Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
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04-12-2016, 12:15 PM
RE: Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
(04-12-2016 11:58 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote:I would say that I am building on Atwill's work, yes.

Then stop. Atwill's a putz.

Yeah, that is true. He takes minimal evidence and jumps to conclusions that are really not justified, most glaringly his thesis that Josephus and Titus and the Flavians were the likely authors of the Gospels which is completely unsupported. But he did point out a few parallels between Josephus and the New Testament, some of which have been known since centuries and some of his I think are plane wrong. But I think he jumped to that conclusion based on what sounded like the New Testament praising the Romans, which it obviously was used for absolving the Romans for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people by putting the blame on the Jews themselves and turning a genocide into the greatest miracle of all. But that doesn't implicate the Flavians as authors.

“…"Thou, O Vespasian, thinkest no more than that thou hast taken Josephus himself captive; but I come to thee as a messenger of greater tidings… sent by God to thee… Dost thou send me to Nero? For why? Are Nero's successors till they come to thee still alive? Thou, O Vespasian, art Caesar and emperor, thou, and this thy son. Bind me now still faster, and keep me for thyself, for thou, O Caesar, are not only lord over me, but over the land and the sea, and all mankind…"”

– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 8:9

“Now if any one consider these things, he will find that God takes care of mankind… for the Jews… what did the most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, "about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth." The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea…”

– Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Book VI 5:4

Instead, I argue that this praise of the Romans was satirical and imitates and exaggerates the way that Josephus claimed to have been sent by God to save his people but then watches his entire nation slaughtered before his eyes.
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04-12-2016, 02:07 PM (This post was last modified: 04-12-2016 02:11 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
(04-12-2016 11:06 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I should warn you, since you are new here, that you won't find a receptive audience here. It's pretty hostile and very PC generally, and closed minded, lots of bullying, flaming and foul language, but there are a few people who may be interested.

And don't mention Sille Hplar... lol

1) We're not hostile unless you do things that are worthy of a hostile response, like outright lying, misrepresenting well-known facts, and/or presenting a case that has been thoroughly debunked by every expert on the subject and yet acting like we're the ones who're being hard-headed for not accepting your pet ideas, either.

2) What does "very PC generally" even mean? That we don't like racial slurs, misogyny, or other advocates of human rights degradation/violation? Well, okay.

3) We may be among the most open-minded people on the planet. We accept people here regardless of their background, sexual orientation, gender preference, disability, religion... you name it. What we do not accept are bad ideas, which we first counter-argue against, then lampoon, and finally rip their proponents mercilessly when they won't listen to the counter arguments or disproofs of their assertions.

Without fail, it's the people who come here and push pseudoscience or other intellectual quackery who start to whine about how we're "closed minded".

Translation: "Waaaah, they won't accept my bullshit and they keep calling it bullshit... those meanies!"



Fhqwhgads -

I wish you the best in your endeavors, but be prepared to take some staunch criticism. You might think atheists would automatically welcome a person who claims to have demonstrated (or made a good case for) the New Testament to be something other than its current adherents claim it is, but we have members who are highly educated on the subject, and will require you to forward a significant degree of evidence for such claims. As Sagan put it, borrowing from LaPlace, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Meanwhile, welcome to TTA. Keep the rules against solicitation and making too many links when you're a newbie in mind, and you might really enjoy your discussions, here.

Edit to Add: I'm a big fan of the Homestar Runner series of webcomics, so you're already on the right track, with me. Smile

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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04-12-2016, 02:15 PM
RE: Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
(04-12-2016 02:07 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Fhqwhgads -

I wish you the best in your endeavors, but be prepared to take some staunch criticism. You might think atheists would automatically welcome a person who claims to have demonstrated (or made a good case for) the New Testament to be something other than its current adherents claim it is, but we have members who are highly educated on the subject, and will require you to forward a significant degree of evidence for such claims. As Sagan put it, borrowing from LaPlace, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Meanwhile, welcome to TTA. Keep the rules against solicitation and making too many links when you're a newbie in mind, and you might really enjoy your discussions, here.

