I sorta think this defines ‘echo chamber,’ don’t you?
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Archive for the ‘Controversial’ Category
I’d usually just retweet this, but you need to read this.
Why? Because it is likely this book (from some inside sources I have on the matter) will be delayed once again. But, read the above post to find out why.
Tom has an update on Joe Atwill’s latest ‘project.’ But, I wanted to cover just a bit.
In an expensive press release – I checked, it is – Atwill writes:
Atwill’s most intriguing discovery came to him while he was studying “Wars of the Jews” by Josephus [the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea] alongside the New Testament. “I started to notice a sequence of parallels between the two texts,” he recounts. “Although it’s been recognised by Christian scholars for centuries that the prophesies of Jesus appear to be fulfilled by what Josephus wrote about in the First Jewish-Roman war, I was seeing dozens more. What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus. This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern. The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar.”
A few months ago, when my book on Mimetic Criticism came out, someone emailed and said they were sending snippets to Atwill because we seem to say the same things.
First, Atwill and others of his ward fail to mention Paul. Second, they must rely on conspiracy theories and not fact. A ‘government project?’
Third, while I do believe Mark is writing against Rome (Vespasian) and even fellow Jews (Simon bar Giora) by using known stories he is doing so based on a historical figure and a pre-existing outline. This is the only way it would work and the only way Mark could appeal to /an/Christians. As far as the ‘tip to stern’ scenario, this is ludicrous. While there are some passages (Mark 6-8) that bear a nice resemblance to passages in Josephus, it is Josephus who is more than likely looking at the story of Elijah-Elisha to draw reflectively some of the details in his works. This is why Mark 6-8 reflects the Elijah-Elisha narratives and Josephus. After all, he pictured himself as the Elijah-spirit to Vespasian’s Governor of the World/Messiah and knows his narratives quite well. It was later recognized by some of Josephus’s peers that he creatively rewrote the history of the Jewish Wars. To be frank, to be challenged in such a way, in such a time, shows easily just how bad Josephus’s history was.
Turning back to Atwill’s propaganda. Scholars generally do not hold to the definition Evangelicals and others assign to ‘prophecy.’ This is why we have terms like postdiction and Vaticinium ex eventu. Further, I would go further and suggest many ancients were not as naive as we would like to make them out to be and understood this form of storytelling. Read Quintillan. This is why Virgil could get away with recreating Augustus’s birth. Poets were enjoyed because the people could know what they were saying.
Going further, Titus wasn’t Emperor during the Jewish Revolt. This is an anachronism, something Bill O’Reilly has never heard of and something Atwill cannot get enough of. Another one is Atwill’s insistence on the biography of Jesus. There is no single biography of the historical Jesus written. There are many bios and other writings in other genres written about the theological figure of Jesus. We have four canonical gospels, but canon generally means more to the Church than to the scholar who should investigate non-canonical sources as well if they are really intent on discovering the historical Jesus. Atwill, by the way (at least in his 2005 version of Caesar’s Messiah) says the Jesus in John’s Gospel is different than the Jesuses in the Synoptics. That’s right. There are four different Jesuses, maybe a fifth. Finally, Titus wasn’t Caesar until 79, dying in 81, although he was awarded the title of Caesar (along with his brother) after the Roman Triumph.
Why Titus? Because Atwill believes — contrary to everything in history — Titus thought himself, or was thought by Josephus, to be the true messiah. Thus, Jesus becomes the ‘Malachi’ (Atwill’s allegoricalizing of the entire OT book is worth noting). Jesus is Elijah. This ignores the actual sayings of the Gospels about John the Baptizer and what Josephus says of himself in relation to Vespasian, as noted above. Not only this, but it ignores how Vespasian and Titus saw themselves later in life.
As we are reminded in Winn’s masterful work, Vespasian needed the Jewish messianism because of his heritage. He used Egyptian religious thoughts as well, but once he was solidly enthroned, he discarded these. This is why Josephus was ignored and forgotten. By the time Titus arrives, there is no need for propaganda beyond the usual. Clearly, Vespasian’s final quip has fallen on ignorant ears with Atwill.
Atwill’s reconstruction of history bears no actual similarity to history. Not only that, Atwill cannot even accurately read Josephus! It wasn’t the Flavians who continued to need Jewish propaganda, but Josephus.
There is so much to write about how idiotic Atwill’s thesis is, but I don’t have the time to correct all the stupidity in the world…
The Fox News anchor explains in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that one night he awoke with the title of the book in his head. He says he believes he got that message from the Holy Spirit.
I mean, that is how it works, right? You are told by God to write this down, take a little note, and then you are considered inspired, maybe inerrant, and you get a slot in the canon?
The book is rubbish.
Daniel concludes, in part…
It should be needless to say, but the title of Tabor’s blog post is entirely deceptive. Whether that deception was calculated or the product of naivety and lack of forethought is not clear (the latter may be possible in light of the author’s misspelling of Émile Puech’s name, by the way).
