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Historicity Of Jesus

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Historicity Of Jesus
Dhu,
I am certain I had read it. However, I'm not sure it was contained on some web site (though I've been searching for it on all kinds of keywords that I thought it contained). It could just as well be from a book, and that could even mean a non-English book, because I read it some years ago.
(Aaah. Who knew I would ever need it! I've collected a lot of trivia in my life, most of which has remained trivia, no indication this would become important). Oh well, I'll keep looking for it on keywords.
Until then, that "Gospel of Matthew: for Messianic Jews; Gospel of Luke: for (the Roman Empire's) pagans; ...)" serves as some support, although that speaks mainly of the canonical ones.


http://www.pbs.org/mythsandheroes/wood.html



A fake of history of Israel was substituted for the real Canaanite/Phoenician/Carthaginian history. The very fact that we are writing tome after tome on this fake anti-tradition with a problematic insistence on history-centrism (RM) and antiquity (Bala.) at its core, instead of upon the Phoenicians, is the most telling clue. Welcome to the post Atwill era.
<!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Nov 22 2007, 08:43 AM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Nov 22 2007, 08:43 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->A fake of history of Israel was substituted for the real Canaanite/Phoenician/Carthaginian history.  The very fact that we are writing tome after tome on this fake anti-tradition with a problematic insistence on history-centrism (RM) and antiquity (Bala.) at its core, instead of upon the Phoenicians, is the most telling clue.  Welcome to the post Atwill era.[right][snapback]75506[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I feel you've said something very important, if only I could understand. Dhu, please explain - be verbose, be <i>very</i> verbose. Show all the inbetween steps, even the most basic 1+1 = 2, if you will.

<b>Meanwhile,</b> my searching the web on "apocryphal" or something (no luck on that yet), led me to <b>this brilliant stuff</b>. I believe someone here - Acharya? - posted this link earlier, but it looked way too confusing for me to read then.
Going by this page (and two others I've now glanced over), this is an amazingly well-researched site on the origins of christianism, the gospels/NT/bible and jesus. It is incredibly confusing in its organisation; but what I have understood thus far of the structure is:
- the author(s) excerpt from various books, excerpts go on until some other book is mentioned in a heading.
- radical emphasis with bold, caps, even underline.
- a horizontal line every so often to indicate a page/page number. (Why?)
- author(s) own insertions in both [] and () kinds of brackets.

It's all dizzying with such cosmetics, but I've no right to complain, <b>when just one page that I found now contains jewels like this one:</b>
(I want to highlight everything! Just read the following and then that page too.)

http://www.christianism.com/html/add36b.html
Reference they've given for the stuff I'm pasting below:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->from: The Fabrication of the Christ Myth, Harold Leidner [born 1916], Survey Books, Tampa, Florida, 2000. [received, and first seen, 4/1/2002]. [Must See!]. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"16
<b>The Development of the Passion Narrative" [219]</b>

'The passion narrative, comprising the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus, is the central drama of the gospels. <b>In addition to the gospel accounts, many other versions of the Passion were composed during the turbulent second century. </b>These narratives are now labeled "apocryphal" and "non-canonical" because they lost out. We would like to see where Justin fits into this welter of rival crucifixion stories.

In hindsight, we can say that THE FOUR GOSPELS EMERGED AS THE WINNERS BECAUSE THEY APPEARED TO BE THE MOST PLAUSIBLE AND HISTORICAL. Especially in the passion narrative the gospel accounts gave a much better version of the events than the "apocryphal" accounts. A particular error of these rejected accounts, which disqualified them, was their emphatic statements that the Jews alone carried out the execution of Jesus. For a crucifixion to take place in a Roman-occupied province, under the iron control of Roman troops, the execution would have to carried out by Roman troops. Indeed, crucifixions were the very symbol of Roman authority. Therefore any account that had the Jews carrying out the crucifixion of Jesus would have to [be] rejected as fictional.

Here we find, almost without exception, that the apocryphal texts name the Jews as the executioners, and the canonical accounts name Pilate and the Romans. WHAT, PERCHANCE, IF THE APOCRYPHAL TEXTS CAME FIRST, AND THE GOSPELS THEN TACKED ON THE ROMAN PRESENCE TO MEET THE OBJECTIONS OF THE CRITICS?' [219].

'....A LARGE NUMBER OF EPISODES IN THE GOSPEL PASSION NARRATIVE APPEAR TO DERIVE FROM PHILO. NO FEWER that [THAN] TWENTY-FOUR CAN BE FOUND. We must ask why Crossan [Who killed Jesus? Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus] stopped short at three and did not go much further into the content of Philo's book ["Concerning Flaccus"], since he rejected Mark's version outright. We can guess that Crossan prudently refrained from venturing further into this dangerous territory, since it would question the very existence of the passion narrative. His colleagues have also stayed clear.

Bultmann quotes approvingly a statement that the gospels are little more than the crucifixion story:

"Since the main emphasis lay upon the conclusion, the Passion and the Easter story, it has quite correctly been said, 'With some exaggeration one might describe the gospels as Passion Narratives with extended introductions.'

