Merry Christmas From Jim Valliant

Neil Parille's picture
Submitted by Neil Parille on Mon, 2018-12-24 23:13

Diamond Jim hasn't shown up at SOLO for years, but he has written a book "Creating Christ" with Casey Fahy.

Here is Jim's most recent interview (from yesterday):

https://metaphysicsofphysics.c...


Creating Obleftivism

Bruno's picture

When is the conference on "Creating Obleftivism: how to become a parasite on America until it falls and then move to a tropical island"?

The latest

Neil Parille's picture

They won't debate immigration, but the ARI will invite Valliant to lecture on his nutty newish book.

____________

On Monday, 24 June, 2019, I shall be discussing my new book, CREATING CHRIST, at the annual Objectivist Summer Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, with a talk titled, "Altruism, Power and the Origins of Christianity." Please join us for an electrifying experience!..

____________

That's all you need to know about the intellectual integrity of the ARI.

Debate

Neil Parille's picture

For those who are interested in these things, this debate between conservative Craig Evans and Jesus myther Richard Carrier is interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Gregster

Neil Parille's picture

I was quoting Dunn.

Have you read Valliant's book? Do you find it persuasive?

Exorcising ghosts

gregster's picture

What was the inspiration to portray Jesus as a "parabolist" and a successful exorcist? The most obvious answer is that he was remembered as such, his parables treasured and passed around groups of believers, and his exorcisms well-known beyond their ranks.

Crikey Neil, you don't sincerely believe there is a devil to be exorcised?

It matters not the Jesus myth. We know that all religion is immoral. That which is attributed to this Jesus factory (which is included in the maggot canon too by the way) is anti-life, and disgraceful.

Robert Price

Neil Parille's picture

is one of the few Jesus mythers who has an advanced degree in a relevant topic (I believe he has a Ph.D. in ancient history). There is a recent book The Historical Jesus: Five Views, ed. Beilby. It has essays and by five scholars (Price, Crossan, Dunn, Johnson and Bock) with responses. Price argues for non-existence of Jesus and so you can read the responses.

Here is part of Dunn's response to Price:

________________________________

Gosh! So there are still serious scholars who put forward the view that the whole account of Jesus' doings and teachings are a later myth foisted on an unknown, obscure historical figure....

This is always the fatal flaw with the "Jesus myth" thesis: the improbability of the total invention of a figure who had purportedly lived within the generation of the inventers, or the imposition of such an elaborate myth on some minor figure from Galilee. Price is content with the explanation that it all began "with a more or less vague savior myth." Sad, really....

Where I begin to become irritated by Price's thesis, as with those of his predecessors, is his ignoring what everyone else in the business regards as primary data and his readiness to offer less plausible hypotheses to explain other data that inconveniences his thesis....How can Price actually assert that "we should never guess from the Epistles that Jesus died in any particular historical or political context," when it is well enough known that crucifixion was a Roman political method of execution characteristically for rebels and slaves? I could go on at some length - "seed of David" (Rom 1:3), "born under the law" (Gal 4:4), "Christ did not please himself" (Rom 15:3). Yet Price is able to assert that "the Epistles...do not evidence a recent historical Jesus," a ludicrous claim that simply diminishes the credibility of the arguments used in support.

The implausible arguments [of Price] are almost as disappointing [as Price's ignoring of evidence]....To argue both that the reference to James as "the brother of the Lord" (Gal 1:19 - an episode which can be dated to 35 or 36) need only mean that James was a member of a missionary brotherhood and that "the commands of the Lord" (1 Cor 7:14; 9:14) might be "midrashically derived inferences from Old Testament commands of Adonai in the Torah," despite the clear reference points in the Jesus tradition, indicates an argument that is scraping the barrel and has lost its self-respect. Nor is it at all fair to dismiss the probability of various allusions to Jesus tradition in the Pauline letters, as though in each case Paul were trying to settle a question by appeal to the words of Jesus. Not so. Most are simply like the echoes and allusions that a well-read Shakespearean scholar might make to the words of the bard in lectures or letters without always being fully aware of the bard's own words.

