Mythicist book about Bart Ehrman and the Christ myth

The collaborative rebuttal of Bart Ehrman’s book Did Jesus Exist? is available both in Kindle and hard copy. This one-of-a-kind volume is entitled Bart Erhman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman’s Did Jesus Exist? (Cranford, NJ: American Atheist Press, 2012). The book includes the writings of several mythicists, to wit: me, Frank Zindler, Robert M. Price, Earl Doherty, Rene Salm, Richard Carrier and David Fitzgerald. To my knowledge, this book represents the first time articles of so many Jesus mythicists have been published together in one volume, specifically in defense of Christ-myth studies.

Most of the writing is by Frank Zindler, a past president of American Atheists who has written several mythicist articles and the book The Jesus the Jews Never Knew, among others. The present tome was edited by Zindler and Bob Price, who dedicated it to the great Thomas Paine, himself a student of the case for Jesus mythicism and evidently discussed it with American president Thomas Jefferson.

Contents

The book’s contents are divided into five parts, covering Ehrman’s tome in the first section, addressing in specific the problem of Nazareth in part 2, with the third part discussing “crucified messiahs,” the fourth and fifth parts composed of lengthy articles addressing various other aspects of Jesus mythicism and Ehrman’s work.

My first essay appears in the initial part, “Ehrman’s Arguments Engaged.” My paper represents a reprint of my writing at Freethought Nation, “The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ hidden in the Vatican,” which bears reiteration for many reasons, including that the popular god Priapus shares several important characteristics in common with Christ, as I also discuss in a follow-up article entitled, “The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ at the Vatican revisited.”

My other article in the Ehrman rebuttal book appears in section two, “The Problem of Nazareth,” in which Zindler and Salm demonstrate that there is no evidence Nazareth existed as a “city” or inhabited place during the era when Jesus purportedly lived. My article in this part is entitled, “Was There a Historical ‘Jesus of Nazareth?’ The use of Midrash to create a biographical detail in the gospel story.” In this paper, I show that there is no reason to assume that Nazareth was a real place, when from the Greek of the New Testament the designation is not “Jesus of Nazareth” but “Jesus the Nazarene,” reflecting a pre-Christian sect of which the Old Testament hero Samson was said to be a member as well. This discussion strikes at the heart of the supposed “Jesus of Nazareth,” who in reality finds no place either in such a town or in history. (See my books and articles for arguments about the “evidence” for Jesus in non-Christian writings from antiquity, such as “Does Josephus prove a historical Jesus?“)

Introduction

I have not read the entire book, but I am quite happy to see that a couple of people have included some defense of my work, in particular Dr. Robert M. Price in his “Introduction.” Beginning on p. xxi, Price writes:

The god Priapus as a cockAcharya S (pen name of D.M. Murdock) is one of the prime targets for Professor Ehrman’s haughty derision. Her chief sin in Ehrman’s eyes would appear to be her lack of diplomas on the wall, notwithstanding Acharya’s extensive researches, including on-site investigations of archaeological materials, and her extensive documentation of her theories. She dares to plumb neglected and forgotten works by old writers, separating the wheat from the chaff where these old authors lacked the (more recent) knowledge that would have enabled them to tell the difference. Like a scribe who produces from her treasury goods old and new (Matt. 13:52), she has a knack for displaying intriguing data neglected by “mainstream” scholars who simply do not know what to make of them. Such items of evidence are rejected or ignored by scholars who have long since assembled the jigsaw in a particular way and find that these oddly shaped bits cannot be conveniently inserted. Acharya dissents: she sees the need to start over and to redo the puzzle. One such puzzle piece is the bizarre artifact inscribed with the caption “Savior of the World,” a bust of a rooster-headed man whose beak is replaced by an erect penis! Was this thing an improbable caricature of Jesus Christ? An artist’s conception of the fabled Antichrist? An idol of the god Priapus? Any way you cut it, the ancient world was full of oddities that imply a stranger, more complex picture than many would like to think. Well, Bart Ehrman not only knows not what to make of the dickhead deity (we could forgive him for that); he just wishes it away, declaring it a figment of Acharya’s fevered imagination. Such libel only reveals a total disinclination to do a fraction of the research manifest on any singe page of Acharya’s works. In fact, one inevitably thinks of Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods? In it he declares, “Without actually consulting Exodus, I seem to remember that the Ark was often surrounded by flashing sparks.” Here Acharya obligingly does what she shouldn’t have to do, providing (again!) the documentation for her account of “The Phallic Savior of the World in the Vatican Museum.” Are Acharya’s hypotheses and speculations debatable? That is no surprise when one ventures, and one suspects that is what Ehrman, safely ensconced in the cocoon of mainstream scholarship, really cannot brook.

