Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
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10-12-2016, 10:50 AM
Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
This is a very humorous example of the New Testament satire, pay attention to the wind and the sea:

[Image: d3tz4rd9pr2y.jpg]

Notice how Jesus “constrained” his disciples to “go before him”. An interesting choice of words, why didn't he command them or ask them or something like that. It is the only time Jesus “constrains” someone to do something against their will and it is to “go before him” where he is not going, into the sea. This is clearly mocking the description from Josephus about Vespasian tying Simon (probably just some captured rebels) up and throwing them in the water and there is this magic “wind” that keeps them on top of the water seems to scare everyone but unexplainedly stops when they get back in the boat. Josephus thinks he is international, hellenistic, well educated, from a good family and the son of the living God of the entire inhabitable Earth, but he was apparently unaware of Archimedes' work on buoyancy more than three hundred years before him, such a mere rustic was he! Only an poor, ignorant person would see this and think it was a miracle and describe it as a “wind forcing them up”. Anyway, that is what the Bible mockingly suggests about Josephus.
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10-12-2016, 10:50 AM (This post was last modified: 10-12-2016 12:12 PM by fhqwhgads.)
RE: Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
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10-12-2016, 03:08 PM
RE: Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
(10-12-2016 10:50 AM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  This is a very humorous example of the New Testament satire, pay attention to the wind and the sea:

[Image: d3tz4rd9pr2y.jpg]

Notice how Jesus “constrained” his disciples to “go before him”. An interesting choice of words, why didn't he command them or ask them or something like that. It is the only time Jesus “constrains” someone to do something against their will and it is to “go before him” where he is not going, into the sea. This is clearly mocking the description from Josephus about Vespasian tying Simon (probably just some captured rebels) up and throwing them in the water and there is this magic “wind” that keeps them on top of the water seems to scare everyone but unexplainedly stops when they get back in the boat. Josephus thinks he is international, hellenistic, well educated, from a good family and the son of the living God of the entire inhabitable Earth, but he was apparently unaware of Archimedes' work on buoyancy more than three hundred years before him, such a mere rustic was he! Only an poor, ignorant person would see this and think it was a miracle and describe it as a “wind forcing them up”. Anyway, that is what the Bible mockingly suggests about Josephus.

Hi.

Thanks for posting this.

I can see the similarities between the stories.

I would appreciate you explaining the motives of the gospel authors. Why would they "mock" Josephus?
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10-12-2016, 03:34 PM (This post was last modified: 10-12-2016 03:40 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
(10-12-2016 10:50 AM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  This is a very humorous example of the New Testament satire, pay attention to the wind and the sea:

[Image: d3tz4rd9pr2y.jpg]

Notice how Jesus “constrained” his disciples to “go before him”. An interesting choice of words, why didn't he command them or ask them or something like that. It is the only time Jesus “constrains” someone to do something against their will and it is to “go before him” where he is not going, into the sea. This is clearly mocking the description from Josephus about Vespasian tying Simon (probably just some captured rebels) up and throwing them in the water and there is this magic “wind” that keeps them on top of the water seems to scare everyone but unexplainedly stops when they get back in the boat. Josephus thinks he is international, hellenistic, well educated, from a good family and the son of the living God of the entire inhabitable Earth, but he was apparently unaware of Archimedes' work on buoyancy more than three hundred years before him, such a mere rustic was he! Only an poor, ignorant person would see this and think it was a miracle and describe it as a “wind forcing them up”. Anyway, that is what the Bible mockingly suggests about Josephus.

"...but he was apparently unaware of Archimedes' work on buoyancy more than three hundred years before him,..."

You may be being a little unfair on Josephus here. It seems to me he was just describing how things appeared to be very buoyant in the sea ( as we now know would have been due to the high salt content ie the bitterness of the water)
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10-12-2016, 11:41 PM (This post was last modified: 10-12-2016 11:44 PM by Deltabravo.)
RE: Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
Surely the whole of the Old Testament is a "lampooning" of the Near East/Assyrian/Keltoi monotheists.

I read Psalm 137 after listening to Rivers of Babylon the other day:

How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song?
137 By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down and wept,
when we remembered Zion.
2 On the willows[a] there
we hung up our lyres.
3 For there our captors
required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
4 How shall we sing the Lord's song
in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget its skill!
6 Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy!
7 Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
the day of Jerusalem,
how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,
down to its foundations!”
8 O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
blessed shall he be who repays you
with what you have done to us!
9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock!

