New Book -- Creating Christ

Richard Stanley

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http://www.creatingchrist.com/

A new book by James Valliant and C.W. Fahy, building on the Flavian approach. The material provided on the site demonstrates that the earliest Christian iconography was the Fish and Anchor, which was adapted from the Dolphin and Anchor associated with Apollo at Delphi.

Apollo was the Classical Greek's prior Logos before this attribute was assigned to Iesous Christos for the Age of the Fish.
 
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Jerry Russell

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Staff member
I've finished reading the book. It's very impressive. The first half of the book is dedicated almost entirely to an analysis of the Fish & Anchor symbol. They show that the symbol was used for very distinct and specific purposes, and argue convincingly that it's no coincidence the early Christians and the Flavians were using the symbol.

The authors point out that Titus died mysteriously after eating a fish (perhaps poisoned by his successor Domitian?), while Titus Flavius Clemens was executed ~14 years later, by that same Domitian. According to legend, he was tied to an anchor and dropped to the bottom of the ocean. A rather chilling indication of internecine squabbling among Christians? Domitian was killed a year after that, and Christianity rolled onwards.

The second half of the book explores the connections between Paul, the Flavian court, and the Herodians and Alexandrian Jews. Many wonderful insights. Their approach is cautious, scholarly, and avoids speculation or contradiction of conventional wisdom as much as possible. I'll be curious to see if the mainstream finds it more persuasive than the earlier books by Carotta, Atwill, and others.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The authors point out that Titus died mysteriously after eating a fish (perhaps poisoned by his successor Domitian?), while Titus Flavius Clemens was executed ~14 years later, by that same Domitian. According to legend, he was tied to an anchor and dropped to the bottom of the ocean. A rather chilling indication of internecine squabbling among Christians? Domitian was killed a year after that, and Christianity rolled onwards.
So might this lend additional credence to my view of the significance of Domitian's Big Fish poem?

Maybe Titus Flavius Clemens was trying for a resurrection? Or maybe all of these people (and Nero to boot) really went to the Hidden Resort of the day. The advantage of doing so would be to help remove suspicions, later on, that they played such a role, and thereby enhance the appearance that Xianity rose ex verbum dei -- and not ex Palatium.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
In reading so far, I generally agree with their characterization of the dynamics between the Pauline's and the 'other's', being mostly Zealots of different varieties, including the Essenes. Paul is practicing a form of Entryism for his Roman sponsors. But if the timeline is correct, then he is doing so before the Flavians have come to power.

The authors do indeed seem to be correct that the goal was to conflate, in people's minds, their movement with that of the messianic Jews. But this still begs the question as to whether it would fool the zealots, and so maybe the conflation was targeted to occur in those that were persuadable.

The authors apply the label 'Christian' to these messianic Jews, but from my understanding such would never adopt such a name, Christos being a Greek word, albeit that it means 'annointed' as does 'messiah'. This is similar to the authors seemingly correct suggestion that the messianic Jews would not have used the fish symbol, it flowing ultimately from the Delphic Dolphin and Anchor of Apollo. But the Roman's infiltration/conflation movement might indeed, and this seems to align with Bartram's position, I think. Especially with the Flavian coin definitively demonstrating their use of the Fish and Anchor.

And so Nero maybe gets a bad steer, posthumously falling on his fiddle for the greater Christian good. He was not burning Christians as lamps, not gnostic's as lamps, but rather messianic Mosaic Jews. But when no one is left to gainsay, they become Christians.

Hence, as the authors discuss, we see the dichotomy between the way light handed way Pliny and Trajan treat .... umm "Christians" in 'Turkey' and the way messianic Jews get treated everywhere else, nailed en masse to their crosses or lit up.

Also, they use the general approach that our OT analysis series does, in letting the texts speak for themselves ... first, rather than comment upon others' comments that ultimately derived from long ago efforts to pound square pegs into round holes.
 
