Neochristian Carrier

‘Christianity… is a revolutionary creed and a death cult that caused the collapse of classical civilisation in the West, and is now threatening a repeat performance. Its influence on the culture has been so profound that even atheists like Dawkins and Carrier unquestioningly accept its moral framework’. —Robert Morgan

Published in: on April 11, 2021 at 8:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Atwill’s cranked-up Jesus

by Richard Carrier

Joseph Atwill is one of those crank mythers I often get conflated with. Mythicists like him make the job of serious scholars like me so much harder because people see, hear, or read them and think their nonsense is what mythicism is. They make mythicism look ridiculous. So I have to waste time (oh by the gods, so much time) explaining how I am not arguing anything like their theories or using anything like their terrible methods, and unlike them I actually know what I am talking about, and have an actual Ph.D. in a relevant subject from a real university.

Note that I have divided this article into two parts, the second (titled ‘Our Long Conversation’) is something you can easily skip (see the intro there for whether reading it will be of any interest to you). So although this post looks extraordinarily long, it’s really that second part that gives it such length. You can just read up to the beginning of that section though. You don’t have to continue beyond that to get the overall point.
 

Atwill who?

Atwill is the one dude I get asked about most often. And now apparently even Dawkins is tweeting about Atwill, thanks to his upcoming venture into England later this month to sell his weird Roman Conspiracy variety of Jesus mythicism. To get the gist you can check out his PR puff piece. Thomas Verenna has already written a deconstruction of that. Notably even D.M. Murdock doesn’t buy Atwill’s thesis, declaring that she does not concur with Atwill’s Josephus/Flavian thesis and that ‘the Flavians, including Josephus, did not compose the canonical gospels as we have them’. Robert Price has similarly soundly debunked his book, even after strongly wanting to like it.

Atwill is best known as the author of Caesar’s Messiah (subtitle: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus, Roman meaning the Roman imperial family… yeah). In this Atwill argues ‘Jesus [is] the invention of a Roman emperor’ and that the entire New Testament was written by ‘the first-century historian Flavius Josephus’ who left clues to his scheme by littering secret hidden coded ‘parallels’ in his book The Jewish War. Atwill claims to prove ‘the Romans directed the writing of both’ the JW and the NT, in order ‘to offer a vision of a “peaceful Messiah” who would serve as an alternative to the revolutionary leaders who were rocking first-century Israel and threatening Rome’…

Notice his theory entails a massive and weirdly erudite conspiracy of truly bizarre scope and pedigree, to achieve a truly Quixotic aim that hardly makes sense coming from any half-intelligent elite of the era (even after adjusting for the Flynn effect), all to posit that the entire Christian religion was created by the Romans (and then immediately opposed by them?), who somehow got hundreds of Jews to abandon their religion and join a cult that simply appeared suddenly without explanation on the Palestinian book market without endorsement.

I honestly shouldn’t have to explain why this is absurd. But I’ll hit some highlights. Then I’ll reveal the reasons why I think Atwill is a total crank, and his work should be ignored—indeed everywhere warned against as among the worst of mythicism, not representative of any serious argument that Jesus didn’t exist. And that’s coming from me, someone who believes Jesus didn’t exist.

_________

The rest of Carrier’s long piece with hundreds of comments in the comments section of his website can be read: here. It is a pity that quite a few commenters in the racialist right promote Atwill’s conspiracy theory.

Published in: on December 23, 2020 at 3:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Mark transvaluing Homer

Note of the Editor:

Those familiar with the critical literature of the New Testament know that there is only one original gospel, that of Mark. Luke and Matthew copied and pasted a bunch of verses from Mark’s gospel to add even more literary fiction from the pen of these two Synoptics (John the Evangelist would later do the same).

Richard Carrier needs no introduction on this site. The new visitor who is unfamiliar with his work can consult the links about Carrier on the sidebar. Precisely because Carrier is a typical left-wing scholar, the exact opposite of post-Nietzscheans like us, I am struck by how he talks about how the evangelist Mark transvalued—the word he uses—the axiology of the Greco-Roman world.

In his most recent debate, uploaded this morning, with Dennis R. MacDonald, the author of the book he reviews below, Carrier used again the word transvaluation a couple of times right at the beginning of the YouTube debate (just don’t pay attention to the degenerate music that their host chose).

The following is Carrier’s ‘Review of The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark’, a book-review of the MacDonald book, Yale University, 2000 (bold-type added by me):

 

______ 卐 ______

 

This is an incredible book that must be read by everyone with an interest in Christianity. MacDonald’s shocking thesis is that the Gospel of Mark is a deliberate and conscious anti-epic, an inversion of the Greek ‘Bible’ of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, which in a sense ‘updates’ and Judaizes the outdated heroic values presented by Homer, in the figure of a new hero, Jesus (whose name, of course, means ‘Savior’). When I first heard of this I assumed it would be yet another intriguing but only barely defensible search for parallels, stretching the evidence a little too far-tantalizing, but inconclusive. What I found was exactly the opposite. MacDonald’s case is thorough, and though many of his points are not as conclusive as he makes them out to be, when taken as a cumulative whole the evidence is so abundant and clear it cannot be denied. And being a skeptic to the thick, I would never say this lightly. Several scholars who reviewed or commented on it have said this book will revolutionize the field of Gospel studies and profoundly affect our understanding of the origins of Christianity, and though I had taken this for hype, after reading the book I now echo that very sentiment myself.

 
Background and purpose of Mark

MacDonald begins by describing what scholars of antiquity take for granted: anyone who learned to write Greek in the ancient world learned from Homer. Homer was the textbook. Students were taught to imitate Homer, even when writing on other subjects, or to rewrite passages of Homer in prose, using different vocabulary. Thus, we can know for certain that the author of Mark’s Gospel was thoroughly familiar with the works of Homer and well-trained in recasting Homeric verse into new prose tales. The status of Homer in basic education remained throughout antiquity, despite the fact that popular and intellectual sentiment had been sternly against the ethics and theology of his epics since the age of Classical Greece. Authors from Plato (400 b.c.e) to Plutarch (c. 100 c.e.) sought to resolve this problem by ‘reinterpreting’ Homer as allegory, or by expunging or avoiding offensive passages, neither of which was a perfect solution.

For the Latin language, the opportunity was afforded for Virgil to solve this problem by recasting the Homeric epic into Roman form, exhibiting Roman ideals and creating more virtuous heroes and gods. Likewise, borrowing and recasting from Homer is evident in numerous works of fiction, which often had a religious flavour, and were proliferating in the very same period as the Gospels. One prominent example (mentioned but not emphasised by MacDonald) is the Satyricon of Petronius, which can be decisively dated prior to 66 A.D. and thus is most likely earlier than any known Gospel, and since this novel was in Latin (and a satire), it is almost certain that many undatable Greek novels, which surely originated the form, long precede this. So rewriting Homer to depict new religious ideas and values was a standard phenomenon. In MacDonald’s words, ‘Homer was in the air that Mark’s readers breathed’ (p. 8), and all the more so among Mark’s Gentile audience. But to smartly recast Homer into a new Greek form, reflecting contemporary Graeco-Jewish ideals, was a task simply waiting to be done. If MacDonald is right, this is what Mark set out to do. So much is clear: the motive, ability, and inspiration were certainly present, and MacDonald rapidly presents all the evidence, backing it up with copious and scholarly endnotes in chapter 1.

Why? In MacDonald’s words, Mark ‘thoroughly, cleverly, and strategically emulated’ stories in Homer and the Old Testament, merging two great cultural classics, in order ‘to depict Jesus as more compassionate, powerful, noble, and inured to suffering than Odysseus’ (p. 6), and hence ‘the earliest evangelist was not writing a historical biography, as many interpreters suppose, but a novel, a prose anti-epic of sorts’ (p. 7). In particular, the differences between Mark and Homer need no explanation: the differences are the point, the very objective of the later author. Some of those differences are also the obvious result of a change of scene from the ancient Mediterranean to near-contemporary, Roman-occupied Judaea, or of literary borrowing from Jewish texts. Some may reflect some sort of traditional or historical core story, though it is almost impossible to tell when. Instead, it is the similarities that ‘cry out for explanation’, and contemporary apologists must now begin to address this issue.

