Rabbi: Did Jesus actually exist?

Below is a talk by “countermissionary” and “Jewish apologist” Rabbi Tovia Singer regarding “Jesus mythicism” or the opinion that Jesus Christ is a mythical figure. Initially, I thought Singer would adhere to the typical “historical Jesus” party line, proffering “proofs” that have been rebutted for centuries. I was pleasantly surprised at certain parts as I watched, amused particularly when Singer blurts out some frank truths about vested scholars. I do not concur with his evemerist conclusion about this debate, however. See my commentary below the video.

Firstly, it needs to be clarified that asserting Jesus is a myth is not quite the same as saying “Jesus didn’t exist.” The latter is a negative, and common perception is that one cannot prove a negative. Regardless of whether or not that perception is correct, there were plenty of Jesuses in antiquity, so one or more Jesus did exist. However, it is not any of their biographies in the gospel story, which turns out to be myth historicized, not literal history or history mythologized.

Secondly, as concerns Singer’s description of mythicists, in reality there are not two camps of mythicists, one which opines Christ is a myth through and through, and one that believes there’s “some guy” at the core of the story, to whose mundane biography were added fabulous fairytales. This latter camp is, in fact, called “euhemerist” or “evemerist,” not mythicist. While both groups doubt the gospel story as “history,” these two represent contradictory perspectives.

“There are three positions regarding the gospel story: 1. Literalist; 2. evemerist; and 3. mythicist.”

Hence, there are three positions regarding the gospel story: 1. Literalist; 2. evemerist; and 3. mythicist. The large body of Jesus mythicist scholarship over the centuries demonstrates clearly and abundantly that the former two perceptions are unsustainable scientifically and logically.

An inaccuracy like this one indicates unfamiliarity with this body of mythicist literature, such that one is not actually an expert on the subject. It takes years to master all of this material with extensive and detailed arguments dissecting the gospel story and showing it not to be history and where its elements come from.

The rabbi tries to avoid taking sides by saying “we can never be sure of anything” from antiquity and history, but that claim is fallacious. Not only can we be sure of many things from antiquity but also we are sure of them, from ancient writings, artifacts and ruins, for example. There remain mysteries, and much has been destroyed and lost forever, but we have been capable of comprehending our past history in significant enough part that we can make definitive statements about many aspects.

Singer also states that mythicists claim Jesus was “made up out of whole cloth” because “there is not a single contemporaneous author who wrote one word about him.” While the latter is assuredly true, and we are glad to see a Jewish authority acknowledge it, the mythicist case does not rest on this reason alone. On the contrary, establishing a lack of a historical record is just the beginning of mythicist scholarship.

Unfortunately, many scholars, researchers and skeptics become stuck in this “Mythicism 101” and never get to the “good stuff” of where the Christ myth comes from and what it means. After that mere shallow surface is where the bulk of my work comes in and where the whole subject becomes very fascinating.

Not ‘Made Up Out of Whole Cloth’

Also, mythicists generally do not claim Christianity is “made up out of whole cloth,” in other words from nothing. What we do say is that pre-Christian mythical motifs, religious traditions, wisdom sayings and Old Testament scriptures were combined together to create a mythical godman. These motifs and other elements already existed and certainly were not just “made up out of whole cloth” at the time of Christianity’s creation.

We are saying also that the creation of this mythical figure is little different from the mythography that produced the deities of ancient Greece, Italy, Egypt, Babylon, Canaan, Persia and India, among so many others worldwide. Mythography or mythmaking is an art form that has been perfected over a period of many thousands of years, producing numerous gods and goddesses who were never real people. We do not describe this global mythography as “making up out of whole cloth”; yet, these numerous mythical deities assuredly were not historical. The same can be said about Jesus Christ, as he does not merit special status in the vast world of mythmaking by having a “historical” core.

The Walking Dead

Singer cites the passage in the gospel of Matthew (27:52-53) in which dead “saints” rise from their graves to wander the streets of Jerusalem. It is true that this episode does not appear in the historical record and is impossible scientifically, thus making the case for it being non-historical.  Adding to the reasons for doubting this fabulous episode is a motif from the myth of the Greek god Dionysus that also reflects its mythical nature. As I write in Did Moses Exist? (365):

Since antiquity, grape juice and wine have been perceived as the “blood” of both the fruit itself and of the vine and wine deity. After it was pressed, the grape juice would flow into underground pots, depicted as the god “cultivated in the underworld.” Out of this tomb, Dionysus was said to reemerge during the festival of Anthesteria, in February, when “the urns were opened, and the god’s spirit was reborn as an infant.” The “graves of the dead released their spirits as well at this time, and for the three days of the festival, ghosts roamed abroad in Athens.”

As we can see, studying ancient myth reveals where many elements of the gospel story may come from, going well beyond the debate of whether or not a “historical Jesus of Nazareth” existed.

