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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Either way, the mindless bigotry and myopia render their opinions valueless. It is not only appalling to ignore Egypt; it is the mark of utter foolishness and ignorance.

Even the New Testament asserts that Moses, for example, drew his wisdom from Egypt. As is said at Acts 7:22: "And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds."

Egypt occupied Canaan for centuries, just prior to the emergence of the Israelites, whom themselves drew from various nomads such as the Shasu, a people who lived in Egypt for centuries. There was an Osiris temple at Jerusalem, and so on. The Egyptians had been in cultural exchange with the Byblians - later called "Phoenicians" - since the 6th millennium BCE. The Egyptian goddess Hathor was favored at Byblos, and various Semitic deities were welcomed into the Egyptian pantheon. We see a merger of these peoples in the story of Isis and Osiris, whose severed body parts were encapsulated in a tamarisk tree at Byblos.

There is no question of Egyptian influence on the Levant, evinced by Egyptologists such as Redford, as is only sensible since that's what the evidence proves.

As I say, the ignorance of these facts render these "experts'" opinions are worthless. If they read Christ in Egypt, they may have some intelligent things to say; otherwise, forget them. They don't know what they are talking about, as has been proved handily.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Acharya, My impression is that Neil Godfrey is hostile to you because you argue that Christianity draws on non-Jewish sources to construct the Christ Myth. I think that is a much bigger debate than any personal sexist prejudice. It is appalling that Godfrey and others can take an essentially racist view towards the claim that Egyptian myth influenced Christianity. Godfrey is fine with Brodie because Brodie's horizons are restricted to Israel. Consider other sources for Bible myth as human and you are beyond the pale.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:14 pm 
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Acharya,
Moses the Egyptian by Jan Assmann provides an excellent account of the various views about Egypt, such as the Egypt of the mind, the Egypt of history, and the Egypt of religious culture. It shows that Western culture has irrational psychological hangups regarding the legacy of Egypt.

The Abrahamists who restrict Biblical sources to an imagined Abrahamic context include Godfrey, and apparently Brodie. This is an intellectual shackle which people find hard to see or break. You are arguing that the Egyptian heritage shows that Christianity is not an Abrahamic religion. Christians find it a priori unacceptable, firstly that Abraham and Moses were not historical individuals, secondly that the Jesus story has a concealed inner astral natural meaning, and thirdly that Jewish thought drew on a wider source palette than appears in the Bible. Christian scholars should be able to debate these questions, but emotion gets in the way, except for a limited recognition of the mythical status of Old Testament characters.

Godfrey also has an issue about reason - his cult experience means he has a psychological aversion to anything that breaks down his tidy Abrahamic categories. So he can accommodate Brodie, Doherty and Price, but not Acharya. There is a mystic dimension to the transcendence of the Abrahamic bubble, due to the traditional cultural association between openness to the East and unscientific new age movements such as the analytical psychology of Carl Jung.

Seeing Egypt and India as real main sources of Christian myth looks irrational for those who rock their soul in the bubble of Abraham, but is a simple necessary scholarly move to place the emergence of Christianity in historical context.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:55 pm 
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Egyptian Influence on Judaism and Christianity

The avoidance of Egypt is an irrational neurosis, obviously, not a scientific analysis. Of course, I read Assmann at the beginning of my Moses research. Numerous Egyptologists are quite clear about the influence of Egypt upon the Levant. Here is an excerpt from Did Moses Exist? Here I am addressing an apology for the Exodus as "history," which I set out to demonstrate otherwise, obviously. The apology is that there are some 50 Egyptian words in the Pentateuch; hence, the Exodus story must be true.

My response:

Oddly enough in consideration of their physical proximity, a misconception lingers that the Semitic and Egyptian languages have little in common. Contradicting this erroneous impression, renowned Egyptologist Dr. Alan Gardiner (1879-1963), who specialized in Egyptian language, states:

Quote:
Unfortunately the origin of the EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE lies so far back in the uncharted past that only little that is certain can be said about it. Since it is generally agreed that the oldest population of Egypt was of African race, it might be expected that their language should be African too. And in fact many affinities with Hamitic and in particular with Berber dialects have been found, not only in vocabulary, but also in verbal structure and the like. On the other hand, the relationship with Semitic (Hebrew, Arabic, etc.) is equally unmistakable, if not greater.

The reality is that a people subjugated in a foreign country for hundreds of years would include much more Egyptian in their language after all that time, particularly as concerns whatever tools or accoutrements they needed as supposed slave laborers during that long period. All innovations in Egypt proper likely would be termed in Egyptian, and if the Israelites had taken any of these novelties with them, they would surely import their names as well. The same might be said of at least some of the mass of booty the Israelites reputedly obtained from the Egyptians, including images of deities with Egyptian names....

--------

There is also the fact that there were Jews in Egypt in the fifth century, at Elephantine, where they left a cache of papyruses, as well as at Alexandria beginning in the third century, when they began their translation of the OT into Greek. Then there are the traditions of the Copts who themselves associated Jesus, Mary and other Christian figures with Egyptian mythology. Again, the avoidance of this scholarship is a mental problem, not a scientific endeavor. Those individuals whom I am quoting in DME such as Egyptologist Redford have no such neuroses preventing them from reciting facts.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:02 pm 
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Acharya wrote:
Egyptian Influence on Judaism and Christianity

The avoidance of Egypt is an irrational neurosis, obviously, not a scientific analysis.
I agree. So we find people like Neil Godfrey for whom discussion of Egypt dredges up irrational psychological associations from their unconscious. For example, there is a strong Christian myth that Egypt represents the corruption of the flesh while Israel represents the purity of the spirit, an idea that many encounter first in Sunday School. Similarly, Carrier's irrational rejection of older scholarship seems to be linked to an effort to restrict the racial horizon of Biblical sources within a Greco-Jewish boundary.

Part of the Jewish purity myth from the Exodus involves the patriarchal tradition that excludes women and the feminine from spiritual wisdom. So there is a misogyny at play, but it is broader and deeper than a personal view. For example, this irrational patriarchal mentality seems to be at the root of the strong irrational hostility to the observation that Isis was called a perpetual virgin, and that Isis formed the template for Mary. The irrationality spills over from believers in supernatural Christian myths into atheists who supposedly base their views on reason, but have an irrational mental association between Egypt and irrationality.

Again, this context of cultural neurosis is why I don't see it as helpful to suggest the hostility to your ideas is because you are female. It is more important to focus on content, and to see that you are presenting a highly radical inversion of conventional views about sexuality and reason, including a recognition that pagan traditions such as Isis should be respected for their rational content.

My own association with feminist theology through my mother gave me a level of familiarity with writers such as Carol Christ, Starhawk, Rosemary Radford Reuther, Mary Daly and others. You might like to check out a blog on Feminism and Religion at http://feminismandreligion.com/author/carolpchrist/


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:44 pm 
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Here's more evidence on just how biased and dishonest Neil Godfrey has been regarding the work by Acharya S. Godfrey should be ashamed to even attempt to call his blogs on Christ Conspiracy "reviews" as a decent person with a conscience would do no such thing. Godfrey's "reviews" of Christ Conspiracy are nothing but a smear campaign.

