Richard Carrier replies!

I suspect not, Richard...
BTW, besides denying that Jesus of Nazareth was a historical human, does Carrier have a theory of how the NT and Xianity (as the imperial religion) came to be, perhaps that is not some cranky conspiracy theory?
...since I think he has left that to us, since he has to call many people cranky in order to give himself an audience!;)

Good laugh for us though!

Yours faithfully
Claude Cranky
 

Jerry Russell

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Here's an article where Carrier gives a summary of his views on Christian origins. He mentions that the dominant scholarly view is that the religion was founded by a historical Jesus, and then continues:

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/2014/08/car388028.shtml

I think it is more likely that Jesus began in the Christian mind as a celestial being (like an archangel), believed or claimed to be revealing divine truths through revelations (and, by bending the ear of prophets in previous eras, through hidden messages planted in scripture). Christianity thus began the same way Islam and Mormonism did: by their principal apostles (Mohammed and Joseph Smith) claiming to have received visions from their religion’s “actual” teacher and founder, in each case an angel (Gabriel dictated the Koran, Moroni provided the Book of Mormon).
On this model, Christianity, as a Jewish sect, began when someone (most likely Cephas, perhaps backed by his closest devotees) claimed this “Jesus” had at last revealed that he had tricked the Devil by becoming incarnate and being crucified by the Devil (in the region of the heavens ruled by Devil), thereby atoning for all of Israel’s sins, so the Jerusalem temple cult no longer mattered, the sins of Israel could no longer hold back God’s promise, and the end of the world could soon begin. On this theory, Christians did not go looking for proof-texts after their charismatic leader died, but actually conjured this angelic being’s salvific story from a pesher-like reading of scripture, finding clues to the whole thing especially in the conjunction of Daniel 9, Jeremiah 23 & 25, Isaiah 52-53, and Zechariah 3 & 6. Because it solved a major theological and political problem of the time: how the world could be saved when God’s temple (and thus atonement for Israel’s sins) remained in the hands of a corrupt elite “obviously” rejected by God.
It would be several decades later when subsequent members of this cult, after the world had not yet ended as claimed, started allegorizing the gospel of this angelic being by placing him in earth history as a divine man, as a commentary on the gospel and its relation to society and the Christian mission. The same had already been done to other celestial gods and heroes, who were being transported into earth history all over the Greco-Roman world, a process now called Euhemerization, after the author Euhemerus, who began the trend in the 4th century B.C. by converting the celestial Zeus and Uranus into ordinary human kings and placing them in past earth history, claiming they were “later” deified (in a book ironically titled Sacred Scripture). Other gods then underwent the same transformation, from Romulus (originally the celestial deity Quirinus) to Osiris (originally the heavenly lord whom pharaohs claimed to resemble, he was eventually transformed into a historical pharaoh himself).
While here Carrier argues that Cephas was the most likely inventor, I think he would also name Paul as a possible candidate. At any rate, he sees Paul and Cephas sharing this view of Jesus as a celestial archangel, and believes that the Christian church developed out of a fusion of the early Pauline church and the early Jerusalem church. He doesn't believe that Christianity fragmented into multiple sects, until much later. (Documentation for this summary of Carrier's views is found above in this thread.)

And here's a recent video in which Carrier discusses the origins of Christianity on MythVision podcast with Robert M. Price. In the video, he discusses his views that Christianity in the time of Trajan must have been a tiny sect on the verge of dying out, because Pliny the Younger had never heard of it until it came to his attention in the incidents discussed with Trajan in their correspondence. Also, he re-iterates his conviction that the central Roman imperial government had NOTHING to do with the origins of Christianity, up until the time that Constantine finally decided to promote it. He admits some Roman cultural influence, including a toadying desire on the part of Jewish Christians to prevent any conflict with the Romans.

