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More secular proof of Jesus' existence?

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  • More secular proof of Jesus' existence?

    The Archko Volume.

    I haven't read what the critics are saying about it, but I would imagine they poo-poo it, and for good reason as most parts seem too positive about Christianity, thus obviously forged or doctored, and even describes situations that are found in NT passages almost word-for-word throughout the content.

    I read it myself, and I thought some of the material looks pretty legit. Gamaliel's supposed interview with Mary seems legit because it's very lackluster and even casts a rather disparaging light on Joseph and perceives Jesus as being lazy and a bum, not something I would expect a Catholic to invent.

    I also think the first Caiaphas letter, where he's justifying why he had Jesus killed, looks very legit, because it too casts a disparaging light on Jesus from his perspective. In fact, his letter looks the most legit to me out of all the material. However, the second letter attributed to him looks obviously forged and very distinct from the first letter.

    If you want to read it and skip the boring history and commentary of it, the juicy part starts at p.79
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

  • #2
    From a Christian well-versed in writings from the early church era:

    Source: Roger Pearse

    The Archko volume appeared in 1884 edited by a certain Rev. W. D. Mahan of Boonville in the USA under the title “Archaeological writings of the Sanhedrin and Talmuds of the Jews: Taken from the ancient parchments and scrolls at Constantinople and the Vatican at Rome: Being the record made by the enemies of Jesus of Nazareth in his day.” At the foot of the title page are the revealing words “Published for the author by Perrin and Smith, Book and Job Printers…” — in short, it was self-published....

    Mahan found himself with a best-seller on his hands, and was quickly making good money. But his success attracted questions. Other clergymen in Boonville wrote querying how he could possibly have made any such journey, given that he had only left Boonville for a couple of months. Others questioned how it was that “Eli and the Story of the Magi” was at points word-for-word identical with the 1880 novel “Ben Hur”. In the end Mahan was brought before a church court, convicted of forgery, and suspended for a year; and he passes out of the light at that point.

    Some years later a “revised” version appeared. Thoughtfully it omitted “Eli and the story of the Magi”, and gathered the various notes which Mahan had prefixed to each text to form a new introduction. It seems to have been the work of a bookseller’s clerk, as no new material was added, and certainly booksellers of a certain kind have profited mightily from it since. Mahan perhaps thought to emulate the sort of fiction that Rider Haggard was writing in the same period, but did so too ineptly for his own good. The cynical bookseller merely sought cash by exploiting the credulity of rural Christians in the USA.

    So the book is a fake. It’s one of the rash of pseudo-gospels composed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    © Copyright Original Source



    linky
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
    sigpic
    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
      From a Christian well-versed in writings from the early church era:

      Source: Roger Pearse

      Others questioned how it was that “Eli and the Story of the Magi” was at points word-for-word identical with the 1880 novel “Ben Hur”.

      © Copyright Original Source



      https://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/...der-the-table/
      You're suggesting Ben Hur wasn't inspired.

      O ye of little faith.

      Comment


      • #4
        It seems a bit silly for anyone to deny Jesus existed. The gospels paint a pretty consistent picture of him as a social activist and reformer who thought of himself as a prophet like the OT prophets who had provided direction to Israel in troubled times. Various accounts Judea in the 1st century AD depict it being a hot-bed for such reform and revolutionary moments, with at least 27 different ones mentioned in the period. The Romans tended to be pretty good at executing them, even the more peaceable ones. Jesus presumably existed just as MLK Jr did or Sathya Sai Baba did.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Starlight View Post
          It seems a bit silly for anyone to deny Jesus existed. The gospels paint a pretty consistent picture of him as a social activist and reformer who thought of himself as a prophet like the OT prophets who had provided direction to Israel in troubled times. Various accounts Judea in the 1st century AD depict it being a hot-bed for such reform and revolutionary moments, with at least 27 different ones mentioned in the period. The Romans tended to be pretty good at executing them, even the more peaceable ones. Jesus presumably existed just as MLK Jr did or Sathya Sai Baba did.
          Yeah. But then he came back.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
            From a Christian well-versed in writings from the early church era:

            Source: Roger Pearse

            The Archko volume appeared in 1884 edited by a certain Rev. W. D. Mahan of Boonville in the USA under the title “Archaeological writings of the Sanhedrin and Talmuds of the Jews: Taken from the ancient parchments and scrolls at Constantinople and the Vatican at Rome: Being the record made by the enemies of Jesus of Nazareth in his day.” At the foot of the title page are the revealing words “Published for the author by Perrin and Smith, Book and Job Printers…” — in short, it was self-published....

