New Book -- Creating Christ

Joe James

New Member
"Respond to the claim. The individuals you mention have no archaeological basis. Jerry was referring to such as Flavia Domatilla, and other Flavians."

Do you deny that there was a historical John the Baptist, Paul, Peter, Matthew, Josephus?
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Do you deny that there was a historical John the Baptist, Paul, Peter, Matthew, Josephus?
I believe that there likely was a 'Paul', and that 'Saul' was one and the same as Josephus Flavius. If there was a John the Baptist, it would likely be per Ralph Ellis' theories, which also include an historical human that was conveniently transformed by quill into your fictional Jesus of non-existent Nazareth.

But that wasn't Jerry's proposition in any case, was it?

Again, ignoring today's modern innovations, how does today's world differ from that of the Roman's?
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Who cares? You're clutching at straws.

Josephus said a lot of things, some of which are accurate, others of which are clearly propagandic distortion, for aiding his Flavian sponsors..

Again, ignoring today's modern innovations, how does today's world differ from that of the Roman's?
Answer this question as to your feckless savior.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Who cares? You're clutching at straws.
Rick, please, there's no need to be rude to visitors. Joe is new to the site, and we can't make any assumptions about the materials he's read.

Do you deny that there was a historical John the Baptist, Paul, Peter, Matthew, Josephus?
John the Baptist is attested to by both Josephus and the New Testament. He's also revered by the Mandaeans, who seem to represent an independent lineage going back to the Nasoreans or Essenes. There's a significant discrepancy between the NT and Josephus accounts, but they seem to be referring to the same person.

Paul of the New Testament could be a composite, fictionalized character. His biography according to the NT is strikingly similar in most respects to the life of Josephus. Most scholars think there's a single author who wrote the core set of Pauline letters, and obviously those letters were written by some historical person or persons.

Peter and James were probably Jewish Zealot leaders. Mentioned in Josephus, the NT and probably the DSS.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (of Patmos) seem to be pseudonyms (pen names) of otherwise unknown authors, possibly on Josephus's staff of scholars and writers.

It seems plausible that the books accredited to 'Josephus' were written by a historical person whose life is more or less described in his autobiography. It's possible that this person was not really Jewish, as he seems to have little true loyalty to his nationality. He might, in fact, have belonged to the Piso family of Rome.

In general we can only speak in terms of probabilities, because the historical & archaeological data available is very sketchy.

Do you believe that Josephus' reference to James, John the Baptist and Pilate are interpolations?
We believe that in addition to the few passages which are endlessly debated by scholars, Josephus contains many obvious, satirical references to the New Testament. These are not generally recognized as such, because of chronological issues, and because Christian biblical scholars have no sense of humor. But since we're convinced that Josephus knew all about Christianity, it's certainly possible that he did in fact mention "James the brother of Jesus" and he did in fact write the Testimonium Flavianum.

Jerry was referring to such as Flavia Domatilla, and other Flavians.
I was assuming that Joe had read "Creating Christ", but perhaps not. Here's some info from my essay on this site (written before V&F came out with more evidence):

https://postflaviana.org/introduction-flavian-origins-theory-christianity/

Vespasian’s family was intimately connected with the Herodians as well as another powerful Jewish family, the Alexanders of Egypt. When Nero was killed in suspicious circumstances, the support of the Alexanders and Herodians was crucial to Vespasian’s effort to gain the throne. This group of families obviously had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to create a new religion for Judea, and indeed for the entire world. Atwill continues:
…it is odd that so many members of the Flavian family were recorded as having been among Christianity’s first members. Why was a Judaic cult that advocated meekness and poverty so attractive to a family that practiced neither? The tradition connecting early Christianity and the Flavian family is based on solid evidence but has received little comment from scholars.
The rogue’s gallery of possible Flavian Christians cited in Caesar’s Messiah includes Titus’s mistress Bernice (possibly the same person as St. Veronica), Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul in 82 CE, Vespasian’s nephew), Sabinus’s brother the theologian Titus Flavius Clemens, Sabinus’s wife Flavia Domitilla, and the early Pope known as Clement. The patron Saint of France, St. Petronilla, was another member of what the Catholic Church refers to as the ‘Christian Flavii’. Legend had it that Petronilla was the daughter of St. Peter, but sixteenth-century notices show that she was related to the Flavius Clemens mentioned above, whose great-grandfather was Titus Flavius Petronius. The New Testament also records that the Flavians hosted leaders of the early church in their court. While in some cases the sources of this information are late and hagiographic, in other cases multiple and/or possibly primary sources attest to early Flavian involvement in Christianity. These circumstances are extraordinarily difficult to explain if the origins of Christianity are as they are usually depicted: a movement built of humble fishermen, merchants and slaves from Judaea. But, as Atwill noted:
A Roman origin would also explain why so many members of a Roman imperial family, the Flavians, were recorded as being among the first Christians. The Flavians would have been among the first Christians because, having invented the religion, they were, in fact, the first Christians.
 

