A Bayesian Brief on Comments at TAM

I was asked about remarks made by Chris Guest (President of the Australian Skeptics, Victorian Branch) at this year’s TAM. He gave a quick twenty minute talk on Bayesian reasoning and its abuses, with which I entirely concur. (This talk begins with Guest’s introduction at timestamp 48:30.) He criticizes my work briefly at the end, but understanding his remarks there require understanding his remarks throughout the talk. His only mistake is that when he gets to my work, he makes one crucial mathematical error that invalidates his entire critique…

The Overall

His overall thesis is correct: just as you can lie (or self-deceive) with logic and statistics, so you can lie (or self-deceive) with Bayes’ Theorem. Thus, we need to know how to tell the difference, and police ourselves to make sure we’re using them correctly. As he notes, that it can be abused in no way discredits Bayesian reasoning, any more than the misuse of logic discredits logic.

His point that Bayesian conclusions are often counter-intuitive yet correct is also apt. That means the mere fact that they are counter-intuitive cannot be used as a reason to reject them. Another lesson many critics refuse to learn. If your intuition contradicts a sound application of Bayes’ Theorem, it’s your intuition that needs to be corrected, not Bayes’ Theorem that needs to be abandoned.

His example of HIV testing depending on which population you test is also an argument from prior probability, which I use in On the Historicity of Jesus (ch. 6) to argue the same thing he does: the prior probability that Jesus existed depends on which population he comes from. For example, is it that of all religious leaders, or that of all heavily mythicized savior deities? Jesus obviously comes from the latter. And so, just like a high-risk population for HIV, his non-existence is more likely, than it is for religious leaders generally.

Them

Guest then briefly addresses one example of Christian apologetic abuses of Bayes’ theorem (at timestamp 57:20), aptly showing the errors of the McGrews in attempting to use Bayesian reasoning to prove Jesus was miraculously resurrected from the dead. Importantly, he says that they are on the right track with using Bayes’ Theorem to test their claim, and that they are right to admit their claim is extraordinary, and to have accurately mathematically represented what that means. He takes no issue there.

Where Guest sees the McGrews going wrong (and he’s right) is that they embarrassingly fabricate their likelihoods. “I think the problem is that they have set their likelihood terms at impossibly high values,” and “claim that all their facts are conditionally independent” (1:01:20), when in fact they are often dependent (e.g. social pressure and collusion among “the disciples” is more likely than the baseline for the general population), and he mentions that they fail to properly calculate the effect of such alternative hypotheses as “hallucination.”

I should also add that, though Guest might not know this, most of the McGrews’ factual claims are also straightforwardly false, e.g. we have no credible record of even one disciple dying to avoid renouncing their belief in the resurrection, and not only is the claim that women were cited as witnesses false—not a single Gospel says they got any information from any women—but their claim that women weren’t trusted as witnesses in antiquity is also false—women were widely just as trusted as men as witnesses of fact (see Not the Impossible Faith, chapter 11). Obviously, if you are putting false facts into your Bayesian equation, you will be getting false results as well.

But back to Guest’s commentary. On his own last point Guest doesn’t elaborate, but for example, when the likelihood “Paul saw Jesus” is placed in ratio for the competing hypotheses “Jesus rose from the dead” and “Paul had a hallucination,” you are at best looking at 1:1, not what they calculate, which is an absurd 1000:1. Indeed, most arguably it’s even reversed, since the facts of Paul’s vision and testimony (if we take them as rote) have more in common with hallucinations than with meeting revived people (TCD, pp. 304-07), so it should probably even be 1:1000, given that out of every thousand times you meet someone who has died and was restored to life, they don’t appear to you mystically inside your mind—at least not more than once surely. (And this we can document, since meeting the revived dead happens quite a lot now, thanks to modern medicine; but the same holds even for modern claims of miraculous resurrections.)

But let’s set that aside, and assume it’s 1:1. The apologist would claim, maybe, “but you are presuming a hallucination, and Paul was too hostile to the gospel to have one of those,” but that’s an argument regarding the priors. How often do people hostile to a religion “have a vision” that convinces them they’re wrong? Since I’ve heard this from countless preachers (who insist they were enemies of god and self-serving atheists reveling in sin until Jesus “spoke to them” or whatever…some converts to Islam have said similar things), it’s clearly far more frequently the case than “miracles,” which Guest says the McGrews place odds against of 1 in 10 to the power of 40. Yet the number of people hostile to a faith who “experience a conversation” with god or something akin that convinces them to convert is far, far more than that. If there were even one such person in the world today (with a population over six billion, at least one billion of whom hostile to some religion or other that some of them will end up nevertheless converting to) its frequency would be something like one in a billion, or 1 in 10 to the power of 9. In other words, billions and billions of times more likely than a miracle.

So we can fully accept that such “unexpected conversions” are extremely rare and still it will be billions of times more likely that that’s what happened to Paul than a visit from a resurrected corpse. Worse, as I point out in my chapter on the resurrection in The Christian Delusion (which is my definitive take-down of all McGrew-style arguments), “Though such a conjunction of causes [inspiring a hater to reverse course] would be uncommon, Paul’s conversion was uncommon, thus confirming an ordinary explanation. Had the extraordinary been at work, Paul would not have been alone” (pp. 307-08). In other words, “not a real resurrection” predicts few persons hostile to the gospel would convert. That prediction is exactly confirmed. Whereas only a real resurrection would have converted most or all hostiles, or so many as to defy natural probability.

Thus “but you are presuming a hallucination, and Paul was too hostile to the gospel to have one of those” is invalid Bayesian reasoning. We are not “presuming” hallucination, we are validly including the possibility of it in the math (which the Christian apologist, invalidly, is not). And “Paul was too hostile” does not make the observations improbable. To the contrary, it exactly predicts what we observe: virtually no one “too hostile” converted (we have on reliable record only one such person, out of the hundreds or thousands opposing the movement throughout the first half of the first century). Thus, the likelihoods do not favor resurrection. The McGrews are just lying with statistics. Like anyone else who misuses math to trick people.

Me

Guest only gets to me at the end of his talk (at timestamp 102:05). As he humorously leads into that, he says he’s “all in favor of teaching the controversy,” hence he means to present an atheist example of doing what the McGrews did. He immediately says he hasn’t read my book (On the Historicity of Jesus) and is only going on what he’s “been told” about it, that “there’s some quality scholarship in there,” but he’s not here criticizing that. He is instead interested in my paper on Tacitus: Richard Carrier, ‘The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44’, Vigiliae Christianae 68 (2014), pp. 1-20. Which was just recently published.

This I have reproduced in Hitler Homer Bible Christ (chapter 20). And I should note that VC actually objected to my including a proper mathematical analysis in the paper because they didn’t like math and insisted I remove it. So I had to use colloquial ways of presenting the same information—not my choice. I restored the removed section in HHBC (pp. 392-94). And it is this that Guest is responding to. As there explained, the section in question is not in the article in VC. Which means his criticism doesn’t apply to the peer reviewed article. At best, it would only call for my revising the appendix to it that I included in HHBC.

Guest is first bothered by not knowing where I get my estimates from. But as stated in the section, they are just measures of what I mean by “unlikely,” “very unlikely,” and similar judgments. My argument is that “assigning higher likelihoods to any of these would be defying all objective reason” (p. 393), which is a challenge to anyone who would provide an objective reason to believe them more likely. In other words, when historians ask how much this evidence weighs against authenticity, they have to do something like this. And whether they do it using cheat words like “it’s very unlikely that” or numbers that can be more astutely questioned makes no difference. The cheats just conceal the numbers anyway (e.g., no one says “it’s very unlikely that” and means the odds are 1:1). So an honest historian should pop the hood and let you see what she means.