Matthew 27:52-53 Jacques Joseph Tissot (15 October 1836 – 8 August 1902

Matthew 27:52-53: “…the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” (Painting: Jacques Joseph Tissot 1836–1902)

Josephus, Pliny and Tacitus

The rabbi also raises the infamous Jesus passage in the writings of ancient Jewish historian Josephus, called the “Testimonium Flavianum.” It is good to see a modern Jewish apologist declare this passage a forgery in toto, possibly composed by Church historian Eusebius, a conclusion reached by many others. Singer might enjoy my recent paper and article concerning the linguistic analysis by Dr. Paul J. Hopper that demonstrates the entire TF to be an interpolation.

Singer likewise brings up the Roman historian Pliny the Younger as “the first non-Christian ever to mention Jesus.” This claim of Pliny as “evidence” of a historical Jesus is quite common, but it too has been rebutted repeatedly within the Jesus mythicist literature. Upon close scrutiny and as Singer subsequently states, the Pliny passage does not “mention Jesus” but discusses “Christians,” named from the Greek Christos, meaning “Anointed.” Nevertheless, there were many people in antiquity with the title of Christos – or, as it may have been originally, Chrestos – so this paragraph would not necessarily serve as evidence of a “historical Jesus of Nazareth.”

The rabbi moves on to a discussion of the Roman historian Tacitus, another “proof” proffered widely by Christian apologists. Like Pliny and Suetonius, the value of Tacitus becomes nil upon closer examination. As noted by The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia:

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…

(For more, see “Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius: No Evidence for Jesus“)

New Testament Scholars are ‘Very Biased’

Singer properly wonders why scholars are so adamant in declaring that Jesus existed as a historical figure, when there is so little evidence. He explains that the fervent clinging to this unproved position exists because to believe otherwise would suggest these New Testament scholars and theologians’ lives are a waste. Singer next says these scholars “cannot be taken seriously” and are “very biased” but not “bad people,” further remarking:

When they say, “How come no New Testament scholars – even those who are not Christians – don’t believe in this [mythicism]?” Well, the reason is because you’re now saying that their life has been studying, you know, Casper the Friendly Ghost. So, therefore, don’t be swayed by the absolute consensus among New Testament scholars that Jesus did exist. They have everything at stake, because their life has been absolutely meaningless.

At that point (6:25), Singer seems to be discussing New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman, saying:

People often go, “Well, this guy’s agnostic. He’s written 30 books about Jesus. He doesn’t believe in God, but he’ll go crazy if you tell him Jesus never existed.” There’s a reason why. These people are not bad people. This professor from Harvard – she’s not an idiot. But you are saying to them, your life is meaningless. So, they are really the worst people to ask if Jesus existed, because of this bias.

We all seem to be impressed by the consensus of New Testament scholars, but imagine being a New Testament scholar and saying that he never existed. What are you doing? Like studying the texts – you’re studying about the Road Runner? About Bugs Bunny? I mean, you’re saying your life is about nothing.

“New Testament scholars are really the worst people to ask if Jesus existed, because of [their] bias.”

As many know, Ehrman misrepresented, defamed and libeled several of us in his book Did Jesus Exist?, and he definitely “goes crazy” when confronted with Jesus mythicism, about which he is admittedly ignorant.

Bart Ehrman's ignoranceSomeone who just began looking at an entire field of scholarship that takes many years to master is not an expert on the subject, regardless of pretenses.

Evemerism v. Mythicism

Despite his protestations against other “very biased” scholars’ conclusion without any real evidence that Jesus existed, Singer claims again that no one can know what really happened but it is likely that such a person did exist. Hence, the rabbi is an evemerist, but he believes in this way only because there were plenty of apocalyptic preachers in the Levant during Jesus’s alleged era. Singer’s case is standard evemerism, with the added “counterintuitive” view that the “fiction” in the New Testament  necessary to inflate this person beyond his mundane biography actually indicates his existence! The rabbi takes the supposedly earliest gospel, Mark, and discusses various embellishments and plot devices.

Here Singer joins all those trying to create a biography from what amounts to nothing solid – truly “out of whole cloth” – as remarked upon by professor of Judaic and Religion Studies at Brown University Shaye Cohen in “From Jesus to Christ”:

Modern scholars have routinely reinvented Jesus or have routinely rediscovered in Jesus that which they want to find…

No Nazareth

Was there a historical Jesus of Nazareth?In this quest to add his own Jesus to the pack, the rabbi raises up the placement of Jesus in the supposed town of Nazareth, which Singer correctly asserts is missing entirely from the historical record of the relevant era, i.e., the first century AD/CE and previously. However, the Nazareth element is fallacious, because the text actually indicates “Jesus the Nazarene,” a member of a pre-Christian religious sect evidently included in the gospel tale for political reasons.

