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The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom

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posted on Apr, 12 2013 @ 05:29 PM

Originally posted by Malcher
I am well aware of blatantly made up stories like the one in your link and so many others.

The thing is they do get people who believe them, which was one point I made. Although, perhaps deep down inside they just want to or choose to believe like being told what you want to hear aka delusion.

The problem is that people have lost the skill of critical thinking. As much as I love ATS, it is one of the "poster children" for that -- scour the site and you will find vast piles of idiotic claims, easily disproven with even a minor bit of research, and yet people accept it as the gospel truth.

I truly wonder what the state of intellectual discourse will be like in 50 years... I'd wager that there will be classes of people that will be utterly unable to communicate with each other.

You may find these links interesting:



Thanks for the links. From the "seven things" list:
  1. Caligula wasn’t his real name. -- knew this one
  2. His mother was one tough lady. -- knew this one
  3. Reports of his incest were greatly exaggerated. -- did not know this one, but not surprised
  4. He may not have built his famous floating bridge, but he did launch pleasure barges in Lake Nemi. -- did not know this one
  5. He set in motion the conquest of Britain. -- knew this one
  6. If Caligula was indeed crazy, a physical ailment might have been to blame. -- knew this one
  7. The most (in)famous depiction of Caligula’s life is still banned in Canada and Iceland. -- good on Canada and Iceland - I saw the movie a long time ago, and it was horrible, lol
The funny thing is, though, I have no idea where I picked up those non-conventional facts from.

posted on Apr, 12 2013 @ 07:10 PM
reply to post by adjensen

The problem is that people have lost the skill of critical thinking. As much as I love ATS, it is one of the "poster children" for that -- scour the site and you will find vast piles of idiotic claims, easily disproven with even a minor bit of research, and yet people accept it as the gospel truth.

Yes, that. It rankles me to no end.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 03:19 AM

Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by Malcher
My feeling is that many things we read about are invented.

What is your basis for believing that? Do you mean not reported with full accuracy, intentionally distorted, or flat out fabrications? Can you provide an example of a commonly held belief for which historical evidence exists, but that you believe was fabricated, along with evidence that supports your assertion?

Every post i made dealt with proof and sources and you cannot even provide a shred of evidence that there was ever any "witch" hunt.

I'm not sure that I understand what your expectation of evidence is. As an historian, I'm fairly confident in the validity of the documentary and physical evidence, but your standards may be quite a lot higher.

I cannot just take your word for it because you have shown you are not interested in the truth.

That is an uncalled for personal attack -- I disagree with Wildtimes on many issues, but have never found her to be a disingenuous or dishonest person.

Referring to the first claim about everything is distorted

according to various sources that i have seen on the net over the years and while seeing who owns what, In the 20s and 30s a certain group of individuals that were allegedly following the elders of zion protocols started buying all the publishing companies and it's rumoured started rewriting the history books into how they wanted history to be seen, so I don't have a lot of proof apart from the obvious that a certain group of people do indeed own the publishing companies

so we now come to the point of proof well proof is a difficult thing to get especially as there aren't too many books i can get hold of pre 1920 to discount this rumour (and I haven't really looked that hard tbh although i do ask every now and again in certain book shops)

one of the main references that i've got to back this up is a book called Dancing in the Streets Barbara Enreichman which is about how the world was before capitalism screwed most of us over,
It states that the serfs worked a 15 hour week had a national holiday every 4 days and had absolutely no reason to revolt, but history tells us they did revolt and seems to ignore the line of thinking that the freemasons were actually thrown out of germany for plotting to start the french revolution

and by the way according to the QI book, for 3 centuries and i can't remember which ones only 1 witch a century was burnt at the stakes.

I know this is topic drift about the witches but this following line of thinking does fit into what the op is about, misdirection is one of tptb many weapons against us and I know that they see magic as the top science
so the stories of the witch burnings could well be to scare us off and to stop us practising these arts,
although what I have learnt about magic is that you do not want to play about with it as you are accessing realms you know nothing about.
edit on 16-4-2013 by jinni73 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 10:12 AM
reply to post by wildtimes

It is a historical fact that Christians were persecuted. Every scholar acknowledges that Saul of Tarsus (Paul the Apostle) was real. He persecuted Christians before he was saved.

edit on 4/16/2013 by texastig because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 11:02 AM
reply to post by texastig

And no one, including the author, has said that. Maybe her title is the problem.
She is focusing on how the 'persecutions' were exaggerated and some stories pure fiction and propaganda, AND she is focusing on the first 300 years.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 11:21 AM
reply to post by wildtimes

From Dr. Tim McGrew.
In the first book, "View of the Evidences of Christianity" (London: John W. Parker and Son, 1859), Part I, ch. 2 (in Whately’s edition, p. 55), Paley mentions a few lines from the Roman poet Martial (c. A.D. 100) that indicate that the deaths of the Christians were martyrdoms, insofar as they were given an opportunity to avoid them even at the last moment by sacrificing to the Roman gods. Paley quotes it only in Latin, in a footnote. It comes from the tenth book of Martial’s Epigrams, in which it is number 25:

In matutina nuper spectatus harena
Mucius, inposuit qui sua membra focis,
Si patiens durusque tibi fortisque videtur,
Abderitanae pectora plebis habes.
Nam cum dicatur tunica praesente molesta
’Ure manum,’ plus est dicere ‘Non facio.’

