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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:47 pm 
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Acharya's Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

(Note: This section of Freethought Nation is a work in progress.)

* If you have more questions that you think should be included in the FAQ section then PM me or post a new thread - bring it to my attention and I'll consider adding it here. I've added a few links below for a quick jump to direct posts for your convenience. The online excerpts and articles at Truth Be Known and Stellar House Publishing are available in 52 different languages by simply clicking on the Google Translate button.

Here are Acharya's books:

The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Acharya S (Jul 1, 1999)
Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled by Acharya S (Sep 1, 2004)
Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ by D.M. Murdock, Acharya S (Nov 28, 2007)
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S (Feb 28, 2009)
The Gospel According to Acharya S (2009)
Man Made God: A Collection of Essays by Barbara G. Walker (2010)
Anahita: Ancient Persian Goddess and Zoroastrian Yazata (2013)
Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman s Did Jesus Exist? (2013)
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S (2014)

Acharya's Books, E-Books and articles/excerpts on Kindle, iPhone, iPod, iPad and similar devices, such as Blackberry, Android

And don't forget the Astrotheology Calendar Series

Why does Acharya S use a pen name?

Who is Acharya S?

Find Acharya S elsewhere on the internets

Film: "God in the Box" (includes Acharya S)

What is a Mythicist? What is the Mythicist Position?

Is Acharya S / D.M. Murdock "Anti-Religion"?

Is Astrotheology Just Astrology?

What is Astrotheology and Archaeoastronomy?

Do atheists disagree with Acharya's basic premise?

Study: Atheists Most Discriminated Minority

Does Acharya subscribe to the ancient astronaut theory?

What about Acharya's publisher - Adventurers Unlimited Press?

Acharya's Work Complements Sam Harris's Philosophy

STUPID THINGS RICHARD CARRIER HAS DONE AND SAID

The Virgin Birth

Dying and Rising Gods

The Twelve in the Bible and Ancient Mythology

What about December 25th and the winter solstice?

3 Kings/Orion's Belt & Solstice/Christmas

The Gospels: A 2nd Century Composition

The Son of God is the Sun of God

Acharya's Responses to Bart Ehrmans' Book 'Did Jesus Exist?' and over 80 more

Does Acharya rely on 18th and 19th century sources?

The Use of 19th Century Writings

Has Gerald Massey Been Refuted?

What is a conspiracy?

What about the word "disciple"?

Zeitgeist Part 1 & the Supportive Evidence

The New Zeitgeist Part 1 Sourcebook Transcript & Sources (2010)

Zeitgeist Challenge

What about the copycat theory?

Krishna's Birthday

Was Krishna Born of a Virgin?

The Origins of Islam

Freethought Gear

There are many more posts throughout the thread and the rest of the forum addressing new and old discoveries. As well as the critics - here are a few:

Dr. Chris Forbes on Zeitgeist part 1

Zeitgeist Refuted Documentaries

Skeptic Magazine Critique of Zeitgeist Part 1

Conspiracy Science Smears Acharya S

Jesus, Horus and KingDavid8. com

Richard Carrier on Zeitgeist part 1

Richard Dawkins on Christmas and Zeitgeist Part 1

Did Jesus Really Exist? By Paul Maier, DEBUNKED

Challenging the Zeitgeist Movie by Dr. Mark Foreman, DEBUNKED

Is Jesus a Myth? by S. Michael Houdmann, DEBUNKED

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Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
2014 Astrotheology Calendar
The Mythicist Position
Stellar House Publishing at Youtube


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:52 pm 
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Why does Acharya S use a pen name?

Theists and especially atheists have a knee-jerk reaction to the word "Conspiracy" in the title of her first book, as well as her pen name "Acharya S."

First, many authors use a "pen name". It's very common and a big deal really need not be made of it. I'm not aware of any other author being harassed so much over a pen name as Acharya S. When it comes to religion and challenging the status-quo it may be wise to hide ones true I.D. especially if one is discussing Islam - radical Muslims will create violent riots for exposing Islam. For example, remember the Danish cartoons of Muhammad which set-off violent riots by Muslims? And Christianity has a history that isn't much better.

This is another ad hominem attack that critics try to use against Acharya S to dismiss her entire body of work, that's all. "Acharya" was chosen as a sort of joke to tease the Hindu authorities because no woman is allowed to be an "Acharya" - let alone a white woman. "Acharya" means many things - teacher, master, priest of the sun, guru etc. The "S" is a mystery - oooh, it must be something horrible :lol: The "S" stands for Sanning which means "truth" in Swedish.

In fact, some Hindu fanatics ended up getting Acharya's Wikipedia page deleted because of her pen name, essentially validating why she used "Acharya" in the first place. That's why Wiki has forbid her Wiki article from being titled "Acharya S." These few Hindu fanatics (Hare Krishna) demonstrated their own biases, bigotry and prejudice by attacking a female author for using the name 'Acharya" as a pen name. Furthermore, there are loads of people with the last name "Acharya." The joke here is on those who take the pen name "Acharya S" too seriously. Acharya S doesn't. :mrgreen:

There were several Christians attacking her Wiki page insisting on posting what they think is her real name. Those who are actually familiar with Acharya's works have all been banned by Wiki except one. So, at this point, it seems only biased critics with an agenda are allowed to edit her Wiki page. Anyone who attempts to oust her identity does so purely out of malice wishing to cause harm to her and her family. Such people will be held accountable. I've seen people online pretend like they know and call her Diane, Dee Dee, Dorothy, Dotti and other assorted guesses. She prefers "Acharya" to protect her security, privacy and her family.

Quote:
2009

"Just an FYI - I HAVE NEVER REVEALED MY FULL NAME IN PUBLIC. If you see a site claiming to know my "real name," do not believe it - and do not send me familiar "howdy, yada, yada" messages using it. The attempts at outing my personal information are entirely against my will by typical disrespecters of persons, and are obviously designed to endanger me and my family."

- Acharya S

Quote:
November 18, 2013:

"Dear friends: If ever you see someone pretending to know my "real name," please feel free to ignore that person. I have never revealed my first name publicly, and anyone pretending to know my real name is doing so fallaciously. In most cases, what people believe is my real name is being used in order to abuse, terrorize and bully me into submission. I don't appreciate the contemptuous familiarity AT ALL. To those who think they know my real name, no, you don't. You have heard an internet rumor but nothing from me. Those who are using what they think is my real name in internet writings are doing so unethically and with hostility against my person. That sort of poor character should not be given any credence or credibility."

"I have been advised by LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES not to disclose ANY personal information, because I was the victim of VIOLENT CRIME that included the felonious abduction of my small child. So, any and all attempts at publicizing what is believed to be my real name will be construed as a form of TERRORISM and BULLYING. "

- Acharya S

Quote:
January 8, 2014

"For the past several years, editors and vandals on Wikipedia have been tormenting me and my family, including endangering us with private information, and posting an endless stream of libelous and threatening remarks. My friends/supporters and I engaged successfully in a stressful, yearlong battle previously, now to no avail. I've circulated my problem with some lawyers, but I really need some help from a sympathetic legal eagle. If you can help with a possible emotional distress/libel action, please contact me ASAP at acharya_s@yahoo.com.

It's difficult enough to do this challenging work, with few resources and only word-of-mouth publicity. I do not need the constant menace from this website hanging over my head."

- Acharya S

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Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
2014 Astrotheology Calendar
The Mythicist Position
Stellar House Publishing at Youtube


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 Post subject: Is Acharya a New Ager?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:19 pm 
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Is Acharya a "New Ager" and part of the “New Age Movement”?

Another frequent charge used to dismiss Acharya's work is that she is a "New Ager."

I realize that "Christ Conspiracy" may sometimes be found at bookstores in the "New Age" section, especially back in 1999; however, the reason is simply because the information is alternative to mainstream religion as it challenges the status quo. The AUP publisher put the book in the category of "Religion/New Age." She had no control over that. Acharya's books are also found in the "Religion" section too. NONE of Acharya's other books are categorized as "New Age."

The basis for this "New Age" epithet seems to be a couple of short sentences Acharya uses in The Christ Conspiracy:

Quote:
"Despite the vilification of the New Age movement, the fact is that were are entering a new age."
- Christ Conspiracy, p. 416

However, this statement is not a proclamation of being a new ager - this is simply stating an astronomical fact.

Quote:
"As Hancock says, 'We live today in the astrological no man's land at the end of the ‘Age of Pisces,’ on the threshold of the 'New Age' of Aquarius" - Christ Conspiracy, p. 417

Same here as above. Graham Hancock is in agreement with Acharya as well as astronomers - the point was about the precession of the equinoxes, which is defined as follows:

Quote:
"The precession of Earth's axis of rotation with respect to inertial space is also called the precession of the equinoxes. Like a wobbling top, the direction of the Earth's axis is changing; while today, the North Pole points roughly to Polaris, over time it will change. Because of this wobble, the position of the earth in its orbit around the sun at the moment of the equinoxes and solstices will also change.

Currently, this annual motion is about 50.3 seconds of arc per year or 1 degree every 71.6 years. The process is slow, but cumulative. A complete precession cycle covers a period of approximately 25,765 years, the so called Platonic year, during which time the equinox regresses a full 360° through all twelve constellations of the zodiac. Precessional movement is also the determining factor in the length of an astrological age.

In ancient times the precession of the equinox referred to the motion of the equinox relative to the background stars in the zodiac; this is equivalent to the modern understanding. It acted as a method of keeping time in the Great Year."
precession of the equinoxes (Enjoy the photos)

Nowhere does Acharya actually claim to be a "New Ager" - in fact, she's not it's just another derogatory label tossed at her. She doesn't believe any particular ..."age will be a time of utopia." That's not at all what she's saying or claiming throughout her work. So, this whole "New-Ager" label tends to come from those who've never read her work or didn't understand it.

Acharya certainly discusses many religions. but that doesn't necessarily make her a devotee in any of them - even if she has engaged in yoga or meditation. I have enjoyed yoga and meditation from time to time and still do but, I'm an atheist. I read and study about religion and a number of things; still, I'm now an atheist after being a Christian for many years.

Interestingly, in the very next sentence after the quote from page 416, Acharya goes on to quote Jesus saying:
Quote:
"I am with you always to the close of the age" - so ends the Gospel of Matthew."
Mat 28:20 RSV


According to the Blue Letter Bible "Age" in Greek translates to "aiōn" and is used 128 times throughout the New Testament in the Textus Receptus.

Does this make Christians "New Agers?" God, according to Christians is omnipresent - wouldn't that also make them New-Agers? In the book Revelation "I am Alpha and Omega" is mentioned 4 different times. It generally goes on to say, "...the beginning and the end, the first and the last." - of an "AGE", as in precessional age? You get my point.

=====

Quote:
Mystic or freethinker - who cares?

"As for one offhand comment written many years ago - almost TWO DECADES - in a short essay/rant that is meaningless to my work beyond the fact that it disposes of the notion that I am necessarily an "atheist," what utter nonsense to suggest that I have some supernatural powers by which I am attempting to seduce people into a cult. Ooooh booooo!! This foolishness is more of the same misogyny that led to the witch burnings and the destruction of female spirituality. Such disgusting and despicable suggestions are unworthy of my response. What hatefulness towards my person simply because I have studied and engaged in religious and spiritual experiences from around the world in order to understand them!

Let us look at the word "mystic," which I used in a poetic essay because people were always trying to label me. Contrary to the frantic hysteria of militant atheism, "mystic" is not a dirty word that we should rant and rage over, like some freaked out Inquisitors bent on burning witches. The most appropriate definition of what I was trying to say there is: "of obscure or mysterious character or significance." What I was attempting to convey is that I do not label myself either an "atheist" or "theist," as I consider it my right to think as is appropriate in any given momment. The best description of that state, perhaps, is "freethinker." At the time of my writing, I had been studying Eastern mysticism for years - STUDY, that's how one actually learns about something - so I used that language, which is that of "the mysteries." Whoop de doo. I have not been concerned with it since then, as I prefer the term "freethinker." If I must wear labels, I would include "mythicist," "secularist," "constitutionalist" and so on. What I called myself almost 20 years ago in a short and poetical essay is absolutely irrelevant to the FACTS that I bring forth."

- Acharya S, addressing her use of the word "mystic" in her article: "An Atheist Here to Destroy?"

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Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
2014 Astrotheology Calendar
The Mythicist Position
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:40 pm 
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Critics Don't Know My Work, Shriek About My Pen Name

Thanks, FTL, for doing all that.

I see that the Zeitgeist controversy has spawned at least 900 new webpages specifically referring to me and my work.

Within these pages appear many erroneous claims that are reflective of the singular fact that my critics have not read my works and are therefore unqualified to make commentary upon them. Such facts, however, do not prevent these individuals from dishonestly attempting to debunk my work.

I would like to emphasize that point: The vast majority of my critics have not even read my works. In particular they have not read Suns of God, which contains refutations for pretty much all of their shallow criticisms. Anyone who wishes to defend my work really needs to read SOG. And those who attack my work without having studied SOG have NO credibility whatsoever.

These dishonest characters also like to hold up detractors of mine within the "atheist" community who likewise have not studied my work but are dishonestly pretending to be experts on me and it. These individuals apparently view themselves as competitors and are evidently professionally jealous in that their works are not receiving the same widespread recognition.

Moreover, I usually don't like to play this card but the facts demonstrate that I have been subjected to what could only be deemed sexism. I have heard about at least one prominent radio personality who didn't want to endorse my work because I was "too sexy." Hard to believe at this point in my life, but a sad reflection of human culture. In any event, a pathetic illustration of the blatant sexism to which I have been subjected. It could honestly be suggested much other vitriol directed at me emanates from the same place.

In any case, it may be a good idea to keep these ideas in mind when encountering the usual character assassinations I'm subjected to when fervent believers cannot dispense with the facts I present. Invariably, they attack my credentials, making hysterical commentary, for example, about how I use a pseudonym and don't reveal my real name.

In the first place, it is true that for some years I was safe in my anonymity from the crackpots and stalkers who later threatened to obtain my credit report, for example, and post it online, along with my home address and phone number. Anyone who knows my story knows that it was none other than Dr. Robert Price who outed me in 2001, which I discovered to my horror one day while sitting home alone, pregnant. All of a sudden, I get an email from a stranger with my real name and home address and phone number, saying that it had been released by Dr. Price to a Christian network. My first reaction was that I would need to flee my home. I was terrified for my life at that point. So, that's the reason I initially used a pseudonym. (Bob Price and I have since mended fences, and he has removed his bad review of Christ Con and endorsed Suns of God. Dr. Price has also written the foreword to my book Who Was Jesus?)

Yes, I chose the pseudonym principally in order to tease religious fanatics, as I was at that time studying Indian religion and noted the chauvinism within. The issue of a pseudonym constitutes an infantile argument that reflects an utter inability to deal with the facts, just more ad homs and assaults on my character, as if that will prove Jesus existed. (And my contention that "Jesus Christ" is a fictional character is really at the basis of much of the vitriol tossed my way.)

In the meantime, the harpies are still shrieking about my nom de plume - a common characteristic in the publishing world, as is evidence by the term "de plume," which means "of pen." I.e., it's a PEN NAME. Nothing sinister or conspiratorial about using a PEN NAME. Enough of such tripe.

Although these harpies claim to be expert enough about me to make their absurd commentaries, they have no idea that I have now begun to use my REAL NAME, as can be found on the first page of my website, attached to my book Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ In other words, the point is now moot.

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 Post subject: My credentials
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:56 pm 
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What Are Acharya's Credentials?

Another subject that cackling harpies glom onto, fallaciously believing it somehow discredits the numerous facts I bring up in my volumes of work, is that of my credentials.

In the first place, I've read where these insightful "experts" on me remain so befuddled that they cannot even discover the biographical material I've had posted on my website since 1995. Instead of honestly admitting that they are NOT experts on me or my work, such individuals start weeping and wailing about how I have no credentials that they can find or verify.

For everyone's edification, I have included a page on my website entitled:

What Are Acharya's Credentials?

My Capacity for Languages

All inquiries may be directed there - please feel free to send and post this article all over the place whenever you see a discussion of me and my work!

* Added edit by FTL:

Quote:
"...credentialism, which is an argument that essentially claims only those with PhDs are worth listening to. The credentialism fallacy is often used when the subject of Jesus mythicism is raised. It is imperative to keep in mind that there are no mythicists with Ph.D's because there are no courses teaching it and there's not any type of "Department of Astrotheological and Mythological Studies" for them to teach in or receive a Ph.D. and scholars know this fact. So, the argument below couldn't be any more fallacious! This quote from Dr. Bart Ehrman is a prime example: ..."

- Religion and the Ph.D.: A Brief History

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:53 pm 
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What about Acharya's publisher - Adventurers Unlimited Press?

