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The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom by Candida Moss (2013)
The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom by Candida Moss (2013)
by Candida Moss
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Both Roman and Jewish Authorities Knew Who Jesus Was, Hence the Stand Down Policies Followed Towards The Jesus Sect, 24 Jun 2014
My research coincides with Professor Moss' research in many areas, but the professor hasn't penetrated the literature as deeply as it is possible to do, thereby failing to notice the huge elephant standing in the middle of the living room. In fact, Professor Moss alludes to the elephant standing in the middle of the room, but it goes right over her head (and others too since the fall of the Western Roman Empire):

"If we give any credence to the apocryphal acts and believe that the apostles attracted large crowds, then we have to concede that the apostles might have been viewed as revolutionaries. If they were arrested, then the charges levied against them may have been insurgency or inciting unrest among the people. As the death of Jesus shows, Romans had no problems executing people who caused trouble or could potentially start a rebellion. They were taking elementary precautions." (p. 137).

The above quote is affirmed by New Testament professors for the PBS Frontline documentary "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians", who unanimously agree that Roman governors in Judea immediately executed charismatic persons that attracted large crowds (go to the comments section to this review below, where the first posting provides yet another New Testament professor's account of how Roman governors of Judea immediately behaved towards the various "Messiahs/prophets" they met up with)...

"Jesus would have represented a kind of activist and resister in Pontius Pilate's experience that he had been dealing with for years, and with varying degrees of success and effectiveness, obviously. Jesus would have been a blip on the screen of Pontius Pilate, because the unrest and the uprisings were so common, part of daily life for the Roman administration of Judea, that Jesus would have been seen, I think, as very little out of the ordinary."

and

"Now I don't for a moment think that Pilate would have been worried that Jesus could have challenged the power of the emperor. That's not the point. The point is, any challenge to Roman authority...any challenge to the peace of Rome would have been met with a swift and violent response."

This confirms Josephus' accounts as to what immediately happened to any person claiming to perform miracles in Roman Judea.

Between 44 and 46 CE, one Theudas caused some consternation with what may have been a claim to be the Messiah:

"It came to pass, while Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain charlatan, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the river Jordan; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it. Many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them. After falling upon them unexpectedly, they slew many of them, and took many of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem." -- [(Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.97-98]

and

The Roman governor Festus, who was -according to recent research- in office from 58 until 60 CE, was confronted with another rebel:

"Festus sent forces, both horsemen and footmen, to fall upon those that had been seduced by a certain impostor, who promised them deliverance and freedom from the miseries they were under, if they would but follow him as far as the wilderness. Accordingly, those forces that were sent destroyed both him that had deluded them, and those that were his followers also." -- [Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.188]

Yet the Bible scholars interviewed for this PBS Frontline program fail to explain why Pontius Pilate failed for three years to swiftly deal with the threat of Jesus when if it had been anyone other than Jesus, that threat to the Roman Peace would have been immediately dealt with three years earlier!

The PBS Frontline program also fails to explain the similar three-year inaction of the religious leaders in Jerusalem (and Galilee/Perea) to execute Jesus for blasphemy under the Law of Moses, AND why for the next 37 years (before the fall of Jerusalem) Roman and Jewish religious authorities are still refusing to put to death Jesus' disciples and all Jesus Sect members (excepting for three fluke cases: Saint Stephen and the two disciples named James. In the case of Saint Stephen, he was pointed out to the religious leaders of Jerusalem by foreign Jews from what is today Turkey, who were in town for Passover. The religious leaders of Jerusalem were pressed into the arrest and stoning of Stephen by ignorant foreign Jews, otherwise Stephen would not have been arrested in the first place. See first embedded comment to this review for how the two disciples named James died.)!

Allow me to repeat Professor Moss' quote above:

"If we give any credence to the apocryphal acts and believe that the apostles attracted large crowds, then we have to concede that the apostles might have been viewed as revolutionaries. If they were arrested, then the charges levied against them may have been insurgency or inciting unrest among the people. As the death of Jesus shows, Romans had no problems executing people who caused trouble or could potentially start a rebellion. They were taking elementary precautions." (p. 137).

Firstly, inexplicably it wasn't Pilate who arrested Jesus, it was the Jerusalem Sanhedrin; secondly, Pilate allowed Jesus and disciples to move freely in Judea for three-years, including Jesus' disciples after Jesus' resurrection; and thirdly, Jesus' disciples continue to attract large crowds and claim to perform miracles under the administrations of the next nine Roman governors of Judea.

For the Romans Jesus was empirical proof that deities existed, hence (1) why ten Roman governors in Judea between 30 AD - 66 AD (the Jewish Revolt taking place in 66 AD) refused to execute Jesus and disciples/apostles (Pilate executed Jesus only when presented Jesus by the Sanhedrin, but both Pilate and the Sanhedrin refused to execute the remaining eleven apostles).

Those who aren't aware, Roman governors were tasked to immediately execute as rebels charismatic figures that attracted large crowds such as Jesus and His followers, but refused to do so in the case of Jesus, and after Jesus' death the next nine Roman governors are continuing Pilate's inexplicable stand down policy by refusing to arrest and execute Jesus' apostles who are still attracting large crowds and claiming to perform miracles. During the same period, however, other "Messiahs/prophets" are cropping up in Judea, who are summarily executed by mounted auxiliary Roman troops, including any unlucky followers in the presence of the "Messiah/prophet".*

The fact that ten Roman governors of Judea during this period (30 AD - 66 AD) all followed the same inexplicable stand down policy towards Jesus and disciples/apostles, informs one that the inexplicable policy adopted by each governor wasn't ad hoc but Imperial policy from the Emperor!

Between 66 AD - 313 AD Roman "persecution" of the Jesus Sect/Christians lasted all of twelve-years (and such "persecutions" were sporadic and lackadaisical), yet otherwise within the Roman Empire we see Christians (1) as civil administrators within Roman administration; (2) as rich business owners; and (3) building churches...

"They were, as the third-century Christian writer Tertullian tells us, able to succeed in politics, law, and business. They were not hiding, either in the catacombs in Rome or in general. On the eve of Diocletian's Great Persecution--which, beginning in 303, outlawed Christian scriptures, prohibited Christians from meeting, and razed places of worship­­­--a newly erected church nestled across from the imperial palace in Nicomedia in Turkey, a symbol of the confidence of Christians living in the Roman Empire." -- see "The Myths Behind the Age of Martyrs" by Professor Candida Moss; The Chronicle of Higher Education, (February 25, 2013).

That Christians were looked at askew by non-Christians is certainly true, but for a very good reason--Christians took Jesus' rebuke to Peter ("Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.") literally (the warning was to Peter exclusively, since Jesus wanted Peter alive after His resurrection) and abstained from volunteering for active duty in the Legions. With barbarians pressing on the empire from the north and Persia to the West, naturally resentment took its course, resulting in halfhearted "persecutions"; halfhearted because most knew that Christians were followers of Jesus, someone Romans knew as a deity.

It should also be added that in this period most Christians didn't go to Church, and there were, contrary to the vulgar anti-Roman propaganda put out by the early Christian fathers of the Church (who also cruelly maligned Jews, by the way**), plenty of churches one could go to. In fact, one such church was right across the street from the Imperial Palace in Nicomedia,*** when that city was the capital of the Eastern Empire!

The above proves (1) the historicity of Jesus; and (2) that Jesus was indeed God, otherwise no Roman subject/citizen would have accepted such an otherwise known laughably bad forged Gospels'/Acts narratives, where (1) enemies of the state are cuddled by ten Roman governors of Judea; and (2) likewise cuddled by numerous other Roman governors outside of Judea/Galilee-Perea, where Paul, Peter and disciples are attracting large crowds!

