The book of Acts
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30-05-2015, 12:25 AM
RE: The book of Acts
You are forcing me to write down my own thoughts. This may take a little time.

Consider

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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30-05-2015, 03:43 PM
RE: The book of Acts
So Mark, let’s start with a few facts.

This inscription
[Image: antonia%20minor.png]
Is securely dated prior to 37 AD as Antonia Minor, wife of Drusus (brother of Emperor Tiberius) died in 37 and she is noted here referring to Jucundus Chrestiani ( the Chrestian.) What we see is “Chrestiani” being used as a cognomen by the lower-class Jucundus. For the man to be known as a Chrestian suggests that the cult (or whatever it was) was well established in Rome itself long before the jesus freaks back-dated their story to the Augustan age. The Chrestians existed in Rome, long before the jesus tale was written and they had nothing to do with the Christians. But somewhere along the line they were swept up into the Christian blitzkrieg when they emerged victorious and re-wrote history to suit them and their bullshit religion. But that’s Rome. And Rome has nothing to do with the origins of jesusism. So let’s move East.

Paul:
I think “Paul” is a load of shit. As I’ve noted elsewhere, there is one historical marker (2 Cor. 11) which points to the early to mid first century BC in the Nabatean control of Damascus. But what else was going on in the region? The Hasmonean Dynasty in Jerusalem was torn by dynastic squabbling among rival claimants. Josephus tells a tale wherein other powers (Seleucia, Egypt, Parthia, Nabatea) were all scurrying for position and backing rival claimants. Is it possible that a Judean refugee who had fled to Damascus and the protection of the Nabateans suddenly found himself in enemy territory after the Nabateans switched sides? Damn right, it is. What we do not know is if there was a collection of such writings by one person. All we know is that c 140 AD, Marcion issued a canon of scripture including a version of Luke and 10 epistles of this so-called Paul guy. We do not have these writings. What we have are what emerged when these documents were re-issued by the proto orthodox victors. We must assume that Marcion was not stupid. The proto-orthodox who denounced him as a heretic did so on the basis of his writings in which he dismissed yhwh as a rather nasty shit of a god who did not create the world. It is therefore unlikely that anything Marcion wrote or gathered would have supported any other position. It also strongly suggests that before the proto-orthodox issued their own “scriptures” they would have re-written what Marcion put out to reflect their own position. Thus the question of the “authentic” Pauline gospels comes down to were those 7 edited/revised by the same editor. Another point is that the proto-orthodox claim all this crap happened in the mid first century but what was Corinth in the 50’s AD? After a century of being unoccupied after the Romans leveled it in 148 BC it was re-founded as a colony by Julius Caesar shortly before his murder. By 70 AD the new emperor Vespasian found it necessary to “re-found” the colony because it was not a raging success. We do however have archaeological evidence which confirms that this happened. When the Greek geographer, Pausanias, visited Corinth during the reign of Hadrian he noted various shrines and monuments to various gods but had nothing to say about any “Jews” or “Christians.” We can see from Pausanias that Vespasian’s efforts had taken hold and the city was a going concern by Hadrian’s time. So even if whatever served as an original of 2 Cor. was addressed to someone it seems stunningly unlikely that it would be addressed to a struggling Roman colony at best ( assuming 50 AD ) or a vacant lot (assuming before 44 BC.) But, if you were re-writing this stuff why not address it to a burgeoning town as Corinth would have been in the late 2d century when it seems that the proto-orthodox began releasing the revisions on the world?

But even that is not the worst part of the Pauline bullshit. At AF.Org I posted this
[url] http://atheistforums.org/thread-33349-po...#pid952171[/url] as a commentary on Carrier’s On The Historicity of Jesus. In includes this point from the book:
Quote: 2. The Peculiar Indifference of Paul and his Christians


As a psychologist once put it (about Paul's letter to fellow congregants in
Rome, whom he had not yet met and thus can't have shared his own stories
with):

Imagine for a moment that one of your friends writes you a twenty-page
letter passionately wanting to share her excitement about a new teacher.
This letter has only one topic, your friend's new teacher. [But] at the end
of her letter, you still do not know one thing about her teacher. Yet, Paul
presents the central figure of his theology this way . . . . It [seems] impossible
to imagine how Paul could avoid telling one story or parable of--or
fail to note one physical trait or personal quality of- Jesus.

Again, we do not have any idea what the original “paul” was all about. He could have been talking about Chrestus. He could have been talking about yhwh! We don’t know what edits Marcion made. We don’t know what edits the proto-orthodox made. According to Bart Ehrman, we can't even rely on the fact that they did not go back and edit this stuff to suit later purposes.

Quote: In other words, women earn salvation by keeping quiet and pregnant; it is men who have the authority to teach. So says Paul.

Or does he? Scholars today are not so convinced. As I have already pointed
out, most critical scholars think that 1 Timothy is pseudonymous: its vocabulary,
writing style, theological modes of expression, and presupposed historical
situation15 all differ significantly from what can be found in Paul’s authentic
letters.16 But what about the passage in 1 Corinthians? No one doubts that Paul
wrote that letter. Even so, there are good reasons for thinking Paul did not
write the passage about women being silent in chapter 14.17 For one thing, just
three chapters earlier Paul condoned the practice of women speaking in church.
They are to have their heads covered, he insists, when they pray and prophecy—
activities done out loud in antiquity. How could Paul condone a practice
(women speaking in church) in chapter 11 that he condemns in chapter 14?
It has often been noted that the passage in chapter 14 also appears intrusive
in its own literary context: Both before and after his instructions for women to
keep silent, Paul is speaking not about women in church but about prophets in
church. When the verses on women are removed, the passage flows neatly
without a break. This too suggests that these verses were inserted into the passage later. Moreover, it is striking that the verses in question appear in different locations in some of our surviving manuscripts of Paul’s letter as if they had originally appeared as a marginal note (drawn from the teaching of the forged
letter of 1 Timothy?) and inserted as judged appropriate in different parts of the
chapter. On these grounds, a number of scholars have concluded that Paul’s
instructions for women to be silent in 1 Corinthians may not be from Paul, just
as the letter to Timothy is not from Paul.

