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Historicity Of Jesus
When do the Palestines first show up? Are they same as Phoenicians?

Could they be refugees from the destruction of Troy who settled in Middle East from Anatolia?
<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Jul 30 2007, 04:35 AM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Jul 30 2007, 04:35 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->When do the Palestines first show up? Are they same as Phoenicians?

Could they be refugees from the destruction of Troy who settled in Middle East from Anatolia?

That's a near sacrilege for the typical europeanist mindset which is not even willing to admit Hurrian as native to the European "extension" of Anatolia (but they will gladly jettison the Etruscans over to Anatolia).

Phoenicians are notable for the innovation of a pliable alphabetic script, a near exact corollary to the decimal number system (for which Indian origin is indisputable). Dr. Elst has a famous comment that it is no accident that a marginal ME trading group comes out with the alphabetic script, probably in connection with their Harappan partners. The structure of the Varnamala is intimately tied to an alphabetic innovation; not so in the Mideast derivatives.

There have also been some claims for a 'Panis' connection.
Constantine takes Christianity to a state religion; Destruction of Pagan Rome.

The final triumph of Christianity owes to political considerations, and as a first step the Church would adopt many of the ceremonial observances of ancient Rome. When the Christians had increased in numbers and formed a considerable party, the political equations changed. Now a contender to the throne could find support among them and use their services. The church would thus emerge victorious. It would not be content with merely taking political control of Rome, but also inherit its haughtiness, exclusiveness, pride...and much worse as we shall see below.

The critical turning point was the reign of Emperor Constantine, initially Augustus of the western empire. In a crucial battle to gain control of the Roman empire, Constantine used a Christian symbol as his banner to gain the support of the Christians in the war. Constantine soon saw that it would be to the empire's advantage if it could harness the zeal of the Christians and turn it to support of the imperial government. A la the position of the secularists of today's India, he pretended that he did not fully appreciate that Christians rejected all other gods. In 313 AD, he issued the "Edict of Tolerance" which legalized Christianity throughout the empire.

Constantine became both Christianity's patron and champion. He gave the bishop of Rome imperial property where a new cathedral, the Lateran Basilica, would rise, and provided for the building of churches across his part of the empire.
All the state financing thus provided to the bishop of Rome was with the expectation that the Christian lobby would support him as Emperor. Further in order to control "barbarians" and prevent them from destroying the Empire, Constantine encouraged the clergy to convert them to pacifist Christians. Private sacrifices to the gods were prohibited, and only the church would have this privilege. He would embark on construction of churches on a scale much grander than the Christians had built so far. He granted the Christian clergy special privileges. He allowed people to will their property to the church. He exempted the clergy from taxation, military service and forced labor, as was the case for priests of other religions. (An unforeseen result was rush of wealthy men joining the clergy, to claim tax exemptions. In 320 AD Constantine would correct this by making it illegal for rich pagans to claim tax exemptions by pretending to be Christian priests.) Under pressure from the clergy he appropriated the day Sunday of Sol Invictus, the Sun god of the prevalent Mitra tradition, and declared it the official holiday for Christianity. Sacred days of the Pagans would no longer be holidays. He claimed his success as being an indication of favor from the Christian god, and likewise attributed the failures of those recent emperors who had harrassed the Christians.

But in a far more dangerous move, he virtually allowed the clergy to run the state. Members of the Christian clergy were given the status of imperial administrators, they became essentially government bureaucrats. He vested Christian bishops with the authority and power of judges, against whom there would be no appeal. Secular and ecclesiastical law now became one. The church community, "Ecclesia", now became the body of the state. Under Constantine's successors the Church would push this unity to seamless perfection. As a result, paganism and heresy were synonynous with treason; their ideas were not merely spiritually wrong, but more seriously were acts against the state.

With this reciprocity, the Church grew wealthy and powerful. Corruption followed power to the clergy and it was so rampant that internal and external rebellions broke out. To suppress this opposition the church fathers looked to every avenue to control the congregations and resorted to violence and coercion. This was a key motive in their arguments for a central authority and a strong leader. This would consolidate the institution of Papacy, with the Pope at the helm of affairs, with a hierarchical set up of archbishops and patriarchs. A new definition of sin was developed and a mode of repentance would be laid out. We shall visit later the doctrines of "papal infallability" and "manifest destiny".

Meanwhile, the emperor in the east, Licinius, grew fearful of the respect that Christians in his realm had for Constantine. He expelled Christians from his household and executed a few bishops. In 323 AD, Constantine and his army entered Greece. Then he drove another wave of Goth invaders north and back across the Danube River. Although Constantine was still in what was officially the Western half of the empire he was close enough to the east to concern Licinius. We also mention controversies arising in fundamental interpretations of Christianity in the church played a role in exacerbating the situation (see the Arian controversy in the section on the Greco-Roman Divide below). Licinius attempted negotiations with Constantine, which failed, and war erupted. In late 324 AD, Constantine's forces defeated those under Licinius, and Constantine became Augustus of the whole empire. He had publicly promised to spare the life of Licinius, but nevertheless had him subsequently executed by strangulation.

In 330 AD, Constantine took up residence in his new capital at Byzantium: New Rome. Three years later he returned to Rome to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of his taking power there. He continued to hold the office of Pontifex Maximus, and he was still the leader of the empire's pagans, but he refused to take part in the city's pagan rituals. Rome's pagan majority was offended, and Constantine returned to New Rome annoyed. Wishing that his pagan subjects would give up their religious rites, Constantine kept the pagans fearful and cowed as he confiscated from their priests much of the wealth the pagan religions had accumulated, including their sacred icons. He ordered the gold and silver statues of the pagan gods and temples to be melted and to be used for the embellishment of the churches.

So great was his contribution to Christianity that the later day church was to turn him into a mythic figure. In fact, he is often referred to as the thirteenth Apostle. (The papacy, in fact, laid claim to its secular rulership and ownership of central Italy upon a document forged in the 8th century called the Donation of Constantine. The forgery, alleged to have been written by the emperor, gave the church vast lands and secular authority over them, lands the popes would rule until the late 19th century and of which the Vatican City State is the surviving tiny, yet, extremely rich, remnant.)

Empowered thus, the church turned upon the Pagans and the Jews, and unleashed an orgy of bloody destruction.
Anti-pagan laws were enacted. Sacrifices in the temples were prohibited and were punished with death. The altar of the Goddess Victory was removed from the Senate in Rome, although, the senators, most of whom were pagan, were assured of their continued religious rights. Sorcery and divination was outlawed; soothsayers, diviners, astrologers, augurers and magicians were denied the right to practice. The law stated: "let the curiosity to know the future be silenced for all, forever". In its place would stand the Christian dogma that only its God could know anything of the future and only its bible could interpret reality. Various ways of torturing pagan victims were now invented.

There would follow a massacre of pagans and destruction of pagan places of worship, burning of ancient libraries across the Empire. Amongst millions of murders, each one equally tragic, we mention the famous account of the mathematician and astronomer Hypatia of Alexandria. On the orders of, the local bishop (Cyril, but according to some accounts by Peter), a Christian mob dragged her from her home and flayed her flesh from her bones with shards of glass and seashells. The Christian leader, Cynegius, demolished a temple-citadel on the Persian border. Scholars believe this was probably the temple of the Semitic Moon-god Sin at the citadel of Carrhae. Another temple that was attacked in this area was that of the Great Goddess of Syria (Dea Syria) at Hierapolis, a city, on the western bank of the Euphrates. In 314 AD The Council of Ancyra denounced the worship of Goddess Artemis. In Dydima, Minor Asia, Constantine sacked the Oracle of the God Apollo and tortured the pagan priests to death. He also evicted all the pagans from Mt. Athos and destroyed all the local Hellenic Temples. In 326 AD, he destroyed the Temple of the God Asclepius in Aigeai of Cilicia and many Temples of the Goddess Aphrodite in Jerusalem, Aphaca, Mambre, Phoenice, Baalbek, etc. In 330 AD, he plundered the treasures and statues of the Pagan temples of Greece to decorate Constantinople (New Rome). In 335 AD he sacked many pagan temples of Asia Minor and Palestine, and ordered the execution by crucifixion of all magicians and soothsayers. The Christians across the empire became more and more violent, taking the law into their own hands, harassing peasants suspected of sacrificing and making offerings to the gods, assaulting and robbing them much like the Nazi gangs that assaulted and robbed Jews in Germany and Austria. The bishops, and their monks, formed gangs that roamed the Egyptian countryside ransacking and looting temples and pulling them down. Throughout Syria and Lebanon the thuggishness of the monks was particularly barbaric.

The position of Jews had also become far more precarious. The Christian victors thought, as the pagans had not, that they had a divine mandate to oppose the Jews, who had now lost many of their rights. They were no longer permitted to live in Jerusalem, or to proselytize. Political measures against the Jews did not immediately follow, but the events did not bode well either for Judaism or for any religion other than Christianity. Eventually even Christians who did not follow the "right kind" of Christianity were to face slaughter, this will be better understood in the section on the Greco-Roman split below.