----------------------------

*Which is why John the Baptist refused to ministry in Judea, and baptized on the Jordan River on the bank opposite of Judea in Perea, knowing what the fate of him and his disciples would be if he stepped one foot inside Judea attracting the usual large crowds he attracted outside of Judea.

**The Jewish leadership in Judea & Galilee knew who Jesus was even before His ministry began, but couldn't let on because there was a Roman occupation. And when Jesus began His ministry, performing real signs, the Roman governor had to pretend he didn't know Jesus and disciples/apostles were attracting large crowds, otherwise the governor on the scene would be duty bound to initiate Roman standard operating procedures for rebels/insurrectionists.

The Jerusalem Sanhedrin itself only arrested Jesus after Jesus' provocation towards Rome by entering Jerusalem with a mob. Realizing that the provocation was Jesus signaling to them that it was time for Jesus to die, the Sanhedrin still had to make sure that Jesus was indeed signalling that it was time for Him to die, so the Sanhedrin arranged three nighttime Q & A sessions to interrogate Jesus (these three nighttime Q & A sessions weren't trials, subject to the handing down of punishment, since under the Law of Moses trails can only take place during daylight hours). Jesus' silence throughout the proceedings proved that Jesus was indeed signalling that it was time for Him to die.

In fact, the only person "persecuting" early Jesus Sect members is Paul, but even Paul is restrained by the Jerusalem Sanhedrin from actually killing the followers of Jesus, sending him off on a wild goose chase to Damascus instead, where we're informed Paul has an epiphany. It was Paul who was the one causing "HAVOC" in Jerusalem, shouting deadly "THREATS" at followers of Jesus...

Acts 9:

9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples.
...

21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name?

Roman governors didn't care for "havoc", which is why the Jewish authorities sent Paul off to Damascus which was nominally independent of Rome, meaning Damascus had home rule; no Roman governor, though it was the headquarters of a Roman Legate who commanded two Roman Legions. The Legate in Syria was also the superior to governors in the region.

When Paul had converted and was spreading Jesus' message in what is today Turkey, he too was performing "rebellion" by attracting large crowds, but Roman governors are oblivious to Paul's provocations (as a Roman governor sees Paul's actions)...

Acts 11:26:

When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.)

Note that Jesus never asks the Jerusalem Sanhedrin nor Pilate why they are persecuting His followers, because they're not. Jesus only asks Paul because Paul is the only entity "persecuting" Jesus Sect members!

The execution of Stephen was a case of bad timing for the first martyr. If you recall, soon after Jesus' resurrection (either the next Passover or the Passover after that) Stephen was caught preaching the new faith in the Temple by foreign Jews in Jerusalem for Passover. Naturally they wondered why Stephen was still alive and took their queries to the Jewish authorities, who had no choice but to sacrifice Stephen rather than threaten the "Don't ask/Don't tell" policy the Jewish authorities played with Rome. If Stephen hand't met up with that particular group of foreign Jews ignorant of Jesus and followers, he wouldn't have been the first martyr.

*** Where did the precious monies come from to build such churches?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2014 2:34 AM BST


The Myth of Persecution
The Myth of Persecution
by Candida Moss
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both Roman and Jewish Authorities Knew Who Jesus Was, Hence the Stand Down Policies Followed Towards The Jesus Sect, 24 Jun 2014
My research coincides with Professor Moss' research in many areas, but the professor hasn't penetrated the literature as deeply as it is possible to do, thereby failing to notice the huge elephant standing in the middle of the living room. In fact, Professor Moss alludes to the elephant standing in the middle of the room, but it goes right over her head (and others too since the fall of the Western Roman Empire):

"If we give any credence to the apocryphal acts and believe that the apostles attracted large crowds, then we have to concede that the apostles might have been viewed as revolutionaries. If they were arrested, then the charges levied against them may have been insurgency or inciting unrest among the people. As the death of Jesus shows, Romans had no problems executing people who caused trouble or could potentially start a rebellion. They were taking elementary precautions." (p. 137).

The above quote is affirmed by New Testament professors for the PBS Frontline documentary "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians", who unanimously agree that Roman governors in Judea immediately executed charismatic persons that attracted large crowds (go to the comments section to this review below, where the first posting provides yet another New Testament professor's account of how Roman governors of Judea immediately behaved towards the various "Messiahs/prophets" they met up with)...

"Jesus would have represented a kind of activist and resister in Pontius Pilate's experience that he had been dealing with for years, and with varying degrees of success and effectiveness, obviously. Jesus would have been a blip on the screen of Pontius Pilate, because the unrest and the uprisings were so common, part of daily life for the Roman administration of Judea, that Jesus would have been seen, I think, as very little out of the ordinary."

and

"Now I don't for a moment think that Pilate would have been worried that Jesus could have challenged the power of the emperor. That's not the point. The point is, any challenge to Roman authority...any challenge to the peace of Rome would have been met with a swift and violent response."

This confirms Josephus' accounts as to what immediately happened to any person claiming to perform miracles in Roman Judea.

Between 44 and 46 CE, one Theudas caused some consternation with what may have been a claim to be the Messiah:

"It came to pass, while Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain charlatan, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the river Jordan; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it. Many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them. After falling upon them unexpectedly, they slew many of them, and took many of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem." -- [(Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.97-98]

and

The Roman governor Festus, who was -according to recent research- in office from 58 until 60 CE, was confronted with another rebel:

"Festus sent forces, both horsemen and footmen, to fall upon those that had been seduced by a certain impostor, who promised them deliverance and freedom from the miseries they were under, if they would but follow him as far as the wilderness. Accordingly, those forces that were sent destroyed both him that had deluded them, and those that were his followers also." -- [Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.188]

Yet the Bible scholars interviewed for this PBS Frontline program fail to explain why Pontius Pilate failed for three years to swiftly deal with the threat of Jesus when if it had been anyone other than Jesus, that threat to the Roman Peace would have been immediately dealt with three years earlier!

The PBS Frontline program also fails to explain the similar three-year inaction of the religious leaders in Jerusalem (and Galilee/Perea) to execute Jesus for blasphemy under the Law of Moses, AND why for the next 37 years (before the fall of Jerusalem) Roman and Jewish religious authorities are still refusing to put to death Jesus' disciples and all Jesus Sect members (excepting for three fluke cases: Saint Stephen and the two disciples named James. In the case of Saint Stephen, he was pointed out to the religious leaders of Jerusalem by foreign Jews from what is today Turkey, who were in town for Passover. The religious leaders of Jerusalem were pressed into the arrest and stoning of Stephen by ignorant foreign Jews, otherwise Stephen would not have been arrested in the first place. See first embedded comment to this review for how the two disciples named James died.)!

Allow me to repeat Professor Moss' quote above:

"If we give any credence to the apocryphal acts and believe that the apostles attracted large crowds, then we have to concede that the apostles might have been viewed as revolutionaries. If they were arrested, then the charges levied against them may have been insurgency or inciting unrest among the people. As the death of Jesus shows, Romans had no problems executing people who caused trouble or could potentially start a rebellion. They were taking elementary precautions." (p. 137).

Firstly, inexplicably it wasn't Pilate who arrested Jesus, it was the Jerusalem Sanhedrin; secondly, Pilate allowed Jesus and disciples to move freely in Judea for three-years, including Jesus' disciples after Jesus' resurrection; and thirdly, Jesus' disciples continue to attract large crowds and claim to perform miracles under the administrations of the next nine Roman governors of Judea.

For the Romans Jesus was empirical proof that deities existed, hence (1) why ten Roman governors in Judea between 30 AD - 66 AD (the Jewish Revolt taking place in 66 AD) refused to execute Jesus and disciples/apostles (Pilate executed Jesus only when presented Jesus by the Sanhedrin, but both Pilate and the Sanhedrin refused to execute the remaining eleven apostles).