 
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Jerry Russell

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To continue the quote from Carrier at the 'bibleinterp' website:

Such is the theory. Why might we conclude it’s the more likely explanation? Because the sequence of evidence aligns with it. As Bart Ehrman himself has recently confessed, the earliest documentation we have shows Christians regarded Jesus to be a pre-existent celestial angelic being.[8] Though Ehrman struggles to try and insist this is not how the cult began, it is hard to see the evidence any other way, once we abandon Christian faith assumptions about how to read the texts. The earliest Epistles only ever refer to Jesus as a celestial being revealing truths through visions and messages in scripture. There are no references in them to Jesus preaching (other than from heaven), or being a preacher, having a ministry, performing miracles, or choosing or having disciples, or communicating by any means other than revelation and scripture, or ever even being on earth. This is completely reversed in the Gospels. Which were written decades later, and are manifestly fictional. Yet all subsequent historicity claims, in all subsequent texts, are based on those Gospels.
We also have to remember that all other evidence from the first eighty years of Christianity's development was conveniently not preserved (not even in quotation or refutation). While a great deal more evidence was forged in its place: we know of over forty Gospels, half a dozen Acts, scores of fake Epistles, wild legends, and doctored passages. Thus, the evidence has passed through a very pervasive and destructive filter favoring the views of the later Church, in which it was vitally necessary to salvation to insist that Jesus was a historical man who really was crucified by Pontius Pilate (as we find obsessively insisted upon in the letters of Ignatius). Thus to uncover the truth of how the cult began, we have to look for clues, and not just gullibly trust the literary productions of the second century.
[8] Bart Ehrman, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (HarperOne, 2014).
So as far as Carrier is concerned, the 'earliest Epistles' are the ONLY surviving evidence from the 1st century AD. In this vein, Carrier rejects Eisenman's Dead Sea Scrolls analysis as 'Crank', presumably accepting the more standard scholarly view that the DSS are much older, and have nothing to do with Christianity. He's rejecting that Josephus has anything to say about Christianity. He's rejecting the various archaeological finds relating to Flavian and earlier 'Chrestianity' cited by Bartram and Valliant.

I have to agree that if you reject everything else, and say that the 'earliest Epistles' are the only thing we have to work with, you'd have to reach conclusions similar to Carrier.
 
Carrier is a shill, a stool pigeon for Christian hegemony, only pretending to oppose orthodoxy.

Indeed this is wilful agnostic (in the Thomas Huxley sense) blindness on the Carrier pigeon's part, limiting himself only to the "earliest" NT epistles, since it excludes the greater context. When, about 2004, I first read the material concerning Saturninus' wife (2 stories) following the Testamentum Flavium, I was intrigued by what seemed to be Gnostic references there but at that time I had no knowledge of Joe's amazing finding that the three stories constituted a verbal triptych, indicating a direct link between the three pieces. Eventually, after reading CM, it unambiguously revealed the Gnostic basis of Christianity to me, as I well knew the connection (in Irenaeus, Hippolytus and Epiphanius) between Saturninus and the supposed earliest Gnostic Basilides, something not then known to Joe - but which I easily confirmed from Tacitus and Suetonius!

I.e. no Fawlty analysis building on Joe's triptych insight.

But when one is a carrier of a sub-pigeon-brained computer manipulation (like Chomsky's Hal-like talking moon rocket in Chomsky for Beginners), it can only lead to manipulation and damage to an already confused and degraded mass of "everyday" Christians.

Yours faithfully
Claude
 
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Jerry Russell

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Carrier is a shill, a stool pigeon for Christian hegemony, only pretending to oppose orthodoxy.
You aren't willing to allow for the possibility that he's just mistaken? "Shill" is a pretty strong pejorative, implying that he's on someone's payroll. I don't see any evidence of that.

Unlike some of the climate denier "shills" who are clearly taking funding from Koch brothers or fossil fuel industries. I'm not above calling people "shills", but only when the evidence is undeniable.

In fact, I'm willing to allow some slight chance that he's right and we're wrong.