Ehrman, Lost Christianities pg 38

My complaint with Ehrman is that he has spent an entire career pissing in the pond of these so-called holy scriptures but then, when he wants to make a point, he says “it’s okay – I found a clean spot you can drink from.” Sorry, Bart. I’ll pass.

At some point all of this stuff has to be dismissed because we do not know who wrote it, when they wrote it, or what their agenda was. Both Josephus and Tacitus ignore xtians as any sort of power base in their discussions of the outbreak of the Great Revolt. They were not a power bloc. Is it possible that Christians/chrestians were scattered groups of what came to be called Gnostics? Insignificant in numbers and with only local doctrines such as Pliny reported in his commentary to Trajan?

Right now I lean more to the scattered groups concept. Be they Chrestians or Christians there most definitively seems to be a lower class basis to these beliefs – what archaeologist Bill Dever referred to as “folk religion” in “Did God Have A Wife" meaning a cult which the commons adheres to despite whatever malarkey the central government is putting out. These individual groups were later absorbed/suppressed by the proto-orthodox when they emerged with the power to do so. In that sense, the Battle of the Milvian Bridge is the most significant battle in history. Had Maxentius won he would have executed Constantine’s supporters and we would not now be stuck with this xtian horseshit which has so damaged the world.

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30-05-2015, 03:52 PM (This post was last modified: 30-05-2015 03:59 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: The book of Acts
(29-05-2015 05:48 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote:Yet Christianity, which claimed Jesus was the Son of God, had yet to be invented!


Part of the problem is that we don't know when the "jesus" part of the story was written in. What we know for a fact is that no Greco-Roman writer mentions anyone named "jesus" until Celsus is reported to do so in Origen's Contra Celsus. Celsus lived about 180 AD so, if he was not a straw man created for Origen to knock down ( which seems like a fairly modern concept ) then we can assume that the Romans heard about "jesus" by the late 2d century.

As to your unspoken question - "why crucifixion?" The argument usually goes along the lines of "why would christians invent such a horrible death for their god?" and then try to apply the criteria of embarrassment to show that the story must have been real. But there is another part of the story. The gospel accounts become exceedingly more anti-semitic as they go along. The Romans are portrayed as trying to get jesus off (and by that I mean legally - not sexually.) Pilate says, "what has he done?" His wife says "don't do it." The centurion say "truly this was the son of god." Yada, yada, yada. It is the JEWS who demand he be crucified.

Quote:12 Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”

13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

14 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

15 So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

Mark 15

Quote:15 Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. 16 So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”[a]

18 Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) 20 Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Luke 23

Quote:21 So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?”

The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”

22 Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

Matty 27

Quote:Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’[d] Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”

13 When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). 14 It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people,[e] “Look, here is your king!”

15 “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!”

“What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back.

16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.

John 19

The crucifixion scene was meant to stir up xtian hatred against the jews ( who by the mid 2d century AD were distinctly persona non grata in the Roman world and to get the Romans off the hook.

Thank you for this excellent post. Let me add some ideas to it.

All the Gospel authors made out Jesus was given a trial. Jesus was taken before Pilate and the accusation made:

“We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ, a King.” (Luke 23:2 NKJ.)

Pilate asked Jesus if he was king of the Jews and Jesus answered,

“It is as you say it” (Luke 23:3 NKJ.)

This perfectly described the crux of the issue: Jesus was accused of undermining the government and the taxation system. Jesus effectively signed his own death warrant by admitting he thought of himself as the King of the Jews.

Genuine Jewish kings did not pay Roman tax, so this contradicted Jesus’ earlier injunction to render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar (see Matthew 22:21.)

Luke was the only Gospel author who claimed that Jesus was taken before Herod. Luke states Jesus refused to talk to Herod. Yeshua would have hated Herod, the man who had his cousin beheaded. Herod supposedly found Jesus not guilty, but this makes no sense, as Luke had earlier claimed that Herod wanted Jesus killed. (Luke 13:31.)

Mark claimed,

“... the chief priests however had incited the crowd” (Mark 15:11, NJB.)

This poorly explained excuse was the only reason given in any of the Gospels for “the crowd” turning against Jesus. This crowd supposedly shouted that they would rather have a common criminal, Barabbas, freed instead of Jesus. No such custom of releasing the crowd’s favorite was ever recorded in any non-Biblical document. Mark implied this crowd was made up of Jerusalem’s people, whom Mark had earlier described as the “multitudes” who had welcomed Jesus as a king and a hero in a ticker tape parade when he rode into the city. This same Jewish crowd thought Jesus was a prophet and had laid clothes and branches at his feet. The chief priests feared the Jewish people would create an uproar if Jesus were arrested. Can anyone believe Jerusalem’s people had such a complete change of mind about their hero?

Romans were made to look as if they were really sympathetic towards Jesus. Pilate, the Roman governor, allegedly read a letter from his wife about a dream she had that Jesus was innocent. Pilate supposedly said,

“I find no fault in this man” (Luke 23:4 KJV.)

Pilate is depicted as trying to talk the angry Jews out of having Jesus crucified, but gave in to the public clamor, because

“... in fact a riot was imminent” (Matt. 27:24 KJV.)

So the crowd that was going to riot if Jesus was arrested (see Matt. 26:3–6) was now about to riot if Jesus was not crucified. This scenario makes no sense. It is obvious that most of Jesus’ Jewish compatriots, that is the common people, idolized him, and would not have wanted him crucified! Therefore this passage is almost certainly a pro Roman fabrication.

Pilate, Rome’s representative, allegedly washed his hands of any responsibility for the decision to kill Jesus. This did not happen; it was theatrical propaganda, not real history. To pronounce a man innocent, and then command your troops to kill him anyway, is preposterous.

Pilate’s job was to keep the peace and make sure Jews paid tax. Jesus was a dangerous subversive, threatening a rebellion, so Pilate could not have found him innocent. There was probably no public trial. To have a public trial at that time of year would be just asking for trouble, particularly as it is made abundantly clear that Jesus had a firm contingent of support amongst the people.