The logic and justification for doing this I extensively lay out in Proving History (which was peer reviewed by a mathematics professor). It does not appear Guest has read that or is aware of the case made in it for the method used in my Tacitus paper. Even though the section he is responding to says in its first paragraph that “I justify and explain the method here employed in” Proving History. Crucially, because the numbers expose what I really mean when I say something is, for example, “very unlikely,” a critic should therefore address the numbers. That’s what they are there for. Guest does not do this.

He says this is just like the McGrews case, except it isn’t, even by his own account. Unlike the McGrews I do not “set [my] likelihood terms at impossibly high values.” And Guest notably does not say that I do. I also fairly account for alternative hypotheses of how the enumerated facts could come to be (as articulated in the body of the paper). As one should. So what analogous objection does Guest have then?

He claims my four facts (A, B, C, D) are not independent. He gives no argument for this; he just insists they could be. That’s how not to use Bayes’ Theorem.

But that’s not the problem. I could fully grant these are dependent probabilities. Where Guest goes wrong is that he incorrectly says the argument I present is invalid if any of the probabilities I present are dependent probabilities. But that’s not true. For example, I give the probability of A as 1 in 20 and of B as 1 in 5. If the probability of B given A is 1 in 5, then it is both the case that B is a dependent probability and my math is entirely correct. Guest makes no accounting for this. He doesn’t even examine the argument or the evidence to check for this.

How Dependent Probabilities Actually Work

The general fact to be explained is “It is not believable that Tacitus would know of such an enormous persecution event, but all subsequent Christians have no knowledge of it for over two hundred years” (p. 385). I broke this down into three different portions of the evidence for which it is true: A, B, and C.

The fourth fact, D, that the passage internally sounds like it’s about something else, is not an argument from the silence of later Christian documents and thus has no causal relationship to A through C, nor vice versa, except on the interpolation hypothesis, which entails all these facts are 100% expected, so their being dependent probabilities on that thesis is irrelevant; e.g. if D entails A through C, such that A through C have a probability of 100% if D, then when D has a probability of 100%, so does A through D. Exactly as I assign. So Guest can’t be claiming dependence invalidates my math here. It does not.

So he must mean that, for example, on the hypothesis of authenticity, A entails B and C, such that whatever probability A has, A+B+C has the same probability, not a compound probability. But even if B and C are dependent on A, it does not follow that their dependent probability is 100%. Therefore, it does not follow that A+B+C has the same probability as A.

I identified as A the actual Christian stories we do have of Nero’s persecution of Christians. None of which mention the Tacitean fire and purge. This is all but impossible if that event happened, and though we might ask how likely it is that Tacitus made the event up, we know it is to some extent improbable that even if he did still no Christian would ever have heard of it for centuries, despite Tacitus being widely read. That’s the relevant matter here: if A is the case, then we can expect that the probabilities of B (no other Christian literature mentions the fact) and C (no Christian author who we know would have read the works of Tacitus mentions the fact) will go up. But they do not go up to 100%.

Because it’s entirely possible (and non-negligibly probable) that Christian authors composing the Neronian persecution tales we have would not know of Tacitus or the events he relates (just because either happened does not mean later Christian martyrologies will have known about it). But that not only they but also all other Christian authors would not know of it is even less likely. How much less? I weigh it as 5:1 against.

As I even explain, “One could swap the odds between (A) and (B), since realistically I find both very improbable, but I consider the silence of stories we actually have to be more improbable than the absence of stories we should expect to have, even though the latter is also quite improbable in this case” (p. 393). In other words, that the existing stories would be ignorant of an event is improbable. That there aren’t even more stories than those is even more improbable still. For example, we could have had the Neronian tales we have, which are ignorant of this event, and other Neronian tales that aren’t ignorant of this event. That the Neronian tales we have are ignorant of this event, I assign a probability of 1 chance in 20. That there would also not be any other tales that aren’t ignorant of this event, I assign a probability of 1 chance in 5. And I’m willing to imagine swapping these for each other, since the order of dependency is not important to the overall conclusion that for both to be the case is extremely unlikely. I am thus saying the odds of both being the case is 100:1 against. Because I do not think it could plausibly be more likely than that.

Meanwhile we have one more unusual detail: that even authors who knew Tacitus don’t mention the event. This is not logically necessary. We could explain all the other documentary silence (A+B) by positing the ad hoc supposition that no extant Christian authors read Tacitus and thus his information didn’t get passed on and by also positing (yet another ad hoc assumption, thus further reducing the likelihood) that he was by far the most famous author to have mentioned it (so that by not reading him, you would probably not know of it) and by also positing (yet another ad hoc assumption, thus further reducing the likelihood) that those who read it in Tacitus or elsewhere would not think to tell any Christians about it (even when it was Christians reading Tacitus) and by also positing (yet another ad hoc assumption, thus further reducing the likelihood) that Christians themselves, though the very victims of such an incredible event, never passed any knowledge of it on among their ranks (such that even oral knowledge of it died out quickly even within the movement). If we posit all of that, we could then say that not learning it from Tacitus would probably mean not learning it at all. Hence my previous estimates are really, in effect, my estimate of how likely all that is. Which is 100:1 against at best. I welcome any attempt to argue it surely must have been more likely.

So now we have one more fact to consider: C, that even Christian authors who knew the works of Tacitus did not know of the event or tell any other Christians about it. Because this cannot be subsumed under A+B, since A+B are only possible on a hypothesis of authenticity if no Christian read Tacitus and no Christian passed knowledge of the event on through any other channel. But here, we have a group of authors who actually read Tacitus. It is again possible that they would mention the Neronian event and no one else would. Thus, it was possible that if ~C (Tacitus readers did mention the event, or no Christian authors could be established as Tacitus readers), then still A & B. Therefore, A & B do not entail C. Nor does C entail A or B (as just noted, it’s possible only Tacitus readers knew the passage, and that no one read what they wrote about it). So how likely is it, even given A and B, that also Christian authors who knew the works of Tacitus would not mention the event? I say 5:1 against. That is a dependent probability. Yet still an entirely valid probability.

This is called a cumulative case argument. That A+B+C is even less likely than just A or B or C alone. I find it’s 500:1 against that all three of those facts would be found together. Thus adding B and C to A reduces the likelihood of the hypothesis. Dependence of the probabilities is mathematically irrelevant to this fact. As long as your probabilities account for dependence, you are good to go. So unless Guest can argue that 500:1 is the wrong odds for A+B+C, he has no valid criticism of my analysis or my use of Bayes’ Theorem.

Conclusion

I could have added some pages explaining all this. But in my brevity I assumed it would be worked out by anyone with an eye to challenging it. It would be a valid rebuttal to prove that if A, then certainly B and C, for example. But Guest proves no such thing. It is not a valid rebuttal to say that if A, then the probability of B and C are different than they would be when ~A, “therefore my analysis is invalid.” That is a mathematical non sequitur. That the probability of B and C would be different than they would be when ~A says nothing about whether they would be different than the probabilities I assign them.

 

5 comments

  1. Ben Wright August 26, 2014, 2:03 am

    “I give the probability of A as 1 in 20 and of B as 1 in 5. If the probability of B given A is 1 in 5, then it is both the case that B is a dependent probability and my math is entirely correct.”

    Actually, you’re wrong here. If P(B|A) = P(B), then you can show that P(A|B) = P(A) and A and B are independent by definition. A criticism of assumed independence is valid not because of a counter-assumption of dependence, but because independence is a strong claim that is usually invoked to simplify the equations. I’ve not got your working to hand, so I don’t know how the missing dependence term would affect things, but just about any construction that uses two or more of A, B, C and D should include AnB, AnC etc. or provide a robust justification for assuming independence.

    Reply
    1. I didn’t say P(B|A) = P(B). So I don’t know what you mean to say here.

