Samaritans Reject Jesus (satire)
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21-12-2016, 06:18 PM
RE: Samaritans Reject Jesus (satire)
Quote:"He commissioned histories to be written to ensure that the Flavian version of history would be the only version taught."

Shit. I expect Trump to do the same thing.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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21-12-2016, 07:54 PM (This post was last modified: 21-12-2016 08:16 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Samaritans Reject Jesus (satire)
(21-12-2016 03:24 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(19-12-2016 09:38 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Thankyou for your courteous reply.

"...But for Titus himself, he had this surprising conduct of the Jews in suspicion; for whereas he had invited them to come to terms of accommodation, by Josephus, but one day before, he could then receive no civil answer from them….”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 3:3

(19-12-2016 09:38 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I think you missed essential points in the podcast. Please (everyone) listen between 6:00 and 10:00.

"he had encouraged the spread of eastern prophecies that had supposedly foretold his rise to power"
– The Only Man Who Improved, 6:30

"... 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…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book IV, 6:2-3

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

“Now as Josephus began to hesitate with himself about Nicanor's proposal, the soldiery were so angry, that they ran hastily to set fire to the den; but the tribune would not permit them so to do, as being very desirous to take the man alive. And now, as Nicanor lay hard at Josephus to comply, and he understood how the multitude of the enemies threatened him, he called to mind the dreams which he had dreamed in the night time, whereby God had signified to him beforehand both the future calamities of the Jews, and the events that concerned the Roman emperors. Now Josephus was able to give shrewd conjectures about the interpretation of such dreams as have been ambiguously delivered by God. Moreover, he was not unacquainted with the prophecies contained in the sacred books, as being a priest himself, and of the posterity of priests: and just then was he in an ecstasy; and setting before him the tremendous images of the dreams he had lately had, he put up a secret prayer to God, and said, "Since it pleaseth thee, who hast created the Jewish nation, to depress the same, and since all their good fortune is gone over to the Romans, and since thou hast made choice of this soul of mine to foretell what is to come to pass hereafter, I willingly give them my hands, and am content to live. And I protest openly that I do not go over to the Romans as a deserter of the Jews, but as a minister from thee."”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 8:3

“... Josephus... 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... 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... 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... To which Josephus replied, "I did foretell to the people of Jotapata that they would be taken on the forty-seventh day, and that I should be caught alive by the Romans." Now when Vespasian had inquired of the captives privately about these predictions, he found them to be true, and then he began to believe those that concerned himself...”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 8:9

“There was a man sent from God, who... was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
– John 1:6-12

Josephus gave the Flavians the power to become the sons of God because he showed them how they were fulfilling Jewish prophecies. They just needed to believe on him.

"Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."
– Daniel 7:23-27

"Time and times and half a time" is believed to mean 3.5 years, the length of the war. Vespasian defeated three kings (who were never deified) in the year of four emperors and then came out of Israel to Egypt to become the ruler on the most High. It took another 3.5 years to subdue Masada. Remember how armageddon is supposed to come to Israel in the middle of a seven year period from the book of Revelation, where they also quote that "time and times and half a time" and the four beasts and the ten kings? Vespasian and Titus and Josephus knowingly fulfilled the prophecies of Daniel, Josephus told them about it long before the 3.5 year war was over. Did he tell them that the war needed to last 3.5 years?


(19-12-2016 09:38 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It is fascinating to understand how the Flavians, and their predecessors, rewrote history, and controlled public opinion. I think it is not unrealistic to imagine the original gospel(s) (ie "Mark") as part of their propaganda.

"[Vespasian] was refreshingly self deprecating, he knew that he was not descended from nobility, he knew that he was an unrefined rustic... when someone traced his ancestry to Hercules, Vespasian burst out laughing and sent them on their way. He liked to tell off-color jokes, eat simple foods and caused a scandal when it got out that he took his own boots off... Vespasian's down-home charm was a welcome change of pace... put teachers on the public payroll."
– The Only Man Who Improved, 7:45

Doesn't sound like a master of psychological warfare, planning out a new religion to me. The closest thing I can find is this:

"He commissioned histories to be written to ensure that the Flavian version of history would be the only version taught."
– The Only Man Who Improved, 9:45

But even that doesn't make sense. As I have asked here several times before, and no one seems to have an answer for, why on earth would they make a new religion and tie it literarily to the works of Josephus so that it could be destroyed? It is impossible to prove a negative, if you just invent some character Jesus, I can't prove he didn't exist. But I can prove a positive, if he did in fact exists, by showing that he is Josephus and removing his divinity. Why would they make a religion centered around this Jew they captured in the war, the only son be-gotten of the father (because his two biological sons were begotten of the mother before she died), and thereby make their religion defeatable?

"Why would they make a religion centered around this Jew they captured in the war, the only son be-gotten of the father (because his two biological sons were begotten of the mother before she died), and thereby make their religion defeatable?"

The Nazarenes were a potent anti Roman force before the first Jewish war. The Romans borrowed the identity of one of their (the Nazarenes') old, knocked off leaders (Yeshua,) and rebranded him as a pacifist. Using the old identity doubled the power of the propaganda. You could do that and get away with it in those days.

