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Video Why Did Jesus Have to Die on the Cross?

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Vengeful Glutton

PI Member
Jun 9, 2017
Peer review is of limited utility; it just means consensus.
Most religious scholars are themselves religious believers.

Even Bart Ehrman, an agnostic, was a religious believer when he started his career.

Are they?! How do you know?

I realise that there are some objections to evaluating scholarly works by peer review, but currently it's the best method we have for filtering out junk science and junk history from valid/credible analyses.

Carriers book on the historicity of Jesus: why we have reason for doubt Contains peer reviewed material.

Carrier is an Atheist. But Miguel Connor, the host of Aeon Byte, most certainly isn't.

I haven't read Carrier's book. There is of course the possibility that his methodology, analysis and conclusions are correct, but based on what I've read (which I admit is far from exhaustive), that possibility is so small as to render it insignificant.

Tuco Salamanca

PI Member
Aug 7, 2020
Are they?! How do you know?

I realise that there are some objections to evaluating scholarly works by peer review, but currently it's the best method we have for filtering out junk science and junk history from valid/credible analyses.
Evidently, if mainstream scholarship is anything to go by, they haven't done a very good job.
I haven't read Carrier's book. There is of course the possibility that his methodology, analysis and conclusions are correct, but based on what I've read (which I admit is far from exhaustive), that possibility is so small as to render it insignificant.

I suspect you've read very little, if anything, by Carrier.

Vengeful Glutton

PI Member
Jun 9, 2017

Ok, so there are seven scholars who "doubt" the historicity of Jesus. I'll take Carrier's word for it.

I haven't read the entire tedious rant, but one thing did strike me:

"The Talmudic Jews preached that the messiah would suffer and die. So it clearly was not nonsensical. Even the Old Testament said the messiah would die. More on that in a moment. But the Talmud is clear on the matter (OHJ, pp. 73-75). There is in fact no evidence of any Jew ever finding this notion nonsensical. Many found it not to their preference. But it still made sense (as Hebrews 9 makes clear; see also OHJ, Chapter 4, Element 18, and Chapter 5, Elements 31 and 43). Especially since he wasn’t defeated in this account, but gained the power from it that he would use upon his return. Thus, a dying messiah is also a militarily victorious messiah. He just has to get resurrected."

Really? I know very little about Talmudic Judaism, but did first century Jews really believe that the messiah could die the death of a common criminal?

I don't think so.
Jul 31, 2017
I only went down a rabbit hole on this only recently, where I have read all kinds of everything on the topic before that would sound totally nuts to the average person.

Jews are mentioned in Rome as early as the second century BC. It has been surmised that they were mostly converted Phoenicians. Martin Bernal defends that thesis in Jews and Phoenicians,” with the argument that “there is no evidence of Jews in the West Mediterranean before the destruction of Carthage [146 BC],” but “after that date, they were widely reported there,” while Phoenicians faded from the pages of history. Phoenicians and Jews’ languages and cultures were virtually identical.[9] Peter Myers brings additional light in his well-sourced article “Carthaginians, Phoenicians & Berbers became Jews”, arguing that, “After the destruction of Carthage by Rome, many Carthaginians and Phoenicians converted to Judaism, because Jerusalem was the only remaining centre of West Semitic civilization.” The Encyclopedia Judaica’s article on Carthage, quoted by Myers, supports that hypothesis, adding that the Phoenicians, by converting to Judaism after their political decline, “preserved their Semitic identity and were not assimilated by the Roman-Hellenistic culture which they hated.” This theory, which also explains the mysterious origin of the Sephardim in Spain—a Carthaginian colony—, is of obvious importance to comprehend the attitude of Jews towards the Roman Empire, destroyer of the Phoenician civilization.
In 70, newly proclaimed emperor Vespasian and his son Titus brought to Rome about 97,000 Jewish captives (Josephus, Jewish War vi, 9), as well as members of the Jewish nobility rewarded for their support in the war in Judea—Josephus being the most famous of them. Soon after, as Josephus started working on his Antiquities of the Jews in 20 volumes, we are told that the Gospels were written.[11] In the same period, according to standard Church history, we already have in Rome a Christian church, headed by a certain Clement of Rome (88-99). Clement must have been an educated Jew like Josephus, because his only genuine epistle is characterized by numerous Hebraisms, abundant references to the Old Testament, and a Levitical mindset. An ancient and credible tradition makes him a freedman of consul Titus Flavius Clemens, a cousin of the Flavian emperors. We learn from Cassius Dio that Flavius Clemens was executed by Domitian, brother and successor of Titus, for “atheism” and “deviation toward Judaic customs.” His wife Flavia Domitilla was banished to the island of Pandateria (Ventotene). Over time, Flavius Clemens came to be regarded as a Christian martyr, and this gave rise to the idea of Domitian’s persecution of Christians. But historians now dismiss this notion (there is no clearly attested persecution of Christians prior to the middle of the third century),[12] and assume that Flavius Clemens and Flavia Domitilla were simply accused of Judaizing, and the former perhaps of circumcising himself.[13] One of Domitian’s assassins in 96 was a steward of Domitilla named Stephanus, which may suggests a Jewish vengeance.

