Why is it so difficult to admit the writers of the Bible were shady characters? It's not really a big claim. The hierarchy of religion has always been the liars on top (as the prophets) feeding off naïve believers. Since childhood the average person is brainwashed to perceive these liars as saints.
Isn't it interesting how Christians often say, "the Apostle Paul quoted Greek poetry"? Did he mention the author or attribute it to his god or pretend it was his own insights? He must have had the insight of a fly to steal from Greek philosophy. He even stole from Greek culture when "witnessing".
"Kicks against the pricks came from Bacchae" Euripides.
"And he said, who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said I am Jesus whom thou persecute. It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." Acts 9:5
And who is Bacchae? Dionysus! How coincidental Dionysus, I mean Jesus, knows Greek poetry. Isn't he a lot like Dionysus? Born on December 25th to a virgin, the son of Zeus. Dionysus arose from the dead. Dionysus was the god of wine (a fertility god) and turned water into wine.
And early Christians lied about Pontius Pilate. None of his historians ever wrote anything about crucifying a Jewish god. The Romans are more trustworthy than the apostles, and the Romans didn't acknowledge Jesus Christ's existence.
The apostle Paul admitted he was a liar. "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner?" In other words, Paul's warped idea of the 'greater good' was lying to popularize the Jewish god. This was the founder of Christianity.
The apostle Paul didn't distance himself from paganism after converting. The proof is in the Bible. Saul "borrowed" ahem..stole from Menander of Athens, "Bad company corrupts good character." Rewritten in 1Corinthians 15:33 to read; "Be not deceived evil communications corrupt good manners." It was never attributed to the author. That isn't "quoting" paganism. That isn't "borrowing".That's called plagiarism. He even rewrote it.
Notice how Saul edited out the topic of good and bad character? Was that a guilty conscience?
With knowledge of the bible like that you should consider a career as a christian preacher. People will give you lots of money and you won't have to pay tax on it. You'll be rich. In effect you would be doing just the same thing as Paul Whatsisname. There are millions and millions of lost sheep in your country looking for a call. They're idiots, so screw them and rip them off like Ken Ham and you'll be laughing all the way to the bank. You don't want to be some poor atheist blogging on Atheist Nexus for the rest of your life, do you ?
There is such a thing as honor, whether you care to recognize it or not. There is such a thing as knowledge, and the free sharing of such, especially with those who have been indoctrinated, hoodwinked, and otherwise deceived. And there are those who can be freed from that prison, those who have questions, whether they can fully acknowledge them or not, and having faced those questions and answered them for themselves, become fully themselves, as Peter Boghossian and other atheists would hope.
I side with such people, even as I suspect Mr. Boghossian would, because the ultimate goal is for EVERYONE to be their own authentic selves, free of dogma, free of superstition and free of religion. THAT is the whole point. If there is another, I personally don't see it as being anywhere near as important.
That's a praiseworthy piece of writing, Loren.
No, I don't want to deceive people for money like Ken Ham does.The world is full of too many people you can't trust. I'm not one of them.
But, Bill. You could become Marjoe Gortner.
And you could be Fred Phelps.
Yes, too true!
Before Paul/Saul, Jesus Christ appears to not have existed.
As the writings of Saul/Paul are the earliest records for Jesus, nothing existed prior, not even in the Roman nor Jewish annuls.
Therefore it is highly probable that Paul invented the entire religion.
Though he may have picked on and glorified some yokel who had a reasonable following at the time and exalted that bloke to legendary status.
The rest of the writings, including the gospels are simply people repeating much of the legend they had been told.
And the writings of Josephus and all the so called outside of the Bible references to Jesus are simply people writing what those followers believe and they are definitely not writing historical accounts.
This lends itself to the Richard Carrier theory that Jesus Christ never existed.
I'm skeptical of both sides, of the debate, Jesus existed and Jesus never existed.
Yet, he never existed has more weight than he existed.
Simply because nothing points to his existing, not even evidence outside the Bible, which is not impartial evidence as they are reporting ideas or beliefs of followers, not an impartial view of actual events.
I still believe that Saul pinned the label of Jesus Christ on some joker with followers, so I think somebody existed, not by the name of Jesus Christ, but Saul gave him that name as it had more significance than his actual name.
All Saul had to do was convince the others (that bloke's followers) to use that more influential name for him and suddenly Christianity was born.
Of course they would agree to call him Jesus (Jeshua, God Saves) and Christ ( the redeemer ), since it's meaning signifies how they felt about him.
Had Elvis been as popular in 100CE as he was in the 1970s, likely fans would have accepted such a name for him, or even for John Lennon.
So Saul had an easy time creating his own religion, we now know of as Christianity.
Paul's lie fit right in with the plans of Rome. Consider that Roman citizen Saul/Paul claimed he met the resurrected Jesus on the way to Damascus. This "event" was prior to popular circulation of the 4 accepted gospels. Christianity had no doctrines at this time but it had a new promoter. Paul supposedly met Peter and the other disciples but they were mostly untrusting of him. Next Paul invented teachings and turned everything on its ear. Not everyone believed him. By the time Revelation was written and had hidden codings for Rome and the government you also find "the antichrist." This simply means opposite of or "against" Christ.