For example, regarding the Triptych: I agree that there's a logical relationship between the three sections. That is: first the mention of Jesus Christ and his resurrection on the third day; next, the tale of Decius Mundus, his deceitful courtship of Paulina, and his revelation on the third day that he is not God; and finally, the story of a wicked man and his henchmen who trick Fulvia into giving up her wealth to her, leading to banishment of the Jews from Rome.

Now, it's completely possible (as many scholars including Carrier argue) that the Testimonium Flavianum, the first part of the Triptych, was not written by Josephus. Perhaps the text originally included some very different story about Jesus and his resurrection.

But, how credible is it to argue that the character of Decius Mundus is not a satire of Jesus? And, how credible is it that the wicked man in the Fulvia story is not Paul? It seems to me that the parallels are very dense and highly interpretable. And it follows that if the currently existing Testimonium Flavianum is a fake, it must have replaced an earlier, highly incriminating satire of Christian beliefs about Jesus and the Resurrection.

But, I also feel this way about the Cannibal Mary story. Carrier is fully aware of Cannibal Mary, and he thinks that this story is just a riff on Numbers 12 and on the Jewish concept of Passover. He thinks that Atwill's parallel is refuted because some details don't match:

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/4664

What Josephus seems to have in mind is to communicate that Jewish society had been turned upside down by rebellion, and he does this by turning the Passover upside down. Hence we have here a Jew’s own poetic inversion of the Passover to make a contextual point about the state of society during the siege of Jerusalem. This does not suggest or require any knowledge of or allusion to Jesus or Christianity.
Had the baby been called Jesus, then Atwill might have had something. Or if the Gospels identified the mother of Jesus as “Mary the daughter of Eleazar” or “from the town of Bethezob,” as the Mary in Josephus is. Or had any Gospel identified any other Mary as being the actual daughter of Lazarus (“Eleazar”), instead of his sister, as only one Gospel actually does (Jn. 11:2). But alas, no such connections are there. Otherwise, Mary is too common a name to be remarkable, as is Eleazar. And the Gospels fail to identify Lazarus as from Bethezob but instead from Bethany. So it’s the wrong Lazarus. And Mary is his sister in John, not his daughter as in Josephus. And even this Mary (in John, the only Mary connected to a Lazarus at all, and by the wrong family relation) is not the mother of Jesus. So it’s also the wrong Mary.
So on every count a parallel is refuted here, not established.
Now, Joseph Atwill's full list of parallels for Cannibal Mary is:

...within this short passage Josephus has used a number of concepts and names that are parallel to those associated with the New Testament’s symbolic Passover lamb. These are a mother named Mary; the fact that this Mary was pierced through the heart; a son of Mary; hyssop; a son who is a sacrifice; a son whose flesh is eaten; a son who is to become a “byword to the world”; one of Moses’ instructions regarding the Passover lamb; an individual named Lazarus (Eleazar); and Jerusalem as the location of the incident. (Caesar's Messiah, Flavian Signature Edition (p. 60), Kindle Edition.)​

It seems to me that Carrier's demand for a perfect match of every element of a typological parallel or pesher, before the parallel can be accepted, is completely unprecedented. I don't believe there's a single example of such an accepted parallel where there isn't some variation between the later version and its source. Otherwise how could an old passage be reinterpreted in a new light, and what would be the point of writing the new version anyhow?

Let's look at Carrier's proposed parallel from Numbers 12. He states it this way:

A rebellious Mary from the days of the Passover, associated with a half-consumed baby.
And that's it. The Numbers passage is about a baby consumed by disease, not cannibalism. And it's a metaphorical baby, not even an actual character in the story. Mary repents of her rebellion, and is forgiven. This is supposed to be the stronger parallel?

Or, in the broader context that Carrier thinks that Josephus is inverting the Jewish concept of 'Passover': the details of the parallel that aren't included are the "pierced heart"; the "son of Mary" (notwithstanding that she's the 'wrong Mary', still her name is Mary); the "byword to the world"; and the name Lazarus (Eleazar).