I should make at least passing reference to the Acts of the Apostles, which is blithely ignored by Price. There is no need to argue for a high level of historical value in all the information offered in Acts about the beginnings of Christianity. It is sufficient to observe that Acts gives good evidence of beliefs about Jesus' mission, life and death, which almost certainly were circulating among the earliest Christians through the middle decades of the first century.

When it comes to the Gospels, Price's argument is really quite unbalanced....

Where the evidence is ambiguous, one way forward, which Price totally ignores, is to take account of the data in the Jesus tradition that are not readily explained by creation from Old Testament precedents and building blocks - a modest application, I suppose, of the first criterion of dissimilarity. There are quite a few of these....What was the inspiration to portray Jesus as a "parabolist" and a successful exorcist? The most obvious answer is that he was remembered as such, his parables treasured and passed around groups of believers, and his exorcisms well-known beyond their ranks. To ignore such data or to be content with much less plausible possibilities in the face of such probabilities is a tactic of the Christ-myth proponents, but not one that does them much credit or gives their thesis much credibility.

Similarly the appeal to the confused dates for Jesus' crucifixion as similar to the occasional speculations about the "historical" Hercules or an "historical" Osiris, an appeal that, once again, ignores the much more substantial data of the New Testament writers, writing within a generation or two of Jesus himself, simply smacks of desperation.

In short, if Price's essay is a true expression of the state of health of the Jesus-myth thesis, I can't see much life in it. His essay would be better titled "The Jesus Myth - a Thesis at Vanishing Point." (pp. 94-98)

Hmmmm

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I just watched the first 12 minutes of this and my interest was sufficiently piqued to go back and watch the rest tomorrow and maybe even buy the book. I've been disinclined to lend much credence to James and Warren since receiving some bizarre private communication from them some months ago and also because of their uncritical support for Bwook's Twump Dewangement Syndwome. I note that the "Dr Bob" in this discussion is a Trump supporter, or at least doesn't have TDS and got into trouble with Lefties because of that. In any event this seemed to be a most civilised and fascinating discussion.

The Latest From Casey and Jim

Neil Parille's picture

Irrational Atheists

Bruno's picture

From the free PDF sample (quite generously large) of TIA:

http://www.milobookclub.com/ma...

At the risk of providing significantly more ammunition to those who argue that religion causeswar and invariably cite 1) The Crusades, 2) The Wars of Religion, and 3) The Thirty Years War, here isa list of all of the wars that the authors of the Encyclopedia of Wars saw fit to categorize as religiouswars for one reason or another:

...
[list of wars]
...

That is 123 wars in all, which sounds as if it would support the case of the New Atheists, untilone recalls that these 123 wars represent only 6.92 percent of all the wars recorded in the encyclopedia.However, it does show that skeptics would have been right to doubt my Wikipedia-based estimate, as Ioverestimated the amount of war attributable to religion by nearly 60 percent. It’s also interesting tonote that more than half of these religious wars, sixty-six in all, were waged by Islamic nations, whichis rather more than might be statistically expected considering that the first war in which Islam wasinvolved took place almost three millennia after the first war chronicled in the Encyclopedia, Akkad’sconquest of Sumer in 2325 B.C.

In light of this evidence, the fact that a specific religion is currently sparking a great deal ofconflict around the globe cannot reasonably be used to indict all religious faith, especially when oneconsiders that removing that single religion from the equation means that all of the other religiousfaiths combined only account for 3.35 percent of humanity’s wars.The historical evidence is conclusive.

Religion is not a primary cause of war. [bold added]

Historical Jesus

Neil Parille's picture

For anyone interested in some of the issues raised in Valliant's book, I'd recommend the following:

1. Bock, Studying the Historical Jesus

2. Bock, The Missing Gospels

3. Allison, Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet

4. Brown, The Christology of the New Testament

5. Brown, The Churches the Apostles Left Behind

6. Hill, Who Chose the Gospels?

7. Evans, Fabricating Jesus

8. Van Vorst, Jesus outside the New Testament

This list is skewed to the moderate to conservative side of things. I haven't read much of Ehrman (an agnostic and skeptic about the accuracy of the Gospels), but I know Ed thinks his books and Greact Courses lectures are good.