We would submit, therefore, that all these stray bits and pieces of fiction or myth were combined together for numerous reasons, because of popular pre-Christian deities, sects and cults, not because of a single historical Jewish preacher. The literalist and evemerist views of the gospel story can be maintained only by ignoring the pre-Christian myths, traditions and rituals upon which this mythical godman was predicated. When one studies the subjects of comparative religion and mythology dating back thousands of years in a widespread but relevant region, it becomes clear no historical core to the gospel onion was needed, just as was the case with the gods Hercules, Osiris, Mithra and countless other deities.

Out of Egypt

Jesus holding Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus ConnectionIn discussing the role of Egypt in the gospel story, as in “Out of Egypt, I have called my son” (Matthew 2:15), Singer would have done well to avail himself of my book Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection, which shows much of the mythology that evidently influenced the Jesus myth. This verse in Matthew also reflects Old Testament midrash (Hosea 11:1), so no historical personage is necessary here either. Between the pre-Christian myths and midrash of OT “messianic scriptures,” there is no need for any historical individual at the core of the gospel story.

Singer’s questions as to the “whys” of including various elements of the disjointed gospel story are explained also by pre-Christian myths, not “just making it up” for no reason. Hence, the NT fictions or myths do not indicate counterintuitively or illogically a real person. Rather, the gospel fiction indicates people writing decades to centuries after the supposed events who did not know the region and who were drawing from pre-Christian myths and OT midrash. Again, there is no need for a historical person, and it does not make “more sense” to suggest as much, as the rabbi does.

Singer agrees that there is no evidence of such an individual but then he claims that the existence of such an individual is “likely.” Knowing the art of mythography and pre-Christian religion and myth very well, we assert otherwise: The highest probability is that this figure is mythical, created in the same fashion as his many mythical predecessors in cultures around the world for thousands of years. This mythography includes many stories in the Jewish Torah, with Moses and others likewise representing mythical and not historical figures.

Roman Elite Not Pushovers

Indeed, it makes no sense that the Romans would fall down to worship an unknown preacher, rebel, revolutionary, healer, sage or philosopher from Judea or Samaria, part of the hated backwater of the empire. To suggest that the Roman elite were gullible enough to find convincing the gospel tale – supposedly embellished around this utterly insignificant Jewish preacher or rebel – such that they tossed away their ancient religion, as well as that of the Greeks, Egyptians and so many others in the empire, is naive and unscientific.

With all their powerful deities and the numerous others around the Mediterranean, the Roman authorities would not be impressed by tall tales about a supernatural Jewish messiah not found in the historical record of the day. This notion of an irrelevant individual buried  underneath the myriad layers of the fictionalized gospel story may represent a common perception, but it is too simplified and erroneous. The bottom line is that no sophisticated Roman senator or other dignitary or powermonger would fall for such a ploy.

Justin MartyrThe reason Romans would take to such a tale is because some of them were involved in its creation and the bulk of them already worshipped deities of the same kind but of different ethnicities, such as the “sons of Jove/Jupiter” discussed by the early Church father Justin Martyr (fl. 150 AD/CE) in his First Apology:

Chapter 21. Analogies to the history of Christ.

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 believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter… (Roberts, A., Anti-Nicene Fathers, 1.170)

In the end, the best summary of this discussion is that the “Jesus Christ” of the New Testament is a fictional compilation of characters, not a single historical individual. A compilation of multiple “people” is no one. When the mythological and midrashic layers are removed, there remains no historical core to the onion. The gospel story is mythology historicized, not literal history or history mythologized.

Further Reading

Virgin Mother Goddess of Antiquity
Neith, Virgin Mother of the World
Mithra’s Virgin Mother, Anahita
Isis, Virgin Mother of Horus
Dionysus Born of a Virgin on December 25th
Attis Born of a Virgin on December 25th
Was Krishna’s Mother a Virgin?
Star Worship of the Ancient Israelites
What is the mythicist?
Bart Ehrman caught in libel and lies?
Bart Ehrman errs again – this time about virgin births
Did Moses Exist?
Religion and the PhD

Christ is a mythical character
Jesus or Egyptian myth?God the Father, the Virgin Mother and Son of GodJesus or Shamash
dionysussavior

39 Comments

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  1. Thanks Acharya, that is a very interesting read. The links for further reading are helpful too. I never heard these quotes before from your “Religion and the PhD: A Brief History” link:

    “…As for this tiresome business about there being “no scholar” or “no serious scholar” who advocates the Christ Myth theory: Isn’t it obvious that scholarly communities are defined by certain axioms in which grad students are trained, and that they will lose standing in those communities if they depart from those axioms? The existence of an historical Jesus is currently one of those. That should surprise no one, especially with the rightward lurch of the Society for Biblical Literature in recent years. It simply does not matter how many scholars hold a certain opinion…. ”

    – Dr. Robert Price, Biblical Scholar with two Ph.D’s

    “The Mythicist case has been rebutted? Really? When did that happen? The arguments of the Mythicist camp have never been refuted – they have only been steadfastly ignored.”

