The two Richards

In my previous posts I said that I have been counter-signalling white nationalists because they maintain Judeo-Christian tails, and at the same time I have been citing Richard Carrier’s work on the nonexistence of Jesus. But Carrier is a typical liberal, as can be seen from the debate I heard yesterday between him and Richard Weikart on YouTube:

Hitler is often claimed to have been an atheist or a Christian by believers and skeptics eager to put the dictator in the other’s camp. Christian historian Richard Weikart argues he was neither in his new book Hitler’s Religion: The twisted beliefs that drove the Third Reich. Richard Carrier is an atheist historian who has researched Hitler’s purported anti-Christian statements often quoted by apologists in his book Hitler, Homer, Bible, Christ. He says that Hitler was anti-Catholic but thought of himself as a “positivist” Christian. In contrast Weikart argues Hitler was a pantheist who personally despised Christianity and only used it in public to aid his rise to power.

Everything sharp and forceful that Carrier had in debating (and refuting) the historicists of Jesus collapses when he speaks of Hitler. He is suddenly transmuted into a completely dishonest fellow. In that 2017 debate, you can tell that Carrier overstates his case when he wants to force his view that a Christianity similar to Christian Identity (‘Positive Xtianity’) was always behind Hitler. What would Carolyn Yeager say about such claim?

Weikart repeatedly replied that Hitler used the word ‘Christianity’ in his criticisms, that Hitler was not only referring to Catholicism or the Church. But Carrier, with that alchemy that he refutes in the fundamentalists, transmutes everything that Hitler said about Christianity as if he supposedly referred only to Catholicism. A case of self-delusion, and big time!

The nadir of the debate occurred in the final segment, where Carrier became as dense as those NPCs that Black Pigeon Speaks was making fun of a month ago. I mean: Carrier criticised Trump claiming that what Trump was doing was ‘demonizing Muslims and Hispanics’. Really? Why did Carrier see nothing about Muslim terrorism, and that Trump only wanted to restrict the migration of the seven countries that produce the most terrorists?

This demonstrates once again that intelligence can be accompanied by very serious character flaws that remind me of my favourite Hamlet quote (cited below). Intelligence is of no use if people voluntarily surrender themselves to self-deception. And Carrier does it. For example, in his discussion with Weikart he sugars the pill about Charles Darwin, claiming that his Darwinism was human and sensitive to other races! Does Carrier ignore that according to Darwin niggers were to be exterminated?

Both Carrier and Weikart regurgitate the widespread myth that Hitler wanted to exterminate the Jews ‘because they were an inferior race’. At this point, Weikart surprises me more than Carrier, as the latter is not a Hitler scholar, only a Jesus scholar. Is it possible that none have read Esau’s Tears, a 1997 book with an academic imprimatur and good reviews among normies, authored by a Jew who showed the depredations of the Jewish quarter in the 19th century (which caused the German reaction in the 20th century)?

White nationalism has a point. What could we possibly do with these two Richards, a typical Christian and a typical liberal, without the incredibly detailed analysis of the JQ in WN?

You must understand the POV of this site: if I criticise white nationalists, it is because they maintain a tail of Judaism in the sense of Judeo-Christian axiology, so toxic to the Aryan cause. But I don’t criticise white nationalism for its general vision of the JQ. And if there is something in which the two Richards are absolute ignorant it is the JQ. I wonder if any of them know the work of Kevin MacDonald, if they have even looked at The Occidental Observer?

The debate linked above only corroborates something that my female friend told me: that men—including myself—tend to worship the intellect at the expense of character, in the sense that there may be very intelligent people whose moral flaws eclipse their virtues, the Hamlet quote:

So oft it chances in particular men
That for some vicious mole of nature in them,
By the o’ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason,
Or by some habit grown too much; that these men–
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
Their virtues else — be they as pure as grace,
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault.

Unhistorical Jesus, 7

Or:

How (((Luke))) transvalued an Aryan value

But even if we accede to that hypothesis, it then only confirms the same point: that Luke is not writing history, but myth. He or his sources are simply making everything up. His tales are told for their meaning and rhetorical effect, not because they were researched or came from witnesses. I’ll close with one more example of this, the Emmaus narrative of Luke 24, a resurrection-appearance tale found in no other Gospel and thus distinctive of Luke’s style of invention.

Here Luke tells the story of a man named Cleopas (along with an unnamed friend) who journeys by road from Jerusalem to nearby Emmaus, after they learn the corpse of Jesus has vanished. On the way, the resurrected Jesus appears to them (albeit in disguise) and explains the secrets of the kingdom (which happens to be a spiritual kingdom, not a physical one), then vanishes, and Cleopas recognizes who he was and goes on to proclaim what he was told. Conveniently, the name Cleopas means ‘tell all’, in other words, ‘proclaim’. The story thus has several telltale markers of myth: a name invented or selected for its meaning to the tale rather than any historical truth; an absurdly ahistorical narrative (never heard of from any earlier source [Mark or Matthew – Ed.]) of a disguised divine visitor; an unrealistic conversation with a complete stranger; a miraculous vanishing; and an all-too-convenient rhetorical purpose for all of it. This is the Vanishing Hitchhiker legend—ancient Roman style.