For intros to the New Testament, I'd recommend:

1. Raymond Brown, Introduction to the New Testament (liberal to moderate).

2. Donald Hagner, The New Testament (moderate to conservative).

3. Andreas Kostenberger, et al, The Cradle, The Cross, and the Crown (conservative).

The best short introduction is Mark Powel, Introducing the New Testament

I don't know of any books dealing with eccentric ideas about Jesus and the birth of Christianity, but there must be some.

Hitchens

Neil Parille's picture

I never understood what people saw in him. He always came across as a smug bully, at least to me.

Here is a review of his silly book:

https://scholarsarchive.byu.ed...

Irrational atheists

Bruno's picture

For an embarrassingly powerful dismantling of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and others; I can't recommend this book strongly enough:

The Irrational Atheist

https://www.amazon.com/Irratio...

The Gospels

Neil Parille's picture

I'd disagree a little with Ed. While the church tradition was almost unanimous that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written by M, M, L & J, there is evidence against that: the unlikelihood that middle class (at best) Galileans could have produced such works in Greek (well that wouldn't apply to Luke, which tradition said was a gentile). There are however questions about literacy in the ancient world and just what it meant to say "X" is the author of a book (was it a school around the person?).

It's also interesting to note that as Ed says the Synoptics were written between 65 and 80, and John 90 to 100. So they (in particular the Synoptics) can claim to have some relationship to a historical Jesus. And the Gospels that were supposedly left out were probably later (most scholars put them around 125 or later). Even in Egypt, which was probably the center of unorthodox Christianity, the ratio of canonical Gospel fragments to non-canonical fragments is 3 to 1. (Hill, Who Chose the Gospels.)

A further problem with Valliant's thesis is that he accepts that Paul wrote seven epistles. The earliest was either 1 Thess or Galatians, which are dated around 48 to 50. So there were already Christian communities prior to the writing of the Gospels.

The point of this is that there is no reason to think that the Gospels were produced at the direction of the Roman Emperors as Valliant claims. It is very unlikely that the Flavians hired a bunch of Jewish scribes to write the Gospels, brought them to Rome (?), and somehow inserted the Gospels into the pre-existing Christian communities without a hint of this coming down in the historical record. And you'd also have to believe that the Flavians continued a scheme concocted by Tiberius or Claudius. And you'd also have to explain why the Romans persecuted the Christians. Bring in the crisis actors.

After Valliant's book came out I contacted one of the leading experts on Josephus and the New Testament (he wrote a book with that title) and asked him what he thought about it. He told me that he wasn't familiar with Valliant's book but several years previous a couple authors working on the Flavian/Josephus thesis contacted him. He patiently explained to them that the last thing the Flavians would be interested in is creating a new religion. They went on to publish their works anyway.

The problem I have is not with eccentric theories as such, it is with the attempt by Valliant to make himself the orthodox objectivist authority on Christianity. He has obviously convinced Amy Peikoff that he is. Unfortunately Objectivism has a history of making people experts on specific subjects (until they get booted out and are replaced by someone else). It would be a shame if anyone thought Valliant is an expert on Christianity and read his book, while ignoring mainstream (or even liberal) works on the New Testament. Many people thought Valliant was an expert on Rand's life, only to have egg on their face after I exposed his lies.

Truly hideous!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The fry-quacker's fry-quacking and upward-inflecting are an affront to rationality and decency. A disgusting spectacle. No surprise that it's part of Obleftivism.

Psychologists are our modern-day witch-doctors, as I'm pleased to note some of the commenters pointing out.

Still, on the subject of Goblinism (older witch-doctory), I'm with this guy, even though, for contextual reasons, we're all Goblians now:

moRRe Up TaLk!

Neil Parille's picture

Valliant

Neil Parille's picture

It looks like he is trying to make the Objectivist world that he is an expert on Christianity, just like he tried to convince people that he is an expert on the life of Ayn Rand. Well, The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics is long since out of print and no one takes it seriously anymore.

>We know that the Synoptic

edpowell's picture

>We know that the Synoptic Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John but by their descendants and later followers (whoever they were).

The gospels were anonymous, with these names ascribed to them in the second century. It is not true that "we know they were not written by..." There is some evidence that they were written by those men whose names were put on them, the same amount of evidence that The Iliad was written by Homer, that is, tradition handed down by early church fathers. This is not a lot of evidence, but it is not NO evidence either. On the other hand, there is no evidence that the gospels were NOT written by these men either.