    – Dr. Robert Price, Biblical Scholar with two Ph.D’s

    There are many other great ones in there too.

  2. I’m reminded of Christian New Testament scholar Mike Licona who was forced out of a job for a single paragraph in his 700 page book for being skeptical of Matthew 27 where the dead saints supposedly came up out of their graves and appeared to many:

    Matthew 27:51-53 (RSV): “And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; 52 the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”

    http://www.freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3932

    It’s as if New Testament scholarship lives in a dark age bubble where legitimate skepticism is STILL not allowed even to this very day. So, yeah, it appears the rabbi is right, we simply cannot trust New Testament scholarship as they have an assortment of issues and are in dire need of a complete shake up from top to bottom.

  3. Here’s the link to an article that gave me a good laugh:

    http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_baptismforthedead_people.html#pub_-206175106

    Whenever I talk with anyone about the un-likelyhood that Jesus was a real person—which is seldom because even people who are not religious can’t seem to tolerate that probability—I use the example of Sherlock Holmes as an example of how a fictional character could become a “real person” in a century or so. Just because Arthur Conan Doyle used actual English names and places in his stories, it doesn’t make Holmes a real person

  4. Both the New Testament and the Old Testament like the Talmuds are myth. It doesn’t matter what you call JHVH, Judah/Jupiter or Israel/Saturn; it’s all myth. One cannot read the “Jewish” or “Christian” texts as having anything to do with history or geography; otherwise they become political tools without redeeming value. Unscrupulous characters have used religion as as opiate to control the masses far too long. There is no such thing as “our god.” God, in all “religions” is a myth. How many times have you heard anyone in explain the meaning of parable?

  5. Ok, we can try to answer questions about Jesus in history and myth. A lot of people do this since ages. The best are not so well known nowadays, f.e. Arthur Drews and Nikolaus Morosow. Also Werner Papke delivered a lot of corrections into the cosmologic debate of religions. Unknown in US-debate as I suppose?

    But: What is the truth behind Jesus and the gospels? Funny old fairy tales about sun, moon and stars, abused by phony priests and the church as whole? Nothing more? For me this is not enough. Ok, we know to distinguish the sensus litteralis, sensus morals, sensus anagogicus. But what comes next? Another good question …

    1. What is the truth behind Jesus and the gospels? Funny old fairy tales about sun, moon and stars, abused by phony priests and the church as whole? Nothing more? For me this is not enough.

      If one couches the scientific data in such dismissive terms, it’s possible the material is “not enough” for some people. However, these ancient myths are not simply “funny,” and there is little more important to humanity than its natural world, observations about which are reflected in these stories. These myths have profound meaning, which should be enough for all of us, as they revolve around life on Earth in general.

      See also: http://astrotheology.net

  6. Assuming that Jesus was a mythical person, one has to wonder what motive(s) did Mark, Mathew and Luke had to invent him?

    1. The disciples for the most part are fictional characters as well. The canonical gospels as we have them do not emerge clearly in the historical record until the end of the second century. Their writers are not identified, although “Luke” seems to be addressing a genuinely historical personage and friend, Theophilus, in his text. This Theophilus evidently is the bishop of Antioch, who didn’t thrive until the last quarter of the second century.

      This concerted effort was different from past priestcraft only in its scale. Members of a brotherhood or loosely organized brotherhoods worked together to do as the monkish and priestly class had been doing for thousands of years: Mythography, as described in my original article.

      What motive did the priests of the Greek religion have to invent Zeus? Or Dionysus? Or Athena, Apollo, Helios and dozens of other figures in their myths? The same motives, as usual, dating back thousands of years.

      In this case, the mythographers obviously wanted to unite the various religions of the Roman Empire by rolling into one their solar heroes and messianic figures. It was especially important to combine Judaism with Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Indian and other “paganism” of the time.

      1. Why would Luke not use the same 12 names for the disciples. Is his Judas son of James Thaddeus? If so, why change the name? If it’s complete fiction, why have 2 characters with the same name? That would be like a screenwriter writing a movie about a jury of 12, with 2 of the characters sharing the same name. That would be kinda odd.

  7. parable
    noun
    1.
    a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.
    2.
    a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.
    “Jesus” only spoke to the masses with parables. The Christian writers admit that the bible is allegorical and the ministers should do the same.

  8. You have quite an extensive commentary and a lot of resources for people to investigate here.

    I’m wondering how many other of Rabbi Singer’s videos you’ve seen. If you think the video you posted here is something else, have you seen this one?

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

    Shalom in your home.

  9. All the texts and teachings of the holy Testaments have intrinsic spiritual meanings. They are not to be taken literally. In order that we may comprehend the allegories of the Bible, the mysteries of the spirit and attain knowledge of the mysteries hidden therein, we must not be satisfied with words, but seek to understand the spiritual meanings hidden in the heart of the words. These are the mysteries of God. It is not the reading of the words that benefit you; it is the understanding of their inner meanings. All the texts and teachings of the holy testaments have intrinsic spiritual meanings. They are not to be taken literally. One hour’s reflection is preferable to seventy years of pious worship.

