Zeitgeist part 1 vs. "Preventing Truth Decay" website
"Zeitgeist" part 1 video is largely based on Acharya's work but includes many others as well. Of course she can only vouch for her own work. And, Acharya had nothing to do with parts 2 & 3http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com
Realize that Zeitgeist was never intended to be a scholarly documentary. As Peter Joseph explains, it was a personal project which was shown in New York as a free public awareness expression. After the event was over, "The Movie" was tossed online with little thought given to a public response.
Here is my response to the "Preventing Truth Decay" site that I sent them shortly after their page "Zeitgeist" Online Movie: Part One Refuted
was created. I've seen folks passing this site around as if it holds the authority and is the last word on the matter - what a joke. There's MUCH MORE I could add but not bad for a quickie... feel free to copy/paste it wherever necessary. I may make additions to this later when I have the time.
Which is the same crap from JP Holding
and Mike Licona
which Acharya already addressed.
* added edit: For my original e-mail go to this thread "Preventing Truth Decay responds"http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... f=4&t=1158
I've made a few additions to this here as I stated I would so, it is no longer the original but you are free to copy/paste it and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
to correct the errors and misinformation there. Please do...
Dear Preventing Truth Decay.org,
I've recently viewed your website which includes an article titled "Zeitgeist" Online Movie: Part One Refuted".
I wanted to respond to this and since your website is all about preventing the decay of truth, I'm confident that you would also have the integrity to post my response along with the article. Otherwise, it would be very dishonest and unscholarly to censor the opposing view point, wouldn't it. I couldn't help but notice that you chose not to include Acharya's responses to Holding and Licona that have been available long before you created Preventing Truth Decay. I will simply organize a quick response not a point by point to every single criticism as it doesn't seem necessary, nor do I have the time.
In your section "General Introduction" -
The claims of outdated scholarship and primary sources are brought up along with author Acharya S and her book "The Christ Conspiracy". There's something you should know, there are two other books by Acharya as well, "Suns of God" and "Who Was Jesus?". Having read them all, I felt I should say something because your view of Acharya's work is not accurate.
Acharya wrote "Christ Conspiracy" in 1999 it is 430 pages, with over 1,200 footnotes & over 100 bibliographical citations. "Suns of God" (2004) in response to the criticisms of "Christ Conspiracy". So the criticisms have already been dealt with there. "Suns of God" is nearly 600 pages with over 1,800 footnotes with 46 pages of illustrations, which comprise over 100 separate images. Suns of God's bibliography comprises over 250 books and articles. Most of these are from conservative and respected sources, and many of them are Christian, dating back to the earliest times. Acharya has presented this enormous amount of resources in order to provide a consensus of opinion, precisely because the subject matter is so contentious.
In 2007, "Who Was Jesus?: Fingerprints of The Christ", in this work Acharya sets aside mythology, astrotheology to specifically deal with the Gospels where Acharya shares commentary by various Christian authorities, apologists and evangelicals, as well as New Testament scholars. WWJ, comprises of 168 books and articles most of which are again, from conservative and respected sources, and many of them are Christian, dating back to the earliest times through to today.
Back to outdated scholarship and primary sources, Acharya addresses this issue in the Introduction to "Suns of God" here - http://www.truthbeknown.com/introduction.htm
"The claim that Christianity was influenced by pagan religious beliefs, including astrology, is nothing new. These claims are rooted in the “history of religions school,” which emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century. However, by the mid-twentieth century, this method had been greatly refuted-even non-Christian scholars opposed this perspective."
- Well, this is not accurate, as even Justin Martyr admits around 150 CE in "The First Apology" (XXI):
"And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you [PAGANS] believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter..."
* Yes, I've seen your response to this quote - enjoy "Jesus: God, Man or Myth?" http://www.truthbeknown.com/cutner.htm
For more on this see "Who Was Jesus?" by Acharya
"That there are parallels between the Mysteries and Christianity has been observed since the early centuries of the Church, when both Christian and non-Christian alike commented upon certain similarities."
