Jesus myth
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11-01-2014, 06:46 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(11-01-2014 05:59 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  A friend sent me the link to Atwill's documentary and about 30 seconds in I had my first WTF moment with one of his assertions. In the first 10 minutes I ended up with a list of 8 notes. It was a while ago, and I can't recall them all, but two were Atwill's claim that Vespasian had an army of 120,000 men and that he came from a long line of Roman aristocrats.

Vespasian's grandfather managed to attain the rank of centurion on the losing side of the Civil War that ended at Pharsalus and his army consisted of 4 legions ( 20,000 heavy infantry, probably an equivalent number of auxilia, and some contingents of allied states...of dubious worth. Perhaps 50,000.

These points are minor but if Atwill can't be trusted with such mundane points how can his hypothesis be taken seriously? What else has he fudged?

Do you still have the link to that documentary? I have seen it once but it's now been taken off you tube, and when I try and download it from Amazon I can't because I'm in Australia. I'm sure you're right but I don't remember him saying that.
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11-01-2014, 06:56 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(08-01-2014 10:40 PM)Im_Ryan Wrote:  Copy and paste much?
http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm
(not sure if anyone noticed lol)

Hi...I missed the point. Who's doing the copying and pasting?
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11-01-2014, 06:58 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(11-01-2014 02:39 PM)Free Wrote:  Thomas Verenna aka "Rook Hawkins" had his ass handed to him by yours truly a few years ago right on his own http://www.rationalresponders.com/ forum. This man cannot be trusted to employ a single stitch of stable reasoning.

It got so bad for him that he banned me and my history students (all of us using the same account known as "FathomFFI") by claiming me to be a troll just so he could wiggle out of the debate.

He's a fucking retard, and so are all those involved in that hilarious online "scholarship" movement he hides behind.

For those with a clue, you can go to the following link and watch how easily he was destroyed. Not bragging, but oh my fucking "flying spaghetti monster" he was a bloody joke.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/14157

Mark you'd be interested in reading that.

Hey Free, what do you think of Atwill's theory?
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11-01-2014, 07:11 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(09-01-2014 05:15 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  We can ignore Thomas Verenna....

The first thing you have posted that I completely agree with.

I would go further: We should ignore Thomas Verenna.
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11-01-2014, 07:45 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(08-01-2014 10:34 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(08-01-2014 10:07 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Well.... There is a fair bit of opinion involved in this. Thanks for posting Robert Prices' comments, I haven't read them before. He seems quite sensible. Note that he doesn't totally dismiss all of Atwill's ideas. Also, this was written in 2005. Atwill all has revised his book and written an updated version in which is arguments more expensive and better developed.

It's my understanding that the key objection to Atwill, especially by other mythicists like Price and Carrier, is that he makes huge assumptions without the evidence to back them up. It might like interesting as a whole package, but kind of falls apart piece by piece as it fails to support itself with substantial evidence instead of self reinforcing conjecture.

Richard Carrier - Atwill’s Cranked-up Jesus

Joseph Atwill - Richard Carrier: The PhD That Drowned at Gadara

Thomas Verenna - No, Joe Atwill: Rome Did Not Invent Jesus

Joel L. Watts - Joe Atwill, Bill O’Reily, and Josephus sitting in a tree…

Aaron Adair - The Roman Jesus Propaganda of Joseph Atwill

Richard Carrier - Luke and Josephus (2000)



For those who don't want to tread through all of the links, here's Carrier's 8 main objections to Atwill's thesis.


Richard Carrier Wrote:There are at least eight general problems with his thesis, which do not refute it but establish that it has a very low prior probability, and therefore requires exceptionally good evidence to be at all credible:

(1) The Roman aristocracy was nowhere near as clever as Atwill’s theory requires. They certainly were not so masterfully educated in the Jewish scriptures and theology that they could compose hundreds of pages of elegant passages based on it. And it is very unlikely they would ever conceive of a scheme like this, much less think they could succeed at it (even less, actually do so).

(2) We know there were over forty Gospels, yet the four chosen for the canon were not selected until well into the 2nd century, and not by anyone in the Roman aristocracy. Likewise which Epistles were selected.

