Carrier review on Einhorn's 'Shift in Time'

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
I am strongly suggesting that Josephus was aligned with elite (globalizing) interests that typically subordinate superficial (or even strong) ethnic interests.
Intellectually, yes, I think everyone is on the same page about that. Typically, however, it takes more than ideological compatibility to strike up a bargain involving the intentional, yet unnecessarily protracted, sabotaging of the defense of a city, the command of which one has not yet been assigned since the open revolt of its nation has not yet even begun, however clear it may be that things are headed in that direction.

This should be obvious. It's the Trumpies and the like.
For the time being, it seems the Trumpies are safe from any purges (except maybe those which are internal to the organization!)

Traditional Roman/American counter-intelligence procedures (Cointelpro) call for covert infiltration of such groups as Essenes and Postflavians.
Are you saying that a youthful Josephus was not just "finding himself" when he spent time with the Essenes, et al, but rather he had already been recruited to a Roman intel program?

The CC 'framing' makes a very strong argument that Paul and Josephus are imperial Cointelpro operatives, and therefor likely to be real historical characters. They likely played active roles in the literature of the canon, and as CC states, we should indeed build our case from what they placed directly in front of us.
I'll be very curious to check out this very strong argument, particularly to the extent the case is built on what they placed directly in front of us. I'll reserve comment on the CC theory until I've read it. I will say that whatever else they may have been, Paul seems to make the case he is an evangelist, and Josephus makes the case he has a protracted identity crisis - unintentional as the latter may be.

I should also point out, that Jerry mentioned one of the books referenced by CC, as being co-authored by one with experience in contemporary military intelligence operations. In it she characterizes the behaviors of such as Paul and Josephus as being typical operatives that attempt to gain intelligence and/or co-opt either individuals and/or messaging/branding.
Please excuse me if I feel compelled to mention the old adage regarding one whose only tool is a hammer, or in this case, a spy glass, perhaps.

these two sides are two elite sides of one man-made coin. The better to deceive the various flocks of sheep with my dear.
I think where we diverge on opinion is that as I understand you, you propose that the two sides are struck by a single, human coinsmith, whereas I would say such a thing arises naturally, or we could also say that the Lord (of the Heavenly variety) is the coinsmith. Chairman Mao makes the case in On Contradiction that everything requires an opposing side in order to exist.

Drilling down into the nascent Christian organization, there was another level of opposing sides between the nomialism championed by James the Just that said Christianity provided a way for the goyim to become Judaized, and the anti-nomialism of Paul which tended to eschew maintaining the Kosher laws et al as having been "fulfilled" by the atonement of Christ.

In the fine print of the New Contract Christ Titus states that the truth will set you free. But as with most such statements they cynically 'gnew' that the offer would not be taken up by many.
I come to study caesar, not defend him. However, in his defense, I must say that I can hardly hold it against someone for their awareness of human nature.

So Joe argues for a relatively late origin for the epistles, based on all this typology.
I thought Josephson made an interesting connection with the seven seals and the seven books when it was consistent with other parallels, but considering that seven would have been considered the "number of completion," I think it's a bit of a stretch to call the presence of seven things evidence of a typology, on its own. I would never suggest, for instance, that every work of literature that mentions seven as a lucky number must be typologically related, and therefore created during overlapping time periods.

if supernatural explanations and other unlikely cruft are stripped from the tale, Paul is depicted rather transparently as a Roman intelligence operative in both Acts and the Epistles.
Before I would be ready to consider something as sensational as Paul being an intelligence operative, I'd need to see how his role as an evangelist is considered.