Okay, that’s a mouthful! First of all, let me say that I have a draft from last year when Ehrman’s book first came out with some 60 pages of rebuttal, but I had to proceed to other projects. If enough people are interested, perhaps I will dust it off and lob it back at the doubter of the divine dickhead, who has libeled me (and others) several times in his book with the false charge of “fabrication,” disproved handily in this one instance alone.

Credentials

Temple of Apollo at Corinth, photo by D.M. MurdockSecondly, as concerns credentials, I received a degree in Classics, Greek Civilization, from Franklin & Marshall College, and subsequently attended the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece, for post-graduate studies. This education and experience are quite relevant, since I read ancient and modern Greek fairly well, and, as we know, the New Testament was composed in Greek, as was the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, both of which versions I study on a regular basis.

In this same regard, I also spent years in Greece doing both graduate and post-graduate studies that took me the length and breadth of the country, with a focus not only on ancient, classical Greek civilization but also on the nation’s Christian period, dating back to the earliest centuries. In my studies, which included excavating at the site of Corinth, where St. Paul addressed the Corinthians, I gained a great deal of knowledge of the Mediterranean region and history, vital to the study of Christian origins. Because of my formal education, I possess a significant grasp of the milieu of the day and, as Bob Price graciously has acknowledged, an unusual ability to put together seemingly disparate and far-flung pieces of the puzzle.

Older Sources

It should be noted that in my use of “old writers,” I am merely beginning the quest, a simple starting point. In my scholarship, I constantly cite the original, primary sources in their own languages, along with the most up-to-date research and discoveries in the works of credentialed authorities in relevant fields. It should also be noted that the older scholars possessed a broad knowledge that many specialists do not have today, which means they were able to look far afield and see the comparisons that form the basis of comparative religion and mythology studies dating back many centuries. These comparative religion studies, in fact, extend into the early Christian era, with the raising of parallels by Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Minucius and others.

In this present collaborative effort, I do not discuss my usual specialty, which is these very parallels between the Jesus figure and the deities and heroes of antiquity, around the Mediterranean and beyond. For these comparisons, which I included in my first published book The Christ Conspiracy (now in revision), I have spent the past decade digging up the primary sources in their original languages, working in ancient Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Canaanite, Egyptian, Coptic, Sanskrit, Vedic and modern tongues such as German and French.

In dealing with the older scholars, one should keep in mind that their standard education included intense study of classical writers in their original languages, such as Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Diodorus, Plutarch, Suetonius, Tacitus and the early Church fathers. In Europe and America over the past several centuries, in fact, it was de rigeur to be educated in these subjects, and often the scholars refer to these ancient sources as if everyone else will know exactly what they are talking about, without need for citation. As a classics major, I approached the material in the same way, not always realizing that not everyone else these days had studied these classical writers and would know the references. Hence, I have worked diligently to bring forth these sources, highlighting the relevant passages and including them in their original languages.

In this regard, my websites, forums and blogs are full of these citations – one can search freely this blog itself to bring up results across my websites. One can also find these various parallels and many other mythicist arguments in my books and ebooks, such as The Christ Conspiracy, Suns of God, Who Was Jesus?, Christ in Egypt, Jesus as the Sun throughout History and so on.

Sex Symbols

I find it somewhat amusing that it has been left to me, the sole female in this tome as well as prominently in the field of mythicism in general, to explore the subject of the priapus gallinaceus, the “dickhead deity,” as Bob Price has so eloquently put it. Perhaps in erecting this issue, Erhman felt I would be intimidated by the display of manhood. Needless to say, I am not, and it is my pleasure to wave my own prowess around in return. The priapus gallinaceus represents an entire genre of fertility cult objects, the need for which in human culture and religion has extended back into the hoary mists of time. In Israel itself are discovered similar sacred sex and fertility cult artifacts, such as stone phalluses, and our religious iconography abounds in this imagery, along with the female genitalia, such as the yonic vesica piscis, which has been used even to frame Our Lord and His Holy Mother, among other divines and saints.