A friend of Acharya, Kenn Thomas owner of Steamshovel Press talked to his friend and owner of Adventurers Unlimited Press (AUP) David Childress about publishing Christ Conspiracy and he's very happy he did. Let it be known that Christ Conspiracy is the NUMBER 1 SELLING BOOK of ALL TIME for AUP.

Quote:
"Acharya comes up against the enormous counter-publicity efforts of various churches and religious groups that would want to keep her thesis and ideas suppressed. AUP publishes many heretical books and scholarly work at odds with mainstream views, so to a certain extent it's natural for her work to be found there. And I doubt if even a larger publisher could meet the demand for ChristCon. The upper limit of that has yet to be tested. The Bible started with a small publisher, too, y'know."
- Kenn Thomas owner of Steamshovel Press

Detractors often haven't actually read Acharya's material beyond a few online articles, if that. They often rely on the dishonest smears and libel from others who post on the net without even checking for accuracy. Here's a tame comment I ran into:

Quote:
"The catalog of Adventures Unlimited Press, Acharya S’s publisher, specializes in conspiracy books, Extraterrestrial Archaeology, UFOlogy, books on Atlantas, Anti-Gravity, Cryptozoology, Lost Cities, Templar Studies, Mysterious Phenomena, etc.; i.e. it is not University of Chicago Press"

First of all, there's no problem with those topics. Secondly, what these folks don't know is that major, respected publishers also publish books on those topics and far worse. Major publishers also publish books on pedophilia, satanism, rape, incest, polygamy, homosexuality, murder, cannibalism and more.

Folks consider these to be respectable publishers and they are but, they publish books on all of those topics too. Simply go to Amazon.com and do a book search and type in a favorite publisher along with a topic from above and you'll be amazed at what turns up.

University of Chicago Press - Lets look up "conspiracy" and see what turns up ...

The 9/11 Conspiracy by James H. Fetzer

The Stargate Conspiracy: The Truth about Extraterrestrial life and the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt by Lynn Picknett

Prometheus - lets look up oh, I don't know, say, "Atlantis" and see what turns up ...2 pages of books. A couple are:

The Atlantis Encyclopedia by Frank Joseph

Voyage to Atlantis: The Discovery of a Legendary Land by Jr., James W. Mavor

Harpers - Lets see if they have anything on the "Christ Myth"

JESUS WHO? Myth vs. Reality in the Search for the Historical Jesus by James Gardner

The Jesus Myth by G. A. Wells

Jesus Mysteries by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy ("Three Rivers Press" is a part of Harpers)

Simon & Schuster - Lets look up "UFOs"

UFO Briefing Document: The Best Available Evidence by Don Berliner and Whitley Streiber

UFOs and the National Security State by Richard M. Dolan and Jacques F. Vallee

They have 4 pages of books on UFOs http://tinyurl.com/2wrtpe

W.W. Norton - Lets look up "Mysterious Phenomena"

The Mysterious North Shore: A Collection of Short Stories About Ghosts, UFOs, Shipwrecks and More by William Mayo

Anyway, you get the point. Complaints about Adventurers Unlimited Press (AUP) simply don't stand and are simply used to try to get others not to read Acharya's works.

Never mind how God created the universe in 7 days. Never mind the talking snake with Adam and Eve, the mythical Noah's ark and Moses' burning bush, Never mind the mention of the Anunnaki and Nephilim, plus, all the other extraordinary tales in the Old and New Testaments including Jesus' resurrection. Never mind all the religious wars and genocide in the bible. Never mind all the forgery and interpolations. Never mind all the errors and contradictions in the bible. Lets just worry about whatever AUP may have published. Lets just get hung-up on her pen name "Acharya S" and the word "Conspiracy" in the title of her first book rather than the fascinating information in it (SARCASM).

I was a saved, baptized evangelical Christian for two decades. I simply got tired of being lied to. The bible should have a disclaimer sticker that reads something like this:

"This book discusses gods. The existence of entities with supernatural powers is controversial, and many believe that myths, especially other people's myths, are fictional. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered."

and/or,

"These stories are a collage of many other, much older stories that are known to be myths, legends and/or, Astrotheology and should never be taken as literal fact." The bible should be in the FICTION section with the rest of the fiction.

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Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
2014 Astrotheology Calendar
The Mythicist Position
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 Post subject: My publisher
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:29 am 
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My Publisher

Thanks again, FTL.

It is amazing how little people know about the publishing world, yet they yack as if they are experts. In the first place, one doesn't write a book and then have major publishers falling all over themselves to obtain it - unless one is already famous for some reason or another. In the bad old days before print-on-demand and ebooks, it was a seriously difficult process to get a book published, as there were far too few publishers for all the authors, and major publishers were extremely selective.

Those who are using the strawman argument of my publisher - revealing just how weak is their ability to dispense with the FACTS I bring up - have obviously never written a book and attempted to get it published. Hence, once again they are extremely ignorant of the subject they are so snidely waving about. One thing that continuously strikes those who are engaged in this intellectual debate about the origins of religion and Christianity in particular is how repulsively dishonest, smart-alecky and sociopathic the upholders of the faith can be. Such characteristics are obvious from the fact that their great champions - who shall remain nameless - are barbarians and knuckledraggers whose only "talent" is their smart mouths and attempts at bullying.

In any event, years ago when Christ Con was published, obtaining any publisher was a long and tedious process that may never have yielded results. I was fortunate to have another publisher's offer, but I chose AUP, even though Kenn Thomas had to twist Childress's arm. Like you say, Childress is certainly glad he took that risk!

The entire publisher issue is a non-issue, smoke-and-mirrors and strawman argument that only those with no real argument concerning the facts and with a less-than-stellar IQ would keep bringing up. It is irrelevant, especially when you factor in the pabulum that major mainstream publishers themselves have pumped out endlessly - and when you consider what absolute SCHLOCK Christian publishers waste perfectly good trees on. It's time for the environmentalists to picket this Christian crap, such as the "Left Behind" series, which is planting a dangerous blueprint for total global destruction in the brains of millions. Their publishers should be sued.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:11 pm 
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"The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors" 1875 classic by Kersey Graves

Some get confused by the article by Richard Carrier linked below and try to use it to blast Acharya for mentioning Kersey Graves. BTW, Richard Carrier has never actually read any of Acharya S/Murdock's books. I see no reason to believe Carrier has actually read Graves either because of this comment at the top of his own article he admits that his opinion of Kersey Graves' book comes from three e-mails, not by reading Graves' book. Nowhere does Carrier give any indication that he ever actually read the book:
Quote:
"[Editor's note: This is a conflation of three responses which were made by Richard Carrier to feedback and e-mail involving questions about the scholarhip of Kersey Graves, in particular, and about scholarship, in general, in the subject area about which Graves concerned himself in The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors.]"
Code:
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/graves.html

Richard Carrier has made no effort researching where Graves was getting his info like Acharya has and it's obviously a thankless job. It's easy for those like Richard Carrier to attack Kersey Graves when he's dead and can not defend himself.

She wrote the foreword to the 6th edition to "The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors".
Quote:
"As concerns the much-maligned Kersey Graves, to my knowledge not one of his critics has bothered to check out why he wrote what he did. I am evidently the first person to spend any time researching where he procurred his information, and I spill considerable ink on the subject in "Suns of God". Interested parties, I would think, would find it a fascinating piece of detective work."
- Acharya

Kersey Graves is only cited 7 times in the "Christ Conspiracy" index. In "Suns of God" she mentions him only in order to discuss the fracas surrounding his credibility. She does NOT rely on Graves at all, she is merely asking why he is saying what he is - that's where her investigation STARTS, not where it ends:
Quote:
"I can assure you that I have not discovered one individual in modern times who has looked into the issues surrounding Kersey Graves as much as I have. When the subject is studied IN DEPTH, it becomes apparent that Kersey Graves made nothing up, as he has been charged, but was working with preceding scholarship. Whether or not that scholarship is accurate becomes the issue then, not whether or not Kersey Graves "fabricated" anything. I have examined many aspects of his work and have not found one instance of "fabrication." More careful citation on Graves's part would have prevented many of these aspersions from being cast upon him."
- Acharya

Here, Richard Carrier agrees with Kersey Graves on the December 25 birth date issue ...
Quote:
"...consider his [Kersey Graves] emphasis on the December 25 birth date as a common feature. This is one of the things he [Kersey Graves] gets right, at least regarding Greco-Roman religion: all gods associated with the sun shared the sun's 'birthday,' erroneously identified as December 25..."

Regarding Kersey Graves and the god "Deva Tat," another instance of Graves being charged with "fabrication," Acharya answered:
Quote:
The original passage in Asiatic Researches is to be found in vol. X on page 62 of Col. Wilford's essay, "Origin and Decline of the Christian religion in India," in which he spells "Deva-Thot" as "Deva-Tat." This Deva Thot or Deva-Tat has been equated with Jesus, based on a number of striking correspondences between their stories, correspondences that in reality appear because the gospel story existed ubiquitously in bits and pieces for centuries and millennia prior to the Christian erra. Significantly, "Thot" is the same as the Egyptian name for Budha/Mercury/Hermes, i.e. Thoth. It would seem, therefore, that this Siamese Buddhist tradition regarding "Deva Thot" is pre-Christian and has little to do with "Jesus Christ," except that the "punishment by the cross" and other characteristics were eventually taken into Christianity.

That Asiatic Researches article regarding "Deva-Tat" dates to over a century prior to Graves and is fairly long. The title "Deva-Tat" was apparently well known within the Indian/Buddhist priesthood. Once again, proof of yet another example how Graves did not "make it up." There are 23 references to the Asiatic Researches article & its authors in Suns of God.

This article demonstrates what I'm talking about: Beddru is Beddou is Buddha

Quote:
"...We have in our possession historical quotations to prove the truth of each one of the above parallels. We have all the historical facts on which they were constructed found in and drawn from the sacred books of the Hindu religion and the works of Christian writers descriptive of their religion. But they would swell the present volume to unwieldy dimensions, and far beyond its proper and prescribed limits, to present them here; they are therefore reserved for the second volume, and may be published in pamphlet form also.

In proof of the correctness of the foregoing comparative analogies, we will now summon the testimony of various authors setting forth the historical character of the Hindu God Krishna, and the essential nature of his religion, so far as it approximates in its doctrines and moral teachings to the Christian religion. We will first hear from Colonel Wiseman, for ten years a Christian missionary in India."

- Kersey Graves, 273

Even with all the complaints about this book - it is still popular to this very day for good reason.

_________________
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:46 pm 
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Stupid Things Richard Carrier has Said and Done
A polemic years in the making (edited for clarity and content)

Over the many years D.M. Murdock/Acharya S has been writing books and publishing online, she's always been open to constructive criticism and to making necessary adjustments, as she's done with incorrect or inaccurate details. Yet, many of her critics reveal they don't know either that fact or her work overall. As an example, critic Richard Carrier's behavior over the last 10 years has been unethical, nasty and hateful, having no place in academia or in today's mythicist camp. In fact, Richard Carrier owes Acharya an apology!

The fact is that we would not have an issue with Carrier, were it not for all his error-filled criticisms and his unjust, over-the-top malicious smears targeting Acharya S/Murdock (and others), going around in his lectures telling people not to read her work while never having actually studied it himself, along with his admitted willful ignorance refusing to study astrotheology. Other negatives are his bizarre and megalomaniacal demands that no one read other mythicist material and that everyone should listen only to him. Carrier appears to believe he is already a legend ... (in his own mind). Even when Carrier has defended Acharya (such as in the case with Bart Ehrman etc.), he still insists on making loaded derogatory comments and smears and we are just sick and tired of it and demand more integrity and character from our own mythicist camp. The time has come for scholars and others to finally call him out on it.

Image
Richard Carrier playing pirate: "Arggh, matey!"

Luxor Brouhaha: Carrier Worked with WRONG Inscription

This sustained abuse started overtly in 2004, when Carrier criticized a paragraph about the famous Nativity Scene and inscription at Luxor, Egypt, from Acharya's first book, The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold (1999; 115-116) (see also the revised, second edition):

Quote:
Richard Carrier: "I was asked by someone...to check up on a claim made by some authors on the internet that the nativity of Jesus derives in part from a very ancient Egyptian inscription at Luxor...

"First, the inscription in question does exist, and is thoroughly discussed in Hellmut Brunner's Die Geburt des Gottkoenigs: Studien zer Ueberlieferung eines Altaegyptischen Mythos (2nd ed., 1986). The inscription relates the royal myth of the Birth of the God King, which represents a cycle repeated with every new Pharaoh. So far no surprise. But in her book, Acharya S claims:

Quote:
Inscribed about 3,500 years ago on the walls of the Temple at Luxor were images of the Annunciation, Immaculate Conception, Birth and Adoration of Horus, with Thoth announcing to the Virgin Isis that she will conceive Horus; with Kneph, the "Holy Ghost," impregnating the virgin; and with the infant being attended by three kings, or magi, bearing gifts. In addition, in the catacombs at Rome are pictures of the baby Horus being held by the virgin mother Isis - the original "Madonna and Child."

Carrier: "The individual who asked for my investigation was kind enough to mail me a copy of Brunner's book, for which I felt an obligation to check the claim that concerned him. I skimmed the relevant sections ..." (Emph. added)

"Brunner's Gottkoenigs & the Nativity of Jesus: A Brief Communication" (2004)
frontline-apologetics.com/Luxor_Inscription.html

Image
Description reads: 'The Annunciation, Conception, Birth and Adoration of the Child'

Carrier goes on to claim that the paragraph from Acharya's book is basically all wrong. First, as we can see from the image above, Murdock did not fabricate the parallels but was citing the work of Dr. Samuel Sharpe, an Egyptologist and translator of the Bible:

Quote:
"In this picture we have the Annunciation, the Conception, the Birth, and the Adoration, as described in the First and Second Chapters of Luke's Gospel; and as we have historical assurance that the chapters in Matthew's Gospel which contain the Miraculous Birth of Jesus are an after addition not in the earliest manuscripts, it seems probable that these two poetical chapters in Luke may also be unhistorical, and be borrowed from the Egyptian accounts of the miraculous birth of their kings."

Dr. Samuel C. Sharpe, Egyptian Mythology and Egyptian Christianity (19)

Secondly, Acharya responded to the above criticism by Dick Carrier in the article "The Nativity Scene of Amenhotep III at Luxor," catching him in a really sloppy mistake, which she included in her long, scholarly analysis of the subject in her book Christ in Egypt (167-194):

Quote:
...in "skimming" Brunner's [German] text, as he puts it, Carrier has mistakenly dealt with the substantially different Hatshepsut text (Brunner's "IV D"), demonstrating an egregious error in garbling the cycles, when in fact we are specifically interested in the Luxor narrative (IV L)....

This fact means that Carrier worked with the wrong inscription and that his Luxor criticism therefore is "hopelessly flawed" - to use his own language in describing an article of Murdock's about Nazareth - yet, I've seen no apology from Carrier. In fact, he seemingly became enraged by being caught in this mistake and doubled-down in his blog, "That Luxor Thing," to which Acharya subsequently responded as follows:

Parallelophobia, personal attacks and professional jealousy: A response to Richard Carrier's 'That Luxor Thing'
Is Jesus's nativity an Egyptian myth?
What Egyptologists (and other scholars) say about Egypt's role in Christian origins
Myopia is not expertise
Stumping for Utter Ignorance

In a nutshell, Murdock proves Carrier's shallow analysis to be illogical and unscientific. Since his Luxor critique revealing his sloppy scholarship, he has actually become far more nasty, hateful and malicious; thus, my long critique here. Again, Carrier's criticisms of Murdock's work have included egregious errors. Therefore, one should be very skeptical of his criticisms, as he is not a reliable or credible source on Acharya's work.

Disingenuous Carrier Has Not Studied Murdock's Work

In fact, even though he dishonestly pretends to be an expert on her work, Carrier has never read one single book by Acharya S/Murdock, and the information he obtains of her work apparently comes mainly from emails asking for his opinion, as well as lies and gossip from Christian apologist websites.

It's also important to reiterate that, at this point, Carrier has been criticizing Acharya's work for at least 10 years since 2004; yet, he has never proven anything of significance wrong, mostly because he's never even studied her work! Carrier also has rarely acknowledged that she may be right about anything - all signs of biases and ulterior motives. In fact, he's so quick to criticize her work that he consistently makes mistakes, which he NEVER apologizes for.

We expect far more integrity, character and ethics from the mythicist camp. It appears Carrier's agenda is merely to "poison the well." Somebody needs to explain to him that part of being a good scholar is also having good ethics and that the treatment he gives to Murdock, a female fellow mythicist, has been disingenuous and unethical. Atheist and freethinking women should especially be pissed.

Cranky Credentialism

It's also noteworthy that while the credentialist Carrier did finally receive his Ph.D - after about 10 years - I'm not aware of him ever having any job as a professional historian or having actually contributed anything uniquely important thus far to the subject. In fact, Carrier himself admits towards the end of the Nuskeptix video that he has never held any job as a historian. So, in one sense, while he invokes the fallacy of credentialism and makes disparaging remarks about people "self-publishing on the internet," he himself is basically a glorified blogger and self-published author for the most part. Were it not for his brief appearance in the movie, "The God Who Wasn't There," nobody would know who he was; yet, he's constantly treated with kid gloves.