Nevertheless, could Carrier be right that Josephus was thinking about Numbers 12 and the Passover, and not the Gospels? Could this level of parallelism happen unintentionally, or beyond Josephus's conscious awareness?

Seems to me that Atwill is right, and Carrier is wrong. But, a mathematically solid proof eludes me.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
It's interesting to me that rank speculation, by the Cranki-phone Carrier, can rate possible merit via such conspiracy theorizing sans evidence beyond Paul's (yet another character of dubious historicity) lack of discussion and knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth, or via Cephas. And here even Paul is accorded intimate contact with the Roman imperial court and the Herodian court, as with Josephus.

Even the canonic gospels and 'Paul' admit to the original 'JudaeoChristian church's' adament stance against Hellenistic desires and behaviors. At best, Jesus rides on both sides of the messianic fence with respect to a pacific or apacific nature, much like Donald Trump is all over the peace map today. There is a reason in both cases - in that one is thus allowed to project their personal desires and views into the provided vessel.

It beggars belief that the elite Romans, including the Flavians, did not understand the religious mergers and acquisitions of state religions that had been engineered earlier, the latest of note being Serapis (unless one also wants to consider the Romanized version of Mithraism).

It was claimed from the beginning that Xianity was uniquely different than all its predecessors in that its godman was indeed manifest in the flesh, and here the various early camps claimed that their Jesus was a man if not a godman. As such, I think if so many would make such a claim, even under the duress of the imperial state, that likely there was indeed some historical personage. And I say that he likely was this Locust dude, whose sons were the Sons of Manu. No operative carpenters need apply.

Cranki-phone Carrier? Does the FCC gnow about this?

Carrier is thus projecting his distorted worldview onto what makes him feel more comfortable about the way the present world operates, and thus he makes himself a backdoor, limited hangout apologist for the status quo vadis [sic].

I have to agree that if you reject everything else, and say that the 'earliest Epistles' are the only thing we have to work with, you'd have to reach conclusions similar to Carrier.
However, Ellis would state that, yes, there was nothing but the earliest epistles by 'Paul/Josephus' and then later the gospels were fabricated to provide for a normative Jesus of Nazareth. This leaves open either the possibility of a completely fictional Jesus ... or a fictive Jesus hung atop one or more real skeletal tropes. The better to allow projecting onto, and hence the varying audience foci of the canonic and apocryphal gospels.

No doubt Carrier ignores the massive gospel parallelisms to both Homer and the Pollio history of Julius Caesar's Civil War. Who would be inclined to do this, and what is the Bayesian likelihood that a bunch of low level gumbas from Palestine would come about this by happenstance, divine or otherwise? As such, I wonder if Carrier will argue whether the divine saviors, Castor and Pollux, and sister Helen were historical or not? Was there a war and siege at Troy/Hisarlik? At least with this war we know that Castor and Pollux were not there, one way or another.

Furthermore, the canonic gospels also reveal a profound esoteric knowledge of sacred geometry and cosmology which the motivations that Carrier ascribes to those who merely wanted to provide their fictive godman for the sake of the rubes, points to educated people with yet other motives. This is yet consistent with prior religions capable of being read on at least two levels, per design.

I think it is more likely that Jesus began in the Christian mind as a celestial being (like an archangel), believed or claimed to be revealing divine truths through revelations (and, by bending the ear of prophets in previous eras, through hidden messages planted in scripture). Christianity thus began the same way Islam and Mormonism did: by their principal apostles (Mohammed and Joseph Smith) claiming to have received visions from their religion’s “actual” teacher and founder, in each case an angel (Gabriel dictated the Koran, Moroni provided the Book of Mormon).
Well, Cranki-phone Carrier is willing to accept the fabricated foundation myths of Islam and Mormonism, and so we should accept his nonsense view of Xianity likewise? Both of these religions / sects began with political motivations, and had external inputs to both 'founders'.

