Seeking hard evidence for the similarity of the Horus and Jesus myths

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Discussion by: SonnenKlar

I was thinking about writing an article on the German (de.)richarddawkins.net site regarding the Horus myth and its alleged similarity with the Jesus myth.

The problem I got into is: I found quite some well done and reasonable-sounding claims of this, but when I tried to search for real evidence I didn't get far.

I found these claims whereever I looked:

Horus supposedly:

  • Was conceived by a virgin mother named Meri, and had a stepfather named Seb (Joseph)
  • Was born in a cave, his birth announced by an angel, heralded by a star and attended by shepherds
  • Attended a special rite of passage at the age of twelve and there is no data on the child from the age of 12 to 30
  • Was baptized in a river at the age of 30, and his baptizer was later beheaded
  • Had 12 disciples
  • Performed miracles, exorcized demons, raised someone from the dead, walked on water
  • Was called “Iusa”, the “ever-becoming son” and the “Holy Child”
  • Delivered a “Sermon on the Mount”, and his followers recounted his sayings
  • Was transfigured on the Mount
  • Was crucified between two thieves, buried for three days in a tomb, and was resurrected
  • Called “Way”, “the Truth the Light”, “Messiah”, “God’s Anointed Son”, “Son of Man”, “Good Shepherd”, “Lamb of God”, “Word made flesh”, “Word of Truth”, “the KRST” or “Anointed One”
  • Was “the Fisher” and was associated with the Fish, Lamb and Lion.
  • Came to fulfill the Law, and was supposed to reign one thousand years

These points are repeated wherever I tried to find real evidence. If they are true … well, that would be devastating for Christianity. But to write anything about it in a scientific manner I'd really need something more then repeated claims.

Does anyone here have more info on this?

97 COMMENTS

  1. Hi SonnenKlar,

    The trick, when looking things up on the Net, is not to look for Horus + Jesus (or something similar).

    When I searched only for Horus I found plenty of sites on genuine Egyptology that do not describe Horus in any way that could be confused with the Jesus myth.

    What we do know is that religions evolve. Baptists from earlier Protestants and the first Protestants from Catholicism is one crude but we’ll understood example. Others are the very obvious re-treading of Christianity by Joseph Smith, and the recycling of Judaism by Mohammad.

    Christianity was, unarguably, initially a tiny Jewish Sect, and still carries a remarkable amount of baggage from those roots. Which begs the question: Which parts of Judaism evolved from earlier religions?

    It is a fact that some Old Testament stories are even older than Ancient Egyptian. They come from the almost forgotten beginnings of human civilisation Sumer, Assyria, Babylon and so on.

    From the history of religions we can draw the conclusion that the first Christians would have been spectacularly different if they had not borrowed successful bits of older religions. If you’re really interested I suggest you look up comparative mythology.

    You will not be surprised to learn that this is a somewhat controversial topic with people on all sides making claims and counter-claims – but presenting little evidence.

    It doesn’t help that all the major religions around today have long-dead generations of politically motivated editors, reviewers and copy-writers to thank for their texts.

    My personal favourite used to be Dionysius and Jesus, but I’m afraid that is probably just as distant a relationship as Horus. Mithraism and Christianity have long been known to have parallels that are fascinating and may point to a nonJewish root for some small parts of Christian mythology and culture.

    The evidence for any opinion is very thin. There are some parallels between one particular cult of Ra (Ancient Egypt) and Jesus but it doesn’t seem to have set the world of Egyptology alight.

    I hope that points you to some interesting reading.

    Peace.

    • Thanks for the answers. I did indeed already search for Horus history alone and didn’t find anything that pointed me towards the list in my first post.
      So it seems to me, also taking into consideration the other answers here, that the “Jesus is only a copy of Horus” claim is just a hoax. I’m aware there are of course similarities. But only general ones. If Jesus was indeed a copy of Horus, then this would discredit Christianity as a whole and in fact ridicule it in a stronger way then any other argument I know.

      What made me ponder the whole thing in the beginning was the movie “Religulous” with Bill Maher. He explicitly claims truth for the above mentioned list about Horus there. But having heard stuff like “I’m not a scientific person and don’t want to be” from him made me search for real evidence.

      As there seems to be none, I see no reason to write the article.
      An article about the origins of Religion would be interesting too, but really something else entirely.

      • In reply to #6 by SonnenKlar:

        An article about the origins of Religion would be interesting too, but really something else entirely.

        The origins of Judaism leading to Christianity, lie with the Canaanite gods. Particularly “El” who evolved into “Yahweh” and “Jehovah”.

        http://www.biblicalheritage.org/bible%20studies/canaan-gods.htm

        Tablets describing the Canaanite gods including BAAL were found in the ruins of the Canaanite city of Ugarit (also known as Ras Shamra) located on the modern coast of Lebanon. These tablets were dictated by the chief priest of Ugarit to a scribe between 1375 and 1345 BC. The city itself was destroyed around 1200 BC by the Sea Peoples at nearly the same time that the Israelites emerged into history.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaanite-religion

        Canaanite religion is the name for the group of Ancient Semitic religions practiced by the Canaanites living in the ancient Levant from at least the early Bronze Age through the first centuries of the Common Era.

        Canaanite religion was polytheistic, and in some cases monolatristic.

  2. “But to write anything about it in a scientific manner I’d really need something more then repeated claims.”

    It just occured me that there must be a scientific way of course, however I am afraid nothing will demove bigotry.
    I can mention a historian /ethnographer/sociologist/linguistic that I think would have the guts for the task.
    For instance, the population genome project helped to corroborate some of his studies.
    What strikes me is that from romans to greeks, celts, islam, our traditions are in fact nothing of “pure” (pagan vs christian is a very poor understanding of cultural heritage) and when we think we knew our origins- or take it as granted it proves to be just another form of prejudice.
    Unless some scholars try to know more ethnographic traditions that we´d never know about, it seems we can conclude that no culture is “pure” and we must be in fact a mosaic of traditions.
    And we cannot even know all traditions that ever existed (why should we then try to force some “universals” and a false knowledge?)

    I only linked to a blog that mentions a wikipedia page because I thought it would be easier to translate., don´t ask me about the religious view of the author of the blog, that´s not what I thought would be important, just a link to an esier translation.

  3. Some books on Egyptian Mythology would be a good place to begin to draw your parallels…but why ? what difference will any of it make….are you trying to add significance to something….where there is none…..

  4. i commend you for following the scientific principle of building upon ‘primary sources’. i’ll admit i’d originally taken the Horus–>Jesus connection at face value based on my own initial confirmation bias that the character of Jesus is a construct, a greatest hits list of prior ‘godly’ traits known throughout the region. of course in the reality cultural history the story is more complicated – with the convergence of ideas that form a religion and the later editors that polish the rough seams. in fact i do think there are new, novel elements attributed to the Jesus-God that we didn’t see in earlier deities. The whole personal relationship to God, “God loves you!”, he loved you so much that he died for you, etc. concept was a departure from the detached, ambivalent gods seen throughout the middle east and pagan Rome up to that point. I think this novel concept where people feel actively loved by their god was a driving force for early Christianity – regardless of the brutality in later purges where state-sponsored Christianity ‘discouraged’ belief in any competing supernatural views. As with any successful meme, in this case the “I’m special. God loves me!” religious view found fertile ground at just the right point in the evolution of Roman culture. In fact, as discussed on other comment chains, it’s the “I’m special. God loves me!” idea among people that in reality don’t feel very special that keeps Christianity going today – impervious to any rational modern scientific argument. Back on point, this was a game-changing god trait that moved supernatural belief from merely an explanation of why things happened (which could be replaced with scientific knowledge) to one where the participant’s ego is massaged and they’ll fight any argument that undermines that feeling.

  5. I’m quite sceptical of many claims of Christianity stealing from other religions. Not that I don’t believe it happens but there is so much room for confirmation bias. That said it’s great that you’re researching this and I think it’s a subject that should be investigated, indeed all forms of comparative religious studies would make a great humanities study for schools.

    I do think it likely however that the seeds of the same stories will exist in other religions to some extent. Taking a memes eye view, good stories spread fast, and cultures love to incorporate good stories in their own consciousness. Celestial rape, virgin births, important astrological dates, ultimate chieftains being born of low status (especially if it means proper posh folk come along and worship them)… these are bread and butter for all tribal cultures along with creation and disaster myths.

    Memetically, they’re the viruses that can carry memes laterally implanting them in separate cultural organisms. We know the food myth has roots predating Judaism, and understandably looking at our geology that shows huge areas of land have become suddenly submerged within the last 10,000 years or so and to any survivors, the whole earth did become submerged.

    I think it’d be a great study (for someone who knows this stuff, not me) to build a genealogy chart of folk tales, maybe overlaid with the evolutionary development of language (particularly Indo-European) so we can get a better idea of how they travelled. I suspect all Christian beliefs have some poly-theistic background, maybe picking bits of stories from more than one god to fit into the new Jewish cult (do we know how monotheistic Jews were at the time? We know they believed in only Yahweh but is that the same as specifically not believing in the Roman gods of their occupiers? These were superstitious times. Hell they still are today)

    • In reply to #7 by SaganTheCat:
      Along this vein, several years ago I enjoyed the book The Evolution of God by Robert Wright. He gives a few chapters to primitive societies and the dreamworld turned ‘after life’ then jumps into the meat of things with the Christian monotheistic God by examining the phrasing and verbiage of the old testament as the Jews moved from a ‘there are many gods but we should only worship Yahweh’ to a monotheistic ‘the other gods don’t exist’ idea. He proposes that originally Yahweh sat on a pantheon lead by Elohim (sorta like Zeus) to a consolidation of Yahweh and Elohim’s traits and that’s why we see peculiar usage of Yahweh or Elohim retained in the bible where editors wanted to smooth out the inconsistencies but didn’t quite have the guts to completely rewrite passages to be more consistent. Later in the book he describes how the nature and will of God continue to evolve (to remain viable) as it plays catch-up with evolving secular morality. Wow, now i’m talking myself into reading it again. :)

      • In reply to #13 by Stryker:

        In reply to #7 by SaganTheCat:
        Along this vein, several years ago I enjoyed the book The Evolution of God by Robert Wright. He gives a few chapters to primitive societies and the dreamworld turned ‘after life’ then jumps into the meat of things with the Christian monotheistic God by examining the p…

        I liked the wright book a swell but I thought his conclusion was odd to say the least He spends most of the book talking about how politics economics etc drove the dogma of the major religions and the rather then concluding that religions are human inventions he says that l this data supports the idea that god in some form exists It was schizophrenic

        • In reply to #14 by Red Dog:

          I would need to re-read to be sure, but as I recall Wright was indicating God will continue to ‘exist’ because he is the personification (deification?) of the believer’s [current] cultural values and that’s why God evolves as the cultural norms evolve over time. I don’t believe Wright’s conclusion indicated that God existed in any kind of independent fashion.

          • In reply to #33 by Stryker:

            In reply to #14 by Red Dog:

            I would need to re-read to be sure, but as I recall Wright was indicating God will continue to ‘exist’ because he is the personification (deification?) of the believer’s [current] cultural values and that’s why God evolves as the cultural norms evolve over time. I don’t believe Wright’s conclusion indicated that God existed in any kind of independent fashion.

            I can’t say I remember with certainty either but what I recall was just slightly different. What I remember was that his conclusion was a very wishy washy sort of “well clearly the traditional idea of God is wrong but…” equivocation where he was never very clear if he meant that God existed in some way independent of the fact that lots of people believe in the concept or not. I found it annoying precisely because he was being so vague at the end. My interpretation, of course I always look for the rationalizations, was that Wright knew his book wouldn’t go over well with the NY Times/New Yorker crowd if he came out actually for atheism or even agnosticism so he had to soften it up at the end even though the evidence from the book clearly supported the idea that God and religion were human constructions.

            In any case I agree most of the book was fascinating and I would recommend it.

    • In reply to #7 by SaganTheCat:

      I’m quite sceptical of many claims of Christianity stealing from other religions. Not that I don’t believe it happens but there is so much room for confirmation bias. That said it’s great that you’re researching this and I think it’s a subject that should be investigated, indeed all forms of compara…

      “(…)Celestial rape, virgin births, important astrological dates, ultimate chieftains being born of low status (especially if it means proper posh folk come along and worship them)… these are bread and butter for all tribal cultures along with creation and disaster myths.(…)”

      I can assure you, that taking into consideration the words of some ethnologists referring to studied tribes of Amazonian forest, rape is not even admitted in their cultures as far as they are open to sexuality, what they don´t accept is a relation without consent.
      (Reportedly, some of these tribes didn´t seem to have any form of religious cults as you´d consider by the strong patterns of other religions we know).

      Religious processions such as those of Our Lady were in fact very similiar to nowadays catholic tradition than the ones that were tradition in Egypt (you´d need only to change the “godess”).
      The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima may be related to previous apparitions in the same local when in fact the territory was occupied by fatimidas (islam) and related not to catholic religion but to islam.
      see the same author I have mentioned

    • In reply to #7 by SaganTheCat:

      I think it’d be a great study (for someone who knows this stuff, not me) to build a genealogy chart of folk tales, maybe overlaid with the evolutionary development of language (particularly Indo-European) so we can get a better idea of how they travelled.
      Yes, I would love to see something like this. It would be fascinating.

      • In reply to #21 by lauracars:

        In reply to #7 by SaganTheCat:

        I think it’d be a great study (for someone who knows this stuff, not me) to build a genealogy chart of folk tales, maybe overlaid with the evolutionary development of language (particularly Indo-European) so we can get a better idea of how they travelled.
        Yes, I would…

        I agree, that would be interesting. I did a quick search online and nothing jumped out at me, there were plenty of trees that described the greek gods, roman gods, norse gods, etc. but nothing that took an integrated look at them.

  6. actually i came to the conclusion that the Jesus/Horus thing is just one of the many internet hoaxes. If i had to make some research in religions from wich christianity has been inspired i would follow the path of Zoroastrianism

  7. There are parallels between Sumerian myths and later ones…like the epic of Gilgamesh which is quite similar to the latter day Noah and his ark…but what does that prove ?…that old campfire tales travel well….every concept of christianity has had several proto concepts way before jebus appeared….

    • In reply to #9 by Light Wave:

      There are parallels between Sumerian myths and later ones…like the epic of Gilgamesh which is quite similar to the latter day Noah and his ark…but what does that prove ?…that old campfire tales travel well….every concept of christianity has had several proto concepts way before jebus appeared…

      The Babylonian myth certainly preceded the Noah story, and there is an original written record of the story from that time on the clay tablet.

      http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/jan/24/babylonian-tablet-noah-ark-constructed-british-museum
      >

      Babylonian tablet shows how Noah’s ark could have been constructed
      British Museum expert says 3,700-year-old instructions describe how to build round boat – but he does not believe ark existed

      The ark is a huge circular coracle, 3,600 square metres in dimension or two-thirds the size of a football pitch, made like a giant rope basket strengthened with wooden ribs, and waterproofed with bitumen inside and out. This was a giant version of a craft which the Babylonians knew very well, Finkel pointed out, in daily use up to the late 20th century to transport people and animals across rivers.