Summary and consequences:
We have seen in this section Christianity transforming from a mere religion to a political movement that had successfully hijacked a key nation-state in the European setting. Although inheriting a decimated army, a bankrupt exchequer and facing invasions, it would be able to transform into a rigid, self-perpetuating, hierarchical militant nation-state. Its initial strategy was to convert and pacify the attacking barbarians, then manipulate them against each other. Eventually, it would maintain its own army, intelligence, tax structure, and a good hold over international geopolitics. Like a vulture, the Church was able to strengthen itself by feeding off the dead body of the Roman Empire. Rome of the Christian church would have exactly the same reasons that Rome of Caesars had to expand and conquer new lands. There was now an important additional motivation: divine ordination of plunder, loot, murder and rape. The "Doctrine of Manifest Destiny", would sanctify the perpetration of such torture and horror on the non-believers, by claiming that their suffering was anyway God-ordained and well deserved.

The stage was now set for global conquest. By 600 AD Spain, Portugal, France and England would be forcibly converted to Christianity. Ireland fought back longer, but the Irish pagans were subsequently converted by 700 AD. Between 700 and 1000 AD Germany and kingdoms to its East (Aryan Pagans) succumbed. The Pagans of Russia were converted around 1050 AD. Scandinavia the last Pagan land in Europe would fall to Christianity in the 1800s.

But rather early on in this expansion, the Church found itself in a predicament of an altered geopolitics. Hitherto, kings had ruled empires, fought with other kings and conquered a few neighbouring lands. But now, this had been fundamentally altered. The church was no kingdom, although it tried to behave like one, perhaps like an upstart, but a successful one at that. But yet, it perceived its ideological reach as global, which dissolved national boundaries. Its solution to this dilemna was unique. It would create what might be termed a virtual kingdom for itself, today called the Vatican. It would play politics on a much larger scale by maneuvering kingdoms against the other. Each converted kingdom would be controlled by papal representatives stationed along with every converted noble and king.

The rise of islamic jihad would put a check on the activities of the church in the brief interlude of 1050-1500 AD, as would a reorganized Jewish resistance. But the church would not be cowed down. It would push for control of more economic resources and trade routes, opening up the routes to discovery of South Africa, India and the Americas. About 500 million Pagans would be massacred in these lands and property worth trillions of dollars plundered. All this would be legitimized and sancitfied under the doctrines of Papal Infalliability and Manifest Destiny. Much of this wealth would be used in the World Wars, motivated in good part by the church's renewed drive to find the millions of Jews, many living in disguise, among us. These two wars would shatter economies the world over. The church would now turn its attention to cleaning Africa and the remainder of South America, creating wars and terorist movements, propping up dictators etc. Of consequence to us is that India and China and Japan would now be a renewed priority.

The Romans were no religious fundamentalists..... they tolerated those last strains of Egyptian religion, the pagan faiths of the Celts, Scythians and and the Sarmatians and even the Zoroasterians from the acquired territories of Parthia and Asia Minor. The Jewish rebellions were put down mercilessly but there was IMO no religious angle to it.... Vespasian and his son's act of destroying the temple is the same as a Julius Caesar smashing up the Briton's Sacred Groves or a Suetonious massacring the Iceni Druids during Boudica's revolt. Those institutions were a focal point of the revolt/resistance and razing them had tremendous psy-ops values onlee. Nothing personal, all business.

Jews were persecuted by the Romans (and the Persians before them) 'coz they used the religious identity to close the ranks.

The Early Roman Empire spanned perhaps all of today's Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Britain, Asia Minor and North Africa Its backbone was perhaps a collection of 5000 towns with a population of about 50 million. The governance was orderly, stable and pragmatic. Impressive engineering feats were achieved and a vast infrastructure built. Every major town and city had paved streets, efficient water supply, waste disposal systems, administrative centers, temples, commercial areas, and recreational and cultural centers. Roman engineers built a road network of 50,000 miles extending from Britain to Iraq, so durable that in World War II, they were still used for the invasion of France. They had excellent hydraulics with large reservoirs, aqueducts and an extensive underground drainage system. A vibrant commerce sustained by currency, safety, roads and general infrastructure. Trade flourished with the rest of the world, including India, China and Arabia. It boasted an elite intellectual culture, literature and intricate legal systems. It incorporated several aspects of the Greek civilization, with Greece spoken in the eastern half of the empire (the western half speaking Latin). Most of the Roman soldiers worshipped Mitra, the Sun God. The initial decline of this great empire would approximately coincide with the time of the Christ. It was during the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius Caesar. We take a brief interlude to glimpse at some events around this interval.

Now as the head of the Roman empire, Julius Caesar did much to improve the degenerating conditions, and had also to keep in check the many enemies that stemmed from political intrigue in the various regions of the empire. On 15 March 44 BC, as he went to Senate with bodyguard Marcus Antonius, he was stabbed by a group of conspirators, led by Gaius Cassius, at the feet of Pompey's statue. Gaius Cassius had been Pompey's first commander, whom Caesar had pardoned and made a member of senate along with Marcus Brutus, also a Pompeyite.

It would be in order here to mention that Judaism had a good foothold in the Roman Empire. The Romans had a strict policy of not interfering in the religious lives of their subjects. This enabled the Jews to continue following their religion in Judea and in the rest of the Empire. It is estimated that probably about 5-7 million Jews lived in the Roman Empire, with roughly a million in Egypt, another million in Syria, and close to one million in Palestine. At least 10,000 Jews lived in Rome; Jewish colonies also existed in the large trading centers of Asia Minor. About sixty percent of the five-seven million Jews of the Roman empire lived outside of Judea. Judaism had long been viewed favorably by pagan writers who viewed Jews as philosophers, like the Brahmins of India. Throughout the Roman Empire various practices of Judaism were adopted by significant segments of the populace. Many Gentiles (non-Jews) observed the Sabbath, the fasts, the food restrictions and the Jewish holidays and many attended synagogue. Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar had granted them special privileges. Amongst other things, Julius Caesar granted them exemption from military service, and the freedom to follow their own laws. While Judaism had no formal missionary apparatus, individual Jews actively sought converts. This is the context of Jesus Christ's anger against them: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte..." (Matthew 23:15). Judaism continued to gain converts and remained a viable religious movement within the Roman empire until the end of the fourth century. There were of course tensions between Jews and Gentiles, but these were relatively minor, when compared with what was to come.

Let us now turn our attention to Judea. After their return from Babylon in 538 BC the Jews had created a theocratic community in Palestine. It was based on the Torah, the law as God revealed to Moses. Religious life centered on the Temple at Jerusalem, which they had rebuilt, following its earlier destruction, with the high priest being the most exalted figure. The legal system, called the "Great Sanhedrin", was centered at this temple as a religious assembly of elders and wise men. This existed along with other smaller Sanhedrins. It was the final authority on Jewish law and any scholar who went against its decisions was put to death. During the period when Judea was under Roman rule, the members of the Sanhedrin played a pragmatic role in keeping relations with both the Roman rulers and the local Jews. The Jews were a tightly knit community and even Jewish groups outside Palestine were linked to the Temple for informal worship and instruction in the scriptures. (The synagogue first arose during the Babylonian exile and would act as the nerve center of Judaism, outliving the main Temple. It would influence the forms of worship in the Christian church as well as the muslim mosque. The Jews were perhaps unique in the Roman world in insisting that their God was the only true one.)

Around 333 BC, Palestine came under the rule of Alexander the Great after his conquest of Persia, and there followed a rule by the Ptolemies and then by the Seleucids. Most Jews outside Palestine spoke Greek and a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures became a necessity. Greek influence contributed to factionalism among the Jews in Judea and eventually this led to an internal struggle between the Maccabaens and the pro-Greek Sadducees who were favored by the King of the Seleucid empire. In 168 BC the Seleucid king intervened and ordered the Temple be dedicated to Zeus. The Jews saw this as blasphemy and defilement of their temple and rebelled. Led by Judas Maccabaeus they re-dedicated their Temple to Yahweh and in 142 BC won their independence from the Seleucids. Judas and his next successor were high priests, but later members of the family had themselves enthroned as kings, who became corrupt. Factionalism then increased and civil conflict erupted and it was in the midst of a civil war that the Romans intervened in Palestine. Actually one Jewish state had appealed to Rome for aid. Pompey then intervened and ended the civil war in 63 BC, by making Judea a Roman protectorate. The Romans had installed an Arab chieftain, Antipater, to rule Jerusalem and in 43 BC, his son Herod succeeded him with the approval of the Roman Marc Antony. Herod made good of his close friendship with the Roman Agrippa (also a Jew), and many Jews began to detest him as a foreigner and as an extravagant ruler. Nevertheless, as is the case with many degenerate and corrupt societies, there were always several groups of Jews who supported Herod and the Romans. We mention two such groups in particular: the Pharisees and Sadduccees. The former were orthodox Jews from various social classes, while the latter were aristocratic elite of the Jewish society. There were other groups such as the Scribes (responsible for transmission of tradition and law) and the Essenes (ascetics who opted out of the political world) and the Zealots, who were revolutionaries.