No, the elites manufactured Christianity, just like they always have, and will. Such religions are statecraft, necessarily disguised as something else.
 
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Jerry Russell

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It's interesting to me that rank speculation, by the Cranki-phone Carrier, can rate possible merit via such conspiracy theorizing sans evidence beyond Paul's (yet another character of dubious historicity) lack of discussion and knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth, or via Cephas.
I understand why you would characterize Carrier's theory as "rank speculation", but in what way is it a "conspiracy theory"? As a matter of fact, Carrier gets really pissed when people call him a conspiracy theorist, such as here:

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/8331

McGrath dishonestly deploys a well poisoning fallacy by saying he “will not discuss here [Carrier’s] conspiracy theory approach to early Christian literature, summed up nicely when he writes, ‘This appears to be what typically happened to the evidence. It was erased, doctored or rewritten to support a historicity party line against a mythicist one’.”...
Meanwhile, this is what I actually say in the book about “conspiracy theories”…
[T]here was no organized conspiracy to doctor the record (except when it came to controlling faith literature, for which we have clear evidence of Christians actively eliminating disapproved Gospels, for example), but this along with all the other cases (above and below) indicates a common trend among individual Christians to act as gatekeepers of information, suppressing what they didn’t like. Which collectively destroyed a lot of information. (OHJ, p. 303)
[T]his doesn’t demonstrate any organized conspiracy, but there seems to have been a zeitgeist motivating many Christian scholars and scribes, independently of one another, to remove embarrassingly silent sections of secular histories, or to remove embarrassingly silent histories altogether (by simply not preserving them). (OHJ, p. 305)
Which begs the question, how did Christian orthodoxy get established in the first place, with so much power that all competing sects were decimated and left impotent to even preserve their own literature?

If we say that Constantine and Theodosius established the Church through the power of the Roman state, thus creating the environment that facilitated the destruction of the documentary record: is that a conspiracy theory?

And here even Paul is accorded intimate contact with the Roman imperial court and the Herodian court...
I don't know if Carrier admits that these parts of the Pauline corpus are included in the "earliest Epistles" or whether he would view them as later accretions.

It was claimed from the beginning that Xianity was uniquely different than all its predecessors in that its godman was indeed manifest in the flesh,
Obviously Carrier would deny this. Our evidence "From the beginning" would date later than 150 AD, right?

Carrier is thus projecting his distorted worldview onto what makes him feel more comfortable about the way the present world operates
He very rarely writes about modern politics. An exception is here:

Intersectionality: a guide for the perplexed

which I think you would find mostly sympathetic with many of our views, although he does have an allergy for any kind of "tinfoil hat" conspiracy thinking.

No doubt Carrier ignores the massive gospel parallelisms to both Homer and the Pollio history of Julius Caesar's Civil War.
Regarding Homer, he's totally on board with MacDonald's view that Mark is saturated with parallels. See:

https://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/homerandmark.html

MacDonald's shocking thesis is that the Gospel of Mark is a deliberate and conscious anti-epic, an inversion of the Greek "Bible" of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, which in a sense "updates" and Judaizes the outdated heroic values presented by Homer, in the figure of a new hero, Jesus (whose name, of course, means "Savior"). When I first heard of this I assumed it would be yet another intriguing but only barely defensible search for parallels, stretching the evidence a little too far-tantalizing, but inconclusive. What I found was exactly the opposite. MacDonald's case is thorough, and though many of his points are not as conclusive as he makes them out to be, when taken as a cumulative whole the evidence is so abundant and clear it cannot be denied. And being a skeptic to the thick, I would never say this lightly.
Regarding Pollio's history, you do know that it's lost, and so Carotta's ideas about its contents are mostly speculative?
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Regarding Pollio's history, you do know that it's lost, and so Carotta's ideas about its contents are mostly speculative?
Yes, I even read Carotta's book, up till the point that he pointed to the Flavians as continuing 'the process'. While we don't have Pollio's account we do have mentions of it and thus we understand the basic contours of the Civil War and how the totality of Julius and Augustus can map onto Xianity or vice-versa. And, when taken as a cumulative whole the evidence is so abundant and clear it cannot be denied. And being a skeptic to the thick, I would never say this lightly.
 

