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New Series on SCI channel (US): Biblical Conspiracies

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posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 04:55 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: TzarChasm


what about tacitus?

Honestly, I haven't looked into Tacitus (that I recall). But I shall, and I will!

So - what about the allegations of forgery/fraud in Josephus?





Look at my post for tacitus.




posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 07:28 PM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm
a reply to: Tangerine

perhaps josephus may be considered suspect, as he was an excellent lawyer, but tacitus was a jewish historian with access to senate records. you are either saying he was completely useless at what he did, or that he lied. so i want you to clarify and then prove it. show me examples please. this is me playing fair.


Your inability to comprehend that it doesn't make a freaking bit of difference precisely because Josephus and Tacitus did not live when Jesus lived defies logic. THEY DIDN'T WITNESS JESUS LIVING. Therefore, they CAN NOT provide contemporaneous documentation of his existence. If you don't understand that, I can't help you to understand it.



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 07:30 PM
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originally posted by: Tangerine
You are misstating my claim. I never said that absence of contemporaneous documentation proves that Jesus never existed. It's impossible to prove a negative (except in math). I have said, here or elsewhere, that for a variety of reasons it is highly unlikely that Jesus ever existed and I stand by that.

My apologies, in that case. And likewise my stance on the opposing view, hah (unstoppable force, meet immovable object).


You see no reason to question the factuality of the accounts we have (of Jesus existing)? What accounts?

The biblical accounts (as well as those similar that didn't make the cut, as I mentioned), coupled with the other historical mentions of himself and the Christian movement, with essentially no indications otherwise for approximately 18 centuries indicating any doubt as the factual existenceessentially.


No one who lived when Jesus allegedly lived wrote a word about witnessing him living. The lack of accounts is THE point.

Granted, but unfortunately as we've discussed already, that is sadly the case with most historical data (although I dispute this via reference to eyewitness testimony in the biblical accounts in John, etc.). Intentional manipulations/suppression aside, MOST historical documents and records from the time are lost to us. We have a similar lack of contemporary accounts for most accepted historical figures (as well as the countless others of no use to most historical discussion). As I already stated - even with that factor aside - I wouldn't expect a large number of real-time writings to have been gathered given the nature of Jewish society itself and the smallish initial impact of the man at the time. Remember, this all occurred in a small local area of an imperial backwater, over just a few years in the first place.

On to your next post! Thanks



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: Tangerine

Scholars have had two thousand years of access to those records and have never turned up any contemporaneous documentation. It would be world headline news if they had.

That's my main sticking point on this specific topic though - DO we even still have these records? I can find no evidence that we do, with all indications they haven't survived to present in the first place. Can you provide any information confirming or denying? (and despite your allusions to conspiracy below, I'll refrain from suggestion of scholarly hostility to confirming Jesus either way
). Quick side note - Tertullian (I believe) did refer to roman census records of at least both Mary and Jesus as existing in his time - little use here, I know.


In the absence of contemporaneous documentation we are left with, should we choose to do so, the BELIEF that someone lived. Would you prefer that we state that lack of contemporaneous documentation serves as factual evidence that Frodo and Gandalf and Odin and Isis lived?

If such belief is based on apparently historical accounts with apparent historical acceptance, I generally feel safe doing so. Granted, I haven't yet researched what documentation we have for Odin and Isis, but I'm at least initially comfortable in assuming we aren't quite drawing parallels here. And while I love LOTR...that's just silly.


You asked why entire social structures would have been fabricated and real history displaced. The answer is pretty obvious: because it served the interests of those in a position to manage to do such things. If you read the histories of various countries about any significant event affecting all of them you'll find very different accounts of the same events, each tailored to the advantage of those writing the history. You need only watch the news to see the spin on stories and then check other sources to get different interpretations or claims of fact. You're probably familiar with "false flag operations" such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident in which the Vietnamese were accused by the U.S. of firing on a U.S. ship to justify U.S. military action when, in fact, the ship was never attacked.

Fair points, but the Jewish religious structure at the outset certainly had more than a little incentive to do so, and apparently couldn't. I feel that's a fair corrolary to the likewise inability of Christian power structures to do the same, especially when - HAD they done so - I see no reason for them to have not done it to a much more beneficial degree, in addition to more effectively removing their own embarrassments and deficiencies from said histories. If it happened, they were certainly inefficient at it despite such apparent success otherwise.

As well...the truth of Tonkin remained hidden for how long, exactly? Likewise with effectively all other shady dealings in history. Despite the deficiencies in such I mention, you are ascribing a success rate that is entirely unreasonable, in my opinion.


