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In the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Hellenistic culture each ethnic community was self-conscious of its historical traditions and of the way in which these traditions related to those of other groups. . . . The work of most of these historians exists now only in quotations and extracts in the writings of later Christian writers . . . In second century Palestine B.C.E. Palestine a bilingual, upper class Jew named Eupolemus wrote a history entitled Concerning the Kings in Judea, though its scope was actually much broader. Eupolemus, a friend of Judah the Maccabee, was concerned with glorifying Israelite history and he elaborated the biblical narrative with additional legendary details. He presents Moses as a culture-bringer, specifically as the inventor of the alphabet, which was later borrowed by the Phoenicians and the Greeks. The influence and splendor of the Israelite kingdom under David and Solomon was a particular theme of Eupolemus. He describes the lavishness and superb construction of the temple, along with the contributions made by Hiram, king of Tyre, and Vaphres, king of Egypt. According to Eupolemus, Solomon responded to these contributions with extravagant gifts of his own, including a gold pillar for the temple of Zeus in Tyre. . . .

An anonymous writer, probably a Samaritan, wrote a highly legendary history in which various details of Greek and Babylonian mythology are harmonized with biblical traditions. . . . Abraham is presented as the discoverer of astrology, which he taught to the Egyptians during his sojourn there. The correlation of biblical figures with pagan mythological and heroic figures is characteristic of several of these Hellenistic Jewish historians, most notably Artapanus. More a writer of historical romances than a historian, Artapanus recounts the stories of Abraham, Joseph, and Moses. Moses is presented as an inventor of basic technologies, a philosopher, a general in the Egyptian army, the organizer of Egyptian religion (!), and a man regarded as a virtual god by the Egyptians, who identified him with Hermes (the Greek equivalent of the Egyptian god Thoth). . . .

Against Apion [by the Jewish historian Josephus] is a book devoted to refuting slander leveled against Jews by gentile writers. It testifies to the competitive environment in which various ethnic groups interpreted their history and traditions in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. . . .

As early as the second century B.C.E., Alexandria produced a Jewish philosopher in the person of Aristobulus. Although his work survives only in quotations, he apparently wrote an extensive philosophical commentary on the Pentateuch. Aristobulus claimed that the law of Moses already contained what Greek philosophy later expounded. Indeed, he argued that Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato derived their ideas from Jewish law.

Whether or not there was a tradition of Hellenistic Jewish philosophers, the Egyptian Diaspora produced a truly significant intellectual figure in Philo of Alexandria, who flourished around the turn of the era. . . . Throughout his writings . . . philosophy and biblical interpretation are always closely intertwined as Philo attempts to show that true philosophy is nothing other than the understanding of the Law of Moses.[1]Carol A. Newsom, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Jewish Literature,” in The Oxford Study Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 108-110*.

Given our level of technological innovation and global interconnection, there are no previous historical periods really analogous to our own. The one that comes closest however may be the Alexandrian age, when the peoples of the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East were intermingled under a common Hellenistic culture in the wake of Alexander the Great’s conquests.

This was an age of great cultural syncretism and scholarship. The Library of Alexandria gathered hundreds of thousands of books and undertook biological, chemical, and astronomical research. There were considerable scientific discoveries: the circumference of the Earth, the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, blood circulation . . .

These cosmopolitan periods harness the latent potential of scattered human intellect through interconnection. However, as Emil Cioran endlessly laments, these are also periods of biological decline and relative cultural sterility, the main achievements being compilations of existing cultures. Cosmopolitan eras sustain themselves by inertia and, worse, a kind of vampirism: living at the expense of centuries or even millennia of accumulated cultural and biological capital.

These are not periods of ethnic harmony. As Carol Newsom suggests, the common culture of the Hellenistic world was an ethnic battlefield, in which each tribe and religion sought to narcissistically rationalize and distort “reality” in their favor. This tendency is particularly striking concerning the Jews.

Nietzsche muses that much of the Old Testament was “falsified” history. Russel E. Gmirkin claims that the Torah, the Law attributed to Moses, was in fact inspired by Plato’s Laws and is a kind of implementation of Plato’s ambition of setting an eternal law and constitution for a people. The biblical scholar Denis MacDonald has written numerous works similarly arguing that much of the Gospels and early Christian apocrypha are imitations and parodies of Homer.

The Romans, who ruled and had assimilated all sorts of peoples, considered the ancient Jews to be a minor tribe, remarkable for its fanaticism and ethnocentrism. As such, Jews are rarely mentioned in Roman literature, but when they are – as by the philosopher-statesmen Cicero and Seneca – the comments are very negative and voice complaints which would become widespread in later epochs.

The Jewish historians by contrast attempted to attribute many the great and prestigious accomplishments of the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Greeks to their own ancestors. Similarly, the leaders of rabbinical Judaism sought to reinterpret their sacred texts according to their own doctrines:

The Talmuds do seek in varying degrees to link Mishnaic [early Jewish legal] teaching to Scripture, but again not in a systematic fashion and not with any sense that rabbinic teaching depends on the Bible for its own validities. This central corpus of rabbinic literature thus makes clear that rabbinic Judaism in its own formative period assigned the sacred canon of Scripture an essentially marginal role in Jewish religious life. . . .

Substantial portions of the Talmud take the form of attempts to associate with Scripture rabbinical teachings about all sorts of topics that have at first glance no particular connection to the passages adduced. . . . Through skillful midrashic [ancient Jewish biblical interpretation] elaboration, virtually all of rabbinic teaching could be presented as interpretation of Scripture and all of Scripture could be understood as conforming to rabbinic teaching. . . .