Of particular use, for all those who want to develop (or attack) theories of literary borrowing—in the Gospels or elsewhere—is the set of six criteria for identifying textual influence outlined by MacDonald at the end of his first chapter, and demonstrated quite effectively on a passage in Acts. Though no one of these criteria alone carries very much weight, the more criteria that are met in a single instance, the stronger the case. However, one caveat MacDonald does not provide is in regard to his criterion of order. In many cases, matching sequences of passages or themes is indeed significant. However, some cases of matching sequence are such that any other sequence would be logically impossible. Therefore, correlation of this kind can in some cases be coincidence. Nevertheless, even engaging this caution, the sequential evidence MacDonald presents is very often, taken as a whole, not coincidental. Likewise, it should be known that much of Mark’s use of Homer is to shape and detail an otherwise non-Homeric story, and the task of deciding what that core story is, or whether this core story in any given case is a Biblical emulation, or a historical fact, or a legend, or something of the author’s deliberate creation, or any combination thereof, is not something MacDonald even intends to undertake in this book, although he makes some suggestions in his concluding paragraphs.

 
Modeling Odysseus

The Odyssey is rife with the theme of the suffering hero, and MacDonald builds a solid case in chapter 2 for the philosophical veneration of Odysseus as the best example of a man. If Jesus could be made to one-up and even replace Odysseus, Mark would achieve a literary and moral coup. And there are in the overall story obvious if not overly-telling similarities: ‘Both [men] faced supernatural opposition… Each travelled with companions unable to endure the hardships of the journey, and each returned to a home infested with rivals who would attempt to kill him as soon as they recognised him’, and ‘both heroes returned from Hades alive’ (p. 17). Some parallels are a little more startling but less significant to the historian than to the literary critic: the parable of the Wicked Tenants (Mk. 12:1-12), and the passage capturing the famous phrase ‘for you do not know when the master of the house will come’ (Mk. 13:34-5), both evoke the image of Odysseus returning in disguise to surprise the suitors who have turned his house into a den of sin (MacDonald develops this theme further in chapter 5, and again in chapter 14, and in the conclusion). Do not be like them, Mark is saying to his readers. But of course Jesus himself could have said that, intending the very same allusion. Examples like these can make good material for sermons, and serve well the connoisseurs of visionary prose, yet don’t really prove whether Mark has himself deliberately crafted the story. But in conjunction with what follows, this becomes part of a cumulative case for Mark’s inversion of Homer.

Who knew, for instance, that Odysseus was also a carpenter? The companions are another general link with the Odyssey. MacDonald points out how Mark is the harshest evangelist in his treatment of the disciples, while the others sometimes go out of their way to omit or alter this disparagement when they borrow from Mark. Why were the disciples such embarrassing nitwits, ‘greedy, cowardly, potentially treacherous, and above all foolish’ (p. 20)? As history, it is hardly credible. As a play on Homer, it makes perfect sense: for the companions of Odysseus were exactly like this. Homer cleverly employed the ineptitudes of the crew to highlight the virtues of Odysseus, making him appear even more the hero, enhancing his ‘wisdom, courage, and self-control’ (p. 23). MacDonald briefly explores five other general similarities between the two ‘entourages’ in chapter 3, including the fact that in the one story we have sailors, while in the other, fishermen-who do a lot of going about in boats, even though the vast majority of Judaea is dry land.

Chief among these similarities is the comparison between Peter and Eurylochus. Both spoke on behalf of all the followers, both challenged the ‘doomsday predictions’ of their master to their own peril, both were accused by their leader of being under the influence of an evil demon, and both ‘broke their vows to the hero in the face of suffering’—in effect, both ‘represent[ed] the craven attitude toward life’ (p. 22-3). Again, this could be a mere veneer woven through an otherwise true story by Mark, and some of MacDonald’s ideas (such as developed in chapter 4) are intriguing but too weak to do much with. But it is true that both epics announce from the start a focus on a single individual, both center on a king and his son reestablishing authority over a kingdom, both involve an inordinate amount of events and travel at sea. Both works begin by summoning their own Muse: Homer, the Muse herself; Mark, the Prophet Isaiah. In both stories, the son’s patrimony is confirmed by a god in the form of a bird, and this confirmation prepares the hero to face an enemy in the very next scene: Telemachus, the suitors; Jesus, Satan. And eventually the odd links keep accumulating, and compel one to question the whole thing.
 

Stark examples

‘Once the evangelist linked the sufferings of Jesus to those of Odysseus, he found in the epic a reservoir of landscapes, characterisations, type-scenes, and plot devices useful for crafting his narrative’ (p. 19). Of course, all throughout MacDonald points out coinciding parallels with the Old Testament and other Jewish literature, but even these parallels have been moulded according to a Homeric model in every case he examines. Consider two of the many mysteries MacDonald’s theory explains, and these are even among the weakest parallels that he identifies in the book:

Why do the chief priests need Judas to identify Jesus in order to arrest him? This makes absolutely no sense, since many of their number had debated him in person, and his face, after a triumphal entry and a violent tirade in the temple square, could hardly have been more public. But MacDonald’s theory that Judas is a type of Melanthius solves this puzzle: Melanthius is the servant who betrays Odysseus and even fetches arms for the suitors to fight Odysseus—just as Judas brings armed guards to arrest Jesus—and since none of the suitors knew Odysseus, it required Melanthius to finally identify him. MacDonald also develops several points of comparison between the suitors and the Jewish authorities. Thus, this theme of ‘recognition’ stayed in the story even at the cost of self-contradiction. Of note is the fact that Homer names Melanthius with a literary point in mind: for his name means ‘The Black One’, whereas Mark seems to be maligning the Jews by associating Melanthius with Judas, whose name is simply ‘Judah’, i.e. the kingdom of the Jews, after which the Jews as a people, and the region of Judaea, were named.

Why does Pilate agree to free a prisoner as if it were a tradition to do so? Such a practice could hardly have been approved by Rome, since any popular rebel leader who happened to be in custody during the festival would always escape justice. And given Pilate’s reputation for callous ruthlessness and disregard for Jewish interests, it is most implausible to have him participating in such a self-defeating tradition—a tradition for which there is no other evidence of any kind, not even a precedent or similar practice elsewhere. But if Barabbas is understood as the type of Irus, Odysseus’ panhandling competitor in the hall of the suitors, the story makes sense as a clever fiction. Both Irus and Barabbas were scoundrels, both were competing with the story’s hero for the attention of the enemy (the suitors in one case, the Jews in the other), and both are symbolic of the enemy’s culpability.

Of course, Barabbas means ‘son of the father’ and thus is an obvious pun on Christ himself. He also represents the violent revolutionary, as opposed to the very different kind of saviour in Jesus (the real ‘Saviour’). On the other hand, Irus was a nickname derived from a goddess (Iris), and MacDonald fails to point out that her name means ‘rainbow’, which to Mark would have meant the sign from God that there would never again be a flood (Ge. 9:12-13). Moreover, Irus’ real name was Arnaeus, ‘the Lamb’. What more perfect model for Mark? The Jews thus choose the wrong ‘son of the father’ who represents the Old Covenant (symbolised by the rainbow, and represented by the ideal of the military messiah freeing Israel), as well as the scapegoat (the lamb) sent off, bearing the people’s sins into the wilderness, while its twin is sacrificed (Lev. 16:8-10, 23:27-32, Heb. 8-9). MacDonald’s own analysis is actually confirmed by this additional parallel that he missed, and that is impressive.

MacDonald goes on to develop many similar points that not only scream of Homer being on Mark’s mind, but also explain strange features of Mark. The list is surprisingly long:

Why did Jesus, who nevertheless taught openly and performed miracles everywhere, try to keep everything a secret? Why did Jesus stay asleep in a boat during a deadly storm? Why did Jesus drown two thousand pigs? Why does Mark invent a false story about John the Baptist’s execution, one that implicates women? Why are the disciples surprised that Jesus can multiply food even when they had already seen him do it before? Why does Jesus curse a fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season? How does Mark know what Jesus said when he was alone at Gethsemane? What is the meaning of the mysterious naked boy at Jesus’ arrest? Why does Jesus, knowing full well God’s plan, still ask why God forsook him on the cross? Why does Mark never once mention Mary Magdalene, or the other two women at the crucifixion, or even Joseph of Arimathea, until after Jesus has died? Why is the temple veil specifically torn ‘top to bottom’ at Jesus’ death? Why is Joseph of Arimathea able to procure the body of a convict so soon from Pilate? Why do we never hear of Joseph of Arimathea again? Why does Jesus die so quickly? Why do the women go to anoint Jesus after he is buried? Why do they go at dawn, rather than the previous night when the Sabbath had already ended?

All these mysteries are explained by the same, single thesis. This is a sign of a good theory. With one theoretical concept, not only countless parallels are identified, but numerous oddities are explained. That is very unlikely to be due to chance. And there is evidence of so many plausible connections, that even though any one of them could perhaps with effort be argued away, the fact that there are so many more makes it increasingly unlikely that MacDonald is seeing an illusion. Finally, his entire theory is plausible within the context of what we can deduce to have been Mark’s cultural and educational background.

