<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Snowynat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">when the evidence is handed to you in black and white, it is hard to dispute,
there were references and direct quotes...
if it supported what you believed then maybe it would be a different story? </div></div>
well, when I saw the opening line of the first website you sent us too, I lost interest. Cheap stuff and really really bad research, if any! Obviously someone is looking to make a fast buck off of people who care less about truth than backing up what they already believe..
If you've hung around low-rent skeptical web pages at all, you have probably seen this gotcha quote at one time or another:
"What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!" Pope Leo X.
# The quote is used mostly by skeptics of the intellectual low rent district -- people like Acharya S, Brooks Trubee, and deceased Nazi-pusher Revilo P. Oliver, who will accept anything that makes Christianity look bad, even at the cost of selling their integrity. The Secular Web folks don't use it that I found, other than in their historical curiosities section where they keep the works of Wheless. Shamefully, the quote is also used by some anti-Catholic/KJV-Only sort of sites.
# The overwhelming majority of sites who use the quote provide only the quote and attribution, and nothing else. No context, no citation. In other words, they pass it around uncritically. That's Warning Bell #1.
# Warning Bell #2 is the fact that only two sites that I have found so far offer any sort of context. One claims the quote was made in the presence of one of Leo's staffers, Pietro Bembo. Another (written by Revilo P. Oliver) says that the quote was made in the presence of "intimates." Neither provides a citation or a source for this information. (But the first does turn out to be right, sort of -- keep reading!)
# Warning Bell #3 takes a little knowledge to hear ringing clearly. A small number of sites (including Trubee's) do give a citation, which looks like this:
(Encyc. Brit., 14th Ed. xix, pg. 217).
Ah, encyclopedias! The best sources around for top-flight third-grade research. But here's the facts: neither Trubee nor anyone using this cite (which is reproduced exactly this way everywhere I have found it, also suggesting that it is being passed around uncritically) actually picked up a 14th ed. of Britannica and found this quote. Britannica's 14th edition was printed from 1929-1973, long before any of these websites were a twinkle in their Webmaster's eyes, and in some cases, when some of these people were in diapers. But with the help of an alert reader in the UK, I now have photocopies of the relevant pages from the 14th edition. Vol. 19, where this quote is supposed to be, doesn't even contain the article on Leo X, which is in Vol. 13. Vol. 19 is from "Raynal to Sarreguemines" and p. 217 is the middle of an article on Respiration. Nice pix of a pigeon's lungs and a goat's branchiole, but no Leo. The actual Leo article from pp. 926-7 of Vol. 13 says a lot about Leo's lackadaisical attitude towards spending, but has no mention of the "fable" quote either way. Just for kicks now, the 15th edition of Britannica, which I have access to, does not say anything about this quote in its article on Leo, and I have received a copy -- from an associate in a New Zealand library -- of the 11th edition article, which also lacks the quote. Britannica does not know or care about this quote at all.
Early in my research I decided, for an experiment, to have someone ask several skeptics who use this quote where they got it from. The "best" answer came from someone who attributed it to an author named Jovius, in a work called De Vita Leonis X, published in 1551. We were told that this was in the "Vatican Archives." When we asked whether this person had actually seen this item at the Vatican, we were told that the skeptic "knew someone who had access, once, long ago" and encouraged us to look up the item in a search engine. I did this -- the item is referenced in the Catholic Encyclopedia article noted below, which specifically says that this saying does not come down to us from Leo. Scholarship by gossip!
Acharya is still around, reeling them in, I see.
This might interest you. I'll cut ansd paste, with link at the botoom.
Here is a summation of problems with and signals from this writer's work, The Christ Conspiracy:
* It is published by "Adventures Unlimited," which also puts out material on time travel and Atlantis.