Those who aren't aware, Roman governors were tasked to immediately execute as rebels charismatic figures that attracted large crowds such as Jesus and His followers, but refused to do so in the case of Jesus, and after Jesus' death the next nine Roman governors are continuing Pilate's inexplicable stand down policy by refusing to arrest and execute Jesus' apostles who are still attracting large crowds and claiming to perform miracles. During the same period, however, other "Messiahs/prophets" are cropping up in Judea, who are summarily executed by mounted auxiliary Roman troops, including any unlucky followers in the presence of the "Messiah/prophet".*

The fact that ten Roman governors of Judea during this period (30 AD - 66 AD) all followed the same inexplicable stand down policy towards Jesus and disciples/apostles, informs one that the inexplicable policy adopted by each governor wasn't ad hoc but Imperial policy from the Emperor!

Between 66 AD - 313 AD Roman "persecution" of the Jesus Sect/Christians lasted all of twelve-years (and such "persecutions" were sporadic and lackadaisical), yet otherwise within the Roman Empire we see Christians (1) as civil administrators within Roman administration; (2) as rich business owners; and (3) building churches...

"They were, as the third-century Christian writer Tertullian tells us, able to succeed in politics, law, and business. They were not hiding, either in the catacombs in Rome or in general. On the eve of Diocletian's Great Persecution--which, beginning in 303, outlawed Christian scriptures, prohibited Christians from meeting, and razed places of worship­­­--a newly erected church nestled across from the imperial palace in Nicomedia in Turkey, a symbol of the confidence of Christians living in the Roman Empire." -- see "The Myths Behind the Age of Martyrs" by Professor Candida Moss; The Chronicle of Higher Education, (February 25, 2013).

That Christians were looked at askew by non-Christians is certainly true, but for a very good reason--Christians took Jesus' rebuke to Peter ("Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.") literally (the warning was to Peter exclusively, since Jesus wanted Peter alive after His resurrection) and abstained from volunteering for active duty in the Legions. With barbarians pressing on the empire from the north and Persia to the West, naturally resentment took its course, resulting in halfhearted "persecutions"; halfhearted because most knew that Christians were followers of Jesus, someone Romans knew as a deity.

It should also be added that in this period most Christians didn't go to Church, and there were, contrary to the vulgar anti-Roman propaganda put out by the early Christian fathers of the Church (who also cruelly maligned Jews, by the way**), plenty of churches one could go to. In fact, one such church was right across the street from the Imperial Palace in Nicomedia,*** when that city was the capital of the Eastern Empire!

The above proves (1) the historicity of Jesus; and (2) that Jesus was indeed God, otherwise no Roman subject/citizen would have accepted such an otherwise known laughably bad forged Gospels'/Acts narratives, where (1) enemies of the state are cuddled by ten Roman governors of Judea; and (2) likewise cuddled by numerous other Roman governors outside of Judea/Galilee-Perea, where Paul, Peter and disciples are attracting large crowds!

----------------------------

*Which is why John the Baptist refused to ministry in Judea, and baptized on the Jordan River on the bank opposite of Judea in Perea, knowing what the fate of him and his disciples would be if he stepped one foot inside Judea attracting the usual large crowds he attracted outside of Judea.

**The Jewish leadership in Judea & Galilee knew who Jesus was even before His ministry began, but couldn't let on because there was a Roman occupation. And when Jesus began His ministry, performing real signs, the Roman governor had to pretend he didn't know Jesus and disciples/apostles were attracting large crowds, otherwise the governor on the scene would be duty bound to initiate Roman standard operating procedures for rebels/insurrectionists.

The Jerusalem Sanhedrin itself only arrested Jesus after Jesus' provocation towards Rome by entering Jerusalem with a mob. Realizing that the provocation was Jesus signaling to them that it was time for Jesus to die, the Sanhedrin still had to make sure that Jesus was indeed signalling that it was time for Him to die, so the Sanhedrin arranged three nighttime Q & A sessions to interrogate Jesus (these three nighttime Q & A sessions weren't trials, subject to the handing down of punishment, since under the Law of Moses trails can only take place during daylight hours). Jesus' silence throughout the proceedings proved that Jesus was indeed signalling that it was time for Him to die.

In fact, the only person "persecuting" early Jesus Sect members is Paul, but even Paul is restrained by the Jerusalem Sanhedrin from actually killing the followers of Jesus, sending him off on a wild goose chase to Damascus instead, where we're informed Paul has an epiphany. It was Paul who was the one causing "HAVOC" in Jerusalem, shouting deadly "THREATS" at followers of Jesus...

Acts 9:

9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples.
...

21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name?

Roman governors didn't care for "havoc", which is why the Jewish authorities sent Paul off to Damascus which was nominally independent of Rome, meaning Damascus had home rule; no Roman governor, though it was the headquarters of a Roman Legate who commanded two Roman Legions. The Legate in Syria was also the superior to governors in the region.

When Paul had converted and was spreading Jesus' message in what is today Turkey, he too was performing "rebellion" by attracting large crowds, but Roman governors are oblivious to Paul's provocations (as a Roman governor sees Paul's actions)...

Acts 11:26:

When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.)

Note that Jesus never asks the Jerusalem Sanhedrin nor Pilate why they are persecuting His followers, because they're not. Jesus only asks Paul because Paul is the only entity "persecuting" Jesus Sect members!

The execution of Stephen was a case of bad timing for the first martyr. If you recall, soon after Jesus' resurrection (either the next Passover or the Passover after that) Stephen was caught preaching the new faith in the Temple by foreign Jews in Jerusalem for Passover. Naturally they wondered why Stephen was still alive and took their queries to the Jewish authorities, who had no choice but to sacrifice Stephen rather than threaten the "Don't ask/Don't tell" policy the Jewish authorities played with Rome. If Stephen hand't met up with that particular group of foreign Jews ignorant of Jesus and followers, he wouldn't have been the first martyr.

*** Where did the precious monies come from to build such churches?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2014 12:57 AM BST


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References): Old and New Testaments
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References): Old and New Testaments
Price: £0.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Because Roman Subjects Knew Who Jesus Was, They Didn't Laugh At The Inexplicable Behaviors of Ten Roman Governors of Judea, 28 April 2013
In the Public Broadcasting Corporation's Frontline documentary, "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians", Bible scholars interviewed for the program say, "Jesus would have represented a kind of activist and resister in Pontius Pilate's experience that he had been dealing with for years, and with varying degrees of success and effectiveness, obviously. Jesus would have been a blip on the screen of Pontius Pilate, because the unrest and the uprisings were so common, part of daily life for the Roman administration of Judea, that Jesus would have been seen, I think, as very little out of the ordinary."

and

"Now I don't for a moment think that Pilate would have been worried that Jesus could have challenged the power of the emperor. That's not the point. The point is, any challenge to Roman authority...any challenge to the peace of Rome would have been met with a swift and violent response."

This confirms Josephus' accounts as to what immediately happened to any person claiming to perform miracles in Roman Judea.

Between 44 and 46 CE, one Theudas caused some consternation with what may have been a claim to be the Messiah:

"It came to pass, while Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain charlatan, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the river Jordan; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it. Many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them. After falling upon them unexpectedly, they slew many of them, and took many of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem." -- [(Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.97-98]

and

The Roman governor Festus, who was -according to recent research- in office from 58 until 60 CE, was confronted with another rebel:

"Festus sent forces, both horsemen and footmen, to fall upon those that had been seduced by a certain impostor, who promised them deliverance and freedom from the miseries they were under, if they would but follow him as far as the wilderness. Accordingly, those forces that were sent destroyed both him that had deluded them, and those that were his followers also." -- [Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.188]

Yet the Bible scholars interviewed for this PBS Frontline program fail to explain why Pontius Pilate failed for three years to swiftly deal with the threat of Jesus when if it had been anyone other than Jesus, that threat to the Roman Peace would have been immediately dealt with three years earlier (see first embedded comment, and in the link provided fast-forward to 37:45 minutes in Part I of "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians" for another Biblical scholar's account of how Roman governors in Judea IMMEDIATELY reacted towards PEACEFUL "Messiahs")!