You’ll have to note that the New York film festival is akin to the ‘a film festival located in Cannes to rip off the name of the town’ — you essentially buy your award…
Much like Simcha purchased his ‘co-directorship’ for the archaeological dig…
No word yet on how he got his no-cla$$es-assigned adjunct position at Huntington… I don’t want to speculate…
- Simcha can’t even buy the right title (unsettledchristianity.com)
- Simcha’s Hypocrisy: They Used a Big Pillager at His Own Dig at Beth Saida (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Some Very, Very Interesting Clarifications from Bethsaida; and Simcha’s Connection to the Dig (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Defending Simcha (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
Of course, he corrects himself… Wouldn’t want anyone to know that by rejecting Fear (fundamentalism) you are embracing Faith. (about 00:27)
“When you reject fear, you have already embraced f…”
And if you haven’t gotten a copy, get one. It’s on your left hand side.
I wish this was a grand April Fool’s day joke, but it is not.
This is a rehash of British-Israelism among other things, it seems. Um, no. To spend time debunking every point is to waste time on sheer anti-semitic stupidity.
So just sit there. Look at it. And know what at any give time, a good deal of Americans have more belief in what he says than what biblical scholars and scientists say.
Ken Ham maintains that without a proper understanding of Genesis 1-3, you don’t know the Gospel and thus implies you aren’t saved.
Pastor Jim Scott of Fidelis Christian Church now says you have to know/believe the proper thing about Romans 1-4. And because I don’t (at least according to him), I have to worry. What about, I don’t know. Hope he doesn’t ask me my view on hell.
Catchy title huh? But it arises out of a really disappointing experience that I had recently. I am a theology junkie. I am committed to Orthodox Christian faith but I am not a fundamentalist. I am begrudgingly accepting of the label “evangelical” because to far too many evangelicals I am a “progressive”. I don’t buy into biblical inerrancy. I believe in evolution. I think that the Adam and Eve story are “true myth” as opposed to actual historical events. Maybe they were “real” people, it really doesn’t matter because their story is my story, your story, our story. I don’t see that it really matters all that much. We weren’t there at the time so we really don’t know do we? Yet it is pretty obvious that just like Adam and Eve we all inevitably chose the “forbidden fruit”, we listen to that slithering, snaky serpent, and we sin against God. We lose the “garden”. We try to hide our “nakedness”. And we die. So what’s the big deal? The Genesis story is true for each one of us whether it is true or not.
I am a Facebook junkie. I have met the coolest people via this medium of social networking. I have a wide range of friends and we have some really interesting discussions. One of the coolest people I “met” was Thomas Jay Oord. He is a Nazarene professor, preacher, and an advocate of Open Theism. He holds to a decidedly Wesleyan view of scripture and has been an important voice in resisting those in the Nazarene church who have been pushing the church to adopt the language of biblical inerrancy in the doctrinal statement. They recently rejected (again) an attempt to take their denomination down this road. I admire him for his stand for historical Wesleyanism and his resistance to committing his denomination to the brain draining commitment to biblical inerrancy.
I recently joined in a discussion that he and some of his Facebook friends were having. The discussion was pretty evenly divided. Yet there was this one fellow who was equating a “non-inerrant” view of scripture with compromise, slippery slopes, and not being quite “orthodox”.
I offered the Wesleyan view that “scripture is sufficient for the knowledge of salvation” (loose quote but you get the point) and that the idea of biblical inerrancy was not Wesleyan, nor was it historic. Rather, it is a fairly new view of scripture and that the Nazarenes should avoid it like the plague. I was getting “likes” (a whole bunch of them) from Oord and his friends.
The one fellow kept making broad statements and to be honest he may as well have said that we were all going to hell. He typed with lots of !!!!!!!!!!!!, so I jokingly said, “wow all those !!!!!! lends intellectual credibility to your argument, it worked, I am CONVINCED OF INERRANCY, NOT!
Well apparently that was too much. It was half joking, yet I guess it was a bit smart arsed. All of a sudden I couldn’t see the conversation. I had been BLOCKED (oh my lions, and tigers, and bears). It was the oddest feeling.
Oord a man of extraordinary intellect, who had been berated and beat upon by “good Christian brothers” like ole “fundy fellow” had blocked me. My comment was uncharitable. Hmmm ok, if I was a potty mouth I would type WTF, but I am not, so I didn’t. But it became ever so clear to me that we moderates are far too nice to those who want us to go away and speak to us as if we are heretics and heathens. We tolerate their crazy rants, we baby them, we pamper them, we lovingly caress them trying to soothe their fears, and then we come after “our own” with a vengeance.
I wonder just what the heck is wrong with us? Why do we do that? Was it uncharitable for me to poke fun of “ole fundy fellow”? Perhaps but maybe a good dose of reality is helpful. But it was more than Oord could tolerate.
I fumed for a day or so. I was frustrated. I even had “hurt feelings” (yuk, man up). I even emailed an apology with no response. Sometimes I don’t understand theologians, especially those who, like me self identify as moderates or take “moderate theological positions”. Why is it ok for Fundamentalists and left-wingers to be mean, yet we moderates slaughter one another for even the smallest hint of having “manned up and grown a pair”.
Oh well I will never know, at least from Oord because he didn’t respond….
- Thomas Jay Oord (toddrisser.com)
Growing up, we encountered these types… where the tongue talkers could teach others. Of course, we didn’t do that. It was natural for us. At least this guy is honest.
Q.) Didn’t we do it naturally as well?
A.) Richard Dawkins/ Rene Girard/Mirror Neurons/Mass Hysteria
And, before you go all “don’t knock it until you try it” on me… yes, I have. No, I am not saying all experiences aren’t “real.” But, what is “reality” anyway?