Richard Carrier, A Troll Supreme

Richard Carrier, A Troll Supreme


My troll, Richard Carrier, recently claimed:

"Atwill also lies a lot. Recently, for example, he attempted to spread the lie that I once refused to debate him.”

In fact, Alex Tsakiris made the following offer to Carrier to host a debate between him and me on Alex’s Skepitco show:

“I’d love to do a show on this topic… is Joe up for a pointed debate on these topics?
How about you Richard… are you willing to hash some of this out? i.e. explore what might lie beyond QED? 
I could host a threaded debate on Skeptiko where I interview each of you separately and then give the other a chance to respond.
” Alex



Carrier then agreed to the debate:

RICHARD CARRIER FEBRUARY 11, 2014, 6:08 PM


“REGARDING A DEBATE, YES, I’LL DO A REBUTTAL INTERVIEW ON A SUBSEQUENT EPISODE,”



ALEX TSAKIRIS FEBRUARY 11, 2014, 6:51 PM


”thx. I’ll be in touch if I can get Atwill to agree.


”


Tsakiris contacted me with the offer for the debate, which I accepted and began preparations.
However, three weeks after he had accepted, Carrier decided to refuse to go through with it.


On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Richard Carrier <rcarrier@infidels.org> wrote:

“Just some quick things...

1. I never see pings on FB. I have 4000 FB friends, and the notifications backlog is impossible to monitor. So you have to direct message me on FB (perhaps you did last night and I just haven't logged on yet to see it), or email me.

2. I am very averse to allowing advertisements to post in my blog comments, so I am deleting the one you sent. It's nothing personal, it's just a matter of staying consistent to my comments policy (I don't want to open that floodgate).

3. I am disinclined to do an interview with you, because of the way you've treated my colleagues:

Be well.”


Alex responded, pointing out that Carrier’s excuse for avoiding debating me would make him look “pretty silly”. In other words, it might be seen as a weak reason to refuse to debate.

Alex to Richard:

“Ok, but I think you're gonna look pretty silly taking this position. Especially since I've had successful interviews with biblical scholars like:

http://www.skeptiko.com/226-acharya-s-examines-myth-making-and-christianity/

http://www.skeptiko.com/christian-atheist-dr-robert-price/

As to Ophelia, I wish she'd come back on (I've invited her) and explain why atheists like her think it's ok to run from scientific debates.

Hope you re-consider... perhaps after I publish Atwill's interview.

Alex"

So much for Carrier’s claim to have never once refused to debate me.

Carrier also claimed that: “As soon as a balanced format was proposed, he dropped out.”

Carrier is referring to the negotiations that occurred during the first failed effort to create a debate between us on the Faith and Skepticism Podcast in 2013. Addressing his last claim first, I can again expose it as a lie by simply quoting the email record, which shows I never dropped out.

Shortly before the debate was to go on the hosts notified us that they were cancelling it. Furious at the waste of time and effort, we accused Carrier of backing out. They responded as follows:

Dec 1 Natan@faithandskepticism.com wrote:

“Dr Carrier did not back out of the debate. Jason and I decided that the debate would not be possible because Joseph Atwill and Dr Carrier could not agree on a compromise.”


So much for Carrier’s claim that I dropped out.

Most amusing is the Carrier’s claim that a “balanced” format was introduced that I rejected; suggesting the one we had been negotiating was not. I have included the two proposals at the end of the article. Simply on their surface it is easy to see the Carrier’s claim is false because - as readers may judge for themselves - neither outline is more fair or balanced than the other.

There are differences however. The first proposal addresses Carrier’s article point for point and it also describes as topics for discussion the wacky parallels that he claimed in his article were superior ones I presented in Caesar’s Messiah. This proposal is exactly what I agreed to debate about with Carrier, which was his article. Again, the email record to the hosts is clear:

“Hi Nathan Mr. Atwill is interested n having a debate with Dr Carrier on he condition he is given a fair opportunity to respond to Carrier Oct 9 Blog Post point by point.”

“Atwill would like to respond to Carrier 0ct 8 Blog post point by point”

Some history is useful to understand the nature of the proposed debate. The Faith and Skepticism Podcast had done a show where they criticized Caesar’s Messiah. I offered to come on their show for clarification. They stated that they while were not qualified to interview me; they could arrange for Carrier to come on and debate. They admitted that they had been in touch with Carrier and had used his article as the basis their criticisms of CM. (It is odd that they were qualified enough to use Carrier’s article to criticize CM, but not qualified enough to defend it against me.) I therefore agreed to have the debate wherein Carrier’s article would be discussed point by point.

There was some routine wrangling. Earlier in the exchange we received a proposal that had Carrier speaking last in every instance, which we rejected out of hand. Carrier complained that one of our proposed 6 descriptions of his historical criticisms was inaccurate and we suggested that Carrier write the descriptions himself. Shortly before the debate was to go on, however, a new proposal (shown below) was offered which changed the debate from one on Carrier’s article to one focused only on a few of the parallels in Caesar’s Messiah.

But why did the hosts not want the debate to focus upon his article? After all, they had used it as the basis for their show attacking CM.

Here is why – sometimes the truth just leaks out. The ‘hosts’ identified in an email to us who was orchestrating the new outline and why.

Nov 18 Nathan 2013, Nathan@faithandskepticism.com wrote:

"I sent your outline to Dr, Carrier. He thought 1-6 were not really evidence to prove Joseph’s theory false, but only lessened the prior probability. He also did not feel those accurately represented what he said in his blog, and that he never argues for Arg6 on the outline. The arguments he would like to focus on in he debate are the parallels laid out in Arg7 because he feels that is where the problem lies in the thesis."


Notice below that in the new proposal all descriptions of Carrier’s article have been removed. Second, it is now clear why Carrier describes the proposal he orchestrated as ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’. This is self-serving propaganda. Wouldn’t it be more ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ for him to call his proposal “the arguments he would like to focus on in the debate” that he selected becausehe feels that is where the problem lies in the thesis?”

So much for Carrier’s claim that I had rejected a fair and balanced proposal.

What I rejected was his effort to steer the debate into one where he never have to defend his slanderous Blog post. But why would he do this? Carrier had been a troll full of sound and fury while writing it. Why he not want his Blog post to be the focus of the debate?

Here is why - the elephant in the room. Or should I say, the drowned troll at the harbor of Gadara.

http://www.caesarsmessiah.com/blog/richard-carrier-the-phd-that-drowned-at-gadara

Debate outline for December 3rd, 2013, 8 PM EST suggested by Atwill

PROPOSITION IN QUESTION:

Joseph Atwill’s “Caesar’s Messiah” thesis is not logically, textually, or historically credible.

