Posts - History - 061403)
searching in Earl's "The Jesus Puzzle" website, I noticed the following
exhaustive treatment of the Josephus issues which many might find of interest
being that Josephus is referenced as an independent source of the supposed
existence of the biblical / quranic Jesus: Supplementary
Article No. 10 : Josephus Unbound, Reopening the Josephus Question.
for the christian salvation mythos, Earl addresses that in detail in the
Article No. 7 : Transfigured on the Holy Mountain, The Beginnings of Christianity.
excerpts regarding salvation cults at a website
review of "The Jesus Puzzle":
is simply no reflection in the earliest Christian texts of any "life
of Christ" as a human being, divine or otherwise. To the rational
mind, this fact would serve as real proof that Jesus Christ is a fictional
character imposed upon history, in reality representing the disincarnate
Savior of the ancient, pre-Christian salvation cults. Indeed, the
epistle writers and other early Christian authorities speak almost
exclusively of a phantom or gnostic Christ of the same type of dying
and rising savior gods found in the Pagan mysteries for centuries,
if not millennia, prior to the Christian era.
recognizes that, prior to the advent of Christianity, many of the
same religious concepts were found within these salvation cults located
ubiquitously around the "known world." The salvation cults were indeed
the wellspring of Christianity, which represents the conglomeration
of most of the cults, religions, sects, mystery schools and secret
societies within the Roman Empire and beyond.
In fact, Christianity turned inside out the salvation cult mysteries,
which constituted a "mythos and ritual" passed down orally for centuries,
as well as added to, changed, and "improved upon" as new "doctors
of the faith" rose up through the ranks of the mystery schools and
secret societies. In reality, Christianity represents a divulgence
of these secrets, explaining the persecution of early Christians as
initiates who broke their blood oath not to reveal them. Indeed, these
schools and societies were infiltrated by those who felt no duty to
such an oath, and who then pretended that these ages-old mysteries
were a "divine revelation" to them.
the religious environment of the world at the time, Doherty says:
and other Jewish apocalyptic sects, more mainstream Jewish proselytizing
activities, various pagan salvation cults, all had their apostles
trampling the byways of the empire, offering brands of redemption
and future exaltation for the individual believer. By the middle decades
of the first century, the world . . . was a 'seething mass of sects
and salvation cults,' operating amid a broader milieu of ethical and
philosophical schools only a little less emotionally conducted."
addition, Doherty states:
rich panoply of Son/Christ/Savior expression was rampant across the
eastern half of the Roman empire by the late first century. Considering
that Christian writers even in the early second century show no familiarity
with the Gospel story, it seems ill-advised to trace all these ideas
to an historical Jesus of Nazareth who died obscurely in Jerusalem
and whose career on earth is not even preserved by those who allegedly
turned him into the Son of God.