(3) The Gospels and the Epistles all contradict each other far too much to have been composed with a systematic aim in mind. Indeed, they contradict each other in ways that often demonstrate they are deliberately arguing with each other. From the ways Matthew changes Mark; to the way the forged 2 Thessalonians actually tries to argue 1 Thessalonians is the forgery; to how the resurrections depicted in Luke and John are deliberate attempts to refute the doctrine of resurrection defended originally by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Corinthians 5; to how some Epistles insist on Torah observance while others insist it can be discarded; to how Luke’s nativity contradicts Matthew’s on almost every single particular (and not just in placing the event in completely different periods ten years apart); to how Acts blatantly contradicts Paul’s own account of his conversion and travels; to how John invents a real Lazarus to refute a point Luke tried to make with a fictional Lazarus; and so on. (I discuss some of these, and more, in my forthcoming book On the Historicity of Jesus.)

(4) The Gospels and the Epistles differ far too much in style to have come from the same hand, and many show signs of later doctoring that would problematize attempts to confirm any theory like Atwill’s. For example, Mark 16:9-20, John 20 vs. 21, the hash job made of the epistle to the Romans, etc. Even the fact of how the canon was selected creates a problem for Atwill’s research requirements–for instance, the actual first letter to the Corinthians is completely missing, yet Paul refers to its existence in “our” 1 Corinthians.

(5) Christianity was probably constructed to “divert Jewish hostility and aggressiveness into a pacifist religion, supportive of–and subservient to–Roman rule,” but not by Romans, but exasperated Jews like Paul, who saw Jewish militarism as unacceptably disastrous in contrast with the obvious advantages of retooling their messianic expectations to produce the peaceful moral reform of society. The precedents were all there already in pre-Christian Jewish ideology and society (in Philo’s philosophy, in Essene and Qumranic efforts to solve the same problems, and so on) so we don’t have to posit super-genius Aryans helping the poor little angry Jews to calm down.

(6) Pacifying Jews would not have been possible with a cult that eliminated Jewish law and accepted Gentiles as equals, and in actual fact Christianity was pretty much a failure in Palestine. Its success was achieved mainly in the Diaspora, where the Romans rarely had any major problems with the Jews. The Jewish War was only fought in Palestine, and not even against all the Jews there (many sided with Rome). How would inventing a religion that would have no chance of succeeding in the heart of Palestine but instead was tailor made to succeed outside Palestine, ever help the Romans with anything they considered important?

(7) If the Roman elite’s aim was to “pacify” Palestinian Jews by inventing new scriptures, they were certainly smart and informed enough to know that that wouldn’t succeed by using the language the Judean elite despised as foreign (Greek).

(8) The Romans knew one thing well: War. Social ideology they were never very good at. That’s why Rome always had such problems keeping its empire together, and why social discontent and other malfunctions continued to escalate until the empire started dissolving. Rome expected to solve every problem militarily instead–and up until the 3rd century Rome did so quite well. The Jewish War was effectively over in just four years (any siege war was expected to take at least three, and Vespasian was actually busy conquering Rome in the fourth year of that War). So why would they think they needed any other solution?

With all that counting against Atwill, he has a very high burden to meet. And he just doesn’t. He actually has no evidence at all for his thesis, except “Bible Code”-style readings of coincidences among texts, which he seems only to read in English and not the original Greek, all the while relying on egregious fallacies in probabilistic reasoning.

Aaron Adair writes
"There is also an issue of logic to be dealt with as well. Even if Atwill proves that the Gospels are completely made up, that doesn’t mean the character at its center is necessarily fictional. It would mean that the historical figure of Jesus is lost to us, but not that he never was."

Mr Adair obviously hasn't read the book, because Atwill writes that there may have been an historical Jesus.
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11-01-2014, 08:07 PM (This post was last modified: 11-01-2014 08:30 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Jesus myth
(08-01-2014 10:34 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(08-01-2014 10:07 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Well.... There is a fair bit of opinion involved in this. Thanks for posting Robert Prices' comments, I haven't read them before. He seems quite sensible. Note that he doesn't totally dismiss all of Atwill's ideas. Also, this was written in 2005. Atwill all has revised his book and written an updated version in which is arguments more expensive and better developed.

It's my understanding that the key objection to Atwill, especially by other mythicists like Price and Carrier, is that he makes huge assumptions without the evidence to back them up. It might like interesting as a whole package, but kind of falls apart piece by piece as it fails to support itself with substantial evidence instead of self reinforcing conjecture.

