Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
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20-11-2013, 06:29 PM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
Quote:I got the impression that many romans of many classes even slaves could read

You need to be careful with that. Or, at least allow for different levels of literacy.

The Roman army gave its soldiers rudimentary training in Latin but one should not confuse the ability to read a duty roster to find out who is cleaning the latrines with the ability to read deep philosophical texts which were almost uniformly written in Greek.

Even today, there are people who are functionally literate but can't read anything more complex than a comic book.

With this kind of ethereal nonsense we are looking in the ancient world at about 1% of the population who could hope to read and understand it.

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21-11-2013, 04:30 AM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
(20-11-2013 05:39 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  Hmm.... I'll tell you Mark. The more I study these alleged first-century xtian writings the less authentic they look. Much of it seems to rely on a shaky epistle known as 1 Clement which scholars have dated to the "Persecution of Domitian."

Except....there does not seem to have been a persecution by Domitian.

I posted this over at AF.org.

http://atheistforums.org/thread-21936-po...#pid541350

Without 1 Clement there is nothing to sustain the later "traditions" of Peter and Paul dying in Rome... and even "Clement" doesn't say they were martyred!

Anyway....take a peek at Ogden's essay and let me know what you think. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders for this stuff.

RE "The more I study these alleged first-century xtian writings the less authentic they look."

Agreed. 100%.

RE "there does not seem to have been a persecution by Domitian."

BINGO! Of course there was no persecution of Christians by Domitian. They were batting for the same team! I liked what Ogden wrote. Thanks for showing it to me. The other dude lost me when he started using the book of Revelation's as evidence for something. Couldn't take him seriously.

Permit me the indulgence of posting a chapter from my book here. It's about the Nazarenes. I think it puts this whole topic somewhat into context. It's quite probable that Domitian persecuted them, as they were fundamentalist xenophobic jews. John the Baptist, Jesus, and Jesus' brother James were all Nazarenes.... Not Christians.

Here it is...

What Happened to the Nazarenes?

“It is to the Nazarene records that we ought chiefly to look for our knowledge of Jesus, and we must regard Nazarenism as the true Christianity. As the Nazarenes throughout the period of personal recollection and down to the third generation, that is to say at least seventy five years after the death of Jesus, denied his deity and his virgin birth, we must recognize that these are alien doctrines subsequently introduced by a partly paganized Church, as Justin Martyr in the middle of the second century more or less admits. The Church which received them had no other course open than to belittle the Nazarenes and denounce them as heretics. The historian here has no difficulty in detecting the real heretics.”
(Hugh Schonfield)

The Nazarenes were Yeshua’s bona fide disciples. Much of their history is missing, probably because early Christians destroyed it. Yet their tale can be pieced together.
I think Paul masqueraded as a Nazarene. He sent what is now a famous letter to “the Romans,” urging them to obey their Roman rulers. He was trying to contaminate Nazarene doctrine with his own pro government perspective.

To all true Nazarenes, Paul was a heretic and a traitor to Judaism. The cordial relationship between them and Paul described in Acts is a fiction. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus (d. 236 CE,) Tertullian, Origen, Epiphanius (c. 310 – 403 CE, bishop of Salamis) and Jerome all confirmed that the Ebionites (as the Nazarenes were later called, see below) opposed Paul as a false Apostle. So Christian theology is not based on the historical Yeshua.

The Roman Emperor Nero may have blamed the Nazarenes for the great fire of 64 CE, and executed them. Christians today often incorrectly call Nero’s casualties Christians, whereas if this really happened, the victims may have been Nazarenes. There’s a Christian “tradition” that this was when Peter was crucified, but there’s no contemporary evidence to confirm the claim.

Hegesippus (c. 110 - 180 CE,) a Christian chronicler of the early Church who may have been a Jewish convert, writes that after the death of James in 62 CE, the Nazarenes selected Symeon (aka Simeon), son of Cleophas, to be their new leader. He was one of Yeshua’s relatives.

