Food for Debate-History

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Sapporo's picture
Seneca didn't mention the

Seneca didn't mention the existence of Christians in Rome at a time when the early church claimed Christians were in Rome...but he mentioned all the other sects present. Augustine certainly took issue with that omission.

We know that the Christians destroyed a lot of works relating to Jesus and the early church, and fabricated a lot of works relating to Jesus and the early church, so it is disingenuous to be an apologist for what the officially approved literature lacks.

Sapporo's picture
Seneca wrote a work on the

Seneca wrote a work on the cults present in Rome, but did not include Christianity:

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Sapporo

@ Sapporo
Thanks for that. I had researched and read as much Seneca as I could stomach when I was much younger. I was aware of his several letters and the book about the cults but hadn't researched it this time.
The wealth of material now available to us, since the demise of the "theologian" in charge of historical research into early Rome and coincidentally the rise of christianity has resulted in a plethora of new information. Its an avalanche of corroborated thorough research by non partisan academics now. There's still the odd religious old school theologian wringing their hands and whining in the corners but mainstream theological research has a different face. Refreshing.

I'm just reading a couple of 'lost' manuscripts from 3rd century Syria that are illuminating in their references to christian practices without one mention of a jesus.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC
Then you haven't read or comprehended the content of the attributed Pauline texts. Your argument is one of absence. Ad ingorantium.

Why would the Roman church need to forge at least 6 of the epistles?

On Seneca, I haven't failed anything. He didn't mention Jesus or Paul that is it. He just didn't. He mentioned other obscure and weird cults but not that one. That is all. Stop trying to manufacture impossible conjecture from a null position.

Why would the Roman church need to forge his letters?

I am tired of reiterating to you:
You believe despite the absence of any proof that a jesus that fits your gospels existed.
I am asking for credible proof. You cannot supply it.

You have faith good luck with it. You have no proof whatsoever for your claims for the existence or divinity of Jesus. All you bring to the table is conjecture and arguments from a failed dogma.

You have faith good luck with it. You have no proof as to the identity of the writer we call Paul, save conjecture and dogma.

See the consistency here? You present conjecture and dogma.I present evidence where it is incontrovertible, opinion when I have substantive grounds and bias not at all.

I would welcome your evidence, but so far you have presented nothing.

jonthecatholic's picture
I have given credible proof.

I have given credible proof. You just wave it away even though no credible historian has done so.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Joc

@ Joc

I have not "waved away" you haven't presented credible proof of anything. The only thing you keep coming back to is the discredited Josephus entries without understanding that even if they weren't faked they were still written 50 - 70 years after the alleged events, by someone without first hand knowledge, and that they were merely a report of a secondhand belief held by others.
That is not evidence.

You persist in this "waved away" nonsense as if it has some intellectual or practical argument. . I told you I take all the claims seriously then I research them and display my findings and those of others to open public examination.

Please cite your "credible historians". I wager a pound to a fly dropping they are all theologians and have a vested interest in keeping the faithful ignorant.

I think you have to read my posts where I describe the Historical method. Understand that is how it leads to actual evidence.

Assertions and wishful thinking are not evidence. Tradition is not evidence. Belief is not evidence.

You can believe all you want but there is no current evidence for your faith.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
In Mathetes

In Mathetes

Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus ( dated 130-200 A.D). Originals all lost in wars.

I've just read the translation from the greek of this piece. Mathetes is scrupulous in avoiding the use of the terms "Christus" "Messiah" or Jesus the Christ" anywhere in this manuscript.

He uses the term the Word. Any mention of a "trinity" is also missing entirely even when he talks about god walking on the earth, whole and undiminished, "as a man" .

He has a good whinge about Jews and circumcision (not a good thing in Mathetes view) and offerings of blood and fat (almost blasphemous in his view) But this is a great insight into christian thought before the Roman influence took over and the nonsense of the Trinity and Nicene creed was forced upon the believers.

Mathetes does come across as a bit prim and proper, all for correct behaviour and the christian ideals. He looks down upon non christians, and that comes across in his writing.

