Fearing God Alone (satire)
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13-12-2016, 09:44 AM
Fearing God Alone (satire)
In this one, Jesus assures us that if God sells us into slavery he might get a low price for it, but he will get more than the price of a few birds, that's for sure:

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14-12-2016, 05:25 AM
RE: Fearing God Alone (satire)
(13-12-2016 09:44 AM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  In this one, Jesus assures us that if God sells us into slavery he might get a low price for it, but he will get more than the price of a few birds, that's for sure:

[Image: vehspvhgsc3y.png]


Got some of this but you lost me about the hair thing
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14-12-2016, 07:35 AM (This post was last modified: 14-12-2016 07:39 AM by fhqwhgads.)
RE: Fearing God Alone (satire)
(14-12-2016 05:25 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Got some of this but you lost me about the hair thing

Josephus says a lot of things that sound funny or strange. When reading him, you sometimes get confused and have to go back and re-read it and then you get what he was trying to say. One of my favorites is this:

"... for the ground did no where appear visible, for the dead bodies that lay on it; but the soldiers went over heaps of those bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 5:1

The ground was not visible as they ran upon such as fled from them? No, wait, remember that part in the middle, the soldiers went over heaps of bodies, so that is why the ground was not visible and they ran upon the dead bodies which fled from them. No, wait, I guess probably he means the ones that were still alive were fleeing and they ran upon them. He, he.

This satire is not that complicated, don't over think it. When ever Josephus says something that sounds just a little bit ambiguous or funny, interpret it in the worst way possible. In "Fearing God Alone", Josephus says that Titus "set over them such as were to distinguish some from others". So let's interpret that literally, he literally placed some guys over their heads to distinguish the people. From that position, the best way to distinguish the people would be if you know the number of hairs on their head, I suppose. So, don't worry, God cares about you so much that even the hairs of your head are numbered before you sells you into slavery. Isn't he a great and kind, loving God, really Rome is clearly the kingdom that deserves God's favor, I have to agree with Josephus here;}.
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15-12-2016, 11:03 AM
RE: Fearing God Alone (satire)
I have a couple of points. Are you going to post all of your findings here? I think this will not be appreciated or understood. I am one of the few people here who has read Atwill and understand what you are doing but you have lost me.

I don't understand what your underlying point is. Atwill and Ellis both have themes which involve the history of the time, particularly the war which Rome was fighting in Judea. What you seem to be saying is that the NT is just written as satire by some clerics with I can only describe as having highly elaborate and cryptical senses of humour. I don't see Atwill as having shown the NT as satire and I think you have gone off on a tangent and tried to "out satire" him. I think you've gone in the wrong direction with this.

I mean, carry on, if you want, but I'm known around here as more prone to taking an interest in the most outlandish theories and this is seriously so far out there that no one here will follow it.
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15-12-2016, 04:53 PM
RE: Fearing God Alone (satire)
(15-12-2016 11:03 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Are you going to post all of your findings here?

No, that would take too long. I could post one satirical parallel like this every single day for a year and not come close to running out. But 2 or 3 percent of my findings I plan on posting here.

(15-12-2016 11:03 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I think this will not be appreciated or understood. I am one of the few people here who has read Atwill and understand what you are doing but you have lost me.

At some point, we may have to just face the fact that for some people it is given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God and for others it is not. Maybe it is just some kind of law of nature and there really is nothing we can do to improve your understanding. "I understand what your are doing but you have lost me"? You were clearly born lost.

(15-12-2016 11:03 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I don't understand what your underlying point is. Atwill and Ellis both have themes which involve the history of the time, particularly the war which Rome was fighting in Judea.

The difference between me and Atwill is this: I base myself on those exact same "themes", namely the works of Josephus. But he sees the similarities between Josephus and the NT and says "they must have been written at the same time by the same person" which is really, really stupid. That is not how logic works. If the texts are shown to be dependent it means that at least one knew about the other, not that they were written by the same person. He needs to go back to logic school and stick to the facts and not his fantasies.

(15-12-2016 11:03 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  What you seem to be saying is that the NT is just written as satire by some clerics with I can only describe as having highly elaborate and cryptical senses of humour. I don't see Atwill as having shown the NT as satire and I think you have gone off on a tangent and tried to "out satire" him. I think you've gone in the wrong direction with this.

