Here is part 2 of the first video you provided:Here are two recent podcasts featuring Valliant, Fahy, and Robert M. Price discussing the 'Creating Christ' book.
I've just watched the second of the first two podcasts in your post here. From that one I generally got the same impression.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.
I thought it rather humorous in the intro discussion that Price admitted to be a Trumpist, and thus typologically a modern day Zealot.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.
Price and the others thought it insane that Joe would advance Josephus as being the author of the gospels, that it is too much work and stylistically different from Josephus's acknowledged corpus of work.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.
I believe this is true, but there is no reason at all that such a rich work could not, or would not, contain some dark insider jokes. Ones which reflect attitudes towards those stiff-necked people that are otherwise making their lives, as rulers and profiteers, more difficult. There certainly was a wealth of insider knowledge about such as Pythagorean wisdom, which they never revealed to the hoi polloi. So why not mix in some insider humor, dark humor which would serve to fuel ongoing class attitudes till even today, these looking down upon the 'Greek pigs' as well as the Jewish rural Zealots?At 17:30 they say that the Christian religion is not just some big joke, it's "addressing broader philosophical needs as a religion".
Yes, and what if it's really true, and including the stunning Josephus / Paul parallels. And the Jewish War to Jesus's Galilean ministry parallels - not to mention Pollio's account of Julius Caesar's Civil War details, which Carotta noted (as well as the massive Julius Caesar Passion parallels). There was likely no law which prevented such pious imitatio, especially when its your job to create religions.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?
Funny, and Fahy also chimes in that the Romans had a pre-existing team of people that created religions, in support of what I stated early about Price's objection to Josephus's sole role.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.
Agreed. There is some odd presumption that those elites that were otherwise sincerely creating a new religion could not have otherwise typical elite attitudes towards their human sheep.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.