In his book, Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus, Thomas Brodie says many similar things Acharya does in Christ Conspiracy so, Godfrey goes on the attack same as he did with Acharya, right? No, Brodie gets completely different treatment, praise by Godfrey, in fact. Is that due to misogyny or just biases and bigotry or all the above? It's sad to watch Neil Godfrey lose all ethics and credibility when it comes to discussing Acharya's work because his other blogs devoid of such hate are often quite good - like the one below:

Code:
Making of a Mythicist
http://vridar.org/2013/12/04/making-of-a-mythicist-act-5-scene-1-explaining-christian-origins-without-jesus/

There's nothing in this blog by Godfrey that Acharya S didn't already explain in her own way in Christ Conspiracy.

Neil Godfrey wrote:
"Brodie sees both the foundational narrative and the institutions of Christianity 'to a large degree' as 'an adaptation of the narrative and institutions of Judaism.'"

Acharya explains that the creators of Christianity used the Old Testament as a blueprint while writing the New Testament.

Quote:
"Christianity was founded not just by one or two people but by a whole group."

- Thomas Brodie, Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus, page 184

Neil Godfrey wrote:
"I find myself wholeheartedly in agreement with Brodie’s statement about the New Testament as evidence for Christian origins"

LOL, just read the back cover of Acharya's Christ Conspiracy:

Quote:
"... Christianity and the story of Jesus Christ were created by members of various secret societies, mystery schools and religions ..."

Neil Godfrey wrote:
3. The existence of other schools gives support to the idea of a New Testament school/group

Among the best known schools are

* the Pythagoreans — a group that was both a religious community and a scientific school (southern Italy, ca 500 BCE)
* the Academy, a philosophical school founded by Plato in 387 BCE and continuing a thousand years
* the Lyceum, founded 335 BCE by Aristotle
* the Epicureans, founded at Athens by Epicurus in 306 BCE, and renowned for sending out members to establish branches far and wide.

The Epicureans’ journeying did not occur in a vacuum. The whole Mediterranean was a crossroads. In the fourth century BCE, the Mediterranean saw a proliferation of small schools and a tradition of mobility. Later, when there was a ‘tendency for teachers to congregate in certain cultural centres, notably Athens, Alexandria and Tarsus, mobility . . . became characteristic of students as much as teachers’ (Alexander 1992: 1007) (p. 188)

*SNIP*

Some scholars suggest that a “school of Philo” was responsible for much of this output rather than one individual. Philo himself located the bulk of his scholastic activity with the sabbath-day teaching of the synagogues, which he describes (in an intentional comparison with the Greek philosophical schools) as “schools of Moses” (Alexander 1992: 1010). (p. 189)

4. The scholarly linking of biblical books with schools gives further support to the idea of a New Testament school...

Acharya covers these and many more throughout her works.

I'm reminded of a comment by Godfrey in one his caustic "reviews":

Code:
"[T]he mythicists’ arguments have been too intelligent and knifelike to do away with. Of course, the works of the mythicists have not been made readily available to the public, no doubt fearfully suppressed because they are somewhat irrefutable, so we cannot completely fault the “experts” for having never read them."
- Acharya

Neil Godfrey's response: "This is conspiracy-theory nonsense"

http://vridar.org/2012/10/20/part-3-review-of-acharya-ss-the-christ-conspiracy/

The problem with Neil Godfrey's hand-waving dismissal is that Acharya S has been proven correct by Ehrman and Frank Zindler and many others:

Code:
"Writing Did Jesus Exist was an interesting task. For one thing, before writing the book, like most New Testament scholars, I knew almost nothing about the mythicist movement. I think mythicists themselves find this very frustrating, that their work is not taken seriously – in fact is not really even known – by precisely the scholars they would most like to convince. But that’s just the way it is."

- Dr. Bart Ehrman, [i]Did Jesus Exist[/i] as Part One
http://ehrmanblog.org/did-jesus-exist-as-part-one/

Quote:
"...Virtually all of the ‘Authorities’ who have pronounced upon the historicity of Jesus are handicapped and compromised by their employment by church-related institutions. Certainly, even an Atheist in the employ of a religious university or seminary would not dare to express mythicist theories. Almost all authorities were themselves educated at sectarian schools and were never exposed to the abundant mythicist literature that has appeared since the 1790’s.20 Virtually all secular historians are not themselves authorities on Jesus of Nazareth, taking the word of religious authorities simply because they have never had any reason to do otherwise. They never had reason to do otherwise because of the effective suppression of mythicist writings."

Footnote 20: "It is surely significant that Ehrman makes no effort to counter my claims here at any point in DJE? but rather repeatedly chides Mythicists for not being properly educated and repeatedly citing the conclusions of the 'authorities' here discussed! Because he makes no attempt to deal with this argument, the appeals to authority and ad hominem attacks of that book are more glaringly apparent than would be the case if he had tried fairly to deal with my argument here."

- Frank Zindler, 'Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth,' page 90

As pointed out by Earl Doherty:

Quote:
"...We would condemn any physicist, any anthropologist, any linguist, any mathematician, any scholar of any sort who professes to work in a field that makes even a partial bow to principles of logic and scientific research who yet ignored, reviled, condemned largely without examination a legitimate, persistent theory in his or her discipline ... Why not give [astrotheology] some serious consideration? Why not honestly evaluate it to see if it could provide some of the missing answers? Or, if it turns out that the case is fatally flawed, then put it to rest once and for all.

Doing that would require one essential thing: taking it seriously, approaching the subject having an open mind that the theory might have some merit. Sadly, that is the most difficult step and the one which most critics have had the greatest difficulty taking. It is all in the mindset, whether of the [theist] whose confessional interests are overriding, or of the professional scholar who could never consider that their life's work might be fatally compromised."

- Earl Doherty (I have changed a few words inside the [] to make a point about the study of astrotheology and I think Earl Doherty would agree with the point I'm trying to make. The original quote may be found at the link below)

- from Religion and the PhD: A Brief History

LOL, so is Godfrey now going to proclaim that Ehrman, Doherty and Frank Zindler are just full of "conspiracy-theory nonsense"?

The utter biases and bigotry from Neil Godfrey is as transparent as glass. There are many other quotes from Brodie throughout Godfrey's praise of him where Acharya says basically the same thing so, we now know if Brodie says it, it's ok but, if Acharya says the same thing - it's all "conspiracy-theory nonsense". Busted, Neil, you're an embarrassment to mythicists.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:09 am 
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Another episode in the bizarre intellect of Neil Godfrey.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:06 pm 
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Neil Godfrey is at it again with more blatant lies, such as trying to label Acharya's work and all of her supporters as a cult. I mean, how much lower can Neil Godfrey stoop to make such a desperate attempt at a juvenile smear campaign? Neil needs to be called out for such malicious dishonesty:

Code:
Astrotheology, A Religious Belief System (as per D.M. Murdock/Acharya S)
http://vridar.org/2014/03/28/astrotheology-a-religious-belief-system-as-per-d-m-murdockacharya-s/

The fact remains that Acharya and her work have saved many from cults.

