22 Comments

  1. Jens Knudsen (Sili)

    No wonder Richard Carrier gets frustrated with mythicists.

    Adam Winn’s work is really nice, it’s just a pity he continually feels the need to step back and say “I know what this seems to imply, but *of course* there’s a real, historcial core to the story.” You did a bit of the same thing as did Michael Peppard. It makes you sound a bit desperate, even if you’re not.

    Anyway, of course Atwill is nuts, but I still think “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.” is overstating the case. Yes, there must have been some preëxisting belief in Jesus the Christ – Christians, if you will – but insisting that these beliefs be based in history sounds like too strong a conclusion. It is enough that Mark and his audience believed there to be a historical basis.

    Shorter me: “Waa, waa, waa – we’re not all like that!”

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    1. I don’t think it is desperation at all. I think it is attempting to convey our sense that we know how the unlearned will view such statements. That is why we say, we know how this looks but go further. Consider this.

      Re: historical basis: If we were talking about beliefs and documents written 2000 years later, sure, but given their close proximity and the inclusion of statements in Mark indicating he has seen Jesus as well as Paul who met people who met Jesus, this is a bit different.

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      1. Answer this then, why did Emperor Constantine, add Flavius to his name, and just coincidentally, he made Christianity an excepted religion in the Roman Empire, and he put his triumphal arch, right next to the Flavian amphitheatre, (the coliseum) and right around where Domitians statue had once stood, and why does the Flavian family, somehow end up in the Catholic dictionary of the earliest actually known to have lived Christians, and we even have Christian literature, in the pseudo- clementines,.

        Don’t tell me that’s why they are pseudo, where there is smoke there is fire, why would so many Flavians whined up in the legends of early Christianity? Domitila Flavian, a whole list.

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        1. he didn’t add the name.. it was his father’s name. The Flavians were heroes to the Romans.

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    1. Um… this is the sheer stupidity I was referring to. He presents a completely alternative reality, most likely one that is drug induced.

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      1. Beyond this all, Robert M. Price debunked Atwill’s first book when it came out … eight years ago. And, yet, too many atheists don’t inform themselves, and peddle this shite.

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  2. Know More Than I Should

    As I interpreted your original post, I thought you were referring to the text rather than the movie. I I misread you, I apologize.
    .
    Meanwhile, I am wondering whether Atwill’s thesis would have gained any traction had late 20th century Christianity not become so politicized as to become intolerably polarizing. At the same time, Atwill makes a valid point. No primary sources exist from Jesus. EVERYTHING we know about him comes from secondary sources. This, in turn, becomes fruit for speculation.
    .
    Thus, while being a rather nebulous historical character was once a strong selling point Jesus’ divinity, it has become an apparent weakness of late. Besides, even beyond Atwill, Christianity as we know it is largely a construct of Constantine’s minions.
    .
    It is also quite possible that O’Reilly may be on to something by suggesting that Jesus had to die because he messed with the Temple’s money-making enterprise. There are several parallels to this in late 20th and early 21st century America. Among them are the National Football League’s attempts to kill the credibility of forensic neuropathologist Bennet Omalu after former Pittsburgh coroner’s office employee revealed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) atter examining “Iron Mike” Webster’s autopsied brain. Then, there is the ongoing Republican political temper tantrum over the Affordable (Health) Care Act (Obamacare) that threatens the profitability of American’s privatized healthcare system.

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    1. I dunno – there are several mythicists in the 19th century as well. I think the reason it is taking off is because of the meme theory.

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  3. Know More Than I Should

    A cynic could say that Jesus is as product of meme. After all, the historical record is that of some poor guy from the religious backwaters possessed with the notion that he had a divine connection. One could further argue that Christianity is predicated on mysticism with believers trying to connect with God through Jesus. Of course, the concept of the Trinity is an attempt to negate that perspective.
    .
    By, the way, sorry about the typos in my previous post. I would fire the typist, but………..

    Reply

    1. But, said cynic would then reveal himself not knowing how religions begin. This is the common element of mythicists – those who believe the entire story of Jesus is nothing by a myth with absolutely no historical basis – that they take Scripture the same way fundamentalists do, at face value.

      Mysticism, yes. Mythicism, no.

      I try not to point out typos… that would be the big, giant, blacker than black pot calling the kettle gray.

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      1. Know More Than I Should

        All too often, the most dangerous lies are predicted on some fact. Even worse, as Hitler pointed out and later proved, those unaccustomed to telling big lies are likely to believe them.
        .
        The true gift of Atwill may be in his dissection of propaganda. His insights might even rival those of Edward Bernays – howbeit from the other side of the fence.

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  4. Know More Than I Should

    As in law enforcement, it might also be considered to be suspect until proven otherwise.

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    1. it is interesting to see this develop. Personally, I am okay with a kingdom of david, etc… although I think the biblical account may be exaggerated.

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      1. Know More Than I Should

        One person’s exaggeration may be another’s fabrication. The devil is always in the details or, at the very least, in the interpretation thereof.

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  5. RoHa

    “Atwill’s reconstruction of history bares no actual similarity to history.”

    Bares? Takes all its clothes off?

    Nonsense! It carries – bears – no similarity.

    “”Atwill’s reconstruction of history bears no actual similarity to history.”

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      1. Know More Than I Should

        Well, at the risk of a bad double entendre, that’s certainly bearing/baring it all!

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