During the first Jewish war of 66-70 CE, some of the Nazarenes may have fled across the River Jordan to Pella. Yet many of them probably tried to defend Jerusalem and therefore perished. The survivors must have been bitterly disappointed by the defeat. The remaining rebels reorganized and moved back into Jerusalem in 72 CE, although they never recovered their status and influence after the war.

Prior to 80 – 90 CE, the Nazarenes were still worshipping in synagogues alongside Pharisees. Yet they soon began to be viewed by their fellow Jews as trouble causers, probably because of their nationalistic ambitions. The Pharisaic Jews referred to them as “minim” (Hebrew for heretic.) A heretic is someone who still remains within the faith, but believes in elements not acceptable to the orthodoxy, so mainstream Jews never considered them Christians. A deep schism formed, and by 90 CE, Nazarenes were excluded from some synagogues. I suspect some Jews opted out of Nazarenism, or were intimidated by it, because opposing Rome was dangerous.

In his “Ecclesiastical History,” Eusebius of Caesaria wrote of the grandchildren of Jesus’ brother Jude, who were living in Galilee during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian (81–96 CE,) the son of Vespasian and brother of Titus. (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/250103.htm, book 3, chapter 20.) He says they became dynastic leaders of various “Christian” (a misnomer) churches, and continued to be so up until the time of the Emperor Trajan (98–117 CE.)

Kamal Salibi, a former Emeritus Professor at the American University of Beirut, Department of History and Archaeology, wrote that after Symeon's death, twelve others followed in turn whose names are preserved down to 135 CE (the time of the Second Jewish Revolt.) So there were fifteen leaders of the Nazarene sect after Jesus, all of whom were circumcised Jews and relations of Jesus. The word “Desposyni” was reserved uniquely for Jesus' blood relatives and literally meant “belonging to the Lord.” They governed the Nazarenes. Each carried one of the names traditional in Jesus' family: Zachary, Joseph, John, James, Joses, Symeon, Matthias, and others, although no later Desposynos was ever called Yeshua.

Sextus Julius Africanus' (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articl...africanus) reference to "Desposyni" is preserved in Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History:

“For the relatives of our Lord according to the flesh, whether with the desire of boasting or simply wishing to state the fact, in either case truly, have handed down the following account... But as there had been kept in the archives up to that time the genealogies of the Hebrews as well as of those who traced their lineage back to proselytes, such as Achior the Ammonite and Ruth the Moabitess, and to those who were mingled with the Israelites and came out of Egypt with them, Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own ignoble extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the public registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae. A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible. Whether then the case stand thus or not no one could find a clearer explanation, according to my own opinion and that of every candid person. And let this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony in its support, we have nothing better or truer to offer. In any case the Gospel states the truth." (Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 1:7:11.)

Eusebius also preserved an extract from a work by Hegesippus (c.110–c.180,) who wrote five books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church. The extract refers to the period from the reign of Domitian (81–96) to that of Trajan (98–117), and includes the statement that two Desposyni brought before Domitian later became leaders of the churches:

“There still survived of the kindred of the Lord the grandsons of Judas, who according to the flesh was called his brother. These were informed against, as belonging to the family of David, and Evocatus brought them before Domitian Caesar: for that emperor dreaded the advent of Christ, as Herod had done.

So he asked them whether they were of the family of David; and they confessed they were. Next he asked them what property they had, or how much money they possessed. They both replied that they had only 9000 denaria between them, each of them owning half that sum; but even this they said they did not possess in cash, but as the estimated value of some land, consisting of thirty-nine plethra only, out of which they had to pay the dues, and that they supported themselves by their own labor. And then they began to hold out their hands, exhibiting, as proof of their manual labor, the roughness of their skin, and the corns raised on their hands by constant work.