Joe James

New Member
I've read Creating Christ and Caesar's Messiah.

Obviously we are dealing with ancient history where we don't have even close to the sources we'd like. One thing I'd note is there isn't any direct evidence for the Flavian hypothesis. There are four Gospels and the early church attributed them to M, Mk, L and J. Now there is reason to doubt this, but it's rather interesting almost universal attribution. Only one - Mark - was believed to have had a Roman provenance.
 

Joe James

New Member
The rogue’s gallery of possible Flavian Christians cited in Caesar’s Messiah includes Titus’s mistress Bernice (possibly the same person as St. Veronica), Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul in 82 CE, Vespasian’s nephew), Sabinus’s brother the theologian Titus Flavius Clemens, Sabinus’s wife Flavia Domitilla, and the early Pope known as Clement.

But it seems likely that Clement and Flavia were killed by the Flavians.

Another thing is that F&V claim that Acts and the Gospels are worthless as history. Yet they keep citing them as evidence for their claims. Now I get their argument - the Gospels and Acts are fictionalized account meant to make a point. But there are things in them that run counter to their thesis - most importantly that they say the Romans crucified Jesus.
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
One thing I'd note is there isn't any direct evidence for the Flavian hypothesis. There are four Gospels and the early church attributed them to M, Mk, L and J. Now there is reason to doubt this, but it's rather interesting almost universal attribution. Only one - Mark - was believed to have had a Roman provenance.
What does their attribution have to do with your conclusion?
Obviously we are dealing with ancient history where we don't have even close to the sources we'd like.
And so while you are free to take the most credulous interpretation from the convenient lack of transparency regarding the claimed Son of God, we believe in taking a more critical approach, that takes into account imperial motivations. Which include that syncretizing all possible prior religions and cults into one state religion is much more efficient for the new age. This is a cultural process that takes centuries to accomplish because of dealing with matters like generational memories.
But it seems likely that Clement and Flavia were killed by the Flavians.
Says who? The claim is that Flavia Domatilla was exiled to Pontia ... for veering into 'atheistic' ways. A euphemism for things including Judaism. So, again, what brand of Judaism?

As you can see by her famous sarcophagus, it has the clear symbolic motifs of Mithraism, of which is zodiacal and included the Dioscuri Twins, the prior Homeric saviors of the Greco-Roman world. Now are you going to claim that Castor and Pollux were historical as well?
Another thing is that F&V claim that Acts and the Gospels are worthless as history. Yet they keep citing them as evidence for their claims. Now I get their argument - the Gospels and Acts are fictionalized account meant to make a point. But there are things in them that run counter to their thesis - most importantly that they say the Romans crucified Jesus.
Imagine if the imperial Romans (and their elite Herodian and Maccabean friends) wanted to create a new and 'catholic' (universal) state religion, but they told everyone that the imperial court made it all happen. Doesn't it seem likely that God (aka the collective Caesars) did make it all happen, but it's all packaged in a propagandic white lie?

We're really supposed to take everything at face value? So, maybe such as Flavia Domatilla and similar were exiled for appearance sake. But, you're going to insist upon seeing a document that admits such?

The people that create exoteric religions, at least, don't really believe in them. As such, people like the Flavians and Herodians and the Maccabees (the latter contrary to popular opinion) were more in accord with esoteric systems such as Platonic Pythagoreanism. A significant portion of which was salted into the canonic gospels (see Fideler's Jesus Christ, Sun of God). Such as the 153 fish in the net are meant to inform the awake adherent as to the correct linkage back to the prior pagan roots -- from a system that actually had some intellectual basis. The number '153' is highly significant.

Does the below originally say Christian or Chrestian?

