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Resurrection Myth

Recently I had an exchange with another blogger (Prayson Daniel) here who claims there were no dying and rising gods besides Jesus. Apparently he found it “easy” to attack the discredited book The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors: Or Christianity Before Christ by Kersey Graves and the controversial work of DM Murdock (Achraya S). Instead, if this blogger would have looked at some more recent and credible work AND a few Greek tragedies, in particular the earliest extant European novel, his conclusion would have been vastly different. Considering he is a Christian fundamentalist, his conclusion probably would have been the same after a long session of him sticking his fingers in his ears and crying out “la-la-la.”
One of strangest things he said to me in our short conversation (and the last thing he said since it proved his close mind to me) is that Justin Martyr never said there were other dying and rising god myths. that just blew me away literally and I refuse to talk with someone who decides he is allowed to rewrite history. Justin Martyr wrote in Dialogue With Trypho

Be well assured, then, Trypho, that I am established in the knowledge of and faith in the Scriptures by those counterfeits which he who is called the devil is said to have performed among the Greeks; just as some were wrought by the Magi in Egypt, and others by the false prophets in Elijah’s days. For when they tell that Bacchus, son of Jupiter, was begotten by intercourse with Semele, and that he was the discoverer of the vine; and when they relate, that being torn in pieces, AND HAVING DIED, HE ROSE AGAIN, AND ASCENDED TO HEAVEN; and when they introduce wine into his mysteries, do I not perceive that the devil has imitated the prophecy announced by the patriarch Jacob, and recorded by Moses?

yet this blogger decided I took this quote out of context and it must be understood by the preceding two paragraphs in his First Apology and he proceeded to show that I was wrong and he was referring to the virgin birth and then he said “Justin Martyr never said anything about dying and rising gods.” To continue with what was said by some early church fathers, Justin Martyr also said

there exists not a people, civilized or semi-civilized, who have not offered up prayers in the name of a crucified Savior to the Father and Creator of all things

Eusebius says

that which is called the Christian religion is neither new nor strange, but-if it be lawful to testify the truth-was known to the ancients.

These three quotes should be more than enough to show that there indeed were similarities between Pagan beliefs and those of the early Christians. Why is it so “important” for modern Christians to show that these similarities didn’t exist? If they didn’t exist, the early church would not have “apologized” for them but they would have denied them instead. To see the crass dishonesty of this one Christian blogger claim that Justin Martyr never mentioned dying and rising gods is just another of the many reasons I find fundagelical Christians to be a scourge on society, they (in this case Prayson Daniel) think it is ok for them to rewrite history as long as it agrees with their outlook on  things.

I mentioned some more recent and credible work that has been done. Unlike the work of Kersey Graves and Achraya S, I do not believe it is a credible conclusion to say that Jesus is purely mythological. I do believe there are a vast number of similarities with Pagan beliefs and throughout quite a large amount of ancient literature  and because all of the myths prevalent in Christianity were so common throughout the society where Christianity originated, how can one conclude that Christianity copied the myths instead of them being a natural part of the culture they were in? The recent and credible work this blogger ignored (and almost all Christians I read or speak to) is that of Richard Carrier, Frank Zindler, Robert M Price, the entire Jesus Seminar, John Loftus and many others to numerous to name.

One genre I mentioned in my opening paragraph was Greek tragedies. Perhaps a more apt name for the genre would be Greek romance. I am speaking about what may well be the oldest extant European novel (possibly written prior to 62 CE) and that is Chariton’s Callirhoe (this entire genre is ignored by Christian apologists because studying it would lead to some extremely disturbing conclusions for all of Christianity). The entire story is not what I would like to focus on but the obvious parallel (or shall I say preforgery of John’s resurrection account) that even includes the grave clothes left behind. To be honest, the reason Callirhoe is entombed is a mundane one. She was in an argument with her husband Chaeraes, he kicks her and she appears to die. She revives in the cool tomb and some pirates break in to rob the grave, thy take Callirhoe and then the resurrection parallels start in earnest. Let me explain with the words of Robert M. Price

