The Founding of Christianity by Roman Counterintelligence

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
How do you feel about being liaised by the CIA, Marcilla? You are on the path to becoming a Catholic... are there two paths, or just one?
Did you give Richard your login credentials? Two paths? And why would they liaise with me? I just want to go to my lowly Wesleyan seminary and serve my fellow Methodist barbarians in the backwater

Or do you want to marry Jesus?... I predict that you'll have an office in the Vatican basement within 9 months.
If it comes with room and board or a living wage and travel expenses, sign me up! But really, it's not about what I want, but only His will :: crosses self ::

Has Marcilla been trying to tell us that she's crypto-Joseph Smith?
Plot twist: I am a former cryptojoe, two name changes ago :: dramatic music ::
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Did you give Richard your login credentials? Two paths? And why would they liaise with me? I just want to go to my lowly Wesleyan seminary and serve my fellow Methodist barbarians in the backwater
Are you saying that the Methodists are now overt Catholics, instead of covert Catholics?
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
As I may have mentioned, I started this fall on the path to becoming a Catholic. This afternoon I attended my first Catholic social event.
Here is another path:
https://www.amazon.com/Mythic-Journeys-Mark-Hamill/dp/B0033HKBQU

I just watched this tonight. While they do propose that Abramhmic religions can be valuable, they discuss that literal approaches can only lead to intolerance that we see today. Unfortunately, much of the progress that was made in viewing them metaphorically has been destroyed by the fundamentalist movements.

But as well, they were all built upon semi-historical narratives and more often than not meant to be taken as such ... as on topic for this thread, as political propaganda. And sardonically, the current nationalist, Judeo-Christians mostly don't recognize that the OT and NT narratives have a globalist motivation.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
But really, it's not about what I want, but only His will :: crosses self ::
Listen to Richard, the Great Lord Pasta. He will guide you in the Truth, as you seek to infiltrate the Vatican and produce a Postflavian documentary using their budget. You are going to the Land of Milk and Honey. You have our Blessing to Enjoy the Feast. But you must always be wary of temptation, lest you fall into the Orbit of Space Jesus.
 

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
Are you saying that the Methodists are now overt Catholics, instead of covert Catholics?
Sorry for being confusing. I am straddling the line, or perhaps "building the bridge" between Protestantism and Catholicism. I attend mass on Sat and then RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation as an Adult) Sunday morning. The Catholics graciously shifted the time of the class so that I could leave at 1015 in order to go put on the choir robe of an unwashed Methodist barbarian so I can help belt out some Charles Wesley a few blocks away at my apostate protestant church's 11am service

The FSM wants you to know that they have really good pasta in Rome.
This part is the scariest to me. Whether or not pizzagate is "fake news," I think, is irrelevant. Children definitely and tragically get abused, it generally goes unreported, and the system to handle reports is so bad that even when it is reported, it's more likely to make things worse. People may be able to argue over what is or isn't happening at Comet Ping Pong, but can there be any argument over what is happening in the society at large? Only when it comes to "blame," I think, and that's where the conversation falls apart.

Therefore, living in a world where I recognize the societal cognitive dissonance, where I have my own abuse history to leave me hypervigilant, and feeling on the outside looking in when it comes to matters of gender and sexuality, I feel at a near complete loss when it comes to discerning when am I seeing people's repressed unconscious desires poke their heads out, when am I projecting my own, when are people actively hinting at something, and when am I "just seeing things."

To make things worse, I know that I'm part of the communication "problem." I know what I mean when I say my eyes are droopy and bloodshot because I just got back from Colorado and I'm jetlagged. What I don't know is what that bump, nudge, or other touch meant; or what that lady meant when she said that guy would show up if he thought he'd get some chicken for his trouble, or that very tangential mention of Satanism. And is someone watching me to see how I'll react?

