Happy Palm Sunday!
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14-04-2014, 06:19 PM
RE: Happy Palm Sunday!
I think Atwill is a kook.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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14-04-2014, 06:29 PM
RE: Happy Palm Sunday!
(14-04-2014 06:19 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  I think Atwill is a kook.

He's certainly eccentric.
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14-04-2014, 11:58 PM
RE: Happy Palm Sunday!
You know what bothers me most of all about Atwill? He's applying a xtianized standard to 70 AD.

Judaea was flattened. The Romans had dealt with them the old-fashioned way. At the beginning of Vespasian's reign there were serious revolts in Gaul and Germany which still had to be suppressed. On top of all that the empire was bankrupt. It simply seems beyond bizarre to think that the Romans would waste any time whatsoever worrying about the jews who were left in Judaea. Easier to kill them if they had wanted than concoct this absurd story.

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15-04-2014, 02:27 AM
RE: Happy Palm Sunday!
(14-04-2014 11:58 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  You know what bothers me most of all about Atwill? He's applying a xtianized standard to 70 AD.

Judaea was flattened. The Romans had dealt with them the old-fashioned way. At the beginning of Vespasian's reign there were serious revolts in Gaul and Germany which still had to be suppressed. On top of all that the empire was bankrupt. It simply seems beyond bizarre to think that the Romans would waste any time whatsoever worrying about the jews who were left in Judaea. Easier to kill them if they had wanted than concoct this absurd story.

Re
"It simply seems beyond bizarre to think that the Romans would waste any time whatsoever worrying about the jews"

Hey minimalist, I wonder whether you could check out the following, maybe press on a few links, and reconsider. I may be wrong, you may be right, who knows. It's open for discussion.

Vespasian’s reign (69 – 79 CE) was notable for the fact that he, with his son Titus by his side, is well known to have been a great propagandist; someone very proficient at controlling popular opinions. They were particularly good at promoting the public’s respect for imperial authority. Vespasian was said to have restored a blind man’s site using spittle and to have healed a cripple (do these sound familiar?) He sold the idea that he’d bought peace to the empire. He was a strong patron of the arts and letters, and commissioned many authors to write “Flavian versions” of history. (http://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/the_...oved.html, http://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/the_...day.html).

Using religion for the good of the state was a well-established practice in ancient Rome; there was a long tradition of absorbing the religions of its opponents. It neutralized their enemy’s divine assistance. It was easier and more cost effective than allowing those foreign gods to remain enemies, thereby risking more wrangles with the rank and file rallying under them. In this case it was done to subdue stubborn Jews and to stroke Titus’ ego by surreptitiously getting them to worship Jesus (i.e. Titus) as if he’d been the messiah they’d been waiting for. The character of “Jesus” was designed to deprive the Jews of their ambition to start another war, and to dilute the purity of Judaism with Gentiles, people who would be loyal, tax-paying citizens. That’s ironic, because the real Yeshua, if he ever existed, had tried to start an insurrection against the government.

There’s no doubt the Flavians were antagonistic towards Jews after the war. Vespasian imposed a special tax on everyone in the empire who practiced Judaism, (http://www.livius.org/fa-fn/fiscus/judaicus.html) in much the same way the rest of Europe imposed economic restrictions on Germany after World War 1. The Romans and Europe both failed to prevent a second war. Jews throughout the Diaspora continued to cause trouble for the government in the early second century (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Kitos+War).

There were three tools the government used to control the Jews; military might, economic suppression, and propaganda.

This neatly explains how Christianity, a pro-Roman religion reliant on the Gospels and said to promote pacifism and obedience, didn’t in fact emerge from a Judean cult in a nation that had over a one hundred year history of a militant struggle against Rome, but in reality materialized from Rome itself. It explains why Jesus was sometimes portrayed as a pacifist preacher. It’s why “Jesus” referred to Jews (his own companions!) who rebelled against Rome as a “wicked generation.” It could be why the “second coming” of Jesus never happened; it was Titus who came instead. It’s why the true identities of all the four Gospel authors are unknown. It’s one possible reason why they were first written in Greek, and why they’re so often anti Semitic, yet in places tried to also appeal to fundamentalist Jews. It would explain why members of the Roman imperial family such as Flavius Clemens, later said to be the fourth pope, Bernice, Titus’ mistress, and Flavia Domitilla, Vespasian’s granddaughter, were said to be “Christians.” If so, they were the first Christians in name only, as they couldn’t have believed in their own spoof. It explains how a religion that allegedly started as verbal traditions in Aramaic didn’t; it started as stories written in Greek.