 
Crescendo of doom

MacDonald’s book is built like a crescendo: as one reads on, the cases not only accumulate, they actually get better and better, clearer and clearer. In the story of the Gerasene swine (Mk. 5:1ff) MacDonald finds that 18 verses have thematic parallels in the Odyssey, 13 of those in exactly the same order! And even with some of those out of order the order is not random but is inverted, and thus a connection remains evident. In the story of Salome and the execution of John, MacDonald finds seven thematic parallels with the Murder of Agamemnon, all of them in the same order, and on top of that he details two other general parallels. And the two food miracles, forming a doublet in Mark, contain details that match a similar doublet of feasts in the Odyssey, and contain them in the same respective order: ‘Details in the [first] story of Nestor’s feast not found in the [second] story of Menelaus appear in the [first] feeding of the five thousand and not in its twin’ while ‘details in the [second] story of Menelaus not found in the [first] story of Nestor appear in the [second] feeding of the four thousand and not in the first story’ so that ‘the chances of these correspondences deriving from accident are slim’ (p. 85).

(Editor’s interpolated note: A mosaic depicting Odysseus, from the villa of La Olmeda, Pedrosa de la Vega, Spain, late 4th-5th centuries c.e. Both he and Homer are always depicted as whites.)

These examples of a connection between Mark and Homer are far denser than the two examples I detailed earlier, and cannot be explained away even by the most agile of thinkers. Consider the last case, which even has the fewest parallels relative to the other two: in the first feasts, the main characters go by sea, but in the second, by land; in the first, only men attend (even though there is no explanation in Mark of why this should be), but in the second there is no distinction; in the first, the masses assemble into smaller groups, and lie on soft spots, but not in the second; more attend the first than the second (and the numbers are about the same: 5000 in Mark, 4500 in Homer).

On the other hand, in the second feasts, unlike the first, someone asks the host a discouraging question and yet the host shows compassion anyway—in Mark, this is particularly strange, since after the first miracle the disciples have no excuse to be surprised that Jesus can multiply food, so the doubting question can only be explained by the Homeric parallel; finally, in the second feasts, as opposed to the first, there are two sequential courses—bread, then meat. In both authors, the feasts serve an overt educational role: in the one case to educate the hero’s son about hospitality, in the other to educate the disciples about Jesus’ power and compassion, drawing attention to the difference in each story’s moral values. There are even linguistic parallels—Homer’s feasts were called ‘symposia’ (drinking parties) even though that word usually referred to smaller gatherings; likewise, Mark writes that the first feast was organised by ‘symposia’, despite the fact that only food is mentioned, not water or wine. Several of these details in Mark, as noted, are simply odd by themselves, yet make perfect sense when we see the Homeric model, and therein again lies the power of MacDonald’s thesis.

MacDonald does similar work illuminating the Transfiguration, the healing of Bartimaeus, the Hydropatesis (water-walk), the Marcan Apocalypse, the Triumphal Entry, the Anointing, the Passover Feast (including a definite connection with cannibalism that offers a possible ideological origin for the Eucharist as a transvaluation of Homer), the Prayer and Arrest at Gethsemane, the Crucifixion, the Burial, and some details of the Empty Tomb narrative. His theory provides an excellent reason to suppose that the naked boy at Jesus’ arrest is the same as the boy the women find in the empty tomb—and he is a marker of resurrection: a type of the ill-fated Elpenor. Likewise, his theory puts a serious damper on the historicity of Joseph of Arimathea and the burial account in Mark: Joseph is a type of Priam, who rescued the body of Hector for burial in a similar way.

What I found additionally worthwhile is how MacDonald’s theory illuminates the theme of ‘reversal of expectation’ which so thoroughly characterises the Gospels—not only in the parables of Jesus, where the theme is obvious, but in the very story itself. Though MacDonald himself does not pursue this in any detail, his book helped me to see it even more clearly. James and John, who ask to sit at the right and left of Jesus in his glory, are replaced by the two thieves at Jesus’ crucifixion: Simon Peter, Jesus’ right-hand man who was told he had to ‘deny himself and take up his cross and follow’ (8:34), is replaced by Simon of Cyrene when it comes time to truly bear the cross; Jesus is anointed for burial before he dies; and when the women go to anoint him after his death, their expectations are reversed in finding his body missing.

Later Gospels added even more of these reversals: for instance in Matthew Jesus’ father, Joseph, is replaced by Joseph of Arimathea when the duty of burial arose—a duty that should have been fulfilled by the father; likewise, contrary to expectation, the Mary who laments his death and visits his tomb is not Mary his mother, but a prostitute; and while the Jews attack Jesus for healing and doing good on the Sabbath, they in turn hold an illegal meeting, set an illegal guard, and plot evil on the Sabbath, and then break the ninth commandment the next day. This theme occurs far too often to have been in every case historical, and its didactic meaning is made clear in the very parables of reversal told by Jesus himself, as well as, for instance, his teachings about family, or hypocrisy, and so on. These stories were crafted to show that what Jesus preached applied to the real world, real events, ‘the word made flesh’.
 

Death and resurrection

MacDonald’s book concludes with an analysis of how Jesus as a character in Mark is also an inversion of Hector and Achilles in the Iliad. Both Jesus and Achilles knew they were fated to die and spoke of this fate often, but whereas Achilles chose his fate in exchange for ‘eternal fame’, and for himself alone, Jesus chose it in exchange for ‘eternal life’, for all humankind. This is one among many examples of how Mark has updated the values in Homer, highlighting this fact by crafting his narrative in deliberate imitation of Homer’s epics. In a similar fashion, while the death of Hector doomed Troy to destruction, Jesus’ death doomed the Temple to destruction. According to MacDonald, these themes and others guide Mark’s construction of the passion narrative, and though borrowing from the Old Testament and other Jewish texts in the passion account is far more prevalent than anywhere else in his Gospel, there is still a play on the Iliad evident in various details.

For example, MacDonald finds more than 11 parallels between Mark’s account of the crucifixion and the death of Hector, all but one of those in the same order (and that one exception is in inverted order), and 11 more parallels between Mark’s account of the burial of Jesus and Homer’s account of the burial of Hector, all in the same order. It is notable that resurrection, anastasia, was a theme in the Iliad: the concept appears three times, twice in declarations of its impossibility, once in a metaphor for Hector’s survival of certain death. It thus contained a fitting challenge that Mark was happy to answer with a simple prose epic that everywhere flaunted the fact that anastasia was indeed possible, and real. While Hector, Elpenor, and Patroclus were all burned and buried at dawn, the tomb of Jesus was empty at dawn; while the Iliad and Odyssey were epics about mortality, the Gospel was an epic about immortality.

 
The ending of Mark

I have one point of criticism for chapter 21, where MacDonald diverges from his central thesis to explain why Mark ends his Gospel as he does. MacDonald proposes an explanation from the historical context of the author. It is quite likely that many Christians were killed, and the original Jerusalem church destroyed, in the Jewish War of 66-70 A.D. MacDonald in several places relates how Mark most likely wrote his Gospel after the conclusion of the war (there are, to be sure, ample references that assume this, as well as that the world would end soon thereafter—cf. especially MacDonald’s third appendix). So Mark, MacDonald argues, was faced with explaining why Jesus had not forewarned his disciples to evacuate Judaea. Mark’s explanation, so the theory goes, is that Jesus did warn them, but they never heard the warning—in particular, they were supposed to go to Galilee after the resurrection to see Jesus, but the women failed to report this to the disciples and so they never went (and this tactic also allows the disciples to get off the hook: those at fault were mere fickle women).

The problem with this theory should be obvious: it is not the fact that it fails to explain how Mark could know the story if no one told it—for this did not stop him from relating what Jesus said in private when no witnesses were at hand, nor did it stop Matthew from relating secret conversations of the Jews; rather, the problem is that it fails to explain how Christianity started. Even assuming Mark is inventing this account apologetically, how did Mark imagine that the resurrection ever began to be preached if no one was ever told about the empty tomb and no one saw the risen Jesus, even in visions or dreams? Since the earliest accounts, in Paul, clearly suggest post mortem sightings of Jesus, and even tie these to the origin of the Gospel itself (and I have in mind the revelation to Paul mentioned in Galatians, and the visions to Peter and the others mentioned in 1 Corinthians), it does not seem plausible for Mark to expect his readers to reject this tradition, as would be required for his alleged hidden point even to be noticed, much less understood. I thus cannot buy MacDonald’s theory on this point.