In this environment of despair, various reactions developed in the Jewish society centered around Judea. While some groups such as the Zealots organized guerilla attacks on the Romans, other groups that took the path of introversion and perhaps despair. Many Jews had become increasingly disenchanted. They began to denounce fellow Jews as apostates and collaborators with the Romans. They saw Jerusalem as being polluted. The Jews were divided into a majority "sons of darkness", and a minorty "sons of light". There was an increase in ascetic practices. One such group that practiced ascetism was the Essenes, who spent much time on the banks of the Dead Sea. Two predominant lines of expectation were "messianic" and "apocalyptic". In the former, God was expected to intervene through a human to set right the injustice and in the latter, the injustice was to result in a vast or complete destruction of the world. Christ combined both these views. The coming of a messiah was prophecied in the sacred books of the Jews, with some description of the exact details. Amongst other things, the Messiah was expected to rebuild Israel and restore the Davidic Kingdom. One of the reasons today's Jews do not accept Christ as this Messiah, is his failure to do this.

<b>The Early Church had a hand in stoking hatred against the Jews..... it's something like the Pakis being uncomfortable with their Indian past. </b>The ethnic identity of Jesus, his status as a Jewish Messiah (till the Paulines extended the whole idea of Jesus), the fact (disputed though) that the first church was in Jerusalem and of quite a different character than the Church of Rome all have contributed to the fear of Judaism.

Another fundamental phenomenon of major geopolitical consequence was not merely Christianity's growing out of the confines of Judaism, but of it actually developing serious and fundamental anti-Jewish moorings. The exact causes and reasons for this are the subject of much research today, we shall see that the anti-Jewish theme developing right from Jesus Christ himself.

The Jews refusal to recognize Jesus' claim to being the messiah or prophet resulted in an open conflict between "the Jews" and Jesus. For specific example, we refer our reader to John 8:31-8:59, a dialogue between Jesus and "the Jews". The Jews challenge Jesus claim to prophethood, accuse him of being possessed by a demon, and in turn Jesus defends himself as "son of God", and calls the Jews liars and children of the devil. This would certainly be a recurring theme...we shall see the same with Mohammed, and again with Luther etc....where the Jews refuse to recognize the claim of the prophet to prophethood and the religion of the prophet turns against the Jews. The development of the dogma of the divinity of Christ made a breach between the church and the synagogue. Judaism could not admit of the deification of a man; to recognize any one as the son of God was blasphemy; and as the Jewish Christians had not severed their connections with the Jewish community, they were disciplined. This accounts for the flagellation of the Apostles and the new converts, the execution of Stephen and of the Apostle James. [In this and only in this context, we have put inverted commas around "the Jews", because this is not quite "the Jews", but "the Jews in power of Judea", claiming to represent conventional Jewry.]

Further, the claim by subsequent Christians: "They killed our Lord" is to a good extent true. Although, it was the Roman governor Pontius Pilate who finally sentenced Jesus to crucifixion, it should be kept in mind that he had at least tried (if not his very best), to prevent this. He had passed the sentence under pressure from what was certainly a Jewish crowd, yelling for Jesus' death. These were probably hirelings of the Sanhedrin, paid to do the shouting. It is also true that the grounds for the death sentence were unjustified. The Jews did everything they could to convince Pilate that Jesus was advocating a revolt against Caesar (Luke 23.2). We should also keep in mind the fact that the Sanhedrin had clearly "played politics", for when Jesus was initially produced before this Jewish body, they charged him with blasphemy for calling himself the son of God, warranting a death sentence in those days. However, when they produced him before the Roman authorities, they used a different charge: advocating a revolt against Caesar and instigating the Jews to stop paying taxes to the Rome. Pilate was clearly unconvinced of the validity of even this latter charge. Perhaps a case could be made that Pilate could have taken Jesus to Rome for further trial, but it must be kept in mind, that Jesus was at the time a nobody in the eyes of the Romans. At any rate, not just ordinary Christians, but the Gospels would explicitly state this. For examples where the Gospels blame the Jews for the death of their messiah, we refer the reader to Matthew 27:25, Paul 1, John 8:44, Mark 2:6, 15:10,16; 3:6, Luke 23:4, 14, 20, 22, 25 and Thessalonians 2:15.

We next examine the case of anti-Judaism with apostle Paul. The easiest starting point for our reader would be to recognize that Paul was fundamentally a double-speak. In his own words he was all things to all men, to Jews a Jew, to Gentiles a Gentile. Paul, who spent most of his time with the Gentiles, told the Gentiles that Judaism was dead. Of course, he could not say the same when he was with Jews. Again, when Paul went to Rome, he explicitly blamed the Jews for murdering the messiah, being careful not to apportion any blame on the Romans. This was of course with an obvious political motive -- the Romans were not getting along too well with the Jews. Paul (and his disciple Luke) made every attempt to belittle the others involved in the early rise of Christianity. In particular, Paul attempts to paint himself as being initially "equal to" and then "superior to" the elders of Jerusalem. However, this was not quite the case. The fact of the matter is that the Elders of Jerusalem were not the timid stupids of Paul's fiction, but scholarly men who were reverred greatly by the populace in Jerusalem, as well as by the Sanhedrin and by the Sadduccees. On an initiative from James, who as we have mentioned earlier, started the Jerusalem Church (which essentially preached Jewish nationalism), along with Peter and John summoned Paul to Jereusalem for cross-questioning. Here, he pretended to be a devout Jew and claimed he had taught his converts nothing contrary to Jewish law. Of course, it is not easy to tell a lie forever, and a break with the mainstream Judaism was inevitable. He was accused of apostasy from Judaism and of preaching against the law. This was in fact exactly what he was doing. He had thus made many enemies, including from amongst his former friends who now realized that he was deceiving them. Thus, the fundamental role played by Paul in taking Jesus' message to the Gentiles had inherent in it the seeds of dispute. And when he declared that in order to come to Jesus one need not pass through the Synagogue, nor accept circumcision, the ties which bound Christianity to Judaism were torn. While Judaism would remain an ideology centered around the promised land, Christianity had broken these chains and would become a world movement.

The early Christians also saw themselves as separate from the Jews, and became increasingly unpatriotic. They no longer had the same passion for Judea that the Jews had, although many continued to abhor Rome. For good example, the Christians had refused to join the Zealots and the uprising at Galilee, in attempting to liberate Jerusalem from the Romans. They fled both when the Jewish resistance initially won and again subsequently when Jerusalem and Israel was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, no Christian met his death amidst the destruction.

With the Jews now in the diaspora called the "Roman Exile", the relations between the Jews and Jewish-Christians worsened. Being driven out of Israel, the Jews reconvened the Sanhedrin in Jabne and now attached themselves more strongly to their Law. Deprived of their home, the Jews took the Law as their cherished heritage and those who attacked it would be far worse enemies than the Romans. Thus, it was that the Jews found themselves fighting against the Christian doctrine that was making more and more converts from amongst the Jews. For example, we quote Rabbi Tarphonor: "The Gospels must be burned; paganism is not as dangerous to the Jewish faith as the Jewish Christian sects. I should rather seek refuge in a pagan temple than in an assembly of Jewish Christians". Nor was he the only one who thought so, for several Rabbis had recognized the threat from rising Christianity.

The Jews thus saw the loss of their influence and saw their beliefs and faith, attacked by the neophytes. The Christians felt equally bitter when Jewish elders obstructed their efforts at proselytization and furious hatred was mutual. The road to violence was now short. The Jews did not behave passively in the face of attacks from the Christians. They had not, as yet, acquired the stubborn and touching resignation which was to become characteristic of some of them later. They challenged the argumentation of priests and retaliated violently where they were physically attacked. They fought Christian proselytism with their own. Violent sermons were preached in synagogues, and Jewish preachers thundered against Rome, the Rome of the Caesars which had now become the Rome of Jesus. While Rome of Caesars had ravaged the land of the Jews, they found Rome of Christ threatening to destroy their faith. They did not content themselves with rhetoric and excited their brethren to revolt. The Jews took up arms during the rule of Gallus, Constantius' nephew, but they were severely repressed by Gallus and his general, Ursicinus. A mass butchery followed, Tiberias and Lydda were half destroyed, Sepphoris was razed to the ground and the catacombs of Tiberias were filled with Jews evading capture and death.

After Constantine's Edict of Milan, legalizing Christianity, and the militarization of the church in Rome, anti-Judaism became harsher, more severe and aggressive. The Christians argued with the Jews that it was they, the Christians, that were the only faithful to tradition, for they fulfilled the prophecies and the details of their dogmas were foretold by the scriptures. They no longer tried to win over the Jews to the fold of Christianity; the Jew was regarded less as a potential Christian than as unrepenting vermin. Pains were taken to forget that Jesus and the Apostles were Jewish in origin and to forget that Christianity was born in the shelter of the Judaism. This oblivion perpetuated itself, and today who in all Christendom would acknowledge that he bows to a poor Jew and perhaps a humble Jewess of Galilee?