Midrash was unconcerned in principle with the plausibility of its exegesis or with the original context of its biblical raw materials; any meaning which any interpreter could derive from any detail in the biblical text could at least in theory be offered as midrash on that text.[2]Robert Goldenberg, “Hebrew Scriptures in Early Post-Biblical Judaism, with Special Reference to the Rabbinic Tradition,” in ibid., p. 125*.
(Carol A. Newsom, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Jewish Literature,” in The Oxford Study Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 108-110*.)

The last Pagan Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate, forsook Christianity arguing that the Jesus cult was not in fact announced by or compatible with the old Jewish scriptures. However, we often forget that indeed Judaism as we know it, rabbinical Judaism, is a post-Christian innovation. The real relationship between our Jews and the ancient Israelites is not particularly clear, let alone if they are their heirs. Perhaps rabbinical Jews are merely a small, unrepresentative, and perhaps elite offshoot of the old Israelite nations, while the rest got assimilated into the surrounding cultures.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting that a mainstream bible studies work should be making these points, which have been made out by Alain Soral, in his denunciation of Judaism.

All this is ancient history. But while our technology may now be indistinguishable from magic, and our way of life is incomparably transformed, our basic biological human nature has not changed very much. Beneath the cosmopolitan pretenses of the United Nations and the Davos set, our globalized world remains a cultural and demographic battleground, in which dishonest arguments in the name of ethnic narcissism and ideological-institutional interests are omnipresent.

Notes

[1] Carol A. Newsom, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Jewish Literature,” in The Oxford Study Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 108-110*.

[2] Robert Goldenberg, “Hebrew Scriptures in Early Post-Biblical Judaism, with Special Reference to the Rabbinic Tradition,” in ibid., p. 125*.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Ancient Jews, Jews 
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  1. Beneath the cosmopolitan pretenses of the United Nations and the Davos set, our globalized world remains a cultural and demographic battleground, in which dishonest arguments in the name of ethnic narcissism and ideological-institutional interests are omnipresent.

    This is an important point, which Jürgen Habermas misses out completely. This might be the reason, why his communications theory as well as his idea of intentional solidarity, a) are not as insightful as it otherwise might b and b) lack traction on the real-world dynamics altogether.
    Good real-world example in the CO-19 crisis: The Italian government’s explanation, why Italian hospitals have become death traps in Lombardy and some other places: Because the neoliberal financial EU-dictatorship – led by Germany – has urged Italy to cut down costs of social services (the traces of real EU politics in this argument are only discernible with a homeopathic tool-kit).

    • Agree: Fuerchtegott
    • Replies: @Guillaume Durocher
  2. anarchyst says:

    Let’s look at what jews “invented”:

    Usury
    Banking schemes, fraud and manipulation
    Amorality when dealing with those outside the group
    Slavery which is still legal in jewish doctrine
    Prostitution and white slavery
    Pornography
    Lawlessness when it applies to jews is OK
    Lawfare the legal system used against gentiles to weaken gentile society
    Talmudic exceptions for jews who commit crimes against gentiles
    Talmudic double standard in all jewish behavior
    Jewish supremacy
    Parasitism against all gentile societies

    Yep, jews invented all of the above and have always been a scourge on gentile society

    • Agree: druid55, Trinity
    • Replies: @attilathehen
  3. It’s not just ancient Jews who indulged in this ethnocentric fantasy. Every time I’m in a book store there seems to be a new “bestseller” titled something like “How Jews are Awesome Because They Invented (insert name of important thing that Jews didn’t invent here)” or “How Jews Saved the World by (Insert name of important thing that Jews didn’t do here)”

    Making up fantasies about Jewish intelligence (see Einstein the World Famous Top Genius) and creativity seems to be a parallel industry to manufacturing tales about “the holocaust” and other supposed wrongs against Jews.

  4. Nietzsche muses that much of the Old Testament was “falsified” history.

    My favourite reconstruction of ancient history relates to the reason Moses and the Israelites fled Egypt: They did not flee slavery, but instead were chased out as oppresive moneylenders. I can’t remember where I read that, but Haaretz had an interesting take on it:

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-were-hebrews-ever-slaves-in-ancient-egypt-yes-1.5429843

    Then there was this take from Harvard Divinity …

    https://bulletin.hds.harvard.edu/pinpointing-the-exodus-from-egypt/

    which includes this gem …

    On the other hand, we are told that the Israelites are driven out of Egypt because of the Egyptians’ fear of them: “because they were driven out of Egypt” (Exod. 12:39). Also, contrary to the notion that the Israelites were very downtrodden, other verses describe them as leaving Egypt with great wealth: God lends the people favor in Egyptian eyes, and the Egyptians give them gold and silver vessels (Exod. 11:2–3; 12:35–36). There is even a verse reading, “and the people of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt” (Exod. 13:18); literally, they were armed soldiers, the precise inversion of a downtrodden people.

    • Agree: druid55
  5. @Dieter Kief

    I’ve never understood the appeal of Habermas.

    • Agree: Tusk, John Regan
  6. Zimriel says:

    Eupolemus might even have been right about the alphabet. The first record of the “Phoenician” alphabet is in Sinai among Canaani-speaking miners, slaves of the Egyptians. Those would be exactly the people whom the Torah claims Moses, Foster Prince Of Egypt, came to liberate.