PS...just realised you are talking about Josephus (who you think, is sometimes portrayed as Jesus in the gospels). Mmmmmm.

I don't understand why you use this word "defeatable." Please explain.
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21-12-2016, 09:12 PM
RE: Samaritans Reject Jesus (satire)
(18-12-2016 02:41 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(18-12-2016 02:17 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Re: the references to cannibalism etc. Atwill explains this. The Romans, when they fought, would emulate the deity of their opponents. This is a technique referred to in political science as "co-opting": the process by which a group subsumes or acculturates a smaller or weaker group with related interests; or, similarly, the process by which one group gains converts from another group by attempting to replicate the aspects that they find appealing without adopting the full program or ideals.

The story from Josephus about a woman named Mary eating her baby was not part of anyones religion! Why on earth would the co-opt or adopt something from a horrific genocide and turn it into a religion? That is ridiculous.


(18-12-2016 02:17 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  "If on the other hand Homer is to be considered a mythical character...
Much of the geographic and material content of the Iliad and Odyssey...
Concurrent with the questions of whether there was a biographical person named Homer...

We were talking about the parallels between Josephus and the NT, stay focused.

(18-12-2016 02:17 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  As far as I was aware, the Romans ruled over Egypt at this time, n'est pas? So they employed the writers in Alexandria to invent this crap. Just a hunch.

Yes! Exactly! The entire "Roman conspiracy to invent Jesus" or that either Josephus or the Flavians were involved in the writing of the NT is just a hunch. It is just a wild speculation with no evidence based just on the fact that one part of the Christian branches was later based in Rome and that there are parallels to the war between the Romans and the Jews. That is it. That is the only evidence, but that evidence could lead you to anyone in the Roman empire who spoke fluent Greek and knew how to write chiasms and was well trained in literature. So it must absolutely have been Josephus or the Flavian generals, right?

"The entire "Roman conspiracy to invent Jesus" or that either Josephus or the Flavians were involved in the writing of the NT is just a hunch. It is just a wild speculation with no evidence based just on the fact that one part of the Christian branches was later based in Rome and that there are parallels to the war between the Romans and the Jews."

Yes. It is a hunch. We have no definitive evidence.

I would call it "informed speculation."

Something caused a reasonably rapid spread of a new religion around the empire. It certainly wasn't the truth, or the beauty of Christianity (one could hardly have a more fucked up bunch of ideas.) It is not at all unreasonable to suggest it may have been of the government's making.
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22-12-2016, 03:21 PM (This post was last modified: 24-12-2016 08:04 AM by fhqwhgads.)
RE: Samaritans Reject Jesus (satire)
(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  While the exact details about the authorship of the Gospels, or of Paul’s motivations, or of whether an historical Jesus ever existed, are uncertain, the origin of the whole Christian saga reeks of political propaganda. Christians today who choose to believe the Vatican’s (i.e. Rome’s) version of events should be asking themselves if they have been conned.

Yes, absolutely, they have been conned. Evolution. And absolutely the NT reeks of Roman propaganda. But you seem to neglect the fact that there are at least two ways a text could reek of Roman propaganda: 1) it is Roman propaganda and 2) it is a satire of Roman propaganda and you didn't get the joke part. You claim to have a hunch that it is the first. I claim to have proven it is the second in over 400 passages (and I have a bachelor's degree in math and a PhD in astrophysics and I do not use the word "prove" lightly). You know how in Star Wars you have these ridiculously long spaceships floating by and then in Space Balls you have even more ridiculously long spaceships and a bigger helmet also? That is how satire works. If you are satirizing Josephus who says a hundred times that "all God's favor had gone over to the Romans" and he is constantly praising them, then the satire would take the to the next level and say, yeah, Rome is actually the kingdom of God and Caesar (who was already deified mind you) is actually God and his adopted son who claims to be sent by God to save the Jews is actually doing that instead of slaughtering everyone. In fact, the book of Matthew even gives you a formula for this satire:

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea... and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away... Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”
– Matthew 13:47-52

Modern English:
"Every Christian writer mixes the old with the new, Christianity is like if you gather stuff from the sea and cast out the stuff you don't like and keep the stuff you like. Get it? Yeah! Jesus!"

Remember the post above about "Samaritans Reject Jesus"? You just take out the bad stuff, like when Josephus says Vespasian "rose up in appearance as though he was going to besiege Jerusalem" and you just cut out the bad part, the word "besiege" and then you get the satire part "Jesus had his face set to go to Jerusalem". By doing a satire in this way, the Gospels suggest that Josephus was doing the same, painting the whole scene a little nicer than it was, with rose-colored glasses, biased towards the Romans and ignoring their faults. Which everyone who has read Josephus agrees with. That is how satire works. It elegantly suggests, through imitation and exaggeration, what everyone in-the-know is already thinking: in this case, that the works of Josephus were Roman propaganda.
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27-12-2016, 04:57 PM
RE: Samaritans Reject Jesus (satire)
(22-12-2016 03:21 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  While the exact details about the authorship of the Gospels, or of Paul’s motivations, or of whether an historical Jesus ever existed, are uncertain, the origin of the whole Christian saga reeks of political propaganda. Christians today who choose to believe the Vatican’s (i.e. Rome’s) version of events should be asking themselves if they have been conned.

