I have a new forum post that is very lengthy and contains a significant amount of information for scholars and students of religious origins. There is bolded text for those who wish to skim this long post for the general ideas. Obviously, I found the original article I'm reviewing here to be highly valuable. Thanks to Bart Ehrman, in fact, we now have even more juicy stuff for the mythicist thesis!
Following are some highlights of this long forum post, which is a review of one of the articles I cited in my original post "The phallic 'Savior of the World' hidden in the Vatican": Youngstown State University professor Dr. Lorrayne Y. Baird's "Priapus Gallinaceus: The Role of the Cock in Fertility and Eroticism in Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages," Studies in Iconography, vols. 7-8, University of Kentucky, 1981-82, pp. 81-111.
In this article, Dr. Baird discusses the many phallic objects and the commentary in literature from antiquity, noting that the phallic cults have existed for thousands of years and were widespread around the Mediterranean into Northern and Western Europe, when Christianity was created. We discover that during the fifth century BCE or earlier, the Greeks anthropomorphized the ancient ithyphallic god under the epithet of Πρίαπος "Priapos" or, Latinized, "Priapus."
Priapus the Good
The Priapus cult became so popular that early Church father Hippolytus (d. 236) described the efforts of a "Justinus" (a Christian priest of the 2nd-3rd cents.?) to "have Priapus recognized as God the Father, first person of the Trinity, the 'Good One.'" Indeed, Priapus was called the "Good One," as was the Jewish tribal god Yahweh, as well as many other gods and goddesses in antiquity. (See my "Chrestos" series.) In the Latin of Hippolytus, Priapus is called Bonus, while the Greek is ἀγαθόςAgathos, by which Yahweh and Jesus are both styled in the Bible. (Mk 10:17-18) The use of agathos in Matthew 7:11 as juxtaposed with the Greek word poneros("wicked")indicates the former term's relationship to chrestos. Hence, Priapus too is essentially a chrestos, possibly the object of worship in the writings of Pliny regarding Bithynia and "Christ" being worshipped there as a god.
Symbol of the sun
Baird also relates that the cock, Priapus and the gods in general were symbolic of the sun - a theme she repeats a number of times in her peer-reviewed, scholarly article published in a journal from an American university. Indeed, the "solarian connection" unites these figures as creators and protectors of life, as well as healers and saviors. Priapus was especial to fishermen, among others, which makes one wonder about the role he may have played in the creation of the gospel story, possibly serving as one archetype for the fisher of men "St. Peter." As Baird explains, in the Christian era, Priapus was changed into a Catholic saint and given a number of names. In consideration of the phallic symbolism of his name, as well as other roles that clearly come from myth, such as the gatekeeper of heaven, we would not be remiss in suggesting that Peter is a remake in significant part of the highly popular god Priapus.
Secret museum collections
Furthermore, as I state in my forum commentary, Baird is not hesitant in stating outright that the University of Naples museum has a SECRET COLLECTION, asserted so matter-of-factly that one understands many museums possess such secret collections, including the Vatican. Indeed, it is in this writer's work that the secret Vatican collection is likewise mentioned, which is why this article was originally of interest. As we can see, it is also a goldmine for other reasons as well.
The reality is that secret and hidden collections in museums are quite common, as such institutions do not and cannot display everything they possess, obviously. In my travels to some 200 archaeological sites in Greece, I encountered many of these back rooms in museums, since I was traveling with groups of students and scholars who were given access to them. I even worked in one of these storerooms while an archaeology student at Corinth, Greece. Anyone who does not know about these rooms in museums not available to the public apparently has not been to museums in the capacity of a scholar.
UPDATE: It is being reported by Gulf News that the government of Morocco has released a statement asserting that the Muslim radicals did not destroy any rock carvings. In consideration of the fanatics' past history, one finds it difficult to believe that someone simply made up this story. The jury remains out - we would love to see images of the carvings, now that the world's attention is on them. The original story came from a "local rights group," The Amazigh [Berber] League for Human Rights, and it is difficult to believe this NGO would falsify such a story, unless to draw attention to the jihadis in their lands?
Here is one reason I continually try to educate about the dangers of religious fanaticism, especially of the intolerant, monotheistic Abrahamic variety. This fanaticism has been destroying ancient cultures and their artifacts for over 2,500 years now, as found in the Old Testament and Christian history. This atrocity in Morocco is merely the latest incarnation - very distressing, especially for students and scholars of archaeology. To archaeologists, such destruction borders on blasphemy. One of my archaeologist friends says he is physically sickened by this sort of anti-humanity vandalism. The individuals involved in this blasphemous behavior should be charged with a crime against humanity in denigrating and destroying part of our shared ancestral heritage. For shame!
Note that these ancient artifacts had to do with sun worship/solar mythology, a massive part of humanity's religious traditions dating back thousands of years. This astrotheological development occurred when human beings made observations of their natural world, including the sun, moon, planets, stars and constellations. The erasure of our past is like a virus eradicating the global computer files of humanity. It is utterly disgraceful and, again, blasphemous against our religion/philosophy. It must be stopped!
An 8,000-year-old rock engraving depicting the Sun as a divinity has been destroyed in the south of Morocco, local residents said, blaming Salafists seeking to impose their fundamentalist view of Islam.