Matters worsened in 323 AD when Constantine defeated Lucinius of the Eastern Empire and then started blatantly showing favors to the Christian church and gave the church what was to be the equivlaent of imperial power. He banned Jewish proselytism and revived an ancient Roman law which prohibited the Jews from circumcising their slaves; they were stripped of their former privileges and barred from Jerusalem, (except on the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple, and that upon payment of a special tax in silver), and were denied Roman citizenship in the other provinces of the empire. Jewish teachers were threatened with death if they taught about Judaism. Taxation of the Jews increased and they were forced to slave for the Roman officialdom. In 337 AD, Constantius made the marriage of a Jewish man to a Christian punishable by death and by 339 AD converting to Judaism was a criminal offense.The Christian preachers took advantage of this situation to pressure Jews into baptizing.

In the cities, monks and bishops denounced pagans and Jews, inciting against them the Christian populace and leading fanatical mobs in assaults upon temples and synagogues. Under Theodosius I, and under Arcadius, synagogues were burned at Rome and at Callinicus, in Mesopotamia. Under Theodosius II, at Alexandria, St. Cyril stirred up the mob and Christian hermits invaded the city and massacred all the Jews and Pagans they met. They assassinated the famous female mathematician Hypathia, plundered synagogues, set the libraries on fire, defying the efforts of the prefect Orestes whom the Emperor later disavowed. Similar attacks were led by Simon the ascetic at Imnestar, near Antioch and by Zeno at Antioch itself.

The bishops and priests attacked the Jews in vile language at their sermons. Several example can be cited: (Hosius in Spain; Pope Sylvester; Paul, bishop of Constantine; Eusebius of Caesarea, St. Cyril, Gregory of Nyssa, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St Ambrose; the last four were the Great Doctors of the Western or Latin church ), St. Fulgentius, and there is the well known sermons (homilies "Adversus Judaeos" ) by the very popular preacher of Antioch, St. John of Antioch ( known later as Chrysostom= "Golden Mouth" around 400 AD; one of the Four Great Eastern Doctors of the Ancient church):

Over and over again the Christian bishops would refer to the Jews as "shameless, obstinate and deceitful", "Judaic serpents with Judas as the model", "impious ignoramuses, dogs, herd of brutes, beasts and brigands, wolves etc", "thieves, impure, debauchees, rapacious, misers, crafty, oppressors of the poor, plunderers and cheats", "deserving of all kinds of suffering", "seek nothing but to have children, possess riches and be healthy". "Their synagogues are playhouses, abodes of Satan", "the Jewish disease must be guarded against", "if one thought Judaism was true, he could leave the church, if not leave Judaism", "Stay away from the Jews who call the cross an abomination and whose religion is null and useless", "their suffering was due to them: they got what they deserved for killing the Son of God", "they knew God the Father, but chose to kill his son", "Satan dwells among them", " heretics, departing from the life of the Catholic church, deserving of the eternal fire prepared for the devil" etc etc.

Some consequences:
The church would remain anti-Judaic till this very day, and the Jews would suffer greatly at the hands of the church through the millenia. The Doctrine of Manifest Destiny was used to justify punishment for the Jews as being divinely ordained for not having come over to the Christian belief. Once the church gained control of most of Italy, confinement and ghettoization of Jews started and conditions in the ghettoes depended on economic and political need of church. The Jews had to pay a ransom in order to survive in the ghettoes. With the spread of Christianity to other kingdoms and over Europe, the persecution of Jews assumed global proportions. In the century following Gregory’s papacy, the Jews were already being hounded out of several countries of Europe. King Dagobert, in 626 AD, expelled them from France, although they did subsequently have a brief respite during the reign of the Carolingian dynasty. In 694 AD the Spanish monarchy, with open collusion from the church, forced the Jews to choose between conversion and slavery. The same was repeated in Portugal, where the persecution was particularly severe between 600-1000 AD. It was marked by massacres and economic loot of the Jews and their properties.

The Jews were thus forced to migrate eastwards, moving into Southern France and Pirennes Mountains in North Spain (related to today's Basque separatism), then onto Poland, Hungary, Russia, Mongolia and finally China. However, as Christianity spread to each of these countries, the persecution of Jews would accquire a worldwide proportion. They would start adopting Christian disguises to avoid detection and death or expulsion. Secret Jews (Conversos in Spain or Moranos in Portugal) were usually prominant wealthy Jews who officially converted to Christianity but practically remained Jewish. They were able to gain the confidence of the Spanish and Portuguese kings giving rise to a group called "Hoffjudens" or "court Jews". This group would help Jewish resistance over Europe and Asia.

The church was alarmed at the rise and penetration of these Secret Jews and decided to react. But they waited for the next four centuries till the last crusades were finally won in 1491 in Granada. Although during the crusades the intensity of the persecution of Jews decreased, they were still targetted in an indirect manner. The crusades were primarily aimed at liberating Palestine from islamic rule, but the crusading armies often used to pillage and kill Jews on their way to the holy land.

The decicive victory by Spain left Europe with Spain and Portugal (both Catholic) as the major naval powers. Once islam was controlled, the Church turned back to Europe to cleanse the continent from what it perceived to be the eternal menance -- Jews. In the period after the crusades, the Jews of Germany were routinely humiliated and sometimes massacred after accusations of treachery, poisoning of wells etc. Many German Jews fled eastward. Several Polish noblemen of the middle ages showed special favor to Jews who immigrated because of persecution in Germany, coupled with a Polish desire for Jewish expertise in commerce.

The Jews did well in Poland, until recently. Although Catherine the Great was the first to give the Jews political rights, resulting in an influx of a million Jews into Russia, the Orthodox church was not too happy. It urged them to accept Christianity, leading to riots and slaughter later in the century. In Germany, Martin Luther King had initially fantasized that the Jews, whom he was attracted to, would flock to his version of the church. However, as was the case with Jesus, the Jews refused to recognize his claims to being a messiah and he then turned against them. He had earlier, in 1523, written the pro-Jewish book "That Christ Was Born a Jew" . But now he turned against this "damned and rejected race," and wrote "Against the Sabbatarians" (in 1538 AD) followed by "On the Jews and Their Lies".

Unlike the church which broke all links to any "motherland" (it had never accepted one in the first place), the Jews did have a historic home or promised land where they had once lived and fought for. But the hated Romans had devastated their political kingdom, and soon after they were completely driven out by the muslims. What was worse, they were beginning to realize that they were insecure in every country they fled to, as it seemed the church (and subsequently islam) followed them there. (This would happen even in India, where they thought they had found safe haven amongst the Pagan Indians. They were soon disabused of this notion, for the Catholic Portuguese Albuquerque instituted the Goan Inquisition, specifically aimed at hounding the Jews out of Goa.)

The light of archeology must be shined on the Personage of JC

Excerpts below from Hamsa.org

The historicity of Jesus Christ as described in the gospels has been for a long time one of the principal dogmas of all Christian denominations. In India where the history of the search for the Jesus of history remains unknown even to the so-called educated elite, the missionaries continue to hawk this dogma without fear of contradiction.

Here is Edward Gibbon, the foremost Historian of the Roman period, as early as 1770, coming to the conclusion that JC never existed

It is, however, strange that Jewish historians who lived and wrote during the same period or a little later, fail to notice him as well as the religion supposed to have been founded by him. Philo (20 BC-54 AD), who wrote a history of the Jews, knows no Jesus Christ and no Christians. So also another historian of the same period, Justus of Tiberius. The most remarkable case is that of Flavius Josephus who lived from AD 36 or 37 to 99 or 100. He completed two monumental works —
The Jewish War in 77 AD and the Antiquities of the Jews fifteen years later. The histories mention no Jesus Christ. His first work relates to AD 66-74 when the Romans put down a widespread Jewish rebellion in Palestine, and by which time the Christian church at Jerusalem is supposed to have functioned for 35 years. The work has not a word about Jesus or his followers. Christian apologists point to two passages, one long and the other very short, which mention Jesus as a wise man and also as Christ. But scholars have proved quite convincingly that both of them are either clumsy Christian interpolations or have been tempered with by Christian scribes.2 It has to be remembered that none of the manuscripts of Josephus’ Antiquities is older than the eleventh century, so that Christian scribes have had ample opportunities for tempering with the text.
The Greeks and Romans have left to posterity a vast historical and philosophical literature written in or referring to the time-bracket when Jesus is supposed to have lived. But it is unaware of him. Seneca (2 BC-66 AD), Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Martial (40-102 AD), Plutarch (45-125 AD), Juvenal (55-140 AD), Apuleius (d. 170 AD), Pausanius (d. 185 AD), and Dio Casius (155-240 AD) do not mention any Jesus or Christ. Epictetus (50-100 AD) refers to Galileans starting with Judas the Galilean who led the Jewish revolt against Rome in the first decade of the first century, but not to Jesus of Nazareth who is supposed to have come from Galilee shortly afterwards Much has been made by Christian apologists of a few words or stray passages referring to “Chrestus” or his worshippers in Pliny the Younger (60-114 AD), Tacitus (55-120 AD), Suetonius (70-120 AD) and Sulpicius Severus (d. 400 AD). But critical scrutiny has shown that all these references either do not relate to Jesus of Nazareth, or are influenced by Christian tradition, or are clever Christian fabrications.

the word
“Christian” does not appear in the Christian literature itself before 140 AD. On the other hand, anti-Christian polemics which appears for the first time around 160 AD, starts by questioning the existence of a character called Jesus Christ.