Richard Carrier - Atwill’s Cranked-up Jesus

Joseph Atwill - Richard Carrier: The PhD That Drowned at Gadara

Thomas Verenna - No, Joe Atwill: Rome Did Not Invent Jesus

Joel L. Watts - Joe Atwill, Bill O’Reily, and Josephus sitting in a tree…

Aaron Adair - The Roman Jesus Propaganda of Joseph Atwill

Richard Carrier - Luke and Josephus (2000)



For those who don't want to tread through all of the links, here's Carrier's 8 main objections to Atwill's thesis.


Richard Carrier Wrote:There are at least eight general problems with his thesis, which do not refute it but establish that it has a very low prior probability, and therefore requires exceptionally good evidence to be at all credible:

(1) The Roman aristocracy was nowhere near as clever as Atwill’s theory requires. They certainly were not so masterfully educated in the Jewish scriptures and theology that they could compose hundreds of pages of elegant passages based on it. And it is very unlikely they would ever conceive of a scheme like this, much less think they could succeed at it (even less, actually do so).

(2) We know there were over forty Gospels, yet the four chosen for the canon were not selected until well into the 2nd century, and not by anyone in the Roman aristocracy. Likewise which Epistles were selected.

(3) The Gospels and the Epistles all contradict each other far too much to have been composed with a systematic aim in mind. Indeed, they contradict each other in ways that often demonstrate they are deliberately arguing with each other. From the ways Matthew changes Mark; to the way the forged 2 Thessalonians actually tries to argue 1 Thessalonians is the forgery; to how the resurrections depicted in Luke and John are deliberate attempts to refute the doctrine of resurrection defended originally by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Corinthians 5; to how some Epistles insist on Torah observance while others insist it can be discarded; to how Luke’s nativity contradicts Matthew’s on almost every single particular (and not just in placing the event in completely different periods ten years apart); to how Acts blatantly contradicts Paul’s own account of his conversion and travels; to how John invents a real Lazarus to refute a point Luke tried to make with a fictional Lazarus; and so on. (I discuss some of these, and more, in my forthcoming book On the Historicity of Jesus.)

(4) The Gospels and the Epistles differ far too much in style to have come from the same hand, and many show signs of later doctoring that would problematize attempts to confirm any theory like Atwill’s. For example, Mark 16:9-20, John 20 vs. 21, the hash job made of the epistle to the Romans, etc. Even the fact of how the canon was selected creates a problem for Atwill’s research requirements–for instance, the actual first letter to the Corinthians is completely missing, yet Paul refers to its existence in “our” 1 Corinthians.

(5) Christianity was probably constructed to “divert Jewish hostility and aggressiveness into a pacifist religion, supportive of–and subservient to–Roman rule,” but not by Romans, but exasperated Jews like Paul, who saw Jewish militarism as unacceptably disastrous in contrast with the obvious advantages of retooling their messianic expectations to produce the peaceful moral reform of society. The precedents were all there already in pre-Christian Jewish ideology and society (in Philo’s philosophy, in Essene and Qumranic efforts to solve the same problems, and so on) so we don’t have to posit super-genius Aryans helping the poor little angry Jews to calm down.

(6) Pacifying Jews would not have been possible with a cult that eliminated Jewish law and accepted Gentiles as equals, and in actual fact Christianity was pretty much a failure in Palestine. Its success was achieved mainly in the Diaspora, where the Romans rarely had any major problems with the Jews. The Jewish War was only fought in Palestine, and not even against all the Jews there (many sided with Rome). How would inventing a religion that would have no chance of succeeding in the heart of Palestine but instead was tailor made to succeed outside Palestine, ever help the Romans with anything they considered important?

(7) If the Roman elite’s aim was to “pacify” Palestinian Jews by inventing new scriptures, they were certainly smart and informed enough to know that that wouldn’t succeed by using the language the Judean elite despised as foreign (Greek).

(8) The Romans knew one thing well: War. Social ideology they were never very good at. That’s why Rome always had such problems keeping its empire together, and why social discontent and other malfunctions continued to escalate until the empire started dissolving. Rome expected to solve every problem militarily instead–and up until the 3rd century Rome did so quite well. The Jewish War was effectively over in just four years (any siege war was expected to take at least three, and Vespasian was actually busy conquering Rome in the fourth year of that War). So why would they think they needed any other solution?