As Price hinted, there is much more to this subject of ancient “sacred sex” symbolism, which assuredly has been incorporated into Christianity and which I addressed in the first edition of Christ Con. In consideration of the abundance of sex symbolism within Christianity, it would not surprise us if this ancient ithyphallic genre indeed was applied at some point to the Christian soter tou cosmou or “savior of the world.”

Priapus and Christianity

This contention becomes especially probable when we consider how many similarities there are between the Greco-Roman god Priapus and the Christian god, including, as I state elsewhere, the recognition of Priapus as “God the Father, first person of the Trinity, the ‘Good One.'” Indeed, Priapus was called the “Good One,” as was the Jewish tribal god Yahweh, as well as many other gods and goddesses in antiquity, including Jesus. (See my “Chrestos” series.)

Moreover, like so many other ancient deities, Priapus the Cock was significantly solar, an attribute he shares with Jesus, the “Sun of Righteousness.” So popular was Priapus even into the “Christian” era that, in the Middle Ages, he  became a Christian saint, under a number of monikers – causing us to wonder whether or not “St. Peter” is likewise a rehash of Priapus in significant part:

St. Foutin in the north of France in Languedoc and in the province of Lyons, St. Gilles in Brittany, St. Rene in Anjou, St. Regnaud in Burgundy, St. Guignole near Brest, St. Guerlichon in Bourges, St. Cosmo and St. Damiano in Isernia in Italy. Thus, the cult of Priapus was widespread throughout Europe… (Baird, 89)

In any event, there is much more to this fascinating subject, which one can peruse in the various links here. Suffice it to say, in implying that I fabricated or misrepresented this artifact, which in reality is part of an entire genre, is false and calumnious, as well as indicative of a lack of expertise and due diligence unbecoming a professional scholar of renown. For this one gaffe, Ehrman is also pilloried by Richard Carrier, in an unusual defense of my work, which I greatly appreciate. (In the present work, Carrier cannot resist making it known that he disagrees with other writers in this new mythicist book. If he is referring to me, it should be understood that in general he has not studied the massive volume of data I have worked hard to bring forth over the past decades.)

Since the Erhman rebuttal book was put together and edited by Frank Zindler and Robert Price, it is understandable that the bulk of it represents their writings, along with several lengthy contributions by Earl Doherty, who labored to rebut Ehrman’s equally sloppy treatment of his work, producing dozens of articles. I would love to have had other of my rebuttals published, naturally, had I known the book was going to be so voluminous, comprising some 567 pages!

Criticisms

Which brings me to the problems with this volume. The issues with this book stem largely from the fact that we needed to get it done ASAP and, in the midst of the process, Frank Zindler’s beloved wife of 48 years passed away, leaving him and his editor daughter bereft and distracted by grief. During this period of mourning, the book’s files were lost and needed to be reconstructed. It is unfortunate that there exists no index or bibliography, although some of the articles such as my own possess separate bibliographies, and various citations are included in footnotes, so the reader is not left hanging.

Another criticism regards my carefully procured quotes in the Greek alphabet, which now have been transliterated using the Latin script. I understand this need for the lay public, but I do need to state that those transliterations are not original to my articles, which contained the Greek quotes.

Also, as a trivial quibble concerning the editing, single and double quotations are used haphazardly. In American usage, double quotations are for primary quotes, while single marks are employed within the initial citation. In British style, the opposite is the case. Also, as a publisher, I think the book could have been 6×9, reducing its bulk and cost, which likewise would be true with smaller top and bottom margins in the interior. Because of the issues with the files being lost, apparently, italicized text is sometimes extended beyond its original intention, which can be confusing.

All that being said, I truly appreciate the fact that Frank, his daughter and Bob took the time to put together this volume, especially in the midst of such tragedy and illness.

A Salient Historical Work

All in all, this volume constitutes a very significant contribution to the field of mythicist studies – and there does exist such a field, with an enormous body of literature dating back centuries. Before the book’s publication, I was privy to see the exchange of emails between Zindler and Ehrman, in which it becomes clear that Ehrman is not an expert on mythicist studies – as we could tell likewise by his book DJE in the first place – and that he was not interested in knowing the data. This latter fact is a shame, because this scholarship is absolutely fascinating, and it reveals the origins of religious and mythological ideation dating back to remote antiquity. Whispers and threads of the much later Christ character and “Christian” doctrines can be found in religious sects and cults dating back to the first writing, as in the Sumerian, Babylonian, Ugaritic, Egyptian, Persian and Indian texts.