In fact, the gospels violate one of the Ten Commandments — thou shalt not bear false witness — and can be easily caught in the act.
1. Year of Birth: “Both Matthew and Luke assign Jesus’ birth to ‘the days when Herod was the king of Judea’ — consequently before 3 B.C.
( Herod died in 3 BC )
Luke adds that ‘in those days there went out a decree of Caesar Augustus that all world should be taxed... when Quirinius was the governor of Syria.’ Quirinius is known to have been legate in Syria between A.D. 6 and 12; Josephus notes a census by him in Judea but ascribes it to A.D. 6-7.

Even if we forget the fact that there was no census when Jesus is supposed to have been born, the story does not make sense. Firstly, neither Nazareth nor Bethlehem was under Roman jurisdiction in 1 AD.
Joan Taylor, a historian from New Zealand, has shown {Christians and the Holy Places, OUP, 1993) that the Nativity Church at Bethlehem was built after demolishing the Pagan temple of an ancient God, Tammuz-Adonis.
Nazareth fares no better as the place of Jesus’ birth. There is no positive proof that this place existed at the time when he is supposed to have been born. It does not occur in any Roman maps, records or documents relating to that time. It is not mentioned in the Talmud.
It is not associated with Jesus in any of the writings of Paul. Josephus who commanded troops in Galilee does not mention it. It appears for the first time in Jewish records of the seventh century.


In fact, Matthew (1.23) quotes Isaiah (7.14) from the Old Testament in order to fortify this announcement — “Behold! A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.”..
Matthew’s citation from Isaiah can be dismissed straight away as a clumsy attempt at cover up. As a Jew conversant with the Hebrew Bible, he must have known that the word “almah” used by Isaiah did not mean “virgin” but “young woman”, and that the correct Hebrew word for “virgin” was “betulah” which Isaiah had used five times but not in this context. He chose to cite from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Bible, because there the word “almah” had been wrongly translated as “parthenos”, the Greek word for “virgin”.

Joan Taylor to whom we have referred earlier in this chapter, finds that the Holy Cross Church at Jerusalem has been built after demolishing a temple dedicated to Venus, a Pagan Goddess of ancient Greece and Rome. The crime was committed at the behest of Constantine
It is significant that Christian writers before 100 AD quote the Old Testament quite often but never the New Testament.
There is also plenty of evidence that the gospels have been subjected to considerable editing in course of time. Passages have been interpolated as well as expunged.
The most scandalous instance of an expunction came to the notice of Professor Morton Smith of the Columbia University while he was staying at Jerusalem in 1958. He discovered in a monastery the correspondence between Bishop Clement of Alexandria who lived at the end of the first century AD and a contemporary character, Theodore. It concerned a passage that followed immediately after Mark 10.46 which makes Jesus arrive at and leave Jericho. Scholars were puzzled for centuries as to what happened at that place, but there was no clue. The correspondence between Clement and Theodore contains the passage which had been censored out of Mark for fear of raising a scandal.
( but do look up Mar Saba and Clement of Alexandria on Wikipedia )
The Catholic Church has single-handedly done more to destroy Christianity than any other Christian sect. That institution is the last one to pass moral judgements on anyone. The Pope and the Vatican have no santicty in them anymore and they never had it for quite a while. Pope Benedict XVI is the one who said St Thomas never really came to India. He is attempting to erase a part of Indian history that is factual and Christianity in India is not the only institution under attack, rather India as a whole is a victim of this cancer that is Evanjehadism.

The only evanjehadists that I have seen, are the ones on TV and the ones I read on the internet. However I have gotten into discussions with Pentecostals (the largest growing sect in Christianity and the one of the worst sects out there) and lets just say, it is not pretty Smile To attack an evanjehadi, you must defeat him at his own game - gift of the gab and a thorough knowledge of the Bible.

Next time an evanjehadist comes up to you, ask him this...If God Loves Everyone, Does God Love Satan? More than likely he will say, after squirming for a while, "Well Satan is not Human!" Then ask him, but you just said God Loves Everyone...so I guess that is not true! Then ask him does God Love Adolf Hitler? If he says no, then he has already lost his credibility and pay him no more attention. If he says yes, then ask him is Adolf Hitler in heaven? Because going by all accounts of his life on earth, it is safe to assume then Adolf Hitler is in hell. By this point, he will already believe that you are possessed of the Devil. He will either leave you or try and convince you some more. If the latter happens, tell him that since you can't commit to either question in a satisfactory manner (that pleases you!) that you don't see the need to listen to him anymore. Also tell him to learn the Bible before he goes out attempting to harvest souls.

The following is probably one of the most important quotes ever in jeebus studies; it was made by Acharya S., who has carried forward the work of Lindtner and Thundy into the political dimension. It would be to our advantage to quickly wrap up jeebus studies so as to progress to the more essential role of jewish transformation. Probably Jewish transformation was coeval with the rise of Christianity in a Hellenistic atmosphere.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->thruthbeknown: Acharya S.

In doing some research, I was once again struck by the fact that John's gospel is the only one that mentions the singularly important event of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Since John's is quite obviously the most Egyptian of the gospels - deliberately written for the <b>Alexandrian audience,</b> apparently - it is equally evident that this incident, mentioned nowhere else, was specifically designed for followers of Osiris, whether Jewish or Gentile. <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'><b>(Contrary to deliberately contrived public misconception, Jews were highly involved in "pagan" religions of every stripe.) </b></span>The religion of Serapis, or a combination of Osiris and Apis, was deliberately created for Jews and Greeks in Egypt. Apparently, these followers of Osiris were quite aware - as they had been in the past - of the story of the death and resurrection of Osiris. By making Jesus raise Osiris, Christianity eclipses the Osirian/Serapian religion.

Very clever indeed. And indisputable as far as I am concerned. There is no other way of explaining it, especially when one factors in the facts that the Osirian religion was very old and had many millions of followers over the millennia, and that there were possibly as many as <b>1 million Jews, Hebrews, Samaritans and assorted other Israelites at Alexandria </b>during the creation of Christianity.

I for one have always had a hard time believing in a preceding thousand year struggle between prophets of the one true god and the pagan elements of the Jews. it has every indication of a fabricated conflict in a region rife with the fabricated histories (e.g. Alexander in India). At the time of The Second temple destruction, Asherah was besides Yahweh's side.
<!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Jul 31 2007, 09:10 AM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Jul 31 2007, 09:10 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->The following is probably one of the most important quotes ever in jeebus studies; it was made by Acharya S., who has carried forward the work of Lindtner and Thundy into the political dimension. 
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->thruthbeknown: Acharya S.
<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'><b>(Contrary to deliberately contrived public misconception, Jews were highly involved in "pagan" religions of every stripe.) </b></span><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
[...]At the time of The Second temple destruction, Asherah was besides Yahweh's side.[right][snapback]71728[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->What 'Acharya S' says is not her original idea, it's apparently been part of widely accepted scholarship for quite some time (christians never mind investigating/picking holes/microscoping others' religions, but won't do it to christianity).
Some of it is discussed here - I may have posted this link some time back already:
It suggests some books too:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The evidence of the similarities between Canaanite and Israelite societies has led to a major change in the general understanding of the relationship between these two societies. Rather than viewing them as two separate cultures, some scholars define Israelite culture as a subset of Canaanite culture.
[Smith, Mark S. The Early History of God; Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (2d edition) (2002), pg. 25]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Acharya S (that's not an Indian, it's the pseudonym of some American person) is not really uniformly reliable. Whereas she may(?) be able to summarise parts of the histories of Greek, Roman and perhaps even Hebrew literature, she goes into the realms of simple waffling when it comes to Indian and even Persian ones.

I don't know how capable she is in Latin, Greek and Hebrew (as she claims) but her claim for knowing Samskritam doesn't hold up.
<b>CORRECTION:</b> She didn't make the mistake in translating Mahatma as great mother instead of great soul, it's someone she quotes. However, she doesn't correct that person, in spite of claiming that she knows Samskritam. See her page on islam ( www. truthbeknown. com/ islam.htm ). Mahatma derives from Maha+atma and is not the same as Mahamata, so don't know why she doesn't correct this most basic error of the person she is quoting unless she doesn't know Samskritam after all.

And her knowledge of eastern religions is very very slight and third (and even fourth and fifth) hand. She cites sources such as Louis Jacolliot - who was so impressed and infatuated, he saw an Indian origin in everything. Even in the cases where there simply was no Indian origin.

AS' quest to derive every deity as a Sun God is too strained and far fetched.
Whereas Rama who does not get mentioned in her work is solar dynasty; I thought Krishna (her example) was lunar dynasty (correct me if I am wrong). Just because many of our heroes and Gods wear solar helmets doesn't mean they are all of solar descent.

And she also has to forcefit every God into her 'December 25 birthday', including Buddha and Krishna, saying that (like indologists are known to say): 'the Buddhists are wrong; and the Hindus are wrong when celebrating Gokulashtami; the real date is Dec 25'. Yeah, of course I believe her. Just like I believe her assenting to "Mahatma meant great mother"! What do Hindus know about their own religion, when one can get third hand info from some new agey writer/fantasist of the 18th/19th century.