Pilate was the Roman prefect of Judaea from AD 26–36. He is described by contemporary secular historians as being notorious for his cruelty toward the Jews. For example Philo, an Alexandrian Jew, writing in 41 CE, stated that Pilate’s tenure in power was notable for its

“. . . briberies, insults, robberies, outrages, wanton injustices, constantly repeated executions without trial, and ceaseless and grievous cruelty” (Legatio ad Gaium, 301–302.)

Josephus too reported several instances of Pilate flagrantly inciting an insurrection, only to ruthlessly suppress it with his soldiers.

In 36 CE, Vitellius, the Roman Syrian governor, removed Pilate from his office after a violent attack on the Samaritans (Josephus, Antiquities 18.4.85.) Pilate was ordered to Rome to face complaints of excessive cruelty against the Jews, found culpable, and exiled to Vienne, France. Pilate’s true colors come across in secular history, not in the Gospels. The real Pilate clearly was not a character wracked with ambivalence about whether to crucify Yeshua.

One of the authors of Matthew had Jews say,

“His blood be on us and our children” (Matt. 27:24–25, NJB.)

Jews publicly cursed themselves for being Christ-killers, which is highly improbable. The Jewish passersby allegedly mocked Jesus:

“The passersby jeered at him; they shook their heads and said ‘if you are God’s son, come down from the cross!’” (Matt. 27:39–40, NJB.)

Yet the Jewish crowd would not have been that callous to one of their own. They would have been appalled that Jesus was dying such a despicable death.

Moreover, if his fellow Jews had wanted to kill Jesus, he would have been stoned to death, which could only have happened if the Romans gave the Jews permission to do so.

The Gospel authors could not have Romans responsible for killing the Son of God, because the Catholic Church, who promoted the Gospels, became the Church of Rome. The solution was simple; they made the Romans look like unwilling participants in the proceedings, and they accused the anonymous Jewish rabble of wanting Jesus dead.

In my opinion all these quotes demonstrate that the gospels were written as pro Roman anti-Jewish propaganda. When one becomes aware of the political reality of the times, it is hard not to arrive at the conclusion that the government wrote this stuff to suppress Judaism and control the plebs.
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30-05-2015, 04:40 PM
RE: The book of Acts
(30-05-2015 03:43 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  So Mark, let’s start with a few facts.

This inscription
[Image: antonia%20minor.png]
Is securely dated prior to 37 AD as Antonia Minor, wife of Drusus (brother of Emperor Tiberius) died in 37 and she is noted here referring to Jucundus Chrestiani ( the Chrestian.) What we see is “Chrestiani” being used as a cognomen by the lower-class Jucundus. For the man to be known as a Chrestian suggests that the cult (or whatever it was) was well established in Rome itself long before the jesus freaks back-dated their story to the Augustan age. The Chrestians existed in Rome, long before the jesus tale was written and they had nothing to do with the Christians. But somewhere along the line they were swept up into the Christian blitzkrieg when they emerged victorious and re-wrote history to suit them and their bullshit religion. But that’s Rome. And Rome has nothing to do with the origins of jesusism. So let’s move East.

Paul:
I think “Paul” is a load of shit. As I’ve noted elsewhere, there is one historical marker (2 Cor. 11) which points to the early to mid first century BC in the Nabatean control of Damascus. But what else was going on in the region? The Hasmonean Dynasty in Jerusalem was torn by dynastic squabbling among rival claimants. Josephus tells a tale wherein other powers (Seleucia, Egypt, Parthia, Nabatea) were all scurrying for position and backing rival claimants. Is it possible that a Judean refugee who had fled to Damascus and the protection of the Nabateans suddenly found himself in enemy territory after the Nabateans switched sides? Damn right, it is. What we do not know is if there was a collection of such writings by one person. All we know is that c 140 AD, Marcion issued a canon of scripture including a version of Luke and 10 epistles of this so-called Paul guy. We do not have these writings. What we have are what emerged when these documents were re-issued by the proto orthodox victors. We must assume that Marcion was not stupid. The proto-orthodox who denounced him as a heretic did so on the basis of his writings in which he dismissed yhwh as a rather nasty shit of a god who did not create the world. It is therefore unlikely that anything Marcion wrote or gathered would have supported any other position. It also strongly suggests that before the proto-orthodox issued their own “scriptures” they would have re-written what Marcion put out to reflect their own position. Thus the question of the “authentic” Pauline gospels comes down to were those 7 edited/revised by the same editor. Another point is that the proto-orthodox claim all this crap happened in the mid first century but what was Corinth in the 50’s AD? After a century of being unoccupied after the Romans leveled it in 148 BC it was re-founded as a colony by Julius Caesar shortly before his murder. By 70 AD the new emperor Vespasian found it necessary to “re-found” the colony because it was not a raging success. We do however have archaeological evidence which confirms that this happened. When the Greek geographer, Pausanias, visited Corinth during the reign of Hadrian he noted various shrines and monuments to various gods but had nothing to say about any “Jews” or “Christians.” We can see from Pausanias that Vespasian’s efforts had taken hold and the city was a going concern by Hadrian’s time. So even if whatever served as an original of 2 Cor. was addressed to someone it seems stunningly unlikely that it would be addressed to a struggling Roman colony at best ( assuming 50 AD ) or a vacant lot (assuming before 44 BC.) But, if you were re-writing this stuff why not address it to a burgeoning town as Corinth would have been in the late 2d century when it seems that the proto-orthodox began releasing the revisions on the world?

But even that is not the worst part of the Pauline bullshit. At AF.Org I posted this
[url] http://atheistforums.org/thread-33349-po...#pid952171[/url] as a commentary on Carrier’s On The Historicity of Jesus. In includes this point from the book:
Quote: 2. The Peculiar Indifference of Paul and his Christians


As a psychologist once put it (about Paul's letter to fellow congregants in
Rome, whom he had not yet met and thus can't have shared his own stories
with):

Imagine for a moment that one of your friends writes you a twenty-page
letter passionately wanting to share her excitement about a new teacher.
This letter has only one topic, your friend's new teacher. [But] at the end
of her letter, you still do not know one thing about her teacher. Yet, Paul
presents the central figure of his theology this way . . . . It [seems] impossible
to imagine how Paul could avoid telling one story or parable of--or
fail to note one physical trait or personal quality of- Jesus.