Religion is a very powerful social control mechanism. Historically, it has been used to manipulate the population to stay in cowed submission, wage war, and do other things that benefit those in power. It's also a huge business and, in some cases has produced enormous wealth for the church and clergy. On a lower level, it keeps clergy in jobs. Not many people are willing to kill their own cash cows.

Sad but true, most of that. It's gone so far off the rails, and so much done in its name would make the (alleged, anyway) founders of such spit in disgust. That said, it appears we'll have to agree to disagree on the matter at hand (surprise surprise?).

I simply cannot at present credit the apparent historical acceptance coupled with the absence of any apparent argument to the contrary until the near present day as allowing realistic consideration of the non-existence of Jesus. The facts of what actually happened are certainly fair game, as are the implications of such, but that's where I'll have to leave it, barring further developments.

I do thank you for a good discussion, and the firmness of your belief...despite my disagreeing with it. Good form



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 08:12 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: TzarChasm


what about tacitus?

Honestly, I haven't looked into Tacitus (that I recall). But I shall, and I will!

So - what about the allegations of forgery/fraud in Josephus?

If I might interject on this...long story short, vast consensus is that both sources provide authentic reference to Jesus, although some passages in Josephus are widely agreed to have suffered later Christian interpolation with Tacitus essentially safe from such. Good starting info on this you can branch out from:

Josephus

Tacitus

Be well.



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 08:38 PM
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a reply to: Praetorius

Praetorious thank you for all of your sensible responses.



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 09:27 PM
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a reply to: Praetorius

Tacitus is in no way safe from allegations of interpolation. And, furthermore, Tacitus would be terrible wrong to suggest that "Christians" derived their name from Jesus of Nazareth and therefore, that line that Christians like to pull out stinks like interpolation to me. But even if that wasn't the case, and the Tacitus citation could be trusted, it in NO way suggests that Jesus of Nazareth is the person "Chrestus" or "Christus".

Christian apologetics neglect to include the fact that "Chrestus" (Christus) was another name for Lord Serapis. And, Serapis devotees were called "Chrestians" and "Bishops of Christ".

"Christ" was a term that was used and became popular among various cults beginning in 2nd century BC, when Ptolemy had the Septuagint written. At that time scripture King Saul, King David, King Solomon and Cyrus the Great were all bestowed with the title "Christ". In the meantime numerous zealots and mystery cults adopted the term "Christ". Josephus tells of many such zealots, many of whom have stories with aspects very similar to those of the adventures of Jesus.

Even the Bible has Jesus warning of the many false prophets claiming to be "Christs". This was so much the case that the early followers of Paul and his "Christ" called themselves "Nazarenes", "The Brotherhood" and "Followers of The Way", not "Christians"

So who was this Chrestus that Tacitus was talking about? It's really a stretch to assume it was Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus of Nazareth never carried the title "Christ" while he was alive, if he existed.


edit on 16-12-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 09:41 PM
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a reply to: windword
Given the context of the reference:

"Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace...a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil...

I think we can be fairly certain who is referenced in this case.

And my mention of Tacitus being essentially safe from claims of interpolation was in regards to how much less debate there is over the authenticity of the passage as compared to Josephus, with almost all debate centering on the source of his information, and not the fact that he wrote what is written. A good many historians have valid questions about the Josephus passages (although a factual core is typically agreed as having been there regarding Jesus), not so much with Tacitus.

Regards, WW.



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: Tangerine
Tangerine, I was hoping you'd be willing to help me with an exercise related to what we've been discussing.

We know absolutely that king Herod the Great existed, given coinage, architecture, his tomb, etc. Can you help me find any contemporary references to him along the lines of what we're looking for in regards to Jesus? So far, I'm only seeing mention of him from Josephus' and other later writers. I'm wanting to test the thoroughness and durability of first-century accounts and I think we can all agree Herod was definitely a confirmed historical personage (although I suppose he was techincally first-century BC...).

Thanks in advance.



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 10:19 PM
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a reply to: Praetorius



"Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace...a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil...



I think we can be fairly certain who is referenced in this case.


No. This is confirmation bias. We can't be at all certain who this is referring to.

This, for example, sounds more like the kind of notorious "evil" that would go down in historical annals:


about this time, someone came out of Egypt to Jerusalem, claiming to be a prophet. He advised the crowd to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, which lay over against the city, and at the distance of a kilometer. He added that he would show them from hence how the walls of Jerusalem would fall down at his command, and he promised them that he would procure them an entrance into the city through those collapsed walls.

Now when Felix was informed of these things, he ordered his soldiers to take their weapons, and came against them with a great number of horsemen and footmen from Jerusalem, and attacked the Egyptian and the people that were with him. He slew four hundred of them, and took two hundred alive. The Egyptian himself escaped out of the fight, but did not appear any more. And again the robbers stirred up the people to make war with the Romans, and said they ought not to obey them at all; and when any persons would not comply with them, they set fire to their villages, and plundered them.
[Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.169-171]


Also, Nero's so called Christian persecution is a highly disputed event that isn't backed up by contemporary historians.