            Mahan found himself with a best-seller on his hands, and was quickly making good money. But his success attracted questions. Other clergymen in Boonville wrote querying how he could possibly have made any such journey, given that he had only left Boonville for a couple of months. Others questioned how it was that “Eli and the Story of the Magi” was at points word-for-word identical with the 1880 novel “Ben Hur”. In the end Mahan was brought before a church court, convicted of forgery, and suspended for a year; and he passes out of the light at that point.

            Some years later a “revised” version appeared. Thoughtfully it omitted “Eli and the story of the Magi”, and gathered the various notes which Mahan had prefixed to each text to form a new introduction. It seems to have been the work of a bookseller’s clerk, as no new material was added, and certainly booksellers of a certain kind have profited mightily from it since. Mahan perhaps thought to emulate the sort of fiction that Rider Haggard was writing in the same period, but did so too ineptly for his own good. The cynical bookseller merely sought cash by exploiting the credulity of rural Christians in the USA.

            So the book is a fake. It’s one of the rash of pseudo-gospels composed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

            © Copyright Original Source



            linky
            I wasn't really looking for folks to google "archko volume debunked" and then copy and paste a link and go "oh look, it's been debunked." It's obvious to anyone reading it that there are swaths of forgery, almost on a comical level. I was looking more for folks who were actually interested in reading it and giving me their critical opinion about it. The mixture of material (by mixture I mean inconsistency -- some parts look heavily Christian doctored and some parts not so much) is unique and doesn't look like typical apocrypha style (and I've read pretty much the whole gambit of apocryphal works from the second century onward). To me it looks like there's a mixture of forgery and authenticity. Like maybe Mahan took some authentic material and mixed it with fiction to spruce it up. The two distinct letters attributed to Caiaphas definitely look like that could be the case. The fact he had to grossly plagiarize Ben hur doesn't sound like a guy with creative talent to write the first letter attributed to Caiaphas, which not only would have taken someone with a brilliant imagination, but someone well versed in first century Jewish culture, history, and the works of the Talmud. And the fact Caiaphas' version of Pilate at the trial contradicts the gospel version makes it even more authentic to me. It sounds like Caiaphas was naturally trying to put the blame on Pilate to absolve himself (which is the opposite of what the later apocryphal works did -- focusing more of the blame on the Jews instead). That would have taken a brilliant mind for someone to invent instead of naturally following the gospel accounts of the Passion more accurately.
            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by seanD View Post
              I wasn't really looking for folks to google "archko volume debunked" and then copy and paste a link and go "oh look, it's been debunked." It's obvious to anyone reading it that there are swaths of forgery, almost on a comical level. I was looking more for folks who were actually interested in reading it and giving me their critical opinion about it. The mixture of material (by mixture I mean inconsistency -- some parts look heavily Christian doctored and some parts not so much) is unique and doesn't look like typical apocrypha style (and I've read pretty much the whole gambit of apocryphal works from the second century onward). To me it looks like there's a mixture of forgery and authenticity. Like maybe Mahan took some authentic material and mixed it with fiction to spruce it up. The two distinct letters attributed to Caiaphas definitely look like that could be the case. The fact he had to grossly plagiarize Ben hur doesn't sound like a guy with creative talent to write the first letter attributed to Caiaphas, which not only would have taken someone with a brilliant imagination, but someone well versed in first century Jewish culture, history, and the works of the Talmud. And the fact Caiaphas' version of Pilate at the trial contradicts the gospel version makes it even more authentic to me. It sounds like Caiaphas was naturally trying to put the blame on Pilate to absolve himself (which is the opposite of what the later apocryphal works did -- focusing more of the blame on the Jews instead). That would have taken a brilliant mind for someone to invent instead of naturally following the gospel accounts of the Passion more accurately.
              I would assume if the book was shown to be fake, it is all fake. He was just better at faking certain parts of it. Why would you accept parts of it as genuine? Wouldn't anything genuine have some sort of providence/history outside of the book?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by seanD View Post
                I wasn't really looking for folks to google "archko volume debunked" and then copy and paste a link and go "oh look, it's been debunked."
                I didn't do that. I merely googled "Archko volume" and clicked on the first reputable link I saw.
                It's obvious to anyone reading it that there are swaths of forgery, almost on a comical level. I was looking more for folks who were actually interested in reading it and giving me their critical opinion about it. The mixture of material (by mixture I mean inconsistency -- some parts look heavily Christian doctored and some parts not so much) is unique and doesn't look like typical apocrypha style (and I've read pretty much the whole gambit of apocryphal works from the second century onward). To me it looks like there's a mixture of forgery and authenticity. Like maybe Mahan took some authentic material and mixed it with fiction to spruce it up. The two distinct letters attributed to Caiaphas definitely look like that could be the case. The fact he had to grossly plagiarize Ben hur doesn't sound like a guy with creative talent to write the first letter attributed to Caiaphas, which not only would have taken someone with a brilliant imagination, but someone well versed in first century Jewish culture, history, and the works of the Talmud. And the fact Caiaphas' version of Pilate at the trial contradicts the gospel version makes it even more authentic to me. It sounds like Caiaphas was naturally trying to put the blame on Pilate to absolve himself (which is the opposite of what the later apocryphal works did -- focusing more of the blame on the Jews instead). That would have taken a brilliant mind for someone to invent instead of naturally following the gospel accounts of the Passion more accurately.
                Joseph Smith cribbed directly from Isaiah, and he had a rather fruitful imagination. And this work is so much later than most apocryphal works (and from an entirely different milieu) that the "anti-Jew" thing is far from a given. Dollars to donuts he made up the whole thing and added some variance for flavor.
                Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                sigpic
                I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                  I would assume if the book was shown to be fake, it is all fake. He was just better at faking certain parts of it. Why would you accept parts of it as genuine? Wouldn't anything genuine have some sort of providence/history outside of the book?
                  Because "the book" was an accumulation of different works Mahan claimed he had accumulated in Rome. It's obvious large parts of it are forged, so we don't need a google search to point that out to us.