      If P(AB) = 1/100, then it is consistent with that that P(A|B) = 1/20 and P(B|A) = 1/5 or P(A|B) = 1/5 and P(B|A) = 1/20. And that is the statement I made.

      I didn’t use this notation in the appendix at all, so no assumptions could have been made about what notation I was using (and one can use the notation with implied givens omitted, e.g. mathematicians frequently give the dependent probability P(h|e.b) as P(h|e), allowing the dependence of h on b to be understood). But I do agree if one only glanced at my appendix and didn’t think about the possibilities, then they could assume I was talking about completely independent variables by bringing that presumption to the text, i.e. if he was looking for an example of this, he would “see” it wherever it wasn’t explicitly told him it wasn’t there. So that error is explicable. And easily corrected.

      The problem is not that he mistook what I meant. The problem is that he made the blanket statement that any use of dependent probabilities in a Bayesian equation invalidates the equation. That is false. For exactly the reasons I explain: as long as you multiply the dependent probabilities as dependent probabilities, there is no invalidity. So you can easily use dependent probabilities in Bayes’ Theorem like this. Guest tells the audience, in effect, the opposite. That’s the mistake.

      Reply
  2. Ben Wright August 27, 2014, 2:27 pm

    That clears it up.

    “For example, I give the probability of A as 1 in 20 and of B as 1 in 5. If the probability of B given A is 1 in 5,”

    could probably be better worded though, to more explicitly state that the first probability for B is not necessarily independent. Unless, of course, I’m misreading things again. It’s been a day of having to very precise and clear about the meaning of quantities and my brain has turned to soup.

    Reply
    1. Oh yes. I think I could have added a few sentences to improve the clarity.

      Which is why I have less of a problem with Guest mistaking what I was saying, than with his issuing a blanket assertion that you can’t do Bayes’ Theorem with dependent probabilities.

      But then, reverse engineer: had he realized he should have qualified by explaining that you can do Bayes’ Theorem with dependent probabilities, the very fact of his realizing he needed to make that point might have inspired him to stop and think, wait, maybe that’s what Carrier was doing? Because then he’d realize he had to make sure I wasn’t, before assuming it; because then he’d remember there is a possible way to do this that is valid.

      So the general mistake is itself part cause of the particular mistake. The general mistake is still the more serious. Because it miseducated the audience. The particular mistake is less serious, because it merely misjudged something.

      Reply
  3. Donna Elaine November 27, 2014, 11:55 pm

    Hi,
    I landed on your website and am enjoying it.

    I have a problem is with those supporting a historical Jesus. First off, I am a mythicist, meaning that I conclude that there is no valid support to substantiate a hisorical Jesus but more to support a creation in the project of Romanizing and Hellenzing the Jews.

    Here’s why I’m writing you……. I’m very knew in my research. I’m in the medical field, not history or writing, but I’d like to you help me understand if my research and concerns are valid or misplaced.
    They are serious concernse because I like the truth.

    I’ve run into a number of historians in favor of a historical Jesus who claim that the Agnostic Bart Ehrman has good info. I read and personally critiqued him and his info makes zero sense on the whole. Since he claims that he’s an I-don’t-know agnostic but simultanesouly uses easily argued platforms to support a historical Jesus his reference of agnosticism appears as an oxy-moron. He omits large chunks of details that would negate his stance in favor of writing a few incorrect details to support his stance in a historical jesus.

    Many people I know claim that a person who critiques Jesus has to have a history degree to be credible. If there’s no history degree they don’t look at the review or info and discredit the writer/researcher. They’ve stated that a philosophy degree or mere interest in the topic isn’t enough. These people in my cirlce also state that there are only 3 historians who are mythicists and the rest of the agnostic or atheist historians claim that mythisists or those writing that Jesus didn’t really exist – or question and critique the theory that Jesus did exist – are just angry atheists.

    This upsets me no end. I have no idea how to get in touch with scholars in history and archaeology with the goal of funding them toward writing books or websites to invalidate this argument that is presented to me each time I try to encounter a discussion with these historians I’ve mentioned. (to preface: they are highschool history teachers or Christians and as I’ve explained since I have no degree in any field closely resembling this topic my research is quickly denounced based on lack of history degrees.) See my dilemma and frustration?

    I am an ex-mormon who has a valid reason and interest in educating people because it is the world and culture that forms my environment in which I live. Below is one exmormon conversational example of many in this on-going problem.

    http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1444215

    I am a nobody and not in any kind of position to rally historians and archaeologists to this cause of writing details and exposing fraud in the realm of Jesus history.

    I’m fascinated by beginning to read your work, but you are only one of a few certified historians undertaking a deep look at mythicist exposure (from what I can tell please correct me if I’m wrong and I beg of you to please help me by providing a long list of others who also research mythicist exposure.)

    I have a number of issues that I want presented by certified historians and/or archaeologists so that it can be backed properly from a truthful perspective:
    1. Many people constantly refer to writings of Josephus, Pliny the elder, Pliny the younger, Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius as support of first written Jesus data.
    They also say that these men are non-christians which is somehow supposed to further validate that their record is correct; as if to assert that because their non-christian writers they have no investment in this issue.
    Why do they do this?
    I’ve read many and what I notice they aren’t detailing is that all of these men’s timelines weren’t during Jesus life and these men were connected to each other through their contact with Emperor Vespasian and his son Emperor Titus.
    – they don’t mention that Josephus was a soldier abducted by Titus and brought home to live with them in Rome. This points to a problematic and potential underlying biase for Josephus story.
    -All of Josephus books were written after his Roman Emperor abductors took him to their home in Rome in 70 CE. (after the 70ce war). The Jewish War (75ce) and Antiquities of the Jews (94ce)
    -Nothing was known or written about Jesus prior to this date which was decades later.
    – Josephus allegiance is to Flavius Empire, Emperor Vespasian and his son Emperor Titus, and is biased after this Roman war abduction in 70ce. (Did Josephus have Stockholm Syndrome? But that’s another story.)
    -Josephus takes on the name of Josephus Flavius – further witnessing extreme biased writing for Rome.
    – Upon being captured by Titus/soldiers Vespasian learned from Josephus more details about the Jewish Messiah. No new testament details of the comet, or natural signs, etc, corroborate the actual timeline, and no data of Jesus was recorded to corroborate this event.
    -Vespasian, like Caligula before him, was not allowed to take on the Messiah role although it’s recorded that they wanted it. Philo wrote accounts of going to Rome and mentioned his concern about a non-Jew (especially a Roman) usurping the Jewish messiah role. Philo’s job was to Hellenize and Romanize the Jews but he had a limit as to what he’d participate in.
    It’s well documented history. Yet historians, Christians and even non-christian historians continue to use these men to support a historical Jesus from 0 – 33ce! They also use the new testament writings to support information (often without any question, as if it’s is the actual undisputed truth) even though it’s written by Roman backed Grecian trained writers with a definite agenda to develop a religion of their own and romanize the Jews. They fail to point out support that although the Jewish Romanization project wasn’t a success, they obviously got a Roman church which is still in play today! Obviously this had to start somewhere and for some reason. They didn’t just develop a Christian religion and spread it across the world for no purpose. Yet when you trace the actual timelines, dates, and data with birth/death dates of writers and events it’s easy to see that the 1st century is void of corroborating records, information and archaeology. This doesn’t stop pro-history people from blindly advocating a real historical Jesus and filling in gaps and allusions where there is actual records to discount such allusions and opinions to back a real history in the 1st century.
    After Josephus wrote in Rome, with Titus and Vespasian’s association, Paul emerged, who worked for Rome. Paul never actually saw Jesus. His vision never happened in Judea; which distance was a well known tactic of Rome to literally distance themselves from Judea. Paul was quickly befriended by Jesus associates even though Paul was claimed to have persecuted Christians. These associates, upon research are not traced to an actual known heritage, but there is more pointing to them traced to a Roman group of support. These Christians have no documentation during that era, except by these men or Roman aligned writers. That doesn’t stop them from claiming the right to make false history claims while discounting actual information that would counter them.
    2. The connection of these men is not mentioned by pro-history advocates and preachers: Josephus, and Pliny the elder were associates together with the emperor. Pliny the Elder was the mentor of his nephew, Pliny the Younger. Pliny the Younger was a close associate with Tacitus and Suetonius. They not only knew each other politically and socially, but I believe it was Pliny the younger recognized and wrote that Greece had a religion and he was extremely agitated that Rome did not. This however was soon remedied, even though the Flavius empire fell out of reign, eventually a Roman Church monotheist belief system was indeed put into place and is still in world power today. Those are facts that had their origin somewhere. When one does honest research it’s easy to see who and where and when they originated and why.
    – yes it’s true that none of these men ever converted to Christianity, and their names are ascribed to data about Christianity (some are known interpolations) but how could this validate that Jesus was real? The timelines were long after any 0 – 33 ce. Pro-historical Jesus writers give little to no attention to dates timelines and events corroborating. This should be an embarrassment to them, but they don’t even have the sense to be embarrassed, such is their blind focused programming toward defending a historical Jesus at any cost and under any circumstances. It’s as if they say it long enough it will be true. This is the historical manner of Christian indoctrination (along with a few slaughtering of disbelievers) so in many ways it has worked. This needs to stop! Now! It’s unethical and disingenuous!

