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Historicity of Jesus - 2 - Printable Version
Historicity of Jesus - 2 - Printable Version

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Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 08-30-2008

<b>Propaganda, Persuasion & Deception (pdf)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->527. Every Roman was surrounded by slaves. The slave and his psychology flooded ancient Italy, and every Roman became inwardly, and of course, unwittingly, a slave. Because living constantly in the atmosphere of slaves, he became infected through the unconscious with their psychology. No one can shield himself from such an influence.

CARL GUSTAV JUNG (1875-1961), <i>Contributions to Analytic Psychology</i>, 1928.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 08-30-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Jung employs a master-savage, master-slave opposition in an attempt to explain the dynamics of the colonialist, imperialist project.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 09-01-2008

<b>Americanism:The Fourth Great Western Religion</b> (Review)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->American Enterprise Institute fellow Gelernter argues that America is a biblical republic and Americanism a biblical religion encompassing an American Creed with three political ideals (liberty, equality, and democracy) and a doctrine, American Zionism, <b>incorporating the biblically derived ideas of a chosen people in a promised land. </b>Americanism is global. There's no need to be American, or to believe in God, to subscribe to it. Still, to understand Americanism, you need to understand America. Gelernter discusses the emergence of Americanism through several crucial events in American history: the Puritan exodus from England, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, the cold war, and Islamic terrorism. He insists that his book is neither history nor group portrait but instead "an essay in folk philosophy." Not everyone will agree with Gelernter's conclusions (e.g., "If there is to be justice in the world, America must create it"), but <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 09-01-2008

<b>Astonishing US hypocrisy</b>
Premen Addy (Pioneer)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->US security, say its most vociferous advocates, is blessed with moral weight, those beyond the pale are condemned, like sinners, to the eternal damnation of insecurity and its fears and tensions. Of America's attempts at pacification it might be said as it was of Rome's: "They make a desert, they call it peace."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 09-02-2008

<b>Paul's True Rhetoric: Ambiguity, Cunning, and Deception in Greece and Rome</b>
by Mark D. Given

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Scholars have long suspected that Paul's rhetorical strategies are not always irreproachable when judged by philosophical rhetorical standards. In Paul's True Rhetoric, Mark Given argues that Paul's rhetorical strategies in Acts and his letters display intentional ambiguity, cunning, and deception, and make him vulnerable to the charge that he perpetrates sophistries.

Paul's deliberate use of misleading rhetoric was justified by his sincere conviction that he knew the truth and had a divine mandate to promote it in an apocalyptic world filled with deception. Like Socrates, Paul regarded his enemies and potential converts as being in a state of ignorance borne of deception. Since the deception was so severe, most had no idea how ignorant of the Truth they really were. Paul felt, as did Socrates, that he had to fool the deceived by becoming like them, pretending to be ignorant. Then, using an insinuative dialectic, he could gradually expose their ignorance both to themselves and others.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 09-19-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->One of the running threads in Western ethical thought is Glaucon’s challenge to Socrates in Plato’s Republic: “Why ought I be moral?” Like all threads running through a rich tapestry, at times it has been prominent and at others nearly invisible: here the picture and there the ground. Whatever the case, in this or that ethical theory at some place and time, it could be reasonably said of the Western ethical systems that they presuppose the necessity for giving reasons (whatever they might be) why human beings ought to behave morally. That is, the idea is that the self requires a reason (or reasons) for behaving morally. ‘Reason’, as I use it here, need not be restricted to mean ‘rational argument’. It merely refers to some kind of plausibility consideration which, as we know only too well today, is contextually dependent.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>My suggestion is that Glaucon’s challenge is not intelligible within our intuitive world models. </b>The reason why this is so is because moral actions and moral relations are constitutive of that very entity which is supposed to make moral choices, viz., the ‘self’ or the moral agent.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 09-21-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Through it all, hundreds of popular novels - each competing with the next to make Indians appear more grotesque, menacing, and inhuman - were sold in the tens of millions of copies in the U.S. Plainly, the Euro American public was being conditioned to see Indians in such a way so as to allow their eradication to continue. <b>And continue it did until the Manifest Destiny of the U.S a direct precursor to what Hitler would subsequently call Lebensraumpolitik (the politics of living space) was consummated. </b>

- Ward Churchill

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 09-22-2008

NT neo-Roman order was to succeed the OT Alexandrian order. Persian Ezra/Nehemiah are simply distant memories or backprojections.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nor did I realize that the Romans were actually allies of the Maccabees against their Syrian Greek foes (which explains much in terms of creating a false religion and history for political ends.)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 09-22-2008

<b>Greek Imperialism (pdf)</b>
William Scott Ferguson

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - ramana - 09-23-2008

page 24 of the Greek Imperialism shows the improtance of Herodotus's history which is really a spin.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We know, on the authority of a
German military expert,18 that, had the host which followed Xerxes to Athens
numbered the 5,283,220 men attributed to it by Herodotus “without taking count of women cooks, concubines, eunuchs, beasts of burden, cattle, and Indian dogs,” its rear guard must have been still filing out of Sardis while its van was vainly storming Thermopylae. <b>But what Herodotus reports is what the Athenians believed. They hadmet and routed the might of all Asia. They had mastered in fair fight the conquerors of all other peoples. The world was theirs: it was merely a question of taking possession.</b>

You see the same kind of spin and hagiography in the Islamist historians and their "Force of history" myth. Shows clearly the lineage of such thinking.

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 09-23-2008

Atwill insists that the 'abomination of desolation' prophecy in Daniel (OT) is a reference to Titus in the NT, rather than to Antiochus Epiphanes. This strengthens Jewish scriptural identification with their Seleucid overlords. One faction, the maccabees, rebeled under roman tutelage. This faction itself was subsequently dismantled, with assumption of direct Roman control.

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - Husky - 09-28-2008

Bits and pieces from unless otherwise specified
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Origen</b> (183-252) points out the sychronism [synchronism] EMPIRE-CHRISTIANISM [see: #6, 179; #8, 204-207; #10, 226-240; (Imperialism)].<b> The Empire is the God-willed preparation of Mankind to the Gospel</b> [see #6, 179].<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Previously colonialism, imperialism. Now globalisation.

Born-again catholic Tony Blair lectures Yale uni students on religion
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But the focus on faith and globalisation as Yale's Howland Distinguished Fellow dovetails with the former Labour Party leader's long interest in religion and the work of his Tony Blair Faith Foundation.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Apparently <b>even the beard</b> they gave non-existent jesus had to be copied from elsewhere. This is just laughably sad. Christianism is just a very bad joke played on humanity.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->As a last word on this topic it may be mentioned that the custom prevailed among Epicureans of carrying about with them small images of their founder; they also had likenesses done in marble or painted on wooden panels to adorn their homes or lodgings. <b>His [Epicurus] features are well known to this day from surviving portrait busts and exhibit an [a bearded] expression singularly Christlike. In this connection it is remarkable that the beardless [see #9, 225] Christ so often seen on Christian sarcophagi down to the fourth century gave way to the bearded [see #24, 512] form which is now TRADITIONAL.</b> Since the two sects lived side by side for three [see 1534] centuries, it is by no means impossible that in this particular the practice of the one was a preparation for the practice of the other.' [31-32].<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The vocabulary of the New Testament exhibits numerous similarities to that of Epicurus [c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.]..." [33]. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
'Jesus the carpenter'?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->from: Dictionary of the New Testament, Xavier Léon-Dufour, Translated from the second (revised) French edition [1978] by Terrence Prendergast, Harper & Row, 1980, 129.
'CARPENTER A word which improperly translates the Gk. tekton (from which "architect" comes), because woodworkers were almost unknown in Palestine. In its broad sense, the Gk. referred to a worker or craftsman who worked on a pre-existing material, whether of wood, stone or even metal: a "tailor" of stone, a mason, a sculptor, etc.1 <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - Husky - 09-28-2008

^ Where did jeebus' get his beard from?