>We know that Paul (Saul of Tarsus) was the greatest persecutor of early Christians according to the biblical narrative

Paul makes the claim that he was a persecutor of Christians, not that he was a greatest persecutor. As a Pharisee, the ancestors of Rabbinic Judaism, Paul would have been an advocate of the "Oral Law", that is, an interpretation of Judaism at variance with the Hebrew Bible, but said by its practitioners to have been handed down in parallel with the 10 commandments from Moses on Mt Sinai. Jesus argued against the Pharisees throughout his recorded ministry, and argued for a different variant of Judaism contrary to both the politically dominant Temple-based Judaism as well as the intellectually dominant Pharisaic Judaism. There is no reason to believe the Pharisees did not denounce early Jesus followers as heretics, or try to have them arrested, as indicated in Acts. Paul's self-description of his behavior is perfectly consistent with what we know of the times.

>still remained a Roman citizen who did not escape custody in Rome when he could’ve (according to the biblical narrative).

Paul could have escaped after the ship carrying him to Rome was involved in a wreck. He said he *wanted* to go to Rome, and his behavior in Rome according to Acts makes clear he hadn't changed his mind. There are plenty of reasons to believe the story of Paul going to Rome was true. Far more reasons than the parallel story, not in Acts, of Peter going to Rome. It seems clear the tradition of Peter's travel to Rome snd subsequent death there was created to give prestige to the Roman Bishops in their fight against the other major bishops for control of the church. But Paul's travels there are much more believable.

>We know that there was no New Testament until Emperor Constantine

The first collection of books as "canon" was by Marcion of Sinope around 150 AD, consisting of an edited version of Luke and edited versions of Paul's letters. Given that Luke had been circulating for some time and is known to have used Mark as a source, this puts an absolute limit as to the age of Luke at around 120 AD, with Mark earlier. Most scholars, through textual and source analysis, put the authorship Mark at 65-70 AD and Luke and Matthew at 75-80 AD. Tradition holds that Mark was a young, literate, Greek-speaking disciple of Peter, and that Luke was a gentile companion of Paul. Nothing in the textual archaeology contradicts the tradition. Again, there is not very much evidence FOR the traditional authorship being true, but there is no evidence AGAINST the tradition either. (The Gospel of John, which scholars think was written in Ephesus in the 90s or early 100s AD, by the Ephesian Jesus followers, is almost certainly NOT written by anyone associated with Jesus or his first 12 disciples, in that is seems to have been written to better explicate the proto-orthodox Christology that had been developing, and only superficially used some of the stories from the synoptic gospels.)

In any event, the Gospels were written far before Constantine, indeed far before the letters from Pliny the Younger to Trajan about Christians in Bithynia.

The interesting thing about the historiography of early Christianity, as thread-bare as it is, is that it is substantially more than the historiography of Judaism in the same period. From the Maccabean Revolt in 166 BC to the first appearance of the Mishnah in the 200s AD, the only written work discussing Judaism outside the gospels are those by Josephus, written after the first revolt, from ~75 - 100 AD. In these, a few details of the gospels are corroborated, and a few more details of Jewish life and beliefs were discussed. When the Mishnah was written in the 200s AD, the only link between it and the Hebrew bible are a few passages in the gospels and a few passages in the works of Josephus. The idea that the Mishnah is oral tradition brought from the time of Moses (allegedly 1300 BC) is of course preposterous, though many Jewish scholars who pooh-pooh the idea that a set of stories about Jesus written 35 years after his death could not possibly be accurate, seen oddly silent when confronted with the fact that the basis of their religion was allegedly orally transmitted for 1500 years. A similar situation exists with respect to Islam. The Koran was allegedly dictated to Mohammed over 20 years by the angel Gabriel straight from Allah, and memorized, only to be written down 100 years later word-for-word. This story is obviously untrue, given that there are no such entities as Allah or Gabriel.