And according to her idea, since jesus is the son of the god and simultaneously *is* the father/god she has to prove this for Krishna in the most roundabout way.
"Krishna's dad is called Vasudeva and Krishna is called Vasudeva. Hence," argues Acharya S who is treading ground she does not know or comprehend, "Krishna is the son of himself (just like jesus is the son of gawd/himself)". But there's a flaw in making <i>this</i> argument in the Indian case, as I argued elsewhere: Besides Vasudeva being pronounced differently for Krishna and his dad; his dad - like most other Hindus - was named after a deity. It's wasn't meant to be clever or cryptic or be a piece of some mythic puzzle/motif. My sister, me, other relatives, parents, grandparents, most Hindu friends are all named after Gods. Wooooo.

Then she has to strain the narratives of Buddha's birth and that of Krishna's to get the jesus story. Yes, a lot of Buddhist, Hindu and Zoroastrian patterns can be found back in the jesus fable, but that's to be expected. Many of these same patterns can just as well be traced from jesus back to original Greek incidences too.
That's because of what she does not understand or merely overlooked: in the Indian and Greek and even South American cases, the sign of Godhood is a divine origin. And a Goddess mother/special woman and Divine Father and/or special conception is *always* the case. Zeus and Danae, Zeus and so many another, parentage of many Greek heroes; Hanuman, the Pandavas, Rama and his brothers, Sita, Buddha, everyone who is Godly or part-Godly (like Pandavas) in Dharmic literature has a supernatural or otherwise super birth. But you can find this also in Korea, Africa, the list is endless.
That is a sign of divinity, all old cultures marked it.
There are many parts of Buddha's life that coincide uncoincidentally with the later story of jesus. But there's no need to forcefit the other parts of Buddha's life (or Krishna's or Mithra's or anyone else's) that are not known to match.

That is, her thesis - also not original, since it was already held by others before her, including the guy who wrote the 'Xteen Crucified Saviours' - is that all those Gods she lists as solar Gods share <i>every</i> feature she wants them to exhibit (including that they are Sun Gods, son = father/God, birthdate is 25 December). And she argues that jesus is another Sun God who fits this pattern. But that thesis is quite shaky as not all the real Gods she lists actually fit all of that pattern themselves.
The more likely explanation, and the one which other writers and scholars have advanced, is where jesus is merely a conglomeration of various Gods and Old Religions: 25 Dec, three Magis and other things from Mithra, lots of stuff from Buddha, lots of stuff from various Greek Gods, Kamsa's tyranny from Krishna's childhood turned into the Herod ordeal (and there's evidence that it could never have taken place in jesus' case), resurrection pattern from various Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern Gods, utterings of various philosophers and Buddha.... There's more examples I read, but can't remember.
http://freetruth.50webs.org/B1a.htm has even more incidences of what's been cut-and-pasted into christianity. But doing a Find on either 'Krishna' or 'Kamsa' doesn't come up with anything <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo--> How could anyone miss that.

As a final criticism, for a published writer, all she does is regurgitate other's conclusions and books. She puts their conclusions together and writes around it - anyone can do that, but that wouldn't make me a professional writer; it's what makes one a summarizer. Else we should all get published. Even me! (Scary thought.)
And why is she quoting everyone from the time of Jacolliot (when the world was still a complete mystery to the west); to the indologists times' when India, Egypt and elsewhere were all too 'exotic' to bother accurately documenting facts about them, and thus fantasy and western misinterpretations were rife then; down to ridiculous word games like along the lines of "Brahma and Saraswati = Abraham and Sarah." More proofs are needed to come to such a drastic and grand conclusion than mere word derivations.
But such unscholarly tactics is what new age authors do. They will use every source to make their point, including trite ones. They especially refer to obscure writers for evidence. For instance like someone who once wrote that they saw 'Indians who were dark as Ethiopians' and hence conclude that they must therefore be Ethiopians. Oh please, that's not evidence.

Whatever Acharya S's knowledge of the Greco-Roman and Judaic scene may be (let's hope it's not as unreliable as her knowledge on eastern religions/cultures), her endeavours to bring the east into the exact same orbit are too forced. There are undeniably influences to christianism that can be directly traced back to Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism - but in her work there's also a heck of a lot of far-fetched speculation with only new agey guess-work as support.

My point: there are more reliable sources to cite from for documenting the position of 'paganism among early Jewish people'.
Husky - Very good arguments.

What we are seeing is scenario building by these new age scholars who will LEAD others into conclusion and false trial with these half backed research.

This false LEAD and pointers are to mislead new people who come to realization about the historicity of Jesus and history of Christianity
Husky, I do not see anything extraordinary about Acharya S.' thesis, summarized below. I will defer discussion till later.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Acharya S is the pen name of D. M. Murdock. A proponent of the Jesus myth hypothesis, she has authored two books and operates a website named "Truth be Known". Her contention is that all religion is founded in earlier myth and that <b>the characters depicted in Christianity are the result of the plagiarizing of those myths to unify the Roman State.</b>
Another author, same type thesis, though more literary in scope:

Joseph Atwill - Caesar's Messiah - The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus (download)
</b> - disabled

This is Joseph Atwill's mindblowing book Caesar's Messiah - The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus (2005) which makes a most convincing case that the Christian Gospels, considered by belivers as an act of god, were actually written under the direction of first-century Roman emperors to serve their selfish geopolitical goals. Was Jesus the invention of a Roman emperor? The author of this ground-breaking book believes he was<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Caesar's Messiah is a book written by American author Joseph Atwill and released in 2005 by Ulysses Press that examines religious and historical texts that have been used as a basis for mainstream Christian understanding of the historical Jesus.

Caesar's Messiah primary thesis is that Christianity was the creation of a circle of individuals associated with Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus, and whose purpose was to aid in subduing the Jewish people by providing an alternative to the warlike philosophy that spawned the first Jewish Revolt. Included in this effort were the writings of Jewish historian Josephus, which Atwill believes were written to complement New Testament documents.

According to Atwill the two sets of documents form an elaborate and satirical joke in which Jesus' movement across the province of Iudaea during his missionary years reflect the events in Titus' campaign during the First Jewish-Roman War, using a literary technique commonly used in the Bible known as typology. Atwill points out that unless the reader has detailed knowledge of Titus' campaign, he will miss the dark humour present in the religious texts.

Atwill supports his comparison of the New Testament texts with Josephus' writings by pointing out shared chronological sequences between the events, and the use of shared symbolism.

Caesar's Messiah is Atwill's first book. It was initially self-published as "The Roman Origins of Christianity", which appeared in 2003.

<b>Caesar's Messiah" is being made into a major motion picture by Fofilm, a film company that contians a number of former executives of George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

the last fact about Lucas' involvement is indeed a red flag (?). Even Acharya S. has a rabid Anti-Islamist blog - but, even so, I think her case is the same as Gil-White's - both can only be expected to work within the mental frameworks which they are used to: For Gil-White, this the belief that Ancient judaism was the "anti-totalitarian" movement of the day. For Acharya, it is a belief in a rigid classification system of Sun-Gods, Lunar-Gods, etc- into which all data must be fitted. Both these individuals are liberal westerners, and it is inbuilt in liberalism that post-modernist/subalternist studies should not be sympathetically applied to the still-threatening Hindu: precisely why we have such phenomenon as Marx, Kipling, Witzel, Albrights, and Nussbaums being unable to grasp entities eg hinduism- and also why these two individulas do not satisfy our Dharmic sensibilities.

(incidentally all these can be subsumed under liberal atlanticists - for which we desperately need a separate thread.)

Lastly, the First charge leveled by Missionaries against Dr. Elst is that they are new age. Same is also case with Acharya S.

Newsgroups: soc.culture.filipino
From: a.manans...@attbi.com
Date: 16 Mar 2006 09:12:42 -0800
Local: Thurs, Mar 16 2006 12:12 pm
Subject: Re: Who is the Most Influential Person in History

roger_pea...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
> > Simply stating that writers of his day might not have been interested
> > in him does not make him anymore historical either. They might have
> > been interested or they might not have been interested.

> This shows, however, the worthlessness of the argument from silence,
> doesn't it?

For a person to be considered historical, there must be positive timely

There is no non-controversial positive evidence with regard to Jesus.
The only possible good source is Josephus and his tiny supposed
reference to Jesus is *widely* considered an interpolation.

Josephus Testimonium Flavianum first came under suspicion as
interpolation by  Archbishop Ussher in the 16th century.  Most Western
scholars up until the 20th century believed it was an interpolation.

It's only according to people like Alice Wheatley that most *Western*
scholars consider that there might have been something authentic about
the work, but that doesn't mean there aren't a great number that still
believe it's interpolation.

First you suggested that there were not many historical works from the
period, which is completely untrue.  You backtracked on this error by
stating that the writers from this period were not "historians" and
according to you were not interested in Jesus.