"Just keep smiling, think pretty thoughts, and help clean up the dishes," I tell myself


"Customers who bought this also bought: Finding Joe..." #bottomlessrabbithole

Listen to Richard, the Great Lord Pasta. He will guide you in the Truth, as you seek to infiltrate the Vatican and produce a Postflavian documentary using their budget. You are going to the Land of Milk and Honey. You have our Blessing to Enjoy the Feast. But you must always be wary of temptation, lest you fall into the Orbit of Space Jesus.
If only I should be so blessed that my punishment for defending Josephus would be to have the author of all that is good and evil cast me as the neoJosephus(ine)! Certianly, I can think of worse fates
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Yes, neoPaulina, go there by ship (named Wanda), and have a good shipwreck. Have a malted milk on Malta, before continuing on with a big pitcher of wine. When you get to Rome, pour it out for the Last Pope and it will have become the Aquarian Last Holy Vasa. This will be the uncanny miracle of unCana. Then you can call Josephus Atwill safely home from his mission in time to watch the spirit blood spill from the neoZealots, and all the innocent collateral damage babies. You can leave his monkey at the Jesuit plantation in Fiji.

The age ending meaning of the Miracle at Cana:
http://postflaviana.org/community/index.php?threads/christmas-at-cana.1991/
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
I feel at a near complete loss when it comes to discerning when am I seeing people's repressed unconscious desires poke their heads out, when am I projecting my own, when are people actively hinting at something, and when am I "just seeing things."
Ouch. Sorry to be contributing to the general mayhem and confusion. This pizza code is insidious. I don't know if I can ever eat a meal again without getting confused.

I always thought that the FSM's central noodles were a metaphor for neural spaghetti. And it had occurred to me that His "noodley appendage" could refer to the FSM's humble condition of inadequacy for mating rituals with wenches. It's something that even the best of pirates can identify with.

But now even the very substance of our FSM is unmasked as a metaphor for Satanic depravity? It can't be true. We must retreat into stoic denial.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
And it had occurred to me that His "noodley appendage" could refer to the FSM's humble condition of inadequacy for mating rituals with wenches.
This act the FSM performs prior to even becoming al dente, but never with virgin wenches. The only virgin involved is the olive oil.

My circumstances these days limit me to eating pizza from Little Caesar's, seriously. Not bad for the price. But in any case, pizza is not pasta, like a tomato(e) is not a vegetable.

"Customers who bought this also bought: Finding Joe..." #bottomlessrabbithole
We need to have authentic metaphorical stories to relate to, once again, that can lead us out of the Caesaro-Christian cultural miasma formed from its cynical schizophrenia inducing lies centered around a metaphorical pizza with a literal Judaic rebel leader as a burnt crust, overlayed with a blood red Romano tomato sauce, and cheesy matzo-rella.

Fortunately, we are sure that you will help clean up the mess in the Catholic orphanages such as in Ireland, and here as with Boy's Town. The latter produced pizza for such as Dubya.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
"Customers who bought this also bought: Finding Joe..." #bottomlessrabbithole
I have to admit that it was a little disconcerting to see one of the myths that were interpreted was the story of Isaac, Esau, and Jacob and the granting of Abraham's inheritance to Jacob under deceitful false pretenses.

The outcome was rationalized that Issac knew that he was really dealing with Jacob and not Esau, but that he went ahead and granted Jacob the divine inheritance because Jacob (and his mother) went to such great lengths to obtain it. Holy crap, Batman.

They failed to distinguish the evil Abrahamic myths from the prior strata, in that the Abrahamic myths are indeed presented as literal history that must be taken both literally and intolerantly exclusive from other cultures' myths. As discussed, these prior myths could be exchanged among cultures and tribes without causing the genocides that your future husband(s) have profited from. But I'm sure you will tame these wild horses.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I know what I mean when I say my eyes are droopy and bloodshot because I just got back from Colorado and I'm jetlagged.
What was going on in Colorado? Was there a national hotel maid convention or something?