    In fact, there’s more evidence for southern Canaanites – i.e., Jews – inventing the alphabet than there is for Moses and the Exodus themselves.

    • Replies: @orionyx
  7. Written in Koine Greek, the New Testament is a Hellenistic work. It synthesized Jewish monotheism and Hellenistic polytheism into tripartite monotheism to which the Catholics later elevated Mary into an honorary fourth deity. Mary’s deification was no doubt one of the reasons for the Protestant reformation. To Protestants, Mary is not a deity.

    It is of irritation to me as a person who was raised in Protestant Christianity that western culture is called Judeo Christian when there is nothing Judeo about Christianity. Christianity is Hellenistic, not Judeo.

    Not long ago I had my own “epiphany” that the Gospels are quite similar to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. The story of Jesus takes place outside of Greece (Palestine vs. Troy in Asia Minor for the Iliad) but outside the place of the Jesus story there is nothing Judaic about the New Testament. Nearly the entire New Testament has book titles that are obviously places in Asia Minor, Greece or Rome. Only one book other than the four Gospels seems to refer to anything Judaic at all, Hebrews. That is about the extent of anything Judaic in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul’s journeys and tribulations are reminiscent of the journeys and tribulations of Odysseus.

    So it is interesting to see an article that some scholar has noted the same thing. In times past, it was probably blatantly obvious. But the idea has obviously been suppressed. I had never thought about it and no one had ever even mentioned the possibility to me.

    Christianity is the Hellenistic repudiation of everything Judaic. But there has been a huge push to make it just the opposite. The average Christian has no idea the New Testament was even written in Greek. Most think it was written in Hebrew.

    When I hear the comment that something Christian is anti-Semitic, I often think to myself, well, duh. It was supposed to be.

  8. ”Christianity is the Hellenistic repudiation of everything Judaic. But there has been a huge push to make it just the opposite. The average Christian has no idea the New Testament was even written in Greek. Most think it was written in Hebrew.

    When I hear the comment that something Christian is anti-Semitic, I often think to myself, well, duh. It was supposed to be.“

    Amen brother.

    Although not much of a church-going believer, I studied Christian theology in college. Augustine, Aquinas and the connecting link to Plato, the NeoPlatonists. And although my knowledge now is rusty, I remember then having been struck by how much the early Christian theologians had cribbed from Plato (Augustine) and Aristotle (Aquinas). I wish your insight were more widely known even among those who call themselves Christians.

    As an aside, it is taken for granted today’s theologians that monotheism is superior to, more highly evolved than, the product of a more sophisticated and advanced mind than the polytheism of the Bronze Age Greeks and Vikings. I’m not so sure.

    Plato dismissed the tales the Greeks told of their Gods and Goddesses as impious because they depicted them as having human, all too human traits such as jealousy, envy and lust. God, said Plato, must be above such flaws because God is, by definition, perfect and lacking nothing. To feel envy is to desire to be something other than what one is and God is, by definition, self complete, whole.

    Well that’s a powerful argument, but it’s also circular, not to mention emotionally unsatisfying. Because if God is indeed perfect, then what the heck does he need us for?

    The Greek Gods, with all their human traits, better expressed the human condition. They knew joy and pain, experienced good and evil but differed from us in being immortal. Which means, I suppose, that they embodied eternal traits. They were the living personification of human types, were Archetypes.

    So I believe that we’ve lost something when we ditched the old Pantheon. It’s no longer OUR universe, it belongs to a concept, an abstraction. No wonder we’re alienated and feel as though we’ve been banished from Paradise.

    • Agree: animalogic
    • Replies: @davidgmillsatty
  9. @davidgmillsatty

    The West is Graeco-Roman-Christian, not Judeo-Christian.

    • Agree: animalogic
    • Replies: @davidgmillsatty
  10. @davidgmillsatty

    Only Americans call it that way and recently a few selected bought chills.
    I bet Thommy Robinson calls it that way as does that Murrey dickface as do their more or less influential outletts in the Germanosphere.

  11. Katherine Wright (sister of Wright Brothers, Oberlin College graduate, early suffragette) didn’t look kindly upon Jewish sales agents trying to hoo-doodle her brothers out of their Wright Flyer patents. She had one hell of a Jewdar when it came to a one Mr. Hart Berg/Flint & Co. (arms sales agents primarily catering to pre-WW I European powers, who, circa 1908-1909 were “representing” the Wrights in Europe)

    “I can’t stand Berg’s looks,” she wrote. “It has just dawned on me that the whole company is composed of Jews. Berg certainly looks it.”– from The Wright Brothers by David McCullough, page 144 of hardback edition

  12. mijj says:

    perhaps, in particular cases, the meaning of “invented” is “took credit for”

  13. fish says:

    “Jews Invented Everything, Say Ancient Jews”

    Wait! I thought Blacks invented everything!?

    • Agree: Fuerchtegott
    • LOL: kikz
  14. druid55 says:
    @The Alarmist

    And it was probably Yemen, not even Egypt!!!!!

  15. AaronB says:
    @davidgmillsatty

    Well, I don’t know.

    The medieval monks main service was chanting the Psalms. Granted, they are the world’s most sublime religious poetry, but that seems strange if Christianity is unrelated to Judaism.

    Jesus repeatedly quotes from the Old Testament verbatim, including in his Sermon on the Mount. I think he quotes the OT more than 100 times.

    And the ideals of Christianity – ultimate peace between nations, justice for the weak and powerless, and humility and meekness, are not prominent in Hellenistic culture. They are, however, very prominent in the OT.