Now you continue to state that no scholars believe that the Josephus
passages were interpolations.  Here is a short list of some who do:

Burton Mack
Earl Doherty
George Albert Wells
Alvar Ellegard
Harold Leidner
Frank Zindler
Robert Price
S. Acharya
Timothy Freke
Peter Gandy
Arthur Drews
Solomon Zeitlin
Alfred Loisy
Edwin Johnson
Michael Hoffman
Rod Green
Joseph Atwill
Georges Ory
Alvin Boyd Kuhn
Jean Magne
Tom Harpur
Hermann Detering
Klaus Schilling
Max Rieser
Bruno Bauer
Edwin Johnson

I won't even go into the scholars from socialist countries.

Here's a good ref. list of works form the 40s till today from

Alvin Boyd Kuhn, 1944, Who is this King of Glory? 1970, Rebirth for
Christianity. Jesus was never a person, but a symbol of the divine soul
in every human being.

Herbert Cutner, 1950, Jesus: God, Man, or Myth? Mythical nature of
Jesus and a summary of the ongoing debate between mythicists and
historicizers. Mythic-only position is continuous tradition, not novel.
Pagan origins of Christ.

Georges Las Vergnas, 1956, Pourquoi j'ai quitté l'Eglise romaine

Georges Ory, 1961, An Analysis of Christian Origins.

Guy Fau, 1967, Le Fable de Jesus Christ.

John Allegro, 1970, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. 1979, The Dead
Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth. Jesus was nothing other than a
magic mushroom and his life an allegorical interpretation of a
drug-induced state. Not jail for Allegro - but professional ruin.

George Albert Wells, 1975, Did Jesus Exist? 1988, The Historical
Evidence for Jesus. 1996, The Jesus Legend. 1998, Jesus Myth. 2004, Can
We Trust the New Testament? Thoughts on the Reliability of Early
Christian Testimony. Christianity a growth from Jewish Wisdom
literature. Later books concede possible influence of a real preacher.
Max Rieser, 1979, The True Founder of Christianity and the Hellenistic
Philosophy. Christianity started by Jews of the Diaspora and then
retroactively set in pre-70 Palestine. Christianity arrived last, not
first, in Palestine - that's why Christian archeological finds appear
in Rome but not in Judea until the 4th century.</b>

Abelard Reuchlin, 1979, The True Authorship of the New Testament.
Conspiracy theory par excellence: Roman aristocrat Arius Calpurnius
Piso (aka "Flavius Josephus") conspired to gain control of the Roman
Empire by forging an entirely new religion.

Hermann Detering, 1992, Paulusbriefe ohne Paulus?: Die Paulusbriefe in
der holländischen Radikalkritik. German minister in the Dutch radical

Gary Courtney, 1992, 2004 Et tu, Judas? Then Fall Jesus! The Passion is
essentially Caesar's fate in Judaic disguise, grafted onto the
dying/resurrcting cult of Attis. Jewish fans of Caesar assimilated the
sacrificed 'saviour of mankind' into the 'Suffering Servant' of Isaiah.

Michael Kalopoulos, 1995, The Great Lie. Greek historian finds
strikingly similar parallels between biblical texts and Greek
mythology. He exposes the cunning, deceitful and authoritarian nature
of religion.

Gerd Lüdemann, 1998, The Great Deception: And What Jesus Really Said
and Did. 2002, Paul: The Founder of Christianity. 2004, The
Resurrection Of Christ: A Historical Inquiry. After 25 years of study
German professor concluded Paul, not Jesus, started Christianity.
Lüdemann was expelled from the theology faculty at the University of
Göttingen for daring to say that the Resurrection was "a pious
self-deception." So much for academic freedom.

Alvar Ellegard, 1999, Jesus One Hundred Years Before Christ.
Christianity seen as emerging from the Essene Church of God with the
Jesus prototype the Teacher of Righteousness.

D. Murdock (aka 'Acharya S') 1999, The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest
Story Ever Sold. 2004, Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ
Unveiled. Adds a astro-theological dimension to christ-myth demolition.
Murdock identifies JC as a composite deity used to unify the Roman
Empire. She also exhibits worrying aberrations for serious scholars.

Earl Doherty, 1999, The Jesus Puzzle. Did Christianity Begin with a
Mythical Christ? Powerful statement of how Christianity started as a
mystical-revelatory Jewish sect - no Jesus required!.

Timothy Freke, Peter Gandy, 1999, The Jesus Mysteries. 2001, Jesus and
the Lost Goddess : The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians.
Examines the close relationship between the Jesus Story and that of
Osiris-Dionysus. Jesus and Mary Magdalene mythic figures based on the
Pagan Godman and Goddess.

Harold Liedner, 2000, The Fabrication of the Christ Myth. Anachronisms
and geographic errors of the gospels denounced. Christianity one of
history's most effective frauds.

Robert Price, 2000, Deconstructing Jesus. 2003 Incredible Shrinking Son
of Man: How Reliable Is the Gospel Tradition? Ex-minister and
accredited scholar shows Jesus to be a fictional amalgam of several 1st
century prophets, mystery cult redeemers and gnostic 'aions'.

Hal Childs, 2000, The Myth of the Historical Jesus and the Evolution of
Consciousness. A psychotherapist take on the godman.

Michael Hoffman, 2000,Judaism's Strange Gods. Historian and theorist of
"ego death" who jettisoned an historical Jesus.

Burton Mack, 2001,The Christian Myth: Origins, Logic, and Legacy.
Social formation of myth making.

Luigi Cascioli, 2001, The Fable of Christ. Indicting the Papacy for
profiteering from a fraud!

Frank R. Zindler, 2003, The Jesus the Jews Never Knew: Sepher Toldoth
Yeshu and the Quest of the Historical Jesus in Jewish Sources. No
evidence in Jewish sources for the phantom messiah.

Tom Harpur, 2005, The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light. Canadian
New Testament scholar and ex-Anglican priest re-states the ideas of
Kuhn, Higgins and Massey. Jesus is a myth and all of the essential
ideas of Christianity originated in Egypt.

Francesco Carotta, 2005, Jesus Was Caesar: On the Julian Origin of
Christianity. Exhaustive inventory of parallels. Alarmingly, asserts
Caesar was Jesus.

Joseph Atwill, 2005, Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent
Jesus. Another take on the Josephus-Gospel similarities. Atwill argues
that the 1st century conquerors of Judaea, Vespasian, Titus and
Domitian, used Hellenized Jews to manufacture the "Christian" texts in
order to establish a peaceful alternative to militant Judaism. Jesus
was Titus Flavius? I don't think so.

Paul Kekai Manansala
Joseph Atwill Video - "Unkil Titus" Flavian
(see min 41:58 for the "Unkil Titus" ref.)

<img src='http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bf/Sack_of_jerusalem.JPG' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
<!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Aug 1 2007, 12:21 PM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Aug 1 2007, 12:21 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->the last fact about Lucas' involvement is indeed a red flag (?).  Even Acharya S. has a rabid Anti-Islamist blog - but, even so, I think her case is the same as Gil-White's - both can only be expected to work within the mental frameworks which they are used to:  For Gil-White, this the belief that Ancient judaism was the "anti-totalitarian" movement of the day.  For Acharya, it is a belief in a rigid classification system of Sun-Gods, Lunar-Gods, etc- into which all data must be fitted.[right][snapback]71774[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Agreed with all of this.

My qualms about Acharya S and others like her are that they are history re-envisioners, where they re-envision according to their own interests and viewpoint. (In this they are essentially like Marx who wanted history written as per his style: the solely-socio-economics view.)
Gil-White to some extent is also a reenvisioner with his leftist reinterpretation of what ancient Judaism was. But at least he does not compound his error by citing ridiculously unreliable sources.

Acharya S though imagines that all the original religions sprung from one source and, like you say, is moreover of the belief that all religions were originally Goddess-worshipping and had female priests and that some grand war or power-struggle pushed women off the stage and brought in some patriarchical religion(s).
She shares this fantasy with many another faux-feminist 'historian'.
The fact is more obvious and more simple, though far less sensational: religions in general have always been both God- and Goddess-centric, until the ultra-monotheist tendency started that culminated in christoislamism's exclusiveness. Ancient peoples of natural religions always recognised that in nature there is the Shiva-Shakti, Purusha-Prakriti, Yin-Yang, or other the male and female energy/God and Goddess that you can find back everywhere. Natural religions always held the creative power of the divine in awe and therefore saw it manifested as both male and female. The African Yoruban pantheon has male and female Gods, so too the Greeks and others. The Grand Spirit may be genderless but there are male, female and animal spirit guides (making it more even inclusive) in North American native American tradition.

Use of 'new age':
My bad. What I termed 'new age' was not with respect to the dictionary meaning of new age religion. (I have no problem with another person's religion as long as it does not harm me; and as far as I can tell, new age religions don't seem detrimental. Some of them do seem too made-up though.)
When I wrote 'new age' - and I realise it was wrong of me to appropriate the term in a totally different context - I meant in the sense of the kind of writing that passes for researched work/scholarship but that is actually very poorly researched besides being highly driven. It's the kind of work where every published source - be it from Tom, Dick or Harry - if it supports the writers' view, is included. There's no eye for discriminating nonsense from experienced and reliable writers.
The kind of written works I was referring to as 'new agey writings' are either over-imaginative, have some far-flung conspiracy theory, or are single-minded in pushing a pre-determined viewpoint (say ultra faux-feminist, or pushing some 'all religions sprung from the same source/we came from atlantis/aliens/Sumer/....') whereby they try to read all data as pointing to their theory.
And when the data does not match with their theory, they ignore it or toss aside traditional understanding to come up with a new twist. They also cite other equally ludicrous sources to backup their claims.