This justifies murdering children out of revenge. Only a psychopath would write something like this.

Also, the story of Samson in the OT is that he makes a wager about a honeycomb he finds in a lion's mouth and he loses so he has to pay up to the thirty-five Philistines who win the bet. He has to pay them thirty five shirts and coats so, feeling "wronged" because his wife has told the Philistines the answer to the riddle he murders 35 other innocent men and uses their shirts and coats to settle the debt. He then takes an asses jaw and kills a thousand men with it. He then kills even more people by bringing down a building on top of them so he kills over 2060 innocent people. Likewise, David conducts a census out of "pride" and then asks God for his forgiveness and God sends down a pestilence, after giving David a choice, which kills 75,000 people. This is after David commits adultery with a married woman and arranges for her husband to be killed by sending him into a battle.

I read all these to my son and he broke out laughing in disbelief. That is the normal reaction of someone who is sane. The stories depict the behaviour of people who are sociopaths and claim that all this is ok with their monotheistic god.

It seems to me that the OT is just a cautionary tale written to lampoon this monotheistic religion. Any sane person reading this for the first time would see them as murderous, adulterous bastards whose god was the same. You would have to be an idiot to believe any of it and it all looks like a "send up" of monotheism by people who don't actually believe any of it.

I think the NT is the same in terms of the "signs" such as walking on water, healing the sick, raising the dead. No intelligent person would believe this. It seems like a satire of the religion which Jesus is preaching to. These are signs that he is the son of the psychopathic OT god and when he says he has come to "fulfill" the OT, by telling people to "do unto others" it is a very political and polite way to tell them that their god isn't actually like that. The ridiculous horror stories only go to illustrate the stupidity of the OT religion. When you read them you would come away thinking that whoever wrote them was out of his mind, if he believed them, or that they were intended to scare people to death.

The OT reminds me of stories told by summer camp counsellors to kids to make them shut up on the first night at summer camp, e.g.., a murderer has escaped from a local prison and has killed someone nearby and the police think he is coming our way, so be very quiet so he doesn't know we are here.

The OT, IMHO, is so extreme in it's violence and so unbelievable and outrageous, that I figure it has to have been a lampoon because no sane person could take this seriously. It's laughable.
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11-12-2016, 12:04 AM
RE: Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
I can now understand the Beatitudes when it says the meek shall inherit the earth. I live in a Muslim country and they celebrate Christmas. There are Christmas trees everywhere and everyone goes to Christmas parties. This is driven, I think, by children who want to have presents. My son in law is a Muslim and he puzzles over Christmas and finds it amusing that Christians have a tradition of going each other presents. This aspect of Christianity undermines Islam by appealing to children and women while the rational morality of it appeals to people who want a more reasoned and compassionate society. That is what is behind Karen Armstrong's "Charter for Compassion" which is supported by the King of Jordan:

http://www.charterforcompassion.org/inde...th-harmony
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11-12-2016, 12:56 AM
RE: Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
(10-12-2016 10:50 AM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  This is a very humorous example of the New Testament satire, pay attention to the wind and the sea:

[Image: d3tz4rd9pr2y.jpg]

Notice how Jesus “constrained” his disciples to “go before him”. An interesting choice of words, why didn't he command them or ask them or something like that. It is the only time Jesus “constrains” someone to do something against their will and it is to “go before him” where he is not going, into the sea. This is clearly mocking the description from Josephus about Vespasian tying Simon (probably just some captured rebels) up and throwing them in the water and there is this magic “wind” that keeps them on top of the water seems to scare everyone but unexplainedly stops when they get back in the boat. Josephus thinks he is international, hellenistic, well educated, from a good family and the son of the living God of the entire inhabitable Earth, but he was apparently unaware of Archimedes' work on buoyancy more than three hundred years before him, such a mere rustic was he! Only an poor, ignorant person would see this and think it was a miracle and describe it as a “wind forcing them up”. Anyway, that is what the Bible mockingly suggests about Josephus.

Fh, where I disagree with Atwill is that I don't see the NT as a satire intended for amusement of Romans.

