Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
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10-02-2015, 06:35 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
Before I begin let me say that I am a mythicist. Of course there were probably 100 men named Y’shua bar Yosep in first century Judaea as both were common names so whether or not someone bore that name is irrelevant. I seriously doubt that anyone was called “Jesus of Nazareth” as there is no compelling evidence that Nazareth even existed at the close of the first millennium BCE, but be that as it may. A real man is not necessary for a myth to form. In fact, it might be an impediment!

One of the more subtly repetitive points in the film was the recurring reference to “gospels” in the plural. But there was only one original story and that was gMark. Luke and Matthew were localized ( in the sense that they were directed to different audiences ) expansion of the original Markan text. In modern parlance they were “fanfics.” John comes along much later and he has a whole different agenda. His ‘jesus’ doesn’t stand there like a bump on a log while Pilate questions him. Nope. He’s not the strong silent type in this one. He’s into deep philosophical discussions and he kicked the money lenders out of the fucking temple TWICE. Chuck Norris that, assholes!

So before I lose my mind blasting Atwill I want to make it clear that I wish his scholarship was better because to my mind fucking jesus is as phony as a $3 bill.

That said, there are mistakes, over-simplifications, and probably blatant lies in this thing.

One: They make a big deal out of Roman emperors wanting to put statues of themselves into the temple. Only Caligula is reported to have done that and his Governor in Syria, Publius Petronius, wisely delayed complying with the order until Caligula was assassinated. Crisis averted.

That did not stop later procurators, notably Gessius Florus, who provoked rebellion by doing such things as raiding the temple treasury.

Two: At one point the film referred to Vespasian and Titus as “ two of the finest military men in the empire.” No. Vespasian had served as a legion commander under Aulus Plautius during the invasion of Britain and had done well in independent command. He served a term as consul but then he retired for a dozen years before being given a governorship in Africa. When the Jewish Revolt broke out Plautius was dead and Petillius Cerialis was otherwise engaged. This finest military man in the empire had not commanded a legion in 15 years. Titus had been a military tribune in Germany before being sent to Britain with reinforcements after the Boudicca revolt. We know he was back in Rome by 63 and does not seem to have had a military command until Daddy got the job in Judaea. Nepotism at its finest. Now, either Atwill is a lousy investigator or he is simply lying but the reason Vespasian got the job seems more likely that he was not politically well-connected and he was at least a veteran soldier and commander. That should have been enough to stomp the Jews. Titus was a throw-in.

Three: They attributed the establishment of xtianity as the official state religion to “Flavius Constantine,” which is actually two errors for the price of one. Constantine’s original name was Flavius Valerius Constantinus which means his father used “Flavius” as a praenomen not a family name. Thus there is no dynastic relationship between Constantine the Great and the Flavian dynasty. Second, Constantine did not make xtianity the official state religion. He legalized it but it fell to Theodosius later in the 4th century to saddle everyone with that silly shit.

Four: The film says that both “Jesus” and Titus began their campaigns at the Sea of Galilee. No. I don’t know what fucking jesus did but when the Galilean campaign was launched it was Vespasian who was in command. Titus may not have even been there yet. Josephus is unclear. Titus sailed from Greece to Alexandria and marched the 15th Legion overland to Ptolemais where Vespasian was waiting for him. However, the campaign had already begun. An advance guard under Placidius was already tearing up Galilee. In fact, Placidius secured Sepphoris against Josephus’ attempt to take the city.

That’s enough for now. I was not impressed.

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10-02-2015, 09:05 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 05:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  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".

Hi Bucky, thank you for joining in. I was hoping you were going to comment. Thank you for taking the trouble to watch the video.

I agree with all your comments about Acts.

By the way, I do think it is possible that there was a character upon which a few of the ideas in the gospels were very loosely based. It is also possible that the Jesus figure is 100% entirely mythical.

The really fascinating and interesting issue raised in this video to my mind is that the gospels were created by the Roman government to undermine messianic Judaism. It just all fits. Whether Titus is actually Jesus is an interesting topic but it's not the primary issue, to me anyway.