Here is the translation as given in the sixth volume of the Kippis edition of Lardner’s Works, p. 636:

You have, perhaps, lately seen acted in the theatre, Mucius, who thrust his hand into the fire. If you think such an one patient, valiant, stout, you are a mere senseless dotard. For it is a much greater thing when threatened with the troublesome coat, to say I do not sacrifice, than to obey the command—burn the hand.

This reference seems to have escaped the attention of most of the modern authors dealing with non-Christian evidence for Jesus, e.g. F. F. Bruce, Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament (1974), R. T. France, The Evidence for Jesus (1986), Gary Habermas, The Verdict of History (1988) and The Historical Jesus (1996), and Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament (2000). E. M. Blaiklock, in Jesus Christ: Man or Myth? (1964) says merely that there is no certain reference to Christianity in Martial. But I am inclined to concur with Lardner, who is hardly one to jump at conclusions of this sort, that this is a genuine reference and that it shows (what could be established from Pliny and Tacitus independently) that these were true martyrdoms. Paley is on firm ground here.

Time does not permit me to follow up on this in detail, but it should be noted that the twelve books of Martial’s Epigrams were published between 86 and 103, so this is a reference from the end of the first century. Note also these references from Tertullian:

Mucius gladly left his right hand in the altar flames. Oh the sublimity of his spirit!

—Apologeticus, 50.5

Mucius burned his right hand on an altar, that this deed of his might dwell in fame.

—Ad Martyras, ch. 4

See, on this theme, Mary Louise Carlson, “Pagan Examples of Fortitude in the Latin Christian Apologists,” Classical Philology 43 (1948): 93-104.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 12:33 PM
reply to post by texastig

Thank you for the information. Again, rest assured that everyone knows there were martyrs and horrible executions. NO one is disputing that. She is trying to demonstrate that at least SOME of the stories were invented by people, like having a celeb to sell your shoes.

If you are interested in this stuff, as indicated by your knowledge above, I would like to hear what you think after you have read her book. Why do I have the feeling you looked no further than the title of the OP?

I'm not arguing with you or saying you are wrong; and I respect that you already know much about the history.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 01:14 PM
So we know now that "How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom" is not true.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 01:16 PM
reply to post by texastig

I already told you the title might be poorly written.
Nice way to miss the whole point.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 01:31 PM
I am unsure what the Martial reference accomplishes.

It is uncontroversial that by the late First Century, there were martyrs who were killed after refusing to sacrifice to the Emperor or curse the Christ. Pliny in his famous ca. 112 letter to Trajan describes this sort of thing, and mentions that there were trials of Christians earlier in his career, too. Pliny was born in 61 CE.

The epigram of Martial, however, describes a spectacle in which a condemned criminal is offered the choice between between burning his own hand off in a fire (as Gaius Mucius Scaevola did in legend) or to suffer death by the tunica molesta (flammable clothing; a labor and fuel-efficient method for burning someone to death). The point of the verse is that as impressive as imitating Mucius must have been, the alternative would have been more impressive still (that is, even worse for the convicted man).

There's nothing there in the text presented having anything to do with Christians, or anybody being offered a choice between death and arguably renouncing one's religion (of course, Romans didn't see that as the issue in offering divine honors to the Emperor). It is a simple secular "entertainment" in the Roman classical style. Reenacting gruesome scenes from history, mythology and legend was a popular theme in public punishments. Gaius Mucious Scaevola, if he ever lived, dates to the Sixth Century BCE, and so he wasn't a Christian, either.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 08:07 PM
reply to post by wildtimes

The whole point was to criticize Christianity as usual.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 08:14 PM
reply to post by texastig

No. Okay, just now, I tried twice to edit my earlier post, and got the 'request timed out please try again' instantaneous 408.

Apparently we can only sporadically post now - and it appears that some people are having a harder time than others.
What I said in the 'hijacked' edit was that I understand both points of view very well, and it is NOT about vilifying all Christians.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 08:18 PM
sorry, wrong thread. post deleted.

posted on Apr, 26 2013 @ 11:47 AM

Text Christians in the first few centuries were martyred for much of the same reasons. The Jews like Paul killed them until Paul had a one on one with the Lord. The rest of the zealous Jews continued killing them after that. Then later the zealous Christians killed anyone who would not assign to their creeds/doctrines just like the Jews did. Like they say history repeats itself. edit on 8-3-2013 by mplsfitter539 because: address OP
reply to post by mplsfitter539

@ mplsfitter539

Reading your post has a few unfinished thoughts. It was not biblical Paul, the Christian, who killed anyone but it was the Roman authorities who controlled the death penalty. Before Paul was surnamed he was well known as a member of the Sanhedrin. As a rabbi he carried one vote to the accused and was named Saul of Tarsus. After his conversion to Christianity he was then surnamed Paul the traitor to Rome.