The attitude of the Flavians towards the Jews was apparently twofold. On the one hand, they seemed determined to do away with the Jewish religion, which they saw, correctly, as the source of Jewish separatism. Not content with having destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, Vespasian also ordered the destruction of the one in Leontopolis, Egypt. In general, the Romans used to integrate the vanquished gods with a ceremony of evocatio deorum, by which the god was granted a sanctuary in Rome. But the god Yahweh was considered inassimilable, which is why his objects of worship were treated as mere booty, according to Emily Schmidt: “The treatment of the Jewish god can be seen as an inversion of the typical Roman treatment of or attitude towards foreign gods, perhaps as an anti-evocatio.”[14]

On the other hand, Josephus’ biography shows that Vespasian and Titus were not just merciful, but even grateful to the Jews who had rallied to them in Judea. There is no contradiction between those two aspects of the Flavians’ Jewish policy: they repressed Jewish separatism and forbade Jewish proselytizing but encouraged Jewish assimilation. Assimilationist Jews abandoned circumcision and had no objection to the syncretic assimilation of Yahweh with Zeus or Jupiter. The same basic twofold policy was followed by the Flavians’ successors Trajan (98-117) and Hadrian (117-138).[15]

From these basic facts, and keeping in mind the pattern set by Ezra’s priestly circle in Babylon, it is not difficult to imagine what was going on in Rome in the first century. The theory I’m going to discuss now goes like this: the cornerstone of the Roman Catholic Church was first laid by a secret brotherhood of priestly Jews, who had been brought to Rome by Vespasian and Titus in the aftermath of the Jewish War that destroyed their Temple in 70 AD. Some had gained Vespasian’s favor and protection by handing him the fabulous Temple treasure that made possible his ascension to the imperial throne. Flavius Josephus, who had defected to the Romans in Galilee and was rewarded beyond measure by Vespasian, may have been an influential member of that Jewish circle. Those powerful, wealthy and self-conscious Jews, using assimilation for dissimulation, had the motive, the means and the opportunity to fabricate the syncretic religion that could serve as their Trojan horse.

Where the above was in general pushed a hundred years ago by a Jewish writer, where I wouldn't take a whole lot from it other then its an interesting concept and people like to fuck with the heads of people that are not of their tribe or they have a serious issue with, as in a lot of salt is needed. But i have linked and referenced the start of the two short pamphlets below.

Marcus Eli Ravage (Revici) (June 25, 1884, Bârlad, Romania – October 6, 1965 Grasse, France) was a Jewish American immigrant writer who wrote many books and articles about immigration in America and Europe between the world wars. Best known for his autobiographical book An American in the Making (1917), he is also known for his 1928 article, "A Real Case Against the Jews," which the Nazi German propaganda ministry and others down to the present have used as evidence that the world is dominated by Jewish conspirators.[1] He was also a biographer of the Rothschild family as well as of Napoleon's second wife Marie Louise.