According to Tacitus, alone, Nero blamed the Christians for the fire in Rome. Annals, XV. This passage is not referred to in any other pagan, nor Christian writings until 400 CE. The Fantastic details of the sufferings of the Christians - dressed in animal hides and torn apart by dogs, crucified, and used as human torches - fits the pornographic masochistic obsession of the early Church. The sordid details of flesh torn and blood copiously shed is repulsive to the modern mind. For some reason the early Church wallowed in graphic descriptions of virgins violated and gored to death by bulls, old men crucified suffering horrific tortures and not to mention the over-fed lions of the Colosseum. By the way, the Romans did not feed their lions exclusively on Christians, any old mal-content would do; and more often did.

Eusebius, when the Church was triumphant in the 4th century, after the ‘persecutions’ could only find 146 martyrs in the history. As we shall see, in Lactantius, between Domitian in the nineties and Decius in the late 3rd century there was a long peace where the Church was not persecuted. There was then a brief period of political persecution, especially under Diocletian, before his successor formed an alliance with them in the beginning of the 4th century. Constantine defeated his political opponents with the assistance of the Christians and recognized the fact when he held power. This period, of the Ante & Post-Nicene Fathers, knows nothing of Nero’s fire and its Christian victims.


LIST OF HISTORIANS THAT DON'T BACK TACITUS

There are many other problems with the historicity of Jesus Christ.

The biblical narrative of the birth and death of Jesus don't add up for that time period, for one thing. For example, the description of the Star of Bethlehem can only be historically identified as Ceasar's Comet, while the story of his death seems to reflect the events of Mount Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii, events spanning around 125 years.







edit on 16-12-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 11:21 PM
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a reply to: windword

No. This is confirmation bias. We can't be at all certain who this is referring to.

I'll have to disagree with you on that. The non-disputed portions of the text refer to christans relating to a superstition beginning in Judea, and the bulk of historians accept the other portion as referring to Jesus, his crucifixion, and Pontiac Pilate. The latter aside, a reference to Christians with roots in Judea doesn't seem anything along the lines of confirmation bias as much as it does a simple inference from the text.

As to Tacitus' account of Christian persecution and historians disagreeing, based on your linked article:
1.) The fire in Rome definitely occurred.
2.) Only two other remaining historian accounts of the fire from the time exist, neither pinning it on Christians.
3.) The Tacitus account even mentions regarding the Christians that they were arrested and then convicted mainly due to a supposed hatred of mankind, and not the fire itself. Apparently if this charge was laid originally (perhaps as a distraction for whatever reason), then moved away from in short order, so I can certainly understand the lack of connection between Christians and the fire in the other accounts.
4.) The references to persecution of Christians under Nero in the non-disputed portions of the text not being discussed by other sources - perhaps we're dealing with an incident smaller than expected and so not mentioned by others, could be dealing with lost texts, or Tacitus may have had an issue with his sources. Who knows?

Regarding the accuracy of the accounts of Christ's life, as I've said before - fair game, and a good discussion for another time (and another thread, likely best). My point here has been to address the existence of Christ himself, in which I'm secure.

Thanks for your input.



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 11:57 PM
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a reply to: Praetorius

Well, I'm glad that your secure in your beliefs, but I don't find your arguments or pleas to authority to be convincing at all.

Historically, "Jesus" just doesn't add up. As a "Christ?", that only makes sense if you believe all the magic of the biblical accounts. The ONLY reason that Jesus, supposedly of Nazareth, was bestowed the title "Christ" was because of the story, embellished with earthquakes, graves opening and walking dead, an impossible eclipse and that little fact that he rose from the dead.

There are plenty of real, documented historical figures that fit the description of problematic zealots, as described by Tacitus and Pliny, teaching strange superstitions and creating uprisings filled annoying mischief and troubles that the Roman armies squashed. There's no reason to believe that these troublesome crowds were followers of Jesus of Nazareth and even more reason to believe that Tacitus was talking about one of the real live documented trouble makers of the time.

Believing in Jesus Christ is a matter of faith, not fact.


edit on 17-12-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 08:26 AM
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a reply to: Tangerine

I'm a Christian, and I'm perfectly content with the level of evidence that we have.

It does suck that some people felt the need to do things like modify Josephus or find "relics", but that doesn't mean anything to me beyond people are liars and greedy. I already know that.

The thing that gets me the most, is not evidence, but the people who claim to be Christian but then act like asshats. Can I say that on ATS?