In general, your maid life sounds much more stimulating than most, but then you are divinely inspired. Who is going to write your biography, the Acts of the Silly Martian?
 

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
Have a malted milk on Malta, before continuing on with a big pitcher of wine. When you get to Rome, pour it out for the Last Pope and it will have become the Aquarian Last Holy Vasa. This will be the uncanny miracle of unCana.
IDK if this relates, but at our Women of Faith Christmas party last night, I successfully guessed all 11 baby pictures, thereby winning a vase lettered "Bassano del Grappa." Close enough to uncanny?

Ouch. Sorry to be contributing to the general mayhem and confusion. This pizza code is insidious.
No worries! The PF references seem transparently intentional for witty porpoises, not in service to the bigger fishes

We must retreat into stoic denial.
I thought the stoic sagely and courageously stood toe to toe with the Truth

We need to have authentic metaphorical stories to relate to, once again, that can lead us out of the Caesaro-Christian cultural miasma formed from its cynical schizophrenia inducing lies centered around a metaphorical pizza with a literal Judaic rebel leader as a burnt crust, overlayed with a blood red Romano tomato sauce, and cheesy matzo-rella.
If I may ask, which aspect of the inauthenticity of Christianity is it that bothers you?

Fortunately, we are sure that you will help clean up the mess in the Catholic orphanages such as in Ireland, and here as with Boy's Town. The latter produced pizza for such as Dubya.
I wondered if we'd ever get back to the Franklin case

What was going on in Colorado? Was there a national hotel maid convention or something?
Getting back to nature, the greenery, the trees. In the words of the late Mr. Denver, just getting "Rocky Mountain high."

Incidentally, I lost the cleaning gig back in May (at a medical office building, to adjust another technicality), but I do like the idea that when we are properly recognized as among the first disciples of our Guardian Bruno Bauer Anointed, and such as months of the year or days of the week are named after us, that people might say, "and to think that she was but a lowly part time cleaning lady."


In general, your maid life sounds much more stimulating than most, but then you are divinely inspired. Who is going to write your biography, the Acts of the Silly Martian?
It's good to hear, thank you. I try to make the most of it, mindful of our Lord Josephus's Jesus's parable of the talents

As for my biography, I'll be happy to get back to work on it, but I'm still waiting on payment for my last two writing gigs, as well as for Wal-mart to call me back on the job I put in for in October :: eyeroll ::
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
IDK if this relates, but at our Women of Faith Christmas party last night, I successfully guessed all 11 baby pictures, thereby winning a vase lettered "Bassano del Grappa." Close enough to uncanny?
If this is not uncanny then it's canny. I suggest taking this vase with you on your trip. Perhaps performing such a miracle will allow your narrative to be accepted in place of the one they have ready to go.
If I may ask, which aspect of the inauthenticity of Christianity is it that bothers you?
If I may be so bold as to place myself in your POV shoes, what puts me off most is that we are told that this religion provides legitimate spirituality while at the same time having been at the core of cynical and bloody ploy. Of course, the mainstream frames this as the ultimate defeat of the evil Romans by God and his Son. But here I see that nothing really changed by this 'victory'. A Rome by any other name is still ...
Getting back to nature, the greenery, the trees.
They don't have any trees in North Carolina anymore?
 

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
Of course, the mainstream frames this as the ultimate defeat of the evil Romans by God and his Son. But here I see that nothing really changed by this 'victory'. A Rome by any other name is still ...
The ghost of the empire is her church - I assume that's what we're talking about - and she has spawned several children and grandchildren, even as she has crossed over into the world of the Spirit: a blue force ghost which, like Obi Wan Kenobi, is perhaps more powerful dead than when alive, "from a certain perspective."

But back in the material world (with which I thought you were so concerned), not so many roads lead to Rome, and her legions have traded in the armor of the breastplate for the sign of the cross, and the formation of the phalanx for supplications on the kneelers. Meanwhile, it is Israel which has been returned to statehood, and one of the few nuclear powers, to boot.