Speaking of "The God Who Wasn't There," I may be wrong but I suspected for years that Carrier sabotaged any potential role Acharya may have had in that film, as its producer, Brian Flemming, told her via email that her book The Christ Conspiracy was one of the first he'd read on the subject. So, why didn't he include her?

If Information Doesn't Come from Carrier, It Can't Be True?!

Unbelievably, the dictatorial Carrier has the nerve to proclaim the following, so astonishing that it bears repeated emphasis:

Quote:
"The first thing to know is, forget about all the other mythicist theories ... So, I say, if you want a simple rule: Basically, if you don't hear it from me, be skeptical of it."

- Richard Carrier, "The Historicity of Jesus," youtube.com/watch?v=XORm2QtR-os (3:10)

There are plenty of other scholars performing work as good as and often much better than Carrier's, including Murdock. No wonder fellow mythicist Earl Doherty declared that Carrier has an "ego the size of a bus."

Carrier has apparently been telling people not to discuss Murdock's work or even mention her at all. In response to a request to John Loftus at his "Debunking Christianity" blog to post her mythicist position video for open discussion, Loftus remarked:

Quote:

That admission of censorship looks like Loftus's polite way of saying that Carrier is going around telling others not to discuss Acharya's work. Loftus was putting his life on hold for years in order to suck up to Carrier? How many others has Carrier told not to discuss it? His utter arrogance and conceit are out of control! He frankly is an embarrassment to all of us freethinkers and mythicists.

Ironically, Loftus and Carrier later got into it, and the pugnacious Carrier implied John was "insane," which is a standard default position he uses to smear people who disagree with him:

Quote:
Because trust me, you look insane there. And if you don’t see that even after that reexamination, then you are insane. And all I can recommend then is that you start talking to a therapist.

(freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/341#comment-4768)

This is why Loftus’ response looks so insane to me.

The weirdest part of all this, which really makes John look crazy, is that I know John actually agrees with the central point Natalie in fact actually made... he resorts to fallacious and petty attacks on her, and ignores the actual content of her calm replies, and just responds ever more insanely every single time.

(freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/341#comment-4834)

It takes some pretty extremely inexplicable behavior for me to conclude and publicly say that someone’s behavior is looking insane, and John’s is well over that line by now. I’m deeply worried.

(freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/341#comment-4897)

And that's what Carrier spends his time doing - bickering and fighting, calling people insane, going nowhere. Meanwhile, Murdock is up to her eyeballs actually doing difficult research in multiple languages. Ignoring that fact, when dealing with Murdock's work Carrier himself "resorts to fallacious and petty attacks on her, and ignores the actual content of her calm replies, and just responds ever more insanely every single time."

And I wonder how Loftus - who invited Acharya onto his blog and allowed her to be abused until she left - feels now?

'Abandon' Everything Carrier Doesn't Understand or Like!

Further encouraging censorship and ignorance, in a book review for a friend Carrier foolishly proclaims:

Quote:
"...every Jesus mythicist who attempts to make an astrotheological argument for the origins of Christianity and (especially) the construction of the Gospels is just engaging in a Rorschach inkblot test ... so the whole attempt should be abandoned."

- Carrier, posted HERE

This is one of the dumbest things I've ever read. Carrier says it's ethical to insult people, so... Only a COMPLETE IGNORAMUS would make such a comment. We have tons of facts and credible evidence from antiquity that show astral mythology/religion or "astrotheology", both pre-Christian and into the Christian era, specifically about Jesus and Christian doctrine.

'Celestial Being' = the SUN!

While thus denying that the Christ myth has its origins mainly in nature worship and astral mythology, Carrier's latest conclusion is that Jesus was originally a "CELESTIAL BEING," an idea that did not originate with him but came from Earl Doherty:

Quote:
"The most credible alternative theory of Christian origins is that Jesus began life as a celestial being, known only through private revelations, who was believed to have been crucified and resurrected in the lower heavens."

- Carrier, posted HERE

While he attacks her personally, Dick basically admits that Acharya's thesis and mythicist position are the "most credible alternative theory" of Christian origins. Yet, he engages in ludicrous nitpicking to stay far away from the obvious fact that the "celestial" Christian SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (Malachi 4:2) is a blatantly obvious SOLAR HERO, contending instead that this logical and scientific observation should be "abandoned!"

Image
At the solstices/equinoxes, the sun is a celestial being crucified and resurrected in the "lower heavens"

If Carrier actually did due diligence as a historian, he would discover that the solar mythological or astrotheological origins of the Christ myth have been written about many times over the centuries, including by renowned freethinker Thomas Paine and many others:

Quote:
"The fable of Christ and his twelve apostles...is a parody of the sun and the twelve signs of the Zodiac, copied from the ancient religions of the Eastern world.... Every thing told of Christ has reference to the sun. His reported resurrection is at sunrise, and that on the first day of the week; that is, on the day anciently dedicated to the sun, and from thence called Sunday..."

Thomas Paine, The Complete Religious and Theological Works of Thomas Paine (382)

"The cult of Sol Invictus, the 'Invincible Sun,' became dominant in Rome and in other parts of the empire during the early part of the second century A.D. And evidence abounds that Roman sun cults influenced Christian thought and liturgy."

--Christian theologian Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, Signs of the Times (6/10)

"Christ too was sometimes pictured as a sun-god."

--Christian theologian Rev. Dr. J. Glen Taylor, "Was Yahweh Worshiped as the Sun?" Biblical Archaeology Review 20/3. (1994; 90).

Much more on the subject can be found in Murdock's scholarly survey, Jesus as the Sun throughout History.

Image

All this excellent scholarship certainly has been abandoned by Carrier, who admits he's never studied the subject of astrotheology and has no interest in doing so. This means he is IGNORANT about the large body of Jesus mythicist scholarship and history of this subject going back hundreds of years and should not be running around proclaiming himself an expert.

Carrier Has No Interest in Studying Astrotheology

In a 2014 video, Nuskeptix "Christ Myth Theory" Video Chat (53-54m), Carrier admits he has no interest in pursuing or investigating astrotheology, as he finds it "dull." That's basically an admission that he has never studied the subject. Therefore, Carrier is not an expert and is unqualified to comment on the subjects of astrotheology and its relationship to mythicism with any authority or competence whatsoever. He says he "could never write a book on the subject" - ain't that the truth!

Since Carrier is so deferential to Doherty - who actually has read some of Murdock's books - maybe he should listen to Earl's comments about Murdock and astrotheology, as here:

Quote:
"A heavenly location for the actions of the savior gods, including the death of Christ, would also have been influenced by most religions' ultimate derivation from astrotheology, as in the worship of the sun and moon. For this dimension of more remote Christian roots, see the books of Acharya S, especially Suns of God."

- Earl Doherty, Jesus: Neither God Nor Man: The Case for a Mythical Jesus (2009; 153)

Or how about these?

Quote:
"I have no objection to postulating a 'prehistoric' (i.e., prior to our earliest horizon on Christianity) phase to the heavenly Christ cult in which observations of the heavens helped shaped the Christ myth... Acharya has that aspect of things sewn up!"

"Acharya S has done a superb job in bringing together this rich panoply of ancient world mythology and culture, and presenting it in a comprehensive and compelling fashion.... We sorely need a new History of Religions School for the 21st century, to apply modern techniques to this important ancient material. Perhaps this book [Christ Con] will help bring that about."

"Personally, I was fascinated by the window she provided onto the old History of Religions school of the 19th century, something we've largely lost sight of since mainstream academia circled its wagons in the early 20th century and drove them into eclipse. I think Acharya has done invaluable work in bringing them back into the light, as she has the unduly neglected field of astrotheology."

- Earl Doherty

Richard Carrier is simply not a reliable or credible source on the subjects of Jesus mythicism, astrotheology or Murdock's work. His irrational war on astrotheology and Acharya S based on his own admission of biases and willful ignorance is an embarrassment and disservice to the entire field of mythicism. If Carrier is not interested in the astrotheological origins of religious concepts, perhaps mythicism is not the best field for him.

'Book'-Burning Censorship

This is the same guy giving lectures telling people not to read Murdock's work and advocating extreme censorship about the first/religion part of the first "Zeitgeist" film ("ZG1.1") - which advocates a solar mythological origin for the Christ character - saying: "Zeitgeist and all copies of it should be burned". Yet, Carrier has recently started discussing the "celestial Jesus!" How can he not realize that is just another way of saying "astrotheological Jesus?"

I liked Carrier's last few videos and even posted them in my Jesus Challenge thread, but he apparently has no idea that his work on Jesus is very compatible with Murdock's work in astrotheology and mythicism. This issue of ignorance probably exists because, again, Carrier has yet to read a single book of Acharya's but smears her regardless, perhaps out of professional jealousy, biases and misogyny. His behavior is unprofessional, intellectually dishonest and an epic disservice, and he needs to be called out on it.

(In 2013, Carrier actually did one thing helpful - surprisingly - and that was to write a blog asking for his followers to help Murdock get her Facebook account back, after it was suspended for posting a "virginity testing" photo. Acharya wrote him a short comment thanking him for his help.)

We're Just Creating "More Work" for Carrier?!

In this video clip, Carrier complains that efforts like "Zeitgeist," part 1, just make "more work" for him. The fact is that Carrier himself makes a lot more work for us having to esssssplain his sloppy and egregious errors on a subject he happily admits he's never studied! How pathetic can he get? It's blatantly obvious that Carrier is just not the go-to guy on mythicism. Since he apparently doesn't want to do the hard work, maybe he should just drop out of the field - we can only hope, as he is poisoning the well and making mythicism look bad.

For those who are not too lazy and dishonest to actually study the subject, here is the important documentation for ZG1.1, including primary sources and scholarly commentary:

No, Zeitigeist has not been refuted!
Top 10 myths about the religion part of Zeitgeist
ZG1 Sourcebook
Primary Sources & Scholars cited in the ZG1 Sourcebook
Rebuttal to Dr. Chris Forbes concerning 'Zeitgeist Part 1'
Zeitgeist Part 1

Oblivious to Scholarly Practice of Citing Previous Work?

Carrier and his fanboys love to harp on the fact that, in certain instances, Murdock refers back to her own work in her citations. For example, in order to cover up the fact that he didn't even read the paper he's pretending to critique - in this case, Murdock's lengthy ZEITGEIST Sourcebook, Carrier lies once again by claiming:

Quote:
Most of it consists of Murdock citing herself (as if you didn't know, Acharya S is D.M. Murdock).

From my count, her work only constitutes 78 out of the 345 footnotes, or about 23% of the overall citations, which means that 77% - almost 4/5ths - of it is not her citing herself. To say that "MOST of it consists of Murdock citing herself" is therefore quite inaccurate and unscientific. In fact, the Sourcebook's bibliography is jampacked full of primary sources and scholarly modern commentaries, which you can see for yourself here.

Earth to Carrier: In citing her own works, Murdock uses a SCHOLARLY PRACTICE so she won't have to reproduce everything she's already written. Do Carrier and his fanatics never read scholarly books? Professional scholars, historians, archaeologists and scientists refer back to their own previously published works all the time.

As a major example, the scholar Dr. Ramsay MacMullen is arguably the best Roman historian in English alive today. In this 331-page book, published by Yale University, he cites his own work at least 60 times, sometimes four or more on a page:

Corruption and the Decline of Rome by Ramsay MacMullen

There are more examples by other scholars and scientists here: http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 433#p18433

The rest of Carrier's criticisms of the Sourcebook are about the same quality: Lies and dismissals based on the fact he didn't even read it and certainly doesn't know the subject matter.

Bayes Theorem Hypocrisy

Carrier also constantly bludgeons Acharya to death for discussing 18th and 19th-century writings, which is a strawman since she actually works with the earliest known evidence from thousands of years ago to the most current scholarship. Ironically, Richard's pet "Bayes Theorem" originates from the 18th century! "Bayes' theorem is named after Thomas Bayes 1701–1761". :shock: How much more hypocritical can he possibly be? It appears Carrier is unaware of the fact that Acharya's discussion of 18th/19th century works were discussing PRIMARY SOURCES!

Others following Carrier's work have pointed out problems with the Bayes Theorem methodology, including that it can be used equally effectively to prove Jesus's existence.

The fact is that the 17th to 19th centuries represented the "Age of Enlightenment," during which some very important scholarship in mythicism was done, including by Thomas Paine, as well as Charles Dupuis, Count Volney and, evidently, Thomas Jefferson:

Quote:
Washington even was glad to have Volney as his guest at Mount Vernon, and Jefferson occupied his Sundays at Montecello in writing letters to Paine..., in favour of the probabilities that Christ and his twelve apostles were only personifications of the sun and the twelve signs of the zodiac.

(Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country, 290)

These are important facts that we would expect a historian purportedly interested in Jesus mythicism to study, as Murdock has done. In fact, she is much more of a historian of Jesus mythicism than Carrier, who gleefully admits his ignorance and shallow scholarship.

Ignore Pre-1950 Scholarship

Instead of studying the subject to gain expertise in comparative religion and mythology dating back thousands of years, Carrier admits to confining his knowledge to the past several decades. Recounting his scholarly training, he says:

Quote:
The first day I arrived in the office of my graduate advisor at Columbia University, Professor William V. Harris, a very distinguished scholar of ancient history, one of the first things he said to me is (paraphrasing, since I can't recall his exact words--this was now about ten years ago), "Don't rely on anything written before 1950 or so unless you can confirm what it says from primary evidence or more recent scholarship."

"In fact, almost every historical work written before 1950 is regarded as outdated and untrustworthy by historians today."

"History Before 1950"
richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2007/04/history-before-1950.html

(See also: viewtopic.php?p=25176#p25176 and http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 171#p25171)

How can Carrier claim nobody should study and discuss pre-1950's works, when much of the 18th/19th century mythicist material came out during the brilliant "Age of Enlightenment," the same time as when Bayes came out with his theorem? That's like biologists not studying Darwin or Mendel because they're "old" and "outdated!"

Of course, we shouldn't rely entirely on scholarship from any single source or era, and primary sources and modern scholarship definitely should be consulted as well, which Murdock does all the time - in their original languages. Carrier wouldn't know that fact, because he hasn't studied her work and just repeats lies about it.

But, ignorance is not expertise! To be an expert, you have to study a subject inside and out, not lazily confine yourself to a tiny percentage of the research on a subject. Also, while historical texts may need constant revision, the subjects of religion and mythology generally do not - and those are the subjects we are dealing with here.

Methodology Mania

This discussion brings up another fallacy that Carrier and his ilk like to beat Acharya over the head with: methodology. While ranting erroneously that Murdock's "methodology" is flawed - in reality, she uses the best methods available to date, in a manner taught by the best academic institutions, such as those of which she is an alumna - Carrier himself admitted:

Quote:
(1:43:50) "Well, part of my project for the Historicity of Jesus was I realized that the methodology in Jesus studies is hosed basically, and I'm not the only one to notice this. Many scholars in the field have pointed out that the methodologies that have been used to study Jesus are hopelessly flawed."

(1:45:55) "I have, like, 50 pages in my book Proving History on why the 'criterion of embarrassment' is logically fallacious and does not work in Jesus studies at all."

wired.com/2014/04/geeks-guide-christopher-moore/

If no one has any proper methodology - not even Carrier, according to critics of his Bayes Theorem proposition - why single out Murdock for special venom? We don't want to suggest irrational bigotry, prejudice, professional jealousy and misogyny, but rationality and integrity don't explain this sordid behavior, so...

Peer-Review Ploy

Another strawman that Carrier and his uncredentialed supporters also bludgeon Acharya with is "peer review." Meanwhile, here's what Carrier fan Neil Godfrey has to say about peer review:

Quote:
"If Peer-Review Does Not Work for Science Why Does It Work for Biblical Studies?"
vridar.org/2013/10/15/if-peer-review-does-not-work-for-science-why-does-it-work-for-biblical-studies/

Quote:
The editors of the ACP Journal Club find that less than 1% of studies in most journals are “both scientifically sound and important for clinicians.

We have little or no evidence that peer review "works," but we have lots of evidence of its downside.

Peer-review does not detect errors. Again numerous studies have demonstrated this. Papers have certain errors deliberately inserted into them (mixes of major and minor) and are then sent to peer review, and the rate of detection of those errors is so often very, very low indeed.

So if Carrier and his supporters concede that methodology and peer review related to Jesus studies are "hopelessly flawed" and do not work, the only reason they would continue their dishonest smears of Murdock is to "poison the well" and character assassinate her, which is very unethical. Again, they MUST be called out on it by others.