(Editor’s interpolated note: An icon of Saint Mark the Evangelist, 1657. Note that he’s depicted as swarthy.)

My own hypothesis is that Mark ended the Gospel thus in order to set up a pretext for why little of his particular story had been heard in the Christian community until he wrote it down. If we suppose that the resurrection as preached by Paul was of a spiritual nature, and therefore had nothing to do with empty tombs, then to suddenly disseminate such a story would raise eyebrows unless the author were ready with an explanation. And by building an explanation into his story he essentially covers himself. It is possible that Mark originally concluded his tale with an assertion that the women later reported the story to him, an ending that would be struck out and replaced to suit the new physicalist Christology that would follow, as well as in support of the new reliance on apostolic authority which seems never to have been a concern for Mark.

But it is also possible that this would not have mattered. The faithful would not necessarily be too bothered about Mark’s sources, since Revelation itself could always provide (in his letter to the Galatians, Paul himself claimed he learned the Gospel through direct revelation from God). Even if they were to ask, Mark or the sellers of his story could easily have provided persuasive oral explanations to satisfy any believer, who would be more than ready to believe anything that agreed with their values and doctrine and glorified and magnified the power of their beloved Lord. Ultimately, if Mark invented the empty tomb, he may also have inadvertently caused the invention of a physical resurrection—since an empty tomb, though meant as a symbol, if taken as a fact could imply a physical resurrection, leaving room for future evangelists to spin the yarn further still.

 
Conclusion

What is especially impressive is the vast quantity of cases of direct and indirect borrowing from Homer that can be found in Mark. One or two would be interesting, several would be significant. But we are presented with countless examples, and this is as cumulative as a case can get.

In the end, I came away from this book with a new appreciation for Mark, whose Gospel tends to be derided as the work of a rather poor, simple Greek author. Though Mark’s Greek is extremely colloquial, not at all in high literary style, this itself is surely a grand and ingenious transvaluation of Homer: whereas the great epics were archaic and difficult, only to be mastered by the educated elites, only to be understood completely by those with access to glossaries and commentaries and marked-up critical editions, Mark not only updated Homer’s values and theology, but inverted its entire character as an elite masterpiece, by making his own epic simple, thoroughly understandable by the common, the poor, the masses, and lacking in the overt pretension and cleverness of poetic verse, written in plain, ordinary language. The scope of genius evident in Mark’s reconstruction of Homeric motifs is undeniable and has convinced me that Mark was no simpleton: he was a literary master, whose achievement is all the greater in his choice of idiom-his ‘poor Greek’ was deliberate and artful, as was his story.

Another theme that becomes apparent throughout this book is how quickly Christians lost touch with this allegorical meaning. Even the other Evangelists, when borrowing from Mark, stripped out the key and telling details and thus obviously missed the point; and only one other author, that of the Acts of Andrew, did anything overtly comparable in comprehensively recrafting Homer. By itself, this might be evidence against such a meaning actually being in Mark. But the evidence that this meaning is present is overwhelming on its own terms, and we can only conclude of early Christian ignorance, instead, that the real origins and message of the earliest Christians was all but lost even to the second or third generation. By the time there was a church in a significant sense, Christianity had been radically changed by the throngs of its converts, and, amidst the din of outsiders who stole the reigns, the very essence of that original Church of Jerusalem faded, powerless to survive under the mass of superstition and arrogance.

Having read this book, I am now certain that the historicity of the Gospels and Acts is almost impossible to establish. The didactic objectives and methods of the authors have so clouded the truth with literary motifs and allusions and parabolic tales that we cannot know what is fact and what fiction. I do not believe that this entails that Jesus was a myth, however—and MacDonald himself is not a mythicist, but assumes that something of a historical Jesus lies behind the fictions of Mark. Although MacDonald’s book could be used to contribute to a mythicist’s case, everything this book proves about Mark is still compatible with there having been a real man, a teacher, even a real ‘miracle worker’ in a subjective sense, or a real event that inspired belief in some kind of resurrection, and so on, which was then suitably dressed up in allegory and symbol.

However, the inevitable conclusion is that we have all but lost this history forever. The Gospels can no longer support a rational belief in anything they allege to have occurred, at least not without external, unbiased corroboration, which we do not have for any of the essential, much less supernatural details of the story. And if Alvar Ellegård is right (Jesus: One Hundred Years Before Christ, Overlook, 1999), Mark was almost entirely fiction, written after the sack of Jerusalem to freeze in symbolic prose the metaphorical message of Christianity, a faith which began with a Jesus executed long before the Roman conquest, who then appeared in visions (like that which converted Paul) a century later, in the time of Pilate, to inspire the new creed.

What is important is not that this can be decisively proven—nothing can, as our information is too thin, too scarce, too unreliable to decisively prove anything about the origins of Christianity. What is important is that theories like Ellegård’s can’t be disproven, either—it is one among many distinctly possible accounts of what really happened at the dawn of Christianity, which MacDonald’s book now makes even more plausible. And so long as it remains possible, even plausible, that the bulk of Mark is fiction, the contrary belief that it is fact can never be secure.

Kevin MacDonald’s apologetics

Update of September 16, 2020: This essay has been edited for inclusion in my book Daybreak. I would suggest reading the much-corrected text instead of the text below (see ‘Two essential books’, which contains a link to the Daybreak PDF).
 

______ 卐 ______

 

Kevin MacDonald’s Preface to Giles Corey’s
The Sword of Christ
(originally published: here)

Slightly edited, this entry copies and pastes the previous entries from the first to facilitate the visitor to read them in due order.
 

§ 1

In this first entry about such book-review I just want to comment on a couple of subjects: the painting that appears in MacDonald’s book-review (see above) and what a commenter said on Counter-Currents.

As we can see in the comments section, several Counter-Currents commenters are either Christians or sympathetic to Judeo-Christianity, so they liked McDonald’s pro-Christian essay-review and some of them even have requested Corey’s book. One exception was commenter Asdk:

If we were to apply Kevin Macdonald’s perspective on the culture of critique to modern ideologies, Christianity would be very easily understood. Christianity is an ideology created by Jews to benefit the Jewish people, to break the feeling of tribal union of the peoples who are rivals to Jewish hegemony…

We can already imagine how different white nationalism would be if the webzine admins of Counter-Currents and The Occidental Observer were like Asdk!

Regarding Giovanni Gasparro’s painting, The Martyrdom of St. Simon of Trento reproduced at the beginning of this entry, it was painted this very year in old baroque style. The idea to create such painting reminds me of one of my favourite paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, reproduced below. The idea is the same: the bad guys—Jews—surround the child to be sacrificed or the divine rabbi to be crucified!

Gasparro’s 2020 painting at the top of this article measures seven by five feet, and references a blood libel that led to the execution of several Jews in 1475. The scandal (some would call it moral panic) started around the disappearance and death of a Christian boy in Trento named Simonino. He was later made a saint and the day of his death, March 24, was included in the Roman martyrology—hence the cherubs in Gasparro’s painting—until its removal in 1965.

In his article MacDonald tells us ‘This [blood libel] is a topic that I have never written about… However, we should not be surprised to find that such practices occurred’.

I am not going to take issue with him because what I want is to answer his Christian apologetics, not this new approach to the JQ. I will limit myself to point out that on the subject of blood libel I had already written in 2013 commenting on a brainwashing, politically-correct and philo-Semitic Spanish TV series, Isabel (Isabella I of Castile): times when MacDonald was apparently more sceptical about libel claims.
 

§ 2

MacDonald starts his review with these words:

Giles Corey has written a book that should be read by all Christians as well as white advocates of all theoretical perspectives including especially those who are seeking a spiritual foundation that is deeply embedded in the history and culture of Europeans.

White advocates of all theoretical perspectives? What would Revilo Oliver and William Pierce, geniuses so critical of Christianity, have opined about Corey’s book? What would Alex Linder opine today? Spiritual foundation embedded in European culture? MacDonald ignores the difference between Western Christian Civilisation and European civilisation, as explained in an article so old in this site (‘The Red Giant’) that it already appeared in the previous incarnation of it (in Blogspot, in the previous decade).

MacDonald also says about Corey’s book: ‘This is excellent scholarship’. If the scholarship is excellent, blood libel had to be historical. But as I said in my previous post I don’t want to discuss the Jewish Question but the Christian Question. MacDonald wrote: ‘Corey is well aware that contemporary Christianity has been massively corrupted’.