His articles "A real case against the Jews" and "Commissary to the Gentiles", published in the January and February 1928 issues of Century Magazine were apparently translated as "a devastating admission" first in the Czernowitz Allgemeine Zeitung on September 2, 1933. It was then re-translated as A voice in the wilderness; Jewish rabbi on Hitler's anti-Semitism by Right Cause in Chicago.[2]

WebCite query result A real case against the Jews
OF COURSE, YOU DO RESENT US. It is no good telling me you don't. So let us not waste any time on denials and alibis. You know you do, and I know it, and we understand each other. To be sure, some of your best friends are Jews, and all that. I have heard that before once or twice, I think. And I know, too, that you do not include me personally—"me" being any particular individual Jew—when you fling out at us in your wholesale fashion, because I am, well, so different, don't you know, almost as good as one of yourselves. That little exemption does not, somehow, move me to gratitude; but never mind that now. It is the aggressive, climbing, pushing, materialistic sort you dislike—those, in a word, who remind you so much of your own up-and-coming brethren. We understand each other perfectly. I don't hold it against you.

Bless my soul, I do not blame anybody for disliking anybody. The thing that intrigues me about this anti-Jewish business, as you play at it, is your total lack of grit. You are so indirect and roundabout with it, you make such fantastic and transparent excuses, you seem to be suffering from self-consciousness so horribly, that if the performance were not grotesque it would be irritating.

It is not as if you were amateurs: you have been at it for over fifteen centuries. Yet watching you and hearing your childish pretexts, one might get the impression that you did not know yourselves what it is all about. You resent us, but you cannot clearly say why. You think up a new excuse—a "reason" is what you call it—every other day. You have been piling up justifications for yourselves these many hundreds of years and each new invention is more laughable than the last and each new excuse contradicts and annihilates the last.

Not so many years ago I used to hear that we were money-grubbers and commercial materialists; now the complaint is being whispered around that no art and no profession is safe against Jewish invasion.

We are, if you are to be believed, at once clannish and exclusive and unassimilable because we won't intermarry with you, and we are also climbers and pushers and a menace to your racial integrity.

Our standard of living is so low that we create your slums and sweated industries, and so high that we crowd you out of your best residential sections.

We shirk our patriotic duty in wartime because we are pacifists by nature and tradition, and we are the arch-plotters of universal wars and the chief beneficiaries of those wars (see the late "Dearborn Independent," passim, and "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion").

We are at once the founders and leading adherents of capitalism and the chief perpetrators of the rebellion against capitalism.

Surely, history has nothing like us for versatility!

And, oh! I almost forgot the reason of reasons. We are the stiff-necked people who never accepted Christianity, and we are the criminal people who crucified its founder.

But I tell you, you are self-deceivers. You lack either the self-knowledge or the mettle to face the facts squarely and own up to the truth. You resent the Jew not because, as some of you seem to think, he crucified Jesus but because he gave him birth. Your real quarrel with us is not that we have rejected Christianity but that we have imposed it upon you!

Your loose, contradictory charges against us are not a patch on the blackness of our proved historic offense. You accuse us of stirring up revolution in Moscow. Suppose we admit the charge. What of it? Compared with what Paul the Jew of Tarsus accomplished in Rome, the Russian upheaval is a mere street brawl.

You make much noise and fury about the undue Jewish influence in your theaters and movie palaces. Very good; granted your complaint is well-founded. But what is that compared to our staggering influence in your churches, your schools, your laws and your governments, and the very thoughts you think every day?

A clumsy Russian forges a set of papers and publishes them in a book called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which shows that we plotted to bring on the late World War. You believe that book: All right. For the sake of argument we will underwrite every word of it. It is genuine and authentic. But what is that beside the unquestionable historical conspiracy which we have carried out, which we have never denied because you never had the courage to charge us with it, and of which the full record is extant for anybody to read?

WebCite query result Commissary to the Gentiles
You Christians worry and complain about the Jew's influence in your civilization. We are, you say, an international people, a compact minority in your midst, with traditions, interests, aspirations and objectives distinct from your own. And you declare that this state of affairs is a menace to your orderly development; it confuses your impulses; it defeats your purposes; it muddles up your destiny. I do not altogether see the danger. Your world has always been ruled by minorities; and it seems to me a matter of indifference what the remote origin and professed creed of the governing clique is. The influence, on the other hand, is certainly there, and it is vastly greater and more insidious than you appear to realize.

