Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius as church forgeries

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:49 pm

For example, temporarily using my list as a basis, I add that I think it's probable he was crucified. You say you think it probable he wasn't. We ask each other why we think what we think. I say it's consistently in the evidence. You say….. what?

Not that I'm going there, you understand, but if hypothetically we wanted to add detail.

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:58 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]You may well have a point, but I'm trying to think f a character as dubious as Jesus whom is easy to establish identity criteria for.[/quote]

Not sure why you need someone. Jesus is special. Seriously, I'm not joshing (entirely). He's a special figure in our culture, his influence goes deep. This must surely affect our ability to view him, even as a figure, objectively.

And if you had an equivalent figure, it would therefore be as difficult a task. In some ways it's not entirely unlike the difficulty in finding an equivalent for abortion, when discussing an entirely different topic.

Although, to be fair, I've offered several partly-analogous examples. Theudas. The Egyptian. John the Baptist, just for starters.

Maybe try imagining that Theudas was more convincing/charismatic and that his followers went on to form a superstitious cult after he was killed by the Romans and that the cult grew to take over much of our world for thousands of years. What would the stories of the faithful look like for him? I think they'd look a lot like the stories which get written about gurus and heroes generally, often before their corpse has gone cold, a slight exaggeration probably but fairly applicable to Sai Baba of Shirdi for example, the Indian guy I posted a photo of recently.

(And put his story back 2000 years and it would give you pretty much the same options).

In some ways, I'm not even sure I agree that Jesus is dubious, not as regards the case for his basics.

There are nowhere near as many smoking guns as many think. I'm not even sure there are any which stand up to scrutiny. To paraphrase Freud quite badly, sometimes, if you think you smell a rat, it's just a dog turd.

[quote=""subsymbolic""]Imaging God like doormen who would only let in people to your club who fulfilled all and only your criteria or worse all the criteria that everyone uses when identifying their Jesus.[/quote]

I'm not sure what your analogy means. I don't get to many nightclubs these days (though actually I was boogying hard at two, one of which was a gay club, last saturday night/Sunday morning, with my wife. Belfast is fab. You should visit.)

Here's an analogy from the world of building construction instead:

There is a plot of land, or at least a map of a plot of land with reasonable provenance and the land is not in a unicorn sanctuary. It's an unremarkable piece of land and looks like many others.

Some may want to build a house on it. As their architect, I advise them that it's likely a bit boggy and soft (or sandy, to use an analogy that they may be familiar with).

Some of them say they'll risk building a bungalow. I say that there is a half decent chance it will not sink or fall over, just don't ask me to certify it. After all, I haven't even signed to certify the deed map.

Others want to build more stories, each one using thinner and lighter timbers.

Some, even, want to put a landing pad on the roof garden for a skydaddycopter, even though there is no way the structure would stand the weight of that without at least two skyhooks and some faithbeams.

That they choose to even plan the first ground floor wall is their business, it is after all, arguably their piece of land, and a separate issue to whether there is likely to be a plot of land at all.

Arguing that there probably isn't is, imo, analogous to having a weak hand at a certain game of cards because your opponent (if you want to see them as an opponent) has the high-scoring ones. Choose your game and your venue carefully. Consistency, as you sometimes say, is a bitch. History is, for all its shortcomings, a discipline. Rational skepticism, if it is to be powerful and persuasive, is a restriction and an obligation. Parsimony sometimes gets confused, by me at least, as having something to do with a vegetable that looks a bit like a carrot. A soapbox is, well, what I'll get off in a minute or two.

[quote=""subsymbolic""]Face it, in the UK most Christians are praying to an Italian hippy...[/quote]

Yes, they are.

Though, are there still Christians in the rest of the UK, other than here?
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:52 pm, edited 45 times in total.

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Politesse
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Post by Politesse » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:56 am

For the record, "Jesus" was never the name of anyone in ancient Judea.

"Yeshua", or ישוע or Yehoshua or however you like to call it, was extremely common, being the name of a major Jewish folk hero as well. It means "salvation" in English. There are six of them in the Scriptures alone, to say nothing of other textual and archaeological sources.
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:53 am

[quote=""Politesse""]For the record, "Jesus" was never the name of anyone in ancient Judea.