Completely false. Christianity today is as legitimate a form of Christianity as the others. Previous Christianisms were based on St. Augustine, and in the case of the Catholic Church, also on St. Thomas Aquinas. The Christianity of Pope Francis today, like the Christianity of the medieval St. Francis of Assisi, is based more on the direct message of the gospel. There is no true Christianity and an heretic Christianity: only Christians use anathemas and excommunicate each other, always claiming that their faction is the true Christianity. For non-Christians like us, St. Francis was as authentic Christian as St. Augustine, however different they were in their politics.

On the Counter-Currents thread, commenter Asdk added the following:

It sounds ridiculous, but in the middle of the Christian era, the Pope did it with the pre-Columbian natives; today the descendants of such an aberration populate most of Latin America and soon they will be the new majority of North America.

What happened in Latin America is relevant: something that I have said so many times in the racialist forums that I gave up because nobody was listening.

And they don’t listen for the simple reason that the miscegenation on a colossal scale in this American continent, perpetrated by the Spanish and Portuguese since the 16th century, just when they persecuted the Jews and the crypto-Jews, is such a demonstration that there is a Christian problem that it doesn’t even have to be argued: only to point out the events that occurred in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking parts of the continent.

Last month I reproduced this image of a Spaniard
marrying an Indian with the approval of the Church.

MacDonald says the corruption is recent. How does he explain the greatest genetic catastrophe that occurred in his continent, when Jewry was being persecuted by the Inquisition? The trick MacDonald and white nationalists do has been to ignore history south of the Rio Grande—and history north of the Rio Grande I should say insofar New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California and Texas, before the 1840s war, belonged to Mexico and previously to New Spain!

For MacDonald to say that Christianity has been ‘massively corrupted’ he must be ignoring, of necessity, the history of those states that now belong to his country, since the New Spaniards never forbade interbreeding. Why doesn’t MacDonald see that more than half a billion mestizos in Latin America are the direct result of marriages between Iberian whites, Indians and blacks—marriages that both the Spanish crown and the Church approved?

The answer is clear: if he dared to see the history of New Spain his paradigm would collapse immediately, since it would be obvious that alongside a Jewish problem there has existed a huge Christian problem.

In the 1530s a Pope bull allowed the bachelor Iberians in the continent to marry Amerind women. This happened only a decade after the conquest of the Aztec Empire. As Asdk says, Christianity is blind to racial matters. And the Church did not give a damn about the biological havoc that such bull would cause. Incidentally, the Catholic Church was so powerful in New Spain that by the end of the 17th century it owned more than half of its territories. Like today’s elites, it was in the Church’s interest to rule over low-breed mestizos rather than high-IQ Aryans.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. This epigram by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in 1849 means ‘The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing’. Yes, there is no such a thing as ‘contemporary Christianity has been massively corrupted’ as MacDonald wrote. Only an ignorant of history in the American continent can say such a thing.
 

§ 3

Comment by Robert Morgan

C.T.: ‘I would be very interested to know what you think of that article (KMD’s review of Corey’s book)’.

The first thing that stands out is that MacDonald appears to have changed his opinion. I recall him writing at one point something to the effect of “Christianity isn’t necessarily the way forward”. Now he enthusiastically endorses a Christian revival, writing “I agree entirely with Corey’s conclusions and recommendations for a revival centered around the adaptive aspects of Christianity…”

C.T.: What strikes me as incredible is that Tom Sunic and others have told MacDonald that it is time to look at the role Christianity played in white decline. But KMD doesn’t seem to have the slightest intention of responding to these criticisms. He just ignores them’.

Yes, that’s true. His monomaniacal focus on Jews leads him astray, and he has always been loathe to examine the weakness of his philosophical underpinnings. Reading him, I get no sense that anything except what the Jews are doing is important. White people seem to exist for him only to be victims of the Jews.

I’ve already written about the inherent weakness of the Christian worldview, which is essentially a psychotic view of reality. Corpses come back to life, people aren’t really their bodies, but instead are “souls” trapped inside those bodies, demons not only exist but can somehow possess or take over those souls and bodies, things are conjured out of thin air, etc. Yet this is the worldview that MacDonald thinks is unequivocally good and “adaptive” because, after collapsing Western civilization once, and after a thousand years, it led historically to, among other things, the Enlightenment, the Age of Exploration, colonization of the New World, and science and high technology.

But these developments contained within themselves racially destructive consequences. Colonization of the New World caused race mixing, and out of control technology is causing mass extinctions of plant and animal species, perhaps irreversibly damaging the climate and ecosystem. This is supposed to be adaptive? Or again, consider the cultural consequences of scientific birth control technologies and abortion, which have done more to bring about the destruction of the nuclear family than any amount of Jewish animus. How was that adaptive?

From a philosophical point of view, MacDonald is being exceedingly naive, if not disingenuous. Whatever he approves of is adaptive. Anything he disapproves of isn’t. It’s the same approach he uses to Christianity. If Kevin MacDonald personally approves of it, it’s “good” Christianity (e.g., Luther’s disparaging comments about Jews, or Chrysostom’s), whereas if it’s a Christian ideology he doesn’t find it to his taste (e.g. the Scofield Bible, Christian Zionism, Christian churches sponsoring immigration, etc.) it’s been “corrupted”. These verdicts are absolute and eternal, too.

There’s no sense here that conditions may change, and behavior that was once adaptive may later be maladaptive; no sense that some of the “bad” things may have benefits, just as the supposedly “good” things contained racially destructive consequences. Christianity itself, notably, may be the most prominent of the things that were “bad” but had benefits; something that once was of use, but now is only an impediment. MacDonald’s view of it is static, not dynamic, and that’s a weakness.

No one can tell what is adaptive or maladaptive in advance. One can only pass judgement on that in retrospect, and even that judgement will unavoidably be from a particular point of view containing various assumptions and moral values. It’s not too surprising then that MacDonald, with his Christian moral values, praises Christianity as the way forward.
 

§ 4

MacDonald wrote:

Until the twentieth century, Christianity served the West well. One need only think of the long history of Christians battling to prevent Muslims from establishing a caliphate throughout the West—Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours, the Spanish Reconquista, the defeat of the Turks at the gates of Vienna. The era of Western expansion was accomplished by Christian explorers and colonists. Until quite recently, the flourishing of science, technology, and art occurred entirely within a Christian context.

In recent posts I have been talking about the need to rewrite history. This paragraph was only made possible by centuries of misinformation when it comes to historical facts.

I have read the only two stories that in English have been written from the point of view of racial preservation, that of William Pierce and that of Arthur Kemp. Since Pierce died before I woke up, I was only able to visit Kemp when he lived in a beautiful little town in England.

The only two stories that have been written under the POV of white advocacy run under one premise: Western civilisations have fallen due to the imperial phase that inevitably leads to miscegenation. (Of the two stories, only Pierce recommends extermination or expulsion of non-whites after having learned the tough lessons of history.)

One of my huge surprises when reading those two stories, Who We Are and March of the Titans, is that starting with a pro-white POV inverts many values that we had taken for granted in the more academic and conventional stories.

For example, it is striking to learn that the Greeks of the Dorian period were pure Nordids who came to the peninsula from the North. And something similar could be said of the first tribes that created the Roman Republic in the other European peninsula: they also were unmiscegenated Nordids. (He who wants to learn about the Nordic component of the founders of Greece and Rome in a single article could read a piece originally published in an American Renaissance periodical that I reposted: here.)

All of this had been kept from me by conventional historians simply because most of them have been Christians. And concerning more recent secular historians, they live under the sky of the ideas that led to the French Revolution regarding the equality of men: a doctrine breathed even in the American Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator…’

Only when the reader of history repudiates this egalitarian premise he is ready to understand history. Otherwise he might be a scholar but his historical knowledge will be contaminated with such a false worldview that distortion is unavoidable. And conventional books of history are so replete of distortions that after the Nazi period and the two preliminary stories referred to above we must, like them, start from scratch.

I don’t think MacDonald has read the Pierce or Kemp books. If he had read any of them, he would have realised that what he says in the paragraph above cannot be sustained from this scratching point of view.

The following is what MacDonald seems to ignore:

The Christian era began with a hostile takeover of classical culture—that is, white culture—by a sect of Levantine origin. In the 4th and 5th centuries of the common era, in a destructive outburst like the one ISIS has perpetrated in more recent times, the temples of the white gods and sculptures displaying Aryan beauty, were destroyed by Judeo-Christian fanatics along with entire libraries of ancient wisdom. Karlheinz Deschner devoted his entire life to studying the true history of Judeo-Christianity and I translated several passages from his ten-volume Christianity’s Criminal History (here). If someone does not have the time to read this translated book, let him read a single article that summarises the white apocalypse that the ancient world suffered at the hands of this Semitic cult (here).