* I would recommend to the reader Glenn Miller's work in progress on copycat myths as well as our series on pagan comparisons B
* Despite claims to do so, the author doesn't bother with much showing a cause-and-effect or logical relationship between religion and disaster. One may ask, what about the fact that atheistic communism has caused more deaths than all religious crusades of any sort combined? Her answer: "..(F)ew realize or acknowledge that the originators of Communism were Jewish (Marx, Lenin, Hess, Trotsky) and that the most overtly violent leaders were Roman Catholic (Hitler, Mussolini, Franco) or Eastern Orthodox Christian (Stalin), despotic and intolerant ideologies that breed fascistic dictators. In other words, these movements were not 'atheistic,' as religionists maintain." (2) That none of the named heroes of Communism/Catholicism practiced their Judaism/Catholicism is not mentioned and/or proved (much less is it shown that Judaism provided the support for their ideologies and actions); that Stalin was merely a seminary student, hardly a professing believer in Orthodox religion, is not mentioned. Merely trying to establish "guilt by association" doesn't do the job. We must demand a demonstrated, logical connection between some religious belief and some atrocity. (Beyond that, to say that the ideologies "bred" dictators is to ignore the simple fact that the odds are overwhelming, given the religious nature of man, that wherever a dictator came from, he was bound to have had some religious upbringing of some sort; and that only 4 supposed Jews out of literally billions in history can be named, and only 3 supposed Roman Catholics out of billions, far from suggests that these religions are "breeding grounds" for dictators...there have not been enough dictators in history to create a truly scientific sample.)
* We refer the reader here and here for relevant material on martyrdoms and their relevance.
* An editor of Eusebius' History of the Church is quoted as saying that until 250 AD, "there had been no persecution of Christians ordered by the Emperor on an imperial scale"--which is true, but there were persecutions ordered on a sub-imperial scale, as history shows.)
* On multiple views of Jesus (Ch. 2): First, it is clear that many of these "views" are simply cases of scholars who needed something new to say emphasizing one aspect of a complex person over all other aspects. The real Jesus, I daresay, would qualify as a rabbi, a marginal Jew, and a number of other things that are hardly incompatible with one another. The number of books about Jesus is so great that in order to say something new, one must often go quite far afield: If you don't think what I say here is true, try a parallel: Start reading one of the literally thousands of books about Hitler and see him variously portrayed as a statesman, a practitioner of the occult, a misunderstood genius, a psychological wreck, a sexual maniac, an anti-Semite. Some of these biographies have true insights; others are garbage. All these prove is that authors need to say something new or radical to get published. All the rest proves is that everyone wants the authority of Jesus on their side, by hook or by crook. To simply list these views uncritically--to place Meier's magesterial, highly technical, detailed, and scholarly Marginal Jew side-by-side with Schaberg's speculation piece proposing that Jesus was the product of a rape is off base.
* I recommend Glenn Miller's essay on pseudox as a reply to charges of forgery in the church, and matters on authorship and dates of the gospels we have answered elsewhere. Likewise on the subject of the canon.
* Luke is dated to 170 AD based first, on a quote borrowed uncritically from an author of no known qualification named Waite who claims that Jerome "admits" that Luke was written after the Gospel of Basilides, which was written in 125 AD. No actual quote from Jerome is offered, so I'll just put this down as false and demand that the author produce an actual quote.
* Luke is also dated late based on a quote from Lloyd M. Graham (!) stating that the Catholic Encyclopedia identifies Luke's Theophilus as the bishop of Antioch from 169-177 AD. This is an argument that I doubt can actually be found in the Catholic Encyclopedia, except perhaps as a curiosity: it is unlikely that Luke would address a bishop as one who needs to "know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed," and Theophilus (meaning "one who loves God") was a relatively common name; one may as well argue that Origen's Contra Celsus was written against the founder of the temperature reading system that rivals Farenheit's.
* Marcion's version of Luke is regarded as more original than our Luke (which is dismissed as "a compilation of dozens of older m****cripts,"  an assertion without the least bit of textual-critical support), and examples are given of supposed interpolations: Luke's genealogy (something Marcion, wishing to disconnect Jesus from the God of Judaism, would be likely to remove--Lk. 3:38); Jesus' childhood and most of Luke 3 (which we are told, again without any textual or linguistic evidence, was "interpolated into Luke to give Jesus a historical background and Jewish heritage"); Luke 9:22 ("Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."), which Marcion offered without the bit about the priests and the scribes, again dismissed without a shred of evidence as a historicizing interpolation.