Yes, absolutely, they have been conned. Evolution. And absolutely the NT reeks of Roman propaganda. But you seem to neglect the fact that there are at least two ways a text could reek of Roman propaganda: 1) it is Roman propaganda and 2) it is a satire of Roman propaganda and you didn't get the joke part. You claim to have a hunch that it is the first. I claim to have proven it is the second in over 400 passages (and I have a bachelor's degree in math and a PhD in astrophysics and I do not use the word "prove" lightly). You know how in Star Wars you have these ridiculously long spaceships floating by and then in Space Balls you have even more ridiculously long spaceships and a bigger helmet also? That is how satire works. If you are satirizing Josephus who says a hundred times that "all God's favor had gone over to the Romans" and he is constantly praising them, then the satire would take the to the next level and say, yeah, Rome is actually the kingdom of God and Caesar (who was already deified mind you) is actually God and his adopted son who claims to be sent by God to save the Jews is actually doing that instead of slaughtering everyone. In fact, the book of Matthew even gives you a formula for this satire:

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea... and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away... Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”
– Matthew 13:47-52

Modern English:
"Every Christian writer mixes the old with the new, Christianity is like if you gather stuff from the sea and cast out the stuff you don't like and keep the stuff you like. Get it? Yeah! Jesus!"

Remember the post above about "Samaritans Reject Jesus"? You just take out the bad stuff, like when Josephus says Vespasian "rose up in appearance as though he was going to besiege Jerusalem" and you just cut out the bad part, the word "besiege" and then you get the satire part "Jesus had his face set to go to Jerusalem". By doing a satire in this way, the Gospels suggest that Josephus was doing the same, painting the whole scene a little nicer than it was, with rose-colored glasses, biased towards the Romans and ignoring their faults. Which everyone who has read Josephus agrees with. That is how satire works. It elegantly suggests, through imitation and exaggeration, what everyone in-the-know is already thinking: in this case, that the works of Josephus were Roman propaganda.

Hi. I have got through half of your book.

I agree, in places, with what you're saying.

I admire the hard work you have put in.

If only you would explain yourself a bit better! Your book consists mainly of quotes from Josephus and the new Testament. There is very little commentary from you to explain your ideas. You put realms of quotes in, (often repeated, and I don't know why,) yet you usually fail to adequately explain why they are there. The reader gets through the quotes and hopes to find an explanation, and there is often nothing.

Having said that, I'm sure that if the reader reads these quotes multiple times slowly then the pieces of the puzzle might start to fit together, but the average reader doesn't have the attention span and the concentration ability to do that. He or she wants to be told what you think and why. The reader needs to be handed your ideas on a plate, and in your book I don't think that happens. This is just an opinion, and , as you know, noone's opinion is the last word on anything. Maybe I am just a mentally slow Australian. I have had an 11 month old crawling all over me while I've tried to read your book.

Having got halfway through your book I decided to swap to Josephus himself and reread "Wars of the Jews." I thought I might as well do that myself rather than read your book which is mainly quotes from "Wars of the Jews."

It's a pity because I'm sure you are right about the gospels and Revelations being based on Josephus...and that is a fascinating idea.

What do you think of my idea that the gospel authors also pinched the legacy of a failed insurrectionist? Are you aware of the history of the Nazarenes?

I would very much like you to continue posting pieces of your book, with your own explanations, in detail, of why you think the New Testament is satire.
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28-12-2016, 01:41 PM
RE: Samaritans Reject Jesus (satire)
(27-12-2016 04:57 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi. I have got through half of your book.

I agree, in places, with what you're saying.

I admire the hard work you have put in.

Thank you for taking the time to go through this. I know it is very long an not easy, but I think it it is worth it.

(27-12-2016 04:57 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If only you would explain yourself a bit better! Your book consists mainly of quotes from Josephus and the new Testament. There is very little commentary from you to explain your ideas.

That is a very fair criticism. It is something I am working on but it sometimes feels like an infinite amount of work. I very much consider this a work in progress and keep updating online as I go, which is why I have kept the price low at 5 bucks. I just felt it had reached a level that I had to share it, I couldn't continue being the only one who knows that the Gospels are a satire of a genocide. I was never really supposed to be a writer but I got started on this about a year and a half ago and started looking into these parallels between the Gospels and Josephus and I kept seeing more and more. I think maybe I have a good appreciation of satire or maybe I just remember all of these passages really well from growing up very strictly Mormon and being accustomed to old English, but the parallels seemed so obvious to me. The first time I read the Wars of the Jews I remember thinking every time I have seen this scene and dialog before in the New Testament. There is probably enough work left for me to do on this to keep me busy for a long time, I have already discovered about 30 more parallels since the initial publication, but I just felt like I needed to get out what I have already. I needed to start talking about this, I guess, even if it is not in a totally finished state, if it ever will be.

(27-12-2016 04:57 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Having said that, I'm sure that if the reader reads these quotes multiple times slowly then the pieces of the puzzle might start to fit together, but the average reader doesn't have the attention span and the concentration ability to do that.