Ahmed Assid, a prominent activist for the indigenous Amazigh people and member of the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture (IRCAM), said the pagan rock engraving, known as a petroglyph -- was destroyed this week in the Toubkal National Park.
"The information we have received from Amazigh activists in the area suggests Salafists were behind the act," Assid told Reuters, noting however that he had yet to see pictures of the destroyed petroglyph.
"This act follows a noticeable rise in Salafist activities in predominantly-Amazigh regions of Morocco to enforce a puritanical interpretation of Islam," he added.
He said, for example, Salafists were encouraging parents not to play traditional Amazigh music at their children's weddings, giving them cash handouts to opt instead for Islamic religious chants.
"Their view is that aspects of Amazigh culture, including pre-Islamic heritage, still present today defeat the purpose of the Islamic conquests," he added.
Morocco has generally followed a tolerant form of Sunni Islam, but Salafists rose to prominence after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, with hundreds jailed for 2003 bombings in the town of Casablanca.
After the popular uprisings which swept the Arab world last year - which Morocco mostly escaped - they have been expanding their influence across North Africa.
Meryem Demnati, of the Amazigh Freeedoms and Rights Watchdog, also confirmed the destruction of the petroglyph and added that residents in the area blamed Salafists.
Officials at the Moroccan culture ministry could not be reached for comment.
Amazigh, or Imazighen, lived in north Africa long before Muslims set foot in the land in the 7th century. While there are no official figures on their numbers, Morocco is widely believed to have the biggest Amazigh community in the world.
Assid said Moroccan authorities were partly to blame for failing to protect ancient artifacts and other Amazigh archaeological sites.
"Some 37,000 Amazigh petroglyphs like the one that was destroyed this week have been smuggled out of Morocco in the past 20 years," said Assid.
In July, al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters used pick-axes, shovels and hammers to shatter earthen tombs and shrines of local saints in Mali's fabled desert city of Timbuktu on the grounds they were defending the purity of their faith against idol worship.
(Reporting By Souhail Karam; Editing by Myra MacDonald)
The AFP article also discusses the artifact as having to do with sun worship:
Stone carvings in Morocco's High Atlas mountains dating back more than 8,000 years and depicting the sun as a pagan divinity have been destroyed by Salafists, a local rights group said on Wednesday.
"These stone carvings of the sun are more than 8,000 years old. They were destroyed several days ago," Aboubakr Anghir, a member of the Amazigh (Berber) League for Human Rights, told AFP.
"One of the carvings, called 'the plaque of the sun,' predates the arrival of the Phoenicians in Morocco," Anghir said.
"It lies in a well-known archaeological site in the Yakour plain south of Marrakesh, 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Mount Toubkal."
"There are several Salafist groups active in the region and it's not the first time these pre-Islamic sites have been attacked. We have sent a message to the ministry of culture, but have not yet received a reply," he added.
Salafists, Muslims who adhere to a hardline Sunni interpretation of Islam similar to that practised in Saudi Arabia, which strictly prohibits "idolatry," have enjoyed a surge in strength in Arab Spring countries, benefiting from wider freedom.
Late on Monday, one of Tunisia's main Sufi mausoleums was burned down in an overnight arson attack, seemingly the latest in a spate of attacks on unorthodox Sufi shrines by the country's increasingly assertive Salafists.
In northern Mali, which is close to Morocco, radical Islamists have destroyed ancient World Heritage shrines they consider idolatrous since seizing control of the region earlier this year.
Bad news about my beloved friend, muse and colleague Dr. Robert M. Price!
Per John F. Felix:
Dr. Price is in a very bad way, health-wise, right now. Any cash that anyone can spare would go along way to help. I know it also pains him to ask himself, so I'm asking for him. The easiest way is to send any donation you can via PayPal directly to:
. Thanks for your generosity in advance.
Naturally, Bob is too polite to ask for himself, so his friends, fans and supporters have taken it upon ourselves, with his retrospective blessing/appreciation, to put out this call. His illness is not life-threatening, but it is very painful and debilitating. Dr. Price is bedridden, and the bills are mounting.
If you can afford even $5 or $10, PLEASE send him some money. As do I and others, Bob lives very frugally off his book proceeds. WE LOVE AND NEED DR. PRICE!!!
To donate to Dr. Robert M. Price, please go to your Paypal account and send to the email address
Be sure to check the "gift" box under the donation so that Dr. Price will not be charged Paypal fees.
"Bob Price has been bringing us the good news/gospel of Bible criticism and mythicism for many years now!"
Bob Price has been bringing us the good news/gospel of Bible criticism and mythicism for many years now, not only through his numerous magnificent books but also via his popular "Bible Geek" radio program. He is one of the few scholars in the world who knows the Bible intimately, chapter and verse, without being a believer in its absolute literalism, including that of several major characters. In other words, Price is aware of the mythology in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, recognizing that a number of biblical figures are not historical personages but mythical characters. As he says:
I find it undeniable that...many, 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: "we assert that Christianity constitutes Gnosticism historicized and Judaized, likewise representing a synthesis of Egyptian, Jewish and Greek religion and mythology, among others [including Buddhism, via King Asoka’s missionaries] from around the 'known world'" (p. 278). "Christianity is largely the product of Egyptian religion being Judaized and historicized" (p. 482).