As concerns the Zindler-Ehrman correspondence, which Frank has published in this volume with permission from Ehrman, another thing that struck me was that Frank is an old-school mythicist well versed in this large body of centuries-old scholarship. It is unfortunate that there are so few of us left, but we hope to inspire many more to take a look. Zindler is also impressive in that he works in the original languages, such as Greek, and I feel a certain kindred spiritness with him in that regard.

The importance of this peer-reviewed book cannot be overemphasized. As Zindler says in his “Foreword” (xi):

The struggle here engaged is not just another scholarly quarrel. It is a contest between scholars who see the world through the lens of science and those who cannot yet cut themselves free from the anchors of religious and traditional authority. Until the publication in 2012 of Bart D. Ehrman’s Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, scholars who have denied the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth have for the most part been answered only by religious apologists, not genuine historians or biblical scholars. Only occasionally during the twentieth century did secular scholars take critical notice of the growing Mythicist literature and present arguments against even the most uncertain and vulnerable parts of it. For the most part, the strategy of traditional scholars seems to have been, “If we ignore them, sooner or later they’ll give up and go away.”

That strategy worked very well, and notice of the so-called Mythicist position were taken neither in Academe nor in pulpit. Until the advent of the internet, Mythicist evidence and arguments against the Historical Jesus was largely excluded from the ordinary channels of scholarly communications.

Everything changed, however, when the Mythicist position was formally engaged by Professor Bart. D. Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Ehrman arguably is one of the most famous and professional respected New Testament scholars in America. In his Did Jesus Exist?, specific Mythicists are named and their works are cited and criticized. This is a milestone in the history of Historical-Jesus studies, and it lends hope that before too long a genuine Science of Christian Origins will be able to supplant Historical-Jesus Studies in the world of secular scholarship.

The present book provides an opportunity for Mythicists to reply to Professor Ehrman’s criticisms in Did Jesus Exist?

A milestone indeed, because the tome is a show of force, so to speak, that ignoring us has not made us go away. For those unfamiliar with mythicist scholarship, the doubting of the gospel story goes back many centuries, indicated in the polemics of the early Church fathers themselves. Hints of Jesus mythicism can be found from the 17th century AD/CE, in the critical schools of Europe, until the first massive mythicist work by Charles Dupuis, Origine de tous les cultes, was published in the late 18th century. The multivolume original of this opus originally was in French, and only a certain percentage of it has been rendered into English. Dupuis’s erudition was extraordinary and peerless, drawing from as many ancient sources and commentaries as he could muster. One of Dupuis’s pupils was Napoleon Bonaparte, while another was Count Volney, whose mythicist work was translated from the French by none other than Thomas Jefferson.

As concerns the addressing of this centuries-long period of mythicist scholarship by professional scholars, after Dupuis and Volney the din became loud indeed, with many other scholars more or less jumping on the critical bandwagon, including F.C. Baur, Bruno Bauer and David Strauss, the latter of whom lost his occupation merely for questioning the authenticity of various parts of the gospel story. The full-blown mythicist and daring renegade Rev. Dr. Robert Taylor took the bull by the horns so forcefully that he was tried and convicted in England for “blasphemy,” serving two prison sentences in harsh conditions for preaching Jesus mythicism from the pulpit! Taylor’s treatment was so egregious that a young Charles Darwin quaked in his boots at the thought of what might become of him for his own theories.

With such aggression against Jesus mythicists and gospel doubters, which succeeded the slaughter of the various inquisitions and witch burnings designed to compel Christianity upon the masses, it is understandable that mythicists were few and far between. Whenever they have surfaced, they have been abused relentlessly by vitriol and calumny, even by other supposed freethinkers and secularists. Nevertheless, the dissenting voices became so ear-shattering during the late 19th century to early 20th that several qualified scholars did engage them at that time, including Shirley Jackson Case and Sir Frederick Conybeare, with evident disdain. In fact, the backlash against mythicism was so hostile and involved so many scholars and clergymen that, like Darwin, advocates shrank back, fearful for their livelihoods if not their lives.

