of Christianity makes sense to me. One of two things must have happened to Paul; one, he made the entire thing up, founding the region, or two he adopted and/or exaggerated the religion from an existing cult. The latter would be more likely of a historical Jesus had existed and inspired followers. In either event it might have suited Paul, both for credibility and for his ego, to say that he was divinely inspired. I don't have an objection to that. I don't see how that relates at all to the Flavians though. Perhaps that was the angle of the documentary and not the book. Give me some time and I will wade through your small novel and let you know what I think Tongue .

"Paul as principle architect of Christianity makes sense to me." Me too Big Grin

"One of two things must have happened to Paul; one, he made the entire thing up, founding the region, or two he adopted and/or exaggerated the religion from an existing cult." Big Grin

Or there might have been many “Pauls” working as government agents, and only his letters survived. One of the reasons I suspect this is that he wrote to a community in Rome to introduce himself, and it’s obvious from his letter that this group already had some beliefs about a Christ. The government was worried that Judaism was attracting converts from Gentiles. Paul’s role was to stop the spread of the subversive religion. He tried to infiltrate the Nazarenes to undermine them and their messianic message. I suspect (but can’t prove) he passed information about them on to Roman authorities. His “conversion,” in which “God’s” new ideas were revealed only to him, and by which he became the founding member of his own Christ fan club, was his modus operandi. This explains one reason why he wrote with such passion; he was desperate to sell his watered down, non-militaristic version of Judaism, one that downplayed the importance of the temple and all the ethnocentric antisocial practices. His aim was to counter Jewish messianic fervor, which was building in momentum and needed to be quelled. He failed, because Jews in Palestine revolted in the war of 66 -70 CE.
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06-06-2014, 08:05 PM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
It just seems useless to dissuade Mark that his theory has merit, I congratulate him on being the William Lane Craig of Atwillism.

On the other hand I've read through the thread people that claim that Paul knowingly made the entire thing up to gain status, power, etc. This is just doesn't make sense.

Paul didn't have a great time as a Christian leader. He was mocked and threatened often. He even was abandoned at times by fellow believers. Paul knew that he was going to end up getting killed one way or another if he continued preaching his message.
He says things like:

"For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things." (1 Cor 4:9-13)

And

"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”" (Rom 8:35-36)

And

"that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" (Phil 3:10)

And many others. Definitely not a guy in it for the money, power, recognition, etc. He could've been crazy, but a scam artist he certainly wasn't.

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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06-06-2014, 08:12 PM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(06-06-2014 08:05 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  It just seems useless to dissuade Mark that his theory has merit, I congratulate him on being the William Lane Craig of Atwillism.

On the other hand I've read through the thread people that claim that Paul knowingly made the entire thing up to gain status, power, etc. This is just doesn't make sense.

Paul didn't have a great time as a Christian leader. He was mocked and threatened often. He even was abandoned at times by fellow believers. Paul knew that he was going to end up getting killed one way or another if he continued preaching his message.
He says things like:

"For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things." (1 Cor 4:9-13)

And

"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”" (Rom 8:35-36)

And

"that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" (Phil 3:10)

And many others. Definitely not a guy in it for the money, power, recognition, etc. He could've been crazy, but a scam artist he certainly wasn't.

Now all you have to do is explain and justify why anyone should assume anything he says should be taken at face value. Romans 3:7 "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?"
He admitted he was a lying son of a bitch.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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06-06-2014, 08:25 PM (This post was last modified: 06-06-2014 08:56 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(06-06-2014 08:05 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  It just seems useless to dissuade Mark that his theory has merit, I congratulate him on being the William Lane Craig of Atwillism.

On the other hand I've read through the thread people that claim that Paul knowingly made the entire thing up to gain status, power, etc. This is just doesn't make sense.

Paul didn't have a great time as a Christian leader. He was mocked and threatened often. He even was abandoned at times by fellow believers. Paul knew that he was going to end up getting killed one way or another if he continued preaching his message.
He says things like:

"For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things." (1 Cor 4:9-13)

And

"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”" (Rom 8:35-36)

And

"that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" (Phil 3:10)

And many others. Definitely not a guy in it for the money, power, recognition, etc. He could've been crazy, but a scam artist he certainly wasn't.