In case you're interested in what I think, I suspect that Paul's Christ was only written into the gospels in the early to mid second century. This would fit with the fact that the original version of Mark contains no resurrection appearance of Jesus.
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10-02-2015, 09:20 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 11:12 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 06:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  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.

Thanks for watching this video. The guy's got a great accent, hasn't he!Big Grin

Re "He had far bigger problems than the jews" Well.....maybe....maybe not.... The fact remains that the Jews were still a problem. Permit me a little cut-and-paste that discuss this....

"Would Titus have been interested in such an endeavor? The military suppression of Jewish insurgents had already taken three years out of his life. He had a mistress, Bernice, who was Jewish. Titus had brought back 97,000 Jewish prisoners from Palestine to Rome. It is obvious that the control of Jewish behavior would have been an important topic commonly discussed in the Flavian household, one very relevant to Titus personally, and one crucial to the stability of the government.

There is no doubt that the Flavians were antagonistic towards Messianic Jews, even after the war. Vespasian imposed a special tax on all Jews in the Empire, in much the same way the rest of Europe imposed economic restrictions on Germany after World War 1....

It seems there were three tools the Roman government used to try to control the Jews; military might, economic suppression, and propaganda."

Don't forget that Palestine was en route to Egypt, and Rome was very dependent on Egyptian grain.

I read somewhere that the army that Vespasian took into Palestine consisted of 120,000 footsoldiers and it was the biggest Army the Romans had ever assembled. I'm not sure if this is historically true or not.

Something like 10% of the citizens of the Empire were Jewish, so Rome simply could not afford to suffer a military defeat at Jewish hands.

Don't forget there had been previous battles involving thousands of Roman troops in Palestine in four BC and six CE.

Hundreds of Roman troops had been slaughtered in Jerusalem in 66 CE. In the decades before that Palestine had been almost out of control.

To me it is fairly obvious that Jewish peasants and the Jewish religion itself was a major thorn in the side of the Roman government.

It seems distinctly possible that Paul's prattle was the pre first Jewish War government propaganda, and the gospels, well at least the Gospel of Mark, was the post war effort.
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10-02-2015, 09:27 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 06:35 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  Before I begin let me say that I am a mythicist. Of course there were probably 100 men named Y’shua bar Yosep in first century Judaea as both were common names so whether or not someone bore that name is irrelevant. I seriously doubt that anyone was called “Jesus of Nazareth” as there is no compelling evidence that Nazareth even existed at the close of the first millennium BCE, but be that as it may. A real man is not necessary for a myth to form. In fact, it might be an impediment!

One of the more subtly repetitive points in the film was the recurring reference to “gospels” in the plural. But there was only one original story and that was gMark. Luke and Matthew were localized ( in the sense that they were directed to different audiences ) expansion of the original Markan text. In modern parlance they were “fanfics.” John comes along much later and he has a whole different agenda. His ‘jesus’ doesn’t stand there like a bump on a log while Pilate questions him. Nope. He’s not the strong silent type in this one. He’s into deep philosophical discussions and he kicked the money lenders out of the fucking temple TWICE. Chuck Norris that, assholes!

So before I lose my mind blasting Atwill I want to make it clear that I wish his scholarship was better because to my mind fucking jesus is as phony as a $3 bill.

That said, there are mistakes, over-simplifications, and probably blatant lies in this thing.

One: They make a big deal out of Roman emperors wanting to put statues of themselves into the temple. Only Caligula is reported to have done that and his Governor in Syria, Publius Petronius, wisely delayed complying with the order until Caligula was assassinated. Crisis averted.

That did not stop later procurators, notably Gessius Florus, who provoked rebellion by doing such things as raiding the temple treasury.

Two: At one point the film referred to Vespasian and Titus as “ two of the finest military men in the empire.” No. Vespasian had served as a legion commander under Aulus Plautius during the invasion of Britain and had done well in independent command. He served a term as consul but then he retired for a dozen years before being given a governorship in Africa. When the Jewish Revolt broke out Plautius was dead and Petillius Cerialis was otherwise engaged. This finest military man in the empire had not commanded a legion in 15 years. Titus had been a military tribune in Germany before being sent to Britain with reinforcements after the Boudicca revolt. We know he was back in Rome by 63 and does not seem to have had a military command until Daddy got the job in Judaea. Nepotism at its finest. Now, either Atwill is a lousy investigator or he is simply lying but the reason Vespasian got the job seems more likely that he was not politically well-connected and he was at least a veteran soldier and commander. That should have been enough to stomp the Jews. Titus was a throw-in.

