Carrier review on Einhorn's 'Shift in Time'

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
At some point in the Roman's gospel narrative, there must be a reason for Jesus' sad corporeal ending, and which can be placed on the Jews shoulders, and not theirs.
Then they should have had Jesus executed for blasphemy or polytheism or working on the sabbath or something any good Roman might do. Or for that matter, they could have had Jesus executed on completely made up charges (fictitious charges in a fictitious narrative!).

But as it was, Jesus was not found guilty of these charges or even of disturbing the peace at the Temple. The charge against Him at His trial before Pilate, as well as how it was presented on the plaque above Him on the cross was that He had declared Himself to be "King of the Jews," in defiance of the temporal, Rome-appointed authorities

Valliant and Fahy's point is that such a positoin would not suffice for a radical Jew, as Laupot terms them Nazoreans. Similarly this does not suffice for many of the radical Right today. And then one gets dragged back into the issue of how much a "good slave" does one need to be.
Yes, I agree that the philosophy of the NT would not appeal to a "radical" (nationalist Zealot) Jew, and only appeals nominally (but not substantively) to the "radical" right (wing of the USA) today. But then, my position is that the authors are not writing to those audiences, but to others with "eyes to see and ears to hear" the syncretic wisdom of Hellenistic Judaism.

As for being a "good slave," I would say that the subjects of the Kingdom of Heaven are less like the commodity of chattel slavery, and more like the apprentices of indentured servitude. All humans are born in bondage to sin, but by our faith, we can be ransomed by our Lord to a life in His service, and by the work of our faith, redeemed to greater perfection.

To put this less poetically, people are born missing the point, and end up repeating the same mistakes over and over again without some sort of guidance. By devoting oneself to the total reality (as personified in the concept of a Divine creator, "Lord"), one can immediately and at any time choose to make a complete and dramatic change in attitude. This may not put someone where they need to be, but at least they will be heading in the right direction. By continuing through life in the right direction, circumstances will be such that the person can meet and overcome those challenges necessary for them to mature and evolve as a human into something more like that which they have chosen to devote themself to and thus, emulate

Why can't you be a good Postflavian? :confused:
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Then they should have had Jesus executed for blasphemy or polytheism or working on the sabbath or something any good Roman might do. Or for that matter, they could have had Jesus executed on completely made up charges (fictitious charges in a fictitious narrative!).
I think that you desire to be Pious to 'something', apparently the continuance of the underlying contiguous Hellenization project, that ironically both you and I agree exist. As well and closely related, inside of our argument with you, we agree with you that Paul and Josephus were part of this Hellenization project.

Where we differ from you is that you claim that the elites co-opted them, which it appears to me that all you have on your side is a very thin veneer of 'plausible deniability'.

On the other hand, Laupot makes a great argument that Josephus's "Judas the Galilean" is the real Jesus of the gospels, and that he and his Nazorean followers did indeed consider himself the rightful INRI, albeit Iudas the Nazorean, Rex of the Iudes. In this case, you would have a strong case for the Romans and the collaborating Jewish urban elites to co-opt the narratives of such uppity rural Jews as Judas the Galilean.

This case cannot be made for your heroes however, as they both start out serving their elite establishments, first serving to actively or passively oppose the rebels, then having their faux 'epiphanies' in active support of the Roman propaganda machine. Paul and Josephus were Flavians, and we are Postflavians.

As a suggestion, why don't you start your New2 Song and we'll all get to see who it benefits. If you are going to continue to idolize these two, then I strongly suspect that the New2 Song will be too much like the Newt (Gin-grinch) Song, i.e. Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss. If so, the New2 Song could be aptly named Hear the Newt Song, Same as the Old Songs.

This instead of continuing to twist neoPaulina into a pretzel. Be for something, and not everything neoPaulina.

As I've discussed here before, the Magna Carta was really a document to serve shellfish interests of the 'magnates' of the English realm. However, its language was co-opted by the Roundheads in opposition to the tyranny of traditionalist monarch Charles II and his Cavaliers (see more below). We are still fighting the legacy of this battle today, with the Bannonista cavaliers and their serfer dupes having just placed their Trojan Cock in the White House.

Get busy.