BACKGROUND:

Atwill’s thesis can be summarized as follows: A series of sequential literary parallels between the Gospel narrative and the military campaign of Titus Flavius (as outlined in the writings of Josephus) suggests that the Gospels are a Roman-authored counterfeit prophecy and satire written to establish that the Roman Caesar was the expected Messiah of the Jews. The best candidates for the authorship of both first-century works, and therefore the creation of Christianity, were the Roman aristocracy surrounding the Flavians. The likely Roman motive for writing fraudulent Jewish literature of this type was to slow the spread of Jewish zealotry (which repeatedly inspired insurrections) by offering a competing form of pacifistic Judaism.

PARTICIPANTS:

Arguing for the proposition is Richard Carrier, and against it is Joseph Atwill.


1 Minute Richard Carrier introduces himself

1 Minute Joseph Atwill introduces himself

Opening Statements

2 minutes Joseph Atwill discusses the proposition

2 Minutes Richard Carrier discusses the proposition


Arguments in favor (Based on Richards Carrier’s Oct 9th Blog post on Freethought.xom)


Ag 1 There is a lack of evidence that the Romans had he means to write prefiguration typology that Atwill maintains links the NT to Josephus


2 Minutes Richard Carrier explains

2 minutes Joseph Atwill explains


Arg 2 There is a lack of evidence that the Romans used religion as propaganda, making the notion they invented Christianity uncharacteristic and historically implausible

2 minutes Joseph Atwill responds

2 minutes Richard Carrier responds


Arg 3 To posit Roman authorship is unnecessary. Writers like Paul and Philo were already making their own efforts to toe down the militarism in Jewish religious literature.

2 minutes Richard Carrier explains

2minutes Joseph Atwill explains


Ag 4 The claim that the Gospels were written together with a single intent in the 1st century is contradicted by evidence that the canon was chosen in the 2nd century from over 40 Gospels.

2 minutes Joseph Atwill responds

2 minutes Richard Carrier responds


Arg 5 The Gospels contradict each other far too often and differ too much is style to make a single-minded authorship plausible

2 minutes Richard Carrier responds

2 minutes Joseph Atwill responds


Arg 6 The motive is illogical because after the Romans victory of the Jewish war in 73 CE the rebellion was successful quelled

2 minutes Joseph Atwill responds

2 minutes Richard Carrier responds


Ar 7 Atwill parallels can be explained by coincidence or non-causal inevitability, and therefore the rest of his thesis can be dimissed. The alleged parallels are far too imprecise to be intentional.

2 minute Richard Carrier explains

2 minutes Joseph Atwill responds


Atwill claims that there are a number of parallels in the New Testament that are prefiguration of Titus military campaign. The following four examples can be refuted


Ar7a The “cast out demons that go to the swine and drown story

Mark 5:1-20 or Luke 8:26-39 is not parallel to the Josephus passage at Gadara because the Demoniac did not take place at Gadara. For one, this location is too far from the Sea of Galilee.

2 minutes Joseph Atwill responds

2minutes Richard Carrier responds


Arg 7b The source for Josephus’ story about a cannibalized human Passover lamb (Wars 6,3,4) is likely from the OT (Num 12:12) and not anything to do with the Last Supper

Carrier - 2 minute response

Atwill - 2 minute response


Arg 7c The name Joseph of Arimathea is more likely a pun on Arimathea (meaning best Doctrine town then a pun on Joseph Bar Matthias (the Jewish name of Flavius

Josephus).

Atwill - 2 minute response

Carrier - 2 minute response


Arg 7d The fates of the rebel leaders Simon and John described by Josephus [Wars 6.9.4, 7.5.6] are paralleled in the Book of John [John 21].

Atwill - 2 minute response

Carrier - 2 minute response


Closing Statements

Atwill - 2 minute conclusion

Carrier - 2 minute conclusion


Total time 52 minutes



Debate outline for December 3rd, 2013, 8 PM EST suggested by Carrier

PROPOSITION IN QUESTION:

Joseph Atwill’s “Caesar’s Messiah” thesis is not logically, textually, or historically credible.

BACKGROUND:

Atwill’s thesis can be summarized as follows: A series of sequential literary parallels between the Gospel narrative and the military campaign of Titus Flavius (as outlined in the writings of Josephus) suggests that the Gospels are a Roman-authored counterfeit prophecy and satire written to establish that the Roman Caesar was the expected Messiah of the Jews. The best candidates for the authorship of both first-century works, and therefore the creation of Christianity, were the Roman aristocracy surrounding the Flavians. The likely Roman motive for writing fraudulent Jewish literature of this type was to slow the spread of Jewish zealotry (which repeatedly inspired insurrections) by offering a competing form of pacifistic Judaism.

PARTICIPANTS:

Arguing for the proposition is Richard Carrier, and against it is Joseph Atwill.


Introductions by hosts

4:00 - 4 minutes - Hosts introduce guests with short bio of each, including mentions of Atwill’s book and Carrier’s blog post


4 minute summary of arguments

8:00 - 4 minute summary of hypothesis by Atwill (based on book, “Caesar’s Messiah”)

12:00 - 4 minute summary by Carrier stating his objections to thesis (based on 10/9 blog post)


Prior Probability Arguments

15:00 - Carrier - 3 minutes prior probability args

18:00 - Atwill - 3 minutes prior probability rebut

19:00 - Carrier - 1 minute response

20:00 - Atwill - 1 minute response



New Testament Parallels

22:00 - Atwill - 2 minutes: parallel of [Mark 5:1-20 or Luke 8:26-39] to the Josephus passage at Gadara [Wars 4.7.1-5]

24:00 - Carrier - 2 minute response

25:00 - Atwill - 1 minute response

26:00 - Carrier - 1 minute response


28:00 - Carrier - 2 minutes: parallel of Josephus’ story about a cannibalized human Passover lamb and the Last Supper.

30:00 - Atwill - 2 minute response

31:00 - Carrier - 1 minute response

32:00 - Atwill - 1 minute response


34:00 - Atwill - 2 minutes explaining the parallel of Joseph of Arimathea and Joseph Bar Matthias (the Jewish name of Flavius Josephus).

36:00 - Carrier - 2 minute response

37:00 - Atwill - 1 minute response

38:00 - Carrier - 1 minute response


40:00 - Carrier- 2 minutes - The fates of the rebel leaders Simon and John described by Josephus [Wars 6.9.4, 7.5.6] are paralleled in the Book of John [John 21].