      Its people-and-animal-carrying abilities will soon be put to the test: the production company Blink is making a Channel 4 documentary based on his research, including building a circular ark.

      That should provide an interesting scientific and historical based contrast with Hammy’s cobbled together steel reinforced creationist faked ark!

      The tablet gives a version of the ark story far older than the biblical accounts, and Finkel believes the explanation of how “holy writ appears on this piece of Weetabix”, is that the writers of the Bible drew on ancient accounts encountered by Hebrew scholars during the Babylonian exile.

      • In reply to #11 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #9 by Light Wave:

        The Babylonian myth certainly preceded the Noah story, and there is an original written record of the story from that time on the clay tablet.

        I understood the timeline of this story as – the biblical tale was entirely copied from the Babylonian myth which was copied and re written from the more ancient Sumerian myth….and so on….

  8. The Horus + Jesus idea predates the internet. To prove your list I think you need to prove the following:
    1. That the two people have strong similarities. Sometimes when you delve into things like this (which I haven’t on this issue) sometimes the similarities are not as strong as some people make out.
    2. That the primary source for Horus, predate at least the gospels.
    3. That these primary sources are more reliable or at least AS reliable as the gospels – based on the way you would judge both.

    This might be helpful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0-EgjUhRqA

    An additional thought…there is a Protestant Book (and anti catholic) called “The Two Babylons” which is about 100 years old and analysis some of the view of Mary and Jesus and things that the Catholic church have copied from Babylonian paganism.

  9. Emperor Constantine blended the Christian Church with the institutionalized Pagan practices of Rome and eliminated any semblance of either the Jewish religion or the Pagans. Christianity was institutionalized as a state religion (with all it’s pagan practices) in the fourth century A.D., Constantine Christianized pagan rites and called it Christianity. The laws and policies of the Empire and the doctrine of the Church became one with Constantine as the interpreter. This was accomplished by eliminating hundreds of books thought to be against Church doctrine and watering down what remained by blending Christian beliefs and practices with long established Roman sanctioned pagan worship. In Rome, before “Christmas” was celebrated on December 25th, the Natalis Solis Invicti was celebrated on the same date in honor of the Sun God, Mithras. From the seventeenth of December until the twenty-third, Romans celebrated the ancient feast of the Saturnalia. In 375 A.D., the Church of Rome under Pope Julius I announced that the birth date of Christ had been decided to be on December 25th, and this is how the date of Christmas was decided upon, by the “deciders” ha!. The Romans could still celebrate the festival of Saturnalia, the birthday of Mithras, and the birthday of Christ. December the 25th, merry everything day.

    The first Christmas tree wasn’t about Jesus. It was about Nimrod/Osiris and his mother/wife Semiramis/Ishtar/Isis who started the whole Christmas tree thing. After Nimrod the ruler of Babylon died Semiramis circulated the rumor that he was a god. Semiramis claimed that she saw an evergreen tree spring out of the roots of a dead tree stump. Semiramis told everyone that this meant that Nimrod was living again, and he would leave gifts under the evergreen tree on his birthday, which was on the winter solstice at the end of December. Several years after Nimrod was dead Semiramis gave birth to a son HORUS. Semiramis said the spirit of Nimrod impregnated her, and that her son HORUS was the reincarnation of Nimrod. THE MOTHER – CHILD – HOLY SPIRIT. These myths were passed down to other generations, and they were spread to other cultures. The pagans believed that as winter approached the days grew shorter, because the sun god was leaving them, and as the days grew longer he was coming back. As the days started getting longer again they had a celebration known as Saturnalia. For centuries before Christianity, holly was used for celebrating their midwinter Saturnalia. They had enormous feasts, got drunk and had orgies. Just like today. Jeremiah 10: 2 Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are false. A tree from the forest is cut down, and worked with an ax by the hands of a craftsman. Men deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move.

  10. This franciscan cleric is realist (should all christians be the same because one of these days I heard something unacceptable from a bigot judge that decided to discuss with a parent the true meaning of Christmas- the birth of Jesus in her words- when what was important for the non-believer parent was in fact to have some holidays with his child).

    “-Who knows when Jesus was born?- no one”

    “- christian festivities are adaptations of pagan traditions indeed” (and he even speaks about Horus)

    You can use the legend translation function easily for any other language if you have some interest in the video.

    • sorry, No Horus is spoken in the video, only Mithras, roman god of the sun (but remember romans adopted greek gods?)

    Real bigots are so outraged by this cleric that they demonized the video, what´s really barbaric, but usual

  11. Comparing the exact details of two myths is like comparing the exact details of two science fiction novels to determine if they are science fiction. There are going to be many differences in details but they are still both science fiction because the core elements are the same. In comparative religion as in comparative literature you should compare the common themes and story elements, not the exact details. The common elements of these and other popular religions created before Christianity are:
    1) a savior god, 2) a son of god, 3) a passion (death and resurrection), 4) share their victory over death with their followers, and 4) the stories written about them are set in historical time period. (I think this list is from Richard Carrier.)

    • In reply to #19 by Chibisan:

      Comparing the exact details of two myths is like comparing the exact details of two science fiction novels to determine if they are science fiction. There are going to be many differences in details but they are still both science fiction because the core elements are the same. In comparative reli…

      The abrahamic religions have something in common, not to mention the same god, although comparing myths seems here something innocent, religions are also institutions of power and claim absolute understanding of the meaning of the “word” GOD.

      “(…) **definition
      religion **
      Religions are beliefs or dogmas and mandatory practices and systems
      sufficient for salvation (in life or after death). The three revealed religions
      Mediterranean religions are the expression of God’s will dictated by emissaries: 1)
      How to Judaism: the prophets of the Old Testament; 2) as to Christianity:
      the incarnate Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ; 3) regarding Islam: the Prophet
      Muhammad, the last of the prophets sent by God. The three religions are based on
      irreducible dogmas
      The sacred texts are, for each of the three revealed religions, the ultimate
      and unchanging Word of God.
      Each religion is considered as a divine, perfect and finished revelation
      result of God’s Word, the Truth for excellence and eternal. And there can only be one
      Indeed, its. Every theological system is organized in a coherent construction of
      Divine truth.
      (…)”
      Moisés Espírito Santo- Diálogo Inter-religioso, pdf online

      (reference text from a sociologist of religions on the issue that tackles the problem: why do people have the illusion that religions can overcome differences among them and have a peaceful coexistence, when what would be more efficient for a peaceful coexistence would be secular policies, although I am aware that´s not a new idea as far as Prof Dawkins himself mentions it in TGD)

      Not even Our Lady of Fatima will solve the problem of a pacific coexistence between dogmas of religions, even if it is supposed to be the same apparition I am afraid Our Lady of Fatima and the “Muslim Connection”

  12. These points are repeated wherever I tried to find real evidence. If they are true … well, that would be devastating for Christianity.

    I don’t know about the specific comparisons to Horace but bible scholars such as Bart Ehrman provide strong arguments that some of the gospel stories were tailored to appeal to heathen audiences by making Jesus have some of the qualities of Greek and Roman demigods. IMO the comparisons to any one other specific myth aren’t as significant or devastating as this evidence, which Ehrman supports in a very scientific manner in books such as Jesus Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible, that each gospel author had an agenda and tailored what they wrote accordingly. It’s very well established that none of the gospel authors actually could have known Jesus despite what is often taught in bible classes for example.

    But to write anything about it in a scientific manner I’d really need something more then repeated claims.

    I think this is like any other topic you need to look at the way they argue, the kinds of evidence they use, do they actually have good foot notes, are the arguments solid, do they have a clear bias, etc. Although to my knowledge Ehrman hasn’t written about Horace the trick is to find scholars like him who clearly know their stuff (e.g. have relevant degrees, can read ancient Greek and Hebrew, have published in respected journals, etc.) So for example, Ehrman’s analysis of the gospels is I think as devastating as the Horace myth may be but at the same time when Ehrman investigates the question if there was an actual historical Jesus (not a divine miracle worker but just an actual human who inspired the myths) he concludes that there likely was one in contrast to the people who have an agenda to find anything that can discredit Christianity and accept and make up very shoddy reasoning in the process. Here is an article where he describes some of those arguments: Did Jesus Exist?

    I think the key to understanding the Horace myth is to see if the authors who support it sound like Ehrman, are they truly trying to do actual scholarship or are they people who have an agenda and will accept any argument to support it?

  13. If you would look up gthe book entitled “The Christ Conspiracy,The Greatist Story Ever Sold” by Acharya S published by Adventures Unlimited Press, you will find evidence for simila points not only Horus but a dozen other “Gods”.

    Max G

  14. Afterall there is a scholar whose work is worth that reveals there are similarities, thanks for the suggestion of the author Acharya S.
    Of course it would never discredit christianity (nor did Galileo trial, nor pedophilia, neither inquisition….)

    • In reply to #26 by jimbobjim:

      Just looked at the book by Acharya S on Amazon…the reviews don’t look too great.

      Yes, I agree. I took a quick look and that seems to me to be conspiracy theory stuff by someone who is not a serious scholar.

  15. I recommend the academic book “Christ in Egypt – The Horus-Jesus Connection” by D.M.Murdock (Acharya S). This is thoroughly researched and completely convincing, composed of thousands of references drawn from ancient Egyptian and other texts.

  16. So it looks as if Ehrman did write about Acharya S. and I even read the book I just forgot the name. This is from a blog I linked to in an earlier comment but the following passages are all from the book Did Jesus Exist? by Ehrman. The initial claims are all from Acarya S. and the responses in brackets are Ehrman’s response:

    · The second-century church father Justin never quotes or mentions any of the Gospels (25). [This simply isn’t true: he mentions the Gospels on numerous occasions; typically he calls them “Memoirs of the Apostles” and quotes from them, especially from Matthew, Mark, and Luke.]

    · The Gospels were forged hundreds of years after the evens they narrate (26). [In fact, the Gospels were written at the end of the first century, about thirty-five to sixty-five years after Jesus’s death, and we have physical proof: one fragment of a Gospel manuscript dates to the early second century. How could it have been forged centuries after that?]

    · We have no manuscript of the New Testament that dates prior to the fourth century (26). [This is just plain wrong: we have numerous fragmentary manuscripts that date from the second and third centuries.]

    · The autographs “were destroyed after the Council of Nicaea” (26). [In point of fact, we have no knowledge of what happened to the original copies of the New Testament; they were probably simply used so much they wore out. There is not a scintilla of evidence to suggest that they survived until Nicaea or that they were destroyed afterward; plenty of counterevidence indicates they did not survive until Nicaea.]

    · “It took well over a thousand years to canonize the New Testament,” and “many councils” were needed to differentiate the inspired from the spurious books (31). [Actually, the first author to list our canon of the New Testament was the church father Athanasius in the year 367 the comment about “many councils” is simply made up.]

    · Paul never quotes a saying of Jesus (33). [Acharya has evidently never read the writings of Paul. As we will see, he does quote saying of Jesus.]

    · The Acts of Pilate, a legendary account of Jesus’ trial and execution, was once considered canonical (44). [None of our sparse references to the Acts of Pilate indicates, or even suggests, any such thing.]

    · The “true meaning of the word gospel is ‘God’s Spell,’ as in magic, hypnosis and delusion” (45). [No, the word gospel comes to us from the Old English term god spel, which means ”good news”—a fairly precise translation of the Greek word euaggelion. It has nothing to do with magic.]

    · The church father “Irenaeus was a Gnostic” (60). [In fact, he was one of the most virulent opponents of Gnostics in the early church.]

    · Augustine was “originally a Mandaean, i.e., a Gnostic, until after the Council of Nicaea” (60). [Augustine was not even born until nineteen years after the Council of Nicaea, and he certainly was no Gnostic.]

    · “’Peter’ is not only ‘the rock’ but also the cock,’ or [phallus--keep'n it medically esoteric for the children], as the word is used as slang to this day.”…[There is no [phallus]-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else except in books like this, which love to make things up.]

    I think these are pretty devastating. I would recommend sticking with actual scholars like Ehrman, read Jesus Interrupted and there are so many obvious cases of gospel stories being changed or made up to meet some agenda (e.g. more heathens will convert if Jesus has a divine father like Hercules) that I think the actual scholarship disproves the Jesus myth quite well without needing to resort to conspiracy fantasies.

    • In reply to #31 by labman:

      Red Dog – I think we should leave that up to SonnenKlar to decide . (We have discussed this before – Bart Erhman is a Christian apologist, and has his own agenda).

      Bullshit. Ehrman is not by any rational definition a “Christian apologist”. If you actually bother to read his books he is very, very critical of the traditional views about Jesus that most Christians have and that are taught in most bible study classes. If you talk to actual Christian fundamentalists they despise Ehrmman because he provides such strong scholarly arguments that the authors of the gospels were essentially forgers who claimed to know Jesus when they couldn’t possibly have done so.

      You see this is what really bothers me about these kinds of discussions. People end up adopting the same non-critical approach as the fundamentalist Christians do, if you agree with our side you are good and if you don’t agree you are bad. The arguments by people such as Acharya are pseudoscience, starting with the conclusion and looking or in her case even making up facts and arguments to support the pre-existing conclusion. I mean look at some of those quotes from Ehrman, I don’t see how anyone can take her seriously, I actually think she’s in the same category as M. Night Shimelmiml so bad it’s unintentionally funny, the “cock-rock” story is a good example.

      I also don’t understand what you mean by “we should leave it up to SonnenKlar”. Am I forcing SonnenKlar to accept what I say? Of course not the whole point of these discussions is that people express their opinions and give arguments to back them up.

    • In reply to #31 by labman:

      Red Dog – I think we should leave that up to SonnenKlar to decide . (We have discussed this before – Bart Erhman is a Christian apologist, and has his own agenda).

      Bart Ehrman is certainly not a christian apologist. He is an ex-christian, indeed an ex-theist. He normally uses the term “agnostic” to describe himself, but is also comfortable with the term “atheist”. H s writings get right up the nose of traditional christians, so to portray him as a christian apologist could not be further from the truth.

  17. If you’re serious about this then I’m afraid you’ll need to do some real research the old-fashioned way rather than relying on the internet. Do you have a decent library near you? Even so, I hate to break it to you, but even if all the parallels you list turn out to be the case (which I sincerely doubt), this would not be “devastating for Christianity”. Numerous parallels and links between other world stories are already known, written about, argued over, sourced and studied by theologians and historians of all persuasions. It doesn’t seem to make a jot of difference to anyone’s faith in their own particular facet of the ever-changing story.

  18. I think, one of the disappointing things about this thread is that it starts with the assumption that Horus and Christ is linked and we just want to prove that, where as the best intellectual view would be to ask the question and maybe the conclusion is that there are not linked and that is what you might need to write about.

    • In reply to #37 by jimbobjim:

      I think, one of the disappointing things about this thread is that it starts with the assumption that Horus and Christ is linked and we just want to prove that, where as the best intellectual view would be to ask the question and maybe the conclusion is that there are not linked and that is what you might need to write about.

      Surely that is not what the OP says!