As Frank Zindler says, with the internet, the cat is out of the bag, and there are more Jesus mythicists alive than at any time in history, and we are able to communicate with each other all over the world, in multiple languages. Certain media have exposed this scholarship to hundreds of millions, unparalleled in history. For that freedom of thought and expression, we should thank our lucky stars we are alive at this moment in time. And this sentiment is doubled by the fact that we now possess for the first time in history to my knowledge an anthology of mythicist articles from some of the most prominent scholars of the subject. Let us hope that more interest will provoke actual study courses in universities and colleges globally.

If anyone is interested in following or participating in the discussion of this book, be sure to come visit our forum thread! Please also purchase the book, Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus (ISBN-13: 978-1578840199), either in Kindle or hard copy, or ask your library to carry it. Thank you for your support and enthusiasm for this important research!

Further Reading

Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus (Kindle)
Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus (Hard copy)
Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus (Forum thread)
The Phallic ‘Savior of the World’ Revisited
Bart Ehrman’s Book ‘Did Jesus Exist?’ (Forum thread)
The Jesus Forgery: Josephus Untangled
Does Josephus prove a historical Jesus?
Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius: No Proof of Jesus
Is Suetonius’s Chresto a Reference to Jesus?
Acharya S/D.M. Murdock’s Books and Ebooks
Councils for God and the development of the biblical canon: Another response to Bart Ehrman
The Nazareth / Bethlehem Debate

31 Comments

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  1. [b]CONGRATULATIONS ACHARYA S !!!!![/b]

    When I first read Dr. Bart Ehrman’s book ‘Did Jesus Exist?’ I noticed that he never even mentioned your mythicist position ([url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63BNKhGAVRQ[/url]) or astrotheology ([url]http://stellarhousepublishing.com/astrotheology.html[/url]), instead, he went for cheap shots of ridicule making his best attempt to embarrass you with the phallic statue for example, however, that effort has proven to be a monumental failure. I’ve said it before after reading DJE and I’ll say it again, Bart Ehrman has ruined his own reliability and credibility with DJE, at least on the subject of mythicism because he still seems to know very little about it and really made no good faith effort to do so in DJE.

    Ehrman didn’t even actually read your book ‘Christ Conspiracy’ for himself, let alone any of your other books or articles or videos. He should probably be sued for libel (people should contact Harper publishing to complain), not only for misrepresenting you and your work but, blatantly accusing you of ‘making stuff up,’ and you proved him wrong with your chapter: “The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ hidden in the Vatican.”

    You also wrote chapter 14: “Was There a Historical ‘Jesus of Nazareth?” starting on page 389 and I thought it was very powerful. The Samson connection and the original primary sources debunk such a “city” called Nazareth at the time of Jesus. Well done!

    It is my hope that this new book will eventually bring mythicist material into the class room. It has been kept out for far too long.

  2. Ehrman [i]used [/i]to be a great scholar, until he pretended to read books he never read, evidently farming them out to his grad students and then making sloppy and egregious errors as to their contents. Not only do we encounter this dishonesty but he also libeled me and others repeatedly by slinging charges of “fabrication” at us. He’s done that before – it’s a bad habit.

    Moreover, Ehrman has never been a “great scholar” when it comes to the massive body of mythicist literature dating back centuries. He barely knew it existed until mythicists brought it to his attention just a few years ago. He scarcely has scraped the surface of this scholarship, and he is no expert on it and should never have written this book pretending otherwise.

    See our lengthy discussions here:

    Bart Ehrman’s [i]Did Jesus Exist?[/i] ([url]http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3923&sid=ad46f50367373b46b09ca1ef7c2fb373[/url])

  3. Thanks. Erhman didn’t even read my book, and his remarks are shown readily to be fallacious. As you can possibly tell from my post here, I know quite a bit about this subject, such that his hand-waving dismissal and derogation emanate from ignorance and obstinacy.

    The Talpiot tomb ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talpiot_Tomb#The_Lost_Tomb_of_Jesus_and_The_Jesus_Family_Tomb[/url]) “evidence” is no such thing, in reality. It is not considered to be convincing by mainstream scientists. The names supposedly found there are very common, and there were many “Jesuses” in antiquity. It is not any of their stories being told in the New Testament.

    The “Jesus Christ” of the New Testament is a fictional compilation of characters, real and mythical. A composite of multiple “people” is no one. There were MANY people at the bottom of it all, the same type of priestly collaboration that had created numerous previous gods and goddesses. The Christ figure is little different except in its completeness of syncretizing so many gods and goddesses into one.

    The Christ character’s tale is a mythical archetype drawing upon numerous other motifs from around the Mediterranean and beyond. This fact becomes very obvious when one has studied mythology in depth.