That is what puzzles and amuses and sometimes exasperates us about your game of Jew-baiting. It sounds so portentous. You go about whispering terrifyingly of the hand of the Jew in this and that and the other thing. It makes us quake. We are conscious of the injury we did you when we imposed upon you our alien faith and traditions. Suppose, we say tremblingly, you should wake up to the fact that your religion, your education, your morals, your social, governmental and legal systems, are fundamentally of our making! And then you specify, and talk vaguely of Jewish financiers and Jewish motion-picture promoters, and our terror dissolves in laughter. The goi, we see with relief, will never know the real blackness of our crimes.

We cannot make it out. Either you do not know or you have not the courage to charge us with those deeds for which there is at least a shadow of evidence and which an intelligent judge and jury could examine without impatience. Why bandy about unconvincing trifles when you might so easily indict us for serious and provable offenses? Why throw up to us a patent and clumsy forgery such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion when you might as well confront us with the Revelation of St. John? Why talk about Marx and Trotski when you have Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus to confound us with?

You call us subverters, agitators, revolution-mongers. It is the truth, and I cower at your discovery. It could be shown with only the slightest straining and juggling of the facts that we have been at the bottom of all the major revolutions in your history. We undoubtedly had a sizable finger in the Lutheran Rebellion, and it is simply a fact that we were the prime movers in the bourgeois democratic revolutions of the century before the last, both in France and America. If we were not, we did not know our own interests. But do you point your accusing finger us and charge us with these heinous and recorded crimes? Not at all! You fantastically lay at our door the recent great War and the upheaval in Russia, which have done not only the most injury to the Jews themselves but which a school-boy could have foreseen would have that result.

Where you even have the supposed idea that the Romans pushed Christianity to pacify the Jews themselves. Where in turn it became the religion of Rome over the centuries eventually, funny stuff, but I would take this over the above.
Caesar’s Messiah is a 2005 book by Joseph Atwill, which argues that the New Testament Gospels were written as wartime propaganda by scholars connected to the Roman imperial court of the Flavian emperors: Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. According to Atwill, their primary purpose in creating the religion was to control the spread of Judaism and moderate its political virulence. The Jewish nationalist Zealots had been defeated in the First Jewish–Roman War of 70 AD, but Judaism remained an influential movement throughout the Mediterranean region. Atwill argues that the biblical character Jesus Christ is a typological representation of the Roman Emperor Titus.

Atwill's theory contradicts the mainstream historical view,[1] which is that while the Gospels include many mythical or legendary elements, these are religious elaborations added to the biography of a historical Jesus who did live in 1st-century Roman Palestine (Judea),[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.[9][10][11]

All kinds of everything can be made at that which went on two thousand years ago. Even trying to understand what happened a hundred years ago is layers deep regards the obfuscation of what went on and the rewriting of history or even what is broadcast now in your current bubble. The idea that anyone knows exactly what happened at any point is nonsense. You either have faith in such regards your beliefs or you do not.

Where I think the idea that Christianity was the downfall of Rome as nonsense myself, it only was a weight, it was the downfall of Rome that allowed for Christianity to flourish where the eventual system and people under it was a result of Rome collapsing under its own festering weight of its own accord due to what it was about in the first place. The idea that Christianity is a Jewish/Roman trap pushed above is as likely an attempt at retconing things a hundred years ago as it is now, where I find it has risen its head of late regards even the idea that he existed as people lashing out at something that they do not like for many a reason, most of them petty. Where the Jew or Christian as example likely does not even know his own history just like everyone else, maybe there are a few that do, would be interesting if there is a true line of history on such hidden away somewhere.

Again, either you have faith in your own religion or you do not. All kinds of games are played at points in time, where the average person was more intelligent a hundred years ago then now and likely had far more useful information in terms of those that were looking at regards the actual subject and people to talk with on. Sorry, don't mean to jump in, just think its funny regards cycles and the gaps within each where I think they are speeding up where there are increasingly larger gaps in our knowledge connecting points in time where all kinds of stuff gets put out there on the subject.