      It does not make the assumption that Horus and Jesus are linked, or your reversed assumption that they are not. Neither prior assumption is “the best intellectual view”! Both are flawed positions based on circular thinking.

      The OP states that the author has found some interesting claims, and unlike many biblical mythologists, wants to look for, and test, the evidence before writing an article on the subject. – Especially in relation to a book which is full of copied and invented mythology, and retrospective predictions added as embellishments centuries later!

      @OP- The problem I got into is: I found quite some well done and reasonable-sounding claims of this, but when I tried to search for real evidence I didn’t get far.

      Where there are similarities in myths from neighbouring interacting cultures, it is reasonable to investigate if there are signs the stories are connected, and ask for help in looking for evidence.

  19. Red Dog – Correct, we are not forcing SonnenKlar to accept what we say, only to recommend, as he requested. SonnenKlar ‘s researches have already led him to a mythicist position. D.M. Murdock is only one of many well known mythicists, inluding :Earl Doherty, Richard Carrier. Jim Walker, Barbara G Walker. Robert M Price, and of course Sir James George Frazer.
    There is no historical veracity of Jesus Christ. Basically the arguements come down to Mythicism v. Erhman’s living Jesus, on which he appears,at best, to be sitting on the fence. If the living Jesus was just an ordinary man how and why was he made extraordinary? Alternatively if, as an ordinary man, he was subsequently given previously modeled god-like characteristics from earlier known gods, this would revert back to mythicism. The logical conclusion is a composite of earlier pagan gods.

    • In reply to #38 by labman:

      D.M. Murdock is only one of many well known mythicists, inluding :Earl Doherty, Richard Carrier. Jim Walker, Barbara G Walker. Robert M Price, and of course Sir James George Frazer.

      Just listing a bunch of names doesn’t mean anything. I don’t know all those people but Ehrman talks about Murdock and I remember him talking about Price. Murdock is a joke not a serious scholar. Anyone can make up a BS theory, look at Erik Von Daneken and the “Ancient Astronauts” BS or look at most of the 9/11 conspiracy theories (I say most because there are a few that I think are worth serious discussion but the vast majority are clearly absurd),

      Look at the quotes from Mudock below and the way Ehrman responds to her. She does ridiculous things like draw conclusions from the fact that the word “cock” and “rock” sound similar in English, neglecting the fact that no one anywhere near Jesus spoke English. She makes fundamental errors about ancient documents and religious history. I remember when I read Ehrman’s book Did Jesus Exist? he said similar things about Price. Here is a nice article where Ehrman summarizes some of the conclusions from that book:

      Did Jesus Exist?

      There is a natural cognitive bias for people to seek out information that fits in with their belief system (and yes even atheists have beliefs, if you believe something you have beliefs, it’s another question how well grounded those beliefs are) so an atheist who actually cares about finding the truth will realize that and will be especially critical of theories that say Jesus never existed. But even without that correction, it’s clear that the actual bible scholars people like Ehrman or Elaine Pagels all agree that the evidence strongly supports the hypothesis that there was an actual historical person who inspired the Jesus myths. The mythicists are like the 9/11 Truthers, a cottage industry of people spewing out pseudoscience for an audience that already wants to believe a foregone conclusion.

      Basically the arguements come down to Mythicism v. Erhman’s living Jesus, on which he appears,at best, to be sitting on the fence.

      You obviously haven’t read his book because he absolutely is not sitting on the fence. He comes out very strongly supporting the hypothesis that there was an historical Jesus. To the extent that he doesn’t say “absolutely unquestionably there was” that’s not sitting on the fence that’s being a good scholar and applying the scientific method correctly. It’s impossible to be absolutely certain about these kinds of events given how bad ancient record keeping was and how much all ancient authors tended to distort and invent.

      If the living Jesus was just an ordinary man how and why was he made extraordinary?

      Are you serious? Is your understanding of religion and the way it works really so limited that you can’t imagine that someone who is raised from a teacher (what he probably actually was) to a holy divine figure wouldn’t come to have all sorts of made up abilities and stories about his miraculous powers added on to the original story? Mohammed supposedly flew to heaven on a winged horse. By your logic then Mohammed must also be a made up person but we absolutely know that he wasn’t because, unlike Jesus, he was involved in significant historic events while he was alive. History is full of examples of actual people who are said to be divine and their believers tell stories about their magical abilities.

      Alternatively if, as an ordinary man, he was subsequently given previously modeled god-like characteristics from earlier known gods, this would revert back to mythicism. The logical conclusion is a composite of earlier pagan gods.

      No you are wrong and it’s an obvious logical error. He can still be a real person who lived but his followers came to make up all sorts of stories about things he did that he clearly never did. In fact several of Ehrman’s other books: Forged and Jesus Interrupted go into great detail on the most likely ways that these stories were made up and more interestingly the motivations for making them up. Ehrman concludes, and I’ve read other bible scholars who agree, that the main motivation was that various early Christian leaders wanted to convert either Jews or Pagans. For Jews they made up stories that made Jesus seem like the messiah (e.g. born in Bethlehem when he was most likely born in Nazareth) and for pagans they made up stories that made him seem like pagan demigods (e.g. born of a virgin and a divine father).

    • In reply to #38 by labman:

      Alternatively if, as an ordinary man, he was subsequently given previously modeled god-like characteristics from earlier known gods, this would revert back to mythicism

      I was just re-reading and I think I may have misinterpreted what you said here. Let me be clear: what Ehrman (and I) think is that there WAS an actual person named Jesus who was a Jewish teacher and was crucified by the Romans for claiming to be the messiah. However, many of the stories told about Jesus (e.g. born in Bethlehem where prophesy said the messiah would be born) and all of the stories about magical powers (e.g. virgin birth, raising people from the dead) are distortions and additions added by Gospel authors (none of whom personally knew Jesus) retelling and fabricating the story afterwords, probably for their own purpose such as to convert people to a new religion. That is not mythicism. Mythicism is going the next step and claiming that there never was a Jewish teacher named Jesus to begin with.

  20. There’s no evidence that Jesus ever existed, no sculptures or paintings of Jesus. There are no artifacts or writings by Jesus or his contemporaries. We have Julius Caesar’s own writings, who lived 100 yrs. before the alleged life of Jesus. We also have actual letters that were written to Caesar and letters that Caesar wrote. Contemporary historians wrote about the life of Caesar. However, mankind’s Savior Jesus never wrote a word. Jesus never wrote anyone a letter and we do not have any original documents written by his disciples or followers. There are no references to a historical Jesus by any known contemporary historian. No literate person in the time period, which Jesus supposedly lived in, mentioned him in any known writing.

    All of the documents about the alleged Jesus came well after his supposed death. Biblical Scholars know this and do not claim it is historical evidence. They instead claim that what’s important is the story. A story that is a lie (pawned of as the truth) can’t be very important.

    The Jews at Qumran were waiting on a future Jewish king to appear and deliver them. The Mashiah, according to Jewish belief, was not a God that would deliver his people by clearing their way to heaven. The messiah was to be an empowered King who would destroy the enemies of the Jews and regain their Holy Land. The enemies were the Romans or (future Christians). Essentially everything Christians have been told about Christianity is false. Their beliefs are based on a misinterpretation of the word Mashiah ‘Messiah’ a (Mashiah that never came) and layers of various pagan beliefs of the Roman culture.

    Numbers 23:19 states that God is not a man. God was not born, and God certainly did not die. Obviously the ‘Gospel’ contradicts itself and the New Testament contradicts the Old Testament about God?

    The Lord’s Prayer and the Lord’s Supper can be traced to the Qumrans, also going back at least one century before the alleged Jesus’ virgin birth. The Sermon on the Mount is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew and Luke about fifty years after Jesus allegedly gave the sermon. The Gospels of Mark and John say nothing about The Sermon on the Mount and neither do Paul, Peter or John because as the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal, the Sermon on the Mount was recorded in the Book of Enoch, at least 100 years before the supposed virgin birth of Jesus.

    Confucius 6th century BC Chinese sage and founder of Confucianism from the Analects “love thy neighbor as thyself. Do nothing to thy neighbor, which thou wouldst not have him do to thee hereafter”. The verses and saying attributed to Jesus existed long before he was invented.

    The Gospels are the sole source of information about a historical Jesus. Everything that we know about Jesus and Christianity depends on that source. Unknown authors wrote the Gospels the names are only titles. Nobody knows when they were written or who wrote them.

    Eusebius openly advocated the use of fraud and deception in furthering the interests of the Church. The first mention of Jesus by Josephus came from Eusebius (none of the earlier church fathers mention Josephus’ Jesus). Scholars have determined that Eusebius not Josephus was responsible for those writings. Eusebius wrote about “how it may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who want to be deceived.”

    Any claim that there had to have been a historical Jesus fails because a study of the true circumstances of Christianity’s beginnings (although this is difficult considering how much of the past is gone (books and whole libraries were burned and destroyed) and this is precisely the pattern expected if the Jesus religion was an offshoot from other existing religious myths.

    Celsus pointed out the same flaws in the cult and (they burnt all his books) so with the silence of the critics, the re-writing of its past, any claim that there had to have been a historical Jesus fails.

    • In reply to #44 by Linda TX:

      There’s no evidence that Jesus ever existed, no sculptures or paintings of Jesus. There are no artifacts or writings by Jesus or his contemporaries. We have Julius Caesar’s own writings, who lived 100 yrs. before the alleged life of Jesus. We also have actual letters that were written to Caesar and…

      The actual historical Jesus was a nobody. Barely a blip on Rome’s radar. A crazy religious nut who thought he could challenge Rome’s Imperial power based on the myth of the Jewish messiah. There is no reason to expect detailed records of his crucifixion much less paintings or writings from Caesar or any other Roman emperor. He just wasn’t important enough, they wouldn’t have given him a second thought.

      The time when Jesus lived was a dramatic time in Jewish and Roman history, it wasn’t that uncommon for fanatical Jews to claim to be the messiah and to be summarily dealt with by Rome. In fact Jesus was crucified with two other Jews usually described as “bandits” but crucifixion was reserved for the real trouble makers, political criminals, there is some evidence (e.g. going back to the literal meaning of the words in the original gospels) to think that the two men crucified with Jesus were also such Jewish political criminals.

      Jesus wasn’t important until much later when he was turned into a mythical figure by people like Paul and Jesus’s brother James. For anyone interested in the actual history and scholarship there was an excellent book recently that went into all this called Zealot by Reza Aslan

    • In reply to #44 by Linda TX:

      There’s no evidence that Jesus ever existed, no sculptures or paintings of Jesus. There are no artifacts or writings by Jesus or his contemporaries. We have Julius Caesar’s own writings, who lived 100 yrs. before the alleged life of Jesus. We also have actual letters that were written to Caesar and…

      “They instead claim that what’s important is the story. A story that is a lie (pawned of as the truth) can’t be very important”

      Like all myths (were you expecting myths to be truth?)…..

      However, I am used to enjoy myths as stories sense I was a child-who doesn´t? (the cereals packs for children had in each pack a little book of greek mythology, I remember how I lovely the the myth of Pandora that my brother told me sounded).
      I think Professor Dawkins or Hitchens don´t -didn´t- find nothing of atractive in “Jesus myth”, however I find the myth of Prometheus lovely, and think Jesus myth can represent the same “love-sacrifice- for humanity” (not only for hebrews, not only people who believe in Allah, but for humanity as a whole).
      There is no historical evidence that Lord Khrisna kingdom ever existed once on Earth either.

      Well, perhaps nothing in mythology is real, why to care so much that Jesus ever existed at all?
      (well I know from my early 8/9 ?? that there was no historical and archeological evidence that Jesus ever existed, nor that any flood ever took place, neither there is any historical record of the exile of Moses in Egypt-I heard here on RDF Professor Dawkins and John Huddlestun-

      Concerning mythology, why should Jesus be different from other myths? Are you expecting to find out that Thor or Baal were real?

      Although once a survey to the british population- I think- asked the question: if there were a time machine, a significative number of the inquired would choose to go back to Jesus time? as far as a Hindu historian had a special interest in archeological research to find out if Lord Krishna Kingdom ever existed on Earth?

  21. Formatting Wasn’t Working:

    RE: Red Dog #45

    Red Dog “The actual historical Jesus was a nobody. Barely a blip on Rome’s radar. A crazy religious nut who thought he could challenge Rome’s Imperial power based on the myth of the Jewish messiah.”

    Linda, How the hell do you know? A historical Jesus? Unknown authors wrote the Gospels forty to seventy years after the supposed death of Jesus. There are no eyewitness accounts – and the names given the Gospels are just titles. There are no originals and nobody knows what was originally written.

    There is an excellent witness to the events in Judaea in the first half of the first century AD, Philo of Alexandria. Philo did not write one word about Jesus or Christianity. Christianity was the ultimate product of religious syncretism (combining of beliefs) in the ancient world. There were never 12 disciples or a master. The story was invented to legitimize the claims of the early churches. The original Mary was fashioned on pagan goddesses and she was not a virgin. Unlike Jesus and Mary a real historical figures has a mass of evidence. Scholars who do objective investigations into history have found no confirmation of this story in the writings of non-Christian Jewish, Greek, and Roman writers.

    Red Dog “There is no reason to expect detailed records of his crucifixion much less paintings or writings from Caesar or any other Roman emperor. He just wasn’t important enough, they wouldn’t have given him a second thought.”

    Linda, That’s not an answer to what I wrote? We know Jesus didn’t exist for the same reasons we know Peter Pan never existed, because (as I already told you) there’s no evidence that Jesus ever existed. There are no artifacts or writings by Jesus or his contemporaries. We have Julius Caesar’s own writings – he lived 100 yrs before Jesus. We also have actual letters that were written to Caesar and letters that Caesar wrote. Contemporary historians wrote about the life of Caesar. However, the alleged Jesus never wrote a word. Jesus never wrote anyone a letter and we do not have any original documents written by his disciples or followers. Do you think it makes any difference if Jesus was famous are not? If He was a religious leader who started a “new religion” he would be, but clearly you don’t understand, or you don’t what to understand what I told you anyway.

    Red Dog The time when Jesus lived was a dramatic time in Jewish and Roman history, it wasn’t that uncommon for fanatical Jews to claim to be the messiah and to be summarily dealt with by Rome.

    Linda, The times were very dramatic but Jesus wasn’t around to see it. In the year 70 CE the Romans utterly destroyed the people of Qumran and the Temple in Jerusalem. They were the Zealots and Jesus was not one of them. Until 70 CE the Qumrans were waiting with great faith for the messiah to appear and deliver them. The messiah, according to Jewish belief, was not a God that would deliver his people by clearing their way to heaven. The messiah was to be an empowered King who would destroy the enemies of the Jews and regain their Holy Land.

    Philo Judaeus (contemporary historian I mentioned) wrote detailed accounts of the Jewish events that occurred in the surrounding area. Not once, in all of his volumes of writings, is a single account of a Jesus. There is no mention of Jesus in Seneca’s writings, or from the historian Pliny the Elder.

    Red Dog “In fact Jesus was crucified with two other Jews usually described as “bandits” but crucifixion was reserved for the real trouble makers, political criminals, there is some evidence (e.g. going back to the literal meaning of the words in the original gospels) to think that the two men crucified with Jesus were also such Jewish political criminals.”