When he reached the tomb, he found that the stones had been moved and the entrance was open.
[Cf. John 20:1} He was astonished at the sight and overcome by fearful perplexity at what had
happened. [Cf. Mark 16:5] Rumor—a swift messenger—told the Syracusans this amazing news. They all
quickly crowded round the tomb, but no one dared go inside until Her- mocrates gave an order to do
so. [Cf. John 20:4-6] The man who went in reported the whole situation accurately. [Cf. John 19:35;
21:24] It seemed incredible that even the corpse was not lying there. Then Chaereas himself
determined to go in, in his desire to see Callirhoe again even dead; but though he hunted through the
tomb, he could find nothing. Many people could not believe it and went in after him. They were all
seized by helplessness. One of those standing there said, “The funeral offerings have been carried off
[Cartlidge’s translation reads: “The shroud has been stripped off—cf. John 20:6-7]—it is tomb robbers
who have done that; but what about the corpse—where is it?” Many different suggestions circulated in
the crowd. Chaereas looked towards the heavens, stretched up his arms, and cried: “Which of the gods
is it, then, who has become my rival in love and carried off Callirhoe and is now keeping her with
him . . . ?”
The parallels to the empty-tomb accounts, especially to John 20:1—10, are abundant and close. Chaereas even suggests that Callirhoe has been (like Jesus) translated to heaven.

I bet most of the Christians that are still reading are wondering where is the crucifixion? Well, you are not going to be disappointed. Callirhoes husband Chaereas was condemned to the cross later in the novel. Was chained to the two he was condemned with, carried his own cross (anyone note any similarity?) but received a last minute gubernatorial reprieve.

Instead of going on and on with the parallels, I will just mention a few of the more popular works that anyone can read and see the similarities themselves.

  • The Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus
  • Satyricon by Petronius
  • The Golden Ass by Apuleius
  • Cupid And Psyche by Apuleius
  • Babylonian Story by Iamblichus
  • The Story Of Apollonius, King Of Tyre by ANON
  • Ethiopian Story by Heliodorus
  • Daphnis and Chloe by Longus
  • Leucippe and Clitophon by Achilles Tatius
  • Ephesian Tale by Xenophon

As can be seen there are many ancient manuscripts that predate the resurrection tales of the bible. For anyone to dismiss this evidence of similar tales as being non-existent is just plain bull-headed ignorance and fear.

Some further reading you might enjoy.


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32 Responses

  1. Assume for the sake of argument that there are parallel stories which preceded the the New Testament accounts of Jesus of Nazareth.

    What do they have to do with the truth or falsity of the New Testament accounts? How does the existence of one story discredit another?

    For example, have you ever heard of “Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan”? It is a novella written prior to the construction and voyage of Titanic which contains eerily similar details. Much more so than alleged prior Christian stories.

    • Assume? no assumption. There are numerous similarities and to deny them is calling not only Justin Martyr and Eusebius liars but many others. As to what that means, well if you actually read the article your responding to before shooting your mouth off (fingers in this case) you would see I said (and it wasn’t in secret code)

      ;I do believe there are a vast number of similarities with Pagan beliefs and throughout quite a large amount of ancient literature and because all of the myths prevalent in Christianity were so common throughout the society where Christianity originated, how can one conclude that Christianity copied the myths instead of them being a natural part of the culture they were in?

      To put it in plain English for the apparently mentally incompetent, I said even if there was an historical Jesus, nothing can be known with any reliability whatsoever. That isn’t saying there was no Jesus only copycat myths but I understand the small brain of fundagelical Christians can’t comprehend that thought so if you prefer to believe that I said Jesus is a myth, go right ahead and believe what you want.. I will say there was no Jesus of the bible, I am referring to an actual historical person. As far as the historicity of the New Testament, the bible isn’t an history book and for someone to actually believe it is is downright scary.

      • Are you always so hostile and rude to people who take the time to read your blog?

        You are not really addressing the question I asked you. I said I would grant for the sake of argument (yes, sake of argument because like most internet atheists, you fail to take immediate and historical context into account. BTW, do you have a citation for “all of the myths prevalent in Christianity were so common throughout the society where Christianity originated”) that there were prior “myths” with striking similarities to Christianity.

        How would that fact prove Christianity copied those stories? By your own criteria there may have been a boat called Titanic, but the story about it isfalse and just borrowed from novella which preceded its construction and voyage called, “Futility, or the wreck of the Titan”

      • No, I am just rude and hostile to fruitcakes that respond to what I wrote without reading what I wrote. Again you ask what was answered. Tell me, are you calling Justin Martyr and Eusbius liars? Are you a conspiracy theorist like Prayson Daniel and trying to rewrite history so that it agrees with your worldview? Read the article and my reply. If you ask the same again, your reply is going to be deleted and you are going to be banned. This is a final warning. Now what do you mean internet atheist? Are you trying to say I am not an atheist in real life? If that is what you mean, say so so I can ban your sorry ass immediately.