* Mark is dated to 175 AD based on the assumption that Mark is the same person as Marcion (!). Here's the reasoning: "...legend held that Mark wrote his gospel in Rome and brought it to Alexandria, where he established churches, while Marcion purportedly published his gospel in Rome and no doubt (!) went to Alexandria at some point." (38) I think such goofball reasoning speaks for itself and needs no refutation: This is conspiracy-mongering, not scholarship.
* Regarding Mark 1:16 ("Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers."), Wells is quoted uncritically as saying that "Almost all commentators agree that the words 'by the sea of Galilee' were added by Mark. They are placed quite ungrammatically in the Greek syntax..." From this Wells concludes that a place name was inserted. I have seen no such claim in any commentary on Mark. Beyond that, how does this prove inauthenticity? It may prove that Mark had bad grammatical skills, and that is something that commentaries I have read have noted. Also, since these guys were fishing, and thereafter went into Capernaum, which was right on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (1:21), and since Jesus had been said to come into Galilee just before (1:14), just where does Wells think all of this might have occurred?
* John is dated to 178 AD, based on all the usual charges of anti-Semitism and unknown place names we have covered elsewhere, but apparently the author has never heard of the John Rylands papyrus...a piece of John dated to 125 AD.
* Matthew is dated to 180, based only on a quote from an authority that says so.
* The author pulls up the usual line about over 150,000 variant readings in the textual history of the NT, a point we have covered elsewhere (these variants includes variations in one letter among numerous m****cripts); the old conflicting genealogies and Lukan census issues; differences in reportage in the gospels; a no-name called Dujardin is quoted as noting "a total lack of historical verity" in that Jesus preached in Galilee during the time when Tiberias was being built, and since the city would not have been finished yet, the preaching would then be set "in a countryside overturned by demolition and rebuilding" (! - Really? the WHOLE of Galilee was a mess and was covered in construction workers?)
* Acts is dated to 177 AD, and it is said sarcastically that "the first 'Christians' are found at Antioch, even though there was no canonical gospel there until after 200 CE." (46) You hear that, folks? Achy went from house to house in Antioch every day between 33 AD and 200 AD and proved that there was no canonical gospel there. Not that it would be needed in an age when oral transmission was far more important...assuming one could actually prove such an assertion in the first place. A couple of badly-outdated sources are also quoted as saying that Acts is unreliable; scholarship since the 18th century has proven otherwise.
* Josephus' cites are dismissed as mere forgeries (including the one with John the Baptist!) merely because "scholars and Christian apologists alike" have regarded them as such, though we are given no names of such scholars, only two other Christ-mythers, two 19th-century writers, and a writer from the 18th century--much less are any critical evaluations of arguments offered.
* Pliny is dismissed with the 19th-century line that Pliny's letters are forgeries, a position held by no reputable scholar of Greco-Roman history today, although just in case, we are told that conspirators may have changed Pliny's reference, which may have originally been to the Essenes...although what that rural, antagonistically-Jewish Dead Sea community was doing with members in the middle of an urban, Gentile nation several hundred miles from home, we are not told.
* Tacitus is also dismissed as a forgery, based on the work of yet another scholar of the 19th century whose work has long been dismissed by Tacitean and Greco-Roman scholars.
* Also thrown in the mix is a quote we've seen before from Pope Leo X. The author tries to beg off Leo as a specialist, saying that he was "privy to the truth because of his high rank," (58) but I believe we know by know that this conspiracy-mongering speculation of a vast secret being kept quiet for 1500+ years but nevertheless revealed publicly by a supposed key leader doesn't deserve a moment's credence. (For more on this, check here.)