Three: They attributed the establishment of xtianity as the official state religion to “Flavius Constantine,” which is actually two errors for the price of one. Constantine’s original name was Flavius Valerius Constantinus which means his father used “Flavius” as a praenomen not a family name. Thus there is no dynastic relationship between Constantine the Great and the Flavian dynasty. Second, Constantine did not make xtianity the official state religion. He legalized it but it fell to Theodosius later in the 4th century to saddle everyone with that silly shit.

Four: The film says that both “Jesus” and Titus began their campaigns at the Sea of Galilee. No. I don’t know what fucking jesus did but when the Galilean campaign was launched it was Vespasian who was in command. Titus may not have even been there yet. Josephus is unclear. Titus sailed from Greece to Alexandria and marched the 15th Legion overland to Ptolemais where Vespasian was waiting for him. However, the campaign had already begun. An advance guard under Placidius was already tearing up Galilee. In fact, Placidius secured Sepphoris against Josephus’ attempt to take the city.

That’s enough for now. I was not impressed.

Min, I have not a fucking clue if any of what you write is true or nor BUT I hung on every word. You appear to have an immense knowledge base of that time in history and I find history, especially Roman history, fascinating.

This entire conversation between Mark, you and Bucky is worth the price of admission. I hope you guys continue to flesh it out.

Popcorn

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10-02-2015, 09:51 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
Pardon an ignorant contributor, if you don't mind. I watched the video again and while I find the "outside the box" thinking intriguing, some things make me wonder. For instance, he mentions the Flavians' creation of Christianity to be something like 74 CE. While I know he said they wrote the gospels as if they were written 40 years earlier, this seems like a huge problem to me. There are non-Biblical writings that predate 74 CE that mention Christianity. Am I wrong on this?

Also, if they wrote the gospels, what about the gospels that have been unearthed that didn't make it into the bible? These mention Christ, etc. Did Josephus write these, too, and the Flavians rejected them? Yet they somehow survived despite an entire empire that prided itself on destroying dissenting records?

And, finally, if I remember correctly, the gospels mention the need to convert Gentiles. If the gospels were a rouse to get non-conforming Jews to follow Jesus, who is supposed to supersede all other figureheads, wouldn't this be counterproductive to convert the Roman multitude that already follow/worship the Flavians and have those followers now be dissenters, even if they unknowingly would be worshipping Titus?

This is just the tip of the dissenting iceberg for me, but I didn't want it to get too long.

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10-02-2015, 10:15 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 09:27 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 06:35 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  Before I begin let me say that I am a mythicist. Of course there were probably 100 men named Y’shua bar Yosep in first century Judaea as both were common names so whether or not someone bore that name is irrelevant. I seriously doubt that anyone was called “Jesus of Nazareth” as there is no compelling evidence that Nazareth even existed at the close of the first millennium BCE, but be that as it may. A real man is not necessary for a myth to form. In fact, it might be an impediment!

One of the more subtly repetitive points in the film was the recurring reference to “gospels” in the plural. But there was only one original story and that was gMark. Luke and Matthew were localized ( in the sense that they were directed to different audiences ) expansion of the original Markan text. In modern parlance they were “fanfics.” John comes along much later and he has a whole different agenda. His ‘jesus’ doesn’t stand there like a bump on a log while Pilate questions him. Nope. He’s not the strong silent type in this one. He’s into deep philosophical discussions and he kicked the money lenders out of the fucking temple TWICE. Chuck Norris that, assholes!

So before I lose my mind blasting Atwill I want to make it clear that I wish his scholarship was better because to my mind fucking jesus is as phony as a $3 bill.

That said, there are mistakes, over-simplifications, and probably blatant lies in this thing.

