Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
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18-12-2016, 12:10 PM
Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
It is easy to play a little circle-jerk and throw insults on Atwill because he made some embarrassing breaches of logic for example leading to an unsupported conclusion of Josephus and/or the Flavians writing the gospels. However, at the Thinking Atheist we ought not throw out the baby with the bathwater and we should consider what bits he might have gotten right, which was a lot of his work on parallels and chronology of parallels. But even there he made some mistakes. Here is one:

He claimed to have found a parallel for "building a tower":
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has [enough] to finish [it --] lest, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all who see [it] begin to mock him, "saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'"
Luke 14:28-30

"Titus went around the wall looking for the best place to build a tower"
Wars of the Jews, 5, 6, 258

I believe this parallel is incorrect. It is very simplistic and only has two words in common, "build" and "tower". I have my own parallel that I found for Luke 14, but I find parallels for whole passages so it is verses 25-33 instead of just 28-30 and has five plot elements in common ("something does something to something else", like subject verb object) making it almost the same story. If you are the type to understand irony, look for it, otherwise the irony part is not as important as the parallel itself which demonstrates textual dependence:

[Image: 996hvok76d4y.png]
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18-12-2016, 12:18 PM
RE: Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
That was the parallel for the Cost of Following Jesus in Luke 14, but there is another passage called "The Cost of Following Jesus" in Luke 9 and I also found the parallel for that passage as well:

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18-12-2016, 12:23 PM
RE: Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
Atwill has lots 'o fans and people here who think he was on to something.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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18-12-2016, 12:36 PM
RE: Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
(18-12-2016 12:23 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Atwill has lots 'o fans and people here who think he was on to something.

He was onto something with the parallels. He just made some logical failures and jumped to conclusions about Flavians/Josephus writing the Gospels. Did you actually read the post or just the title?
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18-12-2016, 06:53 PM
RE: Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
(18-12-2016 12:36 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(18-12-2016 12:23 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Atwill has lots 'o fans and people here who think he was on to something.

He was onto something with the parallels. He just made some logical failures and jumped to conclusions about Flavians/Josephus writing the Gospels. Did you actually read the post or just the title?

I too think he was on to something.

I have read 1/3 of your book. You may be on to something too. I won't say too much until I have read it all. It is very long.
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18-12-2016, 09:06 PM
RE: Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
(18-12-2016 12:36 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(18-12-2016 12:23 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Atwill has lots 'o fans and people here who think he was on to something.

He was onto something with the parallels. He just made some logical failures and jumped to conclusions about Flavians/Josephus writing the Gospels. Did you actually read the post or just the title?

I read the entire post. Your presumption that we all throw out Atwill is false, and completely unrepresentative of those here. Did you ever read ANY of the relevant threads here, or just presume you know people you never talked to ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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18-12-2016, 10:52 PM
RE: Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
Quote:I too think he was on to something.


I think he is on something. I hope he has a prescription for it.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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18-12-2016, 11:20 PM
RE: Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
(18-12-2016 12:10 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  It is easy to play a little circle-jerk and throw insults on Atwill because he made some embarrassing breaches of logic for example leading to an unsupported conclusion of Josephus and/or the Flavians writing the gospels. However, at the Thinking Atheist we ought not throw out the baby with the bathwater and we should consider what bits he might have gotten right, which was a lot of his work on parallels and chronology of parallels. But even there he made some mistakes. Here is one:

He claimed to have found a parallel for "building a tower":
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has [enough] to finish [it --] lest, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all who see [it] begin to mock him, "saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'"
Luke 14:28-30

"Titus went around the wall looking for the best place to build a tower"
Wars of the Jews, 5, 6, 258

I believe this parallel is incorrect. It is very simplistic and only has two words in common, "build" and "tower". I have my own parallel that I found for Luke 14, but I find parallels for whole passages so it is verses 25-33 instead of just 28-30 and has five plot elements in common ("something does something to something else", like subject verb object) making it almost the same story. If you are the type to understand irony, look for it, otherwise the irony part is not as important as the parallel itself which demonstrates textual dependence:

[Image: 996hvok76d4y.png]

I look at this differently...

Jesus said

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war
against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.” (Jesus, Luke 14:28-32, KJV.)

Titus, having surrounded Jerusalem, tried to breach the walls by building a tower:

“Titus went round the city on the outside with some chosen horse- men, and looked about for a proper place where he might make an impression upon the walls; but as he was in doubt where he could possibly make an attack on any side, (for the place was no way accessible where the valleys were, and on the other side the first wall appeared too strong to be shaken by the engines) he thereupon thought it best to make his assault upon the monument of John the high priest” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 5, 6, 258.) The tower was never finished because it collapsed when its foundations fell through.

So Jesus talked about the decisions involved in building a tower, Titus, after some deliberation as to where to put a tower, actually built one, and in both scenarios the towers were never finished. Jesus promoted negotiation between unmatched warring kings, and Titus, the Roman leader, had an army that outnumbered the Jews, and tried to negotiate a Jewish surrender with the Jewish leaders. Surely these specific double parallels are not just coincidence!
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18-12-2016, 11:44 PM
RE: Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
http://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/4664

[/quote]I honestly shouldn’t have to explain why this is absurd. But I’ll hit some highlights. Then I’ll reveal the reasons why I think Atwill is a total crank, and his work should be ignored, indeed everywhere warned against as among the worst of mythicism, not representative of any serious argument that Jesus didn’t exist. And that’s coming from me, someone who believes Jesus didn’t exist.

Historically, Atwill’s thesis is more or less a retooled version of the old Pisonian Conspiracy Theory, by which is not meant the actual Pisonian conspiracy (to assassinate Nero), but a wildly fictitious one in which the Piso family invented Christianity (and fabricated all its documents) through its contacts with the Flavian family, and thence Josephus (who indeed adopted that family’s name when they made him a Roman citizen, after he had tricked his officer corps into committing suicide and then surrendered to the Romans during the War…oh, and conveniently declaring Vespasian the Messiah).

This pseudo-historical nonsense is over a century old by now, first having been proposed (in a somewhat different form) by Bruno Bauer in Christ and the Caesars in 1877 (Christus und Caesaren). It has been revamped a dozen times since. Atwill is simply the latest iteration (or almost–there is a bonkers Rabbi still going around with an even wilder version). Atwill’s is very much like Bible Code crankery, where he looks for all kinds of multiple comparisons fallacies and sees conspiracies in all of them, rather than the inevitable coincidences (or often outright non-correspondences) that they really are. Everything confirms his thesis, because nothing could ever fail to. Classic nonfalsifiability. He just cherry picks and interprets anything to fit, any way he wants.
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19-12-2016, 05:24 AM
RE: Atwill got this wrong: The Cost of Following Jesus
People who write using multi-colored fonts don't actually want to be read. Tongue

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