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Richard Stanley

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The authors identify the Pauline Christians as the Ebionites (the 'poor ones'), and as such it would make sense that the so-called Jerusalem Church consisting of the disciples including such as James the Just would have been of the Nazarene camp. Meaning those affiliated with those considered worthy (of royal descent) to take up a traditional messianic mantle -- and undertake the required Nazarite purification regime found in Numbers 6.

This Ebionite - Nazarene schism, baked into the cake from the beginning of Xianity seems identical to the schism found later within Islam between the rationalist Sunnis and the more mystical Shiites. Here, one branch of the Shiites are the Ismaili 'Seveners', aka the Nazari.

For those that don't know, the hereditary heads of the Ismailis, the Aga Khans, were/are rather well connected to the Western world. The previous Aga Khan was college friends with George W. H. Bush, and they remained close ever after (tennis buddies and such). Vice President Bush would stay at the Aga Khan estate in Switzerland and such. The Ismailis built their USA headquarters in Sugarland, TX where Poppy Bush lives.

The Ismailis also became infamous during the Crusades for a black-ops group they had that we derived the word 'assassin' from, because they assassinated rival leaders, mostly Sunni. Contemporaneous commentators, including Islamic surmised that the Ismailis and Knights Templar were in league with each other, based not only on actions, but on how they were structurally organized. Daniel Hopsicker, in Barry and the Boys, identified Poppy as being part of a CIA assassination squad operating in Central and South America.

Just coincidence.
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
As I have mentioned several times before, it appears to me that the political and geo-political dynamics of today mirror that of the times of Jesus, namely that of the globalist / nationalist divide. The authors agree with this, see below. They mention "Jewish exceptionalism" (alluding to the Chosen People concept) in the same manner that the 'Patriots' wield American Exceptionalism as a political bludgeon, its ironic roots from the Old Testament Conquest ideology that built the nation in the first place. 'Ironic' that they also insist that we are a Christian nation, and not a Jewish nation.

The authors spend a considerable amount of good time detailing how Jesus is really a profound Roman avatar, from his gospel positions. No Jew, that was not rather Hellenized would buy this messaging. This is similar to how Trump's minions can't bring themselves to deal with his real nature instead of what he is saying to them now.

Instead, in this era of virulent Jewish rebellion against Rome, Jesus Christ is portrayed declaring a Roman centurion’s faith in the God of Abraham as exceeding that of any Jew. Such a statement is tantamount to a Muslim claiming that an infidel American GI exceeds the faith in Allah of any contemporary Muslim. It is, quite frankly, unbelievable, and it is no wonder that such a thing was not published until after the Romans had won the Jewish War. At the time in which he allegedly made it, consider how confidently Jesus utters such a shockingly controversial claim in the Gospels. Never mind the fear of Roman authorities—saying such a thing in Jewish company would be unthinkably provocative. It could be argued, therefore, that such confidence could only come after the Romans’ had utterly defeated and enslaved the Jewish rebels.
...
According to the Christian Gospels, the messiah who actually came was a surprise to his contemporary Jews. He was neither a military nor a political leader of any kind, but a humble peace lover and an advocate not of Jewish exceptionalism (almost the entire job description of the messiah up to that point) but a proponent of transnationalism. Indeed, he was a passionate ambassador of the same universal peace desired by the Roman Empire.

 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
I'm not sure whether it was intended as humor or not, but the authors referred to Jesus as being an "antimessiah". This stemming from that, except in one seeming instance, Jesus's positions are indeed 180 degrees opposite of a normative, non-Hellenized Jew at the time, with regards to both Judaism in general, and specifically as regards to the nature of the messiah. In the former regard, his positions dovetail with Paul's, despite that Jesus stated that he came to fulfill the Law. He didn't really say whose Law though.

As I discussed in the OT analysis so far, Christianity un-inverted the 613 Mosaic Laws, excepting that of the 10 Commandments. And considering that the Mosaic Laws are presented as if a flip of a (cultural) switch, this all is pretty interesting. As is the nature of the wider discussion here about Culture, people don't like having the culture they were raised with monkeyed with, even in the slightest, or whether it was good or bad to start with. And so, both these 'inversions' of cultural law are accompanied with massive levels of rebellion and suppressive violence, if not directly in the gospel narrative, but in the wider Jewish to Roman arena.