But as it was, Jesus was not found guilty of these charges or even of disturbing the peace at the Temple. The charge against Him at His trial before Pilate, as well as how it was presented on the plaque above Him on the cross was that He had declared Himself to be "King of the Jews," in defiance of the temporal, Rome-appointed authorities
But of course, the narrative Jesus did not claim this to Pilate, and thus Pilate could find no guilt. Pilate but the blame for killing Jesus back on the Jews, thus suiting Roman imperial interests.

You are desperately nit-picking in order to avert the overwhelming case against your argument.

Yes, I agree that the philosophy of the NT would not appeal to a "radical" (nationalist Zealot) Jew, and only appeals nominally (but not substantively) to the "radical" right (wing of the USA) today. But then, my position is that the authors are not writing to those audiences, but to others with "eyes to see and ears to hear" the syncretic wisdom of Hellenistic Judaism.
Yes, ... and no. I generally agree with you, except that Paul's message and the later gospels would gradually become slipstreamed as the defacto message into whatever latent radical Christiani communities were left after the Romans terminated the bulk with extreme prejudice. As Laupot mentions, this is one strong reason why so many other gospels were destroyed or driven underground. And the 'Jewish' Christiani would identify as such and not as 'Nazoreans' precisely because they didn't speak Hebrew or Aramaic for generations anymore.

When Saul starts his biblical career he is persecuting 'Christians', in reality it is the Nazoreans (the native equivalent of the Christiani), and after his political cover story, his 'epiphany' he preaches to 'Christians. The conflation of the terms accruing to the propagandist's benefit.

As for being a "good slave," I would say that the subjects of the Kingdom of Heaven are less like the commodity of chattel slavery, and more like the apprentices of indentured servitude. All humans are born in bondage to sin, but by our faith, we can be ransomed by our Lord to a life in His service, and by the work of our faith, redeemed to greater perfection.
As the Roundheads discussed their positions against Charles II, it was brought up that God had made man in his own image, and that therefore no man could rightfully be in absolute slavish servitude of another man.

Most all children are generally born with an innate desire to learn, but adults and most schools figure out how to kill this desire through various means. This learning ability inherently includes the possibility of learning that an individual might indeed be happier in society that actually lifted all boats instead of merely giving lip service to it, while delivering the opposite. In this case, I think your happy slave paradigm has not served humanity, or any other species here very well in the aggregate. One problem with your Hellenist heroes, including those in the Vatican and its owners, is that they believe in "As in Heaven, so on Earth", thus justifying their 'lordly' hegemony.

This philosophy, says to me that they are saying, "despite the fact that you Creator gave you the capacity to learn to solve problems of all kinds and magnitude, shut the fuck up and let a select few of us douche bags take care of matters for you. We'll only charge you 10 %".

To put this less poetically, people are born missing the point, and end up repeating the same mistakes over and over again without some sort of guidance. By devoting oneself to the total reality (as personified in the concept of a Divine creator, "Lord"), one can immediately and at any time choose to make a complete and dramatic change in attitude. This may not put someone where they need to be, but at least they will be heading in the right direction. By continuing through life in the right direction, circumstances will be such that the person can meet and overcome those challenges necessary for them to mature and evolve as a human into something more like that which they have chosen to devote themself to and thus, emulate
Nice sentiments, but rather problematic as it has been implemented in the past few thousand years.

One of the ironic twists that the Flavians placed in the gospels was having Jesus say that the "Truth would set you free". But whose truth, and who is your Lord or worse, who is his representative?

Thoughts are free, who can guess them?
They fly by like nocturnal shadows.
No man can know them, no hunter can shoot them
with powder and lead: Thoughts are free!

I think what I want, and what delights me,
still always reticent, and as it is suitable.
My wish and desire, no one can deny me
and so it will always be: Thoughts are free!

And if I am thrown into the darkest dungeon,
all these are futile works,
because my thoughts tear all gates
and walls apart: Thoughts are free!

So I will renounce my sorrows forever,
and never again will torture myself with whimsies.
In one's heart, one can always laugh and joke
and think at the same time: Thoughts are free!

I love wine, and my girl even more,
Only her I like best of all.
I'm not alone with my glass of wine,
my girl is with me: Thoughts are free!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Gedanken_sind_frei

And in another ironic place, Jesus tells us that we are all divine, not just a select few. But to me, this is not evidence of elite 'co-optation' of do-gooders, but rather their darkly humorous fine print. Fine print which the vast majority of humans under its slavery never had access to even read.

