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    tWebber
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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).

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    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
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    radical strawberry
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    Quote 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.

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    tWebber
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    Quote 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).

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote 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?

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    tWebber
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    Quote 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).

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote 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

    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

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    tWebber
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    Quote 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).

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juvenal View Post
    The very first Christian writings, from Paul, are filled with admonitions against counterfeits being passed off as Paul's writings. The early church went to great lengths to thresh out their scriptures from the far more abundant chaff. From the infancy gospels to the Apocalypse of Peter and from the Shepherd of Hermas to the Acts of Thomas, frauds, pious and otherwise, have always been a part of your religious tradition.

    A risible minority of skeptics find Jesus' existence questionable. The rest of us see y'all as gullible, because everywhere we turn, we see Christians acting like you. How can you read this thing without asking the obvious questions. What is the provenance, where are the originals, who did the translations? Why was the author denounced as a fraud and barred from continuing to distribute this book?

    Two pages into this Archko Volume, it's shrieking fraud.

    Why does Rev. Mahan's "most learned" German, H.C. Whydaman, claim a Father Freelinhausen is the guardian of the Vatican and is willing to create a transcript of the Gospel of Nicodemus, aka the Acta Pilati, himself, in 1857, in Rome, when a transcript in both Greek and Latin, with notes, had been available in Leipzig since 1832, and when the noted Biblical scholar Tischendorf, also of Leipzig, had included it within his Evangelica Apocrypha in 1853.

    And you didn't notice.

    And you're thinking this is the kind of argument you'd like to present to skeptics.

    Good luck with that.
    I never argued Mahan wasn't a forger, or even that he was that bright. The former is obvious just reading the content which is why I don't want to get bogged down on that issue.
    "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).

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