    Linda, Matthew 27:39 and Mark 15:27 say Jesus was crucified between two thieves. It is a historical fact that the Romans did not crucify thieves. I guess that’s why someone had to make them political figures – to fix that blooper?

    Red Dog “Jesus wasn’t important until much later when he was turned into a mythical figure by people like Paul and Jesus’s brother James.

    Linda, Paul admits that he did not know Jesus during Jesus’ lifetime. All of Paul’s theology is based on his own revelations, or visions. There is nothing in all of Paul’s writings that state he ever met the living Jesus, and he does not talk about Jesus’ life on earth. His accounts about a Jesus had to have come from visions or hearsay. Paul’s visions, and most of his theology, can be found in Mithraism. In Mithraism, the central figure is the mythical Mithras, who died for the sins of mankind and was resurrected. Believers in Mithras were rewarded with eternal life. Part of the Mithraic communion liturgy included the words, “He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made one with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation.” Mithraism had included the ritual a long time before Christ was invented. Mithraism originated in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia, the place the apostle Paul came from.

    The apostle Paul claims that he got the instructions for the Lord’s Supper directly from Jesus. The Lord’s supper was not invented by Paul, but was borrowed by him from Mithraism, the mystery religion that existed long before Christianity and was Christianity’s chief competitor up until the time of Constantine. The apostle Paul never mentions the virgin birth. Paul says that Jesus was “born of a woman,” (not a virgin woman) Galatians 4:4. Why would he leave out this amazing miracle?

    In 325 CE, when the Council of Bishops in Rome decided to make an official canon there were thousands of books, epistles, and gospels existing throughout Europe. They were both Hebrew and Greek scriptures, and The Council of Nicea decided to discard and destroy each and every book, epistle, and gospel that did not agree with their theology, which was the doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus. The “chosen Gospels” were randomly assigned authorship over a hundred years after they were written.

    What I have written was with evidence the names of historians that never wrote one word about Jesus that lived in the same place and time – like giving dates that proves what happened and when it happened. What is – or is not a forgery etc.

    REFERENCE: The New Testament. Most Bibles, when introducing the Gospels, as well as other writings that are contained in the canon, inform that the authors are anonymous and unknown.
    REFERENCE: Mithraism The Book – David Ulansey, ‘The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries’, in which he convincingly shows that Mithraism originated in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia. That is where Paul of Tarsus came from.

    REFERENCE: The Bible – Paul never cites the Gospels because the Gospels come much later. More proof of that is that Paul never refers to them.

    REFERENCE: This is a book – ‘The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence’ – backs up no historian from his era wrote a single word about the Jesus. Also there is an abidance of scholarly work on this subject.

    REFERENCES: The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the Sermon on the Mount and The Lords Prayer existed hundreds of years before the alleged life of Jesus.

    REFERENCE: Erasmus, four hundred years ago, said the Gospels were originally written in Greek. The Gospel of John is largely composed of the speculations of Greek philosophy.

    Ugarit – Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic by Frank Cross – Cambridge Harvard University Press. The book has the history of religion of Israel compared to Ugaritic texts.

    WASHINGTON POST (Review) Book review: ‘Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth’ by Reza Aslan – Review By Stephen Prothero,

    Stephen Prothero is a professor of religion at Boston University and the author of “The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation.”

    “Scholars and believers alike tend to contrast sharply the founders of Christianity and Islam: Jesus the apolitical man of peace who turns the other cheek; and Muhammad the politician, jurist and general who takes much of the Arabian Peninsula by force. In “Zealot,” Reza Aslan blurs this distinction, depicting Jesus as a “politically conscious Jewish revolutionary” whose kingdom is decidedly of this world.

    Aslan is an Iranian American Muslim, a religious-studies scholar and a creative-writing professor who lives in Los Angeles, where he runs a company called Aslan Media. So we should not be surprised to encounter in “Zealot” a life of Jesus that reads like a movie treatment, all the way down to these key scenes:?

    • In reply to #47 by Linda TX:

      Red Dog “The actual historical Jesus was a nobody. Barely a blip on Rome’s radar. A crazy religious nut who thought he could challenge Rome’s Imperial power based on the myth of the Jewish messiah.” Linda, How the hell do you know?

      Because unlike you I read critically and I read people who are actual scholars and historians as opposed to pseudoscience written for people who just want to believe anything that makes Christianity look bad.

      A historical Jesus? Unknown authors wrote the Gospels forty to seventy years after the supposed death of Jesus. There are no eyewitness accounts – and the names given the Gospels are just titles. There are no originals and nobody knows what was originally written.

      Yes, that is all true. If you read Ehrman he deals with those kinds of objections. He talks about these arguments in this article:

      Did Jesus Exist?

      Here is a relevant excerpt from that article:

      It is true that Jesus is not mentioned in any Roman sources of his day. That should hardly count against his existence, however, since these same sources mention scarcely anyone from his time and place. Not even the famous Jewish historian, Josephus, or even more notably, the most powerful and important figure of his day, Pontius Pilate.

      It is also true that our best sources about Jesus, the early Gospels, are riddled with problems. These were written decades after Jesus’ life by biased authors who are at odds with one another on details up and down the line. But historians can never dismiss sources simply because they are biased. You may not trust Rush Limbaugh’s views of Sandra Fluke, but he certainly provides evidence that she exists.

      The question is not whether sources are biased but whether biased sources can be used to yield historically reliable information, once their biased chaff is separated from the historical kernel. And historians have devised ways of doing just that.

      Ehrman goes into much more detail about how historians separate the biased info from the reliable info in his book Did Jesus Exist? To be clear there is no way we can ever know this for sure and I agree there is a small possibility that the whole Jesus story was made up. What I’m saying is that based on the scholarly standards for ancient history the most rational hypothesis — and the one that is virtually universally accepted by serious scholars — is that there was an actual historical figure named Jesus who was a Jewish teacher and was crucified by the Romans for saying he was the Messiah. Of course that in no way means he brought people back from the dead or did any of the other supernatural things that were ascribed to him by his followers decades or more after his death.

  22. RE: maria melo #46

    Linda, What you did above was to use half quotes to distort what I had written. I said, “There are no references to a historical Jesus by any known contemporary (lived the same time as Jesus) historian. No literate person in the time period, which Jesus supposedly lived in, mentioned him in any known writing. All of the documents about the alleged Jesus came well after his supposed death. Biblical Scholars know this and do not claim it is historical evidence. They instead claim that what’s important is the story. A story that is a lie (pawned of as the truth) can’t be very important.” Religions are filled with lies to deceive the gullible public and persuade them to go out and kill or die for some stupid war. There is something wrong with not following your own judgement or relying on blind faith instead of being told the truth.

    maria melo, “Like all myths (were you expecting myths to be truth?)…..However, I am used to enjoy myths as stories sense I was a child-who doesn´t?”

    Linda, We are not stupid children who believe things (like fairy tales) because we are told to believe in them. Using logic and common sense along with the ability to reason to determine what is true and what isn’t is far more valuable than all the myths and fables that fanatics can dream up.

    The Inspired Word of God/Gods (moral teachings) yet they demonstrate setting aside common moral behavior in order to please God/Gods. God frequently orders and sanctions acts that violate His own moral law against murder. If God/Gods don’t follow their own moral laws then they are immaterial for establishing a moral code of ethics. We know what is right or wrong without the (on again off again) morality of imaginary God/Gods.

    It is worthwhile to impart valuable “cognitive content” instead of worthless lies. That’s called education not religion. Giving people (threatened with burning in hell forever) the right information, along with the idea that they have the right to live without fear (and ask questions) that is valuable.

    The problem is (when it comes to the Bible) that people are being told the stories are a fact not a fable. There is no validity or logic in religion or myths because the beliefs can’t be backed up by the facts, as a matter of fact, there are no facts.

    Everyone has a right to their own opinions but they don’t have a right to their own facts.

  23. In reply to Red dog 49
    You have given me one book ref already on another post thanks.

    A big gap in my knowledge here and like most good Christians, I was taught nothing about the actual historicity of Jesus or the validity and evidence for the bible characters and events as a whole.

    You have mentioned Ehrman is this best place to get a good overview on the subject?

    Any one book in particular?

    I have only read one good book on the Bible called, “Archaeology of the Bible lands BC.” Magnus Magnuson 1977

    An analysis of decades of digs dating from about 3200 BCE to just before the birth of Jesus.

    If you have a read that let me know what you think.

    • In reply to #50 by Pinball1970:

      A big gap in my knowledge here and like most good Christians, I was taught nothing about the actual historicity of Jesus or the validity and evidence for the bible characters and events as a whole.

      I was also raised as a “good Christian” (Catholic) and even after I became an atheist for a while still always thought Jesus seemed like an interesting teacher; I had the same feeling, when I first started reading this stuff a long time ago. I think it’s why I like to keep coming back to it the actual story in some ways is so much more interesting than the stuff most Christian children are taught. To me it’s also kind of like a good mystery or conspiracy novel; trying to piece out which parts were added on and made up vs. what seems the most credible actual story.

      You have mentioned Ehrman is this best place to get a good overview on the subject?

      If you want dispassionate scholarship that is also very accessible to an average reader I would recommend Ehrman as the place to start. If you aren’t sure how much of this topic you want to read and are looking for something that can be very readable I think I might recommend starting with the Reza Aslan book Zealot. They are both good but of the two I really got into the Aslan book Zealot. It was one of those books that I started and couldn’t put down. Ehrman’s books are also highly readable given the topic is ancient bible scholarship but of all of the ones I’ve read recently the Aslan book I think was the most fun.

      I got the feeling that Ehrman doesn’t think that much of Aslan. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a bit jealous. I think Aslan’s book did better than any of Ehrman’s and of the two I think Ehrman is the more serious scholar Aslan is more like a Robert Wright I think, an author who also writes books and articles on other topics where as Ehrman is a bible scholar who writes books for a general audience. Ehrman’s writing is more conservative, where as Aslan will say things like “Jesus had a brother James whose fight with Paul defined the conflict in the early Christian church” Ehrman will be more measured and say things like “most scholars think that James was indeed the brother of Jesus as he claimed and here is why”

      Of Ehrman’s books I think Jesus Interrupted is the best to start with. That’s the one that really lays out the general case of who actually wrote the gospels, all the evidence that they weren’t the apostles as they claimed to be, what their ulterior motives were, etc. The next Ehrman book I would read is Did Jesus Exist? It goes into the controversy as to did Jesus even exist, shows some of the biggest errors in the most popular mythicist theories, etc. Most of Ehrman’s other books are a bit harder to read, some I picked up and never finished. Forged is one I started and never completed but I think I’ll go back to it one of these days.

      Forged shows how Ehrman is actually one of the most severe critics of the traditional interpretations of the gospels. Most other scholars say that the gospel authors were only employing a literary device by claiming to be one of the apostles when they really weren’t. Ehrman thinks that’s just after the fact apologetics and that a more realistic view of the gospel authors is that they were just liars trying to perpetrate a hoax for their own selfish reasons.

      I haven’t read the Magnuson book, I’ll take a look at it. Another author I like a lot is Elaine Pagels. Her topic is a bit different. She focuses on the Gnostic Gospels. There were alternative versions of the gospels that were considered heresies by the early Catholic church. As a result most of the Gnostic gospels were destroyed and we only have fragments of some of them. There was a finding of a bunch of scrolls buried in a cave back in the 1950′s that recovered some manuscripts thought to be lost forever. It’s fascinating to see how diverse the actual earliest Christian church — really a bunch of disparate sects with very different stories told about Jesus — really was. Some of the Gnostic versions of Jesus really have him come off more as the original hippy including advocating, believe it or not that sex is a holy sacrament even between men. That is an interpretation based on a very incomplete gospel so who knows but just that it might have been true — and that might have been one of the reasons the Gnostics were declared heretics — is IMO very interesting. Pagel’s The Gnostic Gospels is the best book of hers to start with.

      • In reply to #51 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #50 by Pinball1970:

        A big gap in my knowledge here and like most good Christians, I was taught nothing about the actual historicity of Jesus or the validity and evidence for the bible characters and events as a whole.

        I was also raised as a “good Christian” (Catholic) and even after I…

        Dr Barbara Thiering, a lapsed catholic nun and scholar, specialist in ancient Greek and the dead sea scrolls has written a series of books, the first was Jesus the Man. (BBC Documentary made of this) Her hypothesis was that the Essenes of Qumran were the setting for the bible events. She is wrong because the dating of the scrolls puts them around 200 years before 1AD. But she does have a theory that I found credible when explaining what was written in the gospels and revelations.

        If you are trying to start up a radical political movement to free yourselves from the Roman’s you’re not going to write in clear and seditious language. They would crucify you for that. So the early followers of Christus (The name in the Clementine documents) used a technique Thiering calls “Pesher” This from Wikipedia.

        Pesher Listeni/ˈpɛʃər/ (Hebrew: פשר‎, pl. pesharim) comes from a Hebrew word meaning “interpretation” in the sense of “solution.” It became known from one group of texts, numbering some hundreds, among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

        The pesharim give a theory of scriptural interpretation, previously partly known, but now fully defined. The writers of pesharim believe that scripture is written in two levels: the surface for ordinary readers with limited knowledge, the concealed one for specialists with higher knowledge. This is most clearly spelled out in the Habakkuk Pesher (1QpHab), where the author of the text asserts that God has made known to the Teacher of Righteousness, a prominent figure within the history of the Essene community, “all the mysteries of his servants the prophets” (1QpHab VII:4-5). By contrast, the prophets themselves only had a partial interpretation revealed to them.

        An example is the wedding feast of Cana. Turning water into wine. Thiering suggests this is a reference to the Jewish religious ceremony. The radical thing about the movement surrounding Jesus was that they held that anyone could be a member, gentile or Jew. The Jews would only admit members of the Jewish tribe to full membership. The higher ranks. Gentiles could follow both versions of Judaism, but in the Jesus sect, they could progress to be priests and high officials. In the Jewish religious ceremony, the full sacrament, wine, could only be consumed by Jews, while gentile adherents would be given water. In the Jesus sect, gentiles could receive wine as the sacrament.

        So the changing of water into wine is a pesher technique for saying that gentiles can be full members of the Jesus faction. They couldn’t write this publicly, because of the old crucifixion threat, but they could write in riddles, that could be deciphered by the follows in Rome or Ephesus. And at the end, “saving the best wine till last” is an up yours statement saying the gentiles are just as good as the Jews.

        The Loaves and Fishes is an accounting procedure, like an annual report of the numbers in the faction. Raising from the dead is readmitting an excommunicated member, considered dead, to the faction. The name of the beast is 666. A reference to the fact that the Hebrew alphabet has numerical equivalents and 666 spells out the initials of the Jewish High Priest of the time, an enemy of the gentile loving faction of Judaism.

        She wrote Jesus of the Apocalypse, the best explanation of Revelations. The women in scarlet is an attempt by a gentile woman to be a priest, and wear the official scarlet robes etc. Lots more but you get the picture.

