History: Fiction or Science?
The only book in English on revisionist chronology other than Edwin Johnson's study of the Paulines.
I'm finding a viable hybrid between Edwin Johnson's conventional Radicalism of his book Antiqua Mater and his Extremist proposal in his book Pauline Epistles.
The key point at issue is whether the Catholic/Gnostic conflict and the Catholic roundup of all esotericisms happened around 200, or around the year we call 1500. I get a fully clear feeling that in some important sense, the "Gnostic diversity" was actually Renaissance, and that the Church as we know it is from around 1500.
Going back in time, the Church fizzles out much faster than the Church's official history would have it. Christianity was just one more esotericism combination in a field with many such combinations. Informal Christian-styled religion existed but fades into the background rapidly as we move our gaze back in time to earlier than the Middle Ages -- however many years actually exist between fall of Rome in 476 and Reformation in the year we number "1517".
only a slight degree of truth in the legacy of the familiar, institutional
Church. All the official strong
superstructure we associate with the Church didn't exist; that structure was a
later forged claimed history to bolster the new dominance of the Church,
fabricated in the
This lion, the Church with its proclaimed tremendous power for a thousand years prior to 1500, is really just a pussy cat that quickly, almost as much as Christianity itself, rapidly vanishes into the background as we look further back in time.
Study Version of Edwin Johnson's "The Pauline Epistles - Re-Studied and Explained", 1894
Reformatted copy for increased comprehensibility by Michael Hoffman Oct. 8, 2003. Proposes that the years 700-1400 didn't exist, and that Christianity, the "early" Christian texts, Paul, the Gospels, the Church Fathers, the Dark Ages, and the Middle Ages were literary inventions fabricated in competing monasteries around 1500.
As part of this revisionist interpretive framework, I expect we can find that the apostolic succession was a doctrine first dreamed up and invented around 1500 -- together with the key doctrine of Jesus' descent in the flesh literally, and the addition of the bunk "pastoral" epistles.
o The pastoral epistles insisting on Jesus' literal fleshliness as a human: invented in 1500 and added to the canon in 1500 -- not around 180.
o The apostolic succession: dreamt up in 1500 and claimed as ancient -- not a doctrine of the Catholic church of around 180.
Per Edwin Johnson, turn down the volume of the Church's presence around 180-476 as much as possible, even completely, the extreme being that there were only Jewish and Pagan and general Gnostic proto-Jesus varieties of esotericism around 180-476 -- nothing really deserving the label "Christianity" until the briefer-than-claimed period that we can call the Middle Ages. Institutional Christianity was even later: fabricated during 1450-1550.
When reading about Western esotericism, I fail to sense the looming strong presence of the Catholic church -- same with reading about Middle Ages Christianity: it seems like folk popularist mysticism, distinctly in touch with the entheogenic wellspring, in spirit -- only *later* and *afterwards* appropriated by the Roman Church Corporation. This would explain the tangible, strong presence of entheogenic authentic mystic spirituality.
According to the liberal moderate radicalist revisionist history, the intense mystic altered state was present way back in 180, but was effectively suppressed upon the rise of the Catholic Church starting about 180, which early on heavily distorted its subject matter and ruined the esoteric dimension of Christianity. From 180 to 1500 and beyond, all of that Christianity was almost entirely literalist, controlled firmly and degenerated wholly, by the powerful Catholic Church. Supposedly if we would look for strong presence of gnosis in Christianity, we must go back 1800 years, to the ancient time before the powerful church commandeered and ruined the religion around 180.
liberal story can't be correct, because I detect orders of magnitude more
presence of gnosis and the intense mystic altered state in Middle Ages
Christianity, during the entire period between the fall of
Empty liberal Deism began when the Catholic Church Corporation began -- after 1500; in the start of the modern era. Seyyed Nasr's book Knowledge and the Sacred investigates when and why Tradition (authentic high religion/high philosophy) was generally lost. When? The era of Luther, 1517, it seems to me. Why? I haven't figured it out yet. The centuries before 1500 scream out "gnosis" and "authentic esotericism" to me; not the thoroughly corrupted and degenerated Catholic Corporation version of Christianity that the liberal history proclaims.
Knowledge and the Sacred
If the Church Corporation was so strong and powerful before 1500, how come there is such strong gnosis evident in pre-1500 Christianity, with the fall of gnosis only starting in the 1500s? The entheogen theory of religion combined with the liberal story of Christian history asserts that entheogens were only present in the inner circle of Christianity way back before 180, and occasionally used but very effectively suppressed throughout the dark era all the way from 180 through 1500 and through 2003.
If that were the case, then why do I sense such intense and colorful and vivid style of Christianity before 1500? Why is entheogenic experiencing so strongly evident in pre-1500 Christianity, if entheogenic gnosis was so firmly and successfully suppressed for 1500-200=1300 years? The entheogen theory which accepts overall Church chronology shoots itself in the foot by having to postulate the *absence* of entheogens ever since the Church started in power, which was supposedly 180, which was supposedly 1517-180=1337 years.
The Church claims that the years 180-1517 were filled with great spiritual inspiration -- but not enough to threaten the Church's monopoly on the holy spirit. Liberal scholars of Christian history instead claim that these years were filled with arid dry-canal degenerated spirituality; thus the entheogen theory that is absurdly accepting of the Church's bunk autobiography also claims that these centuries 180-1517 were all filled with low-grade imitation religion.
The truth is a hybrid:
o Christianity 180-1517 was rich and vital as the Roman Church Corporation claims, but *not* based on the Roman Catholic model of a powerful institution carrying the weight of apostolic succession.
o Christianity 180-1517 was filled with entheogens like is claimed by the entheogen theory for the era around 180.
The real history of Christianity:
proto-Christianity, nothing we'd naturally consider Christianity. No Christianity yet: no churches, no Jesus,
no Paul, no apostles, no Church Fathers with their writings, no cross of Christ
-- Christianity gradually forms, organically.
No Roman Catholic Church Corporation yet (only weak
psychoactive sacraments were used in full force during this entire time
(Entheos journal, issue 2, "Daturas for the Virgin" article by José
Celdrán and Carl Ruck ( http://www.entheomedia.org/Entheos_Issue_2.htm ). How many years were there, really, between
those two events: fall of
1517 -- Roman Catholic Church Corporation begins and writes a false history with mostly fabricated claims to influence, lineage, succession, and power.
1517-2003 -- During this modern period, liberal as well as conservative scholars of Christian history, and even many radical scholars, take for granted the official history and chronology that was actually fabricated and engineered by the Church upon its artificial construction and formal institutional birth around 1517.
>>However, this starts to raise other problems.
Problems in a minor sense. For one who masters interpretive frameworks, there is never a "problem" in a serious, difficult sense -- only little tasks of explanation that fits the pattern that constitutes the target paradigm. Problems are no problem. Per conspiracy, everything can be explained. It used to be difficult for me to explain how Paul could say A and B -- now it is no problem at all: there was no Paul, and conflicting monastic groups fought to control the Paul figure, resulting in wise and foolish sayings both jammed into Paul's mouth. No problem at all.
>>Why say "no actual Christian art (only *roots* of Christian art, out of which Christian art later developed)."? How does that improve on the standard account: Christians, in hiding, used the fish symbol (Greek ichthys, the initial of JC), which is why we see it on walls etc. (Also, see Freke or Fideler on the esoteric meaning). ["mere roots"] Then, to combat Docetism, the cross, especially with a body nailed on it, to emphasize the bodily nature of Christ developed. ["Christian art later developed"]
The standard account is an excuse for the complete lack of any evidence for Christianity and Jesus in the ancient era. Why are there no signs of Christians? "They were in hiding." Why no cross? "They found it so embarrassing." Why no mentions in the ancients? "There are lots of mentions." (forged) Why no cross? "There is the insulting donkey on a cross -- that means Jesus."
Why are there no images of Jesus in antiquity? "There are images of Jesus: that fellow carrying a sheep means Jesus, the good shepherd" (never mind it portrays Orpheus) "...and the guy carrying two pillars" (never mind that it portrays Hercules) "... and the fish was a symbol of Jesus (take our word for it)". "So we see that there is a ton of evidence for the Christians in antiquity -- it just all happens to be totally indistinguishable from Pagan symbols, because of the tremendous persecution of Christians."
The standard account is nothing but a blustery system of flimsy excuses for the unanimous message the evidence gives us: there was no Christianity, no Christians, no Jesus, until well after 476. As we move backwards, Christianity dissappears into the pagan background; it certainly does *not* become more clear and strong and pure in an original big bang of the earth-shattering historical literal resurrection event that made such a huge impression that it converted the world in the face of great persecution.
reading the book Lost Christianities, it struck me that a scrap of scripture in
a monk's tomb in
The officials are wrong about fact #1, Jesus' historicity (and the nature of resurrection), so why should they be taken seriously in dating lesser details such as supposedly ancient quasi-Christian scrolls that mention the apostles?
>I wonder what Elaine Pagels would have to say about the Johnson theory. She is a scholar of early church history and orthodox and gnostic christianity. If anyone could fire some big holes in this theory it would be her. She seems to know all these characters intimately.
That's why I'm hoping to put forward Johnson's "Pauline Epistles" for widespread scholarly consideration in light of hybridization possibilities with "Antiqua Mater". My gut feeling is the reliable contact point with Truth: however wrong PE is, it is Right and True in some innovative, important sense, that can be retained in selective hybrid combination with many other corrections being made.
This is my reformatted copy for increased comprehensibility.
The Pauline Epistles - Re-Studied and Explained
Book by Edwin Johnson, 1894
145 pages (72 page webpage printout)
Proposes that the years 700-1400 didn't exist, and that Christianity, the "early" Christian texts, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, and the Church Fathers of the Roman era (Origin, Augustine, and the rest) were literary inventions fabricated in competing monasteries around 1500.
Removed original page numbers in square brackets.
Changed endnotes to inline notes.
Added inline section headings.
Move inline headings to correct locations.
Change roman numbers to Arabic.
Add hyperlinks to references.
Add highlighted notes or takeaway points per chapter, forming a study guide.
brings the time of the
Every interpretive framework has its difficulties. Even reality is full of implausibilities. Reality is quite commonly stranger than fiction, so the fact that a framework has apparent difficulties and implausibilities in a sense doesn't matter at all.
o Can you believe we put a man on the moon, with 1960s technology? Such a feat was perhaps possible, but *highly* unlikely -- one could reasonably say.
o Can you believe that lowly *drugs*, can produce classic peak religious experiencing? Highly implausible, yet it's a fact that no one is able to deny, though a fact that torments many who wish to mentally separate the two. The entheogen theory of religion -- drugs as by far the main wellspring of religion -- has apparent difficulties and implausibilities, yet it is reasonable to accept and commit to that view as a research paradigm.
o Determinism has apparent difficulties and implausibilities, yet it is reasonable to accept and commit to that view as a research paradigm.
o The entirely fictional and mythic-metaphorical-mystic nature of Jesus, Paul, and the other Apostles has apparent difficulties and implausibilities, yet it is reasonable to accept and commit to that view as a research paradigm.
(It is ironic that of the above examples, the most liable to be suspect of being off-topic in a Historicity of Jesus discussion group is the entheogens example.)
The only way to understand what it is that Johnson is asserting, is to fully believe him. I believe so that I may understand. Later may be time to doubt. I gather that everyone loves Antiqua Mater, but The Pauline Epistles is beyond the ability of scholars to consider, because it presents too alien of a paradigm to even grasp what he's saying. Part of the problem, though, is merely the formatting and presentation of Johnson's ideas. That's why I'm doing whatever it takes to make a clear study edition.
I might apply a gray-background highlighter effect to some sentences, transferring my color highlighting from paper to the screen. There's no reason why this book needs to be so unclear; I can make it fully skimmable so that you can see his key points and assertions in a few minutes.
is suitable to the solemnity of
What's this utterly meaningless gibberish doing in this supposedly "English" paper? Who the hell does Johnson think his audience is? This is *so* annoying. Johnson couldn't write in a comprehensible manner to save his life! I kept thinking of describing what I'm working on as "translation" and then I "corrected" myself, thinking of course it's not a translation, because it is in English -- but if so, tell me why I am doing the same kind of cleanup, meaning resolution, as when finishing the translation process on Eysinga's articles?
The fact is, I *am* doing a translation, from the language of pinhead cloistered 19th-Century British Christian scholarship writing, to plain intelligible English. I'm doing a 109-year language and presentation update. His book is damn near worthless as is -- no one will read it, and those who do, even radicals like me, are not capable of grasping it, as is: it is far too stilted, specialized.
This book would need to be totally re-edited and rewritten, if a mainstream popular publisher wanted to publish the ideas today, such as Freke & Gandy's book The Jesus Mysteries, which is just about as opposite of Johnson's presentation conventions as possible. Johson writes for an audience that literally no longer exists; he writes in a dead language that no one can read anymore.
It's a model of bad, ineffective communication; incomprehensible, *roundabout*, *stilted*: "the book under discussion"... (he never commits to a title, and just describes the book, several long paragraphs above, mixed with other books...
He's *constantly* saying "this author" while he's just mentioned three of them, or "it" or "these Letters", leaving me constantly in the dark: it's insane and absurd that he expects me to read every one of his sentences, *in order*, memorizing them with infinite patience... he writes as though his audience has *infinite patience* and will follow him through three levels of indirection -- "this work", "these letters", "Letters" -- what the hell is *up* with *that*?
He *never* provides clues or tips of what he thinks he's talking about, some secret idea he barely hints at five paragraphs above. What a mess! To make sure no one can possibly follow him, he is always in this book using *meaningless* date expressions, such as "late Tudor period" or "the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII". What, does he mean to exclude everyone who is not a PhD in Western history? Who does he imagine his audience is -- himself?
I have half a mind to just say f it, go for broke, and freely rewrite all his sentences: If *you* want to deal with his original garbled constructions, be my guest. With Eysinga's articles, I started with barely intelligible, poorly formatted material that you could read twice and still not comprehend; much formatting and clarification was needed, replacing meaningless constructs that are not used and completely fail to convey a clear idea.
I'm doing the exact same thing with this supposed "English"-language book of Johnson's. He is completely *ineffective* at *communicating* his ideas; that's one reason why his book was a failure and made almost no impression. A set of good ideas communicated badly and ineptly is no better than bad ideas.
audience, language, and culture Edwin Johnson writes to is long dead. The fact is, I'm translating from a dead
dialect of English to a more lastingly popular and comprehensible dialect. Johnson particularly condemns himself to
obscurity by crazy parochialism, writing "our country" and "our
mother tongue" -- what is this, a celebration of
I'm going to title this as a "Translation" and then take free reign to repair his communication disaster. "Translated from 19th-Century British scholarly language to intelligible English by Michael Hoffman. Click here to see the book in the original untranslated language."
>But doesn't Johnson assume, then, the earlier idea: he knows nothing of Koine, and imagines the monks writing the NT in their barbarous Greek. How could the monks have written the entire NT is a special dialect of Greek, unknown to them (or anyone) at the time, which has now been re-discovered, through thousands of everyday life type fragments? Only Lovecraft could imagine that!
weren't fragments of Gospels etc. found at
Just like the first two times I read this book, that is the main question: what would Johnson say about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library?
>>It's certainly valuable stuff for freeing up the conceptual imagination. I'm booking my weekend for Antiqua Mater!
The gist of what Johnson is saying is correct, though some aspects are distorted and have to be discarded. The task at hand is to discover and identify what changes have to be made to the way we think about the "ancient" Greco-Roman era and the scrolls that belong to it, and what changes we must make to Johnson's "Pauline Epistles" book, in order to bring the two together.
What is so exciting about this book isn't so much that it is certain; but rather, that it portrays just about the hugest paradigm shift possibly imaginable, like compacting all the Philip K.Dick books into one. It describes a paradigm shift of the first magitude. Surely the essence of this paradigm can be retained, even while making adjustments.