That was what I was hoping for, I did all the work of finding the parallels and highlighting them to help in understanding. One part of me says that you should not take away that exciting moment of discovering it yourself when you see the joke. That if you have to explain a joke then it's not funny. But that does require a reader that is going to take time and think about this and read and re-read a lot. I know this is too much to expect for most people and I am working on that and will have some updates again soon. But those of you that can take the time and read carefully will get to be in on the joke early, I guess. But even if I explain it well, you still have to read a lot before you can become convinced that all of the NT is satire and based on Josephus. Because this claim is pretty far from mainstream even though it is staring you in the face. But extra ordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which I claim to have. You just have to keep an open mind long enough to read this and think about it quite a bit which is a lot to expect even when I give good explanations.

By the way, there is more than one way to read the book. You can go through in the default chronology that I give, which mostly follows the chronology of the Wars of the Jews, or you can go to the table of contents and go through the book of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John or Revelation passage by passage. All of the passages are listed there and the ones for which I have found a parallel have a blue link to that passage in Josehus, the passages for which I haven't yet found a parallel are black. There you can see that I claim to have found a parallel for about 80% of all the passages of the gospels and book of Revelation.

(27-12-2016 04:57 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Maybe I am just a mentally slow Australian. I have had an 11 month old crawling all over me while I've tried to read your book.

I have no such impression. To be honest, you are the first person I don't know personally that I have convinced to take this seriously. I am impressed you were curious enough to spend the time and energy to understand it, especially now knowing about the toddler duties. Also I recognize that this is far from mainstream even though it really isn't, which is hard to grasp. It is as if humanity has trained itself to view Josephus as literal fulfillments of biblical prophecy and now it is so hard for people to wrap their minds around the possibility that the influence is the other way around, even though the Gospels are mostly believed to have been written after the publication of Wars of the Jews.

(27-12-2016 04:57 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Having got halfway through your book I decided to swap to Josephus himself and reread "Wars of the Jews." I thought I might as well do that myself rather than read your book which is mainly quotes from "Wars of the Jews."

It's a pity because I'm sure you are right about the gospels and Revelations being based on Josephus...and that is a fascinating idea.

Reading through Josephus again is great, even just to get a feel for his work and why anyone would want to mock him. If you use my book then you get the parallels already lined up for you with hints to help understand and I will keep slowly adding explanations as I can to various parallels, or answering questions here.

(27-12-2016 04:57 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  What do you think of my idea that the gospel authors also pinched the legacy of a failed insurrectionist? Are you aware of the history of the Nazarenes?

You mean that some inspiration for the gospels comes from another source, maybe a messianic or prophetic figure/movement? I think that is entirely possibly and probable. Muslims have always believed that the Gospels represented some perverted form of the original Jesus or "Isa". I think I am proving that they were right about that, although that doesn't imply that their version has any validity. But also remember that passage from Matthew 13 "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal"? I am not sure, but this could be taken to imply that the gospels are a mix of three "clean" sources, like the histories of Josephus, "Wars of the Jews", "Life of Brian, sorry Josephus" and "Antiquities of the Jews" and one third unclean "leaven" to inflate this into a mythology, like a religious source or Jewish sect. That is me, speculating about the meaning of that passage, but what is true is that the Gospels are at least mostly a mishmash of those three works of Josephus with a flavor of sounding only a little more like religious scripture than Josephus, but actually not a lot more. That much I think I have demonstrated in my book. I am not sure if we know or can know much about those originals (before they got replaced by a satire of them and Josephus by the Romans and the "originals", if any, may have been mostly erased from history).

(27-12-2016 04:57 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I would very much like you to continue posting pieces of your book, with your own explanations, in detail, of why you think the New Testament is satire.

I will. It takes time, I have a lot to do, also with improving the book as I go, but I intend to post more.
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29-12-2016, 10:56 AM
RE: Samaritans Reject Jesus (satire)
(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "As I have asked here several times before, and no one seems to have an answer for, why on earth would they make a new religion and tie it literarily to the works of Josephus..."

The following quote from my book, where I finish up my discussion of Atwill, is my answer to your question...

This (Atwill's theory) neatly explanations why Jesus was able to predict the future, as noticed by the naive (or dishonest) Eusebius (the fourth century Christian historian):

“If anyone compares the words of our savior with the other accounts of the historian (Josephus) concerning the whole war, how can one fail to wonder, and to admit that the foreknowledge and the prophecy of our Savior were truly divine and marvelously strange.” (Church History, Book III, Chapter VII.)

Eusebius failed to realize, or admit, that the Gospels’ authors had used Josephus to create Jesus. Justin Martyr and Tertullian made the same mistake. Some modern Christian apologists still, perhaps erroneously, think Jesus predicted the future.


This does not imply that the Flavians or Josephus or Romans or anyone is the author of the Gospels! It only implies a textual dependence! That the Gospels were written after Josephus and had knowledge of his works. Somebody used Josephus to write the Gospels. If you jump to conclusions too quickly like Atwill then you will arrive at the wrong ones and that will cause a lot of problems.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  So a pro Roman propagandist (Josephus) claimed that the Jewish Messiah was, in fact, the Roman bureaucracy. This could be why the Gospels, and in particular Matthew’s Gospel, make a big deal out of the idea that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah.