Cult Tactics: Resources for Help

Here's the testimony from many thanking Acharya for helping people get out of cults.

Godfrey's line of reasoning here is akin to accusing Richard Carrier of being a cult leader for making his case for why he doesn't believe in a historical Jesus. It's pathetic and a new low for Neil Godfrey.

Neil Godfrey and his astrotheology-phobes and anti-Acharya cult minions are in the wrong here as anybody whose actually read Acharya's work already knows. Here is a recent e-mail Acharya received proving Neil's "cult" claims utterly false:

Quote:
Hello Acharya:

I have been an avid follower of your writings but have not said much before. I was a Muslim but have become an atheist for a couple of years now, thanks to your work and others such as Richard Dawkins, etc.

The reason I don't comment much on public forums is because I live in ******, a so-called moderate Muslim country. Sad to say, it is not so moderate any longer; nor is it tolerant of differing beliefs anymore. I wish to highlight the recent arrest of a known scholar in ******. He is a Muslim but because he had differing ideas and called upon a review of the hadiths, he was arrested a few days ago.

So, if a Muslim who had different views can be arrested, how safe am I as an atheist? I think you can understand my reasons for remaining anonymous.

I would like you to know that I really appreciate all the work that you do in exposing facts that is truly enlightening and made a difference in my life."

viewtopic.php?p=29036#p29036

Here's another recent post by Acharya making a basic point, which also proves Neil Godfrey and his astrotheology-phobes and anti-Acharya cult minions wrong when one understands even just the basic cursory facts about astrotheology by pointing out a book entitled, The Mythology of the Night Sky and commenting:

Quote:
"What will the astrotheophobes do when they realize that many constellations are named after figures from Greek myths, while the planets have the names of Roman deities, and the days of the week are styled largely after Scandinavian gods and goddesses?!!"

- Acharya S

She's right!

It's so blatantly obvious that people have been so severed from the original purpose and meaning of religious concepts that they take for granted some of the most obvious evidence for astrotheology that's right in their face everyday i.e. the 12 month calendar, the gods as constellations and the myths that go with them, and even the names and number of the 7-day week. The most popular celebrations are Christmas and Easter - celebrating the winter solstice death/rebirth or resurrection of the sun god, and the spring equinox for the fertility and resurrection of spring and the victory of light over dark and both were originated by Pagans for Christ sakes!!! (Something Richard Carrier has never figured out apparently :shock: )

For someone supposedly claiming to be looking into these issues, I've never seen anybody in more denial of these basic facts than Neil Godfrey and his cult minions. He is simply not to be trusted as a credible or reliable source of information on the works by Acharya S as it's categorically clear that he has not even studied her work and therefore, not qualified to be making any authoritative commentary on it whatsoever. When one constantly criticizes an authors works they've never read it's known as intellectual dishonesty and Neil has much to answer for but, don't expect any of that to come from Neil's little circle-jerk of fanboys cruising around on their little anti-astrotheology scooter over at vridar. When anybody posts a comment that proves Neil wrong he'll refuse to post it and just call it spam or an insult. So, do NOT ever expect any fair or objective treatment on this subject at vridar because they are clearly more interested in malicious smears, insults and intellectual dishonesty - just ask them over there what books of Acharya's they've actually read cover to cover - not just skimming lurking for something to strawman.

For more trash from Neil Godfrey and Carrier on video, see: Nuskeptix "Christ Myth Theory" Video Chat

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:54 pm 
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Below is a completely independent summary of this issue in a recent comment by bcedaifu (I have no idea who it is least we be accused of anything) posted over at:

Code:
http://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8535#p8535

bcedaifu wrote:
"I find curious, that a thread devoted to criticism (unjust in my opinion) of Murdoch's scholarly attributes, should broadcast uncritical acceptance of “facts”, based on rumors, gossip, and unsubstantiated hearsay. Isn't that precisely the criticism of Acharya S? Where's the evidence of an original Christian sect based on astrotheological ideas, a forum member inquired? Where's the evidence for any original Christian sects, I reply.

I have read, in the past week or so, among several critics of Acharya S, comments by Neil Godfrey, complaining about his reception when he sought to post at her web site.

viewtopic. php?f=8&t=404

Notice what kirby did to my posts, critical of godfrey. He sent the exchange to Siberia. The scholarship of Acharya S may, or may not, be the cat's meow, I have no clue. I haven't read her books. I haven't participated at her forum. I do agree, 100%, with Robert Tulip's idea, that a productive forum is one which exhibits civility, and honesty, and I further deny that, on this forum, analysis of Murdoch's “contributions” to the literature regarding a mythical stature for Jesus, has risen to the level of maturity comparable to that one might expect of high school graduates.

DCHindley wrote:
I mention all this, although D Murdoch is not about Aliens, because of the persistence of true believers to defend their key figures.

I am ashamed to read this from you, David. You wrote it to smear her. And, not with olive oil.

I am neither a “true believer”, nor a member of her group. I am not defending her. I have no idea where Justin Martyr was born.

I am offering criticism of those idiots, including kirby, spin, and the other cultists on this forum, who have shamefully ignored the essential obligation to engage in SCHOLARSHIP, to refute theories contrary to one's own opinion. Name calling, and other childish expressions, like banning from the forum, simply confirm the poverty of ability on the part of this forum's leadership.

“rubbish”, doesn't cut it, spin. Repulsive is my assessment of kirby's comment quoting Mencken, implying some imaginary level of supposedly superior intelligence, by those opposing her thesis of a role played in early christianity by those astrologers and star gazers who had worked for centuries cataloging movements of objects in the night time sky.

neilgodfrey finally wrote something I can agree with:

Neil Godfrey wrote:
I think we need to be clear what constitutes cultish behaviour

How else to explain kirby's use of acronyms unknown to anyone else, but fellow cult members. How else to explain kirby's ridiculous dismissal of Leucius Charinus, for his having committed the crime of criticizing the mediocre “scholarship” of kirby? How else to explain the gender hostility exhibited by huller, and his reference to “queen” and “cunnilingus”? Maybe huller can't differentiate “N” from “L”.
CULT.

The bold emphasis above is mine as I've been hearing that comments that prove these guys wrong &/or point out the blatant biases and smears tossed at Acharya and any of her supporters are being removed from Peter Kirby's forum (linked above) as well as over at Neil Godfrey's blog, vridar. So, I quote bcedaifu's post here before it gets removed as I've seen several posts pointing out the obvious along similar lines of what bcedaifu has said, simply pointing out the contempt and prejudice against Acharya and her work at those forums and blogs. If you can find a more dishonest forum and blog claiming to "educated," I've never heard of it, which is sad because Godfrey usually does a really good job on other subjects and even works by other authors but, anytime Acharya or her work is mentioned, Godfrey consistently has a major meltdown and freaks out.

Another point of fact is that anybody who sounds familiar with Acharya's works (probably because they actually read them) are consistently being accused of being Acharya posting under another name. I can confirm right now that she does not do that. She always uses "Acharya," those guys need to be called out on those lies too - it's just more smears and evidence demonstrating their utter biases against her proving that there is not a chance in hell for fair and objective treatment of Acharya and her work over there.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:39 am 
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I have had problems with my computer so have not been able to post here for a while. But I have been able to post at the early writings board, and have found the discussion entertaining and informative, if also insultingly stupid at times. Roger Pearse's request for me to pay and indemnify him to insult Acharya was priceless.