Both translations are good, the early one is a lot more 'biblical' in its style and delivery, but a rattling good read with a pint or two of stout or a nice Cab Sauv with snacks and a purring cat.

Anyone wants a read to comment:

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Here's an interesting list of

Here's an interesting list of books, texts and gospels that were declared heretical by Gelasius, bishop of Rome 492-496 CE

To be found preaching from or even in possession of ( in many cases) was the death sentence.

Itinerary (book of travels) under the name of the apostle Peter,
which is called The Nine Books of the holy Clement
Acts under the name of the apostle Andrew
Acts under the name of the apostle Thomas
Acts under the name of the apostle Peter
Acts under the name of the apostle Philip
Gospel under the name of Matthias
Gospel under the name of Barnabas
Gospel under the name of James the younger
Gospel under the name of the apostle Peter
Gospel under the name of Thomas, which the Manicheans use
Gospel under the name of Bartholomaeus
Gospel under the name of Andrew
Gospel which Lucian has forged
Gospel which Hesychius has forged
Book about the childhood of the Redeemer
Book about the birth of the Redeemer and about Mary or the midwife
Book which is called by the name of the Shepherd
All books which Leucius, the disciple of the devil, has made
Book which is called The Foundation
Book which is called The Treasure
Book about the daughters of Adam: Leptogenesis(?)
Cento about Christ, put together in Virgilian lines
Book which is called the Acts of Thecla and of Paul
Book which is ascribed to Nepos
Book of the Sayings, compiled by heretics and denoted by the name of Sixtus
Revelation which is ascribed to Paul
Revelation which is ascribed to Thomas
Revelation which is ascribed to Stephen
Book which is called the Home-going of the Holy Mary
Book which is called the Penitence of Adam
Book about the giant Ogias,of whom the heretics assert that after the flood he fought with the dragon
Book which is called The Testament of Job
Book which is called The Penitence of Origen
Book which is called The Penitence of the Holy Cyprian
Book which is called The Penitence of Jamnes and Mambres
Book which is called The Portion of the Apostles
Book which is called The Grave-plate(?) of the Apostles
Book which is called the Canones of the Apostles
The book Physiologus, compiled by heretics and called by the name of the blessed Ambrose
The History of Eusebius Pamphili
Works of Tertullian
Works of Lactantius (later addition: or of Firmianus or of the African)
Works of Postumianus and of Gallus
Works of Montanus, of Priscilla and of Maximilla
Works of Faustus the Manichean
Works of Commodianus
Works of the other Clement of Alexandria
Works of Thascius Cyprian
Works of Arnobius
Works of Tichonius
Works of Cassian, a presbyter in Gaul
Works of Victorinus of Pettau
Works of Faustus of Riez in Gaul
Works of Frumentius Caecus
Epistle of Jesus to Abgar
Epistle of Abgar to Jesus
Passion (Martyr Acts) of Cyricus and of Iulitta
Passion of Georgius
Writing which is called Interdiction of Solomon

What a treasure trove of early religious thought and practice, destroyed along with its adherents. What an insight into life, the early christian church and their ways of faith and legends of the apostles. Maybe even that elusive prrof of the existence of a man called Jesus...we do not know.

The Church has not changed, when challenged, it kills.

jonthecatholic's picture
Your bias is showing.

Your bias is showing.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

My Bias? How about the Bishop of Rome's (and the whole Catholic Roman church's) bias against all these early writings?

At least I am not sentencing you to death and torture because of your beliefs...!

Personally I would love to read all of these writings. I am sure they will give us a great understanding of the various movements in society . Some have survived, very few. The Church was thorough as it still is, in silencing dissent.

Love to see how a desire for knowledge is a "bias".*

(Edit:* last two paras added)

jonthecatholic's picture
You’d gladly accept these

You’d gladly accept these writings but reject the ones that we do have.

Have you tried doubting the assertions you’ve made? Like the idea of torturing other people for their beliefs. Do you know what you’re even talking about? I admire your skepticism. Why don’t you apply that to everything else you assert.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

I am all agog...what credible writings do you have?
Please do not be tiresome and repeat the already debunked offerings.