(M. Kähler)."25

If the ["crucifixion"] story drops out, then the gospels are dismantled.' [226].

'A comparison between Philo and the gospel will show that Philo's original stands up better:
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Read the rest of that section at the page. I want to paste something that follows a little later on:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->With these 24 points available, why did Crossan stop at 3? And if 24 points of duplication can be found in a single document, covering every major element of the passion narrative, are we not entitled to name this as the source of that narrative? Philo has provided enough material to label the gospel account of the passion as fictional in its entirety. And as Bultmann and Raymond Brown have pointed out, the passion amounts to the gospel itself, hence the whole structure must go.' [234-237].

[See: Addition 34, 1576-1579 (Philo in the New Testament)].

"It is clear that Philo has composed ["Concerning Flaccus"] a unified, well-planned drama that moves in a straight line from the opening scene of high promise to the unmarked grave on the lonely isle. And each episode in the story finds a parallel in the gospel Passion. Crossan, as noted, had limited himself to three episodes in the account to find gospel parallels. We can now state that the entire book was used by the gospel writers to construct their passion narratives." [278]. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->A bit further down:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->22

Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100 C.E.] and the Testimonium

"The passage [Josephus, Antiquities 18:63-64] concerning Jesus Christ which was inserted into the text of Josephus between the time of Origen and that of Eusebius may furnish an example of no vulgar forgery."

Gibbon, Decline and Fall

What Gibbon meant by the above statement is that we are dealing with a FORGERY that was carefully and astutely drawn, and that it made Josephus a witness to the basic elements of the Christian case, all in a brief text.' [297].

'By the sharpest of ironies, it was the opponents who invented the human Jesus. The tactic used by Celsus and his aide was the same as that used by the opponents in the Age of Enlightenment, sixteen centuries later. In both eras they were erecting a human figure and a human biography to counter the portrait of Jesus as a divinity.

Albert Schweitzer [1875 - 1965], in his landmark study, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, indicated plainly that the historical Jesus was never established or confirmed by standard conventional evidence, but instead was but forward as a radical hypothesis by the skeptics and rationalists of the eighteenth century. In the opening chapter of his book he makes this important statement:

"The historical investigation of the life of Jesus did not take its rise from a purely historical interest; it turned to the Jesus of history as an ally in the struggle against the tyranny of dogma."6

That is, if Jesus could be presented as a purely human, historical person, free of supernatural elements, and if it could be argued that a later Church had invented all its dogmas, mysteries and miracles and had foisted these on the human Jesus, then that would strip this Church of all legitimacy and authority. Had the skeptics "turned to" the Jesus of history or had they created him? In both cases, in the early period and in the eighteenth century, the gospels were the only source for the counter-histories.' [314].

<b>'Origen [c. 185 - c. 254] argues solely on the basis of proof-texts [see 1977] from Scripture to prove all events in the career of Jesus. He offers no other evidence.</b>
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->A bit further on:<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>This is the sum total of his argument, and is the Christian situation as of his period, about AD 230. He has no history or tradition.

The victory of Christianity came a century later, when Constantine [Emperor 306 (312) - 337 (c. 280 - 337)] chose this ["Christianity"] as the official religion of the empire.</b> This led to the suppression of rival sects and religions. The Jews survived, but were gradually stripped of all rights under Roman law, and reduced to pariah status. The long epic of Hellenic universalist Judaism came to an end and was replaced by the sealed-off ghetto.

<b>What this means is that Christianity in the early period never succeeded in proving its case on the basis of historical evidence, but only through the crushing force of Roman authority, censorship and suppression.</b> Fifteen centuries would pass from the time of Origen to the reopening of challenges to the gospel story. We may inquire whether the scholar-apologists of the modern period have made a better case.' [318].

'A survey of New Testament scholarship in the modern era will reveal remarkably little in the way of results. A good summary of the first one hundred fifty years of this research is provided by Albert Schweitzer [1875 - 1965] in his classic, The Quest of the Historical Jesus. He begins in the 1760s and brings the quest down to his own date, the early 1900s. He covers the work of some 250 scholars, no two of whom agree, and in the closing chapter writes:

<b>"There is nothing more NEGATIVE than the result of the critical study of the life of Jesus... He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism, and clothed by modern theology in an historical garb"1</b>

In this closing chapter Schweitzer also reveals that this "critical study" was a bogus enterprise. <b>New Testament scholarship</b> pretends to be engaged in objective research, however the <b>field is dominated by members of the Christian establishment, engaged in apologetics and damage control.</b> The scholars discussed by Schweitzer were theologians, almost without exception. They were ordained clergymen, or at least graduate students of theology, and the enormous body of research carried out by them during the nineteenth century is labeled by him as "...the science [sic] of historical theology"2

<b>At that period the scholars in the field had not yet arrogated to themselves the title of historians. Instead they labeled themselves as critical theologians or historical theologians.' [321].