I am trying to make it a policy not to criticise people personally in a direct way. That can be difficult when some individuals make comments that are certifiably insane, but I have formed the conclusion that independent readers see criticism as reflecting more on the criticiser than the criticised, even if the criticism is obvious and true, and that engaging in criticism in response to the goading of flaming trolls simply fuels a flame war that detracts from serious discussion.

Sadly though, I have to agree with Acharya's assessment that Godfrey is not a person that anyone with rational faculties can engage with regarding astrotheology. Responding to him just feeds the troll.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:42 am 
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Ah, now I discover that Neil's obsession has extended to extensive quotation and denunciation of me at his blog.

Code:
http://vridar.org/2014/03/28/astrotheology-a-religious-belief-system-as-per-d-m-murdockacharya-s/

His core criticism ineptly characterises my view as that "Absolute Truth resides in... the “scientific reality” of the universe and the astrological relationship between macrocosm and microcosm."

Let's just get this straight. Neil here uses scare quotes to suggest there is no "scientific reality" of the universe. This seems to mean he rejects my claim to know the universe really exists as described by modern science. I confess I do maintain it is absolutely true that scientific facts discovered by mainstream astronomy are correct. I would even be willing to engage in philosophical debate about what that claim means. But not with Neil, who has argued quite violently that historiography is not a science. No wonder when he has such apparent doubts about the existence of the universe.

My interest in the ancient hermetic theories of the unity of the macrocosm and microcosm is purely scholarly. But it apparently reminds Neil of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. That comparison is laughably stupid, since Scientology is pure fiction, whereas hermetic philosophy is at the coherent ground of modern science. Perhaps he should read world-renowned scientists such as Stephen Jay Gould, who argues in support of the hermetic idea that microcosms are reflections of macrocosms. I do not make any claims that are not logically defensible.

Unfortunately it pains me to have to observe that Neil Godfrey relies on stupid arguments. I have repeatedly tried to explain to him that I do not support any unscientific astrological ideas, and am simply exploring how the authors of the Bible used astrological concepts from observation of precession. But he seems to have this crazed witch burning inquisitorial zeal regarding exclusion of precession from Biblical studies, and appears oblivious to all reason.

Neil did after all voluntarily spend years, perhaps decades, in the fundamentalist cult the World Wide Church of God, publishers of The Plain Truth magazine. He once defined his analytical method regarding cults as "I can sniff them a mile off".

Using that bloodhound method, Godfrey suggests that any analysis of the presence of precession of the equinox in the Bible is grounds for persecution, saying he is "now appalled that Robert Tulip (or any rep of D.M. Murdock) is allowed to participate in any forum that wants to present a scholarly approach." Irenaeus would be proud.

I am interested in shared understanding, reasoned dialogue and scientific method. I do not consider myself a representative of Acharya, but we do agree on many points. Neil Godfrey has spectacularly failed to engage on content. Instead he is mounting a campaign of nothing more than emotional hysteria.

This is all not something I really mind, since I am perfectly capable of defending myself intellectually against Godfrey, and would welcome discussion of content.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:20 pm 
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Hi Robert -

Quote:
But he seems to have this crazed witch burning inquisitorial zeal regarding exclusion of precession from Biblical studies, and appears oblivious to all reason.

The man's displayed serious mental issues, so "crazed" would be an appropriate term. The hysteria on the part of such critics is a sign of serious emotional unbalance.

To say that your views are necessarily representative of my work is highly misleading, as you have your own field of interest, focusing more on the precession than I do. I am not sitting here sifting through your posts on any other forum and approving what you are saying in any way, shape or form. To represent the situation otherwise is simply dishonest.

I'm frankly appalled that someone displaying so many blatantly obvious mental problems as Godfrey has done over the years is "allowed participate in any forum that wants to present a scholarly approach."

In the meantime, I hope you carry on, because you are more intelligent, socially adjusted and better educated than most of these rabid and unglued ranters and would-be inquisitors. They are not only disturbed, dishonest and deceitful but also incredibly shallow and myopic in their views, displaying gross ignorance of the world's cultures, including and especially in religion and mythology. Their censorial efforts are akin to religious fanatics trying to burn books and kill dissenters as they try desperately to suppress this important information.

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 2:16 pm 
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Robert Tulip, you have GOT to read Neil Godfrey's blog from 2011 and throw it in his face as once again he demonstrates that he finds "astronomics" "fascinating" when it comes from scholars he has stumbled upon but, when Acharya says the same thing Neil, true to form, cannot accept it and must reject it at all costs.

Code:
The Book of Revelation, its original meaning and modern misunderstandings
http://vridar.org/2011/06/11/the-book-of-revelation-its-original-meaning-and-modern-misunderstandings/

Quote:
"As a matter of fact, the book of Revelation and works like it (e.g., the books of Enoch) are really a subset of the astronomical and astrological literature of antiquity."
- On the genre and message of Revelation: star visions and sky journeys by Bruce J. Malina, professor of biblical studies at Creighton University, page 12

Quote:
"Malina informs us that there were many types of astronomical/astrological literature, and that since the author of Revelation claims to be a prophet, we can say that Revelation that this is a prophetic form of "astronomics."
- Neil Godfrey

Quote:
"But at about the same time that the word began to be used in the social, interpersonal sense, Babylonian astronomical and/or astrological knowledge was spreading throughout the Mediterranean world . . . . This Babylonian knowledge moved westward, largely mediated through eastern Mediterranean coastal ethnic groups: Phoenician, Israelite, Egyptian. As people acquired this new knowledge, they either directly or, more usually, indirectly increasingly contributed to the local production of astronomical and astrological lore. And so secrets about things and persons divine rooted in the new knowledge could now be made known. It would seem that the newly appropriated “Chaldean” (meaning “Babylonian”) lore greatly stimulated awareness that the god(s) had vitally important secrets readily discernible to those who could read the sky."
- Dr. Malina, page 6

Quote:
"So the author of the book of Revelation used a common word for revealing personal secrets to refer to a revealing of secrets of the stars, since stars were equally regarded as living, personal beings, although divine."
- Neil Godfrey

Quote:
"The Israelite beliefs were little different from the ways other peoples thought of the cosmos; they were little different also in understanding that the secrets of the gods could be discerned through reading the stars."
- Neil Godfrey

Quote:
"Just like the other Mediterranean peoples of the period . . . the house of Israel used the new found astronomical lore to learn about its deity’s activities. Only for Israelites, the presumption was that their deity, the YHWH God of their ancestors, was the supreme deity. While not at all denying the reality of the gods of those other nations, Israelites were forbidden to call them “god.” Instead they used other Mediterranean designations for the cosmic being inhabiting the sky and impacting the earth, i.e., spirit, demon, or angel. Though they changed the names, the way of perceiving the reality and function of those beings remained the same from one end of the world (Indus Valley) to the other (Spain). Israelites also readily identified planets with angels of good demons and saw the function of such astral beings either to act as deities or to serve as agents of assistants of the “Most High” God. Now in the Israelite tradition, this God could be known both from traditions deriving from the prophet Moses and from reading the sky."
- Dr. Malina, page 8