Robert M. Price's recent book "Amazing Colossal Apostle" argues that most of the Pauline corpus must be very late, because it's concerned with theological & organizational topics that seem anachronistic to the first century. But really, who knows what such concerns might have been actually topical if "Chrestianity" was already being planned and organized under central Roman command during the time of Paul's missionary journeys.
Returning to the original thread topic, I think Mr. Carrier has a valid point to make regarding the lack of cohesion, certainly, and lack of coherence, to a certain extent, within our dissident studies. Ironically, I think there was for me a certain appeal to CM in that it tied up so many loose ends so neatly. But then as I've followed those remaining ends, it seems they lead to so many more frayed and tangled sections!
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Can you point me where to read for myself about "the Egyptian"? I don't want to ask you to basically retell me the story, lol
Josephus, Antiquities XX.8.6 169-172:

169 Moreover, about this time a man came to Jerusalem from Egypt claiming to be a prophet, who invited the throng of common people to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, across from the city, five furlongs away. 170 He claimed that from there he would show how the ramparts of Jerusalem would fall down at his command, and promised to provide them an entrance into the city in this way. 171 When Felix was told of this, he armed his soldiers and charged out against them with many cavalry and infantry from Jerusalem and attacked the Egyptian and the people with him, killing four hundred of them and taking two hundred alive. 172 But the Egyptian himself escaped from the battle and was seen no more. Again, the brigands stirred up the people to make war on the Romans, forbidding any obedience to them, and if any refused, they set fire to their villages and looted them.
Also, War II.13.5 261-263:

261 Even more harm was done to the Jews by an Egyptian charlatan claiming to be a prophet who led astray a throng of thirty thousand who put their trust in him. 262 These he led round from the wilderness to what is called the Mount of Olives intending to force his way into Jerusalem, and if he defeated the Roman garrison he would tyrannise the people, with his fellow invaders as his bodyguard. 263 Felix thwarted his attempt and met him with his Roman soldiers, while all the people joined in his attack. But in the battle, the Egyptian fled with a few others, while most of his supporters were either killed or taken alive, and the rest of the people scattered to their homes and hid themselves.
At Acts 21:38, Paul is asked: “Then you are not the Egyptian who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand Sicarii out into the wilderness?”
 

Jerry Russell

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Staff member
Before I would be ready to consider something as sensational as Paul being an intelligence operative, I'd need to see how his role as an evangelist is considered.
Those aren't necessarily contradictory roles. It might have been convenient for Paul to have imperial patrons who were supportive of his preferred theology.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Before I would be ready to consider something as sensational as Paul being an intelligence operative, I'd need to see how his role as an evangelist is considered.
Then as you read Creating Christ, as you stated you will, then it might be helpful to us for you to prepare a counter-list to Valliant and Fahy about all the messages and actions that Paul took that were pro-Zealot and not pro-Roman. And how he was always treated well by the Romans whenever he got in trouble with the 'Jews'. Same for Ignatius of Antioch who got to write his letters and such while in Roman 'custody'.

Same of Jesus of Nazareth who never said a good word for the Zealots, but said and did everything that the imperial Romans might want.

Returning to the original thread topic, I think Mr. Carrier has a valid point to make regarding the lack of cohesion, certainly, and lack of coherence, to a certain extent, within our dissident studies. Ironically, I think there was for me a certain appeal to CM in that it tied up so many loose ends so neatly. But then as I've followed those remaining ends, it seems they lead to so many more frayed and tangled sections!
I am not going to have an epiphany on the Road from Damascus or Jotopata. Apparently coherence is in the eye of the beholder, depending on one's agenda, which you have explicitly stated. Namely to be the newt Josephus Flavius, delivering the New Song for the New Age for the ne0Flavians du jour.

Here I would like to ask if you would like to be the official Matriarch of the NeoPaulitan order of Postflavians?

BTW, just as Valliant and Fahy declared that both the houses of the Romans and Jews were crap, tyrannical mirrors of each other, this is my position as well. Unfortunately, my only difference with them and Joe, for that matter, is that there is indeed an institutional linkage from before Christ till now. Any institution, as I assert, that wants to veil its involvement in what is going on today, in delivering such as the New Song du jour, will want to frame its sordid and bloody history as being having its Limited Hangout Loose Ends being tied up neatly. The Donald is here to Drain the Swamp, just like Titus and daddy, and Hadrian did.