Even if you discard half of this book's views, what is left amounts to a mind-reeling transformation of our understanding of history, pseudo-history on steroids, and how history is painted. One might think "resuscitated Jesus in India" is staggering news, that "no Historical Jesus" is even more mature big news, then that "no Paul and Apostles" is even bigger news; yet this proposal that the "ancient Church fathers" and "Paul" are products of the monasteries in 1500 is, in some way, even bigger or more encompassing news than all of those.
Lately I waffle on whether or not to read any more about Christianity, whether to read Christian mysticism, Church history, Gnostic Christianity, or Theology. As usual, it's a matter of reading what's currently Right for me. I thought I was finished reading about Gnosticism and the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library. However, due to the valuable mind-blowing paradigm shift offered by many aspects of Johnson's Paulines book, and the great and not-too-difficult puzzle of how to bridge his trip with the consensus trip by making certain modifications of both, I decided to read Bart Ehrman's new book, Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew.
Unlike Johnson's book on the Paulines, Ehrman's book is written in the English language. He doesn't strive to throw as many barriers to comprehension as possible in your path. Ehrman is an award-winning teacher of real human beings.
Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication
Lecture courses by Bart Ehrman:
This book appears to give a wonderfully clear overview of the alternative proto-Christian writings. This presents an enlightened perspective from essentially the "liberal critical" received view. This review of the discovered writings should be the ideal kind of worldview to be conjoined, by modifying both, with Johnson's theory of the recency of the Paulines and extreme radical revision of chronology.
Study Version of Edwin Johnson's "The Pauline Epistles - Re-Studied and Explained", 1894
Reformatted copy for increased comprehensibility by Michael Hoffman Oct. 8, 2003. Proposes that the years 700-1400 didn't exist, and that Christianity, the "early" Christian texts, Paul, the Gospels, the Church Fathers, the Dark Ages, and the Middle Ages were literary inventions fabricated in competing monasteries around 1500.
I reached a milestone. The section headings are improved and correctly located.
Enhancements and fixes done:
o Added hierarchical table of contents with page numbers.
o Added inline section headings.
o Made the detailed TOC hierarchical, added page numbers/hyperlinks to each entry.
o Removed original inline page numbers in square brackets.
o Changed endnotes to inline notes.
o Replaced common latin abbreviations.
o Fixed scanning errors.
o Added hyperlinks to references.
o Changed Roman numbers to Arabic.
o Added instructions to print with full page numbering.
o Resolve notes and questions in square brackets.
o Enter my highlighting and remaining corrections from hardcopy.
Added at top:
Why everyone should read this book
This 100-page book from 1894 shows that:
o The Paul figure was a literary invention from the 1500's
o The purportedly early Church Father writings were literary inventions of the 1500's
o Eusebius' Church History was written in the 1500's.
o The Gospels were written in the 1500's.
o No Cathedrals are ancient; they are from the early part of the modern period, such as 1400.
o We don't know how many centuries actually lie
between the time of Augustus Caesar and the modern era -- the time of the
o I survey many radical theories of Christian and religious origins, but this book is the most extremely paradigm-shifting theory I've found. Most excited books putting forth a new earth-shattering theory are really pretty narrow, accepting the great bulk of the received liberal-critical paradigm, proposing to shift just a couple of aspects.
o Prior to this book, Johnson wrote the more conventionally radical book Antiqua Mater. The present book is a sequel that leaps even beyond the excellent Antiqua Mater in terms of amount of deep paradigm shifting.
Johnson's points are revolutionary, even if some might turn out to need
repositioning such as in light of the Nag Hammadi library and
Edwin Johnson's book "Pauline Epistles" ( http://www.egodeath.com/edwinjohnsonpaulineepistles.htm ) proposes that all of this theological debate and all of the religious writings about it was invented in the 1500s, with the entire debate falsely back-projected to over a thousand years earlier. The supposedly ancient controversies around 200 CE is actually entirely Reformation-era controversies and Jewish-Catholic-Heretic relations, where heresy includes various Protestant-esoteric combinations.
Johnson's theory implies that we ought to be studying Jewish-Catholic-Protestant-Gnostic/esoteric conflicts of 1-450 CE *alongside* studying those same conflicts in the late medieval-early Reformation era -- an immensely insightful approach, it seems to me. So much resonates between the two eras, if you inquire into and become familiar with:
o The Jews of the ancient and late Middle Ages eras
o The Catholics of the ancient and late Middle Ages eras
o The Protestants and Jansenists of the ancient and late Middle Ages eras
o The Gnostics, dualist heretics, and esotericists of the ancient and late Middle Ages eras
The Pauline Epistles - Re-Studied and Explained
A translation-in-process from 19th-Century English
Per Edwin Johnson's theory, the term "the late Middle Ages" asserts too many false implications about chronology; the construct "the late Middle Ages" is a major part of the full implicit system of the Eusebian false chronology.
If Morton Smith realized the truth per Edwin Johnson -- that 100% of all "ancient" Christian (and Jewish and Islamic?) writings are forgeries of the late Middle Ages, or perhaps better, "the era we call 'the 1500s'" -- then he had as much reason as any creator of the Christian-history myth to add his own discovered writing, Secret Mark, to the canon of such discovered writings. In that sense, like Alan Watts, Smith's discovery was a genuine fake.
The whole "authentic versus fake" distinction collapses; it becomes a giant joke to talk in serious tones with a straight face about "the *authentic* writings of the apostles", like studying the *authentic* memoirs of Cinderella and disparaging the mere "forged Cinderelline writings". I adhere to the genuine Cinderellines.
Quasi-historical religious writings -- including forgeries -- can be mystically authentic though literally false.
The term "forgeries" has its conventional meaning in contrast to the taken-for-granted notion of *genuine* ancient Christian writings; the conceptual category of 'forgery' thus actively though covertly reifies or artificially constructs the category of 'authentic' writings. Certain writings are certainly forgeries -- this seems to therefore necessarily imply that some other writings are genuinely ancient Christian writings.
Forgery thus effectively acts like a method of creating a solid basis of reality of antiquity. Through distraction-based magic, this sleight-of-hand logic runs "Forgery; therefore, antiquity." Grossly glaring forgeries make the more subtle forgeries look relatively authentic and convincing.
Such is the spirit of Johnson's "Pauline Epistles". It is interesting to read Johnson's "Pauline Epistles" and then read Ehrman's "Lost Christianities". Everything Ehrman says about forgery and constructing history through writing history takes on a different light, an ironic amplification far beyond what Ehrman seems to have intended. So often we come across, in Ehrman's type of writing, the old pattern of wild ranges of dating scripture fragments to ancient times or Medieval times.
The Renaissance was so similar to the ancient era, it is no longer possible to think of them as two separate eras; the year 1400 is the year 700, renamed. Johnson asserts that the years 700-1400 didn't exist and that we can't know but can only blindly guess how much time there really was between the ancient era (Antonines) and the Reformation era.
Johnson is more radical than Illig/Topper in proposing 700 rather than 300 phantom years, but more durable in that he remains agnostic about the number of centuries between the Antonines and Reformation -- but it's surely much shorter than the invented received chronology.
>Do you mean that the whole of Christianity is an invention of the midddle ages?
That's part of the proposed paradigm shift.
Dalai Lama, in
I agree with the chapter in On Drugs that essentially says people are doomed to founder in the dark if they are unable to recognize and comprehend their own native version of the perennial philosophy. They glorify everything that seems alien, as though only the Other can provide wisdom. Yet they are blind to wisdom, if they cannot perceive it in their own myth-religion system. Our native religion is technology and Christianity; I think of this theory of ego death as the Stanford model because that campus, late 20th Century, had a background in technology and Christianity.
>What about the Nag Hammadi gnostic texts discovered in Eqypt in 1945. Would they be forgeries also? They have been dated to the second century. There is also a scant section of one of the canonical gospels( John?) which has been dated to the 2nd century.
To ask your question, you need to define what 'forgery' means here. It's all quasi/pseudo-history attributed to fictional authors; that remains easy to argue even if the NH texts are very old. The main question is their age, not who wrote these historical-fiction styled mystic works. When questioning their age, question the entire system of centuries; were there really so many centuries between Augustus and the Reformation?
The best bet is some type of combination of the usual view of the Nag H. writings with E. Johnson's theory. Johnson would still remove 700 phantom years between the two eras, strive for a late dating as late as possible of the NH writings, look for Paul, look for deliberate backdating of the NH writings. Were NH designed deliberately to appear far older than they were?
>The Renaissance was so similar to the ancient era, it is no longer possible to think of them as two separate eras; the year 1400 is the year 700, renamed. Johnson asserts that the years 700-1400 didn't exist and that we can't know but can only blindly guess how much time there really was between the ancient era (Antonines) and the Reformation era.
the idea that
They didn't exist. They were fictional mouthpieces invented semi-systematically by orders of monks in the Reformation era. The Paul character was invented a few years after the Church Fathers were invented; a few years later, the gospel Jesus lifestory was invented. This is why the Church Father writings (the ones Peter Kirby considers relatively authentic) are silent about the Paul figure and about the specific gospels, and why the Paulines are silent about the specific gospels. The order of writing, in the Reformation era, was:
1. Creation of the Augustin, Thomas, Anselm, and other "illustrious" fictitious authors, and creation of their writings (for example, 1490)
2. Creation of the Paul character and the creation of his writings. (for example, 1510)
3. Creation of the specific written gospels and concretely historicized Jesus lifestory. (for example, 1530)
The Paul character was involved in a tug-of-war between Rome-allied monastic orders and anti-Rome monastic orders, which is why the theology of Paul is so garbled and inconsistent, and inelegantly expressed.
The Jesus lifestory, hyper-reified, was invented around 1525 and then back-projected into the Jewish Wars era, which was then pushed back even further by inventing and inserting 700 phantom years, added to the 350 real years between the fall of Rome in 476 and the Reformation. The whole body of official Christian writings was invented in the Reformation era, including the characters "Augustine", "Celsus", "Origin", and soon thereafter, "Paul".
familiar radical theory of the tug-of-war between Gnostics and Orthodox around
200, and move that entire conflict to the years we number as
"1510". The Peter Kirby time
machine would reveal no single identifiable Jesus, no Historical Paul, and even
through the year 476 and beyond, no
Johnson does seem to accept ancient *non-Christian* history such as Plato, Aristotle, Emperor Augustus, and Thucydides. Personally, I have deep doubts about Socrates, but I concede the reality of ancient non-Christian history, including the Jewish temple and Jewish rebellions -- however, with Johnson, I delete 700 phantom years between 476 and 1525; Augustus is 700 years closer to us than the Church-approved chronology would have it. Heribert Illig and Uwe Topper remove only 300 years: 600-900, as phantom years that never existed.
I currently delete 700 years only on hunch, seeing where it leads per Johnson and in terms of how informal mystic Christianity grew out of a rich Renaissance soup of diverse Western esotericism, as diverse and richly colorful as the ancient era's myth-religion. Only with the Reformation did Christianity doctrinally crystallize -- the conventional chronology pictures the Church reacting against the Gnostic canon and heretics; but there actually were no *Christian* gnostics and heretics or Church that reacted against them, until the Reformation era.
>>These are all fabricated? Or only the Christian writings are fabricated?
The Jewish scriptures and Christian scriptures, as fixed, structured, official documents, were invented around 1470-1550. All the ideas which critical scholars of Christian origins are familiar with, must be shifted from the era 180 CE to the era called 1510. The Jews had a serious claim to antiquity (though the Old Testament is essentially fictional) because of the received Greco-Roman writings and the temple and evidence of the Jewish-Roman wars.
actually led the Gallic leader Vercingetorix in chains to
Edwin Johnson does not really question the historicity of Caesar. He refutes the Church inventory or chronology of the centuries -- "the scheme of centuries" -- between the era of Caesars and the Reformation, and he refutes the entire system and set of official Church writings, including the gospels, Pauline epistles, and Church Father writings, as fiction that was invented semi-systematically in 1450-1550 and back-projected to the era of Caesars.
>>a theory such as this -- whatever the theory actually states -- would be difficult, because you end up with a lot
Vanishingly little, actually.
>of physical evidence that would be difficult to explain,
Not difficult at all, with the right paradigm or interpretive framework, actually.
>in addition to having to explain why someone would have decided to fabricate the entire collected words of St. Thomas around the same time that Colombus set sail.
Easy to explain, actually.
Rome-allied monastic orders battling against anti-Rome monastic orders, backed by lots of political forces with conflicting interests. Eventually the conflict came out of the closet as being actually political rather than religious, when some Protestants became politically allied with some Catholics. The rest of the explanation is merely details. Even a film that so suppresses the political motivations as the current Luther movie, shows the ruler backing, funding, supporting, and enabling Luther's labors.
The official Church writings, all fabricated and back-projected by monastic orders around 1510, were forgeries in the sense that they served to grant authority, power, and authorization to the Church, and the Church had various alignments with the State. There is a plethora of motives for semi-systematically forging all of the pseudo-ancient Christian writings.
The roots of the system of pseudo-old Christian writings are in the rich esoteric mystic trends of the Renaissance. By the 1600s, the mystic dimension increasingly gave way to the ossified, politically motivated new formalized version of Christianity. From mystically fluid, to politically ossified -- not around the year 180, but around 1510, back-projected to the earlier era, with 7 added phantom centuries fabricated and added to the 3 real centuries, to grant the Catholic Church (which was born and invented around 1510) even greater antiquity.
>I just have no idea what is actually being asserted.
I now have a clearer understanding, as summarized in this posting, through editing and writing about Edwin Johnson's book. I've given a reasonably undistorted summary of Johnson's theory, but you'll have to study it, with Topper and Illig's theories, and with a study of Middle Ages history, and astrology, and Nag Hammadi, so on, to get a clearer understanding of Johnson's theory and assess which aspects of it can be retained and combined with other historical revisionist theories such as the Dutch Radical Critics like the earlier work of Edwin Johnson, Antiqua Mater.
Johnson assumes an extremely high level of attentiveness and a background of education or indoctrination that matches a very narrow period and scholarly culture. His communication is an utter failure and was only kept alive and put on the Web due to the popularity of his Antiqua Mater. Topper found it, and his interest gave me the affirmation I needed to move ahead with rescuing the book from its own self-imposed communicational oblivion.
Read this study edition of Johnson. I intend to work on it more, for readability and skimmability, but my version has already come a long way from his 1894 format of presentation.
Study Version of Edwin Johnson's 1894 book "The Pauline Epistles - Re-Studied and Explained"
>>But it's one thing to invent a character or a story, and quite another thing to invent an entire corpus of writings that the invented person was supposed to have authored.
It is not difficult to invent an entire corpus of writings that a set of invented persons was supposed to have authored. Try it. Where is the difficulty? There is no difficulty whatsoever. Just do it.
>>But look in particular at the gospels. If these were invented in the 1500s we have to ask why *those* gospels and not others; why *those* stories and not others.
The same is true if the gospels were fabricated around the year 180, as the moderate radicals and the radical liberals claim. The dynamics of the problem are mostly the same, whether the supposedly implausible conspiracy was set in 180 or 1510.
>>For example, why write gospels in Koine Greek rather than in Aramaic? Why in those Greek gospels include various Aramaisms?
proto-Catholic Church selected and revised writings along these lines in 180,
or in 1510. The essential problem is the
same in either era. So the above
question is of little relevance to revisionist chronology. The question can be answered, but the
hypotheses will be largely the same whether
>>Why portray the disciples as basically clueless most of the time?
That question is of only tangential relevance. I can summarize some proposed answers for the question, but I don't see how the radical chronology revision depends on this question. The Church forgers had the same reasons, whether they wrote & redacted the story of the clueless disciples in 180 or 1510.