    No Greek thought war was wrong, or that humility was a virtue. Aristotle describes his ideal man as being extremely proud, arrogant – and aloof.

    Which brings me to my next point – love. The Greeks had two conceptions of God – the popular myths, in which the Gods are extremely emotional but basically awful and chaotic people, not particularly loving – even opposed to humanity on some level. Or the philosophers God – an utterly aloof being, completely unemotional, barely concerned with humans if at all.

    Neither conception works very well as the basis of a religion.

    The Old Testament presents a God that has very recognizable human emotions, and is intensely concerned with the fate of humanity – unlike the Green myths, he is not merely a chaotic child, but he is working to elevate humanity. And he is completely unlike the aloof God of the philosophers.

    He has recognizable human emotions – love, anger, violence, jealousy – of the kind human beings can relate to, especially Bronze Age humans but also ourselves – but is also acting for the purpose of elevating mankind.

    Finally, he has something of the awesome incomprehensible grandeur of the God of the philosophers, a Being utterly beyond our ken.

    Hellenistic culture could not have supplied such a figure.

    As for Christianity being a repudiation of the Old Testament ideal, this is an unintelligent comment that I have been hearing lately, but makes nonsense of Christianity and misunderstands Judaism.

    Jews and Christians have always understood their traditions as being a story of the moral refinement of mankind – a story of development.

    God has to present himself a certain way yo be taken seriously by Bronze Age nomadic warriors who live in a tough world – but it isn’t a static image. By the Prophets God is already talking about the lion laying down with the lamb.

    It has always been a story of mankind gradually refining himself morally, and of God presenting different sides of himself as man advances – not a static image. The morality of the early Bible is already impressively superior to much of the old Babylonian and pagan world, but that was just a starting point. The late Bible goes even further and suggest war itself will be abolished.

    To not understand Jesus in this context is to make nonsense of Christianity – Christianity kept the Old Testament because it understood that Jesus only made sense as the crowning piece of a story of development. Judaism also only makes sense in the same context – as can be seen by a glance at the OT and the way it changes.

    For some reason, the modern mind has trouble grasping development and thinks in static images. Development seems to be a religious concept – even Hegel, who made a grand philosophy out of the concept of development, was also a religious mystic.

    Something about science makes modern people think in static images, rather unintelligently.

  16. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    Not to mention, Old Testament myths like Adam and Eve and the apple are central to Christianity. The concept of original sin – perhaps the most profound religious concept – is the foundation stone of Christianity, and has its basis in the OT. Greek culture did not have such a concept.

    Christianity simply cannot be understood without the Old Testament, the more I reflect on it.

  17. @davidgmillsatty

    It is of irritation to me as a person who was raised in Protestant Christianity that western culture is called Judeo Christian when there is nothing Judeo about Christianity.

    Yes. Funny how there’s no such thing as Judaeo-Islam.

    • Replies: @Talha
  18. There is not such thing as Judaeo-Christian. This is a modern innovation primarily driven by Americans to appease. The theology and ethical framework of Christianity is Hellenistic/Greek and repudiates Judaism. The Church Fathers, many of which had thoroughly classical educations, are very clear on this. Only the characters in the story are Jewish. Even monotheism is not a Jewish innovation.

    https://www.bu.edu/arion/archive/volume-18/colin_wells_how_did_god_get-started/

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  19. @AaronB

    We should distinguish Hellenic and Hellenistic cultures. Many of Christianity’s values were foreshadowed by cosmopolitan Stoicism. I strongly agree Christianity owes much to the Old Testament. For me it is Judeo-Platonism.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @AaronB
  20. @AaronB

    “Aristotle describes his ideal man as being extremely proud, arrogant – and aloof.”

    Complete rubbish. Aristotle’s Magnanimous Man in the Nicomachean Ethics is almost the complete opposite of that. He talks frequently talks about the positive qualities of forgiveness and against careless words, bad pride, arrogance and meanness.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @AaronB
  21. @AaronB

    The concept of original sin is not an important concept on Orthodox Christianity and is certainly not a foundation stone.

  22. utu says:

    Antisemitism: Its History and Causes. Bernard Lazare 1894
    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/lazare-bernard/1894/antisemitism/ch02.htm

    Not less than the Stoics did the Sophists detest the Jews. But the causes of their hatred were not religious, but, I should say, rather literary. From Ptolemy Philadelphus, until the middle of the third century, the Alexandrian Jews, with the intent of sustaining and strengthening their propaganda, gave themselves to forging all texts which were capable of lending support to their cause. The verses of Aeschylus, of Sophocles, of Euripides, the pretended oracles of Orpheus, preserved in Aristobulus and the Stromata of Clement of Alexandria were thus made to glorify the one God and the Sabbath. Historians were falsified or credited with the authorship of books they had never written. It is thus that a History of the Jews was published under the name of Hecataeus of Abdera. The most important of these inventions was the Sibylline oracles, a fabrication of the Alexandrian Jews, which prophesied the future advent of the reign of the one God. They found imitators, however, for since the Sibyl had begun to speak, in the second century before Christ, the first Christians also made her speak. The Jews would appropriate to themselves even the Greek literature and philosophy. In a commentary on the Pentateuch, which has been preserved for us by Eusebius, Aristobulus attempted to show that Plato and Aristotle had found their metaphysical and ethical ideas in an old Greek translation of the Pentateuch. The Greeks were greatly incensed at such treatment of their literature and philosophy, and out of revenge they circulated the slanderous stories of Manetho, adapting them to those of the Bible, to the great fury of the Jews; thus the confusion of languages was identified with the myth of Zeus robbing the animals of their common language. The Sophists, wounded by the conduct of the Jews, would speak against them in their teaching.