As I stated before, I do not have a dog in this hunt, and not because of my candle wick. Globalization, and its achievement has many benefits, my only problem is with the highly corrupt and cynical management of the process.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Those aren't necessarily contradictory roles. It might have been convenient for Paul to have imperial patrons who were supportive of his preferred theology.
Keep in mind, that before there was Paul, there was Saul. And what was Saul explicitly and overtly doing, and for whom? Of course, we can be Silly Martians and claim that Paul was lying about Saul. Or we can claim that whomever was lying about Saul and Paul (and Jesus and Ignatius, and Josephus, and ...) but the texts that were given to us state that Rome and these characters were all aligned. They were aligned against the militant, xenophobic Jews, who were not happy with their crappy synthetic Culture being tampered with.
 

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
Thank you, Jerry, for the quoted passages. If I may ask, when does Josephus report that these events took place?

It might have been convenient for Paul to have imperial patrons who were supportive of his preferred theology.
Yes, granted. I merely mean to say that if it looks like an evangelist and it waddles about Asia minor like and evangelist and it quacks like an evangelist, then it's probably driven to evangelize, and other theories are highly speculative, barring some other evidence

Then as you read Creating Christ, as you stated you will, then it might be helpful to us for you to prepare a counter-list to Valliant and Fahy about all the messages and actions that Paul took that were pro-Zealot and not pro-Roman.
RIchard, certainly you haven't built up a false dichotomy that one is either pro-Zealot, or else one is an agent of the State, have you? I canvassed for Sec. Clinton and voted for Dr. Stein, but seeing as I did nothing to support Mr. Johnson, does this make me an agent of President-elect Trump?

Apparently coherence is in the eye of the beholder, depending on one's agenda, which you have explicitly stated. Namely to be the newt Josephus Flavius, delivering the New Song for the New Age for the ne0Flavians du jour.

Here I would like to ask if you would like to be the official Matriarch of the NeoPaulitan order of Postflavians?
I'm flattered, naturally. I suppose if I'm to be the NeoPaul(ina) upholding Postflavian justification by faith, then you will be the NeoJames championing the cause of justification under the law? And between us will be the NeoSimon rock of Jerry to mediate?

That all makes a sort of typological sense to me. However, I still feel inclined to present my own view that my agenda was explicitly stated for rather than by me. I feel compelled also to mention that I think I share more with those Etruscan vatica of old, dedicated to the Sybil, who inhabited that hill before Francis and his predecessors (grafting onto the older root being in such vogue, after all)

Globalization, and its achievement has many benefits, my only problem is with the highly corrupt and cynical management of the process.
Excuse me for doing so, but dear Richard, I would present the possibility that your issue is with the corrupt or "sinful" nature of humans, one antidote for which is... well, now that you mention it, maybe "Paula" does have a nice ring to it

Or we can claim that whomever was lying about Saul and Paul (and Jesus and Ignatius, and Josephus, and ...) but the texts that were given to us state that Rome and these characters were all aligned. They were aligned against the militant, xenophobic Jews, who were not happy with their crappy synthetic Culture being tampered with.
Nowhere in the chronicles of the silly Martians has it ever been recorded otherwise than a recognition that all other groups were aligned against the Zealots, just as the Zealots were aligned against all other groups, foreign and domestic.


You can take their word for it

 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Yes, granted. I merely mean to say that if it looks like an evangelist and it waddles about Asia minor like and evangelist and it quacks like an evangelist, then it's probably driven to evangelize, and other theories are highly speculative, barring some other evidence
This is one more reason we are not likely to come to an agreement about these individuals.

I'm willing to bet that most sociologists (and similar), that consider themselves rationalists first, would agree (perhaps off the record in many cases) that religion is the handmaiden of temporal rule, though some are inclined to reverse the relationship. In either case, these two are intimately related and the Romans were no dummies when understanding the significance of the relationship. And yet we're left with this argumentation that what resulted, the amalgamation of all paganism that preceeded was the product of a chance, no doubt a divine crap shoot.

I think that Jerry was being overly generous here.