From Excavating the Empty Tomb Part 15D:

561



Note the odd wide gap after the 'i'. The same below under UV lighting:

562



The below is a 17th century manuscript showing the Testimonium Flavinium with 'Chrestians':

563



At just after 7 minutes into the video it states:

Kenneth Humphries states on his website jesusneverexisted.com/: "the truth may be that there was an original gnostic cult following a personified virtue, "Jesus Chrestos", Jesus the Good. Consequently they were called Chrestians, an appellation which seems to have attached itself at an early date to the sectarians of the heretic Marcion. Support for this possibility comes from the earliest known 'Christian' inscription found in the 19th century on a Marcionite church at Deir Ali, three miles south of Damascus, dated to around 318 CE. The inscription reads "the meetinghouse of the Marcionists in the village of Lebaba of the Lord and Savior Jesus the Good", and the actual Greek word in the inscription is Chrestos, not Christos.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
The claim is that Flavia Domatilla was exiled to Pontia ... for veering into 'atheistic' ways.
Another important point is that Domitian (last of the Flavians) was responsible for this purge. Joe Atwill's analysis is that Domitian was taking the Christian religion in a new direction, and needed to shed the old guard. Or perhaps on a more raw, dynastic level, Clement and Domatilla had a possible claim on the throne, and needed to be eliminated.

One thing I'd note is there isn't any direct evidence for the Flavian hypothesis.
What about the Flavian coins with Christian symbols? What about the anchor & fishes in the Catacombs of St. Domatilla? What could possibly be more direct than that?

But there are things in them that run counter to their thesis - most importantly that they say the Romans crucified Jesus.
The Gospels say that the Jewish people demanded that Jesus should die. Pontius Pilate washed his hands of it. It's hard to imagine a more viciously anti-Jewish scenario.

The Gospel viewpoint regarding Jesus's death is very similar to Josephus's view of the Jewish War in its entirety. Josephus admits that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Jews were killed by the Romans. But whose fault was that? According to Josephus, the zealous Jews brought their fate upon themselves. Titus and Vespasian were depicted as completely blameless.
 

Seeker

Well-Known Member
According to Josephus, the zealous Jews brought their fate upon themselves. Titus and Vespasian were depicted as completely blameless.
That is the impression I get from reading Josephus, he tried his best to keep his fellow Jews from rebelling against Rome, both before and after his capture. and the Zealots were a divisive, contentious, brawling, sacrilegious gang of murderers and robbers of even their own people, who got what they deserved, even though, at the siege of Jerusalem, Titus wanted to spare them and the Temple, which parallels Pontius Pilate at Jerusalem wanting to spare Jesus from the bloodthirsty mob of Jews, who supposedly cried out that his blood was upon them and their children, who would have been adults by the time of the siege of Jerusalem. Pontius Pilate asked "What is truth?", and Josephus gave him his version of the "truth", from a Roman, not a Jewish, perspective. Josephus was certainly not above sarcasm either, as in his story of the black comedic "woe-saying" Jesus son of Ananias/Ananus, who gets his final "woe" from the Romans at the siege of Jerusalem. Whom is kidding whom here?
 

Joe James

New Member
"What about the Flavian coins with Christian symbols? What about the anchor & fishes in the Catacombs of St. Domatilla? What could possibly be more direct than that?"

I'd say that's indirect or circumstantial.


"The Gospels say that the Jewish people demanded that Jesus should die. Pontius Pilate washed his hands of it. It's hard to imagine a more viciously anti-Jewish scenario."

Nonetheless, it was the Romans who executed Jesus. That was a message to Jews that if they followed the Jesus movement the same might happen to them.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
I'd say that's indirect or circumstantial.
If you're relying on modern legal standards, the only form of direct evidence allowed in a courtroom is live eyewitness testimony describing personal experience (State v Famber, 358 Mo 288, 214 SW2d 40, via Wikipedia.) So by definition, direct evidence is impossible with respect to any historical event before ~1920 AD.

Circumstantial evidence requires an inference. But in the case of the anchor & fishes on Flavian coinage, that symbol couldn't mean anything else other than Christianity. And, no one else was issuing those coins. So there may be an inference here, but if so, it's not much of a leap. This is as good as any signed written confession.

That was a message to Jews that if they followed the Jesus movement the same might happen to them.
Really? If I were a Jew of the 2nd or 3rd century, seeing Romans and Greeks attending Christian church at well-funded Roman-style basilicas, and seeing Christian symbols on Roman coins, what sort of inferences would follow? Especially also knowing that the more zealous, anti-Roman Jews were still meeting the same fate as Jesus.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Nonetheless, it was the Romans who executed Jesus. That was a message to Jews that if they followed the Jesus movement the same might happen to them.
And yet, we quickly find 'Christians' filling up the seats at the Roman blood games and serving gayly in the Roman army. I bet you wont tell me these must have been Chrestians.