Edit to Add: I'm a big fan of the Homestar Runner series of webcomics, so you're already on the right track, with me. Smile

Thanks for the welcome.
I try to provide evidence but my links were all removed. I posted a lot of excerpts on the "postflaviana" forum where I was able to do nice text formatting to help illustrate which is more difficult here. I am a scientist myself and understand that this is an extraordinary claim and what it entails. But I have the evidence to back it up, just a little difficult to display it here.
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04-12-2016, 02:20 PM
RE: Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
(04-12-2016 02:15 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(04-12-2016 02:07 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Fhqwhgads -

I wish you the best in your endeavors, but be prepared to take some staunch criticism. You might think atheists would automatically welcome a person who claims to have demonstrated (or made a good case for) the New Testament to be something other than its current adherents claim it is, but we have members who are highly educated on the subject, and will require you to forward a significant degree of evidence for such claims. As Sagan put it, borrowing from LaPlace, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Meanwhile, welcome to TTA. Keep the rules against solicitation and making too many links when you're a newbie in mind, and you might really enjoy your discussions, here.

Edit to Add: I'm a big fan of the Homestar Runner series of webcomics, so you're already on the right track, with me. Smile

Thanks for the welcome.
I try to provide evidence but my links were all removed. I posted a lot of excerpts on the "postflaviana" forum where I was able to do nice text formatting to help illustrate which is more difficult here. I am a scientist myself and understand that this is an extraordinary claim and what it entails. But I have the evidence to back it up, just a little difficult to display it here.

We get a lot of people doing "drive-by" postings, trying to push various things (usually their particular religion), so we don't allow a lot of link-posting from new arrivals.

Just get to know us for a while, talk about generic stuff, and become part of the community. Once you're comfortably "one of us", you can link to your heart's content. Hope that helps you see the why/how of it, so you don't feel jilted. By the time you settle in, I am confident (based on statistical probability) that you'll have already seen an example of this phenomenon, and will say "oooooooooooooh, yeah, okay."

I look forward to seeing your fully fleshed-out argument. Just not yet. Smile

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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11-12-2016, 08:10 AM
RE: Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
(04-12-2016 02:07 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(04-12-2016 11:06 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I should warn you, since you are new here, that you won't find a receptive audience here. It's pretty hostile and very PC generally, and closed minded, lots of bullying, flaming and foul language, but there are a few people who may be interested.

And don't mention Sille Hplar... lol

1) We're not hostile unless you do things that are worthy of a hostile response, like outright lying, misrepresenting well-known facts, and/or presenting a case that has been thoroughly debunked by every expert on the subject and yet acting like we're the ones who're being hard-headed for not accepting your pet ideas, either.

2) What does "very PC generally" even mean? That we don't like racial slurs, misogyny, or other advocates of human rights degradation/violation? Well, okay.

3) We may be among the most open-minded people on the planet. We accept people here regardless of their background, sexual orientation, gender preference, disability, religion... you name it. What we do not accept are bad ideas, which we first counter-argue against, then lampoon, and finally rip their proponents mercilessly when they won't listen to the counter arguments or disproofs of their assertions.

Without fail, it's the people who come here and push pseudoscience or other intellectual quackery who start to whine about how we're "closed minded".

Translation: "Waaaah, they won't accept my bullshit and they keep calling it bullshit... those meanies!"



Fhqwhgads -

I wish you the best in your endeavors, but be prepared to take some staunch criticism. You might think atheists would automatically welcome a person who claims to have demonstrated (or made a good case for) the New Testament to be something other than its current adherents claim it is, but we have members who are highly educated on the subject, and will require you to forward a significant degree of evidence for such claims. As Sagan put it, borrowing from LaPlace, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Meanwhile, welcome to TTA. Keep the rules against solicitation and making too many links when you're a newbie in mind, and you might really enjoy your discussions, here.