The case of the missing persecutions.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Popular understanding of history is no less unsophisticated. For example, its idea of the persecutions under the Roman empire. No distinction is made between the emperors who ordered or those who allowed proceedings against Christians; there is but one epithet for them, they are all impiissimus [(provisional) "wicked, abandoned men" (A Latin Dict., Oxford, 1962 (1879))], whether it be Nero, Decius or Diocletian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius or Alexander Severus. All are equally inspired by the same insane hatred of Christianity, none has any concern but to destroy it. Often it is the emperor in person who presides at the trial of Christians, involving long journeys for himself WHICH HISTORY DOES NOT RECORD—and for good reason.

It was obvious that the head of state could not be everywhere at once, but that is no obstacle to his rage; he is worthily represented by emissaries, who scour the whole empire. Christians are outlawed everywhere, searched out and dragged before ferocious judges, who contrive to invent frightful tortures, THAT IN FACT WERE NEVER INFLICTED ON EVEN THE WORST CRIMINALS. The intervention from on high which prevents these ingenious torments from harming the martyrs throws their persecutors' cruelty into higher relief, and at the same time provides an adequate and perceptible explanation of the numerous conversions which atrocious cruelty could do nothing to stop.16

That is a miniature sketch of the persecutions as seen in popular legend. Variations in legislation and in enforcement of the laws, the very marked individuality of the great enemies of Christianity, the local character of some outbreaks in which Christians suffered, such things do not touch the mind of the people at all; THEY WOULD MUCH RATHER HAVE A SIMPLE PICTURE THAT IS BRIGHTLY COLOURED AND STRONGLY DRAWN THAN A PRODUCT OF ALL THESE COMPLICATED FACTORS. " [17-18]. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Le chretien dit "Marcus Aurelius persecuted me!" Mais bien sur, nous vous croyons. Really.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->When FORGERY became ECCLESIASTICAL, it touched the infinite. The greatness of the interests at stake, the rivalries of doctrines and churches, produced for an insatiable demand A BOUNDLESS SUPPLY OF FALSE DOCUMENTS. False epistles and false martyrdoms entered so widely into the history of the Christian Church as to HAVE RENDERED THAT [CHURCH] HISTORY MAINLY HYPOTHETICAL.
Even into the earliest and most honest attempt at such a history, that of Eusebius in the fourth century, much that is fabulous has found its way. The correspondence between Christ and Agbar, King of Edessa, has long been relegated to the realm of fiction, though accepted as genuine by Eusebius; and it may be suspected that as little credit is due to such an episode as that of the Martyrs of Lyons [see 1798-1800] which he [Eusebius] relates in his fifth book as illustrative of a world-wide persecution under Marcus Aurelius in the year 177. For no writer, pagan or Christian, before him makes the least allusion to such an event, and Eusebius lived about a century and a half after its alleged occurrence. It is incredible that contemporaries like Tertullian (about 150-240), Clement of Alexandria (150-220), Athenagoras, Origen (185-234), or other intermediate writers like Cyprian or Lactantius, all six of whom wrote specifically on the subject of persecutions, should have conspired to make not the smallest allusion to any persecution of the sort, had such a persecution been an historical reality.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Eusebios wrote first that the martyrdom took place i, 167 under Antonin the Pius dead in 161. He later changed to 177, under Marcus Aurelius. His history, written 125 years after the supposed event and in Bithynia, 2000 km East of Lyon, as the crow flies or 60 days of sea travel, is obviously forged.
COMPLETE RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE RULED IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE. IN ITS 4 MILLION SQUARE KILOMETER, 100 MILLION PEOPLE REVERED 1200 GODS. In Rome and Italy, people revered Egyptian deities (Isis, Serapis) the Anatolian Cybele
(p. ) In the provinces some Roman soldiers and even tribunes revered the Iranian Mithra or local gods.
Only municipal dignitaries had, at fixed feasts, to honor the official Olympian gods and the deified emperor, excluding those murdered for glaring crimes and vices as Caligula or dethroned as Nero.

CHRISTIANISM, IF AT ALL NOTICED, WAS CONSIDERED AS A VARIANT OF JUDAISM [see 1504-1518], WHICH WAS NOT ONLY A RELIGIO LICITA [(provisional) permitted religion] BUT IT ENJOYED SPECIAL CIVIC PRIVILEGES as the religion Jews declared in c. 170 "allied of the Roman People" in the war against Antiochos IV Epiphanes. CHRISTIANISM had the added advantage that it did not practice circumcision, equaled by Roman law to castration, rated as a crime, when practiced upon non-Jewish males. The difference between CHRISTIANISM and Judaism were in Pagan eyes minimal, "as a fight about the shadow of an ass" (contra Cels. III:1)

The massive silence described on pages 69 to 73 of Christian writers down to 1470 on the martyrs of Nero in 64 aD includes the Lyon martyrs of 177 aD;
Worse: in his Apologeticum, Tertullian in North Africa in c. 192, 15 years after the Lyon executions of 177, praises Marc Aurel [Marcus Aurelius], as protector of Christians, this very wise Emperor.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Le chretien dit "But at least Nero persecuted me!"
Nero took it out on the poor Stoics and Cynics. The christians merely inserted themselves into the list of real victims, replacing the originals (philosophers). Apparently at an attempt to push their presence in Rome to an earlier time/hike up their numbers in Rome at that time (see excerpts in next post).
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Nero was now setting out for Greece (A.D. 66), and just before he departed he published an edict expelling the philosophers (stoics) from Rome. Of all the undertakings of Nero, the one he set himself most determinedly about, was to sweep from the face of the earth the two sects, <b>stoics and cynics.</b>1 [see footnote, below]" [164-165].