Again, we do not have any idea what the original “paul” was all about. He could have been talking about Chrestus. He could have been talking about yhwh! We don’t know what edits Marcion made. We don’t know what edits the proto-orthodox made. According to Bart Ehrman, we can't even rely on the fact that they did not go back and edit this stuff to suit later purposes.

Quote: In other words, women earn salvation by keeping quiet and pregnant; it is men who have the authority to teach. So says Paul.

Or does he? Scholars today are not so convinced. As I have already pointed
out, most critical scholars think that 1 Timothy is pseudonymous: its vocabulary,
writing style, theological modes of expression, and presupposed historical
situation15 all differ significantly from what can be found in Paul’s authentic
letters.16 But what about the passage in 1 Corinthians? No one doubts that Paul
wrote that letter. Even so, there are good reasons for thinking Paul did not
write the passage about women being silent in chapter 14.17 For one thing, just
three chapters earlier Paul condoned the practice of women speaking in church.
They are to have their heads covered, he insists, when they pray and prophecy—
activities done out loud in antiquity. How could Paul condone a practice
(women speaking in church) in chapter 11 that he condemns in chapter 14?
It has often been noted that the passage in chapter 14 also appears intrusive
in its own literary context: Both before and after his instructions for women to
keep silent, Paul is speaking not about women in church but about prophets in
church. When the verses on women are removed, the passage flows neatly
without a break. This too suggests that these verses were inserted into the passage later. Moreover, it is striking that the verses in question appear in different locations in some of our surviving manuscripts of Paul’s letter as if they had originally appeared as a marginal note (drawn from the teaching of the forged
letter of 1 Timothy?) and inserted as judged appropriate in different parts of the
chapter. On these grounds, a number of scholars have concluded that Paul’s
instructions for women to be silent in 1 Corinthians may not be from Paul, just
as the letter to Timothy is not from Paul.

Ehrman, Lost Christianities pg 38

My complaint with Ehrman is that he has spent an entire career pissing in the pond of these so-called holy scriptures but then, when he wants to make a point, he says “it’s okay – I found a clean spot you can drink from.” Sorry, Bart. I’ll pass.

At some point all of this stuff has to be dismissed because we do not know who wrote it, when they wrote it, or what their agenda was. Both Josephus and Tacitus ignore xtians as any sort of power base in their discussions of the outbreak of the Great Revolt. They were not a power bloc. Is it possible that Christians/chrestians were scattered groups of what came to be called Gnostics? Insignificant in numbers and with only local doctrines such as Pliny reported in his commentary to Trajan?

Right now I lean more to the scattered groups concept. Be they Chrestians or Christians there most definitively seems to be a lower class basis to these beliefs – what archaeologist Bill Dever referred to as “folk religion” in “Did God Have A Wife" meaning a cult which the commons adheres to despite whatever malarkey the central government is putting out. These individual groups were later absorbed/suppressed by the proto-orthodox when they emerged with the power to do so. In that sense, the Battle of the Milvian Bridge is the most significant battle in history. Had Maxentius won he would have executed Constantine’s supporters and we would not now be stuck with this xtian horseshit which has so damaged the world.

Thanks for this very good post.

"The Chrestians existed in Rome, long before the jesus tale was written"

Agreed. Paul wrote a letter to the Romans to introduce himself, perhaps in the early 60s, and whoever got the letter obviously had some knowledge of a Christ, but no knowledge of a Jeebus.

So much for Paul founding the Roman Church! (as claimed by the Vatican).

Speaking of that letter, I like how Carrier points out that it makes not one single description of a Christ. Carrier is obviously on to the idea that Paul's Christ was not Jeebus.

Let's think about that letter. If I got such a letter from someone that I didn't know, that was ordering me what to think, and it went for 20 pages, I'd consider it damn rude. Whoever wrote that letter was a control freak.
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30-05-2015, 04:45 PM
RE: The book of Acts
(30-05-2015 03:43 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  So Mark, let’s start with a few facts.

This inscription
[Image: antonia%20minor.png]
Is securely dated prior to 37 AD as Antonia Minor, wife of Drusus (brother of Emperor Tiberius) died in 37 and she is noted here referring to Jucundus Chrestiani ( the Chrestian.) What we see is “Chrestiani” being used as a cognomen by the lower-class Jucundus. For the man to be known as a Chrestian suggests that the cult (or whatever it was) was well established in Rome itself long before the jesus freaks back-dated their story to the Augustan age. The Chrestians existed in Rome, long before the jesus tale was written and they had nothing to do with the Christians. But somewhere along the line they were swept up into the Christian blitzkrieg when they emerged victorious and re-wrote history to suit them and their bullshit religion. But that’s Rome. And Rome has nothing to do with the origins of jesusism. So let’s move East.