42:00 - Atwill - 2 minute response

43:00 - Carrier - 1 minute response

44:00 - Atwill - 1 minute response


Additional Arguments (any new points may be brought up here, or additional clarification to other points that were made)

46:00 - Atwill 2 minutes

48:00 - Carrier 2 minutes

49:00 - Atwill 1 minute

50:00 - Carrier 1 Minutes


Closing Statements

52:00 - Atwill - 2 minute conclusion

54:00 - Carrier - 2 minute conclusion
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Hey Joe,

Great to see you back.

Do you think it would be possible to get a sizable audience for a debate in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles, and get the audience to pay for tickets? Maybe in conjunction with some conference?

Because I can't blame Carrier for refusing to appear on Skeptiko. But, if you can believe Carrier's Patreon page, he's available for public appearances in return for donations at the First Tier support level.

https://www.patreon.com/DrRichardCarrier/overview

First Level Extraordinarium
$25 or more per Blog post. ∙ 10patrons
After six months of support at this level, I'll do everything I can to visit your town (literally, if you're in North America; virtually, if beyond), and speak publicly on a subject of your choice (I'll arrange an event with some local campus or community group or university department). And if you like, we'll have a drink together after.
 
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Happy to look at any concrete offers but doubt there would be any ticket sales. Bart Erdman was talking smack about CM and I sent him an offer to debate. He sent me off to his scheduling agent who then sent me a list of things Bart would need to show up - including big bucks up front, first class airfare and hotel and a piece of any ticket sales. I wrote back asking who in their right mind would pay to listen to Erdman? Certainly not me. I see Carrier as being as dull as Erdman. I mean Bayesian stats to show that a story about a guy who rose from the dead is not likely to have been historical?
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
He sent me off to his scheduling agent who then sent me a list of things Bart would need to show up - including big bucks up front, first class airfare and hotel and a piece of any ticket sales. I wrote back asking who in their right mind would pay to listen to Erdman?
Perhaps Ehrman can command big money up front, because he's in a position to attract an audience through his network of liberal church connections. Those liberal churches find it very comforting to believe in Jesus as their savior, whatever that means; perhaps they imagine that if he merely existed, then anything else beyond that is just a matter of their being faithful enough. So, paradoxically, Ehrman is their champion, even being as rationalist as he is.

I see Carrier as being as dull as Erdman. I mean Bayesian stats to show that a story about a guy who rose from the dead is not likely to have been historical?
The audience wouldn't necessarily be there just for Carrier. Think about the ~2 million people who have seen the Caesar's Messiah documentary. I bet they'd come out in droves to see you take on Richard Carrier (PhD).

But, don't you go thinking that Carrier would be a pushover. He's not saying that the guy who rose from the dead, is historical. He's saying that there's as much as a 32% chance that some actual man acquired followers in life, whose followers "soon" began worshiping that same man as a living god, thus originating the religion of Christianity. Of course, that's what Ehrman believes is the absolute, undeniable truth, 100% certain.

However, Carrrier also believes that there's at least a 68% chance that such a person never existed. He offers a fully mythicist hypothesis which he says could be as much as 99.992% certain, if you believe all his lower bound estimates of P(historicity). According to this very precise hypothesis: at the foundation of Christianity, Jesus Christ was a celestial deity who "was originally believed to have endured an ordeal of incarnation, death, burial and resurrection in a supernatural realm" -- even though those original believers knew full well that this was pure allegory. According to Carrier, it was only later that the church founded by those primordial allegorical mythicists, evolved into a historicizing sect.

The way I see it: to win the debate, all you have to do is convince the audience that the chance of Roman Origins (as opposed to one of Carrier's two hypotheses) is something greater than zero. Great enough that he shouldn't be insulting us just for talking about the possibility.
 
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Perhaps Ehrman can command big money up front, because he's in a position to attract an audience through his network of liberal church connections. Those liberal churches find it very comforting to believe in Jesus as their savior, whatever that means; perhaps they imagine that if he merely existed, then anything else beyond that is just a matter of their being faithful enough. So, paradoxically, Ehrman is their champion, even being as rationalist as he is.



The audience wouldn't necessarily be there just for Carrier. Think about the ~2 million people who have seen the Caesar's Messiah documentary. I bet they'd come out in droves to see you take on Richard Carrier (PhD).

But, don't you go thinking that Carrier would be a pushover. He's not saying that the guy who rose from the dead, is historical. He's saying that there's as much as a 32% chance that some actual man acquired followers in life, whose followers "soon" began worshiping that same man as a living god, thus originating the religion of Christianity. Of course, that's what Ehrman believes is the absolute, undeniable truth, 100% certain.

However, Carrrier also believes that there's at least a 68% chance that such a person never existed. He offers a fully mythicist hypothesis which he says could be as much as 99.992% certain, if you believe all his lower bound estimates of P(historicity). According to this very precise hypothesis: at the foundation of Christianity, Jesus Christ was a celestial deity who "was originally believed to have endured an ordeal of incarnation, death, burial and resurrection in a supernatural realm" -- even though those original believers knew full well that this was pure allegory. According to Carrier, it was only later that the church founded by those primordial allegorical mythicists, evolved into a historicizing sect.

The way I see it: to win the debate, all you have to do is convince the audience that the chance of Roman Origins (as opposed to one of Carrier's two hypotheses) is something greater than zero. Great enough that he shouldn't be insulting us just for talking about the possibility.
 
My post - "Richard Carrier, the Phd Who Drowned at Gadara", has already shown anyone who has bothered to read it that Carrier's criticism of CM was nonsense. If Carrier want to 'debate' the merits of his criicisms all he has to do is respond to my article. As far as a debate on the possibility of a Flavian origin it would be fun but I cannot believe that he or anyone actually claims this as a zero possibility.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Perhaps Ehrman can command big money up front, because he's in a position to attract an audience through his network of liberal church connections. Those liberal churches find it very comforting to believe in Jesus as their savior, whatever that means; perhaps they imagine that if he merely existed, then anything else beyond that is just a matter of their being faithful enough. So, paradoxically, Ehrman is their champion, even being as rationalist as he is.
FWIW, the liberal denominational churches adopted the belief in a metaphorical Christ, which allows the possibility of an intellectual 'divorce' from a historical Jesus. They adopted this position after having accepted the results of critical scholarship that started with the 'German School'. I'm not sure where this stands now, as much of the denominational church is moribund and grey headed. Yet perhaps still enough to support Ehrman ... or Carrier.