[footnote] "<b>1This decree ["edict"], according to Olearius [see 1192], was made before the month of November, A.D. 66, and has been used by Christian evidence-mongers, says Robert Taylor [probably, Robert Bruce Taylor D.D. 1869 - ], D.D., as a decree against the Christians; Christian being interpolated where the word philosopher occurred, </b>and indeed, on pages 21, 22, and 23 of Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern (the Blackie and Son edition of 1839), one may discover on inspection what slight perversion of the text would be affected were the word Christian stricken out and the word philosopher inserted, rendering it much more in conformity with facts as we have them handed down to us in any reliable form. <b>CHRISTIANITY, no matter how, nevertheless did become the great and implacable foe of paganism; a foe which DISDAINED ALL COMPROMISE, AND REJECTED ALL ALLIANCE. IT CLAIMED THE RIGHT OF INVASION; OUTSIDE OF ITS PALE THERE WAS NO SECURITY IN THIS LIFE, AND NO SALVATION IN THE NEXT. ALL WERE INVITED TO ITS COMMUNIONS, AND THOSE WHO REJECTED THE INVITATION WERE BROUGHT IN BY FORCE.</b> Had Marcus Aurelius [Emperor 161 - 180 (121 - 180)] resorted to the same villainies to establish stoicism that Constantine [Emperor 306 (312) - 337 (280? - 337)] and Eusebius [c. 260 - c. 339)] did in the establishment of Christianity, the name even of Christianity would not have reached our day." [165].<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Still the same old christianism I see.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->'THE BELIEF THAT THE NERONIAN PERSECUTION OF THE CHRISTIANS BELONGS TO THE REALM OF FABLE is further confirmed by the fact that the other witnesses that are quoted for it are just as vague and indecisive. What propagandist material would not the details of this first persecution of their faith have furnished to the early Christians!<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->2Centuries later, when Pope Gregory the Great, on reading how Trajan halted his army to do justice to a poor widow, was moved to pray that this one heathen [Trajan] might be delivered from the hell which held all of the rest." [50]. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Gregory the Grape of Wrath needn't have bothered about non-existent hell. Trajan is in Elysium.

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - Husky - 09-28-2008

Again, following from

Lots of stuff but it's really funny. How coinage tells us about the Christian Communities And Churches That Weren't There.

Weird weird weird. So much doesn't add up.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->[footnote (not referenced above)] '2There is no doubt but that in the study of Greek archaeology we are more indebted to GREEK COINS than any other one thing, THE EXTENT AND VARIETY OF WHICH ARE MARVELOUS. THEY WERE ISSUED IN EVERY LITTLE TOWN, IN EVERY CORNER OF THE GREEK WORLD, AND THEY ARE FULL OF INFORMATION AS TO ANCIENT RELIGIOUS CULTS, MANNERS, AND ARTS. M. de Longpérier [Adrien de Longpérier 1816 - 1882] says: "Coins are serious monuments of public use, bearing on them indications of time and place either quite exact, or at least quite approximate; this is an immense advantage over all other monuments. By studying the types, the style, the inscriptions of coins, we may gain a key to many other antiquities." The coins of Antioch are the most important, next to the Alexandrian, known to us; not, however, in their variety, but in chronological importance. They are principally of bronze, copper, and baser metal, few only in silver. From the Seleucido, B.C. 37; the Pharsalian era, B.C. 38 to B.C. 22; the Actian era, B.C. 6 to A.D. 55 to the third century, and even of later date, the coins of Antioch prove that city to have remained during that period a pagan center. The types represented on these coins are the city of Antioch personified as a female figure seated on a high rock, from under which issues the river Orontes, personified in the form of a youth in the attitude of swimming. This legend seems fully to establish the pagan era of the city of Antioch. While these are interesting and significant archaeological facts, they are not very important as historical testimony, and would have no significance at all were it not that the records of Antioch have been destroyed so thoroughly. There were ancient coins of Antioch with the head of Pallas and the owl, like those of Athens, with whom they claim a common descent. There are a few other types as: A Ram Running, Head turned toward a Crescent and Stars; these are numerous. The art is rude and is wanting in Hellenic refinement. The principal abbreviations on the Roman coins of Antioch are: A.M.B., Antiochiae Moneta Officina Secunda; A.N.B. or A.N.T.B., Antiochiae Officina Secunda; A.N.F.F., Annum Novum Felicem Faustum; A.N.T.P., Antiochiae Percussa; A.N.T.S., Antiochiae Signata.--Humphrey's Coin Collector's Manual, 2 vols. (London), vol. ii. p. 552.

<b>There was nothing to prevent the Christians of Antioch, if their historians are not in error, to have discontinued striking pagan coins, and coining money with the emblems of their own religion, a thing which did not take place until several hundred years after [see #2, 20-22 (numismatics)].' [62-63]. </b>

[footnote (not referenced above)] "1But not in Athens, nor in any part of Greece, did the spoliation of the emperors compare with the utter destruction of works of art by the early Christians in their hatred of idolatry [competition!]. Nero [Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)] and Domitian [Emperor 81 - 96 (51 - 96)] stole and appropriated them because of their love of art. The Christians destroyed them in barbarous ignorance." [9].

[footnote (not referenced above)] "1Strabo [64 or 63 B.C.E. - after 23 C.E.], the geographer and historian, a native of Pontus, died about A.D. 30. He was a grave and solid writer, a great traveler, and a stoic. He refers to the prevailing superstitions of his day. He is SILENT CONCERNING CHRISTIANITY." [67].
PAGE 1223

[footnotes (not referenced above)] '1During the year A.D. 40 the Jews of Egypt sent Philo [c. 20 B.C.E. - c. 50 C.E.] on an embassy to Rome to represent their grievances to Caligula (the grievances of Alexandrian Jews, none other). Philo was a Platonist, although by birth and faith a Jew, born in Egypt; he was a man of unblemished character and a writer of great note, and a man of learning. Caligula would not give audience to their complaints, and Philo withdrew. PHILO WROTE ON ALL THE EXTANT RELIGIONS OF HIS DAY EXCEPT CHRISTIANITY. HE DIED ABOUT A.D. 50, HAVING NEVER HEARD OF CHRISTIANITY.

2The coins of Caligula [Emperor 37 - 41 (12 - 41)], although of elegant workmanship, bear out the charge of infamy against him; his three sisters, with whom he is said to have been criminally intimate, appear on nearly all his coins. The first bronze coins of his reign, which confirm his imperatorship, are extremely rare; the senate called them in [,] in execration of his memory. They bear the inscription "Caius the God."' [68]. [See: Addition 21, 1076; etc.].

[footnote (not referenced above)] "3That the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch (a heathen city) about A.D. 43, rests upon the sole authority of the book of Acts, which Dr. Davidson concedes was not written earlier than A.D. 125. But THERE IS NO POSITIVE PROOF THAT IT ["BOOK OF ACTS"] WAS WRITTEN AS EARLY AS A.D. 200 [see 1206]. Therefore its value, as establishing the fact about Antioch, is quite apparent.--Revelations of Antichrist, p. 98.
It is a great pity that we have no more reliable data concerning this interesting city [Antioch]; nearly all the records concerning it stop short and abrupt just before the Christian era. And Antioch the great, the second city of the Roman empire, the oldest Christian city on earth, is blotted from the page of history for over five hundred years, for it does not appear again until the middle of the fifth century. There is a record of an earthquake there A.D. 37; another during the reign of Claudius [Emperor 41 - 54 (10 B.C.E. - 54 C.E.)], and another A.D. 115. But everything resembling consecutive history has been carefully laid aside beyond the reach of the historian.--See Encyclopaedia Brit., art. Antioch. The stories of the great splendor of Antioch, of its palaces and triumphal arches, sacred images in the groves, and costly pictures and statues in private apartments, are tantalizing in their meagerness, and yet, gleaning from the poets and other pagan sources, its general features may be discerned enough to confirm its greatness." [77-78].