'all the scholars in the field, from the earliest period to Schweitzer's day, from radical to conservative, were engaged in missionary activity rather than historical research. And this continues to the present. Almost every writer in the field today is on the faculty of a theological department or institution. Any scholar-theologian who takes this missionary approach cannot pretend to be engaged in historical research of an objective nature. He will certainly find ways to interpret the data to fit his goal, and will find ways to reject documents that threaten the goal.</b>

<b>Schweitzer also indicated that the quest had a dubious origin. It began by smuggling in the premise that "Jesus of Nazareth" existed, and then used this literary creation to attack the church establishment.</b> In the opening stage, that of the eighteenth century Age of Enlightenment, Jesus was presented by the rationalists, skeptics and philosophes of that era as free from all supernatural and miraculous elements. The writers "turned to the Jesus of history as an ally in the struggle against the tyranny of dogma"--without the small formality of proving that this Jesus had actually lived. The quest proved to be a game of catch-up, to locate the personage they had posited in the first place.' [322].<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Comment: (a classic topic) what part did Christianism ("Christianity") play, in the destruction of the Roman Empire? What part in the destruction of Hellenic Judaism?

'As we bring our inquiry to a close several conclusions may be stated:

1. THE GOSPEL STORY IS FICTIONAL IN ITS ENTIRETY. THERE NEVER WAS A JESUS OF NAZARETH AND THERE NEVER WAS A CRUCIFIXION STORY.

2. In particular the passion narrative must be condemned as a deliberate fraud, meant to attack and defame the Jews.

3. CHRISTIANITY HAS FABRICATED ITS ORIGINS, ITS LEGITIMACY AND ITS HISTORICAL TRUTH BY THE CAPTURE AND OCCUPATION OF THE JUDAIC SCRIPTURES [see Addition 34, 1504-1518], AND THE CLAIM TO BE THE TRUE ISRAEL. THIS IS A CONQUEST AND OCCUPATION WHICH THE JEWS HAVE NEVER RECOGNIZED.

4. An alternative explanation can be provided for Christian origins and early Christianity--one that does not require the "historical Jesus."

5. NEW TESTAMENT SCHOLARSHIP IS A BOGUS ENTERPRISE. It creates scenarios and takes over material from the social sciences [see 1974] to give the impression that Christianity has an authentic historical origin. The POSE of objective research is used to prop up the gospel story but no hard evidence can be found to support that story.' [358].<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Wow. A clear explanation of the nonsense that is christoterrorism.
So many people have written of the nonsense and have died and yet the lies are still kept in force. Infuriating. This christianism thing is one big lie made up of a zillion small ones. (Side-effect is that it brings islam crumbling down too, 'cause that shed was built interlinked with the barn that's christianism. No wonder salamis like to keep jesus afloat while trying to sink christianism....)

About the highlighting: I see I went a bit mad myself (as usual) <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->http://ronmwangaguhunga.blogspot.com/2005/07/gunilla-von-bismarks-costume-ball.html
More fun with inbreeding here. Stanley Kubrick's creepy <b>simulacrum</b>, here.

<img src='http://photos18.flickr.com/23771332_a8916106ed_m.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' /><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Husky, the genre of the gospels was recreated by Kubrick in EWS.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Response

There were a few settings where the message seemed to be embraced fully. In Cape Town I spoke to 150 students at Cornerstone Christian College. The crowd represented the diversity of South Africa. At the point in my message when I stated that Jesus was an Afro-Asiatic Jew, the students erupted in applause and started cheering in several languages. I have never had that happen when making such a pronouncement. Even the white students clapped. In most settings the response was mixed and intense dialogue occurred. Yet even in these settings people noted how they felt liberated and empowered by the information I was sharing. Often the dialogue heated up when discussing what to do about images of Jesus Christ and the people of the Bible. <b>Should we completely discard imagery, create new and diverse images, or seek to develop historic portrayals in regard to race and culture?</b> I chose not to prescribe a response for the church in South Africa. I challenged leaders to address racism and replace it with truth and reconciliation in the church. In my presentations I would ask people to close their eyes and imagine Jesus walking toward them. Then I would ask them to describe what Jesus looked like. Most people saw a white man with northern European features. This troubled persons of color. Some struggled ........ Link<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
X-post
<!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Nov 26 2007, 02:22 PM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Nov 26 2007, 02:22 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->The immediate parallel to the "Sermon on the <i>Mount</i>" is the "Sermon on the <i>Plain</i>" found in Luke (which is of Roman extraction).  Clearly, the intention is to sound a line to Jews to meekly cooperate with the Roman (Western) rule in Judea.

Atwill:
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Onias:

The `Sermon on the Mount' is a spoof of Moses where `Jesus' gives the
exact platitudes the Caesars wished the Jews to follow. Of course it
relates to the Flavians.

Matt 10: 5-6 is just a routine Flavian falsification of history in
which the `Maccabees' promote `Jesus' to the `lost sheep'. In the
context of Matt 10 the `lost sheep' can only be the zealots that
rebelled from Rome. As I said, there is no coherent interpretive
framework for Matt 10 other than the coming war.

The Flavians used the Gospels to obfuscate the history and genealogy
of the real messianic family. The Romans first tried to `graft' onto
the Maccabees in fact, by having their surrogates the Herods breed
with them, but when that failed they produced the Gospels with the
various Simons, Matthews, Eleazars, Judas and Johns to try blur
everything as much as possible.