Quote:
Cumulative wisdom

"Knowledge of astrological lore was cumulative. This way Mesopotamian learning was recorded along with new knowledge or interpretations of other ethnic groups. Yet each cultural group adapted this knowledge to its own traditional stories. Thus the Roman Venus, the Greek Aphrodite, the Egyptian Isis, the Phoenician/Israelite Anatu/Ashtarte, and the Hellenistic Babylonian Aphrodite/Anaitis were related to each other. The particular impact of this planet would be very similar for all peoples, and each ethnic group would have its own beliefs about the planet expanded by the foreign influences. Malina quotes a passage from Hippolytus to illustrate the way some Christians interpreted the sky in order to understand the Bible, and how they began by first studying the earliest knowledge."
- Neil Godfrey

Quote:
Revelation as a subset of astronomics

“Astronomics” was the term used by Greek philosopher Theophrastus, who was also credited with coining the world “economics”. Astronomics referred to the study of anything we might classify as either astronomy or astrology with a view to “accumulating and applying practical information for the welfare of human beings.”

It is easy for us to overlook the significance of “astronomics” among peoples of the first century."
- Neil Godfrey

Quote:
The study of the sky “fascinated the Hellenistic world and held with a paralyzing grip the Hellenistic mind (C. K. Barrett 1961: 35). And thus “many of us (historians of antiquity) lack the training or the particular type of imagination necessary to enable us to understand a horoscope as a peripheral matter” (Nock 1972: 1.502). The fact is, as MacMullen has noted:

From the period of the Roman Empire alone, the surviving astrological corpus matches in bulk the entire historical corpus; and though examined in detail by students of ancient religion, language, and science, it has been quite neglected by the social historian (MacMullen 1971: 105). (p. 17)
- Dr. Malina

Quote:
"Malina cites passages from Philo, 4 Maccabees, Baruch, the Epistle of Jeremiah, Josephus, the Qumran scrolls and other Jewish apocryphal writings to illustrate the major importance of “astronomics” to ancient Israelites, too. They, as much as their pagan neighbours, believed in the stars as living beings, and in “sky servants” performing the will of God on earth, in atmospheric and celestial events being caused by heavenly personages."

Quote:
"But practical astronomic concern in Israel should come as no surprise. After all, all Mediterraneans sought the signs of the times** in atmospheric and celestial events (see Matt. 16:3; and Theophrastus, On Weather Signs) and believed sky entities were alive, with sky events caused by celestial personages. (p. 18)"
- Dr. Malina

Quote:
"For Malina, this is very significant. Astral prophecies were invariably addressed publicly to kings or priests as the representatives of whole regions or ethnic groups."
- Neil Godfrey

Quote:
"They were not simply family matters, even a “church” family. [So] the social grouping to which John refers seems to have resulted from the fact that the group in question could not form a political unit of its own. It was a family by default, so to speak. The reason for saying this is that astral revelations are essentially public. Since they are about power in the cosmos affecting regions populated by human beings and their institutions, such revelations are always political. Politics deals with the public use of power. Hence revelations, especially celestial ones, were invariably directed to persons of high public status, notably kings and priests. . . . Thus the delivering of a prophecy to his “brothers” implies that the Israelite polity no longer served as a mooring for Christian groupings, either because John and his “brothers” were ejected from Israel or because the kingdom of Judea was dissolving or simply no longer existed. (pp. 21-22)"
- Dr. Malina

Quote:
The Imagery in Revelation

"The first thing to understand, Malina writes, is that for the ancient cultures being addressed, there was no division between society and the cosmos. Celestial events and human history were all one entity. The supernatural and natural were all part of the same world.

If a society was experiencing good times, then the astral prophecy would explain why the times were good. If bad times, then why the times were not so good, and how they would soon turn out, inevitably and organically, for the better. It is the celestial events that control the experiences and fates of people on earth, and the astral prophet is simply recording what has happened that explains the current situation, and what is about to happen to resolve it."
- Neil Godfrey

Quote:
"What astral prophecy does is seek out the recurrent causes [of situations on earth] . . . in celestial phenomena and personages. Once such causes are discovered, they are formulated in terms of laws deriving from the predictable behavior of celestial personages. These personages produce effects which eventually regulate the objects of human social concern. . . . [S]uch formations can be found in ancient thunder books, lightning books, earthquake books, beginning of the year books and the like . . . (p. 23)"
- Dr. Malina

Quote:
"Geography is the study to understand and describe the earth; uranography is the study of the sky. Uranography also involves a study of the stars and the heavenly beings who control these and their impacts on humanity. The author of Revelation depicts a Semitic sky with its Hellenized constellations. The story structure he applies is derived from the Jewish Scriptures. The being enthroned in the centre of the cosmos is the God of Israel, and alongside him is the cosmic Lamb of God."
- Neil Godfrey

From the comment section someone posted a link to: The Seven Seals of Revelation and the Seven Classical Planets by Dr. Lloyd Graham and Godfrey responds:

Quote:
"Lloyd Graham’s article has a fascinating table of the colour/planetary correspondences of Hellenistic and Babylonian “astronomics” laid out beside the schema in Revelation. Thanks for notifying us of this!"
- Neil Godfrey

Neil also has a few blogs on the work by Russell Gmirkin. Acharya cited him as a source in her new book, Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver:

Code:
Why the Books of Moses should be dated 270 BCE (clue: “Rabbits”)
http://vridar.org/2012/12/30/why-the-books-of-moses-should-be-dated-270-bce-clue-rabbits/

The Books of Moses — Unknown 300 years Before Christ?
http://vridar.org/2012/12/27/the-books-of-moses-unknown-300-years-before-christ/

When someone posted a comment saying Acharya's new Moses book cites Russell Gmirkin, Neil responds:

Quote:
"There may well be some interesting gems in the book but unfortunately I have been engaged in discussions with one of Murdock’s more prolific online supporters on another site and have had to conclude that Murdock’s books are promoting a “scientific religion” of astrotheology. Like other missionaries who have a belief-system to sell they have learned to produce two types of publications to accord with the principle of “being all things to all men”. One set of literature avoids all explicit mention of the belief system they are promoting but that is nonetheless the angle they are coming from, as insiders well know.

Such people are not beyond pulling the wool over the eyes of target names they hope they can persuade to add praises to their books to promote them. And I know that even this comment of mine will not be rebutted with evidence and argument but with the most savage character attacks among themselves.

I will however be addressing what I am sure are some of the sources used in this book, Gmirkin included, as I have time."