This kind of lazy-writing has had a long existence in the west: including among the earlier Oryanist fantasists. Like for instance a late 19th/early 20th century guy (forgot his name) who wrote something OTT on Oryans in Tibet. These kinds of works, though not part of mainstream scholarship on the Oryans, are nevertheless still cited by some laymen as research works proving Oryans existed.

Acharya S' is correct in doubting that jesus ever existed. From what I've read, it is clear that the jesus character of the bible never did exist - in so far alone do I agree with her (some of the bits she quotes from other writers are also reasonable, but I've not read everything she's written). It is known that he could not have come from Nazareth; that many of the things he said were taken directly from earlier philosophers' mouths, and the like; the resurrection was unknown to the first christians, and was added on later. All of these punch irreparable holes in the mainstream christian view. (The christians are not arguing for the saviour of the Gnostics remember, as they Gnostics never had a corporeal saviour; whereas the non-gnostic christians insisted on one.)

But AS' reasoning for the jesus-never-was stand is oftentimes dubious. Her argument includes: as no one believes in Mithra, Osiris and other Gods today, 'it is obvious that all these earlier Gods never existed, so jesus never existed because he fits the pattern.' However jesus' unoriginality says nothing about the originality of the Gods that preceeded jesus' invention. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that she goes a step further. It is entirely in compliance with her 'logic': because she's now desperately *forced* Buddha into her pattern of 25 Dec birthday, and the like, she concludes that 'by extension Buddha never existed'. But evidence of jesus' non-existence is not evidence of Buddha's non-existence. However, she imagines it is.
The west never had accorded more than slight credulity (if that) to eastern religions anyway. Eastern religions were always denied off-hand, so not expecting anything different here; just pointing out how her arguments are invalid.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Lastly, the First charge leveled by Missionaries against Dr. Elst is that they are new age.  Same is also case with Acharya S.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->My charge against AS is not at all related. As I said, I had made very inappropriate use of the term 'new agey'. Odd that I still can't think of a better phrase.

As regards missionary allegations against Elst - are they kidding? He is far from new age in any sense. In the only instance I can recall where he spoke of his own beliefs/views, he showed a very general spirituality, the kind such as many matured non-christian people in the west develop naturally.
Elst writes well - well-reasoned and logical. From those of his articles I've read, no trace of the absurd or stretched to be found that I can think of.
But missionary accusations always follow a pattern, so I shouldn't be surprised. Elst is however in a league entirely different from Acharya S. Christos merely find Acharya S too vocal and too influential (unlikely though some of her ideas may be, they nevertheless seem to appeal to many readers of her works), but I am sure Elst scares them <i>very much</i> for them to want to desperately tar him with 'new age'.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Both these individuals are liberal westerners, and it is inbuilt in liberalism that post-modernist/subalternist studies should not be sympathetically applied to the still-threatening Hindu: precisely why we have such phenomenon as Marx, Kipling, Witzel, Albrights, and Nussbaums being unable to grasp entities eg hinduism- and also why these two individulas do not satisfy our Dharmic sensibilities.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Well, Nutbaum, WitSSel et al are all just getting paid to lay the ground work for future subversion-cum-destruction, so I don't expect anything from them. However they are *not* merely following their own individualist liberal senses, because they are <i>specifically employed</i> by the higher-ups to do what they do. That is very apparent from how facts (for example on the actual death toll in the Gujarat riots, on evidence against any AIT/AMT) never stop them in their persistence to continue in their lies.
They have been educated to know that in scholarship you don't desperately cling onto a theory when the hypothesis has been disproven.
In Nutbaum's case the matter concerns journalism (and although US journalists aren't all that famous outside for their 'journalistic integrity' and although we can expect less from journalism in general than from academia), she is lying through her teeth and that shows not just purpose, but that the newspaper(s) she writes for (and definitely their higher-ups) have told them to stick to the lie.
Just like the Wendy+kids 'literary' output coming from the US universities. Anyone who thinks these people are misguided or have misunderstood Hinduism is wrong. They are not ignorant, not needing to be enlightened about Hinduism. They know they are misrepresenting it, and that is precisely their intention and the intention of those they are working for. They're not ignorant that the sycophant Indian lackeys they've hired are communists and that the latter's work is particularly shoddy, extremely motivated and unreliable - they know it very well, and are in fact especially chosen for their compliance, eagerness and lack of scruples when it comes to telling the truth (be it writing history or manufacturing the news).
Hinduism isn't the only religion and India isn't the only country the US govt is messing with. Though we feel special, our claim to uniqueness is unfounded.
Romans were playing martial race theory with Jews - the end result: christianity. It was a near seamless transition from Seleucid predecessors - almost like amrikans taking over from brits.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->However jesus' unoriginality says nothing about the originality of the Gods that preceeded jesus' invention. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

It is same as British intervention in India with Aryan invention not having anything to do with preceding culture. We feel same type of discomfort in both situations. Agreed that Acharya S' feminism impacts her thinking. She even has severe criticisms of Buddhism, acc to her wiki entry. Hutchins falls into same category. We know that Da Vinci Code is anathema to traditional christianity, yet it furthers a secularized christian mindset by reproducing the same "configuration of learning" seen in christianity. I don't think Atwill falls into same category. He is going for the kill in highlighting the original interference in Jewish affairs. I don't think we would react very much differently if we were required to display Cheney's statuary in our temples. Even today we are getting "theories" of Vaishnavism as "Monotheism", etc. But the problematic part is not the "monotheism" part but rather the "theory" part. Focusing on "monotheism" as a cause is just a ruse or, if you prefer, a distraction. That is why there is always our hesistancy in applying "Monotheism" to Tutankhamen, Advaita, Zoroastrianism, and every other <b><i>theorized</i> </b>"Monotheistic" predecessor/"prefiguration". --- (A case in point is AS: it is not the Sun God or Lunar God characterizations which is the problem, but rather her insistence on fitting all data points into the theory ie theology).

The configuration of learning wherein 'the cosmos is a conspiracy theory of the creator' itself has its origins as a real Roman state conspiracy - the philosophical "theorizing" of the Romans had its entry and transformation into "Religion" (ie theology) at this time. Jews were retroactively demonized and that was also the original state intent. This is why Acharya S' quote is so important....(Contrary to deliberately contrived public misconception, Jews were highly involved in "pagan" religions of every stripe.).........

Now, there is one last dimension mirroring AIT: in that the brits were searching for their own past; same can also be said for Romans in their manufacture (per Atwill) of Christianity.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Elst is however in a league entirely different from Acharya S. Christos merely find Acharya S too vocal and too influential (unlikely though some of her ideas may be, they nevertheless seem to appeal to many readers of her works), but I am sure Elst scares them very much for them to want to desperately tar him with 'new age'.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Dr. Elst does acknowledge a formative Roman Aspect to christianity, as when he attributes the Resurrection to a practical joke by Pilate. Atwill takes it much further.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Yahoo answers

Is the New Testament propaganda put out by the Romans to delude the insurgent Jews into thinking a Messiah had already appeared as suggested by Joseph Atwil in Caesar's Messiah?


Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

The Jews made up the old testament and the Romans wanted a piece of that so they made up the new testament

The whole thing is a myth that got out of hand but proved usefull for the governments on the day - <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Josephus is well versed in Jewish tradition. He decides his present to the House of Flavius will be the transformation of his “brother,” Titus, into a deity by fleshing out this Christ figure as a human entity (Jesus) over the framework of Titus’ exploits. <b>This will make Titus’ triumph not only a military victory, but a “spiritual” one as well. </b>Whether it works on the Jews or not, it’ll be good for a laugh.  Anonymous comment on summary article<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The tales are interchangeable, observes Atwill: "Both women have an experience with wicked priests; both have husbands with the same name; both husbands appeal to Tiberius; and both women share the quality of dignity." We can also switch Christ from the TF into the tale: They both claim to be gods, they both make revelations regarding their divinity on the third day; and they both have made public resolutions to sacrifice themselves. The tale thus resolves into a tale with obvious parallels to Christian history: <b>Decius (representing Rome) cannot buy a Jewish woman (representing the land of the Jews), so he tricks her, pretending to be a god </b>(just as Jesus is a fictional Roman creation, in Atwill's view). <b>The issue of his identity is resolved on the third day. The Jews are banished, and the Temple is demolished </b>(recall that Josephus knows that the Temple of Isis was not actually demolished). Once the reader switches the names around, something very like history as we understand it emerges. Atwill adds: "Once the reader knows that the stories are designed to have interchangeable elements, it is not difficult to see that by switching their genders Paulina can become Paul, which completely clarifies the identity of the "Jew at Rome."  Decius<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
According to Atwill, the Christian Martyrs are actually Jewish, but due to semantics have been accorded as Christian.

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