[footnote (not referenced above)] "1There appears to be a great hiatus in the profane history of <b>Ephesus</b>; nothing is related of it with certainty of history from some time before the Christian era to the fifth century. <b>Ecclesiastical history, however, says that Paul preached there, and wrote some of his epistles there, 55, 56, and 64 A.D. (Encyclopaedia Brit.; Haydn's Dic. of Dates); not sustained by contemporaneous facts</b> [see #4, 105-151, passim (Paul); etc.]. J.T. Wood [1820 or 1821 - 1890], in his great work, Discoveries at Ephesus, including the Great Temple of Diana of Ephesus [1877], declined throwing any light upon this subject, or giving us any history of this famous city during a period of eight hundred years, so complete and thorough had been the work of the literary despoiler. <b>Nor that the town wanted importance for it was an important place up to the eleventh century, and a pagan city during the eighth century." [86].</b>

[footnote1 (not referenced above)] "....The importance paid to the worship of Diana of the Ephesians is evidenced by the great number of Ephesian coins and medals bearing her image; it was styled ...[Greek word], chief city of all Asia, on coins and medals, and Diana, the greatest of all the gods. A bee was always the symbol of Diana; as early as the middle of the fifth century B.C., the Ephesian Artemis was symbolized by a bee, and the city of Rhodes has two specimens with the same symbol, also Cnidus, and Smyrna, and Syracuse; this is a proof of the alliance between these four cities. The same symbol was found on the coins of Croton in Italy B.C. 389. Philostratus says that when the Athenians led their colony to found the city of Ephesus the Muses, in form of bees, flew about them, directing the course of the fleet. Hence this symbol on Ephesian coin. There is an extant Ephesian coin bearing the image of Septimius Severus, another of Jupiper [Jupiter], but all bearing the image of Diana. There is a coin of Ephesus, also of Athens, bearing a stag, and Diana, significant of the Elaphobolia, wherein a pair of stags were sacrificed to Diana. The coins of Ephesus are numerous, and confirm many alliances with many cities of Asia, principally for commercial purposes.--Rara Magnae Graeciae numismata nune curante Georgio Volchamero denuo recusa (1683). Great confusion has been occasioned by some Greek historians interpreting Melissae,...[Greek word], Bee.--Inman's [Thomas Inman 1820 - 1876] Ancient Faiths [see Appendix VI, 777], vol. ii. p. 351. Herodotus [c. 484 - 430-420 B.C.E.] says that all the northern side of the Danube was occupied by bees. Jove, also, upon Mount Ida, was said to have been nourished by bees. The building of the temple of Delphi the second time was by bees. The Melissae were the attendants upon Demeter and Persephone, and hence when they migrated or introduced their rites it was misinterpreted into the doings of bees." [88].
PAGE 1225

[footnote (extends to 1227, 1229 (1228 = Excursus)) (not referenced above)] '1Philostratus [c. 170 - c. 245] claims that PAGANISM at Ephesus, Antioch, Smyrna, Corinth, and Athens (all claimed to have been Christian centers in Paul's day) was remodeled and reformed through the preaching of Apollonius, and that churches and bishops were established there long before Paul's time. All this seems quite rational enough when we consider that there is no account of any Christian teachers visiting Rome, Ephesus, Antioch, etc., prior to Paul. And yet Paul addresses large congregations and prosperous churches there. <b>WHAT CHURCHES?</b> There is no evidence outside of merely Paul's word or the interpolator [writer!] that these churches, bishops, deacons, presbyters were Christians; on the contrary, they appear to be strongly pagan. For Paul refers to their institutions as of long standing and of no novelty. (CHRISTIAN CHURCHES AND OTHER EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY AT EPHESUS DISCOVERED BY MR. WOOD ["Discoveries at Ephesus, etc. (J.T. Wood, 1877)" [31]] DO NOT ANTEDATE THE NINTH CENTURY.) NOR WERE THEY BEING DEMOLISHED AND THE INMATES BURNED, AS PAUL (OR HIS INTERPOLATORS [Ecclesiastical Corporation (see #4, 123, 534., etc.)]) DECLARES WAS THE FATE OF ALL THE CHURCHES. Philo Judeas [Judaeus] [c. 13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.] speaks of these things as of long established notoriety and venerable antiquity in his day, A.D. 37, and Philo wrote before Josephus, and when Jesus was not more than 15 years of age. Philo was a member of a religious community, having parishes, churches, bishops, priests, and deacons, pretending to have apostolic founders, using scriptures which they believed to be divinely inspired, and which Eusebius himself believed to be nothing else than the substance of the gospels. They also had missionary stations and colonies at Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Collossae, and Thessalonica; all this was nothing new in Philo's day. This was probably as early as A.D. 18. Now it is infinitely absurd, nay it is absolutely impossible, that a body of ignorant believers in a new and alien religion of an alien and despised race had formed themselves into such wealthy and powerful church organization amid the most violent persecutions and martyrdoms. Paul writes "I beseech Eudoias and beseech Syntyche that they be of the same mind in the Lord, and I intreat thee also, true yokefolk, help those women which labored with me in the gospel," etc.--Phil. iv. 2, 3. There is no pretense that the earliest Christian gospel appeared sooner than sixteen years after this, and yet Paul declares that he was made a minister of the gospel which had already been preached to every creature under heaven.--Col. i. 23. "The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household."
--Phil. iv. 22. It must be a source of infinite amusement to the man of learning to read the article on Episcopacy, by Rev. Canon Venables, in Encyclopaedia Brit. Its evident effort at disguising truth or its utterance of willful falsehood is too apparent to deceive the most ordinary scholar. This is the Canon's contribution to the cause. Now, if what the Christians claim be true of Nero, Vespasian, and Domitian, I submit that Caesar's household must have been a highly uncomfortable dwelling-place for Christian saints.

From the epistles of Paul we learn that in the two great cities of Ephesus and Philippi, also on the island of Crete, and in fact throughout all Asia Minor, there were well organized and matured Christian communities, bishops, deacons, presbyters, ministering and governing under the ancient forms and ceremonies of churches which appear to be held in both royal and popular favor; while from the same authority we learn that the emperors were torturing and burning every man, woman, and child who was suspected of entertaining Christian doctrines. THESE EPISTLES NEED REVISION. And again, the incredibly short space of time in which these things were accomplished, places the account entirely without the pale of even possibility.

BEFORE THE PRETENDED DATE OF ANY ONE OF THE GOSPELS which have come to us, before any one of the disciples had suffered martyrdom, before any one of them had completed his mission, we find a spiritual dynasty established, exercising the most tremendous authority ever grasped by man, not merely over the lives and fortunes, minds, and persons, but over their prospective eternal destinies. We find (BY THE CHRISTIAN RECORD) a church at Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, and Thessalonica, rooted and grounded in the faith, called of Jesus Christ, in everything enriched, in all utterances and in all knowledge, beloved of God and in favor with the king. And if an apostle himself or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel than that which they had received let him be accursed.--Gal. i. 8, 9.
CHRISTIAN CHURCHES DID NOT BEGIN TO APPEAR UNTIL THE TIME OF ALEXANDER SEVERUS [Emperor 222 - 235 (208? - 235)], A.D. 220 [A.D. 250, and A.D. 330 (see 1228)].--Der Fall des Herdenthurus, von Dr. H.G. Tschinier, 8vo. (Leipsig, 1829).
Histoire de la Destruction de Paganisme en l'Occident, ouvrage couronné par l'Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, en l'année 1832, par A. Beugnot, de l'Institut de France, 2 tomes (Paris, 1835).