But perhaps by a "Rome by any other name" you refer to that new city on a Capitol(ine) Hill, surrounded by its protective beltway. But isn't the inevitable rise of ungodly temporal authority part of the reason for the rise of a more individualist spirituality?

The Old testified to one king after another losing their way. Had there been a Prophet Trump, he might have called them Disobedient Saul, Cheating David, Disloyal Solomon. The New fulfills the law of the Old, testifying that the faithful ought to give it up to - and by insinuation, give up on - caesar, that which he claims as his own. "Here you go, emperor: a brand new corpus of scripture, based on your conquest. Hail Caesar!" But how many today could name a Flavian, and how many today will send out cards to celebrate the birth of a Jewish savior with a Gaulish name?

Of course, you can ask exactly what sort of Christmas spirit people are embodying as they skulk through the malls. In that sense, maybe Caesar has been replaced by that which was rendered unto him - the place of an emperor held by the graven images of dead presidents. But scripture already warned us that this kind of love is the root of all sorts of evil


They don't have any trees in North Carolina anymore?
Naturally. We just aren't allowed to burn them here... yet. We have to go to a different state to get to a different state... of mind. DC is closer, sure, but as metaphors go, it seems louder, and I'm happy just to keep it on the reg
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The ghost of the empire is her church - I assume that's what we're talking about - and she has spawned several children and grandchildren, even as she has crossed over into the world of the Spirit: a blue force ghost which, like Obi Wan Kenobi, is perhaps more powerful dead than when alive, "from a certain perspective."

But back in the material world (with which I thought you were so concerned), not so many roads lead to Rome, and her legions have traded in the armor of the breastplate for the sign of the cross, and the formation of the phalanx for supplications on the kneelers. Meanwhile, it is Israel which has been returned to statehood, and one of the few nuclear powers, to boot.
As most do, you mistake superficial form versus function. If I had not had to deal with this same issue with people that I personally know then I might suspect that you are merely here to waste my time, which yet might still be the case. How much time you've spent engaging here and now how little you are a Postflavian. All roads lead to Virtual Rome.

If you are 'authentic' your "mission", sans divine intervention, is doomed to fail, as you are announcing to the virtual Sanhedrin your plan to unseat them.

But perhaps by a "Rome by any other name" you refer to that new city on a Capitol(ine) Hill, surrounded by its protective beltway. But isn't the inevitable rise of ungodly temporal authority part of the reason for the rise of a more individualist spirituality?
By "Rome by any other name" I mean Virtual Rome, and yes, Washington D.C. is definitely included in that appellation.
But isn't the inevitable rise of ungodly temporal authority part of the reason for the rise of a more individualist spirituality?
What is the relevance of this question to this discussion? In any case, it is to vague in definition for me to respond to. Perhaps you are asking whether the rise of the papacy (the ungodly temporal authority) was the cause, or what? Or is it Obama? And what does "individualist spirituality" have to do with this?

The Old testified to one king after another losing their way. Had there been a Prophet Trump, he might have called them Disobedient Saul, Cheating David, Disloyal Solomon. The New fulfills the law of the Old, testifying that the faithful ought to give it up to - and by insinuation, give up on - caesar, that which he claims as his own. "Here you go, emperor: a brand new corpus of scripture, based on your conquest. Hail Caesar!" But how many today could name a Flavian, and how many today will send out cards to celebrate the birth of a Jewish savior with a Gaulish name?
Again, mistaking form for function.

And your point is ridiculous here, because the central premise of the Romans 11 graft was to conceal the Flavians and the other emperors behind the Jewish robe of Jesus. The robe has been the same veil for ~2,000 years, and the descendants of the same old men are standing behind it.
Of course, you can ask exactly what sort of Christmas spirit people are embodying as they skulk through the malls. In that sense, maybe Caesar has been replaced by that which was rendered unto him - the place of an emperor held by the graven images of dead presidents. But scripture already warned us that this kind of love is the root of all sorts of evil
Same thing again.