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 01:35 PM
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originally posted by: Praetorius
a reply to: Tangerine
Tangerine, I was hoping you'd be willing to help me with an exercise related to what we've been discussing.

We know absolutely that king Herod the Great existed, given coinage, architecture, his tomb, etc. Can you help me find any contemporary references to him along the lines of what we're looking for in regards to Jesus? So far, I'm only seeing mention of him from Josephus' and other later writers. I'm wanting to test the thoroughness and durability of first-century accounts and I think we can all agree Herod was definitely a confirmed historical personage (although I suppose he was techincally first-century BC...).

Thanks in advance.


I'm unaware of any other evidence regarding King Herod, although it may exist. Were the coins minted while he lived?



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 01:38 PM
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originally posted by: sdubya
a reply to: Tangerine

I'm a Christian, and I'm perfectly content with the level of evidence that we have.

It does suck that some people felt the need to do things like modify Josephus or find "relics", but that doesn't mean anything to me beyond people are liars and greedy. I already know that.

The thing that gets me the most, is not evidence, but the people who claim to be Christian but then act like asshats. Can I say that on ATS?


It's fine that you're content with no evidence because that's what you have: no evidence.



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 02:51 PM
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a reply to: Tangerine

I disagree; There is evidence, but no proof. I think that's the way it's supposed to be =)



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 02:58 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: TzarChasm


what about tacitus?

Honestly, I haven't looked into Tacitus (that I recall). But I shall, and I will!

So - what about the allegations of forgery/fraud in Josephus?



josephus was a lawyer, tacitus was a historian. josephus kept records as a hobby, tacitus kept records as a profession. you want to call them liars or idiots, that's your thing. but you gotta prove it if you want me to take that as fact.

it doesnt matter to me either way. i dont need to know, believe, think or even suspect that jesus might have existed to be a good person. i am only trying to be fair.



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 03:04 PM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

originally posted by: TzarChasm
a reply to: Tangerine

perhaps josephus may be considered suspect, as he was an excellent lawyer, but tacitus was a jewish historian with access to senate records. you are either saying he was completely useless at what he did, or that he lied. so i want you to clarify and then prove it. show me examples please. this is me playing fair.


Your inability to comprehend that it doesn't make a freaking bit of difference precisely because Josephus and Tacitus did not live when Jesus lived defies logic. THEY DIDN'T WITNESS JESUS LIVING. Therefore, they CAN NOT provide contemporaneous documentation of his existence. If you don't understand that, I can't help you to understand it.


tacitus makes a very explicit reference to christus, and there is only one person who would have been referred to as a christ in the context he was writing. "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus" this is what he wrote. you are calling him a liar? an idiot? what? despite your objections, tacitus wrote about jesus. unless you can show us another christ whom gave christians their name and suffered horribly at the hands of pontius.

whether or not he actually was a christ or was divine or anything other than a man is a related but separate issue.
edit on 17-12-2014 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 10:16 PM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm

originally posted by: Tangerine

originally posted by: TzarChasm
a reply to: Tangerine

perhaps josephus may be considered suspect, as he was an excellent lawyer, but tacitus was a jewish historian with access to senate records. you are either saying he was completely useless at what he did, or that he lied. so i want you to clarify and then prove it. show me examples please. this is me playing fair.


Your inability to comprehend that it doesn't make a freaking bit of difference precisely because Josephus and Tacitus did not live when Jesus lived defies logic. THEY DIDN'T WITNESS JESUS LIVING. Therefore, they CAN NOT provide contemporaneous documentation of his existence. If you don't understand that, I can't help you to understand it.


tacitus makes a very explicit reference to christus, and there is only one person who would have been referred to as a christ in the context he was writing. "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus" this is what he wrote. you are calling him a liar? an idiot? what? despite your objections, tacitus wrote about jesus. unless you can show us another christ whom gave christians their name and suffered horribly at the hands of pontius.

whether or not he actually was a christ or was divine or anything other than a man is a related but separate issue.


I've explained the same thing to you over and over. You didn't understand it then and explaining it again will not produce a different result. If someone else wants to take a whack at it, good for them.



posted on Dec, 18 2014 @ 11:32 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm


tacitus makes a very explicit reference to christus, and there is only one person who would have been referred to as a christ in the context he was writing. "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus" this is what he wrote. you are calling him a liar? an idiot?

How about a misguided repeater of rumors?
There are people RIGHT NOW defending the actions of ISIS/ISIL/IS - does that make them praise-worthy? Does that make them noble and honorable?

No. The media is the media. You have no way of knowing what Tacitus's angle was. And if we've learned ANYTHING in the ensuing centuries, it is that MEDIA PICKS AND CHOOSES what to record.



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