What do you think sounds more likely? Some Greek satirists wrote a series of satires about the biggest event in the known earth in his time and based it on the only history of that of that war which the Caesars allowed to be published because that was their only option? Or, a Jew was captured in the war, joined the family of the Caesars and then wrote some Roman propaganda for a history and sent it to the "entire inhabitable earth" (ok, all of that until now did actually happen) and then devised a plan to invent a religion to replace his own religion, Judaism, but it would be a Rome centric religion and they would carefully choose the wording so that they would have parallels with various passages from the histories with references to when Mary ate her child, with parallels to water being turned into wine because the sea was made bloody a long way, like really horrifying parallels, just because that would be fun to invent such a religion? And then written tons of these literary masterpieces, poetic and elegant chiasms, but each with different dialect, and let them appear in various places around the Roman empire slowly over the course of one or two hundred years and not actually make a push to make christianity a state religion until Constantine?

(15-12-2016 11:03 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I mean, carry on, if you want, but I'm known around here as more prone to taking an interest in the most outlandish theories and this is seriously so far out there that no one here will follow it.

I can see how well known you are around here from your -2 reputation. But you are not the only one reading, liking and discussing this. Mark for example seems interested and is asking a lot of questions and appears to be curious enough to have bought the book. And he has reputation 72, so I think I ought to trust him a lot more on the topic of what people on this site might be interested in. Hell, I've only been on this site for a month and I have reputation 4 and I've gotten more than 40 likes in that month, I see you are averaging about 5 likes per month, so maybe even I am a better judge of what people on this site are interested in than you. Maybe we ought to let them decide, because I am generating hundreds of views and 40 some likes.

The Gospels were very masterfully written by what must have been native speaking Greek scholars or writers, someone trained in Greek writing. If you are just incapable of understanding a discussion of Greek scholars then maybe you should go back to the first century.
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04-01-2017, 04:47 PM
RE: Fearing God Alone (satire)
(14-12-2016 07:35 AM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(14-12-2016 05:25 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Got some of this but you lost me about the hair thing

Josephus says a lot of things that sound funny or strange. When reading him, you sometimes get confused and have to go back and re-read it and then you get what he was trying to say. One of my favorites is this:

"... for the ground did no where appear visible, for the dead bodies that lay on it; but the soldiers went over heaps of those bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 5:1

The ground was not visible as they ran upon such as fled from them? No, wait, remember that part in the middle, the soldiers went over heaps of bodies, so that is why the ground was not visible and they ran upon the dead bodies which fled from them. No, wait, I guess probably he means the ones that were still alive were fleeing and they ran upon them. He, he.

This satire is not that complicated, don't over think it. When ever Josephus says something that sounds just a little bit ambiguous or funny, interpret it in the worst way possible. In "Fearing God Alone", Josephus says that Titus "set over them such as were to distinguish some from others". So let's interpret that literally, he literally placed some guys over their heads to distinguish the people. From that position, the best way to distinguish the people would be if you know the number of hairs on their head, I suppose. So, don't worry, God cares about you so much that even the hairs of your head are numbered before you sells you into slavery. Isn't he a great and kind, loving God, really Rome is clearly the kingdom that deserves God's favor, I have to agree with Josephus here;}.

Mmmmmm.

This one is only just plausible.

If there is a connection, it shows us how patronising the gospels are.
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04-01-2017, 04:54 PM
RE: Fearing God Alone (satire)
(15-12-2016 11:03 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I have a couple of points. Are you going to post all of your findings here? I think this will not be appreciated or understood. I am one of the few people here who has read Atwill and understand what you are doing but you have lost me.

I don't understand what your underlying point is. Atwill and Ellis both have themes which involve the history of the time, particularly the war which Rome was fighting in Judea. What you seem to be saying is that the NT is just written as satire by some clerics with I can only describe as having highly elaborate and cryptical senses of humour. I don't see Atwill as having shown the NT as satire and I think you have gone off on a tangent and tried to "out satire" him. I think you've gone in the wrong direction with this.

I mean, carry on, if you want, but I'm known around here as more prone to taking an interest in the most outlandish theories and this is seriously so far out there that no one here will follow it.

"Atwill and Ellis both have themes which involve the history of the time, particularly the war which Rome was fighting in Judea. What you seem to be saying is that the NT is just written as satire by some clerics with I can only describe as having highly elaborate and cryptical senses of humour."

This is a very good point.