  2. I have read what you wrote 4 times. I understand it. Your idea is not new.

    What I am asking you is even if there were dozens of false stories which resembled Christianity which came prior to, how does than fact alone falsify Christianity? This is the idea you are offering, and that is what I am challenging. I provided the example of the Titanic and a fictional story which was written prior to the the events of the Titanc which very eerily resemble the true story of the Titanic.

    Now, if you choose not to engage me on this, trust me, I understand. I have also copied the comments here because I am fully confident you will delete them since it’s not likely you want a challenge to you to look as though you refused to answer it. I will likely now post on this in the near future. You probably only like having fellow Atheists on here patting you on the back.

    Sorry sir, your recycled “arguments” don’t fly with people who have actually studied the issue. I don’t rely on copy and paste jobs..

    • Tell you what, i am going to reply but then ban your sorry ass for being an ignorant piece of shit. Take your copied comments and post them anywhere you want but realize first that I never said anything whatsoever about the supposed validity of Christianity, nor did I even attempt to falsify anything in this article. Maybe when you grow up you’ll learn to read for comprehension instead of assuming whatever you want. It is people like you that give Christians a bad name. For that matter, it is people like you that prove birth control should be practiced more often.

  3. Noreligion, thank you for the article. It is so funny the part were I sticking my fingers in my ears and crying out “la-la-la.” :)

    Why did you not bring Justin Martyr dialogue with Trypho on the comment, or did you assume that I will cry out la-la-la :)

    It is of no relevance of who I am(name-calling fallacy) but what argument I state.

    Are their evidence in other religions of dying and raising gods before 100 A.D?

    You pointed us to other parallels, could you produce an original source or the author’s original source(or copy of copies, of copies of original) of those parallelism.

    We would like to skip the middle man and read the original sources(or copy of copies of original) for ourselves.

    • Don’t forget the part where you think or rather hope I was using the Justin Martyr quote from his Apology. Also don’t forget the myriads of resurrection myths I showed that you purposefully ignored. Face it Prayson, you are totally out of your league. BTW, how come your not in church, gave up on Christianity?

    • Attacking a person does is not a way to address objections nor is it building up to an academic constructive dialogue, for truth sake.

      Christians and atheist ought to respect, love and be gentle on each others position.

      Lets have a dialogue on the issue at hand.

      1. How does than fact alone falsify Christianity?(John Barron)
      2. Could you produce original or copies of original of the sources before 100 A.D that support your claim(or the authors you read)?

      Lets get rational, not personal :)

      In Christ Jesus,
      Prayson

      • If all you took from the article is that I attacked another person, you apparently never read it. If you ask for sources, you obviously have not read past the first paragraph. If you can ask that idiocy about falsification I am sure you never read it. Tell you what Prayson, either you show me with your next reply where I claimed to falsify Christianity (as if it’s a scientific theory), retract your bullshit claim or be banned from replying on this blog. Any other reply instead means you are going to get banned. Your choice.

      • Threats is way of not addressing the objections. :)

        All John and I are asking is for you to write down the sources of information that the Richard Carrier, Frank Zindler, Robert M Price, “the entire Jesus Seminar”, John Loftus and many others to numerous to name got their information from before 30 A.D that support your dying and rising gods and show this truthfulness falsifies Christianity?

        Banning would not help or excuse you from answering the questions, plus if it was on your paragraph it would be easy for you do paste a small quote in comment area. :)

  4. If you ask for sources, you obviously have not read past the first paragraph. If you can ask that idiocy about falsification I am sure you never read it. Tell you what Prayson, either you show me with your next reply where I claimed to falsify Christianity (as if it’s a scientific theory), retract your bullshit claim or be banned from replying on this blog. Any other reply instead means you are going to get banned. Your choice.

    It appears you have made your choice.

    • Noreligion, if those you accuse have not truly read your post, then you haven’t fully read many of the comments, all of which are shorter than your post.One of the commenters asked you the following:

      “All John and I are asking is for you to write down the sources of information that the Richard Carrier, Frank Zindler, Robert M Price, “the entire Jesus Seminar”, John Loftus and many others to numerous to name got their information from before 30 A.D that support your dying and rising gods”.