As it happens, the founding myth of Rome, then famously known everywhere and celebrated in annual passion plays, is almost the exact same story: a man named Proculus (archaic Latin for ‘Proclaimer’ or ‘He Who Proclaims’, thus not only again a fictional name designed for the story but essentially the same name as Cleopas) journeys by road from nearby Alba Longa to Rome, after the Roman people learn the corpse of Romulus has vanished; and on the way, the resurrected Romulus appears to him (not in disguise but this time in glorious form) and explains the secrets of the kingdom (literally: how to conquer and rule the world), then ascends into heaven (as Luke eventually has Jesus do as well), and Proculus recognizes who he was and goes on to proclaim what he was told. I’ve already demonstrated the extent to which the Gospels have borrowed this Romulan resurrection tale for Jesus (see Chapter 4, §1, and Element 47). Mark had already fashioned his passion account in light of it, and Matthew embellished it even more in accord. So it is not unexpected that Luke would take the same model further.

And indeed he has. Not only in the ways I have already pointed out in previous chapters but also here, in the tale of Cleopas on the road to Emmaus. lf we accept the identification of Luke’s intended Emmaus as the Ammaus mentioned by Josephus as a town nearby Jerusalem, then in both Luke’s narrative and the Romulan tale the Proclaimers are journeying from a city on a mountain to a city in a valley, roughly the same direction (east to west, like the sun), and roughly the same distance (seven to twelve miles).

But the changes are the point. While Proculus receives his gospel on the road to Rome, Cleopas receives his gospel on the road from Jerusalem: so while the old story suggests ‘all roads lead to Rome’, the new story suggests all roads lead from Jerusalem. While Romulus appears in awesome glory, befitting the awesome glory of Rome’s dominion and the very visible empire he promises, Jesus appears in disguise, hidden, just as the kingdom he promises is hidden, and which, like Jesus, becomes visible (and thus knowable) only in the communion of believers. Luke has thus transvalued the Romans’ founding myth: unlike the Romans, their resurrected hero promises a hidden spiritual kingdom originating from Jerusalem on high. And just as the glorious visage of Romulus is what confirmed to Proculus that what he said was true, so it is the powerful word of the gospel that confirms to Cleopas that what Jesus said was true. Luke thus rewrites the story to communicate how Christian values differ from mainstream Roman values. This is a classic hallmark of mythmaking. [1]

______________

[1] Pages 480-482 of Carrier’s book. Italics in the original but bold-type added by Ed. For more on the Romulus parallels and reversals in the Emmaus narrative see Arnold Ehrhardt, ‘The Disciples of Emmaus’, New Testament Studies 10 (January 1964), pp. 182-201, and Francis Gerald Downing, ‘A Rival to Romulus’, in Doing Things with Words, pp. 133-51.

Unhistorical Jesus, 6

This is an update on what I have been saying about how the Christians transvalued Greco-Roman values through stealing vital elements of the Romulus story. I have resumed reading Carrier’s book and on pages 302-303 I came across this:

Later in the third century the Neoplatonist Porphyry wrote his own fifteen-volume treatise Against the Christians, which again does not survive, except for diverse scattered quotations in later Christian authors. A century after that Emperor Julian (the last pagan emperor, himself taking the throne only after a long line of Christian emperors) wrote Against the Galileans, his own critique of the religion that had transformed the empire he inherited. Once again, this does not survive; all we have are portions of Cyril of Alexandria’s treatise Against Julian. Eunapius then wrote in the year 414 a History against the Christians (perhaps not literally named that, but it was regarded as such by later Christians), an extensive critique of Christian ‘versions’ of historical events from 270 to 404 CE. This, too, does not survive; his otherwise inoffensive Lives of the Sophists was preserved instead. The only reason we know of his anti-Christian work is that before it faded into oblivion, many later historians, including Christians, employed it as a source.

I didn’t know the following until today:

Again, these are just the ones we know about: Which would be a fraction of what there was. All of it was tossed out or destroyed. Instead, we get to read only what medieval Christians wanted us to read. Another example of this phenomenon is that of the ‘mysterious lacuna’. Several texts that were preserved have sections removed. Sections whose disappearance seems convenient for Christians. Now, a lot of ancient literature, indeed arguably most, has missing material. This is typically a result of carelessness and accident, multiplied by time. But in some cases the precision and location of what was lost is a bit more peculiar than chance accident would suggest.

Carrier illustrates this with Refutation of all Heresies by the Christian scholar Hippolytus in the 3rd century. Remember that the Christians were so thorough that sometimes they even destroyed the ‘refutations’ authored by Christians so that not even what the pagan said about Christianity remained, even as ‘refuted’ quotes! (Some passages of Celsus survived simply because they didn’t dare to destroy the work of Origen, one of the early fathers of the Church.) Carrier continues:

But the second and third volumes are missing. The text skips directly to volume 4, which begins his discourse on astrology. This does not look like an accident. Some Christian or Christians decided to destroy those two volumes—for some reason fearing their contents. The resulting loss in our knowledge of the mystery religions is beyond considerable.

The below paragraph is what moved me to post this entry:

Another strange loss concerns the annual festival of Romulus in which his death and resurrection were reenacted in public passion plays (see Chapter 4, §1). That festival was held on the 7th of July. At the beginning of the first century Ovid wrote an elaborate poem, the Fasti, describing all the festivals throughout the year at Rome and what went on in them and why. This only survives in its first half, covering January to June, the remaining months are lost. It seems strange that the text cuts off precisely before the month in which a passion play [of Romulus] is described that was the most similar to that of Jesus Christ.