I'm reminded of his other blog and posts:

Code:
Astrotheology, A Religious Belief System (as per D.M. Murdock/Acharya S)
http://vridar.org/2014/03/28/astrotheology-a-religious-belief-system-as-per-d-m-murdockacharya-s/

http://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=380&hilit=pataki&start=270#p8564

What an asshole! Neil needs to be called out on this BS of falsely accusing Acharya and all the rest of us along with anyone who has read her books and appreciated them as being part of a cult who actually worships this stuff and is trying to evangelize it like it's some sort of 'great commission' ... disgusting, absolutely disgusting. Neil Godfrey owes us all an official apology for all of his extremely vicious and malicious smears, libel and slanderous remarks.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:50 pm 
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Neil Godfrey's latest smear campaign against Acharya:

Code:
The Confessional Epilogue: Christians and Acharya
http://vridar.org/2014/05/15/the-confessional-epilogue-christians-and-acharya/

and here

http://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=580

So now, Robert, in order to protect Neil Godfrey and Richard Carrier from any legitimate criticism at Peter Kirby's "earlywritings" forum they are banning people, deleting their posts and have now made any links to Freethought Nation spam, not realizing that he's probably just done us a huge favor since folks are more likely to find an endless stream of misinformation on Acharya's work over there just like the old IIDB. A real piece of work those guys. :mrgreen:

Code:
"Speaking of spam, Maximos/jackmark persuades me to view links to freethoughtnati*n.com as spam. Nobody's sold books so hard since Britannica. (But how will your child be able to write anything on the topic of the origins of Christianity without a complete set of 3,000 pages from Acharya S?)"

- Peter Kirby

http://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11433#p11433

And Peter Kirby has gone out of his way to remove all links exposing Richard Carrier's malicious smears, so, be sure to pass this link around:

Quote:
STUPID THINGS RICHARD CARRIER HAS DONE AND SAID:

Richard Carrier Owes Acharya an Apology

viewtopic.php?p=4771#p4771

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:20 pm 
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Okay, here we go again, Neil Godfrey just couldn't resist disingenuously attacking Acharya S/Murdock once more. But first, in his own words Neil wants to "butter us up":

Quote:
I post it here to explain the main reason I am very cautious about the works of one group of Christ Myth advocates and hopefully to encourage them to a more constructive and critical approach to the debate. I do hope that the supporters of this perspective will try to understand that my failure to take their views on board is not motivated by any sort of hostility towards the author or their proposed thesis itself but is based upon their failure to appreciate the fundamentals of sound argument and critical thinking.

Let’s start with the positive. In defence of D. M. Murdock’s (aka Acharya S’s) discussion in Christ in Egypt about “crucified” Egyptian gods I think she does an interesting job of detailing the evidence for the various deities, especially with respect to Osiris, including the function of the djied cross or pillar, and early Christian interpretations of these — pages 336 to 352.

I think this is interesting background information that should rightly be factored into any historical and literary analyses that considers the origins of the Gospel of John’s miracle of the raising of Lazarus (as addressed in detail by Randel Helms in Gospel Fictions), Secret Mark (with its patent links to the raising of Lazarus story in John’s gospel) and the stories of Alexandrian provenance for certain early Christian authors.

Hell has frozen over. Thanks Neil, that's really big of you to actually say something positive for a change. Of course, come to find out that's not what Neil's blog was really about though.

Quote:
We come to the heading “Divine Man” Crucified in Space. Referring to Massey’s discussion of the phrase “crucifixion in space” Murdock writes:

Quote:
The crucifixion in space usually refers to that of Plato’s “second God, who impressed himself on the universe in the form of the cross,”2 constituting the Greek philosopher’s “world-soul” on an X, which, as we have seen, represents the sun crossing the ecliptic. . . (p. 353)

I expected to see here the footnote directing me to Plato and his discussion of this “second God”. But instead she takes us to Lundy, Bradshaw, Roberts, and Philo. That leaves me wondering where Plato speaks of “a second god” who made himself in the “form of a cross” at the ecliptic. My memory tells me that Plato did speak of the ecliptic being like a cross but no more. Have I forgotten crucial details? Murdock does not help me here.

Neil Godfrey is obviously too lazy to read the sources cited in the footnotes such as Lundy, Bradshaw, Roberts, and Philo. Neil simply has no clue what he's talking about and has no sincere interest in the matter. It just shows how intellectually dishonest he is as well as showing his true agenda, to discredit Acharya S/Murdock as all costs - even if it means being dishonest. It's unfortunate that Godfrey influences others who drink his kool-aid without checking his claims for themselves.

Quote:
Murdock then writes:

Quote:
Another Platonic concept is the crucified “divine man”3 or “just man,” found in Plato’s Republic …

Again I look up the footnote and am disappointed once again to find not a reference to where Plato speaks of the divine man but instead to an interpretation by Massey. My recollection was that Plato spoke of a just man but I don’t recall him ever equating this just man with a divine man. My memory might well be faulty but again Murdock does not help me establish her idea.

Again, Neil Godfrey is too lazy to read the sources cited in the footnotes - because he really does not care, his goal is to defame and discredit Acharya S/Murdock at all costs. What are these guys so afraid of?

And for good measure, Neil just had to throw a bit of mud for someone else:

Quote:
Another poster on the same BC&H forum posted a similar criticism in relation to a passage in Suns of God. (I won’t name him here because he, too, does not appreciate the hostile denunciations that too often come from supporters of this author of but would prefer to focus on the substance of claims made.)

In an apparent effort to substantiate the claim that the early Christians were known as “sun worshipers” and that Christianity itself indeed began as a form of sun-worship Murdock wrote the following:

Image

The comment: :

Four authors mentioned in the span of a few lines. Zero footnotes and zero references.

It might be right . . . but that’s beside the point.

It also doesn’t really matter whom this comes from . . .

The wonderful little turn of phrase known as “Trust, but verify” comes to mind (and, yes, it is a wonderful turn of phrase, whatever you think of its original context).

The reader could be spared searching out the truth here . . . with the simple convention of footnotes and exact references. And then the search for the references would have been done ‘once for all’.

. . . .

PS– Apparently there is some kind of “reference,” but not what you’d expect. The reference is to Catholic Encyclopedia, “Christmas.” Consulting this can lead the reader to find the actual references and some of their wording.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm
The earliest rapprochement of the births of Christ and the sun is in Cyprian, “De pasch. Comp.”, xix, “O quam præclare providentia ut illo die quo natus est Sol . . . nasceretur Christus.” — “O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born . . . Christ should be born.”

In the fourth century, Chrysostom, “del Solst. Et Æquin.” (II, p. 118, ed. 1588), says: “Sed et dominus noster nascitur mense decembris . . . VIII Kal. Ian. . . . Sed et Invicti Natalem appelant. Quis utique tam invictus nisi dominus noster? . . . Vel quod dicant Solis esse natalem, ipse est Sol iustitiæ.” — “But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December . . . the eight before the calends of January [25 December] . . ., But they call it the ‘Birthday of the Unconquered’. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord . . .? Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice.”

Already Tertullian (Apol., 16; cf. Ad. Nat., I, 13; Orig. c. Cels., VIII, 67, etc) had to assert that Sol was not the Christians’ God; Augustine (Tract xxxiv, in Joan. In P.L., XXXV, 1652) denounces the heretical identification of Christ with Sol.