    • Replies: @Guillaume Durocher
  23. utu says:
    @Guillaume Durocher

    “For me [Christianity] is Judeo-Platonism.” – I think you should reconsider using the suffix or prefix Judeo anywhere. Christians spent a lot of effort over centuries to push back the Judaizing heresies. Unfortunately more recently they become slack on this important battle front yet the Judeo prefix is still offensive to many as Christianity always stood and still stands in the opposition to Judaism and in particular in the opposition to the Rabbinic Judaism which grew out of negative reaction to Christianity.

  24. AaronB says:
    @Agathoklis

    https://sniggle.net/TPL/index5.php?entry=05Oct09

    [MORE]

    Great-souledness is the virtue of someone who is fully virtuous with respect to the other virtues, and knows it, and is aware of the honor that is due him or her for this. He “thinks himself worthy of great things, being worthy of them.”

    This virtue gave some trouble to the translators I consulted, and some put in extra effort to try to explain it (Moore’s note is a good example). Most of the trouble comes because “pride” underwent a shift in Western philosophy. Aristotle could speak of it matter-of-factly as a virtue, but under Christianity, pride became a sin, and today it remains something that is mostly held in contempt. Even people who achieve great things or receive great honors are expected to express themselves modestly and self-effacingly on the occasion.

    Aristotle’s portrait of the great-souled man is not particularly flattering, either. He skips opportunities to describe the great-souled man’s most attractive qualities, *and lingers over his haughty unconcern and disdain and his presumption and self-regard and the way he works to dominate others and put them in his debt*.

    The word Aristotle used for this virtue, megalopsyche, translates literally to the sanskrit word mahatma, or mahā ātman — both meaning “great soul.” But it’s hard for me to read this section of Aristotle and see Mahatma Gandhi described in it.

    Among the traits of a great-souled man:

    He deserves and claims great things, but above all, honor.
    He is good in the highest degree, great in every virtue. You never see him behaving in a cowardly manner or wronging another person, because, loving honor above all, he has no motive to do such things.
    He will be moderately pleased at receiving great honors from good people, but just thinking these his due, in fact less than his due, but as the best honors perhaps that are available under the circumstances, he will make allowance. Casual honors from middling people, he will despise.
    He is indifferent to what fate brings him — “neither over-joyed by good fortune nor over-pained by evil” and cares not for power and wealth, except as a means to honor. Even honor, which he loves above all, he doesn’t make a big deal over.
    It doesn’t hurt if he’s rich, powerful, and well-born, though none of these things are sufficient.
    He doesn’t court danger, particularly since there’s not much he finds worth courting danger for. But when he encounters danger, he faces it “unsparing of his life, knowing that there are conditions on which life is not worth having.”
    He asks for nothing, but gives readily. He gives benefits and gifts, but hates to receive them, and hates to be in another’s debt, but will overpay a debt so as to turn the tables.
    Similarly, he remembers (and prefers to be reminded of) the services he has done for others, but not those he has received (for those things are reminders of having been in an inferior position, and the proud man prefers to be superior).
    He does not stoop but projects his dignity before people of high position and riches, but he behaves in an unassuming way towards ordinary folk, as it’s a vulgar thing to lord it over people below one’s station.
    He doesn’t exert himself for the sorts of honors most people strive for, but only for the best of the best. He’s a man of few deeds, but those few are fantastic.
    He’s a straight-talker. He respects truth more than people’s opinions of him, so he doesn’t hesitate to share his contempt and doesn’t waste time trying to be diplomatic. (This, amusingly, “except when he speaks in irony to the vulgar.”)
    He will not put himself in service to any so-called superior, but may choose to serve a friend.
    He doesn’t much go in for admiration, since to a great person like him, nothing else is particularly outstanding.
    He doesn’t tend to bear grudges or remember wrongs against him.
    He doesn’t gossip or praise or bad-talk others, mostly because he doesn’t much care about the things that typically motivate people to do these things.
    He prefers to possess beautiful things of no particular use more than useful, profitable things.
    He moves slowly and deliberately, not in a rush, and speaks in a deep, level voice.
    He is, most assuredly, not he-or-she, though Aristotle doesn’t think he needs to point this out. The great-souled man is a great-souled man.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  25. AaronB says:
    @Guillaume Durocher

    Good point.

    Stoicism did in some respects prefigure some aspects of Christianity, and is close to Judaism in some respects, but it still missed the essential thing – it lacked enthusiasm, passion, Love, the drama and story of life.

    It is in some ways sympathetic, but ultimately the emphasis is too negative, focused on “duty” not Love and enthusiasm, and on merely avoiding pain not reaching for splendor and happiness.

    In my view, such a purely negative creed could not become the basis for a great enthusiastic religion that would sweep the world. Goethe said no one could truly live like a Stoic.

    Good point too about Platonism. Nietzsche said Christianity was Platonism for the masses.

    There is some truth in that, but Platonic ideas are common to all religions and especially the mystical aspects of them.

    I always felt Nietzsche’s treatment of Christianity suffered from not putting it in the context of Eastern religions, which share many similar ideas. He does compare it to Buddhism at one point, but he mainly treats Christianity as a local phenomena within the cultural context of the ancient world, and not as a local example of a general class with broadly similar features found across the world.