With all that counting against Atwill, he has a very high burden to meet. And he just doesn’t. He actually has no evidence at all for his thesis, except “Bible Code”-style readings of coincidences among texts, which he seems only to read in English and not the original Greek, all the while relying on egregious fallacies in probabilistic reasoning.

Carrier writes...

"(8) The Romans knew one thing well: War. Social ideology they were never very good at.[*] That’s why Rome always had such problems keeping its empire together, and why social discontent and other malfunctions continued to escalate until the empire started dissolving. Rome expected to solve every problem militarily instead–and up until the 3rd century Rome did so quite well. The Jewish War was effectively over in just four years (any siege war was expected to take at least three, and Vespasian was actually busy conquering Rome in the fourth year of that War). So why would they think they needed any other solution?"

He's very clearly wrong here. As I pointed out the Flavians were very good at using propaganda too. They supressed the Jews economically as well, by imposing an additional tax on all Jews in the diaspora...simply because they were Jewish. Carrier doesn't seem to have an appreciation of the vindictiveness between Rome and Jerusalem.

I'm also very surprised it appears as though Carrier hasn't even read Atwill's book. Atwill wrote to Carrier asking to do so but it appears he didn't. My admiration for Carrier has been dealt a blow.
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11-01-2014, 08:27 PM (This post was last modified: 11-01-2014 08:32 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Jesus myth
(08-01-2014 10:34 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(08-01-2014 10:07 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Well.... There is a fair bit of opinion involved in this. Thanks for posting Robert Prices' comments, I haven't read them before. He seems quite sensible. Note that he doesn't totally dismiss all of Atwill's ideas. Also, this was written in 2005. Atwill all has revised his book and written an updated version in which is arguments more expensive and better developed.

It's my understanding that the key objection to Atwill, especially by other mythicists like Price and Carrier, is that he makes huge assumptions without the evidence to back them up. It might like interesting as a whole package, but kind of falls apart piece by piece as it fails to support itself with substantial evidence instead of self reinforcing conjecture.

Richard Carrier - Atwill’s Cranked-up Jesus

Joseph Atwill - Richard Carrier: The PhD That Drowned at Gadara

Thomas Verenna - No, Joe Atwill: Rome Did Not Invent Jesus

Joel L. Watts - Joe Atwill, Bill O’Reily, and Josephus sitting in a tree…

Aaron Adair - The Roman Jesus Propaganda of Joseph Atwill

Richard Carrier - Luke and Josephus (2000)



For those who don't want to tread through all of the links, here's Carrier's 8 main objections to Atwill's thesis.


Richard Carrier Wrote:There are at least eight general problems with his thesis, which do not refute it but establish that it has a very low prior probability, and therefore requires exceptionally good evidence to be at all credible:

(1) The Roman aristocracy was nowhere near as clever as Atwill’s theory requires. They certainly were not so masterfully educated in the Jewish scriptures and theology that they could compose hundreds of pages of elegant passages based on it. And it is very unlikely they would ever conceive of a scheme like this, much less think they could succeed at it (even less, actually do so).

(2) We know there were over forty Gospels, yet the four chosen for the canon were not selected until well into the 2nd century, and not by anyone in the Roman aristocracy. Likewise which Epistles were selected.

(3) The Gospels and the Epistles all contradict each other far too much to have been composed with a systematic aim in mind. Indeed, they contradict each other in ways that often demonstrate they are deliberately arguing with each other. From the ways Matthew changes Mark; to the way the forged 2 Thessalonians actually tries to argue 1 Thessalonians is the forgery; to how the resurrections depicted in Luke and John are deliberate attempts to refute the doctrine of resurrection defended originally by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Corinthians 5; to how some Epistles insist on Torah observance while others insist it can be discarded; to how Luke’s nativity contradicts Matthew’s on almost every single particular (and not just in placing the event in completely different periods ten years apart); to how Acts blatantly contradicts Paul’s own account of his conversion and travels; to how John invents a real Lazarus to refute a point Luke tried to make with a fictional Lazarus; and so on. (I discuss some of these, and more, in my forthcoming book On the Historicity of Jesus.)