Unknown to those who don't know her work but still lie about it, significant parts of Murdock's work have been "peer reviewed" - if there even are any peers with her breadth and depth of knowledge and abilities in this subject. A discussion can be found at this link:

Acharya S: Peer Review and Scholarly Journal Publications

Here's a handy list:

At least two articles in the Journal of Higher Criticism, reviewed by Drs. Robert M. Price and Darrell Doughty (deceased)
Two articles in the Migration & Diffusion Journal, reviewed by Dr. Christine Pellech
"A Pre-Christian 'God' on a Cross?," reviewed by Dr. Francesco Carotta
"Buddhism's Relation to Christianity: A Review," reviewed by Drs. Christian Lindnter and Michael Lockwood
"Was the Persian Goddess Anahita the Pre-Christian Virgin Mother of Mithra?," reviewed by Drs. Payam Nabarz and Kaveh Farrokh
"Maya mythology and its relationship to Christianity," reviewed by Dr. John Hoopes, professor of Mesoamerican anthropology at the University of Kansas
Two articles in Bart Ehrman & the Quest of the Historical Jesus, reviewed by Dr. Robert M. Price and Frank Zindler

Murdock's books themselves have been read by a variety of people who are intelligent and educated, and who endorse her scholarship, including Dr. Robert Price, Barbara G. Walker, Dr. Michael Lockwood, Earl Doherty, Dr. Kenneth Feder, Dr. Robert Schoch, Rev. David Bruce, Rev. B. Strauss, Rev. Jon Burnham, Rev. Carlton Pearson, and David Mills (more below).

We support quality methodology and peer review to whatever extent it does work, but Acharya knew there were serious issues with both long before Carrier/Godfrey started talking about it. As he is not the first (or best) in the field of mythicism, Carrier was not the first to point out the problems with methodology and peer review, and he's talking out two sides of his mouth by using these strawmen to knock down her work.

Carrier Trashes a Book He Helped Write

In response to Bart Ehrman's ridiculous anti-mythicist book, Did Jesus Exist?, edited and published by ex-American Atheist president and mythicist Frank Zindler: Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist? Displaying an astonishing lack of class and integrity, Carrier wrote a viciously scathing review of the book for which he himself was PAID to contribute to, as one of 7 authors.

In his petulant review, Carrier remarks:

Quote:
I required a disclaimer to be included (in the Foreword generally and in the first paragraph of my chapter specifically), since I do not endorse much of what gets said elsewhere in this book. I was sure of this even before I read it...

http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 859#p27859

Carrier was so sure that the book would be beneath him, even before reading it, based on what? His abject bigotry and unfounded biases against other people included in it? His deliberate ignorance of other mythicists' work? In either case, his puerile and egotistical behavior is exemplified once again.

Carrier "fanboy" Tommy Verenna aka "Rook Hawkins" felt the need to follow his master and piled on with his own vicious and jealous "review." (Here's more of what Carrier's influence looks like in those who consider him their "hero": Rook Watch (Rook Hawkins/Tom Vern) Smears Acharya S)

Perhaps editor Zindler should ask for that disclaimer money back and do a 2nd edition leaving Carrier out completely? Let this be a fair warning to others in any possible future projects, demonstrating that neither Richard Carrier nor Tom/Rook have the capacity to play well with others, as Carrier will demand to be paid and then write a scathing review dissing all the other contributors. He next tells others not to buy the book, but goes on to instruct his fans who do plan to buy the book to use his link, so he gets a kickback anyway!

Never mind the fact that Zindler's wife of 48 years had just passed away. Carrier & Tom both could have at least waited a few months before pissing all over this response to Ehrman. They could have said a few positive things about the book before blasting it and all the mythicist authors in it. I've said before and I'll say it again, both Carrier and Verenna are an embarrassment to all freethinkers and mythicists everywhere and owe us all an official apology.

(See: freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=27870#p27870)

Nazareth Nonsense and Strawmen

Here's a perfect example of Carrier speaking out both sides of his mouth: Nazareth.

In his outraged review of Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus, Carrier writes on the "Nazareth Obsession," referring to the scholarship as by Rene Salm and Frank Zindler demonstrating there was no real town of Nazareth that a historical Jesus of Nazareth" could come from:

Quote:
One of the worst contributions is by Salm, yet this is representative of the kind of problem frequently encountered in this book. Here he burns over 40 pages attempting to argue there is no evidence for Nazareth in the early first century and yet never once even mentions, much less addresses, the priestly inscription (of around 300 A.D., in Hebrew) proving it existed in 70 AD–when it was recorded as one of the towns that took in priests after the destruction of the temple and the outlawing of its rituals. There was no temple to house priests nor any temple cult for priests to attend after the first Jewish War, so obviously they were more likely relocated in 70 AD, not 132 AD (much less later)–although some scholars have attempted "arguments from incredulity" for the latter conclusion, I find those arguments quite dubious myself....

An inscription from 300 AD does not prove Nazareth existed in the early first century, regardless of its claims. Building on the scholarship of previous centuries, Salm and Zindler show there's no hard archeological evidence for a Nazareth of any significance at the supposed time of Jesus. Salm addressed Carrier's petulant attack here.

Carrier continues:

Quote:
In fact, numerous chapters by several authors in this anthology attack the historicity of Nazareth, and none of them mention this inscription (Murdock, on page 390, is even explicitly unaware of its existence). This is the kind of thing I’m talking about: what use is any of this lengthy and disorganized argumentation against Nazareth if it can’t even be bothered to address the best evidence we have for it? There are many other faults in Salm’s chapter (many errors of logic), but that one is fatal enough. Which is a shame, because buried under his fallacies and hyperbole and omissions of key evidence are some valid points about the shoddiness of the archaeology of Nazareth and its demonstrably suspect motives. (Although the latter still cannot sustain the certainty Salm exhibits.)

Note to future mythicists: if you are going to write a chapter or article on a subject, make it comprehensive enough to be required reading on that subject. That means: don’t leave key evidence out of it, and be a better Devil’s Advocate of your own arguments as you write them, to ensure they aren’t easily shown faulty or hyperbolic, and that they exhibit the caution and self-awareness of their weaknesses any good scholar should rightly expect.

(viewtopic.php?p=27859#p27859)

Note to Carrier, if you're going to lie about someone's work, maybe you should realize that the real facts are in books owned by hundreds of people who can check on what you've said! Here Carrier is misrepresenting Murdock's work AGAIN. Saying that Acharya is not "even explicitly unaware of its existence" is a misrepresentation of what she wrote in that chapter on p. 390. She never illogically says, "I am explicitly unaware of the Nazareth inscription's existence." What she actually says is:

Quote:
Despite all of this speculation, there exists no hard scientific evidence that the polis or "city" of Nazareth as depicted in the New Testament even existed at the time when Christ was supposedly being raised there. Although there exists a centuries-later "historic Nazareth" in Israel, archaeological explorations during the past century have failed to demonstrate any such city of the time in the general vicinity. In reality, it appears that Jesus was made to be “of Nazareth” so that he could be called a "Nazarene" or "Nazoraean/Nazorean," a member of an ancient pre-Christian sect, of which the Old Testament hero Samson was said to have been an adherent as well.

The 'City' of Nazareth?

The apparent fact that Nazareth was not a bustling "city" at the time of Christ's purported existence has been demonstrated through historical records and archaeological evidence. As independent scholars Frank Zindler, René Salm and others have shown via thorough analysis, there is no mention of a "Nazareth" or "Nazara" in the Old Testament or even in Josephus centuries later. The first reference to Nazareth in Jewish literature does not occur until the ninth century AD/CE, "only in two songs of lamentation...as the seat of a priestly division..." It seems that, after the "city" became the subject of interest because of the gospels, only then do we find the area inhabited to any significant degree, evidently beginning no earlier than the fourth century AD/CE.

This is textbook example of a STRAWMAN, as Carrier misleads his readers with false claims and then knocks them down. He doesn't tell his readers that in the bolded sentence Murdock is CITING Swiss theologian Dr. Ulrich Luz, et al., Matthew 1-7: A Continental Commentary (Augsberg, MN: Fortress Press, 1989). Even if the so-called Nazareth inscription is factored in - and Murdock can easily drop in one sentence to mention it - it is worthless in establishing a bustling town in the early first century that Jesus could have come from.

Hopelessly Flawed Behavior

Carrier disses Murdock's essay on Nazareth with his typical hand-waving dismissals, calling it "hopelessly flawed," a favorite phrase of Carrier that indicates he may not have read what he's critiquing and is too lazy to do so.

As is the case with his constant personal attacks calling others "insane" and "crazy" (more below), narcissistic Carrier tosses out the vague dismissal "hopelessly flawed" in instances regarding the work of other people besides Murdock:

Quote:
Zagzebski herself is a sort of reliabilist, by way of her virtue theory, which I think is hopelessly flawed. (freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4915)

[Atwill's] facts and reasoning [are] hopelessly flawed...
freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664#comment-54820

Unfortunately for those who read them, Carrier's reviews and critiques themselves generally have been "hopelessly flawed."

Carrier Bashes People, While Presenting Their Ideas as His Own?

I've also noticed that Carrier likes to bash people, claiming their research is "hopelessly flawed," but then he seems to present their ideas as if he just came up with them! While he rips into Murdock and Salm's work on Nazareth, he turns around and pretends that he's the great expert on the subject and basically says the same things found in the mythicist scholarship on Nazareth for the past couple of centuries!

For example:

Quote:
...but her chapter on Nazareth is hopelessly flawed (even when it contains some worthy insights)...
freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/3522

He grudgingly admits that Murdock's essay on Nazareth contains "worthy insights," which he seems to go on to pilfer and present as his own. In her article, Murdock does a scholarly survey of the uses of the relevant words "Nazareth" and "Nazarene" in the New Testament Greek. She concludes that the most common description of Jesus is not "of Nazareth" but "the Nazarene" or some variant. Carrier pretends as if there is next to nothing valuable about her scientific analysis and then declares the same conclusion about "of Nazareth!"

Here's Carrier in his own words implying there's no credible evidence of Christian claims regarding Nazareth, while promoting his book On the Historicity of Jesus at the Catholic website "Strange Notions":

Quote:
Jesus was probably not originally a Nazarene (Greek nazarênos), but a Nazorian (Greek nazôraios), based on a now-lost scripture (Matthew 2:23). This was actually one of the original names for the Christian movement (Acts 24:5) and remained the name of the original Torah-observant Christian sect (Epihanius, Panarion 9). It clearly did not mean "from Nazareth" (Christians did not hail from there, and the words do not share the same roots). Scholars speculate on what "nazorian" may have meant (Proving History, pp. 142-45). But its attachment to the town of Nazareth appears to have been an invention of the Gospel authors. At the very least, we have no evidence otherwise.

Some of that is almost exactly what Salm, Zindler and Acharya have written!

And if Jesus is a myth, of course he was "probably not originally a Nazarene," but, as Murdock shows, the mythical figure in the New Testament definitely appears to have been created in order to make of him a Nazarene, as part of the same priesthood represented by Samson in the Old Testament. Ahem, Samson the SOLAR MYTH.

Over in the "The Nazareth/Bethlehem Debate" thread, I responded that I cannot agree with Carrier claiming Acharya's chapter on Nazareth (pages 389-404) is "hopelessly flawed" - that's just another over-the-top, absurd insult that we've come to expect from him. Carrier doesn't explain a single error to show why it's "hopelessly flawed" at all. Having read the chapter, I thought her points on the Samson parallel of a "Nazarite/Nazarene" as well as a specific religious sect (pages 401-4) and the blatantly obvious solar mythology that went with it was quite powerful, rendering the concept of a town or city of Nazareth for Jesus to be from, completely obsolete, which is pretty much what Carrier himself was saying about Nazareth. So, what's the point for her to mention the so-called evidence that Carrier himself claims is irrelevant anyway?

Carrier has a 10-year history of smearing and "poisoning the well" with Murdock and her work. It just seems like when she writes about some things, Carrier comes unglued and feels the need to criticize them, but it's perfectly fine when he says the same damned thing.

Once more, Carrier really needs to be called out by other scholars for his consistent display of unethical, disingenuous and malicious beahviors and smears. His shallow scholarship and personal attacks are ethically on par with the bottom of the Christian-apologist barrel, J.P. Holding. I am sick of this arrogant jerk constantly getting a free pass on this kind of rubbish.

Yes, I am harsh here, but we've been dealing with this same garbage for many years. Acharya S and the rest of us here have repeatedly demonstrated how many critics of her work have been wrong, but they never acknowledge it or offer any apology after several years of malicious smears. I'm only harsh like this when they really deserve it. Any acrimony here is in response to the harsh and acrimonious treatment she's been dealt constantly over the years. Carrier certainly deserves it, because he's constantly telling people NOT to read Acharya's work (and others) and to dismiss it BEFORE reading it for themselves. He inspires his readers and listeners of his lectures - as well as his "fanboys" (as they like to call others) - also to tell people not to read it as well. I've witnessed it myself. We are completely sick and tired of this unethical behavior. We do fight back, and we will continue to do so until the prejudice and misogyny stop. We would prefer to see fellow mythicists working together, but this fiasco is ALL on Carrier - he started it, and he continues it.

Carrier Calls World-Famous Scholar and Others 'Insane'

As we've seen, Carrier's nasty temperament and contempt extend well beyond his attacks on Murdock, showing the antisocial problem is clearly on his end. Commenting on one of his blogs (freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664#comment-274023), Carrier made a jab at Dr. Robert Eisenman - unlike Carrier, a tenured professor famed for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls - by calling the professional scholar "insane" and essentially tells people to ignore him.

Image

When Eisenman found out about the contemptuous insults, he responded, "Richard who?" Eisenman had never heard of the amateur historian Carrier, which seems to be the norm within academia, so perhaps Richard should come down off his high horse. But, again, as Doherty observed, he's got a bus-sized ego, so we don't expect that to happen anytime soon.

Note that this particular blog, in which he harshly critiques the "Caesar's Messiah" thesis by Joe Atwill - a "crank myther," as Richard calls him - Carrier uses the word "insane" five times and "crazy" a dozen or so times to describe other writers and commenters. It seems only Carrier and those who toe his party line are not "insane" and "crazy," according to his egotistical and bilious assessments.

In his assessment of critics of his books, Carrier refers to a couple of them as "insane" as well:

Quote:
Casey, Maurice (conclusion: grossly illogical, probably insane).

Fisher, Stephanie (conclusion: didn’t read the book, lies about it; doesn’t understand math; probably insane).

(freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/5730)

Since Carrier's not read any of Murdock's books but constantly lies about them, can we call him "probably insane" as well? In his rebuttal of Stephanie Fisher, Carrier asks again, "Did she not even read my book?" We can relate, Richard.

Here's a snapshot from Carrier's blog about Fisher:

Image
(freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/3951)

Since that's what you do to Acharya, Richard, how does it feel? That's the childish world of slinging mindless insults, gratuitous insults, intemperance and "slanders" - should be libel, which is written - that you have created and that you sustain. You the hypocrite have failed "to actually engage" with Acharya's books and constantly produce "immature" reviews.

Here and in another place (freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/3951, freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/1117), Carrier calls critic and former fan R.J. Hoffman a "nutter" and "insane," saying: "It’s shit like this that convinces me Hoffmann is off his rocker." Not that we would disagree, but we can see that Carrier slings around personal attacks all over the place - it is his habit. Here's part of Carrier's response to Hoffman:

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Carrier complains repeatedly that Hoffman is lying about his work - he seems to be outraged! Again, we can relate, as he himself lies constantly about Murdock's work.

Here Carrier says he will never work with Hoffman and recommends others do not as well:

Quote:
I found his delusional and paranoiac behavior disturbing (well beyond just ordinary sane behavior), and I will never work with him again, and I recommend no one else do either.

(freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/341#comment-5030)

Ironically, Carrier engages in the same sort of unprofessional behavior as Hoffman. Maybe both need to be avoided and ignored?

'Ethical' Insulting?

When called on his constant insulting behavior, the bully Carrier insults the critic - what else is new? He is hot-tempered and appears to be perpetually enraged.

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(freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/341#comment-4863)

Carrier is so renowned for his abuses that he felt the need to write an entire blog justifying them (freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2289):

Image

Here he concedes some overuse of personal attacks, which he tosses about freely, especially in his comments. But his pattern again shows a hot-headed, ill-tempered individual who consistently attacks others and then ridicules them when they respond, sometimes the same way.

More petty character assassination and lies

As we can see, Carrier (freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664#comment-54444) does the same sort of character assassination in his relentless personal attacks on Acharya, as here:

Quote:
Murdock is a mixed bag. She also cites outdated scholarship, is not up on current research as much as she should be, and has a vicious temper (and like Atwill can never admit she’s wrong and gets outraged at any criticism and doesn’t seem to ever change her mind or learn anything). She typically (but not always) under-documents her most controversial or unusual claims, and, in my findings, generally because they don’t have any evidential or logical basis, yet she’ll mix in with those claims that are genuinely established; the problem with this is that laymen can’t tell when she is saying something that is well documented and when she is saying something that has no support at all (even her citations sometimes don’t help with this). So reading her can be more disinformation than information. I’ve written on Murdock before (here, here, here and also briefly here; as well as in here, where you can search the name to find two refs).