    How could these men that have been mentioned over and over in history circles convert to christianity? They knew the writer(s) and history was a fraud. They knew there wasn’t an actual person Jesus/Yeshu. If I were them I wouldn’t have converted either.

    3. The pro-historical Jesus supporters don’t factor in the project to Romanize the Jews, the Roman infatuation with the Messiah and the Jesus story showing up by these first writers in Rome and branching out from there.
    4. They don’t point out that Clement of Rome (the alleged pope of Christianity) is Emperor Vespasians relative and the absence of information between their alleged Jesus timeline and the actual timelines. Nor do they mention all their known penchants for redactions and interpolations which could easily interpolate stories into past dates explaining why a lot of the Jesus storyline in the new testament more resembles the Simon bar Kosiba war and circumstances of the mid to late 2nd century rather than the mid 1st century.

    -The first known extant text of Paul is written on what is known as papyrus 46, with its ‘most probable date’ between 175-225ce. (decades after jesus alleged life). `That’s not to say there wasn’t earlier papyrus written that may have been lost, but that is the first one found. When making positive truth statements, such as pro-historical Jesus supporters are known for, it’s important to differentiate between actual dates Paul is alleged to have written the letters himself. Then what happened to the original letters he wrote? The papyrus 46 was written by Greeks. he early clergy writers were all Grecian trained. It is far more likely that Paul’s stories were later inserts by these Grecian trained Roman /Greek writers and I offer information that would point to that reasoning.

    5 They don’t mention the details that Jesus couldn’t be confused with a radical or zealot. The timelines don’t match nor does the information events.
    The Sicarii on Masada were commanded by Elazar ben Ya’ir (who, contrary to popular belief, was not the same person as Eleazar ben Simon), and in 70 ce they were joined by additional Sicarii and their families expelled from Jerusalem by the Jewish population with whom the Sicarii were in conflict shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple. The new testament has a habit of using a word, like Sicarii, but not detailing dates or events to corroborate. The details that they do have actually can’t corroborate to the alleged Jesus era. Herein lays the many root problems. However, pro-history supporters will take the name Sicarii, provided in the new testament, and run with it to blindly support whatever information they can use to twist a group/home for Jesus.

    It’s interesting to note that even the documentation of the Qumran scrolls shows some scholars asserting that they were written by Romans using the exact location as a winter soldiers camp. It’s recorded that writers, (I have to check details again if it was Vespasian or Titus and a few in his group) stayed there during the era of the 70ce Jerusalem war. Norman Golb (born 1928) is the Ludwig Rosenberger Professor in Jewish History and Civilization at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He earned his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1954. He joined the faculty of the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati in 1958 before settling at the University of Chicago, where he has worked since 1963. Golb has also been a visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin (1957–58), Harvard University (1966), and Tel Aviv University (1969–70).
    Golb has been a key proponent of the viewpoint that the Dead Sea Scrolls found in Qumran were not the product of the Essenes, but rather of many different Jewish sects and communities of ancient Israel, which he presents in his book Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls?: The Search For The Secret Of Qumran.

    I’ve researched the Essenes, who many Jews claim didn’t exist. Philo writes about them, but philo didn’t write about Jesus and lived during his era; also known as working with Rome in the Romanization of the jews project and thereby is suspect of corroboration of material. The only way Jews could try to explain the Essenes is to do a long trail of possibilities and allusions to other groups who were known in that era. The ones who write of the essenes are again these Roman backed hub group of people, and we’re back to that cycle again.

    Aside from pointing out the issue with the Essenes, as not having been there in the thousands as claimed by Philo, or possibly being written by this above mentioned Vespasian group writers, other points scream out to be exposed……

    It’s interesting to observe that there is Jewish record of this person Elazar ben Ya’ir of Masada fame, but nothing of Jesus! Where was this radical or zealot? No ability to find records of his disciples in anything other than Roman written and backed work much later. Jesus as the savior of the world and Son of God and messiah should have received some monumental mention or at least a little nod even if it was one of disapproval. Even if Rome created Jesus into a story that didn’t resemble anything of an original man Jesus – where was the original man? Most specifically these 1st century records would have mentioned Jesus and his disciples if they disapproved of him or thought he was a real person – but there is nothing.

    Both Josephus and the Jews record this man of Masada fame, but the Talmud record of a man like Jesus is absent? How odd! Josephus even got the dates and details right in this instance! He didn’t get it right with Jesus and the other obscure characters of the Jesus storyline. That is very problematic and it’s omission and admission is reason for exposure and greater research and clarity. Josephus of course was familiar with the zealots as they hailed from the location of Galillee and the military were very familiar with them as their outposts were located along Galillee. Joseph describes that he didn’t like the zealots. Is that why the new testament refered to the word Sicarii, in a red-herring confusion technique to set people on a wild goose chase? Always looking for names that are familiar but never finding anything that connects? Instead coming up against dead end brick walls that don’t point to any real or actual connection with a Jesus story? (Grecians were clever writers, trained by the best Grecian standards and if there was any real semblance of Jesus Judean history, such a tiny country controlled by Rome, wouldn’t have been that able to hide it under the circumstances.) As an aside: What is worse is that over a century later the Romans pressure the Jews to re-write their records! The Jews were clever though, they did not do it in a way that would validate Rome and because of this the earliest re-written records as per Romes demand STILL cannot validate or place a man like Jesus or his disciples.

    Josephus even discusses Eleazar ben Simon the Zealot from 66ce era.
    In 39 ce, (6 years after jesus massive crucifixion story which should have still been fresh in people’s memory had it actually happened) the Roman Emperor Caligula declared himself divine and ordered his troops in Jerusalem to place his name and statue in the Temple . When the Jews refused, he threatened to destroy the temple but his sudden timely demise saved Jerusalem from a premature siege. How interesting! Philo really did not like Caligula usurping the role and Roman politics was filled with assignations at every turn of the page. Yet Caligula’s threat caused many of the moderate Jews to shift towards radical anti-Roman political views. As the Roman burden became more onerous, Jewish priests alienated by the pro-Roman high priesthood joined in the effort to attain political and religious liberty by any means possible, thus forming the Zealots. Founded by the father of Judas of Galilee, the Zealots kindled anti-Roman sentiment throughout Galilee and Judea.