Besides the book's first focus on the coin symbology, they also frame this issue of cultural war quite well, with Jesus and Paul clearly on the side of the Romans, and the wider analysis shows Vespasian and Titus, at least, as morally much closer to what people tend to think about Jesus than they did the prior Julio-Claudian emperors. This discussion makes it quite easy to see the massive parallels to today's situation in America and Europe. Because of such inversions such as Trump's base and even David Duke have been turned into the xenophobic Jewish Zealots of the day. I predict that their descendants, at least, will continue to not have a happy time between now and, perhaps, 2070.

In the terms that the authors are framing Christianity as being the globalizing propaganda weapon of the Flavians, then Christ, in addition to being a solar referent, is also the agent of globalization, hence such as 'missionaries spreading the Good Word. In this light, then an AntiChrist is a nationalist, especially a race nationalist, and even more so a chosen people race nationalist. Here, I say that the Christ and the AntiChrist are really a tag team / Good Cop, Bad Cop combo, working for the same aim.

But, again, the authors are convinced that there was only one End Time, that of the Jewish War. And I say we are in the middle of the next one right now. We just have different foils (radical Islam and displaced American workers), and ironically, most of the western Jews today are happily on the global team. Albeit they are becoming concerned about the Zealots.
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
Another aspect of this great book is the claim that Domitian must indeed have killed his brother and cousin, because that is what the commentators of the time suggested. On the surface, this appears to be true, because separate claims, by such as Pliny the Younger (in his letter to Trajan) seem to corroborate that there are changes afoot, regarding nascent Xians versus pagans, that match the scenario that Domitian is not only a killer of Titus, but that he had it in for the new Christianity movement as well.

But here, I will deviate and build my case that this is all part of a psy-op, that incidentally runs similar to the one claimed by Miles Mathis regarding Christ JFK (the Romish messiah of the 20th century). In this psy-op, Domitian, like Nero before, were merely playing out their assigned tribal (Sabine) and 'corporate' roles, posthumously falling on their sword for the greater good of the tribe.

Titus, after all, was beloved by the people of Rome, as the authors show behaving morally as Jesus of the gospels would have us. He was son of the God, Vespasian, and after a short imperial reign on Earth, he was 'killed', or so we are told ... by eating a fish, according to legend. His cousin, was also 'killed' by being tied to an anchor, again according to legend. This symbol, of the Fish and Anchor, was uniquely found on Flavian coins, and other artifacts of the period, and oddly was the first symbol of Christianity ... for 3 centuries before the cross took its place.

Obviously then, it is possible to view such assassinations using such symbology as being sponsored by someone with a grudge against those people and the new movement. However, this is a movement that really was a project of deep political interest of the Roman state, far beyond personal vanity, of Flavians or any other individuals or dynasts.

As such, killing such a beloved leader invokes deep feelings of sympathy for not only the memory of the leader (who merely went to the Hidden Resort in beautiful Bithynia (Turkey)), but as well it sponsors deep good feelings for the movement.

His cousin, Clement, appears (to me) to have been the first Xian pope (aka Peter) and using the symbology of being tied to an anchor and drowned, then we have the similarity of being hung upside-down on a sort of cross. His wife, Domitilla, the niece of Titus and Domitian, was merely sent into exile at the Hidden Resort, as the reports state. Their sons were made heirs of Domitian. This does not jibe with the authors claims that Domitian must have been afraid of his cousin being a threat to his reign ... so he makes the sons his heirs?

As mentioned in CM, the first Christian catacombs are named for Flavia Domitilla, and as well, the Fish and Anchor is well represented there. Her remains apparently were moved, some centuries later, to a cathedral appearing to be a veiled homage to Nero.