Talk about not actually engaging a book! It's all just a personal attack. Carrier makes it sound as if he knows Acharya's work and is sooo moderate about it, by saying she's a "mixed bag," making it look like he's an expert on her work and actually written something intelligent about it.

To reiterate - and I really shouldn't need to say this more than once, but the "fanboys" keep ignoring it - CARRIER HAS NEVER READ A SINGLE BOOK BY D.M. MURDOCK. He is NOT an expert on her work and not a fit critic of it in any way, shape or form. (The reader will find below positive testimony after testimony by PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACTUALLY READ MURDOCK'S WORK.)

Carrier dishonestly pretends to know what he is talking about, but his next sentence is FULL OF CRAP that reveals he hasn't studied her work AT ALL. She does NOT cite "outdated scholarship." She does her due diligence in studying a subject back to its earliest discernible roots all the way to its most current analysis. It is Carrier who not only relies on an old theorem but also has not bothered to study the HISTORY OF JESUS MYTHICISM. How pathetic and ridiculous for a "historian" not to even study the history of the subject he pretends to be an expert on!

Murdock Meticulously Cites Her Scholarship

As other examples of how false is Carrier's assessment above, Acharya carefully cites her work - she's got 1800 footnotes in her Moses book alone - and is actually MUCH more up to date on the current research than he is. Carrier himself is deliberately ignorant of the massive body of mythicist literature and the ancient primary sources from which it draws, yet he pretends that his nitpicking makes him some kind of omniscient expert, scoffing and sneering at supposed errors and omissions by others. This guy really has an ego problem and an inferiority complex!

Like others who have complained that Murdock's books are "too scholarly," Price said she tends to "over-document her case," as in her book Christ in Egypt - which Carrier doesn't want others to read because she points out his "egregious error" in the Luxor inscription there. Price says:

Quote:
I suppose I ought to supply a couple of minor criticisms. My main one is that, as in the case of the great Robert Eisenman, she seems to me to over-document her case, almost to the point that I fear I will lose track of the argument. But, like all good teachers, she periodically pauses to draw the threads together. And of course the danger is implied in the scope of the subject.

http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/ ... _egypt.htm

Although Carrier wouldn't know it because he hasn't studied the work he dishonestly pretends to be an expert on, Murdock's books alone include 7,456 footnotes, 2,314 bibliographical sources, 456 images and nearly 3,000 pages of material! That doesn't include all her ebooks, articles and forum posts. (viewtopic.php?p=29132#p29132)

Regarding Murdock's scholarship, Price said on Facebook in June 2014:

Quote:
"No one who has read the work of Acharya can meaningfully suggest her work is not researched or not scholarly. That is just libel. Her work is fascinating, and she has completely transcended the weaknesses of her earliest work." - Dr. Robert Price

Image

In reality, it is Carrier who is oblivious to the existence of many ancient texts and artifacts that demonstrate the Christ myth, which Murdock constantly publicizes, using state-of-the-art technology, including news alerts and book searches in many different languages. Her book Who Was Jesus? draws from the most current scholarship on the subject of who wrote the gospels and what modern scholars, including many Christian authorities themselves, say about them. But Richard wouldn't know that fact, because he's not read Murdock's work and is only relying on nasty and vicious trash for his "expertise" on the subject.

Carrier Points Fingers at Himself

Which brings me to the absurd ad hom about Acharya's purported "vicious temper." Here Carrier's only pointing fingers at himself, because not only did HE start the whole thing that she responded to sometimes very directly and frankly, but he himself is very petulant and temperamental, making rude and vicious remarks about many others in this field. Carrier drew first blood, over and over again, before Murdock even responded. In thousands of writings, including books, ebooks, articles, forum, group and social media posts, Acharya has demonstrated her very cordial and professional temperament, even when attacked harshly with all kinds of vile personal attacks and character assassination - including and especially that dished out by the mouthy Richard Carrier.

Again, Murdock has constantly adjusted her writing where necessary, so to say that she "gets outraged at any criticism and doesn’t seem to ever change her mind or learn anything" is a malicious lie Carrier keeps repeating, because he doesn't know her work! Although it takes quite a bit of prodding, I've seen Acharya become outraged - at INJUSTICE, such as what innocents suffer under religious fanaticism and such as what dishonest extremists like Dick Carrier's engaged in over the years. His real gripe is that she won't listen to him when he makes his sloppy errors trying to "correct" her work. He's frankly inferior intellectually and erudition-wise, so of course she'll ignore him. And that fact apparently enrages Carrier.

Murdock constantly learns new things - does Carrier believe she's omniscient and doesn't need to study the thousands of primary sources and scholarly commentaries she uses in her writings?

The rest of what Carrier's says in this paragraph is more of the same dishonest rubbish, because, again, he hasn't even read her work - I can't believe I have to keep saying that. He and his fanboys should be ashamed and embarrassed but they're shameless, and they go around repeating the same LIES that Carrier spews. Carrier's comments here constitute libel, pure and simple.

He continues with his derogatory remarks about others, as this seems to be his vicious temper at work attacking whoever he feels is a threat to his avowed dominion in the subject, which he's already tried to establish by telling everyone not to read other mythicists' work. Here he has a go at Price and Doherty, whose work we admire:

Quote:
Price is more solid, and typically a much better read (and a more valuable read), but I still find many of his claims under-documented and his arguments often weaker than they need to be, his methods are often a cipher, and he is bad at clarifying (e.g. he will defend many different mutually-contradictory theories without explaining what we are supposed to conclude from the fact that he does that, such as whether he thinks they are all equally likely or whether he thinks some are more likely than others but that all are more likely than historicity, or if he even thinks they are more likely than historicity rather than only just as likely or unlikely but likely enough to be uncertain of historicity, etc.; and that’s not the only confusion Price will lead you into, it’s just the one that I often notice the most). He also never thoroughly defends a single coherent theory of Christian origins, making him a moving target for critics (contrast with Doherty, who does a generally good job at this, and is the best mythicist to read, although he still stubbornly falls short of dissertation quality argumentation and just complains when I say that rather than trying to work out how to formulate and document arguments in a way that would pass a fair peer review–such as learning to stop crowding strong arguments with weak arguments, and instead drop the weak arguments and just shore up the strong arguments).

Carrier wouldn't even know what is a "much better read" or "more valuable read" when it comes to Murdock's work, which is what he's comparing Price's to here in his disparaging comments, because HE'S NOT READ ACHARYA'S WORK. How totally dishonest can he be?

He repeats the same stupid stuff about Price, as if he's all-knowing: King Richard, looking down upon his inferiors! Those comments "under documented" and "weak" reflect his own pathetic reviews of other people's work. He rarely specifies a problem and constantly makes unsubstantiated claims about others, without really studying their work, as he repeats the same stock dismissals and general disparagement, calling people "insane" and "crazy."

Dr. Price is 10 times the scholar as Richard Carrier, and the insecure Carrier, who seems to be suffering from an inferiority complex, knows it. His run-on sentence about Price and strong-weak arguments babble sound like something out of Monty Python, with the crew arguing with themselves.

The sad thing is that Carrier fans repeat all over the place the same defamatory garbage he does - which apparently originates from vicious Christian apologists, of all people! With his lies about Acharya's work, Carrier seems to rely on the false claims by Christian fanatics such as J.P. Holding, Mike Licona, Chris White and Keith Trash - we've debunked those fanatics thoroughly on this very forum. These are all their arguments! That's even more embarrassing than before!

Does Carrier's comment below sound familiar?

Quote:
"You have someone make up a fake quote or misrepresent a document, misrepresent the evidence, then, they'll put it on a website or put it in a book that's published by what people think is respectable publisher and then hundreds, thousands of Christians will read this and believe it because they assume, ahh, this guy wouldn't lie; he wouldn't have made this stuff up and so they go on and repeat it and so you get the lie repeated many times mostly by people who aren't lying who really do think it's true but they just didn't check."

- "The God Who Wasn't There" (2005), Richard Carrier at chapter 17 or 37:37

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik7GRQ9hoVY

Mythicists Should Work Together

I think I've provided enough examples here to demonstrate the stupid and insulting things Richard Carrier has said and done, not only to Acharya but also to many others. The bottom line is that Acharya S/D.M. Murdock has never done a damned thing to Richard Carrier beyond responding to his sloppy and egregious errors in his intellectually dishonest tirades against her. In fact, she's tried repeatedly to incorporate as many pieces of this large puzzle as possible, including the works of modern mythicist scholars such as Price, Doherty, Humphreys, Walker and others whose contributions are important and who are more socially responsible and ethical than others in the field. (In other words, they're not sociopaths, like some people...)

The bottom line is that we mythicists did not come this far to be discriminated against by other mythicists. I'm reminded of Acharya's review of Jesus: God, Man or Myth? by Herb Cutner:

Quote:
...the mythicist school was fought tooth and nail, and almost buried, save for the few daring individuals who kept it alive over the past decades. Cutner is one of these rare and courageous individuals who risked the malevolence and vitriol of the clergy and its zealots. In his synopsis of the historical-versus-mythical, Cutner notes that the clergy's "adversaries" were dispatched in the most unprofessional and puerile manner:

Quote:
Long ago the celebrated Dr. Bentley, in trying to dispose of Anthony Collins, had found one very fine method: convict your Freethinking opponent of fraud, ignorance, and bad scholarship, and his thesis falls to the ground. I should say rather, try to convict your opponent by this method, for some of the mud thrown is sure to stick.... By thus concentrating on mistakes of grammar or Greek, the reader is unwarily led away from the main issue which is exactly what the critic wants. Over and over again Christian controversialists have pursued this method, as if it always mattered greatly that a present tense of Greek should be the imperfect, or that a date should be conjectured as, let us say, 1702 when it ought to be 1712 in the opinion of somebody else.

Indeed, there is hardly a mythicist who has not experienced such treatment, even at the hands of other mythicists and/or freethinkers, another fact highlighted by Cutner, who shows that the early modern mythicists were viciously attacked not only by Christians but also by other "rationalists" and "freethinkers" who, in their attempts to remain "respectable" with the Christian elite, mindlessly fell in line and displayed a real lack of critical thinking. Professional jealousy also factors into this type of vitriol, as various scholars want their particular interpretation to become that which is accepted by the establishment.....

Those Who Have Read Murdock's Writings are Quite Supportive

While Carrier lies and defames people whose work he hasn't bothered to read, in fields he hasn't studied, those who have read Murdock's work often refer to it in glowing terms and other positive reviews. Here are a few examples, some of which we've seen already:

Quote:
"I find it undeniable that many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets, and constellations."

"I find myself in full agreement with Acharya S/D.M. Murdock..."

- Dr. Robert Price, Biblical Scholar with two Ph.D's
http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/ ... _egypt.htm

"Acharya S has done a superb job in bringing together this rich panoply of ancient world mythology and culture, and presenting it in a comprehensive and compelling fashion."

"We sorely need a new History of Religions School for the 21st century, to apply modern techniques to this important ancient material. Perhaps this book will help bring that about."

- Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle, review of Christ Conspiracy

"Your scholarship is relentless! ...the research conducted by D.M. Murdock concerning the myth of Jesus Christ is certainly both valuable and worthy of consideration."

- Dr. Kenneth L. Feder, Professor of Archaeology, Central Connecticut State University, Frauds, Myths and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology

"I can recommend your work whole-heartedly!"

- Dr. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus and The New Testament Code, RobertEisenman.com

"I've known people with triple Ph.D's who haven't come close to the scholarship in Who Was Jesus?"

- Pastor David Bruce, M.Div, North Park Seminary, Chicago, HollywoodJesus.com

"Thirty years ago, when in divinity school, I might have had second thoughts about becoming an Episcopal priest if a book like D.M. Murdock's Who Was Jesus? had been available to me."

- Bob Semes, Retired university professor of History and Religion, Founder and Executive Director of the Jefferson Center

"...I have found her scholarship, research, knowledge of the original languages, and creative linkages to be breathtaking and highly stimulating."

- Rev. Dr. Jon Burnham, Pastor, Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX

"The Christ Conspiracy—very, very scholarly and wholly researched—is a book for today..."

- Rev. B. Strauss, ex-Catholic Priest, Chicago, IL

Here's a ton of positive feedback from other folks who actually read Murdock's books - these comments come in all the time: Emails I Have Loved.

I'd rather leave on a positive note, since I'm interested in the betterment of the world. Unfortunately, because Carrier continues to say and do stupid things, this lengthy polemic will be a continuing saga...

Further Reading

What is a Mythicist?
Why I Am a Mythicist
The Evemerist vs. Mythicist Position
Astrotheology of the Ancients
Religion and the Ph.D.: A Brief History
Were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson Jesus Mythicists?
Here's the thread on Carrier's book: On the Historicity of Jesus

* Richard Carrier is out of control and cannot stop himself:

Richard Carrier is at it again in Amazon comments

Richard Carrier Exposing His Ignorance and Biases Again

* This post has been peer reviewed! :lol:

Quote:
Ya know, Carrier may not know it (since he has never actually read her books, but I have read Carrier's books) but he agrees with Murdock/Acharya S on about 90% but, people would never realize that by listening to Carrier since all he has to offer are malicious smears and an endless stream of derogatory comments on her work. They both agree that Jesus is most likely a mythical character and that the bible is mostly myth.

I suppose it could potentially be a worthwhile endeavor to sus out what they agree upon instead of always focusing on the few differences. It could be funny to ask him to explain what he can acknowledge Acharya S is correct about instead of smearing her all the time because that alone could expose the fact that Carrier has never read her books. At this point, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Carrier attempted to claim they don't agree on anything ... just to be a dick.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:09 pm 
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Does Acharya rely on 18th and 19th century sources?

LOL, this is one of the most absurd lies that gets passed around the net. It demonstrates that these folks have never read her work at all.

Here are just 3 quotes of many from Acharya's work that demonstrates these assumptions utterly false:

Early Church Father Tertullian (160-220 C.E.), an "ex-Pagan" and Bishop of Carthage, ironically admits the true origins of the Christ story and of all other such godmen by stating in refutation of his critics, "You say we worship the sun; so do you." (a paraphrase by the Catholic Encyclopedia) "Christ Conspiracy" 158

"...All the gods of the Greek and Roman mythology represent the attributes of the one supreme divine power - the SUN."
- Macrobius Roman scholar around 400ce
* source: "The Saturnalia" by Macrobius, "Suns of God" 67-68

"Now when the ancient Egyptians, awestruck and wondering, turned their eyes to the heavens, they concluded that two gods, the sun and the moon, were primeval and eternal; and they called the former Osiris, the latter Isis..."
- Diodorus Siculus (90-21 BCE), Greek Historian
* source:"The Antiquities of Egypt" by Diodorus Siculus, "Suns of God" 89

Also, see the Bibliography for Suns of God, which demonstrates that Acharya used a wide variety of sources dating to the earliest times.

Critics also attempt to claim: "Nobody questioned Jesus' existence until the 19th century."

This comment is disingenuous because a) It omits the fact that questioning church doctrine & dogma was punishable by death throughout the crusades, Inquisitions & DARK AGES right up to the 1800's. And b) Independent critical thinking was not allowed. Folks were scared to death to be skeptical of the church let alone publicly question Jesus' existence. Nevertheless, xian apologists & ignorant agnostics & atheists regurgitate this pathetic line of reasoning. It's embarrassing.

It's scripture like 2 John 7 and 1 John 4:2-3 that kept people in fear of questioning Jesus' existence. Nobody wanted to be seen as against god. The fact that this scripture is there gives us a clue that many people must not've believed in a historical Jesus from the beginning.

1 John 4:2-3 "Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God."

2 John 7: "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist."

It appears this mentality is still a default position today even in New Testament scholarship. They just assume a priori that Jesus must have existed and work from there. The facts & evidence demonstrate that Jesus is as mythical as Hercules.

Quote:
"According to the Wikipedia article on the Jesus Myth:

"The Jesus-myth is a concept associated with a skeptical position on the historicity of Jesus, which claims that Jesus did not exist as a historical character, but functioned instead as an abstract, symbolic, and metaphorical allusion to a higher knowledge. The theory has not found widespread acceptance among mainstream scholars and historians...

The first scholarly proponent of the Jesus myth idea was probably nineteenth century historian Bruno Bauer, who argued that the true founder of Christianity was the Alexandrian Jew Philo. His arguments made little impact at the time. In the early twentieth century, however, a few other scholars published arguments in favor of the Jesus Myth idea. These treatments were more influential and merited several book-length responses by historians and New Testament scholars."