- Dr. Bruce Metzger, "Historical and Literary Studies: Pagan, Jewish and Christian"
It appears that most of the sources you use here are Tektonics/JP Holding and Mike Licona. First, JP Holding -
JP Holding has no qualifications whatsoever in any Biblical field, knows no Biblical languages, and has no relevant training, yet has the temerity to presume that his OPINION is enough, and that his personal FAITH is all that he needs, to offer a vicious and vitriolic critique of credible credentialed scholars who are trained in this area of expertise. JP Holding has no training in comparative religion. No training in mythology. No training in archaeoastronomy. No training in astrotheology. Here are just a few links about the dishonesty of JP Holding exposing why he & his entourage cannot be trusted ...see it for yourself.
'James Patrick Holding, the Want-to-Be Apologist'http://www.infidels.org/library/magazin ... 24jph.html
'Dishonesty by Robert Turkel (J.P. Holding)'http://www.discord.org/~lippard/turkeldishonesty.html
A Reply to J. P. Holdinghttp://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ ... lding.html
"Writing James P Holding Off!"http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.c ... g-off.html
"Prove Jesus Existed, Please!"http://www.truthbeknown.com/holding.htm
James Patrick Holding: Another Apostate With Selective Education http://www.darrellwconder.com/debate1.html
Do a google for JP Holding and his alt. "Sheila Rangslinger" -
"DISCLOSURE FROM ADMIN: "Sheila Rangslinger" was discovered to be a sock puppet identity created by J.P. Holding. Any statements about J.P. Holding in this post were written by J.P. Holding himself."
And here's what Acharya had to say concerning Mike Licona -
"First of all, Mike Licona is not a credible individual, as his stated life's mission is to 'prove' that a Jewish man was 'the' God of the cosmos, and was born of a virgin and raised from the dead - a ridiculous premise that is unprovable.
"Secondly, Licona's methodology of 'debunking' my work included making random phone calls to professors, reading them a couple of sentences taken out of context, such that they pronounced my book to be 'ridiculous' and made other disparaging comments about my person, and then hanging up. As an example of this unethical behavior of Licona - during which time he apparently also identified some of these 'ridiculous' sentences as mine when they were not - we received the following response from one of his main 'sources' in his attempts at discrediting me, Professor Edwin Bryant. When we asked Prof. Bryant about this affair concerning Licona, my work and Bryant's derogatory comments, Bryant responded as follows:"'I somewhat remember receiving a phone call from someone sometime back requesting my views on Krishna in connection with a book he was critiquing. I had no time or interest to read the book to which he was referring, nor was I criticizing the book itself, as you suggested in a previous email since, not having read it, I had no grounds to do so. As a scholar of the Krishna tradition, I felt duty-bound to answer his questions, which I did, and gave my opinion of the views he represented to me regarding Krishna's supposed crucifixion. There are no traditional sources indicating Krishna or any avatara of Vishnu was crucified. If western authors from (I assume) the colonial period have published claims that there are alternative folk narratives that do represent such a version of events, then the onus is on them to provide specific references to these sources if they are to be taken seriously by scholars.
"'best wishes, Edwin Bryant'
"Obviously, Licona was not as cozy with these scholars as the impression he gives in order to depict himself as an authority. Nor did he give much a disclosure concerning my arguments, which Bryant acknowledges he has never read. Moreover, again, my book "Suns of God" goes into greater detail regarding this issue in particular, much of which data I would think would be fascinating to a "scholar of the Krishna tradition." In specific, I address the assertion concerning the depiction of Krishna as 'crucified' or in cruciform.
"Please also see my rebuttal of Licona vis-a-vis my work -
"'It is obvious that apologist Licona's main tactic in refuting The Christ Conspiracy is to attack my credibility, constantly misrepresenting statements from my book and website in order to make me look absurd. Such is a classic tactic of apologists and other used-religion salesmen attempting to sell their shoddy goods to an unsuspecting public. Apologists are not generally trained to think independently or to refute facts but to assail the credentials and credibility of the individual who does not buy such shoddy goods. In other words, don't bother them with the facts or the science, they will simply retort that your hair is the wrong color or you will be punished by God or some other playground rubbish.'
"In any event, even if a few assertions from my work are shown to be in error, and I admit to being fallible, the general premise - to wit, Jesus Christ is as mythical as Hercules - remains sound and unrefuted.
- Acharya S
Acharya regarding Mike Licona - http://www.truthbeknown.com/licona.htm
From your section, "Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, and Mithra (or Mithras)-Is the Life of Jesus Christ Plagiarized from their Myths?"