As I said before, you have a different bias from me, in that you want to utilize the traditional model of Paul and Josephus as divine tools, but I say they are temporal 'Tools'.

No doubt, I respect that 'order' of some kind is good, and efforts to instill it in a 'catholic' fashion is following the Alexander-ish tradition of harmonious Hellenization. And the BIG problem is that many, even outside Judaism still did not take to having an external Culture imposed upon them, no matter the greater benefits.

Here, I can agree with you that Paul and Josephus truly believed that they were on a great mission for humanity. But you (and Jerry in this case) must realize that the emperors thought the same thing. So great, we can all agree that they were on the same page, but in this sense, it was not merely convenient for Paul to have them be supportive of Paul's theology.

Paul's theology (and Jesus's) is conveniently identical to the temporal operating requirements of the glorious Roman empire.

The way that I am seeing this play out here is that my revisionist interpretation of western history is a danger to the rollout of the next New Song. In this case, I think that I should NOT BE EQUATED with James, but maybe more like Justus of Tiberius, whose history needed to be expunged from existence. And thus leaving people like Jerry and me to forensically reconnect the dots.

If there was some reason to believe that the New Song would truly deliver a better world I be happy to let all this go. But history shows that those who have played the Song, and the New Song are mostly the D-bags of history. What we need is more than a song.

Although, at least when Costello died and ascended to Heaven, this presumably left Louise and her New Man as heroic exemplars for the rest of humanity, now eager to learn the importance of effectively communicating and respecting others, without ignorant paranoia. I wonder if Costello is resurrected in Heaven? Hmmm, sounds like a sequel.

RIchard, certainly you haven't built up a false dichotomy that one is either pro-Zealot, or else one is an agent of the State, have you? I canvassed for Sec. Clinton and voted for Dr. Stein, but seeing as I did nothing to support Mr. Johnson, does this make me an agent of President-elect Trump?
This is a terrible analogy trying to extrapolate what you have done for completely different motivations, unless you merely want to claim that Paul would do or say anything for money or something besides pressing his theology? But you have just agreed that the emperors could have been convenient to Paul's purposes and not the other way around. Which direction is it? Of course, there are some people who pay our politicians to do their bidding.

I'm flattered, naturally. I suppose if I'm to be the NeoPaul(ina) upholding Postflavian justification by faith, then you will be the NeoJames championing the cause of justification under the law? And between us will be the NeoSimon rock of Jerry to mediate?
If I was to be NeoJames, then my naming you that would need to be taken as an insult. But, I am not NeoJames, as I stated earlier, so this problem is mediated somewhat. Besides James was an upholder of the ridiculous kosher Laws of Ramesses I, which are figuratively verklempitating of life in general. And I have taught you why this is so.

Jerry must decide his own identity.

That all makes a sort of typological sense to me. However, I still feel inclined to present my own view that my agenda was explicitly stated for rather than by me. I feel compelled also to mention that I think I share more with those Etruscan vatica of old, dedicated to the Sybil, who inhabited that hill before Francis and his predecessors (grafting onto the older root being in such vogue, after all)
Oy yeh, those ginger Sybils sure got around didn't they? Even the Jews and Xians succumbed to the Sybil craze. No wonder, their common roots. I'm betting this from their intimate association with Lord Sabazius and similar wise guys.

Excuse me for doing so, but dear Richard, I would present the possibility that your issue is with the corrupt or "sinful" nature of humans, one antidote for which is... well, now that you mention it, maybe "Paula" does have a nice ring to it
You have exceeded my capacity for connecting the dots, which I get accused of doing frequently.

Nowhere in the chronicles of the silly Martians has it ever been recorded otherwise than a recognition that all other groups were aligned against the Zealots, just as the Zealots were aligned against all other groups, foreign and domestic.
Que? Other groups? Where did they come from?