  10. I found this entire topic extremely fascinating. It was very interesting to watch the video of Rabbi Singer and his “surprising conclusions”. After watching the video, I followed Acharya S with her comments, as she scanned every uttered word of the Rabbi; clarifying those statements with conclusions that I find, indicative of an incredible amount of personal research.

  11. On the other hand, that ex evangelical Christian and NT professor at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill said.

    It is, of course, contextually credible that Jesus was an apocalypticist, as we have evidence that apocalyptic thinking was widespread in his day— among Pharisees,¹ the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the writers of the various Jewish apocalypses of the time, and prophetic leaders such as John the Baptist, about whom I will soon say a few words. We will also see clear instances in which apocalyptic teachings of Jesus pass the criterion of dissimilarity. At the outset, however, I want to stress that the apocalyptic proclamation of Jesus is found widely throughout our earliest sources. In other words, it is multiply attested, all over the map, precisely in the sources that we would normally give the greatest weight to, those that are our oldest. And so, for example, we find the following apocalyptic teachings on Jesus’s lips in our four earliest accounts of his life: Mark, Q, M, and L. (Emphasis added) – Bart D. Ehrman, Did Jesus Exist?, p. 357

    I would really want Dr. Bob Price and Ehrman to debate. I’m pretty sure Dr. Price will mop Ehrman. I, as someone who studied in catholic institutions for both high school and college, my teachers are telling us that we shouldn’t treat the canonical gospels as a history book. I’m not throwing shade to other Christian denominations, but it seems to me that there are more closeted mythicists from the Roman Catholic side of Christianity. I could be wrong.

    1. A local Catholic priest friend said that about 20 percents of his fellows were “Egyptian” priests and that virtually all Catholic holidays can be traced back to Egypt.

      1. Yes, Catholics and many Christians do.

        Immaculate Conception: December 8
        The god Thoth announces to the virgin Isis-Meri that she’s going to conceive Horus. Then the holy ghost “Kneph” impregnates Isis. In the Temple of Seti I, an inscription says that no one had lifted Isis’s garment yet he bore the sun.

        Christmas: December 25
        Ancient Egyptians do celebrate winter solstice. In Dr. Budge’s Dictionary of Hieroglyphs, goddesses Isis and Nephthys are holding a “baby sun” with a cross in the bottom. In Plutarch’s account, Harpocrates (Horus the Child) was born on the winter solstice; infant-like and unfinished.

        Epiphany: January 6
        Horus baptizes himself at morning time in the Lake of the Field of Rushes. Osiris was purified by Anubis.

        Lent
        The sun god Horus was crucified not on a wooden cross, but on the dome of heaven with his arms outstretched, between two thieves. The gnostic Christians within the second century believe that Jesus was crucified in the heavens above.

        Easter: 40 days after Lent
        In the town of Abydos, Osiris’s resurrection after three days are publicly enacted.

  12. Hi Archarya S. / D.M. M. ,

    Well, since “Joe’s Us” and “Moe’s Us” most likely did NOT really exist beyond historically constructed, mental-imaginations passed as wind through the game-of-whisper, now I’m wondering about the WHOLE confabulation about AbrahamMie’s “chosen,” ancestral validity too.

    Thank Goodness SUN-SHINE is real !

    Religions seem to have degenerated from non-truths into a stink-pot of outright historicized lies foisted upon a “we-the-sheeple” masses.

    Today, I find Buddhism / Mindfulness to be the most REASON-able ways to achieve mortal, enlightened, mental SANITY.

    Thank YOU for helping to point me away from the insane dogmas of the ‘acceptable’ religious cauldrons and toward the brighter hopes IN today’s honesty … and a brighter future.

    Now, because of your works, I KNOW why ‘churchianity’ after the 1st two years of SUNday schooling, was so intuitively UNappealing to me ~57 years ago. : )

    Wishing You and Yours… Peace, LOVE and Light ALL Ways,

    Ralph Lewis

    1. Cheer up Ralph. Abraham is the constellation Orion. Poor Abraham had to keep moving, for otherwise the Scorpion in the constellation of Scorpio would catch him. The real hero is Sarah the beautiful star we call Sirius. The Egyptians were so happy to see her (helical rising) for she represented salvation by the soon to be inundation of the Nile Valley . Orion the hunter is a hero in the story of red riding cape who was swallowed by the black wolf (darkness). If the hunter hadn’t killed the big bad wolf and opened it up; we wouldn’t have our sun during the day. The color red is associated with the element of fire and the heavenly goddess Nut/Hathor/etc., and the constellation of Leo the lioness Sekmet. Get/Seb is associated with Taurus and the element earth, Tefnut is associated with Scorpio water. Shu is associated with Aquarius and the element air.
      The order is Geb/Seb earth, Tefnut water, Shu air and then the lady at the top is Nut (fire )the goddess of heaven.