    And he seems insufficiently aware that quintessential Christian ideas like humility and meekness are first celebrated in the Jewish Psalms and part of Jewish tradition.

    • Replies: @Guillaume Durocher
  26. anon[409] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    The medieval monks main service was chanting the Psalms. Granted, they are the world’s most sublime religious poetry, but that seems strange if Christianity is unrelated to Judaism.

    There you go again.
    Judaism can’t claim any of the writers of the Psalms, since Judaism didn’t exist before the 2nd Century A.D..

    • Replies: @mcohen
  27. @AaronB

    Thanks for wasting 3 minutes of my life reading some weirdo’s interpretation and translation of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics but I can read Greek. I suggest you read the text yourself, even in English, and you will see Aristotle does not describe his ideal man as being “extremely proud, arrogant – and aloof”.

    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0054%3Abook%3D4%3Achapter%3D1%3Asection%3D1

    Aristotle does not believe his Magnanimus Man is ‘extremely proud’ rather his definition of proud in this context is rather a midpoint between not giving yourself enough credit and having delusions of grandeur. Aristotle is also strongly against arrogance and aloofness in the way you might understand it. Greeks spent centuries railing against arrogance or hubris and he meant aloofness from ordinary or mundane matters.

    • Agree: davidgmillsatty, SOL
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @AaronB
  28. @AaronB

    Yes it must be understood in the sense that Christianity is a repudiation of Judaism. But not much else. And Jewish monotheism was actually stolen from the Egyptians. It was King Tut’s father Akhenaton, if I recall, that is credited with the origin of monotheism. And the Adam and Eve story is also not unique to Judaism and preceded it.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Digital Samizdat
  29. anon[747] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    No Greek thought war was wrong

    Where in the Old Testament is it stated that war is wrong? There’s quite a bit of martial content in the Old Testament, and on several occasions God orders the Israelites to make war on peoples offensive to Him and even to exterminate them (king Saul loses God’s favour because he isn’t radical enough in carrying out those orders, not because he isn’t a pacifist). Which “later parts” of the Old Testament supposedly negate this positive view of war in the service of God?

  30. Excellent history lesson, thank you.

    The brutal god the ancient Jews invented is a repellent entity, whose cruelty and capriciousness mirror the harshness of the ancestral nomadic desert environment. His presence is invasive: he demands ultimate authority over what foods you eat, what clothes you wear, whom you love and how, and the ways you think, feel, and behave. Even death cannot free you from his baleful influence. And his wiles could only be interpreted by a hereditary priestly caste who ruled their unlucky Jewish subjects absolutely.

    It is one of history’s great ironies that Christianity, with its traditional Jew-hatred, is the vehicle by which the arrogant ethnocentricity, misogyny, and homophobia of second temple period Judaism were spread across the globe, at a terrible cost in human misery.

  31. @attilathehen

    Of course I should have included the Romans.

  32. Tusk says:

    Jews remind me of Yakub, the great inventor of the White man. Without Jews how would anyone get by?

  33. @ThreeCranes

    As far as I know, there is nothing in Judaism like the Christian immortality of the soul. And again it was the immortal Greek gods, some of them not quite immortal when they were half human, where Christianity got the idea of a soul being immortal.

    When I was in my late teens at a Presbyterian College and studying religion for the first time in a scholarly way, and not in the way it is taught in churches by Protestant preachers, it was this Greek notion of the separation of body, mind and spirit that turned me atheist. I could not divide up my humanity that way and came to the conclusion that there is no life after death. I am about to turn seventy and still believe there is no life after death and still think there is no immortality. I have never been clear at all about what Jews think about life after death. But whatever it is, it is not like the immortality Christians believe in.

    So I am not a particularly good religious scholar since religion is totally irrelevant to me in any religious sense. But of course, religion is everywhere in our culture, and even in our laws and politics.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Curmudgeon
  34. ‘…Perhaps rabbinical Jews are merely a small, unrepresentative, and perhaps elite offshoot of the old Israelite nations, while the rest got assimilated into the surrounding cultures…’

    That’s an interesting thought. Certainly I am repeatedly struck by the reflection that what must endure of ‘Judaism’ would have to be whatever is most resistant to assimilation and yet able to avoid extermination. Those Jews who join the wider culture vanish, and so do those Jews who fail to reproduce; the only ‘Jews’ who endure are those who both define Judaism as something impervious to assimilation and who take care to have many, many children.

    In this sense, both Ron Unz and Fran are ‘unsuccessful’ Jews; the only successful Jews would be the Hasids and the like.

  35. utu says:
    @davidgmillsatty

    “came to the conclusion that there is no life after death” – Who or what did the concluding? The bio-chemical-physical machine that you are? If there is no religion there is no room for science.

    “Granted that Reason is prior to matter, I can understand men should come to know a lot about the universe they live in. If, on the other hand, I swallow the scientific cosmology and for “scientific cosmology” we might read “Darwinism” as world view then not only can I not fit in religion, but I cannot even fit science…

    If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thoughts of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.” – C.S. Lewis

    • Replies: @davidgmillsatty
  36. anarchyst says:
    @Agathoklis

    I agree. The term “judeo-Christian” is false on its face…

    Tying Judaism to Christianity was a clever trick used by the jews to “cement” their claim to the “land of Israel” and of the covenant, to which I reply, “God is not a real estate agent”.

    Jews rejected the covenant when they murdered Jesus Christ. Their covenant with God was then “null and void”.

