Part 2 The Greatest Story Ever Sold
Is there anyone out there who is truly interested in this topic and desires a rebuttal of this refutation from the christian site Hooberus has posted
Its interesting, I did a search to see if I could find any documentation for her claims, type in her name and you get hundreds of pages making out this is the best scholarly work available. What a load of tosh. I couldnt find any documentation that supported her view.
This book by "Achyra" has bee lambasted by scholars -- but that doesn't mean the Bible is the word of God, either
This is a very valid point. Sometimes people can think because one is wrong the other must be right! Typical JW thinking. In saying that her work has not proved the Bible NOT to be the word of God, so I guess thats still up for reveiw.
brummie...The substance of her position, that is that there is a quite unmiraculous origin for Jewish and Christian theology, remains unrefuted. It is interesting that Price and Callahan were cited as critics of her work yet nothing was revealed as to the objections. It is left to appear that pagan associations to Christianity was being dismissed. In fact both are adament advocates of this well founded position. It is always unfortunate when overzealous amatures bring disrepute to a field of study, but this is the normal price payed for the popularization of science. The response she has received is a fine example of the self-correcting nature of academics. In her defence I must say that souces she provides as proof of the antiquity of astrological ages was a legitamate view held by many in the field. It may now be in question yet even the expert quoted as more accurate admitted ignorance as to when this became known but insisted it was not as long ago as Achyra suggests (his certainty seems a bit suspicious). The book The Mythraic Mysteries a new and authoritative book has figured that the Greeks and Romans must have retrocalculated so as to explain the astrological imagery. He does however quote a earlier authority who seems to agree with Achyra. Read the refutation posted by hooberus carefully it can be seen that she was not dishonest or deceptive but merely less cautious than she should have been about sources. "The Last Gods...Yahwah and Jesus" book is also very good at identifying and tracing the roots of Christianity. As I said in the original thread on this topic, Achyra (however it is spelled) invited critism by stepping away from the firmer ground. It is worth mentioning that her critic acuses her of simply appealing to authority for her material while himself doing nothing more than supply his own experts to refute her experts. Then add a few choice insults about her scholarship and he has effectively diverted attention from 95% of her arguements. This is the same techniques used by creationists (same camp) to discredit novel ideas about evolutionary history. I am at work and apologise for my lack of details, but if desired I will provide more if requested when at home.
I just started reading the book that Gumby recomended, "The Jesus Mysteries, was the original Jesus a Pagan God". It show how most of Christian traditions can be linked to pre-Christain "pagan" traditions. A good read and a real eye opener. Anyone that reads it won't look at Chrsiatinity with the same light.
The following is taken from a review of the book "The Jesus Mysteries." While the reviewer is too sarcastic for my taste, later on in his arcticle he does present some interesting information on the "crucifixion issue" see my above post. The quote by Justin, which I was able to verify seems to show that the idea of a pagan crucified saviour was not well known even by Justin who apparently knew alot about pagan religion.
When dealing with ancient sources they are even more blatant. On the basis of some third century pictures of crucifixions, the authors claim Bacchuus was crucified and Christians copied the idea. This is their piece de resistance and they even put one of the pictures on the cover of their book. But suppose there existed an earlier source who stated categorically that no pagan godman was crucified. That would destroy their case and reading the Jesus Mysteries you would assume that neither Freke or Gandy knew of such a source even if it existed. You would be wrong.
They quote from Justin Martyr many times about his concerns that pagans and Christians had some similar rituals (they did and modern scholarship is totally unsurprised by this). He is a second century writer who therefore predates all the pictures of pagan godmen being crucified and he writes:
"But in no instance, not even in any of those called sons of Jupiter, did they imitate the being crucified; for it was not understood by them, all the things said of it having been put symbolically.” Justin Martyr ’s First Apology LX.
Here is the full reference.
Chapter LV.-Symbols of the Cross.