My statement was, that as Valliant and Fahy demonstrate the issue, the entire NT corpus demonstrates that Paul's and Jesus's words and actions are completely aligned with Rome's interests. The words and actions also demonstrate that they mock all upholders of the Mosaic Law, radical or otherwise. As such, this includes not only the Zealots, but Jesus's disciples and/or brothers (aka the Jerusalem Church that Paul had to confront over specific and key 'Jewish' issues). As I said, present a counter-example. Here, as I have stated previously elsewhere, the Second Covenant inverted the Mosaic system (if not the first Covenant with Abraham).

Interesting that the preparation of the new New Song in Arrival has a linguist (study of the Word) and a math based scientist (study of the divine Number(s)) romantically collaborating on the sticky human Cultural problem as applied to the classical One and the Many.
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you, Jerry, for the quoted passages. If I may ask, when does Josephus report that these events took place?
Einhorn's interpretation is that the incident occurs between 53 and 59 CE. Josephus.org agrees: "The time Josephus describes is the latter 50's CE, which is consistent with the quoted Acts incident; the latter is depicted as occuring in 57/58 CE."

I merely mean to say that if it looks like an evangelist and it waddles about Asia minor like and evangelist and it quacks like an evangelist, then it's probably driven to evangelize, and other theories are highly speculative, barring some other evidence
Unlike certain claims Richard is making about Melania Trump, nobody is asking you to believe anything without evidence. Also, at a distance of 2000 years, it's not likely that any evidence is going to come up to a standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt". So if you don't want to believe that Paul was a Roman operative, I can't claim that we have enough of a case to compel you.

But, to summarize the evidence presented at book length in "Operation Messiah": Paul's conversion from a persecutor of messianic Jewish zealots, to suddenly become one of those zealots, is lacking in credibility. First: immediately on making such a conversion, Paul's companions (Zealot persecutors) should have arrested him. Second: if he's such a zealot, why does he preach a message that is so pro-Roman? Why do the Zealots continuously try to kill him? Why do the Romans protect him? Why is Paul always name-dropping about his friends at the Roman imperial court? All this can be explained if Paul is on an undercover mission, pretending to be a Jewish messianic zealot when he is not. Whereas if Paul was just a tentmaker and self-appointed evangelist, none of this makes any sense.
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Nowhere in the chronicles of the silly Martians has it ever been recorded otherwise than a recognition that all other groups were aligned against the Zealots, just as the Zealots were aligned against all other groups, foreign and domestic.
I'm a bit confused about what is written in the Chronicles of Silly Martians. But for the record, Josephus records that the Zealots seem to have had an alliance with the royal family of Agabus, Izates and Helena of the Kingdom of Adiabene. Izates converted to Judaism, and became circumcised after the Zealot leader Eleazar convinced him it was necessary.

Ralph Ellis has argued that this mysterious royal family were basically Parthians who left the Parthian royal court because they followed Egyptian traditions for royal inbreeding. They felt emboldened to do so, he says, because they were also descended from a lovechild of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII, who had been clandestinely sent to the Parthian court as a 'gift'.

Thus, Ellis argues, this Izates had as good a claim as anyone to the Roman throne. And yet, he was fighting with the Zealots, possibly in a leadership role, and as a Messianic claimant. Ellis thinks this was too embarrassing for Josephus to deal with in a forthright manner, so Josephus camouflaged Izate's role by referring to him under several names. He thinks these various names of Izates include Jesus of Gamala, Jesus ben Sapphias, and Justus of Tiberias.

If you grant any validity to this (or any part of it), it seems likely that the Zealots were getting support that was coming ultimately from the Parthian Empire. When you think about it, it seems unlikely that a small group of nationalists could be such a threat to the Roman Empire, unless they had powerful allies.
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Helena supposedly took the Numbers 6 rites of the Nazarites, necessary for the assumption of Jewish royal status, and her pyramidal tomb still stands intact in Jerusalem.

If you grant any validity to this (or any part of it), it seems likely that the Zealots were getting support that was coming ultimately from the Parthian Empire. When you think about it, it seems unlikely that a small group of nationalists could be such a threat to the Roman Empire, unless they had powerful allies.
How small is small Jerry? This number business is curious, because the Romans supposedly killed one million plus Jews, if we are to believe a certain someone. This with Jews supposedly being 10 percent of the entire Roman empire.