(4) The Gospels and the Epistles differ far too much in style to have come from the same hand, and many show signs of later doctoring that would problematize attempts to confirm any theory like Atwill’s. For example, Mark 16:9-20, John 20 vs. 21, the hash job made of the epistle to the Romans, etc. Even the fact of how the canon was selected creates a problem for Atwill’s research requirements–for instance, the actual first letter to the Corinthians is completely missing, yet Paul refers to its existence in “our” 1 Corinthians.

(5) Christianity was probably constructed to “divert Jewish hostility and aggressiveness into a pacifist religion, supportive of–and subservient to–Roman rule,” but not by Romans, but exasperated Jews like Paul, who saw Jewish militarism as unacceptably disastrous in contrast with the obvious advantages of retooling their messianic expectations to produce the peaceful moral reform of society. The precedents were all there already in pre-Christian Jewish ideology and society (in Philo’s philosophy, in Essene and Qumranic efforts to solve the same problems, and so on) so we don’t have to posit super-genius Aryans helping the poor little angry Jews to calm down.

(6) Pacifying Jews would not have been possible with a cult that eliminated Jewish law and accepted Gentiles as equals, and in actual fact Christianity was pretty much a failure in Palestine. Its success was achieved mainly in the Diaspora, where the Romans rarely had any major problems with the Jews. The Jewish War was only fought in Palestine, and not even against all the Jews there (many sided with Rome). How would inventing a religion that would have no chance of succeeding in the heart of Palestine but instead was tailor made to succeed outside Palestine, ever help the Romans with anything they considered important?

(7) If the Roman elite’s aim was to “pacify” Palestinian Jews by inventing new scriptures, they were certainly smart and informed enough to know that that wouldn’t succeed by using the language the Judean elite despised as foreign (Greek).

(8) The Romans knew one thing well: War. Social ideology they were never very good at. That’s why Rome always had such problems keeping its empire together, and why social discontent and other malfunctions continued to escalate until the empire started dissolving. Rome expected to solve every problem militarily instead–and up until the 3rd century Rome did so quite well. The Jewish War was effectively over in just four years (any siege war was expected to take at least three, and Vespasian was actually busy conquering Rome in the fourth year of that War). So why would they think they needed any other solution?

With all that counting against Atwill, he has a very high burden to meet. And he just doesn’t. He actually has no evidence at all for his thesis, except “Bible Code”-style readings of coincidences among texts, which he seems only to read in English and not the original Greek, all the while relying on egregious fallacies in probabilistic reasoning.

Here is what Joel Watts has to say on Atwill...

"First, Atwill and others of his ward fail to mention Paul. Second, they must rely on conspiracy theories and not fact. A ‘government project?’

Third, while I do believe Mark is writing against Rome (Vespasian) and even fellow Jews (Simon bar Giora) by using known stories he is doing so based on a historical figure and a pre-existing outline. This is the only way it would work and the only way Mark could appeal to /an/Christians. As far as the ‘tip to stern’ scenario, this is ludicrous. While there are some passages (Mark 6-8) that bear a nice resemblance to passages in Josephus, it is Josephus who is more than likely looking at the story of Elijah-Elisha to draw reflectively some of the details in his works. This is why Mark 6-8 reflects the Elijah-Elisha narratives and Josephus. After all, he pictured himself as the Elijah-spirit to Vespasian’s Governor of the World/Messiah and knows his narratives quite well. It was later recognized by some of Josephus’s peers that he creatively rewrote the history of the Jewish Wars. To be frank, to be challenged in such a way, in such a time, shows easily just how bad Josephus’s history was.

Turning back to Atwill’s propaganda. Scholars generally do not hold to the definition Evangelicals and others assign to ‘prophecy.’ This is why we have terms like postdiction and Vaticinium ex eventu. Further, I would go further and suggest many ancients were not as naive as we would like to make them out to be and understood this form of storytelling. Read Quintillan. This is why Virgil could get away with recreating Augustus’s birth. Poets were enjoyed because the people could know what they were saying.

Going further, Titus wasn’t Emperor during the Jewish Revolt. This is an anachronism, something Bill O’Reilly has never heard of and something Atwill cannot get enough of. Another one is Atwill’s insistence on the biography of Jesus. There is no single biography of the historical Jesus written. There are many bios and other writings in other genres written about the theological figure of Jesus. We have four canonical gospels, but canon generally means more to the Church than to the scholar who should investigate non-canonical sources as well if they are really intent on discovering the historical Jesus. Atwill, by the way (at least in his 2005 version of Caesar’s Messiah) says the Jesus in John’s Gospel is different than the Jesuses in the Synoptics. That’s right. There are four different Jesuses, maybe a fifth. Finally, Titus wasn’t Caesar until 79, dying in 81, although he was awarded the title of Caesar (along with his brother) after the Roman Triumph.