"It just seems useless to dissuade Mark that his theory has merit, I congratulate him on being the William Lane Craig of Atwillism." Ouch!Gasp The ultimate insult! You're not really being fair on me. I've admitted Atwill has his faults and I don't agree with everything he says.

As far as Paul is concerned, Atwill doesn't mention him, which is one of the problems with Atwill's theory.

Quite apart from that I totally disagree with you about Paul. He was a narcissist and a fraud. Any modesty he displayed was false. He was very much in it for himself, and he never admitted his political aspirations. Don't fall for the spiel. Please digest the following...

My theory fits with the fact Paul was a Roman citizen, and that he had little genuine respect for Pharisaic Judaism. It could be why he didn’t publically reveal he was Roman until he was about to be physically assaulted by Roman soldiers. It would explain how he managed to support himself financially. It might also be why he hoped a financial gift to the Nazarenes in Jerusalem would be accepted; he was trying to endear himself to the Nazarenes using bribery. It explains why he often insisted that the Torah was obsolete, and why he was like a dog gnawing at a bone promoting his own theology instead. It makes clear why he wrote this to a Roman community:
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:1-7 KJV.) A government agent wrote this, not a Jesus fan who had seen the light!

It explains the way he finished off his letter to the Philippians:
“All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household” (Phil. 4:22, KJV.) This confirms that he had contact with the Emperor Nero’s family.

It fits with the fact the book of Acts states:
“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul” (Acts 13:1, KJV.) So the earliest Christian community at Antioch boasted a member of Herod Antipas’ family, the pro-Roman Tetrarch who had murdered John the Baptist, and Paul (Saul) was associated with him.

It clarifies the real reason why, in the book of Acts, he was repetitively roughed up by traditional Jews nearly everywhere he went, yet was never attacked by Gentiles. It explains why once the local Roman authorities knew who he was and what he was up to, he was treated so well, despite the fact he so regularly disturbed the peace. Paul’s so called “arrest” by Roman troops in Jerusalem doesn’t mean he wasn’t in league with them. Things had got a little out of control and he ended up being a source of civil unrest. He’d become a diehard dogmatist causing trouble wherever he went. Instead of undermining Judaism, he incited Jews to the point of violence, something Rome didn’t want. The “arrest” was, in fact, for his own safety. Reading between the lines, he was never treated like a prisoner. Rather, there were remarkable Roman resources used to protect him. He had to be moved to Rome, as it was the best place his safety could be guaranteed.

We don’t hear from Paul after the early 60s. This could be because the anti-Jewish propaganda project hadn’t worked, and the time for talk was over; the military had to be bought in. He had become redundant. There is a Christian “tradition” he was executed in Rome, but no valid reason why that would have happened, and no good evidence to say it did. (http://archives.politicususa.com/2011/12...ink.html).

If this theory is true, Paul was a spy and a charlatan; a cog in the wheel of a cunning government plan. I’m not suggesting that he didn’t wholeheartedly believe in the value of what he was doing. If the project had been successful the first (66-70CE) and second (132-5 CE) Jewish wars would have been averted. I think he knew he was promoting manufactured dogma as a means to an end.

This means Rome, via Paul, created the Christ, a benign pacifist messiah.

Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon, who co-wrote “Operation Messiah,” come to a similar conclusion. They postulate that Paul was “…supporting the imperial structure, benefiting from it, cooperating with it, often saved by it. The end product for Rome was exactly what it wanted - a loyal, other –worldly, spiritual movement that was completely divorced from Palestinian revolutionary movements, from Jewish nationalism and from any challenge to Roman imperial authority. Its followers were supposed to pay taxes and be loyal citizens of the emperor.”