"[See following Excursus (1228 (Church.))]

IN AN ANALYSIS OF THE CHARACTER OF PAUL [see #4, 105-151, passim (Paul); etc.] AS GIVEN TO US IN THE REVEALED WORD, WE FIND HIM A STRANGE COMPOUND OF PAGANISM BY BIRTH, JUDAISM BY ARTFULNESS, AND A CHRISTIAN I WONDERFULLY SUSPECT BY INTERPOLATION AND LITERARY TOUCHINGS OF THE RECORDS BY SUBSEQUENT REVELATORS. Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul, was not a Jewish but a Roman town. Paul is not a Jewish but a Roman name [see #5, 153 (Paul)], and the protestation of Paul that "my manner of life was first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee,"--Acts xxvi. 4, 5,--needs attestation, for he confesses that the Jupiter of Aratus, the poet, was the god whom he adored.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - Husky - 09-29-2008
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Guignebert: "Strictly speaking, we do not find any original body of doctrine in the Gospel." Harnack: "Jesus brought forward no new doctrine....<b>It is not difficult to set against every portion of the utterances of Jesus an observation which deprives them of originality</b>." Glover: "there was little new in Christian teaching." E. Carpenter: "anyone familiar with the writings of antiquity...knows perfectly well that the reported sayings of Jesus and the Apostles may be paralleled abundantly from these sources." Baron: "Both Jewish and Christian scholars have repeatedly emphasized the fact that, individually examined, the sayings of Jesus can be traced to similar apothegms in rabbinic literature, many of which must have come down from an age preceding the Christian era." Cardinal Newman as quoted by W.S. Lilly perceived: "There is little in the ethics of C which the human mind may not reach by its natural powers, and which here or there...has not in fact been anticipated." Robertson: "There is not one teaching in the Gospels' that cannot be paralleled in the "ethical literature of the Jews, Greeks, Romans and Hindus..."

The parallels fill volumes and can only be suggested here. <b>Sermon on the Mount</b> Wernle: "there is no lack of parallels to the Sermon on the Mount." Charles: "reflects in several instances the spirit and even reproduces the very phrases of" the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs. Reinach: "To speak of the authenticity of the Sermon on the hardly consistent with serious criticism." Rodrigues and others have shown that everything in it can be found in Jewish and other sources which could not have borrowed from the Christian. (On the correct translation of this and other matters in the NT see Moffatt, The Parallel New Testament.) Renan perceived that the sayings of the Sermon were "the current money of the synagogue." Lord's Prayer Klausner: "Every single clause in it is to be found in Jewish prayers and sayings in the Talmud." McClintock and Strong: "based upon expressions and sentiments already familiar to the Jews, indeed parallel phrases to nearly all its contents have been discovered in the Talmud." Of the Jewish Kadish, which contains much of the Prayer, Basnage says it is "the most ancient of all that the Jews have perceived." Trattner: "It is possible to match the Lord's Prayer sentence for sentence, phrase for phrase, and word for word, with passages culled from the OT, the Talmud, and Jewish liturgy." The Beatitudes, says Loewe, more biblical than rabbinic, "go straight back to Hannah's song, or to the Suffering Servant, or to the 'meek' of the Psalms." <b>Angus: "There are many pagan texts, especially in Seneca, Epictetus, and Aurelius, parallel to 'the Kingdom of God is within you'."</b> J.E. Carpenter: "the proverb to which classical wisdom supplies so many parallels, 'they that are whole have no need of a doctor, but they that are sick'." Hannay: "Confucius was the first to clearly teach the Golden Rule..." Pick: "In one of the treatises of the Talmud called Challah we find, almost verbatim, what our Lord says in Matt. v, 28..." Rabbi Simeon said: "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them." (This was said a century after Jesus but it is utter nonsense to argue, as so many Christians have, that Jewish parallels after Jesus were copied from him. It takes amazing obtuseness to argue that Jews would imitate and copy those whom they regarded as abomination.) Montefiore: "except in a few polemical directions, Gospel teaching had no influence upon Rabbinic teaching." As for the golden rule statement, it was of course ancient; Christians have argued that it appeared only in its negative form before Jesus, but Strack and Billerbeck found it in both its positive and negative form in Aristeas. Besides, says Kittle, "The idea of a difference between them was quite unapparent to the men of antiquity." That is, whether it is, Do not unto your neighbor...or, Love your neighbor as yourself. And finally Olmstead points out: "Were not our ears to attuned to the familiar phrases of the Authorized Version, the outlandish phraseology and syntax, the monotonous repetition of 'and' and 'for', the constant appearance of apparently superfluous 'therefores', the highly irregular sequence of tenses, the large number of strangely placed participles, all would have warned us that we were reading an Aramaic-English jargon[?]."'<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - Husky - 09-29-2008

^ The (un)originality of the sermon on the mount.

The following is McCabe I think.
1. On christianism's encouragement of Poverty of *Spirit*. Cf. Pagan views on frugal *life*.
2. Meekness and Turning The Other Cheek stuff. Gandhianism. Romantic notions are all fine sentiments in theory. In reality it's another matter. Remember (and compare with) Bodhi's sane expose on Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (sp?).

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Modern divines recognize these weaknesses, and say that it is not a single discourse, but a collection of sayings of Jesus put in a dramatic form by the writer of the Gospels. This, they say, does not in the least detract from its value. The sentiments embodied in it are superb, unique, etc. Let us see.
<b>It opens with the famous Eight Beatitudes, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," and so on.</b> I have noticed that much time is wasted by clericals and anti-clericals in conflicts over this supposed glorification of poverty. Divines with a pretension to a knowledge of Greek assure us that what Jesus really says is: "Blessed be the poor." That is nonsense, for the Greek text, which lies before me, contains no verb at all. In plain English, this first and much- quoted sentence of the great sermon is a piece of confusion. Consistently with other texts of the Gospels, and the tenets of the Essenians, it ought to be a frank glorification of poverty. But the writer expressly says "the poor in spirit," or poor-spirited; and the only plausible meaning we can give to it is "the humble in spirit." Our age does not want that counsel. It has done incalculable harm in the past. But, in any case, to say that there is anything original in a religious moralist commending humility is quite absurd. The later books of the Old Testament and the Talmud are full of such passages, and one could cull even from the pagan moralists a whole anthology of such sentiments. <b>Even material poverty, if any insist that Jesus meant this, is glorified by them, Seneca wrote a treatise on it. Plutarch asks: "What disease shall we say that the rich man suffereth from but spiritual poverty?" ("On Covetousness," iv). Epictetus says: "Any person may live happy in poverty, but few in wealth and power" ("Fragments," cxxviii).</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The next sentence is "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted": which is almost a quotation from Isaiah (Ixi, 1-2, etc.), or from innumerable verses of the prophets and the psalms. Every moralist who believes in God makes a commonplace of the sentiment. So it is with the blessing of "the meek" -- another disastrous counsel which Christianity impressed upon the world. The psalms and prophets are full of it, and every Stoic repeats it. Seneca says: "I will be meek and yielding to my enemies" ("On the Happy Life," xx, 5). Plutarch writes: "A calm and meek and humane temper is not more pleasant to those with whom we live than to him who possesseth it" ("On Restraining Anger," xvi).
Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius constantly say it. And I admire it no more in them than in Matthew; but anything less original than these "Eight Platitudes," as they ought to be called, it would be difficult to conceive. I have in my other work given many perfect parallels to each, and could have given scores. Each sentiment is a moral and religious commonplace,
(Don't know what Seneca was thinking; but Greco-Romans were only human after all. Certainly possible for humans to be too in love with some notions, especially if pondering such things from the comfort of their homes and hearths.)