Why Titus? Because Atwill believes — contrary to everything in history — Titus thought himself, or was thought by Josephus, to be the true messiah. Thus, Jesus becomes the ‘Malachi’ (Atwill’s allegoricalizing of the entire OT book is worth noting). Jesus is Elijah. This ignores the actual sayings of the Gospels about John the Baptizer and what Josephus says of himself in relation to Vespasian, as noted above. Not only this, but it ignores how Vespasian and Titus saw themselves later in life.

As we are reminded in Winn’s masterful work, Vespasian needed the Jewish messianism because of his heritage. He used Egyptian religious thoughts as well, but once he was solidly enthroned, he discarded these. This is why Josephus was ignored and forgotten. By the time Titus arrives, there is no need for propaganda beyond the usual. Clearly, Vespasian’s final quip has fallen on ignorant ears with Atwill.

Atwill’s reconstruction of history bears no actual similarity to history. Not only that, Atwill cannot even accurately read Josephus! It wasn’t the Flavians who continued to need Jewish propaganda, but Josephus.

There is so much to write about how idiotic Atwill’s thesis is, but I don’t have the time to correct all the stupidity in the world…"

Now..... The fact that Atwill doesn't mention Paul is a legitimate, but minor criticism.
Atwill only talks about the Gospels. Paul almost certainly wrote well before the gospels were written. In my opinion Paul too was a Roman government propagandist and knew nothing of the Gospels. Paul's propaganda was pre-war, the gospels were post war.

Joel badmouths the idea that the gospels were a government project, but doesn't actually say why. In fact, in my opinion, if they were written by the government, it would explain why they took off like they did. Someone had to be promoting the nonsense and it wasn't Jesus' friends in Jerusalem.

Joel too doesn't seem to have read the book because he implies that Atwill thinks that the Jesus character is entirely mythical, whereas Atwill states that the character could be based on a real person.

I agree with Joel's point that there were numerous gospels written and Atwill doesn't address this issue.

The rest of his commentary makes no sense to me. I've got no idea what he's trying to say.
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11-01-2014, 08:34 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(11-01-2014 06:46 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(11-01-2014 05:59 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  A friend sent me the link to Atwill's documentary and about 30 seconds in I had my first WTF moment with one of his assertions. In the first 10 minutes I ended up with a list of 8 notes. It was a while ago, and I can't recall them all, but two were Atwill's claim that Vespasian had an army of 120,000 men and that he came from a long line of Roman aristocrats.

Vespasian's grandfather managed to attain the rank of centurion on the losing side of the Civil War that ended at Pharsalus and his army consisted of 4 legions ( 20,000 heavy infantry, probably an equivalent number of auxilia, and some contingents of allied states...of dubious worth. Perhaps 50,000.

These points are minor but if Atwill can't be trusted with such mundane points how can his hypothesis be taken seriously? What else has he fudged?

Do you still have the link to that documentary? I have seen it once but it's now been taken off you tube, and when I try and download it from Amazon I can't because I'm in Australia. I'm sure you're right but I don't remember him saying that.


I went back to the other forum and found the link but it no longer works. This was in the period until the supposed big release of his "evidence" for this theory.
Now they are trying to sell the video.

The big release did not make much of a splash as I recall.

I did copy down this post which was directed to Atwill's defender.

Quote:I forced myself to listen to the rest of the interview. I have three pages of notes but since you aren't interested in his dubious assertions I will simply cut to the chase.

Needless to say, it never got any better.

But two things stand out.

One. Titus was not in command during the Galilean Campaign. His assignment was to pick up the XVth legion and march it overland to Ptolemais ( Acre ) and meet up with his father bringing two legions from Syria. The political situation is a bit muddled but essentially King Herod Agrippa II had been expelled from Jerusalem by the rebels and gone north. He later supplied troops to Vespasian and remained a loyal ally throughout. When Sepphoris refused to join the rebels and asked for Roman help against them Vespasian sent the tribune Placidius to the rescue, not Titus. Whether this is because Titus had not yet arrived or for some other reason is not clear but if you look at a map it is clear that from Ptolemais the route into Galilee is obvious and in a purely military sense Vespasian's strategy to secure Galilee before advancing south on Jerusalem is sound. But he was in command...not "Titus." So to say that "Titus" did this and "Titus" did that is a doubtful argument.