You should remember that it was not the Jews who were empowered and made law but it was Rome who made law and it was Rome who had the final say in any death penalty. The Sanhedrin was nothing but a tool of Rome who used the hatred of Christianity to help control Jerusalem. This served both Rome and the empowered Jewish Sanhedrin to achieve their goals of subjection. But in all of this most people have overlooked the fact that Christianity was a Jewish sect and threatened the Sanhedrin and temple authority.

The Jerusalem Church was formed upon Pentecost within sixty days of Jesus' murder. It was the first Christian Church and it was Jewish. The Jerusalem church was all Hebrew with Hebrew liturgy at the onset and then embraced the Greeks as Hellenists later on. During its early years the Apostles themselves were the teachers and preachers and James was the Bishop of the Christian church. Not Peter nor Paul but the brother of Jesus named James.

James the Just held Bishopric till 63 AD when he was also murdered by the Pharisees of Jerusalem. His cousin Simeon son of Clopas succeeded the Bishopric duties of the Christian Church till Rome sacked the entire city in 70 AD and murdered the Jews by the thousands. It was then that the entire congregation fled Jerusalem to Pella which was one of the Decapolis cities and rural ares of Gilead and Bashan.

After the Roman rage was over the congregation moved back to Jerusalem and rebuilt the church. Simeon continued to be Bishiop of the Christian church till 106 AD and at 120 years of age was crucified by the Romans because he was accused by the Pharisees as being from the royal family of David. The Christian church lasted thereafter till 132 to 135 when Jerusalem was sacked again by Hadrian who rebuilt Jerusalem and forbid any Jews to enter the new city called Aeila Capitolina.

From this point on the Christian church records are lost to history but from its inception till 135 we have a clear history of the first Christian Church. This was a Jewish organization from its birth till 135 AD and that is a fact. Now during this 105 year period we see the Apostles as well as the founders of Christianity dying off. Much has been lost due to Roman butchers but we also know that there was no need for a canonized new testament. We had letters as well as sermons from the Apostles themselves.

Unfortunately the letters were worn out and copies made. The Roman apostates who usurped the authority of the true church (which they themselves destroyed) have reaped their spoils to this day. Now they are called Christians along with all of the other numerous denominations which have sprung from their loins. They do not even resemble the first church in prayer or any liturgy that existed at its conception.

When you read opinions such as Moss has written it is nothing but apologies of the Catholic organizations and partial truths to set her agenda. At the very most it is deceiving the reader into believing that persecution and prosecution is a vast ocean of understanding true history while it is not. It is a fine line line drawn by her to excuse her bias teachings. In other words of plain English study the Jerusalem Church (the first forty years) for the true meaning of the early Christian church. Not the propaganda that Rome has fed the world.

posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 05:21 AM

Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by texastig

I already told you the title might be poorly written.
Nice way to miss the whole point.

But the "whole point" is that there were periodic and mass persecutions. You might want to consider that the author is trying to smear the whole history in a fasion that is not uncommon to any number of controversies.

Take the holocaust for an example. Even if it can be show in some cases that folks may have misrepresented fact for any number of reasons, these reasons, the machinations, the hoped for ends are really not germane to the fact that millions were slaughtered.

In addition most, the very large part of the sources that criticise certain aspects of holocaust history ect are not hunting for truth but are driven by other considerations. The title alone of the work here in question puts it in that category for me.

posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 08:55 AM
reply to post by Logarock

The title alone of the work here in question puts it in that category for me.

Okay then. Guess that means you're not going to read it. Understood.

I'm also probably not going to read it soon, but I'm hoping someone will and come back with more information for us.

posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 08:57 AM
reply to post by Seede

Many thanks for this thoughtful and thorough post.
Have you read her book?

posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 10:32 AM
I suppose no churches are burned in Egypt, no one is ever killed for converting, HItler didn't send anyone to
the the gas chambers, Stalin's Gulag was nice frontier towns, no babies are ever killed in abortion clinics, and the Inquisition only burned a few people at the stake.

Haters always hate moral people no matter what their belief. And Haters always hide their hate.

Even good people have a slant or an axe to grind, but beware of holacaust deniers of whatever stripe.

Thats what this thread is about.

posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 10:42 AM
reply to post by UMayBRite!

No, it's not really what the thread is about, but...
thanks for your contribution and opinion.

posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 04:34 PM

Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by adjensen

The problem is that people have lost the skill of critical thinking. As much as I love ATS, it is one of the "poster children" for that -- scour the site and you will find vast piles of idiotic claims, easily disproven with even a minor bit of research, and yet people accept it as the gospel truth.

Yes, that. It rankles me to no end.

just accepting that statement at face value shows a marked lack of critical thinking
its always the other fella who doesn't do critical thinking

no offence
just sayin"

like when some mentions residential schools
the protestants blame the catholics
the catholics claim its "persecution"
but then one third of the residential schools were protestant...

and after that ungodly horror if any catholics and protestants ever claim persecution
well the spelled it wrong
prosecution is what the word should be
edit on 27-4-2013 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

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