Hi D.M. Murdock -- I've been commenting on gnosticmedia and I just mentioned to Jan Irvin how you have praised him helping you out with that German translation of an early Christian text as the English translation omits the Egyptian origins of Christianity. I mentioned it to Jan in the context of his new Atwill podcast about Atwill's Caesar's Messiah book. So I then stated that I had read of critique of Atwill -- by either you or someone who supports your work -- and the critique seemed to really dismiss Atwill's argument. I asked people to respond to this critique as I didn't think Atwill was worth taking the time to consider. Jan, of course, got upset about this. haha. I then discovered it was Robert Price's critique of Atwill and so then I quoted a couple lines from Robert Price. Jan then said I was committing some logical error -- I think he didn't realize I was quoting Price. Anyway so since no one wanted to respond to Robert Price's review I then searched online and I found someone doing a paragraph by paragraph rebuttal of Robert Price's review of Atwill. I also found a long thread with people debating Atwill's book -- some of the "Christian apologists."
O.K. so I'm just curious if you have read Atwill's book or even Robert Price's review of Atwill's book? In the thread I read one of the main objections was that Atwill is saying Christianity didn't exist before Josephus around 70 A.D. Atwill thinks there was a "historical" Jesus but of another name -- a man who led a revolt against the Romans. But Atwill argues that the Jesus story is otherwise a fable that is revealed as a satire by Josephus -- I figure you are already familiar with Atwill's argument that the Roman campaign through Judea is then the real basis for the Gospel story. So then it's a sneaky "bait and switch" to get Jews to worship Caesar.
Now to be honest I'm kind of shocked that Jan is so gung ho on Atwill because it seems to dismiss the Egyptian origins of Christianity, not to mention all the other astrotheological influences. So then I read in the critique of Robert Price's review of Atwill that Robert Price secretly admires the wisdom teachings of the Gospel and so Price refuses to consider the Gospel as really just a cunning satire with entirely materialistic motives. In other words Robert Price is still a latent Christian based on a more gnostic view point - or something like that. So it seems like Atwill's book is kind of a "call to arms" against any final spiritual tendencies in people who were formerly official Christians, etc. I can sympathesize with this attempt to wake people up to the "hard facts" of the cruel materialist strategies and also the need to cast off any belief system at all. Personally I see no reason to believe in anything but I think that logical inference of the source of the I-thought enables spirituality to still exist.
Considering how much Jan promotes the Trivium teachings with all sorts of logical arguments I haven't noticed Jan's use of logical inference in the argument about religion and the relationship to consciousness. I know Jan attacks quantum physics being used for consciousness arguments but I think some respectable scientists like Dr. Mae-Wan Ho give credence to this view. I agree that quantum physics is greatly misused in the New Age community but I think it's equally bizarre to dismiss quantum physics as a whole, considering quantum physics is now the foundation of science, not classical physics.
Anyway I was kind of surprised to find no mention of Atwill in this forum search results considering the similarities with your own research. Have you written a review of Caesar's Messiah? I know you've probably been too busy continuing your own research. On the other hand it seems like you would be especially qualified to comment on Atwill's argument. I personally think your take on the Egyptian origins of Christianity to be the most logical and I'm not sure that Atwill's argument really gets at the "origins" of Christianity. I think that even if Atwill is correct this doesn't preclude a deeper astrotheological origin of Christianity.
But Robert Price is really scathing in his review of Atwill -- I would think you've read it. Atwill and Price did debate but it's no longer online I think. http://www.infidelguy.com/modules.php?n ... m&item=403
Oh wait it's just not free.
Of course you have emphasized that Josephus' mention of Christianity is a later interpolation. So maybe you could at least address Atwill's argument that this is not true. Another bone of contention is the letters of Paul potentially predating the origin of Christianity by Josephus. http://www.skepticfriends.org/forum/top ... IC_ID=6883
Here's another discussion of Atwill.
What little he does say about Jesus (he was born, was crucified and was raised up) has been interpreted by some (Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle) as happening in the spiritual realm which would be consistent with other spiritual beliefs about savior gods at that time (Mythris for example). He never lived on our physical earth, but in a less corrupt level of heaven
Here's my Hypotheses Of The Day: The Flavians took the idea of Jesus from Paul and brought him "down to earth" so to speak. This would allow both the early date of Pauls letters and the later date of the Flavian's gospels.
So the thing is that Robert Price doesn't even grant this possibility -- Price basically says there's so many holes in Atwill's argument that Atwill is just logically incorrect -- essentially the correlation versus causality argument. I think Price is correct. This assumes by Price that the letters of Paul are later as you have also stated.
Atwill seems to me to make the same mistake as fundies are. Viewing the gospels as the same thing that the one we can read nowadays.
He omits that they were, in reality, a large number of contradicting gospels. The four ones we now have were selected hundred of years after the facts on unknown basis (but at least partly because they were the most widely distributed in the region of Constantinople).
So, either all Gospels were written as part of the same conspiracy (not credible considering how widely they differ) or the conspiracy was still active at the time of the council of Nycaea, in the 4th century, which would not be credible either in my opinion.
Yeah I mean I think this is a common sense refutation of Atwill but according to Jan unless I actually read Atwill's book then I'm putting -- what does he say: "logic before rhetoric." haha. I guess I do think logical inference is more powerful then making decisions based on the evidence of the five senses.
Atwill argues that the contradictions in the different gospels are intentional and are meant to show that the Jesuses that are born at different times and so forth in the different gospels are intended to be different people.
I mean seriously -- how can people even take the logic of this seriously? haha. So then it's argued that because something in Josephus doesn't make sense unless it is considered to be a satire on the gospels then this proves that Josephus created the gospels. This is along with many more minutiae in Josephus that can be read as a "decoder ring" proving he wrote the Gospels. Again I think Robert Price is correct that it would be easy to read into a text written at a similar time to the Gospels -- that there's bound to be lots of parallels. But then Atwill says he has statistics of some 240 million to 1 or something -- but this just depends on lining up the supposed correspondences and then doing the math.
I just find it ironic that people who supposedly favor logic so highly can take Atwill so seriously when Robert Price's review says Atwill is logically absurd. http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/rev_atwill.htm
Atwill gives himself license to indulge in the most outrageous display of “parallelomania” ever seen. He connects widely separated dots and collects sets of incredibly far-fetched verbal correspondences, from gospel to gospel and between the gospels and Josephus, then uses them to create ostensible parallel accounts. Then he declares himself justified in borrowing names, themes, and intended references from one “parallel” account and reading them into the other, thus supplying “missing” features. Triumphantly, Atwill defies the reader to call it all coincidence, working out the math to show such correspondences could never be the product of chance. Well, of course they are not. They are the product of his own arbitrary gematria in the first place.
Is this what you think also D.M. Murdock? Or...