You are a victim of all the years of framing your perspectives on a wide range of matters, many of which are irrelevant, and then drawing the Postmodern conclusion that we no longer have any connection to the time of Christ Titus. When you become as a child and start anew, with a blank slate, then it will become easier to see what is important. But you (and Joe) have convinced yourself(s) that your and Titus' church(s) are now your benefactors. You keep insisting that the NT provides all the answers, so then why are you trying to replace it?

As I have consistently stated at Postflaviana, the core subtext of the OT and the NT is about 'land', and the obtaining of all of the Earth's land for the Lord, aka the human lord(s). The management and control of access to land, as a separate issue from Capitalism vs. non-Capitalism, is central to the conflicts of Western history even prior to Christ. The conservative (original) Christian attitude today towards matters like 'land reform' is exactly the same as was during pre-Christian times, eg. the Gracchi brothers.

But you think that the purpose of the Church is to make you and your friends feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and that's the end of the story. As Christ Titus said: "The poor will always be with us, so fuck it." These are the messages that the NT is loaded with, so as to benefit the aristocrats (the landed elites) and make everyone else play patriot to the patrone. And when it came time to colonize the New World, the OT was yet there in all its Provident glory to Justify the stealth of the land of the barbarian squatters.
Naturally. We just aren't allowed to burn them here... yet. We have to go to a different state to get to a different state... of mind. DC is closer, sure, but as metaphors go, it seems louder, and I'm happy just to keep it on the reg
You went to Colorado so you could burn wood?
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
I might suspect that you are merely here to waste my time
Richard, participation here is voluntary. There's no obligation to reply to everything Marcilla has to say. It's even OK to let her have the last word. Meanwhile, we can go on pursuing other research and writing that might eventually win her over to our point of view.

now how little you are a Postflavian.
It seems to me that there are broad areas of agreement, as well as areas of disagreement.

Marcilla, are you still agreeing that the Gospels were written by Josephus or his colleagues and assistants? And that the events depicted in the New Testament are a highly fictionalized, distorted depiction of the actual events of the Jewish war?

On the other hand, are you still arguing that both Paul and Josephus were not writing with a hidden agenda as Roman intelligence operatives, but that they had high-minded spiritual goals and the best interests of their readers at heart?
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
that might eventually win her over to our point of view.
When the non-existent Hell freezes over.

Besides, once she polygamates with Titus there will be some obedience issues, if they aren't already there.

But back in the material world (with which I thought you were so concerned)
Am I to take this that you think I should censor myself from commenting on your religion, or what?

Besides which, I am not an atheist, but an agnostic. An agnostic that knows Judeo-Christianity to be BS. No, that's not true, it is a confidence game, that in a rational world, these people would be in prison long ago. But it is not a rational world, people are almost as easily manipulated as literal sheep, and so the shepherds ply their crook.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
If it comes with room and board or a living wage and travel expenses, sign me up! But really, it's not about what I want, but only His will :: crosses self ::
As for "obedience" and much worse, this is what happens when you marry Jesus, caveat emptor (it gets juicy at 25 min):


BTW, Jerry, I think you should move all this to a different thread, as it as all mostly off the topic.
 
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Marcilla Smith

Active Member
As most do, you mistake superficial form versus function. If I had not had to deal with this same issue with people that I personally know then I might suspect that you are merely here to waste my time, which yet might still be the case. How much time you've spent engaging here and now how little you are a Postflavian.
The neo-Ziggies have this term "anxious-dismissive" to refer to a particular style of relational attachment. Not that it applies in this case, of course, but nonetheless, please excuse me for anything I may have said for which you may not have been ready to hear.

In any event, let me avoid falling into dismissiveness, and instead address your point: if it makes you feel any better, consider how much more time I've spect with the Methodists and how much less I subscribe to their orthodoxy.