      You have provided nothing additional in your comments, but in your original post you referenced:

      – two works about the topic which are, by your own admittance, discredited,

      – a work which makes a reference to the possible fact that people spoke of a rising god myth (of Bacchus), but does not mention what *date* this myth was spoken of,

      – A description of, and an excerpt from, a work (Chariton’s Callirhoe), which was more likely written in the 1st or 2nd century A.D.

      and

      – the names of authors of books (mostly unnamed) which apparently reference original works that have references to gods which died and rose again.

      At the end you state “As can be seen there are many ancient manuscripts that predate the resurrection tales of the bible.” This is just simply dishonest based off the list your provided. NONE of the following likely “predate the resurrection tales of the bible.”:

      – The Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus – author born around 170 A.D.
      – Satyricon by Petronius -author born 27 A.D.
      – The Golden Ass by Apuleius – mid-2nd century A.D.
      – Cupid And Psyche by Apuleius – mid-2nd century A.D.
      – Babylonian Story by Iamblichus – author born c. 285 A.D.
      – The Story Of Apollonius, King Of Tyre by ANON – 3rd century A.D., *maybe* earlier
      – Daphnis and Chloe by Longus – 2nd century A.D.
      – Ethiopian Story by Heliodorus – 3rd century A.D.
      – Leucippe and Clitophon by Achilles Tatius – unknown date, cannot claim prior to 30 A.D.
      – Ephesian Tale by Xenophon – 2nd-3rd century A.D.

      So please, is there ANY work you can reference DIRECTLY, which has an estimated publication date of prior to 30A.D.?

      • I should clarify: the book of Mark is thought to have been written c. 70 A.D., and the earliest from the list you give, Satyricon, is thought to have been written in the *late* first century.

      • The four gospels are generally thought to span from 70 CE to 95 CE. Those dates are not written in stone though. As I have clearly shown {and you would know if you read my article), Luke’s gospel and the book of Acts was addressed to the Bishop of Antioch in the latter half of the second century. There is also a large amount of secular scholars in academia that now believe Mark’s gospel to have been written AFTER 70 CE.

      • First off it is not a requirement of mine to answer comments to idiots that haven’t read the article. The answer they are asking for is written inside. As far as 30 CE, why is that a requirement? Is there concrete evidence that there was any event pertaining to the mythological Jesus in 30 CE? For that matter is there any concrete evidence that he existed?

      • I did read your article. All of it. I cited, in my original post, sections throughout your post (from beginning to end), so I don’t understand why you think I didn’t read it.

        Anyways, I clarified about the 70 C.E. to change the 30 C.E. reference – sorry if that was unclear. I would also say that the dating of Mark is as credible as the dating of the other manuscripts. And even if Mark was written at the most recent date you mentioned (i.e. 95 C.E., which is, admittedly, “AFTER 70 C.E.”), that would still make Satyricon the *only* work you listed that is really, at best, a contemporary work to Mark. Can you please admit that your statement, “as can be seen there are many ancient manuscripts that predate the ressurection tales of the bible,” is not supported by the works cited in your post? I have read your article. An important premise of the article is your claim, which I’ve now cited twice, about manuscripts that predate the tales in the Bible. Are you simply refusing to reference any such ancient work? I genuinely would like to read one – history fascinates me.

        I accept the similarity between these works and the ressurection story in the gospel, but I, and most scholars, do not accept your claim pertaining to the the dating of the manuscripts in relation to Mark, which contains the ressurection story of Jesus.

      • As I said, you didn’t read the entire article and now you didn’t even read the first sentence of my reply about the dating 70 – 95 CE. Read it, correct your stupid mistake in your next reply or you will be banned from this blog.

      • Noreligion,

        I directly referred to your comment (and your reference to post-70 C.E. publication and 95 C.E. as a later alternative) in my post:

        “And even if Mark was written at the most recent date you mentioned (i.e. 95 C.E., which is, admittedly, “AFTER 70 C.E.”), that would still make Satyricon the *only* work you listed that is really, at best, a contemporary work to Mark.”

        I understand that the dating is not “written in stone”, but it is as much so as the dating of the other works. So, now that I’ve read your entire article, referenced several of its sections, and addressed your comments, will you address your misleading comment, and admit that the works you cited do not provide any evidence to support the comment, “As can be seen there are many ancient manuscripts that predate the resurrection tales of the bible.”?