That last comment/post apparently was originally from here:
Code:
http://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=31637#p31637

Neil Godfrey's blog:
Code:
Reading Mythicist Arguments Cautiously
http://vridar.org/2015/03/18/reading-mythicist-arguments-cautiously/


I love how they're too lazy to read the previous page until later when it was an afterthought and chose to edit it in. Here is the full quote including what they omitted:

Quote:
The Catholic Encyclopedia (“Christmas”) admits that the text “De paschae computus” (243 ce) “places Christ’s birth on 28 March, because on that day the material sun was created.” CE further discusses Church fathers and other early Christian writers who created a “rapprochement of the births of Christ and the sun….” Early Christian writers who marveled at the “fact” that Christ and the sun were “providentially” born on the same day included Cyprian and Chrystostom. Tertullian, in the third century, was compelled to remark that Pagans believed Christians to be sun worshippers, and, centuries later, Augustine denounced “the heretical identification of Christ with Sol.”

- Suns of God pp. 231-232

Christmas
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm

I emphasized in bold red what they omitted from the previous page. Acharya didn't put in a footnote because the citation of the Catholic Encyclopedia article should suffice just fine as all the quotes and citations were there just as the critics discovered. So, what are they whining about?

Neil just had to toss more mud: "(I won’t name him here because he, too, does not appreciate the hostile denunciations that too often come from supporters of this author of but would prefer to focus on the substance of claims made.)"

Is Neil preemptively trying to cover for the extremely lazy and sloppy omission of the source that was on the previous page all along? This is why we are sick and tired of these types of critics who have no intention of being honest or objective. They maliciously smear Acharya for a decade while their criticism is a sloppy mess and they expect us to have to take the time to address their own misunderstanding due to their own laziness, in this case, to read the previous page to get the source. Many don't even read the books but demand to be spoon-fed. They toss mud or spaghetti on the wall hoping something, ANYTHING will stick. But the damage has already been done - defamation, libel and malicious smears to ruin Acharya's credibility, which was their agenda in the first place and Neil Godfrey is no different. Neil knows he's wrong but it doesn't matter because apparently it works regardless. Neil Godfrey would never write a blog over such sloppy and egregious criticisms of Carrier's book where the criticism turns out to be in error in the first place. It's time for people who actually do care about accuracy, honesty, integrity and intellectual honesty to start calling out people like Neil Godfrey, Richard Carrier and others they have influenced to make similar malevolent comments in forums or blogs. Valid questions and criticism is one thing, but what these guys are doing is something else entirely and it really needs to be called out by others, especially freethinkers, atheists and fellow mythicists.

This is all very juvenile and a waste of our time to have to address but shows how low Neil Godfrey and company will stoop with blatant biases, sloppy and egregious errors in their criticisms that are an embarrassment to freethinkers and the mythicist movement. Just stop. for all of us.

I will address each of the quotes above as I have time. Her sources do support what she is saying but I am going to have to explain to Godfrey on an elementary level, apparently.

I'm reminded of Acharya's review of Herb Cutner's book:

Quote:
"The idea that this information, once "discovered" or expressed, would then be embraced and revealed to the public is not only naive but silly, especially considering that not only are reputations and vocations at stake but also are billions of dollars annually in the religion business. Because of such entrenched concerns, the mythicist school was fought tooth and nail, and almost buried, save for the few daring individuals who kept it alive over the past decades. Cutner is one of these rare and courageous individuals who risked the malevolence and vitriol of the clergy and its zealots. In his synopsis of the historical-versus-mythical, Cutner notes that the clergy's "adversaries" were dispatched in the most unprofessional and puerile manner:

Quote:
"Long ago the celebrated Dr. Bentley, in trying to dispose of Anthony Collins, had found one very fine method: convict your Freethinking opponent of fraud, ignorance, and bad scholarship, and his thesis falls to the ground. I should say rather, try to convict your opponent by this method, for some of the mud thrown is sure to stick.... By thus concentrating on mistakes of grammar or Greek, the reader is unwarily led away from the main issue which is exactly what the critic wants. Over and over again Christian controversialists have pursued this method, as if it always mattered greatly that a present tense of Greek should be the imperfect, or that a date should be conjectured as, let us say, 1702 when it ought to be 1712 in the opinion of somebody else. (27-28)"

Indeed, there is hardly a mythicist who has not experienced such treatment, even at the hands of other mythicists and/or freethinkers, another fact highlighted by Cutner, who shows that the early modern mythicists were viciously attacked not only by Christians but also by other "rationalists" and "freethinkers" who, in their attempts to remain "respectable" with the Christian elite, mindlessly fell in line and displayed a real lack of critical thinking. Professional jealousy also factors into this type of vitriol, as various scholars want their particular interpretation to become that which is accepted by the establishment."

'Jesus: God, Man or Myth?' by Herb Cutner

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:20 pm 
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neilgodfrey wrote:
In defence of D.M. Murdock's discussion in Christ in Egypt about crucified Egyptian gods I think she does an interesting job of detailing the evidence for the various deities, especially with respect to Osiris, including the function of the djed cross or pillar, and early Christian interpretations of these -- pages 336 to 352.

Yes, this is an excellent and informative chapter, and I am very pleased to see your positive comments Neil. But I should warn any cavalier readers that this chapter on Was Horus Crucified? does quote the Catholic Encyclopedia, which has been so vigorously mocked in this thread, despite its simple conservative citations of ancient sources, and it does explore the allegory of the cross, which may strain the brains of some of the more simple minded.

neilgodfrey wrote:
I think this is interesting background information that should rightly be factored into any historical and literary analyses that considers the origins of the Gospel of John's miracle of the raising of Lazarus, Secret Mark and the stories of Alexandrian provenance. But then on pages 353 to 356 it seems Murdock crashes head on into a brick wall by trying to overstate her case. Or am I missing something that she has explained elsewhere to justify her argument? We come to the heading "Divine Man" Crucified in Space. Referring to Massey's discussion of the phrase "crucifixion in space" Murdock writes:
Quote:
The crucifixion in space usually refers to that of Plato's "second God, who impressed himself on the universe in the form of the cross,"[super]2[/super] constituting the Greek philosopher's "world-soul" on an X, which, as we have seen, represents the sun crossing the ecliptic.. (p. 353)

I expected to see here the footnote directing me to Plato and his discussion of this "second God". But instead she takes us to Lundy, Bradshaw, Roberts, and Philo. That leaves me wondering where Plato speaks of "a second god" who made himself in the "form of a cross" at the ecliptic. My memory tells me that Plato did speak of the ecliptic being like a cross but no more. Have I forgotten crucial details? Murdock does not help me here.

Yes, you have forgotten crucial details regarding the Demiurge, which Plotinus called the Second God of Plato. And you are following Peter Kirby’s fine example of part-reading, like his omission of the sourcing word “CE” from the start of a part-sentence he quotes which he criticises for failing to cite its source, which funnily enough is a simple and sober citation of ancient authors from the dreaded Catholic Encyclopedia. Similarly, your omission here is a failure to note Murdock’s very next sentence, where she explains that the Second God is the Demiurge. And then she provides Pope Benedict’s implied comparison between Plato’s crucified ‘truly just man’ and Jesus Christ from Republic 362. But it is great to see you reading Christ in Egypt, which is a wonderfully informative book. Hopefully this will inspire others to also read it, as well as Did Moses Exist? I should add, Murdock's purpose includes a paradigmatic critique of conventional theology, which explains the polemical content that gets criticised by those who are committed to conventional readings.