* The author's next section is on the Gnostics, and while she is right to say that the ideas that were part of Gnosticism are indeed old, older indeed quite often than NT Christianity, she takes the usual overboard position that "Gnosticism was proto-Christianity." (60) The evidence for this?
o That critics of Christianity like Porphyry and Plotinus attacked Gnostics whom they considered to be Christians--which means about as much as the modern media attacking the groups of Jim Jones and David Koresh as "Christian." The ignorance of others, and their inability to offer precise classifications of religious groups they hate intensely, offers no proof of anything.
o That three church Fathers were either sympathetic to Gnostic views (Clement of Alexandria, and Ireneaus, so we are told, who "had a zodiac on the floor of his church at Lyons" ) or once were (Augustine)--which also means absolutely nothing; that a small number of church Fathers some 200 years after the fact and in an entirely different social-cultural milieu had any sort of involvement in a contrary movement no more adds proof to the thesis that "Gnosticism was proto-Christianity" than pointing to a group of modern Christian youth who play Dungeons and Dragons proves that "fantasy gaming is proto-Christianity."
o It is claimed that Christianity shares Gnosticism's "disdain for the flesh and for matter in general," (60) although the cites offered prove no such thing, especially when examined in their literary-historical context. John 7:7 ("The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.") is cited as proof of Jesus' supposed Gnosticism, but this only says that the works of the world are evil, not matter or the world itself. Paul is called a Gnostic based on his supposed "abhorrence of the flesh" (though no cite is given showing this; actually, Paul, like all Jews, believed that the flesh was weak and in need of a better replacement, the physical and material resurrection body--1 Cor. 15, 2 Cor. 5) and 2 Cor. 4:4 ("In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."), where Paul is said to "speak gnostically" about the "god of this world" being evil, although how this is specially "Gnostic" is far from clear. (We are also told that Paul "reveals" here that "the scriptures were tampered with," when he indicates that others have been "handling the word of God deceitfully"; even if applicable, this could hardly prove that any such tampering survived the textual-copying process and was no more than an aberration; beyond that, there is nothing specifically associated with the Greek here that indicates textual tampering [as opposed to, say, oral preaching].)
o Gal. 3:27 ("For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.") is said to prove (via Massey) that "the Christ in this human phase could be female as well as male" and was therefore an androgynous concept; how this is so is not explained at all, especially since the passage is applied to believers and their current state in Christ...and we have little evidence that conversion to Christianity caused immediate androgynization!
* There is a repeat of the old "Trypho error" we have dealt with elsewhere.
* Appeal is made to an author named Higgins who claims that a medal of "the Savior," with a depiction of a bearded man with long hair and a Hebrew inscription, was found in pre-Christian ruins (don't believe it: such a find would have made Biblical Archaeological Review; that it is found cited in a book written in the early 1800s, before scientific archaeological dating was possible, tells us enough about how likely it is that Higgins was actually on to something--by the way, Higgins also wrote a book claiming that the Celtic druids were emigrants from India!)
* It is said that Serapis, a god of the Egyptian state religion from the 3rd century BC onward, was depicted as "a white man with long, dark hair and a beard" (which describes a rather significant portion of the Ancient Near Eastern male population during the period in question as well); a complaint about the lack of coins depicting Jesus (why would a religion founded from Judaism and with a distaste for graven images put Jesus' portrait on a coin?)
* A repeat of Earl Doherty's "why no sacred sites" complaint, which we answered here
* See here on Elohim as a plural; thje proclamation that "the various biblical names for 'God' "  (like Elohim, Adonai, etc.) are evidence of polytheism is actually evidence for lack of knowledge of the ancient Near Eastern practice of multiple naming of individuals and even pagan deities, as well as a reminder that multiple titles like "God Above" and "God Most High" are hardly evidence of numerous personages, unless our "President" and "Commander in Chief" titles today are evidence of such.
* Support of the JEDP theory may be countermanded by essays found by myself and Glenn Miller here and here.)
* Taken uncritically is Potter's assertion that "El Shaddai" was a being "later demonized in Psalms 106:37, condemned as one of the 'devils'--the Canaanite Shedim, to whom the Israelites sacrificed their sons and daughters."  The word in Psalms 106:37 comes from a root meaning to devastate or waste; Shaddai, however, comes from a slightly different root that implies power, including that to devastate. The words are related, as is appropriate since that are both used of supernatural and powerful beings, but it means no more than that the word "energy" might be applied both to natural gas and also to bicycle pedal power.