`Josephus', the self purported Maccabee, was part of the obvious
fraud. Simply carefully compare the names of the individuals he cites
as family members in Life 1, 1-8 with the `replacement apostles' in
Acts 1:23. It's clear enough.

Joe<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
[right][snapback]75593[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Post 186 (South African christians mythologising further about their jesus):
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Should we completely discard imagery, create new and diverse images, or seek to develop historic portrayals in regard to race and culture?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Finally an indirect confirmation from the faithful that jesus never existed.
Non-existent jeebus may well have looked "Northern-European" or "African" or Japanese or martian (when the time comes for that transformation). It's all equally likely, as they admit, and his looks are up for grabs/whatever's popular/whatever appeals to sheep who need to be retained or appeals to people who need to be converted into sheep.
(Even though the gospel inventors were making the fictional jesus character out to be Jewish and therefore ME - and therefore neither N-European nor African looking.)

A few years ago there was a South African movie where the director - of European descent - had an African (non-ME) actor play jesus. It was reviewed well. Why do people - let alone African people - keep lapping up the lies when only yesterday they were terrorised for supposedly being "cursed sons of Ham" meant for "slavery". Does the movie mean to imply that they are now promoted to sons of Shem or merely that jesus was a son of Ham? :confused <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->
(Perhaps the more important question is, why am I even <i>trying</i> to understand the inconsistent ways of christianism. Christianism is inconsistent but its motivations are very predictable: whatever is the in-thing goes.)

<b>ADDED:</b> the same christian Japhetic-Hamitic-Shemitic belief-system bothers its believers to further extremes when an Indian hero in Mahabharata is played by an African actor. Apparently the Oryan-believers believe the Mahabharata to be peopled with the imaginary Japhetic/Oryan kreaturs instead of Indians, and therefore they think that an African actor (recently allowed to play the imaginary jeebus - what a prize) "may not play" an <i>Indian Hindu Pandava</i> even though the other Pandavas were played by European actors (who are just as non-Indian as Africans)!
(Some quote-characters corrected belowSmile
http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/downl...ks/aid.htm
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->An unquestioning faith in the AIT, not in some sophisticated or sanitized modern form but in its unadulterated racist version, is still in evidence in ultra-Rightist fringe groups. Consider the following lament by a Belgian critic of Peter Brooke's theatre version of the Mahabharata: "Incomprehensible and shocking is that some major roles have been played by actors of African origin. It is certainly commendable to include Italians, Englishmen etc. , but Africans? Nothing in the epic permits such a deviation. Let there be no mistake about it: the Mahabharata is not an epic written for some entity called humanity. It is a narrative by and for the Aryas as an Indo-European caste which had imposed its authority in India". (29) The man seems unaware that "Aryan" Mahabharata protagonists like Krishna and Draupadi, as well as some of the Vedic rishis, are explicitly described as dark-skinned while nearly all upper-caste Hindus are at least black-haired, a far cry from the Blond Beast (to borrow Friedrich Nietzsche?s sarcastic term) which was the white racists' idea of the Aryan Superman.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Not to mention that Arjuna - a <i>Pandava</i> - is described as dark too.
(Meanwhile either Nakula or Sahadeva was described IIRC as "cloud-complexioned", but such extremes run in many an Indian family whether N or S.)

I've caught Peter Brooke's Mahabharata on tv. I'm surprised these Oryanists didn't have a heart-attack when they saw an <i>Indian</i> (dark too by golly! how dare those Hindoos!) playing Krishna. Expect more of their lame "nothing in the epic permits such a deviation"...
http://110559.aceboard.net/110559-971-4593...kest-secret.htm

Joe Atwill, following his typology-based readings, gives us the "Ass Headed Jesus", the cooking and eating of the body of Lazarus (they made him a supper) and more..

I have not seen a method that has worked as consistently as Joe's typological reading has, and I have not seen a text with as many clues to its real origins -a cruel, sarcastic, demeaning joke- as the Gospels.

(The Koran and Hadiths are too transparent in their bloodthirstiness to even require any brain to see thru them, the Gospels do need reading in parallel with other texts and then the joke is apparent)

Cedric Prakash, John Dayal, Pat Robertson, and Slobo Raju would be gasping for air if they had any brains and read Caesar's Messiah. But we all know they dont, they will probably say Atwill is an Atwillatwavaadi onlee..
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Finally an indirect confirmation from the faithful that jesus never existed.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

In addition, that statement is a direct confirmation of the origin of iconoclasm as a geopolitical weapon. Iconoclasm is the most potent weapon ever created.
A request when folks use the quote option to reply please give post number for those who want to follow the discussion. Thanks, ramana