    Theses ‘zealots’ intensity rose up after Emperor Caligula, anger toward the taxation and Romanizing. Caligula reigned from 37ce – 41ce AFTER Jesus 30ce ministry. I repeat, this is AFTER Jesus death. Timelines to dates, events, births and deaths are important to note because pro-historical Jesus supporters have an alarming habit of conveniently failing to do this and enmeshing random events from one century to the next in support of a historical Jesus.

    In this case, the timelines do not match, which I now expect that they couldn’t possibly match because it’s all too fabricated to match into any coherent timelines that would validate it since it NEVER happened. As mentioned before, Philo wasn’t pleased with Caligula. The timeframe for Philo – Josephus-Vespasian storyline is backed by other sources whereas the timeline of Jesus has nothing to back it but the Roman writers. It had begun before Caligula but raised to new levels during his time – leading to the Jewish war. BOTH emperors Caligula and subsequent Vespasian (as I mentioned before) were infatuated with taking on the role of the Jewish Messiah and this infuriated PHILO who was engaged in the Romanization/Hellenization of the Jews but apparently had a limit to what his boundaries would withstand.

    “As a result of this despotic leadership and their insufficient representation in the government, many Idumeans defected to a violent extremist group outside the city walls known as the Sicarii, led by Simon b. Gioras. By 69 AD, with the support of most Idumeans, Simon captured Jerusalem and reduced Eleazar and John to a powerless state confinement in the Temple and inner court. Simon ben Gioras’ control of Jerusalem rendered Eleazar and John’s alliance useless and the Zealots split from John and barricaded themselves in the Temple. Just as Ananus’ forces had surrounded him, in 69 AD. Eleazar found himself in a similar situation of helplessness. This year was marked by bitter civil war between the three factions under Simon, John, and Eleazar. According to Tacitus, “there were three generals and three armies, and between these three there was constant fighting, treachery, and arson” (Histories 5.12.3). Although Titus Flavius, the son of Emperor Vespasian, and his army were nearing Jerusalem, Eleazar and the other two leaders did not unite to prepare for the attack and were severely weakened by 70 AD. For example, some of the Zealots under Eleazar burned large stockpiles of food that would have lasted the Jews several years in order to “remove the security blanket” and force everyone to fight.” (Goodman 195).

    {Note the dates. This is Josephus timeline, not Jesus. This is how Josephus could write about something like this and how the new testament could create a story based on information that had a true core, but adapt it to a Jesus story that had no actual person involved. IN this way people recall knowing that the base story was true, but never hearing about Jesus it becomes a programmable event. Mormon apologists do this. They offer a few pieces of items that are true, then insert a few false. Before a person knows it they’ve accepted the entire story without knowing that they’ve bought into actual lies.}

    These events are AFTER 33ce, Jesus alleged death and during the Jewish war! This is dated to Emperor Vespasian and Josephus era! It is not dated to Jesus era, and this also explains why there was no one named Jesus in this fight! He didn’t exist! Jews were known as the best record keepers and they have nobody that fits this description in that timeframe. These are a few reasons, along with countless others, why I conclude that Jesus was created later by the writers and colleagues of Emperor Vespasian and then later yet by his cousin Clement1, along with other recruited Grecian/Roman writers and preachers. Even later, in the first part of the 2nd century Valentinus, a Roman clergy convert and prolific story writer, is the first known writer of Gnosticism. He was too radical and the Roman clergy denounced him as a heretic. Along with other prolific writers of the Jesus storyline, like Clement of Alexandria, Bassilides out of Alexandria Egypt, who easily penned the Thomas storylines. These were stories rejected by Rome as they picked and chose what stories would form the storyline in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
    That is why there is no record of any such messiah or story preached in Judea and why it arrived on the scene AFTER this war. It didn’t exist before 70ce.

    Vespasian the emperor of Rome saw it as a three-fold plan to appease his interest in the messiah concept, plus Romanize the Jews, and as Pliny the Younger pointed out that they needed a religion par to Greece. Rome was polytheist accepting any belief that came along and had temples built to all gods! They had nothing of their own. This all changed with Christianity. That is why there was no record of these disciples preaching in Judea, or of Jesus preaching or teaching. That is why Jesus message resembles Grecian literature and pretty thoughts, analogies, stories and ideas rather than actual Hebrew doctrine and ritual.

    In the Talmud, the Zealots are the non-religious (not following the religious leaders), and are also called the Biryonim (בריונים) meaning “boorish”, “wild”, or “ruffians”, and are condemned for their aggression, their unwillingness to compromise to save the survivors of besieged Jerusalem, and their blind militarism against the Rabbis’ opinion to seek treaties for peace. They are further blamed for having contributed to the demise of Jerusalem and the second Jewish Temple, and of ensuring Rome’s retributions and stranglehold on Judea. In this way the Talmud also echoes Josephus dislike for the Zealots. They were instrumental in objecting politically and bringing down the Roman soldiers to keep them in line. This almost destroyed Judaism, if not for Rabbi yachonen striking a deal with Emperor Vespasian after their slaughter in the 70ce war. This is so long after Jesus that the zealots can’t be placed to his time line.

    Why would the Roman writers then use a radical as their messiah? THEY DIDN’t. They took snippets of ideas and meshed them together, just as the orthodox Rabbi’s have taught for millennia. Anyway, Rome didn’t even write Jesus as a radical. He was never ever found guilty of any radical crime. It is the theolgians who try to place him in these groups to try to give him a real place in history, but it can’t work because the documentation and timelines doesn’t ever add up. Why? Because he didn’t exist in the first place! Rome couldn’t make him into a bad zealot and they really didn’t. Okay, you write about what you know . The tactic here is easy. You provide a hero out of the peasants whom they can identify with. You don’t make him too bad or neither group will want to identify with him. You don’t make him too specific so nobody can actually trace him. This is exactly what the Grecian writers did! Rome had their way of strong-arming the elite, but the peasants were a different matter. Peasants had no money or power with which to pressure them into obedience. Instead Rome taxed them egregiously and threatened them offering them tax perks and other benefits of not being harassed if they’d convert to the new Romanization jesus project. They used the word Messiah to relate the Jews to a word and label that they were familiar with. It was a long infatuation of Roman emperors, as I’ve mentioned before, so it was easy for Rome to go with the Messiah concept. Rome still didn’t pressure Judea’s elite into conversion, but paid them off in many other wasy. (temple positions for Jews were paid by Rome and the Jews despised this blasphemy against their culture), so Rome focused on the Jews in outlying Roman occupied provinces as an easier target to preach their new system to. In this way they could preach about a man who never existed because these Jews in outlying areas aren’t going to travel to Judea and figure it out in their generation. If they did there were enough Roman soldiers to put them in line (as documented in an incident when a Rabbi spoke against the Jesus story and was brought up against the court.) The distance and travel in those days wasn’t like it is today. Most people never left within 5 miles of their town of birth. Chances of discovering that there was no stories in Judea about a man named jesus, or his disciples was slim to none. A few generations could easily pass without ever discovering the fraud, and again it was squashed by Rome. Well, Simon Bar Kosiba objected in the mid 2nd century , but we all know how that turned out! Roman authorities slaughtered those who would object! It was a brutal slaughter to keep the Jews in line. Why don’t pro-historical Jesus supporters write about these things?

    To the Babylonian Talmud, Gittin:56b, the Biryonim destroyed decades’ worth of food and firewood in besieged Jerusalem 70ce (Emperor Vespasian and Josephus era) to force the Jews to fight the Romans out of desperation. This event directly led to the escape of Yochanan ben Zakkai out of Jerusalem, who met Vespasian, a meeting which led to the foundation of the Academy of Yavneh which produced the Mishnah which led to the survival of rabbinical Judaism. Pro-historical Jesus supporters fail to mention the 2nd and 3rd century redactions. Why no first century redactions? Because it wasn’t written yet. Rabbi Yachonen worked with Rome to set up an academy to salvage something of his Jewish culture. Deals were struck. Compromises were made. This happened after the war of 70ce. It’s recorded in extant texts.