* We are also told: "Baal is in reality the earlier name of the character later known as Yahweh, as is stated in Hosea 2:16" :
And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.
Biblical scholars, however, do not regard this verse as evidence that Yahweh was once Baal; rather, they take the recognized fact that "Baal" also means "husband" (as even the author knows), and within the poetic context of Hosea as depicting Israel's relationship to God as a marriage, know that "Baal" as presented in this verse (actually, "ba'aliy" rather than "ba'al," as the name of the pagan god) is a sterner form of "husband" with more of a service connotation of a master or an owner, versus the earlier word translated "husband," 'iysh, which has a plainer connotation of a man without any implication of servanthood. It is quite clear in the context of Hosea as a whole that the point is a change of relationship with Israel in the eschatological future..and it has nothing to do with any change of identity in the true God. Merely having the non-expert Blavatsky claim that the "Ba'al" of the Israelites was the same as the sun does not do the job. (Keep in mind that to call any divine being, even the true God, a "ba'al" means no more than calling people of varying rank "sir." The term is often used as a mere proper name for a pagan deity without realization that it had a generalized use, much like "Lord" did in NT times.)
* Fanciful word games, not presented evidence, stand behind such claims as that "Jehovah" is the same as a Chinese deity named Yao or Iao and the Egyptian Huhi and the Latin Jove; also "Israel" is said to be a combination of "three different reigning deities," Isis, Ra, and El (with no proving of an etymolgical connection or using anything but an English coincidence of letters; never mind also the known Hebrew roots, as encapsulated in Gen. 32:28 and accepted by Hebrew linguists); there's also an amusing allusion to the idea that Mt. Sinai was a volcano, and Yahweh a volcano god (where this volcano is, isn't specified; the mountains of the Sinai region and in Palestine are not geologically active); there's even a good story worth quoting in detail:
As Jordan Maxwell points out, the benediction or blessing sign of the Feast (of the giving of the law) is the same as the split-fingered, "live long and prosper" salutation of the Vulcan character Spock on "Star Trek." Vulcan, of course, is the same word as volcano, and the Roman god Vulcan was also a lightning and volcano god.
News from an old Trekkie: Leonard Nimoy grew up in a Jewish home, and he was using the split-finger symbol long before Roddenberry conceived of the guy with the pointed ears. Even so, this is the kind of riotous connection-making typifies the scholarship of this work.)
* The story of Hezekiah finding the book of the Law as "obviously fictitious" ...why? Because:
1. "...(I)t cannot be explained why, if Moses had been real and had such a dramatic and impactful life, his Law would have been "lost" in the first place."  What? Didn't we just get through acknowledging how the people went whoring after other gods? Isn't that reason enough for the Law of Moses to have been lost? And how does Moses' "dramatic and impactful life" have any effect on those living tens or hundreds of years later? Finally, given that the overwhelming majority of all ancient literature is lost -- even that written by people who had "dramatic and impactful" lives -- how is this a worthwhile argument in the first place?
2. If it had been lost, we are asked, "how did Hezekiah know to follow it when he made his purges and reforms?" You don't need explicit instructions to tell you to get rid of idols, priests, and altars to false gods when you are trying to please the true god(s); that's just the standard religio-historical paradigm in action!
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
The author tells us that since the Galatians were presumably not in Jerusalem for the crucifixion, the only way Jesus could have been "publicly portrayed" as crucified before their eyes would be if it happened locally -- and she thinks this "suggests the recurring passion of the cult of Attis." I don't know what version is quoted here, but the Greek behind "publicly portrayed" is the word prographo, meaning, according to Strong's, "to write previously; fig. to announce, prescribe:--before ordain, evidently set forth, write (afore, aforetime)." The word does not indicate the enacting of an event but the proclamation of one.