Being then asked concerning Christ and His kingdom, what was its nature, and when and where it was to appear, they returned answer that it was not of this world, nor of the earth, but belonging to the sphere of heaven and angels, and would make its appearance at the end of time, when He shall come in glory, and judge living and dead, and render to every one according to the course of his life.

Thereupon Domitian passed no condemnation upon them, but treated them with contempt, as too mean for notice, and let them go free. At the same time he issued a command, and put a stop to the persecution against the Church.
When they were released they became leaders of the churches, as was natural in the case of those who were at once martyrs and of the kindred of the Lord. And, after the establishment of peace to the Church, their lives were prolonged to the reign of Trojan.” (Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 3:20.)

Eusebius wrote that they didn’t fight in the second war (135 CE) against the Romans, as they considered Simon bar Kochba, the Jewish commander, to be a false messiah. After this war, the fifteenth Nazarene leader was exiled with the remaining Jewish population when the Emperor Hadrian banned all Jews from Jerusalem.

Over the next few centuries, the Nazarenes headed by Yeshua’s relatives continued as a movement that some Jews joined. They were well respected in their own locales. They moved northeastward, eventually making their way to the Tigris-Euphrates basin, spreading throughout Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia.

The early Christians considered them an heretical sect, so ignored and later suppressed them. Justin Martyr denigrated their beliefs. The developing orthodox Catholic Church deliberately called them the Ebionites, “the poor ones” (although Jews did not consider this term derogatory; in fact they used the term to refer to the righteous.) Christians prior to Irenaeus didn’t use this term. He wrote
“Those who are called Ebionites agree that the world was made by God; but their opinions with respect to the Lord are similar to those of Cerinthus and Carpocrates.” (These men were Gnostics who believed Jesus was a very human teacher.) “They use the Gospel according to Matthew only, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate from the law. As to the prophetical writings, they endeavor to expound them in a somewhat singular manner: they practice circumcision, persevere in the observance of those customs which are enjoined by the law, and are so Judaic in their style of life, that they even adore Jerusalem as if it were the house of God” (Against Heresies 1:26.)

The gospel according to Matthew that Irenaeus refers to was probably the same gospel that Jerome (342–420 CE) and Epiphanius (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13393b.htm) called the “Gospel of the Nazarenes/Hebrews,” which was written in Aramaic. Jerome mentions that he made translations of it into Greek and Latin. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, no significant part of this Gospel survives today. Some scholars believe that it was loosely linked to canonical Matthew, which fits with it being the most pro-Jewish gospel of the four. It’s possible that this was how some facts about Yeshua the Nazarene insurrectionist made it into the gospels.

Much later, Eusebius considered the Nazarenes heretics because
“they regarded [Jesus] as plain and ordinary, a man esteemed as righteous through growth of character and nothing more, the child of a normal union between a man and Mary; and they held that they must observe every detail of the Law—that by faith in Christ alone they would never win Salvation” (Ecclesiastical History 3.7.)
I think Irenaeus and Eusebius depicted the Nazarenes correctly in these quotes.
Gentile Christians came to refer to them indiscriminately as “Jewish Christians” because of their link with Jesus, yet this was another misnomer, because they never were Christians.

By the beginning of the fourth century, the Roman Catholic Church was becoming dominant and there were confrontations with Jews, including the Nazarenes. With the Synod of Elvira, held in 306 CE, prohibitions against eating, marriage, and sex with Jews were enacted in the Roman Empire. Nazarenes were included in this ban, which in effect excluded them from all social and religious association with those in the growing gentile Pauline church.

The Emperor Constantine appointed Sylvester as the head bishop of the universal church in 313 CE. According to the Irish Jesuit historian Malachi Martin, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malachi_Martin) a meeting took place in 318 CE in Rome between Pope Sylvester I and the Desposyni. Sylvester provided sea travel for the Nazarene leaders as far as the Roman port of Ostia, thirty kilometers west of Rome. The fact that Sylvester thought it necessary to meet with them suggests that he was curious, yet he initiated the meeting with the intention of exerting his pontifical authority over them.