Quote:
"...Contrary to popular belief, the idea that Jesus Christ is a mythical character is not new: In fact, the questioning and doubting of the gospel tale started at the beginning of the Christian era and has been continued by thousands, if not millions, since then. The historicization and carnalization of the Christ character was fought by the Docetic Gnostics, and the disbelief was addressed by early orthodox Christians as well, including the writers of the canonical epistles of John. Indeed, 1 John 4 condemns as "antichrists" those "spirits" who do not confess that "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh," as does 2 John 7, which says:

"For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist."

Many, says 2 John, have contested the historicity of Jesus Christ, even by his day. Obviously, therefore, this dissension began with the dawn of the Christianity, which is understandable. If, for example, the average American today were approached with wild tales about some obscure religious fanatic who lived decades ago in, say, Mexico, and who purportedly did many miracles, from manifesting food and raising the dead, including himself, to ascending to heaven, would the person simply believe it, without any proof whatsoever? And be willing to accept this obscure preacher as the "Son of God" and God Almighty Himself? Such is the case with the story of Jesus Christ. In reality, the doubting of Christ as a historical character is not a "new fad"; those who argue otherwise are not informed on the subject..."

For the full article see - "Jesus: God, Man or Myth?" http://www.truthbeknown.com/cutner.htm
Also enjoy an excerpt from "Suns of God", from a chapter titled, "The "Historical" Jesus?" - http://www.truthbeknown.com/historicaljc.htm

* For more information about the severe lack of evidence for a historical Jesus see "Who Was Jesus?: Finger Prints of The Christ". There you'll find comments from Christian authorities, apologists and evangelicals, as well as New Testament scholars such as...

"Apart from the New Testament writings and later writings dependent upon these, our sources of information about the life and teaching of Jesus are scanty and problematic"
- F.F. Bruce, "New Testament History" a founder of the modern evangelical movement

"...there are very few sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus beyond the four canonical Gospels. Paul and Josephus offer little more than tidbits. Claims that later apocryphal Gospels and the Nag Hammadi material supply independent and reliable historical information about Jesus are largely fantasy. In the end, the historian is left with the difficult task of sifting through the Four Gospels for historical tradition."
- John P. Meier, "A Marginal Jew," vol. II, 5.

Dr. Meier is a Catholic University New Testament professor, Catholic priest and monsignor.

"The only definite account of his life and teachings is contained in the four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All other historical records of the time are silent about him. The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations; in Jewish writings there is no report about Jesus that has historical value. Some scholars have even gone so far as to hold that the entire Jesus story is a myth…"
- The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (v. 6, 83)

"One would naturally expect that the Lord Jesus Christ would be sufficiently important to receive ample notice in the literature of his time, and that extensive biographical material would be available. He was observed by multitudes of people, and his own followers numbered into the hundreds (1 Cor. 15:6), whose witness was still living in the middle of the first century. As a matter of fact, the amount of information concerning him is comparatively meager. Aside from the four Gospels, and a few scattered allusions in the epistles, contemporary history is almost silent concerning him."
- Merrill C. Tenney, "New Testament Survey," p. 203.

Dr. Tenney is a conservative evangelical Christian who was a professor of Theological Studies and the dean of the school of Theology at Wheaton College. Tenney was also one of the original translators of the NASB and NIV editions of the Bible.

See, even Christian New Testament and biblical scholars as well as Jewish scholars don't agree evidence for Jesus. The facts & evidence demonstrate that Jesus is as mythical as Hercules.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:30 pm 
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What about the copycat theory?

The "copycat," "carbon copy," "pagan copycat theory" or even "parallelomania" arguments are often used as a straw man argument as those I see claiming to have debunked the "copycat" argument do so mostly out of ignorance or in attempt to shore-up their faith and euphoria at all costs - even if it means being dishonest. To explain, many only see Acharya's lists, say for example, of Horus, Mithra, Krishna or Buddha online at some website or forum without ever actually reading Acharya's books or sources to get the full context. Acharya doesn't claim that they are all "carbon copies" as that would be absurd. She merely points out that the CONCEPTS existed in the pre-Christian Pagan world and were not originated by Christianity and she provides primary sources and scholar commentary on them to substantiate her case. The skeptics omit or are ignorant of all the background context and tend to dodge, deny and dismiss the context either out of biases or ignorance.

The fact remains that there are a great many similarities of gods and savior sons of gods throughout history. That doesn't necessarily mean they are all exact carbon copies of each other. If Pagan religions worldwide were basing their religious ideas around natural phenomena such as the sun, moon, planets, stars, constellations i.e. astrotheology, then, there are going to be plenty of similarities. The differences tend to be related to environment, culture, era etc. Add to that all of the competition and borrowing of ideas between them. Still, the CONCEPTS have their foundations in astrotheology. And that's what we're talking about, borrowing similar concepts based in natural phenomena. If one is unaware that the myths were based on natural phenomena it will seem odd, mysterious and supernatural. When you know what you're looking for it becomes obvious.

This copycat argument is absurd because religions have always been in competition with each other and each newly created god or savior usually had additional new powers or attributes etc in order for religious oneupmanship to usurp the older god or savior. In the case of war for example, the victor was usually able to force their gods, culture and calendars onto the losers. It was easier or more helpful to do that if your god had more extraordinary powers or attributes etc, etc than theirs. Sometimes they created a new god by blending each others gods. Sometimes, simply by giving the same god a new name or just changing it slightly was enough...

Quote:
"...In actuality, even the place names and the appellations of many other characters in the New Testament can be revealed to be Hebraicized renderings of the Egyptian texts.

As an example, in the fable of "Lazarus," the mummy raised from the dead by Jesus, the Christian copyists did not change his name much, "El-Azar-us" being the Egyptian mummy raised from the dead by Horus possibly 1,000 years or more before the Jewish version. This story is allegory for the sun reviving its old, dying self, or father, as in "El-Osiris." It is not a true story.

Horus's principal enemy--originally Horus's other face or "dark" aspect - was "Set" or "Sata," whence comes "Satan." Horus struggles with Set in the exact manner that Jesus battles with Satan, with 40 days in the wilderness, among other similarities. This is because this myth represents the triumph of light over dark, or the sun's return to relieve the terror of the night..."

- The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ

The other older gods may have been stricken from the records so to speak. We know for a fact that Christians went on a rampage to destroy any and all pagan gods. We know this because early church fathers admitted it. They also made laws against worshipping pagan gods etc, etc. Why would they do that? Probably because they never did have a good answer to explain the similarities between the much older pagan gods and Jesus. It was easier to just destroy the evidence as much as possible.

Another obvious reason for the similarities and parallels of religions, when one understands astrotheology, is centered around pagan holidays similar to our "Christmas" and "Easter". Those are just two celebrations that have been celebrated as far back in time as we can go. Different cultures with different environments celebrated them in their own way but usually revolved around many similar themes such light vs. dark, night vs. day, life vs. death, God vs. Satan, Horus vs. Set, Heaven vs. Hell etc, etc.

Quote:
The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ (written in 1993 long before Acharya's books)

"The "Son" of God is the "Sun" of God -

The reason why all these narratives are so similar, with a godman who is crucified and resurrected, who does miracles and has 12 disciples, is that these stories were based on the movements of the sun through the heavens, an astrotheological development that can be found throughout the planet because the sun and the 12 zodiac signs can be observed around the globe. In other words, Jesus Christ and all the others upon whom this character is predicated are personifications of the sun, and the Gospel fable is merely a rehash of a mythological formula (the "Mythos," as mentioned above) revolving around the movements of the sun through the heavens.

For instance, many of the world's crucified godmen have their traditional birthday on December 25th. This is because the ancients recognized that (from an earthcentric perspective) the sun makes an annual descent southward until December 21st or 22nd, the winter solstice, when it stops moving southerly for three days and then starts to move northward again. During this time, the ancients declared that "God's sun" had "died" for three days and was "born again" on December 25th. The ancients realized quite abundantly that they needed the sun to return every day and that they would be in big trouble if the sun continued to move southward and did not stop and reverse its direction. Thus, these many different cultures celebrated the "sun of God's" birthday on December 25th. The following are the characteristics of the "sun of God":

* The sun "dies" for three days on December 22nd, the winter solstice, when it stops in its movement south, to be born again or resurrected on December 25th, when it resumes its movement north.
* In some areas, the calendar originally began in the constellation of Virgo, and the sun would therefore be "born of a Virgin."
* The sun is the "Light of the World."
* The sun "cometh on clouds, and every eye shall see him."
* The sun rising in the morning is the "Savior of mankind."
* The sun wears a corona, "crown of thorns" or halo.
* The sun "walks on water." (reflection off the water)
* The sun's "followers," "helpers" or "disciples" are the 12 months and the 12 signs of the zodiac or constellations, through which the sun must pass.
* The sun at 12 noon is in the house or temple of the "Most High"; thus, "he" begins "his Father's work" at "age" 12.
* The sun enters into each sign of the zodiac at 30°; hence, the "Sun of God" begins his ministry at "age" 30.
* The sun is hung on a cross or "crucified," which represents its passing through the equinoxes, the vernal equinox being Easter, at which time it is then resurrected.

Contrary to popular belief, the ancients were not an ignorant and superstitious lot who actually believed their deities to be literal characters. Indeed, this slanderous propaganda has been part of the conspiracy to make the ancients appear as if they were truly the dark and dumb rabble that was in need of the "light of Jesus." The reality is that the ancients were no less advanced in their morals and spiritual practices, and in many cases were far more advanced, than the Christians in their own supposed morality and ideology, which, in its very attempt at historicity, is in actuality a degradation of the ancient Mythos. Indeed, unlike the "superior" Christians, the true intelligentsia amongst the ancients were well aware that their gods were astronomical and atmospheric in nature. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle surely knew that Zeus, the sky god father figure who migrated to Greece from India and/or Egypt, was never a real person, despite the fact that the Greeks have designated on Crete both a birth cave and a death cave of Zeus. In addition, all over the world are to be found sites where this god or that allegedly was born, walked, suffered, died, etc., a common and unremarkable occurrence that is not monopolized by, and did not originate with, Christianity."

Quote:
"As concerns the specious claim that the analogies between the Christ myth and those outlined below are "non-existent" because they are not found in "primary sources," let us turn to the words of the early Church fathers, who acknowledged that major important aspects of the Christ character are indeed to be found in the stories of earlier, "Pagan" gods, but who asserted that the reason for these similarities was because the evidently prescient devil "anticipated" Christ and planted "foreshadowing" of his "coming" in the heathens' minds."

"...In his First Apology, Christian father Justin Martyr (c. 100-165) acknowledged the similarities between the older Pagan gods and religions and those of Christianity, when he attempted to demonstrate, in the face of ridicule, that Christianity was no more ridiculous than the earlier myths:

"ANALOGIES TO THE HISTORY OF CHRIST. And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; Aesculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification, and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Caesar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre?"
http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/o ... ianity.pdf

Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius: No Proof of Jesus
http://www.truthbeknown.com/pliny.htm

Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?
http://ffrf.org/about/bybarker/rise.php

'Christian era' and 'pre-christian'
Quote:
"In discussing the "Christian era," it should be noted that such a period differed widely in diverse places. For example, while the Christian era in Rome began in earnest during the fourth century, with the endorsement of Constantine, the country of Lithuania remained pre-Christian until the 14th- 15th centuries. Moreover, the dating of the "Christian era" did not exist until the 6th century, when Christian monk Dionysius attempted to discern the year of Christ's birth. Hence, the idea of the "Christian era" and "pre-Christian" times depends on the location in question, and using phrases like "during the first century" is misleading in that no such division existed at the time."

- WWJ, page 111

Speaking to a Christian Audience

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 Post subject: Primary Sources
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:02 pm 
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What are the Primary Sources?

In response to the cry for "primary sources," in Suns of God Acharya writes:

Quote:
The Past Destroyed

When it comes to religion, alternative perspectives are considered highly suspect and are subject to intense scrutiny, held up to impossible standards of proof, while the accepted paradigm is lightly handled and can pass with little or no evidence at all. Those who step outside the box are dunned with requests for credentials and bibliographies, while believers in the mainstream ideology require no credentials except belief and seem not to need to read much at all, including the very "sacred scriptures" they defend. In any case, when one is doing investigative research, dating back thousands of years, one must use a variety of sources, ancient and modern. If one uses works too modern, the hue and cry is for "primary sources!" If one uses material "too old," the criticism is that it is "outdated." Hence, the scholar is put in a double bind, while the critic is never satisfied. In such a picky environment, it is a wonder anything important ever gets written or read.

The "outdated" argument becomes specious when it is understood that the work of more "modern" authors is nonetheless based on those who proceeded. To become a scholar one must study as much as is possible; obviously, whatever one is studying must have come before. The current studies are based on the past studies. No modern writer can possibly be called a scholar if he or she has not studied the works of the past; hence, he or she is using what detractors will call "outdated" material. Since true scholarship is founded upon the studies of the centuries and millennia past, it could all be deemed "outdated" by these illogical and impossible standards. It should not be necessary to point out this fact, but it often seems as if sense were not common at all, and every little detail, every meaning between the lines, must be clearly spelled out or else misrepresentation, misconstruing and misunderstanding will follow. In any case, the date of a book is frequently irrelevant, as truth is timeless.

Moreover, the so-called outdated scholarship on the origins of religion in general, and Christianity in particular, that arose in the past few centuries is actually superior not only in depth but also in perspective to what is often produced today. Furthermore, these various authorities preserved information regarding literature and iconography since destroyed--and there has been a great deal of destruction during the past three centuries, including two World Wars. Indeed, the reconstruction of the ancient world and its religion has been difficult to determine because of the passage of time and the vast desolation of cultures worldwide. The eradication of evidence has been so rampant and thorough that it is amazing anything can be said with any certainty at all. However, enough does survive, in bits and pieces, that we can gain a good idea of what was going on, at least in the past few thousand years. When critics clamor for "primary sources," the din actually serves to raise up the fact of this criminal and shameful cultural destruction, the purpose of which frequently was to cover the tracks of conspirators gleefully plagiarizing others' religions and falsely presenting their own as "divine revelation." The "primary source" argument can be used in response by asking, where are the primary sources that prove Christianity and the existence of Jesus Christ? Where are the precious originals of the gospels, written by the very hands of the apostles and other witnesses to Jesus's alleged advent? The earliest New Testament manuscripts in existence can be dated only to the third or fourth century. Not only are there no primary sources proving Christian claims, but what texts we do possess have been altered tens of thousands of times....

Introduction to "Suns of God" http://www.truthbeknown.com/introduction.htm

Acharya also answered this question regarding "primary sources" in an email:

Quote:
"In the first place, there is no "Ancient Encyclopedia of Primary Sources" that you can find by digging around the Great Pyramid or the Parthenon. The point I've made about the destruction of culture - which should be obvious - is that so much decimation has occurred that it becomes difficult to piece together what actually happened.

In return, where are the "primary sources" that serve as evidence for Christianity? There aren't any - anything of value was destroyed long ago. So, you are basing your entire worldview on texts far removed from the purported events - many of which are supernatural and require EXTRAORDINARY evidence - without in fact requiring ANY real, credible and valid scientific evidence at all that can stand up to scrutiny. In fact, you blindly accept these assertions with the lowest standards possible. Yet, when you ask others for "primary sources" regarding the mythical motifs found in pre-Christian Pagan culture, your standards are absurdly high.

In order to get at the truth, you would need to have a broad view of the ancient world, which typical education does not provide, especially not a Christian educational background. What do you know about Greece? Or Rome, beyond what you've read in the New Testament? Have you lived or studied in these places? You would need to understand that these ancient times were much more advanced than most people are aware. There was a widespread exchange of ideas that did not escape the Israel/Palestine/Judea area. In addition, Jews, Hebrews, Samaritans and assorted other Israelites lived in large populations outside of Judea and Palestine during the era in question. There were hundreds of thousands of them in Egypt, for example. Half of the population of the Egyptian city of Alexandria at the time was Jewish - a significant amount of people - and there was a very impressive university and library at Alexandria. What was in those books? THOSE are the primary sources used by the creators of the New Testament, and they have been largely destroyed. Hence, we have to look at the fragments from the entire Roman Empire at the time and painstakingly piece them together. That's what an archaeologist does, and that's what I do, particularly in "Suns of God," although volumes more could be written based on the ENTIRE literary record still in existence. No one could possibly claim to have surveyed the entire literary record to find all of the pre-Christian motifs and themes that can be found within Christianity as well. So, yes, I use "primary sources" to the extent that they exist and that I had access to them."

- Acharya

Here's the bibliography for "Suns of God":
http://www.truthbeknown.com/bibliography.pdf

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:25 pm 
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Zeitgeist part 1 vs. "Preventing Truth Decay" website

"Zeitgeist" part 1 video is largely based on Acharya's work but includes many others as well. Of course she can only vouch for her own work. And, Acharya had nothing to do with parts 2 & 3. Please go here for more: Zeitgeist Part 1 & the Supportive Evidence

Realize that Zeitgeist was never intended to be a scholarly documentary. As Peter Joseph explains, it was a personal project which was shown in New York as a free public awareness expression. After the event was over, "The Movie" was tossed online with little thought given to a public response. But then, the video went viral and received over 300 million views worldwide in nearly three dozen languages. Zeitgeist also won 30 awards.