For starters, actually read "Christ Conspiracy", "Suns of God" Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ
and Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
(CIE) which addresses all of the Egyptian claims in Zeitgeist. For a shorter version of CIE check out The Companion Guide to ZEITGEIST Part 1" E-Book
“Mithra was born on December 25.”
JP Holding response: "“…the Dec 25 issue is of no relevance to us--nowhere does the NT associate this date with Jesus' birth at all." This is something the later church did, wherever they got the idea from..."
To this nonsensical remark, Acharya responds, "First of all, Holding's opinion on this subject is, as usual, irrelevant. The fact is that HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of people worldwide believe that the Jewish son of God was born on December 25th, just like many other sons of God. Holding merely waving that fact away is not going to affect reality."
What does the Catholic Encyclopedia say on this issue?
Mithraism: "Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season."http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10402a.htm
* Notice the word "REBIRTH," which means that the sun was perceived to have died only to be re-born or resurrected 3 days later after the winter solstice.
Natalis Invicti: "The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date. For the history of the solar cult, its position in the Roman Empire, and syncretism with Mithraism"http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm
* see "Suns of God" and for more info on Horus
Section "Did Any of these Pre-Christian Deities Really Rise from the Dead?"
- Again, I refer you to Justin Martyr around 150 ce admitting pre-Christian Pagan gods which were "...crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven..."
* for more on this see "Who Was Jesus?" and of course "Suns of God".
Section "Jesus Christ-the Most Recent Solar Messiah?"
The fact that Christians' favorite holidays are Christmas and Easter is enough to consider Jesus a sun god. I agree that the bible makes no mention for the actual date for the birth nor death of Jesus - as would be the case for a fictional character. In ancient times long before the advent of Christianity both an Easter and a Christmas type of celebration existed which usually represented victory of the light over the darkness. Neither holiday was originated by Christianity. In fact, it wasn't until 1870 when Christmas was recognized as an official holiday in the US. Christians fought over it for nearly a full century specifically because they considered it to be too PAGAN.
"I contacted former astrologer Marcia Montenegro..."
who seems to know absolutely nothing about solar mythology, astrotheology nor comparative religion. I can't take anything she has to say seriously on any of the issues here.
However, Dr. Noel Swerdlow is the Professor of Astronomy etc, I can listen to what he has to say:
Q. "The sun rises on December 25 and this is why Jesus and all of the other deities mentioned previously share similar characteristics."
"“This is of course complete nonsense astronomically. The identification of Christ with solar deities goes back to the eighteenth century" ... "It may be true that picking that particular day for Christ's birth was influenced by traditions about the winter solstice, but that does not make him a solar deity.”
First of all, that's the wrong question. The question concerns the WINTER SOLSTICE not whether or not the sun rises on December 25th - of course the sun rises on December 25th. Secondly, this person is not an expert on solar mythology, so he does not know any of the arguments that concern whether or not Jesus is another version of the sun god. Also, the claim made by apologists and Dr. Swerdlow that the comparison of Jesus to other solar deities began in the 18th century is FALSE.
In the first place, sun gods were extremely important in the ancient world, as attested by pre-Christian writer Diodorus Siculus, for one:
"Now when the ancient Egyptians, awestruck and wondering, turned their eyes to the heavens, they concluded that two gods, the sun and the moon, were primeval and eternal; and they called the former Osiris, the latter Isis..."
- Diodorus Siculus (90-21 BCE), Greek Historian, "Suns of God" 89
Early Church Father Tertullian (160-220 C.E.), an "ex-Pagan" and Bishop of Carthage, ironically admits the true origins of the Christ story and of all other such godmen by stating in refutation of his critics, "You say we worship the sun; so do you." "Christ Conspiracy" 158 (paraphrase from the Catholic Encyclopedia)
"All the gods of the Greek and Roman mythology represent the attributes of the one supreme divine power - the SUN."
- Macrobius around 400ce "Suns of God" 67-68
Most importantly, the comparisons of Jesus with the sun began in the SECOND CENTURY, with Church fathers such as Tertullian (160-220 CE), who said:
Chapter 13. ”The Charge of Worshipping the Sun Met by a Retort.