        FF

      • Here is a copy and paste of what you keep claiming is referring to only the gospel of Mark.

        “The four gospels are generally thought to span from 70 CE to 95 CE.”

        You have just proven you didn’t read my comments (or you have zero reading comprehension skills). Because of that I refuse to believe any claim you make as to reading my article or comments. Since there was no retraction nor an apology, you made your choice that I ban you.

  5. Science is a heartless investigator. Atheists do not prove the non-existence of God, Christ, or anything/anyone they set out to disprove. They simply deny it out of their hardness of heart. When men wants to prove something to the observing community, they often make up non-facts that cannot be proven, but can only be denied. History is full of men’s efforts to turn events to their own advantage. It does not profit us to prove or disprove the existence of Christ. Either way men lose.

    Men crave for freedom and the harder they fight for it the deeper they thurst themselves into the slavery of their own weak theories. They go to far when they persecute those who won’t accept their fabricated truths, truths that common sense rejects. God is not rejected by common sense, He is rejected by men of reason. Christ is not denied by common sense, He is denied by men of reason.

    Men was given freedom not to prove that God exists or that He doesn’t. Men was given freedom to make his choices right. Why do you then harden your hearts and prostitues yourselves to your false gods that you worship with such intensity?

    • Yes, science is a heartless investigative process. What exactly is wrong with that? You say atheists don’t prove god’s non-existence and that is right. Atheists never made the claim god doesn’t exist (god in general – specific gods can be proven to not exist). Atheists simply do not see evidence that gods exist. Now as far as worshiping false gods, retract your claim since as an atheist I don’t have a belief in any god or you will be banned from this blog.

  6. Dear Phil,

    First offering many thank yous for starting a discussion on Jesus research. Positions like yours, e.g. that Luke was written in the late 100s for the Bishop of Antioch, are consistently silenced and ignored by the overwhelming majority of scholars and specialists in this area; this is an outrage, and fortunately because of the Internet, thinkers like you can promote these views, unpersecuted by peer-review.

    Let me say however that I think you are harsh on these poor commentators, especially the one who fantasizes about ants. He has probably only read scholarship, not the groundbreaking behind-the-scenes independent Internet postings by the credentialed luminaries you mention – “Richard Carrier, Frank Zindler, Robert M Price, … John Loftus.”

    What Ant Fantasy man fails to see, most clearly, is that you are not <italics>required<italics> to defend one of your primary claims, that “there are many ancient manuscripts that the resurrection tales of the bible.” He is under the impression that – like in academia – just because he challenges the relevance of the majority of your examples, that you are supposed to respond (I mean directly – that you would respond directly to his clear challenging of your examples, the examples in your post, defending the quoted line, above, which comes from you and was quoted by him). My point being that on the Internet – and your own blog no less – you are not required to do AnYthing! And this is superior to academia, where there are many oppressive constraints on what one can publish.

    I myself am a blogger with many views not accepted in academia, as you can see from my many posts, and am pleased to see that I have equivalents in other fields.

    If I am respectful, I think it’s good to un-ban him for a time to see if he can adjust to the non-elitist standards of freethinking discussion on this Internet. But if he can’t, then maybe you should ban him in the end…. before he bans you!

    NS

  7. What a wonderfully interesting blog and noreligion, I thank you for candour and, IMO relatively well researched and informed view.

    To touch on a few points made on here. I am glad you quoted Justin Martyr, especially this part: [quote]there exists not a people, civilized or semi-civilized, who have not offered up prayers in the name of a crucified Savior to the Father and Creator of all things[/quote]

    Justin Martyr WAS correct and as are you to determine that saviour/messianic/christ/ “cults as well as the concept of virgin births and ressurrections were rife . This is evident by stories of Egyptian Mythology,(where there are heiroglyphs dating back to approximately 2350BCE tell the story of their own messianic “tale”. Just naming this one, here but of of the people replying to you wanted one example that predates their “required” 30CE, there’s one.. For the record too, Greek Historian Diodorus (1st century BCE) wrote about this particular character. This particular example, was reiterated throughout ancient egyptian history in the and there is even evidence to support that it was for the most part the Egyptians who came up with the AND Jesus concept understood today. Iusa for example, means “son to come” is the ancient egyptian version of “jesus” in english. (which was in prior languages: Yeshua-Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A, in Hebrew, Iēsoûs, in greek, and in early latin, pronounced Iesus. The letter J was not “created” until around 1630 (ish) CE, so the Jesus that christians constantly refer to, if we are to on semantics, actually didn’t exist, perse. (that is why you will find in the KJV1611 that when Jesus is mentioned, it is always Iesus.)