The Nazarene leaders who appeared before Pope Sylvester quite rightly thought they represented Yeshua’s true legacy. They were, after all, his blood relations, part of at least three well-known lines of legitimate blood descent from Yeshua's family. They were eight in number, and Joses, the oldest of them, spoke on their behalf. They bluntly refused to recognize the Roman church as having any authority, and made the following demands:
(1) that the confirmation of the Christian bishops of Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus and Alexandria be revoked;
(2) that these bishoprics be conferred on members of the Desposyni;
(3) that the Law be reintroduced, which included the Sabbath and the Holy Day system of Feasts, and
(4) that Christian Churches resume sending money to the Desposyni Church in Jerusalem, which was to be regarded as the “Mother Church.”

Such bold claims must have come as a surprise to Sylvester, who refused their demands. They were told that the leadership of Jesus’ church had moved to Rome, and that they had no jurisdiction. Sylvester must have known his church was the impostor, but that didn’t concern him. The politics of power were more important than the truth. This was the last known formal dialogue between Christian and Nazarene leaders.

A few years later Nazarenes began to surface in southern Upper Egypt. In this remote locale, far from the center of gentile Christianity, they continued to practice their beliefs.

In 364 CE, the Catholic Council of Laodicea decreed anathema on any “Jewish Christians” who continued to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. Historical references to Nazarenes became scarce thereafter. The few remaining believers petered out.

The Nazarenes were a Jewish sect that, at least in the first century, had strong anti Gentile political ambitions. Christianity, something quite separate, became a religion for Gentiles. It stole Yeshua the Nazarene’s identity to create Jesus, and reinvented him, not only as its founder, but also as God incarnate and the savior of the world. The Christian world then suppressed the Nazarenes. They struggled on for about four centuries before they disappeared.

If Yeshua and his original admirers could speak today, they’d be dumbfounded at the distortion of their legacy.

References:
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls”
Klinghoffer, D. 1965 “Why The Jews Rejected Jesus”. Doubleday. United States Of America.
Lockhart, D. 1997 “Jesus The Heretic”. Element Books. Dorset.
Lockhart, D. 1999 “The Dark Side Of God”. Element Books. Dorset
Schonfield, H. 1969 “Those Incredible Christians”. Bantam. New York.
Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4kTNS18ses
http://ia600401.us.archive.org/34/items/...onites.mp3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ebionites
http://douglaslockhart.com/pdf/THE NAZORAEAN SECT.pdf
http://www.yashanet.com/library/nazarene_judaism.html
http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/ebionites.html
http://www.yashanet.com/library/temple/nazarenes.htm for the above information.
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=b7bn...2C&f=false
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=jVyz...on&f=false
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_the_Hebrews
http://www.conorpdowling.com/library/council-of-elvira
http://www.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/0370Ebionites.php
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/te...ippus.html
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21-11-2013, 07:40 AM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
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21-11-2013, 09:34 AM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
I've got to study that Mark. This morning is not the morning for it but I'll be back later.

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21-11-2013, 06:24 PM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
No it wasn't. The man, Yeshua, was real beyond doubt. He founded His church here then he died, rejoining God the Father in heaven. But, remember "true God true Man", so He also had all of the accidental traits of humanity including the ability to say something incorrectly. But, He also had all the accidental traits of God, so he could not sin. On top of all that, He was in essence God and in essence man, so He has a soul but an incorruptible one. But I could see why the Jews would have wanted to rebel. If anything, you'd think that Jesus' message of compassion would calm everyone down.