This episode of Jesus walking on water could just as easily be a reference to a myth of the religion of the people of Syria to whom the NT ideology is directed. The mystical aspects of the NT such as walking on water, raising Lazarus from the dead, resurrection etc, all refer to exiting myths of the region.

Surely what the NT is doing is to use these incidents as "signs" to the readers of the NT that Jesus is the Messiah of their religion because their Messiah did these things. It doesn't matter whether they happened or not. For the most part they have to be similar to an exiting myth and nothing more.
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11-12-2016, 07:46 AM
RE: Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
(10-12-2016 03:08 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi.

Thanks for posting this.

I can see the similarities between the stories.

I would appreciate you explaining the motives of the gospel authors. Why would they "mock" Josephus?

Josephus wrote a lot of things that are mock-worthy. The main theme is how he is constantly insisting that he was chosen by God to be a messenger to the fact that God's favor had "gone over to the Romans" and then stands by as the Romans slaughter his entire nation (including his mother, father, brother and son) in front of his face and still can find it in him to write propaganda for the Romans saying they were doing God's work and even fulfilling Jewish prophecy.

"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


“When Josephus heard him give those orders, he said that he had somewhat in his mind that he would willingly say to himself alone. When therefore they were all ordered to withdraw, excepting Titus and two of their friends, he said, "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; for had not I been sent by God to thee, I knew what was the law of the Jews in this case? and how it becomes generals to die. 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; and certainly I deserve to be kept in closer custody than I now am in, in order to be punished, if I rashly affirm any thing of God." When he had said this, Vespasian at present did not believe him, but supposed that Josephus said this as a cunning trick, in order to his own preservation; but in a little time he was convinced, and believed what he said to be true, God himself erecting his expectations, so as to think of obtaining the empire, and by other signs fore-showing his advancement... Yet did he not set Josephus at liberty from his hands, but bestowed on him suits of clothes, and other precious gifts; he treated him also in a very obliging manner...”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 8:9

He always writes about himself in the third person and always very self flattering:

"However, in this extreme distress, he {Josephus} was not destitute of his usual sagacity; but trusting himself to the providence of God, he put his life into hazard..."
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 8:7​
Then did Josephus take necessity for his counselor in this utmost distress, (which necessity is very sagacious in invention when it is irritated by despair,) and gave orders to pour scalding oil upon those whose shields protected them…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 7:28​

Josephus claims he doesn't judge, but actually he does:

“However, I will not go to the other extreme, out of opposition to those men who extol the Romans nor will I determine to raise the actions of my countrymen too high; but I will prosecute the actions of both parties with accuracy…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Preface, :4

“And here a certain Jew appeared worthy of our relation and commendation…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 7:21

“NOW as Josephus was thus engaged in the administration of the affairs of Galilee, there arose a treacherous person, a man of Gischala, the son of Levi, whose name was John. His character was that of a very cunning and very knavish person… for wicked practices he had not his fellow any where. Poor he was at first, and for a long time his wants were a hinderance to him in his wicked designs. He was a ready liar, and… thought it a point of virtue to delude people, and would delude even such as were the dearest to him. He was a hypocritical pretender to humanity… those mean wicked tricks which he was the author of…”
– Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Book II 21:1


"NOW the warlike men that were in the city, and the multitude of the seditious that were with Simon, were ten thousand... John, who had seized upon the temple, had six thousand armed men... the zealots also that had come over to him... and had the same commander that they had formerly, Eleazar... Simon held the upper city, and the great wall as far as Cedron... But John held the temple... and the valley called "the Valley of Cedron;" ... they returned to their former madness, and separated one from another, and fought it out, and did everything that the besiegers could desire them to do... But it {Jerusalem} was most of all unhappy before it was overthrown, while those that took it did it a greater kindness for I venture to affirm that the sedition destroyed the city, and the Romans destroyed the sedition... so that we may justly ascribe our misfortunes to our own people, and the just vengeance taken on them to the Romans; as to which matter let every one determine by the actions on both sides.
– Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Book V 6:1

"I'm not going to judge who were the good guys, the Jews or the Romans, I'm just an impartial historian, but it was the Romans."