Bob's unique contribution to the Jesus-mythicist field, which dates back several centuries and incorporates a wide variety of research by erudite scholars in Europe, America and elsewhere, is his ability to spot midrash in the canonical gospels. Because he knows the Old Testament so well, Price can see where OT verses have been used in order to craft the New Testament and gospel story. His work in that regard represents an invaluable piece of the Christ-myth puzzle.
Hot off the presses! Here is a MAJOR piece of the Christ-myth puzzle. I have taken a lengthy article and broken it down into different essays, with numerous links both to these other articles and to references, citations and annotated footnotes. You will see the other new articles in this "Chrestos" series in the "Related articles" and "Further Reading" sections.
This "Chrestos" research ties together many loose ends in study of Christian origins. I think I have sufficiently demonstrated that Suetonius cannot be used as "proof" of a "historical" Jesus of Nazareth.
Does the Roman historian refer to the historical Jesus of Nazareth, or is the famous Suetonian passage concerning "Chresto" about another individual altogether?
One of the few citations from antiquity proffered by Christian apologists and others to prove the purported historicity of the figure "Jesus Christ" is a sentence from the ancient Roman historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus's Lives of the Twelve Caesars (book 5, Life of Claudius 25.4). Published around 120 AD/CE, this passage is one of two in Suetonius's works held up as "evidence" of Jesus of Nazareth's existence as a "historical" personage, the second a sentence in that writer's Life of Nero 16.2 which supposedly discusses "Christians." Here I will examine the Claudius passage in terms of its value in this quest for the "historical Christ."...
Many thanks for inviting me to share my thoughts with this Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. I appear before you as a common citizen deeply apprehensive and concerned about the drift of our country as it changes due to the rate of immigration that is without precedent among any of the advanced liberal democracies of the West. My expertise, or to the extent my expertise is recognized by this Committee for which I have been invited to appear before you, is that of a professional academic, a researcher, writer, author and public intellectual of some recognition in this great country of ours, and I am both proud and humbled to come before you as an unhyphenated Canadian.
Let me state right at the outset, before I share with you my perspective on immigration, I support all measures under consideration that modern technology provides for in securing our borders, monitoring those who seek to gain entry into Canada, those who arrive here without proper documentation and claim refugee status, and those in legions outside of Canada who want to come here as immigrants. I believe it is a no-brainer to work towards a more secure Canada, and to implement smart cards, biometric systems, and other tools available now or will be in the future for the purpose of keeping Canada and Canadians secure from those who would do us harm. I have no doubt on this matter that were we to have the thoughts of our founding fathers inform us, and those remarkable leaders who have come after them such as Laurier and King, Pearson and Trudeau, Knowles and Douglas, they would remind us that a constitution agreed upon by a free people to provide for, as John A. Macdonald put it, “peace, order and good government” is not a suicide-pact.
In the small amount of time I have before you I want to stress upon the first principle behind the Immigration policy as it has evolved since the centennial year and presently stand. Needless to remark that Canada is an immigrant country, and our history tells us as we should know it has been immigrants from Europe over the past several centuries that built this country. On the whole they built it well and, indeed, so well that Canada has come to be an eagerly sought country for people from around the world as I did. But, and here is the point, at some stage of Canada’s historical development since at least 1867 those who built Canada in the early years of its history could have reached an agreement to close the door to further immigration. They did not. They believed the strength of their country would be maintained through a judicious policy of accepting new immigrants from Europe. But the key point here I want to emphasize, and I have written about this at length in the public media, is they all believed that immigration judiciously and carefully managed (I emphasize manage) in terms of numbers and source origin of immigrants should be such that the nature of Canada as a liberal democracy is not undermined.
It is numbers and the nature of numbers that matters and, given the nature of things, determines how existing arrangements are secured or undermined. Since the open door immigration policy was instituted around the time of Canada’s centennial year, the nature of immigration into Canada started to change from what had been the pattern since before 1867 to around 1960. During the past fifty years immigration from outside of Europe, from what is generally designated the Third World, has rapidly increased in proportion to those immigrants originating in Europe. Furthermore, given the revolution in transportation with the introduction of wide body trans-continental jetliner that has made mass travel economical and easy the distinction between immigrant and migrant workers has been eliminated. This means, and it is not simply in reference to ethnicity, that Canada is rapidly changing culturally in ways our political elite, media elite and academic elite do not want to discuss. But the fact that this is not discussed, or driven under the carpet, does not mean the public is not keenly aware of how much the country has changed in great measure in a relatively short period, and if this pattern continues for another few decades there is the likelihood that Canada will have changed irrevocably, and not necessarily for the better in terms of its political tradition as a liberal democracy.
So in terms of first principle, we need our governing institutions and those individuals we, as Canadians, send to them to represent us, to boldly re-examine our existing immigration policy and re-think it in terms of what it represents and how it will affect the well-being of Canada in the years to come. I do not need to remind you that any set of policy, however benign or good the intent is behind the making of such policy, is riddled with unintended consequences. History is a paradox. What you intend is not how things turn out in the long run, and not even in the short term. Pick any example you want, and think it through and see for yourself the paradoxical nature of history and how it surprises us by confounding our expectations.