    It is the flawed Schofield translation of the Bible that elevated jews to the status of Christianity’s “elder brothers”, which was then reinforced by the Catholic (flawed) “Vatican II Ecumenical Council” in the 1960s.

    I cringe when I hear well-meaning people talk about out judeo-Christian heritage.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The only common thread between Christianity and judaism is the Ten Commandments, nothing more.

    The god of judaism is a vengeful god, totally unlike the merciful and welcoming God of Christianity.

    Christianity welcomes ALL, regardless of nationality or social status, not true of judaism.

    Judaism is an insular belief system that shuns outsiders, prohibits proselytization, and promotes a form of supremacy, relegating all gentiles (non-jews) to the status of livestock-subhumans with souls, only to be used for the advancement and benefit of jews. In fact, slavery (of goyim) is still condoned and encouraged in the jewish Talmud.

    Jews DID murder Jesus Christ.

    Sad to say, even the present-day (post-Vatican II ecumenical council) Catholic church has bought into absolving the jews for Jesus Christ’s murder. As always is the case, the jews got others, the Romans to do their dirty work for them, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

    How can Christians have the same values as the Jews; the very people who denounced and betrayed the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, and call for his execution (by others, of course, that is the Jewish way).

    It makes absolutely no sense at all. Jews have no respect for Christianity, for Jesus Christ or Mary, his mother, who are both honored as Prophets in Islam, but instead, Jews spit on hearing their names and do the same while passing a Christian of any kind or a Christian Church in Israel. They have no respect for Christians or any other religion.

    It is time the Jewish lobbies and the American Government leaders as well as the evangelical Christian leaders who mislead the poor American young into joining the military and believing that they are doing something for God and Christianity by fighting Israel’s wars were named, shamed and arrested and tried for treason.

    • Agree: Omegabooks, FLgeezer
    • Replies: @Tusk
  37. Perhaps the reason why some people are are put off Christianity is because of what they perceive as its Jewish roots. They look at how Jews behave and cannot believe that it is a good spirit behind it no matter what the scriptures say. I may have mentioned in an earlier post that in Ancient Egypt (late period) the god of the Jews was known as Seth who was lord of the desert (think Exodus) and who killed (in his humanity but not divinity) the omnibenevolent Osiris. For them Hebrew scriptures seems like a lure with many fine passages but which ends in death the way the river Jordan ends in the lake of death.

    Its simply not true, as somebody indicates above, that the moral improvement of mankind as whole came about through the Jews. Long before the formation of the bible Maat was the basis of Ancient Egyptian ethics and morality. It was never robotic rules but a life giving spirit which worked in the hearts of people. Doing the right thing because it is good and avoiding wrongdoing because its bad. They didn’t need to be taken into the desert with dramatic signs (all associated with Seth) and be told that murder, theft etc. is wrong. Compared to what had already happened long before in Ancient Egypt the Sinai revelation was no development but a regression in the moral development of the Ancient Near East.

    The messiah who came to the Jews to save them from their sins brought a life giving spirit not a source code fit only for a computer. He reminded them that every little rule which they had made into a heavy burdensome weight had to be observed until the day they accepted that he was fulfillment of their law on Calvary. If the essence of idolatry is the creation of a false image of god then rule laden monotheistic religiosity is more impressive than anything that existed outside of Jerusalem. Its like putting the divine in a tightly fitting box much like the beautiful box that Seth used to entrap Osiris the “God of life, Lord of Love”.

    So called pagans could accept the existence a single divine source which appeared manifest in many forms. It is alluded to in the earliest Egyptian texts from the 3rd millennium bc and becomes explicit by 1st. The so called transcendent god who creates the universe ex-nihilo doesn’t actually exist in the bible. Its clear that the abyss/waters of chaos over which the spirit of god hovers are pre-existing. The only truly ex-nihilo account that I know of comes from Ancient Egypt at the end of the 2nd millennium bc in which the soul of god creates the waters of chaos out of which the rest of creation unfolds. Is it more than coincidence that the “soul” is in bird form as would later appear in the biblical creation account hovering over the waters of chaos and then echoed later when the womb of Mary is overshadowed in a new creation?

    The New Testament records how “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds”. As best I know it is a virtual universal amongst the ancient Greek writers that their wisdom was heavily drawn from the same wellspring as Moses i.e. Ancient Egypt. The Logos and Trinitarian nature of the divine are echoed in the Memphite Theology of Ancient Egypt.

    They claim to have escaped from Ancient Egypt in the Exodus but the only historical form of Exodus known to historians is that of the Hyksos who according to the Jewish historian Josephus were the ancestors of the Jews. They bit the hand that fed them and took over most of Egypt by stealth and then force. It took over hundred years, and a great Egyptian King, to evict them from what was a veritable Eden they been allowed to settle in but had then rebelled against their hosts. There was at least a small enclave for the successful Egyptian campaign to form and take root but for those who are repulsed by the behaviour of Jews the USA now seems for them beyond any form of human rescue as the political, media, and financial structures are all firmly under their control.

    Jesus uncharacteristically gave the most dire warnings about love of money and power. Judas does indeed seem to have been not just an historical but a prophetic figure, i.e. the people who now run all the aforementioned power structures have in effect accepted the deal which was offered Jesus and which He rejected because it was of no profit to accept such extraordinary supernatural gifts if it meant losing ones soul – billionaires of nothingness.