Jerry Russell

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While we don't have Pollio's account we do have mentions of it and thus we understand the basic contours of the Civil War and how the totality of Julius and Augustus can map onto Xianity or vice-versa. And, when taken as a cumulative whole the evidence is so abundant and clear it cannot be denied. And being a skeptic to the thick, I would never say this lightly.
Sorry, I didn't mean to sound patronizing. I think it's the totality of many authors that gives the abundant and clear evidence.

Since Carrier admits that MacDonald's parallels are valid, as well as many parallels between the OT and NT, a possible way forward would be to measure the comparative strength of those vs. the ones he denies.
 

Seeker

Active Member
While we don't have Pollio's account we do have mentions of it
I have only read excerpts of Carotta's book, and so am probably missing something here, but why is Pollio's lost account considered so vital to his theory of Caesar as Christ, when we have the account of Caesar himself to go by for what he did in Gaul, or is his own account considered to be too biased and self serving to be used by Carotta for his hypothesis?
 

Jerry Russell

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Staff member
why is Pollio's lost account considered so vital to his theory of Caesar as Christ...?
Asinius Pollio was Caesar's legate. Carotta argues that Pollio's book was not only the authorized imperial biographical history of Caesar, but that it also must have been used as a liturgical work for the temples of Divus Julius, the deified Julius Caesar. Carotta believes that the contents of the book can be largely reconstructed from the many quotes in other authors.

According to Catholic tradition, the Gospel of Mark was written in Latin twelve years after Jesus's death, and similarly Asinius Pollio started writing his History twelve years after Caesar's death. So, Carotta's conjecture is that the History of Asinius Pollio was the first draft of the Gospel of Mark.

Also, Asinius Pollio sounds like 'asinus polos' which means 'Ass's colt', the creature upon which Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem.
 
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Seeker

Active Member
According to Catholic tradition, the Gospel of Mark was written in Latin twelve years after Jesus's death, and similarly Asinius Pollio started writing his History twelve years after Caesar's death. So, Carotta's conjecture is that the History of Asinius Pollio was the first draft of the Gospel of Mark
I see, and also Mark the Evangelist was supposed to have established the first Christian church in Alexandria, and 12 years after the assassination of Caesar would be 32 BC, when Mark Antony was in Alexandria with Cleopatra. The next year, remembering the kindnesses shown to him by Antony, Pollio remained neutral and did not take part in the Battle of Actium against Antony, when Octavian asked him to. So the Gospel of Mark may have been named for the friend of both Caesar and Pollio, Mark Antony.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Carotta asserts, much like Courtney, that such a work would also have been well used in the widespread military garrisons, where the various officiants had the liberty and encouragement to 'vulgarize' and embellish the original for the sake of the various foreign, ethnic cohorts.
 
About Carrier:
He very rarely writes about modern politics. An exception is here:

Intersectionality: a guide for the perplexed

which I think you would find mostly sympathetic with many of our views, although he does have an allergy for any kind of "tinfoil hat" conspiracy thinking.
"You" referring specifically to Richard I suppose. As for intersectionality, I quote:
Carrier said:
As such, intersectionality is not a total theory of the individual. That is, it’s not a theory about the totality of any person. It is solely a theory about discrimination and disadvantage. It says nothing about what movies you like or whether you are kind to strangers. It only covers one particular aspect of a person: the sum of discrimination or other relative difficulty they will encounter in a given system.