With Nero, he has his most trusted servant, Epiphroditus, who is said (by some accounts?) to have refused Nero's request to kill him before his enemies did. This leaving Nero to do the job himself, or so we are told. Or maybe he went to the Hidden Resort. Nero, seems to have gotten a bum rap, like Domitian, as he was beloved of the people of the entire empire, even in the 'East'. There is even the claim in Gittin 56 of the Talmud that Nero went to live with them and had a son who became a Jewish priest. But these are likely elite Jews, not common Jews. It is likely that the story of Nero killing Christians is really referring him killing messianic Jews, that were goaded by agents provocateur into staring Rome on fire. This is how Machiavellian manipulation such as 'divide and conquer' works, after all.

Here, the Apostle Paul, in the time of Nero, has a connection into the Roman court, by the name of Epiphroditus. When one analyzes the positions of Paul vis-a-vis the Jews, Paul is downright speaking to the desires of the imperial court. Hmmm. Epiphro... also assists Josephus Flavius with publishing his works, and then Domitian kills him ... supposedly. Paul has friends in the imperial court (e.g. as witnessed by Philippians 4:22) with names such as Titus and Clement. Just coincidence, nothing here to see.

According to accounts, Domitian killed his family members, and presumably many of the other Roman nobility, because they were 'atheists', which is indeed a plausible reason given Christians and Jews appeared closer to being atheists than good pagans. But, as the authors and others (even contemporaneous accounts) agree, this can be nothing more than a pretext covering a different purpose. But the authors get that wrong, the real purpose is a false flag psy-op to garner sympathy for nascent Christianity rather than to damage it. A Christianity that espouses all the virtues that the empire desires, i.e. the happy servility of the literal and figurative slaves.

Then, separate from the book, we have the issue of Domitian's Big Fish Story as told by Juvenal's Satire #4. A Trumpian hu...uuuge fish, a type of Roman delicacy, is caught and transported to Domitian's summer villa, today's Papal villa. But it is soooo hu...uuuge that senators and such must be summoned to the villa for a meeting on what to do with the fish. After much debate, it is decided that the fish is so large that they must build a bigger bowl for it. They do not just cut it up into manageable pieces for edible consumption, and after all what would they need a meeting for in this case. The fish is a satirical metaphor for ....?

So, Domitian sends his tribe members, family or otherwise, to the Hidden Resort(s) expanding the fish bowl. This under the cover that some are being exiled, while others are kaput.

This is why the Jesuit black popes have the nickname, Papa Nero. The current white Pope, a Jesuit, is currently making a deal with the Lutherans to come back to the fold. According to prophecy, Francis is to be the last pope, before the new paradigm (for the New Age) is launched.
 
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Jerry Russell

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Staff member
Let's not forget the apocalyptic events of 1000 to 1070 AD, which might have been accelerated by slicing 300 years out of the calendar. Or does that pale into insignificance compared to the turn of the sign of the zodiac?

Rick pointed out to me that in at least one representation of the anchor & fish, found at Herculaneum, the anchor is drawn with straight lines rather than curves. Drawn this way, it has a resemblance to an Egyptian hieroglyphic "Kekh" symbol, as found at p. 252 of Fideler's "Jesus Christ Sun of God". This is also the symbol of the town of Syene, whose number is 666. (Cue sound effects from 'The Twilight Zone').
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
Let's not forget the apocalyptic events of 1000 to 1070 AD, which might have been accelerated by slicing 300 years out of the calendar. Or does that pale into insignificance compared to the turn of the sign of the zodiac?
I suppose its possible that Zodiacal timing is merely a cover story for the cultural/political transformations to be justified and couched with. I am currently looking at the Trojan War as the same phenomenon, and as well know Virgil's legend has it that the Romans originated in Troy, with a failed Romance with the Semitic Dido along the way. Another woman scorned. :rolleyes:

But in order to use that event, or even the Amarna event, then some chronological rejiggering must be needed to get them to ~1,000 BCE, and near the time of Saul and David. Saul, where have we heard that transformative name before? Of course, people are indeed working on such rejiggering. In any case, the fall of Troy was literally the end of the Late Bronze Age, leaving only Egypt standing in the entire eastern Mediterranean.