                  Like I said, the first Caiaphas letter (the crucifixion) looks legit for reasons I stated earlier (if you read it, you might come to same conclusion, or maybe not). The second letter (the resurrection), not so much, and is distinct from the first in that it has obvious Christian elements, whereas the first does not (in fact, like I said, the first deviates from the gospel Passion). It would have taken someone with a very creative mind to write each work differently that way, a talent Mahan apparently didn't have since he had to plagiarize Ben Hur in one of the works that was in the first published book that he left out of this one. Mahan apparently admitted some of the works he did forge (which is obvious when you read it) when he was on trial about it, but claimed other works were legit.

                  I was just hoping anyone interested would read it and come to their own conclusion about it, based on their critical analysis of that reading. I find works like this fascinating and was just hoping to find others who shared the same interests.
                  "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                    I didn't do that. I merely googled "Archko volume" and clicked on the first reputable link I saw.

                    Joseph Smith cribbed directly from Isaiah, and he had a rather fruitful imagination. And this work is so much later than most apocryphal works (and from an entirely different milieu) that the "anti-Jew" thing is far from a given. Dollars to donuts he made up the whole thing and added some variance for flavor.
                    Since he had to plagiarize Ben Hur, it doesn't seem likely he had the imaginative and creative skills to do that. But anything's possible.
                    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seanD View Post
                      Because "the book" was an accumulation of different works Mahan claimed he had accumulated in Rome. It's obvious large parts of it are forged, so we don't need a google search to point that out to us.

                      Like I said, the first Caiaphas letter (the crucifixion) looks legit for reasons I stated earlier (if you read it, you might come to same conclusion, or maybe not). The second letter (the resurrection), not so much, and is distinct from the first in that it has obvious Christian elements, whereas the first does not (in fact, like I said, the first deviates from the gospel Passion). It would have taken someone with a very creative mind to write each work differently that way, a talent Mahan apparently didn't have since he had to plagiarize Ben Hur in one of the works that was in the first published book that he left out of this one. Mahan apparently admitted some of the works he did forge (which is obvious when you read it) when he was on trial about it, but claimed other works were legit.