In this regard, The Man 'meme' is more important that the 'man'.

According to this very precise hypothesis: at the foundation of Christianity, Jesus Christ was a celestial deity who "was originally believed to have endured an ordeal of incarnation, death, burial and resurrection in a supernatural realm" -- even though those original believers knew full well that this was pure allegory.
This reads to me as just such a validation of the denominational church view.

According to Carrier, it was only later that the church founded by those primordial allegorical mythicists, evolved into a historicizing sect.
Proof?
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
If you're asking for proof of the existence of "the church founded by those primordial allegorical mythicists", Carrier is relying primarily on Paul's credibility, and to a lesser extent 1 Clement and 1 Peter. To quote again from Carrier's reply to my review:

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/14681

There is no evidence of there being those two versions of Christianity in Paul’s day, one with and one without an earthly Jesus. There were certainly many competing sects, about which we aren’t told details. But there is no evidence of that particular divergence existing then, anywhere. To the contrary, the evidence that is in Paul (and all other potentially early sources, e.g. 1 Clement, 1 Peter, Hebrews: OHJ pp. 308-15, 529-31, 538-52, respectively) is wholly incongruent with there having been the earthly creed alongside Paul’s celestial creed. Precisely for the reasons I explain in OHJ (e.g. Chs. 11.1, 11.2, 11.4, 11.6, 11.8): had that been the case, Paul would constantly be confronted with it and have to address it; and Paul could not have argued his gospel was congruent with the first apostles’ to so many congregations who well knew those apostles and their preaching (and they did; that’s precisely why Paul claims he was in alignment with them, and confesses only one incongruence—regarding the requirements of conversion—that he argues they allowed him: see Element 20, Ch. 4).

In effect, Russell wants to argue for historicity (ironically for an Atwillian) by conceding that all the evidence of Paul confirms mythicism, “but” there “must” have been evidence of historicity from some other people in Paul’s day, even though we have no evidence of that ever having been the case. This wild speculation, contrary to all evidence and based on no evidence, then becomes Russell’s “evidence for” historicity. See how that works? That’s what making a tinfoil hat looks like.
I feel pretty strongly that Carrier is the one who is arguing directly against all the available evidence about the Jerusalem church of James and Peter. This evidence (including the Dead Sea Scrolls) indicates that Jerusalem in the 1st century was a hotbed of Jewish nationalist zealot revolutionaries. James and Peter were among the leaders of these nationalist zealots. The portrait of James and Peter in the New Testament was a burlesque caricature, not an accurate historical portrayal.

The Jewish nationalist viewpoint regarding their Messianic leaders was spiritual to be sure. But, they believed that their Messiah would lead them to a military victory against the Romans. That is, they were expecting that their Messiah would be a human being, not a celestial abstraction.

On the other hand, if one is willing to accept Paul's letters as historical evidence, then Paul very clearly depicts himself as a sort of Herodian or Roman agent. First he was attacking the Jewish zealots. Then when that didn't work, he had his "vision" of his "celestial creed" that would have seemed completely alien to an audience of Sicarii. And he tried to sell the vision to the Jerusalem church, but there's no evidence they were buying.

According to Eisenman: when the Dead Sea Scrolls describe the "Spouter of Lies", they are clearly talking about Paul. And if so, Paul's credibility in Jerusalem as the inventor of a celestial religion was Zero. He confesses to "only one incongruence", but that's like a murderer confessing to stealing his getaway bicycle.

Carrier says that Paul was talking "to so many congregations who well knew those apostles and their preaching". I presume that Carrier is referring to Paul's far-flung network of churches all over the Mediterranean that he supposedly was traveling to visit. What do we know about those churches? First of all, Carotta (following Weinstock's Divus Julius) tells us that these churches were located in the same cities as the temples of the Roman emperor cult. Beyond that, we don't know much at all.

What makes Carrier think that these churches would know anything about the Jerusalem "apostles and their preaching", aside from what Paul himself told them? James and Peter didn't have a budget to send anybody to the far reaches of the Empire to counter whatever lies Paul was telling about them.
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
He confesses to "only one incongruence", but that's like a murderer confessing to stealing his getaway bicycle.
Getaway bicycle, or getaway donkey?

(and they did; that’s precisely why Paul claims he was in alignment with them, and confesses only one incongruence—regarding the requirements of conversion—that he argues they allowed him: see Element 20, Ch. 4).
So Paul says. The art of propaganda before the age of mass media.

I'm trying to imagine otherwise hardline messianic Jews allowing for no circumcision, communal meals with the goyim, and such. But then maybe Paul told them they had dispensation from ... Rome and its Pontifex Maximus. How convenient that Paul's, and the fictive Jesus's, messages are all pro-Roman? Nothing like a unbiased account.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
As far as a debate on the possibility of a Flavian origin it would be fun but I cannot believe that he or anyone actually claims this as a zero possibility.
To be precise, what Carrier said in his "Atwill's Cranked-up Jesus" is: "it has a very low prior probability, and therefore requires exceptionally good evidence to be at all credible". And yet, he doesn't see any evidence.

He also says that his "minimal mythicist" and "minimum historicist" hypotheses are mutually exclusive and designed to cover the universe of possibilities. But, the Flavian Origins hypothesis (at least, as I would frame it) meets both his "mythicist" and "historicist" criteria, which he says is impossible.

And then consider Carrier's comments in a realm beyond any Bayesian calibration: "absurd"... "a massive and weirdly erudite conspiracy of truly bizarre scope and pedigree"... "This pseudo-historical nonsense is over a century old by now, first having been proposed (in a somewhat different form) by Bruno Bauer in Christ and the Caesars in 1877"... I think it's safe to say that Carrier would assign a virtually zero probability to the hypothesis.

I posted a quick summary of Joe's statement, and a link to this page, at Carrier's Patreon account, here:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/killing-crankery-21854928

Excerpted from Carrier's reply:

"I have always been willing to debate Atwill in a fair format.... If Atwill wants a fair format, he knows how to get one."

Not sure if that's a debate challenge, or an invitation to quibble about the shape of the table.
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
It would be nice to get GrayMac's opinion of the following exegesis of Helena Blavatski's on the topic of Chrestos to Christos, which I just found. I have excerpted the first portion of it below.