Josephus tells us that the Jews won the first stage of the war against the Romans, until reinforcements showed up that is. No doubt, the Romans were the best military force of the day, bar none.

Josephus tells that he was able to save his elite kinfolk, Paul curiously (for whatever reason) tells us in the critical Romans 11 that he has reserved to himself 7000 who have not bowed to Ba'al, and John of Patmos (supposedly an Xian) says that 12,000 from each tribe of Israel are the Elect. Those lost tribes went to the Hidden Resort I guess.

Joe says show him the DNA, I say show me the bones.
 
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Jerry Russell

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Staff member
How small is small Jerry?
To read "a certain someone", one has the impression that the government of Judea is dominated by Herodians, Sadducees, and other Roman collaborators. The Zealot leaders are a small ragtag team of agitators. And most of the people are easily swayed by the Zealots into anger, but their commitment is short-lived. They are blown around like the wind, shifting their allegiance based on expediency or the rhetoric of the moment. Treated like pawns by both sides. And, ultimately, blown away by the Romans in a conflagration that is blamed on the agitators.

Have you consulted the archaeological literature? I have the impression that, unlike Moses or Solomon, nobody questions the existence of Titus or Vespasian or the general facts of the Jewish War.

I wouldn't expect the Parthians to have left any bones, though. Aside from that interesting pyramidal tomb.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
To read "a certain someone", one has the impression that the government of Judea is dominated by Herodians, Sadducees, and other Roman collaborators. The Zealot leaders are a small ragtag team of agitators. And most of the people are easily swayed by the Zealots into anger, but their commitment is short-lived. They are blown around like the wind, shifting their allegiance based on expediency or the rhetoric of the moment. Treated like pawns by both sides. And, ultimately, blown away by the Romans in a conflagration that is blamed on the agitators.
I think the appropriate modern "equation" here might be the red states against the blue states.
 

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
As I said before, you have a different bias from me, in that you want to utilize the traditional model of Paul and Josephus as divine tools, but I say they are temporal 'Tools'.
But I say that these categories are not mutually exclusive :: bats eyelashes ::

And the BIG problem is that many, even outside Judaism still did not take to having an external Culture imposed upon them, no matter the greater benefits.
I think cultures contact each other and then begin modifying each other. I don't think one culture can be imposed on another. In the case of the Romans and the Jews... well I just came from a Roman church, and I can tell you that Jupiter was nowhere to be seen (the Jewish Apollo, however, was present in His unleavened form)

But you (and Jerry in this case) must realize that the emperors thought the same thing. So great, we can all agree that they were on the same page, but in this sense, it was not merely convenient for Paul to have them be supportive of Paul's theology.
Yes, I'm sure the emperor's thought they were doing the world a great service. Unfortunately, I don't think they were all on the same page, but rather all on different pages, although those pages might have been compatible. I'd be surprised if Paul's imperial contemporaries knew much of anything of his theology

Paul's theology (and Jesus's) is conveniently identical to the temporal operating requirements of the glorious Roman empire.
As the saying goes, "correlation does not equal causation." Christian theology and Roman doctrine had to be aligned with human psychology, otherwise they could not have come to dominate in their realms over competitors

And thus leaving people like Jerry and me to forensically reconnect the dots.
No need to get defensive, dear

If there was some reason to believe that the New Song would truly deliver a better world I be happy to let all this go.
Just as the old New Song was sung long before it was finally composed in the fourth century, I think the New New Song is already being sung

This is a terrible analogy
You keep talking like that, bubbala, and Joe is going to want a DNA sample.

In any event, if you must have a more apples to apples comparison, then I suppose that since I used to work for the modern "Rome" and since I practice the faiths of her "emperors" Bush and Kennedy, therefore I must be an agent of the empire, according to the same logic.

I actually wish that last one were true; I could use the income!