    2. Ralph
      Buddhism is closer to Christianity that what we mistakenly call christianity. Buddha is another word for Jesus. Suggest you visit the website http://www.hiddenmeanings.com where Bill Donahue relates Buddhist teaching to our bible.

  13. I have looked at Malachi chapter 4verse 2 and cannot find the word shamash-are you lying or what version of the bible do I need to find this:

    1. J.J.Murray, no, she’s not lying, please be more careful throwing around such serious accusations. Instead of assuming the worst, that she is lying just because you cannot find it, all you needed to do was ask (preferably without the insults). She’s talking about the original Hebrew language not English:

      Malachi 4:2 in Hebrew:

      וְזָרְחָה לָכֶם יִרְאֵי שְׁמִי שֶׁמֶשׁ צְדָקָה וּמַרְפֵּא בִּכְנָפֶיהָ וִֽיצָאתֶם וּפִשְׁתֶּם כְּעֶגְלֵי מַרְבֵּֽק׃

      שֶׁמֶשׁ = shemesh

      http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Mal&c=4&t=KJV#s=t_conc_929002

    2. Myth can be lots of fun. The O.T. character Esau is actually the Egyptian goddess of heaven “NUT” who became Uranus in Greece. And of course Jacob is none other than Saturn (Israel) and Judah is Jupiter. Our very own Saint Peter aka Ju Piter is none other Jupiter Amun.

      1. the jewels you’re dropping are riveting, and i would like to acquire this level of introspection regarding the “word”. so, mr. mcfarlin, can recommend books,websites, or whatever, to get me on my way? thank you

        1. qari
          http://www.sacred-texts.com is a good place to start. I look at the bible as a dunghill. You must search for the hidden pearls and you may have to hold your nose in the process. Moses fed his followers for 40 years with the sacred cowpie mushroom. The burning bush is coded as an Amarita muscaria mushroom. Common sense and reason must prevail. Faith is for the masses but reason rules for the seeker. As an example of common sense; the cruxifixion scene, of the savior, is actually an initiation rite. The sponge on the stick tells us this is a toilet story for it was used in toilets. Sponge in Greek and Fungi in Latin are cognate. The vinegar tells us there is a hidden meaning to this story for pearls will be dissolved by this acid. The wine used in this myth is made from ergot a fungus associated with the word tares in the bible. The hyssop has strong anti fungal properties and would have been used in mummification procedures and as a medicine. Remember in the O.T. where
          hyssop was used to cleanse the temple. There are no humans or physical death in the entire bible. The entire story takes places in Golgotha/Calvary which is between the ears.

        2. qari
          Recommend you watch this video on you tube by Bill Donahue: 376 Religions problems with women.

    3. I would also like to add if you see someone accusing her of misinterpreting John 3:30 where John the Baptists represents the summer sun and Jesus as the winter sun. Here’s a New Testament commentary backing her.

      “ἐκεῖνον δεῖ αὐξάνειν, ἐμὲ δὲ ἐλαττοῦσθαι. Paley translates, “it is for Him to go on growing and for me to be ever getting less,” and adds, “the language seems to be solar”. In the Church Calendar, no doubt, John the Baptist’s day is Midsummer Day, while our Lord’s “natalitia” is midwinter, but scarcely founded on solar considerations of the day’s increase after Christmas and decrease after 24th June. Rather John is the morning star “fidelis Lucifer” whose light is eclipsed in that of the rising sun (cf. Bernard’s “Lucet ergo Johannes, tanto verius quanto minus appetit lucere,” and Euthyrnius, ἐλαττοῦσθαι ὡς ἡλίου ἀνατείλαντος ἑωσφόρον).” – Expositor’s Greek Testament on John 3:30

  14. thank you for replying Gerald. wow, that’s an incredible small synopsis of what i’m in store for; makes me realize that i need to learn how to read (for real this time)lol. i will definately follow the link and begin the journey. thanks again, and thank YOU Acharya for this site.

  15. Why not go right to the real question. Does god exist? And if so where is the proof? Bear in mind that the burden of proof lies with the believer. The questioner does not have to prove God does not. Faith isnt an answer either. I can have faith that unicorns exist. I can believe they do as well. But most rational people, without solid evidence , would not expect anyone to believe in them. So why is it different with god?

    1. Because the author doesn’t really care if someone is a theist or an atheist. All she does is the separation of wheat from the chaff by being in the mythicist position.