After the Beatitudes the writer makes Jesus address his audience as "the salt of the earth," and "the light of the world," and so on. It is obviously meant to be an address to a few chosen disciples; yet at the close, we are told, "the people were astonished at his doctrine." The whole passage is a clumsy late fabrication, for at that time, the very beginning of the career of Jesus, there was no question of any "persecution." And what would the four burly fishermen, who had just been recruited in Galilee, think of hearing that they were "the light of the world"? It was precisely the title which Jewish pupils gave to their most learned Rabbis.
Jesus is then said to have assured his hearers that he advocated no change whatever in "the Law": the most essential injunctions of which (sacrifice, etc.) he spent his career in denouncing. "Till heaven and earth shall pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled" (v, 18). Here Matthew puts into the mouth of Jesus the sentiment of the Judaizing Christians, and confirms it in the next verse with a stern threat; and in the very next verse he switches off to the sentiments of the anti-Judaizing Christians and begins to belabor the Pharisees -- the model observers of the Law!
The writer does not even understand them. The old law was, he makes Jesus say, that you must not kill: the new law is that you shall not even be angry with your brother "without a cause." A few verses earlier the lesson was that you must not even be angry with your brother if you have a cause. Moreover, there is nothing in the least new about this "new and higher morality." The Pharisees of the second century must have smiled at it, because precisely the old law ran (Lev. xix, 18): "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart . ... thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." And, as I have already said, the Rabbis quoted in the Talmud and the pagan moralists abound in the same sense.
Matthew makes Jesus follow up his counsel by saying that if you take a gift to the altar and recollect that you have a grudge against a man, you must "leave the gift before the altar" and go first and be reconciled. A pretty anachronism! There were no Christian altars to receive gifts until decades after the death of Jesus; and men did not take "gifts," but animals to be sacrificed (which Jesus denounced), to the Jewish altars.
He goes on to say that the old law was that you should not commit adultery: the new law makes it a sin even to desire a woman. But the oldest law precisely was: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife," and the later books of the Old Testament say exactly what Jesus is supposed to say: "Lust not after her beauty in thine heart" (Prov. vi, 25), and "Gaze not on a maid ... gaze not on another's beauty," (Ecclus. ix, 5 and 8). The Rabbis went even beyond Jesus. "Whosoever," says the Talmud, "regardeth even the little finger of a woman hath already sinned in his heart" (Beracbot, 24, 1). Seneca, Epictetus and all the Stoics are just as stern with us. "It is the intention, not the outward act, which makes the wickedness," says Seneca ("On the Happy Life," xvi). Our age is not likely to be moved by these exaggerated pruderies.
Then there is the "sublime principle," in a matter of vital human importance, about divorce. Mark and Luke make Jesus forbid divorce under any conditions. Matthew allows divorce for "fornication." The result is that the Churches are entirely at variance on one of the most important of social and moral problems. The Catholic thinks all divorce invalid; the British Protestant is sure that a woman commits no sin if she remarries after divorcing her husband for adultery; the German or American Protestant genially commits all three Evangelists (if not Jesus) to the flames and gets a divorce for half a dozen reasons. Verily, our age would be sadly perplexed if it had not these simple and sublime teachings of Jesus!
I may add that the Jews at the time of Jesus were just as divided as the primitive Christians evidently were, and Christians are today. Some Rabbis -- unknown to Matthew -- forbade divorce altogether; some allowed it for adultery; others admitted many grounds for divorce. And we are told that it is only from religion that we can get any clear and firm guidance on sex-questions.
Several verses on oaths follow: and the writer of the Gospel again makes a mistake in thinking that the Old Testament and the Pharisees did not forbid swearing. "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" is one of the Ten Commandments; and more than one passage of the Old Testament says, like Ecclus. xxiii, 9-11, "Accustom not thy mouth to an oath." There were no civic or official oaths in Judea; but there is no Christian country that has not myriads of them. Until recently Christian civilizations prosecuted any man who acted on Christ's injunction and refused to take an oath. Less than a century ago men who sought justice in British courts of law were contemptuously dismissed because they had scruples about taking an oath. Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus condemned oaths just as Jesus did. Popes and bishops insist on them.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
More on The Turning Of The Cheek:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Next comes the famous council that, whereas the old law permitted one to demand "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," in the new and higher dispensation you must even turn the other cheek to the smiter and give the cloak also to the man who takes your coat.
Since Christendom is unanimously agreed, and always has been agreed, that no man of sense would act upon this "sublime teaching" of Jesus, we need hardly linger over it. But it is necessary to point out once more that it is certainly not Jesus -- not a Jew of the year 30 A.D. who said this. For, although the "eye for an eye" principle is found in Exodus, where it seems to be a fragment of earlier tribal customs, the later books of the Old Testament say, over and over again, precisely what Matthew gives as a new law. "I gave my back to the smiters and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair," says Isaiah (1, 6). "Let him give his cheek to him that smiteth him," says Jeremiah in Lamentations (iii, 30). "If any demand thy ass, give him also the saddle," says the Talmud (Baba kamma, 92, 2); and this saying is described as a popular proverb. "Let him strike thee," says Plato (Gorgias, 527), giving counsel how to deal with an angry man.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There in the heart of Agnostic China, three hundred years before the Sermon on the Mount was delivered, you have the complete doctrine of loving your enemies as a commonplace of humanitarian morality.
Buddha in India taught the same doctrine. Love was to be universal, he insisted; and in the Dhammapada we read: "Hatred ceases by love: this is an old rule." It seems, in fact, to have been as common in India centuries before Christ as it was in China. In the "laws of Manu," compiled early in the Christian Era, but consisting of ancient Hindu writings, it is said: "Against an angry man let him not in return show anger: let him bless when he is cursed."
(McCabe knows a lot about Romans, Greeks, christian and possibly even Judaic history. But I've seen some mistakes of his on Hindu and other Asian traditions. Though it sounds plausibly Hindu enough, yet until that last statement regarding Manu is confirmed by knowledgeable Hindus, am not swinging either way on it. )

Non-Christian European moralists -- Socrates and Plato, Seneca, Pliny, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius -- all had the same sentiment. "We ought not to retaliate, or render evil for evil to anyone," said Socrate, quoted approvingly by Plato. Seneca wrote a whole treatise on "Anger"' condemning it in every form. It is therefore not in the least surprising that, when Greek influence began to be felt in Judea, as we see in Ecclesiasticus and Proverbs, the same sentiment is reproduced. "Thou shalt not hate thy brother," was already written in Leviticus; but, as I said before, the Jew's "brother" always meant a Jew. The sentiment, however, was now so common in every school of moralists that the finer Hebrews naturally adopted it, and, through the school of the Rabbi Hillel, it passed on to the Christians.