Second, and most important, Josephus' Jewish War was not published until c 78 AD. The war had been over for a long time at that point. The temple, the raison d'etre for the Judaism that the Romans knew was gone. The home base of the Xth Legion was moved to Jerusalem.

When Vespasian became emperor in 69 he inherited an empire which had just endured 18 months of civil war and was on the brink of financial meltdown. Titus, his son, was now in command of reducing Jerusalem and a serious revolt broke out in Gaul which had to be suppressed. Vespasian seems to have occupied himself with taxation more than anything else and some parts of Rome had to be rebuilt because of fires which broke out during the fighting which ousted Vitellius.

What Atwill would have us believe is that against this backdrop Vespasian ( who was a practical man) would have bothered to create a myth about his own son to disrupt and divide a people who they had just convincingly crushed on the battlefield. I'm sorry, Ish. It just does not make any sense. What makes more sense is that whoever cobbled together gLuke had access to Josephus' work and took a few samples to use for the Greco-Roman audience he was addressing. Note that gMatthew, written to a predominantly Jewish audience, makes no use of the traitor Josephus.

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11-01-2014, 09:00 PM (This post was last modified: 11-01-2014 09:20 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Jesus myth
(11-01-2014 08:34 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
(11-01-2014 06:46 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Do you still have the link to that documentary? I have seen it once but it's now been taken off you tube, and when I try and download it from Amazon I can't because I'm in Australia. I'm sure you're right but I don't remember him saying that.


I went back to the other forum and found the link but it no longer works. This was in the period until the supposed big release of his "evidence" for this theory.
Now they are trying to sell the video.

The big release did not make much of a splash as I recall.

I did copy down this post which was directed to Atwill's defender.

Quote:I forced myself to listen to the rest of the interview. I have three pages of notes but since you aren't interested in his dubious assertions I will simply cut to the chase.

Needless to say, it never got any better.

But two things stand out.

One. Titus was not in command during the Galilean Campaign. His assignment was to pick up the XVth legion and march it overland to Ptolemais ( Acre ) and meet up with his father bringing two legions from Syria. The political situation is a bit muddled but essentially King Herod Agrippa II had been expelled from Jerusalem by the rebels and gone north. He later supplied troops to Vespasian and remained a loyal ally throughout. When Sepphoris refused to join the rebels and asked for Roman help against them Vespasian sent the tribune Placidius to the rescue, not Titus. Whether this is because Titus had not yet arrived or for some other reason is not clear but if you look at a map it is clear that from Ptolemais the route into Galilee is obvious and in a purely military sense Vespasian's strategy to secure Galilee before advancing south on Jerusalem is sound. But he was in command...not "Titus." So to say that "Titus" did this and "Titus" did that is a doubtful argument.

Second, and most important, Josephus' Jewish War was not published until c 78 AD. The war had been over for a long time at that point. The temple, the raison d'etre for the Judaism that the Romans knew was gone. The home base of the Xth Legion was moved to Jerusalem.

When Vespasian became emperor in 69 he inherited an empire which had just endured 18 months of civil war and was on the brink of financial meltdown. Titus, his son, was now in command of reducing Jerusalem and a serious revolt broke out in Gaul which had to be suppressed. Vespasian seems to have occupied himself with taxation more than anything else and some parts of Rome had to be rebuilt because of fires which broke out during the fighting which ousted Vitellius.

What Atwill would have us believe is that against this backdrop Vespasian ( who was a practical man) would have bothered to create a myth about his own son to disrupt and divide a people who they had just convincingly crushed on the battlefield. I'm sorry, Ish. It just does not make any sense. What makes more sense is that whoever cobbled together gLuke had access to Josephus' work and took a few samples to use for the Greco-Roman audience he was addressing. Note that gMatthew, written to a predominantly Jewish audience, makes no use of the traitor Josephus.

Okay, thanks for posting this. Atwill points out that the battle on the sea of Gallalee is Titus' first battle under his own command. He writes
"It is his first battle in Galilea entirely under his command"

So if you're right you have a point against Atwill.