The PBS Frontline program also fails to explain the similar three-year inaction of the religious leaders in Jerusalem (and Galilee/Perea) to execute Jesus for blasphemy under the Law of Moses, AND why for the next 37 years (before the fall of Jerusalem) Roman and Jewish religious authorities are still refusing to put to death Jesus' disciples and all Jesus Sect members (excepting for three fluke cases: Saint Stephen and the two disciples named James. In the case of Saint Stephen, he was pointed out to the religious leaders of Jerusalem by foreign Jews from what is today Turkey, who were in town for Passover. The religious leaders of Jerusalem were pressed into the arrest and stoning of Stephen by ignorant foreign Jews, otherwise Stephen would not have been arrested in the first place. See first embedded comment to this review for how the two disciples named James died.)!

In fact, in Acts 4:4 and Acts 5:18, the disciples were arrested twice by the Sanhedrin before the death of Stephen. Inexplicably, in both instances the Sanhedrin merely warned the disciples to keep their tongues quiet about Jesus, then released them!

Note too that during Paul's three-year "persecution" of Jesus Sect members (33-36 AD), no real persecution is actually taking place in Judea (or Galilee for that matter, since the disciples are moving freely from Galilee to Judea and back), which must of exasperated the newly minted Pharisee. Obviously perplexed, and attempting to "impress" his superiors, Paul asks (see Acts 9) for a persecution mission to the gentile city of Damascus.

Now the gentile rulers of the "independent" city states of Decapolis (where Damascus is located) didn't allow for the extradition of Jesus Sect subjects to Judea for stoning, so Paul is being sent on a wild goose mission and doesn't know it! In fact, it was on one such wild goose mission (to Damascus) that Jesus had enough with Paul and threw him off his high horse of ignorance. Jesus says to Paul, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" Note, Jesus only says this to the obstinate Paul. Jesus doesn't have to tell anyone else to cease persecuting his flock because no one else in Judea is! I bet you never thought about that?

The Christian interpretation followed for 2,000 years on this subject is in such egregious and obvious error, that it is a true miracle that it wasn't debunked until now! Roman authorities and Jewish authorities KNEW Jesus was the Messiah, otherwise actions against Jesus (and after Jesus' death and resurrection) would have been immediate and violent for all Jesus Sect members involved.

In fact, John 11 (45-55) implicitly tells us that long before Passion Week the priestly leadership of Jerusalem knew Jesus was the Messiah (how Christian theists missed this eye-opening passage from John is beyond explanation!):

"45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

"What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation."

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, "What do you think? Isn't he coming to the festival at all?" 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him."

See where the High Priest Caiaphas tells his underlings, "You know nothing at all!"? Caiaphas knows who Jesus is because the intelligence network he has within the Jesus camp (Rome and Herod Antipas also have their intelligence networks within the Jesus Sect camp, and the agents are reporting that Jesus is unlike the other deluded "prophets" they've dealt with before, that Jesus is really bringing back to life persons known to be dead and performing other miracles) is affirming that Jesus is the Messiah.

Note the inexplicable description Caiaphas makes about Jesus: "...he [Caiaphas] prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life."

Now, if Jesus was merely considered by Caiaphas to be a deluded blaspheming "Prophet", then when Jesus died, that was it. Jesus would be forgotten. But notice, Caiaphas says about what Jesus' death would bring about, "...that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one." A deluded Jesus would die for blasphemy, not "die for the Jewish nation" as Caiaphas says.

In other words, Caiaphas not only knew who Jesus was, he knew what Jesus was up to otherwise he would never have made such a blasphemous comment himself about Jesus' death "bring[ing] them [the Jewish nation] together and make them one." However, note that Caiaphas is under the misapprehension of Jesus' true mission, which is to die for man's sins. Caiaphas is still operating under the original Covenant God made with man (with the Jews), so he thinks Jesus's death will reconstitute an independent Israel.

Now, the next week was Passion Sunday. What happened on Passion Sunday? Jesus arrives in Jerusalem with a large mob. This action was a direct attack on Roman rule in Judea, which put into motion Caiaphas' and Jesus' plan that Jesus must die.

Also note Caiaphas' worries about Rome. Caiaphas would have been counting his blessings that Prefect Pontius Pilate hadn't already long ago arrested and executed Jesus for "rebellion". Caiaphas must have known though that it wasn't just three-years good luck that kept Pilate from doing his duty and arrest and execute Jesus, but that Pilate too obviously knew who Jesus was. But how long could Caiaphas expect Pilate to avert his eyes from Jesus' provocations? Caiaphas had to act, and the Passion Sunday procession was the obvious sign from God that it was time for Jesus to die.

This passage from John's Gospel proves that Jewish religious authorities in Judea and Galilee (especially the high ranking authorities) knew who Jesus was.

Another proof that the religious leaders of Jerusalem knew Jesus was the Messiah, and had no intention themselves of killing Him, was their failure to also arrest His disciples at Gethsemane. In order to operationalize Jesus' mission (as the religious leaders saw it) on Eathh, only the arrest of Jesus was necessary; His death would come at the hands of Pilate, not them, as proved by the three extralegal "trials" to come, proceedings that ruled out any form of punishment under the Law of Moses (Under the Law of Moses, trials could only take place later, during daylight hours.).

This explains why John the Baptist refused to ministry in Judea, and ministry only in Antipas' jurisdiction of Perea (in order to question John, the Elders of Jerusalem had to travel to Perea to do so, because John refused to cross the Jordan River and enter Roman territory). Because John (although born in Judea) knew what would happen to him once he crossed the border into Judea with his disciples and followers: Arrest and execution by Roman authorities, yet Jesus was allowed by Pilate to come and go as He pleased!

Since John the Baptist was preaching the Old Testament in Perea (Antipas' jurisdiction), there was no cause to arrest John for blasphemy and leading Jews astray. John was only arrested and executed by Antipas when John specifically railed against Antipas' marriage to his dead brother's wife, who was also his niece.

The Gospels' narrative is so ludicrous, so obviously a forged narrative, a badly forged infantile narrative, that the only way it would have been accepted as true by anyone at the time of its release is if the narrative was known to be true already!

The Gospels' narrative was known true, otherwise there would be no Christianity today.

Let's perform a modern times analogy with the Roman Empire using a post World War II scenario where Germany won the war and rules the Western hemisphere:

Germany has won World War II, and German governors rule the Western hemisphere, the Waffen SS being the equivalent of the Roman centurion.

Though the war is over resistance to German occupation continues, including the French Resistance.

Now, in France the leader of the French resistance and twelve lieutenants move openly about France for three years preaching rebellion and the German governor does nothing. After three years the leader of the French Resistance enters Paris with his twelve lieutenants and a mob and again the German governor refuses to arrest the thirteen, and roundup the mob.

Finally the French mayor of Paris arrests the leader, but not the twelve lieutenants, and hands the leader over to the German governor who still doesn't want to execute the leader, but does after left no other option.

Now, after the leader of the French Resistance is dead not only are the twelve lieutenants allowed to live under that particular German governor's remaining term of office, but aren't touched by the next nine German governors to take office. In fact, the French Resistance is increasing by tens of thousands each year and German authorities simply sit by and watch.

Now when one of those French Resistance travels outside France to spread the word of the rebellion in France, he is believed because everyone KNOWS the otherwise ludicrous story he's telling is true. END OF ANALOGY.