I have read many more early christian and contemporary writings than you I venture to suggest. Although I would never claim expertise in this field I will claim some scholarship and research.

You seem to be losing sight of the central point in this to and fro, viz:

There is no credible evidence for an historical Jesus. That is all I am saying.

You can have your faith, love your belief, but do understand, that by any fair minded standard, you have no credible evidence for a Catholic style magic Jesus. .

I am not saying that this Jesus of yours did not exist, nor am I saying that there is no possibility of your historical Jesus existing as a person.

I am saying there is no evidence to base any credence on the existence of such a person.

My opinion ( Note;"my opinion") is that, if there were evidence discovered of an historical Yeshua Ben Josef, it will prove him less than divine. This is based on the fact that none of the prophecies, miracles and events in the biblical accounts are corroborated elsewhere despite their earth shattering importance. The accounts of the divinity, miracles etc only appear in texts dated 300 years after the supposed events.

The probability (note 'probability') is that the 'jesus' venerated by the modern churches just did not exist. The virgin birth,crucifixion as described , resurrection did not occur and the miracles and crowds are later invention. Because there is no corroborating evidence or mentions of these amazing events at the time or with one hundred years of their alleged occurrence.

Give me credible evidence and my opinion will change. I might even join you at mass.

"the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid"

Now let us look at what we do have evidence and corroboration for:

A mixed, diverse, growing doomsday cult in the Middle East from about the turn of the 1st Century CE. No written traditions.
3rd Century: The following of various copied texts and fragmented teachings continues reaching as far south as India and as far West as Britain..
The adoption of a carefully modified, rewritten version of this religion by the Roman Emperor in the early 4th Century CE.
The destruction and murder of various preachers and teachers, even bishops of the church who disagreed with the "New Roman Orthodoxy"
The continued murder, imprisonment and torture of anyone who speaks out against this now provably corrupt orthodoxy
The rest, as they say, is history.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Joc

@ Joc

"Like the idea of torturing other people for their beliefs. Do you know what you’re even talking about? I admire your skepticism. Why don’t you apply that to everything else you assert."

Well leaving aside the various Inquisitions through the ages, the 30 years war, the Crusades and other earlier massacres authorised br Rome if you go to this link you will see a list of "heresies" in the Early Church, adherence to which meant excommunication which meant the removal of the protection of the law...if you actually read it you will see how many of the leaders were sentenced to death, a clean one in comparison to many of their followers.

I've only linked a superficial article from Wikipedia as , frankly, I cant be shagged to keep looking up stuff, presenting it for you to stick your fingers in your ears and scream Llalalala as loud as you can.

If you can actually be bothered to do any reading at all you will find a list of suitable ways to "persuade" followers of the heretical and excommunicated sects to embrace the "true church"

Give it a go, Its all there in various records. Just requires some time. And an enquiring mind.

jonthecatholic's picture
Have you looked into the what

Have you looked into the what the RCC says in response to any of these allegations? You say you're unbiased. Then go read some RCC sources about this. Not some secular work about the RCC.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC
"Have you looked into the what the RCC says in response to any of these allegations?"

Which response, please cite them.

jonthecatholic's picture
Do you know how the NT canon

Do you know how the NT canon cane to its present form? You seem to imply the church somehow saw all these writings (in equal measures) going around and decided one day to put its foot down and said, “You should only read these books from now on.”

You’re also implying that people who had these other books were tortured and killed and that mere possession was punishable by death. Records please.

The canon of the NT came about much more organically than you might think. Some churches recognized some to be scripture while others denied the scriptural status of others. Some even claimed that certain works were scripture but aren’t in the canon today.

This might clear things up for you.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC
Nice Catholic apologetics with some kernels of truth but written to enshrine the church's authority. Hardly evidence but certainly evidence of intent.