"Yeshua", or ישוע or Yehoshua or however you like to call it, was extremely common, being the name of a major Jewish folk hero as well. It means "salvation" in English. There are six of them in the Scriptures alone, to say nothing of other textual and archaeological sources.[/quote]

Thank you, Poli. A good point to remember. 'James' has similar issues.
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Post by Metacrock » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:30 am

[quote=""Roo St. Gallus""]
Politesse;625626 wrote:For the record, "Jesus" was never the name of anyone in ancient Judea.

"Yeshua", or ישוע or Yehoshua or however you like to call it, was extremely common, being the name of a major Jewish folk hero as well. It means "salvation" in English. There are six of them in the Scriptures alone, to say nothing of other textual and archaeological sources.
Thank you, Poli. A good point to remember. 'James' has similar issues.[/QUOTE]

every time you see a reference to Jesus you go "O here's another Jesus." No there are two, The one in Zachariah is a Messiah figure and it says his name will be the name of messiah. so Messiah was to be called Jesus.

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Post by Metacrock » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:31 am

[quote=""Politesse""]For the record, "Jesus" was never the name of anyone in ancient Judea.

"Yeshua", or ישוע or Yehoshua or however you like to call it, was extremely common, being the name of a major Jewish folk hero as well. It means "salvation" in English. There are six of them in the Scriptures alone, to say nothing of other textual and archaeological sources.[/quote]

where do you find references to the folk hero?

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Post by Politesse » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:45 am

[quote=""Metacrock""]
Politesse;625626 wrote:For the record, "Jesus" was never the name of anyone in ancient Judea.

"Yeshua", or ישוע or Yehoshua or however you like to call it, was extremely common, being the name of a major Jewish folk hero as well. It means "salvation" in English. There are six of them in the Scriptures alone, to say nothing of other textual and archaeological sources.
where do you find references to the folk hero?[/QUOTE]

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+1
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:02 am

[quote=""ruby sparks""]If, as you appear to believe, Christianity was invented in the 4th C by the evil RCC (or the equivalent at the time) then yes, I can see a slightly better case for Harry, perhaps as a middle name as you seem to be suggesting, but only very very slightly. [/quote]


How about Jesus George Orwell Christ?


However, since the idea that Christianity was invented in the 4th C by the evil RCC is pretty much untenable, I'm sticking with my option. :)

Jesus Constantine Eusebius Christ does not impress you?


Maybe there are other variants ....


Clerk Jesus Kent and Superman?

Jesus Harry Potter Christ has been thrashed to death.


How about Jesus Caesar Augustus Christ?

That's got a certain majesty to it don't you think?



He was such an obscure person of the 1st century!!! Aren't we really lucky that the four Apostolic Boneheads wrote their gospels, and Paul wrote his letters to the churches and Seneca.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:16 am

[quote=""ruby sparks""]... I add that I think it's probable he was crucified. You say you think it probable he wasn't. We ask each other why we think what we think. I say it's consistently in the evidence. You say….. what?[/quote]


I say that the totally ruthless Roman war machine was capable of crucifying tens of thousands of people - many of them slaves - and anyone of those tens of thousands could be our man Bilbo Jesus Baggins.

I don't get hung up about the Jesus Crucified Cross Christ gig. With tens of thousands of such crucifixions, no one of these is more important than the others.

Besides if a new Jesus God is being invented by Romans how is the God to die? Obviously the Romans have to crucify god since they had the crucifixion business already established. But not before Jesus Augustus Christ tells everyone to give Caesar whatever he says belongs to Caesar. That is a really excellent public relations exercise.

I mean we do believe the Bible is true, don't we?
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Metacrock
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Post by Metacrock » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:39 am

[quote=""Politesse""]
Metacrock;625652 wrote:
Politesse;625626 wrote:For the record, "Jesus" was never the name of anyone in ancient Judea.

"Yeshua", or ישוע or Yehoshua or however you like to call it, was extremely common, being the name of a major Jewish folk hero as well. It means "salvation" in English. There are six of them in the Scriptures alone, to say nothing of other textual and archaeological sources.
where do you find references to the folk hero?
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+1[/QUOTE]

O that folk hero. He has the name Jesus. That's why Jesus was named that But they are not alike. no reason to think Jesus was patterned after him.