        • In reply to #53 by David R Allen:

          In reply to #51 by Red Dog:

          In reply to #50 by Pinball1970:

          A big gap in my knowledge here and like most good Christians, I was taught nothing about the actual historicity of Jesus or the validity and evidence for the bible characters and events as a whole.

          I was also raised as a “good Christian”…

          I’ll check that book out. I’ve heard others theorize about the Essenes and that Jesus was probably one of them. They don’t sound like a very fun group. I’m always a bit skeptical of theories that layer a lot of interpretation and hidden meanings on to ancient texts like the gospels. Not saying they can’t be true just that for me providing convincing evidence for those kinds of theories is a much higher bar than providing evidence that Jesus was a real person with real followers. That was one thing I liked about Aslan’s book and even more so Ehrman, they tend not to do a lot of speculation. Then again speculation can be a lot of fun to read. One of the first books I read on this subject was The Passover Plot and from what I remember it did a lot of speculation. It was fun to read but IMO theories from Ehrman and Aslan are better supported.

          BTW, one other thing for people interested in this topic I recommend the movie The God Who Wasn’t There. If you see the movie you need to set your expectations. It’s a very amateurish film. I think it came out before Youtube but if Youtube had been around the movie would have probably never even made it to DVD. The film maker is a lapsed evangelical and he describes a lot of the interpretations about Jesus and comparisons to Roman and I think Egyptian gods as well. I don’t agree with a lot of what he says, he ends up at the mythicist conclusion and he wasn’t a bible scholar the way Ehrman and others we’ve talked about here are but it was still kind of a fun movie to watch.

        • In reply to #53 by David R Allen:

          The New Scientist have a series of articles suggesting a lot more going on in Shakespeare’s plays.

          http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229654.800-shakespeare-did-radical-astronomy-inspire-hamlet.html?utm_source=NSNS&utm_medium=SOC&utm_campaign=hoot&cmpid=SOC%7CNSNS%7C2013-GLOBAL-hoot

          I tend to think they’re seeing way to much into these writings. A bit like the references in this post, methinks. Just a thought in passing.

  24. In reply to red dog #51

    Of Ehrman’s books I think Jesus Interrupted is the best to start with. That’s the one that really lays out the general case of who actually wrote the gospels.

    Apologies format not quite correct

    I have about some of these other gospels that did not make it into the final cut but the detail is scant.

    Ok that is where I will start – thanks

    On the AOTBLBC – Magnuson gives detailed info on the Hittites, Samaritans, Sumatrans, Canaanites, philistines, Babylonians & Egyptians, all relating to all the movements, wars, settlements culture and integration of the early Hebrew tribes.

    All the referenced digs, pottery, writings, walls (wall are a really big deal!) temples, houses and other buildings are what makes it interesting.

    Physical tangible evidence.

    Before I read it I had no idea what was real made up or a bit of both in the OT- after I read it I realized that the evidence suggested very few of the OT characters and events relate to anything factual.

    The evidence so far anyway, I assume much as happened since the book was published 37 years ago.

    • In reply to #54 by emmacwilliams:

      Red Dog #51: this is one of the reasons Aslan’s book went viral. Good old Fox!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt1cOnNrY5s

      I can’t believe I’ve never seen that interview before. Wow, that’s hilarious. Aslan sounds like he’s talking to a 2 year old (intellectually I think he was) trying to explain basic concepts of what it means to be a religious scholar and historian. I almost expected him to start bringing out flash cards or something. Thanks for sharing that.

      • In reply to #55 by Red Dog:

        Wow, that’s hilarious. Aslan sounds like he’s talking to a 2 year old (intellectually I think he was) trying to explain basic concepts of what it means to be a religious scholar and historian. I almost expected him to start bringing out flash cards or something. Thanks for sharing that.

        To be fair, Aslan did not answer the question from the outset. She asks why are you interested in the founder of Christianity? His answer was I have 4 Phd’s and have been interested in this for 20 years! Which is not an answer to a why question.

        Aslan is a little too quick to play the “I am so offended card”. It would be like asking Bill Gates why he wrote “Windows” and him saying that he is a programer and that is what programers do, and it had nothing to do with PARK and Steve Jobs. Bill was honest enough to say that he broke into PARC and found that Steve had already snatched the TV, so Bill did likewise. On the same note, Aslan could have related the thinking that went into him choosing to write about that topic and not some other topic, but he never did that.

        • In reply to #81 by EricFSM:

          It would be like asking Bill Gates why he wrote “Windows” and him saying that he is a programer and that is what programers do, and it had nothing to do with PARK and Steve Jobs.

          It certainly has nothing to do with PARK which is what you do with your car. I agree it has a lot to do with Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) the place that invented GUIs, the desktop metaphor, as well as object-oriented programming and lots of other cool stuff that everyone except Xerox made money off of. Sorry, when computer R&D comes up the chances for my going off on OT tangents (e.g., I have a funny story about meeting Alan Kay in person) are huge.

          But back to the topic, I’m sorry I don’t buy your defense of the interviewer at all. Imagine if Dawkins were to write another book on biology like The Ancestor’s Tale, would it make sense to ask him “So Prof. Dawkins, why do you feel the need to write about evolutionary biology? Is it because you hate religion and want to promote godless atheism?” Dawkins would respond to that question I imagine by saying “no it’s because I’m an evolutionary biologist and that is what we do”. Which is more or less what Aslan was saying “I’m a biblical scholar and historian and writing books like Zealot is what we do”. Some things are simple and to me this is pretty simple, the interviewer was an idiot and the question was moronic.

          • In reply to #82 by Red Dog:

            “So Prof. Dawkins, why do you feel the need to write about evolutionary biology? Is it because you hate religion and want to promote godless atheism?” Dawkins would respond to that question I imagine by saying “no it’s because I’m an evolutionary biologist and that is what we do”.

            That is a good example. Dawkins should write about evolutionary biology, but he does not, he writes about evolution as it relates to religion (the tail is wagging the dog). If you were to ask Dawkins which is more important, to explain science or destroy religion, I think his answer would be a toss up.

            Aslan is not the only person with Ph.D.’s up the wazzu, yet all the other people out there with similar credentials do not write about the historical Jesus, so why did he? More important, why is he so defensive about giving us the real reason that inspired him to devote so much time to this topic? Just saying “that is what people with Ph.D.’s do” is a dodge.

          • In reply to #84 by EricFSM:

            That is a good example. Dawkins should write about evolutionary biology, but he does not, he writes about evolution as it relates to religion (the tail is wagging the dog).

            That is a good example of the Is Ought problem that David Hume talks about. You jump from an empirical fact to a value statement with no rational connection between the two. I don’t see any rational justification that says someone who is an expert in one field can only write on that topic and not on others. By that reasoning Chomsky should shut up about politics and only write about Linguistics. Or Asimov should stick to Science Fiction and never write about general science topics.

            Aslan is not the only person with Ph.D.’s up the wazzu, yet all the other people out there with similar credentials do not write about the historical Jesus, so why did he?

            I don’t know anyone with a PhD in bible scholarship but I know lots of people with PhDs on other topics and trust me dude they ALL want to write books on their topics. Do you think it’s easy to write a book? I mean it isn’t that hard to write one lots of us (including me) have half finished books and novels lying around. But it’s really friggin hard to get a book published. For the most part the people with PhD’s who publish books do so because they can. Why they are able is a complicated assortment of good and bad reasons everything from being distinguished in your field to being good at schmoozing book publishers.

            More important, why is he so defensive about giving us the real reason that inspired him to devote so much time to this topic? Just saying “that is what people with Ph.D.’s do” is a dodge.

            That’s hilarious. Did you even watch the interview? It was an insanely stupid question And the insanely stupid Foxhead wouldn’t let it go and just kept looking more and more stupid with every follow up. And Aslan was very polite, far more than I would have been, in trying to answer it.

            So, I’m almost afraid to ask, what do you think Aslan’s reason was?

          • In reply to #85 by Red Dog:

            That is a good example of the Is Ought problem that David Hume talks about. You jump from an empirical fact to a value statement with no rational connection between the two. I don’t see any rational justification that says someone who is an expert in one field can only write on that topic and not on others. By that reasoning Chomsky should shut up about politics and only write about Linguistics. Or Asimov should stick to Science Fiction and never write about general science topics.

            My bad, I “should” not have used the word “should” (it threw you off on a bit of a tangent). I meant to say “We would expect Dawkins to write about evolutionary biology, since he is an evolutionary biologist, but he does not, he writes about evolution as it relates to religion (the tail is wagging the dog)”.

            Naturally anyone “can” write about anything they want to, but when Dawkins writes about evolution I pay attention and when he writes about religion or philosophy I get skeptical because I know he is not an expert in those fields.

            In reply to #85 by Red Dog:

            That’s hilarious. Did you even watch the interview? It was an insanely stupid question And the insanely stupid Foxhead wouldn’t let it >go and just kept looking more and more stupid with every follow up. And Aslan was very polite, far more than I would have been, in >trying to answer it.

            So, I’m almost afraid to ask, what do you think Aslan’s reason was?

            The interview was not about the book, Fox wanted to know why he wrote the book and they wanted to know if there was any “man bites dog” in the book.

            Just imagine you asking your wife “Why did you go to the market?” and instead of answering your question with something like “We were out of bread and milk” she says “I have a perfectly good Toyota RAV4 that is capable of going to the market”. I think you would be justified in thinking “what does she not want to tell me”.

            The same with Aslan, he could have answered the question with something like “I brainstormed about ten topics for my book project, and the one topic that I was the most interested in, and thought would be the most commercially viable, was the historicity of Jesus. My being a Muslim did not influence that decision”. And that would have been the end of that.

            Personally, I have no idea why he wrote the book and I really don’t care why, as the book will live or die based on the quality of the work it contains, but I am curious as to why he is being so defensive about something that he does not need to be defensive about.

          • In reply to #86 by EricFSM:
            >

            Naturally anyone “can” write about anything they want to, but when Dawkins writes about evolution I pay attention and when he writes about religion or philosophy I get skeptical because I know he is not an expert in those fields.

            Is any one other than neuro-psychologists “expert” on religious thinking?
            In understanding the diverse fictional and personal delusions about history and science, along with the fundamentalist politicians’ attacks on science education, Richard an some users on this site, probably have a better understanding of religions effects in societies, than those looking through the “blinkers of belief”!

            The notion that expertise in religions is acquired by way of participation in one of your own choice or inheritance, is mistaken.
            It is like claiming, that to understand the historical effects of Flat-Earthism, you need to be a Flat-Earthist!

          • In reply to #84 by EricFSM:

            Dawkins should write about evolutionary biology, but he does not, he writes about evolution as it relates to religion (the tail is wagging the dog). If you were to ask Dawkins which is more important, to explain science or destroy religion, I think his answer would be a toss up.

            Hi Eric.

            How many of Prof Dawkins’ 14 books, starting with The Selfish Gene in 1976, have you read? I have them all & I’ve read each several times over many years. Most of them are very much about evolutionary biology, with passing references to & rebuttals of religious views of science & biology mainly in the 1990′s.

            Then he wrote his 9th book ‘The God Delusion’ in 2006 – specifically about religions – caused by the faith-driven acts & effects of Sept 11, 2001.

            There are also many scientific papers that have nothing to do with religion, as can be seen in his Bibliography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins_bibliography

            If you knew much about him, you’d know that his stated prime objective is “to know what is true”, so the unsupported claims, assertions & dictates of religions are a huge target, especially when they are so anti-truth, anti-science, have too much power & many bad effects around the planet…. Mac.

        • In reply to #81 by EricFSM:

          In reply to #55 by Red Dog:

          Wow, that’s hilarious. Aslan sounds like he’s talking to a 2 year old (intellectually I think he was) trying to explain basic concepts of what it means to be a religious scholar and historian. I almost expected him to start bringing out flash cards or something. Thanks f…

          Oops sorry, I just noticed you spelled PARC correctly later in the comment so that was kind of a jerk thing of me to do to make a big deal out of a typo. I just was reminded of PARC and felt like name dropping that I’ve met Alan Kay. He is quite an amazing guy, one of those people that makes you realize it’s possible to be famous (well within the nerd community) and still not get a swelled head. He really is one of those people that you can talk with for an hour and feel as if you’ve learned a lot and more importantly can look at certain problems from a very different perspective.

          Which is totally OT and I’ll stop talking about it ;-)

  25. Call me nuts, but if one examines the myths as allegories pertaining to celestial timings, then it might explain why these myths kept cloning though out early civilizations and culture, e.g., Horus/Jesus = sun. Twelve disciples = the 12 sun signs of the zodiac, and so on. Early civilizations depended on understanding celestial timings for survival. Creating allegorical myths would be a way to preserve and share that critical data. Over time, these myths may have been taken out of context, (or purposely misconstrued), and took on another persona entirely.

  26. just about everything in the bible comes from older myths in 325 AD the first council@ nicea had to build a new religion for emperor Constantine on his mothers urging and built Constantinople not a lot was known about the cult it hadn’t survived that far however they came up with something there are many virgin birth stories of gods how about APOLLO AND AMPHICITONE she was a virgin to bring forth plato or even Hercules ZUES found the young virgin to beautiful and came upon her in a dream..a risin god ADONIS,TAMMUZ..OSIRIS cain and able is close to horus and Osiris..MOSES is a hebrew myth,, so is noah it’s the same story as the epic of Gilgamesh and try this one on the story of Sodom and gormorrah sounds an awful lot like Pompeii and Herculaneum of about 79 AD with mt. versuviuos LOTS WIFE TURNS AROUND and becomes a pillar of salt yup god did it and oh ya moses was not a name in ancient Egyptian it was a term that meant SON OF as in tut-moses son of tut and it’s plural mases meant BELONGS TO as in ra-mases belongs to ra 40 yrs to walk about 400 miles with the Hebrew god leading the way called yahwey SLAVES DID NOT BUILD THE PRYMIDS there was no state of isreal yet ot jewish religion..how would you build a new religion for the most powerful empire on the flat earth?? I would have loved to see the expression on the first American Indians face when he/she was told that some guy had died 1500 yrs before to save all our sins I mean I know the earth was flat back then but this is god they’re talking about right??

  27. An ethnographer and linguist discovered that in some village in Portugal there is a legend, and taking it into account local people´s oral tradition say that´s where Noah´s ark landed, the place is nearby a place St. Amaro, in punic-phoenician language “amaru” means flood (the Babylonian flood) although people tend to mix up legends over time. In fact this ethnographer with the help of the genomic project discovered that the earlier inhabitants of the territory were phoenicians.
    Some other religious oral legend mentions someone whose name is D. Fuas Roupinho, the exact terms in Gilgamesh epic poem (people don´t even know that, because that became only oral tradition sometimes mixed or forgotten, and when people would think this legnd was related to catholic religion it maybe in fact a related directely with Gilgamesh epic poem.(that´s an amazing discovery ??? how things mix up and get forgotten over time if only oral tradition remains.
    And there are dozen of other examples, in some festivities people use a mask “the devil” when in fact it was in earlier tradition a celtic god?

