Mod+ Is the Bible a political con job? This scholar says the proof is right in front of us |289|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Is the Bible a political con job? This scholar says the proof is right in front of us |289|
    by Alex Tsakiris | Oct 6 | Spirituality


    Biblical Scholar Joseph Atwill has forever changed how we understand early Christian history by focusing on religion as an instrument of political mind control.

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    photo by: Bolton

    A long time ago there was a war in the Middle East between the Romans and the Jews. Spoiler alert: the Romans won. After hauling the bounty back to Rome, and building a really nice arch, they had their official historian write it all down. The man they chose for the job was a Jewish general who not only switched sides to join the Romans in the sacking of Jerusalem, but proclaimed his Roman leader was the real Messiah the Jews had long waited for.

    Now, a New Testament scholar has turned Christianity on its head by pointing out obvious connections between Josephus’ version of the Roman victory and passages in the Gospels attributed to Jesus. Joseph Atwill has challenged New Testament scholars to explain how Josephus’ very pro-Roman version of events wound up becoming Jesus prophecies. Atwill insists we need to re-examine what we thought we knew about the ability of the Romans to rewrite history in order to consolidate power.
     
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  2. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    I can't download either version of the podcast--edited or full.
     
  3. Alex

    Alex New

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    works for me. may be a problem on your end. let me know what you discover.
     
  4. Saiko

    Saiko Member

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    That doesn't make him a (biblical) scholar in my eyes. Plus Atwill has been peddling his views for some time now. My initial reaction to his central premise was that it was - at best - wildly inaccurate.
     
  5. Alex

    Alex New

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    what central premise?
     
  6. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    I discovered a dodgy physical connection to the internet! I have now jiggled a few wires and have succeeded in downloading the whole thing successfully. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  7. Saiko

    Saiko Member

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    That Jesus was the invention of the Roman Imperial Court.
     
  8. Saiko

    Saiko Member

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    From Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth by Bart Ehrman:

    And so, with Did Jesus Exist?, I do not expect to convince anyone in that boat. What I do hope is to convince genuine seekers who really want to know how we know that Jesus did exist, as virtually every scholar of antiquity, of biblical studies, of classics, and of Christian origins in this country and, in fact, in the Western world agrees. Many of these scholars have no vested interest in the matter. As it turns out, I myself do not either. I am not a Christian, and I have no interest in promoting a Christian cause or a Christian agenda. I am an agnostic with atheist leanings, and my life and views of the world would be approximately the same whether or not Jesus existed. My beliefs would vary little. The answer to the question of Jesus’s historical existence will not make me more or less happy, content, hopeful, likable, rich, famous, or immortal.

    But as a historian I think evidence matters. And the past matters. And for anyone to whom both evidence and the past matter, a dispassionate consideration of the case makes it quite plain: Jesus did exist. He may not have been the Jesus that your mother believes in or the Jesus of the stained-glass window or the Jesus of your least favorite televangelist or the Jesus proclaimed by the Vatican, the Southern Baptist Convention, the local megachurch, or the California Gnostic. But he did exist, and we can say a few things, with relative certainty, about him.

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    Did Jesus Exist? Searching for Evidence Beyond the Bible
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
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  9. Alex

    Alex New

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    but that's not the point of the show/interview!

    the Jesus myth stuff is a distraction... like the resurrection thing... these things seem important, but they miss the point.

    solve one mystery and you solve them all:
    ... so the key point is that Josephus proclaimed Cesar was the Messiah... so he was clearly a pro-Roman stooge... nothing like an "independent source." therefore, we must explain how Josephus' account winds up in the Bible as the prophesy of Jesus. this is the central point.

    How/why did the Gospel writers use Josephus' pro-Roman/Cesar-is-our-new-Messiah writings to create Jesus' prophesies?
     
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  10. Psiclops

    Psiclops Member

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    Sorry Alex but the little response to this thread might suggest others were as interested in this as I was.
     
  11. Alex

    Alex New

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    naa... it's just the general trend... look at the last few episodes. I fear Craig chased a lot of people away... but oh well.

    re this show, I don't understand why everyone isn't super interested in this topic... but then I could say that about a lot of stuff :)

    also, the forum #s are not a good indication of a shows popularity. e.g. 287 received over a 1,000 shares on facebook, but only 17 comments.
     
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  12. Psiclops

    Psiclops Member

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    I seem to have missed out on the Craig issue.
    But I do think we may miss out on a lot of Facebook people coming to this forum because on that main page the link to the forum is not obvious - you have to click on More for the drop down menu, to get here.
     
  13. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    You look like you may have have been loosing ranking on Google for months... The new site, and site structure (which has also dropped the other forums) in hindsight looks to have been a bad move.
     
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  14. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    That's been deliberately hidden... lost the other sub forums, two URL's, internal linking is very poor....
     
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  15. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    It's driving me nuts...what is the Craig Issue? Can someone give a link to it?

    I'm sorry this interview doesn't interest me much, but there you go, you can't like 'em all. As to interest in Skeptiko waning, well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't. After nigh on 300 episodes, perhaps it would be surprising if it didn't have occasional lulls.
     
  16. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    That seems to have been "deliberately hidden" as well. ;)

    Back to this show: I like it. I got a chance to listen to the whole unedited thing and now am half-way listening to the edit (good job there, Alex!). I think it gives Alex a chance to get to the heart of what interests him with Atwill and this topic, while stating where he doesn't necessarily follow Atwill in the whole scope and details of his theory.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  17. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    One detail I picked up on in this interview that for some reason I hadn't caught on before was Atwill's repeated insistence on the significance of the "Son of Man" references in the Gospel. He makes it sounds like Jesus is explicitly referring to someone else (which Atwill takes to mean the Flavian emperor) when mentioning the "Son of Man". I don't have the time or the inclination right down to read the NT and study this, but I'd be curious to know if someone else has made the case that Jesus is referring to someone else rather than himself here, and what scholars usually do with the utterance of this phrase.
     
  18. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    I tend to think he existed but I'm curious to know what "few things we can say with relative certainty" about him.
     
  19. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    Probably to further different socio-political-cultural agendas - though likely not the agenda that Atwill thinks.
     
  20. Alex

    Alex New

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    nope. according to google analytics traffic has increased since the launch of the new site. youtube too.
     

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