The best answer is mystic: before a series of intense mystic state initiations, the initiate is clueless and doesn't mentally grasp, comprehend, and see the transcendent relationships; takes himself as the locus of control of his thoughts and movements of will. Upon full initiation, the initiate sees the meaning of King Jesus figure, representing the hidden and now revealed power of cosmic determinism over our thoughts.
Block-universe determinism is an experiential insight of the mystic state, allegorized as the secret-then-revealed sovereignty of God over all our thoughts and actions.
>>Why have the family of Jesus question his sanity?
The family of Jesus stands in for the group "the Jews", who reject Jesus as messiah. Also, the intense mystic altered state is essentially similar to the schizophrenic loose-cognition state.
>>Why write four gospels that are basically composed of several different sources, rather than having four separate accounts?
What is the conservative Christian answer to that question? What's the liberal Christian scholar's answer? What is the conventional Radical scholar's answer? What is the extreme Radical scholar's answer? There is nothing difficult about formulating a set of answers for these sets of questions. It's a routine exercise in paradigmatic fill-in-the-blanks. Everyone is capable of supplying potential answers to all these questions, if they just try -- by mastering the art and science of interpretive frameworks. Let the framework show the answer to all these questions.
The multiplicity of gospels is a problem that remains the same whether you place the problem in the context of 180 CE or 1510 CE. The four gospels are a problem for all four interpretive frameworks: conservative, liberal, radical, and extreme.
set the stories in
hierarchical and monastic-network Church -- whether in 180 or 1510 -- had ample
motives to set the stories in
>>Why include various grammatical and geographical errors, and yet get other details right?
There is nothing in the least difficult about that question. The corpus of official Church literature (canonical scriptures, Church Father writings) is a ragtag mishmash of coherence and incoherence, fantasy and fact without distinction; Eusebius' Church History is typical, and only the conservative scholars take it seriously.
>>Why set the gospels in the first century? Why four gospels? Why not one? Why not forty?
That's an old question and problem within the conventional chronology: "Why did the early Church settle on four gospels?" You can find that type of conventional problem amply grappled with regardless of the radical chronology issue. Why would an early group of power-mongering forgers settle on 4 gospels? Why would a late group? In the beginning -- 150 or 1450 -- there were diverse rich gnostic [Western esoteric] versions and variants of the Jesus lifestory; the Church around 180  forcefully swept together all these diverse gnostic [Renaissance heretic dualist Templar/Cathar] groups by commandeering and jamming together and modifying the versions of the gospels, and by rejecting many of such writings of the early days of 180 .
>>These, of course, are all interesting questions whenever the gospels were written.
Of course; that is, these questions are no challenge to the theory of the ~1510 origin of the entire corpus of Christian writings, but are questions of what the minor adjustments are.
>But under a theory that the gospels were 16th century
>fabrications, I think they become impossible to answer.
They are easy to answer whether they were 2nd or 16th Century fabrications.
>>This is because it would be hard to fathom what the motive for all this would be.
It is easy to fathom the motive. Start by reviewing the motive according to the liberal and conventional radical paradigm, as clearly covered in the book:
Rank: 102 (extremely popular)
It's only difficult if one starts by assuming that the problem is difficult, and refrains from engaging the speculative imagination. The truest paradigm is often the simplest and most plausible. There is much that is simpler and more plausible in the theory that the canonical history is a system of designed semi-systematic fakery. The familar paradigm only *seems* easier and more plausible because one has gotten used to mentally apologizing for it, rationalizing all of its many implausibilities.
>>Why first fabricate writings of "early church fathers"
Why would a man choose to write the writings that are attributed to "Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD)" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo , whether the author actually wrote in the year 180, 410, or 1510? Why would anyone ever choose to write the works that are attributed to Augustine? Look at Hermes -- he wrote many hundreds of books, and many of these weren't actually written by Hermes himself -- why would anyone do that? There are plenty of reasons. Did the forgery factory network, the monasteries, have the ability and the incentive to design and haphazardly produce a half-baked corpus of half-integrated theological and historical writings, set in various locales and eras, and the power to control and manage the corpus of official historical, philosophical, and theological writings? Yes, it is not highly implausible. More research is needed within the new chron paradigm, to further assess the plausibility.
plausible that the
>>Why first fabricate writings of "early church fathers" that debate and discuss the Trinity at length, and then write gospels that do not even mention the Trinity, and only allude to the divinity of Jesus?
The gospels take various positions on the Trinity, not a uniform single-voiced opinion. I'm not completely interested in the sequence of the types of writings -- it's one topic in a set. Each of these topics has liabilities and strengths, various arguments and views and hypotheses. For example, we can say that the Church Fathers lack any awareness of the Paul figure, but that statement needs to be qualified: in some of the writings which some people call inauthentic, there are some hazy and vague references to Paul as one who wrote epistles.
>>The problems go on and on.
There is a large set of easy problems, many of which are only 'problems' in a light sense, not difficulties.
I am against the 1-way mentality of only working from assumptions or little problems and facts toward an explanatory system. Instead, one must both start from a top-down strategy, starting with a paradigm/ interpretive framework, while also wiggling the facts and the many little problems, jiggling and adjusting both the framework and the many little problems until a stable viable steady-state system results. Then line up several such stable systems and do a beauty contest between the conservative, liberal, radical, and extreme models of Christian history and origins.
>>You'd have to fabricate literally thousands of pages of supposed "writings"
There is nothing difficult about that. Why does anyone ever write thousands of pages of truth or fiction or philosophical-religious speculation? Writing is not expensive and hard; it is cheap and easy.
>>making them appear to be authored by different people at different times, discussing doctrines at different stages of development.
There's nothing difficult about designing such as system, especially if the outcome is allowed to be as sloppy as what we have.
>>You would need different writing styles for each author, yet styles that would be reasonably consistent with each author.
Is the corpus of official church literature reasonably consistent? Read Edwin Johnson's "Pauline Epistles" to see one negative answer. When one refrains from actually reading these works, it is easy to assume that everything is fine with the corpus' integrity. But upon inspection, the corpus is messy and filled with anachronisms and unreal perspectives, and forgery and suspicion of forgery is rife throughout. Forgery and false writing, false dates and authorship and location of writing, is the rule, not the exception.
>>Further, you would need authors with different language skills.
Was there a shortage of various language skills in the network of monasteries around 1510? No. The monasteries were monkeying with texts all night and day.
>>But the big problem is that all of this would have to be planned from the start.
There is no problem there, no difficulty. One should not be easily overawed by a bit of planned system of fiction.
"Star Trek must have really happened -- because no one would have fabricated an extensive detailed world for a tv show."
other words, the guy fabricating the extensive "works" of
There is nothing
so profound in
One should not be so easily overawed by a personality. Read Edwin Johnson's "Pauline Epistles". Piles and piles of philosophy and theology are dirt cheap: read the best existing writings, undergo a standard series of intense mystic altered state experiences, write, collaborate, gather, sift, edit, and assign to one illustrious figurehead. Welcome to the machine; we are a factory that has it down to an art, fabricating these figureheads for our mystic theology writings and pseudo-history.
There is nothing essentially difficult or implausible about designing a system of writings. There were motives, there were opportunities, there were capabilities and powers and authority to do it. What were the monasteries for, if not for such a production? What is the mutual benefit relationship and tension between church and state? There were opportunities and incentives. It is not difficult to imagine and formulate viable sets of hypotheses.
>>and would have to be able to write so as to make it appear that the author was really writing 300 years earlier.
There's no difficulty in that. Systematize writing materials and writing styles. Forgery is merely a craft; there's nothing difficult about it, and if there's one thing everyone agrees was present in overabundance in monasteries, it is forged writings.
>>But it gets even worse.
It's been trivially easy so far; far easier and more plausible than the conservative, liberal, or moderate radical positions.
>You mention that the order of events would be
>1. Creation of the Augustin, Thomas, Anselm, and other "illustrious" fictitious authors, and creation of their writings (for example, 1490)
>2. Creation of the Paul character and the creation of his writings. (for example, 1510)
>3. Creation of the specific written gospels and concretely historicized Jesus lifestory. (for example, 1530)
this means that the guy writing
I don't know whether Paul as a specific writer of the specific epistles with specific content is reflected in Augustine in particular, or in Acquinas; or whether the specific gospels and historical facts about Jesus' life on earth are reflected throughout all of the writings attributed to these fictional figureheads who were made to mouth the views of the monastics. Johnson seems to emphasize the vagueness throughout most Church Fathers' writings regarding Paul and the historical Jesus.
Peter Kirby is a living person qualified to report on the extent of references to a specific Paul character, and he recently had an epiphany, realizing that Paul appears hopelessly late within the Church Father writings which Kirby considers (or used to consider) authentic. Simply ask him. He is always in the Jesus Mysteries discussion group and is constantly expanding DidJesusExist.com, and now has added DidPaulExist.com (not really).
>>The guy writing Origen's stuff has to know that there are going to be four gospels written, even before they have been written.
Did he know anything about the four gospels which we have in mind, or is he all hazy about them, just saying the *idea* of four gospels? We need to look up Kirby's view on Origin.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/origen.html -- 203-250 CE, knew of Paul, is a very late writer. Johnson holds Origen (with all the others) to be an invention of around 1510.
I don't know these details of the extent of Origin's knowledge of specific gospels, and Johnson's view of this.
My role now is to make Johnson's book readable and skimmable online, enabling you to read it more easily to answer your own questions. I have always hoped to find out what you all think of Johnson's book after you learn what its theory is.
>Or, the gospel writers, coming along 40 years after all the other writers, have to fabricate gospels that include all prior references to the gospels, in addition to adding other material, and somehow make it into a consistent story that appears to be made up of different sources, includes various obscure Aramaic phrasing, different main themes, and so on. You also have to create not just four gospels, but various fragments and portions of gospels that appear to have been written a various times, and then you have to hide some of them so they will be discovered in future centuries.
>What this means is that all of this would require a massive conspiracy operating from an unbelievably complex
That's overstating the difficulty.
>and lengthy master plan involving literary, artistic, and linguistic geniuses possessing a depth of scholarship that is utterly unimaginable.
If such scholarship as we hold in our hands is unimaginable, then it is "unimaginable" that Aquinas or Augustine were able to write the writings in question. It's a core error of thinking to assume that a handful of illustrious individuals can accomplish something great, but that the monastic factories could not accomplish that same achievement. With the right training and studies and mystic experiencing, the "utterly unimaginable" becomes relatively routinized, like the Rock superstar factories of the 1970s: we can make you a star.
>>And all of this without benefit of computers, photocopy machines, telephones, techniques of modern project management, or any other aid, and requiring enormous quantities of expensive parchment, paper, scrolls, etc.
men of 1510 imbeciles, barbarians, cavemen?
No. Don't be conned by the
religion of progress, that casts a darker light upon everyone up to 5 minutes
ago as hopelessly and entirely backwards.
How is it that towering men wrote towering works that have been influential
Yet despite having the severe handicap of lacking the virtually miraculous benefits of the Internet newsgroups and suchlike, everyone agrees that the networks of monasteries preserved the ancient writings for over a thousand years, and that many great minds produced many great works, which were spread throughout the land, becoming well known. These accepted facts and achievements remain in place whether the monasteries received or created the canon of Christian writings.
Much of the supposed huge corpus never existed, never was implemented; writings were planned and not executed, but were later claimed to have been destroyed and lost. The corpus has been magnified in our minds to appear overwhelmingly large, ancient, and involved, but that's a thin illusion that dissipates upon critical inspection.
>>And all of these people have to do this with without any one figuring out the scam, without leaving any trace of the master plan, or any other documentary evidence, completely destroying all evidence of the conspiracy, and somehow keeping all of this a total secret until Edwin Johnson shows up.
A main way
of appearing to refute or dismiss a theory is by attributing it to a single
person. Edwin Johnson built on the work
The evidence wasn't completely destroyed; simply *read* the Church Father corpus of writings; it's garbled fiction, a system that's only half-coherent, containing such gross implausibilities as the Church Fathers being ignorant of the Paul character, and being completely hazy about the specific gospels.
>>As if this weren't enough, the same thing has to happen in the Eastern church as well.
network of monastic forgery mills kept in touch and kept synchronized between
of Christianity did in fact spread throughout greater
We all accept the notion that the Church had the power to formally restrain and corral the various brands of mystic/gnostic Christianity into a virtually single religion -- Johnson merely moves that formal restraint, accepted by all liberal scholars of Christian origins, from the year 180 to the year 1510. If it is unlikely that such could be achieved by the network of monastic forgery-factories in 1510, then it would be much the same difficult and unlikely achievement in the year 180, to design and engineer a single text-based and text-constrained religion out of a gnostic diversity.
would it have been to design and disseminate a large corpus of semi-systematic
writings, attributed to various eras, given a network of monasteries all over
Were the monks stupid and inept? (No.) Are the writings genius and perfectly integrated? (No.)
Jim wrote (paraphrased):
>>First, you underestimate the difficulty of creating (forging) writings that were supposed to have been written some hundreds of years prior. ... Second, you understate the difficulty of creating a work outside of the time period in which it was supposedly written.
The examples of Shakespeare and Mormon are interesting. The structure of presentation was: "Firstly, forgery of early writings is not easy; secondly, forgery of early writings is not easy. Here are two examples of debates about forgery, showing that forgery of early writings is not easy." The two points were really about the difficulty of forging literature set in one's own time, and then the difficulty of forging literature about historical events and about the history of literature.
Were the writings in question, the ancient and medieval Christian writings, convincing in their evidence of antiquity? Or are they shoddy and unconvincing? Johnson says they're all shoddy and unconvincing, with malformed and unrealistic perspective. Scholars in general say the same of a large subset of the received corpus -- it is packed with many examples and degrees of unconvincing pseudo-history.
>>It's not like just anyone can come along and create a convincing ancient textual forgery, even in English, and much less in an ancient language.
Was Eusebius' shoddy and unconvincing forgery difficult to write and to pawn off? It was accepted for a long time, and still is accepted by conservative Christian scholars as "essentially historically legitimate", even though it's a poor invention according to liberal and radical critics. There are many forgeries, of varying persuasiveness; and many writings that are debated as to their authenticity, author, date, and locale of writing.
>>Now take all of those difficulties,
These difficulties are nothing other than the routine, ordinary challenges of writing forgeries, challenges which were met with varying degrees of success by many different writings.
>>and imagine trying to write the works attributed to Shakespeare some 300 years later, without the benefit of actually living during that time.
We are not debating the authenticity of the writings of Shakespeare, but the corpus of official Christian writings (which Johnson is inexcusably vague about identifying). Are we all in agreement that the sophistication of the official corpus, and historical complexity of elements, is comparable to that of Shakespeare? Are the challenges of forging Shakespeare in later times the same as the challenges of forging the span of Christian history by writing literature in later times? The challenges are partly same, partly different.
>>Who would be capable of this?
The "unbelievably brilliant geniuses" who authored Augustine's works and the other products of monastics and churchmen. How perfect are the writings we have? Not very perfect. How stupid and inept are the people who authored the works of Augustine and the other official Church writings? Not very stupid and inept.
If the monasteries really wanted to, they could have engineered a system of writings such as we have; the writings *are* the product of real monastics and churchmen; the debate at hand is whether these works were all later forgeries back-dated, or, whether some of them were written in the sequence defined by the official chronology of centuries.
I'm not qualified to defend or assess Johnson's theory; no one person today is. His theory must be discussed and considered by a group of people, which is why I've made an additional study version of it, that I intend to clarify further.
>>The theory is that literally hundreds or thousands of works were created under similar circumstances, except that the time between the events and person in question and the writing of the accounts would have been up to 1500 years, not 300.
Johnson doesn't assert that the time between the founding Christian events and the writing of the books of the New Testament was 1500 years. He removes 700 years, 2/3 of the 1,050-year duration between 476 and 1525, as phantom years, leaving only 1/3 the duration: 350 years. Thus for example, the time between the year we call 30 and the year we call 1530 was not 1500 years, but rather, 800 years.
30 -- Jesus' death.