Paul:
I think “Paul” is a load of shit. As I’ve noted elsewhere, there is one historical marker (2 Cor. 11) which points to the early to mid first century BC in the Nabatean control of Damascus. But what else was going on in the region? The Hasmonean Dynasty in Jerusalem was torn by dynastic squabbling among rival claimants. Josephus tells a tale wherein other powers (Seleucia, Egypt, Parthia, Nabatea) were all scurrying for position and backing rival claimants. Is it possible that a Judean refugee who had fled to Damascus and the protection of the Nabateans suddenly found himself in enemy territory after the Nabateans switched sides? Damn right, it is. What we do not know is if there was a collection of such writings by one person. All we know is that c 140 AD, Marcion issued a canon of scripture including a version of Luke and 10 epistles of this so-called Paul guy. We do not have these writings. What we have are what emerged when these documents were re-issued by the proto orthodox victors. We must assume that Marcion was not stupid. The proto-orthodox who denounced him as a heretic did so on the basis of his writings in which he dismissed yhwh as a rather nasty shit of a god who did not create the world. It is therefore unlikely that anything Marcion wrote or gathered would have supported any other position. It also strongly suggests that before the proto-orthodox issued their own “scriptures” they would have re-written what Marcion put out to reflect their own position. Thus the question of the “authentic” Pauline gospels comes down to were those 7 edited/revised by the same editor. Another point is that the proto-orthodox claim all this crap happened in the mid first century but what was Corinth in the 50’s AD? After a century of being unoccupied after the Romans leveled it in 148 BC it was re-founded as a colony by Julius Caesar shortly before his murder. By 70 AD the new emperor Vespasian found it necessary to “re-found” the colony because it was not a raging success. We do however have archaeological evidence which confirms that this happened. When the Greek geographer, Pausanias, visited Corinth during the reign of Hadrian he noted various shrines and monuments to various gods but had nothing to say about any “Jews” or “Christians.” We can see from Pausanias that Vespasian’s efforts had taken hold and the city was a going concern by Hadrian’s time. So even if whatever served as an original of 2 Cor. was addressed to someone it seems stunningly unlikely that it would be addressed to a struggling Roman colony at best ( assuming 50 AD ) or a vacant lot (assuming before 44 BC.) But, if you were re-writing this stuff why not address it to a burgeoning town as Corinth would have been in the late 2d century when it seems that the proto-orthodox began releasing the revisions on the world?

But even that is not the worst part of the Pauline bullshit. At AF.Org I posted this
[url] http://atheistforums.org/thread-33349-po...#pid952171[/url] as a commentary on Carrier’s On The Historicity of Jesus. In includes this point from the book:
Quote: 2. The Peculiar Indifference of Paul and his Christians


As a psychologist once put it (about Paul's letter to fellow congregants in
Rome, whom he had not yet met and thus can't have shared his own stories
with):

Imagine for a moment that one of your friends writes you a twenty-page
letter passionately wanting to share her excitement about a new teacher.
This letter has only one topic, your friend's new teacher. [But] at the end
of her letter, you still do not know one thing about her teacher. Yet, Paul
presents the central figure of his theology this way . . . . It [seems] impossible
to imagine how Paul could avoid telling one story or parable of--or
fail to note one physical trait or personal quality of- Jesus.

Again, we do not have any idea what the original “paul” was all about. He could have been talking about Chrestus. He could have been talking about yhwh! We don’t know what edits Marcion made. We don’t know what edits the proto-orthodox made. According to Bart Ehrman, we can't even rely on the fact that they did not go back and edit this stuff to suit later purposes.

Quote: In other words, women earn salvation by keeping quiet and pregnant; it is men who have the authority to teach. So says Paul.

Or does he? Scholars today are not so convinced. As I have already pointed
out, most critical scholars think that 1 Timothy is pseudonymous: its vocabulary,
writing style, theological modes of expression, and presupposed historical
situation15 all differ significantly from what can be found in Paul’s authentic
letters.16 But what about the passage in 1 Corinthians? No one doubts that Paul
wrote that letter. Even so, there are good reasons for thinking Paul did not
write the passage about women being silent in chapter 14.17 For one thing, just
three chapters earlier Paul condoned the practice of women speaking in church.
They are to have their heads covered, he insists, when they pray and prophecy—
activities done out loud in antiquity. How could Paul condone a practice
(women speaking in church) in chapter 11 that he condemns in chapter 14?
It has often been noted that the passage in chapter 14 also appears intrusive
in its own literary context: Both before and after his instructions for women to
keep silent, Paul is speaking not about women in church but about prophets in
church. When the verses on women are removed, the passage flows neatly
without a break. This too suggests that these verses were inserted into the passage later. Moreover, it is striking that the verses in question appear in different locations in some of our surviving manuscripts of Paul’s letter as if they had originally appeared as a marginal note (drawn from the teaching of the forged
letter of 1 Timothy?) and inserted as judged appropriate in different parts of the
chapter. On these grounds, a number of scholars have concluded that Paul’s
instructions for women to be silent in 1 Corinthians may not be from Paul, just
as the letter to Timothy is not from Paul.

Ehrman, Lost Christianities pg 38

My complaint with Ehrman is that he has spent an entire career pissing in the pond of these so-called holy scriptures but then, when he wants to make a point, he says “it’s okay – I found a clean spot you can drink from.” Sorry, Bart. I’ll pass.

At some point all of this stuff has to be dismissed because we do not know who wrote it, when they wrote it, or what their agenda was. Both Josephus and Tacitus ignore xtians as any sort of power base in their discussions of the outbreak of the Great Revolt. They were not a power bloc. Is it possible that Christians/chrestians were scattered groups of what came to be called Gnostics? Insignificant in numbers and with only local doctrines such as Pliny reported in his commentary to Trajan?

Right now I lean more to the scattered groups concept. Be they Chrestians or Christians there most definitively seems to be a lower class basis to these beliefs – what archaeologist Bill Dever referred to as “folk religion” in “Did God Have A Wife" meaning a cult which the commons adheres to despite whatever malarkey the central government is putting out. These individual groups were later absorbed/suppressed by the proto-orthodox when they emerged with the power to do so. In that sense, the Battle of the Milvian Bridge is the most significant battle in history. Had Maxentius won he would have executed Constantine’s supporters and we would not now be stuck with this xtian horseshit which has so damaged the world.

"We don’t know what edits the proto-orthodox made."

True.

I have had a guess by suggesting that one of the edits they made was inserting the name "Jesus" where Paul had only written "Christ." This is, in fact, the only tangible connection between what Paul wrote about his Christ and the Jeebus of the gospels, which is why I think it is an interpolation.
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30-05-2015, 04:50 PM
RE: The book of Acts
(30-05-2015 03:43 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  So Mark, let’s start with a few facts.