But in no instance, not even in any of those called sons of Jupiter, did they imitate the being crucified; for it was not understood by them, all the things said of it having been put symbolically. And this, as the prophet foretold, is the greatest symbol of His power and role; as is also proved by the things which fall under our observation. For consider all the things in the world, whether without this form they could be administered or have any community. For the sea is not traversed except that trophy which is called a sail abide safe in the ship; and the earth is not ploughed without it: diggers and mechanics do not their work, except with tools which have this shape. And the human form differs from that of the irrational animals in nothing else than in its being erect and having the hands extended, and having on the face extending from the forehead what is called the nose, through which there is respiration for the living creature; and this shows no other form than that of the cross. And so it was said by the prophet, "The breath before our face is the Lord Christ." 118 And the power of this form is shown by your own symbols on what are called "vexilla" [banners] and trophies, with which all your state possessions are made, using these as the insignia of your power and government, even though you do so unwittingly. 119 And with this form you consecrate the images of your emperors when they die, and you name them gods by inscriptions. Since, therefore, we have urged you both by reason and by an evident form, and to the utmost of our ability, we know that now we are blameless even though you disbelieve; for our part is done and finished.
The arguement about what a "magority" of experts feel about the Jesus references in Josephus is ridiculous. I had two different editions of the book and both made clear that the passages are very suspect. That the "magority" of experts happen to be Bible expositors may have something to do with the percentage proposed by Hobberus' quote.
I have pointed this out before, but I think that it is a good example of the way some of the "myth theory" sites present evidence: For example the jesusneverexisted.com site says: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/surfeit.htm
Josephus, the first century Jewish historian mentions no fewer than nineteen different Yeshuas/Jesii, about half of them contemporaries of the supposed Christ! In his Antiquities, of the twenty -eight high priests who held office from the reign of Herod the Great to the fall of the Temple, no fewer than four bore the name Jesus: Jesus ben Phiabi, Jesus ben Sec, Jesus ben Damneus and Jesus ben Gamaliel. Even Saint Paul makes reference to a rival magician, preaching ‘another Jesus’ (2 Corinthians 11,4). The surfeit of early Jesuses includes:
What the site doesn't mention here is that the same book of Josephus that talks about Jesus ben Damneus and Jesus ben Gamaliel also talks about James the brother of Jesus who was called Christ. The reference to Jesus Christ is even in the same chapter as the others, and even in the same paragraph as one of the others!
While the site mentions and disputes the first reference of Josephus regarding Jesus (the Testamonium) , I can't find where it even mentions the second reference to Jesus which is generally accepted. The site uses Joesphus as a source for the historicity of Jesus ben Damneus and Jesus ben Gamaliel and ignores the reference to Jesus who was called Christ (a reference which occurrs in the same book, chapter, and even paragraph!).
peaceful pete said: The arguement about what a "magority" of experts feel about the Jesus references in Josephus is ridiculous. I had two different editions of the book and both made clear that the passages are very suspect. That the "magority" of experts happen to be Bible expositors may have something to do with the percentage proposed by Hobberus' quote.
There are two references to Jesus Christ in Josephus.
- One is the "Testamonium" in which some scholars accept completely, some only parts of the quote, and some completely reject. The following is the discussion of this found in the book review of the "Jesus Mysteries." "They say that ‘no serious scholar’ believes Josephus wrote any of the Testamonium. I take it this is a joke or else they are claiming J. D. Crossan, R. T. France, Raymond Brown, John P. Meier, Michael Grant, Robin Lane Fox etc etc are not serious scholars. We might not agree with all of these guys (I mean, the last two are atheists) but we certainly consider them serious scholars." Even Jeff Lowder of the "infidels" site (who I believe is also an athiest) accepts both references of Josephus. "I think there is ample evidence to conclude there was a historical Jesus. To my mind, the New Testament alone provides sufficient evidence for the historicity of Jesus, but the writings of Josephus also provide two independent, authentic references to Jesus." http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html#83
- The second is the "James" reference which is generally accepted. The chapter which contains the James reference is the one which the jesusneverexisted.com sites for their information on Jesus ben Damneus and Jesus ben Gamaliel. What the site doesn't mention is that the same book of Josephus that talks about Jesus ben Damneus and Jesus ben Gamaliel also talks about James the brother of Jesus who was called Christ. The reference to Jesus Christ is even in the same chapter as the others, and even in the same paragraph as one of the others!