Paul the Cult Leader

A cult is a small group that has religious beliefs or practices regarded as strange or sinister. I think that was how traditional Jews regarded Paul’s communities.
Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings “my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27) a very apt description. His gospel elevated him to the status of the master teacher, as no one else in his immediate circle was an authority on it. He arrogantly insisted this gospel of his was the only path to salvation:
“Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you - believing anything else will not lead to anything” (1 Cor. 15:1–3, NJB.) Sophisticated men are interested in others’ opinions, but the puerile Paul couldn’t cope with competing convictions. Magnanimous men aren’t overly dogmatic; they give people space to find their own paths, but he’d have none of that. Authentic teachers don’t need to threaten their students; he did. I’m surprised today’s Christians aren’t appalled and turned off by his narcissism.

He insisted his readers imitate him:
“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.) He thought he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

A few years later he wrote,
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20, KJV.) By then God’s right hand man had become God himself. His shoddily disguised delusions of grandeur were pathetic.

Status and power weren’t all Paul pursued. He needed food and shelter, items that usually needed to be bought. Money was a niggling issue:
“That is why I have thought it necessary to ask these brothers to go on to you ahead of us, and make sure in advance that the gift you promised is all ready, and that it all comes as a gift out of your generosity and not by being extorted from you. Do not forget that thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:5–7, NJB.) Cult leaders trying to earn a quid love a cheerful giver too!

Paul tried to justify living off the communities he visited:
“Nobody ever paid money to stay in the army, and nobody ever planted a vineyard and refused to eat the fruit of it. Who has there ever been that kept a flock and did not feed on the milk from his flock?” (1 Cor. 9:7, JB.) He must have milked money from his fraternities. Anyone he clashed with was compromising not just his ego, but his income too.

He didn’t have an easy time selling his ideas, as he repeatedly wrote about his own credentials. If he’d impressed more people, he wouldn’t have needed to sell himself.

A Complex Character

Paul had hardly any redeeming qualities. He did counter the anti-Gentile racism of the Old Testament by embracing compliant Gentiles, although wrote some very racist anti-Semitic comments of his own. Contemptible people can at times be charming. In 1 Corinthians 13, he wrote some nice prose about love, and elsewhere paid lip service to the virtues of forgiveness, humility, gentleness, compassion, and kindness. Yet in my opinion all this was nothing more than one side of his passive aggressive personality. His teachings elsewhere, and his own example, promoted the exact opposite. Paul’s affectionate side was only shown to people who did exactly as they were told. Others were outside his control and a threat to his authority. He couldn’t fathom that, and rambled on why they were so wrong and he was so right. He was a scheming, manipulative man, and I doubt he ever displayed unqualified gentleness, humility or tolerance.

He used an inordinate amount of ink writing about himself, his opinions, and his relationships with others, yet I think his real agenda wasn’t once clearly admitted. He never revealed who he was working for, or where his personal ambitions lay, as that would have revealed the real reasons he was so damn obsessed with preaching to people.

Paul’s “good news” defines today’s Christianity. He claimed Christ was the son of God crucified by the Jews as a sacrifice for humanity’s sins, and it was imperative to have faith in this scheme to get into heaven. These odd, innovative ideas were unknown to John the Baptist and Yeshua, and repugnant to James, Peter, the other disciples, and to all true Jews. They were nothing more than a contrived spiel designed to be attractive and easy to sell.

Paul may have met James and Peter, but thought they had
“…nothing to add to the good news I preach.” They were messianic Jews who Paul knew opposed Roman rule, so he berated their beliefs and promoted his own.
He was cunning, opportunistic, and manipulative, and cleverly tailored all his innovative arguments to suit whichever community he was writing to. He invented long-winded waffling tales about his own credibility, God, heaven, Christ, Jews, and Gentiles, and they’re inconsistent and don’t make sense.

His dictates are laden with appalling prejudices. He was overtly misogynistic, homophobic, and had a neurotic loathing of sexuality. He thought he was an authority on the status of women, what to wear, when to eat, sex, whom to keep company with, the role of government…and the list goes on. Today’s preachers promote these pathetic prejudices to justify their own.

Paul knew nothing of a Jesus born to a virgin, the preacher who could cater for a crowd with a few loaves and fishes, command graves to open, cast out devils, walk on water, or cure leprosy. He never met Yeshua, or described him. Paul teaches us more about Jesus by what he doesn’t say than what he does. His writings, penned before the Gospels, indirectly prove that the Gospels are mainly mythical.