Also an aside about Michael Wood's PBS program,there was a Hindi movie about Shangri La- "Udan Katola" Can discuss in teh move thread.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->
[The Roman praetors were first established in 367 B.C.. They evolved into the <b>Praetorian Guard</b> that came to exercise great power, making and unmaking emperors and allowing political and military action outside of the law. What rules that were observed were announced by the issuance of edicts. <b>The Guard was characterized by corruption and political venality and was closed down by Constantine in 312 A. </b>D..]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
And that made Constantine all powerful with no one to oppose him and remind him of Roman interests.
It's also possible it was more of a Knights Templar-type purge of the Personal Flavian cult. Titus was quiet a formative influence on the praetorians, being the first (current or future) emperor to also be Praetorian prefect (the conjunction does not happen again till 3rd century). Praetorians under Pilate are also given a prominent role in the passion narrative, beating the Mock Messiah into a pulp!!
Interview of John Hudson who supports Atwill's thesis:

'Rodeph Emet' Video Interview

Transcript

According to the introduction, John Hudson is a colleague of Edmund Leach who has a few well-known anti-AIT statements.
dhu,

in above post, "Transcript" also take to the video. Pls check the link.

Thanks,
ok found the link. Transcript: http://www.rodephemet.org/hudson.html

in fact, it is better to archive it here.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Transcript of public access show Rodeph Emet - The Roots of Antisemitism - Bracha Bat Yosef Interview with literary analyst John Hudson

BBY... I am here with John Hudson.  Mr. Hudson began working on the literary and structuralist analysis of Biblical texts in 1975  as one of a group of English cultural anthropologists including Edmund Leach and Mary Douglas. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 1978 and  is one of the pioneers of applied literary analysis as a field  of  social science.  Over the last 30 years he has used  literary analysis, semiotics, media studies and cognitive science in projects for some of the world’s  largest companies. He was formerly a visiting researcher at MIT and is now doing research at the University of Birmingham. For the last two years he has also been a colleague of Joseph Atwill’s and is working with him on several new books following on from Caesar’s Messiah. Welcome.



JH.... glad to be here.



BBY... Tell us where does literary analysis  come from and  how does applied literary science enable you to reach the sorts of conclusions  about Christianity that you have done?



JH... The first real literary analyst of the Christian New Testament was Porphyry Malchus who lived about 300CE. He wrote a 15 volume critical commentary on the Gospels suggesting that they were literary creations. For instance he rightly  suggested that Gospel of Mark was modeled upon Homer. One of his pieces of  evidence was that  instead of calling the Gennesaret the Lake of Gaillee Mark calls it the Sea of Galilee and has inserted extra voyages on the water and makes the storm more sea like. Of course the church was very threatened by Porphry’s work and it was all burned —we only have a few fragments left. But enough to see what he was doing. He was showing that the gospels are literary creations, not works of history.



BBY... So is  your work  in the same tradition?



JH... Very much so. What  social scientists do in looking at literature is  study  the structures, look objectively at how the texts were created and edited, the social communities  and political environments that produced them, and how they relate inter-textually to other documents.  Then you consider how they were re-written and how they continue to be used by various power brokers to create and generate meaning. Texts are not neutral things; they are instruments of social power.



Literary analysis never just looks at the surface. Texts are always produced by people with an agenda. In the case of the gospels, well,  the winners  always write history and the Romans were the winners of  the Jewish war, and they wrote both the Gospels and the other New Testament texts to reflect their own agenda, their  strategic needs and ideologies. The reason so many plentiful manuscripts  of the Gospels survive-unlike with other early texts—is that the  Romans wanted them to be widely available. In comparison out of all  the  authentic Jewish documents of the period-- only one example survives--those hidden away and buried in the caves at Qumran where the Romans couldn’t get at them.  Today the  Gospel texts are still being used to manipulate and control people, to stop them from thinking for themselves, to be malleable and obey their leaders. All the things that the Romans designed them for.







BBY... When you refer to the Romans, which Romans do you mean?



JH...  OK. The  Roman-Jewish war of 66-70CE was fought by two generals, Vespasian and his son Titus.  They  used their military success in the Middle East to rally popular support in Rome and stage a military coup and  take over the throne.  Vespasian became the first of the new dynasty of Flavian emperors, and was succeeded  by his eldest son Titus, and then by his youngest son Domitian. The problem  the Flavian emperors had was to legitimate their rule by creating useful myths and propaganda. In particular they had to  offer an alternative to the  stories  of the Jews in order to  try and  trick them into worshipping  a false literary messiah, who would really be Caesar in disguise.



BBY...  Your  literary analysis  shows that the figure of Jesus is entirely a literary creation.  But isn’t Jesus mentioned in the Talmud? And  in the 19th century didn’t  the Jewish scholar Geiger claim  that  Jesus could have  been  an early Rabbi?



JH... The Romans wanted people to believe there was a historical Jesus. That was their whole way of tricking and deceiving the Jews into accepting their  imitation  pro-Roman version of the Torah. Unfortunately  Geiger  fell for it. Like many others he was  just  ignorant and very naive—he took the Gospels  on face value instead of subjecting them to literary analysis. So he basically was fooled by the Roman war propaganda, just the way the Romans intended. And he isn’t alone by a long way.



As for the Talmud, that was written 200 years later, so that alone makes it  irrelevant as evidence. But traditionally Jews have rightly argued, for instance at the  13th and 14th century  Disputations, that  these were references to someone else who lived at another period of  time, so no they are not  evidence of a historical Jesus in the first century.