"Others, with greater regard to good manners, it must be confessed, suppose that the sun is the god of the Christians, because it is a well-known fact that we pray towards the east, or because we make Sunday a day of festivity. What then? Do you do less than this? Do not many among you, with an affectation of sometimes worshipping the heavenly bodies likewise, move your lips in the direction of the sunrise? It is you, at all events, who have even admitted the sun into the calendar of the week; and you have selected its day, in preference to the preceding day as the most suitable in the week for either an entire abstinence from the bath, or for its postponement until the evening, or for taking rest and for banqueting. By resorting to these customs, you deliberately deviate from your own religious rites to those of strangers. For the Jewish feasts on the Sabbath and 'the Purification,' and Jewish also are the ceremonies of the lamps, and the fasts of unleavened bread, and the 'littoral prayers,' all which institutions and practices are of course foreign from your gods. Wherefore, that I may return from this digression, you who reproach us with the sun and Sunday should consider your proximity to us. We are not far off from your Saturn and your days of rest."
Tertullian, "Ad Nationes," I, 13 http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/03061.htm
Later, St. Augustine (354-430 AD/CE) was also compelled to dispute the same observation, which obviously continued to his day:
"I think that what the Lord says, 'I am the light of the world," is clear to those that have eyes, by which they are made partakers of this light: but they who have not eyes except in the flesh alone, wonder at what is said by the Lord Jesus Christ, "I am the light of the world." And perhaps there may not be wanting some one too who says with himself: Whether perhaps the Lord Christ is that sun which by its rising and setting causes the day? For there have not been wanting heretics who thought this. The ManichÃ¦ans have supposed that the Lord Christ is that sun which is visible to carnal eyes, exposed and public to be seen, not only by men, but by the beasts. But the right faith of the Catholic Church rejects such a fiction, and perceives it to be a devilish doctrine: not only by believing acknowledges it to be such, but in the case of whom it can, proves it even by reasoning. Let us therefore reject this kind of error, which the Holy Church has anathematized from the beginning. Let us not suppose that the Lord Jesus Christ is this sun which we see rising from the east, setting in the west; to whose course succeeds night, whose rays are obscured by a cloud, which removes from place to place by a set motion: the Lord Christ is not such a thing as this. The Lord Christ is not the sun that was made, but He by whom the sun was made. For all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made."
Augustine, "Tractate on the Gospel of John," XXXIVhttp://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1701034.htm
Solar Mythology Lesson # 1 - http://members.cox.net/deleyd/religion/ ... h/day.html
Winter solstice sunrise in Newgrange 3600-3100 BChttp://www.knowth.com/loughcrew.htm
"The earliest known direct reference to precession is that of the Greek astronomer Hipparchus (2nd century BCE), who is credited with discovering it. Adjustments of the Egyptian temple alignments, pointed out by Sir Norman Lockyer, may well indicate a much earlier sensitivity to this phenomenon, however."
Again, Krupp says:
"Circumstantial evidence implies that the awareness of the shifting equinoxes may be of considerable antiquity, for we find, in Egypt at least, a succession of cults whose iconography and interest focus on duality, the bull, and the ram at appropriate periods for Gemini, Taurus, and Aries in the precessional cycle of the equinoxes."
- Suns of God, page 40http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 910#p19910
Dr. Swerdlow also appears to be unaware that the Old Testament discusses the zodiac in one of the oldest book in the OT, Job explicitly at Job 38:32 where he mentions the "mazzaroth" = zodiac. And lets not forget that the bible itself mentions the "age" many times so, Dr. Swerdlow should just stick to astronomy and leave the theology, mythology and astrotheology to others as he appears to know nothing about it.
"At Stonehenge in England and Carnac in France, in Egypt and Yucatan, across the whole face of the earth are found mysterious ruins of ancient monuments, monuments with astronomical significants. These relics of other times are as accessible as the American Midwest and as remote as the jungles of Guatemala. Some of them were built according to celestial alignments; others were actually precision astronomical observatories ... Careful observation of the celestial rhythms was compellingly important to early peoples, and their expertise, in some respects, was not equaled in Europe until three thousand years later."
- Dr. Edwin Krupp, astronomer and director at Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles, 'In Search of Ancient Astronomies,' page xiii
I see no evidence to believe that the Jesus of the bible was ever anything else besides another sun god.
p.s. I'm sure you'll be pleased to discover that astronomer and former-director of Los Angeles's Griffith Observatory Dr. Edwin Krupp is quoted many times throughout "Suns of God" among others.
Section "Did Jesus Even Exist?"
"Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius: No Proof of Jesus"http://www.truthbeknown.com/pliny.htm
"The only definite account of his life and teachings is contained in the four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All other historical records of the time are silent about him. The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations; in Jewish writings there is no report about Jesus that has historical value. Some scholars have even gone so far as to hold that the entire Jesus story is a myth…"
- The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (v. 6, 83)
* for more on this see "Who Was Jesus?
" by Acharya
"Towards the end of Part I, the narrator states the phrases "We want to be academic' and that 'Christianity is not based on truth." These statements are quite ironic, however, because genuine academic research blatantly refutes the vast majority of his claims (as is evidenced by the data provided above) and strongly supports historic Christianity."
- REALLY? I'll just grab a few more quotes from Christian authorities that I found interesting from "Who Was Jesus?" -
"One would naturally expect that the Lord Jesus Christ would be sufficiently important to receive ample notice in the literature of his time, and that extensive biographical material would be available. He was observed by multitudes of people, and his own followers numbered into the hundreds (1 Cor. 15:6), whose witness was still living in the middle of the first century. As a matter of fact, the amount of information concerning him is comparatively meager. Aside from the four Gospels, and a few scattered allusions in the epistles, contemporary history is almost silent concerning him."
- Merrill C. Tenney, "New Testament Survey," p. 203.
Dr. Tenney is a conservative evangelical Christian who was a professor of Theological Studies and the dean of the school of Theology at Wheaton College. Tenney was also one of the original translators of the NASB and NIV editions of the Bible.
"Apart from the New Testament writings and later writings dependent upon these, our sources of information about the life and teaching of Jesus are scanty and problematic"
- F.F. Bruce, "New Testament History" founder of the modern evangelical movement
"...there are very few sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus beyond the four canonical Gospels. Paul and Josephus offer little more than tidbits. Claims that later apocryphal Gospels and the Nag Hammadi material supply independent and reliable historical information about Jesus are largely fantasy. In the end, the historian is left with the difficult task of sifting through the Four Gospels for historical tradition."
- John P. Meier, "A Marginal Jew," vol. II, 5.
Dr. Meier is a Catholic University New Testament professor, ex-Catholic priest and monsignor
So for my own conclusion. I'd point out that if you're going to be overly critical of an author's work, it may be wise to actually read the book first rather than rely on the dishonesty of JP Holding and Licona. I see this review of the "Zeitgeist" part 1 movie and Acharya's "Christ Conspiracy" as more Christian dishonesty attempting to censor a view point that has been around much longer than Christianity.
If you would like to claim that Jesus was a historical real person that lived on earth, was the son of god etc, etc then simply provide the evidence - outside of the Bible - to support these claims. Note that even if you could, it would be the first time throughout history as even the apostles and earliest church fathers couldn't produce any evidence for this. If there were any evidence to support the claims, faith would not be the main requirement for Christianity.
* for more on this subject see "Who Was Jesus?" by Acharya
If it is solar mythology or astrotheology you're interested in then, it would be wise to approach experts in this field. Not folks with no credentials whatsoever like JP Holding etc.Acharya S is a top expert in the field of comparative religion and mythology, specializing in astrotheology and solar mythology with a keen interest in archaeoastronomy. Acharya S examines the connections between modern religious belief and our ancient veneration for the Sun and other natural phenomena throughout her work:Who Was Jesus?
Expanded Version http://stellarhousepublishing.com/whowasjesus.htmlSuns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiledhttp://www.truthbeknown.com/sunsofgod.htmThe Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Soldhttp://www.truthbeknown.com/christ.htm
* New edit Oct 2nd - We have been blessed by the "Preventing Truth Decay" creator joining us with a response here -
Preventing Truth Decay respondshttp://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... f=4&t=1158* The entire issue surrounding the Zeitgeist part 1 controversy comes down to 2 things.
1. The evidence of solar mythology, astrotheology found worldwide as far back into history as we can go.
2. The very severe lack of credible evidence for the existence of Jesus.
These 2 subjects intersect in many ways and must be examined together. It is my contention that we will never fully understand our modern religious beliefs unless and until we also understand the mythological and astrotheological aspects of our history. Mainstream academia omits these 2 aspects for the most part. We can argue about the details forever - detractors can disagree with Acharya all they want but it still comes down to those 2 issues from above.