Here, then, is a sentiment, which thousands of Christian writers have claimed to be entirely original in Christ, actually found to be a commonplace of moralists for hundreds of years before Christ and in the "pagan" world. I trust the Christian reader will see in this a striking illustration of the way in which he is misled; but I will carry the argument just one step farther.

It occurred to no Christian, not even to Christ, that, if this moral sentiment is lofty, it ought pre-eminently to apply to man's conception of God. On what principle must Christ as man love his enemies, and Christ as God devise for them an eternity of fiendish torment? Let your Dr. Rileys answer that. And, since God, the ideal, was held to punish transgressors of his law, human and ecclesiastical society everywhere continued without scruple to do so.

<b>We realize today that this is immoral. We inflict penalties to deter would-be transgressors, not as punishment. Who introduced this idea into the world? Plato and Aristotle. They taught the Greeks that the "punishment" of a criminal was "a moral medicine" and a deterrent.</b> Then came Christianity, and the sentiment was lost. Punishment, as such, was more abominable than ever. At last a group of humanitarians, won the reform. Who were they? Grotius (a liberal Christian or semi-Rationalist, and the least effective), and then Hobbes, Montesquieu, Beecaria, Filangiere, Feuerbach, Schopenhauer, and (above all) Bentham -- all Rationalists, most of the Agnostics.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Well, it wasn't just Plato and Aristotle who were of this opinion. Bodhi has shown how Kautilya and other Hindus had also sanely stressed the importance of punishing criminal behaviour to safeguard society instead of cosying up to terrorist fiends (Bodhi's articles on Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam again).
Christo Sonia/MMS-led government is rather too christian and lets terrorists off the hook from mass-murder.

McCabe again:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Churches dare not in our age consistently advocate their Christian ethic. It is a condemnation, root and branch, of all pleasure. An ethic which puts married folk on a lower level, as weaklings who cannot scale the heights of superiority, has no place in the twentieth century. An ethic that preaches that a man must embrace poverty if he would be really virtuous dare not be urged from any pulpit in America. <b>An ethic that bids the really just man turn the other cheek to the smiter is not lofty or sublime, but a sheer blunder.</b> And these things are essential parts of Christ's morality, however little they may be obtruded in Christian morality.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Am in agreement with McCabe's statement in bold.
But faithful catholic Sonia Goonda is not allowed to read Joseph McCabe because the Vatican has put his works in the church's list of forbidden books. And so Hindus suffer the terrorisms patronised by "saint me now, I don't want it awarded posthumously" Sonia.
Hey, that's what she'll be: Santa Antonia Maino, Patron Saint of Terrorists/Terrorism.

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - Husky - 09-29-2008

^ On "Turning the other cheek".

Excerpts marked as from

1. On Gibbon's Decline and Fall again
2. Constantine's conversion again

While all the capitalisation is part of the original, I applied the bold and the blue in the excerpts to follow.

Pasted two paras of the following once before. But I found the whole piece very insightful. There's a pattern somewhere in all this that may be helpful. History may be our best friend here.

(The below-mentioned Tillemont is I think the person mentioned by McCabe as being one of the christian historians who cut out some of the many fake martyrs from church history.)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->'The pious men of Tillemont's [1637 - 1698] day who brought to history precision, clarity, and accuracy, also did much of the spadework for the attack on Christianity to be launched by the Enlightenment. Their labors cleared the ground of ecclesiastical history of the rubbish of centuries. The example was not lost on the enlighteners. The step from the rejection of some legends to the rejection of all legends was very short. Tillemont carefully--and perhaps sadly--pruned from the history of the primitive church some of the most colorful, but spurious, legends. With a sigh (Gibbon imagines) he rejected the Acts of Artemius, "a veteran and a martyr who attests as an eye-witness the vision of Constantine."31 IT IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR THE SINCERE EFFORTS OF ONE GENERATION TO PROVIDE THE NEXT WITH THE PRECONDITIONS FOR DESTROYING AN OLD IDEOLOGY. In the case of Tillemont the case is very clear: it is Edward Gibbon who inherits these labors.' [133-134].

'Tillemont's myopia about Roman civilization arises directly from his religious views. The Romans were pagans, and paganism was anathema. His Christian charity did not extend to paganism. He delighted in the horrible deaths of the fourth-century emperors who had persecuted Christianity: they provided wonderful proof of a vengeful God.36 He was deeply disturbed that God had permitted the pagan emperors Marcus Aurelius and Trajan to escape an excruciating death: "Suffer me, O Lord, to ask if You always destroyed those who did not understand the work of Your hands...? You ["Lord"] have visibly destroyed Nero, Domitian, and others. But did you destroy Trajan and Marcus in the same way? They certainly deserved destruction, for they failed to apprehend the miracles of Your grace when they had these miracles before their eyes. In addition, they persecuted Your servants. Yet, they died in their beds, honored, revered, loved, and esteemed by all men."37 He [Tillemont] despised pagan Rome, and "he never dismisses a virtuous emperor without pronouncing his damnation."38' [137].

["Tillemont, Louis Sébastien Le Nain de (1637-98), French Church historian....
His fame rests on the Memoires pour servir a l'histoire ecclesiastique des six premiers siecles (16 vols., 1693-1712), a work of enormous erudition, covering the development of the Church from the beginning of Christianity to the year 513....
For comprehensiveness the work has not been surpassed, though it lacks elegance of style. It was much used by E. Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire...." (Ox. Dict. C.C., 1997, p. 1622)].

'It is not Gibbon's want of accuracy that makes his treatment of Christianity so distasteful to devout men. Gibbon would never play fast and loose with the facts. What makes his classic account so Gibbonian is the withering irony with which he treats the subject. And as is well known, Gibbon says he learned to handle the weapon of irony, "even on subjects of Ecclesiastical solemnity,"73 from Pascal
[Blaise Pascal 1623 - 1662].
It is possible to argue that Gibbon's reliance on Tillemont has nothing to do with Jansenism. Tillemont was a great historian and a superb source for a historian of Gibbon's interests and temperament. With magisterial ease he swept away the pious foundations and assumptions of Tillemont's work, and used him merely as an exceptionally reliable guide. That Tillemont was a Jansenist fanatic is merely coincidental so far as Gibbon is concerned. This would be a perfectly adequate explanation of Gibbon's numerous references to Tillemont and his respect for the work of his predecessor. It would be a perfectly adequate explanation, that is, were it not for the fact that Gibbon was fascinated with Jansenism throughout his life, and that another Jansenist fanatic, Blaise Pascal, was singled out by Gibbon himself as central to his intellectual development.' [145].

"Whatever the initial impact of Pascal, his influence was continuous. This is precisely the problem: why did Gibbon find the Jansenists in general, and Pascal in particular, so fascinating? Gibbon had long been interested in religious problems, and in the Memoirs he sketches that slightly ludicrous sense of the young boy, with an oversized head, disputing earnestly on the mysteries of the trinity, or reincarnation, with his kind, loving, and limited Aunt Porten. This fascination lasted a lifetime, and besides the classics, the two species of books best represented in Gibbon's library are travel books and books on religion and theology. He was forever reading tracts and treatises on the most arcane and arid subjects of theology and church history. His careful and detailed histories of Arians, Monophysites, Gnostics, Armenians, and a dozen other Christian splinter groups, are ample proof of his interest. Perhaps no other man outside holy orders, indeed almost outside the church, knew as much of these things as did GIBBON. And WHAT MOST FASCINATED HIM WAS FANATICISM. THE PATHOLOGICAL SIDE OF RELIGION PROVIDED AN ENDLESS SOURCE OF STUDY for this sceptical rationalist." [147].