I will admit I forgot about this one.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:16 am

[quote=""Politesse""]For the record, "Jesus" was never the name of anyone in ancient Judea.

"Yeshua", or ישוע or Yehoshua or however you like to call it, was extremely common, being the name of a major Jewish folk hero as well. It means "salvation" in English. There are six of them in the Scriptures alone, to say nothing of other textual and archaeological sources.[/quote]

I had it covered. :)

[quote=""ruby sparks""]...called Yeshua (Jesus to you and me) since it's unremarkable …..[/quote]

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Post by Politesse » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:26 am

Of course, we all know that his proper name is Isa Ibn Maryam.
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:38 am

[quote=""Politesse""]Of course, we all know that his proper name is Isa Ibn Maryam.[/quote]

God has gotta appreciate a little irony. He send Jesus/Yeshua/Isa to announce the coming of Mohammad, only to look down and see, 1000 years later, that followers of each are at each others throats, and 2000 years later that some of the more ungrateful Mohammadans want to kill all those who follow the man who was their John The Baptist.


Allegedly.





Basically, he plants little seeds and we chop down the saplings before they have a chance to grow. No wonder god loves a trier. He knows what it takes.
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:48 pm

I thought I'd just pass this on for consideration. re: Pliny's letter to Trajan.
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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:19 pm

[quote=""Roo St. Gallus""]I thought I'd just pass this on for consideration. re: Pliny's letter to Trajan.[/quote]

Cool.

Thanks Roo.


An Application of a Profile-Based Method for Authorship Verification: Investigating the Authenticity of Pliny the Younger’s Letter to Trajan Concerning the Christians


Enrico Tuccinardi

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqw001 fqw001
First published online: 14 February 2016


ABSTRACT:

Pliny the Younger’s letter to Trajan regarding the Christians is a crucial subject for the studies on early Christianity. A serious quarrel among scholars concerning its genuineness arose between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th; per contra, Plinian authorship has not been seriously questioned in the last few decades. After analysing various kinds of internal and external evidence in favour of and against the authenticity of the letter, a modern stylometric method is applied in order to examine whether internal linguistic evidence allows one to definitely settle the debate.

The findings of this analysis tend to contradict received opinion among modern scholars, affirming the authenticity of Pliny’s letter, and suggest instead the presence of large amounts of interpolation inside the text of the letter, since its stylistic behaviour appears highly different from that of the rest of Book X.


[my emphasis]
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:58 am

Are there any here who are sceptical about - if the literary evidence found in these four Roman writers of the early 2nd century is true - that the historical existence, external to the NT, of the "nation of Christians" in antiquity is first attested in these four highly educated Latin writers?

For those of you are sceptical of the integrity of the church "dogma", and who are familiar with the 9th century Latin forgery mill, known as Pseudo-Isidore, which operated out of Corbie Abbey in north central Carolingian France, Latin forgeries by the church organisation have long been exposed.

Each of these "Christian references" has been investigated by enquiring minds, and there are massive problems with all of the them, none the least being that they were only preserved by the utterly corrupt church organisation. The dogma was fabricated in order to control peoples' opinion about the nation of Christians in antiquity. Orwellian false flags.


.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Jobar » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:39 pm

[quote=""Roo St. Gallus""]I thought I'd just pass this on for consideration. re: Pliny's letter to Trajan.[/quote]

Thanks for that, Roo. It's a great layman's introduction to the use of character n-grams for stylometric analysis, and is highly relevant to any discussion of forgery.

A remark from Godfrey, replying to one of the comments on the article:
What is also interesting is that if we set aside the Pliny letter we have no clear-cut non-Christian sources that Christianity had completely set itself apart from Judaism as a different religion until much later. (Being cast out of a synagogue could happen to fellow sectarian Jews — whom other Jews would accuse of “not being true Jews”. Of course I set aside the passages in Josephus and Tacitus for reasons I think many know.)
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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:58 am

[quote=""Jobar""]
Roo St. Gallus;626789 wrote:I thought I'd just pass this on for consideration. re: Pliny's letter to Trajan.
Thanks for that, Roo. It's a great layman's introduction to the use of character n-grams for stylometric analysis, and is highly relevant to any discussion of forgery.