Or maybe Matthew does that imitating the way Josephus presents himself as the one sent by God to save the Jews and writes about himself in the third person (explaining the "omnipresent observer" problem of the narrative which implicates the Gospels as "literature").

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Vespasian’s reign (69 – 79 CE) was notable for the fact that he, with his son Titus by his side, is well known to have been a great propagandist. The Flavians were particularly good at promoting the public’s respect for imperial authority. Vespasian was said to have restored a blind man’s site using spittle and to have healed a cripple (do these sound familiar?) Vespasian promoted the idea that he had bought peace to the empire.

And what do we do when we see a propagandist today? We make fun of him on comedy central, on the Daily Show or on Saturday Night Live. Greeks did that sort of thing all the time as well, just on paper, in the form of plays and satires which they sent to their fellow scholars and writers.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Vespasian was a strong patron of the arts and letters, and commissioned many authors to write “Flavian versions” of history. He was a wily old bird. It is entirely plausible that the Gospels were one such Flavian version of history.

Vaguely plausible, yes, but the only thing supporting that is that there are parallels between Josephus and the Gospels. What speaks against that is that those parallels contain references to genocide and cannibalism. What kind of propaganda is that to mock genocide??? You have presented no argument in favor of Flavian involvement in the authorship besides circumstantial evidence. My theory of a satire is supported by the identification of nearly 500 satirical/ironic passages.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Using religion for the good of the state was a well-established practice in ancient Rome; there was a tradition of absorbing the religions of its opponents. To do so neutralized the perception of their enemy’s divine assistance. It was easier and more cost effective than allowing those foreign gods to remain enemies, thereby risking more wrangles with the rank and file rallying under their gods.

Mary eating her baby does not belong to any religious custom of anybody from whom the Romans could have borrowed it. Why do the Gospels contain multiple parallel references to that event??? Roman empire building is a great theory, but it cannot explain this.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  In this case new scripture was created to subdue stubborn Jews and to stroke Titus’ ego by surreptitiously getting naïve Jews to worship him, as if Jesus had been the Messiah they had all been waiting for. “Jesus” was designed to deprive the Jews of their ambition to start another war, and to dilute the purity of Judaism with Gentiles, peo- ple who would be loyal, tax-paying citizens.

That is why Josephus' history was commissioned, to convince the people that God's favor had gone over to the Romans and that the Flavians were fulfilling Jewish prophecy by destroying Israel and becoming emperors.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It is why “Jesus” referred to Jews (his own companions!) who rebelled against Rome as a “wicked generation.”

You are wrong. He called them his friends/companions because that is what Josephus did with his followers. That is another very strong parallel, number 13 in my book, called "Greater Love Has no One than This".


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It could be why the “second coming” of Jesus never happened; it was Titus who came instead.

The second coming did happen. The deified Roman emperor sent for his reapers and they reaped the earth exactly one generation after the supposed time of Jesus' "ministry" when Josephus "administered" as a general in the war. Because of the way these parallels and satire are constructed, the "first coming" was the same as the "second coming" and are just a satire of Josephus.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It may be why the true identities of all the four Gospel authors are unknown. It is one possible reason why the Gospels were first written in Greek

There could be another reason for both of those. A Greek satirist probably wouldn't want the Caesar and Josephus to know their name if they were making fun of the adopted son of the living God or else they could get sent to the Egyptian mines.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  a language that would have been foreign to Yeshua

Josephus himself wrote his history probably in Aramaic, Jesus' supposed language, and translated to Greek probably with help. The NT are originally Greek.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  and why the Gospels are so often anti Semitic, yet in places tried to also appeal to fundamentalist Jews.

Or maybe because Josephus was mostly anti-semitic but frequently made appeals to the Jews to submit to the kingdom with God's favor. The NT is just imitating Josephus


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Propaganda was a powerful tool in Roman times, just as it is today.
Public opinion was easily manipulated, because people did not have the means to check out the facts.

And just like today, educated people and scholars make fun of propaganda while the uneducated don't seem to get the joke and believe the propaganda. Why is it so hard to image that a satire of propaganda could be mistaken for history when that still happens today and satirical news articles are believed to be true.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  At the time, only the upper tier of people, the more educated, were expected to recognize the parallels in Josephus’ works. Perhaps it was no big secret, at the time, amongst the rulers in Rome. It was too subtle a deception to be ever widely recognized or understood by the common people.

Yes, like scholars, like Greek writers and satirists.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If this theory is true, the Gospels were a very black comedy, and Christianity was a clever, and in one sense humorous

Yes.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The multiculturalist Jesus’ injunctions to love your enemies, turn the other cheek, aspire to poverty, be content with misery, to dream about heaven, be afraid of hell, think like children and pay your taxes, take on a more profound and rather cynical meaning, because they were intended to pacify peasants, slaves and religious fanatics.

No, well, almost, yes. Those words imitate what Josephus said to the Jews when he was trying to convince them to surrender "forgive the Romans and you will be forgiven, the Romans won't kill you if you surrender, he is a kind and loving God..." So, yeah, they were intended to mock words that Josephus said to pacify peasants, slaves and religious fanatics who refused to surrender to the living God.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Christians may have been unwittingly worshipping Titus Flavius for nearly 2000 years!