A satire written by some clerics doesn't turn into a massive religion just by some quirk. You need power to create a religion. You also need an agenda. The Roman government had both.
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04-01-2017, 08:07 PM
RE: Fearing God Alone (satire)
Just because someone writes something that "may be" interpreted as satire in one context, does not mean that if the story is repeated or copied in a totally different context, it's meant or interpreted as satire. This entire pile of dung is built on a fallacy.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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05-01-2017, 02:20 AM
RE: Fearing God Alone (satire)
(15-12-2016 11:03 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I don't understand what your underlying point is.

The underlying point is that almost the entirety of the Gospels and the book of Revelation can be shown to be a retelling of the works of Josephus, almost every passage, but it requires you to look at the parallels in a new light and leads to the conclusion that it is Greek satire. In this way, I demonstrate far more textual dependence than Atwill.


(15-12-2016 11:03 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Atwill and Ellis both have themes which involve the history of the time, particularly the war which Rome was fighting in Judea. What you seem to be saying is that the NT is just written as satire by some clerics with I can only describe as having highly elaborate and cryptical senses of humour.

I am sorry, but this also involves themes of the time. The Greeks were being insulted very badly by the adopted son of the living God and they mocked him in traditional Greek style using his own words. Where you get the word "cleric" from is a mystery to me. These were probably Greek scholars and writers who we happen to know had "highly elaborate and cryptical senses of humour". Roman generals and Josephus did not.

(04-01-2017 04:54 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  This is a very good point.

A satire written by some clerics doesn't turn into a massive religion just by some quirk. You need power to create a religion. You also need an agenda. The Roman government had both.

Yes, obviously! You don't need to make an argument that it was the Romans who spread Christianity, often at the point of a sword. That is just a fact of history, although its formation into a religion was a bit more decentralized and chaotic than can be explained by just Romans controlling and planning everything.

The question I am looking at is who wrote the gospels originally but more specifically what the originally wrote, not what it became. We have seen many times in modern times satirical news articles which were not understood by casual readers and end up having the opposite effect from their original intention, because that is how satire and irony work: you use language which is normally supposed to mean the opposite of what you are really trying to imply. That is how the Romans or non-scholars could have mistaken the Gospels as praising the Romans and giving them the authority and favor of the Jewish God, even if that was originally intended to say the opposite in order to criticize/mock Josephus.

Maybe the Romans could have been capable of inventing a religion. But in this case it looks like they did not. They stumbled on a happy accident and took the opportunity to turn it into a Rome friendly religion by burning anyone who knew that it was a satire and burning the gospels which made that clear. Because what you Atwill fans seem obsessed about is that only the Romans could have written it. But what you fail to do is tell me why the Romans would include references to Cannibal Mary or other horrific things into their new religion that they were "inventing" to glorify Rome or unite the empire or fight Judaism. References to Cannibal Mary go against all of those goals and references at all to Josephus' works make them actually in danger because then their authenticity can be disproven. There is no good reason for someone trying to invent a religion to base it on something which can be discovered. The only way to explain the parallels to Josephus is that it was satire and that the joke was either not seen by the Romans or they chose to forget about it, because these Gospels were already proliferating and being read by some scholars/writers/historians who understood the references and common people who would have thought these were religious documents. So they had a choice fight against this new spreading religion or forget the satire and go with it and turn it into your new religion and kill whoever claims that Jesus did not come in the flesh and was just supposed to be a metaphor (e.g. the gnostics).
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05-01-2017, 04:20 AM
RE: Fearing God Alone (satire)
(04-01-2017 08:07 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Just because someone writes something that "may be" interpreted as satire in one context, does not mean that if the story is repeated or copied in a totally different context, it's meant or interpreted as satire. This entire pile of dung is built on a fallacy.

Oh, damn it. We were just starting to get into a better kind of conversation where you were raising legitimate concerns and questions and making good points directly related to my arguments, but now we are back to just throwing insults and not arguing and not even telling me where you think you see a fallacy. You are back to being a troll again. Very disappointing.

But yes, you are right, just because the stories of the Gospels almost every time parallel a passage in Josephus does not mean it is a satire. It is the most likely answer, because satire is the one genera that requires you to imitate your subject matter very closely but in a more cartoonish sort of way: like the way the NT praises the Romans as the kingdom of God for fulfilling Jewish prophecy and destroying Israel only a little more than Josephus himself does. But what proves it is satire is first establishing a parallel by showing they tell the same story, frequently using the same or similar names. Then I objectively show a component of irony, where the casual reader of the NT would see one meaning, but someone who knows both sides of the parallel would see that the true meaning is the opposite, i.e. irony/satire.
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