I must say something about Charles Martel mentioned by MacDonald and the Spanish Reconquista. Given my Hispanic origins, the history of Spain as told by Pierce and Kemp powerfully caught my attention several years ago, when I read their books. Both mention something that left me cold: the Iberian Visigoths—pure whites of the Nordid type—were deceived by Christians to commit miscegenation: a little piece of information that won’t be easy to find in conventional histories.

Remember that the Goths were a Germanic people who played a major role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire. In the first centuries of our era the Iberian Goths burned at the stake their fellow whites that dared to mix their precious blood with mudbloods. But the king of Hispania Recceswinth committed the greatest blunder in Iberian history: a blunder still unrecognised by normie intellectuals and normie historians as a blunder: but a gigantic blunder nonetheless. By converting to Christianity Recceswinth abolished the long ban on miscegenation (which reminds me of the rigorous Spartan ban against miscegenation), which resulted in the immediate mongrelisation of the Visigoths. The king of Hispania’s decision allowed any person of any racial origin, as long as he professed Christianity, to intermarry with the Germanic Goths. Such rupture of the ancestral prohibition against miscegenation and worship of the enemy god (the god of the Jews) occurred just a few decades before their territories… were invaded by the Moors!

If you worship thine enemy’s god, thou art defeated;
Adopt the religion of his fathers, thou wilt be enslaved;
And if thou propagate with his daughters, thou art destroyed

This crucial page in the history of Spain would have to be studied in far greater depth than the preliminary ‘stories’ of Pierce and Kemp. But I suspect that the Visigoths would have been invincible if, with the benefit of hindsight, they had expelled or exterminated the mudbloods—mainly peoples of Hispania of Semitic origin (non-Jewish Semites had begun to invade the Iberian peninsula since the times of the Carthaginians!).

Hispania aside, if the Roman Empire had not decayed, and let us remember that Gibbon blames the Christians for it, Islam wouldn’t even have had a chance of its spectacular conquests that only the gates of Vienna stopped, that MacDonald mentions. By subscribing to the official story, MacDonald is viewing Christianity as our saviour before Islam, not as the cause of the power gap that occurred after the Christians destroyed the classical world (or tricked the Visigoths), leaving the remaining whites at the mercy of a primitive Arabic tribe.

On the Western achievements that MacDonald mentions in the quote above, he is framing them as achievements of the Christian spirit. Nothing farther from the truth!

The white man had to fight for centuries against the prohibitions of the Church to regain his right to scientific research, technology, and art uncontaminated with biblical passages or the lives of the saints. Now my history teacher comes to mind, whose brothers were blond, at Colegio Madrid. She told us that in New Spain they used the trick of putting covers of lives of saints on secular books imported from Europe so they could pass through customs. And this happened until the beginning of the 19th century! Again, MacDonald is ignorant about history down the south of Rio Grande.

Above I linked a PDF with my translations of some passages from Christianity’s Criminal History. Below I would like to quote pages 291-293 of that book to counter MacDonald’s naïve vision:

The Western world darkens more and more

Culture was highly esteemed in the 4th and 5th centuries. It was one of the legacies of antiquity and enjoyed an ‘almost religious veneration’ (Dannenbauer). Still in the year 360 a law of the emperor Constantius could declare that education was the supreme virtue. And really many noble families of that time, Gallic and Roman, were consecrated to it and particularly in the bosom of the Senatorial proceedings. But they were already simple custodians of the culture, to which they did not enrich. And everywhere there were circles and social forces of a very different kind, even in the highest positions. The Christian king Theodoric the Great was no longer able to write his own name on the documents: neither could most of the Christian princes. Theodoric wrote the four letters LEGI (‘I read it’) by means of an aureus mold expressly forged for him. The instruction of the Goth children was practically forbidden by him, since, as he seems to have said, he who trembled before the master’s blows would never know how to despise the cuts and rushes of the sword in battle.

In Gaul, apparently, where the school system had flourished from the beginning of the 2nd century until the end of the 4th century, public schools are disappearing over the course of the next century, no matter how much here and there, in Lyon, Vienne, Bordeaux and Clermont there still are schools of grammar and rhetoric in addition to, naturally, the private ones. But all the teachings, at least the literary, served exclusively for the collection of material for sermons and treatises, to deal with the Bible and for the consolidation of the faith. Scientific inquiry was already a thing of the past: it no longer counted or was appreciated. The knowledge of Greek, which for centuries was the requirement of every authentic culture, became a rarity. Even the Roman classics, such as Horace, Ovid and Catullus, were cited less and less.

Libanius, the champion of Hellenistic culture, the most famous professor of rhetoric of the century, complains about the aversion aroused by that profession. ‘They see’, he says, referring to his students, ‘that this cause is despised and thrown on the floor; that does not bring fame, power or wealth but a painful servitude under many lords, parents, mothers, pedagogues and other students, who put things upside down and believe that it is the teacher who needs them. When they see all this they avoid this depreciated profession like a boat the pitfalls’.

In the time of Augustine there are hardly any schools of philosophy in the West. Philosophy is frowned upon, it is a thing of the devil, the original father of all ‘heresy’, and it causes fear to the pious. Even in a centre of culture as important as Bordeaux philosophy is no longer taught. And even in the East, the largest and most important of the universities of the Roman Empire, that of Constantinople, has only one chair of philosophy out of a total of 31. The knowledge of something that had existed for a long time was lost in almost all areas. The spiritual horizon became increasingly narrower. Ancient culture languished from Gaul to Africa, while in Italy it practically disappeared. The interest in natural science vanished. Also jurisprudence, at least in the West, suffers ‘havoc’, an ‘astonishing demolition’ (Wieacker).

The bishop Paulinus of Nola, who died in 431, never read a historian: a typical attitude of the moment. Whole eras fall in the oblivion, for example, the time of the Roman emperors. The only renowned historian in the late 4th century is Ammianus Marcellinus, a non-Christian. Entire synods forbid the bishops to read ‘pagan’ books. In short: scientific research ceases; experimental testing stops; people think increasingly with less autonomy. A few decades later no doctor could heal Bishop Gregory de Tours, a man with a mind full of superstitions, but he could miraculously be healed through a drink of water with some dust taken from the tomb of St. Martin.

Only clerics will still read.
 

§ 5

St. John Chrysostom exhorting Aelia Eudoxia. Note how the Empress—the spouse of the Roman Emperor Arcadius—, in this painting by Jean-Paul Laurens, has people in her Byzantine entourage who are not whites.

Kevin MacDonald wrote:

Such individualism was not disastrously self-destructive. As Corey notes, “Christian universalism historically posed little to no danger to white survival because it was preached by whites living in a world ruled by whites; it was only in the multicultural Egalitarian Regime inseminated in the mid-twentieth century that Christian sacrifice was transformed into a call for racial suicide.”

Precisely because MacDonald, like most white nationalists who do not follow Pierce and Kemp, knows little of true history, he is unable to see that healthy religions promote the good of a tribe, and unhealthy religions, a phenomenon that appears in the imperial phase of a civilisation, forget what’s good for the tribe and start to speak solely and exclusively in individualistic terms, of ‘individual salvation’. Richard Carrier, whose book appears on the sidebar, has studied this phenomenon in several Mediterranean religions at the time of the decline of the Roman Empire, and MacDonald and those who believe that any form of universalism was not ‘disastrously self-destructive’ should become familiar with his work.

That religious individualism was toxic from the beginning is evident in the fact that in shifting from the good of the group to individualism (the Christian must think above all about the salvation of his soul), the foundations for miscegenation are laid. Once Constantine changed the name of the old Byzantium to Constantinople, the new capital of the Empire became a melting pot for all the races of the Mediterranean, in which the pure Nordid blood of the patrician Romans was forever lost.

MacDonald wrote:

Instead, Corey advocates a revitalization of Medieval Germanic Christianity based on, in the words of Samuel Francis, “social hierarchy, loyalty to tribe and place (blood and soil), world-acceptance rather than world-rejection, and an ethic that values heroism and military sacrifice.” This medieval Christianity preserved the aristocratic, fundamentally Indo-European culture of the Germanic tribes. This was an adaptive Christianity…

Adaptive Christianity, really? Some historians say Medieval Germanic Christianity started with Charlemagne, right? Kemp told me that he would rate Charlemagne well up in the top five most evil characters of European history. I recommend Thomas Hodgkin’s The Life of Charlemagne to those who have swallowed the Christian version of this evil man. If we keep in mind Deschner’s Christianity’s Criminal History we will see that even after the Aryan apocalypse of the 4th and 5th centuries, there were still many Germanic tribes in the 6th and 7th centuries who refused to worship the god of the Jews. Charlemagne forced these uncontaminated Nordids to worship the enemy god: a historical milestone related to that tardive metastasis, the philo-Semitic stage that the US is currently suffering.