Yeah, ok, that one you pretty much nailed it.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  This theory may be thought of as complementing the hypothesis that Paul’s Christianity originated as part of a government plot too. Paul probably wrote well before the Flavians

I have not had the time or energy yet to go through the book of Acts, but it is pretty much universally believed by scholars to have been written by the same person as Luke and I believe it is probably satire of Josephus just like Luke and the other Gospels and the book of Revelation. The Pauline letters, I don't know, but I did find some useful hints in there that helped me to understand the satire.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  There are, however, what seem to be a few minor problems with the theory. Atwill has proposed the four Gospels were originally written under Titus’ direction, yet it is a fact that no first century source ever specifically mentions the existence of any of the four Gospels, at least as they are now named (we know the current author’s names were never attached to them until much later.)

Atwill's conclusions have much bigger holes than that, but since the Gospels are derived from the works of Josephus it would make sense that they came after the publication of at least The Wars of the Jews in 75 AD.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Atwill states that the four Gospels were written together. Yet it is well established that Mark was written first.

Yes, Atwill just states a bunch of things that don't make sense without supporting evidence. That is why you should be very careful when reading him and only take things from him which are supported, namely the parallels. What would fit and make sense is many different satirists, perhaps in different parts of the empire, perhaps at different times writing ever better satires of Josephus, a kind of fan fiction, which they didn't put their names on for fear of being executed.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It needs to be remembered that all the Gospels were edited and interpolated for at least a couple of hundred years after they were first written... To what degree any number of authors with different ethnicities, education, agendas and writing styles altered the Gospels is a subject requiring much guesswork.

“…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


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Atwill thinks the “testimonium Flavianum,” which is where “Josephus” mentions Jesus, was genuinely written by Josephus, but many other scholars think the entire passage, or most of it, was an interpolation.

Another good example of why you should be very careful about listening to what Atwill "thinks".

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Josephus would have been aware of, and maybe even had a hand in, the Gospels’ composition, but would not have wanted his genuine histories confused with the tongue in cheek satire of the Gospels.

Where do you get off suggesting that Josephus had a hand in writing them, you just argued that he couldn't have and gave no evidence suggesting he did. Josephus himself stated that he hated satire:

“However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks, who… 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


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Atwill does not explain the proliferation of dozens of now apocryphal gospels in the second century, or the success of Marcion and the Gnostics

Nope, but satire used as a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men can easily account for all of that.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Some people are under the impression Domitian (emperor from 81-96 CE) persecuted Christians, which would negate the idea that the Flavians created the Gospels, but the evidence that Domitian persecuted Christians is very weak.

If I were to make a guess, I think more likely is that Domitian and Nero and many other Roman emperors persecuted Jews, Essenes or others (that much is a fact) and that later Christian interpolators switched the words to say Christian to make their new religion sound both persecuted (free martyrdom) and historical, as in having existed before the war (stolen identity).


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If what Atwill theorizes is in fact true, he has uncovered the biggest scam ever in world history, and there are seriously important implications for the legitimacy of Christianity today.

No, it is much more simple than that. If the parallels are true then Christianity has no legitimacy because the Gospels are perverted version of the stories from Josephus and we don't need any unsupported theory of who wrote them. Every story, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Star of Bethlehem, all of it is derived from Josephus and is not valid scripture. We don't need to know who wrote it, it is enough to show it is a fraud.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I think anyone who lightly dismisses the story just told has either failed to appreciate the depth of Jewish-Gentile antagonism in the first century, or underestimates the cleverness of the ancient Roman government, or else does not recognize how strongly Christianity has shaped our modern world.

I think most of the people who lightly dismiss it, do it because they are turned off by Atwill's illogical jumping to conclusions. He was on the money with the parallels, just botched it up with his authorship guesswork. Now he has spoiled the water for those looking to further the work in the parallels because no one wants to hear about it because they think it's just more crazy stuff like Atwill.
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02-01-2017, 06:00 PM
RE: Samaritans Reject Jesus (satire)
(29-12-2016 10:56 AM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "As I have asked here several times before, and no one seems to have an answer for, why on earth would they make a new religion and tie it literarily to the works of Josephus..."

The following quote from my book, where I finish up my discussion of Atwill, is my answer to your question...

This (Atwill's theory) neatly explanations why Jesus was able to predict the future, as noticed by the naive (or dishonest) Eusebius (the fourth century Christian historian):

“If anyone compares the words of our savior with the other accounts of the historian (Josephus) concerning the whole war, how can one fail to wonder, and to admit that the foreknowledge and the prophecy of our Savior were truly divine and marvelously strange.” (Church History, Book III, Chapter VII.)

Eusebius failed to realize, or admit, that the Gospels’ authors had used Josephus to create Jesus. Justin Martyr and Tertullian made the same mistake. Some modern Christian apologists still, perhaps erroneously, think Jesus predicted the future.