So we are left in an interesting position, when it comes to the historiography of the three major monotheistic religions. The first (Christianity) is based on early stories that tell of a preacher who was arrested and died, and then who was thought by his followers to have appeared to them again after death. (Read the post-crucifixion scenes--they are eerily unreal, as if the authors were realistically describing a mass delusion). The second major religion (Rabbinic Judaism) we have almost no idea where it came from, other than the obvious fact that the Pharisees were the only ones left standing after the bar-Kokhba revolt in 132 AD. But where their ideas came from no one knows. While they pay lip service to the Hebrew bible, the foundation of their religion is the Mishnah and the commentaries on it and the Hebrew bible (collective called the Talmud). And of course, the origin of the third (Islam) is shrouded in mystery, the leaders of the religion having completely purged the middle east of all books written within 200 years of the founding of the religion except the Koran, with the only thing we really know is that the founding mythology of Islam is false.

So of these three religions, the one whose founding is on the FIRMEST ground historically is Christianity. Sure, there were no miracles, no virgin birth, no resurrection. But the basic story, preacher gets delusions of grandeur, is arrested and executed by the Romans, and whose followers were convinced they saw him later, though ethereally, is all perfectly believable. Yet it is this story that comes under attack by Valliant, who constructs a hypothesis so bizarre, so Alex-Jones-conspiracy-theory-worthy, so at variance with almost all the facts we know of both the Romans and the early Christians, that one must fundamentally ask oneself, "Why?" Or as Ayn Rand put it, "Don't bother to examine a folly--ask yourself only what it accomplishes." What can Valliant be intending to accomplish with this fantasy? It beats me. Serious scholars will just laugh at it. Maybe it's just a smear job intended to convince gullible Objectivists (and we all know a ton of them) that there is now an "Objectivist historiography of early Christianity" that shows not that Christianity was just one among a number of apocalypticist mystery cults in the early 000s, and happened to be one that won out, but no!, it was a DELIBERATE FRAUD! There's only one thing clear in this whole intellectual exercise: there is only one intellectual fraud, and his name is James Valliant.

More From Diamond Jim

Neil Parille's picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Jim got me banned from a website called (of all things) "Free thinking! now" !!! which posts his interviews.

I agree, Bruno. Hitler

Richard Wiig's picture

I agree, Bruno.

Hitler making overtures to Christians isn't akin to Nazism arising from Christianity, so it is despicable to link the two. Hitler disliked Christianity and admired Islam.

I have never seen any Christians doing this:

Nope...

Olivia's picture

As far as superstition, it is something Christianity had all but eradicated, but is now in resurgence. Believing in God is not superstition. Believing that black cats are bad luck is.

Christianity eradicated pagan superstition but replaced it with a superstition of its own. Superstition is just belief in supernatural occurrences: the Virgin birth, the Immaculate conception, resurrection from death, the sun standing still over Jericho, talking serpents and donkeys, God writing books through men, Mohammad flying on a winged horse to heaven, etc. All nonsense on steroids. All Jewish/Christian/Islamic superstitions.

Christianity’s great saving grace was its commitment to individual salvation and personal responsibility with the civilisation which those ideas helped to build.
Also, the giving of glory to God via the glorious works of man, which of course brought us great art, music and cultural achievements, never yet to be equaled.

Believing in a God or a prime mover is one thing, believing in an interventionist God who made himself flesh to sacrifice himself for the sins of his own creation is quite another matter.

Link

Neil Parille's picture

Hi Bruno -

Here is the essay I wrote on PARC:

https://www.scribd.com/documen...

EX MOTU

Bruno's picture

"It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality.

Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it.

Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God."

Link?

Bruno's picture

Neil, I'd like to read that, can you post us a link?

As far as superstition, it is something Christianity had all but eradicated, but is now in resurgence. Believing in God is not superstition. Believing that black cats are bad luck is.

I am delighted that my order of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, complete and unabridged version in one volume, has arrived in the mail just a few days ago.

Oblivia

Neil Parille's picture

Maybe you should read what I wrote. James was initially interested in debating me (concerning PARC and CC), but put so many restrictions on the debate the no self-respecting person could accept (sound familiar?).

I actually write a short book discussing PARC (82 pages). Have you read i?

Goblinism

Lindsay Perigo's picture

This is an opportune moment to reiterate that all goblinism, including Goblianity, is superstition, and, as such, nonsense.

James and Casey have a longstanding rational vendetta against Goblianity in particular, going back to James's "Behind the Cross," which I imagine was the precursor to the book currently being discussed and about which I interviewed James for two hours on Radio Live one Easter Friday. Probably still here on SOLO.