Evangelicals go wild with science fiction speculation today, but I firmly believe this person was none other than Paul. Good old Saul of Tarsus.
It amazes me that I have never seen any atheists make remarks about the possible significance of this statement attributed to Socrates in Plato's Theaetetus:
Socrates: “In the name of the Graces, what an almighty wise man Protagoras must have been! He spoke these things in a parable to the common herd, like you and me, but told the truth, his Truth, in secret to his own disciples.”
To me this is an obvious parallel to Mark 14:10-12:
Mark 14:10 When he (Christ) was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, "'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'"
Protagoras was reportedly the first Sophist to earn his living as a Sophist. If this parallel is intentional, as I believe it is, then it provides a clear link between Sophism and Christianity. In Plato's Protagoras, there is this comment about the Sophists:
“Now the art of the Sophist is, as I believe, of great antiquity; but in ancient times those who practiced it, fearing this odium, veiled and disguised themselves under various names, some under that of poets, as Homer, Hesiod, and Simonides, some, of hierophants and prophets, as Orpheus and Musaeus, and some, as I observe, even under the name of gymnastic-masters, like Iccus of Tarentum, or the more recently celebrated Herodicus, now of Selymbria and formerly of Megara, who is a first-rate Sophist. Your own Agathocles pretended to be a musician, but was really an eminent Sophist; also Pythocleides the Cean; and there were many others; and all of them, as I was saying, adopted these arts as veils or disguises because they were afraid of the odium which they would incur.”
Note that Orpheus, who is closely associated with the Dionysian Mysteries is here also identified as a Sophist.
If you take these connections seriously and carefully follow the clues, you should discover, as I did, that the Sophists are behind many religions and the similarities these religions share are due to the fact that they are all based on an allegoric code that follows a more or less uniform set of rules. (Because phonetics play a role in establishing the meaning of many metaphors, translations create problems. This is why there are so many apparent "errors" in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Old Testament.) Parallels often serve as allusions to provide context since literal time and place elements serve as metaphors. The frequent use of metaphors such as "virgin birth" (which is intended to inform the initiated reader that a purely fictional character is being discussed) are also likely to create the impression that one story is simply being copied from another.
Kabbalists claim that "All truth is half truth" and what this really means is the "truth" is told as allegory so that the literal part is really a lie, while hidden meanings contain the truth. This is why Pontius Pilate was made to ask "What is truth?" since it was obvious a literal understanding of truth did not seem to fit what was being reported. "As above, so below" refers to the "mirror" aspect of the allegory. Every idea hidden below, has a corresponding image above.
Christianity began when the man identified by Josephus as "Judas the Galilean" opposed "taxation" (a metaphor for censorship) and began to disseminate Sophist secrets to outsiders. The followers of this Judas were the original Gnostics. This led to an "Apocalypse" or "uncovering" in which many ideas buried within the Sophist allegory were "resurrected". To counter this exposure, there was widespread suppression of Gnostic writings along with a campaign of disinformation led by the Jewish Philosopher Philo who admitted to the allegoric nature of some Jewish texts, but he interpreted them in a far less damaging way.
Philo took advantage of the fact that every real world idea can be expressed by multiple metaphors so he could easily define metaphors in relation to other metaphors without exposing any real world meanings. Philo, in effect, made it seem to the outsider that allegory could mean whatever someone wanted it to mean and he, and others that followed, were so effective in this respect that it appears that no atheist (other than myself) has ever made a serious effort to decipher Biblical allegory. Many Gnostic groups were infiltrated by those promoting Philo's brand of interpretation and eventually these groups were brought under control and began to follow an allegorized set of rules laid out in the Damascus Document. ("Damascus" serves as a metaphor connected to this transformation of Gnosticism to Christianity which is why "Saul"-intended to suggest the Hebrew word "sheol"-was reportedly converted to Paul on the "Road to Damascus".)
However, this created a problem. How could anyone explain the origin of the Christian Gnostics without admitting to the secret the original Gnostics had exposed? The answer was to create a false history and thus the Gospels were created. (The Christian Gnostics were like a "man born blind".) The Gospels themselves are an allegorized history of this hidden war of words with Philo being represented as both "Mary" and "John". (Mary from the Hebrew word "marea'" meaning "friend" which corresponded to the meaning of "Philo" in Greek and "John" from Plato's "Ion" who was an insincere interpreter of Homer from Ephesus.) Josephus was "Joseph" and "Peter" represented Josephus' writings (the "Satan" behind Christ, denier of Christ, and holder of the "keys") since Josephus also employed allegory to tell the tale and make his "tomb" appear "empty". The original Gnostics are often referred to as "sinners" and "Judas" is Judas the Galilean. ("Judas" is intended to suggest the Hebrew word "yada" which means "to know".)