The fact that we have other descriptions of this festival (albeit none as complete as Ovid’s would have been) does mean there was no organized conspiracy to doctor the record (except when it came to controlling faith literature, for which we have clear evidence of Christians actively eliminating disapproved Gospels, for example), but this along with all the other cases (above and below) indicates a common trend among individual Christians to act as gatekeepers of information, suppressing what they didn’t like.

Ovid! And this even happened to Plutarch and Tacitus!:

Another example along similar lines is a mysterious gap in the text of Plutarch’s Moralia, a huge multivolume library of treatises on diverse subjects. In one of these, the Tabletalk, Plutarch is discussing the equivalence of Yahweh and Dionysus, and linking Jewish theology to the mystery religions, when suddenly the text is cut off. We have no idea how much is missing, although the surviving table of contents shows there were several sections remaining on other subjects besides this one. If an accident, this seems like a very convenient one.

A similar mysterious gap is found in the Annals of Tacitus. The text of the Annals survives in only two manuscript traditions, one containing the first half, the other the second half, with a section in between missing—and thus its loss is explicable. But there is another gap in the text that is harder to explain: two whole years from the middle of 29 CE to the middle of 31. That the cut is so precise and covers precisely those two years is too improbable to posit as a chance coincidence. The year 30 was regarded by many early Christians as the year of Christ’s ministry and crucifixion (see Element 7).

Robert Drews analyzed all the gaps in the Annals and concluded that this one has no more plausible explanation than that Christians excised those two years out of embarrassment at its omission of any mention of Jesus or associated events (like the world darkness reported in the Synoptic Gospels). Tacitus digresses on Christianity in his coverage of the year 64, in such a way that guarantees he made no mention of it earlier (if the passage there is authentic: see §10)—although Tacitus surely must have discussed other events under Pontius Pilate. So we can be certain Christians weren’t trying to hide anything embarrassing said about Jesus. But the embarrassment of saying nothing was evidently enough to motivate their targeted destruction of the corresponding text.

To understand the censor who eliminated those chapters so that posterity would remain in the dark, let us remember that St. Augustine also struggled with an omission. Seneca de Younger wrote On Superstition between 40 and 62. Carrier again: ‘that lambasted every known cult of Rome, even the most trivial and obscure—including the Jews—but never mentioned Christians’.

It is increasingly clear: Not only Jesus of Nazareth did not exist. The authors of the gospels (Semites, I suppose) stole the myth of the Aryan god Romulus for incredibly subversive purposes (see red letters: here).

That is why they tried to erase any hint of the Romulus festivals when they destroyed almost all the books in Latin, from the fourth to the sixth century (see Catherine Nixey’s words in bold type: here).

Our patron saint

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas is titled this painting by Vasari, in the Florentine church of Santa Croce. The composition and treatment of the figures reveal the spirit of the late Renaissance.

With the tools of exegesis of our century it is not only possible to doubt, like Thomas, that Jesus rose from the dead. It is even possible to doubt that the guy existed, as readers of Richard Carrier know. Even so, sceptics of the New Testament narrative sarcastically consider Thomas as their ‘patron saint’.

Published in: on October 3, 2019 at 8:32 pm  Comments Off on Our patron saint  

Who guilt-tripped us?

This Pieta by Early Netherlandish painter Gerard David is the central part of a triptych that is preserved in the Cagliari Cathedral Museum. The Jewess Mary, mother of Jesus, with her demurred piety contemplates the wounds that adorn the hands of the Jew martyred by evil Romans.

We can already imagine the guilt trip that, for the Aryan psyche, represented the centuries through which all whites were forced to abandon their proud Gods and ‘golden haired’ heroes, as Homer described them, to worship a rather ugly and unattractive deity of the Semites.

Who could have invented Christianity, a perfect prolefeed for us gentiles? ‘All of the evidence we have’, says Richard Carrier, ‘strongly supports the conclusion that there were actually literal rabbis that originated the sect [Christianity]’.

Published in: on September 4, 2019 at 1:55 am  Comments Off on Who guilt-tripped us?  

Unhistorical Jesus, 5

Editor’s note: Here I continue quoting some passages from Richard Carrier’s book On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014).
 

______ 卐 ______

 

Element 48: Finally, the most ubiquitous model ‘hero’ narrative, which pagans also revered and to which the Gospel Jesus also conforms, is the fable of the ‘divine king’, what I call the Rank-Raglan hero-type, based on the two scholars who discovered and described it, Otto Rank and Lord Raglan. This is a hero-type found repeated across at least fifteen known mythic heroes (including Jesus)—if we count only those who clearly meet more than half of the designated parallels (which means twelve or more matches out of twenty-two elements), which requirement eliminates many historical persons, such as Alexander the Great or Caesar Augustus, who accumulated many elements of this hero-type in the tales told of them, yet not that many.