Now you can appreciate the reactions of any Roman subject when confronted with the Gospels' narrative of how Jesus and His disciples were treated by both Jewish and Roman authorities: Unbelievable, unless known to be true!

You see, the New Testament narrative also has the next 9 Roman governors after Pilate also inexplicably refusing to put to death Jesus' disciples who are still performing "rebellious" miracles (others too besides the disciples are performing "rebellious" miracles) and attracting large crowds. The Jewish leaders are doing the same...actually protecting the Jesus Sect, where the sect is now tens of thousands strong in Jerusalem alone by the time of Paul's third trip back to the city in 61 AD (the original Greek texts says "ten of thousands", not "thousands". New Testament translators couldn't believe the high number, so they removed a zero!).

The Gospels' failure to account for the inexplicable behaviors on the part of officials allowing Jesus to live three years beyond which others would have met their deaths, and equally inexplicable failure to destroy the Jesus Sect for the next thirty-seven years before the fall of Jerusalem, is understandable when one observes the precarious situation the new Jesus Sect found itself in. To openly proclaim in the Gospels and other books that found their way into the New Testament that Jewish (and Roman) officials knew Jesus was the Messiah would have forced those officials into actually persecuting the Jesus Sect in order to deflect such claims made in Jesus Sect literature. In other words, for forty years there was a "don't ask, don't tell" policy towards the Jesus Sect!

In closing, I would like to clear an issue that has perplexed New Testament scholarship for close to a century now, and that is the Testimonium Flavianum, the name given to the passage found in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the "Antiquities of the Jews", in which the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus describes the condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of the Roman authorities, specifically referring to Jesus with the following, "He was [the] Christ."

It is this reference to Jesus as being "the Christ" (Messiah) that troubles New Testament scholars since we are told by the early Church Father Origen in his Commentary on Matthew (Book X, Chapter 17) that Josephus did not accept Jesus as Christ. Well, as my research above proves, Jewish officials in Judea and elsewhere did indeed believe Jesus to be the Messiah, though for political reasons kept that belief close to themselves.

Josephus' family was wealthy, and his his father came from the priestly order of the Jehoiarib, which was the first of the 24 orders of priests in the Temple in Jerusalem. Therefore, Josephus would have been well aware of the intelligence reports the Sanhedrin received concerning Jesus' true nature, hence there would be no conflict with Josephus not only accepting Jesus as the Messiah, but knowing Jesus was the Messiah.

Christian apologetics is finally dead.

Christian verity is born.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 28, 2013 10:27 PM BST


Holy Bible: English Standard Version (ESV) Anglicised Navy/Tan Thinline edition (Bible Esv)
Holy Bible: English Standard Version (ESV) Anglicised Navy/Tan Thinline edition (Bible Esv)
by Collins Anglicised ESV Bibles
Edition: Imitation Leather

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Because Roman Subjects Knew Who Jesus Was, They Didn't Laugh At The Inexplicable Behaviors of Ten Roman Governors of Judea, 28 April 2013
In the Public Broadcasting Corporation's Frontline documentary, "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians", Bible scholars interviewed for the program say, "Jesus would have represented a kind of activist and resister in Pontius Pilate's experience that he had been dealing with for years, and with varying degrees of success and effectiveness, obviously. Jesus would have been a blip on the screen of Pontius Pilate, because the unrest and the uprisings were so common, part of daily life for the Roman administration of Judea, that Jesus would have been seen, I think, as very little out of the ordinary."

and

"Now I don't for a moment think that Pilate would have been worried that Jesus could have challenged the power of the emperor. That's not the point. The point is, any challenge to Roman authority...any challenge to the peace of Rome would have been met with a swift and violent response."

This confirms Josephus' accounts as to what immediately happened to any person claiming to perform miracles in Roman Judea.

Between 44 and 46 CE, one Theudas caused some consternation with what may have been a claim to be the Messiah:

"It came to pass, while Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain charlatan, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the river Jordan; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it. Many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them. After falling upon them unexpectedly, they slew many of them, and took many of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem." -- [(Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.97-98]

and

The Roman governor Festus, who was -according to recent research- in office from 58 until 60 CE, was confronted with another rebel:

"Festus sent forces, both horsemen and footmen, to fall upon those that had been seduced by a certain impostor, who promised them deliverance and freedom from the miseries they were under, if they would but follow him as far as the wilderness. Accordingly, those forces that were sent destroyed both him that had deluded them, and those that were his followers also." -- [Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.188]

Yet the Bible scholars interviewed for this PBS Frontline program fail to explain why Pontius Pilate failed for three years to swiftly deal with the threat of Jesus when if it had been anyone other than Jesus, that threat to the Roman Peace would have been immediately dealt with three years earlier (see first embedded comment, and in the link provided fast-forward to 37:45 minutes in Part I of "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians" for another Biblical scholar's account of how Roman governors in Judea IMMEDIATELY reacted towards PEACEFUL "Messiahs")!

The PBS Frontline program also fails to explain the similar three-year inaction of the religious leaders in Jerusalem (and Galilee/Perea) to execute Jesus for blasphemy under the Law of Moses, AND why for the next 37 years (before the fall of Jerusalem) Roman and Jewish religious authorities are still refusing to put to death Jesus' disciples and all Jesus Sect members (excepting for three fluke cases: Saint Stephen and the two disciples named James. In the case of Saint Stephen, he was pointed out to the religious leaders of Jerusalem by foreign Jews from what is today Turkey, who were in town for Passover. The religious leaders of Jerusalem were pressed into the arrest and stoning of Stephen by ignorant foreign Jews, otherwise Stephen would not have been arrested in the first place. See first embedded comment to this review for how the two disciples named James died.)!

In fact, in Acts 4:4 and Acts 5:18, the disciples were arrested twice by the Sanhedrin before the death of Stephen. Inexplicably, in both instances the Sanhedrin merely warned the disciples to keep their tongues quiet about Jesus, then released them!

Note too that during Paul's three-year "persecution" of Jesus Sect members (33-36 AD), no real persecution is actually taking place in Judea (or Galilee for that matter, since the disciples are moving freely from Galilee to Judea and back), which must of exasperated the newly minted Pharisee. Obviously perplexed, and attempting to "impress" his superiors, Paul asks (see Acts 9) for a persecution mission to the gentile city of Damascus.

Now the gentile rulers of the "independent" city states of Decapolis (where Damascus is located) didn't allow for the extradition of Jesus Sect subjects to Judea for stoning, so Paul is being sent on a wild goose mission and doesn't know it! In fact, it was on one such wild goose mission (to Damascus) that Jesus had enough with Paul and threw him off his high horse of ignorance. Jesus says to Paul, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" Note, Jesus only says this to the obstinate Paul. Jesus doesn't have to tell anyone else to cease persecuting his flock because no one else in Judea is! I bet you never thought about that?

The Christian interpretation followed for 2,000 years on this subject is in such egregious and obvious error, that it is a true miracle that it wasn't debunked until now! Roman authorities and Jewish authorities KNEW Jesus was the Messiah, otherwise actions against Jesus (and after Jesus' death and resurrection) would have been immediate and violent for all Jesus Sect members involved.

In fact, John 11 (45-55) implicitly tells us that long before Passion Week the priestly leadership of Jerusalem knew Jesus was the Messiah (how Christian theists missed this eye-opening passage from John is beyond explanation!):

"45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

"What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation."

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, "What do you think? Isn't he coming to the festival at all?" 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him."

See where the High Priest Caiaphas tells his underlings, "You know nothing at all!"? Caiaphas knows who Jesus is because the intelligence network he has within the Jesus camp (Rome and Herod Antipas also have their intelligence networks within the Jesus Sect camp, and the agents are reporting that Jesus is unlike the other deluded "prophets" they've dealt with before, that Jesus is really bringing back to life persons known to be dead and performing other miracles) is affirming that Jesus is the Messiah.

