Another prophecy that Vespasian would become the next emperor

We know the account Josephus gives of his telling Vespasian that he would be the next emperor. Less well known is a rabbinic tradition that another prominent rabbi delivered the same prophecy to Vespasian. When Vespasian came to destroy Jerusalem . . . . Vespasian learned that R. Johanan b. Zakkai was friendly to Cæsar … Continue reading “Another prophecy that Vespasian would become the next emperor”


Spit at a Late Date for the Gospel of Mark?

Last month I posted Another Pointer Towards a Late Date for the Gospel of Mark? but this morning I was reminded of an article I read and posted about some years back that surely calls for a date soon after 70 CE. That article does not address the date per se but it does raise … Continue reading “Spit at a Late Date for the Gospel of Mark?”


Emperor Hadrian as Revelation’s Beast from the Sea

We have seen how emperor worship directed towards Hadrian in Greece and the Roman province of Asia surpassed anything before known: Emperor Worship and the Book of Revelation. The “advent” and “presence” of an emperor, a divine figure, meant salvation for all in the region. As Horace wrote of Augustus: Great guardian of the race … Continue reading “Emperor Hadrian as Revelation’s Beast from the Sea”


Emperor Worship and the Book of Revelation

A reader of the previous Revelation post commented, But at first glance, Emperor worship seems a pretty minor issue compared to the other shit that was going down in that period. Agreed — “at first glance”. Why would the Book of Revelation make such ado over a cult that had been part and parcel of … Continue reading “Emperor Worship and the Book of Revelation”


Hadrian as Nero Redivivus

Key points in this post: Both Nero and Hadrian waged war with the Jews. Both Nero and Hadrian had a special devotion to enriching and reviving the culture of the Greek world Nero pursued the cultic-religious worship of his own person, Hadrian that of Antinous (and more to be covered in upcoming posts) The travel … Continue reading “Hadrian as Nero Redivivus”


New Thoughts on Christian Origins

Hi. I’m back again, for better or for worse. Over the past few weeks I have immersed myself in reading but have finally come to a point where I need to pause and take stock. The book I have to blame for pulling me up and forcing me to stop and think afresh is König … Continue reading “New Thoughts on Christian Origins”


If we are going to move the Gospel of Mark to the second century . . . .

When we settle on a date for the composition of the Gospel of Mark soon after 70 CE and the destruction of the Temple by the armies of Vespasian and Titus, then it is only natural that we will want to study the lives and times of Vespasian and Titus. Perhaps the most significant political … Continue reading “If we are going to move the Gospel of Mark to the second century . . . .”


Is Josephus Evidence that a Messianic Movement caused the Jewish War?

A historian specializing in the study of Josephus, Steve Mason, presents a case that the war that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple was not prompted by any messianic movement among the people of Judaea. Rather, Mason suggests that the prophecy of a ruler to come out of the east and rule … Continue reading “Is Josephus Evidence that a Messianic Movement caused the Jewish War?”


Did the Roman Emperors Use Josephus to Help Pacify the Jews?

The Caesar’s Messiah myth proponents appear to involve Josephus in some sort of conspiracy to pacify the Jews. Their primary method, according to their view, is that Josephus was involved in the creation of the Christian religion as a kind of pacifist-messiah cult to replace their traditional supposedly militaristic messiah cult said to be found … Continue reading “Did the Roman Emperors Use Josephus to Help Pacify the Jews?”


Telling lies for Jesus mythicism

“[Josephus] was employed to write the official history that we have. The other histories from this period have been destroyed ruthlessly by the Romans. Josephus tells us this in very chilling passages how the Romans exerted complete control of the literature of this period. There were alternative histories of the Jewish war written, while the … Continue reading “Telling lies for Jesus mythicism”


Conclusion of feedback on the Atwill-Murdock video about the Roman Conspiracy to invent Christianity

In the previous post we ended with the Video’s fabricated claim that 12. Josephus tells us Romans rounded up writers of alternate histories and executed them. Only the official history of Josephus was to survive. All the copies of those alternate histories were destroyed. This assertion is entirely fiction. There is no evidence for any … Continue reading “Conclusion of feedback on the Atwill-Murdock video about the Roman Conspiracy to invent Christianity”


Why and when “Mark” wrote the first gospel: a new explanation

We have another argument (I don’t mean evidence-free speculation) for when and why somebody sat down and wrote the first gospel, the one we know as the Gospel According to Saint Mark. I’m going to have to set several of these arguments (beginning with William Wrede and on up through Burton Mack, Dennis MacDonald, and … Continue reading “Why and when “Mark” wrote the first gospel: a new explanation”


How the Roman World Received the News of Jerusalem’s Destruction

Just as I finished reading Steve Mason’s A History of the Jewish War, AD 66-74 an article Why Did Vespasian and Titus Destroy Jerusalem? by David Gurevich appeared in TheTorah.com (h/t Jim Davila’s PaleoJudaica). Gurevich’s views make an interesting comparison with Mason’s. Both align with the view that the emperor Vespasian presented the destruction of … Continue reading “How the Roman World Received the News of Jerusalem’s Destruction”


How Do You Spot a Messiah? — Myth of Jewish Messianic Expectations continued

I continue to examine the arguments mounted in favour of the view that Jewish messianic expectations at the time of the founding of what became Christianity as set out by Richard Carrier. Even ‘John the Baptist’ (at least as depicted in the Gospels) was a mes­sianic figure (e.g. Jn 1.20; Lk. 3.15), or otherwise telling … Continue reading “How Do You Spot a Messiah? — Myth of Jewish Messianic Expectations continued”