Besides, somebody had to kill him. Can't have a fake resurrection if somebody didn't fake kill him. So who would be the likely fake suspects? Cui bono? The imperial Romans wanted their new slave religion and they got it. And then they spent almost 2,000 years blaming the Jews for fake killing him, until recently.

Don't worry Joe, Jesus' Age is soon ending, but you'll have to decide if you are this dying Age's stiff-necked Chosen People or not. Those stiff-necked Jews of yore got nailed to their own crosses, or enslaved (a traditional and Biblical Christian practice -- started by Joe, errr Joseph in collusion with Pharaoh -- Genesis 47).
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
In an environment where is appears obvious that all the contemporaneous accounts available proved reason to distrust them, as to proximity to the power interests involved, the better approach to a parsimonious and accurate conclusion is then to examine the outcome differential in how the before and after societies moral functioned.

As such, there was not one iota of moral difference created by the fictive Jesus of the fictive (at the time) Nazareth. The same Sabine families that control the imperium controlled the papacy, through the same religious office, that of the Pontifex Maximus.

The only thing that 'Christians' seemed to make a deal about was unwanted and/or deformed babies being left exposed on the streets. But even today, the neoRoman world is still dealing with the same basic issue, while the moral prigs of fundamentalist zealotry refuse to make contraceptives easier, but only because they profit from the cynical wedge politics.

Like the Old Testament before it, there is 'some' fractional history in the narratives, albeit highly distorted in chronology and names, such as the plot lines taken in imitatio of older events real and fictional.

I'm certain that, in this case, ol' Occam would say that we should first look at the forest, before the trees.
 

Sgt Pepper

Active Member
"What about the Flavian coins with Christian symbols? What about the anchor & fishes in the Catacombs of St. Domatilla? What could possibly be more direct than that?"

I'd say that's indirect or circumstantial.


"The Gospels say that the Jewish people demanded that Jesus should die. Pontius Pilate washed his hands of it. It's hard to imagine a more viciously anti-Jewish scenario."

Nonetheless, it was the Romans who executed Jesus. That was a message to Jews that if they followed the Jesus movement the same might happen to them.
A few people have said something similar when they first hear about CM: If the Romans created a religion with a Jewish god, wouldn't that be of benefit to Jewish people, if not in the short run, then the in long? It assured the existence of Judaism after a genocide?
Postflavians argue that it's controlled opposition… but that strategy could also backfire in many ways.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Postflavians argue that it's controlled opposition… but that strategy could also backfire in many ways.
One could say that this 'Jewish' savior, son of the Jewish god, was a form of cuckolding to help achieve the controlled opposition. But as well, this required that the Romans institutionalize the 'approved' form of (Rabbinic) Judaism going forward, till today. And in doing so, Josephus stated that one of the two 'schools' of the Pharisees was exterminated in the process, the remaining one, presumably compliant in the face of extinction, became our Talmudic Jews of today. For a while these Jews were given an 'ethnarch' that served under authority of the emperor, and then later they sat more informally under the authority and protection of the Catholic papacy, the Jew's new 'Joseph' (the social order detailed in Genesis).

Of course, Joe Atwill argues that we are seeing the Jews seeking revenge against what was done to them 2,000 years ago. This is a view that grows out of hardline cultural Catholicism, built into the theological cake since the writings of Augustine.

Ironically, everything that we see moving forward today with such as Zionism is feeding the Christian apocalyptic 'script' of the Futurist End Times mavens. Cui bono?

Because fundamentalists are more existentially focused on these matters than myself (in regards to my Apocalypse How efforts) the following is a short list of 25 items unfolding in relation to the fulfillment the next Omega and Alpha event:


Are these matters being orchestrated by a god, or a network of covert political operatives? And if the latter, then the same kind of religio-political manipulations could have occurred 2,000 years ago. And indeed, we can see such just dynamics put into play with the rise of the back-door state of Edessa, that Josephus is so exceedingly careful to direct our attention away from, by disguising names and places. Because these players were the actual movers and shakers of the NT story, and announcing their true identities would be a huge embarrassment to the highly profitable scam system.

One great value of doing such geopolitics under a religious rubric is that one can mobilize highly passionate (non-thinking) people to help achieve your goals. As Ellis was able to identify the 'freedom' and related 'taxation' versus Roman imperial 'globalization' dialectics in the polarization of the day, we can see that the exact same concepts were deployed in the USA, made extreme by the 'libertarian' cum Tea Party movement, otherwise paradoxically pushed by remnants of European monarchy (e.g. the Mont Pelerin Society).
 
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