500-1500 -- Middle Ages
700-1400 -- didn't exist, per Johnson
1517 -- Luther's Reformation
1533 -- the first literary date Johnson thinks we can reasonably rely on.
-- Council of
>>And in those thousands of works, there is not a single anachronism, not a single phrase demonstrating that the works were created at a much later time. At least you don't mention any.
No one is asserting that position, of the pristine perfection of the writings, free of any anachronisms. In the official corpus of Christian literature spanning 50-1517, there are plenty of anachronisms. It's irrelevant that I haven't listed anachronisms. Johnson's book focuses on anachronisms and lack of a realistic perspective and time-sense in the official Christian writings which are claimed to span 50-1517.
>>The theory fails the test of archeology. Martin Palmer's book _The_Jesus_Sutras describes the origins of early Chinese Christianity. Around 1890, a Chinese Taoist priest discovered a number of scrolls that had been sealed into the room around 1000 A.D. Excerpts:
>"Therefore, my Lord Ye Su, the One emanating in the three subtle bodies, hid his true power, became a human, and came on behalf of the Lord of Heaven to preach the good teachings. A virgin gave birth to the sacred in a dwelling in the Da Qin Empire. The message was given to the Persians who saw and followed the bright light to offer him gifts."
>"Beyond knowing, beyond words,
>You are the truth, steadfast for all time.
>Compassionate Father, Radiant Son,
>Pure Wind King -- three in one."
>"The Sutra of Proclamation
>The Acts of the Apostles According to Luke
>The Sutra of Paul's Dharma, and of Zakarias
>The Sutra of George the Monk, and of Anchillia
>The Sutra of Ceremonies and in praise of the Three Powers"
I am perfectly ignorant of these claims and of the evidence put forth for the discovery of these scrolls, and the evidence that they were discovered in 1890, and that the room had been sealed around 1000. I have not critically scrutinized these claims and sub-claims, and don't know who has. This is an area for potential investigation. The word "sealed" reminds me of the proof (magic trick) that a stone idol in a temple ate food. The discovery provides the perfect type of evidence, just in time to refute Johnson's 1894 theory.
It's too early for me to be skeptical about the discovery and its subclaims, but naturally a critical thinker can never accept claims without some investigation.
As a matter of fact, the ossuary of Jesus' brother James was recently discovered. So much for discovery of evidence cast in stone. Such evidence is as cheap and plentiful and worthless as relics of saints.
1625, Chinese gravediggers discovered a carved stone dated 781. The text recounted the major events and
teachings of a mission of the early Church to
>>The dating is all wrong. The theory states that all of this stuff would have been written around 1500.
The theory doesn't state that all Christian texts dated between 476 and 1500 were written around 1500. It's difficult to decipher Johnson's terrible semi-English 19th-Century presentation that was literally written for his immediate peers and scholarly friends.
Johnson believes there were informal bits and scraps and assorted folk writings, exactly as ordinary radicals and liberal scholars are used to postulating prior to the official version of the gospels. He takes what might become the dominant view (partly supported by Ehrman's book Lost Christianities), that the gnostic versions of gospels were the basis for the later official canon, and simply shifts this relationship and sequence of literary events from around 180 to around 1510.
>>Archeological dating of the scrolls and the stone show that these were in existence long before the 1500s. They are dated not in isolation, not only because of their content, but in the context of other non-Christian artifacts and scrolls found at the same sites. Also discovered were the ruins of a monastery containing the remains of an icon painted in the style of the Eastern Orthodox church, again, hundreds of years prior to 1500.
>>If you want to still hold to the dating implied by the theory, you have to then say that Chinese history is all wrong, that the dating of the Chinese dynasties is wrong, that the archeological dating of scrolls and artifacts is all wrong, etc. etc.
These points have already been argued by the chronology revisionists.
The New Chronology: The Dark Ages Didn't Exist -- time falsification, Edwin Johnson, Heribert Illig, Uwe Topper, Hans-Ulrich Niemitz, Christoph Marx, Jean Hardouin, Wilhelm Kammeier
Edwin Johnson, A Radical Advocate of Chronology Criticism -- Uwe Topper on Edwin Johnson
>>Isn't there a point at which we simply conclude that the theory, however interesting, simply doesn't work?
No. All theories, interpretive frameworks, and paradigms can be developed into a stable steady-state, and then lined up and judged in a beauty contest, using the measuring stick of overall plausibility of the whole system. What's more plausible: the official Church story of Church origins and history, or the revisionist chronology and wholesale fabrication per Johnson, or some hybrid theory? The conservative, liberal, radical, or extreme paradigm?
I place my bet on a hybrid of the radical and extreme explanatory paradigms of Christian origins and history. What hybrids can be formed between the radical and extreme explanatory paradigms? That is the real question.
Edwin Johnson's 1894 book "The Pauline Epistles - Re-studied and Explained" is worth some study, together with his earlier, more conventionally radical book Antiqua Mater.
>>All conspiracy theories are by nature provable.
People ought to understand that fundamental principle of critical thinking. It's necessary to learn the conceptual language or mode of thought of conspiracy theories and paradigms. Schizophrenic delusions of reference are like this. The mind is designed to settle upon worldmodels, self-reifying steady-state worldmodels that reach homeostatic equilibrium; and the mind can jump from one to another, such as from freewillist thinking to determinist thinking, through a kind of conversion experience or metanoia.
Kuhn's theory of paradigms or interpretive frameworks is treated by Robert Anton Wilson as reality tunnels. To even begin questioning the historicity of Jesus -- whether there was a single historical individual serving as the lone kernel required for the legendary accretions forming the received Jesus character -- is already to embark on a paradigm shift and conspiracy theory. The question becomes, when, how, how much, how intentional, and what motives for the conspiracy, rather than wondering *whether* there was a conspiracy.
There was some sort of conspiracy; that's not a significant point of debate, except between conservative Christian scholars and the rest of the world. Only conservatives believe that we can read Eusebius straight, and there was no conspiracy, no dissembling, no deliberate systemic distortion and strategic invention of false histories. The debates concerning Christian origins among liberal, radical, and extremist scholars are all about which conspiracy theory is correct.
The problem of revisionist chronology and phantom centuries, wholly transporting the "early" Gnostic/Orthodox debates to many centuries later, is the largest and thorniest, most paradigm-shifting challenge I've come up against since the days when I still assumed a historical Jesus and historical Paul and sought to figure out how the New Testament was mystically true and perfect. The problem of figuring out world religion and world mysticism as mystic-state myth was relatively easy; once I was prepared, the problem melted immediately as soon as I raised the question.
Studying Western esotericism and the 20th-Century take on it was also relatively easy: I had merely to postulate the "ordinary state of consciousness fallacy" as the fatal flaw of 20th-Century approaches such as Jung and Campbell. Any fundamental fallacy permeating Jung and Campbell naturally would apply to the whole of 20th-Century misguided and off-base theories of myth.
Even the Western esotericism problem of making rational sense out of magic, astrology, and alchemy was easy to reduce to a choice between: either it's all extremely difficult to figure out, or, it's all essentially very easy.
Without having read all the books, or all issues of Gnosis magazine, the choice for me, a way to declare victory of essential comprehension, is easy in this field: declare it all to be stylized description of a series of mystic altered state sessions leading to transformation from basically the egoic mental worldmodel to the transcendent worldmodel, with a strong emphasis on *experiential* insight rather than on direct systematization. These Hermetic systematizations have a dirty blend of direct and indirect, relevant and roundabout, systematization and description.
But the radical revisionist chronologies such as Uwe Topper, Heribert Illig, and most relevantly Edwin Johnson ("The Pauline Epistles - Re-studied and Explained", 1894) are puzzling in their potential ramifications.
They have the potential to powerfully shift so many assumptions about religious history, but it's not clear what assumptions and aspects will fly in the long run, and what relevance and potential these theories have for the entheogen theory of religion and for providing some shortcut or leverage point to suddenly have a new more sound and firm grasp of religious history, of the real nature and origin of Western religions and Western esotericism and mysticism.
So many things are all unclear at the same time:
It's unclear what Johnson is saying, because he writes in an aggravatingly elusive and roundabout fashion, with terrible conventions of presentation, almost worst-case -- he actively and forcefully prevents people from understanding what he is saying. This sounds like idle complaint -- until you actually try to read the book. I can never figure out what he is talking about, or who, without reading and searching his previous pages, and researching on the Internet too.
Everywhere in his book I am constantly circling *vague*, vague indirect words -- "our author", "the book under discussion", "the age of publication", or "during the revival of letters" -- it's impossible to follow what he's talking about, which is why, though I hate changing his writing, it's obvious and certain which flaws must be fixed and edited before anyone lacking a PhD in English history and another PhD in Christian History is able to follow his position and line of argument.
It's not clear what benefits I might stand to gain from rescuing "our author's" "book under discussion" -- that is, Edwin Johnson's 1894 book "The Pauline Epistles - Re-studied and Explained" -- from its stupidly self-imposed oblivion due to Johnson's own fault, due his incomprehensibility of language and presentation.
His manner of presentation is aggravating and drives me up the wall; it's a perfect negative model, a classic example of everything that's wrong with the valuation of "lofty" writing. His way of writing is a failure of his own making, largely due to his targeting of a incredibly, bizarrely, surrealistically parochial and narrow audience: people who have had a very particular educational and cultural background. He seems to be intent on parodying all the most noxious aspects of parochial high culture and educational indoctrination.
He speaks as one unit manufactured on a particular production line, to the others, who are exactly the same as him. He is utterly incapable of communicating to anyone who doesn't come from his exact narrow little educational/cultural background. He utterly lacks communicative empathy for anyone else outside his cultural school of thought. He is a caricature of everything bad we read about Western imperialism, the kind that applied evolution theory to characterize other cultures as "savages".
He's worse than mean, worse than just consciously choosing to target a tiny audience: he genuinely does not realize that there's anyone else in the world to communicate to, other than people exactly just like him, with his exact, particular background -- that is the essence of the worst assumption a writer can possibly make, for communication.
Today, good writing is defined as writing for people who *don't* share your identically same cultural/educational background: a good example of real, effective *communication* to the general readership is Bart Ehrman, who often refers to his own "easily readable translations".
Today, writers assume that it's a *big* world, that there is no standard universal body of educational knowledge or indoctrination. You *can't* make the assumption that all your readers know what "synoptic" means, or "New Testament", or who "Eusebius" is, or who Paul is, or what the Pauline epistles are, or what the official Eusebian story of the origins of Christianity even is.
Today, before you can victoriously declare Eusebius' history to be entirely fabricated and back-projected by many centuries, you have to first teach your readers what the conventional "received" history-story is, and teach them the system of century-numbering that you are about to disprove.
There is something refreshing about today's audience, who is so full of diverse wisdom (having watched a variety of tv shows, and been edified by following a broad range of sport teams), is such a blank slate as far as any "common core basic knowledge" is concerned. Each individual knows alot, but there is no common ground you can assume.
I'm unhappy about how people are so sick of Christianity, they can only hate it rather than comprehend it. However, people are becoming so perfectly and absolutely empty headed, so innocent of even propaganda, one day they may say "What is or was that thing, rumored, called Christianity?" Then it will be easier to convey fresh perspectives, clear the mind and think anew.
Edwin Johnson's worst-case writing style and manner of presentation are almost as bad as the postmodernism style of providing no substance and all impressiveness of style. These days, we are justified in assuming that impressiveness of style is certain proof that there is no substance; if a writer had substance, he would not stoop to lathering on such obfuscating layers of lofty and pretentious style.
To the flames with Johnson's lofty and pretentious style: to save the life of his ideas in his book, I am going to kill the cancerous abominable parasite, his lofty and pretentious style that prevents anyone from being able to figure out what he's trying to say underneath it all. I must push Johnson rudely out of the way and grab the microphone out of his hand, push him away from the podium, and take over, lest Johnson's ideas remain obfuscated behind the mumblemouthed stilted mode of active anti-communication he walls them around with.
I have to
steal and rescue Edwin Johnson's ideas from the underground prison, the
Or, Johnson writes like a doctoral candidate in a Postmodernism programme, except that he underneath the terrible, worst-case manner of communication, does actually have some ideas worth conveying, if only he would simply state what he has in mind.
Uwe Topper and Heribert Illig are also out of the reach of comprehensibility for real-world English speakers, because their books and the debates about them are only available in German, despite the great popularity of their theories in the German-language world.
So many things are unclear at the same time, regarding the New Chronology. *That* it can offer valuable new alternative ways of combining ideas and explaining religious history, is certain. But specifically what changes might be possible, and which are viably supportable, is completely unclear at this point.
I'm set back to the days of January 11, 1988, when I first locked onto the worldmodel of block-universe determinism as mystic revelation, and began learning about the New Testament in order to connect the newly found core theory to Christianity: it was certain that the core theory would shed brilliant light on Christianity, but at that point it was mostly obscure what the insights and comprehension of Christianity would amount to.
Such is my feeling and challenge now about the New Chronology: it is certain that the New Chronology has much potential to resolve problems and make new solutions available in understanding religious history and maybe the nature of religious experiencing in Western esotericism, and how Christianity was perhaps gradually formed out of the rich late middle ages esotericism, instead of out of ancient Alexandrian esotericism; but it's not at all clear what the specific insights provided by the New Chronology may turn out to be, in the longer term.
Everyone gets this feeling about the New Chronology: it is the nuclear bomb of paradigm shifting hypotheses; the equivalent in the field of History to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (in Physics) and Kuhn's book on paradigm shifts (in the field of Epistemology, Theory of Knowledge, and Science Studies). The field of History has now gone postmodern, particularly with respect to the official Christian "system of centuries" (Edwin Johnson).
Everything that we are accustomed to disbelieving in Eusebius' Church History (about the historical origins of Christianity to 325 CE), we must now extend not just to the Historical Jesus and even Historical Paul, but much more; *much* more: the entire system of counting and identifying the centuries, and the entire system of dating Christian writings.
Everyone is astonished at how easily Heribert Illig and Uwe Topper appear to have found it to shift as sand what everyone took for granted as unassailable and unquestionable bedrock foundation, the familiar-as-water-to-a-fish "system of centuries" -- a worldmodel which we were so intimately familiar with, we truly didn't know we even had it. The New Chronology has, at least, enabled us to stand back and consciously perceive for the first time, like with some consciousness-elevating LSD, the system of centuries we grew up within as an intimately familiar worldmodel.
How do we know that the Nag Hammadi writings were gathered together around 350 CE rather than 1550 CE? We know because of how they relate to the standard established and taken-for-granted chronology -- the established system of numbering and inventorying the centuries and their contents -- and because of some stray papers that were used to strengthen the bindings; these papers are dated to around 350. How these scraps of papers are dated to 350 is not spelled out in James Robinson's edited book "The Nag Hammadi Library".
There are many strikingly strange things about Christian origins, some of which are easily explainable within the new paradigm of the New Chronology. For example, there is no artwork showing Jesus on the cross on earth until the seventh or eighth century (600-800) -- why not? Because, explains Johnson, the Jesus character wasn't invented until the year 1500, which is the year 800, relabelled.
For those of us who are in awe of Kuhn's theory of paradigms and laugh at the dullness of those who criticize other people's theories as being based on "circular arguments", as though noncircularity were even possible, New Chronology is as profound as the implications of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle were on the smug confidence of positivistic instrumentalist theory of knowledge in the early 20th Century.
This is a releasing dance of circularity, applying embarrassing Humean revelations (that we only *postulate* linear causality, based on constant conjunction) now to the foundations of the field of History, the very measuring stick of the system of centuries called wholly into question, just as Einstein's moving frames of relative reference did away with the confident, unconscious assumption of absolute spacetime.
Questioning the historical existence of Jesus, and finding the solid evidence so quickly withering to nothing, shares much in common with questioning the received chronology, particularly per Johnson's treatment of the problem of chronology or the system of centuries in the story of Christian history.