The twenty-two features distinctive of this hero-type are:

  1. The hero’s mother is a virgin.
  2. His father is a king or the heir of a king.
  3. The circumstances of his conception are unusual.
  4. He is reputed to be the son of a god.
  5. An attempt is made to kill him when he is a baby.
  6. To escape which he is spirited away from those trying to kill him.
  7. He is reared in a foreign country by one or more foster parents.
  8. We are told nothing of his childhood.
  9. On reaching manhood he returns to his future kingdom.
  10. He is crowned, hailed or becomes king.
  11. He reigns uneventfully (i.e., without wars or national catastrophes).
  12. He prescribes laws.
  13. He then loses favor with the gods or his subjects.
  14. He is driven from the throne or city.
  15. He meets with a mysterious death.
  16. He dies atop a hill or high place.
  17. His children, if any, do not succeed him.
  18. His body turns up missing.
  19. Yet he still has one or more holy sepulchers (in fact or fiction).
  20. Before taking a throne or a wife, he battles and defeats a great adversary (such as a king, giant, dragon or wild beast).

and

  1. His parents are related to each other.
  2. He marries a queen or princess related to his predecessor.

Many of the heroes who fulfill this type also either (a) performed miracles (in life or as a deity after death) or were (b) preexistent beings who became incarnated as men or (c) subsequently worshiped as savior gods, any one of which honestly should be counted as a twenty-third attribute. Of these qualifying features, Jesus shares all three. Likewise, many who fit this hero type ‘fulfilled prophecy’, and although that was commonly the case for heroes generally (far beyond the specific hero-type described here), it is another feature Jesus shares in common with them, and which honestly should be counted as a twenty-fourth attribute. But I shall work from the traditional twenty-two.

The fifteen people who score more than half of those twenty-two features, in order of how many they score (from most to least) is as follows:

  1. Oedipus (21)
  2. Moses (20)
  3. Jesus (20)
  4. Theseus (19)
  5. Dionysus (19)
  6. Romulus (18)
  7. Perseus (17)
  8. Hercules (17)
  9. Zeus (15)
  10. Bellerophon (14)
  11. Jason (14)
  12. Osiris (14)
  13. Pelops (13)
  14. Asclepius (12)
  15. Joseph [i.e., the son of Jacob] (12)

This is a useful discovery, because with so many matching persons it doesn’t matter what the probability is of scoring more than half on the Rank-Raglan scale by chance coincidence. Because even if it can happen often by chance coincidence, then the percentage of persons who score that high should match the ratio of real persons to mythical persons. In other words, if a real person can have the same elements associated with him, and in particular so many elements (and for this purpose it doesn’t matter whether they actually occurred), then there should be many real persons on the list—as surely there are far more real persons than mythical ones.

The number of real persons in the course of antiquity must number in the hundreds of millions, whereas the number of mythical persons invented over that same course of time will be in the thousands at most. Certainly, by any calculation the latter could not possibly outnumber the former—and even if they were equally numerous, then half the names on the list should be actual persons. But this is not the case. No known historical persons are on the list (for Moses and Joseph, see references in earlier note). Only mythical people ever got fitted to this hero-type. Yet every single one of them was regarded as a historical person and placed in history in narratives written about them.

Therefore, whether fitting more than half the Rank-Raglan criteria was always a product of chance coincidence or the product of causal influence, either way we can still conclude that it would be very unusual for any historical person to fit more than half the Rank-Raglan criteria—because if it were not unusual, then many historical persons would have done so. But not even one did. We might not know the cause of this fact, but a fact it is nonetheless, and a fact we can make use of (as I will in §3 of the next chapter).

Jesus scores twenty out of twenty-two, according to Matthew ‘s Gospel (and whether these attributes were original or lately appended to his legend won’t matter, as I’ll explain in §4 of the next chapter; but note that even in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus scores a 14, and even that would place him well above the bottom of the list).

The first nineteen hardly require defense (e.g. his father is the heir of King David; he is seized by the authorities, abandoned by his followers, and driven from Jerusalem to his execution; strange things happen at his death, and the death itself is a strangely sudden expiration; he dies atop the hill named Golgotha; etc.). The remaining hit (number 20) may not be as obvious, but he scores it: just as Oedipus confronts and defeats the riddling Sphinx, Jesus confronts and defeats the temptation s of the Devil (also known as the Adversary, and as a Serpent or Dragon, and ‘Prince of the World’), in both cases before going to claim their kingdom (of course, even in earliest Christian tradition Satan is the power whom Jesus most decisively defeats so as to effect the salvation of the faithful ever after).

The only two elements Jesus does not score are the last I’ve listed: we cannot establish (21) that his parents were originally imagined as related or (22) that he ever married (much less the daughter of his predecessor). However, the peculiar absence of that last element practically advertises the fact that he does merit that element allegorically: from the earliest time Jesus was imagined to have taken the ‘church’ as his bride, which was indeed understood to be the ‘daughter ‘ of his predecessor (the nation of Israel). So in all honesty we could assign him that element as well. But as it is not ‘literal’ I will leave his score at twenty.

Nevertheless, even then he is nearly the highest scoring person in history, next only to Oedipus; and if we granted that last element, he would be tied even with him for highest score. Jesus might even have outranked Oedipus. A later tradition held that indeed his parents were relatives, and it is possible that had been a tradition from very early on that just wasn’t recorded in our Gospels.