I have the distinct impression that some readers here are too hasty in jumping to conclusions without careful reading. I have several times answered questions in this thread which have been the topic of subsequent blithe comments from the likes of Huller and Ulan. With forty pages that is fair enough I suppose, except that you would expect people would be slightly more circumspect before making wildly false insulting and misleading errors, notably Huller’s Howler about my supposed failure to cite Biblical evidence for a stellar framework for myth.

Earlier in this thread (page 13) I cited Plato’s Timaeus, saying the ecliptic “has been constant against the stars for all history, equating to what Plato in the Timaeus called “the same”." I went on to explore this 'cross in the sky' motif raised again here by Neil, saying: "The [other line in the heavens described by Plato] is the celestial equator, the line separating the north and south hemispheres, crossed by the sun at the spring and autumn equinoxes. This line moves at the rate discovered by Hipparchus of more than one degree per century, actually at one degree per 71.6 years. This line equates to what Plato in the Timaeus called “the different”, in his explanation that two great circles form an X in the heavens.”

This cross in the sky material from Plato is well worth expanding in view of Neil’s question about it, and in view of its absolute centrality to the Gnostic Hermetic origins of Christianity in Platonic astral philosophy. The source is Timaeus 36, as discussed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timaeus_(dialogue)#The_creation_of_the_World_Soul in which Plato provides his celebrated accurate theory of time as the moving image of eternity.

Although Plato’s descriptions are somewhat veiled, the most coherent explanation, as traditionally accepted, is that Plato defined time and eternity by the relation between the colures of the ecliptic and the equator which cross as great circles at the equinoxes to form opposite chis in the sky. These colures, to use Dante’s term in The Paradise, form the same Logos or cosmic order upon which Christ was imaginatively crucified in the Christian Gnostic Myth of the hypostasis of time and eternity, an objective idea that was anthropomorphised into the passion and creed.

Plato says in this sublime text that “the whole plan of the eternal God put the soul in the centre and made the universe a circle moving in a circle, one and solitary.” This is indeed what we can see if we look, applying Plato’s Parmenidian scientific logic of the one, seeing that the consistency of physics means space-time is unitary. Plato calls the Chi the ‘world soul’, a concept which Yeats in his famous poem The Second Coming was to liken to the sphinx slouching towards Bethlehem, where Yeats calls the man-lion a ‘vast image out of Spiritus Mundi’. Yeats here expands on the precessional cosmology he presented in A Vision, with the image of Aquarius the Man and Leo the Lion as the axis of the world which the equinoxes will reach to mark the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the dawn of the Age of Aquarius.

Continuing with this material from Timaeus, Plato says God “divided the universe lengthways into two parts, which he joined to one another at the centre like the letter X, and bent them into a circular form, connecting them with themselves and each other at the point opposite to their original meeting-point, with a uniform revolution upon the same axis, he made the one the outer and the other the inner circle.” This is an obscure and difficult image, but it actually matches well to reality. The main theory (Bury, Cornford) of what Plato means is that the outer circle is the ecliptic while the inner circle is the celestial equator. Another theory (George Latura) is that the X in the sky is formed by the intersecting paths of the sun and the Milky Way Galaxy in Gemini and Sagittarius, and this is the celestial cross which Constantine made his conquering sign. While Latura’s theory is plausible, I support the traditional view, given its elegant match to how the ancients could see precession as marking the dawn of the new age of Pisces when the equator crossed the fish and formed the exact image in the sky of the Chi Rho Cross.

Plato says "God called the motion of the outer circle the same" (likely reflecting that the fixed stars always look the same), and "the motion of the inner circle the different." In terms of understanding of precession this means that Plato was aware that the equator moves against the background stars. This is completely plausible given how Timaeus recognises that Greek thought learned from the East, a humble learning that was somewhat lost sight of in later times when Greek superiority became the dominant cultural idea.

Plato then explains, in another profound but complex passage, that “The soul began a divine beginning of perpetual rational life. The body of heaven is visible, but the soul is invisible, and partakes of reason and harmony, and being made by the best of intellectual and everlasting natures, is the best of things created. And when reason, which works with equal truth, whether she be in the circle of the different or of the same--in voiceless silence holding her onward course in the sphere of the self-moved--when reason, I say, is hovering around the sensible world and when the circle of the different also moving truly imparts the intimations of sense to the whole soul, then arise opinions and beliefs sure and certain.”

This text contains a wonderful affirmation of the centrality of precession to understanding the nature of time. The movement of the equator, traditionally the sign of the different, is said here by Plato to “impart sense to the whole”, giving rise to “certain belief”. This movement is nothing else but precession of the equinox, as observable in the astronomy of Plato’s day in Babylon, marking the difference between the ages of time in human history.

Platonic philosophy recognised the great difficulty of understanding and explaining this material, and therefore placed objective astronomy as the real context of the “certain belief” in the ‘sense of the whole’, ie the zodiac ages. This "certain belief" in the sense of the whole as based on observation of the shift of the heavens became the Gnostic basis of the Apocalypse 15 description of Christ as King of Ages, in my view.

This sense of the whole helps to explain Plato's next comment: “But when reason is concerned with the rational, and the circle of the same moving smoothly declares it, then intelligence and knowledge are necessarily perfected.” The rational is here equated to the visible movement of the stars, with reason uncovering its hidden order. “And if any one affirms that in which these two are found to be other than the soul, he will say the very opposite of the truth.” The positive statement here from Plato is that intelligence and knowledge are primarily perfected in the observation of the unchanging regularity of nature. Astronomy is at the foundation of science, philosophy and theology.

Continuing with the Timaeus origin of Christian natural cosmology, Plato says “When the father and creator saw the creature which he had made moving and living, the created image of the eternal gods, he rejoiced, and in his joy determined to make the copy still more like the original; and as this was eternal, he sought to make the universe eternal, so far as might be. Now the nature of the ideal being was everlasting, but to bestow this attribute in its fulness upon a creature was impossible. Wherefore he resolved to have a moving image of eternity, and when he set in order the heaven, he made this image eternal but moving according to number, while eternity itself rests in unity; and this image we call time.”

The Gnostic God of Time was called Aion, and was depicted as a man-lion with eagle wings encircled by a snake, standing upon a globe marked by the X. This esoteric image of time, the moving image of eternity, provides the template we should focus on to explore the evolution of the Christ myth, including how the cross myth emerged from the snake on the pole of Moses according to John 3. Both Plato and the Gospels contain this basic scientific observation of the structure of time as the framework of myth. We see here the sublime depth of the Hermetic origins of Christianity in the as above so below hermeneutic of the Lord’s Prayer, with Plato imagining the copy (ie what later became the Gospel story of Jesus) as modeled on the original, ie the actual movement of the cross of heaven observed by astronomy in the precession of the equinoxes.

By the way, there is quite a bit of interesting speculation around the equinox eclipse today, followed by the Easter Blood Moon in two weeks time.


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