HPB demonstrates the earliest and seemingly mundane uses of the terms by Homer, followed by such as Plato, Philo and others. As such, the chrestos appellation becomes more nuanced in meaning from such as being 'good'. It is applied to priests, prophets, and initiates of mystery schools. Thus chrestos becomes the precursor to achieving the personal state of christos. HPB even demonstrates that Paul follows this convention. Of course, in the esoteric sense, such a transcendence requires considerable effort, and not the short cut guaranteed to exoteric Christians.

In such a manner this supports the association of the Flavians et al with being Chrestians, at least, on their way to becoming Christians. Or possibly cynically co-opting the whole concept, possibly used as a cover story for the Roman counter-intelligence operation against the Zealots.

Studies in Occultism
by H. P. Blavatsky

Part II

The word Chrestos existed ages before Christianity was heard of. It is found used, from the fifth century B.C., by Herodotus, by Aeschylus and other classical Greek writers, the meaning of it being applied to both things and persons.

Thus in Aeschylus (Cho. 901) we read of pythochresta the "oracles delivered by a Pythian God" (Greek-English Lexicon) through a pythoness; and Pythochrestos is the nominative singular of an adjective derived from chrao (Eurip. Ion, 1218). The later meanings coined freely from this primitive application, are numerous and varied. Pagan classics expressed more than one idea by the verb [chraomai] "consulting an oracle"; for it also means "fated," doomed by an oracle, in the sense of a sacrificial victim to its decree, or -- "to the WORD"; as chresterion is not only "the seat of an oracle" but also "an offering to, or for, the oracle.'' (18) Chrestes is one who expounds or explains oracles, "a prophet, a soothsayer;" (19) and chresterios is one who belongs to, or is in the service of, an oracle, a god, or a "Master" (20); this Canon Farrar's efforts notwithstanding.(21)

All this is evidence that the terms Christ and Christians, spelt originally Chrest and Chrestians [chrestianoi] (22) were directly borrowed from the Temple terminology of the Pagans, and meant the same thing. The God of the Jews was now substituted for the Oracle and the other gods; the generic designation "Chrestos" became a noun applied to one special personage; and new terms such as Chrestianoi and Chrestodoulos "a follower or servant of Chrestos" -- were coined out of the old material. This is shown by Philo Judaeus, a monotheist, assuredly, using already the same term for monotheistic purposes. For he speaks of theochrestos "God-declared," or one who is declared by god, and of logia theochresta "sayings delivered by God" -- which proves that he wrote at a time (between the first century B. C., and the first A. D.) when neither Christians nor Chrestians were yet known under these names, but still called themselves the Nazarenes. The notable difference between the two words [chrao] -- "consulting or obtaining response from a god or oracle" (chreo being the Ionic earlier form of it), and chrio "to rub, to anoint" (from which the name Christos), has not prevented the ecclesiastical adoption and coinage from Philo's expression [Theochrestos] of that other term [Theochristos] "anointed by God." Thus the quiet substitution of the letter, for [e] for dogmatic purposes, was achieved in the easiest way, as we now see.

The secular meaning of Chrestos runs throughout the classical Greek literature pari passu with that given to it in the mysteries. Demosthenes' saying [o Chreste] (330, 27), means by it simply "you nice fellow"; Plato (in Phaed. 264 B) has [chrestos ei hoti hegei] -- "you are an excellent fellow to think . . ." But in the esoteric phraseology of the temples "chrestos," (23) a word which, like the participle chrestheis, is formed under the same rule, and conveys the same sense -- from the verb [chraomai] ("to consult a god") -- answers to what we would call an adept, also a high chela, a disciple. It is in this sense that it is used by Euripides (Ion. 1320) and by Aeschylus (l. c.). This qualification was applied to those whom the god, oracle, or any superior had proclaimed this, that, or anything else. An instance may be given in this case.

The words [chresen oikistera] used by Pindar (pp. 4-10) mean "the oracle proclaimed him the colonizer." In this case the genius of the Greek language permits that the man so proclaimed should be called Chrestos. Hence this term was applied to every Disciple recognized by a Master, as also to every good man. Now, the Greek language affords strange etymologies. Christian theology has chosen and decreed that the name Christos should be taken as derived from [chrio, chriso], "anointed with scented unguents or oil." But this word has several significances. It is used by Homer, certainly, as applied to the rubbing with oil of the body after bathing (Il. 23, 186; also in Od., 4, 252) as other ancient writers do. Yet the word Christes means rather a white-washer, while the word Chrestes means priest and prophet, a term far more applicable to Jesus, than that of the "Anointed," since, as Nork shows on the authority of the Gospels, he never was anointed, either as king or priest. In short, there is a deep mystery underlying all this scheme, which, as I maintain, only a thorough knowledge of the Pagan mysteries is capable of unveiling. (24) It is not what the early Fathers, who had an object to achieve, may affirm or deny, that is the important point, but rather what is now the evidence for the real significance given to the two terms Chrestos and Christos by the ancients in the pre-Christian ages. For the latter had no object to achieve, therefore nothing to conceal or disfigure, and their evidence is naturally the more reliable of the two. This evidence can be obtained by first studying the meaning given to these words by the classics, and then their correct significance searched for in mystic symbology.

Now Chrestos, as already said, is a term applied in various senses. It qualifies both Deity and Man. It is used in the former sense in the Gospels, and in Luke (vi., 35), where it means "kind," and "merciful." [chrestos estin epi tous] . . .; in I Peter (ii., 3), where it is said, "Kind is the Lord," [Chrestos o Kurios]. On the other hand, it is explained by Clemens Alexandrinus as simply meaning a good man; i.e., "All who believe in Chrest (a good man) both are, and are called Chrestians, that is good men." (Strom. lib. ii.) The reticence of Clemens, whose Christianity, as King truly remarks in his Gnostics, was no more than a graft upon the congenial stock of his original Platonism, is quite natural. He was an Initiate, a new Platonist, before he became a Christian, which fact, however much he may have fallen off from his earlier views, could not exonerate him from his pledge of secrecy. And as a Theosophist and a Gnostic, one who knew, Clemens must have known that Christos was "the WAY," while Chrestos was the lonely traveler journeying on to reach the ultimate goal through that "Path," which goal was Christos, the glorified Spirit of "TRUTH," the reunion with which makes the soul (the Son) ONE with the (Father) Spirit. That Paul knew it, is certain, for his own expressions prove it. For what do the words [palin odino, achris ou morphothei Christos], or as given in the authorized translations, "I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you" mean, but what we give in its esoteric rendering, i.e., "until you find the Christos within yourselves as your only 'way'." (Vide Galatians iv., 19 and 20.)...