    For more information, see my articles here:

    The Christ Myth Articles ([url]http://truthbeknown.com/christ.htm[/url])

    There is much, more more – feel free also to follow the links in the “Further Reading” section of this present essay.

  4. Reflections In A Serpent’s Eye
    Since you are on the subject of dildoes and deities, I thought I might comment on Moses. The snake that Moses turned his rod into was actually his one-eyed trouser snake.

    The cross is undeniably a phallic symbol, which is why nuns have always used it to masturbate with, and it why nunneries were used as whore houses during the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, this Iezeus-Jesus is an impotent fraud god hanging on a piece of dead wood. The true Kristos, Iezeus-Dionysus is the erect life force holding the tree of life in his hands.

    The most extraordinary thing about this Jesus is why anyone would worship a Talmudic Hebrew as a god. Talmudists take their Kol Nidre oath every September 17th at sun down to lie to, cheat and defraud all non-Talmudic gentiles. Talmudists consider gentiles to be slave animals. This Talmudic Jesus would have taken such an oath if he had actually existed, so moronic gentiles have been worshipping a fraud who would have hated their guts simply because they are gentiles.

    This Jesus is nothing but an impotent, Talmudic fraud.

  5. Acharya S,
    I received your email, and did go to the site and obivisouly read this narrative. I am, or should I say just beginning to not believe in the bible. I have read, so much including the bible itselt, that makes no sense for a god as described. The bible contridicts its own words saying one thing in one verse, and another in a different verse. I really like your emails that you send me, and have bought several books that also describe the bible as a myth, wich has confirmed my recersal of religion. I have not read any of your books yet, but I intend to.

    Thanks,
    Emmett jones

  6. Thanks
    I read Bart’s book and will get yours. I thought he was overly critical of you and others. It’s quite an interesting and addictive detective story. But, I must add, I am impressed with the Talipot findings so I tend to think there was someone at the bottom of it all..

  7. Intellectual snobbery.
    Having read Ehrman’s “Did Jesus Exist?” as well as almost all of his books, I am truly disappointed in his treatment of the Christ mythicists.
    I do believe he is a great scholar, but he surely slipped in this case which, with the disdain he shows for those researchers who do not occupy professional chairs at institutions of learning, show him to be an intellectual snob.
    Peto Semper Cognitionem

  8. The only Lady Around
    Today the Christian story is collapsing.

    Many years ago the Intellectuals were mostly Christians. Today that percentage has reversed to the other side.

    We have now a great scholar force against the myth.

    Dr. M. Price.
    Dr. Bart Herman.

    A great Mind of the Era who passed away Christopher Hitchens with the experience of political analyst he turned to religion.

    In Italy Piergiorgio Odifreddi a mathematician
    In Latin America Fernando Vallejo a writer

    In Science against Religion from the generic point of view.

    Dr. Richard Dawkins well know in biology
    Dr. Lawrence Krauss Astrophysicist
    Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

    But the only Lady Around is Acharya S.
    The bible was written only by men.

    Today it seems that the bible can be refuted only by men.
    Well no.

    She is the only woman in the world to dig in old religions and find a real connection with the jesus Myth . Once to be considered , similitudes with Krishna , Budda, Osiris, etc….

    That perception is changing. Religions were copying the others in their arrogance to no be behind the others. More and bigger miracles our God does.

    The other scholars are experts in the Bible, and his writers. She goes beyond that in a more complex world.

    I very much would like to see Achary S. in a debate. She has the experience , knowledge , criteria, to do it.

    My Congratulations to her .

    In some way she reminds me of the great
    Hypatia.

  9. david llewellyn foster

    The general idea of religion is to encourage clever monkeys, ie chattering primates, to aspire to the estate of human beings, by developing their ethical cognitive understanding and an evidently limitless capacity to empathise with other sentient minds, by engaging in intelligent communion with the cosmos.

    So far, this hasn’t worked terribly well for us, as is clearly evident from the appalling shambles of machine-driven modern life and the degraded state of our precious little galactic sphere.

    It is pretty obvious that Bart Ehrman among other notably precocious divines with an acute sense of celebrity, seems very excited about having learned to read ~ or rather, how to persuade others to “read” for him ~ so is, sadly, arrested in an infantile and conceited stage of rational development. He hasn’t yet discovered how to honestly contemplate, address and engage complex and perennially occulted esoteric mysteries or symbolic mystical truths, with the necessary internal confidence and conviction, that truly learned discernment can bestow.