You have exceeded my capacity for connecting the dots, which I get accused of doing frequently.
Don't go getting my hopes up; you sound almost as if you could see my point vis a vis the authors of the Gospels as former days' Machiavelli

As I said, present a counter-example.
I feel certain what I will offer "doesn't count" for one reason or other, but for curiosity, I offer 1 Thessalonians 1:9b (NRSV):
"you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God"
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I feel certain what I will offer "doesn't count" for one reason or other, but for curiosity, I offer 1 Thessalonians 1:9b (NRSV):
"you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God"
Try another, this one didn't work. This is ambiguous as to supporting Judaism as opposed to Rome's invention.

Remember you have an advantage, NeoPaulina, of being "all things to all people".
 

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
Einhorn's interpretation is that the incident occurs between 53 and 59 CE.
Josephus.org agrees: "The time Josephus describes is the latter 50's CE, which is consistent with the quoted Acts incident; the latter is depicted as occuring in 57/58 CE."
Based on the timing, then, the Egyptian could be a source for the Jesus of the Gospels, but not the Jesus of the Epistles.

I wonder if this Egyptian is recorded in any other sources. Regardless, any ideas on how 400 (600) becomes 30,000 and then 4,000? Especially curious if we consider Josephus to be an author of all three accounts

But, to summarize the evidence presented at book length in "Operation Messiah": Paul's conversion from a persecutor of messianic Jewish zealots, to suddenly become one of those zealots, is lacking in credibility. First: immediately on making such a conversion, Paul's companions (Zealot persecutors) should have arrested him. Second: if he's such a zealot, why does he preach a message that is so pro-Roman? Why do the Zealots continuously try to kill him? Why do the Romans protect him? Why is Paul always name-dropping about his friends at the Roman imperial court? All this can be explained if Paul is on an undercover mission, pretending to be a Jewish messianic zealot when he is not. Whereas if Paul was just a tentmaker and self-appointed evangelist, none of this makes any sense.
Who is claiming Paul was a Zealot, though?

I'm a bit confused about what is written in the Chronicles of Silly Martians.
The Martian Chronicles is a collection of short stories by Rad Bradbury. So I would hazard to guess that the "Chronicles of Silly Martians" would be that collection of internet postings made by one who shares a birthday with Isaac Asimov. Also probably named in some way as to show devotion to Mars (Marcus, Marcia, etc.) although perhaps with an affixed "silly" or "cillia" or similar. Then again, Postflavians are often accused of parallelomania

If you grant any validity to this (or any part of it), it seems likely that the Zealots were getting support that was coming ultimately from the Parthian Empire.
Very interesting, and yes, makes much more sense than the alternative. Isn't there also a thugee tradition from the East not unlike the Sicarii?

Try another, this one didn't work. This is ambiguous as to supporting Judaism as opposed to Rome's invention.
While I'm happy to offer my next example, before I move on from this one, could I ask you to explain how refusing to worship the idols of the Roman state and of the imperial cult is completely aligned with Rome's interests?

At least my powers of prediction remain intact ;)
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Based on the timing, then, the Egyptian could be a source for the Jesus of the Gospels, but not the Jesus of the Epistles.
Since Paul does not know any Earthly, temporal details of Jesus of Nazareth's human life, and we only are privy to copies of copies of the original texts, then it is a rather simple matter for scribes to pre-pend Iesous in front of Christos in the few places that the name of Jesus is referred to by Paul. And, yes, we can ignore all the forged letters, for that matter.

That Paul does know something of a Christ, a Greek conception, is a whole different kettle of pisces.

In reality, and here contrary to Valliant and Fahy, Paul would not have used the term Christ to the radical Jews, but rather the term 'messiah'. Albeit maybe Paul used the term Christ to Hellenized Jews. The employment of the term Christ in the texts is a matter of propagandic conflation - with respect to the Jewish Taliban.

Who is claiming Paul was a Zealot, though?
You are the only one here doing so. Jerry was asking a question, with the underlying premise that SaulcumPaul was indeed a double agent.