* Here are samples of wildcard analogies that are part of an attempt to read the Bible "astrologically". Sometimes it seems to make sense (i.e., when Reuben is called "unstable as water" [Gen. 49:4], this is said to correspond to Aquarius; but there is far more to Reuben's description that doesn't fit, and one could associate "water" with other astrological signs as well, like Cancer the Crab); other times, and more often, it seems to be a long stretch (i.e., Joseph is identified as Sagittarius because he was "fiercely attacked by archers" -- isn't Saggy the archer? -- and Naphtali as a "hind let loose" is said to correspond to Capricorn the goat; never mind that hinds are female deer, not goats). With these and other comments (i.e., John 14:2, Jesus' reference to God's house having "many mansions," this refers to the "houses of the moon" or the zodiacal constellations!), we hardly need say little at all.
* On the thesis that "the Son of God is the Sun of God," and has the pretense that the story of Christ is paralleled by sun mythology, some of the parallels drawn are badly misinformed; thus:
1. "The sun 'dies' for three days at the winter solstice, to be born again or resurrected on December 25th." Is this meant to parallel something? If so, somebody is missing the target: Aside from the fact that 12/25 was a later choice of the church based on pagan thought rather than on Biblical data, the story is that Christ was born 12/25 -- not born again or resurrected.
2. "The sun at its zenith, or 12 noon, is in the house or heavenly temple of the 'Most High'; thus, 'he' begins 'his Father's work' at 'age' 12." Lots of problems with this one: First of all, the Hebrews reckoned what we call noon as the "sixth hour" of the day. Second, the sun hardly "begins" it's work at noon; it begins it's work at dawn. Third, related to that, noon isn't even "age" 12 for the sun; at that point the sun is around five to six hours "old," depending on the time of year. Perhaps it is more likely that this story of Jesus alluded to has something to do with the fact that at 12, Jewish boys were considered to be taking steps into manhood and independence.
3. "The sun enters into each sign of the zodiac at 30 [degrees]; hence, the 'Sun of God' begins his ministry at 'age' 30." Luke 3:23 tells us that Jesus was about 30, not actually 30.
4. "The sun is the 'Lion' when in Leo, the hottest time of the year, called the 'throne of the Lord.' " What say? The hottest time of the year is called the "throne of the Lord"? By whom? Or is it Leo that is called that, and again, by whom?
5. "The sun is 'betrayed' by the constellation of the Scorpion, the backbiter, the time of the year when the solar hero loses his strength." (! - It sure fits well to put that "betrayed" in quotes! Using that word to describe what happens is a crime against language!)
6. "The sun is hung on a cross, which represents its passing through the equinoxes, the vernal equinox being Easter." 'Scuse me, but for this analogy to work, wouldn't the sun at least have to go east to west part of the year, and north and south some other part of the year? Where does a cross fit in, other than in the imagination?
7. "The sun does a 'stutter-step' at the winter solstice, unsure whether to return to life or 'resurrect,' doubted by this 'twin' Thomas." Wow, this one really misses a fleet of boats! How did Jesus do a "stutter-step" at the winter solstice? How was he "unsure" whether to resurrect? Thomas wasn't his twin, and he didn't doubt until after the resurrection.
Other parallels drawn are simply wild stretches of the imagination, thus:
1. "The sun of god is 'born of a virgin,' which refers to both the new or 'virgin' moon and the constellation of Virgo." Um hm. How is the sun "born" of the moon or of this specific constellation? Simply attempting to draw an illicit synonym (new = virgin?!?) and citing an astronomical arrangement without connection will not do the job.
2. "The sun is the 'Carpenter' who builds his daily 'houses' or 12 two-hour divisions." The sun does no such thing: The "houses" remain there at all times, and it is an incredible stretch to draw the conception of carpentry in here. Nothing is being "built" except the foundation for a fertile imagination.
3. "The sun's 'followers' or 'disciples' are the 12 signs of the zodiac, through which the sun must pass." Say again? How did Jesus "pass" through his disciples? How do the zodiac signs "follow" the sun? They don't. This is just yet another strained analogy, as is:
4. "The sun is 'anointed' when its rays dip into the sea." And:
5. "The sun 'changes water into wine' by creating rain, ripening the grape on the vine and fermenting the grape juice." (Make that the wine bottle! So where do all the little microbes that cause fermentation find their analogy in the miracle at Cana? Maybe someone wants to compare this to typological exegesis; if they do, they might bear in mind the warning we made when answering A. J. Mattill: One can indeed run wild with typology, but as with analogies that one can likewise run wild with in daily life, so it is that some type/antitype equations make more sense than others.)