In any case, the zodiacal timing does seem important to the hidden hands. Lots of new astronomical speculations in this vein, about the impact of so-called Planet Nine, or even a controversy about the star Sirius not precessing along with the rest of the constellations. Either of these possibilities affected irregularities of the planets' orbits and possibly even modulating the output of the Sun. This in regards to considerations of the Sun as our veiled deity, who is sometimes nice to us and sometimes not.

Rick pointed out to me that in at least one representation of the anchor & fish, found at Herculaneum, the anchor is drawn with straight lines rather than curves. Drawn this way, it has a resemblance to an Egyptian hieroglyphic "Kekh" symbol, as found at p. 252 of Fideler's "Jesus Christ Sun of God". This is also the symbol of the town of Syene, whose number is 666.
Yes, that 'anchor' seems to more directly evoke geometric symbolism than more stylized and typical versions. This, and some others ones, also lend one to thinking of the anchor as a cosmic symbol, especially ones with the fish (or dolphin) entwined around the shaft, as an astral fish rotating around the axis of the Earth (or Sun?). As I stated on another thread, Syene was a sacred city, that on the summer solstice casts no shadows at noon. This allowed the circumference of the Earth to be calculated fairly accurately by Eratosthenes -- knowing the distance from Syene to Alexandria.

The 'kekh' was an Egyptian plumb bob device that allowed 'masons' to square up their constructions. It evokes the Freemasonic 'Lewis', supposed an Egyptian construction crane of sorts, but might be a conflation of mine. Have to research more as my memory is failing.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following excerpt helps demonstrate Creating Christ's position of Vespasian's and Titus's role in creating Christianity, albeit it is a regurgitation of the contemporaneous accounts. Interestingly, it claims that the Book of Revelation is a cryptic 'prophecy' for what to expect to occur in the unfolding history of the Church. As such, I would claim that the cryptic 'prophecy' is really a cryptic game plan - or script.

The author seems to be a Roman Catholic, and he is saying that the various 'Seven' aspects all relate to 7 distinct historic phases of the Church, which includes the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. The first Seal is to be associated with the first Trumpet, etc. ...

From:
The General History of the Christian Church,
From Her Birth to Her Final Triumphant State in Heaven, Chiefly Deduced From the Apocalypse of St. John the Apostle
by Pastorini (1771)


upload_2016-11-2_10-13-11.png

Keeping Josephson's linkage of Revelation's 7 Seals with Josephus's 7 books, then we have a better picture of what is occurring here. Just like in today's national politics, Right and Left mean nothing, and in our analysis that, at the elite level, Jew vs. Gentile mean nothing, then Josephus was part of the oligarchic cabal.

As Pastorini relates, this John was in charge of the 7 churches of Asia (today's Turkey). And he was placed on Patmos by Domitian ... after being 'sheep dipped' in boiling oil. As I have related elsewhere, Patmos, at the time, was a Roman naval base protecting the sea lanes into ports such as Ephesus. This guy who is being placed in 'political exile' by the emperor is allowed to receive visitors and send his correspondence to these 'Christian' churches, where he tells them what to do and look out for. In other words, St. John the Apostle was an imperial Roman agent of Domitian's. This general area is where Domitian exiles his relatives and friends, as opposed to those that he didn't supposedly kill.

As I understand by a separate review of Pastorini's work, he states that God, via John, desires such prophetic works to be cryptic so that only those worthy can be warned of what dirty deeds are coming and allow them to take cover, as in: head to Pella while Jerusalem is destroyed. In such as case it makes no good to have the unfaithful have the same benefit.