-----

Here is my response to the "Preventing Truth Decay" site that I sent them shortly after their page "Zeitgeist" Online Movie: Part One Refuted was created. I've seen folks passing this site around as if it holds the authority and is the last word on the matter - what a joke. There's MUCH MORE I could add but not bad for a quickie... feel free to copy/paste it wherever necessary. I may make additions to this later when I have the time.
Code:
http://www.preventingtruthdecay.org/zeitgeistpartone.shtml

and
Code:
http://www.preventingtruthdecay.org/archaryas.shtml

Which is the same crap from JP Holding and Mike Licona which Acharya already addressed.

* added edit: For my original e-mail go to this thread "Preventing Truth Decay responds"
http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... f=4&t=1158

I've made a few additions to this here as I stated I would so, it is no longer the original but you are free to copy/paste it and send it to info@preventingtruthdecay.org to correct the errors and misinformation there. Please do...

Dear Preventing Truth Decay.org,

I've recently viewed your website which includes an article titled "Zeitgeist" Online Movie: Part One Refuted".

I wanted to respond to this and since your website is all about preventing the decay of truth, I'm confident that you would also have the integrity to post my response along with the article. Otherwise, it would be very dishonest and unscholarly to censor the opposing view point, wouldn't it. I couldn't help but notice that you chose not to include Acharya's responses to Holding and Licona that have been available long before you created Preventing Truth Decay. I will simply organize a quick response not a point by point to every single criticism as it doesn't seem necessary, nor do I have the time.

In your section "General Introduction" -

The claims of outdated scholarship and primary sources are brought up along with author Acharya S and her book "The Christ Conspiracy". There's something you should know, there are two other books by Acharya as well, "Suns of God" and "Who Was Jesus?". Having read them all, I felt I should say something because your view of Acharya's work is not accurate.

Acharya wrote "Christ Conspiracy" in 1999 it is 430 pages, with over 1,200 footnotes & over 100 bibliographical citations. "Suns of God" (2004) in response to the criticisms of "Christ Conspiracy". So the criticisms have already been dealt with there. "Suns of God" is nearly 600 pages with over 1,800 footnotes with 46 pages of illustrations, which comprise over 100 separate images. Suns of God's bibliography comprises over 250 books and articles. Most of these are from conservative and respected sources, and many of them are Christian, dating back to the earliest times. Acharya has presented this enormous amount of resources in order to provide a consensus of opinion, precisely because the subject matter is so contentious.

In 2007, "Who Was Jesus?: Fingerprints of The Christ", in this work Acharya sets aside mythology, astrotheology to specifically deal with the Gospels where Acharya shares commentary by various Christian authorities, apologists and evangelicals, as well as New Testament scholars. WWJ, comprises of 168 books and articles most of which are again, from conservative and respected sources, and many of them are Christian, dating back to the earliest times through to today.

Back to outdated scholarship and primary sources, Acharya addresses this issue in the Introduction to "Suns of God" here - http://www.truthbeknown.com/introduction.htm

You said,
Quote:
"The claim that Christianity was influenced by pagan religious beliefs, including astrology, is nothing new. These claims are rooted in the “history of religions school,” which emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century. However, by the mid-twentieth century, this method had been greatly refuted-even non-Christian scholars opposed this perspective."

Well, this is not accurate, as even Justin Martyr admits around 150 CE in "The First Apology" (XXI):

"And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you [PAGANS] believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter..."

* Yes, I've seen your response to this quote - enjoy "Jesus: God, Man or Myth?" http://www.truthbeknown.com/cutner.htm
For more on this see "Who Was Jesus?" by Acharya

"That there are parallels between the Mysteries and Christianity has been observed since the early centuries of the Church, when both Christian and non-Christian alike commented upon certain similarities."
- Dr. Bruce Metzger, "Historical and Literary Studies: Pagan, Jewish and Christian"

It appears that most of the sources you use here are Tektonics/JP Holding and Mike Licona. First, JP Holding -

JP Holding has no qualifications whatsoever in any Biblical field, knows no Biblical languages, and has no relevant training, yet has the temerity to presume that his OPINION is enough, and that his personal FAITH is all that he needs, to offer a vicious and vitriolic critique of credible credentialed scholars who are trained in this area of expertise. JP Holding has no training in comparative religion. No training in mythology. No training in archaeoastronomy. No training in astrotheology. Here are just a few links about the dishonesty of JP Holding exposing why he & his entourage cannot be trusted ...see it for yourself.

TEKTONICS.ORG: EXPOSED!
http://the-anointed-one.com/exposed.html

'James Patrick Holding, the Want-to-Be Apologist'
http://www.infidels.org/library/magazin ... 24jph.html

'Dishonesty by Robert Turkel (J.P. Holding)'
http://www.discord.org/~lippard/turkeldishonesty.html

A Reply to J. P. Holding
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ ... lding.html

"Writing James P Holding Off!"
http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.c ... g-off.html

"Prove Jesus Existed, Please!"
http://www.truthbeknown.com/holding.htm

James Patrick Holding: Another Apostate With Selective Education
http://www.darrellwconder.com/debate1.html

Do a google for JP Holding and his alt. "Sheila Rangslinger" -

"DISCLOSURE FROM ADMIN: "Sheila Rangslinger" was discovered to be a sock puppet identity created by J.P. Holding. Any statements about J.P. Holding in this post were written by J.P. Holding himself."

And here's what Acharya had to say concerning Mike Licona -
Quote:
"First of all, Mike Licona is not a credible individual, as his stated life's mission is to 'prove' that a Jewish man was 'the' God of the cosmos, and was born of a virgin and raised from the dead - a ridiculous premise that is unprovable.

"Secondly, Licona's methodology of 'debunking' my work included making random phone calls to professors, reading them a couple of sentences taken out of context, such that they pronounced my book to be 'ridiculous' and made other disparaging comments about my person, and then hanging up. As an example of this unethical behavior of Licona - during which time he apparently also identified some of these 'ridiculous' sentences as mine when they were not - we received the following response from one of his main 'sources' in his attempts at discrediting me, Professor Edwin Bryant.

When we asked Prof. Bryant about this affair concerning Licona, my work and Bryant's derogatory comments, Bryant responded as follows:

"'I somewhat remember receiving a phone call from someone sometime back requesting my views on Krishna in connection with a book he was critiquing. I had no time or interest to read the book to which he was referring, nor was I criticizing the book itself, as you suggested in a previous email since, not having read it, I had no grounds to do so. As a scholar of the Krishna tradition, I felt duty-bound to answer his questions, which I did, and gave my opinion of the views he represented to me regarding Krishna's supposed crucifixion. There are no traditional sources indicating Krishna or any avatara of Vishnu was crucified. If western authors from (I assume) the colonial period have published claims that there are alternative folk narratives that do represent such a version of events, then the onus is on them to provide specific references to these sources if they are to be taken seriously by scholars.

"'best wishes, Edwin Bryant'


"Obviously, Licona was not as cozy with these scholars as the impression he gives in order to depict himself as an authority. Nor did he give much a disclosure concerning my arguments, which Bryant acknowledges he has never read. Moreover, again, my book "Suns of God" goes into greater detail regarding this issue in particular, much of which data I would think would be fascinating to a "scholar of the Krishna tradition." In specific, I address the assertion concerning the depiction of Krishna as 'crucified' or in cruciform.

"Please also see my rebuttal of Licona vis-a-vis my work -

"'It is obvious that apologist Licona's main tactic in refuting The Christ Conspiracy is to attack my credibility, constantly misrepresenting statements from my book and website in order to make me look absurd. Such is a classic tactic of apologists and other used-religion salesmen attempting to sell their shoddy goods to an unsuspecting public. Apologists are not generally trained to think independently or to refute facts but to assail the credentials and credibility of the individual who does not buy such shoddy goods. In other words, don't bother them with the facts or the science, they will simply retort that your hair is the wrong color or you will be punished by God or some other playground rubbish.'

"In any event, even if a few assertions from my work are shown to be in error, and I admit to being fallible, the general premise - to wit, Jesus Christ is as mythical as Hercules - remains sound and unrefuted."
- Acharya S

Acharya regarding Mike Licona - http://www.truthbeknown.com/licona.htm

From your section, "Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, and Mithra (or Mithras)-Is the Life of Jesus Christ Plagiarized from their Myths?"

For starters, actually read "Christ Conspiracy", "Suns of God" Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ and Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection (CIE) which addresses all of the Egyptian claims in Zeitgeist. Please read the Sourcebook for Zeitgeist Part 1 with the transcript, images & sources. There are over 150 sources cited, in nearly 350 footnotes and around 80 images just in the ZG1 section alone!

Also see: Rebuttal to Dr. Chris Forbes concerning Zeitgeist, Part 1

“Mithra was born on December 25.”

Quote:
JP Holding response: "“…the Dec 25 issue is of no relevance to us--nowhere does the NT associate this date with Jesus' birth at all." This is something the later church did, wherever they got the idea from..."

To this nonsensical remark, Acharya responds, "First of all, Holding's opinion on this subject is, as usual, irrelevant. The fact is that HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of people worldwide believe that the Jewish son of God was born on December 25th, just like many other sons of God. Holding merely waving that fact away is not going to affect reality."

For more see, Mithra: The Pagan Christ and the forum thread HERE

What does the Catholic Encyclopedia say on this issue?

Mithraism: "Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season."
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10402a.htm

* Notice the word "REBIRTH," which means that the sun was perceived to have died only to be re-born or resurrected 3 days later after the winter solstice.

Natalis Invicti: "The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date. For the history of the solar cult, its position in the Roman Empire, and syncretism with Mithraism"
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm

* see "Suns of God" and for more info on Horus

Section "Did Any of these Pre-Christian Deities Really Rise from the Dead?"

- Again, I refer you to Justin Martyr around 150 ce admitting pre-Christian Pagan gods which were "...crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven..."

* for more on this see "Who Was Jesus?" and of course "Suns of God".

Section "Jesus Christ-the Most Recent Solar Messiah?"

The fact that Christians' favorite holidays are Christmas and Easter is enough to consider Jesus a sun god. I agree that the bible makes no mention for the actual date for the birth nor death of Jesus - as would be the case for a fictional character. In ancient times long before the advent of Christianity both an Easter and a Christmas type of celebration existed which usually represented victory of the light over the darkness. Neither holiday was originated by Christianity. In fact, it wasn't until 1870 when Christmas was recognized as an official holiday in the US. Christians fought over it for nearly a full century specifically because they considered it to be too PAGAN.

You said,
Quote:
"I contacted former astrologer Marcia Montenegro..."
who seems to know absolutely nothing about solar mythology, astrotheology nor comparative religion. I can't take anything she has to say seriously on any of the issues here.

However, Dr. Noel Swerdlow is the Professor of Astronomy etc, I can listen to what he has to say:
Quote:
Q. "The sun rises on December 25 and this is why Jesus and all of the other deities mentioned previously share similar characteristics."

"“This is of course complete nonsense astronomically. The identification of Christ with solar deities goes back to the eighteenth century" ... "It may be true that picking that particular day for Christ's birth was influenced by traditions about the winter solstice, but that does not make him a solar deity.”

First of all, that's the wrong question. The question concerns the WINTER SOLSTICE not whether or not the sun rises on December 25th - of course the sun rises on December 25th. Secondly, this person is not an expert on solar mythology, so he does not know any of the arguments that concern whether or not Jesus is another version of the sun god. Also, the claim made by apologists and Dr. Swerdlow that the comparison of Jesus to other solar deities began in the 18th century is FALSE.

I highly recommend that you and Dr. Noel Swerdlow read, "Yahweh and the Sun: Biblical and Archaeological Evidence for Sun Worship in Ancient Israel," by well-known biblical scholar Rev. Dr. J. Glen Taylor.

In the first place, sun gods were extremely important in the ancient world, as attested by pre-Christian writer Diodorus Siculus, for one:

"Now when the ancient Egyptians, awestruck and wondering, turned their eyes to the heavens, they concluded that two gods, the sun and the moon, were primeval and eternal; and they called the former Osiris, the latter Isis..."
- Diodorus Siculus (90-21 BCE), Greek Historian, "Suns of God" 89

Early Church Father Tertullian (160-220 C.E.), an "ex-Pagan" and Bishop of Carthage, ironically admits the true origins of the Christ story and of all other such godmen by stating in refutation of his critics, "You say we worship the sun; so do you." "Christ Conspiracy" 158 (paraphrase from the Catholic Encyclopedia)

"All the gods of the Greek and Roman mythology represent the attributes of the one supreme divine power - the SUN."
- Macrobius around 400ce "Suns of God" 67-68

Most importantly, the comparisons of Jesus with the sun began in the SECOND CENTURY, with Church fathers such as Tertullian (160-220 CE), who said:

Chapter 13. ”The Charge of Worshipping the Sun Met by a Retort.

"Others, with greater regard to good manners, it must be confessed, suppose that the sun is the god of the Christians, because it is a well-known fact that we pray towards the east, or because we make Sunday a day of festivity. What then? Do you do less than this? Do not many among you, with an affectation of sometimes worshipping the heavenly bodies likewise, move your lips in the direction of the sunrise? It is you, at all events, who have even admitted the sun into the calendar of the week; and you have selected its day, in preference to the preceding day as the most suitable in the week for either an entire abstinence from the bath, or for its postponement until the evening, or for taking rest and for banqueting. By resorting to these customs, you deliberately deviate from your own religious rites to those of strangers. For the Jewish feasts on the Sabbath and 'the Purification,' and Jewish also are the ceremonies of the lamps, and the fasts of unleavened bread, and the 'littoral prayers,' all which institutions and practices are of course foreign from your gods. Wherefore, that I may return from this digression, you who reproach us with the sun and Sunday should consider your proximity to us. We are not far off from your Saturn and your days of rest."

Tertullian, "Ad Nationes," I, 13 http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/03061.htm

Later, St. Augustine (354-430 AD/CE) was also compelled to dispute the same observation, which obviously continued to his day:

"I think that what the Lord says, 'I am the light of the world," is clear to those that have eyes, by which they are made partakers of this light: but they who have not eyes except in the flesh alone, wonder at what is said by the Lord Jesus Christ, "I am the light of the world." And perhaps there may not be wanting some one too who says with himself: Whether perhaps the Lord Christ is that sun which by its rising and setting causes the day? For there have not been wanting heretics who thought this. The Manichæans have supposed that the Lord Christ is that sun which is visible to carnal eyes, exposed and public to be seen, not only by men, but by the beasts. But the right faith of the Catholic Church rejects such a fiction, and perceives it to be a devilish doctrine: not only by believing acknowledges it to be such, but in the case of whom it can, proves it even by reasoning. Let us therefore reject this kind of error, which the Holy Church has anathematized from the beginning. Let us not suppose that the Lord Jesus Christ is this sun which we see rising from the east, setting in the west; to whose course succeeds night, whose rays are obscured by a cloud, which removes from place to place by a set motion: the Lord Christ is not such a thing as this. The Lord Christ is not the sun that was made, but He by whom the sun was made. For all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made."

Augustine, "Tractate on the Gospel of John," XXXIV
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1701034.htm

Solar Mythology Lesson # 1 - http://members.cox.net/deleyd/religion/ ... h/day.html

Winter solstice sunrise in Newgrange 3600-3100 BC
http://www.knowth.com/loughcrew.htm

"The earliest known direct reference to precession is that of the Greek astronomer Hipparchus (2nd century BCE), who is credited with discovering it. Adjustments of the Egyptian temple alignments, pointed out by Sir Norman Lockyer, may well indicate a much earlier sensitivity to this phenomenon, however."

Again, Krupp says:

"Circumstantial evidence implies that the awareness of the shifting equinoxes may be of considerable antiquity, for we find, in Egypt at least, a succession of cults whose iconography and interest focus on duality, the bull, and the ram at appropriate periods for Gemini, Taurus, and Aries in the precessional cycle of the equinoxes."

- Suns of God, page 40
http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 910#p19910

Dr. Swerdlow also appears to be unaware that the Old Testament discusses the zodiac in one of the oldest book in the OT, Job explicitly at Job 38:32 where he mentions the "mazzaroth" = zodiac. And lets not forget that the bible itself mentions the "age" many times so, Dr. Swerdlow should just stick to astronomy and leave the theology, mythology and astrotheology to others as he appears to know nothing about it.