      Mythicism has much to offer to those who find it difficult to believe in the gospel story as “history” but who wish to know the deeper meaning behind the story. Indeed, the mythicist position importantly serves as a bridge between theism and atheism, as it does not seek to discount or denigrate the long and exalted history of thought concerning religion and mythology, dating back many thousands of years, as manifested in the religious and spiritual practices of man beginning millennia ago and continuing since then. The pinnacle of mythicist cultures-more specifically those based on astrotheology-can be seen in the massive and mysterious civilization of Egypt, for example. Rather than being ignored and dismissed, such wondrous creations should be explored and treasured as unique and glorious contributions to the overall human accomplishment…

      …Again, mythicism allows us to step outside the theist-versus-atheist box and to value the vast human creation of religion and mythology, without being either antagonistic toward it or believing it as dogma. Mythicism goes beyond the ceaseless theist-atheist debate, in fact, which is in the end futile, since cases for both perspectives can be and have been made ad infinitum, under a variety of circumstances, and since experience shows us that this discussion will never be resolved-except, indeed, in the mythicist position, which neither believes nor dismisses but which understands and appreciates humanity’s longstanding interest in religion and spirituality. (Emphasis added)

      See Please respect my religion

  16. “God” is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for the churches and temples. No god = no gold = not good. These houses of ill repute are none other than the goddess Kirk/Circe. Suggest you look up this goddess. Personally, I like to think of the pot of gold as the Amanita muscaria mushroom, otherwise known as the burning bush that talked to Moses.

  17. The Pliny passage mentions Jesus repeatedly under the title Christ. It is pretty clear that Pliny that this ‘Christ’ was a human being from this sentence:
    “They stated that the sum of their guilt or error amounted to this, that they used to gather on a stated day before dawn and sing to Christ as if he were a god” “Adfirmabant autem hanc fuisse summam vel culpae suae vel erroris, quod essent soliti stato die ante lucem convenire carmenque Christo quasi deo”

    1. The debate is whether or not Pliny used the word “Christ” or “Chrest.” In any event, there were many with either title, beginning centuries before the common era, and there is little reason to conclude that this “Christ” was “the historical Jesus of Nazareth.”

      As I state in “Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius: No Proof of Jesus“:

      http://truthbeknown.com/pliny.htm

      Pliny the Younger, Roman Official and Historian (62-113 CE)

      In addition to the palpably bogus passage in the Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus called the “Testimonium Flavianum” is another of the pitiful “references” dutifully trotted out by apologists to prove the existence of Jesus Christ: To wit, a short passage in the works of the Roman historian Pliny the Younger. While proconsul of Bithynia, a province in the northwest of Asia Minor, Pliny purportedly wrote a letter in 110 CE to the Emperor Trajan requesting his assistance in determining the proper punishment for “Christiani” who were causing trouble and would not renounce “Christo” as their god or bow down to the image of the Emperor. These recalcitrant Christiani, according to the Pliny letter, met “together before daylight” and sang “hymns with responses to Christ as a god,” binding themselves “by a solemn institution, not to any wrong act.” Regarding this letter, Rev. Robert Taylor remarks:

      If this letter be genuine, these nocturnal meetings were what no prudent government could allow; they fully justify the charges of Caecilius in Minutius Felix, of Celsus in Origen, and of Lucian, that the primitive Christians were a skulking, light-shunning, secret, mystical, freemasonry sort of confederation, against the general welfare and peace of society.

      Taylor also comments that, at the time this letter was purportedly written, “Christians” were considered to be followers of the Greco-Egyptian god Serapis and that “the name of Christ [was] common to the whole rabblement of gods, kings, and priests.” Writing around 134 CE, Hadrian purportedly stated:

      “The worshippers of Serapis are Christians, and those are devoted to the God Serapis, who call themselves the bishops of Christ. There is no ruler of a Jewish synagogue, no Samaritan, no Presbyter of the Christians, who is not either an astrologer, a soothsayer, or a minister to obscene pleasures. The very Patriarch himself, should he come into Egypt, would be required by some to worship Serapis, and by others to worship Christ. They have, however, but one God, and it is one and the self-same whom Christians, Jews and Gentiles alike adore, i.e., money.”

      It is thus possible that the “Christos” or “Anointed” god Pliny’s “Christiani” were following was Serapis himself, the syncretic deity created by the priesthood in the third century BCE. In any case, this god “Christos” was not a man who had been crucified in Judea.

      Moreover, like his earlier incarnation Osiris, Serapis—both popular gods in the Roman Empire—was called not only Christos but also “Chrestos,” centuries before the common era. Indeed, Osiris was styled “Chrestos,” centuries before his Jewish copycat Jesus was ever conceived….

      In any event, the value of the Pliny letter as “evidence” of Christ’s existence is worthless, as it makes no mention of “Jesus of Nazareth,” nor does it refer to any event in his purported life. There is not even a clue in it that such a man existed. As Taylor remarks, “We have the name of Christ, and nothing else but the name, where the name of Apollo or Bacchus would have filled up the sense quite as well.” Taylor then casts doubt on the authenticity of the letter as a whole, recounting the work of German critics, who “have maintained that this celebrated letter is another instance to be added to the long list of Christian forgeries…” One of these German luminaries, Dr. Semler of Leipsic provided “nine arguments against its authenticity…” He also notes that the Pliny epistle is quite similar to that allegedly written by “Tiberianus, Governor of Syria” to Trajan, which has been universally denounced as a forgery.