I have at hand the recent publication of Statistics Canada, Projections of the Diversity of the Canadian Population: 2006 to 2031. In other words, this projection affects me now and what remains of my life, but more importantly affects my children, my students, my friends and neighbours in their life time. Your views, as our representatives, are critical and will affect all of us, and you will be responsible in terms of our history, if you take your place in these hallowed halls with the seriousness it demands, for the good and the bad that come out of your decisions.
Let me quickly, time permitting, point out from this Statistics Canada publication the following:
Given the nature of our immigration policy since the 1960s, the foreign born population is growing about 4 times faster than the rest of the population; consequently, in 2031 there will be between 9.8 million and 12.5 million foreign-born persons compared to 6.5 million in 2006, and the corresponding number in 1981 was 3.8 million.
According to Statistics Canada projection, the population estimated for 2031 will be around 45 million of which 32 per cent, or around 14.5 million people will be foreign-born.
One more interesting, and yet critical, figure is the cultural/religious make up of Canada in 2031. The fastest growth, according to the report, is “the Muslim population… with its numbers tripling during this period. This increase is mainly due to two factors: the composition of immigration… and higher fertility than for other groups.” The figures are for Muslims in 2006 at around 900,000 constituting 2.7 per cent of the population, and rising to in 2031 to around 3.3 million constituting 7.3 per cent of the population.
If the levels of immigration in Canada is being maintained, and defended, on the basis of the needs to deal with the problems of Canadian society in terms of an aging population, fertility rates among Canadian women, skilled labour requirement and maintaining a growth-level for the population consistent with the growth of the economy, then this policy needs to be seriously re-evaluated.
We cannot fix the social problems of the Canadian society by an open immigration policy that adds to the numbers at a rate that puts into question the absorptive capacity of the country not only in economic terms but also, if not more importantly, in cultural and social terms and what this does to our political arrangements as a liberal democracy.
The March 2012 Herbert Grubel and Patrick Grady study for the Fraser Institute on Immigration and Refugee Policy should end once and for all the naivety that immigrants add in the short and medium term to economic gains for the country. Indeed, the cost-benefit analysis the Grubel-Grady study provides, based on government sources and revenue Canada numbers, indicates immigrants are a net cost to the rest of the society. “The fiscal burden imposed by the average recent immigrants,” Grubel and Grady write, “is $6,000, which for all immigrants is a total between $16 billion and $23 billion per year.” This is unfair, unsustainable, and disruptive to the Canadian society when set against the demands of Canadians for their needs, especially in distressing economic times as we have been witnessing since 2008.
The flow of immigration into Canada from around the world, and in particular the flow from Muslim countries, means a pouring in of numbers into a liberal society of people from cultures at best non-liberal. But we know through our studies and observations that the illiberal mix of cultures poses one of the greatest dilemmas and an unprecedented challenge to liberal societies, such as ours, when there is no demand placed on immigrants any longer to assimilate into the founding liberal values of the country to which they have immigrated to and, instead, by a misguided and thoroughly wrong-headed policy of multiculturalism encourage the opposite. It is no wonder that recently the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the British Prime Minister David Cameron, among other European leaders and a growing body of intellectuals, have spoken out in public against multiculturalism and the need to push it back, even repeal it.
I have written a book on the wrong headed policy of multiculturalism published recently under the title Delectable Lie: a liberal repudiation of multiculturalism. Time forbids me to discuss this matter at any length, but I would surely hope members of this Committee might take the time and read my book even if they disagree with me. Here I want to leave you in your deliberations to reflect upon the following situation of a paradoxical nature:
We may want to continue with a level of immigration into Canada annually that is about the same as it is at present; i.e. somewhere in the vicinity of 300,000 immigrants, refugee claimants, and students and workers under visa provision entering Canada.
We cannot, however, continue with such an in-flow of immigrants under the present arrangement of the official policy of multiculturalism based on the premise all cultures are equal when this is untrue, and that this policy is a severe, perhaps even a lethal, test for a liberal democracy such as ours.
This means we cannot simultaneously continue with both, the existing level of immigration and official multiculturalism, as they together endanger greatly our liberal democratic traditions.
If we persist we will severely undermine our liberal democracy or what remains of it, compromise the foundation of individual freedom by accommodating group rights, and bequeath to our children and unborn generations a political situation fraught with explosive potential for ethnic violence the sort of which we have seen in Europe as in the riots in the ban lieu or suburbs of Paris and other metropolitan centres.
In conclusion, I want to emphasize we need to consider lowering the number of immigrants entering into Canada until we have had a serious debate among Canadians on this matter. We should not allow bureaucratic inertia determining not only the policy, but the existing level of immigrant numbers and source origin that Canada brings in annually. We have the precedent of how we selectively closed immigration from the Soviet bloc countries during the Cold War years, and we need to consider doing the same in terms of immigration from Muslim countries for a period of time given how disruptive the cultural baggage of illiberal values is brought in as a result. We are, in other words, stoking the fuel of much unrest in our country as we have witnessed of late in Europe. And lest any member wants to instruct me that my views are in any way politically incorrect or worse, I would like members to note I come before you as a practicing Muslim who knows out of experience from the inside how volatile, how disruptive, how violent, how misogynistic is the culture of Islam today and has been during my lifetime, and how greatly it threatens our liberal democracy that I cherish since I know what is its opposite.