Which works like velocity in Relativity Theory: :mad: the intersectional state of an individual will change based on where they are. It’s relative to social location. Which varies over space and time. Move them to a different social system (or indeed, change the social system) and the discrimination or difficulty they face may be different.
As you see, intersectionality merely reduces people to abstract passive points pushed hither and thither by the "intersections".:rolleyes:

Thus, no sympathy from me for the Carrier pigeon!

Yours faithfully
Claude
 
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Saturninus (= Saturnilus) is one of two Gnostics, the other being Basilides, whose names are always brought together in the Heresiologists' lists of mainly Gnostic heresies. Basilides is commonly considered the earliest Gnostic (120 AD), predating Marcion (>140 AD) and Valentinus (150 AD), at least when Simon Magus (= St. Paul the Gnostic Apostle) is discarded as fanciful. Taught by Simon Magus together, Saturninus hangs around Syria whereas Basilides goes off to Egypt. They comprise heresies 23 & 24 in Epiphanius' early 4th century work. In Irenaeus (I:34) they are more closely lumped together, Saturninus called vegetarian while Basilides enumerates the 365 angels of Gnosticism. Hippolytus (VII:2-17), whose work other than chapter 1 was only discovered in the 19th century, describes Saturninus in much the same terms but elaborates Basilides as an application of Aristotle's teaching - to the ultimate embarrassment of EMJ I'm starting to think (being yet only halfway through the latter's massive "Barren Metal").

In the smaller triptych story (Josephus Antiq. 18:3:5) Saturninus' wife, called 'Fulvia' meaning tawny as well as yellow, is conned by a Jew and his three partners. She is conned of her money, her husband reporting her to Tiberius, who then expels the Jews from Rome - I.e. Jews being banished because of the wickedness of Four Men. This is clearly a Gnostic reference since the Four Men or Four Luminaries are very prominent in Gnosticism. While Irenaeus (I:29 - Barbeloites) among the Heresiologists mentions them only in passing, they are a major feature of Sethian Gnosticism, found in the Untitled Brucian Text, the Apocryphon of John, the Nag Hammadi Library and the Gospel of Judas. I.e. Harmozel, Oroaiel, Davithe and Eleleth!

In the main triptych story (Antiq 18:3:4) Saturninus is the wronged husband of his silly wife Paulina, who is seduced by Decius Mundus (whose name Joe explains). One of Decius' names is Anubis the jackal, Anubis also being cognate with John the Baptist, both being desert-dwellers. Once again Tiberius is informed; he responds by destroying the Temple of Isis in Rome as he blamed the priests rather than Decius Mundus, for being the perpetrators. Paulina huh!!!! No need to guess here.

Since Saturninus is highlighted in Josephus, all I needed to do was look for the treatment of Basilides in Suetonius and Tacitus. Having cured a blind man of his blindness...
Tacitus 4:82 said:
this deepened Vespasian's desire to visit the sacred house of Serapis... He gave orders for everyone else to be excluded from the temple and went in, concentrating on the deity. Happening to glance around he caught sight of a leading Egyptian named Basilides standing behind him. He was well aware that this man was detained by illness far from Alexandria at a place several days journey away. … Finally, after sending off some horsemen, he ascertained that at that very point in time Basilides had been 80 miles away. Vespasian therefore regarded the vision as divine and guessed that the force of the response lay in the meaning of the name Basilides.
The fallen cypress that rights itself led the young Vespasian to regard it as an omen. He next visits Mt. Carmel and its god.
Tacitus 2:78 said:
Yet this god has neither an image nor a temple, only an altar and the reverence of its worshippers. While Vespain was offering sacrifice in this place and was turning over in his mind his secret ambitions, the priest Basilides repeatedly examined the entrails of the victims and finally said to him "Whatever you are planning - be it a building, house, enlarging your estate or engaging more slaves - you will be granted a mighty house, far-flung boundaries and a host of people."
So who wishes to play the 'BasilFawltides' and deny this evidence????