http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/chrestos christos.htm
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Blavatsky's narrative powerfully develops the Greek and Egyptian concept of Chrest / Christ as a good or anointed person or solar deity. But, how does this morph into the concept of Christ as a dying and resurrected God, and substitute human sacrifice, as a development of the Ba'al cycle? Blavatsky explains:

The soul of Horus was represented as rising from the dead and ascending to heaven in the stars of Orion. The mummy-image was the preserved one, the saved, therefore a portrait of the Savior, as a type of immortality. This was the figure of a dead man, which, as Plutarch and Herodotus tell us, was carried round at an Egyptian banquet, when the guests were invited to look on it and eat and drink and be happy, because, when they died, they would become what the image symbolized -- that is, they also would be immortal! This type of immortality was called the Karest, or Karust, and it was the Egyptian Christ. To Kares means to embalm, anoint, to make the Mummy as a type of the eternal; and, when made, it was called the Karest; so that this is not merely a matter of name for name, the Karest for the Christ. This image of the Karest was bound up in a woof without a seam, the proper vesture of the Christ! No matter what the length of the bandage might be, and some of the mummy-swathes have been unwound that were 1,000 yards in length, the woof was from beginning to end without a seam. . . . Now, this seamless robe of the Egyptian Karest is a very tell-tale type of the mystical Christ, who becomes historic in the Gospels as the wearer of a coat or chiton, made without a seam, which neither the Greek nor the Hebrew fully explains, but which is explained by the Egyptian Ketu for the woof, and by the seamless robe or swathing without seam that was made for eternal wear, and worn by the Mummy-Christ, the image of immortality in the tombs of Egypt. Further, Jesus is put to death in accordance with the instructions given for making the Karest. Not a bone must be broken. The true Karest must be perfect in every member. "This is he who comes out sound; whom men know not is his name." In the Gospels Jesus rises again with every member sound, like the perfectly-preserved Karest, to demonstrate the physical resurrection of the mummy. But, in the Egyptian original, the mummy transforms. The deceased says: "I am spiritualized. I am become a soul. I rise as a God."
Which brings up a problem for the Ba'al theory: how to distinguish aspects of the Christian faith that derive from the Ba'al cycle, as opposed to similar myths such as Horus and/or Osiris in the guise of the Karest? Perhaps all the ancient myths of a dying and resurrected God derive from a common source? It seems plausible that such a bizarre story was only invented once.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Young's position is that the Canaanite/Phoenician schema is related to / derivative of - all the others. And, he does not claim that the Ba'al Cycle is the only vector into Xianity.

For that matter I'm not buying that the child sacrifice messages from Ba'alism are not inverted. But there is some interesting data to consider in his work, such as how the Phoenicians were mostly written out of history.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
And from Blavatsky's footnotes regarding Apollonius of Tyana:

39. The author of the Source of Measures thinks that this
"serves to explain why it has been that the Life of Apollonius of Tyana,
by Philostratus, has been so carefully kept back from translation
and popular reading." Those who have studied it in the original
have been forced to the comment that either the "Life of Apollonius
has been taken from the New Testament, or that New Testament narratives
have been taken from the Life of Apollonius, because of the manifest
sameness of the means of construction of the narrative." (p. 260).

http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/chrestos christos.htm

It is also instructive in the context of the above that Apollonius of Tyana was personally familiar with Vespasian (and other Roman emperors), at least, having met up in Alexandria, while, I believe, on his way home to soon become emperor just as Josephus 'Hasmoniac' Flavius 'prophesized' he would become. With this meetup in Alexandria we are reminded of the Flavian nexus to Philo 'Judaeus' of Alexandria at least by his 'Jewish' apostate nephew, leader of a Roman legion -- against the nationalist Jews of the day.

And as HPB also demonstrated, Philo understood nuanced meaning for 'chrest__' beyond the mundane aspects of 'kind' and 'good'.

In any case, besides Titus Flavius, the son of the god 'Vespasian', we have yet another human candidate for becoming the model for the Gospels' grafted (Romans 11) Jesus 'Christ', beyond such as Jesus of Gamala, Jesus of Sephoris, Izates (Isa to the Muslims? The 'Egyptian' to Josephus?).

HPB asserts that the Roman Catholic Nicene construction, instated by Constantine, was a profane secularization of the prior theological construction of the pagans. From the historical behavior of the Church and its implementation throughout Europe of the feudal society described in Genesis 47 it seems that one can be justified in making this case. Albeit that the likes of Genesis 47 and Plato's similar perfect caste society are also embedded in their respective theologies. Such is why the Church and its traditionalist adherents hate modernity, egalitarianism, cause and effect Materialism and Reason. However, as also noted by HPB and such as Fideler in Jesus Christ, Sun of God, the creators of the NT left abundant traces of the prior strata(s) of theology in occulted form, for those with "eyes to see".

That the Roman construction is indeed a 'secularization' would seem supported by the ease at which a convert to Christianity may be become a 'Christian' relative to the significant effort that had to be made by the initiates cum adepts back in the day. Today, one merely has to accept Christ as Savior, and only attempt to be 'chresty'.

As I have discussed before, it appears that the Romans were wittingly participating in the long process of theological mergers and acquisitions performed by the prior Persians, Egyptians and Greeks, at least. That those at the top also get to benefit materially to a disproportionate degree to their 'labor' is all 'justified' in the various constructions. Of course, and especially for those who hate cosmopolitanism, putting otherwise disparate hoi polloi on the same 'universal' cultural page is boon for achieving political control of expanding realms. Albeit that Christians have been pretty effective at slaughtering themselves much less others.

One also has to wonder if such efforts as HPB's were intended to be marginalized by later Theosophical associations with the Nazi apocalyptic cult, HPB apparently having been the intellectual source for using the swastika. The Church would blame the Nazi experience on the excesses of Modernism, while the Truth is that the Church called Catholics to action against the 'godless' Bolsheviks by invoking the Second Prophecy of Fatima in support of the likes of Hitler (a 'very' good Catholic boy, no doubt with some serious dispensations), Franco, and LBJ (in Vietnam).
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Besides the Codex Sinaiticus issue discussed by Bartram, here are more documents converted from Chrest.. to Christ.., over a wide range of time:


 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
It seems to me, if I am understanding the issue correctly, that The Way to reconcile Carrier and Atwill is that Flavian Chrestianity [sic], as discussed by Bartram, is thus the clear Greco-Roman, cynically corrupt, input to later 'Christianity', accomplished centuries later via the stroke(s) of an 'eraser' more than a pen.