And as such, as I have claimed that the entire Reformation was a cynical divide and conquer contrivance, Pastorini apparently concludes that God was aware that this bloody schism(s) was going to happen and that it would be resolved. Today, the so-called Last Pope, is sewing up the loose ends with the Lutherans.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Some select excerpts from Creating Christ regarding the relationship between the Flavians and Philo's nephews. Also is mentioned that Vespasian and his brother were posted to Britain, as generals, during the time of emperor Claudius. This was when the Dewa fortress was built in what is now the city of Chester (aka Chrester?). In the very middle of the fortress was a unique Vesica Piscis shrine, with 12 stations -- ala a Catholic church. The Vesica piscis is the esoteric and sacred Pythagorean symbol formed by the geometry of two overlapping circles whose rims cross each others' centers. So, I think it is fairly safe to say that the Flavians were fishy people, as the authors demonstrate by the Fish and Anchor.

Tiberius Alexander was the brother of Marcus Alexander, who was a husband of the aforementioned Princess Bernice before his unfortunate death. Their father, Julius Alexander, once an Alabarch himself in Alexandria, is described by Josephus as "an old friend” of the Emperor Claudius and a “steward” of the emperor’s mother, Antonia. (24) This relationship may suggest that connections between the Flavians and this family of Alexanders existed long before the Jewish War, since Vespasian’s own long-time mistress was Antonia’s secretary. Antonia was a daughter of the triumvir Marcus Antonius, a niece of Augustus, and the mother of the Emperor Claudius. It was Claudius who had appointed Vespasian and his brother to their commands in the conquest of Britain during the early 40s, resulting in military successes that advanced the Flavians to the front ranks of Roman politics. (25)
...
The elder Alabarch, Alexander, who was the Emperor Claudius’s friend, was also the brother of the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria. This means that his sons, including Titus’s second-in-command at Jerusalem, were nephews of this famous sage.
...
Philo transformed the Jewish God Yaweh into the neo-Platonic Absolute of the Hellenistic philosophers. For Philo, Yahweh became a World-soul, or Form of the Good, or the One, as this Platonic idea has been variously named. In truth, Jewish monotheism already fit more comfortably with this expanding Greek ideology than polytheism ever could and therefore held increasing attraction to pagans.
...
Both sexual licentiousness and tax collecting were objectionable activities among the pious and revolutionary Jews of this period. Even so, the notorious Herodians and the family of Alabarchs
[aka head official tax collector] from Alexandria were nominally “Jews” themselves. The Flavians, who had been proclaimed Jewish messiahs, were themselves a family of tax collectors. Both Titus’s grandfather and great-grandfather were tax-collectors. (29) So the Herodian royals and wealthy Alexandrian Jews connected with Titus are rather strikingly similar to the unconventional company Jesus keeps in the Gospels; i.e., prostitutes and tax collectors, characters reviled by contemporary Jews. (30) At Matthew 21:31 Jesus himself informs the chief priests and the elders of the Jews, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Well, in reading further, the authors do get around to the conclusion that there is indeed a connection between the Julio-Claudians and the Flavians, besides that Vespasian and his brother were generals for Claudius.

This particular act of Paul may reveal an underlying imperial purpose for his mission that would explain why it enjoyed so much official support by Nero’s government: the pacification of militant messianic Jews by converting them to something more palatable to the Romans and more easily assimilated into their Hellenized culture. Both the narrative in Acts and the content of Paul’s message suggest that he was acting as a Roman operative in a “psy-ops” program that anticipated the later Flavian project by trying to convert messianic Jews into good Roman citizens.
And the Flavians must have been slightly more than obscure Romans, with their generalships -- and that Titus was tutored along with Nero and Brittanicus.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The book also briefly discusses Seneca (the Younger) as likely being the vector for the Stoicism found within the NT. Seneca, and his nephew, Lucan, the poet, were ordered to die, by Nero, supposedly because of being implicated in the Piso Conspiracy against Nero. The messianic Jews clearly were not Stoics, at least in any ordinary sense.

Here it's rather interesting to note that Seneca's wife was named Pompeia Paulina. Supposedly, Paul was put to death by Nero as well. Hmmm. Likely more on this association coming.