I think that Paul’s Christ figure was something else, a son of God who has since been retrofitted into the Gospel stories, probably sometime in the second century. I suspect his few passages that suggest Christ was once a living person are interpolations. If I’m right, that shoots another arrow straight through the heart of Christianity’s legitimacy.

He was heavily influenced by the Gentile world, and was probably a government agent employed to undermine and report on problematic Jews, a job he took very seriously. He was so preoccupied with plugging propaganda he probably believed his own spiel. His post gave him power, prestige, and a platform to preach his bigoted ethics, and that was attractive to a man who was a social misfit. He was too obsessive about promoting his prejudices, which must have been obvious to most who met him. If he’d lived in modern times, he’d be given a gold watch for his years in the public service, put on a pension, ushered out the door, and the whole office would be glad to see his back.

His ideas became important when they were promoted by some second century Christians. They had to jettison the archaic Judaic law to be popular with Gentiles, and Paul’s ideas justified just that. This was why the author of Acts invented stories about Paul to bolster his legitimacy.

In the second century his letters grabbed the imagination of the market, a most unfortunate quirk of history. His awful ethics and bizarre theology are still promoted as the God given truth to people in pews, yet there was no such thing as a New Testament in Paul’s time, so he couldn’t possibly have presumed his own scribbling was scripture. Those people should be more critical of the self styled apostle to the Gentiles.

I think he was mildly mentally unwell. He was anxious, obsessive, insecure, a touch paranoid, quite delusional, introspective and egocentric. I suspect he was never quite at ease with himself, nor comfortable in a world he couldn’t totally control. He was probably pretty miserable, and there was no good treatment to be had in those days. He insisted on telling others how to live their lives, yet it was he who needed the help! He would have been a difficult patient. A therapist would try to stop him talking, get him to put his feet up, and suggest he try just listening to the wind and birds. Paul was probably too immersed in his own delusions to follow anyone else’s advice. He would corner the counselor and lecture her about Christ or some other rationalization of his current obsession. There’d be no peaceful moments in Paul’s presence.

He had no idea his writings would be picked to pieces by millions of people. He may have been more careful about the things he wrote if he had known how famous he would become and what a wide audience he was writing to.

The government had good reason to suppress messianic Judaism in the 50’s and 60’s. There may have been many “Pauls,” public servants selling subservience and watered down Judaism, but their letters haven’t survived. So Paul was probably only one of the early “movers and shakers” of what eventually became Christianity, albeit a highly imaginative and important one. His writings resurfaced only in the early second century when they emerged from obscurity, so he’s a far larger figure today than he was in his own time.

In my opinion, considering how things turned out, he was the largest scam artist the world has ever known.
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06-06-2014, 09:00 PM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
I'm sorry if that was insulting. I for one take WLC to be a very smart person who has to twist more than the average apologist to make sense of his claims.

What I meant to say is that you seem very defensive of Atwillism (for a lack of a better term) though it's understandable as this is your thread and you seem enthused about the video.

My other issue is that if you throw assertions left and right and avoid dealing with the objections, it's really hard to meaningfully and thoroughly deal with each point. I've lost count of the points I was going to address to be honest.

Especially as a father of three I only get half an hour tops everyday to browse the forum before calling it a night.

I'll try to deal with your points tomorrow. In the mean time in would be interested in a response (or explanation that fits your theory) to Paul's self debasing and almost suicidal comments in the quotes I mentioned earlier.

For the time being the only thing that I agree with you on is that Paul had mental problems.

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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06-06-2014, 09:05 PM (This post was last modified: 06-06-2014 11:42 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(06-06-2014 09:00 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  I'm sorry if that was insulting. I for one take WLC to be a very smart person who has to twist more than the average apologist to make sense of his claims.

What I meant to say is that you seem very defensive of Atwillism (for a lack of a better term) though it's understandable as this is your thread and you seem enthused about the video.

My other issue is that if you throw assertions left and right and avoid dealing with the objections it's really hard to meaningfully and thoroughly deal with each point. I've lost count of the points I was going to address to be honest.

Especially as a father of three I only get half an hour tops everyday to browse the forum before calling it a night.