This inscription
[Image: antonia%20minor.png]
Is securely dated prior to 37 AD as Antonia Minor, wife of Drusus (brother of Emperor Tiberius) died in 37 and she is noted here referring to Jucundus Chrestiani ( the Chrestian.) What we see is “Chrestiani” being used as a cognomen by the lower-class Jucundus. For the man to be known as a Chrestian suggests that the cult (or whatever it was) was well established in Rome itself long before the jesus freaks back-dated their story to the Augustan age. The Chrestians existed in Rome, long before the jesus tale was written and they had nothing to do with the Christians. But somewhere along the line they were swept up into the Christian blitzkrieg when they emerged victorious and re-wrote history to suit them and their bullshit religion. But that’s Rome. And Rome has nothing to do with the origins of jesusism. So let’s move East.

Paul:
I think “Paul” is a load of shit. As I’ve noted elsewhere, there is one historical marker (2 Cor. 11) which points to the early to mid first century BC in the Nabatean control of Damascus. But what else was going on in the region? The Hasmonean Dynasty in Jerusalem was torn by dynastic squabbling among rival claimants. Josephus tells a tale wherein other powers (Seleucia, Egypt, Parthia, Nabatea) were all scurrying for position and backing rival claimants. Is it possible that a Judean refugee who had fled to Damascus and the protection of the Nabateans suddenly found himself in enemy territory after the Nabateans switched sides? Damn right, it is. What we do not know is if there was a collection of such writings by one person. All we know is that c 140 AD, Marcion issued a canon of scripture including a version of Luke and 10 epistles of this so-called Paul guy. We do not have these writings. What we have are what emerged when these documents were re-issued by the proto orthodox victors. We must assume that Marcion was not stupid. The proto-orthodox who denounced him as a heretic did so on the basis of his writings in which he dismissed yhwh as a rather nasty shit of a god who did not create the world. It is therefore unlikely that anything Marcion wrote or gathered would have supported any other position. It also strongly suggests that before the proto-orthodox issued their own “scriptures” they would have re-written what Marcion put out to reflect their own position. Thus the question of the “authentic” Pauline gospels comes down to were those 7 edited/revised by the same editor. Another point is that the proto-orthodox claim all this crap happened in the mid first century but what was Corinth in the 50’s AD? After a century of being unoccupied after the Romans leveled it in 148 BC it was re-founded as a colony by Julius Caesar shortly before his murder. By 70 AD the new emperor Vespasian found it necessary to “re-found” the colony because it was not a raging success. We do however have archaeological evidence which confirms that this happened. When the Greek geographer, Pausanias, visited Corinth during the reign of Hadrian he noted various shrines and monuments to various gods but had nothing to say about any “Jews” or “Christians.” We can see from Pausanias that Vespasian’s efforts had taken hold and the city was a going concern by Hadrian’s time. So even if whatever served as an original of 2 Cor. was addressed to someone it seems stunningly unlikely that it would be addressed to a struggling Roman colony at best ( assuming 50 AD ) or a vacant lot (assuming before 44 BC.) But, if you were re-writing this stuff why not address it to a burgeoning town as Corinth would have been in the late 2d century when it seems that the proto-orthodox began releasing the revisions on the world?

But even that is not the worst part of the Pauline bullshit. At AF.Org I posted this
[url] http://atheistforums.org/thread-33349-po...#pid952171[/url] as a commentary on Carrier’s On The Historicity of Jesus. In includes this point from the book:
Quote: 2. The Peculiar Indifference of Paul and his Christians


As a psychologist once put it (about Paul's letter to fellow congregants in
Rome, whom he had not yet met and thus can't have shared his own stories
with):

Imagine for a moment that one of your friends writes you a twenty-page
letter passionately wanting to share her excitement about a new teacher.
This letter has only one topic, your friend's new teacher. [But] at the end
of her letter, you still do not know one thing about her teacher. Yet, Paul
presents the central figure of his theology this way . . . . It [seems] impossible
to imagine how Paul could avoid telling one story or parable of--or
fail to note one physical trait or personal quality of- Jesus.

Again, we do not have any idea what the original “paul” was all about. He could have been talking about Chrestus. He could have been talking about yhwh! We don’t know what edits Marcion made. We don’t know what edits the proto-orthodox made. According to Bart Ehrman, we can't even rely on the fact that they did not go back and edit this stuff to suit later purposes.

Quote: In other words, women earn salvation by keeping quiet and pregnant; it is men who have the authority to teach. So says Paul.

Or does he? Scholars today are not so convinced. As I have already pointed
out, most critical scholars think that 1 Timothy is pseudonymous: its vocabulary,
writing style, theological modes of expression, and presupposed historical
situation15 all differ significantly from what can be found in Paul’s authentic
letters.16 But what about the passage in 1 Corinthians? No one doubts that Paul
wrote that letter. Even so, there are good reasons for thinking Paul did not
write the passage about women being silent in chapter 14.17 For one thing, just
three chapters earlier Paul condoned the practice of women speaking in church.
They are to have their heads covered, he insists, when they pray and prophecy—
activities done out loud in antiquity. How could Paul condone a practice
(women speaking in church) in chapter 11 that he condemns in chapter 14?
It has often been noted that the passage in chapter 14 also appears intrusive
in its own literary context: Both before and after his instructions for women to
keep silent, Paul is speaking not about women in church but about prophets in
church. When the verses on women are removed, the passage flows neatly
without a break. This too suggests that these verses were inserted into the passage later. Moreover, it is striking that the verses in question appear in different locations in some of our surviving manuscripts of Paul’s letter as if they had originally appeared as a marginal note (drawn from the teaching of the forged
letter of 1 Timothy?) and inserted as judged appropriate in different parts of the
chapter. On these grounds, a number of scholars have concluded that Paul’s
instructions for women to be silent in 1 Corinthians may not be from Paul, just
as the letter to Timothy is not from Paul.

Ehrman, Lost Christianities pg 38

My complaint with Ehrman is that he has spent an entire career pissing in the pond of these so-called holy scriptures but then, when he wants to make a point, he says “it’s okay – I found a clean spot you can drink from.” Sorry, Bart. I’ll pass.