The New Chronology
Edwin Johnson, A Radical Advocate of Chronology Criticism -- Uwe Topper on Edwin Johnson
Study Version of Edwin Johnson's "The Pauline Epistles - Re-Studied and Explained", 1894
I have tentatively settled on doubting the existence of the Dark Ages = Early Middle Ages = 500-1000, so that the existing years are 499, 500/1000, 1001... This 500-year phantom duration is a reasonable compromise between the theory that 600-900 didn't exist (300 years) and the theory that 700-1400 didn't exist (700 years). I also hold the Catholic Church and its grand history of power to be 10% real and 90% exagerration, a false and grossly distorted history invented in the Reformation era around 1517.
Taking a paradigm-centric view, the details are unimportant; the interpretive framework is important, and it's certainly easier to conceive of the history of fully syncretistic esotericism as carrying immediately over from Greco-Roman Antiquity (to 476, Fall of Rome) into the *immediately succeeding* era conventionally called the "Late Middle Ages", conventionally said to be followed by the "Renaissance". Instead, I mentally adopt this chronology:
Alexander to Fall of
Middle Ages aka Renaissance, 476 (="1000") to 1525
Modernity 1525 to 2000 or to 1960
The term "Renaissance" is as problematic as "Dark Ages"; the two terms only make sense as a pair: the rebirth was, by definition, a rebirth after the dark ages; the end of the dark ages. But if the dark ages is a phantom period invented in the Reformation era around 1525, as part of fabricating the supposed vast antiquity, power, and authority of the Catholic Church, then the concept of "rebirth after the dark ages" is equally spurious and based on illusion and fiction. However, the term "Renaissance" is valid as a stylistic descriptor as in "Renaissance esotericism".
Technically, the term "middle ages" is less full of doubtful implicit assertions about chronology than the term "renaissance". But by convention, the term "middle ages" is usually thought of as preceding the era of the "renaissance", with certain cultural styles being labelled as "middle ages" while other cultural styles are labelled "renaissance". I'm happiest with the sequence:
The term "modernity" is as waffly as the rest; it's held to start either at the Reformation (1517) or Kantian Enlightenment (1750). Having read about Spinoza as the real start of the Enlightenment, in 1650, I prefer earlier rather than later -- such as 1517.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval -- "The Middle Ages (500-1500) was the middle period in a schematic division of European history into three 'ages': Classical civilization, the Middle Ages, and Modern Civilization. It is commonly considered as having lasted from the end of the Western Roman Empire (5th century) until the rise of national monarchies and the beginnings of demographic and economic renewal after the Black Death, European overseas exploration and the cultural revival known as the Renaissance around the 15th century as well as the Protestant Reformation starting 1517."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodization -- "Periodization is the attempt to categorize or divide historical time into discrete named blocks. Periodization is a complex problem in history. History is in fact continuous, and so all systems of periodization are to some extent arbitrary. It is nevertheless necessary to divide up history in order to make sense of the past and to articulate changes over time. Furthermore different nations and cultures experience different histories, and so will require different models of periodization. Periodizing labels are being challenged and redefined all the time. Thus an historian may claim that 'there was no such thing as the Renaissance', while others will defend the concept. The reasons for this are complex. Periodizing blocks will inevitably overlap, or even seemingly contradict one another. Furthermore, certain periodizing concepts only apply in specific conditions. Some have a cultural usage (such the ' Romantic period'), others refer to historical events ('the Inter War years: 1918-1939'), yet others are defined by decimal numbering systems ('the 1960s', 'The Seventeenth Century'). Others are named from influential or talismanic individuals (the Victorian period, the Elizabethan period, the Napoleonic Era)."
"Most professional historians ... now refer to the historical 'period' commonly known as The Renaissance as the Early Modern period."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance -- "During the last quarter of the 20th century, however, more and more scholars began to take a view that the Renaissance was perhaps only one of many such movements. This was in large part due to the work of historians like Charles H. Haskins, who made convincing cases for a "Renaissance of the 12th century," as well as by historians arguing for a "Carolingian renaissance." Both of these concepts are now accepted by the scholarly community at large; as a result, the present trend among historians is to discuss each so-called renaissance in more particular terms, e.g., the Italian Renaissance, the English Renaissance, etc. This terminology is particularly useful because it eliminates the need for fitting "The renaissance" into a chronology that previously held that it was preceded by the Middle Ages and followed by the Reformation, which was sometimes patently false.[??] The entire period is now more often replaced by the term 'Early Modern' in the practice of historians." "The second half of the Renaissance is also the period of the Reformation."
Conventional chronology -- my summary/collection (what a mess, no wonder named eras seem so confusing: they are indeed confused)
BCE-476 CE - Ancient or Classical era: (end of Greek Dark Ages to end of
313 BCE-27 BCE - Hellenistic era (death of Alexander the Great to ascension of Augustus Caesar)
476-1000 - Early Middle Ages
476-1300 - Medieval era
500-1000 - Dark Ages
500-1500 - Dark Ages
500-1500 - Middle Ages
1000-1500 - Late Middle Ages
1300-1600 - Early Modern Period
1300-1600 - Renaissance era
1517-1600 - Reformation era
1700-1800 - Enlightenment era
1575-1950 - Modern era
1750-1950 - Modern era
1950-2100 - Postmodern era
is most suspect for phantom years?
Between the fall of
The widest imaginable is deleting the years 476-1525, so that the year 1525 is just the year 476, relabelled. Which deletion feels most natural? I don't know any history, but how many centuries does it feel like there were, to me, between the year called 476 and the year called 1525? I don't know why Johnson identifies the years 700-1400 as the range to be deleted: what's so real and certain and tangible about the years up to 650, or the years back to 1450? Did he just pull 700 and 1400 out of a hat?
What drew Edwin Johnson to name *these* years as the endpoints in his near-aside in his 1894 book "The Pauline Epistles - Re-studied and Explained"; why does he feel that the years outside 700-1400 pass his test of perspectival realism, while the years inside that range fail his test? How serious is he about the particular endpoint years of 700 and 1400?
Should we delete fewer centuries, such as 614-911 per Illig/Topper, or why can't we go ahead and delete all the years between 476 and 1525, if Johnson's proposal of deletion is such a good idea -- why stop at deleting the years 700-1400; why not push the start point back to 476, in addition to pulling the end point to 1525 (as Johnson often does in his book)?
We need a
little elbow room in between 476 and 1525 (fall of
o Illig and Topper say we need 750 years between 476 and 1525; (1050-(911-614)) = conventional 1050 - 297 phantom years = 753 years
o Johnson says we need to fit just 350 years between 476 and 1525; (1050-700)
o The conventional chronology packs this period with a full 1050 years,
o I nuke it all away for our convenience by declaring a duration of 0 years.
I sympathize with Johnson: given how very similar the late middle ages or very early modern or renaissance thinking is to the thinking of 250-476 CE, it seems to me that there was only a little development, about 350 years worth, not the conventional massive 1050 years worth of history, nor even Illig/Topper's 753 years worth of events and development transpiring. If we are going to delete 700 years, why delete the 700 phantom years called '700-1400' -- why not delete the 700 phantom years called '476-1176' instead?
Putting the same question another way, why do the 222 years 476-700, implicitly favored and affirmed by Johnson, have any better claim to reality than the 222 years 1178-1400, which Johnson deletes as the last part of his range?
This is a good example of how Johnson's book leaves one highly puzzled even after reading it three times: he convincingly demolishes the conventional chronology, but provides no clear statement of why he picks the end years of 700 and 1400 as the phantom range of years to be deleted, or why he feels that there positively were 350 years we need to retain, the actual years between the year we call '476' and the year we call '1525'. The clearest way to portray his model is probably:
years up to 476 (fall of
2. The 350-year period usually called '477-1525', usually exagerrated as lasting 1050 years long, but now shortened by 700 years by Johnson by removing the specific years 700-1400.
3. The years 1525 and beyond.
Johnson grants reality to the years conventionally called '476-700' and '1400-1525', but it's not clear why those periods pass his realism test, while the years between those periods, the years called '700-1400', fail his realism-perspective test.
Johnson's takeaway point is expressed most clearly as:
not 1,050 years between the fall of
Sure, there were 1,050 years between those events -- but these years were only 4 months long, each. (3x350=1050) Johnson removes exactly 2/3 (700 years) of the 1050-year duration between 476 and 1525. Two out of three years between 476 and 1525 didn't exist -- regardless of what numbers you put on the years between the endpoint dates.
The period between 467 and 1525 was only a third as long as the conventional 'Neo-Eusebian' chronology claims. The Church and monasteries (and Rabbis and Imams?) claimed that the interval was 1,050 years long, but 700 of those years were merely phantasmic inventions; only 350 of those years actually existed (or, each of those 1,050 'years' were only periods 4 months in duration).
Ages (500-1500) indeed existed, but that era was actually only 300 years long,
not 1000 years long; 700 phantom years were added in. Johnson's proposed chronology amounts to
retaining the Middle Ages between 476 and 1525, or 500 and 1500, but only as a
350- or 300-year period. Between
During that third of a millenium, out of Western esotericism, folk-mystic Christianity was born, finally in the end (around 1533) leading to the invention of the Jesus and Paul pseudo-historical lifestories, back-projected and antedated to the years after Augustus, which were then pushed even further back into seeming antiquity by fabricating and inserting 700 phantom years.
In explaining the origin of Christianity, it's necessary to be radically skeptical about timing, years, chronology, false history, false chronology.
If Christianity started around 300 CE, then we want to look for a godman hero on a cross before 300.
If Christianity started around 30 CE, then we want to look for a godman hero on a cross before 30.
We must use greatest caution in our assumptions about what it means to have a non-Jesus religious cross "before the Christian use of the cross". It is very much the central issue, not something we can simply assume, *when* the "Christian use of the cross" began.
The use of the cross gradually began, from 100 BCE if not earlier, and *eventually* became known in Europe as the Christian cross, but did this happen suddenly around year 50, or slowly between 100 BCE and 300 CE, with many variations, formations, interpretations, traditions, and innovations gradually coalescing?
Why does anyone want to find a "precedent for the cross"? The tau cross became a religious symbol uniquely identified in Western Culture with the Jesus figure.
If we find religious crosses before or after the claimed (30 CE) or actual (suppose 200 CE) time of formation and definition of Christianity as "cross of Jesus", this overabundance and multiplicity of religious crosses weakens the singleness of Jesus that is inherent in the Historical Jesus proposal.
Dick Richardson wrote:
>Be careful when reading gnosticism, for like all religions of priestcraft the best has been eliminated and the worst is all invented to scare the sh*t out of people in order to wield power over them.
Also, much mystic writing is humorous tall-tales with deliberate misleading and double-entendre, and ironic inversion such as "the lower mind is drunken; we must become sober for the first time".
>Keep in mind also that most of the mystics who truly did discover the gnosis of the transcendent realm were only half-baked mystics
This agrees with what I've written in this discussion group. All forms of esoteric allegory are more or less distorted expressions of transcendent truth.
An early issue of Gnosis magazine, such as #2 or #3, fielded letters to the editor which made the mistake of conceiving of gnosis as Gnosticism in the narrowest sense possible, and criticizing gnosticism with a broad brush based on silently assuming a particular version of Gnosticism (world-hating, ascetic, unappealing).
That's a common tactic: broadly dismiss a large area by silently reducing it to a particularly flawed, selected, narrow definition, like saying that all psychoactive "drugs" should be suppressed because drugs -- now suddenly reduced and redefined to dirty street heroin -- are dangerous.
Similarly, some vague broad thing "Christianity" is dismissed in scorched-earth broad terms, by pointing to specific reprehensible qualities or versions. Beware of deliberately sloppy generalization that covertly conflates broad and narrow definitions. An issue of Gnosis, such as the Middle Ages issue, dismisses the idea of "dualistic" Cathar heretics as utterly unfounded; the accusation of dualism and sexual deviance only says something about the standard Catholic official accusation, and says nothing credible whatsoever about the actual beliefs and practices of the accused.
It's automatic for the official Church to accuse any and all enemies of the standard shocking offenses; all that we know about the accused is that they were opposed by the official Church -- we don't positively know anything about their beliefs. The accusations are empty and totally generic, indicating nothing at all about the actual beliefs of the groups.
All the "facts" about the history of Western religion should be held completely in doubt and taken with a huge grain of salt; total skepticism about all the established historical facts is the only reasonable starting point in this subject area. All we have is official claims and official assertions, official stories, never the underlying reality. The credibility of the official history is exactly nil; we cannot take *any* of the proclaimed facts for granted.
It's all claims, claims, and more claims, a wall of claims. One thing we can be certain of is that the official story has every reason to prefer distortion and lies and fabrication and forgery over the truth; the truth is entirely a liability from the point of view of the officials, just as with today's situation with psychoactive drugs: the officials hate reality and truth; to their mentality, reality and truth are nothing but impediments, liabilities, and obstacles to be conquered, defeated, and done away with.
They have every reason to lie, to distort, to fabricate. The most absurd and foolish thing is to investigate why the bunk Ecstasy research was conducted -- don't these exposers realize yet that *all* the anti-drug research is 100% lies and corruption? Here is a giant dragon dumping its toxic waste all over the planet, and these foolish exposers of this one bunk Ecstasy research study think they are revealing something when they point out that one little dropping from the dragon stinks -- as though the rest of the dragon and its products were healthy and functioning fine.
That's the old pattern of "debunking" one tiny aspect while leaving the entire overall bogus framework in place. The entire framework of official Church version of history is entirely lies, entirely bunk, with zero trustworthiness or worse; the only sense in which it is trustworthy is negative: you can be *sure* that the official Church version of history is driven by lies, fabrication, invention, forgery, artifice, dissimulation, and deception, just the same as the phony war on drugs, where *phony* is the primary characteristic of the whole.
Church version of history is not mistaken on one or two isolated points; the whole story is characterized first of all by phoniness throughout. Phoniness and complete distortion is the rule, not the exception.
I give up all hope for our ever knowing the reality of religious history or the reality about psychoactive drugs, when the people who are supposedly progressive and enlightened reformers carelessly and uncritically take for granted the overall correctness of the official framework as though it has only a couple errors -- when in reality the entirety is error, evil, lies, deception all throughout down to the very core. They foolishly battle the mere tip of the iceberg, as though that could make the slightest difference.
What's needed is a thousand, a million times the skepticism and debunking, like the difference between the coverage of cannabis in a mainstream magazine versus Jonathan Ott's truly enlightened and correct view of the matter. Or the difference between the tepid liberal "revision" of Christian origins, versus the views of the more extreme among the Dutch Radical Critics.
This must be a standard feeling of revulsion felt by radicalism against "tepid and insidious" liberalism, like how drug-policy libertarians shudder at the faux-progressivism of the Democrat position; the latter's notion of progressivism is a kinder, gentler absolute suppression of psychoactives.
gotten to the point in
>they had not know the bit which brought it all back to earth again. Two of the books which I wrote were on this very theme. Thus it is that approximately one third of all Gnostic literature is spot on true according to direct human experience, but the other three quarters is all junk, lies and diatribe.
90% of all esotericism and mysticism and religion is junk, lies, confusion, literalism, diatribe, and distortion. Discernment and judgment are essential requirements for the modern searcher after truth in these ancient schools. Even the mystics who use entheogens may be way off-base on their own interpretations of their own allegorical traditions, and may remain hopelessly blinded by chronic literalist thinking.
It's not nearly enough for us to understand what actual ancient or medieval mystics thought; we must do better than them and correct their half-baked views and interpretations of their own tradition. For example, the question is not "What did the medievals who tripped on datura and cannabis and mushrooms think the meaning of the Cross is", but rather, "What *should* they have thought the Cross meant", or "What is the most coherent view of the Cross?"