The imperative of our particular moment, however, is the fight against Islamogoblinism. James, Casey, Amy, Bwook and ARISIS are intent on deflecting us from that in the interests of Soros and his truly evil globalism. This is just a re-run of "Vote Dem-Scum across the Board" from 2008. It requires precisely the kind of over-focus on Goblianity as opposed to Islamogoblinsm that they are evincing. Do not bother to seek a rational explanation; rather, just follow the money. This is Soros.

Over and above all that, we as purported Objectivists have failed miserably in any effort to address the innermost needs of the human soul that goblinism accommodates. Hard on the heels of a recent major bereavement, I realise this more acutely than ever. I look at the glorious buildings of Goblian worship and wish to become a Goblian there and then. I know of no comparable accomplishment within Objectivism other than by its founder. Her literature is a Cathedral. For the Glory of Man. Let's get on with that! #MOGA!!

That’s easy Neil...

Olivia's picture

Debating a Goblian like yourself would be a waste of time... since your premise is one of superstition - you have no way to analyse any truth based on that.
The best way forward for someone like you, Neil, is to write a book of your own and seek debate that way. What you prefer to do is just shit on other peoples' works and efforts and somehow reframe it as an exercise in intellectual debate. That’s the vampire's way... to try to suck the life out of someone else’s effort, while never having to extend the equal effort of research and creation which might match whom you consider to be a worthy opponent. In other words, you are not a worthy opponent or debater worth their effort.

Hope that’s clear enough for one as deluded as you to understand. Smiling

Olivia

Neil Parille's picture

I offered to debate your and Linz's good friend Jim Valliant on PARC and Creating Christ.

Jim and Amy Peikoff put so many restrictions on such a debate that no self respecting person would agree to it.

Why you think his books are so great when he refused to even debate is beyond me.

Olivia

Neil Parille's picture

" Hitler often expressed that he was doing the Lord’s work. In Mein Kampf, he deploys the language of Deism - "Providence, Creator, Lord,” etc, but in certain speeches which he made to the German people he used frank Christian language - remember, the people to whom he was speaking were Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists. Such as his Munich speech in 1922:
"I would like here to appeal to a greater than I. My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian, I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice."

Hitler said in private he disliked Christianity. In his Tabletalk, he said that after the war he would take on the churches.

"I didn’t listen to James speak, I read the transcript and one of the most interesting and true topics discussed in it (and it's little known) is how the Zealots were a major problem for Rome - and also for their fellow Jews. Simon Zelotes (Simon the Zealot) was a disciple of Christ and another disciple, Judas Iscariot, ('Iscariot' from the name ‘Sicarii' - the cut-throat assassins who murdered Romans and collaborating Jews, tax collectors etc) were highly active during this time and were a major problem for the Roman governors, including Pilate. In 70 AD, it was the Zealots who forced Jerusalem to stage a major stand-off against the Romans, resulting in the most hideous starving-out of the Jews under the General Titus, and we all know the story of Masada and their last stand."

The derivation of the names of Simon and Judas Iscariot are disputed. "Zealot" probably just meant one with zeal, not a formal designation. Also, "Iscariot" probably was a place.

"James doesn’t say that Christians were not persecuted, he said that there were smaller pockets of persecution. "

Yes, but he downplays it, citing a ridiculous book (The Myth of Persecution). In any event, how is any persecution of Christians by the Romans consistent with his thesis?

"We know that the Synoptic Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John but by their descendants and later followers (whoever they were)."

Maybe, but how is that consistent with Jim's thesis? He says they were written out of whole cloth by (I assume) scribes hired by Roman emperors.

"We know that there was no New Testament until Emperor Constantine - and the book of Thomas was excluded, as was the book of Mary Magdalene and others. Therefore it was constructed by human hands, not divine inspiration as Christians like to imagine, largely because of the words of Paul - “all scripture is inspired by God profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God maybe adequately equipped for every good deed.”"

Most if not all of the NT canon was established before Constantine. And maybe there would good reasons to reject Thomas and Mary. Have you read them?

Bruno...

Olivia's picture

It was disgustingly dishonest to retrace Hitler to Christianity. What a foul and dispecable lie.