    Now, what is interesting is that the DSS to boot have seemed to reveal that the whole messianic/christ/jesus concept into Judaism at least did not actually “come to be” until the 2nd century BCE and mid 2nd century BCE at that. The DSS writings from the Macabbean period (C 160BCE) for example, make no mention of a christ figure, although they DO refer to a “teacher of Righteousness” and in that era, the Thanksgiving Psalms and also the “Manual of Discipline” was written.these references can be found if one chooses to research the DSS and seek to view translations of 1QH6:15; 7:19; 8:6; 8:;10.

    What is even more interesting is that the Hasmoneon period (134BCE – c. 65BCE) tended to bring along the NOW perceived (in its infant form at least) concept of judeo-christianity. It was at the historical time of Hyrcanus and Alexander Jannaeus, when persecuted Pharisees joined the groups following the Teacher of Righteousness, MO. This can be shown by DSS findings and is when the 4QTestimonia was written and the Manual of Discipline expanded. It should be known that these disgruntled Pharisees were influenced, not only by the aforementioned Egyptian influence, but also by religious disciplines of Zoroastrianism and also Pythagorism. A “cult” (perhaps sect may be a nicer term), of Zoroastrianism, were practicing Mithrasism at this time – so at least over 150 years prior to the christian bible’s dying resurrecting messianic figure, circa 30CE). Anyway,iIt was Pharisees, therefore, who brought messianic expectation to the group in the 2nd century BCE At this time too the basic foundations of the T12P (Testimonies of the 12 Patriarchs)…previous thought to be of later Christian composition, before the discover of the DSS..was laid with its priestly and royal messiahs. T12P was a pharisaic work; with no doubt, mass influences from both the Egytian and Persian, WELL PRIOR TO 30AD, faiths. BTW, if anyone DOES bother to check out the DSS writings, they will find that there is actually 2 messianic figures rather than one during this era of writing. Perhaps that has a lot to do with the pharisees working with both the Egyptian model and the Persian model and takng traits from the two.

    Now we get to the Roman/Pompeian Period, which for its time in history commenced c. 65BCE and ended C.37BCE. (Yes 30AD person, we are still PRIOR to your 30CE, apparently important year…lol) This is when the Damascus Document (CD), was written and along with the (4QDb), conjoins the two messiahs into ONE, the Messiah of Aaron and Israel (CD19:10-11; 20:1; 12:23; 14:19). The “Annointed of the Lord” of the Psalms of Solomon, also belongs to this period. If any of the critics of noreligion’s writings actually KNEW their bible, they would understand the significance.

    Now we get to the Heronian Period, which I presume at least in some ways, modern day christians have at least SOME understanding of. These were the times of Anti-Roman and Zealot tendencies The War Rule of the DSS date to this period and the MD is re-copied at this point and the CD copied again repeating the expectation for TWO messiahs (1QM 11:7-8) but the expectation for a single messiah still continues amongst some, which is evident and represented and is represented in several Cave 4 texts.There is: (4QPatBls 1:34) the Scion of David who will rise with the Interpreter of the Law (prophet) and (4QFlor 1:11) the Scion of David will arise at the end of days (4QpISa). The Parables of the Book of Enoch merges the “Son of Man,”(definitive Iusa comparison fro the epytian)”Elect One,” “the Anointed,” and the “Just One” into ONE person. The Elect of God text from the DSS also dates to this time. All of this conflates to a messianic expectation in both temporal and sacerdotal forms and the revival of the “Son of David” at the time “Yeshua of nazareth” strolled out of Galilee…oh… via Bethlehem of course. Oh just letting people know, the origins of the name Bethlehem, actually stem from the name of a Canaanite goddess model, Lahama, so therefore her Beit (house) of Lahama.,known as Beit Lahama at the beginning of Canaanite settlement, it is still now know as Beit Lahm(when spoken phonetically of course).