However, by the time we hear of this detail, Jesus was being transformed into a different character. For example, Infancy Gospels were then being written about him, introducing narratives of his childhood. If we scored on attributes all the way into the late second century, this would remove one element (‘we hear nothing of his childhood’), and add another (‘his parents were related to each other’), keeping his score the same. However, since the infancy Gospels clearly are discordant with the early mythology of Jesus and are an entirely new phenomenon, whereas the possibility of his parents being related might actually have been imagined much earlier, he might have scored the full twenty-two points, making him a better fit for the Rank-Raglan hero-type than any other man in history. And even without these assumptions, he still ranks among the highest. That is a stunning fact, which must be considered, and accounted for.
 
Conclusion

The point of this and the previous chapter has been to summarize all the facts we must take into account, as being in our total background knowledge, when assigning all probabilities going forward.

In my experience, a great deal of what has been surveyed up to this point remains unknown even to many experts in the study of Jesus. This is why I took the trouble to survey so much. Because all of it must be taken into account by anyone who wishes to reconstruct the historical Jesus or the origins of Christianity. It is equally crucial to understanding how to evaluate and interpret the evidence for or against the historicity of Jesus—and how to estimate the prior probability of either. And to that question I now turn.

Published in: on June 20, 2019 at 11:38 am  Comments (5)  

Unhistorical Jesus, 4

Editor’s note: Here I continue with some passages from Richard Carrier’s book On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, especially a follow-up of what Carrier says in my first instalment of the series.

It really looks like the authors of the Gospels, presumably Semites, thoroughly plagiarised the foundational myth of Rome in order to sell us another myth (compare this with what my sticky post’s hatnote links about toxic foundation myths). This new myth did not only involve replacing an Aryan hero (Romulus) for a Jewish hero (Jesus). It did something infinitely more subversive. As Carrier wrote, which I highlighted in bold in my first instalment of the series:

Romulus’ material kingdom favoring the mighty is transformed into a spiritual one favoring the humble. It certainly looks like the Christian passion narrative is an intentional transvaluation of the Roman Empire’s ceremony of their own founding savior’s incarnation, death and resurrection [reddish colour added].

On pages 225-229 of On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt we read (scholarly footnotes omitted):
 

______ 卐 ______

 

Element 47: Another model hero narrative, which pagans also revered and to which the Gospel Jesus also conforms, is the apotheosis, or ‘ascension to godhood’ tale, and of these the one to which the Gospels (and Acts) most conform is that of the Roman national hero Romulus. I discussed this already in Chapter 4 (§1), and the points made there should be considered a component of the element here.

The more general point is that this narrative concept of a ‘translation to heaven’ for a hero (often but not always a divine son of god) was very commonplace, and always centered around a peculiar fable about the disappearance of their body. All these fables were different from one another, and therefore those differences are irrelevant to the point: all still shared the same core features (see my discussion of how syncretism works in Element 11). And when it comes to the Romulus fable in particular, the evidence is unmistakable that Christianity conformed itself to it relatively quickly—even if all these attributes were accumulated over time and not all at once.

Romulus, of course, did not exist. He was invented, along with legends about him (largely put together from previous Greek and Etruscan mythology), much later in Roman history than he is supposed to have lived. His name was eponymous (essentially an early form of the word ‘Roman’), and his story was meant to exemplify ideal Roman aspirations and values, using a model similar to Greek tragedy, in which the hero sins in various ways but comes to self-understanding and achieves peace by the time of his death. He otherwise exhibits in his deeds the ‘exemplary qualities’ of Rome as a social entity, held up as a model for Roman leaders to emulate, such as ending ‘the cycle of violence’ initiated by his sin and pride by religiously expiating the sin of past national crimes in order to bring about a lasting peace. His successor, Numa, then exemplified the role of the ideal, sinless king, a religious man and performer of miracles whose tomb was found empty after his death, demonstrating that he, too, like his predecessor Romulus, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven.

The idea of the ‘translation to heaven’ of the body of a divine king was therefore adaptable and flexible, every myth being in various ways different but in certain core respects the same. But the Gospels conform to the Romulus model most specifically. There are twenty parallels, although not every story contained every one. In some cases that may simply be the result of selection or abbreviation in the sources we have (and therefore the silence of one source does not entail the element did not then exist or was not known to that author); and in some cases elements might have been deliberately removed (or even reversed) by an author who wanted to promote a different message (see discussion in Chapter 10, §2, of how myth­making operated in antiquity). For example, the ‘radiant resurrection body’ (probably the earlier version of Christian appearance narratives) was later transformed into a ‘hidden-god narrative’ (another common trope both in paganism and Judaism) as suited any given author.

But when taken altogether the Romulus and Jesus death-and-resurrection narratives contain all of the following parallels:

1. The hero is the son of God.
2. His death is accompanied by prodigies.
3. The land is covered in darkness.
4. The hero’s corpse goes missing.
5. The hero receives a new immortal body, superior to the one he had.
6. His resurrection body has on occasion a bright and shining appearance.
7. After his resurrection he meets with a follower on a road from the city.
8. A speech is given from a summit or high place prior to ascending.
9. An inspired message of resurrection or ‘translation to heaven’ is delivered to a witness.
10. There is a ‘great commission’ (an instruction to future followers).
11. The hero physically ascends to heaven in his new divine body.
12. He is taken up into a cloud.
13. There is an explicit role given to eyewitness testimony (even naming the witnesses).
14. Witnesses are frightened by his appearance and/or disappearance.
15. Some witnesses flee.
16. Claims are made of ‘dubious alternative accounts’ (which claims were obviously fabricated for Romulus, there never having been a true account to begin with).
17. All of this occurs outside of a nearby (but central) city.
18. His followers are initially in sorrow over the hero’s death.
19. But his post-resurrection story leads to eventual belief, homage and rejoicing.
20. The hero is deified and cult subsequently paid to him (in the same manner as a god).