"...They confessed what was true, that they were the slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of our nation..."
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 10:5​

Hehe. Just try to imagine the rebels acting out what Josephus says they did, all standing there saying "oh, yeah, sure, we confess that we are the slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of our nation, there's no reason why we should try to hide the truth."

But Josephus also wrote a lot of things that just don't make a whole lot of sense:

“When any persons entered into the temple, its floor received them…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 5:5​

What is that even supposed to mean? Which building is there that you enter into where the floor does not receive you? Have you ever been received by the ceiling or walls, perhaps? Did everyone just fall on their face as soon as they entered the temple? What was he trying to say here?

"...those that opposed themselves fled away...”
– The Wars Of The Jews, Book VI 8:4​

Those that opposed themselves? Who was opposing themselves?

"...the ground did no where appear visible... as they ran upon such as fled from them…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 5:1​

The ground was not visible, so they ran upon such as fled from them. Yeah, sounds like the islands were not seen and the mountains fled away. Strange.

“...valleys of such vast depth downward, that the eye could not reach their bottoms; they were abrupt, and such as no animal could walk upon, excepting at two places of the rock, where it subsides, in order to afford a passage for ascent... the one of these ways is called the Serpent, as resembling that animal in its narrowness and its perpetual windings... and he that would walk along it must first go on one leg, and then on the other…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, 8:3​

First on one foot and then on the other? How does this guy normally walk??? Does he normally hop around like a bunny?

"...And I will begin my account of these things with what I call my First Chapter.”
– Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Preface:12​

Oh, really, Josephus, you're going to call your first chapter "your First Chapter"? Wow, that sounds amazing, I cannot wait to read it.

If this guy, preaching how God had just committed a justly deserved mass genocide of the Jews (his own people) through the Romans, and all the other ridiculous things he says, were to show his face on this forum he would be mocked ruthlessly by you guys here. Hell, I would mock him, that asshole that threw his entire nation and family under the bus to save his own ass. But first century Greeks didn't have anonymous online forums and you can't openly mock the adopted son of the "Lord of the inhabitable earth". So they used anonymous gospels which could only be understood "if it was given to you to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God".

And we know that Josephus really hated Greek satire:

"... nor by way of irony, as thou wilt say, (for he was entirely a stranger to such an evil disposition of mind,) ...”
– The Life Of Flavius Josephus, 1:65​

“However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks… they may be superior to the old writers in eloquence, yet are they inferior to them in the execution of what they intended to do… where it must be reproachful to write lies, when they must be known by the readers to be such… Yet shall the real truth of historical facts be preferred by us, how much soever it be neglected among the Greek historians. ”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Preface, 5

Oh, burn! The Greek writers are not going to be happy about hearing this from the adopted son of the Lord of the inhabitable earth.

But we know that there did exist "Grecian fables" which were written to mock the Jews in general at his time:

“…He adds another Grecian fable, in order to reproach us…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book II :8​

But more than this, we know that they were writing these Grecian fables to mock specifically Josephus' history:

“…There have been indeed some bad men, who have attempted to calumniate my history, and took it to be a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men. A strange sort of accusation and calumny this!…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book I, 1:10

He is just begging to be mocked more with every word he writes.

Now there were very many gospels written, possibly many that we don't know about today, but only four made it into the Bible. I would say this is likely because some of the apocryphal gospels make the joke a bit too obvious:

Like Philip or Thomas:
“His disciples said to him, "When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?" He said to them, "What you are looking forward to has come, but you don't know it."”
– Thomas 1:51

Jesus just comes right out and says it, the second coming and destruction of Israel already happened (the "preterist" view).

"The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?" Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is. Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."
– Thomas 1:18

The three synoptic gospels and John are more subtle about the jokes, satire and irony and they make a better basis for a Roman friendly new religion to replace the dangerous Judaism, although they praise the Romans as the kingdom of heaven satirically, they curse the Jews for bringing their own destruction upon themselves, thereby absolving the Romans of one of the bloodiest genocides in recorded history, where the blood was enough to quench the fires in the cities, where they slaughtered men, women and children, spoiled the whole country and pounded every stone to dust so that you would never know that anyone had ever lived there. Nice to have a theological argument placing the blame for that on the Jews themselves and praising the Romans, even if it was originally intended to satirically make fun of Josephus for doing exactly that.
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11-12-2016, 09:50 AM
RE: Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
On what basis do you say that the Romans who would have read this would have had any idea this was supposed to be a satire? I agree with Atwill's statistical analysis but to say that the NT is a satire, that people thought it was funny, is something I just can't see. Very few people in Rome would have read the NT and it just is not funny or satirical. One would have had to read the War with the Jews and recall very specific parts of it.