    Now getting to the alleged “gospels”. I find it interesting that in NONE of Justin Martyr’s writings (c150CE), does he actually mention any of these so called “gospels”, theists are claiming were written, prior to his own lifetime, courtesy of Mark and Matthew at the very least. (although, be makes no mention of any assumed John or Luke either. Considering, Acts professes John was illiterate, it’s a far stretch to assume he personally wrote anything to be frank. It was Tatian in 170CE who admitted to writing gospels as to this apparent hybrid “new roman” model of the pre-existing now by at least a couple of millenia AFTER the original Egyptian character and a close to 150 years after, again, the 30CE “cut off”.. It was not until after Tatian that Irenaeus (who died in 202CE) mentions the dogma of the four gospels. Now, I could go on with info as to Constantine, Eusebius and all things thereafter, but for now, I reckon I have helped give christians some food for thought as it is. I doubt they will actually read it, but hey…*shrug*

    Also, just wanted to include. I am a former Minister (Ordained), with 8 years Theology College under my belt, as well as an additional 3 years study in the languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin as well as furthering that with 2 years of formal Archealogical study, 18 months of which, I spent in Israel. I literally took the “seek and ye shall find” mantra seriously, only to find that the capital “T” truth, was to be found NO WHERE in Judeo-christian writings. I make no claim to be an expert on ANYTHING, however, I do believe that I am far more educated, both in theory and practise on these matters than the standard Pew sitter, who cherry picks biblical verse to “suit” their own belief, but ignore the verses which don’t, based on an occasional bible study group ,”study”, or on what a Pastor/Priest/Minister/Preacher professes something “really means”; and/or those who glean their “info” from wiki or from very biased christian apologist sites, and in turn, just believe what “X” apoligist has to say at face value.

    Now, noreligion, I will finish this by thanking you for blog, which allowed me the opportunity to write all this down in one spot on the web.

    LSW.

    • Talk about a well written comment :)

      Anyway, those who asked me to supply “proof” of the myths from before 30 CE have neither read the entire article nor do they have evidence of Jesus being an actual person that was crucified and resurrected. Also, if the early church can admit their were myths of dying and rising gods who are these people to even think they know better? In light of that and their obvious agenda, I have no obligation whatsoever to cowtow to their wishes.

      • Hello noreligion,

        I don’t know about well written, but the points I wanted to get across are there, so that is what matters.

        To your other point, I concur.You have no obligation to them and in reality, if they wanted to actually SEEK “Truth” (which ironically is a biblical “staple” for them to abide), they would be doing it themselves, honestly and earnestly and wouldn’t need anyone else as a “link” provider for them. If what they believe is the Truth, then it could stand up to scrutiny and always pass any test. What they believe however, does not stand strong against scrutiny, and that is where the issue lies. It is apparent that not too many self-professed christians take seeking truth seriously, but rather, prefer to follow their ego and stick with what they have been told is Truth, because it’s in their own personal, best interest to do so. IMO, the faith of a christian, has far more to do with faith in their own belief they are right; that, they have been “chosen” by jesus to receive the assumed “gift” of salvation, than actually any faith in their god. HOW do they determine that this elusive “gift” has been given in the first place for them to receive, even if their favoured god model were to actually exist? The thing is, they don’t REALLY know because they cannot really know. They of course presume that their god thinks they are “special” enough, but when it comes down to it, such a belief cannot come down to anything more than wishful thinking on their part.

        When one looks at things from this perspective, it’s clear that their “god” is actually, their EGO. It’s far easier for people like that to ignore “smacks” of reality, rather than admit to themselves, or anyone else, that they are wrong.

        ——-

        I apologise that my last point was off topic, but considering your reply to me, I thought it was worth mentioning.