6. "When the sun is annually and monthly re-born, he brings life to the 'solar mummy,' his previous self, raising it from the dead." (How is the sun "monthly re-born"?)
7. "The sun is 'crucified' between the two thieves of Sagittarius and Capricorn." Maybe I'm ignorant of such vital sciences as astrology when I ask this, but aside from more illicit synonyminzing (the sun is "crucified"? who nails it down and how?), since when are Sagittarius and Capricorn referred to as thieves? How does a goat steal anything? Since when are archers ever thieves by profession? (The bow and arrow is not exactly a well-known robbery weapon!)
8. The sun is the 'Light of the World,' and 'comes on clouds, and every eye shall see him.' " Big deal about the light bit: This is one of those universal and sensible equations Glenn Miller talks about; light is a good metaphor for inspiration and truth, so it is used in contexts ranging from the religious (as here) to the ridiculous (as when a lightbulb appears over Dagwood Bumstead's head when he gets an idea for a new kind of sandwich). As for riding on clouds, the sun does no such thing; it "rides" behind the clouds; Jesus' statement is better informed by the Jewish theme of holy beings riding on clouds.
9. "The sun is the Word or Logos of God." This requires only one response: ???????
* To relate the life of Jesus to the signs of the zodiac, the same pattern of mixing synonym-stretching with bad data and wild analogies, as these samples show :
1. "According to legend, Jesus was born in a stable between a horse and a goat, symbols of Sagittarius and Capricorn." Is this from the Bible (it's not) or a later church creation that might have indeed been influenced by astrological syncretism? Either way, it doesn't matter: Horses in this period could only be afforded by royalty, governments, and the very rich, and they wouldn't be kept in a stable with a goat. Also, wasn't the archer the symbol for Saggy before? If we can keep switching symbols around like this, we can make anything mean anything we want.
2. "He was baptized in Aquarius, the Water-Bearer." OK, so were the thousands of Jewish proselyte baptisms also done "in Aquarius"? This is merely an attempt to foist an astrological allegory upon a historical reality.
3. "(Jesus) became the Good Shepherd and the Lamb in Aries, the Ram." A ram or lamb is not a shepherd. Stretching the symbolism to accommodate our thesis is not going to work.
4. "Jesus told the parables of the sowing and tilling of the fields in Taurus, the Bull." Jesus also told parables of other things; what sign are they told in? This is simply stretching another historical reality (the use of agricultural metaphors, natural in an agrarian society like rural Palestine) for the sake of a thesis.
5. "In Cancer, 'the celestial Sea of Galilee,' he calmed the storm and waters, spoke of backsliders (the Crab), and rode the [censored] and foal in triumph into the City of Peace, Jerusalem." Four questions: 1) This "celestial Sea of Galilee" quote comes from Hazelrigg, and not a scrap of evidence is given that this phrase was any sort of accepted name for Cancer or has any relevance to the matter at hand. Let's hear it directly from an archaeologist working in the field, a sociologist, or even a historian of religion. 2) How did Cancer the Crab calm storms and waters? Crabs don't have much power to do that. 3) They are also "sidesliders," not backsliders, and what Scripture is this alluding to? 4) What do crabs have to do with riding donkeys into the City of Peace?
6. "In Libra, Christ was the true vine in the Garden of Gethsemane, the 'wine press,' as this is the time of the grape harvest." Sorry, Achy, that has nothing to do with the sign of Libra, which is scales. A stretch, which would not have been too hard anyway: The astrological signs (the constellations, that is) were designed based upon common objects available in the ancient period in which they were designed. If there had been an astrological sign called Tiller shaped like a plow, the author could have said that Jesus "picked grains of wheat in Tiller." If there had been a sign shaped like a king's crown, thr author could say that Jesus had been made King of Kings in that sign.