This does not imply that the Flavians or Josephus or Romans or anyone is the author of the Gospels! It only implies a textual dependence! That the Gospels were written after Josephus and had knowledge of his works. Somebody used Josephus to write the Gospels. If you jump to conclusions too quickly like Atwill then you will arrive at the wrong ones and that will cause a lot of problems.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  So a pro Roman propagandist (Josephus) claimed that the Jewish Messiah was, in fact, the Roman bureaucracy. This could be why the Gospels, and in particular Matthew’s Gospel, make a big deal out of the idea that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah.

Or maybe Matthew does that imitating the way Josephus presents himself as the one sent by God to save the Jews and writes about himself in the third person (explaining the "omnipresent observer" problem of the narrative which implicates the Gospels as "literature").

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Vespasian’s reign (69 – 79 CE) was notable for the fact that he, with his son Titus by his side, is well known to have been a great propagandist. The Flavians were particularly good at promoting the public’s respect for imperial authority. Vespasian was said to have restored a blind man’s site using spittle and to have healed a cripple (do these sound familiar?) Vespasian promoted the idea that he had bought peace to the empire.

And what do we do when we see a propagandist today? We make fun of him on comedy central, on the Daily Show or on Saturday Night Live. Greeks did that sort of thing all the time as well, just on paper, in the form of plays and satires which they sent to their fellow scholars and writers.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Vespasian was a strong patron of the arts and letters, and commissioned many authors to write “Flavian versions” of history. He was a wily old bird. It is entirely plausible that the Gospels were one such Flavian version of history.

Vaguely plausible, yes, but the only thing supporting that is that there are parallels between Josephus and the Gospels. What speaks against that is that those parallels contain references to genocide and cannibalism. What kind of propaganda is that to mock genocide??? You have presented no argument in favor of Flavian involvement in the authorship besides circumstantial evidence. My theory of a satire is supported by the identification of nearly 500 satirical/ironic passages.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Using religion for the good of the state was a well-established practice in ancient Rome; there was a tradition of absorbing the religions of its opponents. To do so neutralized the perception of their enemy’s divine assistance. It was easier and more cost effective than allowing those foreign gods to remain enemies, thereby risking more wrangles with the rank and file rallying under their gods.

Mary eating her baby does not belong to any religious custom of anybody from whom the Romans could have borrowed it. Why do the Gospels contain multiple parallel references to that event??? Roman empire building is a great theory, but it cannot explain this.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  In this case new scripture was created to subdue stubborn Jews and to stroke Titus’ ego by surreptitiously getting naïve Jews to worship him, as if Jesus had been the Messiah they had all been waiting for. “Jesus” was designed to deprive the Jews of their ambition to start another war, and to dilute the purity of Judaism with Gentiles, peo- ple who would be loyal, tax-paying citizens.

That is why Josephus' history was commissioned, to convince the people that God's favor had gone over to the Romans and that the Flavians were fulfilling Jewish prophecy by destroying Israel and becoming emperors.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It is why “Jesus” referred to Jews (his own companions!) who rebelled against Rome as a “wicked generation.”

You are wrong. He called them his friends/companions because that is what Josephus did with his followers. That is another very strong parallel, number 13 in my book, called "Greater Love Has no One than This".


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It could be why the “second coming” of Jesus never happened; it was Titus who came instead.

The second coming did happen. The deified Roman emperor sent for his reapers and they reaped the earth exactly one generation after the supposed time of Jesus' "ministry" when Josephus "administered" as a general in the war. Because of the way these parallels and satire are constructed, the "first coming" was the same as the "second coming" and are just a satire of Josephus.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It may be why the true identities of all the four Gospel authors are unknown. It is one possible reason why the Gospels were first written in Greek

There could be another reason for both of those. A Greek satirist probably wouldn't want the Caesar and Josephus to know their name if they were making fun of the adopted son of the living God or else they could get sent to the Egyptian mines.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  a language that would have been foreign to Yeshua

Josephus himself wrote his history probably in Aramaic, Jesus' supposed language, and translated to Greek probably with help. The NT are originally Greek.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  and why the Gospels are so often anti Semitic, yet in places tried to also appeal to fundamentalist Jews.

Or maybe because Josephus was mostly anti-semitic but frequently made appeals to the Jews to submit to the kingdom with God's favor. The NT is just imitating Josephus


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Propaganda was a powerful tool in Roman times, just as it is today.
Public opinion was easily manipulated, because people did not have the means to check out the facts.

And just like today, educated people and scholars make fun of propaganda while the uneducated don't seem to get the joke and believe the propaganda. Why is it so hard to image that a satire of propaganda could be mistaken for history when that still happens today and satirical news articles are believed to be true.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  At the time, only the upper tier of people, the more educated, were expected to recognize the parallels in Josephus’ works. Perhaps it was no big secret, at the time, amongst the rulers in Rome. It was too subtle a deception to be ever widely recognized or understood by the common people.

Yes, like scholars, like Greek writers and satirists.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If this theory is true, the Gospels were a very black comedy, and Christianity was a clever, and in one sense humorous

Yes.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The multiculturalist Jesus’ injunctions to love your enemies, turn the other cheek, aspire to poverty, be content with misery, to dream about heaven, be afraid of hell, think like children and pay your taxes, take on a more profound and rather cynical meaning, because they were intended to pacify peasants, slaves and religious fanatics.