  28. Carrier finally responds to Ehrman on the historicity of Jesus
    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/…/carrier-finally
    responds-to-e…‎
    Apr 20, 2012 – We’ve all been waiting for

    “We’ve all been waiting for Richard Carrier, an expert on history and a Biblical scholar, to respond to Bart Ehrman’s new book. Well, Carrier has—in an article called “Ehrman on Jesus: a failure of facts and logic” published on his website. And he doesn’t pull any punches from the outset:

    Having completed and fully annotated Ehrman’s new book Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (Harper 2012), I can officially say it is filled with factual errors, logical fallacies, and badly worded arguments.

    Moreover, it completely fails at its one explicit task: to effectively critique the arguments for Jesus being a mythical person. Lousy with errors and failing even at the one useful thing it could have done, this is not a book I can recommend.
    As you may know from the publicity and from Ehrman’s HuffPo precis, his book claims that there was indeed one historical person around whom the Jesus myth coalesced, though Ehrman rejects claims that this Jesus was the son of God, a miracle worker, or in any way divine. But he vigorously attacks “mythicists”—those who think that there was no one historical person on which Christianity is based—and goes after new atheists as well, whom he compares to fundamentalists in their dogmatism. (Carrier is a mythicist.) In general,

    Carrier faults the book not just for poor and selective scholarship, but for poor writing: Carrier criticizes Ehrman’s book on several grounds:The book is filled with factual errors. Here’s one of several cited by Carrier: The “No Records” Debacle: Ehrman declares (again with that same suicidally hyperbolic certitude) that “we simply don’t have birth notices, trial records, death certificates—or other kinds of records that one has today” (p. 29). Although his conclusion is correct (we should not expect to have any such records for Jesus or early Christianity), his premise is false. In fact, I cannot believe he said this. How can he not know that we have thousands of these kinds of records? Yes, predominately from the sands of Egypt, but even in some cases beyond. I have literally held some of these documents in my very hands. More importantly, we also have such documents quoted or cited in books whose texts have survived. For instance, Suetonius references birth records for Caligula, and in fact his discussion of the sources on this subject is an example I have used of precisely the kind of historical research that is conspicuously lacking in any Christian literature before the third century (see Not the Impossible Faith, pp. 182-87) . . . That Ehrman would not know this is shocking and suggests he has very little experience in ancient history as a field and virtually none in papyrology (beyond its application to biblical manuscripts). Worse, he didn’t even think to check whether we had any of these kinds of documents, before confidently declaring we didn’t.
    It’s a long piece, with many accusations of sloppy scholarship, including accusations that Erhman errs about the letters of Pliny the younger, the position of Pontius Pilate, about whether the Egyptian god Osiris was said to be resurrected, whether religions earlier than Christianity had baptism, and so on.

    The factual errors apparently extend to Carrier’s own qualifications:
    Ehrman says Carrier’s doctorate was in classics, while it was actually in ancient history

    Ehrman can’t have learned my degree is in classics from any reliable source. He can only have invented this detail. I am left to wonder if this was a deliberate attempt to diminish my qualifications by misrepresentation. Or if he is really so massively incompetent it never even occurred to him to check my CV, which is on my very public website (he also has my email address, and we have corresponded, so he could even have just asked).

    Well, this may seem trivial, but to Carrier it bespeaks a sloppiness of scholarship on Ehrman’s part, documented by all the assertions that precede it.”

    Linda, Richard Carrier has his PhD in History from Columbia University, He obviously believes that there was no historical Jesus

    Neither God Nor Man (2009).the Christ myth theory, the thesis that Jesus did not exist as an historical figure. Earl Doherty

    Age of Reason
    Earl Doherty

    Dedicated to attaining an Age of Reason in the application of rational thought to society’s laws, ethics and beliefs and to entering upon an age of reason in our individual lives. Visit the Age of Reason Website

    Robert Price thinks there was no historical Jesus and many more to numerous to mention.

    • In reply to #61 by Linda TX:

      Carrier finally responds to Ehrman on the historicity of Jesus

      Linda, thanks for ventilating refined reason to better inform readers who remain susceptible to the mythologies of old, supported by their favourite authors. I vividly recall Easter Sunday 1995 when my 8 yo son mischievously grinned when I foolishly remarked that Jesus was historically real. I proudly retell the story often, how this little boy had so wisely compared Christ to the Easter Bunny as I presented his foil-coated chocolate bilby.

      Fancy narratives aside the evidence for each is identical. Xians hoard the bones of saints to venerate and they’ve traded tonnes of authentic fragments of Christ’s cross, yet they neglected to save a scrap of credible evidence their mythical Jesus actually existed, subsequent stories aside. Just a finger bone would do. Belief in an historical Christ is latent theism.
      >

      “We’ve all been waiting for Richard Carrier, an expert on history and a Biblical scholar, to respond to Bart Ehrman…

  29. Red Dog #47

    This should have been first:

    Linda, on the original post Red Dog (put this in quotes (like Linda said this) when (Red Dog said this) “The actual historical Jesus was a nobody. Barely a blip on Rome’s radar. A crazy religious nut who thought he could challenge Rome’s Imperial power based on the myth of the Jewish messiah.”

    Linda said, (the only quote of mine was) How the hell do you know? Which he merged with his quote. How disgusting!

    Red Dog “Because unlike you I read critically and I read people who are actual scholars and historians as opposed to pseudoscience written for people who just want to believe anything that makes Christianity look bad.”

    Linda, I don’t give a damn what you think; I didn’t make Christianity disgusting, Christianity made itself disgusting.

    Christianity is worthless; it’s main goal is to terrorize and spread fear to keep control of the people. The whole idea of a superior Being who had a human son (with a virgin) so that he could be tortured and killed for man’s sins is sick, and I don’t mean “sick” in a good way.

    Red Dog, “If you read Ehrman he deals with those kinds of objections. He talks about these arguments in this article:Did Jesus Exist?”

    Linda, None of that deals with the actual issues and you can read this article from Richard Carrier on Ehrman’s historic Jesus:

    Carrier finally responds to Ehrman on the historicity of Jesus

    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/…/carrier-finally
    responds-to-e…‎

  30. Linda, you seem to be yourself doing an infamous mistake, if your interpretation of christian liturgy is biased by any sort of prejudice against christianity itself.
    Particularly, I can suspect of prejudice in this passage and that you take literature in a sort of way “too literal” what can become simply prejudice and a poor understanding of simbolism (I have heard some meetings about the symbolism of greek myths and they can be coherent with human imagination and psychology, they are perhaps what they are “symbolic” ????:

    “(…)The messiah was to be an empowered King who would destroy the enemies of the Jews and regain their Holy Land. The enemies were the Romans or (future Christians). Essentially everything Christians have been told about Christianity is false. Their beliefs are based on a misinterpretation of the word Mashiah ‘Messiah’ a (Mashiah that never came) and layers of various pagan beliefs of the Roman culture.
    (…)
    Numbers 23:19 states that God is not a man. God was not born, and God certainly did not die. Obviously the ‘Gospel’ contradicts itself and the New Testament contradicts the Old Testament about God?”

    (I had seen this in some islamic scholar in a university, and decided to live the “tolerant meeting of all”, because I couldn´t stand any longer the style of literalism taken on “sacred scriptures”)

    Yesterday a procession with Christ in his cross passed by the street where I live and it stopped right in front of my window with some prayer and they came singing “to reborn is a need” etc.

    People that try to deal with simbolism in myths are less literalist, and I think that´s what we need here, not a biased prejudice literalism and poor understanding of simbolism concerning the human mind, that´s the reason why ClaudeLevy-Strauss had been critizing Freud (being too literalist seems a sin even in Linguistics, of course both were partiially right, and concerning Linguistics it is a serious mistake).

    • In reply to #63 by maria melo:

      Linda, you seem to be yourself doing an infamous mistake, if your interpretation of christian liturgy is biased by any sort of prejudice against christianity itself.
      Particularly, I can suspect of prejudice in this passage and that you take literature in a sort of way “too literal” what can become…

      leave, not live

  31. In reply to #62 by Linda TX:

    Linda, I don’t give a damn what you think; I didn’t make Christianity disgusting, Christianity made itself disgusting.

    Saying things like “I don’t give a damn what you think” is the kind of response I expect from fundamentalists. Fundamentalists can’t have rational arguments because they aren’t willing to change their minds. So when you challenge their beliefs they have to respond with insults and by just ignoring what you say.

    Most fundamentalists are religious. Up to a couple of years ago I would have said “all fundamentalists are religious” but since commenting on this site I’ve learned that there can be fundamentalist atheists. One of these days I think I might try writing a discussion topic that is an open letter to Prof. Dawkins thanking him for educating me that some atheists can be as close minded as religious fundamentalists while at the same time saying that was the last thing I thought would be the result when I first read The God Delusion and loved every word of it.

    “Christianity is worthless; it’s main goal is to terrorize and spread fear to keep control of the people. “

    Before I address that question I just want to point out that it’s completely irrelevant to whether a historical Jesus existed or not. Whether or not Jesus was an actual person you can believe that “Christianity is worthless”; they are two totally different questions.

    I also think that statement shows how you are a fundamentalist. I agree that religion as a whole is wrong and that the human race would be better off without it. But I also believe in science and the scientific method. I think we can learn a lot about human cognition and society by understanding religion. Of course that means we have to be honest about all the terrible damage it does. At the same time we have to be open that there may be some benefits that individuals and societies have received from it. But to understand religion I need to look at it honestly not just spout emotional rhetoric about how evil it is and not just embrace every theory that puts religion in the worst possible light.

    As to the question of whether Christianity is worthless and that it’s “main goal is to terrorize and spread fear to keep control of the people. ” I agree Christianity is terrible in many ways. For example, IMO there is a misogyny to all the Abrahemic religions and to Catholocism in particular that I think is not as fully appreciated as it should be. But I think it’s far too simplistic to just say that the only thing or even the main thing Christianity does is to “spread fear and take control”. Look at the US Civil Rights movement. Christianity was absolutely essential to making that movement succeed and most of the people who stood up to racist thugs did so in large part because they were motivated by the ideal of Jesus. Martin Luther King is the most well known example but there were thousands of lesser known people of all races who were part of that movement and had the same influences as King. Or look at the US Catholic anti-war priest Daniel Berrigan. Or the Liberation Theology movement where priests and nuns were sometimes even murdered by death squads because they tried to fight for the rights of the most needy people.

    I want to look at religion honestly, the way a scientist would so I need to consider all it’s aspects, all the bad but all the good. I realize there is more bad than good but there is some good.

    As for Carrier, I’ve read his responses before. In general I just have no use for the back and forth when two writers start getting bitchy with each other. IMO when things descend to that level it’s no longer a rational discussion so what’s the point. Ehrman isn’t blameless in the exchanges; he can be a bit condescending at times; but Carrier is far worse; he cherry picks statements, distorts, and gets personal in his attacks on Ehrman.

    But in any case, I’m going back to looking for Youtube lectures from Trivers. BTW, you should read the Folly of Fools you might get some insight as to why you feel you have to say “I don’t give a damn what you think” when people challenge your deeply held beliefs.

    • In reply to #66 by Red Dog:> In reply to #62 by Linda TX:

      Linda, I don’t give a damn what you think; I didn’t make Christianity disgusting, Christianity made itself disgusting.>

      Red Dog > Saying things like “I don’t give a damn what you think” is the kind of response I expect from fundamentalists.

      That has nothing to do with what makes anyone a fundamentalist – it’s people who except things at face value – meaning without evidence.

      Most people today would say Zeus and other ancient gods are non-existent. Not putting the savior/god of the bible on the same level as other gods is putting “It” on a pedestal above all other gods or absurdities.

      Jesus the Amen (Revelations 3:14.)

      Revelations 3:14 this term is used as a “definitive article” that describes a deity of which in the case of Revelations 3:14 as a title for Jesus (Iesous). Using the definitive article directly traces the word Amen back to Ancient Egypt where Amen was used as a noun and/or a descriptive pronoun (Tut-Ankh-Amen). Using Amen as a title is found in a plethora of other sections of both the Old and New Testament. The Egyptian god Amun, “the Hidden One”- the sun in the belly of the Mother before sunrise. Its hieroglyphic symbol meant pregnant belly.” (Book of the Dead) rooted in the culture of Ancient Kemet (Egypt) deity of the same name.

      LindaTX is great!

      .

    • *In n reply to #62 by Linda TX:

      >Linda, I don’t give a damn what you think; I didn’t make Christianity disgusting, Christianity made itself disgusting.>
      

      Saying things like “I don’t give a damn what you think” is the kind of response I expect from fundamentalists. Fundamentalists can’t have rational arguments because they aren’t willing to change their minds. So when you challenge their beliefs they have to respond with insults and by just ignoring what you say.>

      Nobody ignored what you said they gave you facts that you ignored.

      Most fundamentalists are religious. Up to a couple of years ago I would have said “all fundamentalists are religious” but since commenting on this site I’ve learned that there can be fundamentalist atheists. One of these days I think I might try writing a discussion topic that is an open letter to Prof. Dawkins thanking him for educating me that some atheists can be as close minded as religious fundamentalists while at the same time saying that was the last thing I thought would be the result when I first read The God Delusion and loved every word of it.>

      Every word?

      “Christianity is worthless; it’s main goal is to terrorize and spread fear to keep control of the people. “>

      Before I address that question I just want to point out that it’s completely irrelevant to whether a historical Jesus existed or not. Whether or not Jesus was an actual person you can believe that “Christianity is worthless”; they are two totally different questions.>

      No they are not!. Jesus was invented to force Christianity on the population of Rome, which was three fourths slave. Christianity was used as a tool to keep the slaves happy and bring waring factions together.

      I also think that statement shows how you are a fundamentalist. I agree that religion as a whole is wrong and that the human race would be better off without it. But I also believe in science and the scientific method. I think we can learn a lot about human cognition and society by understanding religion. Of course that means we have to be honest about all the terrible damage it does. At the same time we have to be open that there may be some benefits that individuals and societies have received from it. But to understand religion I need to look at it honestly not just spout emotional rhetoric about how evil it is and not just embrace every theory that puts religion in the worst possible light.>

      You say you also believe in the scientific method like that has anything to do with thinking Christianity isn’t a waste of time.

      As to the question of whether Christianity is worthless and that it’s “main goal is to terrorize and spread fear to keep control of the people. ” I agree Christianity is terrible in many ways. For example, IMO there is a misogyny to all the Abrahemic religions and to Catholocism in particular that I think is not as fully appreciated as it should be. But I think it’s far too simplistic to just say that the only thing or even the main thing Christianity does is to “spread fear and take control”. Look at the US Civil Rights movement. Christianity was absolutely essential to making that movement succeed and most of the people who stood up to racist thugs did so in large part because they were motivated by the ideal of Jesus. Martin Luther King is the most well known example but there were thousands of lesser known people of all races who were part of that movement and had the same influences as King. Or look at the US Catholic anti-war priest Daniel Berrigan. Or the Liberation Theology movement where priests and nuns were sometimes even murdered by death squads because they tried to fight for the rights of the most needy people.>

      That’s the official story isn’t it. Christianity had very little to do with ending segregation because most mainstream ministers were racists.