So now Suetonius! Wishing to consult the auspices in Alexandria, Vespasian...
Suetonius-Vespasian:7 said:
…dismissed all who were with him and entered the temple of Serapis alone, and when, having made many offerings to the god, he finally turned around, it seemed to him that the freedman Basilides had brought him sacred branches, garlands and cakes, as is the custom there. Yet he was well aware that no one had let this man in and, moreover, that he had for some time been scarcely able to walk, because of a nervous disorder, and was indeed far away. And at that very time letters arrived reporting that the troops of Vitellius had been routed at Cremona and that Vitellius himself had been killed in Rome.
The conclusion: Vespasian is the second coming of Julius Caesar - and Basilides entered the temple miraculously to worship Vespasian who is here identified with Serapis. No need for "mathematical proof" - we have the smoking gun here - since such qualitative issues cannot, without severe distortion rendering the issues meaningless (in the sense that a carrier pigeon could read and understand a human message tied to its foot), be reduced to mathematical equations and principles.

Yours faithfully
Claude
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
I suggest that the above be moved to a separate thread and then linked from here.

In any case, for much more on John the Baptist and Anpu (Anubis), the "preparers of the way":
https://thegodabovegod.com/johnny-mercury-john-baptist-egypt/

Or, as Randall Carlson might 'catastrophically' say, "the preppers of the way".

Anpu/Anubis is also superceded by Osiris, as John was by Jesus (Monobazus/Izates).

Ellis develops that John's wearing of rustic camel skin is more likely typical word play, and from that that he really wore fine Egyptian cloth befitting his and Jesus' elite families.

At the extreme risk of giving you a wiki shit fit:

"Anubis" is a Greek rendering of this god's Egyptian name.[8][9] Before the Greeks arrived in Egypt, around the 7th century BC, the god was known as Anpu or Inpu. The root of the name in ancient Egyptian language means "a royal child." Inpu has a root to "inp," which means "to decay." The god was also known as "First of the Westerners," "Lord of the Sacred Land," "He Who is Upon his Sacred Mountain," "Ruler of the Nine Bows," "The Dog who Swallows Millions," "Master of Secrets," "He Who is in the Place of Embalming," and "Foremost of the Divine Booth." [10] The positions that he had were also reflected in the titles he held such as "He Who Is upon His Mountain," "Lord of the Sacred Land," "Foremost of the Westerners," and "He Who Is in the Place of Embalming."[11]

... Saturninus called vegetarian while ...
Is this what you meant to say? And/or what is the significance?

If Serapis is Osiris, superceder of Anubis, and Vespasian is typologically superceding Vitellius, do we have and parallel data for Vitellius?

Osiris's problems with his brother Set is interesting as well, in regards to Jesus and 'brother' Satan.
 
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Jerry Russell

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Basilides is commonly considered the earliest Gnostic (120 AD)
I'm not sure, then, how could Josephus be writing about Basilides? And, how could Vespasian meet with Basilides? Vespasian died in 79 AD, and the Antiquities was finished about 94 AD.

Could there be more than one person named Basilides? And if Josephus is writing about an earlier Basilides, perhaps that person isn't connected with the later Saturninus?
 

Jerry Russell

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As you see, intersectionality merely reduces people to abstract passive points pushed hither and thither by the "intersections".:rolleyes:

Thus, no sympathy from me for the Carrier pigeon!
Abstract passive points? He doesn't say that at all. He only says that 'intersectionality' is a function that applies to everyone.

Perhaps the problem is, really, that Carrier reveals himself to be an Einsteinian? And having identified that one fact about him, you feel justified in rejecting his entire body of work, and all his various and diverse political opinions expressed in the linked essay?
 

Jerry Russell

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I suggest that the above be moved to a separate thread and then linked from here.
I would think not, because the main point of Claude's discussion of the Tryptich is to further amplify that it exhibits a profound and deeply cynical understanding of early Christianity.

In the debate of Carrier vs. Atwill (and the rest of us), this is strong support for the Roman Origins theory.
 
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