Romulus, of course, was also unjustly killed by the authorities (and came from a humble background, beginning his career as an orphan and a shepherd, a nobody from the hill country), and thus also overlaps the Aesop/­Socratic type (see Element 46), and it’s easy to see that by combining the two, we end up with pretty much the Christian Gospel in outline (especially when we appropriately Judaize the result: Elements 3-7, 17-20, and 39-43). Some of the parallels could be coincidental (e.g. resurrected bodies being associated with radiance was itself a common trope, both within Judaism and paganism), but for all of them to be coincidental is extremely improbable. The Christian conception of Jesus’ death and resurrection appears to have been significantly influenced by the Roman conception of Romulus’s death and resurrection.

Even if we discounted that for any reason, the Romulus parallels definitely establish that all these components were already part of a recognized hero-type, and are therefore not surprising or unusual or unexpected. The story of Jesus would have looked familiar, not only in the same way all translation stories looked familiar even when different in many and profound ways, but also in the very specific way that among all such tales it looked the most like the story of Romulus, which was publicly acted out in passion plays every year. And this was the national founding hero of the Roman Empire. What better god’s tale to emulate or co-opt?

Unhistorical Jesus, 3

Editor’s note: Today I changed the subtitle of this site from ‘Two lies are murdering the white race’ to ‘The Jewish Question and Christianity are one and the same’. In the excerpts reproduced below from chapter 5 of Richard Carrier’s magnum opus, he wrote:

Thus it should not surprise us that Christianity converted all the military imagery of popular messianism into spiritual metaphor, to represent what we would now call a culture war.

Emphasis appears in the original. In the next page he added:

That the Christians and the Zealots both may have come from the same sectarian background, and pursued collectively the only two possible solutions to the problem facing the Jews at the time, reveals Christianity to be more akin to something inevitable than something surprising.

Definitively, Carrier’s On The Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reasons for Doubt contains key passages that substantiate the content of the masthead of this site, the Rome vs. Judea essay, linked in the sticky post above.

These are the first paragraphs of the chapter “Background Knowledge (Context)”:

 

______ 卐 ______

 

The previous chapter surveyed the background knowledge directly relating to the Christian religion (origins, beliefs and development) that we must take into account when evaluating any hypothesis regarding the historical existence of Jesus. This chapter will survey the most important background knowledge regarding the context in which Christianity began (political, religious and literary), as well as its most pertinent scientific and historical analogs.

Elements of Political Context

The origin of Christianity makes sense only within the peculiar political context that produced it, and in light of analogous movements throughout history.

Element 23: The Romans annexed Judea to the imperial province of Syria in 6 CE, bringing the center of the Holy Land under direct control of the Roman government, ending Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem and the temple of the Most High God, along with most of the Holy Land that had been promised by God to the Jews.

In fact, God had promised that the Jews would not only rule their own land, city and temple, but subjugate all peoples and rule the whole world as the chosen people of God (Zech. 14.9-18; Psalm 2), which was also a common feature of messianic belief (Elements 3 and 4), one timetable for which predicted this outcome was imminent (Element 7). The Roman annexation contradicted all of this, which would have inevitably produced cognitive dissonance between what Jews expected (the fulfillment of God’s promise) and what happened (the Jews lost their sovereignty and became a subject people). The result was a permanent state of violent tension between the Roman occupation and Jewish rebellion that concluded in three devastating wars (against Nero in 66-70 CE, against Trajan in 115-117 and against Hadrian in 132-136) and countless smaller rebellions (beginning with Judas the Galilean in 6 CE), all of which the Jews consistently lost.

Element 24: (a) Owing to their vastly greater resources (in materials, money and manpower) and superior technical ability (in the training, equipping and supplying of their armies) the Romans were effectively invincible and could never be expelled from Judea by force or diplomacy. (b) This fact was so empirically evident and publicly tested and demonstrated on such a wide scale that it had to have been evident to at least some Jews, even while many either didn’t see it, denied it even when seen, or imagined celestial aid would redress the imbalance.

In other words, the traditional messianic hope (of a conclusive military victory over all of Israel’s neighbors) was a doomed hope, and that would have been obvious to at least some Jews. History would of course decisively prove this, as messianic movements were either wiped out quickly (Element 4) or led to the utter defeat and destruction of Jerusalem and the entire Jewish polity (already in the Neronian War of the 60s; even more so in the subsequent wars under Trajan and Hadrian: Element 23). This had happened before, most infamously to both Carthage and Corinth in the same year (146 BCE), which any educated observer would know about. In fact, up to the time Christianity began, Roman victory was always the outcome, without exception, for every nation that ever stood against any concerted Roman conquest and occupation.