Obviously you didn't read the whole of your first link as it fully endorses my position that the church murdered those that disagreed with its liturgy and the Roman domination, I quote from it to save you the trouble of actually reading:

"The First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (325) condemned not only Arius personally, but also his book entitled "Thalia"; Constantine commanded that the writings of Arius and of his friends should everywhere be delivered up to be burned; concealment of them was forbidden under pain of death. In the following centuries, when and wherever heresies sprang up, the popes of Rome and the ecumenical councils, as well as the particular synods of Africa, Asia, and Europe, condemned, conjointly with the false doctrines, the books and writings containing them. (Cf. Hilgers, Die Bucherverbote in Pastbriefen.) The latter were ordered to be destroyed by fire, and illegal preservation of them was treated as a heinous criminal offense. The authorities intended to make the reading of such writings simply impossible. Pope St. Innocent I, enumerating in a letter of 405 a number of apocryphal writings, rejects them as non solum repudianda sed etiam damnanda. It is the first attempt at a catalogue of forbidden books. The so-called "Decretum Gelasianum" contains many more, not only apocryphal, but also heretical, or otherwise objectionable, writings. It is not without reason that this catalogue has been called the first "Roman Index" of forbidden books".

The so-called "Decretum Gelasianum de libris recipiendis et non recipiendis", is traditionally attributed to Gelasius, bishop of Rome 492-496 CE who finalised the "permitted " form of the NT and made heresy of the other books and writings. Again UNDER PAIN OF DEATH.

The practice of executing heretics continued up until the 19th Century with Cayetano Ripoli being burned alive in 1826 for teaching a form of deism in Christian tradition. A not exhaustive list of people burned for heresy can be read just here I link that as Wikipedia and the Catholic library seem to be your limits as regards actual research. There are thousands more records in national libraries across the world.

Is that plain enough for you? Enough evidence?

The Roman church kills people who disagree, have forbidden books or preaching of "unapproved" gospels. The Synoptic gospels were known to be "improved" ( we know this by the margin notes on surviving texts) in the 4th Century and some like Revelations added, as well as possibly "Acts" and of course the 3 forgeries of Paul's letters I have previously detailed, and possibly a further 3 as detailed.
The letters to and from Seneca were also forged at this time to give some spurious legitimacy to the existence of "Paul" who to this day remains enigmatic.

Maybe this will make things clear for you.

jonthecatholic's picture
I did read them. Read again,

I did read them. Read again, my friend. Why does the church “prohibit” certain works to be read? Read further, you’ll see that the church prohibits some works from being read as they’re faulty copies. Certain prohibitions are lifted later on. Keep on reading, my friend.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC
You are finding fewer corners to hide. "Some of the works were faulty copies"
How were they faulty? Inaccurate or faithful to the original and not to the New Roman Dogma?

Examples please.

jonthecatholic's picture
We’re getting nowhere fast. I

We’re getting nowhere fast. I see you added the phrase, “Under pain of death”. Smoothe.

As to the death penalty for heretics. Again, for merely believing in a heresy, no one is put to death. These people were told what they’re teaching is wrong and stick to it AND continue to teach it as a Catholic teaching.

The RCC actually sees the death penalty as acceptable though it should be avoided if ot can be. Take a look at each individual case and you’ll see that every heretic is given the chance to recant. They’re given trials as well. Do some research.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

"The RCC actually sees the death penalty as acceptable though it should be avoided if it can be. Take a look at each individual case and you’ll see that every heretic is given the chance to recant."

Now you are having a lend. Did you not read the extract from your very own link? How can the death penalty BY BURNING be appropriate for adhering to a similar doctrine but that may differ from the Roman Doctrine? A chance to recant...and then they were burnt! Look it up.
Even a thousand plus years later
" After the reading of the sentence was concluded, recantation did not avert the death-penalty, as in the elder Inquisition, but it was modified to garrotting or strangling before burning" Spanish inquisition Henry Charles Lea
How can you justify that?

"They’re given trials as well." Now you are trolling... the trials conducted by clergy, witnessed by clergy and the outcomes decided, the accused's very prosecutors.