Quote:
"At Stonehenge in England and Carnac in France, in Egypt and Yucatan, across the whole face of the earth are found mysterious ruins of ancient monuments, monuments with astronomical significance. These relics of other times are as accessible as the American Midwest and as remote as the jungles of Guatemala. Some of them were built according to celestial alignments; others were actually precision astronomical observatories ... Careful observation of the celestial rhythms was compellingly important to early peoples, and their expertise, in some respects, was not equaled in Europe until three thousand years later."

- Dr. Edwin Krupp, astronomer and director at Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles, 'In Search of Ancient Astronomies,' page xiii

I see no evidence to believe that the Jesus of the bible was ever anything else besides another sun god.

p.s. I'm sure you'll be pleased to discover that astronomer and former-director of Los Angeles's Griffith Observatory Dr. Edwin Krupp is quoted many times throughout "Suns of God" among others.

Section "Did Jesus Even Exist?"

"Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius: No Proof of Jesus"
http://www.truthbeknown.com/pliny.htm

"The only definite account of his life and teachings is contained in the four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All other historical records of the time are silent about him. The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations; in Jewish writings there is no report about Jesus that has historical value. Some scholars have even gone so far as to hold that the entire Jesus story is a myth…"
- The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (v. 6, 83)

* for more on this see "Who Was Jesus?" by Acharya

Quote:
Section "Conclusion"

"Towards the end of Part I, the narrator states the phrases "We want to be academic' and that 'Christianity is not based on truth." These statements are quite ironic, however, because genuine academic research blatantly refutes the vast majority of his claims (as is evidenced by the data provided above) and strongly supports historic Christianity."

REALLY? I'll just grab a few more quotes from Christian authorities that I found interesting from "Who Was Jesus?" -

"One would naturally expect that the Lord Jesus Christ would be sufficiently important to receive ample notice in the literature of his time, and that extensive biographical material would be available. He was observed by multitudes of people, and his own followers numbered into the hundreds (1 Cor. 15:6), whose witness was still living in the middle of the first century. As a matter of fact, the amount of information concerning him is comparatively meager. Aside from the four Gospels, and a few scattered allusions in the epistles, contemporary history is almost silent concerning him."
- Merrill C. Tenney, "New Testament Survey," p. 203.

Dr. Tenney is a conservative evangelical Christian who was a professor of Theological Studies and the dean of the school of Theology at Wheaton College. Tenney was also one of the original translators of the NASB and NIV editions of the Bible.

"Apart from the New Testament writings and later writings dependent upon these, our sources of information about the life and teaching of Jesus are scanty and problematic"
- F.F. Bruce, "New Testament History" founder of the modern evangelical movement

"...there are very few sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus beyond the four canonical Gospels. Paul and Josephus offer little more than tidbits. Claims that later apocryphal Gospels and the Nag Hammadi material supply independent and reliable historical information about Jesus are largely fantasy. In the end, the historian is left with the difficult task of sifting through the Four Gospels for historical tradition."
- John P. Meier, "A Marginal Jew," vol. II, 5.

Dr. Meier is a Catholic University New Testament professor, ex-Catholic priest and monsignor

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

So for my own conclusion. I'd point out that if you're going to be overly critical of an author's work, it may be wise to actually read the book first rather than rely on the dishonesty of JP Holding and Licona. I see this review of the "Zeitgeist" part 1 movie and Acharya's "Christ Conspiracy" as more Christian dishonesty attempting to censor a view point that has been around much longer than Christianity.

If you would like to claim that Jesus was a historical real person that lived on earth, was the son of god etc, etc then simply provide the evidence - outside of the Bible - to support these claims. Note that even if you could, it would be the first time throughout history as even the apostles and earliest church fathers couldn't produce any evidence for this. If there were any evidence to support the claims, faith would not be the main requirement for Christianity.
* for more on this subject see "Who Was Jesus?" by Acharya

If it is solar mythology or astrotheology you're interested in then, it would be wise to approach experts in this field. Not folks with no credentials whatsoever like JP Holding etc. For more Christian apologist debunking see:

Did Jesus Really Exist? By Paul Maier, DEBUNKED

Challenging the Zeitgeist Movie by Dr. Mark Foreman, DEBUNKED

Is Jesus a Myth? by S. Michael Houdmann, DEBUNKED

Rebuttal to Dr. Chris Forbes concerning Zeitgeist, Part 1

Acharya S is a leading proponent in the field of comparative religion and mythology, specializing in astrotheology and solar mythology with a keen interest in archaeoastronomy. Acharya S examines the connections between modern religious belief and our ancient veneration for the Sun and other natural phenomena throughout her work:

Here are Acharya's books should you ever decide to actually read them:

The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Acharya S (Jul 1, 1999)
Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled by Acharya S (Sep 1, 2004)
Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ by D.M. Murdock, Acharya S (Nov 28, 2007)
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S (Feb 28, 2009)
The Gospel According to Acharya S (2009)
Man Made God: A Collection of Essays by Barbara G. Walker (2010)
Anahita: Ancient Persian Goddess and Zoroastrian Yazata (2013)
Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman s Did Jesus Exist? (2013)
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S (2014)

Acharya's Books, E-Books and articles/excerpts on Kindle, iPhone, iPod, iPad and similar devices, such as Blackberry, Android

And don't forget the Astrotheology Calendar Series

* New edit Oct 2nd - We have been blessed by the "Preventing Truth Decay" creator joining us with a response here -

Preventing Truth Decay responds
http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... f=4&t=1158

* The entire issue surrounding the Zeitgeist part 1 controversy comes down to 2 things.

1. The evidence of solar mythology, astrotheology found worldwide as far back into history as we can go.

2. The very severe lack of credible evidence for the existence of Jesus.

These 2 subjects intersect in many ways and must be examined together. It is my contention that we will never fully understand our modern religious beliefs unless and until we also understand the mythological and astrotheological aspects of our history. Mainstream academia omits these 2 aspects for the most part. We can argue about the details forever - detractors can disagree with Acharya all they want but it still comes down to those 2 issues from above.

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Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
2014 Astrotheology Calendar
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:28 pm 
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The "Crucifixion" of Horus

Regarding pre-Christian gods, we possess strange suggestions from Church fathers such as Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Minucius Felix about them being "crucified" or on crosses, i.e., in cruciform. Indeed, the whole point about the "crucifixion" of Horus and other gods is that they are represented as hanging on crosses, long before the story of Jesus Christ was created with the same central theme. The particulars of these myths vary, of course, because of the era, culture and motive for creating them. In the sun god mythos, the sun is represented as "hanging on the cross" at several points, including during the vernal equinox, when the day and the night are the same length, and the sun was said to be in the middle of this "cross." In other words, the sun was "crossified," such as in the images in this article:

Was Horus "Crucified?"
http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/w ... ified.html

Here is my response to the Horus question from another thread:

Quote:
There is no one smoking gun - i.e., an ancient encyclopedia entry on Horus/Osiris or other dying-and-rising savior god - that defines the solar hero in this specific manner. However, there is plenty of evidence we can use to piece together the tale, as it applies to the solar hero in general.

The characteristics you are citing regarding Horus emanate largely from Gerald Massey's extensive work on the Egyptian religion, as well as from his student Albert Churchward.

For more information on this subject, you may wish to consult my book Suns of God, which contains a lengthy discussion of the "crucifixion" theme, as well as various images of gods in cruciform.

The same sort of exegesis is necessary for the other characteristics you mention, and the problem will lie eventually with the interpretation of texts. Massey based much of his material on the work of the well-respected Christian Egyptologist Wallis Budge. Today, however, Budge's critics claim that his interpretations are TOO Christian. I would tend to disagree, because the apologist argument is that the same and similar notions found within Christianity remain somehow different from those within the Egyptian religion. In my opinion, this argument ranks as indefensible.

There is little original to Christianity, as can be demonstrated by the words of Justin Martyr, who compared the various parts of Christ's myth with those of preceding Greek and Roman gods:

Quote:
CHAPTER XXI -- ANALOGIES TO THE HISTORY OF CHRIST.

And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; AEsculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification, and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Caesar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre? And what kind of deeds are recorded of each of these reputed sons of Jupiter, it is needless to tell to those who already know.

Knowing that a Christian apologist would not give away any point needlessly, we must wonder why Martyr said that in presenting Christ as crucified Christians were proposing nothing new. Who, then, of the "sons of Jove" was depicted as "crucified?"

And again, from Tertullian and Minucius Felix we find accusations that the Romans themselves worshipped crosses and men/gods affixed to cross. The Latin for "fix upon a cross" is "crucifigere," or crucify. It is singularly interesting that Roman gods were depicted in on crosses prior to Jesus being likewise portrayed in art.

As concerns the assertion that Horus was "crucified between two thieves," the reasoning I have seen is that the cross represents the sun being "crossified" at the equinoxes, with the autumnal one representing, of course, the declination towards winter, when the "two thieves" of Sagittarius and Capricorn rob the sun's strength. The sun was also robbed by the "thieves" of the night sky--the stars--as depicted in other cultures, more of which can be found in Suns of God. The quarters on either side of the equinoxes have also been said to rob the sun's strength.

In knowing that Christianity was based on the Egyptian religion in large part, that for thousands of years the cross was a popular solar symbol, and that Horus was a popular sun god, it seems Massey logically concluded that this motif of the crucifixion between two thieves must likewise be part of the (Egyptian) solar mythos and ritual that he was uncovering at the base of Christianity. Moreover, we have a peculiar "crucifixion between two thieves" in Mexican iconography, as brought out by Lord Kingsborough. A logical conclusion is that this theme must have been part of ancient pre-Christian religion. We do not, however, find the motif neatly laid out in an ancient Egyptian encyclopedia, unfortunately. And this fact also demonstrates the appalling amount of cultural destruction often caused by religious fanatics.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:02 pm 
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The Son of God is the Sun of God

The assertion that the "Son of God" is the "Sun of God" is frequently raised as another strawman argument that detractors like to knock down. Like these other criticisms, I have already addressed this one, but like sauerkraut it keeps repeating.

The complaint about this assertion stems from the impression that I and others are claiming the words "son" and "sun" are interchangeable and that, according to mainstream etymology, these two words in fact constitute "false cognates."

In the first place, the phrase comparing "son" and "sun" is usually meant to be a PLAY ON WORDS, not to suggest that the two words are etymological cognates and are interchangeable. Hence, this complaint represents a strawman argument. I for one am well aware that, according to mainstream etymology, the two words are not cognates and are not related. Using this PLAY ON WORDS to make a point is perfectly allowable, but one that is evidently lost on the critic.

In any event, as it turns out - and I as discovered long after I knew that mainstream etymology does not allow for the two words to be cognates and related - there IS reason to suggest otherwise, per the fascinating work of Christian etymologist Jacob Bryant, who published his book A New System, or An Analysis of Ancient Mythology in 1774. In Suns of God (76), I write:

Quote:
Bryant notes that the Egyptian priests were called "Sonchin," or "Son-Cohen" - priests of the sun. Thus, [in this case] the English word "son" [would not be] a false cognate with "sun," and it is truthfully said that the "son of God" is the "sun of God." This son-sun connection can also be found in the Indian language: In tracing many Indo-European and Vedic words to a common root, Roy [93] proffers, among others, the root "son," representing "sunu" in Vedic and "son" in Indo-European.

The "Roy" above refers to Indian scholar S.B. Roy, who wrote Prehistoric Lunar Astronomy, Institute of Chronology, New Delhi, 1976.

Indeed, the Old English word for "son" is sunnu, while "sun" is sunne, so again we have an apt comparison.

The linguistical connection can be found in other languages as well.

English: sun son
Old English: sunne sunnu
Afrikaans: son seun
Dutch: zon zoon
German: Sonne Sohn
Slovenian: sonce sin

However, it needs to be stated that nobody is claiming that "son" and "sun" sounding the same is proof of anything. Therefore, making videos or writing articles in order to debunk this straw man and non-issue represents not only a total misrepresentation of this point but also an utter waste of time.

Furthermore, some have pointed out the similarity between the Greek words for son, huios, and sun, helios. I have not found any evidence that this possible Greek pun was used in the ancient world, however, but that doesn't rule it out, as much literature has been destroyed since that time, and my survey was brief.

To repeat, in Greek the word for "sun" is ἥλιος or "helios." In Latin, "sun" is "sol."

Hebrew Shamash/Shemesh

In Hebrew, the word for "sun" is שמש or "shamash" or "shemesh," both common transliterations of the vowel-less Hebrew. As Dr. James M. Lindenberger remarks concerning שמש shamash/shemesh in the Bible:

Quote:
The word שמש, appearing in some of the proverbs is a divine name, not the common noun "sun." It refers to the Assyrobabylonian sun-god "Shamash," the divinity who oversees the administration of justice.

(Botta, Alejandro, ed. In the Shadow of Bezalel. Aramaic, Biblical, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Bezalel Porten, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2013; p. 269.)

In this same regard, Wikipedia "Shamash" comments:

Quote:
Shamash (Akkadian Šamaš "Sun"), was a native Mesopotamian deity and the sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu. Akkadian šamaš is cognate to Syriac ܫܡܫܐ šemša or šimšu Hebrew שֶׁמֶשׁ šemeš and Arabic شمس šams.

A transliteration of the vowel-less Hebrew would be smm.

Note also that Gesenius's Lexicon associates the root letters sm with the Old Germani Summi, among others:

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In this regard, it would appear that sm and "sun" are related.

It should be noted that I have known these words in Greek, Hebrew and Latin for about 30 years. As such, I have never said that these words are the same - that is a complete and utter fabrication, displaying the ridiculously poor quality of the criticisms of my work. One should be suspect of any other argument following such an absurd straw man, as it is likely to be of the same poor quality. Individuals and websites using this strawman son-sun criticism should be dismissed out of hand as inaccurate and irrelevant.

The bottom line is that even if we do not accept the etymology of Bryant and Roy, the fact will remain that the assertion that the son of God is the sun of God represents a clever play on words which reflects reality within the world of mythology.

The Sun/Son Play on Words throughout History

Also, this sun/son pun in English has been well noted in the past by many writers, poets and clergymen in the Christian world. As I relate in my ebook Jesus as the Sun throughout History - all facts are carefully cited there, so be sure to obtain my ebook for more information:

Quote:
Moreover, this sun-son word play has been noted many times previously in history by a variety of individuals, including English priest and poet Robert Southwell in the 16th century and English poet Richard Crashaw in the 17th century. English poet and preacher John Donne (1572-1631) and Welsh poet and priest George Herbert (1593-1633) likewise engaged in the son/sun pun as applied to Christ. In discussing Donne, Dr. Arthur L. Clements, a professor at Binghamton University, remarks that the "Son-sun pun" is "familiar enough." Comparing Christ to the "day star," famous English poet John Milton (1608-1674) was aware of the "sun/son of God” analogy and "revel[ed] in the sun-son pun." In his book about English poet Andrew Marvell (1621-1678), Dr. Nigel Smith, a professor at Princeton University, comments that "Jesus was also thought to have been referred to in Mal. 4:2 (thereby involving a pun on Sun/Son of God)..." Puritan minister Edward Taylor (1642-1729) engaged in the same punning by describing Christ as "the onely [sic] begotten Sun that is in the bosom of the Father..."

Furthermore, in describing the actions of the Church fathers in adapting sun myths to Christianity, Thomas Ellwood Longshore declared in 1881, "They merely changed the visible 'Sun of God' for the invisible 'Son of God,' or for this personage they called the 'Son of God'..." while addressing the Shakespearean character Petruccio’s "arrogation of the son/sun pun" in "The Taming of the Shrew," Dr. Peter Holland, a professor of Shakespearean History at Notre Dame University, says that this play on words is "normally used to glorify Christ..." In An Introduction to English Grammar, Dr. Sidney Greenbaum, a professor of English at University College London, comments, "Religious poetry traditionally puns Sun with Son, Christ the son of God..." Dr. Stephen C. Behrendt, a professor of English at the University of Nebraska, called the pun "longstanding." The sun-son play on words as applicable to Christ has also been deemed so "common" as to represent a "devotional pun."

Obviously, this "devotional pun" was widely recognized centuries ago by the English-speaking intelligentsia and educated elite. Therefore, shallow criticisms of the statement that the son of God is the sun of God represent illogical straw men reflective of ignorance of this fact and should be dismissed as such. In reality, the repeated punning across several centuries proves once more that Christ was widely associated with the sun long before the 19th century. In any event, the idea of the sun as both God and the son of God predates the Christian era by centuries, and the ancient solar role was most obviously transferred first to Yahweh and then to his supposed son, the alleged Jewish messiah Jesus Christ.

This issue is also address in Forbes Claim No. 2

In my ebook Jesus as the Sun throughout the Ages, I have thus recounted the history of the son-sun pun in English literature - possibly the most thorough treatment of such - and demonstrated that it has a long and venerable usage among some of the best writers and poets of the English language dating back centuries.

I shall therefore count myself among these esteemed wordsmiths who chose to avail themselves of a first-rate play on words, rather than among the pun-illiterate and poetry-insensate critics.

See also: The Son-Sun pun strawman

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