For example, even the infamous defeat of Varus by the Germans in 9 CE was decisively redressed by Germanicus only a few years later, illustrating the futility even of a victory against the Romans. This was a phenomenon so consistently repeated that it had already become a popular joke by the time of Christ, which is called even still a ‘Pyrrhic victory ‘, from the legend, widely circulated in antiquity, that in the third century BCE the Greek upstart Pyrrhus had won his victories against the Romans at such cost that he declared ‘one more victory and I’m done for’ (or words to that effect), which prophecy was fulfilled in short order. After centuries of history repeating itself like this without fail, only a fool would bank on a future rebellion against the Romans having any other outcome. And though fools were always to be found, not all men are fools.

It would therefore be extremely improbable if no early-first-century Jews could foresee this (even if most, evidently, did not). Predicting this outcome would have been all the easier for anyone aware of recent analogous events, from the fates of Carthage and Corinth to the early Jewish rebellions described by Josephus, which were so quickly and easily suppressed that the reality must have become apparent to some. It would have been a simple matter to put two and two together: Roman military might plus Jewish military messianism equals the inevitable destruction of the Jews.

Element 25: The corruption and moral decay of the Jewish civil and temple elite (regardless of to what extent it was actual or merely perceived) was a widespread target of condemnation and often a cause of factionalizing among Jewish sects. This is evident throughout the narrative of Josephus regarding the causes and outcomes of the Jewish War, as well as in the literature recovered at Qumran (e.g. 4Q500), and in much of the apocryphal, apocalyptic and pseudepigraphical literature produced or popularized by first-century Jews. It is also a persistent theme in the Christian Gospels, which in that context do not seem aberrant in this respect but in fact typical.

Element 26: For many Jews in the early first century (in accord with the previous element) the Jewish elite became the scapegoats for God’s failed promises (in accord with Elements 23 and 24): the reason God withheld their fulfillment (and instead allowed the Romans to rule) was imagined to be the Jewish elite’s failure to keep God’s commandments and govern justly. God would come through only when all sin had ended and been atoned for (Dan. 9.5-24). The Dead Sea Scrolls, for example, repeatedly denounce the Jewish civil and temple elite as responsible for the evil that has befallen the land, in terms similar to those found in the Christian Gospels. […]

Element 27: (a) The temple at Jerusalem was the central focus of most Jewish messianic hopes (as, for the Samaritans, was Mount Gerizim), which entailed that as long as the ‘corrupt’ Jewish elite control led it, God would continue Israel’s ‘punishment’ (in accord with Elements 25 and 26); and as long as the Romans remained in power, they would maintain the corrupt Jewish elite’s control of the temple. Accordingly, (b) Jewish religious violence often aimed at seizing physical control of the temple and its personnel.

Element 28. […] But if any Jews had realized that such a reconquest was impossible (as some must, in accord with Element 24) but still sought a means to escape their cognitive dissonance (in accord with Element 23) without denying the evident facts or abandoning deep-seated religious beliefs, then for them only one solution remained: to deny the physical importance of the temple at Jerusalem itself. […]

Therefore, if any religious innovator had proposed that God had arranged a supreme sacrifice capable of cleansing all sins once and for all (such as, e.g., through the ritual atoning sacrifice of his firstborn son: Element 10), and further arranged that God’s spirit would, as a result, dwell forever within each individual who pledged himself to him (and thus no longer dwell, or dwell only, with in the temple at Jerusalem: Element 18), then his message would resonate among many Jews as an ingenious and attractive solution to the problem of Jewish elite corruption and Roman invincibility (Elements 23-26), by eliminating the relevance of the temple to messianic hopes, and thus eliminating the basis for any doomed military conflict with Rome […].

The basic Christian gospel—imagining that the death of a messiah had conclusively atoned for all sins, and that by joining with him God would dwell in us (instead of the temple)—would thus be recognized by many Jews as an ingenious and attractive idea. […]

The only sacred space this doctrine required one to physically control was one’s own body, a notion already popularized by philosophical sects such as the Stoics, who taught that nothing external can conquer a man who in his wisdom remains internally free. Not death, nor imprisonment, nor torture represented any victory over him. This was therefore a battle one could always win, even against the ‘invincible’ Romans. One merely had to believe it, to feel it was true, that God now lived in you. No other evidence was required. Thus it should not surprise us that Christianity converted all the military imagery of popular messianism into spiritual metaphor, to represent what we would now call a culture war. […]

The relevance of this observation is that the earliest Christian gospel makes far more sense as a product of its political context than it does when completely divorced from that context, and in consequence, theories of historicity [of Jesus] that ignore that fact are unlikely to have any objective merit. The centrality of the temple was a continual problem for the Jews. A physical location requiring political control entailed military domination. So long as the Romans had the latter, the Jews would never have the former. The Zealots took the logical option of attempting to remove the Romans and restore Jewish control. But the Christians took the only other available option: removing the temple from their entire soteriological (or ‘salvation’) scheme.

Christians could then just await God’s wrath to come from heaven (in accord with Element 10), while in the meantime, God’s promise could be delivered unto the kingdom they had spiritually created (Rom. 14.17-18; I Cor. 4.19-20), first in an anticipatory way (in the moral and ‘supernatural’ success of the Christian community), and then in the most final way (in the apocalypse itself: e.g. I Cor. 15.24, 50; 6.9-10; Gal. 5.19-25; 1 Thess. 4.10- 5.15). That the Christians and the Zealots both may have come from the same sectarian background, and pursued collectively the only two possible solutions to the problem facing the Jews at the time, reveals Christianity to be more akin to something inevitable than something surprising.

