Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
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10-02-2015, 12:21 AM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
I'll watch it tomorrow, Mark. Too late here, now.

As I've said before, I think his theory is misguided in that he elevates the Jews to a status in 70 AD that they did not merit with the Romans, but we'll see if he has cleaned it up any.

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10-02-2015, 02:01 AM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2015 02:11 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 12:03 AM)morondog Wrote:  Mark, you know I like you - I've learned a fair bit from your posts. YouTube videos and forum posts are not my favourite medium for learning shit, and I still wanna know when this guy's published paper is coming out - he's been knocking around a few years, he *has* evidence - or so he says, he's got a fairly concrete hypothesis - there should *be* a paper. I can't find anything on the net about him other than either people who I don't know going "raa raa Atwill" or other people who I don't know going "He's a crank".

No published papers (as far as I can find) but lots of popularising of his work tends to make me feel he's on the cranky side of the equation *especially* when combined with excited squeaking about how ground breaking and original his ideas are. Maybe I'll give the video a watch but frankly it feels like wasting my time to me - *unless* I can get some references.

I'm not an expert, I don't aspire to be an expert, I have to trust other experts. I find this stuff interesting but I don't find crank fantasies interesting. Therefore when this kind of stuff comes up I want to know what the community of *actual* experts thinks. It's no more than straightforward scepticism as any person would apply...

Hi MD, thank you for your nice comments about my writing. I can honestly say the same about yours.

You know more about the academic world than I do. You know more about "papers" and peer reviews than I do. There is no doubt some academics don't like Joe Atwill, and they point out his lack of academic qualifications, and they may have a point. Richard carrier is one, and although I really like him and respect him, I totally disagree with all his arguments against Atwill. I'm arrogant enough to say that I think Carrier's understanding of the history in some areas may be lacking, despite his qualifications.

I once estimated that I've spent about 15,000 hours teaching myself about the origins of Christianity. About two thirds of the way through that time the penny dropped for me. I realised that it was highly likely Paul ( the main creator of Christian theology) was a Roman government agent, and that the gospels were all Roman government propaganda. If the real historical Jesus ever existed, he had little resemblance to the character in the gospels. This much I thought I'd worked out for myself, although it's likely that some of the hundreds of authors I had read had hinted at it.

When I read Atwill's book about the creation of the gospels he put the cream on the cake for me. He described how it was done. He filled in little gaps in my knowledge, and almost everything (but not all) he said rang true with me.

To understand Atwill one must have some appreciation of the fact that throughout the first century a cold war was going on between the Jews and the Roman government, and it periodically got hot. Jesus, if he existed, was part of that war. There were numerous scuffles and battles and one big war from 66 to 73 CE. This documentary makes it clear how important this clash of ideologies was. When considered in this perspective the production of Christianity by the Roman government makes perfect sense. I think Paul's prattle was the prewar government propaganda and the gospels were the postwar government propaganda.

Atwill's theory is beautiful and it makes good sense. It is a giant puzzle and nearly all the pieces fit.

Please understand that academic historians are bound to heap shit on it. They didn't work it out for themselves, and it makes a lot of their ideas look ordinary. This is how I word that idea in my book....

"If what Atwill theorizes is in fact true, he has uncovered the biggest scam ever in world history, and there are seriously important implications for the legitimacy of Christianity today. I think anyone who lightly dismisses the story just told has either failed to appreciate the depth of Jewish-Gentile antagonism in the first century, or underestimates the cleverness of the ancient Roman government, or else does not recognize how strongly Christianity has shaped our modern world.

There are many reputable scholars who do not buy into Atwill’s theory. There is today an entire academic industry built around studying early Christianity. Experts on the topic hold positions in universities. People write books about Jesus and the early Christians. If Atwill’s theory is accepted, all of a sudden there is very little of real substance left to discuss, and maybe that treads on a few toes, because many of the previously unknown questions are answered, and well answered, and the whole topic of Christianity loses its importance and intrigue. All these people would be left looking a little sheepish. Then consider the priests and preachers and assorted hangers on who make a living, or even just those who derive a sense of purpose, out of teaching and proselytizing Christianity. If Atwill is right, they too might be out of a job and have egg on their faces. It is perhaps, therefore, not surprising that some people resort to ad hominem attacks against Atwill, although it is a little disappointing that otherwise good historians sometimes do so.