A remark from Godfrey, replying to one of the comments on the article:
What is also interesting is that if we set aside the Pliny letter we have no clear-cut non-Christian sources that Christianity had completely set itself apart from Judaism as a different religion until much later. (Being cast out of a synagogue could happen to fellow sectarian Jews — whom other Jews would accuse of “not being true Jews”. Of course I set aside the passages in Josephus and Tacitus for reasons I think many know.)
[/QUOTE]



Godfrey also writes ....
Part of the problem with the letter is that it leaves one wondering what the supposed Neronian persecution of Christians was all about — why no hint of such an event? So it leads to further questioning of the Tacitus evidence.

And of course also the Suetonius evidence, because they are all highly related and - most likely IMO - late forgeries by people who had access to the preservation of church manuscripts during the middle ages.

What has left me cautious has been its stock portrayal of what the Christian narrative would have us expect to find in such a document: Christians are the innocent righteous, whose courage and faith is misinterpreted as ill-tempered stubbornness, and from whose ranks some fall into apostasy. The Roman authorities are also quite Lukan.
The forgeries were I think focussed on the persecution under Nero, because the early stories in circulation included stories where Peter and Paul went to Rome and were finally snuffed out by the Emperor Nero. The legend of Peter and Paul being crucified in Rome has been exposed, and the actual persecution of "Christians" by Nero questioned.


The church organisation interpolated and/or forged these Christian references into these Latin writers of the early 2nd century (and into the Greek writing of Josephus, and others) in order to establish their pseudo-historical claims regarding not just non-biblical testimony for "Jesus Historical Christ", but for this group of people which Eusebius calls "the Nation of Christians".

There was no nation of Christians in the political sense until Constantine oversighted the establishment of the Nicene Church Organisation. We can certainly believe perhaps that there was an underground nation of Christians in the empire, hiding from the lions and the persecution of the pagan emperors, but how much of this may simply be pseudo-historical propaganda of the [military] victors, who simply fabricate their lineage after the victory.



Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius are "false flags".
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:16 am

[quote=""Kookaburra Jack""]Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius are "false flags".[/quote]

Certain key and forward-thinking figures within the church organisation (of the Middle Ages)
observed a benefit in being able to produce external [historical] sources (i.e. outside Acts, Josephus, etc)
in order to attest to the existence, not of Jesus, but to the "nation of Christians".


That's my bet at the moment.

Attestation to the "nation of Christians" has been - at least in these authors - fabricated for historical propaganda purposes.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Jobar » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:14 pm

Jack, I've been working my way through the "Excavating The Empty Tomb" series of videos, which I linked to here. While the possibility all of the writings being discussed here are intentional forgeries is not put forward, the usefulness of all of them as dependable testimony to any historical Jesus Christ is pretty thoroughly eviscerated.

I've watched the first five, out of a total of 37 (I think.)

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:52 am

Why not lay down the quest for the historical Christ and examine the quest for the historical "Christians". When we try and find that legendary "Nation of Christians" described so eloquently and professionally in the documentation of Eusebius, the very first Christian "historian", we are finally led towards the authority of these four Roman authors. (NOTE: Josephus as a testimony to the existence of the Christians has already been rejected).

The authority and integrity of these literary sources has been questioned and challenged by various authors. The literary sources have been "discovered" in the archives of the middle ages church.

We must ask the obvious questions, and seek the answers to these questions.

If we truly suspect Christ has been fabricated, should we not triple check that the nation of Christians has not been fabricated at the same time?

The book of Acts tells us [supposedly] that the Christians first called themselves by this name at Antioch. Were there Christians before Constantine delivered his oration at the council of Antioch? What is the evidence for and against their actual historical existence? These four Roman writers represent the lion's share of the literary evidence that is [supposedly] external to the ecclesiastical sources.

Are the Christian references in these 4 authors really "independent" of the church? Or has tradition been fabricated (again)?


https://www.academia.edu/35878331/Tacit ... 17_299-331


Tacitus and the Persecution of the Christians: An Invention of Tradition?,
Eirene 53 (2017)
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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