MacDonald wrote:

My view, developed in Chapter 3 of Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism is that traditional Christian theology was fundamentally anti-Jewish and was developed as a weapon which was used to lessen Jewish economic and political power in the Roman Empire. Here Corey describes the writings of the fourth-century figure, St. John Chrysostom [see painting at the top of this § 5], who has a chapel dedicated to him inside St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome as well as a statue outside the building. His writings on Jews are nothing less than scathing and reflect long-term tensions between Jews and Greeks in Antioch. And Chrysostom was far from alone in his hatred… The traditional Church was certainly far from friendly toward Jews.

Despite the fact that the Muslim Jihadists are anti-Jewish, many contemporary Jews promote the Islamisation of Europe for the simple fact that the best goyim (whites) must be destroyed according to them. Jews are willing to have some of their own fall in order to win their ultimate battle against the Aryans.

Something similar happened with the hostile takeover of the classical world by Judeo-Christians, many of whom had Semitic blood. Their anger was directed against the white world. They didn’t care that those fanatics MacDonald talks about committed anti-Jewish acts. What mattered was to overthrow the classical world at all costs.

MacDonald ignores that what was ultimately at stake, as explained in the climax of ‘Rome against Judea; Judea against Rome’ in The Fair Race, was this: ‘435 CE: In this year occurs the most significant action on the part of Emperor Theodosius II: He openly proclaims that the only legal religion in Rome apart from Christianity is Judaism! Through a bizarre, subterranean and astonishing struggle, Judaism has not only persecuted the old culture, and Rome, its mortal archenemy, adopts a Jewish creed—but the Jewish religion itself, so despised and insulted by the old Romans, is now elevated as the only official religion of Rome along with Christianity!’ That diabolical political game of different kinds of Semites is what MacDonald has failed to see.

MacDonald speaks highly of St. John Chrysostom, as if this ‘anti-Semite’ was a champion for the Aryan cause. What did this saint, so revered among clueless white nationalists do? Do nationalists know what happened to the immense Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?

It was built near Ephesus in the 6th century BCE over an area considered sacred since, at least, the Bronze Age. Its construction took 120 years and it could be said that it was comparable to a cathedral.

St. John Chrysostom and his henchmen flattened it in 401 following a Christian emperor’s edict—the year after Chrysostom had instigated the massacre of 7,000 blond Goths in Constantinople! The stones were used for a tomb and a bath-house and a cross was raised on the spot where Diana’s statue had stood. What remains today of the temple can be seen: here.

It was the religion of the pure white that had to be flattened at all costs, not the Judaism that survived the Aryan apocalypse of the ancient world.

It is clear that history must be rewritten from the POV of the priest of the 14 words, and that stupid books like Corey’s must be vehemently repudiated if we want to save the race from extinction. Not only books of this type are bad history: they are as toxic reading of history as that which we could read from a Jew. But Christians are artificial Jews, right?
 

§ 6

MacDonald wrote:

And although Protestantism was generally far more amenable to Jewish interests even before its current malaise, there certainly are exceptions. Here Corey emphasizes Martin Luther’s writings on Jews. Luther emphasizes Jewish hatred toward Christianity and their sense of superiority vis-à-vis Christians, seeing the latter as “not human; in fact, we hardly deserve to be considered poor worms by them.”

I’ve been saying that people like MacDonald don’t know the stories of the white race written not by charlatans like Giles Corey, but by genuine racialists. Let’s read what William Pierce says in Who We Are about Luther:

The Reformation. Another factor which undoubtedly made the West more susceptible to the Jews was the Reformation, the lasting effects of which were confined largely to Europe’s northwestern regions, in fact, to the Germanic-speaking regions: Germany, Scandinavia, England and Scotland, Switzerland. The Church of Rome and its Eastern Orthodox offshoot had always been ambivalent in their attitudes toward the Jews. On the one hand, they fully acknowledged the Jewish roots of Christianity, and Jesus’ Jewishness was taken for granted. On the other hand, the Jews had rejected Jesus’ doctrine and killed him, saying, “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25), and the medieval Church was inclined to take them at their word. In addition to the stigma of deicide the Jews also bore the suspicion which naturally fell on heretics of any sort. During the Middle Ages people took Christianity quite seriously, and anyone professing an unorthodox religious belief, whether he actively sought converts or not, was considered a danger to the good order of the community and to the immortal soul of any Christian exposed to him.

What the Protestant reformers did for the Jews was give the Hebrew Scriptures a much more important role in the life of the peoples of Europe than they had enjoyed previously. Among Catholics it was not the Bible but the Church which was important. The clergy read the Bible; the people did not. The people looked to the clergy for spiritual guidance, not to the Bible. Among Protestants that order was reversed. The Bible became an authority unto itself, which could be consulted by any man. Its Jewish characters—Abraham, Moses, Solomon, David, and the rest—became heroic figures, suffused with an aura of sanctity. Their doings and sayings became household bywords. It is ironic that the father of the Reformation, Martin Luther, who inadvertently helped the Jews fasten their grip on the West, detested them and vigorously warned his Christian followers against them. His book Von den Jueden und ihren Luegen (On the Jews and their Lies), published in 1543, is a masterpiece. Luther’s antipathy to the Jews came after he learned Hebrew and began reading the Talmud. He was shocked and horrified to find that the Hebrew religious writings were dripping with hatred and contempt for all non-Jews…

Alas, Luther could not have it both ways. He had already sanctified the Jews by elevating the status of their history, their legends, and their religion to that of Holy Writ. His translation of the Old Testament into German and his dissemination of the Jewish scriptures among his followers vitiated all his later warnings against the Jews. Today the church he founded studiously ignores those warnings…

The great tragedy of Luther is that he failed to… recognize that no religion of Jewish origin is a proper religion for men and women of European race. When he cut himself and the majority of the Germanic peoples off from Rome, he failed at the same time to cut away all the baggage of Jewish mythology which had been imposed on Europe by Rome. Instead he made of that baggage a greater spiritual burden for his people than it already was. The consequence was that within a century of Luther’s death much of Northern Europe was firmly in the grip of a new superstition as malignant as the old one, and it was one in which the Jews played a much more explicit role. Before, the emphasis had been on the New Testament: that is, on Christianity as a breakaway sect from Judaism, in which the differences between the two religions were stressed. The role models held up to the peoples of Europe were the Church’s saints and martyrs, most of whom were non-Jewish. The parables taught to children were often of European origin. Among the Protestants the Old Testament gained a new importance, and with it so did the Hebrew patriarchs as role models, while Israel’s folklore became the new source of moral inspiration for Europe. Perhaps nothing so clearly demonstrates the change, and the damage to the European sense of identity which accompanied it, as the sudden enthusiasm for bestowing Hebrew names on Christian children.

The Reformation did more for the Jews than merely sanctifying the Old Testament. It shattered the established order of things and brought chaos in political as well as spiritual affairs—chaos eagerly welcomed by the Jews. Germany was so devastated by a series of bloody religious wars that it took her a century and a half to recover. In some German principalities two-thirds of the population was annihilated during the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in the period 1618-1648, commonly known as the “Thirty Years War.” Everywhere during the 17th century the Jews took advantage of the turmoil, moving back into countries from which they had been banned (such as England), moving to take over professions from which they had been excluded, insinuating themselves into confidential relationships with influential leaders in literary and political circles, profiting from the sufferings of their hosts and strengthening their hold, burrowing deep into the rubble and wreckage of medieval society so that they could more easily undermine whatever rose in its stead. / End of Pierce’s quote

Pierce fell short. Nietzsche saw beyond what Pierce saw: Luther revitalised Christianity when it had begun to die in Rome itself! Had Cesare Borgia reached the papacy in a world without Luther, the transvaluation of values—the salvation of whites!—could’ve started from the Renaissance in Rome. But exactly the opposite happened: the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation vindicated Christianity. One thing is clear: MacDonald is not a reader of Nietzsche. If there is a quote that I have quoted more than once, it is what Nietzsche says about Luther (skip until you see § 61: here).

MacDonald wrote:

Mainstream Christianity from traditional Catholicism to mainstream Protestantism was fundamentally adaptive in terms of creating a healthy family life.