But, we nailed Him to a tree. Go figure.
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21-11-2013, 09:21 PM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
compassion ?
Threatening people that reject you authority will hell is hateful
Thats one reason I stand strong against the hate filled ideas of both Christianity and islam.
Here there seems to be a total lack of evidence that christ was a real god or even a kind man if he did exists
Here is a clear example " beyond doubt " being a wrong !
No one finds paintings of the christ story on say walls of Pompeii
But the story is great for controlling the stupid and ignorant to obey some divine authority
AT LAST I CAN CRITIQUE FAITH AND NOT BE KILLED ATTACKED OR PERSECUTED !
( unless I am in a islamic country )
C2L I have never nailed anyone to a tree and I was born as a product of evolution without sin !
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21-11-2013, 09:38 PM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
(21-11-2013 09:21 PM)PigMonkeyandFrog Wrote:  compassion ?
Threatening people that reject you authority will hell is hateful
Thats one reason I stand strong against the hate filled ideas of both Christianity and islam.
Here there seems to be a total lack of evidence that christ was a real god or even a kind man if he did exists
Here is a clear example " beyond doubt " being a wrong !
No one finds paintings of the christ story on say walls of Pompeii
But the story is great for controlling the stupid and ignorant to obey some divine authority
AT LAST I CAN CRITIQUE FAITH AND NOT BE KILLED ATTACKED OR PERSECUTED !
( unless I am in a islamic country )
C2L I have never nailed anyone to a tree and I was born as a product of evolution without sin !

Huh

Nigga, you goin' full-retard there?

Big Grin

It's ok, evidently they allow retards here. Thumbsup
Who says I don't believe in evolution or have a dogma of hate or anything? What kind of Church would I be part of in memory of Jesus that believed THAT?

You're some lulzter to talk of stupidity and ignorance.

Just because I follow the teachings of Jesus, all the Angels and Saints, and our Pope does that mean I'm a bigot? If you think that, YOU'RE the bigot.
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21-11-2013, 11:04 PM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
I'm curious about these Nazarean records. My understanding is that the only things we know about them were written by the enemies, the group which Bart Ehrman calls the "proto-orthodox." In his "Lost Christianities" he does a decent effort trying to sort out the various gnostic groups from the proto-orthodox and he mentions the Nazarenes as a bunch similar to the Ebionites who were basically Jews.

Two things jump out at me....3 really but first things first. One, both Josephus and Tacitus in their discussions of the run up to the Great Revolt discuss the various power blocs in Judaea. Neither has anything to say about xtians or gnostics. Now, this could be because there weren't any or because they were insignificant. It could also be because they were strictly from the lower classes and thus no one gave a rat's ass about any of them. So here comes The Gabriel Revelation Stone which indicates that at the end of the first millennium BC, specifically during the revolts which broke out at the death of Herod the Great, there was a group which believed in resurrection after 3 days. There's no mention of any jesus.

Secondly, once one dismisses the later xtian crap which they insist is real one is left with a curious scenario. No Romans, Greeks or Jews in the first century knew anything about any jesus. The fact that Eusebius felt compelled to forge the testimonium flavianum into Josephus is evidence that real historical references did not exist. Pliny writing c 112 mentions "christians" (or manybe he said "Chrestians" as his aide Suetonius did.) Tacitus is reported to have written a passage in Annales about Christus but that looks more and more like an interpolation by much later xtians. It isn't until Lucian of Samosata that we get an actual Greco-Roman reference to xtians with a jesus thrown in. That was c 160. It seems to me that "jesus" was a later plot device developed by the proto-orthodox but only after the jews had been finally suppressed in the bar Kochba revolt and thus there would have been no way to check the story. The jews were gone. Jerusalem was gone. Oh, but here's this great story and yeah..it REALLY happened.

Third, I have serious problems with "paul." Xtians ignore the plot holes in this story because they have no reason to examine them but the plain fact is that the earliest xtian writing that we can securely date is Justin Martyr's First Apology addressed to Emperor Antoninus Pius c 160. In it, he never mentions "paul" or any of the gospels. This is 90 years after xtians insist that "paul" brought the word to the "gentiles" but why don't the gentiles know about it?