In any case, the Piso family is very interesting for several reasons. First, Julius Caesar was married to Calpurnia Piso, and there is a theory that the Piso's had a strong hand in sponsoring the Xian project. The Piso's had an estate in Herculaneum, near Pompeii, that was buried in Vesuvius's volcanic ash. When these cities were discovered, somebody seemed to know the importance of getting right to the Piso estate, where there was a vast library of documents. Today, Mormon scholars at BYU, are working on reading the crispy scrolls with advanced imaging technology. Hopefully this is not another Dead Sea Scrolls -- hide the monkey phenomenon.

The Piso estate was replicated in Malibu, CA as part of the Getty Museum. I wonder if they have some Fish and Anchor Flavian artifacts there?
 

Jerry Russell

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Staff member
'Creating Christ' got a very strong endorsement from Robert M. Price, who said:

https://www.creatingchrist.com/post/robert-m-price-review-of-creating-christ

I know of at least five other scholars who have set forth a case that the Christian religion was created and promulgated by the Flavian Imperium to serve as an opiate for the ever-rebelling Jewish messianists. All have taught me, but I never saw a way to take the theory seriously till I read Valliant and Fahy’s new book, Creating Christ...
The complete review appears at Valliant and Fahy's promotional book site, but I couldn't find a copy at either Price's review site, or his blog site.

It seems that the argument that won him over, was Valliant and Fahy's evidence of ancient coins, mosaics and tombstones, in both Christian and Flavian contexts, all carrying the fish & anchor motif. Price says:

Why is this important? Well, at the very same time the Flavians were minting these coins, Christians widely embraced this symbol for themselves. Christian use continued long afterward, though as of Constantine it was replaced by the more familiar cross. Given the impression reinforced by movies like The Robe and Demetrius and the Gladiators, that Rome engaged in unremitting, widespread persecution of Christians, it would seem extremely unlikely for Christians to appropriate for themselves the favorite logo of their persecutors. But it would make plenty of sense for them to use the symbol of Flavianism if the latter supported their religion—having largely created it in the first place.
It feels unfriendly & unscholarly to me, that Price would mention the "five other scholars" without calling them out by name. I could mention Joe Atwill, Lena Einhorn, Roman Piso & Abelard Reuchlin... who else? Among Roman Origins theorists, I believe most would argue for an earlier origin than the Flavians. This list would include Bruno Bauer, Francesco Carotta, Gary Courtney, Voskuilen & Sheldon, Stephan Huller, Daniel Unterbrink, Ken Atchity, John Bartram and Ralph Ellis. I'm sure most of them would agree that the Flavians also had an important role to play, but they would point to Augustus, Antony, Cleopatra, Philo of Alexandria, and/or Herod Agrippa as important founders of proto-Christianity ("Chrestianity") as well.

So now that Robert M. Price admits that he's willing to "take the theory seriously", can Carrier and perhaps even Ehrman be far behind?
 

Jerry Russell

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Staff member
Here are two recent podcasts featuring Valliant, Fahy, and Robert M. Price discussing the 'Creating Christ' book.


 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Nothing wrong with the above two video links, but the one I actually wound up watching is this one.


Some highlights:

8:30 Valliant & Fahy say they've blasted notices about their book to every academic in the field that they've been able to identify, and they've gotten almost no response. But the few responses they've received have been tremendously positive. Eric Hill, Robert Eisenman and of course Dr. Price have been among their few supporters. They don't know of any serious academic scholar who has attempted a rebuttal.

About 11:00, Valliant & Fahy get started ragging on Atwill. They say that he believes crazy things like late dates for composition of Pauline epistles, and Price chimes in that he is just as much of a nutcase as Joe on that particular question. (Price basically believes the entire Pauline corpus is a late forgery.)

14:20, Price reveals that he's restarted publication of the old "Journal of Higher Criticism" and that one of Joe's articles will be in an upcoming issue.

But at 14:30, they really get serious with the attack on Joe, and exclaim how absolutely hilarious, outrageous and unbelievable they find his analysis. At 16:20 they single out his Easter story for ridicule.