Here MacDonald is not only ignoring the subject mentioned in §2: that a cohesive family is useless to our cause if marriages in Catholic Latin America have been, for half a millennia, between white and non-white. And regarding Europe MacDonald is also ignoring the catastrophe that occurred in Portugal. After their forays into Africa the Portuguese not only imported blacks to the Iberian Peninsula, but unlike the Anglo-Germans in North America who originally did not marry them, the Portuguese immediately proceeded to stain their blood forever, courtesy of an Iberian, Recceswinth-like Christianity that didn’t care about racial preservation.

MacDonald writes about the traditional family in Christendom ignoring what happened in immense territories where Catholicism had a grip on the white psyche. And even in the US where miscegenation was not perpetrated for quite some time, the havoc that Puritans caused for their infatuation with the sacred book of the Jews can be seen in the names they gave their white children. Pierce is worth quoting again. He wrote:

Even before the Reformation a few Jewish names had been adopted by Europeans, but they were in most cases variations of the names of Christian saints of Jewish race: John (Heb. Johanan), Matthew (Heb. Mattathiah), Mary (Heb. Miriam), Ann (Heb. Hannah, supposedly the name of the maternal grandmother of Jesus). In addition, a few other purely Hebrew names had come into fairly common usage in parts of Christian Europe prior to Luther’s time: Adam, Daniel, David, Michael, Elizabeth, and Sarah are examples. During the l7th century, however, practically every name from the Old Testament came into general use. The madness reached its height among the Puritans, who scorned the names of their own ancestors and christened their offspring with such atrociously alien appellations as Israel, Amos, Ezekiel, Lemuel, Deborah, Reuben, Esther, Abner, Samuel, Nathan, Noah, Ephraim, Gideon, Jesse, Rachel, Susannah, Leah, Elihu, Abigail, Benjamin, and Abraham. The Puritans brought this pernicious habit with them to America, and Hebrew names were more common in the New World than European names during the Colonial period. / End of William Pierce’s quote

Don’t be surprised, professor MacDonald, that the US became the #1 philo-Semitic country of the world! So what’s the primary cause of white decline, Judaism or Christianity? What’s worse: the external enemy—the Jew—or the traitor—the Christian?
 

§ 7

Comment by Vig

Reading the comments here it shows how quickly attention steers away from the core topic and gets into the distraction of details.

As I have understood the issue here is that a reputed academic scholar has made significant statements as a result of a serious psychological research into the causes of the downfall of the culture and influence of the white Europeans. All this clearly under the banner of a conservative and right wing oriented view, which led him to the conclusion that Jewdom is the ultimate culprit of the (our) downfall.

Then the question arises, as Cesar has put forward on many occasions, that a man of such academic reputation as KMD has not dared to make the next logical step in his research and expose the phenomenal similarity between Judaism and Christianity?

Lack of courage, unwillingness or just lack of depth? Respectable as he may be he did not have the guts to be like a Nietzsche and dig till rock bottom, and criticize his own paradigms.

If you ask me the whole thing of academic debate especially in the field of the “alpha sciences” like psychology, is very often sheer sophistry. To see what the words really stand for you have to meet the author in person. Then why is this Christianity again and again creeping around the corner?

Because it is so deeply ingrained in our value system that it has become sub conscious. Then the question arises how much suffering will be needed to bring this festering wound to the surface?

If the more representative figures of the white nationalist movement fail to open up to the issue of the corrupting influence of Christianity, that means they did not have the existential experience that allowed you and me to understand the human psyche on a deeper level than the level that they are mentally operating on.

On that basis indeed white nationalism is a flawed initiative.

What I mean here is that traumatic experiences can initiate an emotional maturity that is beyond the retarded state that western humanity is in at the moment.

I think it is not negation but simple incapacity from their side.

The fact that there will come no answer from that side is because their whole social life has been narrowed down to the verbal, intellectual Hegelian discourse and exchange of ideas, while the answer to our crisis cannot be addressed on this level at all.

It is an ego problem. The ego blocks the expression of certain inner states that, if expressed, would indicate that one is emotionally and instinctively degenerated if at all recognized as such.

To have an authentic knowledge of one’s emotional and instinctive nature that makes the use of intellectual projections absolutely unnecessary, has become very rare for western man. Eine Kulturkrankheit.
 

§ 8

Kevin MacDonald wrote:

As I write this in the summer of 2020, we are experiencing what feels like the end game in the Jewish conquest of white America.

End game of the Jewish conquest or of the Christian conquest of the Aryan soul? Has MacDonald read the words of Joseph Walsh on the sidebar?: The deep-seated death-wish that seems to have taken hold of the collective subconscious psyche of the Aryan race after Hitler’s death is I believe a consequence of centuries of Jewish brainwashing via Christianity and its secular offshoots.

Once the majority of Aryans had rejected Hitler they embraced what remained of Christianity, Christian ethics, with a vengeance. Aryans are aware of what our race is capable of becoming from the photos and films of NS Germany and many of them hate and fear their own race’s potential for greatness due to attachment to an irrational morality and so our race is in a sort of self-destruct mode.

If the National Socialists had won the Second World War our race would not have entered into this intense struggle to overcome the oldest and most effective weapon of the Jews, Christianity. So this post-1945 struggle with the mental disease of Christianity does serve a purpose in that it will either destroy us for good or make us even stronger.

Before Aryans can annihilate the biological Jew on the physical level they must destroy the alien Jewish mind virus on the mental level by overcoming Christian morality. /End of Walsh’s quote

But MacDonald wrote:

I agree entirely with Corey’s conclusions and recommendations for a revival centered around the adaptive aspects of Christianity…

And what are Giles Corey’s conclusions and recommendations? Corey wrote, as quoted by MacDonald:

We must not tolerate subversion. Liberalism must go; we cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the Enlightenment. We cannot afford to countenance any further anti-American, anti-family, anti-white speech, and this should be reflected in a new Constitution. Just as conservatism was not enough, the United States Constitution was not enough, with gaps that left it gaping wide for judicial “interpretation.” For another thing, we must circle the wagons and inculcate the Männerbund, restraining our individualism at least for the time being. For another, we must return to (((our Lord and Savior))).

I have added the triple parentheses to MacDonald’s quote of Corey. What these guys don’t know is that, as a commenter put it, thinking you can aid in saving the white race while, at the same time, bending the knee to Jewish deities—Yahweh and Yeshua—is some kind of combination of insane, dishonest, cowardly, naive, or very stupid. To bottom line it, it won’t and can’t work (see Ferdinand Bardamu’s complete essay that MacDonald rejected for his webzine: here).

This demolition that I have made of such a respected figure in white nationalism moves me to leave this site with these last entries for a period of time without adding new entries, although I will be answering the comments that don’t get off the subject of MacDonald and the Christian question.

Finally, even though I left the essay by a Spaniard, ‘Rome against Judea; Judea against Rome’ linked in a sticky post for a long time, it doesn’t seem that many visitors have noticed that that essay appears in Part I of The Fair Race, the PDF of which can be accessed on the sidebar. So I have no choice but to publish it in PDF separately and put it back in a sticky post. It is a shame that people like MacDonald have not read an essay that I consider central to understanding this site.

Especially the ‘Judea against Rome’ section of that essay explains the Jewish question better than any article MacDonald has published on The Occidental Observer, as the Spanish writer goes to the historical roots of the darkest hour in the West.

That tiny mustard seed…

‘Traditional Christianity is mature viper venom that has settled, whereas liberal, enlightened Christianity is recycled and of equal effect’. —Albus

Neochristianity, or following Jesus through secular self-immolation—e.g., white fans of BLM—is today’s religion. But how did such florid psychosis originate? How did the tiny mustard seed grow into such a huge weed that it’s now covering the West? Let’s take a good look at the smallest seed…

Watch this homey interview of Richard Carrier.

At 14:48 Carrier comments about the intention of the evangelist Mark (the other evangelists built upon him): ‘It’s all part of the gospel’s model reversing the order of society’.

23: 10: ‘Homer is the Bible, essentially, of the pagans… So what they want to do is called transvaluation. “I am taking stories from the Homeric tales”, rewrite them so that the value message is the value Mark wants to sell, not the value message you get from Homer, so that this book would even replace Homer… for this new society they want to create’.

28:30: ‘And it is political for them [early Christians], but subversively political’.

Later, Carrier talks about why in New Testament studies, replete of Christians, it is so hard that the most parsimonious hypothesis—the nonexistence of Jesus—is taken seriously.

Many critics of Christianity focus on the Apostle Paul, but the one who really brought this Semitic folly to the Gentile quarter was Mark’s literary genius, even if it was all pure literary fiction from his pen.

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  Leave a Comment  

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]’.