At some point all of this stuff has to be dismissed because we do not know who wrote it, when they wrote it, or what their agenda was. Both Josephus and Tacitus ignore xtians as any sort of power base in their discussions of the outbreak of the Great Revolt. They were not a power bloc. Is it possible that Christians/chrestians were scattered groups of what came to be called Gnostics? Insignificant in numbers and with only local doctrines such as Pliny reported in his commentary to Trajan?

Right now I lean more to the scattered groups concept. Be they Chrestians or Christians there most definitively seems to be a lower class basis to these beliefs – what archaeologist Bill Dever referred to as “folk religion” in “Did God Have A Wife" meaning a cult which the commons adheres to despite whatever malarkey the central government is putting out. These individual groups were later absorbed/suppressed by the proto-orthodox when they emerged with the power to do so. In that sense, the Battle of the Milvian Bridge is the most significant battle in history. Had Maxentius won he would have executed Constantine’s supporters and we would not now be stuck with this xtian horseshit which has so damaged the world.

"At some point all of this stuff has to be dismissed because we do not know who wrote it, when they wrote it, or what their agenda was."

Yes.

Allow me to state the obvious. Even if we did know all these facts, these writings only represent the over imaginative ramblings of primitive people. We know far more about morals, ethics and philosophy than they could ever have done. These writings do show us how far our thinking has progressed in the last 2000 years.
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30-05-2015, 04:56 PM
RE: The book of Acts
(30-05-2015 03:43 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  So Mark, let’s start with a few facts.

This inscription
[Image: antonia%20minor.png]
Is securely dated prior to 37 AD as Antonia Minor, wife of Drusus (brother of Emperor Tiberius) died in 37 and she is noted here referring to Jucundus Chrestiani ( the Chrestian.) What we see is “Chrestiani” being used as a cognomen by the lower-class Jucundus. For the man to be known as a Chrestian suggests that the cult (or whatever it was) was well established in Rome itself long before the jesus freaks back-dated their story to the Augustan age. The Chrestians existed in Rome, long before the jesus tale was written and they had nothing to do with the Christians. But somewhere along the line they were swept up into the Christian blitzkrieg when they emerged victorious and re-wrote history to suit them and their bullshit religion. But that’s Rome. And Rome has nothing to do with the origins of jesusism. So let’s move East.

Paul:
I think “Paul” is a load of shit. As I’ve noted elsewhere, there is one historical marker (2 Cor. 11) which points to the early to mid first century BC in the Nabatean control of Damascus. But what else was going on in the region? The Hasmonean Dynasty in Jerusalem was torn by dynastic squabbling among rival claimants. Josephus tells a tale wherein other powers (Seleucia, Egypt, Parthia, Nabatea) were all scurrying for position and backing rival claimants. Is it possible that a Judean refugee who had fled to Damascus and the protection of the Nabateans suddenly found himself in enemy territory after the Nabateans switched sides? Damn right, it is. What we do not know is if there was a collection of such writings by one person. All we know is that c 140 AD, Marcion issued a canon of scripture including a version of Luke and 10 epistles of this so-called Paul guy. We do not have these writings. What we have are what emerged when these documents were re-issued by the proto orthodox victors. We must assume that Marcion was not stupid. The proto-orthodox who denounced him as a heretic did so on the basis of his writings in which he dismissed yhwh as a rather nasty shit of a god who did not create the world. It is therefore unlikely that anything Marcion wrote or gathered would have supported any other position. It also strongly suggests that before the proto-orthodox issued their own “scriptures” they would have re-written what Marcion put out to reflect their own position. Thus the question of the “authentic” Pauline gospels comes down to were those 7 edited/revised by the same editor. Another point is that the proto-orthodox claim all this crap happened in the mid first century but what was Corinth in the 50’s AD? After a century of being unoccupied after the Romans leveled it in 148 BC it was re-founded as a colony by Julius Caesar shortly before his murder. By 70 AD the new emperor Vespasian found it necessary to “re-found” the colony because it was not a raging success. We do however have archaeological evidence which confirms that this happened. When the Greek geographer, Pausanias, visited Corinth during the reign of Hadrian he noted various shrines and monuments to various gods but had nothing to say about any “Jews” or “Christians.” We can see from Pausanias that Vespasian’s efforts had taken hold and the city was a going concern by Hadrian’s time. So even if whatever served as an original of 2 Cor. was addressed to someone it seems stunningly unlikely that it would be addressed to a struggling Roman colony at best ( assuming 50 AD ) or a vacant lot (assuming before 44 BC.) But, if you were re-writing this stuff why not address it to a burgeoning town as Corinth would have been in the late 2d century when it seems that the proto-orthodox began releasing the revisions on the world?

But even that is not the worst part of the Pauline bullshit. At AF.Org I posted this
[url] http://atheistforums.org/thread-33349-po...#pid952171[/url] as a commentary on Carrier’s On The Historicity of Jesus. In includes this point from the book:
Quote: 2. The Peculiar Indifference of Paul and his Christians


As a psychologist once put it (about Paul's letter to fellow congregants in
Rome, whom he had not yet met and thus can't have shared his own stories
with):

Imagine for a moment that one of your friends writes you a twenty-page
letter passionately wanting to share her excitement about a new teacher.
This letter has only one topic, your friend's new teacher. [But] at the end
of her letter, you still do not know one thing about her teacher. Yet, Paul
presents the central figure of his theology this way . . . . It [seems] impossible
to imagine how Paul could avoid telling one story or parable of--or
fail to note one physical trait or personal quality of- Jesus.

Again, we do not have any idea what the original “paul” was all about. He could have been talking about Chrestus. He could have been talking about yhwh! We don’t know what edits Marcion made. We don’t know what edits the proto-orthodox made. According to Bart Ehrman, we can't even rely on the fact that they did not go back and edit this stuff to suit later purposes.

Quote: In other words, women earn salvation by keeping quiet and pregnant; it is men who have the authority to teach. So says Paul.