The logical language of allegoricism must be the dictator of meaning; the garbled confusions of past thinkers cannot be the ultimate measure and arbiter: the systemic logic of the allegory components system itself must be the final arbiter: not "What did they think of the allegory system?", but rather, "What did the allegory system they were examining logically lead to?" This is the opposite of reader-response theory.
The true ultimate meaning lies in systematic symbolic logic itself, not in the vague and confused attempts of previous thinkers to understand that system. The System is born in individual minds but should not be limited to those minds; the scriptures are inspired even though they were given birth by flawed and confused minds.
Merlin of Exmoor wrote:
>Obviously a non mystic could not know which bits are true and which bits are not - it can only be known from the hindsight of first hand experience.
>If you are truly interested in the actual gnosis and what it reveals then my site will be up and running soon - www.psychognosis.net.
>Don't believe everything which your read over there about the Brits - the term is British by the way - and they are influenced by no sod - let alone ten a penny writers and actors, sh*t bags and false guru's - we eat them for breakfast deary.
Here are some starting points for researching the proposals that the Early Middle Ages didn't exist, and various studies of the falsification of history.
There are many crackpot theories, such as that Jesus didn't exist, or that all continents were once joined, or that heavier-than-air flight is possible, or that time and free will are illusory, or that drugs have always been the inspirational wellspring for religions. Why should the crackpot theory that the early middle ages didn't exist warrant any discussion in the discussion group considering the historicity of Jesus?
Radical Critic Edwin Johnson wrote an important work, Antiqua Mater, in 1887, which included a little questioning of Paul's historicity, and then wrote in 1894 (7 years later) "The Pauline Epistles: Re-studied and Explained", which started by questioning the historicity of all of Paul's epistles, and continued on to question the reality and existence of all of European history prior to the invention of the printing press.
My modified version of the theory of Tradition is that, prior to the Enlightenment, no one believed in the modern literalist version of Jesus; they entirely didn't think about Christianity in such mundane terms; it was essentially all concerned with mystic experiencing and derived from it, theological doctrine.
According to the modern story, the ancients were stupid and supernaturalist, believing in Christian miracles, while moderns are smart and skeptical, and know that the Bible just reports materialist goings-on, embellished. The truth is the opposite: the ancients were smart, knowing that Christianity was basically mystic-state mythic allegory; the moderns are stupid, mistaking Christianity for literalist claims and projecting their own stupid, clueless literalism onto the pre-Enlightenment era.
Could someone please summarize these theories of falsification of history? I can't figure out what to make of them. I'm a theoretical systematizer of mystic experiencing and allegorical metaphor, not a bean-counter of historical studies.
Johnson: The Pauline Epistles: Re-studied and Explained,
Johnson's radical late work. Anticipates theories of Heribert Illig and Uwe Topper.
Proposes that several centuries before the printing press didn't exist.
If I understand Johnson, combined with the Radikalkritik site, the sequence of writings was actually:
Writings of the early Christian fathers
The Gospels (as complete compositions)
because the early writings are silent about Paul and about the Gospels, and the Pauline writings were silent about the Gospels.
Edwin Johnson also wrote Antiqua Mater, relevant to the Quest for the (dissolving and vanishing) Historical Paul:
-- 1887 -- "The reader may practically confine himself to Justin of
Neapolis as a dated witness from the middle of the second century. He knows no
authoritative writings except the Old Testament; he had neither our ‘Gospels’
nor our Pauline writings; his imagination was a blank where our own is filled
with vivid pictures of the activity of Jesus and of Paul. ... The history of the Church and of its
dogmas properly begins with the period of the Antonines, 138 — 180 A.D. Here we
find ourselves still in the midst of a legendary atmosphere. The foundations of
the ‘Ecclesia,’ in the new sense, are being laid upon the Rock-man, and the
The Large Action
"As a result of the many interesting mosaic chapters (s. table of contents) an exciting overall view arises to the conditions of the present/immediate discussion with many new, often surprising aspects, which energize for thinking, e.g. over it, whether at all our time calculation is correct, we many well-known, but legendary historical persons spareless to paint should whether our religious conceptions have not nevertheless completely different roots and not nevertheless only many later developed, which applies to all 3 large "book religions" then, but above all whether not everything that we believed to know was based to provided writing certifications in the long run on only in the Renaissance and in the Humanismus and was formed after certain interests and claims to power."
Incidentally, here is a good cover picture of "Was Jesus Caesar?"
Edwin Johnson, a Radical Advocate of the Chronology Criticism
I made a few minor cleanups to the translation below -m.hoffman
Century were there in
Some sentences therein sound like my own in my book "The Large Action" (Tübingen 1998), without I could praise myself Johnson to have read ["without my even having discovered the 19th-Century innovative works by Johnson"?]. A theologian, who represents the radical criticism in Berlin after Dutch school, Dr. Hermann Detering, referred me recently to this book [Edwin Johnson's book "The Pauline Epistles", 1894], of which it says on its web page (www.radikalkritik.de), it represents just as radical criticism as from Illig and Topper.
However Illig is far overtaxed with this probably-meant evaluation, because its 296 (297) years, which he cuts out in the Middle Ages, can not measure with Johnson's certainty that 1500 years church history are too much. Radically the historical criticism of Heinsohn and Illig is main for the steinzeit and the beginnings of history ("Sumerer ", old Egyptians, early Perser etc..)
Johnson's realizations fit better the radical statements of Jean Hardouin, Wilhelm Kammeier und Christoph Marx. In view of the accuracy and the Durchblicks of this research work, which Johnson submitted more than hundred years ago, many results of our chronology criticism of the last decades find an important additional argumentative support.
Johnson recognizes for example that also 16th Century still no firm data possesses; the earliest useful date in England is 1533 (P. 9, last exp., I quote after the Internet version, used the other page numbers than the original, whereby these are always indicated).
in the following decades a reliable dating system begins in
first language of the church was, not Greek (P. 12, center and repeatedly), and
the church developed not in the Orient, but in
The literary secondary sources, which Johnson uses, are unfortunately only scarcely mentioned, there it mainly on original documents 16. Century falls back. It knew however the writings of Jean Hardouin (P. 20 center), who I only break-by the piece read could, and speaks of a board round (P. 19 center) with director and implementing monks, as it had sketched comb eggs with the term "large action", without the latter would have seen the implementing persons in such sharpness.
Also haste with the production of the Bible - at least the new will - represented Johnson compellingly and this as argument for their recent age used (P. 33 center), completely like I 1998 wrote and in "falsifications of history" (2001, P. 240) quotes, where I outline the race between the Spaniards and Erasmus of Rotterdam: "then the version of the Erasmus is almost the so hot looked for original text of the Bible." If I would have known Johnson, I would have inserted myself the word "almost" to save to be able and a reference to its work.
It is amazing, like many theologians and scholars looks through had and in this enlightened age, the second half 19. Century, their research published. They were read and fought, hushed up by no means.
Johnson did not begin as a chronology critic, but by examining realistically the holy writing in the follow-up of Baur and Harnack. Its first large book is ANTIQUA MOULD, A Study OF Christian Origins (Truebner and CO, London 1887). Therein it examines the church texts alleged 2. Century and it recognizes that they must be older not younger, but than the drawing up of the new will.
In this earlier work Edwin Johnson holds still the critical point of view of well-known theologians such as D F. Strauss, Ferdinand Christian Baur and Adolf Harnack, which rejected or at least questioned the historicity of the Biblical reports very critically. Genuine chronological doubts did not emerge yet. Nevertheless we can use some passages for our work, because they are valuable without chronological corrections also, there it the relative pre and afterwards the Ebioniten, Gnostiker etc. to make clear.
In its later book published, "The Pauline of Epistles" (at this time the professor is already emeritiert) the chronology criticism is fully spread seven years, in a sharpness, as it had to be intolerable its contemporaries. After it published numerous writings with this new tenor and harvested harsche criticism, it summarizes now its thoughts in a discussion of the Paulusbriefe, which are the result of its historical-critical life work, and which looks in a revolutionary manner:
The Christian church developed in the benediktinischen monasteries of France (Paris and Lyon) around 1500, which became catholic church fathers by incompetent monks written, which is new will as consequence of it developed. There are no older texts, and contents betray the time: Beginning of the printing.
That is indicated as well known as 1460, and already in the next twenty years first Bibles are to have been printed. If all were back dated later these Bibles, which Johnson at least suggest, I would have to correct the chronological acceptance of Johnson around approximately fifty years.
became hellhoerig here and tried, my version that it in 12. Jh. a first
beginning of Christian religion to have given could to save. But that is not easy
in relation to the knowledge of a theologian, who represented the truth, and
which reads with humor and in the consciousness of its weaknesses: The
reformation Martin Luther was the first attempt to down-struggle the rising
catholic church of
which is papacy in
chronology critics Johnson developed, whether he considered e.g.
The most important thoughts Johnsons seem to be me the following:
Before the Tridentini council (alleged starting from 1545 in Tirol and north Italy) there was still no Vulgata, at least no complete or recognized version of latin Bible. In the following twenty years it develops only. Luther's portion of the Bible creation is enormously, particularly in the letters of the Paulus, which reflects the controversy between rivaling Benediktinern and Augustinern etc. and therefore so complex, contradictory and incomprehensible are. Also some Augustinus texts might come from Luther or its environment.
Since however the text of the Tridentinums was written by Hardouin, we do not know again, what was really decided at that time. Nevertheless - so Johnson - he tells us the whole procedure of the board round. That must probably be because of it that the truth could not be masked anyway, at least not for theologians. And the people did not read the decrees of the Tridentinums.
From Johnson it follows that "reformed" a moenchische movement were, which one can call late form of the Urchristentums perhaps two generations after emergence of the Christianity, which for Johnson not before center "15. Century "to have been can. The catholic church developed only as reaction in addition, evenly on the Tridentinum. Here table "stood for the" round, which Johnson uses as term for the "large action".
When earliest date for trustworthy messages from the time of the reawakening of the sciences, to which time of the printing indicates, Johnson several times 1533, although it expresses itself carefully, because it does not know exactly, when this year lies. It uses dear of terms like "Tudor time", king Heinrich VIIITH from England etc.. About at that time must have been written Beda and Chaucer, the church fathers and the new will. It knows also the monasteries, where such work was made: Monte Cassino and Bobbio, Fulda, pc. Irenaeus of Lyon and above all pc. Dénis and pc. Germains of Paris, even knows some the participants (the notorious abbott Tritheim belonged naturally to it), and does not save not with admiration for this achievement, whereby he does not verhehlt however that he feels lies of this order of magnitude unworthily for our culture, exactly the same as he the continuation of these lies by today's scholars sharply condemned (P. 91-92). ...
For the rest of the above page in translation, submit sections of the webpage for translation.-mh
Sensation: A Cause for the Falsification of the Medieval Time Calculation Found
Isaac Newton Shortened Greek History by 300 Years
The criticism at the validity of our historical numbers, which is stated recently with sharpness by the Zeitrekonstrukteure - all in front Marx, Heinsohn, Illig and Gabowitsch -, is not new. One of the largest scientists of the clearing-up age, Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727), had concerned itself and had maintained 40 years long with the problem of the chronology that the historical data recognized at that time lay around several centuries too highly. Above all the highlights of the classical Greeks would have to be moved close around 300 years more near to us.
1998 had given Eugen Gabowitsch, lively by Morosow and Fomenko, in the citizen of Berlin historical salon a reference to Newton's chronology work, whereby he quoted also the book of the American's F. E. Manuel (1963). Following I would like to submit a summary of the Newton's work here to these references.
The controversy over the dating of the antiquity had seized Christian Europe after the Gregorian calendar reform of 1582 far circles. The works of Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609) became fundamental, the son of the famous Julius Scaliger. Its first book, directly after the calendar reform published, specified for all mark the measure of the historical numerical data. All later Chronologen could change only in it herumdoktern, essentially however nothing more. The provenzalische catholic Nostradamus (1503-66) had already undertaken (in the letter to his son) the attempt to connect the generation register of the old person of will with astronomical back computations. By rejecting the numerical data (heaths) of the Varro approximately, he arrived with his new method at a at the beginning of the yearly counting: The first year of Adam was appropriate 4173 v. Chr.
1991-heute : A disagreement with the calibration fount publishing house developed, when Heribert Illig at the yearly meeting of the Chronologen spoke a thesis, which maintained the invention of 297 years in world history [the years 614 to 911 didn't exist?], i.e. in the early Middle Ages, in Berlin 1991. The end of this co-operation led to an intensified activity of the Mantis publishing house of Heribert Illig. The book about the "invented Middle Ages" appeared in extended version 1996 in the Econ publishing house and in so far 2 years several editions experienced. The thesis the "invented Middle Ages" seems on many humans obszoen to work. We place against the fact that it was the methodical "training for many years" in chronology questions to emotional less occupied topics, which it made possible to work on this so absurd thesis seeming in the first Hinsehen nevertheless seriously. A summary of the work of the "new historical school", which should appear actually still with calibration fount, came out 1992 as "chronology and Katstrophismus" in the Mantis publishing house and is at present out of print. It is planned to bring the old calibration fount titles out again whereby with "when lived the Pharaonen?" 1997 the first step one did. Until today 10 buchtitel appeared and approximately 90 different authors about 400 articles for the magazine of time jumps contributed.
1998 : Unbridgeable differences over methodology, contents and genesis of the chronology revision of the Middle Ages lead to a break between the Mantis publishing house and Uwe Topper. Consequently Uwe Topper publishes a book in October 1998 for the chronology of the Middle Ages in the grave blank publishing house. As sharp criticism is expressed both because of the publishing house choice (the grave blank publishing house is considered one of the rechtesten publishing houses of Germany) and because of the conscious Verschleierns and falsifying of the sources for the spoken considerations and thoughts. On 1 March 1999 to this problem a discussion meeting in the citizen of Berlin historical salon will take place (see in addition the appropriate date in the following section "activities in Berlin")
Search Web for "Heribert Illig"
The Invented Middle Ages: The Largest Time Falsification in History
Sep 1996 hardcover
walterbender wrote in October 2002: As history develops? Of the titles the Middle Ages invented by Heribert Illigs book "; The largest time falsification of history "affected so provokant me that I had to buy and read this book simply. One are safe, the book can the point of view extend. It lets become more critical. What is truth, which is falsification? And if it is a falsification, why it became falsified and whom it has used and on whose costs? If one does not know at the end of a book strong over 400 sides really whether everything which one to an important time period of history to know believed, is true or whether it simply around centuries later and besides piece a falsification developed for piece in documents and even buildings in centuries acts it is this welfare SAM, very welfare SAM even. - the book of Illig has aftereffects with attendance of museums, when reading history or perhaps nevertheless only stories? - however and that is particularly importantly, even with reads the current daily paper or a news magazine places itself one inevitably still more critical questions. If it is to have been possible, to always push how Illig represents extremely convincingly, in particular by its papers over building development of Sakralbauten to falsify in the center of the view the cathedral of Aachen, 300 years into history inside it is how easy then only possible small history around the today and now or the yesterday and with goals for morning or purposefully to manipulate the day after tomorrow the day before yesterday, facts and facts a little into a certain direction, until they are so far alienated that them with what is described at the edge something to do to only have? - I have something anyhow, since I read the book always in vain searched, a proof that Illigs are wrong statements. For me as a layman such a proof until today is missing. Isn't Illig right thus nevertheless and it gave lived time between 614 and 911, so its work thesis, but this time was later introduced, when the zeitzaehlung was used arbitrarily of the Ottonen? Didn't it give to Karl the large one really or it only none to traces received today in the form of coins and other articles left, contrary to the much in former times living Romans? Mankind would be it to be goennen, one, besides holy spoken, mass murderer less. One cause a reading of the book, which is unfortunately rather heavily digestible written over far passages, in any case: It sharpens the healthy in relation to distrust indigested and unueberprueft or for even not examinably a taking over, which one regards as fact knowledge.