Note the inexplicable description Caiaphas makes about Jesus: "...he [Caiaphas] prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life."

Now, if Jesus was merely considered by Caiaphas to be a deluded blaspheming "Prophet", then when Jesus died, that was it. Jesus would be forgotten. But notice, Caiaphas says about what Jesus' death would bring about, "...that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one." A deluded Jesus would die for blasphemy, not "die for the Jewish nation" as Caiaphas says.

In other words, Caiaphas not only knew who Jesus was, he knew what Jesus was up to otherwise he would never have made such a blasphemous comment himself about Jesus' death "bring[ing] them [the Jewish nation] together and make them one." However, note that Caiaphas is under the misapprehension of Jesus' true mission, which is to die for man's sins. Caiaphas is still operating under the original Covenant God made with man (with the Jews), so he thinks Jesus's death will reconstitute an independent Israel.

Now, the next week was Passion Sunday. What happened on Passion Sunday? Jesus arrives in Jerusalem with a large mob. This action was a direct attack on Roman rule in Judea, which put into motion Caiaphas' and Jesus' plan that Jesus must die.

Also note Caiaphas' worries about Rome. Caiaphas would have been counting his blessings that Prefect Pontius Pilate hadn't already long ago arrested and executed Jesus for "rebellion". Caiaphas must have known though that it wasn't just three-years good luck that kept Pilate from doing his duty and arrest and execute Jesus, but that Pilate too obviously knew who Jesus was. But how long could Caiaphas expect Pilate to avert his eyes from Jesus' provocations? Caiaphas had to act, and the Passion Sunday procession was the obvious sign from God that it was time for Jesus to die.

This passage from John's Gospel proves that Jewish religious authorities in Judea and Galilee (especially the high ranking authorities) knew who Jesus was.

Another proof that the religious leaders of Jerusalem knew Jesus was the Messiah, and had no intention themselves of killing Him, was their failure to also arrest His disciples at Gethsemane. In order to operationalize Jesus' mission (as the religious leaders saw it) on Eathh, only the arrest of Jesus was necessary; His death would come at the hands of Pilate, not them, as proved by the three extralegal "trials" to come, proceedings that ruled out any form of punishment under the Law of Moses (Under the Law of Moses, trials could only take place later, during daylight hours.).

This explains why John the Baptist refused to ministry in Judea, and ministry only in Antipas' jurisdiction of Perea (in order to question John, the Elders of Jerusalem had to travel to Perea to do so, because John refused to cross the Jordan River and enter Roman territory). Because John (although born in Judea) knew what would happen to him once he crossed the border into Judea with his disciples and followers: Arrest and execution by Roman authorities, yet Jesus was allowed by Pilate to come and go as He pleased!

Since John the Baptist was preaching the Old Testament in Perea (Antipas' jurisdiction), there was no cause to arrest John for blasphemy and leading Jews astray. John was only arrested and executed by Antipas when John specifically railed against Antipas' marriage to his dead brother's wife, who was also his niece.

The Gospels' narrative is so ludicrous, so obviously a forged narrative, a badly forged infantile narrative, that the only way it would have been accepted as true by anyone at the time of its release is if the narrative was known to be true already!

The Gospels' narrative was known true, otherwise there would be no Christianity today.

Let's perform a modern times analogy with the Roman Empire using a post World War II scenario where Germany won the war and rules the Western hemisphere:

Germany has won World War II, and German governors rule the Western hemisphere, the Waffen SS being the equivalent of the Roman centurion.

Though the war is over resistance to German occupation continues, including the French Resistance.

Now, in France the leader of the French resistance and twelve lieutenants move openly about France for three years preaching rebellion and the German governor does nothing. After three years the leader of the French Resistance enters Paris with his twelve lieutenants and a mob and again the German governor refuses to arrest the thirteen, and roundup the mob.

Finally the French mayor of Paris arrests the leader, but not the twelve lieutenants, and hands the leader over to the German governor who still doesn't want to execute the leader, but does after left no other option.

Now, after the leader of the French Resistance is dead not only are the twelve lieutenants allowed to live under that particular German governor's remaining term of office, but aren't touched by the next nine German governors to take office. In fact, the French Resistance is increasing by tens of thousands each year and German authorities simply sit by and watch.

Now when one of those French Resistance travels outside France to spread the word of the rebellion in France, he is believed because everyone KNOWS the otherwise ludicrous story he's telling is true. END OF ANALOGY.

Now you can appreciate the reactions of any Roman subject when confronted with the Gospels' narrative of how Jesus and His disciples were treated by both Jewish and Roman authorities: Unbelievable, unless known to be true!

You see, the New Testament narrative also has the next 9 Roman governors after Pilate also inexplicably refusing to put to death Jesus' disciples who are still performing "rebellious" miracles (others too besides the disciples are performing "rebellious" miracles) and attracting large crowds. The Jewish leaders are doing the same...actually protecting the Jesus Sect, where the sect is now tens of thousands strong in Jerusalem alone by the time of Paul's third trip back to the city in 61 AD (the original Greek texts says "ten of thousands", not "thousands". New Testament translators couldn't believe the high number, so they removed a zero!).

The Gospels' failure to account for the inexplicable behaviors on the part of officials allowing Jesus to live three years beyond which others would have met their deaths, and equally inexplicable failure to destroy the Jesus Sect for the next thirty-seven years before the fall of Jerusalem, is understandable when one observes the precarious situation the new Jesus Sect found itself in. To openly proclaim in the Gospels and other books that found their way into the New Testament that Jewish (and Roman) officials knew Jesus was the Messiah would have forced those officials into actually persecuting the Jesus Sect in order to deflect such claims made in Jesus Sect literature. In other words, for forty years there was a "don't ask, don't tell" policy towards the Jesus Sect!

In closing, I would like to clear an issue that has perplexed New Testament scholarship for close to a century now, and that is the Testimonium Flavianum, the name given to the passage found in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the "Antiquities of the Jews", in which the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus describes the condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of the Roman authorities, specifically referring to Jesus with the following, "He was [the] Christ."

It is this reference to Jesus as being "the Christ" (Messiah) that troubles New Testament scholars since we are told by the early Church Father Origen in his Commentary on Matthew (Book X, Chapter 17) that Josephus did not accept Jesus as Christ. Well, as my research above proves, Jewish officials in Judea and elsewhere did indeed believe Jesus to be the Messiah, though for political reasons kept that belief close to themselves.

Josephus' family was wealthy, and his his father came from the priestly order of the Jehoiarib, which was the first of the 24 orders of priests in the Temple in Jerusalem. Therefore, Josephus would have been well aware of the intelligence reports the Sanhedrin received concerning Jesus' true nature, hence there would be no conflict with Josephus not only accepting Jesus as the Messiah, but knowing Jesus was the Messiah.

Christian apologetics is finally dead.

Christian verity is born.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 28, 2013 11:59 AM BST


The Eagle Has Landed (Special Edition) [DVD]
The Eagle Has Landed (Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Caine
Offered by CMS MEDIA UK
Price: £4.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "This operation could make the Charge of the Light Brigade look like a sensible military exercise!", 27 April 2013
Most of the movie involves a feasibility study and then preparations that lead to the insertion of a disgraced unit of German Airborne troops into an isolated area of southern England, where the Abwehr (German military intelligence, 1921-44) has information that indicates Winston Churchill will be spending a quite weekend. Head of the SS Heinrich Himmler (played in the movie by Donald Pleasence, whose in-character persona for the movie is the spitting image of Himmler himself!) is so impressed with the earlier rescue by German special forces of deposed Italian dictator Mussolini from his ski resort prison on Gran Sasso, in the Apennine Mountains, that he orders the kidnapping of Winston Churchill in an attempt to force the Allies into a negotiated peace.