      I want to look at religion honestly, the way a scientist would so I need to consider all it’s aspects, all the bad but all the good. I realize there is more bad than good but there is some good.>

      The point is that it isn’t true – it is a false belief- and that would be very bad for science.

      As for Carrier, I’ve read his responses before. In general I just have no use for the back and forth when two writers start getting bitchy with each other. IMO when things descend to that level it’s no longer a rational discussion so what’s the point. Ehrman isn’t blameless in the exchanges; he can be a bit condescending at times; but Carrier is far worse; he cherry picks statements, distorts, and gets personal in his attacks on Ehrman.>

      Read it again – there are no personal attacks by Carrier- he criticized the book and the research,

      But in any case, I’m going back to looking for Youtube lectures from Trivers. BTW, you should read the Folly of Fools you might get some insight as to why you feel you have to say “I don’t give a damn what you think” when people challenge your deeply held beliefs.>

      You haven’t challenged anything! You have not presented any rational argument against anything that was presented to you as evidence that you are wrong. However, I think you are heading in the right direction with the Folly of Fools. Have a nice life.

  32. One myth which is omnipresent throughout Christianity is that of the Messiah. I just looked at the old Richard Dawkins website and found the article about Lisa Miller who got so much heat for wiritng about the Lottery draw of 666 on the day after Obama’s election.

    http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-conservative/2014/04/newsweek-is-obama-antichrist-video-senior-editor-wonders-if-its-possible-in-news-headline-2-2838622.html Newsweek: “Is Obama Antichrist?” (Video) Senior Editor Wonders If It’s Possible In News Headline.

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/3353-is-obama-the-antichrist

    I’m wondering what would have happened if she had been welcomed and if there had been an actual discussion about that. The real reason she got all that heat was because people are superstitious and “flipped a coil”. It was blotted out in panic and irrationnal fear. people weren’t able at that moment to even brraoch it mentally; They blocked it out out in a Freudian “Denial”.

    Isn’t it time people can calmly talk about supernatural phenomena? Even scientists accept a number of miraculous events now. Refusing all supernatural events seems to me to be Obscurantism adn smells of watch-hunts of Medieval Europe. We have to rise above a Taliban view of life which would blot out anything we can’t understand.

    Doesn’t it smells of superstition …. to refuse superstition and miracles? Just saying “that can’t happen” doesn’t work in this day and age and it’s time to update one’s approach to reality and to what one’s senses can intercept and perceive. One can’t just fling some anathema or some fatwa-style curse and what one doesn’t like in this day and age. That’s Islamic and the West can’t follow that path. Unless it’s ignorant and follows an ugly path.

    [Removed by moderator - nothing to do with the topic of this thread]

    • In reply to #67 by geir.smith.7:

      Isn’t it time people can calmly talk about supernatural phenomena?

      Yes

      Even scientists accept a number of miraculous events now.

      No they don’t.

      Refusing all supernatural events seems to me to be Obscurantism adn smells of watch-hunts of Medieval Europe.

      You do have a point there. Those watch hunts were devastating. Innocent time pieces, even grandfather clocks were hauled before tribunals and accused of being watches.

      I think it may be time to make sure the troll notification system is working

      • In reply to #68 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #67 by geir.smith.7:

        Isn’t it time people can calmly talk about supernatural phenomena?

        Yes

        Even scientists accept a number of miraculous events now.

        No they don’t.

        Refusing all supernatural events seems to me to be Obscurantism adn smells of watch-hunts of Medieval Europe.

        You do…

        Witch-hunting was what they did in Europe in the Middle Ages to blot out opposition. Also in the USA during McCarthy. They wanted to censor people. The Taliban do it too. They suppress peoples’ thinking. I understand it. It’s tough to talk to others when you’re too stupid and ugly to answer them.

        • I didn’t know Richard Dawkins was a Hard Leftist.
          I’m a religious Buddhist and neither right nor left, I don’t do any politics.
          I just wanted to pick up the threads about Newsweek’s Lisa Miller who got so much heat for saying Obama seemed to fit the Antichrist scheme.

          Red Dog, the joke about watch-pieces was lame. Shameful much?

        • In reply to #69 by geir.smith.7:

          Red Dog, the joke about watch-pieces was lame. Shameful much?

          I apologize, whenever I attempt humor the results are usually lame. And I agree it’s an example that I’m not completely consistent with what I preach since I’m always lecturing people about how important it is to encourage honest, respectful debate. On the other hand everyone has limits and when it comes to someone seriously proposing we discuss whether or not Obama is the anti-christ, even I feel that the most appropriate response is to just laugh at the idea. So, a little contrite and willing to admit that I don’t always practice what I preach but no not really all that shameful.

        • In reply to #69 by geir.smith.7:

          In reply to #67 by geir.smith.7:

          Isn’t it time people can calmly talk about supernatural phenomena?

          Yes, – but they can usually be quickly dismissed when simple explanations (ignored by those making claims), are found.

          Even scientists accept a number of miraculous events now.

          No they don’t. – Making claims which contradict the laws of science are very unlikely to be accepted by “scientists”! – Especially when they lack coherent or conclusive evidence.

          Refusing all supernatural events seems to me to be Obscurantism and smells of watch-hunts of Medieval Europe.

          You seem confused. Witch-Hunts in Medieval Europe did not follow the scientific method, and in any case, the term “science” and scientific methodology, had not even been invented at that time.

          Witch-hunts were about enforcing particular European Xtian versions of myths, with a bit of misappropriation of property thrown in.

          Scientists work on evidence, not hearsay or unsupported assertions – which is why there is a discussion on the historical and mythological origins, as a basis for biblical mythology. There is also extensive historical evidence – much of it conflicting with biblical accounts, or identifying the later authorship of those accounts.

          Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence! Got Evidence??

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  34. A universal genius 400 years earlier than Galileo, but not an islamic scientist (he was persian besides)
    No “unatural” explanation is accepted in science, once: there is no other way of thinking nature rather than nature itself (and some people a bit more “lazy” than others and less skilled to do the job).

    ** WITCHCRAFT AND SCIENCE**
    We understand by witchcraft, making
    by some kind of delusion a thing appear
    to the senses as something different
    from what it is in reality. Taken in
    this sense, it is far spread among peo
    ple. Understood, however, as common
    people understand it, as the producing
    of something which is impossible, it Is
    a thing which does not lie within the
    limits of reality. For as that which Is
    impossible cannot be produced, the
    whole affair is nothing but a gross
    deception. Therefore witchcraft In this
    sense has nothing whatever to do with
    science.
    One of the species of witchcraft is
    alchemy, though it is generally not called
    by this name. But if a man takes a
    bit of cotton and makes It appear as
    a bit of gold, what would you call this
    but a piece of witchcraft? It is quite
    the same as if he were to take a bit
    of silver and make It appear as gold,
    only with this difference, that the latter
    is a generally-known process, I. e. the
    gilding of silver, the former Is not.
    The Hindus do not pay particular
    attention to alchemy, but no nation is
    entirely free from it, and one nation has
    more bias for it than another, which
    must not be construed as proving
    intelligence or ignorance; for we find
    that many Intelligent people are entirely
    given to alchemy, whilst ignorant people
    ridicule the art and its adepts. Those
    intelligent people, though boisterously
    exulting over their make-believe science,
    are not to be blamed for occupying
    themselves with alchemy, for their
    motive is simply excessive eagerness
    for acquiring fortune and for avoiding
    misfortune.”

    Alberuni’s India http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0007/000748/074875eo.pdf

    • Godless heathen # 57
    • hannasmith # 58

    Yes. Keep going and you will get to Jesus Christ, the last of the Sun gods, with parallels to and following from: Mithra, Attis, Adonis, Dionysis, and Heracles, (not to mention Horus/Ra).

  35. Red Dog #66 – In reply to “Linda, I don’t give a damn what you think; I didn’t make Christianity disgusting, Christianity made itself disgusting.”

    Linda, Why don’t you put the entire exchange up? Oh yes, because that would make it very clear that you were insulting people first and that nothing I said to you was anything but an answer to your insults after my answer to the original post – it was not to you.

    In reply to #47 by Linda TX:
    Red Dog “The actual historical Jesus was a nobody. Barely a blip on Rome’s radar. A crazy religious nut who thought he could challenge Rome’s Imperial power based on the myth of the Jewish messiah.”

    Linda, How the hell do you know?

    Red Dog replied, “Because unlike you I read critically and I read people who are actual scholars and historians as opposed to pseudoscience written for people who just want to believe anything that makes Christianity look bad.”

    Linda, I think you were asking for it and you got it! I told you I didn’t make Christianity look bad, Christianity made itself look bad. And why would that matter to an atheist?

    In reply to #62 by Linda TX -
    Red Dog,: “Saying things like “I don’t give a damn what you think” is the kind of response I expect from fundamentalists.”

    Linda, That was in reply to all the mealy mouthed whining and drippy retorts. Leaving out “I don’t give a damn what you think” was in response to your insults is what one would expect from a mendacious phoney. You have never addressed any rebuttals with resources, books, dates and articles you ignore all of that while you claim their weren’t any.

    Red Dog, “Fundamentalists can’t have rational arguments because they aren’t willing to change their minds. So when you challenge their beliefs they have to respond with insults and by just ignoring what you say.”

    Linda, I’m sure you know what fundamentalists do. I haven’t noticed you admitting or even thinking that you’re flat ass wrong no matter how much evidence someone gives you and that’s what a fundamentalist is. Where is your proof of the “truth” of any religion or how much good it does? You are trying to win the argument by making accusations that are much truer of you than anyone because you can’t answer the rebuttal.

    Red Dog, “Most fundamentalists are religious. Up to a couple of years ago I would have said “all fundamentalists are religious” but since commenting on this site I’ve learned that there can be fundamentalist atheists.”

    Linda, An honest-to-goodness “eureka” moment! Red Dog or “Mr. wonderful”! Here’s a brief summary of all my replies to your historic Jesus: A well-founded historical account is cited with sources that trace to the subject themselves. There are no writings of eyewitnesses and there are no artifact citations to documents, which give personal or eyewitness accounts, and no writings of a Jesus. The Jesus story is almost identical to other earlier myths about savior gods. Osiris was called Chrestus, long before Jesus’ existence. Fundamentalist believe things without evidence or in spite of the evidence. Like “Creation week” found in Genesis that goes against everything we know scientifically about the Cosmos. There is no evidence supporting a historical Jesus. No confirming evidence has been found although there has been continuous and exhaustive research. The only source is the Gospels.

    Red Dog,”One of these days I think I might try writing a discussion topic that is an open letter to Prof. Dawkins thanking him for educating me that some atheists can be as close minded as religious fundamentalists while at the same time saying that was the last thing I thought would be the result when I first read The God Delusion and loved every word of it.”

    Linda, If you do be sure to tell Prof. Dawkins that you think people who want evidence (not just hearsay) as is in the case of a historical Jesus are fundamentalist.

    Fundamentalist atheist from – RationalWiki – The term “fundamentalist atheist” is relatively recent, being developed and popularised in response to the so-called “new atheists”: a group of authors, scientists, and journalists who don’t just have the bad taste to be atheists, but also the damnable audacity to write books about it! Some of the term’s notable appearances include:

    Christian apologist and theologian Alister McGrath’s critique of Dawkins’ The God Delusion is titled The Dawkins Delusion: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine.

    In December 2007, the Anglican Church in Wales’ Archbishop warned that “atheistic fundamentalism” was exerting a growing influence in Britain, in a speech regarding the alleged War on Christmas.

    The Discovery Institute’s “Evolution News & Views” website includes an article entitled “Atheist Fundamentalism and the Limits of Science”.

    Linda, Red Dog keeps putting up Linda’s out of context half-quotes like “Christianity is worthless; it’s main goal is to terrorize and spread fear to keep control of the people. ” because he thinks he is convincing someone that people are just going off on tangents. That was a reply to one of his off topic tangents.

    Red Dog, “Before I address that question I just want to point out that it’s completely irrelevant to whether a historical Jesus existed or not. Whether or not Jesus was an actual person you can believe that “Christianity is worthless”; they are two totally different questions.”

    Linda, I copied everything you said and answered it, so, if it has nothing to do with the topic you are why, Red Dog said, “Linda was only trying to make Christianity look bad” and “That I didn’t read critically or the Scholars” like he does. However, you have never answered one single issue brought up in rebuttal about the topic (which was about a historical Jesus) it’s not about what Linda does. You just look for some side issue like this one.

    Red Dog, “I also think that statement shows how you are a fundamentalist. I agree that religion as a whole is wrong and that the human race would be better off without it. But I also believe in science and the scientific method. I think we can learn a lot about human cognition and society by understanding religion. Of course that means we have to be honest about all the terrible damage it does. At the same time we have to be open that there may be some benefits that
    individuals and societies have received from it.

    But to understand religion I need to look at it honestly not just spout emotional rhetoric about how evil it is and not just embrace every theory that puts religion in the worst possible light.”

    Linda, you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. And Jesus is still a lie. Even though this has nothing to do with the topic – studies show that religion has a negative impact on societies.

    Red Dog, “As to the question of whether Christianity is worthless and that it’s “main goal is to terrorize and spread fear to keep control of the people. ” I agree Christianity is terrible in many ways. For example, IMO there is a misogyny to all the Abrahemic religions and to Catholocism in particular that I think is not as fully appreciated as it should be.

    Linda, After all that BS Red Dog wrote In reply to #67 by geir.smith.7: for saying watch instead of witch.

    Red Dog says, “ For example, IMO there is a misogyny to all the Abrahemic religions and to Catholocism in particular that I think is not as fully appreciated as it should be.”

    Linda, Is Catholociam some kind of religious alcholosim?

    Red Dog says, “ But I think it’s far too simplistic to just say that the only thing or even the main thing Christianity does is to “spread fear and take control”. Look at the US Civil Rights movement. Christianity was absolutely essential to making that movement succeed and most of the people who stood up to racist thugs did so in large part because they were motivated by the ideal of Jesus. Martin Luther King is the most well known example but there were thousands of lesser known people of all races who were part of that movement and had the same influences as King. Or look at the US Catholic anti-war priest Daniel Berrigan. Or the Liberation Theology movement where priests and nuns were sometimes even murdered by death squads because they tried to fight for the rights of the most needy people.”

    Linda, As for your remarks about how much was done for justice toward minorities due to religion. The white Protestants were freaking out over Catholics first. In 1950 Dr. Frederick C. Grant, an Episcopalian anti-Catholic spokesman, told several thousand Mobile Protestants that “Romanism and Communism are fundamentally totalitarian, they both encouraged overpopulation,” he said. (they thought they wanted to take over) until they were presented with a more formidable threat black desegregation. The two rivals accused each other of being communists until the blacks protested for civil rights; the religious groups coalesced to work against what many of them called a “movement” started by communists. Church leaders had become ever more vocal in their opposition to segregation, The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision directly attacked this social institution, but whites rallied to maintain the racial status quo well into the 1960s.