    The Zealots advocated violence against the Romans, their Jewish collaborators, and the Sadducees, by raiding for provisions and other activities to aid their cause. This is fascinating! Yochanan met with VESPASIAN which led to the foundation of the Academy of Yavneh which produced the Mishnah (Jewish record). Out of it all came a kinder and gentler protester, by the name of Jesus/Yeshua, who still wasn’t recorded in the Mishnah or other Jewish records. Legal Jewish records showed nothing of a man like Jesus in that timeline.

    Following Josephus (“B. J.” ii. 8, § 1; “Ant.” xviii. 1, §§ 1, 6), most writers consider that the Zealots were a so-called fourth party founded by Judas the Galilean (see Grätz, “Gesch.” iii. 252, 259; Schürer, “Gesch.” 1st ed., i. 3, 486). This view is contradicted, however, by the fact that Hezekiah, the father of Judas the Galilean, had an organized band of so-called “robbers” which made war against the Idumean Herod (“B. J.” i. 10, § 5; “Ant.” xiv. 9, § 2), and also during the reign of Herod, if not long before by the fact that the system of religious and political murders practiced by the Zealots was in existence during the reign of Herod, if not long before.
    The opposite has also been argued: that the group was not so clearly marked out (before the first war of 66-70/3) as some have thought.( Richard Horsley’s “Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs” and Tom Wright’s “The New Testament and the People of God”)

    In any case, the zealots rose to greater height slightly before the Jewish war – which is what fueled the war ending of 65ce to 70ce. Timelines and events and dates are important! Jews were well known as excellent record keepers. It did not arise anywhere in Jesus era causing Christian persecution – making the Christian persecution of that era another fabrication or red-herring to put people off the fraud and interpolate from the 2nd and 3rd and later centuries. It didn’t even rise out of anyone associated with Jesus or his disciples. The Christians were nowhere to be found in spite of the Roman writers desire to have us believe that they preached and converted from 30ce onward. No, the war against the Romans was blazing at this time and Vespasian heard about the Messiah concept during the war, from his abductee Josephus, and it came into play afterward, which explains why there is no Jesus record preaching his story. In fact, the disciples would have been more interested in fighting against the Romans at that time period, and not preaching Jesus. Instead Rome has Jesus fighting against the Jews. There is a record of infighting between peasants and rich Jews, but again nothing of this man Jesus and not in dates or events they provide. No Jewish record or oral story corroborates it.

    The story of Jesus didn’t fight against Rome – of course he and his elusive disciples couldn’t – they were FOR Rome and aligned with Rome and never at any time in new testament history or these colleague writers do they place Jesus or the disciples as fighting against Rome. They preached, and the writers claimed they were killed because they preached a specific type of Christianity! They claimed that the Jews denounced the preaching. Again, there is no story that can corroborate the events and dates.

    The subsequent writing of Vespasian colleagues is more reflective of the purpose and intentions and goals of Yochanan’s meeting than any Jesus who isn’t recorded. Yet, remarkably, the new testament has the disciples more concerned with preaching Jesus message than fighting against Rome. Of course they couldn’t fight against Rome – the story was to produce people who were preaching a message to convert to a new belief system. The problem is that even this message preached is non-existent from 33ce. Quickly the Jesus supporters were whisked off to Syria and other countries to escape. But again, there is no record of Christianity being taught by a jesus supporter in Syria or other countries in the 1st century unless you rely solely on the new testament and the Roman backed Roman writers.

    This technique has been used in the past – create a new belief whereby assimilation is made more easy. Yochanan was more interested in helping Rabbinical Judaism survive through the Mishnah (still no record of Jesus in the Mishnah because Vespasians colleagues hadn’t formatted it yet). He would be more in alignment with the Qumran communities desire to adhere to Jewish ways; which I’ve described previously. Instead, Jesus was more in alignment with the departure from Jewish ways – in alignment with Rome, which would produce a hybrid system that has been done many times – take a little of the old beliefs, and some new beliefs – mix them together and you have something that everyone might be comfortable with in hopes to assimilate to a new concept and belief. It worked to some extent because Rome did get a religion and did use it to convert for 2 millenia and counting!

    Josephus paints a very bleak picture of their activities as they instituted what he characterized as a murderous “reign of terror” prior to the Jewish Temple’s destruction.
    According to Josephus, the Zealots followed John of Gischala, (not Jesus Messiah) who had fought the Romans in Galilee, escaped, came to Jerusalem, and then inspired the locals to a fanatical position that led to the Temple’s destruction.

    A Simon who is referred to as “the Zealot” is found among the disciples of Jesus. Theologists attempt to claim that this was the same “Simon the Zealot” mentioned by Josephus (as in “Eleazar ben Simon the Zealot”, Eleazar’s father), although the two Simons would be contemporaries if we trust the n.t. record. However, the big problem is that there would be record of Simon as in Eleazar ben Simon, but not of this Jesus-Yeshua-Messiah. Yes, that’s a BIG Problem!

    They had to construct a messiah who would end the quest for further usurping of the Jewish Messiah position. Unfortunately, there was none and in the decision to make a zealot the Jewish Messiah, to end this further usurping of the position.
    Josephus could NOT convert because he a) didn’t like the zealots and b)knew it was a fabrication.
    Why couldn’t they use a person other than a zealot? Because the rebellious zealots had a storyline that would allow these writers to introduce a man who might hide inserted within it and not be traced; however, Jesus was far from rebellious to the Romans as he created a new teaching just for them. Jesus was also far from devoted to the Hebrew teachings, as the Qumran community was, because he taught little to nothing of the basic Jewish rituals. His info was easily a Grecian written set of stories. Rome accounted for the Jewish records not corroborating with them by getting rid of records that might affect their position (they were notorious for burning records) or pressuring the Jews to redact/re-write their records after the entire storyline had been completed. The fact that the Jews didn’t know about this man is extremely telling as orthodox Rabbi’s have mentioned. However, even in that we read of 3rd, 4th and 5th century Rabbi’s who begin to believe the long told story of the Roman jesus and try to support it somehow. One Rabbi specifically tries to understand this Jesus in a textual account showing how stories can make a person believe in something that wasn’t true and try to fit it into the Hebrew he knows. (I’ve seen Mormons do the same things with Mormon fraudulent teachings by the way.)

    Somehow Yochanan and Vespasian came to an agreement on how to retain the Jewish tradition while somewhat appeasing both groups. Read the record where Rabbi yachonan states his goal of keeping his culture alive after the war. This was very accommodating on Vespasians part because Vespasian had ultimate power as an emperor. Vespasian, as others in the past, saw that destroying the Jews wasn’t an option and reforming their ways was not easy. They were long engaged in the conversion processes of Romanizing the Jews. When that didn’t work they’d slaughter them.

    The Masoretes were a special class of Jewish Levite, entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding the Hebrew text and preserving it from being corrupted in any way. To allow any word to be mispronounced through a deliberate mispointing would have been totally against the ethic of these Levitical Masoretes! Had such tampering with the Hebrew text been attempted, the cries of protest from these Masoretic scholars would be recorded in historical writings for all the world to see. How could such tampering been protested when the blood of slaughter was still running in the streets? The best Yochanan could do was comply under conditions. Add to that the 2nd Jewish war slaughter when the Jews were more threatened. But there is no such historical record to comply with a person named Jesus! Mispronouncing through deliberation was generally against the Jewish ethics, but what of the scribes and Pharisees or sects who looked to turn a blind eye in favor of preserving something of their heritage. But there is still no such historical record of Jesus that could be pinned to this Roman creation either in date or act! Again, pro-historical jesus supporters fail to mention these details sequentially; which could easily form a connect the dot story to expose their precious Jesus as a fabrication.