Also probably named in some way as to show devotion to Mars (Marcus, Marcia, etc.) although perhaps with an affixed "silly" or "cillia" or similar.
I'm starting to suspect that you are onto my original intent. But you went along with the deception a good while. ;)

While I'm happy to offer my next example, before I move on from this one, could I ask you to explain how refusing to worship the idols of the Roman state and of the imperial cult is completely aligned with Rome's interests?

At least my powers of prediction remain intact ;)
The issue in the verse is a moot point. The Romans had long granted the Jews a UNIQUE exception to doing performing all the monkey games. We are talking about the core needs of the state and not superficial appearances.

Explain about your powers of prediction. You predicted that you would be wrong, or what?
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Christian theology and Roman doctrine had to be aligned with human psychology, otherwise they could not have come to dominate in their realms over competitors
This is true to some extent. But if our view is correct, Christianity had the tremendous advantage of covert backing from the Roman treasury, and their propaganda apparatus. The competition generally didn't have that, aside from the Mithraites and the Imperial Cult.

any ideas on how 400 (600) becomes 30,000 and then 4,000?
If I were a Josephus fundamentalist, I could parse the sources as saying something like this: "30,000 people consisting of ~1000 of The Egyptian's closest followers, plus ~4000 sicarii and 25,000 other curious citizens followed The Egyptian to the Mount of Olives, where ~600 of those closest followers were captured or killed. The rest of the people, including many sicarii, went back to their homes." So, no contradiction.

Or: The New Testament is preserved in hundreds of ancient manuscript copies, most of which contain minor variations caused by copyist error. I don't know anything about how Josephus was handed down from antiquity, but I assume a somewhat similar situation: that it has been copied many times by harried scribes, and errors could have been introduced.

Or: The numbers 30,000; 4,000; 600; 400; 200 all have some deep typological significance, which I'm not smart enough to figure out.

Or: On such a tumultuous occasion, who was counting?

Who is claiming Paul was a Zealot, though?
To be precise, Voskuilen & Shelden suggested that Paul was pretending to be a Zealot (a "lifetime actor"), and then attempting to foist his Roman-friendly theology on them. Apparently it wasn't working, the Zealots weren't buying it. He was also preaching to various assorted non-Zealous Jews and Greeks, some of whom became satisfied adherents.

could I ask you to explain how refusing to worship the idols of the Roman state and of the imperial cult is completely aligned with Rome's interests?
My guess is that the Roman imperial cult was seen as too transparently self-serving for the Emperors, and was too easy of a target for sarcastic attacks. Christianity, as a Judaic / Hellenistic / Roman syncretism, was much more subtle, and as such was better suited for imperial purposes. Or, in other words: the Romans didn't care who the people worshipped, as long as they paid their taxes.

You predicted that you would be wrong, or what?
But Richard, she predicted your response correctly, that you wouldn't like her example! At least give her credit for being able to anticipate what you're going to say.

Her argument seems to be that St. Paul was neither a Roman stooge nor a Zealot, but a legitimate evangelist. But I'm confused, per the Marcillan Chronicles, who Jesus of the Epistles was. That is, who was the Christ that Paul was preaching about -- according to Marcilla.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
But Richard, she predicted your response correctly, that you wouldn't like her example! At least give her credit for being able to anticipate what you're going to say.
OK, she predicted correct.

In all seriousness, I have lost too many short term grey cells, and looking back and forth for context in these extended dialogues is wearing me out. That and Mr. sTrump's antics.

Does the existence of 'strumpets' imply the existence of 'strumps'? :rolleyes:

But if our view is correct, Christianity had the tremendous advantage of covert backing from the Roman treasury, and their propaganda apparatus.
Yes, Flavian (Pauline) Xianity had covert had, not overt aid. This because the Romans had initiated a special tax on Jews generally, and this applied to the Jewish Taliban as well. Because conflating the Pauline Xians with the Jewish Taliban was propagandically astute, the Romans would have to be seen as taxing the Paulines as well under the same regime. Paul needs to be seen as running around doing fund raising all the time, so as to maintain a veneer of independence from the government.
 
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