Christianity is 'corrupt' via its telling converts that all they must do is to accept 'Christ' as their savior, while a sincere adept of a Platono-Pythagorean system would understand that much effort was involved. Of course, one can claim that the new canon, the NT, provided a path for such adepts to catch their allegorical 153 fishies and such, while the imperium got the secular benefit of forcing one, universal religious system for easier governance sake. What matter does it make what the hoi polloi really believe or not, or more importantly ... what name they put on their banal superstitions?

The excerpt below is from a page interestingly named Christianity is Anti-Christ, moving the bar from that merely the papacy is the Anti-Christ. This can only properly understood if the Christ concept is attended by a arduous process by its true followers, as discussed by Blavatsky. The notion is also supported by the demonstration of David Fideler about the esoteric solar nature of the Christ concept and that within the accepted gematrical system of the day, not Carrier's of course, that 'Christos' was significant in terms of the associated divine geometry, but not 'Chrestos'.

...
When one investigates the earliest explicit references to "Christian" in the earliest sources of the common era, one comes away empty handed. The earliest evidence is dominated by the occurrence of the term "Chrestian", as is tabulated below. In the Greek language the word Christian is χριστιανος, while the word Chrestian is χρηστιανος. In the Greek manuscript sources which are presented below, the eta (η) invariably occurs instead of the iota (ι).

What does this mean? The evidence tabulated below strongly implies that the earliest form of the term "Christian" does not occur until Codex Alexandrinus, at least the 5th century, and may in fact not enter the chronological record [C14!?!] until substantially later. In place of the term "Christian" in the evidence is instead, and quite invariably, is found the term "Chrestian". Some background may be required here. In a separate article the sources of Chrestos and Christos in antiquity are outlined and examined. It must be noted at this point that the term "Christ" in all the Greek manuscript sources is invariably encrypted, or encoded, along with a series of important theological terms, according to a system of abbreviations known as the nomina sacra (Latin; "sacred names").

As a result of this system, the encoded terms "Christ(os)" and "Chrest(os)" cannot be distinguished within this system of encryption, and hence the interest (perhaps even expedience) of locating the expanded and explicit forms in the earliest evidence. One further preliminary article may serve as a necessary background at this point, and that is the investigation of the historical appearance of the "Chi-Rho" code, which is used to represent "Christ" in the manuscript sources, in the non-literary sources outside the Bible tradition. On this series of questions, see Constantine and the Chi-Rho.

The fact that these early papyri make reference to the term "Chrestian" and not "Christian" is essentially noted, but then passed over by many if not most modern academics and scholars. In his book Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus by Lincoln H. Blumell [2012], the author writes, p.37-38:

  • While the epithet "Christian" certainly appears to have derived from the word "Christ", to an outsider who might not have been necessarily familiar with the association with the adjective χρηστος (good) since the iota of χριστιανος is periodically replaced by aneta. Nevertheless, given the periodic evidence of itacistic changes it is not always clear is [if?] such a distinction is being made consciously or whether it is simply a mispronunciation.

    Turning to the documentary evidence for the use of the epithet it is spelled at least four different ways in papryi: xpιστιαvoc; xpηστιαvoc; xpσιαvoc; and xpητιαvoc. Though divergent spellings are attested in the material from Oxyrhynchus, in every instance the eta replaces the iota, and in the letters specifically the epithet is employed on three separate occasions: SB XII 10772; P.Laur. II 42 (IV/V); P.Oxy.XLIII 3149
Indeed, even the Papyrology Unit within the University of Oxford, for the 3rd century P.Oxy 3035, renders the term "Chresian" as "Christian". Various reasons for this type of emendation and/or translation are provided, including misspelling by the original scribes, Iotacism, and orthographic errors. If any of these reasons were correct, then it would be reasonable to expect a mixture of the terms "Chrestian" and "Christian" in the sources, but a mixture is certainly not found. The earliest instance of the term "Christian" in the Greek codices appears in Codex Alexandrinus, which is currently dated to the 5th century, by various methods which are not very secure. Considering the importance of the first historical appearance of the term "Christian" out of many many chronologically prior instances of the original term "Chrestians", then it might be both interesting and expedient to have a fragment of Alexandrinus C14 dated. ...
http://www.thenazarenecode.com/christianity-is-antichrist.php

Following on from the above excerpt is a table of documents showing the dated usages of Chrest vs. Christ and even Chreist. Further discussion even postulates that Paul was the 'Chrestus' killed by Nero. If so, this could just as easily have been a fake execution, since Paul was clearly acting in a counter-intelligence role for the Romans. By killing a 'Chrestian', the sympathy garnered would act as a honey trap to those 'on the fence', at least, of the Jewish rebellion.

The necessarily pre-existing 'Chrestians', as noted by the Flavians (with their esoteric fish and anchor symbology) and such, were certainly not Jewish nationalist rebels, but the convenient equation of the 'christ' term with the Jewish 'messiah', because of the annointing with oil aspect, becomes a convenient bridge of conflation. Especially if, per the construction of Blavatsky's, that an adept of Chrest is seeking to align with Christ. In a 'secret' mystery school, the more public facing term, if any, would have been 'chrest' related, with the 'christ' term restricted, much like was claimed for the 'real' name of the Jewish god.

The linked page also goes on to discuss the relationship of Mithraism to the phenomenon. Under the best light, Mithraism should be seen as the very inner cult, whose adepts were the elders of the 'Chrestian' cultus, as Flavio Barbieri discusses in The Secret Society of Moses, which discusses the relationship of Josephus to his patrons, the Flavians.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
From the same page as the prior post:

Explanatory Hypothesis
As a result of this situation - that the term "Chrestian" (and not "Christian") invariably appears with the earliest evidence - the question must naturally arise as to why. How is the chronology of the use of the terms "Chrestian" and then "Christian" to be explained?

The sequence of events appears to be something like this, where the date of 316 CE is taken from the earliest of Emperor Constantine's "Chi-Rho" coins:

  • 1. Before c.316 CE: There appears to have been a class of people in antiquity who were referred to as "Chrestians".

    2. After c.316 CE: Constantine uses this name as the name of the "Chrestian State Religion", associated with the sacred code "Chi-Rho".

    3. Until Alexandrinus: the "Chrestian State Religion" continues for a number of centuries ...(How many? 1, 2,3,4,5 or more? C14 would help!!)