Wonderful performances by all, with superbly executed battle sequences in the last quarter of the movie.

It should be noted that German paratroopers of the Luftwaffe (Airforce) or Heer (Army) during World War II were not SS formations. Fighting formations within the German Military that were SS were called Waffen SS. While Waffen SS divisions fought alongside the Heer, it was never formally a part of it.


The Night Of The Generals [DVD]
The Night Of The Generals [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter O'Toole
Offered by rileys dvds
Price: £18.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Since generals are in the business of mass murder, then justice should be upheld for the small-time entrepreneur., 27 April 2013
It's 1942 German occupied Poland. Abwehr officer Major Grau (Omar Sharif) is called by the Warsaw police to the murder scene of a prostitute. When Major Grau arrives at the gruesome scene in a run-down tenement, he asks the Polish police detective in charge why the murder of a prostitute should require German assistance. The Polish detective informs Grau that the prostitute was an agent for the Germans, therefore the incident was a matter for German military intelligence.

While interrogating the residents of the tenement, Grau learns from one terrified resident that he saw the murderer. That is, he saw the German military pants the murderer wore from a hole in the door of the lavatory he was in as the murderer came down the steps, and that the pants had a red stripe running down the legs.

The terrified witness has implicated a German general officer with murder!

So begins Grau's investigation into the murder of a Warsaw prostitute, the war be damned. Grau's philosophy is, since generals are in the business of mass murder, then justice should be upheld for the small-time entrepreneur.


John Carpenter's The Thing [DVD] [1982]
John Carpenter's The Thing [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ Kurt Russell
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.11

5.0 out of 5 stars "I don't know who to trust." "Know what you mean, Blair. Trust is a tough thing to come by these days. Just trust in the Lord.", 27 April 2013
Written by Burt Lancaster's son, Bill Lancaster (who also wrote the hilarious Bad News Bears from his childhood memories), the script truly conveys the theme of the movie...trust, or should I say mistrust. Set at a desolate United States research station on Antarctica, a long buried spacecraft is discovered by the Americans not far from a Norwegian research station. When the Americans pay a visit to the Norwegian station they find the complex in ruins and no one inside except for a frozen solid man who seems to have committed a hideous suicide. Outside, the charred remains of what looks like a human being is discovered and taken back to the American station. Little do the Americans know, but the charred body is really the remains of an alien caught in the midst of duplicating another human. Once more, the charred remains still exhibit life on the cellular level! The remainder of the movie has the characters trying to determine who is human or a human imitation, as one by one members of the American research team falls victim to The Thing!

Top notch, gross-out, stomach-churning special effects by Rob Bottin, along with an ominously brooding score by Ennio Morricone round out this minor classic by John Carpenter.


The Little Drummer Girl
The Little Drummer Girl
by John Le Carré
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Story based on a misnomer, 27 April 2013
The Little Drummer Girl has one glaring deficiency: the basis upon which the story rests is false.

The novel's antagonist, named Khalil, is a 'Palestinian' freedom fighter who doesn't want the 'Palestinian People' to wait 2,000 years, like the Jews waited, for the restoration of their 'homeland'. Khalil runs a highly effective terrorist network that bombs Israeli targets throughout Europe in order to advertise the 'Palestinian' cause.

John le Carré bases his story on the false historical claim that there is such an ethnic group called the 'Palestinians'. The only 'Palestinians' to have existed were citizens of the 1922 League of Nations' 'Mandate for Palestine', the Jewish Homeland. The term 'Palestinian' was only used for legal purposes to describe those living in the Jewish Homeland between 1922-1948. As such, Jews were also defined as 'Palestinians'. When Israel became a state in 1948 (changing its name from Palestine to Israel. The name Palestine was given to the territory in 135 AD by Emperor Hadrian as an insult to the Jews, who had just revolted against Roman rule for a second time. Palestine is the Romanized version of the name Philistine, the land of Israel's ancient enemies), the term 'Palestinian' became defunct, but was then co-opted by Arab governments and used to fool ignorant observers that the 'Palestinians' had lost their land to the Jews. John le Carré presents the 'Palestinians' as an actual ethnic group with justified land claims against the Jewish state, when in fact there never was a 'Palestinian' ethnic group present in the Middle East. And here's the proof of the Arab governments' lie: Unless those who take the anti-Israeli side in this discussion can produce what should be the easy to find documents from the early 1920s where the 'Palestinian People' are demanding their state and being denied their demands by the League of Nations, then you have just proved to yourselves that the 'distinct Palestinian People' canard is just that-a canard.

The Little Drummer Girl does have one saving grace, however, and that revolves around the Mossad recruitment of 'Charlie', an unknown actress with Vanessa Redgrave-like politics. Due to the latest bombing by Khalil of an Israeli target in Bad Godesberg, the Mossad must quickly neutralize Khalil and his network or else the politicians in Israel and the IDF will take matters into their own hands, which means indiscriminate reprisal attacks on Arab (not 'Palestinian') refugee camps, resulting in the deaths of women and children and another black eye for Israel in the court of world opinion.

On the trail of the elusive Khalil is the Mossad's best operative-Kurtz, and his Mossad team. Kurtz's plan: use Charlie to infiltrate Khalil's network and hope to luck that once inside Khalil can be found.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2013 8:25 PM BST


The Little Drummer Girl [1984]
The Little Drummer Girl [1984]
VHS

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Story based on a misnomer, 27 April 2013
The Little Drummer Girl has one glaring deficiency: the basis upon which the story rests is false.

The film's antagonist, named Khalil, is a 'Palestinian' freedom fighter who doesn't want the 'Palestinian People' to wait 2,000 years, like the Jews waited, for the restoration of their 'homeland'. Khalil runs a highly effective terrorist network that bombs Israeli targets throughout Europe in order to advertise the 'Palestinian' cause.

Adapted from John le Carré's novel of the same name, the film bases its story on the false historical claim that there is such an ethnic group called the 'Palestinians'. The only 'Palestinians' to have existed were citizens of the 1922 League of Nations' 'Mandate for Palestine', the Jewish Homeland. The term 'Palestinian' was only used for legal purposes to describe those living in the Jewish Homeland between 1922-1948. As such, Jews were also defined as 'Palestinians'. When Israel became a state in 1948 (changing its name from Palestine to Israel. The name Palestine was given to the territory in 135 AD by Emperor Hadrian as an insult to the Jews, who had just revolted against Roman rule for a second time. Palestine is the Romanized version of the name Philistine, the land of Israel's ancient enemies), the term 'Palestinian' became defunct, but was then co-opted by Arab governments and used to fool ignorant observers that the 'Palestinians' had lost their land to the Jews. John le Carré presents the 'Palestinians' as an actual ethnic group with justified land claims against the Jewish state, when in fact there never was a 'Palestinian' ethnic group present in the Middle East. And here's the proof of the Arab governments' lie: Unless those who take the anti-Israeli side in this discussion can produce what should be the easy to find documents from the early 1920s where the 'Palestinian People' are demanding their state and being denied their demands by the League of Nations, then you have just proved to yourselves that the 'distinct Palestinian People' canard is just that-a canard.

The Little Drummer Girl does have one saving grace, however, and that revolves around the Mossad recruitment of 'Charlie', an unknown actress with Vanessa Redgrave-like politics. Due to the latest bombing by Khalil of an Israeli target in Bad Godesberg, the Mossad must quickly neutralize Khalil and his network or else the politicians in Israel and the IDF will take matters into their own hands, which means indiscriminate reprisal attacks on Arab (not 'Palestinian') refugee camps, resulting in the deaths of women and children and another black eye for Israel in the court of world opinion.