      Also, like the Testimonium Flavianum, Pliny’s letter is not quoted by any early Church father, including Justin Martyr. Tertullian briefly mentions its existence, noting that it refers to terrible persecutions of Christians. However, the actual text used today comes from a version by a Christian monk in the 15th century, Iucundus of Verona, whose composition apparently was based on Tertullian’s assertions. Concurring that the Pliny letter is suspicious, Drews terms “doubtful” Tertullian’s “supposed reference to it.” Drews then names several authorities who likewise doubted its authenticity, “either as a whole or in material points,” including Semler, Aub, Havet, Hochart, Bruno Bauer and Edwin Johnson. Citing the work of Hochart specifically, Drews pronounces Pliny’s letter “in all probability” a “later Christian forgery.” Even if it is genuine, Pliny’s letter is useless in determining any “historical” Jesus.

  18. Listening to this, I was reminded of Earl Doherty’s argument regarding the Jewish aversion to equate anything human with God: “Against the Jewish Grain

    The first difficulty is that the vast majority of the earliest Christians were, of course, Jews. “God is One,” says the most fundamental of Jewish theological tenets. Moreover, the Jewish mind had an obsession against associating anything human with God. He could not be represented by even the suggestion of a human image, and Jews in their thousands had bared their necks before Pilate’s swords simply to protest against the mounting of military standards bearing Caesar’s image within sight of the Temple. The idea that a man was a literal part of God would have been met by any Jew with horror and apoplexy.

    And yet we are to believe that Jews were immediately led to elevate Jesus of Nazareth to divine levels unprecedented in the entire history of human religion. We are to believe not only that they identified a crucified criminal with the ancient God of Abraham, but that they went about the empire and practically overnight converted huge numbers of other Jews to the same outrageous—and thoroughly blasphemous—proposition. Within a handful of years of Jesus’ supposed death, we know of Christian communities in many major cities of the empire, all presumably having accepted that a man they had never met, crucified as a political rebel on a hill outside Jerusalem, had risen from the dead and was in fact the pre-existent Son of God, creator, sustainer, and redeemer of the world.

    Since many of the Christian communities Paul worked in existed before he got there, and since Paul’s letters do not support the picture Acts paints of intense missionary activity on the part of the Jerusalem group around Peter and James, history does not record who performed this astounding feat.16

    Moreover, it was apparently done without any need for justification. There is not a murmur in any Pauline letter, nor in any other epistle, that Christians had to defend such an outlandish doctrine. No one seems to challenge Christian preaching on these grounds, for the point is never addressed. Even in 1 Corinthians 1:18-24, where Paul defends the “wisdom of God” (meaning the message he preaches) against the “wisdom of the world”, he fails to provide any defense for, or even a mention of, the elevation of Jesus of Nazareth to divinity. He can admit that to the Greeks and Jews the doctrine of the cross—that is, the idea of a crucified Messiah—is “folly” and “a stumbling block.” But this has nothing to do with turning a man into God, a piece of folly he never discusses or defends. That his opponents, and the Jewish establishment in general, would not have challenged him on this basic Christian position, forcing him to provide some justification, is inconceivable.” http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/jhcjp.htm It would be interesting to hear the Rabbi address that.

  19. Hi there. I’d like some experts to watch this vid because it was brought b to my attention by some “Ministers” saying they found it interesting & I may too. I haven’t watched it yet but it’s about the existence of David.

    Has anyone debunked David’s existence because I don’t think there’s any proof for him either?

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/bibles-buried-secrets.html

    1. The most scientific notions regarding David are that he is largely if not entirely mythical. While there exists no credible, scientific evidence for his existence as described in the Bible, we find pre-Israelite parallels in Canaanite and other Semitic myth and legend. The best one could say is that there was some “petty thane” whose mundane story was embellished significantly. But, again, we have no historical core to this mythological onion either, at this point.

      1. Thanks AS. Have you thought to do a book a few other Biblical Characters besides Jesus & Moses? Because apologetics think that if they can prove one thing accurately then now everything is real. Lol obviously they forget the whole ancient mindset for Theses mythical/allegorical motifs for their emotional/spiritual experiences relayed through stories. If David is plausible than so is Hercules, Perseus, Asclepius etc…

  20. hi, everyone.
    am a little lost here.
    is everyone on this site an aethist or scientist?
    are we trying to use our scientific backgrounds to disprove all the claims of religions.
    ok, i have some questions i will like to ask any one who will love it to know real truth.
    1. do spirits exists?
    2. are prophecies real?
    3. if there was never a Jesus, how come there is also no hard evidence(as in descendants of early witnesses)?

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