Please note that I do not concur with Atwill's Josephus/Flavian thesis vis-a-vis the origin of the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There remains no clear, scientific evidence for the emergence of the canonical gospels as we have them until the end of the second century, when they suddenly burst onto the scene with a slew of commentary. (For more information, see "When were the gospels written?")
Joe and I do agree that the "Jesus Christ" of the New Testament is a fictional compilation of characters, real and mythical. We also concur that this effort to create what eventually became known as "Christianity" began in the first century, but the facts indicate that the Vespasian/Titus cult was evidently involved with the cult of Chrestos, not Christos, at that time. The real effort to compose the canonical gospels, moreover, did not occur until the middle of the second century, with the publication of the "heretic" Marcion's "New Testament" at Rome.
Joe and all the other people involved in this process were very nice, and we had a marvelous time filming it. So, thanks to all those good folks, including and especially Fritz Heede and Nijole Sparkis of NlightningworkZ!
Is Jesus a fictional allegory created by the most powerful families in the 1st Century as a device for political control?
Could the title of "Christ" actually apply to a Roman Caesar?
In this informal discussion, Acharya S/D.M. Murdock and Joseph Atwill offer their perspectives on Atwill's provocative "Caesar's Messiah" Thesis, which concludes that Jesus is not a historical figure, that the Gospels are literature not history, and that the ministry of the fictional character Jesus is modeled on the military campaign of Roman Caesar Titus Flavius as he battled against the Jewish revolt in Judea.
The two scholars discuss why this "savior god" myth needed to be anchored in history in contrast to earlier similar myths that were not. The purpose was to create the ultimate Super State with the authority to represent God on Earth.
Title #337920 Format: DVD-R
Here's a review of this video:
"In this DVD I could clearly see the depth of Acharya's knowledge and wisdom. I was riveted by the conversation between her and author Atwill as they exchanged their knowledge of the people and places that may have created Christianity. Although Acharya has said she doesn't concur with Atwill's thesis of a 'politically' created myth of Jesus, it is pleasure to hear two scholars with differing opinions politely and professionally debate each other. Definitely very enlightening!" Deirdre Simone
One clarification: I do concur that Christianity was created significantly for political reasons, but there is no scientific evidence that the canonical gospels were written by any Flavians, whether Josephus or otherwise, as they do not emerge clearly in the historical record until the last half of the second century. The works of Josephus factor into the picture when the author of Luke-Acts apparently uses them in order to flesh out the tale with "real history."
Yes, as one can see, I do not go around smearing and sullying the reputation of other scholars and mythicists with calumny and libel, as others have done to me, mendaciously and dishonestly pretending to be experts on my work without even having read it. One of my goals in doing this work, in fact, is to bring people together in a sense of intellectual exchange, rather than the typical competition that we see so abundantly and that has gotten us nowhere. A fascistic tyranny of Jesus mythers is not an improvement over a fascistic tyranny of Jesus believers.
In this quest to unravel Christian origins, the evidence leads us to factor in the biographical details of many individuals, both historical and mythical. This compilation includes not just one emperor/caesar but several, such as Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE) and Caesar Augustus (63 BCE-14 AD/CE), both of whom were likewise considered to be saviors or "messiahs," the Greek epithet being soter. Many other historical figures such as Ptolemy Soter bore this epithet of "savior" or "messiah," and many gods were likewise called "Savior," such as Dionysus and Serapis. Their "biographical" details must also be included in this analysis, as must be those of Horus, Mithra, Attis, Buddha and numerous other figures, not a few of whom resolve themselves to sun gods.
Decades earlier than the time of emperor Titus, some of the "biographical" details attached to the story of Jesus were circulating about the previous emperors Julius and Augustus Caesar. For example, it was said of both Julius and Augustus that their father was the Greek sun god Apollo, thus giving them a divine birth. The very notion of a caesar implies divinity, as he would be given the Latin epithet divus, a word meaning "divine" or "deified" and "god" or "goddess," "often as epithet for dead and deified emperors." As Dr. J. Dominic Crossan remarks:
"On every coin you have inscriptions of Caesar as divine. In the ancient world, being divine was a job description, meaning somebody who does something very important for the human race."
The mythology surrounding the caesars included their resurrection from death and ascension into heaven, events recorded on the coins of Julius Caesar the year he died, 44 BCE. The coins below depict the goddess Nike or "Victory" instructing the lunar goddess Selene to wake Caesar from his death slumber.
Following is the so-called Priene inscription from announcements of the calendar change based on the birth of Caesar Augustus in 63 BCE, "found on marble stelae in all the Asian temples dedicated to Rome and Augustus":
"Whereas Providence...has...adorned our lives with the highest good: Augustus...and has in her beneficence granted us and those who will come after us [a Savior] who has made war to cease and who shall put everything in [peaceful] order...with the result that the birthday of our God signalled the beginning of Good News for the world because of him... therefore..."
The original Greek here for "Good News" is evangelia, the same term used in the New Testament to describe the "gospel" of Jesus Christ.