On the trail of the elusive Khalil is the Mossad's best operative-Kurtz, and his Mossad team. Kurtz's plan: use Charlie to infiltrate Khalil's network and hope to luck that once inside Khalil can be found.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2013 8:34 PM BST


Karl Marx And The Close Of His System: A Criticism...
Karl Marx And The Close Of His System: A Criticism...
by Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Böhm-Bawerk's Error and Four Misinterpretations, 27 April 2013
Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk's critique of Marx's Law of Value comes in two parts in his 1894 essay "Karl Marx and the Close of His System". Firstly, is Böhm-Bawerk's claim that Marx in the third and final volume of Capital had contradicted the proposition from the first volume that, as Böhm-Bawerk says, "...commodities which embody the same amount of labor must on principle, in the long run, exchange for each other."1 In the third volume of Capital Böhm-Bawerk says of the contradiction, "And now in the third volume we are told briefly and dryly that what, according to the teaching of the first volume, must be, is not and never can be; that individual commodities do and must exchange with each other in a proportion different from that of the labor incorporated in them, and this not accidentally and temporarily, but of necessity and permanently."2 Böhm-Bawerk's charge can be easily and swiftly resolved, and resolved to the benefit of Marx.

If Böhm-Bawerk had taken the time to read the footnotes to Capital, Volume I he would have found the following clarifying passage, "We have in fact assumed that prices = values. We shall, however, see, in Book Ill., that even in the case of average prices the assumption cannot be made in this very simple manner."3

Oops. Sometimes it pays to read those pesky footnotes!

Böhm-Bawerk's second critique of Marx's Law of Value comes via four "observations and explanations", as Böhm-Bawerk counts them, Marx offers to buttress his Law of Value. We'll examine the first of Marx's "observations and explanations" identified by Böhm-Bawerk, and see who has the upper hand in this arena.

Böhm-Bawerk explains Marx's first observation and explanation:

"It is admitted by Marx that separate commodities exchange
with each other either over or under their value according as
the share of constant capital employed in their production is
above or below the average. Stress is, however, laid on the fact
that these individual deviations which take place in opposite
directions compensate or cancel each other, so that the sum
total of all prices paid corresponds exactly with the sum of all
values. "In the same proportion in which one part of the commodities
is sold above its value another part will be sold under
its value" (III, 185). "The aggregate price of the commodities
I to V [in the table given by Marx as an example] would
therefore be equal to their aggregate values, and would therefore be,
in fact, a money expression of the aggregate amount of
labor, both past and recent, contained in the commodities I to
V. And in this way in the community itself--when we regard
the total of all the branches of production--the sum of the
prices of production of the commodities manufactured is equal
to the sum of their values" (III, 188). From this, finally, the
argument is more or less clearly deduced that at any rate for
the sum of all commodities, or for the community as a whole,
the law of value maintains its validity. "Meanwhile it resolves
itself into this--that by as much as there is too much surplus
value in one commodity there is too little in another, and therefore
the deviations from value which lurk in the prices of production
reciprocally cancel each other. In capitalist production as a whole 'the
general law maintains itself as the governing tendency,' only in a very
complex and approximate manner, as the constantly changing average
of perpetual fluctuations"'4

Böhm-Bawerk's critique of Marx's first observation and explanation:

"...it is no answer at all; it is simple tautology. For, as every economist
knows, commodities do eventually exchange with commodities--when
one penetrates the disguises due to the use of money. Every commodity
which comes into exchange is at one and the same time a commodity
and the price of what is given in exchange for it. The aggregate of
commodities therefore is identical with the aggregate of the prices paid
for them; or, the price of the whole national produce is nothing else than
the national produce itself. Under these circumstances,
therefore, it is quite true that the total price paid for the entire national
produce coincides exactly with the total amount of value or labor
incorporated in it. But this tautological declaration denotes no increase
of true knowledge, neither does it serve as a special test of the
correctness of the alleged law that commodities exchange in proportion
to the labor embodied in them."5

So, who comes out ahead here? No one really, though Böhm-Bawerk is needlessly excited for what is merely an observation/explanation. Marx never claimed that he was attempting a proof for the Law of Value, merely observing that the law "can" remain applicable on the macro level.

As for the balance of Marx's observations and explanations (as counted by Böhm-Bawerk), the same can be said of those. Marx isn't attempting any proofs for the Law of Value with those observations and explanations, but simply illustrating the Law in action.

So, what are we left with? We are left with an essay that has mischaracterized and misunderstood the subject of its review, and in so doing has nothing to really say on the subject of Marx's Law of Value.

Of course, it wouldn't have taken until 1894 for Böhm-Bawerk, or anyone else for that matter, to fault Marx on a question of empirical fact that Marx himself inadvertently provided under his philosophical superstructure.

Marx, in "The Poverty of Philosophy" (1847) says, "In acquiring new productive forces men change their mode of production; and in changing their mode of production, in changing the way of earning their living, they change all their social relations. The handmill gives [a productive force] you society with the feudal lord, the steam-mill [a productive force], society with the industrial capitalist."6

The problem with this empirical observation is that before there was a steam mill there already existed a capitalist society that not only contained the requisite capitalist mode of production that manufactured the necessary constituent parts that went into the creation of the steam mill (there were many companies involved in the problem-solving for and manufacture of components that went into a steam engine), but this pre-steam mill society also contained a capitalist labor force that made the constituent parts for the steam mill, not to mention built the steam mill itself. In other words, the steam mill presupposes an already functioning capitalist society!

To this critique Marx retorts:

"Thus it is slapping history in the face to want to begin by the division of labor in general, in order to get subsequently to a specific instrument of production, machinery.

Machinery is no more an economic category than the bullock that drags the plough. Machinery is merely a productive force. The modern workshop, which depends on the application of machinery, is a social production relation, an economic category."7

A tautological response that also fails to recognize that a steam engine is made up of independently manufactured parts that predates the manufacture of a steam engine with those independently manufactured parts! Marx fails to mention this double inconsistency with his material "productive forces" empirical observation.

Simplified, Marx is speaking of the root cause for industrial Capitalism...the steam mill, but that beginning of industrial Capitalism only exists to the extent of (1) the division of labor that manufactured the component parts going into the steam-mill; and (2) the capital/producer goods industries that manufactured the constituent parts that went into the construction of the steam-mill.

When the first steam-mill was completed supposedly, according to Marx, 'giving' a society with industrial Capitalism, in fact there could be no 'giving' of such a society since the steam-mill when completed wasn't in operation. In fact, that which actually 'gave' a society with industrial Capitalism were those factors of production that produced the steam-mill!

Marx behaves like a child throwing a tantrum: Machines come first, then all else follows. Why? Because Marx said so, even though the historical record says otherwise!

Böhm-Bawerk, or anyone after 1847, could have demolished Marx's materialist philosophy (which is where "productive forces" comes from) by noting the above objections to Marx's handmill/steam mill observation, thereby sparing us three volumes of Capital. In fact, someone did just that. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. In fact, Marx's handmill/steam mill observation is a response to Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's observation that the use of machines was a consequence of the division of labor.

This being said, overlooking the two gaffes Böhm-Bawerk makes in his errant review of Marx's third volume of Capital, the essay is still well worth leading if for no other reason than the clearer presentation it brings to Marx's verbous and unnecessarily complicated prose. That's why I give the essay 3 stars, instead of 1.
------------------------
(see first comment for links to titles cited)

1. Karl Marx and the Close of His System, p. 30
2.Ibid
3.Capital, Volume 1, p. 157
4. Karl Mark and the Close of His System, pp. 32-33.
5. Ibid, pp. 35-36
6. The Poverty of Philosophy, p. 109 (takes into account the changes and corrections introduced by Marx into the copy presented to N. Utina in 1876).
7. Ibid, p. 138.
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