Even if Atwill’s theory as a whole is wrong, there are still elements of it that ring loud and true. He has given us all something to think about, particularly by pointing out the parallels between the Gospels and the works of Josephus. There will always be differing opinions about the details, yet I think that the essential premise of his hypothesis is that the government created the Gospels to undermine messianic Judaism, and it has a lot of merit."
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10-02-2015, 03:53 AM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 02:01 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi MD, thank you for your nice comments about my writing. I can honestly say the same about yours.
Blush Holy shit.

Quote:You know more about the academic world than I do. You know more about "papers" and peer reviews than I do. There is no doubt some academics don't like Joe Atwill, and they point out his lack of academic qualifications, and they may have a point. Richard carrier is one, and although I really like him and respect him, I totally disagree with all his arguments against Atwill. I'm arrogant enough to say that I think Carrier's understanding of the history in some areas may be lacking, despite his qualifications.
I doubt that I do - as a doctor I'm sure you've had to read plenty of papers. It's not qualifications that are really at issue - although academics do get quite snobbish about such things and within reason it *is* OK - if one has a degree from a well respected institution chances are you're not a charlatan. But the real thing is getting papers published in journals - which anyone can do, pretty much. Might have to wave your paper around quite a lot before you get noticed but there are plenty of channels to get it submitted and published - find a prof who's published in the journal before, bring him in as co-author, submit it directly (not as easy when you're an unknown, you risk some harried editor mailing it to Siberia for review) etc. People who're in the academic world want to keep abreast of the latest developments so they want journals, and the expert scrutiny that the journals are subjected to means that anything even slightly wrong is caught very quickly. It's not perfect, but it's a good system.

Quote:Please understand that academic historians are bound to heap shit on it. They didn't work it out for themselves, and it makes a lot of their ideas look ordinary.
Please don't insult an entire profession like that Dodgy How would you feel if I said "Doctors are *bound* to heap shit on reflexology, they didn't work it out for themselves and it makes a lot of their so-called modern treatments look ordinary"? If it was such an electrifying and unusual idea *and* had evidence to back it they'd be on that shit like Donkey Kong.

Quote:Even if Atwill’s theory as a whole is wrong, there are still elements of it that ring loud and true. He has given us all something to think about, particularly by pointing out the parallels between the Gospels and the works of Josephus. There will always be differing opinions about the details, yet I think that the essential premise of his hypothesis is that the government created the Gospels to undermine messianic Judaism, and it has a lot of merit.
Therefore the man should write a paper...

Look, pretty much the *only* people who insist on vast conspiracies of the whole academic world to make sure that their particular idea is not taken seriously (woe, woe, woe is me!) and therefore they have no choice but to publish it for an audience of non-experts... are cranks...

What's more likely: vast academic conspiracy because no reputable historian wants to jeopardise his job by endorsing Atwill, or Atwill is a crank? Atwill himself can settle this *very* easily, by writing a paper and submitting it for peer review.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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10-02-2015, 06:09 AM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2015 06:17 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 03:53 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 02:01 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi MD, thank you for your nice comments about my writing. I can honestly say the same about yours.
Blush Holy shit.

Quote:You know more about the academic world than I do. You know more about "papers" and peer reviews than I do. There is no doubt some academics don't like Joe Atwill, and they point out his lack of academic qualifications, and they may have a point. Richard carrier is one, and although I really like him and respect him, I totally disagree with all his arguments against Atwill. I'm arrogant enough to say that I think Carrier's understanding of the history in some areas may be lacking, despite his qualifications.
I doubt that I do - as a doctor I'm sure you've had to read plenty of papers. It's not qualifications that are really at issue - although academics do get quite snobbish about such things and within reason it *is* OK - if one has a degree from a well respected institution chances are you're not a charlatan. But the real thing is getting papers published in journals - which anyone can do, pretty much. Might have to wave your paper around quite a lot before you get noticed but there are plenty of channels to get it submitted and published - find a prof who's published in the journal before, bring him in as co-author, submit it directly (not as easy when you're an unknown, you risk some harried editor mailing it to Siberia for review) etc. People who're in the academic world want to keep abreast of the latest developments so they want journals, and the expert scrutiny that the journals are subjected to means that anything even slightly wrong is caught very quickly. It's not perfect, but it's a good system.