Propaganda was a powerful tool in Roman times, just as it is today. Public opinion was more easily manipulated, because people didn’t have the means to check out the facts. Atwill thinks the Flavians didn’t intend sophisticated, educated people to read their invention as serious literature or history. The Gospels were written for militant Jews, people Josephus referred to as “slaves” and “scum,” as well as the hoi polloi, the common people. Only the more educated classes might recognize the parallels in Josephus’ works. He suggests the Flavians fancied Christianity might flourish before the Gospels’ satirical level became widely known.

If this is true, the Gospels were a very black comedy, and Christianity was a clever, and in one sense humorous, product of the broader struggle that had been going on since Alexander the Great in 333 BCE; the one between Hellenism with its polytheism, cleverness and inclusivity, and Judaism’s monotheism, faith and exclusivity. Jesus’ injunctions to love your enemies, turn the other cheek, aspire to poverty, be content with misery, dream about heaven, be afraid of hell, think like children and pay your taxes take on a cynical meaning, because they were designed to pacify peasants, slaves and religious fanatics. Titus’ invented religion, the one said to be the basis of western morality, took hold partly because common people didn’t have the intellectual armor to guard against it, and it eventually grew way beyond the wildest dreams of the Flavians. Christians have been unwittingly worshipping Titus Flavius for nearly 2000 years. Titus, lying in his grave, has had an embarrassed, ashamed expression on his face for the last two millennia. The creation grew into a much larger monster than he could ever have imagined.
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15-04-2014, 03:01 AM
RE: Happy Palm Sunday!
Interesting Mark.
We have agreed not to discuss this, but may I ask a couple of questions so I understand where you are coming from?

If the answer is yes, my questions are:
What books have you read that support A's claims?
Have you studied the Roman authors?

If not, just ignore me.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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15-04-2014, 12:05 PM
RE: Happy Palm Sunday!
Mark,

I couldn't get your first link to open (must be one of those "miracles" the xtians are always whining about!) but don't you think there is a bit of a difference between the Imperial Cult - which was real - and xtianity? To carry your analogy further, why would the Romans invent a religion which then rejects the supremacy of the emperor? The Romans were generally tolerant of foreign religions incorporating many of them into their own pantheon. They do seem, very early on, to have caught on to the fact that the Jews would never fit that model which is the only explanation I can see for constantly trying to push the region onto the Herodians to be surrogate rulers. As for Titus' "ego." who knows? The sycophantic writings of Josephus treat Titus as if he shit golden coins but the reality is that he was a subordinate commander for much of the war and only got command because Vespasian had to go to Rome. We know that early on his duty was to march the 15th Legion from Alexandria to Ptolemais along the Via Maris. The initial operational moves of the war were entrusted to Placidus in securing Tiberias and Sepphoris. Later on we hear that Ulpius Traianus had an independent excursion down the Jordan Valley. So, Titus was far from unique and Vespasian was in overall command while Josephus was being defeated in Galilee and later on when the Romans broke out of Galilee and isolated Jerusalem by cutting all the roads to the north and east. Do you know where I see the propaganda element? In granting Titus a "triumph" for taking Jerusalem. The city had been isolated and the factions inside were fighting with each other. Titus' assault was the coup de grace.... but the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

Quote:Vespasian imposed a special tax on everyone in the empire who practiced Judaism,


Yeah....he also imposed a tax on everyone who pissed in a public latrine but I wouldn't go so far as to say that meant he hated everyone who urinated. The empire was bankrupt after the Year of the Four Emperors and then his own march on Rome. He needed money and there were jewish communities scattered across the East. Like Willie Sutton said, "I rob banks because that's where they keep the money."

The conditions you describe at the conclusion are far more true at the end of the bar Kochba revolt, c 135. By then, Jews had risen twice more after being crushed by "Titus" which suggests among other things that he was a terrible flop as a "god." The difference between 70 AD and 135 AD is that after the latter we do begin to see recognizably xtian doctrines emerging and within short order there are Roman commentary on them.

Atwill is too pat for me. He sits in the 21st century looking back but makes no attempt to comprehend the political realities of 70 AD.

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