Then there is Corinth. Corinth is a serious problem in the first century. Refounded by Julius Caesar in 44 BC the archaeological evidence suggests that the colony had to be "re-founded" by Vespasian 20 years after "paul" was there. This suggests that far from being a vibrant city Corinth was on the verge of failure. I have a problem with all of this.

Enough for now.

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23-11-2013, 09:50 PM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
(21-11-2013 11:04 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  I'm curious about these Nazarean records. My understanding is that the only things we know about them were written by the enemies, the group which Bart Ehrman calls the "proto-orthodox." In his "Lost Christianities" he does a decent effort trying to sort out the various gnostic groups from the proto-orthodox and he mentions the Nazarenes as a bunch similar to the Ebionites who were basically Jews.

Two things jump out at me....3 really but first things first. One, both Josephus and Tacitus in their discussions of the run up to the Great Revolt discuss the various power blocs in Judaea. Neither has anything to say about xtians or gnostics. Now, this could be because there weren't any or because they were insignificant. It could also be because they were strictly from the lower classes and thus no one gave a rat's ass about any of them. So here comes The Gabriel Revelation Stone which indicates that at the end of the first millennium BC, specifically during the revolts which broke out at the death of Herod the Great, there was a group which believed in resurrection after 3 days. There's no mention of any jesus.

Secondly, once one dismisses the later xtian crap which they insist is real one is left with a curious scenario. No Romans, Greeks or Jews in the first century knew anything about any jesus. The fact that Eusebius felt compelled to forge the testimonium flavianum into Josephus is evidence that real historical references did not exist. Pliny writing c 112 mentions "christians" (or manybe he said "Chrestians" as his aide Suetonius did.) Tacitus is reported to have written a passage in Annales about Christus but that looks more and more like an interpolation by much later xtians. It isn't until Lucian of Samosata that we get an actual Greco-Roman reference to xtians with a jesus thrown in. That was c 160. It seems to me that "jesus" was a later plot device developed by the proto-orthodox but only after the jews had been finally suppressed in the bar Kochba revolt and thus there would have been no way to check the story. The jews were gone. Jerusalem was gone. Oh, but here's this great story and yeah..it REALLY happened.

Third, I have serious problems with "paul." Xtians ignore the plot holes in this story because they have no reason to examine them but the plain fact is that the earliest xtian writing that we can securely date is Justin Martyr's First Apology addressed to Emperor Antoninus Pius c 160. In it, he never mentions "paul" or any of the gospels. This is 90 years after xtians insist that "paul" brought the word to the "gentiles" but why don't the gentiles know about it?

Then there is Corinth. Corinth is a serious problem in the first century. Refounded by Julius Caesar in 44 BC the archaeological evidence suggests that the colony had to be "re-founded" by Vespasian 20 years after "paul" was there. This suggests that far from being a vibrant city Corinth was on the verge of failure. I have a problem with all of this.

Enough for now.

RE "Secondly, once one dismisses the later xtian crap which they insist is real one is left with a curious scenario. No Romans, Greeks or Jews in the first century knew anything about any jesus."

Yes, you have a point there. This is one reason why Atwill's theory doesn't quite work perfectly in my mind. He claims the gospels were written in the 70s. Yet there's no good evidence that they existed at this time.

I agree with what you say about Justin Martyr. Did you get my point though that Justin was in opposition to Marcion, and Paul was Marcion's guru, so it's not surprisingly that Justin didn't mention him?

PS I'm having a bit of trouble understanding your point about Corinth. Could you phrase it a little differently please?
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24-11-2013, 04:23 AM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
(21-11-2013 09:38 PM)C²L Wrote:  Huh

Nigga, you goin' full-retard there?

Big Grin

It's ok, evidently they allow retards here. Thumbsup

Keep that shit up, Catholic...

you'll fit right in.

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