The caesar was thus considered the divine "son of God" and "Savior," whose birth brings the "good news" (evangelia), the same name used in the New Testament to describe Jesus's "gospel." Caesar is murdered, resurrects and ascends to heaven - all decades before Jesus supposedly lived and before Titus became emperor.
Adding to these various biographical details of pagan deities and emperors the numerous "messianic prophecies" of the Old Testament used as an outline or "blueprint," we can account for the creation of the savior/gospel tale, which was expanded upon and worked over by the Gnostics and then Judaized/historicized at the end of the second century.
A piece of the puzzle?
As concerns my remarks to Joe Atwill about his piece of the Christianity puzzle, when/if I have time, I may do a detailed analysis of the aspects of the Vespasian/Titus story that may have been utilized to flesh out the historical framework of the gospel tale, such as the placing of it in Galilee, mainly (except for in the Gospel of John), with the focus on the cities of Capernaum, Chorazin, Bethsaida, etc. However, it is possible that some of these city-names are, like much of the rest of the gospel story, midrash based on Old Testament scriptures. This part of the mythicist position still needs to be worked out in detail, as does the role of the Flavians in the Chrestos cult of the late first century, which appears to be the real contribution of this faction to the Christian effort.
In this regard, I have a lengthy article on the Chrestos cult of the first century AD/CE, which appears to have been given a boost by the Flavians during the last quarter of that period. In consideration of Vespasian's visits to the multinational cult center at Mt. Carmel, where he purportedly received the oracle's approval as emperor, and to the temple of Serapis at Alexandria, where he supposedly obtained the gift of healing, we would not be surprised if Vespasian was involved in what would be known as "Christianity." The hypothesis that Vespasian's visit to Mt. Carmel was to discuss the amalgamation of Judaism and Paganism, which had already been achieved there for centuries, may possess some truth. Moreover, it is likewise hypothesized that one of the reasons Titus wanted to take the surrendered Josephus under his wing was in order to obtain the Jewish scriptures, generally forbidden to non-Jews. If all of these contentions are true, it becomes obvious that these Flavians were involved in the early Chrestian effort, which was utilized in the later organization at the end of the second century that eventually became Christianity.
Regarding the overall thesis, therefore, a relatively small percentage of the Titus biography would have been used in the creation of the gospel story, but the Flavians, including Josephus, did not compose the canonical gospels as we have them.
Do you know how many times I personally have been insulted, attacked, abused, libeled, slandered, derogated and defamed? It happens regularly. So, can I have all criticism of me and my work banned? Can I propose to the U.N. that it limit free speech when it comes to me and my work? The unmitigated arrogance and conceit of some people is beyond belief. It can only be explained by religious dementia.
I should also add that many aspects of monotheistic and other religious doctrines derogate, defame, libel and slander me and countless other human beings globally. Can we have all these derogatory statements and Infidelophobia banned?
"About sixty-one percent of the contents of the Koran are found to speak ill of the unbelievers or call for their violent conquest; at best only 2.6 percent of the verses of the Koran are noted to show goodwill toward humanity. About seventy-five percent of Muhammad's biography (Sira) consists of jihad waged on unbelievers."
"This Book is not to be doubted.... As for the unbelievers, it is the same whether or not you forewarn them; they will not have faith. God has set a seal upon their hearts and ears; their sight is dimmed and grievous punishment awaits them." Quran 2:1/2:6-2:10
"God's curse be upon the infidels! Evil is that for which they have bartered away their souls. To deny God's own revelation, grudging that He should reveal His bounty to whom He chooses from among His servants! They have incurred God's most inexorable wrath. An ignominious punishment awaits the unbelievers." Quran 2:89-2:90
"Lord...Give us victory over the unbelievers." Quran 2:286
"Lord...give us victory over the unbelievers." Quran 3:148
"I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers." Quran 8:12
"Let not the unbelievers think they will ever get away. They have not the power so to do. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of Allah and your enemy..." Quran 8:59
"When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them." Quran 9:5
"Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate." Quran 9:73
"Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous." Quran 9:123
"Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another..." Quran 5:51
"He that chooses a religion over Islam, it will not be accepted from him and in the world to come he will be one of the lost." Quran 3:85
"Let not believers make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful - he that does this has nothing to hope for from Good - except in self-defense. God admonishes you to fear Him: for to God shall all return." Quran 3:28
"Garments of fire have been prepared for the unbelievers. Scalding water shall be poured upon their heads, melting their skins and that which is in their bellies. They shall be lashed with rods of iron.
"Whenever, in their anguish, they try to escape from Hell, back they shall be dragged, and will be told: 'Taste the torment of the Conflagration!'" Quran 22:19-20
"Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another."
"Those that deny Our revelations We will burn in fire. No sooner will their skins be consumed than We shall give them other skins, so that they may truly taste the scourge. God is mighty and wise." Quran 4:56
"Let not the unbelievers think that they will ever get away. They have not the power to do so. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy..." Quran 8:59-60
"Believers, know that the idolaters [non-Muslims] are unclean. Let them not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year is ended." Quran 9:28
"The unbelievers among the People of the Book [Bible] and the pagans shall burn for ever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures." Quran 98:6
This year's calendar features the Milky Way, the celestial landmark that is the subject of many fascinating myths from antiquity. These stories involving the earthly view of our galaxy reflect intelligent observations of our natural world over a period of thousands of years, amid various cultures globally. On the cover, we feature an image of the Egyptian goddess Nut, representing both the night and the Milky Way, her body arched protectively across the sky. The ancients depicted the sun's daily journey as entering her mouth, travel along her body and exiting between her legs.