I'll try to deal with your points tomorrow. In the mean time in would be interested in a response (or explanation that fits your theory) to Paul's self debasing and almost suicidal comments in the quotes I mentioned earlier.

For the time being the only thing that I agree with you on is that Paul had mental problems.


"I'm sorry if that was insulting." No worries. Smile I particularly dislike WLC. He's just so full of shit. He is smooth and sounds clever but the actual content of his rhetoric is nonsense. I like to think I'm a little more rational than him.Tongue

"My other issue is that if you throw assertions left and right and avoid dealing with the objections it's really hard to meaningfully and thoroughly deal with each point. I've lost count of the points I was going to address to be honest." Okay, I hear you. I'd be honoured if we can discuss issues point by point.
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06-06-2014, 09:07 PM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(06-06-2014 09:00 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  I'm sorry if that was insulting. I for one take WLC to be a very smart person who has to twist more than the average apologist to make sense of his claims.

What I meant to say is that you seem very defensive of Atwillism (for a lack of a better term) though it's understandable as this is your thread and you seem enthused about the video.

My other issue is that if you throw assertions left and right and avoid dealing with the objections, it's really hard to meaningfully and thoroughly deal with each point. I've lost count of the points I was going to address to be honest.

Especially as a father of three I only get half an hour tops everyday to browse the forum before calling it a night.

I'll try to deal with your points tomorrow. In the mean time in would be interested in a response (or explanation that fits your theory) to Paul's self debasing and almost suicidal comments in the quotes I mentioned earlier.

For the time being the only thing that I agree with you on is that Paul had mental problems.

"In the mean time in would be interested in a response (or explanation that fits your theory) to Paul's self debasing and almost suicidal comments in the quotes I mentioned earlier." Okay I'll address this soon. Right now it's mid afternoon and I'm going to go for a run. Talk soon. Thanks for your interest.
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06-06-2014, 09:22 PM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(06-06-2014 04:49 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(06-06-2014 03:14 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  An argument is a series of propositions, one built on top of the previous, leading from evidence to a conclusion.

An argument is a series of propositions, one built on top of the previous, leading from premises to a conclusion.

Those premises may or may not be based on evidence.

Quote:Atwill's "evidence" consists of passages from the New Testament and passages from Josephus' works which coincide in number of ways. The whole book, Caesar's Messiah consists of a presentation in an ordered fashion of these passages and the comparisons. The book sets out the evidence.

That is not evidence, that is the argument.

Quote:If you are interested, then do what I did and pay the $10 and download the book.

I don't feel inclined to "step and fetch it" just because you tell me to particularly after the verbal abuse you have leveled at me. Nor do I much care about what you say about me if I don't. I am sure that your mind set is such that if I spend a huge amount of time and copy and paste the parts of the book, you will simply keep shitting on me because it is only "part" of the evidence, or you will say it doesn't qualify in your mind as "evidence" because you can't understand or disagree with some aspect of his analysis for reasons which you don't want to discuss. And, if I have to rewrite the book here for you then, frankly, I am not interested in saving you $10 and getting insulted by someone who has no interest in it anyway.

If you are quite happy in your settled views, whatever they are, because I have no idea what you think, and reading Atwill makes no difference and you already know that, then what the heck are you doing on this thread? I am nearly 60, have a doctorate and have a number of professional qualifications. I find your pointless repetition of the word "crap" monotonous and silly. If you don't like to hear about Atwill, or Ellis, then why not go post about something which you are interested in?

I am interested in calling out bogus ideas.

Quote:Those are rhetorical questions. I don't want an answer. As I have mentioned, I came to my own views about Atwill after hearing about him on another atheist forum where people posting about him weren't abused and also agreed with his method and I came here because Atwill left questions unanswered about who he thought the real "Jesus" was. I did some googling and found came up with Ralph Ellis' theory and he was posting here so I thought it would be interesting to find out what he said.

Ellis's ideas were rejected because they made no sense. His methodology was absurd. He drew inferences from vague similarities and connections only he could see, and he insisted they were fact.

You Googled him? You couldn't have read much of his. He's a total nut job.