  10. Piso family
    Did you ever do something on the Piso family of Rome who apparently wrote the New Testament?If so ,pse. give more info on your opinion about this family.
    Thanks.

    1. Thank you for your query and interest. I studied the Reuchlin “Piso Theory” booklet many years ago and agreed with its main premise that the “Jesus Christ” of the New Testament is a fictional characters.

      I did not, however, agree with the idea that the Romans alone created this figure in order to take advantage of or dominate the Jews. The timing of this theory is off, because we have no clear evidence of the existence of the canonical gospels before the end of the second century.

      Prior to that time, we have non-canonical gospels and the purported writings of Ignatius, as well as the recitation of the story via Justin Martyr and others.

      The creation of Christianity was a concerted effort over a period of decades by numerous individuals of several ethnicities, working in the lingua franca of the day, Greek. Involved in this effort were Jews, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and, apparently, Indians ([url]http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/buddhismchristianity.html[/url]), among others.

      As concerns the “hidden code” that supposedly proves the Flavian authorship of the gospels, I don’t find any of it convincing, although certainly ancient writers enjoyed puns and word play. Dr. Christian Lindtner has created his own “gematria ([url]http://www.jesusisbuddha.com/CLT.html[/url])” theory, seeing a numerical code that reveals the Buddhist origins of the canonical gospels.

      As we can see, there is a difference of opinion, and a similar train of thought reveals at least two potentials. There may be more, or both of these may be incorrect. I am more convinced that Sanskrit-singers/poets were involved in the composition of the texts than I am of Reuchlin’s theory.

      Moreover, it should be kept in mind that the only possible evidence we have for a “Christian” movement by the end of the first century is an already established brotherhood network that evidently included “Chrestians ([url]http://www.truthbeknown.com/suetoniuschresto.html[/url]),” not “Christians.” It appears that there were followers of Chrest, not Christ, a title meaning ‘Good” and “Useful.” In the book of Acts, it is related that the “Christians” were first so called at Antioch, Syria, but the original word used is Chrestians, with the Greek letter [i]eta[/i].

      This “cult of Chrest,” so to speak, is traceable to pre-Christian times and into it, long before there were people called “Christians” centuries later. There was also a pre-Christian “cult of Christ,” such as involved the Persian savior Cyrus, titled “Christos” in the Old Testament, and the king David, likewise called “Anointed” in the OT, which is translated as “Christos” in the Greek version. (For more information, see my forum post “Christos or Chrestos? ([url]http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=23793[/url])” and my Chrestos ([url]http://www.truthbeknown.com/suetoniuschresto.html[/url]) articles.)

      To my knowledge – I have not read Reuchlin’s longer work – the Piso theory takes none of these factors into account, leaving many of the pieces of the puzzle on the floor. From the booklet, I could see that he was not aware of the pre-Christian mythology that the figure was largely based on, along with the OT scriptures used as a blueprint ([url]http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/jesusprophecy.html[/url]) in creating the Christ character.

    2. Fascinating correspondence and not at all unmmocon, if you take any subject capable of controversy you will get so much name calling you would be amazed. The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Jesus debate can be as vitriolic as the atheist theist arguments.I attended a couple of lectures on the Aryans (not the racists nonsense) people that used a proto Indo European language and spread far and wide from the origin in the Ural mountain area. Some put them on one the west side of the mountains others on the east (with all that that might imply).If you read some of the Indian Anthropologists on the supposed Aryan invasion and influence on the Hindu religion etc. and some of the anthropologists interested in the Aryan invasion into the fertile crescent and Iran and others with the westward spread into northern Europe and Ireland; you would think that they were children the name calling and abuse that goes on. I do believe the same is true of certain Egyptologists.Basically anyone that doesn’t agree with me is an idiot seems to be a default position in fields capable of interpretation.

  11. South African Atheists
    I am a fervent follower of Achary blog and her writings. Can somebody connect me to South African free- thinkers,

  12. Piso
    Thanks you for your time and answer…

  13. Phallocracy
    Dear Acharya

    It really surprises me that the blatant sexism of Ehrman’s attack on your work has not led prominent feminists to come to your defence. It seems the bias against religion within feminism leads also to a bias against feminist scholars such as you and Barbara Walker who explore the phallocratic fallacies of patriarchal metaphysics. And yet your logical analysis of evidence is fundamental to understanding the mythic roots of the assumption of male supremacy.