One: They make a big deal out of Roman emperors wanting to put statues of themselves into the temple. Only Caligula is reported to have done that and his Governor in Syria, Publius Petronius, wisely delayed complying with the order until Caligula was assassinated. Crisis averted.

That did not stop later procurators, notably Gessius Florus, who provoked rebellion by doing such things as raiding the temple treasury.

Two: At one point the film referred to Vespasian and Titus as “ two of the finest military men in the empire.” No. Vespasian had served as a legion commander under Aulus Plautius during the invasion of Britain and had done well in independent command. He served a term as consul but then he retired for a dozen years before being given a governorship in Africa. When the Jewish Revolt broke out Plautius was dead and Petillius Cerialis was otherwise engaged. This finest military man in the empire had not commanded a legion in 15 years. Titus had been a military tribune in Germany before being sent to Britain with reinforcements after the Boudicca revolt. We know he was back in Rome by 63 and does not seem to have had a military command until Daddy got the job in Judaea. Nepotism at its finest. Now, either Atwill is a lousy investigator or he is simply lying but the reason Vespasian got the job seems more likely that he was not politically well-connected and he was at least a veteran soldier and commander. That should have been enough to stomp the Jews. Titus was a throw-in.

Three: They attributed the establishment of xtianity as the official state religion to “Flavius Constantine,” which is actually two errors for the price of one. Constantine’s original name was Flavius Valerius Constantinus which means his father used “Flavius” as a praenomen not a family name. Thus there is no dynastic relationship between Constantine the Great and the Flavian dynasty. Second, Constantine did not make xtianity the official state religion. He legalized it but it fell to Theodosius later in the 4th century to saddle everyone with that silly shit.

Four: The film says that both “Jesus” and Titus began their campaigns at the Sea of Galilee. No. I don’t know what fucking jesus did but when the Galilean campaign was launched it was Vespasian who was in command. Titus may not have even been there yet. Josephus is unclear. Titus sailed from Greece to Alexandria and marched the 15th Legion overland to Ptolemais where Vespasian was waiting for him. However, the campaign had already begun. An advance guard under Placidius was already tearing up Galilee. In fact, Placidius secured Sepphoris against Josephus’ attempt to take the city.

That’s enough for now. I was not impressed.

Min, I have not a fucking clue if any of what you write is true or nor BUT I hung on every word. You appear to have an immense knowledge base of that time in history and I find history, especially Roman history, fascinating.

This entire conversation between Mark, you and Bucky is worth the price of admission. I hope you guys continue to flesh it out.

Popcorn

I'm seriously glad you're interested. I had a suspicion I was boring everyone to death
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10-02-2015, 10:41 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 10:15 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 09:27 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Min, I have not a fucking clue if any of what you write is true or nor BUT I hung on every word. You appear to have an immense knowledge base of that time in history and I find history, especially Roman history, fascinating.

This entire conversation between Mark, you and Bucky is worth the price of admission. I hope you guys continue to flesh it out.

Popcorn

I'm seriously glad you're interested. I had a suspicion I was boring everyone to death

I can add exactly zero to the conversation but I am an interested observer. ThumbsupThumbsup

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10-02-2015, 10:51 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 10:41 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  I can add exactly zero to the conversation but I am an interested observer. ThumbsupThumbsup

You mean you don't have a poignant quote from Jesus that clears up this whole topic? Smartass

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10-02-2015, 10:57 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(10-02-2015 10:51 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 10:41 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  I can add exactly zero to the conversation but I am an interested observer. ThumbsupThumbsup

You mean you don't have a poignant quote from Jesus that clears up this whole topic? Smartass

How about one from this guy? He has long hair too, and at least looks happy.

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“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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10-02-2015, 11:55 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
I watched it. The Titus connection seems a bit loose.

It is way outside the box...a little too far out. I've got to dig out that book on Josephus I've got hidden away somewhere.

@ Minimalist I agree with many of your points about the Romans. Wasn't Constantine tho the first (of someone with lots of power) to embrace Christianity? Yes, he made it legal through his conversion and one could easily argue he set the stage for it to become a national religion.


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