At 17:30 they say that the Christian religion is not just some big joke, it's "addressing broader philosophical needs as a religion".

18:00, they talk about Bruno Bauer and Seneca, and the Stoic content in Christianity.

24:00, they discuss Roman persecution of Christianity.

28:00, the idea that early Christians may have thought of Vespasian and Titus as the Messiah, and Jesus' prophecies as predictions of Vespasian and Titus and their conquest of the Temple.

Starting about 40:00, they talk about how the Romans always adopted the gods of the people they conquer, creating syncretistic Hellenized versions of every Pagan cult in the Mediterranean region and Western Europe. Judaism was a tough not because of its monotheistic nationalism, but Christianity would fit right in to the Roman pattern of creating new religions.

At 58:00, they say that the New Testament was written as a document for its time, and ridicule the idea that there were prophecies meant to be fulfilled 2000 years later. I think they're making fun of Futurist religious arguments, and I don't think they have even imagined our view that modern actors might deliberately set about to implement the fulfillment of ancient prophecies.

At 59:00, the hosts ask Price if he has any reservations about Valliant and Fahy's book. Price goes into nit-picking objections about the Testimonium Flavianum and James Bro Jesus passage in Josephus, and V & F very ably defend their views.

And that's it. After an entire scholarly lifetime of virulent attacks on Roman Origins theorists, Price really has nothing to say for himself in terms of explaining his past views. He doesn't identify any competing theory about who might conceivably have invented Jesus if it wasn't the Romans. Second century Quisling Jews trying to curry Roman favor, I suppose? If that was his former view, now he doesn't even think it's worth mentioning.

72:00, Valliant says that there is a stunning similarity between Josephus's theological and political positions on a wide variety of views, as compared to Gospel views of the same issues. Price replies that he thinks this is parallelomania on Valliant's part, and then Fahy agrees with Price that it's "a little too neat"? WTF?

Then Fahy changes the topic, explaining that the Romans had a "syncretistic religious machine" and reiterating that Christianity fits right in to the pattern; and Valliant made another quick segue into revisiting the topic of Christian persecutions, and Candida Moss's work.

At 76:00, Valliant says he believes that Pauline Christians were never persecuted, but Jewish Messianic Nationalists certainly were.

At 80:00, Price says he's 50 pages into reading "Operation Messiah" by Voskuilen & Sheldon. He's rather flabbergasted, but has nothing much to say against it.

I can only say this is a huge & unexpected development, because Price is held in such high esteem by Christ Mythicists, and he's been so steadfast in his opposition to Roman Origins theories for so long. I can hardly remember any public figure making such an about-face.

And at the same time, I think they've thrown out some of the most valuable aspects of Joe's work, along with the bathwater. Caesar's Messiah does a great job of portraying the wicked humor and the sheer evil of the Christian project, the irony in Josephus's satire of Christianity, and the role of Christianity in creating a thousand-year reich of European feudalism.

I hope it's not just an op to suppress awareness of Caesar's Messiah. But I fear that's exactly what it is. Further information needed.
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
I hope it's not just an op to suppress awareness of Caesar's Messiah. But I fear that's exactly what it is. Further information needed.
I could've just erased the above rather than using line-out. Now I'm feeling bad about having ever said anything. But I know everybody will be wondering, anyhow. Valliant, Fahy & Price all look very sincere in this video. What more can I say.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
You may indeed be correct. :(

The new revelation needs to lower the profile of the previous revelations, but not to the extent that the rationale for having one in the first place is questioned too hard. The New Boss must function much like the Old Boss.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
After watching the relevant section of the video again, I'd like to clarify a couple of things about the discussion of Caesar's Messiah in the video.

All of them (Price, Fahy & Valliant) made it clear that they have great respect for Atwill as a scholar, and for his knowledge of the New Testament. Valliant feels that any errors in CM are basically irrelevant to the Roman Origins theory.

About their disagreements with Caesar's Messiah, Price did about 90% of the talking. And he was criticizing the ideas -- it was not an ad hominem attack at all.
 
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