Certainly the Romans wanted to debunk the religion of Syria but if they did so in a way which could be seen as amusing or satirical, surely that would undermine the exercise.

Atwill says that the resurrection and empty tomb episode is a parody. I also don't see that. He calls it parody because each Gospel has a different time and different people with Mary going to the tomb at four separate times and with different people. She meets with Jesus at different times and places in her travels, or doesn't see him at all. So, Atwill thinks this if funny??

I've read these parts of the NT over and over. What I see is that there are different accounts at different times with different people because it gives the episode dimension. If there was only one Gospel account it would only have Jesus not being in the tomb. By having four separate accounts the authors of the gospels can tell a tale of what happened. It shows a sequence of events. You can only do that with four separate viewpoints because, otherwise you would have an implausible story which would resemble a novel rather than a factual account or you would have to have Mary being everywhere, following Jesus wherever he went. What you have is Mary going up the hill alone and then going down and taking various groups of friends up to see the empty tomb at different times. There's nothing funny about it at all. It's only Atwill's turn of mind that makes him think it is a comedy of errors but if you read it carefully, it is told that way to show Jesus travelling down from the tomb and into town and there isn't any other way to tell this without different people telling what they saw at different times.

The same goes for the Sermon on the Mount which shows Jesus in different places at different times and talking to different people, saying different things. I was a bit disappointed after reading Atwill because I thought I would find some incredibly amusing mistake in the construction of the NT gospels but, in fact, they just tell a tale from different perspectives and there's nothing amusing, funny or satirical about it.
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11-12-2016, 10:13 AM
RE: Jesus Walks on Water (satire)
(11-12-2016 09:50 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Atwill says that the resurrection and empty tomb episode is a parody. I also don't see that. He calls it parody because each Gospel has a different time and different people with Mary going to the tomb at four separate times and with different people. She meets with Jesus at different times and places in her travels, or doesn't see him at all. So, Atwill thinks this if funny??

First of all, be careful with Atill, he jumps to conclusions that just don't fit and I think his tomb scene is missing a lot.

But to understand the satire, remember that Josephus was constantly insisting that he was a messenger from God and that the Romans were doing God's will and were the kingdom with God's favor as they brutally slaughtered the entire nation in one of the most bloody genocides in recorded history. That is God's will. Ok. So let's take that literally, this was all God's doing as Josephus insists. That holy mother Mary was doing God's will when she ate her baby. Yeah, totally! This is what God wanted! "Unless you eat my flesh there is no life in you, he, he" (see "Jesus Anointed by Mary" post). The point of the satire is to exaggerate what Josephus says ad absurdum to make an ironical comparison, is this really what you think God wanted? Josephus wrote what most people call Roman propaganda, justifying the Romans for what they did and having a defeated Jew declare them the kingdom of God. So let's take it everybody to the limit, the Roman emperor is God and Rome is the kingdom of heaven! "And he will send forth the reapers to harvest the earth".

(11-12-2016 09:50 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  On what basis do you say that the Romans who would have read this would have had any idea this was supposed to be a satire?

First of all, I don't say the Romans would have necessarily understood it. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't but if they did they seem to have chosen at some time to forget that because ostensibly these gospels are praising what they did as the work of God and putting the blame for Israel's destruction on the Jews (just in a satirically emphasized version of what Josephus did). These gospels were written by Greeks, probably native speakers and it was the Greeks who had a long tradition of satire, not the Romans or the Jews at that time.

“…There have been indeed some bad men, who have attempted to calumniate my history, and took it to be a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men. A strange sort of accusation and calumny this!…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book I, 1:10
“However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks… which moderns, although they may be superior to the old writers in eloquence, yet are they inferior to them in the execution of what they intended to do… where it must be reproachful to write lies, when they must be known by the readers to be such…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Preface, 5

“…He adds another Grecian fable, in order to reproach us…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book II :8
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