Or does he? Scholars today are not so convinced. As I have already pointed
out, most critical scholars think that 1 Timothy is pseudonymous: its vocabulary,
writing style, theological modes of expression, and presupposed historical
situation15 all differ significantly from what can be found in Paul’s authentic
letters.16 But what about the passage in 1 Corinthians? No one doubts that Paul
wrote that letter. Even so, there are good reasons for thinking Paul did not
write the passage about women being silent in chapter 14.17 For one thing, just
three chapters earlier Paul condoned the practice of women speaking in church.
They are to have their heads covered, he insists, when they pray and prophecy—
activities done out loud in antiquity. How could Paul condone a practice
(women speaking in church) in chapter 11 that he condemns in chapter 14?
It has often been noted that the passage in chapter 14 also appears intrusive
in its own literary context: Both before and after his instructions for women to
keep silent, Paul is speaking not about women in church but about prophets in
church. When the verses on women are removed, the passage flows neatly
without a break. This too suggests that these verses were inserted into the passage later. Moreover, it is striking that the verses in question appear in different locations in some of our surviving manuscripts of Paul’s letter as if they had originally appeared as a marginal note (drawn from the teaching of the forged
letter of 1 Timothy?) and inserted as judged appropriate in different parts of the
chapter. On these grounds, a number of scholars have concluded that Paul’s
instructions for women to be silent in 1 Corinthians may not be from Paul, just
as the letter to Timothy is not from Paul.

Ehrman, Lost Christianities pg 38

My complaint with Ehrman is that he has spent an entire career pissing in the pond of these so-called holy scriptures but then, when he wants to make a point, he says “it’s okay – I found a clean spot you can drink from.” Sorry, Bart. I’ll pass.

At some point all of this stuff has to be dismissed because we do not know who wrote it, when they wrote it, or what their agenda was. Both Josephus and Tacitus ignore xtians as any sort of power base in their discussions of the outbreak of the Great Revolt. They were not a power bloc. Is it possible that Christians/chrestians were scattered groups of what came to be called Gnostics? Insignificant in numbers and with only local doctrines such as Pliny reported in his commentary to Trajan?

Right now I lean more to the scattered groups concept. Be they Chrestians or Christians there most definitively seems to be a lower class basis to these beliefs – what archaeologist Bill Dever referred to as “folk religion” in “Did God Have A Wife" meaning a cult which the commons adheres to despite whatever malarkey the central government is putting out. These individual groups were later absorbed/suppressed by the proto-orthodox when they emerged with the power to do so. In that sense, the Battle of the Milvian Bridge is the most significant battle in history. Had Maxentius won he would have executed Constantine’s supporters and we would not now be stuck with this xtian horseshit which has so damaged the world.

"Is it possible that Christians/chrestians were scattered groups of what came to be called Gnostics? Insignificant in numbers and with only local doctrines such as Pliny reported in his commentary to Trajan?"

Yes. I think this is right.

These individual groups were later absorbed/suppressed by the proto-orthodox when they emerged with the power to do so.

This definitely happened as witnessed by the anti heretical writings of the Church Fathers. The Catholic Church then destroyed nearly all the original heretical writings.
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30-05-2015, 04:56 PM (This post was last modified: 30-05-2015 05:00 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: The book of Acts
Been a while since I've read the Acts of the Apostles but I recall that those bastards were communists (Acts: 4-5). Ananias and Sapphira fucked the shit up. But the lesson I learned is that "From each according to their ability and to each according to their need" ain't attributable to Karl Marx, Jesus was the OG communist. Still have no fucking clue how capitalists call themselves Christian. Nothing could be further from The Word.

#sigh
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30-05-2015, 05:04 PM
RE: The book of Acts
(30-05-2015 04:56 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Been a while since I've read the Acts of the Apostles but I recall that those bastards were communists (Acts: 4-5). Ananias and Sapphira fucked the shit up. But the lesson I learned is that "From each according to their ability and to each according to their need" ain't attributable to Karl Marx, Jesus was the OG communist. Still have no fucking clue how capitalists call themselves Christian. Nothing could be further from The Word.

Acts was written in the second century.

The example given to good Christians was to pool their resources. Guess who would've benefited from that idea in the second century? The RC church Thumbsup
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30-05-2015, 06:37 PM
RE: The book of Acts
Quote:All the Gospel authors made out Jesus was given a trial. Jesus was taken before Pilate and the accusation made:


But there is only one story. Mark's. The rest are add-ons to the original. And the fact that they contradict each other on various points only shows that there was no attempt to reconcile them. The church simply declared that all were true and the sheep said "baaa."



Quote:In 36 CE, Vitellius, the Roman Syrian governor, removed Pilate from his office after a violent attack on the Samaritans (Josephus, Antiquities 18.4.85.)


Yeah, that is the story that Josephus tells.... I think he says that Pilate killed 300, so, knock off a zero...or two.... Could it have happened? Sure. And it would have been Pilate's job to suppress trouble if it happened. But Philo, who also has little good to say about Pilate knows nothing of this incident.

Here's what is also true.

Pilate was appointed in 26. 26 just happens to be the year that Tiberius went into semi-retirement on Capri and left Lucius Aelius Sejanus in control of day-to-day affairs. It seems likely that Pilate was a client of Sejanus'.

From 22 to 32 the Imperial Legate of Syria was one Lucius Aelius Lamia. Most likely a kinsman of Aelius Sejanus the interesting fact is that Lamia never left Rome. The province was governed by surrogates. Lamia was appointed Urban Prefect of Rome in 32 ( and died in 33) and Tiberius, who by then had gotten rid of Sejanus, named Lucius Pomponius Flaccus as Imperial Legate. Flaccus seems to have been a drinking buddy of the Emperor who headed out to Antioch in 34 and was dead by 35. So when Vitellius arrived he was the first capable governor on the scene in quite some time. That he would replace Pilate...who had served 10 years in the post...with another officer ( Marcellus) who was presumably loyal to Vitellius and thereby to Tiberius surprises me not at all. Pilate's term already exceeded Valerius Gratus' and it was not a permanent position.

Josephus always tries to inflate the importance of the jews in history. Understandable, perhaps, but the truth is that if Jerusalem wasn't such a shitty little backwater Pilate would probably have been replaced as soon as Sejanus' coup failed.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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