In the calendar, we also provide a dramatic view of our galaxy from Chile, along with depictions of ancient Greek myths about the Milky Way, such as the story of Cygnus the swan and Phaethon, the son of the Greek sun god Apollo. Fascinating information about the Indian "Milk Ocean" and the sun god Vishnu follows, as does a discussion of the planet and goddess Venus, intertwined with the Milky Way.
We journey next to Australia, where some aborigines perceived the Milky Way as an emu across the sky, while in Greece the temple of Hercules backdrops the tale of Hera's breast milk forming the celestial pathway. From the Bible, we include the story of Jacob's Ladder, while the Christian Jacob/James was also associated with the Milky Way. Asia tells the story of the "star-crossed lovers" of Vega and Altair, separated by the galactic expanse.
The Mesoamerican site of Uxmal contains many buildings aligned with aspects of the planet Venus, which was of tremendous significance to them. In the biblical Book of Revelation (22) appears the verse about the "river of the water of life" and the "tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit." Certain views of the galactic center remind one of a branched tree, apparently reflected in the "World Tree" myths of antiquity, including among the Scandinavians, while the Peruvians associated the Milky Way with the Urubamba or Vilcanota River, which winds around the famous site of Machu Picchu.
"Join independent religion scholar Acharya S/D.M. Murdock for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure at the ancient site of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, Mexico!"
The mysterious Maya seem to have come from nowhere, like time travelers of legend. Where did they come from? How did their culture develop? What were the beliefs upon which their extraordinary civilization was based?
We hear much about the Maya time-keeping, which undoubtedly was a major part of the Mayan spiritual or religious system. What else do we know about Mayan religion?
Interestingly enough, there are many important similarities between so-called Old World religions and those of the New World. Acharya/Murdock's lecture in the Yucatan on December 21, 2012 will focus on the temple of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza or "El Castillo," where the conference will be held that day. The talk will include a discussion of the correspondences between the Mexican religion, Judaism and Christianity, as well as between some Old and New World words and a brief discussion of DNA studies showing the spread of humanity into the Americas and the Yucatan.
"Acharya/Murdock's lecture in the Yucatan on December 21, 2012 will focus on the religion and mythology of the Maya, including that of Kukulkan or Quetzalcoatl, near whose temple ('El Castillo') the conference will be held that day."
One of the major correspondences between Christianity and the Mexican religion centers around the god Kukulkan/Quetzacoatl, whose temple looms over the site of Chichen Itza. Like Jesus, Quetzalcoatl is depicted as a bearded white man from the east who dies and descends into hell, as tradition holds of Christ. Both godmen are associated with the "morning star" or Venus. Both share many solar attributes, including representing the "son of the sun," as Jesus's "father," the Jewish tribal god Yahweh, likewise was a solar deity in significant part.
Moreover, the cross figures prominently in the Mexican religion, as it does in Christianity, representing protection against evil spirits as well as the "four corners of the world," as Church father Irenaeus said of the four gospels. Furthermore, the vernal equinox is important to both cults, with the chief Mexican solar festival held at that time, while Christ, of course, is depicted as crucified then. Like Jesus, the Mexican god Huitzilopochtli is portrayed as resurrecting from the dead, as is Papatzin or Lord Papan. Demonstrating a motif that probably extended to his namesake god himself, a king named Quetzalcoatl was said to have been born of a virgin mother.
How did all of these striking parallels come about? Come join us in the Yucatan to find out!
Rather than emphasizing the doomsday scenario, this lecture is titled "2012: A New Beginning" because the unity behind these various religions reveals we are one human race, with the same basic myths that changed as we spread out around the world. Here, then, is the "good news" for the future!
For more information on this unique adventure, see the message below.
Just a reminder of this momentous occasion - if you want to meet me in Mexico, check it out now!
Okay, folks. It's a very rare occurrence when I make a public appearance - and this "coming out" party is going to be a doozy!
In December 2012, I am scheduled to speak at the archaeological site of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, Mexico, and you are invited!
The year 2012, of course, is notorious because it represents the end of one cycle in the Mayan calendar - not the end of the world. In fact, 2012 is the beginning of another cycle; thus, my talk at this gather in the Yucatan will be titled, "2012: A New Beginning." Here's the promotional summary:
At the gathering in December 2012, D.M. Murdock will be presenting a talk entitled, "2012: A New Beginning." As a specialist in comparative religion and mythology, especially as concerns its nature-worshiping or astrotheological roots, Murdock will discuss the striking parallels between Christian and Mexican religion and mythology, demonstrating a unifying thread that underlies much of human culture. Here is the encouraging and good news for the coming age determined by Mesoamerican astronomy and calendric science: We are one human family whose cultural divisions are largely based on observations of our natural surroundings, rather than actual disparities. Our diverse global cultures emanate largely from the same root, with similar basic religious and mythological archetypes. Thus, instead of loathing our differences, we can celebrate our cultural uniqueness as part of the overall human experience.