Seriously you tell me to do some reading? Did you see the link I gave you?

That doesn't include the thousands of men women and children executed at the hands of the Church for "heresy". I suggest you just do some research yourself and come back with the amount of trials that took place for heresy, the amount of "not guilty" verdicts recorded and the number or innocents murdered for their honest beliefs or just because they came from a certain area.

Every time I have asked you for some of your research you have come back with nonsense superficial links or just ignored the question.

Now is the time to prove your claims.

Every claim you have made has been solidly rebutted with evidence and corroboration. I sympathise with your plight, however it is the path you have chosen.

Just believe, don't try for proofs.

Additional comment: Try reading: "The history of Arianism" by M. Maimbourg. Two volumes. Interesting.

Sapporo's picture
As far as I can see, Old man

As far as I can see, Old man is pointing out that a lot of theological works of the early Christians have been destroyed, then you say he is being biased and that he should read what the Roman Catholics say. You are the one who is being biased.

jonthecatholic's picture
Technically I am biased. We

Technically I am biased. We all have our own personal biases. For me to come to an unbiased opinion, what I do is I read from both sides. What atheists say, what protestants say, and what catholics say. As much as I’d want to know more, my personal bias limits me to these groups of peopl.

And I find that even atheist historians find the Jesus myth theory unreliable and unfounded together with a other recent atheist claims.

Sapporo's picture
Even Christian theologians

Even Christian theologians and preachers disbelieve the divinity of Jesus...

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Sapporo

@ Sapporo

Uh Oh, the Arian heresy survives........

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
And just to bore the rest of

And just to bore the rest of you silly..except the hungry few:

Here is a list of teachers, preachers, schisms sects and so on that were declared heretical at the same time:

"These and the like, what Simon Magus, Nicolaus, Cerinthus, Marcion, Basilides, Ebion, Paul of Samosata, Photinus and Bonosus, who suffered from similar error, also Montanus with his detestable followers, Apollinaris, Valentinus the Manichean, Faustus the African, Sabellius, Arius, Macedonius, Eunomius, Novatus, Sabbatius, Calistu, Donatus, Eustatius, Iovianus, Pelagius, Iulianus of Eclanum, Caelestius, Maximian, Priscillian from Spain, Nestorius of Constantinople, Maximus the Cynic, Lampetius, Dioscorus, Eutyches, Peter and the other Peter, of whom the one besmirched Alexandria and the other Antioch, Acacius of Constantinople with his associates, and what also all disciples of heresy and of the heretics or schismatics, whose names we have scarcely preserved, have taught or compiled, we acknowledge is to be not merely rejected but excluded from the whole Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church and with its authors and the adherents of its authors to damned in the inextricable shackles of anathema for ever"

Thanks to

Again what a treasure trove of thought, tradition and practice destroyed by a power mad organisation. Then they have the gall to accuse historians of not proving their case ...

Sapporo's picture
When attempting to prove a

When attempting to prove a "historical Jesus", it would be beneficial to describe what properties your "historical Jesus" has.

jonthecatholic's picture
Let’s start really basic:

Let’s start really basic: founder of Christianity.

Sapporo's picture
You would need to establish

You would need to establish what you mean by Christianity (the countless sects disagree on the dogma), as well as demonstrate that Jesus was the (or a) founder of Christianity.

For me, it is perfectly possible there was a historical Jesus who was not the founder of Christianity - the most basic thing would be to find a historical record of a person named Jesus. Something more advanced would be to establish the existence of a figure equivalent to someone like John the Baptist - but mere collections of sayings or hagiographies would still leave themselves open to debate.

Sapporo's picture
The texts of the early

The texts of the early Christians, of various sects, are in disagreement about the supernatural dogma relating to Christ. The texts may or may not include actual historical details, which they were also in disagreement.

It was in the fourth century AD before one sect was able to outpace the others with its version of the truth.

The truth is, the Christians cannot prove with any certainty whether Jesus existed, which century he existed in, where he was born, what he looked liked, what he preached, or where and how he died. The early apostles also have similar issues.


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