Quote:Please understand that academic historians are bound to heap shit on it. They didn't work it out for themselves, and it makes a lot of their ideas look ordinary.
Please don't insult an entire profession like that Dodgy How would you feel if I said "Doctors are *bound* to heap shit on reflexology, they didn't work it out for themselves and it makes a lot of their so-called modern treatments look ordinary"? If it was such an electrifying and unusual idea *and* had evidence to back it they'd be on that shit like Donkey Kong.

Quote:Even if Atwill’s theory as a whole is wrong, there are still elements of it that ring loud and true. He has given us all something to think about, particularly by pointing out the parallels between the Gospels and the works of Josephus. There will always be differing opinions about the details, yet I think that the essential premise of his hypothesis is that the government created the Gospels to undermine messianic Judaism, and it has a lot of merit.
Therefore the man should write a paper...

Look, pretty much the *only* people who insist on vast conspiracies of the whole academic world to make sure that their particular idea is not taken seriously (woe, woe, woe is me!) and therefore they have no choice but to publish it for an audience of non-experts... are cranks...

What's more likely: vast academic conspiracy because no reputable historian wants to jeopardise his job by endorsing Atwill, or Atwill is a crank? Atwill himself can settle this *very* easily, by writing a paper and submitting it for peer review.

I should have written
"Please understand that SOME academic historians are bound to heap shit on it."

Okay, perhaps the guy should have sent his ideas to someone for peer review... I don't know whether he has or not.

It's the realness of his ideas that is the appealing thing. I don't need permission from an academic to consider anyone's ideas. I've read enough history of the times, as written by qualified historians, to have some sense of what was going on. I've read enough books of history written by academics to know that they often completely disagree with one another.

I'll make the point again… you don't have to agree with Atwill to learn heaps from this documentary...it is full of interesting information.

If people can't be bothered putting in the effort to watch the video, then don't watch the video.

But it's pretty poor form to heap shit on someone's credentials without even considering what they have to say.

Perhaps anyone interested who has watched the film might care to comment on Robert Price's comments...here....

http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/rev_atwill.htm
That might make an interesting discussion.

This guy...

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2013/...he-romans/

badmouths Atwill, but resorts to ad hominems and has no idea of the history.

This guy is worse...
https://tomverenna.wordpress.com/2013/10...ent-jesus/
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10-02-2015, 06:24 AM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 12:21 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  I'll watch it tomorrow, Mark. Too late here, now.

As I've said before, I think his theory is misguided in that he elevates the Jews to a status in 70 AD that they did not merit with the Romans, but we'll see if he has cleaned it up any.

Have a look at this... it is pretty short and the video quality is better...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndAnzWduwP8
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10-02-2015, 06:32 AM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
... Poor form? To ask for a reference? Rolleyes Well I guess I'm one rude guy then. Like I said. I see this as pretty straightforwardly applying scepticism. I am fine to watch the documentary if it's gonna be legit stuff, I wanted a bit more verification before doing so - so I asked you since google didn't turn up anything.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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10-02-2015, 06:53 AM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 06:32 AM)morondog Wrote:  ... Poor form? To ask for a reference? Rolleyes Well I guess I'm one rude guy then. Like I said. I see this as pretty straightforwardly applying scepticism. I am fine to watch the documentary if it's gonna be legit stuff, I wanted a bit more verification before doing so - so I asked you since google didn't turn up anything.

Ok...I have no verification that will impress...so...don't watch it.
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10-02-2015, 11:12 AM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 06:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 12:21 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  I'll watch it tomorrow, Mark. Too late here, now.

As I've said before, I think his theory is misguided in that he elevates the Jews to a status in 70 AD that they did not merit with the Romans, but we'll see if he has cleaned it up any.

Have a look at this... it is pretty short and the video quality is better...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndAnzWduwP8

Okay - I watched the short one first. Seemed terribly disjointed but that may simply be because of the amateurish editing job.