Not so. Hitler often expressed that he was doing the Lord’s work. In Mein Kampf, he deploys the language of Deism - "Providence, Creator, Lord,” etc, but in certain speeches which he made to the German people he used frank Christian language - remember, the people to whom he was speaking were Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists. Such as his Munich speech in 1922:

"I would like here to appeal to a greater than I. My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian, I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.

Then there is the Concordat between the Third Reich and the Vatican, The Reichskonkordat. Never mind that Hitler would persecute Catholics in Germany, the fact that its official leaders acquiesced to the Jew hating Nazis is bloody-well on them... 'Gott Mit Uns’ and all that. Hitler used Christianity against the Jews, for obvious reasons.

I didn’t listen to James speak, I read the transcript and one of the most interesting and true topics discussed in it (and it's little known) is how the Zealots were a major problem for Rome - and also for their fellow Jews. Simon Zelotes (Simon the Zealot) was a disciple of Christ and another disciple, Judas Iscariot, ('Iscariot' from the name ‘Sicarii' - the cut-throat assassins who murdered Romans and collaborating Jews, tax collectors etc) were highly active during this time and were a major problem for the Roman governors, including Pilate. In 70 AD, it was the Zealots who forced Jerusalem to stage a major stand-off against the Romans, resulting in the most hideous starving-out of the Jews under the General Titus, and we all know the story of Masada and their last stand.

James doesn’t say that Christians were not persecuted, he said that there were smaller pockets of persecution.

We know that the Synoptic Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John but by their descendants and later followers (whoever they were).

We know that Paul (Saul of Tarsus) was the greatest persecutor of early Christians according to the biblical narrative but then mysteriously and mystically became a Christian deeply embedded in the new movement, but still remained a Roman citizen who did not escape custody in Rome when he could’ve (according to the biblical narrative).

We know that there was no New Testament until Emperor Constantine - and the book of Thomas was excluded, as was the book of Mary Magdalene and others. Therefore it was constructed by human hands, not divine inspiration as Christians like to imagine, largely because of the words of Paul - “all scripture is inspired by God profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God maybe adequately equipped for every good deed.”
II Timothy 3.16.

Somebody coordinated all the extraneous, superstitious weirdness and contradictions of the teachings of a first century Jew, which grew into the largest religion of the Roman Empire over a timeline of 450 odd years. James and Casey are onto something here, and the acts of the Jewish zealots matter to it centrally and so do the ancient Romans who eventually adopted it. The Platonic mix of paganism and reinvented Jewish references of the ancient world is clear to me. Is this work by James and Casey just an exercise in revisionist history only? Perhaps, but it’s a much better theory than the prevailing one of calling it "the truth" of how things happened according to the scriptures. That would be just superstitious nonsense only.

I commend them both for their attempt to make rational sense of it.

Absurd

Bruno's picture

I agree with Neil. It was completely absurd from start to finish. Classic "Objectivist" rewriting of history (Rand was the first to do so, or more generously she had bad information). The Romans *not* persecuting the Christians is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in quite a while. Also his obsession with "antisemitism", a classic ObLeftivist favorite, is extremely annoying. Not a word about the tragedy caused by fanatics to the Alexandria library. It was disgustingly dishonest to retrace Hitler to Christianity. What a foul and dispecable lie. Unbelievable, until you realize it's an ObLeftivist speaking.

His voice and laughter are also annoying which is always a minus, and the following words were pronounced incorrectly: Idealism (no reason whatsoever to put the stress on the I), Diaspora (stress should be on the I), and arguably Judea (which should be a latin E sound, such as in the English word 'End').

Remember, these are the people who supposedly reject all "conspiracy theories" out of hand. Only those that might actually be plausible, and current, that is. Finding conspiracies two thousand years old is a-okay. Anything that can go against white American Christians. You wouldn't want to enable the "coming theocracy" and all that.

Olivia

Neil Parille's picture

. . . it's better written than PARC (probably because Casey is a co-author) but the book is equally silly.

Thanks for posting this...

Olivia's picture

I thoroughly enjoyed that interview with James... Very interesting stuff..and much of it makes a lot of sense. One thing for certain is that the New Testament is a very odd construct, a mish-mash of Pagan and Jewish ideas, ethics and Superstitions.

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