BBY... So is there any historical evidence for the existence of  Jesus?



JH...There is no independent  historical or archaeological evidence whatsoever for  the existence of the Jesus figure  described in the gospels.  Quite to the contrary.  There is a vast amount of  evidence showing  that Jesus was created  entirely as a literary character and he was deliberately created for malicious anti-Semitic reasons. 70% of this character was created by midrash on traditional stories, 10%  by  re-using material on Cynic philosophers, and  20% by drawing on events in the Roman military campaign of Titus Caesar from the years  66-70CE , as Joseph Atwill shows in his book Caesar’s Messiah. In fact Atwill shows that  what the church has always  proclaimed as the biggest piece of historical evidence for the existence of Jesus—something called the Testimonium Flavinianum—is essentially a confession by the Flavian emperors that they created the whole thing as a fraud to deceive the Jews.



BBY... What were the Flavian Emperors trying to accomplish by inventing Jesus as a literary character ?



JH... The Romans’ priority was to calm down  the Middle East and to make the Jews pay taxes and to make the Jews worship Caesar as Lord. They did this by taking over the name of one of the local Hebrew religious figures namely the ‘messiah’—and using it as a disguise for  a literary account of Caesar that lay underneath. It was exactly the same strategy that the Romans  used throughout the Empire, to disguise Caesar as a local god. That was the way the Caesar cult worked, and it was the Caesar cult that united the Empire.





BBY... So after the Jewish war in 70CE the Romans had burned all the Torahs they could find, and they wanted to destroy Judaism.  They decided to create a  replacement for the Torah, which  would teach  Jews  to live by Roman values. Is that what happened?



JH... Yes pretty much. They were trying to create a comic cartoon version of the Torah.

You mentioned Roman values. The Gospels teach Jews to pay taxes, to honor Caesar, to give up on laws like circumcision, give up on the Mosaic Law, to be obedient and not to fight enemies, to work on the Sabbath and help the Roman occupying army by carrying their backpacks twice as far as the law required. Whereas a traditional Jewish text would talk about freeing slaves and prisoners, the gospel texts  never talk about freeing slaves---because Rome was a slave-based society. And they talk about visiting prisoners and feeding them in order to save the State money—nothing about freeing them.  It is a Gospel of oppression, slavery and death, and its focus constantly reminds us of Rome’s expertise—as cross builders and  as torturers.  Creating a fake Jewish messiah to instruct the Jews to submit to Rome in all these ways was highly comic from a Roman point of view.



BBY... Why were the Romans replacing the Torah with a Gospel? Why did they call it by that name?



JH... The word Gospel in Greek is Evangelion. It literally means ‘good news of military victory’.  Nobody until recently has been able to explain this. But now the reason is obvious. My colleague Joe Atwill in his book Caesar’s Messiah shows that all the key events in the life of Jesus are literary satires of  Roman battles in their campaign in Judea. Battles which the Jews lost.  So the ‘good news of military victory’ refers to the fact that the Romans won these battles and have  created literary satires of them, and are going to humiliate the Jews by educating them to believe that their defeats are ‘good news’. That was the Roman idea of Revenge—Seneca writes about it.  The Romans were  determined that the Gospels would humiliate the Jews and  force them to accept a false version of their own history. It was part of the Roman take-over of Jewish culture.







BBY... And the reason why it was all done covertly?



JH... It was all a trick. A deception. The Romans had tried for  a hundred years or more to try to get the Jews explicitly to worship Caesar. The emperor Caligula for instance had even tried putting his statue in the Temple.  The Jews would rather die first. That was why the Romans knew they couldn’t do it overtly, and instead had to do it covertly by creating something that appeared on the surface to look like a Jewish document.  It was  a way of tricking the Jews into accepting these teachings by making the Gospel  appear to be a  genuine record of a  historic religious leader 40 years before. So what they couldn’t do directly the Romans would do by deception. The Romans were good at writing false histories. There are many other examples of it. They found it amusing. All  effective propaganda works by deception and concealing its true authorship. Just look around today, the world is full of it. The Gospels  are fake news, and fake history, only 2000 years old.



BBY... So how did the Romans create this replacement Torah?



JH... The first  version that the Romans created  is  what we know today as the Gospel of Matthew . This  is the largest book of the Christian New Testament . According to something that Bible scholars call the ‘two document hypothesis’—on which there is amazing work done by Professor Peabody and  the International Institute for Gospel studies-- this was the first of the New Testament  Gospels to be written.  I agree with that view, although there was an even earlier  draft version.



BBY... What is the draft version?



JH... It is known as the Gospel of Peter and it is clearly set in the year  70CE because Jerusalem is burning in the background.  It is also much more clearly a fantastic  satire because there is a mile high talking cross that follows people around. But then the Romans decided to make it more realistic instead.



BBY... So what is  the Gospel of Matthew exactly ? How was it composed?



JH... The Gospel of Matthew is the most anti-Semitic document ever created because it was deliberately written as a comic parody of the Torah. We know it was written as a replacement Torah for two reasons; firstly  because of its content and secondly because of its structure. Both of these things show that  Matthew was written not as  real history but as a literary parody of the Torah.  Which do you want to deal with first?