Buggered if I can figure out who was in command at this stage.
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11-01-2014, 09:18 PM (This post was last modified: 11-01-2014 09:30 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Jesus myth
(11-01-2014 08:34 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
(11-01-2014 06:46 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Do you still have the link to that documentary? I have seen it once but it's now been taken off you tube, and when I try and download it from Amazon I can't because I'm in Australia. I'm sure you're right but I don't remember him saying that.


I went back to the other forum and found the link but it no longer works. This was in the period until the supposed big release of his "evidence" for this theory.
Now they are trying to sell the video.

The big release did not make much of a splash as I recall.

I did copy down this post which was directed to Atwill's defender.

Quote:I forced myself to listen to the rest of the interview. I have three pages of notes but since you aren't interested in his dubious assertions I will simply cut to the chase.

Needless to say, it never got any better.

But two things stand out.

One. Titus was not in command during the Galilean Campaign. His assignment was to pick up the XVth legion and march it overland to Ptolemais ( Acre ) and meet up with his father bringing two legions from Syria. The political situation is a bit muddled but essentially King Herod Agrippa II had been expelled from Jerusalem by the rebels and gone north. He later supplied troops to Vespasian and remained a loyal ally throughout. When Sepphoris refused to join the rebels and asked for Roman help against them Vespasian sent the tribune Placidius to the rescue, not Titus. Whether this is because Titus had not yet arrived or for some other reason is not clear but if you look at a map it is clear that from Ptolemais the route into Galilee is obvious and in a purely military sense Vespasian's strategy to secure Galilee before advancing south on Jerusalem is sound. But he was in command...not "Titus." So to say that "Titus" did this and "Titus" did that is a doubtful argument.

Second, and most important, Josephus' Jewish War was not published until c 78 AD. The war had been over for a long time at that point. The temple, the raison d'etre for the Judaism that the Romans knew was gone. The home base of the Xth Legion was moved to Jerusalem.

When Vespasian became emperor in 69 he inherited an empire which had just endured 18 months of civil war and was on the brink of financial meltdown. Titus, his son, was now in command of reducing Jerusalem and a serious revolt broke out in Gaul which had to be suppressed. Vespasian seems to have occupied himself with taxation more than anything else and some parts of Rome had to be rebuilt because of fires which broke out during the fighting which ousted Vitellius.

What Atwill would have us believe is that against this backdrop Vespasian ( who was a practical man) would have bothered to create a myth about his own son to disrupt and divide a people who they had just convincingly crushed on the battlefield. I'm sorry, Ish. It just does not make any sense. What makes more sense is that whoever cobbled together gLuke had access to Josephus' work and took a few samples to use for the Greco-Roman audience he was addressing. Note that gMatthew, written to a predominantly Jewish audience, makes no use of the traitor Josephus.

You write
"What Atwill would have us believe is that against this backdrop Vespasian ( who was a practical man) would have bothered to create a myth about his own son to disrupt and divide a people who they had just convincingly crushed on the battlefield. I'm sorry, Ish. It just does not make any sense."

With respect to you, I disagree.

It's true that the first Jewish War imposed a massive defeat on the Jews. I don't think it totally crashed their spirit. There were numerous small uprisings in the early Second century and then there was "world War two" i.e. a second Jewish war in 132 to 136 CE. It's my understanding that it was only after the second war that the idea of an independent Jewish state was definitively crushed.

At the risk of repeating myself, if you reread my blurb on Atwill, there is a link to a podcast about Vespasian which mentions what a great propagandist he was. Here it is
http://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/the_...roved.html

I can also recommend Raza Asian's recent bestseller "Zealot, the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth" which does a very good job of portraying the antagonism between Rome and Jerusalem i.e. between the government and Judaism. The Romans, probably quite correctly, considered Jews to be backward, superstitious and primitive. Yet they couldn't suppress jewish religious zeal. So they used propaganda, and economic suppression, as well as the military. Bear in mind that Titus had already militarily defeated the Jews when he breached the walls of Jerusalem, yet he probably deliberately destroyed the temple despite the fact that it was a magnificent piece of architecture, because he wanted to annihilate the geographical pivot of Judaism. He was not only fighting the Jews, he was fighting their God.

In my opinion, for what it's worth, it's highly likely Titus on his return to Rome supervised the creation of the Gospels because of this anti Jewish sentiment.
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