If you are 'authentic' your "mission", sans divine intervention, is doomed to fail, as you are announcing to the virtual Sanhedrin your plan to unseat them.
My mission is established on the assumption of Divine inspiration, which probably already indicates a(n admittedly delusional) belief in Divine intervention.

As to the virtual Sanhedrin, I'm sorry that I'm not sure who you mean. May I ask you to explain, please?


By "Rome by any other name" I mean Virtual Rome, and yes, Washington D.C. is definitely included in that appellation.
Pray excuse the density of my gray matter, but the boundaries of Virtual Rome are unknown to me. Pleeze 2 enlighten?

What is the relevance of this question to this discussion?
I took you to mean (perhaps incorrectly) that the existence of a "Rome by any other name"/"ungodly temporal authority" negated the possibility of Divine superiority to the evils of Rome (proper). But the superiority of the Divine to all else is an a priori within the context of any discussion of Christian narrative

And what does "individualist spirituality" have to do with this?
I think we're in agreement that prior to the end of the 2nd Temple period, the Jewish faith was a more collectivist/nationalist belief system. Some of this was supposedly carried over into early Christianity, but of course, I'm skeptical as to what we might or might not know about that period for obvious reasons.

With the arrival of the Roman Empire, I imagine it became obvious to at least the Hellenized intelligentsia that Judea was no longer under the sort of client-patron "hands off" submission they experienced under the Persians (for example) or other foreign conquerors, but was being fully integrated into the Roman (Borg) Empire. With Alexanders who were richer than patricians and Herods with more clout than Senators, and everyone dependent on Roman innovations, the idea that there was still some independent Jewish identity that could uncouple itself from the network must have seemed patently absurd. Were they going to go back to some bygone day's "business as usual" - a veritable campaign to "make Judea great again," if you will? It must have seemed as so many contemporary isolationists with their highly-accessorized SUV "bug out" vehicles, waiting for the grid to go down so they can get trapped on the Interstate as their 9 MPG gas guzzlers burn through their fuel reserves on their way to... well, they were probably hoping to figure that out on the way.

So who's waiting for the nation to get saved anymore? It's clearly every rat for themself on this sinking ship, and if you can find a few more to band together with you, well, let's break bread and call it communion!


Again, mistaking form for function.
Thank you for sharing your presumption, although I'm sorry that I don't follow. Are you saying that the philosophy of the NT is that different from any other? Or are you saying that all philosophy has some nefarious function?

And your point is ridiculous here, because the central premise of the Romans 11 graft was to conceal the Flavians and the other emperors behind the Jewish robe of Jesus. The robe has been the same veil for ~2,000 years, and the descendants of the same old men are standing behind it.
Thank you for your observation. I'm sorry I'm not able to follow. Are you saying that there are some literal and/or figurative descendants of the Flavians who collect some kind of secret profit from Christianity?

Also, have you considered minding your manners?


You keep insisting that the NT provides all the answers, so then why are you trying to replace it?
Please excuse me for misleading you. Did I say that somewhere?

As I have consistently stated at Postflaviana, the core subtext of the OT and the NT is about 'land', and the obtaining of all of the Earth's land for the Lord, aka the human lord(s).
I'm trying to understand what you're saying here, because it seems to me as if you're saying that a political ruler said something along the lines of, "guys, we need some land; better write us up a couple of testaments."

If only that were the case, certainly I could turn in a few verses to cover next month's rent!

As you have consistently stated this, I'll see if I can find where you've more fully elaborated on this topic
 
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Marcilla Smith

Active Member
But you think that the purpose of the Church is to make you and your friends feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and that's the end of the story.
Me and my friends? I'm flattered that you're so jealous. Y'know, we can always squeeze more into the pews, if you ever get a hankering. It is that time of year, after all...