    4. After Alexandrinus: the "Chrestian State Religion" decided to make themselves the "Christian State Religion". (See Tacitus' Annals)
It should also be noted that the thoroughly 'pagan' Arch of 'Flavius' Constantine is physically placed so as to be a paean to the Flavian monuments, most noticeably today the Arch of Titus, as noted by Simcha Jacobovici, whom amateur sophist, Richard Carrier, crankily also considers to be a crank. Just because Jacobovici hasn't figured it all out yet doesn't make him a crank. And then, even if so, what does this make Carrier? A New Age sophist Pharisee, or just another low grade, cultural 'chrestian'?

Jacobovici also notes the positioning of Constantine's Arch to Nero's Colossus. In his series episode on the arch, he shows an animation of what it would look like in moving away from the arch, with the head of the colossus slowly rising above the arch.

The Colossus of Nero (Colossus Neronis) was a 30-metre (98 ft) bronze statue that the Emperor Nero (37–68 AD) created in the vestibule of his Domus Aurea, the imperial villa complex which spanned a large area from the north side of the Palatine Hill, across the Velian ridge to the Esquiline Hill. It was modified by Nero's successors into a statue of the sun god Sol. The statue was eventually moved to a spot outside the Flavian Amphitheatre, which (according to one of the more popular theories) became known, by its proximity to the Colossus, as the Colosseum.

...
Shortly after Nero's death in A.D. 68, the Emperor Vespasian added a sun-ray crown and renamed it Colossus Solis, after the Roman sun god Sol.[3] Around 128, Emperor Hadrian ordered the statue moved from the Domus Aurea to just northwest of the Colosseum (Amphitheatrum Flavianum), in order to create space for the Temple of Venus and Roma.[4] It was moved by the architect Decrianus with the use of 24 elephants.[5] Emperor Commodus converted it into a statue of himself as Hercules by replacing the head,[6] but after his death it was restored, and so it remained.[7]

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

So, not only do we have Vespasian associated with the very same sun god, Sol, as Flavius Constantine (it's last known high priest in fact), we have already noted a geographical and time nexus of Vespasian and his brother to the unique Vesica Piscis shrine in the Dewa Fortress (ignominiously currently underneath the pavement of a car park in Chester, England). Chester ... Chrester? (Let's don't ask Carrier.) In any case, the vesica piscus is a central feature of the Platono-Pythagorean sacred geometry schema, and which easily evokes the 'secret' fish symbol of the ... 'Chrestians', before they became 'Christians'. It also makes sense of the Flavian's fish and anchor symbology, of which was dominant until the time of the 'Christian' Cross displaced it, concurrent with Constantine's decree.

From a practical, logistical, standpoint, the accounts discuss that the various Roman armies of Constantine's day had a fair percentage of 'Christians' (Chrestians most likely) amongst the traditional 'pagan' cohorts. This would have been absolutely necessary for Constantine to have successfully implemented his decree, shutting down the legitimacy of the pagan religions and state financial support for their temples and basilicas. As such, it would have taken a very long time, for such numbers to have been built up to a sufficient 'critical mass' (pun intended) to ensure political success, if not military success. I'm guessing the sufficient time to do so, might likely go back to the time of Virgil asserting that Augustus was the Prince of Peace, and explaining why such as Vespasian and kin were 'Chrestian' adepts.

As an aside, it's also interesting to note that the Romanov Tsars (for Caesar via Czar), and their fans, saw themselves in the same di-vain 'light' as Constantine et al. They were the sole representative of the (solar) god, the same solar focus as Pythagorean ... and esoteric Egyptian.
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
The excerpt below is from a page interestingly named Christianity is Anti-Christ,
Source note: the quote from the aforementioned page is originally from Mountain Man Graphics; which in turn, I strongly suspect, was taken from some John Bartram page which has now disappeared from the Internet.

Mountain Man Graphics source: http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/chrestians christians.htm

The above-quoted materials on Mithraism are mostly from Roger Pearse, and from an old version of the Wikipedia article on Mithraism. Roger Pearse was also a major contributor to the Wikipedia article, FWIW. The page also quotes old versions of Wikipedia articles on St. Paul, and on Suetonius. The author/webmaster of the 'Christianity is Anti-Christ' page, Jorge Mata-Torres, has contributed only a few words of his own commentary.

Torres has another page called "Nazarenes of the Way" where he concisely explains his findings as follows:

Below you will see the Biblical scriptural sect prophesied in the Old Testament fulfilled by the Messiah who founded The Way (of God) that kept the Law and the Prophets as did the children of Israel. The Nazarenes were identified precisely by the same ID as He was: "the Nazarene" (He was not born in Nazareth nor were most of His disciples) Natsari comes from the root word "natsar" meaning "guardian, keeper, watcher" (The Nazarene and Nazarenes were Watchmen of The Way). The Messiah was NOT the founder of Christianity - the heretical sect that spawned in Antioch where Paul taught his Lawless doctrine where he was rejected and stoned by the citizens of Judea and also rejected by the churches of Asia for teaching heresy against God's Way - the Law (Torah).

[....]

The Name of the Son of God’s Sect:

“But this I confess unto thee, that after THE WAY which they call a sect, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in THE LAW and in the prophets” Acts 24:14


The Way to reconcile Carrier and Atwill is that Flavian Chrestianity [sic], as discussed by Bartram, is thus the clear Greco-Roman, cynically corrupt, input to later 'Christianity', accomplished centuries later via the stroke(s) of an 'eraser' more than a pen.
I am not sure that Carrier and Atwill can be so easily reconciled. How to prove that the "Nazarenes of the Way" had beliefs that were distinct from Paul's beliefs about Jesus Christ? Or, if indeed they had different opinions about The Messiah, how to prove that those beliefs contributed in any way to later Christianity? All of our surviving codexes are too late to answer those questions.
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Perhaps I should have qualified that my interest in quoting from The Nazarene Code site was specifically in the issue of from 'chrest' to 'christ', albeit while the true nature of the original 'nazarenes' is pertinent to the issue of Rome versus the nationalist Jews of the day.

And, perhaps I am wrong, but it seems to me that if the Flavians and friends, including the Hasmoneans (Josephus, etc.), the Herodians, and such as Philo and kin were chresto-philic, and that Titus Flavius was indeed the perfectly prophecied (whether retrodictive or not) Second Coming via his destruction of the Temple, then one, at least, historical figure can be identified as a proto-Christ (in Chrestian context, along with Paul) then Carrier's position is effectively refuted.

That said, I do recognize that Carrier's casuistic, ill logic is designed to pretext his summary judgement against any possibilities other than what his patron(s) allow. The ships of Castor and Pollux must sink in their Bay(es).
 
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