Edit to Add: I'm a big fan of the Homestar Runner series of webcomics, so you're already on the right track, with me. Smile



Well, no, RS, I haven't come here pushing or preaching anything. I put some idea up for discussion, nothing more. I don't have any answers to the issues I put forward. I expected open and honest debate but I was buried under a landslide of abuse. No one even addressed a single issue I raised. Instead they tarred me with a brush they had obviously used on someone previously, thinking I was a sock puppet.

When I say that the forum is PC, I mean that there are certain things one dare not discuss here which tend to reflect accepted views which are in conformity with US liberal new think, if I can put it that way.

There is a cultural myopia here. People will say there is no evidence for something but what they mean is that they don't accept, or know about, or care about evidence from other cultures which have been on the wrong side of things because of the domination of the West by the Judeo-Christian "viewpoint" and the domination of the Near and Middle East by Islam for a long time. If you look at other Near East writings, you find a kind of "evidence" of evidence of a history of the Near East which we don't look at because it isn't PC in a very wide sense of the term.

I think we will move over the next 100 years to an understanding of our history which we don't have at the moment because sites like Gobekli Tepi have only recently been discovered. No one knows what to make of it. We have only recently started using DNA to map movements of people. We have only recently been able to look at the archaeology and population distribution of ancient societies using infrared photography now being produced by NASA. Very few people study languages and see the root of modern English languages as being in the Near East...

It has been PC to accept the OT version of Jewish history. Now, here we see that shifting but it is PC not to look at revisionism of Christianity. We can't do that, in my opinion, because it says something about the religion of Assyrians and about their identity and we can't talk about that since it might make us realise that maybe these old religions were "animistic" and the people were "Aryans". lol

The funnies thing is the reaction to the theories of Waddell. Watch:

"Waddell's voluminious writings after his retirement were based on an attempt to prove the Sumerians (who he identified as Aryans) as the progenitors of other ancient civilizations, such as the Indus Valley Civilization and ancient Egyptians to "the classic Greeks and Romans and Ancient Britons, to whom they [the Sumerians] passed on from hand to hand down the ages the torch of civilization".[15] He is perhaps most remembered for his controversial translations; the Scheil dynastic tablet, the Bowl of Utu and Newton Stone, as well as his British Edda."

Watch the response. It is an almost visceral hate rising in some people here. You can't talk about the fact that Waddell in his travels realised that most people worshipped the phallus... You can't take about it. I could make a list of taboo subjects.

I really don't have any agenda here or any need to take a particular position so I am actually very objective in my viewpoint. I may not be a fanatic in my research of religion. I post about revisionist topics and conspiracies, not because I am interested in them in any deep sense. I just find the reaction to be amusing because, for me, it shows narrowness of thinking if one reacts to an idea with a jerk of the knee and an endless spewing of venom towards someone simply for posting something on a forum.
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12-12-2016, 12:57 AM
RE: Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
Jesus hasn't returned yet becuase the jewish prophesies haven't been fufilled yet.
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12-12-2016, 04:50 AM
RE: Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
No, he's dead.
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12-12-2016, 05:17 AM
RE: Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
(12-12-2016 12:57 AM)socialistview Wrote:  Jesus hasn't returned yet becuase the jewish prophesies haven't been fufilled yet.