                      I was just hoping anyone interested would read it and come to their own conclusion about it, based on their critical analysis of that reading. I find works like this fascinating and was just hoping to find others who shared the same interests.
                      What are the chances that, say, a genuine letter from Caiaphas was only known to this guy, who we already know is a forger and a liar, and not known anywhere else? And if he had such genuine sources that nobody else had, why would he need to make up other stuff? It would be plenty to have made him famous. He probably hired various people to forge different parts for him. That would explain why some appear more realistic than others.

                      OK... reading the first letter of Caiaphas I see this line:

                      may be seen if we turn to the third Book of Leviticus, section 10, wherein is the special order made by our God to Moses,

                      Now as far as I know, chapters and verse numbers were not added to the bible till around something like the 1600s. Certainly not in Jesus' time as far as I know.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                        What are the chances that, say, a genuine letter from Caiaphas was only known to this guy, who we already know is a forger and a liar, and not known anywhere else? And if he had such genuine sources that nobody else had, why would he need to make up other stuff? It would be plenty to have made him famous. He probably hired various people to forge different parts for him. That would explain why some appear more realistic than others.

                        OK... reading the first letter of Caiaphas I see this line:

                        may be seen if we turn to the third Book of Leviticus, section 10, wherein is the special order made by our God to Moses,

                        Now as far as I know, chapters and verse numbers were not added to the bible till around something like the 1600s. Certainly not in Jesus' time as far as I know.
                        There you go, very observant. That's what I was looking for. Though I'm not sure that's true -- notice he uses "section" and not necessarily chapter and verse -- but that would be a good bit of damning evidence it was forged.
                        "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by seanD View Post
                          There you go, very observant. That's what I was looking for. Though I'm not sure that's true -- notice he uses "section" and not necessarily chapter and verse -- but that would be a good bit of damning evidence it was forged.
                          Well he seems to be trying to be tricky. But "book"=chapter and "section"=verse and it is the exact same topic (sacrifice) as Leviticus 3:10. Even if they did use "sections" and "books" the odds that they would be the exact same as our modern chapters/verses would be pretty low.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                            Well he seems to be trying to be tricky. But "book"=chapter and "section"=verse and it is the exact same topic (sacrifice) as Leviticus 3:10. Even if they did use "sections" and "books" the odds that they would be the exact same as our modern chapters/verses would be pretty low.
                            It sounds more like he was using "section" to reference what we would classify as an entire chapter, doesn't it, not a specific verse? The entire chapter 3 discusses sacrifice (though I'm not sure that is the specific chapter he was referencing).

                            Also, it's true that the manuscript works we find of that era (i.e. Qumran scrolls) don't have chapter and verse (from my memory at least), but this could be explained by the possibility they had manuscripts they used strictly for preservation and manuscripts they used for daily use. The former would make it less likely the manuscript would wear out quickly or get damaged. I think sectioning off the passages would have been just as convenient and practical to the ancients as it is to us, but the reason we don't find these might be because they wore out faster
                            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seanD View Post
                              It sounds more like he was using "section" to reference what we would classify as an entire chapter, doesn't it, not a specific verse? The entire chapter 3 discusses sacrifice (though I'm not sure that is the specific chapter he was referencing).

                              Also, it's true that the manuscript works we find of that era (i.e. Qumran scrolls) don't have chapter and verse (from my memory at least), but this could be explained by the possibility they had manuscripts they used strictly for preservation and manuscripts they used for daily use. The former would make it less likely the manuscript would wear out quickly or get damaged. I think sectioning off the passages would have been just as convenient and practical to the ancients as it is to us, but the reason we don't find these might be because they wore out faster
                              Occam's razor. Don't try to excuse it when it sits in the middle of a book of frauds. The most likely explanation is that the letter is fake too.

                              These hucksters were not sophisticated. They made these kinds of errors frequently. That is why it is so easy to spot what a fraud Joseph Smith was with the Book of Mormon. Full of anachronisms.

                              Comment

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