Peter Gugerell commented: Totally or totally ingeniously, in any case moves interesting, 8 September 1999 Rezensentin/Rezensent: One of the however-funniest historical theories of the last time: The early Middle Ages do not have at all really existed to separate are an invention, a purposeful historical falsification. With that scarcely three centuries (from 614 to 911) also Karl the large one, the karolingische art, the wild Wikinger and much different one disappears. Which like a bad joke sounds, or like the disease picture psychologically of a disturbing, emerges as quite serious-meant and well argued theory. Heribert Illig can present very much material for the supporting of its thesis, and its conclusions are comprehensible and logical. That is not called that they must be also correct, probably however it seriously to be automatically taken must. Despite the very liquid style the book is not a completely light reading; Basic knowledge of medieval history and history of art should the reader bring along. But the trouble is worthwhile itself, because Illigs theory is not only confusing, but also very fascinatingly. (meanwhile also a continuation tape appeared: Heribert Illig: "who has at the clock turned".)
Bavaria and the Phantom Era: Archaeology Disproves Documents of the Early Middle Ages
Peter Gugerell wrote in Aug 2003: Monumentally, a future standard work -- That is a monumental, zweibaendiges work. It requires something tenacity when reading, but that is not critically meant: With this book it concerns around a fact collection, a complete (!) representation and discussion of all archaeological finds of the phantom time (614 - 912). Illig and Anwander created here a book, which will become probable a standard work with enormous diligence and energy. It requires previous knowledge in the area of the phantom time, and should only after Illigs earlier books be read - then however absolutely.
wollersbergerthomas wrote in Oct 2002: Indeed extensively -- Finally! Mr. Illig supplies detailiert investigated material to his phantom time thesis - the 300 years European early Middle Ages actually never took place; the year 614 would correspond the year to 911 after our current time calculation. The evaluation of the mittelaterlichen documents taken place in co-operation with Mr. Anwander is compared in detail with the archaeological finds for the entire Bavarian area. Here it shows up evenly that much was present actually never and only for the purpose of most diverse interests of power was invented. The book pleases me because of its detailedness; at the same time I recommend to bring along however a due portion of patience for everyone when completing. The 2-piece Schmoeker is to be read to some extent thickly and toughly. Who only times with the Phantomzeithese to make familiar wants is with "who has at the clock turned" from Heribert Illig better served.
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hardouin.html - Jean Hardouin (1646-1729) was a scholar of classical literature. In 1685 he published an edition of Pliny's Natural History. There was nothing unusual about the edition itself, which was considered to be of merit and very well edited. What was unusual was that despite being so knowledgeable about classical literature, Hardouin had very strange ideas about its origins. // According to Hardouin, the majority of classical Greek and Roman literature had not been produced by Greek and Roman authors. Instead, it had been forged during the Middle Ages by a group of Benedictine monks. He also argued that all extant Greek and Roman coins were forgeries. He never revealed why such a vast deception had occurred. He only declared, elliptically, that when he died the reason would be found written on a piece of paper the size of his hand. The reason, unfortunately, was never found."
Uwe Topper's comments about Wilhelm Kammeier's "The falsification of German history" (Leipzig 1935/Husum 1979)
The theories of no-Jesus, no-Paul/Apostles, and no-Early Middle Ages share a compatible spirit. Debaters of the historicity of Jesus should at least be aware of this. Hermann Detering is staying in the loop on this subject, and he's an important Radical Critic familiar with the no-Jesus theory.
Debating about dating is of central importance to the question of Jesus' historicity and to the broader yet fully relevant question of reconstructing the actual history of Christian origins. Therefore the general subject of time jumping in historical dating timelines is a topic that partly overlaps with and is relevant to the subject of Jesus' historicity -- especially when the subject of time jumping focuses specifically on the history of Christendom.
Detering saw this "new" time-jumping theory of Illig and crew, and pointed out to Uwe Topper, author of the book "Time Falsification", that the author of the important skeptical work Antiqua Mater, Edwin Johnson, proposed the same theory back in 1894, in "The Pauline Epistles: Re-studied and Explained".
I had been planning for a year to discuss Edwin Johnson's book "The Pauline Epistles" here because people have such conservative and diminutive notions of what it means to be "radical", it's like an argument between the liberal-conservatives and the conservative-liberals. Now with the historicity of the Apostles -- leg 2 of literalist Christianity -- being called into question lately, I decided to ask for views about Johnson's book "The Pauline Epistles".
When getting the URL for the online book, I noticed Detering's little comment in German "Anticipates theories of Heribert Illig and Uwe Topper". Searching on those names tonight revealed an entire new burgeoning area of theorizing of which I was completely unaware, addressing my wish to get more insight into what Johnson's "The Pauline Epistles" was getting at.
When I read Johnson's book carefully twice, I was still puzzled over what he was saying. That feeling was like that of a woman who visited the Jesus Mysteries Discussion group and was in a complete daze over the gist of the group (discussing whether a single individual kernel person existed, warranting the label of the Historical Jesus).
The last time I discovered a huge hot but circumscribed area of discussion like this was when I found popular discussion of recent books about Reformed theology.
There are many crackpot conspiracy theories to debunk. Many aspects of many of these crackpot theories fit together well. This discussion group is not appropriate for sustained discussion of the general subject of time jumps, but some limited amount of discussion is defensibly on-topic, because the period of Western religion before the printing press was richly packed with the heritage of Greco-Roman religion, which was likely more experiential, mystic, and allegorical than the Christianity of the modern era.
Heribert Illig has a new book, Who Turned the Clock Ahead? How 300 Years of History Were Invented, on the subject of time jumping in historical dating timelines. There are some good webpages in English.
>Bavaria and the Phantom Era: Archaeology Disproves Documents of the Early
>The 2-piece Schmoeker is to be read to some extent thickly and toughly. Who only times with the Phantomzeithese to make familiar wants is with "who has at the clock turned" from Heribert Illig better served.
Who Turned the Clock Ahead? How 300 Years of History Were Invented
>Search Web for "Heribert Illig"
Search Web for "Heribert Illig", pages in English only:
>>Forget about the year 2000, we still live in 1703
>>Our christian chronology is based on the calendar correction of pope Gregorius XIII. In the year 1582 10 days were skipped in order to synchronize the astronomic circumstances with the calendar. This correction did not take into account the mistake which had accumulated in the Julian calendar since the time of Julius Caesar (45 BC). It only corrected the mistake that accumulated since 300 A.D.
>>Specialists claim, that Gregorius refers to the council of Nicea (325 AD). At this council was either the calendar corrected or at least the equinox fixed to the 21st of march. But there is no evidence for this; all facts argue against it.
>>So the time between pope Gergorius XIII and Julius Caesar seems to be 300 years shorter than originally presumed. According to the thesis of Heribert Illig 297 years of fictious history have been inserted. For a fictious period of time - according to Illig from 614 to 911 - there cannot be authentic evidences. These centuries are also called the "Dark Ages" anyway for the historical deliveries are as rare as the archeological findings. Today we do not find any proof of colonization during the early Middle Ages in originally Roman cities. The historical sources are by no means contemporary, but have been written centuries later. Hundreds of Byzantinian towns seem to have been uninhabited during this time. The findings in islamc spain do not begin in 711 with the islamic conquest but not before the early 10th century - and so on.
>>If Heribert Illig's thesis is right, there must not be a single serious finding from that period of time. Therefore the rest of the findings dated back to this time had to be examined in detail.
Did the Early Middle Ages Really Exist?
Prof. Hans-Ulrich Niemitz
Forget about the year 2000, we still live in 1703
Computer scientist Markus Günther Kuhn writes at
>>A group of people around Heribert Illig present the provocative hypothesis that our historic timeline contains 300 years of phantom time (around 600 to 900 A.D.) that never happened physically. They provide interesting arguments that these dark ages with their distinct lack of documents, graves and buildings were made up a few hundred years later, when the modern A.D. year-numbering scheme was introduced, and that Karl the Great (Charlemagne) is a character of fiction.
>>Most of the detailed argumentation is only available in German at the moment, most notably in form of the recent books by Illig and Topper, but there is at least one earlier English paper by Prof. Hans-Ulrich Niemitz on the same subject, which focuses in particular on why C14 dating and dendrochronology might fail to confirm the conventional early medieval timeline. Illig's thesis is a matter of ongoing hot ... debate, especially in Germany and in various USENET groups. ...
>>The entire discussion suggests that the standards for evidence in pre-1200 history seem to be significantly weaker than what a scientifically trained outsider might naively have expected and commonly accepted school textbook "facts" mostly based on centuries old speculation and compromise interpretations of often faked documents. In any case, excellent exercise material for critical thinking.
Edwin Johnson: The Pauline Epistles: Re-studied and explained, London
http://www.radikalkritik.de/PaulEpistles.pdf - 99 pages
Johnson uses the questioning of the historicity of all of Paul's epistles as an example to call into doubt the reality and existence of all of European history prior to 1533.
The topic of "The New Chronology" seems to focus mostly on debunking the existence of the years 600-900 (Illig's years are 614-911). That is the mild, conservative, modest theory of adjusting our calendars. Edwin Johnson takes it to a radical extreme, which is why I have trouble grasping what Johnson is saying.
To understand Johnson, the more moderate hypothesis of repudiating the existence of the years 600-900 is an effective stepping stone. I instantly liked doing away with 600-900; that solves at once many cognitive dissonances I have had. Now I can be better equipped to grasp the possible ramifications of Johnson's more sweeping reconceptualization of history.
I'm bored, having figured out many things to my satisfaction about the real nature and origins of religion. A deeper study and a summary of Johnson's The Pauline Epistles may be just what I'm looking for to provide an intellectual challenge and shake open the way for further major paradigmatic shifts.
I hope you read, and encourage you to read, the few online resources about the nonexistence of the Dark Ages (the years 600-900), in order to then study the possible ramifications of Johnson's The Pauline Epistles, which seems to be surprising even to the would-be radicals who are putting forth the minor and slight calendar adjustment of eliminating the years 600-900. Johnson seems to propose their "new chronology" -- squared. The New Chronology proponents are being surprised and humbled upon discovering that Johnson was there first and puts their supposed radicalism to shame.
Johnson doesn't provide an effective summary of what exactly he is proposing. I won't know until my third thorough reading and summarization of Johnson, but it seems that he's saying -- at the extreme -- that the entire corpus of ancient Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian writings -- was written in the monasteries around 1550. Can someone please correct me on this summary of Johnson's hypothesis?
I am not firstly interested in proving or disproving the Illig/Topper theory that the Dark Ages 600-900 didn't exist. My driving motive is to find new ways for dating the authorship of Christian scriptures and writings, and to find new instances of questioning the historicity of figures, such as King Charlemagne.
I have believed since at least a year ago that no history in the Bible is literally true; it's all essentially mythic/mystic metaphor. Against the tendencies of the theorists of time reconstruction, the Bible stories are certainly not just for the purpose of writing invented histories in order to legitimate rulers and leaders. When one can read the language of mythic/mystic metaphor, a coherent actual religion is reflected in the writings.
Time reconstruction brings Western Esotericism much closer to Christianity; rather than an age-old strongly dominant Christianity, with suppressed resurgent undercurrents of Western Esotericism (alchemy, astrology, and magic). Time reconstruction puts these all now on more of the same level in terms of influence, popularity, authority, predominance, character, and age. It also brings them all closer together, Gnosticism with Hermeticism with Christianity.
Instead of the conventional history, moving from Christianity to Gnosticism, then a huge Christian-dominated Dark Ages, then the rediscovery of Hermeticism, eliminating the years 600-900 enables perceiving a seamless continuity of the whole grab bag: esoteric Christianity, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, mystic astrology, high magic, Jewish chariot/ascension mysticism, and high alchemy.
Doing away with the years 600-900 can support my mystic reading of Christian writings on Eucharist in the Middle Ages, a reading which recognizes the clear presence of authentic sacred eating and drinking which actually induces the Holy Spirit -- against the entheogen scholarship error which tends to shoot itself in the foot and diminish its own case by portraying authentic divine food as being only present way back 2000 years ago in Jesus' inner circle and in very minor, effectively suppressed alternative esoteric practices.
Against the current entheogen theory, I recognize authentic spirit- inducing divine food as being present loud and clear in more like a "mainstream" Middle Ages culture.
When people rail against 2000 years of strongly predominant literalist Christianity, they too shoot themselves in the foot and end up perpetuating the received paradigm, which is why the enemies of "Christianity", conceived monolithically, are their own worst enemies: they end up reifying the false history that the Church invented -- possibly invented very recently, such as 1550, according to Edwin Johnson.
Atheists love most dearly the Dark Ages, as a club to beat "Christianity" with, where the definition of "Christianity" is gullibly accepted as put forward by the official literalist orthodoxy.
Maybe the period between Julius Caesar and the Reformation was actually filled with only esoteric Christian practice, and the placebo Eucharist has only been in use since just before the Reformation era (1450).
Perhaps the Eusebian history was actually written around 1450-1550, back-projecting literalist Christianity over 1500 years, but the period between Julius Caesar and the Reformation was at least 300 years shorter, and was filled with proto-, esoteric, Gnostic Christianity (with a Eucharist that actually induced the Holy Spirit), rather than with literalist Christianity with its placebo Eucharist.
Johnson suggests that the old Augustine and Arian writings debating about freewill were largely or entirely fabricated around 1500, and that the figures of Augustine and Arius could be merely figureheads representing the doctrines of different coalitions of monasteries, aligned with rulers. I may be distorting Johnson's hypothesis to some degree.
A search on Uwe Topper Illig in English currently returns only 1 real hit, unbelievably, even though it's been a hot topic on the Net -- in German. If you want to read now about "Time reconstruction" in English, you'll have to do without any mentions of 'Illig' and 'Topper', to date.
Fortunately, machine translation works well enough to mostly decipher the results.
No one claims time reconstruction is a waste of time. It's insightful on the nature of historical theory and studies. Everyone should know about it; it's mind-expanding. The subject opens myriad possibilities for formulating new hypotheses about dating and authorship of Christianity-related writings.
It's a huge rich mess of new possibilities to sort out, like the mess one would have to sort out after laying out all the (supposedly) "early" Christian writings for the purpose of looking for recognition of a historical Jesus, and then one day, to one's surprise, observing by accident that these writings lack any awareness of the Paul figure -- as happened so recently in the 1800's.
http://www.egodeath.com/newchronology.htm - Illig, Topper, Johnson
Machine translation with some cleanup from Michael Hoffman:
The Christian church was created only in approximately in the 12th Century in France. It had to be portrayed as older than comparable religions, to be taken seriously. So it backdated the story of its emergence and of the fairy tale about Jesus. So also the emergence of the Bible is to be understood: The Jews wrote the Torah around the 12th Century and later. It wasn't permitted to concern it, of course, now that the fabricated Christian church could not show a comparable work.
Thus one took the Jewish Torah to short hand as collecting main (it is kept in the Old Testament will still quite good) and tinkered, thereby constructing, the Bible together. Already one had a historiography with an impact (wimmelt, to it someone however hardly ever took to impact of contradictions only in such a way, because doubts about the "word of God" were punished on the hardest) and invented the proof for the "true age" of the church. There is actually not an earlier version of the Bible, or parts of it. Even the notoriously famous Qumran scrolls only in first joy-overshot [?] into the time briefly after Christ dated. The Bible and the Qumran scrolls actually originated in the Middle Ages.
An artificially antedated history, filled up with (Christian) fantasy kings, Popes and heroes, created for example also the justification, Spain of the Islam (the supposed "re-conquering" of Spain, although there was no Christianity there before.
The Middle Ages - and also times "delivered" before it - are with the historians (unlike the popular readership) admits to extensive and comprehensive falsification actions, which usually served the Glory or the claim to power of a ruler or the church. Even respectable scientists hold the opinion that hardly an excessive quantity of evidence can be regarded as genuine or true. As already for example Wattenbach/Duemmler/Huf in its standard works determine, he knows that these points of the historians are on his side.