As Christ Titus said: "The poor will always be with us, so fuck it."
For we will always have miscommunications in the world, but we will not always have dear Richard. By pouring out this explanation to him, I have prepared him for future conversations with potential converts. Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world wide web, what I have done will be told in remembrance of me

You went to Colorado so you could burn wood?
Not the wood, sweetie. The stems and the seeds are separated, first. They can, however, be placed in oil

Marcilla, are you still agreeing that the Gospels were written by Josephus or his colleagues and assistants?
Yes, I agree that they seem like far more likely candidates than any other identities I've heard put forth

And that the events depicted in the New Testament are a highly fictionalized, distorted depiction of the actual events of the Jewish war?
Yes, at least sort of. More specifically, I'd say the gospels seem more likely based on the Jewish War than the epistles do. And I wouldn't say it's fictionalized so much as it serves as a blueprint or typology for a story that is so radically different on the surface that merely saying it is "fictionalized" strikes me as something more along the lines of what is done in the case of a historical fiction such as The Killer Angels. Furthermore, I'm not entirely convinced that the events of the Jewish War were so "actual."

To explain my last comment, what I mean to say is that based on the (Carotta, was it?) theory that the Julian campaign in Gaul is the original typology for proto-Mark (Antony), then it may also serve as a typology for the Josephan account of the "actual" events, seeing as his is the singular report of the events of the period. What possessed Titus, anyway, to begin his campaign in the north, in Galilee, when his legions were marching from Alexandria to the south? Pompey marched right from Syria to Jerusalem. He did possess a fifth column, but wouldn't this be even more likely in the context of the imperial era?


On the other hand, are you still arguing that both Paul and Josephus were not writing with a hidden agenda as Roman intelligence operatives, but that they had high-minded spiritual goals and the best interests of their readers at heart?
First, I would object to the use of the word "operative" in any but the most obviously figurative sense to describe anyone prior to the 20th century.

That they were Roman is not in dispute by anyone that I'm aware of.

The Roman society was a single corporatist hierarchy, so in that sense, everyone contributed to the intelligence-gathering capacity of the hivemind. Beyond that, I don't see any compelling reason to make them into something that isn't how they present themselves. I'm not aware of any CIA (City-state Intelligence Agency) at the time. Generals and other strategic level actors hired spies. If someone thought funding Paul would help their personal cause, I'm sure they did it. Josephus certainly was able to work this kind of angle, and it worked out for him better than for his family or for the other Jotapatians down in the well. No need to make a mountain out of a molehill, is all!

As for their motivations, I'm sure they were motivated by some combination of pride (Queen of all sin) but also compassion (even a tyrant says they do it for the people's "own good," don't they), seeing as these are universal throughout humanity. I don't claim, however, to be able to read the hearts of people dead for thousands of years, particularly when we have so few of their writings, and they've been transcribed and translated from languages no one even speaks any more!

I would say to judge the content based upon the content, to the extent reasonable. If one buries their talent, does the Lord take it away ("use it or lose it")? If one invests in their talent, does it multiply ("practice makes perfect")? When we see a speck in our neighbor's eye, should we check first for a plank in our own (Jung's shadow self)?

Writing good philosophy or theology does not make one a perfect person. Look at the difficulty fellow first century Roman philosopher Seneca supposedly had practicing what he preached! But neither does political power necessarily make one incapable of appreciating philosophy, for example: the writings and also the reported lifestyle of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (who, nonetheless, apparently couldn't raise an heir to save his empire!)


Am I to take this that you think I should censor myself from commenting on your religion, or what?
I'm well aware that I don't own Christianity. I'm only asking for some consistency. You argue for a materialist interpretation of the gospel, but then come back at the end of your argument to try and say that you've negated the spiritual, theological, and/or philosophical aspects, which you haven't even addressed. Consistency, please, that's all

people are almost as easily manipulated as literal sheep, and so the shepherds ply their crook.
This might just be my favorite turn of phrase you've used yet :: applause ::
 
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