  8. Yo, I stumbled on this blog and I realize that this is several years after this exchange but I just wanted to comment on how this conversation went down: Catholic scholarship acknowledges many resurrection myths and if you went to a proper seminary (where you’d really get ordained), you would be informed with the context of real history. Catholic scholarship always emphasizes the point that what makes Jesus different is that people actually believed him and many many people went to their deaths professing his resurrection. The fact that many people claimed to be messiah even in the same century is better evidence that Jesus was the real deal than if there were no others making this claim. All of the other frauds were ignored and forgotten about because you can guess that simply nobody believed it. Why this Jesus, and not the others? Why did early Christians continue to follow this man? The central claim of Christianity is personal witness, which I understand is a method of evidence transfer that is suspect – but its level of evidence is not absent. If enough people say that some thing happened, can you simply dismiss that it didn’t happen because they didn’t what, video record it? What kind of evidence would you expect in that situation? I would expect that people who saw a resurrected man claiming to be Messiah would tell everyone they could and die doing it – I wouldn’t expect anything else but what is the case before me in a time without technology. It’s a core tenet of Christianity that believing in God must remain a free and unhindered choice- if God gave you overwhelming evidence, you wouldn’t really have a free choice to believe in His existence. If you think this is unfair, or unwise of God, then join the list of people who don’t believe in God simply because He doesn’t make the choices that they would imagine He’d make. I used to be in this line of people, but when I really opened my mind to it, I had to think, “Why would God do it this way, why not come out of the sky and just tell us He’s here and we can all get to living with Him in a nice and orderly manner? Until then, he can’t expect me to do anything about it so if he wants to send me to hell for His ridiculous nonsense, He doesn’t seem like a just being anyway so who cares?” Of course, asking that question and trying to be intellectually honest forces you to consider that maybe your expectations have hindered your appraisal of the situation in the first place– God doesn’t want you to simply do what He wants, He wants you to be a free being and to discover Him and his world – that is part of the point of life, a point that would surely be eliminated if He acted like Atheists wanted Him to act. How great would Sherlock Holmes be if Doyle just narrated the explanations for everything in real time – the build-up at the end would be lifeless and non-existent.

    “Now getting to the alleged “gospels”. I find it interesting that in NONE of Justin Martyr’s writings (c150CE), does he actually mention any of these so called “gospels”, theists are claiming were written, prior to his own lifetime, courtesy of Mark and Matthew at the very least.”

    This among the easy mistakes this “formerly ordained minister” makes, and I’d look up more but if you can’t get Justin Martyr right, then what’s the point? The following is from just a simple wikipedia entry (Justin Martyr) debunking this nonsense.

    “Gospels[edit]Justin uses material from the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) in the composition of the First Apology and the Dialogue, either directly, as in the case of Matthew,[39] or indirectly through the use of a gospel harmony, which may have been composed by Justin or his school.[40] However, his use, or even knowledge, of the Gospel of John is uncertain. One possible reference to John is a saying that is quoted in the context of a description of Christian baptism (1 Apol. 61.4 – “Unless you are reborn, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.”). However, Koester contends that Justin obtained this saying from a baptismal liturgy rather than a written gospel.[41]

    Apocalypse[edit]Justin does not quote from the Book of Revelation directly, yet he clearly refers to it, naming John as its author (Dial. 81.4 “Moreover also among us a man named John, one of the apostles of Christ, prophesied in a revelation made to him that those who have believed on our Christ will spend a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that hereafter the general and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all will likewise take place”). Scholar Brooke Westcott notes that this reference to the author of the single prophetic book of the New Testament illustrates the distinction Justin made between the role of prophecy and fulfillment quotations from the gospels, as Justin does not mention any of the individual canonical gospels by name.[42]

    Letters[edit]Reflecting his opposition to Marcion, Justin’s attitude toward the Pauline epistles generally corresponds to that of the later Church. In Justin’s works, distinct references are found to Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians, and possible ones to Philippians, Titus, and 1 Timothy. It seems likely that he also knew Hebrews and 1 John. The apologetic character of Justin’s habit of thought appears again in the Acts of his martyrdom, the genuineness of which is attested by internal evidence.[43]

    • There is no evidence for the resurrection of Jesus nor is there evidence for his existence. Of course you recommend a cemetery for learning. You do realize that what you are taught there is the Vatican’s view not any objective truth.

      • There is the history of people hearing the story and retelling it. In each individual case, they had to believe the story to pass it on. I could only presume the first people to retell it believed the individuals who said the resurrection happened. While this may be bad evidence in your view, it doesn’t equal “no evidence.” The bible also claims that its church will stand to the rest of time so it’s existence over 2,000 years is evidence as well. Do you know of another single institution that has lasted that long?
        The Vatican doesn’t control the vast majority of seminaries- that’s not how the Catholic Church’s structure works- And pick up any Catholic bible, they present the differing historical scholarships and so on. The view that the Church is so insular is just inaccurate.

      • That is hearsay not evidence.

      • Now we’re just in a semantics argument- maybe you’ve decided that hearsay is not reliable evidence, but it doesn’t make it NOT evidence. And then that is just a starting point for evaluating the entire gospel of Jesus. I would argue it’s incredibly wide coherence backs up the initial hearsay claims.

      • Hearsay isn’t evidence nor is that up for debate on my blog.

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