BBY... Lets start with  Matthew’s structure. You gave a technical  talk at the Society of Biblical Literature a couple of years ago announcing  your new discovery of the structure of  Matthew.  Can you just give us an overview of what you have found?



JH... It  has long been known that the Gospel of Matthew is divided into 5 books just like the books of the Torah.  It starts with an account like that of  Genesis, moves on to an account like that of Exodus and another like Numbers , then the bulk of the Gospel is like the Book of Deuteronomy, and it concludes with  a piece that is like Leviticus. So it is like the Torah except the order of the books is different. My work was to point out some unrecognized features that finally proved how the Romans had written it as a deliberate parody. We can run through  a couple of books  as examples if you like.





BBY... OK. Lets take Devarim or Deuteronomy . In what way was Matthew was based on that?



JH... The entire central part of Gospel of Matthew is taken up by a parody of Deuteronomy, which is known  as Sefer Devarim from its initial  phrase ‘these are the Words’. This  is similar to Matthew’s initial  phrase  in chapter 4 v.17 ‘from that time forth Jesus began to say these Words’. Like the five speeches by Moses in Deuteronomy, it is organized around a series of five great teachings given on a mountain, each of which concludes with a very formal rhetorical ending.



BBY... Then the  last  part of Matthew was based, you say  on Va-yikra the Book of  Leviticus ?



JH... Yes it was also  a literary parody. My great teacher the English anthropologist Mary Douglas showed in her book on Leviticus that  the different chapters move in succession around the walls of the  courtyard of the Tabernacle before approaching the Ark, and there are two episodes of blasphemy—one the sons of Aaron in front of the door, and the other the account of the blasphemer in front of the curtain  in chapter 24.  Well the  last part of Matthew moves around the  Temple in exactly the same way and Jesus  is twice accused of blasphemy  at the equivalent places in front of the entrance ways. This is absolute definite proof that the entire account in the gospel is a literary anti semitic joke. 





BBY... Well all these similarities in structure certainly seem show that the Gospel of Matthew was written as a comic imitation of the Torah. But you are saying there are  similarities in content as well. Can you give an example?



JH... The best example is  Moses, which is very well known.  Dale Allison has a good book on this.  The writers of the gospel took  all the key events in the life of Moses, as described in the Torah, and then created  satirical equivalents of them to invent the  fictional life of Jesus. The sequence of events even appears in exactly the same order. Then they added in  another dozen events from the campaign in Judea by the Emperor Titus as well, to show who the true savior of Israel was.





BBY...So that is the Gospel of Matthew.  You have shown that it is all a fake version of the  Torah.  But what about the other Gospels, Mark and Luke?



JH... They are also entirely literary creations and they aren’t independent documents. On the contrary they are basically rewritings of Matthew according to different literary styles.  Mark is a rewriting of Matthew’s gospel to make it look like a Greek epic of Homer’s.  Luke is a rewriting of Matthew to make it like a Roman epic, like Virgil’s Aeneid. They were targeted on the Jews in the Diaspora, so they used a different literary style to be more acceptable.



BBY...  OK . We have talked so far about the gospels at a top level.  Now  I want to  get into much more detail  on two  particular bits of the  Gospel  story that  most  Jews  wonder about. The first question is  whether the Gospel presents Jesus as  an equivalent to the Akedah, the binding of Isaac.



JH... As you know  the Akedah appears in the Torah in Genesis 22. Originally, in  the equivalent passage in  Matthew 1.1-2.12  which is the passage about the baptism of Jesus  in the river Jordan in the wilderness there is  nothing like the Akedah. The Romans forgot to include it first time round.



But when Mark re-writes the second edition—yes you are  correct--- Mark remodels Matthew’s story of the wilderness to provide  a version of the Akedah. In Matthew’s original account of the baptism  there was just a voice  and the heavens are described as opening. But Mark  doesn’t use the word opening, instead  he uses the word  splitting schizo (Mk 1;10). Then he adds in the words “and it happened” (Mk 1;9) to begin the story and tells the reader specifically that Jesus “saw” this splitting of the heavens.



Mark  has taken his wording straight  from the  story of  the Akedah  given in  Greek in  the Septuagint. This  also begins with those words “and it happened”, Abraham ‘split’ schizo wood for the sacrificial fire, a voice called out “from heaven” (Gen 22;11,15), and Abraham named the place “the Lord will see” (Gen 22;14). So Mark creates several different comic parallels in order to present Jesus as a replacement for  Isaac. What was the  second question?



BBY...  You have just described how the baptism story in Mark’s  Gospel was re-written as a sort of  parody of the Akedah.  Many Jews  will want to know whether the account of the crucifixion of Jesus was  also  created as a  literary parallel  to the Akedah?



JH... Again there is nothing about the Akedah in the first edition of the story in Matthew. But  when Mark did his rewriting of Matthew’s  crucifixion story  yes he added in elements of the Akedah into the crucifixion story as well. But he did so  in a very subtle way that also adds in Roman anti-semitic humour.