Here is a short bio:
D.M. Murdock, also known as "Acharya S," is an independent scholar of comparative religion and mythology. As an undergraduate, Murdock studied Classics, Greek Civilization, at Franklin & Marshall College, in Pennsylvania, USA. She also did post-graduate study with the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece. Murdock has spent the past several decades studying both formally and informally mythology, religion, history, languages, archaeology, archaeoastronomy and other disciplines relating to the fields of religious history dating back thousands of years. In addition to English, she can read, speak and/or write French, Spanish, German, Italian, ancient and modern Greek, Latin, Portuguese and a smattering of other languages such as Sanskrit, Hebrew, Egyptian, etc. Murdock frequently does research in ancient languages such as Greek, Latin, Hebrew and Sanskrit, as needed for biblical studies and early Christian history.
Murdock/Acharya is the author of several books and many articles on the subjects of comparative religion and mythology, including The Christ Conspiracy, Suns of God,Who Was Jesus?, Christ in Egypt and others. Her work has been published both online and in print in a variety of media. She has also helped create several videos, including a two-hour interview of her speaking about related subjects. Murdock has appeared in a number of documentaries, including "God in the Box," which has been featured at several film festivals. She has also appeared on numerous radio programs, including the Alan Colmes show.
For more information, click on the image below:
Note that there are other presenters at this event, and that these may change and others added. Call Power Places for details and payment information: U.S.: 800-234-TOUR; international: 001-719-448-0514.
(P.S. Also note that, separately from and in addition to the Power Places event at which I will be appearing, there will be another event at Chichen Itza that those fortunate enough to attend the Power Places event will also apparently be able to attend: A massive gathering of people from around the world, put on by UnifyEarth.com! Headliners in this "Urth" event, which will be broadcast simultaneously around the world via TV, the internet and mobile devices, include Sting and Carlos Santana. I am told that this concert and show - rumor has it that Cirque du Soleil may also be there - will be open to the public as well. So, again, those who attend my event will also be able to attend this one!)
What people are saying about Acharya S/D.M. Murdock
"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 find myself in full agreement with Acharya S/D.M. Murdock... I find it undeniable that...many, many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets, and constellations..."—Dr. Robert M. Price, The Pre-Nicene New Testament
"I can recommend your work whole-heartedly!"—Dr. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus and The New Testament Code, RobertEisenman.com
"Well-referenced, with numerous quotations from renowned Egyptologists and classical scholars, Acharya's penetrating research clearly lays out the very ancient pre-Christian basis of modern Christianity. Those who espouse Christianity beware! After digesting the evidence, you will never again view your religion in the same light." —Dr. Robert M. Schoch, Professor of Natural Science College of General Studies at Boston University; Author, Pyramid Quest, Voyages of the Pyramid Builders and Voices of the Rocks
"Acharya S deserves to be recognized as a leading researcher and an expert in the field of comparative mythology, on a par with James Frazer or Robert Graves—indeed, superior to those forerunners in the frankness of her conclusions and the volume of her evidence." —Barbara Walker, The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets and Man Made God
"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
"In addition to presenting in Suns of God the troubling history of religious wars in an easily followed narrative, Acharya goes a step further, explaining as only she can how a once-simplistic idea has been carried into our modern world with terrible and nearly unimaginable results." —Rev. Dr. W. Sumner Davis, Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society; Member, American Geophysical Union; Affiliate, New York Academy of Science
"Ms. Murdock is one of only a tiny number of scholars with the richly diverse academic background (and the necessary courage) to adequately address the question of whether Jesus Christ truly existed as a walking-talking figure in first-century Palestine." —David Mills, Atheist Universe
"Thank you, Acharya, for the important work you are doing. Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of the Christ just might be the best short introduction to Biblical scholarship yet." —David Bergland, 1984 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate, Libertarianism In One Lesson
"...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
"Acharya S has done a superb job in bringing together the rich panoply of ancient world mythology and culture, and presenting it in a comprehensive and compelling fashion." —Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle
"Acharya S is a shining light of truth in a sea of deceit."—Rob McConnell, X Zone Radio/TV, Ontario, Canada
"The Christ Conspiracy—very, very scholarly and wholly researched—is a book for today..." Rev. B. Strauss, ex-Catholic Priest, Chicago, IL
"Amidst the global chaos of George Bush's War on Terror, largely founded on religious intolerance and simplistic notions of good and evil, Acharya S is the voice of reason." —Joan D'Arc, Paranoia
"D.M. Murdock could well be the most brilliant, insightful and rigorous theologian writing today." —Robert Tulip
"Acharya S is the ranking religious philosopher of our era." —John K.
"Acharya S/Murdock deserves an award for her hard work and courage. She is the Galileo of our day!"—Charles Johnson
"Acharya S knows more about the ancient Mysteries than any living scholar." —Christopher Knowles
"Acharya S is an amazing researcher with a tremendous amount of energy and appetite for constant discovery of newer horizons. " —Dr. O.P. Sudrania
"Acharya Murdock's work is so important, so clear and so timely!" —Theresa Weiss, PowerPlaces.com
"I am Hindu, and I read the Bhaagavatham in which the life of Krishna is detailed. I also read your works, and I endorse you. Keep up the good work." —Murali Chemuturi