No, well, almost, yes. Those words imitate what Josephus said to the Jews when he was trying to convince them to surrender "forgive the Romans and you will be forgiven, the Romans won't kill you if you surrender, he is a kind and loving God..." So, yeah, they were intended to mock words that Josephus said to pacify peasants, slaves and religious fanatics who refused to surrender to the living God.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Christians may have been unwittingly worshipping Titus Flavius for nearly 2000 years!

Yeah, ok, that one you pretty much nailed it.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  This theory may be thought of as complementing the hypothesis that Paul’s Christianity originated as part of a government plot too. Paul probably wrote well before the Flavians

I have not had the time or energy yet to go through the book of Acts, but it is pretty much universally believed by scholars to have been written by the same person as Luke and I believe it is probably satire of Josephus just like Luke and the other Gospels and the book of Revelation. The Pauline letters, I don't know, but I did find some useful hints in there that helped me to understand the satire.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  There are, however, what seem to be a few minor problems with the theory. Atwill has proposed the four Gospels were originally written under Titus’ direction, yet it is a fact that no first century source ever specifically mentions the existence of any of the four Gospels, at least as they are now named (we know the current author’s names were never attached to them until much later.)

Atwill's conclusions have much bigger holes than that, but since the Gospels are derived from the works of Josephus it would make sense that they came after the publication of at least The Wars of the Jews in 75 AD.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Atwill states that the four Gospels were written together. Yet it is well established that Mark was written first.

Yes, Atwill just states a bunch of things that don't make sense without supporting evidence. That is why you should be very careful when reading him and only take things from him which are supported, namely the parallels. What would fit and make sense is many different satirists, perhaps in different parts of the empire, perhaps at different times writing ever better satires of Josephus, a kind of fan fiction, which they didn't put their names on for fear of being executed.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It needs to be remembered that all the Gospels were edited and interpolated for at least a couple of hundred years after they were first written... To what degree any number of authors with different ethnicities, education, agendas and writing styles altered the Gospels is a subject requiring much guesswork.

“…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


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Atwill thinks the “testimonium Flavianum,” which is where “Josephus” mentions Jesus, was genuinely written by Josephus, but many other scholars think the entire passage, or most of it, was an interpolation.

Another good example of why you should be very careful about listening to what Atwill "thinks".

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Josephus would have been aware of, and maybe even had a hand in, the Gospels’ composition, but would not have wanted his genuine histories confused with the tongue in cheek satire of the Gospels.

Where do you get off suggesting that Josephus had a hand in writing them, you just argued that he couldn't have and gave no evidence suggesting he did. Josephus himself stated that he hated satire:

“However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks, who… 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


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Atwill does not explain the proliferation of dozens of now apocryphal gospels in the second century, or the success of Marcion and the Gnostics

Nope, but satire used as a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men can easily account for all of that.


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Some people are under the impression Domitian (emperor from 81-96 CE) persecuted Christians, which would negate the idea that the Flavians created the Gospels, but the evidence that Domitian persecuted Christians is very weak.

If I were to make a guess, I think more likely is that Domitian and Nero and many other Roman emperors persecuted Jews, Essenes or others (that much is a fact) and that later Christian interpolators switched the words to say Christian to make their new religion sound both persecuted (free martyrdom) and historical, as in having existed before the war (stolen identity).


(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If what Atwill theorizes is in fact true, he has uncovered the biggest scam ever in world history, and there are seriously important implications for the legitimacy of Christianity today.

No, it is much more simple than that. If the parallels are true then Christianity has no legitimacy because the Gospels are perverted version of the stories from Josephus and we don't need any unsupported theory of who wrote them. Every story, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Star of Bethlehem, all of it is derived from Josephus and is not valid scripture. We don't need to know who wrote it, it is enough to show it is a fraud.

(21-12-2016 05:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I think anyone who lightly dismisses the story just told has either failed to appreciate the depth of Jewish-Gentile antagonism in the first century, or underestimates the cleverness of the ancient Roman government, or else does not recognize how strongly Christianity has shaped our modern world.

I think most of the people who lightly dismiss it, do it because they are turned off by Atwill's illogical jumping to conclusions. He was on the money with the parallels, just botched it up with his authorship guesswork. Now he has spoiled the water for those looking to further the work in the parallels because no one wants to hear about it because they think it's just more crazy stuff like Atwill.

Hi. Thanks for your comprehensive replies.

"Somebody used Josephus to write the Gospels."

This you and I agree on, although I would word it "to help write the gospels."

What this means is that the gospels are manufactured...not based on anything concrete other than for, perhaps, the gospel of the Nazarenes.

We still disagree on the motive for authorship. Your idea that their composition was primarily an intellectual satire of Josephus just doesn't ring true for me. A very big, nasty, toxic religion was born with Christianity...that sort of thing only happens as a consequence of a political/financial enterprise...not as a joke amongst intellectuals in the know, which is what (I think) you are proposing.

I agree that satire was used to create the nonsense, but the satire was a means to an end...to create a new religion. This was serious shit...not some joke.
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