'In a sense the Decline and Fall may be considered the first answer to St. Augustine's [354 - 430] City of God. From the vantage point of the high Enlightenment Gibbon is looking back across the centuries to that giant, and is attacking Augustine's explanation of why Rome fell. It is not, Gibbon argues, God's providence that brought Rome down. It is the very real, earthly enemy, the early Christians, that canker in the breast of an already decaying empire. Gibbon's Rome is the work of men, and its fall is the work of men. Gibbon is in many ways a pagan gentleman of the late empire, surveying with sadness and passion the accumulated crimes of lese-majeste against his beloved Rome. His [Gibbon] is the first extensive and comprehensive response to St. Augustine; and as the Decline and Fall recapitulates many of the arguments used by Pagan apologists in the fifth century, so, too, does it plead [1637 - 1698] for an earthly cause for Rome's fall.
Tillemont [1637 - 1698] and the Jansenists are, for Gibbon [1737 - 1794], the modern-day representatives of Augustine's [354 - 430] views. As such they are the enemy. Tillemont accepts, without apparent question or modification, Augustine's explanation for Rome's fall. His compilation of the sources, especially from the age of Constantine to the invasions, rests on an assumption of providential action. It might legitimately be argued that Tillemont's work is the scholarly gloss to the City of God. And there is in this perhaps an additional irony, Gibbon, the pagan champion of Rome, took as his guide a modern Augustinian; and through a mastery of irony, learned from Pascal, he used one Augustinian to confound another. Gibbon's "sure-footed mule" is not only the most important of Gibbon's many guides; he is also the incarnation of the Augustinian view. The Jansenists are opponents of genius and stature. IT IS THROUGH TILLEMONT AND PASCAL THAT GIBBON REACHES BACK THROUGH THE CENTURIES TO CONFRONT ST. AUGUSTINE, AND TO ATTEMPT TO TOPPLE THE CITY OF GOD AND REPLACE IT WITH THE DECLINE AND FALL.' [157-158].<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->[footnote] "1Nero [Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)], the emperor, was refused initiation (into the Eleusinian mysteries) on account of his mother's murder, and, notwithstanding his threats, they [apparently, pagan priests] persisted in their refusal;

and CONSTANTINE [Emperor 306 (312) - 337 (280? - 337)] COULD FIND NO PAGAN PRIEST WHO WOULD CONSENT TO ABSOLVE HIM FROM HIS MURDERS. HE BECAME A CHRISTIAN, AND PROCURED ABSOLUTION.--Philosophy of History; or, A Philosophical and Historical Dissertation, etc. etc., by Voltaire [1694 - 1778] (London, 1829), p. 219." [115].<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Imagine the appeal this expedient had for an emperor consumed by ambition and willing to pursue his goals "through the dark and bloody paths of war and policy." <b>For Constantine baptism in extremis was more than an attraction: it was a necessity. After his victory over Licinius [324: defeated by Constantine, surrendered, executed] "he abandoned himself, without moderation, to the abuse of his fortune."66 Success had removed the need for dissimulation and the emperor's true character stood nakedly exposed. In 326 he [Constantine] murdered his son, Crispus [d. 326], and soon afterwards, his wife, Fausta [289 - 326]: "he could no longer be ignorant that the church was possessed of an infallible remedy,"67</b> Constantine's Christianity was a rough-and-ready, pragmatic faith. "The sublime theory of the gospel had made a much fainter impression on the heart than on the understanding of Constantine himself."68 Whatever political advantages conversion to Christianity offered, the crimes and tyranny of his last years finally decided the issue. Constantine was baptized on his deathbed to "remove the temptation and the danger of a relapse" and in this act he declared to the public and to posterity the true and insidious nature of his conversion to Christianity....

Gibbon does not set a precise date for the conversion, but he rejects any date prior to 324. He favors 324-326, with a definitive public declaration coming only on his deathbed. Around this time the pagan symbolism disappears, or begins to disappear, from imperial coins; this is the period of Constantine's famous circular letter exhorting his subjects to "imitate, without delay, the example of their sovereign, and to embrace the divine truth of Christianity."71 In 325 the emperor [Constantine] presided over the first ecumenical council; he proscribed the pagan gods in his new capital [Constantinople] soon afterwards, and he secured Christian tutors for his sons. These facts, coupled with the political and personal reasons for Constantine's conversion, satisfy Gibbon, and he rests his case. He [Gibbon] has achieved his purpose: he [GIBBON] has REDUCED THE CONVERSION [OF CONSTANTINE] TO POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY aided by seduction and moral corruption; he has blackened the name of the first Christian emperor [Constantine]; and he [Gibbon] has suggested that Constantine's crimes and political reforms, both of which hastened the fall of Rome, OCCURRED AFTER he [CONSTANTINE] WAS A CHRISTIAN....' [209-211].<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Disagree with the assessment that Gibbon blackened the name of Constantine. Christotyrant/murderer Constantine did that to himself. He's left enough rope for everyone to hang him once over.
The last para makes it seems like Gibbon just jumped to the conclusions he wanted to arrive at. No, the conclusions are staring everyone in the face. He saw the clearly connecting lines, and made sure that when he wrote Decline And Fall that he clarified it for everyone else (in case they'd be so Full of Faith they'd try to miss the obvious - as they often do). is really a very good site for different insights into christianism. Lots of information even if the organisation and presentation (bold, underline, capitalisation, though no use of colour) confuses me.

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - Husky - 09-29-2008

^ Gibbon, Constantine again I think
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->To compare...Seneca with Lactantius, "the Christian Cicero"; Maximus with Arnobius; Epictetus with Tertullian; the admirable <b>Marcus [Marcus Aurelius], and his ideal of the "dear city of Zeus,"</b> with the shrill polemic of Augustine's City of God and the hysteria of the Confessions--is to prove a rapid descent in magnanimity, sanity, self-command, sweetness of spirit, and tolerance. What figures as religious intolerance in the Caesars was, as we have seen, always a political, never a religious animosity. Any prosecution of Christians under the Antonines was certainly on the score of breach of law, turbulence, or real or supposed malpractices, not on that of heresy--a crime created only by the Christians themselves, in their own conflicts.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> Did Aurelius himself say "City of Zeus" (with respect to Rome I presume)? And Augustine turned it into Cidade De Deus? Favela! <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo--> <- Accidental wit (Cidade De Deus - Portuguese for "City of God" - is a S American movie about a favela=slum of the same name. Hence the "Augustine turned Rome, City of Zeus into a slum". Ok that was only funny until I explicated the obvious...)

Edited: corrected spelling error in "Cidade".

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - ramana - 10-03-2008

Amazon Forum thread on real Jesus?

Historicity of Jesus - 2 - dhu - 10-04-2008

Indians should master apocalyptic language: mark of the beast, the satan, 666, end of times, and so on.. This language is a psy-ops treasure trove.