What should be managed with a comprehensive falsification action of history? Obviously it concerned pure exercise of power of the church, because it was predominantly the driving strength of the falsifications. And that such an falsification action broadly put on cannot take place completely smoothly and error free, it actually provides numerous examples.
Documents in large yardstick were not only falsified (by one it for example as copies of "missing person" Original designated, it however never gave), but also inscriptions to churches, or even gravestones. Many documents are well-known, in which names and data were actually entered afterwards completely obviously later. I wait still for the fact that finally someone with the Roman Reich and it clears up there carried, where it belongs: into the waste-paper basket of world history. Because there are likewise many wrong statements, contradictions and wrong datings here as over the Middle Ages.
About our friend Tacitus we know in the meantime that it is a fictitious shape. And with it its works, on those nearly our whole roemische (and thus European) history constructs. The works of Tacitus were written in the Middle Ages in the monastery Corvey. Nevertheless no one so far dares doubt the Roman Empire. And it is completely obvious nevertheless for a historically untrained layman that here somewhat cannot be correct: Does one compare once the ? roemischen? with the rulers of the?Heiligen Roman realm? The Middle Ages it is astonishing their reigns are obviously a temporal duplication. Wouldn't that be a topic for Uwe Topper?
Just to remind people that time reconstruction is fully a matter of debate at this point, here is one book that seems to be intended to disprove Illig's elimination of the Dark Ages.
The precision of the precession
Illig's medieval phantom time from astronomical view
With a contribution by Thomas Schmidt
>>illig precession equinoxes "300 year fake" ... site addresses Illig's claim but points out that the movement of the stars do not point to any missing 300 years.
The phrase 'points out' is polemically charged and takes positions. 'Claims, argues, and seeks to demonstrate' would be more neutral. To say 'points out' is to imply that one has read the book and is in agreement with it.
>>The site links to a "bitter" reply from Illig, but it's in german and the link doesn't work.
It is too early in the English-speaking world to take sides and draw even tentative conclusions other than the lesson that our chronology, our map of how many past centuries there were, and what happened in them, is not founded on stable bedrock. It's too bad the books by Uwe Topper and Heribert Illig are German-language only.
The New Chronology: The Dark Ages Didn't Exist
>> In google type in "illig" and "precession" (i.e. of equinoxes).
>> one hit is titled "300 year fake". This site addresses Illig's claim but points out that the movement of the stars do not point to any missing 300 years.
>>The site links to a "bitter" reply from Illig, but it's in german and the link doesn't work.
>If you want to , i can translate it. (i'm a native German speaker.)
Even a 1-paragraph summary of Illig's reply in English would be great.
New Web page:
The New Chronology: The Dark Ages or Middle Ages Didn't Exist
Includes books, Web pages, and searches.
Some theorists of revisionist chronology assert that the Arabs preserved the astrognosis writings for 300 years less than claimed by the established chronology.
I am only beginning to study the New Chronology theory. http://www.egodeath.com/newchronology.htm It's almost all in German at this point -- I am just beginning to scope it out, looking for English webpages and machine-translating the German webpages. I'm also just beginning to study the history of mystic astrology. I know little about the history of Roman to Arab to Renaissance history and transmission of texts. If I knew anything more, I would write it, insofar as it's on-topic.
I'm learning Western Esotericism studies; I am currently making a $180 decision whether to order the remaining issues for my Gnosis magazine collection before they are shredded for good.
I am extremely interested in the theory of paradigms. Paradigms are everything; everything depends upon interpretive frameworks for organizing data and asking questions. Nevertheless, I'm not a radical relativist; I think good sense leads the way, even though there's no formally clear basis for "good sense".
Occam's razor is paradigm-dependent. The orthodox Christian assessment is that Occam's razor dictates concluding that literalist Christianity came first, and then Gnostic Christianity came second. Radical scholarship makes an assessment that Occam's razor dictates concluding that Gnostic Christianity came first, and then literalist Christianity came second.
From the literalist Christianity paradigm, some three hypotheses are involved in the orthodox Eusebian history, while some fifteen hypotheses are involved in the Radical assertion of the priority of gnostic Christianity. From the point of view of the Radical paradigm, one's model of history is far simpler and more plausible and sober if one accepts the priority of gnostic Christianity, with literalist Christianity as a later, deviant, degenerated form driven by power-mongering hierarchy-builders.
Incommensurable paradigms result in argument about which paradigm has the fewest hypotheses; in the end, it may amount to a beauty contest, an aesthetic judgment call.
James wrote (paraphrased):
>>The 1510 date is a lot more implausible for creating the pre-500 corpus of early Christian writings. This is the major problem. Thousands of papyruses were discovered around the 1890s, which amazed everyone, since until then the NT books were the only books written in what we now call Koine (common) Greek. Until then, the NT language ("barbarous Greek" as Johnson calls it) was thought to be Greek badly written by people whose first language was Aramaic, or a "special" language invented by God to convey his Truth.
>>Now we know that it was a real dialect, the common dialect, a simplified, pidgin Greek used throughout the area. So if the NT was written (forged or not) in 180, it was written in the language used by the people, both writers and readers. But if it was written in 1510, the forgers would have written them in Hebrew or Latin or Greek. They didn't even know Koine existed, much less how to write it.
>>It is implausible, borderline impossible that a corpus was forged in Koine Greek in 1510. How plausible would it then be to claim that the first set of manuscripts were not only written by one guy as fiction, but that he made up a then-unknown language, which actually existed unbeknownst to him, but known now to us? How could the monks have accidentally reproduced the actual Koine grammar and vocabulary?
doesn't assert that they accidentally reproduced Koine; they may have had
examples of it. I don't currently see
this as the main or a major problem. Is
it so hard to think of how Johnson would respond? Is his theory so dependent on the Koine
issue? Why wouldn't the monasteries of
1510 have known about Koine? Also keep
in mind that Johnson removes 700 phantom years, leaving only 350 years between
the fall of
Why is it implausible that the monks of 1510 knew about Koine and forged in Koine? Aren't many of the "known forgeries" written in Koine? Understanding Koine was a surprise to the scholars of 1890, but would the monks of 1510 have been surprised? Were all the authentically ancient writings in Koine, while the late forgeries were all written in Greek? I assume that all the supposedly authentically ancient writings *and* all the forgeries were written in Koine.
I don't follow the train of argument to be able to see a major or minor problem here involving the monks' knowledge of Koine. Johnson may have been mistaken in labelling Koine as barbarous Greek. He does seem to consider it significant, to argue that the works were composed in Latin (therefore late) and then translated into awful Greek, which scholars now hold to be decent Koine.
But I don't see the Koine vs. awful Greek issue to be anything more than incidental, though Johnson treats it as an important clue based on the assumption of awful Greek. It seems like a minor peripheral issue to me, though Johnson treats it as significant evidence. So perhaps it turns out that the corpus was written in decent Koine rather than awful Greek: how does that make it implausible that the corpus was written in 1510 rather than pre-500?
What is so difficult about monks in 1510 forging in Koine? Aren't the many monkish writings that scholars consider late forgeries held to have been written in Koine around 1500?
Study Version of Edwin Johnson's "The Pauline Epistles - Re-Studied and Explained", 1894
Reformatted copy for increased comprehensibility. Proposes that the years 700-1400 didn't exist, and that Christianity, the "early" Christian texts, Paul, the Gospels, the Church Fathers, the Dark Ages, and the Middle Ages were literary inventions fabricated in competing monasteries around 1500.
Takes a little while to load:
Visual comparison of the 3rd century BCE Achaean League coin "Chi-Alpha" symbol with two 4th century CE "Chi-Rho" symbols:
The reason the cross was not used is because Christianity wasn't dreamed up until well after the end of antiquity in 476. All "early" writings are much later forgeries, back-projected by many centuries. All evidence we have is literary, and that is forged and back-dated. The origins of Christianity lie in the Medieval or Renaissance era, which happened only shortly after the fall of Rome. The center of gravity and origin of Christianity as a canonical formal institution is the Medieval and Renaissance era, *not* late antiquity (50 BC--476 CE).
The canon was established around the year we call 1525, not 180. All the battle between gnostics and orthodoxy actually occurred prior to and during the Reformation, and was falsely back-projected into Jewish and Roman antiquity, which was then illusorily pushed even further back into the venerable Past by inserting some number of invented centuries.
The New Chronology: The Dark Ages Didn't Exist -- time falsification, Edwin Johnson, Heribert Illig, Uwe Topper, Hans-Ulrich Niemitz, Christoph Marx, Jean Hardouin, Wilhelm Kammeier
Edwin Johnson, A Radical Advocate of Chronology Criticism -- Uwe Topper on Edwin Johnson
Study Version of Edwin Johnson's "The Pauline Epistles - Re-Studied and Explained", 1894 -- Reformatted copy for increased comprehensibility by Michael Hoffman Oct. 8, 2003. Proposes that the years 700-1400 didn't exist, and that Christianity, the "early" Christian texts, Paul, the Gospels, the Church Fathers, the Dark Ages, and the Middle Ages were literary inventions fabricated in competing monasteries around 1500.
It would be an abuse of the discussion group to post a large number of hypotheses, as enabled by the new chronology, in order to be able to claim to have published the idea first. All these types of "new" proposed ideas are largely fallout from Johnson's work in 1894, and from Illig and crew.
Time reconstruction might offer some coherent support for the Shroud problem and the late dating of the Shroud, by suggesting a very late dating of Christianity as we know it -- on this side of the purported Dark Ages. The New Chronology, when including Edwin Johnson, might support this idea.
The thrashing of Jacques de Molay (1244 - 1314) in 1314 could be, in some sense, an original and first instance of the literal crucifixion.
The shroud of Turin shows de Molay. The history of the shroud and the tradition of it might not really go back earlier than de Molay; its antiquity may be an illusion back-projected through false history.
The Church as a literalist hierarchical institution is perhaps young, perhaps 1100's. That seems to be what some proponents of time reconstruction suggest.
The heresy in the South of France perhaps wasn't a resurgence in long- established Christendom of a late heresy; rather, esoteric Christianity was the only kind for centuries, into the years after the Dark Ages, and then institutional Christianity was invented, with a false story of its centuries-old strong dominance, and sought to co- opt the widespread esoteric religion.
Take the familiar idea of the struggle of the Church to co-opt Gnosticism and forcefully pull together all religions, but move that idea into the near side of the strange and mysterious gap called the Dark Ages.
>I, like so many other people here, are trying to understand what you are saying about block-universe determinism without taking entheogens.
>I'm wondering if Terence McKenna's Time Wave Theory is a good example of your view of the nature of time and supposed free will?
No, I don't recall seeing any hooks in his theory for a frozen-time model of the future, or hooks for timeless determinism as opposed to our instinctive feeling of free will. The Time Wave Theory, from what little I know about it, is not at all a good example of my view of the nature of time and supposed free will.
It is reasonable to define plausible future scenarios, or predict that mystics *will* encounter ego death and come to respect the model of time I put forward. I am in principle against the hypothesis of precognition. I'm against interpreting Revelation as a magically prophecied report of the future. I can reasonably say "It's inevitable that rational thinkers will eventually come to the conclusions I have," and "If things go on like this, the world will be choked in pollution."
2012 may very well be an explosion of novelty -- for one thing, many people will know about frozen-time determinism, entheogens, and the mythic-only Christ by then. 1995 was an explosion of novelty, with the Web. The end of the world happened then, as well, several times around the end of the millenium (I was there and entered the Kingdom of Heaven). I've scheduled the world to end several times during the coming decade."
Ehman's book Lost Christianities covers Morton Smith's suspected forgery of Secret longer gospel of Mark. Smith's book pair was partly dedicated mysteriously to Those Who Know. The most perfect explanation/expansion that immediately leaps to my mind is, Those Who Know that it's *all* forgery -- the gospels, letters, Church Father writings, everything. Smith, if gay, had a good, sensible motive to insert the somewhat homoerotic-mystic "man with man all night" passage, which does admittedly fit like a reconstruction of what could have been there in some version of Mark.
Lost Christianities is pretty good although more conservative than it should be, skewing all ideas of Jesus and the Apostles toward the literalist mode of reading even while he supposedly discusses allegorism; one man's "allegorism" is another man's "literalism". So much is still taken for granted, so many parts of Eusebius' world, even while putting forth a certain feeble "skepticism" about the received history.
The book seems to have nothing about intense mystic state experiencing or the gnostic sacrament of apolytrosis (redemption); the *experiential* aspect of gnosis is completely overlooked -- or suppressed. Ehrman glaringly refuses and fails to engage with Freke & Gandy: can he be so poorly read and ignorant as to be unaware of the no-Jesus theory, which any scholar of "lost Christianities" ought to be highly interested in? This book industry and profession is such a scam, such posturing, so political, they only discuss "safe" heresy aspects like docetism.
Ehrman in his supposed coverage of the "wide varieties" of Christianity perpetuates the strict orthodox boundaries on what ideas may be seriously engaged and even acknowledged in passing -- the result is more fake scholarship, claiming to acknowledge and cover more than it does. As a result, the book is positioned to sell more copies among certain audiences, by sacrificing an honest engagement with the full appropriate scope of the subject.
This type of scholarship, the ubiquitous mainstream technique which I may call "liberal conservative", is a technique of whitewashing and heading off alternative views by claiming to cover them, but instead covering them over.
Lost Christianities is available as book, audio lecture course, and video lecture course.
Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication
"Professor Bart D. Ehrman returns to The Teaching Company with a scholarly look at the origins of the New Testament and Christian doctrines. Follow experts' efforts to recover knowledge of early Christian groups who lost the struggle for converts, and explore the early writings they embraced. This is a richly rewarding learning opportunity for anyone interested in religion, history, or a good mystery story."
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
Rank 1K (very popular)
>Morton Smith a gay forger? Holy Cow, maybe I should read this book.
Read the chapter in any bookstore.
"World scholarship later came to accept the letter as genuine Clement"
If Morton Smith realized the truth per Edwin Johnson -- that 100% of all "ancient" Christian writings are forgeries of the late Middle Ages -- then he had as much reason as any creator of the Christian-history myth to add his own discovered writing to the canon of such discovered writings. In that sense, like Alan Watts, Smith's discovery was a genuine fake. The whole "authentic versus fake" distinction collapses; it becomes a giant joke to talk in serious tones with a straight face about "the *authentic* writings of the apostles", like studying the *authentic* memoirs of Cinderella and disparaging the mere "forged Cinderelline writings". I adhere to the genuine Cinderellines.
>Here is a website devoted to the topic of the authenticity of Secret Mark:
>I am most interested in the statement there that the controversy was fueled by one "Jack Neusner" who I assume is that over-productive Jacob Neusner of Brown.
>I have a small interest in this since at one time I was quite interested in the guru then-known as Da Free John (see my article in FringeWare Review).
Which issue or cover illustration?
>>Da Free John's Dawn Horse Press paperback reprint of The Secret Gospel, with a new introduction by Jacob Neusner.
>>The uni-bremen.de website reprints Shawn Ayer's article from Alexandria journal, which brings me in, having by that time become an contributor to that journal (I think to that issue).
Which piece is yours?
Alexandria 3: The Journal of Western Cosmological Traditions
The Strange Case of the Secret Gospel According to Mark: How Morton Smith's Discovery of a Lost Letter of Clement of Alexandria Scandalized Biblical Scholarship -- Shawn Eyer
Psychedelic Effects and the Eleusinian Mysteries -- Shawn Eyer
Orphic Hymn to Artemis -- Shawn Eyer (translator)
>I wonder what led Jacob Neusner to change sides [from pro-authenticity to forgery?]? Surely the whole issue is well out of his specialty (The Talmud, which Edwin Johnson shows is a fraud anyway).
All the purported "ancient" writings of the religions of the book are forgeries that generally include meaningful mystic allegory. The term 'fraud' alone is often an inadequate descriptor, distorting the nature of the material.