There are many Xians that, wittingly or unwittingly are happy cryptoAugustans, like the Jesuits, Atchity, Atwill, and many others. One can make a good case for desiring this model, however stultifying that version of 'freedom' is. Which box do you want to be in? says Little Red Writing Hood. "This box is too big, this one is too small, but this one is just write." So get writing.
 

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
In the interest of fairness and balance, I present the following:
Starting about 18:12, Mr. Zizek says:
There was a total fantasy which I learned was operative in all Socialist countries. It's wrong for theoretical reasons and also empirically it's wrong, but it's a beautiful fantasy. It has a correct insight{my emphasis}. Namely, the fantasy is that within the secret police there was an ultra-secret department whose function was to produce political jokes to keep the people satisfied. Not jokes against the West, but jokes against their own party leaders and so on.
To me, this is parallel to what you are describing. Because you are intelligent, because you are scrutinizing the elements, and because you have the more advantageous perspective, you see the ways which the forms of Messianism/Christianity which became the Roman church were ultimately advantageous to the temporal authorities, and so you have a correct insight.

However, I find it too far a leap to make to say that the Julio-Claudian emperors (such as Nero) and the Flavians were therefore conspiring together to intentionally craft what would become the Messianism/Christianity of Constantine more than two centuries later. It requires a level of foresight, cooperation, and willingness to commit immediate resources to a highly speculative long-range strategy that is far more than just a little atypical amongst the political class, patristic as they may be.

OTOH, Mr. Zizek returns to a not so dissimilar idea around 36:45:
Communists easily tolerated big demands. Like if you wrote - I'm not kidding, this literally happened - if you wrote a treatise claiming Yugoslav communism is worse than Stalinism, it's oppressive in more refined way, communist project is the greatest catastrophe in humanity, whatever, they basically paid you the plane - gave you the plane ticket to go to the West to some anti-communist congress. Nobody cared about that. But if you said naively, "like, as a communist, I don't like that specific law, change that specific law," or, "that specific --" TOTALLY modest demand, totally justifiable by the ruling ideology, even, you risked to be arrested and so on.
Similarly, I think we agree that a movement that claims allegiance to a Divine messiah/christ who will one day come (back) from a Heavenly realm to abolish the temporal authorities - including the imperial ones - is perceived as no worthwhile threat at all to the sort of person who quips, "I believe I'm becoming a god" with his dying breath.

Commodus wouldn't worship there, and I'm doubtful that Domitian might have, either. But a Vespasian? Ok, why not. "Hey, Timothy, sorry to hear about your buddy Paul. Here's a few talents for the cause - my cousin Clement's quite a fan of your little Jewish spin off school, synagogue, church, whatever." That seems reasonable. A Titus who says, " 'sup, J Flave? I totes dig that Gospel of Mark you wrote for me. Srsly, bruh, I'm touched. Like, no homo, of course, but fer rilz, yo, when I got to the part about how I was gonna teach them about fishing for men at the Sea of Galilee... DAWG! That was cold. I mean, that was gangsta what you did. Imma have my scribes write up like a hundred copies of this thing, and send it out to every one of these little groups of wanna be Jews throughout the empire!" - that seems like the sort of thing that men with newfound power tend to do. I can believe it.

And obviously, it is much more of a threat to have a group who is less concerned with Heavenly saviors and pithy beatitudes and more concerned with a flesh and blood savior who fancies himself some latter day Maccabee, committing material - however insignificant - acts of what we would nowadays call terrorism
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
I find it too far a leap to make to say that the Julio-Claudian emperors (such as Nero) and the Flavians were therefore conspiring together to intentionally craft what would become the Messianism/Christianity of Constantine more than two centuries later.
This is a long-running debate around here, how much long-term planning is really possible. My view is that each generation of rulers is primarily concerned with the immediate contingencies they are dealing with. So there's a lot of innovation on a continuing basis. On the other hand, they also seem to like to write prophecies with long-lasting or eternal claims, and describing long-term projects. So I don't see why the gospels couldn't have been written with long-term as well as short-term goals in mind.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I am used to being in the extreme minority, an uber-contrarian. The Sibylls had more respect, so WTF.

When one can determine where the Romans really came from, as opposed to narrative legend, then maybe we'll know for sure. I realize that tracing through similar narratives of such as the Jews and the Christians, with their discussions of Egypt and such must be misdirection or something for my feeble mind.
 
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