Long on opinion and short on facts. Worst is his fixation on the need for Vespasian to "legitimize" his rule. Really? He won the war. Galba took charge after Nero. Otho took out Galba. Vitellius took out Otho and Vespasian took out Vitellius. Last man standing on top of the Capitoline Hill wins the prize. Vespasian found himself with a world which had been shattered by 18 months of civil strife and he inherited two serious revolts in the north which had to be suppressed...and were. He had far bigger problems than the jews.

Blackhirst seems to be a Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Spirituality at some college in Australia. I won't go so far as to suggest that any of that disqualifies him from having an opinion but a little more knowledge of practical politics in first century Rome would be nice. Right now, he is seeing what he wants to see. Yes, there was a dispute between the Hellenized Judaeans and the more primitive ( let's call them the Taliban Judeans!) for Jerusalem in the 160's BC. But any comparison between a strong Roman Empire in the first century and the decrepit Seleucid empire in the second century BC is purely illusory.

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10-02-2015, 04:15 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
Wow. That was painful in spots.

I'll go through my notes and get back to you with just a couple of points.


In general:

The narrator has a voice which is the vocal equivalent of valium. She's horrible.

When you have to resort to Acharya S, you are in trouble. When she is one of the more rational people speaking, you are in deep trouble.

I'll get back to the historical issues later.

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10-02-2015, 05:30 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
Whether you like it or not, or agree with it or not, it promotes "out of the box" thinking. When I came here I thought "of course Jebus existed, and Fulton is a wacko". Now I've totally changed my mind, and there is a very good possibility that Christianity was invented from made-up memes circulating in the ancient Near East, and the closer you look the more the timing is off. Not by a lot, but by enough to make it very suspicious. The teachings of Christ in the gospels reflect about a 50-100 year later set of values in Judaism, that we know for a fact the Rabbis were spreading AFTER the fall of Jerusalem. There are some things in Acts that are totally nonsensical, (and obviously made up) : "7 They were amazed and astonished. 'Surely,' they said, 'all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; residents of Rome-Jews and proselytes alike -- Cretans and Arabs, we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.' "

Now how in the hell would THAT early on, there be such a convocation of foreigners who KNEW about all those various places and languages, among Jews who had never set foot outside Israel ?
Many of the speeches "recounted" in Acts reflect a much much later, much more developed theology.

Peter is made to say "Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed them in a loud voice: 'Men of Judaea, and all you who live in Jerusalem, make no mistake about this, but listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you imagine; why, it is only the third hour of the day. On the contrary, this is what the prophet was saying: In the last days -- the Lord declares -- I shall pour out my Spirit on all humanity. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young people shall see visions, your old people dream dreams. Even on the slaves, men and women, shall I pour out my Spirit. I will show portents in the sky above and signs on the earth below. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the day of the Lord comes, that great and terrible Day. And all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. 'Men of Israel, listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God by the miracles and portents and signs that God worked through him when he was among you, as you know. This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified and killed by men outside the Law. But God raised him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades; for it was impossible for him to be held in its power since, as David says of him: I kept the Lord before my sight always, for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me. So my heart rejoiced my tongue delighted; my body, too, will rest secure, for you will not abandon me to Hades or allow your holy one to see corruption. You have taught me the way of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence. 'Brothers, no one can deny that the patriarch David himself is dead and buried: his tomb is still with us. But since he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn him an oath to make one of his descendants succeed him on the throne, he spoke with foreknowledge about the resurrection of the Christ: he is the one who was not abandoned to Hades, and whose body did not see corruption. God raised this man Jesus to life, and of that we are all witnesses. Now raised to the heights by God's right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit. For David himself never went up to heaven, but yet he said: The Lord declared to my Lord, take your seat at my right hand, till I have made your enemies your footstool. 'For this reason the whole House of Israel can be certain that the Lord and Christ whom God has made is this Jesus whom you crucified.' Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'What are we to do, brothers?' 'You must repent,' Peter answered, 'and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Whatever is going on there, it cannot have happened the way it's written. "Dying for sin" was completely new, and NOT the role of a messiah. Even THEY had just asked if Jesus was going to "at this time restore the kingdom to Israel". And now a few weeks later it's all changed ? Nope. I think not. The concepts have developed, and that takes YEARS and YEARS of discussion and debate. So whether Atwill is right or not, his ideas may hold some truth, as clearly the whole ball of wax was "assembled" without regard to what today we would consider in any way "historical".

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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