    I have been writing on the priapus debate at http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=27805#p27805 ([url]http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=27805#p27805[/url])
    This debate opens some deep and fascinating questions in the cultural politics of women’s liberation. The idea that this statue should not remind us of Peter is absurd in view of the extensive use of the cock as a symbol of the purported pope, referencing Peter’s cowardly lying denial of Christ described in all four Gospels. As predicted by Jesus at Matthew 26:34: ‘Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter–this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”. http://bible.cc/matthew/26-34.htm

    It seems from the debate about the penis Peter figure that Freudian psychoanalysis is also under some sort of Christian interdict, since the debate about this statue is often oblivious to the obvious phallic symbolism of the rooster. The association between Peter and the phallic rooster symbol directly opens the problem of the male-only priesthood, an exclusion of women that has led to many of the pathologies of the Roman Catholic Church, notably its wide acceptance of clerical sexual assault.

    As I explain in more detail at the post I linked above, it makes perfect sense that the priapus rooster statue should remind us of Peter, because it combines his attributes of cowardice, denial, bluster, violence, stupidity and arrogance, as shown by the male chauvinism of the church.

    With Best Regards

    Robert

  14. Languages
    I’m not done reading the book – just finished Chapter 8. In the latter part of this chapter, Frank Zindler lists languages necessary for the scientific study of the origins of Christianity, but apparently omits ancient Egyptian. Does anybody know the reason for it?

    1. I don’t know, but it may be just be an oversight.

  15. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I
    found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old
    daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and
    screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but
    I had to tell someone!

    1. i’ve read every single one of Ehrman’s books for the lyaeprson (and I can highly recommend them perhaps something for your book club one day, s-mama?). I also frequently look at John Loftus’ blog as well. From all I have read it looks like the case for an actual historical Jesus is pretty solid and not much worth questioning (that he existed that is). I’d especially recommend Ehrman’s book on Jesus the Apocalyptic prophet. I think there are far more interesting questions to look than whether or not he actually existed.

      1. Thanks, but the case anything but solid; indeed, my work demonstrates quite handily that there was no “historical Jesus of Nazareth” and that the gospel story is a compilation of myths and legends.

        Ehrman’s book discussed in the present blog is absolute trash, so I can’t recommend his books “highly.” Much of what he wrote previously was covered decades ago, ironically often by mythicist scholars like Joseph Wheless. Ehrman indeed writes his works for the layperson, seemingly aiming at those with a high school education at best, which is fine, but his work ends there. He is not an expert on the enormous body of Jesus mythicist literature by a longshot. It takes decades to study that subject, not a couple of years of breezily scanning a few articles, if he even did that.

        The question isn’t whether or someone existed, and the far more interesting elements of this subject are what the Christ myth actually means. If one would like to get past the shallow debate of existence and delve into the mythology that led to the Jesus story, one should feel free to read my books, ebooks, articles, blog and forum posts, list to my radio programs and watch my videos.

        http://truthbeknown.com
        http://stellarhousepublishing.com
        http://freethoughtnation.com
        https://www.youtube.com/user/StellarHouse1

  16. Read “the Bible” every morning. Very much like the way you think. Have come to the conclusion that the Hebrew scriptures are a combination of the word of God, the word of man and myth.

    The Greek scriptures are a combination of the word of God, the word of man and urban legend. My challenge is,I can’t tell the difference between the three.

    If you would like for me to buy one (or more) of your books give me an address, and I’ll send you a money order.

    thanks again

    Allen Killfoile

  17. Mythicist are to what historians what Young Earth Creationists are to biologists.

    1. Yes, that’s the same genius argument you used on Facebook. It’s utter nonsense. The “Young Earthers” are CHRISTIANS who believe in the gospel story, so it would be THEY who are the most appropriate in this comparison.

      We mythicists are the most logical, scientific and honest about the gospel story, which is clearly NOT historical but reflects ancient myths compiled in much the same manner as the manner previous syncretic deities were created. You quite obviously know nothing about comparative religion, mythology or mythography, and as just using a silly deflection off the most plausible and logical perspective of this tall tale.

  18. Let’s say you are right about Jesus being mythical. But how about the message that comes through to us as that of Jesus, which opposes the one of the Pharisees, do you accept it or reject it?

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