The book of Acts
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30-05-2015, 07:22 PM
RE: The book of Acts
(30-05-2015 06:37 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
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.

Wow. Fascinating history. Thanks for sharing.
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30-05-2015, 07:26 PM (This post was last modified: 30-05-2015 08:00 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: The book of Acts
(30-05-2015 06:37 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
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.

"But there is only one story. Mark's. The rest are add-ons to the original. "

Agreed. This is a point that evangelical types fail to appreciate. There is only one original surviving story about Jeebus.... the other three are just embellishments.
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30-05-2015, 07:29 PM
RE: The book of Acts
I like to call them Fan-Fics, in modern parlance.

Angel

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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31-05-2015, 03:38 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.

"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."

Agreed.

Allow me to make a point about how I think the government created the gospels. Guys like Bart will never admit something like this... because if they do, all their books are nonsense. There's also not much left to talk about... the whole Christian "academic" industry would collapse. They would be out of a job... No more books, no point discussing the shit in universities. I suspect many of these guys are feeding their own gravy train.

Then again, I'm no historian and no academic. I'm just a guy with an opinion.
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