Well, Josephus thought those Jewish prophesies were fulfilled by the Romans:

“Now if any one consider these things, he will find that God takes care of mankind, and by all ways possible foreshows to our race what is for their preservation... for the Jews… what did the most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, "about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth." The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea...”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 5:4

“…and for the oracles of the prophets, they ridiculed them as the tricks of jugglers; yet did these prophets foretell many things concerning virtue, and vice, which when these zealots violated, they occasioned the fulfilling of those very prophecies belonging to their own country; for there was a certain ancient oracle of those men, that the city should then be taken and the sanctuary burnt, by right of war, when a sedition should invade the Jews, and their own hand should pollute the temple of God. Now while these zealots did not [quite] disbelieve these predictions, they made themselves the instruments of their accomplishment…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book IV, 6:3

In fact, Jesus insisted that the second coming and destruction of the temple and Israel would happen within one generation of his ministry:

“And Jesus went out… to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said… There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world And Jesus answered and said… ye shall hear of wars… Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you… and then shall the end come… Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountainsFor then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be… For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together… Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled... there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
– Matthew 24:1-51

Josephus informs us that all of those "prophecies" were fulfilled in the war with the Romans, even down to the weeping part:

“…Accordingly, it appears to me that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews are not so considerable as they were; while the authors of them were not foreigners neither. This makes it impossible for me to contain my lamentations…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Preface, 4

The reason I put "prophecies" in quotes is because the Gospels were written after the war and after "The Wars of the Jews" was published, so predicting what already happened is not very impressive. Doing it in elegant satire, that is much more impressive.

This is why I get so tired of Christians that are still waiting for the second coming and destruction of Israel which Jesus clearly said would happen within one generation of his "ministry".
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12-12-2016, 05:25 AM
RE: Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
I don't agree with this analysis. Josephus was the commander of the Jewish forces at Gamala. He turned coat. Up until he deserted, he would not have "thought" that the Romans fulfilled the bible prophecies. He decided to take this position for his own reasons, to save his skin and become, as he did, a favourite of the Roman Emperor, Vespasian.

Are you saying that Josephus always thought the Romans fulfilled the prophecies? Do you really think he believed any of this? The Romans would not have. They were pragmatists who just wanted to end the war and Vespasian just wanted to be Emperor. It's about expediency, not what they thought. Surely?
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12-12-2016, 05:55 AM
RE: Interpreting the New Testament as Satire
(12-12-2016 05:25 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I don't agree with this analysis. Josephus was the commander of the Jewish forces at Gamala. He turned coat. Up until he deserted, he would not have "thought" that the Romans fulfilled the bible prophecies. He decided to take this position for his own reasons, to save his skin and become, as he did, a favourite of the Roman Emperor, Vespasian.

Are you saying that Josephus always thought the Romans fulfilled the prophecies? Do you really think he believed any of this? The Romans would not have. They were pragmatists who just wanted to end the war and Vespasian just wanted to be Emperor. It's about expediency, not what they thought. Surely?

I don't think it matters a whole lot if he believed it before or after. I mean it might be interesting to speculate about that, but it is just speculation. The facts that we have and the most important thing is that he wrote that he believed that the Romans were doing God's work by destroying his country and his family and were fulfilling Jewish prophecy while doing that and then translated that to Greek and sent it to the whole inhabitable earth. He gave moral justification for a horrific genocide by doing that, whether he literally believed it or not. That is something that is worthy of ridicule because the Romans slaughtered old, young, threw babies from cliffs and filled entire cities with so much blood that it extinguished the fires. To claim that that is what some loving, caring God wanted is insane.

Now, it is true he may have been saying and writing these things only to save his own ass or to help produce Roman propaganda. Or maybe he was so traumatized by watching his entire nation slaughtered in front of his eyes over a 3.5 year period that he just completely went insane. I can only imagine it must have damaged him somewhat psychologically. But those are just speculations, the facts are, what he wrote was insane. And the Gospels mirror and exaggerate all the stories from Josephus, making them more miraculous, more holy and wonderful and an even greater appeals to divinity of the story than Josephus does. And they were written after the Wars of the Jews. That is how irony works, it is saying "is this really what God wanted?" But everyone seems to have forgotten the ironic/satirical part of this (the original Gnostics?) and everyone seems to think that yes, the destruction of Israel and genocide of the people is really what God wanted, because some few of them in Jerusalem killed Jesus forty years earlier, so the entire nation had to be slaughtered.
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