    The point I’m making in the above details is to show that Judean writers had record of these many important zealots, but not of this person like Jesus/Yeshua Messiah IN SPITE of the alignment they made with Vespasian by establishing the Yachonan academy after the 70ce Jerusalem slaughter. If Rome wanted a record of the Christ Messiah in the Jewish record they could have used that opportunity to do so. It simply wasn’t there in either camp at that era to warrant a place of record even though the Jewish messiah like one such as Jesus would have had a place of clear record; as other less important men and women received mention. It didn’t exist at that time frame.

    The assumption to make the Qumran community into the Essenes, as written by the Roman backed colleagues is a stretch and WRONG on so many levels! No, the only one who had the record of Jesus was the Roman group long after the alleged Jesus dateline. Even Roman records from this non-Roman group are absent the information. Did later Roman rulers accommodate the Jewish ethics and standards of writing by allowing them to omit this record in their books? Did they have any real control of that even after the 2nd war slaughter? Did the Jews appease the Romans by necessating a breach in their written ethics and cleverly mentioning a name but no details that would accurately coincide and thus clear themselves of the Messiah lie that Simon Bar Kosiba denounced, which that and other objections caused a massive slaughter ending in the 2nd Jerusalem war? Did the Jews see this all as a way to appease the Romans and still maintain their ethical standards of record keeping? Did the 17th century European Jews wish to clean up the records based on this long standing problem? Do present day Messianic Jews wish to read Jesus name into the records to support Christianity while remaining oblivious to the other problems and issues surrounding the texts and events?

    The next point of writing the above blurb is to show that Josephus hated the zealots, accusing them of causing the breakdown of the country – forget that Rome actually caused the breakdown of the country while the zealots merely fought it the best way they could – of course Josephus allegiance was to Rome after his abduction by Vespasian as I’ve mentioned before. Even the rich Jews who controlled the record of the Talmud disliked the zealots as they were able to swing deals with the Romans until the zealots forced all their hands to war. There was mention of different rebels yet not of Jesus. There was mention of different messiahs but nothing comparable to Jesus dateline or experiences. This didn’t stop the Christians or poorly qualified historians from attempting to place Jesus in the camp of a zealot while Rome made a Zealot their Messiah. Again, there is no mention of Jesus as a zealot in the n.t. as he did nothing against Rome like the zealots were known to do. Still no mention of jesus anywhere in the Jewish records….only the sound of crickets chirping in the night. The zealots don’t resemble the Qumran community nor does Jesus teachings. A few of Jesus teachings resemble a tiny bit of Jewish information – a VERY tiny bit if you really hunt and stretch concepts to make associations – but it does offer a brand new belief system for Rome – IT DID offer a brand new system even though it was hard fought to secure when the subsequent Emperors wished to uphold their traditional polytheist belief system. Thanks to Emperor Constantine’s Christian mother Constantine’s emperorship eventually secured it as the Roman monotheist belief system upheld politically and religiously not only in the Roman captured provinces but intended for proselyting throughout the world. I’m surprised that the Roman writers didn’t use MORE of the Jewish doctrinal ideas in their newly formed message as it would have added more cohesion; especially since Clement1 (the 1st bishop depending on what record you read and the cousin of Emperor Vespasian) had a soft spot for Judaism and converted toJudaism or at least got circumcised.

    The fortress of Antonia also fell to the rebels and a siege was laid to the palace of Herod. At this stage, however, a schism took place. Menahem, who had already gained control of Masada, acquired a rich booty of weapons with which he armed his adherents. He then began to act as the sole leader of the revolt. “He returned like a veritable king to Jerusalem, became the leader of the revolution, and directed the siege of the palace.” This was long after Jesus death and the 12 disciples alleged preaching of Jesus. Still, the Jewish records mention him and not a man like Jesus? This is why the Jews think that the person the Romans wrote about was a hybrid creation using various different people from history AFTER Jesus life and death; which accounts for the gap in information anywhere during Jesus dateline. In spite of this one must consider how or if the new school created by Yachonen had anything to do with formatting Jewish texts and doctrine to appease Rome even though the Masoretes traditionally did not lie in their texts.

    >>quote: >>Menahem captured the palace of Herod with the exception of the three towers (Hippicus, Phasael, and Mariamne) in which the Roman soldiers took refuge. It was at this time that the former high priest Ananias and his brother were captured and put to death by Menahem’s men. His ambition, which apparently had a messianic-eschatological character, aroused the opposition of the other rebels commanded by Eleazar the son of Ananias. They attacked him when he was dressed in royal robes and accompanied by his admirers. In the fight Menahem was placed at a disadvantage. He himself escaped to the Ophel, but was captured and put to death. A similar fate overtook his associates, of whom the most prominent was Absalom. Many of the Sicarii were killed and a siege was laid to those who hid themselves. Some of them, under the leadership of Eleazar b. Jair, a member of the family of Judah the Galilean, found refuge in Masada, which, as stated, had earlier been captured by Menahem (War 2:422–48). >>end quote.

    The account mentions the Sicarii and Judah of Galillee but neither reference can corroborate with Jesus, his disciples and followers or his teachings which according to the new testament these teachings would have been at least remembered (if not openly taught) by the many who heard of it and the disciples who remained in Jerusalem. From this time on the Sicarii ceased to be the guiding factor in the events in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, they continued to exist and it was they who were destined to be the last to hold aloft the standard of rebellion. The Christian theologians like to claim that the Christians would have fled and were persecuted, but again here we see that the Sicarii fled and were persecuted – this happened in Vespasian and Josephus era in 73ce not in Jesus era of 33ce! There is no mention of Jesus followers – no mention of the preaching that was supposed to have happened from 30ce onward by Jesus and his disciples. The only indication of any preaching was in Vespasian as Josephus and Pliny1 recorded and accounts of Clement1, Paul and the Roman preachers that followed. c This is why there are many decades between 30ce and the delivery of the Jesus storyline decades later by Rome; and written about even later. This is why there was no record of a Jesus or his preaching disciples in Judea in his era or afterward and it’s why the Romans had to preach it outside of Judea in their Roman conquered provinces like Syria and Egypt. This is why the Roman writers cleverly hid the Jesus movement behind events of the Sicarii persecution and the Jewish persecution. The Romans cannot account for the volume of people, believers or unbelievers, who would have heard about Jesus, his 11 and their message at some point in this era. Even Simon Bar Kosiba in the 2nd war was noted but Jesus wasn’t noted anywhere before the 1st war while stories of Roman Christians can be hidden behind the Sicarii rebellion and the Jewish slaughter.

    —————————————————————-

    6. they don’t point out the 2nd, 3rd etc Roman demanded redactions of the Jewish records, which is very important in detailing why there isn’t any details about a man named Jesus. Jews were told what to write in their records. The Rabbinical records cleverly show that there is no record of a man Jesus. This also points that there was no actual record in the 1st century as the stories took hold in the 2nd century and the redactions couldn’t keep up to conform to on-going stories. Again, no archaeology to back up anybody like Jesus. (Christian pro-historical Jesus archaeologist have been known to forge fraudulent Jesus artifacts to pass the Israeli inspection. )

    7.nor do historians mention that the Rabbi Yachonan, after the 70ce war, met with Emperor Vespasian to try strike a deal to maintain or keep some of the Jewish tradition so the culture wouldn’t be lost. Remember that Rome tried to Romanize the Jews. Immediately an academy was established under the direction of this Rabbi and with close consultation with Rome. Was Jesus messiah the trade-off? Vespasian wanted the messiah. Jews didn’t want a Roman usurping it. Rabbi’s didn’t want their culture destroyed. They all compromised and they all got something. This last part of course is complete theory and allusion, but such historians like Goldstein get to make allusions all the time and are praised for it in the pro-historical Jesus community. Goldstein writes books specifically talking about allusions; yet mythicist supporters aren’t allowed to make allusions or their quickly called names – like conspiracy theorists with no facts. On the other hand they allow pro-historical writers to make all kinds of theories with little to nothing to support them.