Quote:Sadly, the prevailing attitude here is one of intolerance so rather than engaging with him in an open minded way, he was, typically, shit upon, so he left, or was banned. I'm still waiting for his book which I will read, which I find much more interesting than posting insulting comments about people who I don't know on internet forums just because they have an interest in something I don't or because it makes me look "terse and deadly".

I am intolerant of bad ideas, I am intolerant of calling a hypothesis a fact, and I am intolerant of calling supposition evidence.


And the sobriquet of 'terse and deadly' was bestowed by another credulous forum member too ready to spout nutty theories in response to my criticisms.
He also doesn't seem to understand the concept of evidence.

So, what is your response?

Let's look at it. You again repeat, it's not evidence, Ellis is a nut job, you are interested in calling people nut jobs.

Atwill uses a method. Richard Dawkins read his book and he didn't call him a nutjob. He publicized his works by personally Tweeting about it.

I've read his book and so has Mark. You haven't. Mark is a doctor. I have a doctorate. You seem to think you are cleverer than us, Atwill, Ellis and Dawkins and it is just ok for you to smear anyone who has actually read the book and understands Atwill's method.

Face it Chas, you can't even explain what Atwill's method is because you don't understand it.

You think we are all gullible and naive. Sorry, but it's you who has the problem because your just rigid in your beliefs and can't think for yourself.

If you use text in separate pieces of literature as evidence to show a pattern then the text is the "evidence" you are using. That is what universities now do to detect plagiarism. They don't hunt around for someone who saw the student writing his paper and copying passages. The systems are accurate and can be used in a court if the student challenges them because people who have made a life's study of what "evidence" means understand the concepts of "probabilities" that different people writing independently don't come up with identical passages by mistake and they use statistical probabilities, just as Atwill did.

So, you are wrong and you don't know what you are talking about.
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06-06-2014, 09:28 PM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(06-06-2014 09:22 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Mark is a doctor. I have a doctorate. You seem to think you are cleverer than us, Atwill, Ellis and Dawkins and it is just ok for you to smear anyone who has actually read the book and understands Atwill's method.

Face it Chas, you can't even explain what Atwill's method is because you don't understand it.

You think we are all gullible and naive. Sorry, but it's you who has the problem because your just rigid in your beliefs and can't think for yourself.

If you use text in separate pieces of literature as evidence to show a pattern then the text is the "evidence" you are using. That is what universities now do to detect plagiarism. They don't hunt around for someone who saw the student writing his paper and copying passages. The systems are accurate and can be used in a court if the student challenges them because people who have made a life's study of what "evidence" means understand the concepts of "probabilities" that different people writing independently don't come up with identical passages by mistake and they use statistical probabilities, just as Atwill did.

So, you are wrong and you don't know what you are talking about.

Waaaa waaaa waaaa. You get questioned and you start your "poor me" rant.
Again.
And again.
I thought you said you were leaving. Yet like a bad penny here you are again. No one care who has doctorates. Chas never said ANY of the things you claim about him. Your "doctorate" (if you have one) is not in the subject at had, So stop with the Argument form Authority fallacy. Mark was one of the ones who questioned Ellis, and he FAILED to support anything he said.
Oh and "fuck".
I know your virgin ears don't like swear words, and you'll need that to complain about too.
Again.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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06-06-2014, 11:08 PM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(06-06-2014 08:05 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  It just seems useless to dissuade Mark that his theory has merit, I congratulate him on being the William Lane Craig of Atwillism.

On the other hand I've read through the thread people that claim that Paul knowingly made the entire thing up to gain status, power, etc. This is just doesn't make sense.

Paul didn't have a great time as a Christian leader. He was mocked and threatened often. He even was abandoned at times by fellow believers. Paul knew that he was going to end up getting killed one way or another if he continued preaching his message.
He says things like:

"For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things." (1 Cor 4:9-13)

And

"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”" (Rom 8:35-36)

And

"that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" (Phil 3:10)

And many others. Definitely not a guy in it for the money, power, recognition, etc. He could've been crazy, but a scam artist he certainly wasn't.

Paul was a drama queen. He was also a liar. Need I say more?
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