In Torah Isaac of course had two sons, Esau the red haired, and Jacob who was Israel the soldier of God.  You remember how Isaac carries the wood to the altar.  In  Matthew’s  crucifixion account there was  a man who carried the wood of the cross—who is called Simon of Cyrene.  So this act of carrying wood makes  Simon a bit like Isaac.



The author of Mark then makes him even  more like Isaac, by giving him a son Rufus the red haired and Alexander which means ‘protector of mankind’. Its in Mark 15;21. This is just Roman humor since these are the names of two Roman generals.  During the Jewish War Rufus was the Roman general who helped crucify the true Jewish messiah and Tiberius Alexander was the other general who crucified the sons of the freedom fighter Judas.



So  the  Roman generals who crucified the Jews  are being given cameo appearances in this epic as Esau and Jacob-Israel. Instead of featuring Israel the soldier of God the gospel features Tiberius Alexander the Roman  general who was known for slaughtering Jews in Alexandria. The Romans thought this hillariously funny. That is why the Gospels are the most anti-Semitic documents ever written.



Then  a generation after the gospels were written a whole secondary literature of commentaries  sprung up  like the Epistle of Barnabas written which  tried to spell out the message and claimed that  in the crucifixion, Jesus offered “the vessel of his spirit as a sacrifice for our sins, in order that the type established in Isaac, who was offered upon the altar, might be fulfilled”.



BBY... So now that it has been discovered what the Gospels really are, what should Jews be doing about it?



JH...It's not for me to say, but now that we know that the Gospels  are a comic parody of Judaism created by the man who destroyed Yerushalyim to make people worship him in a concealed Caesar cult, we cannot just  stand by  and  do nothing.  The religion that the Emperor Titus  created  continues to poison and  devastate our world 2000 years later. We have the  ethical and moral responsibility to learn how to read these ancient texts, to understand what they are, and to use our modern media to make sure that the truth is known, to prevent further damage to our world. So what do we have to do? go, study, ask questions and teach the truth.



BBY.. That is a very powerful statement. Do you think that the recent alliances that the Jews have made with many Christians movements will deteriorate as a result of  this knowledge?



JH...It's not really for me to say, but I hope that Jews and Christians together will study these ancient texts intelligently  and  come to a decision on what to do about them that is not based on ignorantly mis-interpreting ancient  Roman war propaganda.







                                      References



C. Allison The New Moses:A Matthean Typology (1993).



Joseph Atwill Caesar’s Messiah (2005).



Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (1930).



David R Bauer The Structure of Matthew’s Gospel  (1988).



Mary Douglas  Leviticus as Literature (1999).



W.Farmer, D.Dungan, A. McNicol, D Peabody and  P. Shuler ‘ Narrative Outline of the Markan Composition According to the Two Gospel Hypothesis’ in SBL Seminar Papers (1990) pp 212-39



John Hudson ‘The Structure of  Matthew’ conference paper, abstract at

http://www.jcu.edu/bible/eglbs/Archives/20...NTabstracts.htm



Allan J.  McNicol with David L, Dungan and David B. Peabody Beyond the Q Impasse Luke’s Use of Matthew:  A Demonstration by the Research team of the International Institute for Gospel Studies (1996).



David Peabody  One Gospel From Two; Mark’s Use of Matthew and Luke (2002).
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<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->They did this by taking over the name of one of the local Hebrew religious figures namely the ‘messiah’—and using it as a disguise for  a literary account of Caesar that lay underneath. It was exactly the same strategy that the Romans  used throughout the Empire, to disguise Caesar as a local god.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Disguising the emporer as the local God - was certainly not unique or limited to Romans.

Notice the coins of Kushana-s - where emporers are shown wearing the clothes of Varuna. Rahul Sankrityayana mentions somewhere with some discussion that in many Varaha pratima-s of Chandragupta II time, the Prithvi Devi that Varaha lifts is often depicted as one of the empresses. Off hand I don't know the reliability of these instances, but these are possible.
Anataryami concepts were lacking from these regions (Kazanas confirms this in his Vedic-Mesopotamian work); where it is seen, it is most definitely an Eastern/Buddhist import.

Amazingly, Romans were resorting to electing the divinity of their Caesars through the vote of the Senate. Domitian could never outlive the short heroic life of his older brother Titus, and in the end could not get himself Deified (reflected in the fact that St. Paul forever remained in the shadows of the celebrated Christ).

We are dealing with different dynamics in this region than what we are used to in our Dharmic circles.
Reading the whole John Hudson interview it looks like the Flavians were a proto-Macauley for the Jewish people. The narrative they created is blueprint to control occupied people by manufacturing history and social engineering. And it came back to bite them.

I wonder if Thomas B. Macaulay was a Bible or Roman scholar before he came to India? Maybe he built on the work of others before him?

I thought Gibbons book on Fall of Roman Empire was about that time.
Why do Atwill and Hudson call the fabrication and falsification of the Torah with the Gospels a parody? Why dont they just say they are fabrications? Unless you have examples of Roman humor it will be difficult to understand the parody part of it. Especially if you are not European.


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