    What made all the difference was the change in the government. JFK won the election not Nixon. JFK’s political and public policies and battles against the “moral (silent) coalition”. The state-sponsored segregation was found unconstitutional by a Supreme Court decisions and various court rulings ended discrimination not religion. Slavery was ended with a war not religion (Abraham Lincoln was a freethinker) and segregation required calling out the state’s national guard units.

    In the early years of Christianity slavery was a normal feature of the Roman Empire. That is why the use of terms like slave and servant were common Luke 12:45-48: “The lord (owner) of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

    Everyone needs a Lord and Master right! Jesus never spoke out against slavery.

    Why would God give Moses the laws concerning slavery if “God” was teaching that slavery was wrong? You can read that in your bible (Exodus 21:1-11; Leviticus 25:39-55; Deuteronomy 15:12-18). This allowed slavery in Israel under the Law given to Moses by God. It doesn’t get any clearer than that. However, I’m sure you’ll find a way to say it isn’t so, but in addition to that Jesus and his apostles never demanded an end to slavery.

    Exodus 21:16 – And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. This is simply saying it’s okay to buy and sell people as slaves, just make sure you don’t steal one and sell them as a slave.

    Deuteronomy 15:12-18 – If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free. A slave could be bought from the surrounding nations, sold, or inherited; they were mere property. Leviticus 25:44-46 – The children of foreigners temporarily living in Israel could also be purchased as slaves for an agreeable price.

    And the Bible is full of God telling people to rape, pillage and burn, as well as, kill people or take them as slaves. Exodus 21:21 – A master can beat a slave to the point of death. Notwithstanding, if he (the slave) continue (lives) a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money. If the slave survives a day or two before dying, the master is not to be punished.

    Numbers 33:50-52 – God commands Moses to offer the people the opportunity to become his slaves before God orders Moses drives out the inhabitants of Canaan or the usual rape, pillage and burning. If they refuse, the Israelites have the duty to kill the men and take the remaining people as plunder for themselves.

    Deuteronomy 15:12-18). If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. That proves the claim that there were slaves as such since obviously there is a difference in debters servitude and slaves.

    Exodus 21:7 There were Daughters who were sold into slavery by their fathers and they remained a slave for life

    Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 6:5-9 instructs slaves to obey their masters with “fear and trembling” At this time in history, there were tens of millions of slaves in the Roman Empire. And yet, Paul never condemns slavery, because it’s clear that the concept of slavery being immoral is unknown to those who wrote the after-the-fact (hearsay) gospels. 1 Timothy 6:1-4 – Slaves should treat their masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. Colossians 3:22 – Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.

    1 Peter 2:18 -Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

    Jesus’ reliance on slave imagery is a clue that The teaching of Jesus’ parable of the humble slave. His sayings are based on the master-slave relationship because slavery was a normal state of affairs. The parable of The Unforgiving Slave told by Jesus in Matthew 18:21.

    Ever hear “America is a Christian Nation and those who don’t like it can get out”? It’s typical rhetoric. What kind of fundamentalist thinks that being gay is “an abomination unto the Lord”? Or that God didn’t make people gay people made themselves gay. It’s a Choice. Religion is nothing but bigotry!

    The conservative religious perspective is getting their values mixed with our government. That is why Christians think they have the right to deny certain segments of society their civil rights if it conflicts with their Christian beliefs (like gay marriage or mixing religion with education) Christians simply believe that “religious freedom” means the God given right to Lord it over everyone.

    I think the problem with following beliefs or myths is that it makes it possible for people to do evil by deferring to their God’s sense of morality and not what is in fact moral. These kinds of beliefs give some people an excuse to harm others because of intolerance while using the “obeying God” excuse. Belief in God or any Holy Book does not necessarily inspire moral behavior, even though, the believers promote the idea that the solution to social problems is more religious belief when it is abundantly clear that it has no effect on society’s ills at all.
    This has been proven by investigative studies that examined the least religious industrialized countries and they had far less violent crime, unwanted pregnancies and a much higher sense of social justice than the countries that are very religious.

    Red Dog, I want to look at religion honestly, the way a scientist would so I need to consider all it’s aspects, all the bad but all the good. I realize there is more bad than good but there is some good.

    Linda, I guess if someone wants to go on a scavenger hunt to find something good they must really need to, but anyone who thinks any of this will change anyone’s mind (except a chicken-fried rube) needs to know it’s just wishful thinking.

    Red Dog, “As for Carrier, I’ve read his responses before. In general I just have no use for the back and forth when two writers start getting bitchy with each other. IMO when things descend to that level it’s no longer a rational discussion so what’s the point. Ehrman isn’t blameless in the exchanges; he can be a bit condescending at times; but Carrier is far worse; he cherry picks statements, distorts, and gets personal in his attacks on Ehrman.

    Linda, Any fool who can read knows better. Carrier criticizes Ehrman’s book on several grounds: It wasn’t a personal attack at all. He said, “The book is filled with factual errors.” Here’s one of several cited by Carrier: The “No Records” Debacle: Ehrman declares (again with that same suicidally hyperbolic certitude) that “we simply don’t have birth notices, trial records, death certificates—or other kinds of records that one has today” (p. 29). Although his conclusion is correct (we should not expect to have any such records for Jesus or early Christianity), his premise is false. In fact, I cannot believe he said this. How can he not know that we have thousands of these kinds of records? Yes, predominately from the sands of Egypt, but even in some cases beyond. I have literally held some of these documents in my very hands. More importantly, we also have such documents quoted or cited in books whose texts have survived. For instance, Suetonius references birth records for Caligula, and in fact his discussion of the sources on this subject is an example I have used of precisely the kind of historical research that is conspicuously lacking in any Christian literature before the third century (see Not the Impossible Faith, pp. 182-87) . . . That Ehrman would not know this is shocking and suggests he has very little experience in ancient history as a field and virtually none in papyrology (beyond its application to biblical manuscripts). Worse, he didn’t even think to check whether we had any of these kinds of documents, before confidently declaring we didn’t.

    Red Dog, “But in any case, I’m going back to looking for Youtube lectures from Trivers. BTW, you should read the Folly of Fools you might get some insight as to why you feel you have to say “I don’t give a damn what you think” when people challenge your deeply held beliefs.”

    Linda, I think it’s time you stop telling people what they need to do. My first reply was not to you. You simply butted in with a lot of defensive garbage, but you have never challenged any evidence in my replies You have done nothing but spread wrong information while bashing everyone in this thread (who disagreed with you). You’re totally delusional about yourself, you are nothing but a fundamentalist blow hard.

  36. My response to all of this BS and insults were removed! But this is still up there?

    Red Dog # 66
    In reply to #62 by Linda TX:
    Linda, I don’t give a damn what you think; I didn’t make Christianity disgusting, Christianity made itself disgusting.
    Saying things like “I don’t give a damn what you think” is the kind of response I expect from fundamentalists. Fundamentalists can’t have rational arguments because they aren’t willing to change their minds. So when you challenge their beliefs they have to respond with insults and by just ignoring what you say.

    Linda’s Reply: If the entire quote was there you would see that Red Dog was accusing me (Linda) of, “all I wanted to do was make Christianity look bad.” In other words all the evidence or lack of any evidence that a Jesus ever existed was just to make Christianity look bad? How rational? No wonder I said, “I don’t give a damn what you think”

    Red Dog: Most fundamentalists are religious. Up to a couple of years ago I would have said “all fundamentalists are religious” but since commenting on this site I’ve learned that there can be fundamentalist atheists. One of these days I think I might try writing a discussion topic that is an open letter to Prof. Dawkins thanking him for educating me that some atheists can be as close minded as religious fundamentalists while at the same time saying that was the last thing I thought would be the result when I first read The God Delusion and loved every word of it.

    “Christianity is worthless; it’s main goal is to terrorize and spread fear to keep control of the people.

    Linda’s Reply: Well, I bet that saying you might write a discussion topic that is an open letter to Prof. Dawkins thanking him for educating me that some atheists can be as close minded as religious fundamentalists) will earn you lot’s of brownie points, especially after throwing in that you read ‘The God Delusion’ and loved every word of it.” And then you just threw in a quote from another reply of mine out of context – I guess as an example of fundamentalism? I know that I wrote that in reply to some malicious (off topic) thing I was supposed to be trying to do to Christianity (instead of you just answering my rebuttals) but I was a little bit wrong about Christianities main goal; it’s main goal is to make loads of money, and then scare everyone into submission.

    Red Dog: Before I address that question I just want to point out that it’s completely irrelevant to whether a historical Jesus existed or not. Whether or not Jesus was an actual person you can believe that “Christianity is worthless”; they are two totally different questions.

    Linda’s Reply: Yes (he knows) that wasn’t a response to the topic it was a response to the insulting remarks he made first. Here They Are:

    RED DOG “Because unlike you I read critically and I read people who are actual scholars and historians as opposed to pseudoscience written for people who just want to believe anything that makes Christianity look bad.”

    LINDA, I don’t give a damn what you think; I didn’t make Christianity disgusting, Christianity made itself disgusting. Christianity is worthless; it’s main goal is to terrorize and spread fear to keep control of the people.

    Red Dog: “I also think that statement shows how you are a fundamentalist. I agree that religion as a whole is wrong and that the human race would be better off without it. But I also believe in science and the scientific method. I think we can learn a lot about human cognition and society by understanding religion. Of course that means we have to be honest about all the terrible damage it does. At the same time we have to be open that there may be some benefits that individuals and societies have received from it. But to understand religion I need to look at it honestly not just spout emotional rhetoric about how evil it is and not just embrace every theory that puts religion in the worst possible light.

    Linda’s Reply: You also need to look for any evidence that Christianity or any religion is based on anything real and I sure noticed how you left that one out!

    Red Dog: As to the question of whether Christianity is worthless and that it’s “main goal is to terrorize and spread fear to keep control of the people. ” I agree Christianity is terrible in many ways. For example, IMO there is a misogyny to all the Abrahemic religions and to Catholocism in particular that I think is not as fully appreciated as it should be. But I think it’s far too simplistic to just say that the only thing or even the main thing Christianity does is to “spread fear and take control”. Look at the US Civil Rights movement. Christianity was absolutely essential to making that movement succeed and most of the people who stood up to racist thugs did so in large part because they were motivated by the ideal of Jesus. Martin Luther King is the most well known example but there were thousands of lesser known people of all races who were part of that movement and had the same influences as King.”

    Linda’s Reply: Oh yeah, Billy Graham called for restraint, saying King should “put the brakes on.” When King himself was arrested for marching without a permit, white religious leaders denounced him. That is why King wrote the “letter from the Birmingham jail” you should read it. He says, “I drive by their churches with their perfectly manicured front lawns, and I ask myself who is their God?” At the time the Protestant supporters of Nixon were freaking out over the idea of a Catholic in the White House. Richard Nixon was closely allied with Billy Graham, who convened a meeting of American Protestant ministers in Switzerland, for the purpose of discussing how they could ensure that John Kennedy would not be elected in November. There was another meeting of Protestant clergy in Washington, D.C., at the Mayflower Hotel and Billy Graham intentionally stayed away. It was a secretive meeting with it’s main goal to spread the word that it would be dangerous to elect a Roman Catholic as president. Now I tell you, with all this bigotry going on, I’m sure the Clergy had time for Civil Rights. But John F. Kennedy won the 1960 presidential campaign, the last American President who spoke up for the separation of church and state.

    It took a Civil War – calling up the National Guard -and a Supreme Court decision that declared segregation unconstitutional. Mostly it was done by men with the law of man not some imaginary God or his “good book” that makes no sense concerning anything that has to do with justice.

    Red Dog: “Or look at the US Catholic anti-war priest Daniel Berrigan. Or the Liberation Theology movement where priests and nuns were sometimes even murdered by death squads because they tried to fight for the rights of the most needy people.”

    Linda’s Reply: Very few of the mainstream clergy or even TV sit-com stars protested the War in Vietnam. John Lennon did (but he was an atheist) and the Nixon administration tried to deport him, the churches were very preoccupied about their own survival, they had racist attitudes during the civil rights era and for the most part the mainstream clergy and churches didn’t speak out against the Vietnam War. If someone is speaking of (well known mainstream) religious protesters it would be Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali who protested the War in Vietnam.

    Red Dog: I want to look at religion honestly, the way a scientist would so I need to consider all it’s aspects, all the bad but all the good. I realize there is more bad than good but there is some good.

    Linda’s Reply: Oops, you left out all the hypocrisy, and pray tell why would an atheist want to go on a scavenger hunt looking for something good about religion?

    Red Dog: As for Carrier, I’ve read his responses before. In general I just have no use for the back and forth when two writers start getting bitchy with each other. IMO when things descend to that level it’s no longer a rational discussion so what’s the point. Ehrman isn’t blameless in the exchanges; he can be a bit condescending at times; but Carrier is far worse; he cherry picks statements, distorts, and gets personal in his attacks on Ehrman. Richard Carrier is an expert on history and a Biblical scholar

    Linda’s Reply: You posted long excerpts of Ehrman’s book that didn’t provide one shred of evidence that a Jesus ever existed, and I posted Carrier finally responds to Ehrman on the historicity of Jesus https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/…/carrier-finally responds-to-e…‎ Apr 20, 2012 Richard Carrier criticizes Ehrman’s book – there are no personal attacks made by Carrier.

    Richard Carrier says, “I can officially say it is filled with factual errors, logical fallacies, and badly worded arguments.” And he said, “But he vigorously attacks “mythicists”—those who think that there was no one historical person on which Christianity is based—and goes after new atheists as well, whom he compares to fundamentalists in their dogmatism. (Carrier is a mythicist.)

    Red Dog: But in any case, I’m going back to looking for Youtube lectures from Trivers. BTW, you should read the Folly of Fools you might get some insight as to why you feel you have to say “I don’t give a damn what you think” when people challenge your deeply held beliefs.

    Linda’s Reply: What deeply held beliefs have you ever challenged about anything? It seems you are too dense to know that belief without evidence or in spite of the evidence is fundamentalism, and neither you nor your favorite author have given any evidence. In spite of all that you expect me to tell you that I believe (based on no credible evidence) Jesus was a historical person. That sounds not only like a fundamentalist but even a religious fanatic.

    If this disappears I will find out why because I’m only responding to these remarks still up right now. I posted other replies that disappeared as well. Maybe they need to purge this organization again.

  37. Linda Tx I like You!! Excellent responses and opinions!

    It is sad to find out that many of “atheists” consider Jesus was a real and historical person (he was that only in an invented religion that took ‘some’ place in history). As I said several times before (although it does not matter) I think that that person was invented for marketing purposes, to sell religion better, because to illiterate masses you can sell one’s philosophy by personification of that philosophy,… to embody it. :)

  38. In reply to Eric FM #86 when Dawkins writes about evolution I pay attention and when he writes about religion or philosophy I get skeptical because I know he is not an expert in those fields.

    Religion attacks science where it contradicts scripture and also makes claims on everything from human morality to the creation of the earth and entire universe.

    Scientists are absolutely central in proving these claims to be wrong, they are the experts.

    In fact they are so good at their job the churches have to keep redefining what god actually meant in scripture to keep up with them.

    It makes perfect sense that a scientist should write a book on religion.

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