7. "Jesus was betrayed by Judas, the 'backbiter,' or Scorpio." So scorpions go biting people on the back? Are there any certified statistics from the Poison Control Center to back up this generalization?
8. "In Sagittarius, Jesus was wounded in the side by the Centaur, or centurion." There's one big problem with that, and that's that the Greek word for "centurion" is hekatontarches, which doesn't look or sound a darned thing like the English "centurion" or "centaur."
9. "He was crucified at the winter solstice between the 'two thieves' of Sagittarius and Capricorn, who sapped his strength." Aside from the same "thieves" question above, we may point out that Easter is not at the winter solstice (Dec. 22nd), and the thieves on the cross in no sense "sapped" Jesus' strength. They were rather too busy at the moment!
* Wells is quoted as saying that "Nothing is known of such a place" as the Garden of Gethsemane . If this means, "We have no other record of it in other sources," that is probably true, but tell me where else you might expect someone's private garden to be mentioned in a major work of history, unless some event of concern to them personally happened there. It is also said, "...Jesus is the Piscean fish god, who, at Luke 24:11-2, upon his resurrection is made to ask, 'Do you have any fish?' "  Actually, that's Luke 24:41, and the request was for brosimos, or meat, which was a synecdoche for anything that was edible, and contrary to Achy, this did not "establish the choice of communion food of the new age." There is no evidence of fish being used in early Christian communal meals, and the Catholic custom of eating fish on Fridays is a much later, and very much irrelevant, matter of concern.
* The non-scholar Barbara Walker is quoted as saying that "Antichrist was the Christian equivalent of the Chaldean Aciel, lord of the nether world, counterbalancing the solar god of heaven." And added: "In other words, it was the night sky."  I can practically here the chorus of "Huh?"s echoing down the hall. Naturally, not a shred of etymological, linguistic, archaeological, literary, or historical evidence is given for these wild assertions.
* Here's an interesting statement: "Obviously, the cross already existed and was a well-known symbol, such that Jesus did not even have to explain this strange statement about an object that, we are led to believe, only gained significance after Jesus died on it." The author adds all manner of wild claims to this ("...the crucifix with a man on it had been imported to Rome from India ages before the Christian era.") , but I found it amusing that the author here argues exactly the opposite point that Dennis McKinsey does about Mark 8:34.
* The author makes much of saying that the "descent into hell by the savior is a common occurrence within many mythologies," and provides a nice list , but did not check to see if Christ really did that.
* It is claimed that "a number of Jesus' parables were derived from Buddhism and the very ancient sect of Jainism,"  but no literary, historical, textual, etc. evidence for thisis provided.
* It is said that the Logos or Word concept is found "in mythologies from the Mediterranean to China," but the only example given is of "a Word of God, written in starry characters, by the planetary Divinities..."  This is like saying Western Union stole the word "message" from ancient medieval scribes!
* We are told that the church steeple is a sexual symbol, as is the church nave .
* Allegro's "sacred mushroom" thesis, an idea so irresponsible that a cartel of scholars of all persuasions took out an ad in a major publication calling it a fantasy, is described as "not implausible." 
* Rounding off the author's reworking of first-century Judaism: a claim that the Pharisees were "luni-stellar cult people" while the Saducees were "mainly solar cultists." 
* Christianity as we know it, we are told, was the creation of the Jewish/Alexandrian Therapeuts, who "had at their disposal the university and library at Alexandria..."  Interesting to hear that Christian faith began as someone's term paper!
* Next time you see a Masonic Lodge member, ask him about this one: "The Mithraists were also Masons, and the Kabbalists and Chaldeans were Master Masons...the fortress at Qumran was a Masonic enclave, since masons built it, particularly its large tower, a strong Masonic symbol."  I guess non-Masons only build squatty buildings like public restrooms? What we end up being told, at any rate, is that everyone and his brother was a Mason and was in on this conspiracy. In fact: "Unbeknownst to the masses, the pope is the Grand Master-Mason of the Masonic branches of the world." 
* We are told that the story of Apollonius of Tyana was a source for the NT -- to which we say, this.
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