Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
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24-11-2013, 10:54 AM (This post was last modified: 24-11-2013 04:13 PM by Minimalist.)
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
Sure. First off, Marcion.

As with your Nazarenes, the only things we know about Marcionism are written by the proto-orthodox enemies of it. They tell us that Marcion's canon consisted of a shortened version of gLuke and ten epistles of "Paul." He also despised the jews which, given 3 revolts in less than 70 years is not surprising in the Roman world...they were decidedly persona non grata among the Romans. So we know that luke was salvaged from the wreck of Marcionism and re-worked into acceptable proto-orthodox doctrine. Why not the so-called epistles? Marcion was the heretic but the writings may have been judged useful and usable with a little minor editing which we will never know about because the originals have vanished. It seems that by the time of Justin this process was not complete...nor were the naming conventions of the gospels...but by the time of Irenaeus they most assuredly were.
Marcion's entire canon may have been re-cycled...not just luke.

Corinth. Plays a huge role in the so-called xtian church of the first century but here is a history lesson on Corinth.

In 146 BC after the umpteenth Greek revolt the Romans tired of their constant intrigue and an army under Consul Lucius Mummius sacked and burned the city. It was leveled as a warning to the rest of Greeks. That warning was simple: Don't keep fucking with us! Corinth remained desolate until 44 BC when it was marked for a veterans colony by Julius Caesar along with Carthage as the ever-pragmatic Romans decided that both sites were just too good to leave vacant. However, Caesar was murdered shortly after and Greece was a main battleground in the next civil wars between Octavian/Antony and the Conspirators and later between Octavian/Agrippa and Antony/Cleopatra. War is not a good time to grow cities. Peace was finally restored after Actium in 31. However, even then the archaeology suggests that Corinth was not flourishing. By the early 60's AD Nero decided to build a canal across the Isthmus and Vespasian, then campaigning in Palestine against the Jewish revolt sent 6,000 slaves as a gift to the emperor after his defeat of the Galilean army...which was Josephus' command.

Nero is deposed and after another civil war Vespasian becomes emperor. Corinth was apparently such a rousing success that Vespasian found it necessary to "re-found" the colony in the 70's AD...which obviously is 20 years after "Paul" is supposed to have been there preaching to "churches" established in the city! There is archaeological evidence for the change in the colony's layout under Vespasian which, if you are really interested I can find.

But of more interest is the work of Pausanias, a second century Greek geographer who did a detailed study of shrines and temples in Corinth during the reign of Hadrian and reports no trace of jews or xtians. No synagogues... no churches...nothing. It is almost as if the alleged paul stories...and First Clement stories...about Corinth date from a much later period when the city was thriving and there may have been xtian communities....in the late 2d or early 3d centuries.

Ken Humphreys from Jesusneverexisted mentioned to me in a private PM conversation that there are few "historical markers" in any of the alleged Paul writings. One that there is though is a reference to Aretas controlling the city of Damascus. This appears in 2 Corinthians 11

Quote:32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
33 and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

Xtians will twist their nuts into a pretzel trying to make this Aretas IV of Nabatea who died in 40 AD. When last seen in history, Aretas IV was fleeing south from the Roman army of Lucius Vitellius in 37 AD after attacking Herod Antipas. Never a great idea to attack a Roman ally. The only thing that saved Aretas was the death of Tiberius and the ascension of Caligula but the notion that Aretas was subsequently rewarded for his attack by being given Damascus is stupid and seems wholly based on this line in Paul. However, no Roman, Jewish or Greek historians seem to know anything about it and Damascus, as the western terminus of the Silk Road was far too valuable to hand over to an enemy.

However...King Aretas III did control Damascus. Except he controlled it between 84 and 64 BC when Gnaeus Pompey's legions came rolling through and took it.
There can be no question that in the early first century BC there was a dynastic meltdown in the Hasmonean dynasty in Jerusalem. Aretas III and other local powers backed various rival claimants to the throne. It is equally possible that Jews from one faction or another took refuge in Damascus and traditions may have emerged of escapes as one side or another gained power. But xtians would rather cut their balls off than admit that 2 Corinthians was written in the early first century BC. In fact, we can't know how much of this was written later because in 84 BC Corinth was still 40 years from being authorized to be rebuilt by Julius Caesar. No one in the early first century BC was writing anything to Corinth. It did not exist. But neither was it a thriving metropolis in the mid first century AD so, yes....Corinth remains a problem....unless these "letters" were re-cycled and re-addressed to meet the later needs of the proto-orthodox.

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03-08-2016, 07:12 AM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
There are a number of responses to Atwill's theory that people can find and read on the internet. My favourite internet theologian is Robert M. Price and I was glad to find that his critique of Atwill's ideas, along with that of Richard Carrier, was entirely compelling. Price and Carrier have Ph. Ds. By way of contrast, the indescribably arrogant [and, possibly, deranged] Mister Atwill has no formal training in anthropology, theology, history or linguistics, and like most amateur sleuths, finds in the merest of coincidences absolute proof for his clever [i.e. preposterous] theories about the bamboozlement of Palestinian Jews by agents of an imperial power that never, ever demonstrated any of the talents it would have needed to carry out an elaborate literary hoax. Is anti-semitism part of the explanation for the Caesar's Messiah books? I think so.
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03-08-2016, 08:32 AM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
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The only thing I know, is I know nothing. ~ Socrates
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03-08-2016, 09:00 AM
RE: Was Christianity invented to squash jewish rebellion?
Atwill's analysis of the probability of various passages in different works being written independently is sound enough. This suggests a collaborative production of the NT. I don't agree with his conclusion because, as he is saying that Titus visited all these places as did Jesus he accepts that Titus was fighting a rebel called Jesus. He then identifies the real Jesus as Eleazar but Eleazar converted Isates to Hellenistic Judaism. Some of his conclusions are incredibly abstruse and difficult to follow. What comes out though is that there was an uprising which was quelled by Titus, at a later date than the supposed Pontius Pilate setting of the NT. It also suggests imho that the Jews that the Romans were fighting were a warlike people and I just think it was a clash between the Romans and the old Near East descendants of the Sumerian aristocracy and Jesus was a putative heir to the title of God/king of the "Aryan/Sumerian" royal line.
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