    8. Pro-historical Jesus supporters and writers don’t factor in that there is no archaeology to support anybody named Jesus in that timeline.

    9. Pro historical Jesus historians are left spinning stories while omitting chunks of actual detail. Such is their investment to believe in a historic Jesus. This is perhaps my biggest complaint! The pro historians, and even many, many historians who are trying to be objective ONLY USE THE NEW TESTAMENT AS A BASIS for establishing if jesus was real. Along with the other 5 men I previously mentioned, they determine that jesus must be real because the new testament says so. Then they proceed to use the new testament, and known redacted and interpolated Roman backed writers, often like Polycarp, Tertullian, etc, without pointing out the Roman connection and the chunk of 60 or more years when there was zero documentation or verbal stories to support it.
    10. all the stories arrived on the scene in the early to mid 2nd century via Roman backed writers. They branched from there.
    11. where were the 11 disciples during that time to correct the stories? I’ve researched each one of the disciples. They were all sent out to preach but there is nothing in any country in the 1st century to validate any of the apostles. That includes India. I noticed in India and a few African countries, they’ve hidden behind Jewish tribes that were there in the 1st century trying to claim they were Jesus followers through the disciples preaching. But there is no archaeology known to support it or stories from the 1st century. As a matter of fact, the stories that do arrive come up in the late 2nd century to 3rd centuries. Paul is an absolute joke who joined with an illusory Jewish disciple (Peter) of the illusory Jesus in Syria, such a distance from Judea that word of their fraud would take a long time to reach Judea. When it finally did a few Jewish Rabbi’s from Judea travelled to correct them on Jewish rituals (as mentioned in the new testament.) Where were the disciples to correct Paul? I don’t believe they existed; which is why they were all killed off quickly in the Roman records. When I trace records I can see either that their Roman backed or trace back to the Vespasian group or the post Vespasian group. Rome conveniently chose Syria to first preach in because it already had a large Jewish population whom they could Romanize and preach to, and they were far enough away from Judea to suspend immediate notice of their activities. They chose countries like Africa or Egypt as the earliest known Jesus centers, because they too had a larger group of Jews. but even those locations which were first known for artifacts can’t be traced to the 1st century. Anything traced has been proven to be an obvious Roman Clergy interpolation from later centuries.
    12. Even though the disciples were said to preach there is no knowledge of them in Jewish verbal or written stories. The Jewish written record/story of a man Yeshu with 5 disciples only points to my previous example of forced Roman redactions to conform to a man jesus whose details they couldn’t get correct because the story wasn’t ever properly in place until later. This explains how the Jewish records could get away without having actual details that mesh with Roman details. Even Rome had trouble getting their details right in the 2nd century.

    13 Also that there were no actual Christians recorded during the 1st century. The dates of the writer don’t measure up, the date the writer wrote them were written much later appearing to be an interpolation to corroborate the 2nd century formulated storylines. The records that show it are proven erroneous. but everything I’ve researched shows that the people who were not Christians (no documentation to show that there were actual Jesus followers) but that they were Jews who were being persecuted for not being Romanized. I noticed that Rome had a history of assuming Christian persecution linking with known data of Jewish persecution. Then the pro-historical Jesus historians state that the Christians may not have been called Christians. They can’t have it both ways, but they want all data to support them. My research findings make me conclude that there’s more data and absence of data to point toward no Christian persecution during the 1st century. Again, pro-historians will only use the new testament to claim it, or other Roman backed sources that they refuse to acknowledge the authorship links to the Vespasian hub group I mentioned; or they don’t acknowledge obvious interpolations. There is known data that the Jews were taxed egregiously and persecuted – not any Christians. In fact, in the 2nd century it is known that the Christians were actually saved by Rome – not persecuted. If Jews converted to Christianity they were given tax cuts and other perks – this is the opposite of persecution.
    Again, it really bothers me that historians don’t factor in all of the data but leave out huge chunks that might contradict their stance or call it into question. Even if a few historians do admit a few errors in question they quickly go to other issues in their old techniques of omissions and half-truths as I’ve outlined.

    14 Another complaint which connects with # 9 complaint is that historians generally use vague word, like Bart Ehrman who likes the terms, “early Christianity”. As I analyze his definitions I realize that his general usage of that term in his book Misquoting Jesus applies to the 2nd century. That is 100 plus years after Jesus birth and death. Many different things were happening at that time and people read it and think it was truly early Christianity to support Jesus life. They fail to check dates and timelines. Most of the dates references people and information that never connected with the time frame of Jesus alleged birth and death of 0 – 33ce. This is not only intellectual dishonesty but historian fallacies. People read it and approve of it because they are certified historians, as the examples I sighted earlier.

    The gaslighters in the crowd will fight using erroneous details while claiming them to be persuasive evidence of a historical Jesus. I often describe them as gaslighters after the old Gaslight movie with a similar effect. I’ve experienced this time and again.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslight_%281944_film%29
    I have many more examples of details that are either overlooked or erroneously linked even though dates and info don’t match. Or what’s worse, pro-historical historians, like Bart Ehrman, are used as a historian example to support a historical Jesus while these writers leave out major parts of information.
    Ehrman has many, many errors. I reviewed his book Misquoting Jesus and saw at least 1 or more error on each page. One such example is that he uses the term Christus to validate ‘early” Christian (there’s his usage of the word early again which is nebulous and not specific) to validate that there were early Christians to support Jesus. As I analyzed it he didn’t even know the right term and application or definition of the word. One of the highschool history teachers I refer to in the opening of my comments used this very example of Ehrman and Christus to support that there was a Jesus. I offered 5 pages of actual research on the word Christus, the time frames, dates, connections or lack of connections during Jesus era and the conclusion showed that Ehrman didn’t know what he was talking about or was purposely misleading his readers who gobble up everything he says as truth without question. My conclusions pointed toward research that is documented information showing that there was no connection between the word Christus and a Jesus of the 1st century. The highschool history teacher replies by saying, So what! He continues to point that there are more historians with credentials who advocate a pro-historical Jesus as opposed to 3 historians who support a mythical Jesus. He, like many others, hold to this even though the information of pro-historical historian advocates have a lot of information that isn’t complete, that omits large chunks of details that would conflict with it, etc. These pro historians fail to mention the many Orthodox Rabbi’s who claim there was no one person named Jesus in their history, in their legal record documentation or oral stories, but that it was a mixture of many different types of people. Pro historians will latch on to Messianic Jewish preachers who twist and distort Jewish records with the already twisted Christian ones.

    Why aren’t more historians engaged in actual honest disclosure and exposure of ALL data and information to provide the omission of information, dates, etc, that should be there, plus the admission of information, dates, situations, etc that shouldn’t be there. Why aren’t more historians writing up webpages with their credentials exposing and detailing information in length with precise points and counterpoints. Am I missing something?
    Pro-historians don’t include all the data and that is what I protest. These are a few things I’d like to see exposed and disclosed. I have many more issues and these are only a few that come to mind.

    For this reason I’m writing you in hope that you might help me understand my concerns by correcting me one way or the other so I can have a clearer perspective.

    Why am I concerned?
    Because I was raised in a Christian family. I was taught that it was true. I am a truth lover. I’m interested in learning truth in history. I went on a mission to preach Jesus and I didn’t have open access to information that showed me that the things I thought were true weren’t as true as I thought they were. 🙂
    I’d love to live in a world with more open access (books, pamphlets, documentaries, t.v. shows, websites) using details credited by certified historians and archaeologists.

    Thanks for reading my concerns.

    Kind regards,

    Donna Elaine

    Reply

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