Unhistorical Jesus, 2

An icon of Saint Mark the Evangelist

 
How we know Mark was the earliest Gospel

How did students of the four Gospels determine that the earliest of them is Mark? The answer is fairly simple and the case is overwhelmingly clear. How certain is the conclusion? It is so certain that only a small percentage of scholars hold to any other theory. The large agreement among different interpreters of the Gospels that Mark came first is for a simply reason. That reason is what happens when you lay side by side the three “Synoptic” Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

These three Gospels have been called “Synoptic,” a word which means “seeing together,” because they share in common a large amount of material, follow the same basic order, and stand apart from John, whose Gospel is unique among the four.

Long ago people realized you could display the text of the three Synoptic Gospels side by side in columns to form a synopsis or parallel Gospel or a harmony. When you do this you find that a large percentage of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are parallel. They share a large amount of verbatim agreement, though each of the three has unique ways of diverging from each other in small and large matters. Much is the same and some is different.

For a long time, people who have studied the Gospels in synopsis (parallel columns) have referred to “the Synoptic Problem.” That problem is: how do we account for the agreements and differences in the parallel accounts and in the other material in the Gospels? Many of the observations I will share here come from a book that I think is the simplest and best-explained handbook on the topic, by Mark Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem: A Way Through the Maze.
 

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Editor’s note: The rest of the above article may be read: here.

I must refer again to the bold-typed words in the first instalment of this series. For those priests of the 14 words who are knowledgeable about the secular approaches to the New Testament, the implications of those bolded words are enormous. But for white nationalists who are not so educated in this matter, before you continue reading my Mondays’ essay-review of Carrier’s book, I would recommend a little online research to become familiar with the evidence that Mark was the earliest of the four canonical gospels.

This is fundamental, as the other gospels are mere re-writings of the original Mark gospel, where the authors added fictional material of their own to an already fictional talltale.

Unhistorical Jesus, 1

Romulus appearing to Proculus Julius.

I have read the first three chapters of Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus, in addition to the later chapter on Paul’s epistles. In my entry on Thursday, about the dark night of the soul suffered by the Aryans in general and the white nationalists in particular (including the so-called revolutionaries), I mentioned the finis Africae that was in the tower that housed a large library in Umberto Eco’s gothic novel. Following the plot of the novel,[1] if there is a book that a latter-day Jorge de Burgos would like to destroy, it is precisely that of Carrier.

Last Monday I said I was tempted to start reviewing On the Historicity of Jesus for this site. The first pages of chapter 4 convinced me that I should do it.

In ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ I said that all white people are heading to Jerusalem, a metaphor that must be understood in the context of the first paragraph of ‘Ethnosuicidal Nationalists’. How Christianity managed to invert the moral compass of the Aryans, from pointing at Rome to pointing at Jerusalem, is discovered by researching the motivations of those who wrote the Gospels (remember: there’s no historical Jesus, only gospel authors).

Keep in mind what we have been saying on this site about the inversion of values that happened in the West when whites, including atheists, took the axiological message of the gospels very seriously. Based on this and the crucial part of Evropa Soberana’s essay on Jerusalem and Rome, let’s see what Carrier says at the beginning of chapter 4 of On the Historicity of Jesus.

In Plutarch’s book about Romulus, the founder of Rome, we are told that Romulus was the son of god, born of a virgin, and that there were attempts to kill him as a baby.

As an adult the elites finally killed him and the sun darkened, but Romulus’ body disappeared. Then he rises from the dead.

Some people doubted and, on the road, Romulus appears to a friend to transmit the good news to his people (see image above). It is revealed that, despite his human appearance, Romulus had always been a god and was incarnated to establish a great kingdom on earth (keep these italicised words in mind in the context of the quotation below).

Then Romulus ascends to the heavens to reign from there. Before Christianity, the Romans celebrated the day when Romulus ascended into heaven. Plutarch tells us that the annual ceremony of the Ascension involved the recitation of the names of those who were afraid for having witnessed the feat, something that reminds us of the true end of the Gospel of Mark (Mk 16.8) before the Christians added more verses.

Carrier comments that it seems as if Mark was adding a Semitic garment onto Romulus’ original story: a Roman story that seems to be the skeleton on which the evangelist would add the flesh of his literary fiction. The phrase of Carrier that I put in bold letters convinced me that On the Historicity of Jesus deserves a review in several entries:

There are many differences in the two stories [the fictional stories about Romulus and Jesus], surely. But the similarities are too numerous to be a coincidence—and the differences are likely deliberate. For instance, Romulus’ material kingdom favoring the mighty is transformed into a spiritual one favoring the humble. It certainly looks like the Christian passion narrative is an intentional transvaluation of the Roman Empire’s ceremony of their own founding savior’s incarnation, death and resurrection [page 58].

My two cents: White nationalists are still reluctant to recognise that what they call ‘the Jewish problem’ should be renamed as ‘the Jewish-Christian problem’.

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[1] The 1986 film The Name of the Rose featuring Sean Connery betrays the real plot of the novel. In the book the bad guy was the librarian Jorge de Burgos and the Inquisitor, Bernardo Gui, a secondary character. In the novel Gui burns the beautiful semi-feral peasant girl at the stake whereas in the Hollywood film the girl’s life is spared. In no way I recommend watching the movie unless the novel is read first (Umberto Eco’s only good novel in my humble opinion).