    • Thanks: anarchyst
  38. @Agathoklis

    ‘Thanks for wasting 3 minutes of my life reading some weirdo’s interpretation and translation of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics but I can read Greek. I suggest you read the text yourself, even in English, and you will see Aristotle does not describe his ideal man as being “extremely proud, arrogant – and aloof”…’

    Welcome to Aaronland. Aaron’s whole M.O. consists of twisting external reality to whatever extent is necessary to make it fit whatever argument he wishes to make. If he found it necessary, he would cheerfully declare Gandhi a pioneer of medical science and Hitler a prophet of globalism.

  39. Tusk says:
    @anarchyst

    How do you reconcile the God of the Old Testament being the same God as the New Testament? It seems logically inconsistant that an eternally good being would, over such a short course of time, being ultimately transformed in the message that was produced.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  40. AaronB says:
    @Agathoklis

    It is not a midpoint. It is an extreme – Aristotle’s point is, it’s a deserved extreme. The great souled man is demanding exactly what is owed him – no more, no less. In that respect, it is a midpoint. But he is owed an extreme of honor.

    My comment above quoted Aristotle at length. Its quite clear.

    Anyways, this is the consensus in the West about Aristotle. The site I quoted was literally the first random site off Google – do a search, you will find dozens of sites pretty much saying what I am saying.

    I understand this is a revisionist site, but this is getting ridiculous. It’s becoming impossible to have simple conversations based on what used to widespread knowledge a generation ago. I’m not trying to “slander” Aristotle, merely pointing out that the Greek ideal was very different than the Jewish and Christian one.

    In any event, what is absolutely beyond any doubt is that Aristotle’s ideal is not the Christian ideal of meekness and humility – not does he break any resemblance to the broken-hearted man of meekness and humility that is sung about in the Psalms.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  41. AaronB says:
    @davidgmillsatty

    Probably you are right.

    I just don’t understand why for 2000 years, Christians themselves insisted that Jesus was the culmination of Jewish religious development. I also don’t understand why they kept the Old Testament as a holy book. Or why Jesus’s sayings are quotes from the Old Testament.

    Anyways, I don’t particularly have a problem with anyone redefining Christianity any way they want. In the Middle Ages, Christianity was defined as a religion of war, so people have been redefining Christianity for a long time.

    What matters is that certain ideas and values be kept alive in the world and propagated – monotheism (Unity, One principle at work), the ideal of ultimate peace, the ideal that humility and meekness are superior to arrogance, that one ought to be broken hearted and not proud, that the human story is one of gradual moral refinement, that the purpose of life is spiritual and not material development.

    These ideas are found in Judaism – and according to my reading, they run counter to the cultural ideals of the Greeks and the Romans.

    But their provenance doesn’t matter – if you want to claim Martians created Christianity, go for it.

    As for myself, I will hold to these values and idea is – and they disappear from the rest of the world, we will be ready with them again. The ideas are eternal and God given.

    So – good luck.

  42. So if Jews invented everything I have to ask–is Bill Gates Jewish? (Because, after all, some think these days that he’s the anti-Christ…)

  43. mcohen says:
    @anon

    Anon is wong.jews invent eveeyting

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephantine_papyri

    The Elephantine Papyri consist of 175 documents from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Aswan, which yielded hundreds of papyri in Hieratic and Demotic Egyptian, Aramaic, Koine Greek, Latin and Coptic, spanning a period of 100 years. The documents include letters and legal contracts from family and other archives, and are thus an invaluable source of knowledge for scholars of varied disciplines such as epistolography, law, society, religion, language and onomastics. They are a collection of ancient Jewish manuscripts dating from the 5th century BCE. They come from a Jewish community at Elephantine, then called ꜣbw. The dry soil of Upper Egypt preserved documents from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Aswan.

  44. @AaronB

    You have to put this in the context of the overall relationship between Greece and Judea. Simply put, Greeks and Jews did not get along. Kitos War and on and on. During the Hellenistic period, Judea was always in revolt.

    Jews seemed to get along with some Empires better than others. They did well with Romans and Ashkenazi Jews are essentially a result of Jewish migrant men intermarrying with Roman women. Polish and Jews did not get along, but Hungarians got along with them and again, there was considerable intermarriage. Armenians got along with Jews and again, there was considerable intermarriage.

    I’m simply giving you the backdrop. Hellenistic Greeks had an uneasy colony in Judea and revolt was constant. So of course the Hellenistic Greeks were not going to adopt the religion of Jews, whose rebellions they were always quashing.

    • Replies: @Malla
    , @AaronB
  45. @utu

    Very interesting!

    • Replies: @utu
  46. @AaronB

    I agree. There’s a good reason why the Christian religion conquered the ancient world while Stoic philosophy all but died out.

  47. @davidgmillsatty

    Mary’s deification was no doubt one of the reasons for the Protestant reformation. To Protestants, Mary is not a deity.

    The Protestants discovered empirically that nothing bad happened to them in this world when they became “atheistic” towards Mary and the other saints their Catholic ancestors had prayed to for centuries This set the precedent for questioning the value of believing in and worshiping God a few generations later.

  48. @davidgmillsatty

    The average Christian has no idea the New Testament was even written in Greek. Most think it was written in Hebrew.

    Did someone take a survey that shows this to be the case? I ask because it runs contrary to my experience.

  49. Watching the godless hold forth on what Christianity is and is not never fails to fascinate. I expect one day on this forum to be taught that Bach stole his cantatas from some random superior brown who wrote them in gazillion B.C., and they were originally composed in worship to Moloch.

    • LOL: Kolya Krassotkin
  50. @The Alarmist

    There’s also Sigmund Freud’s old idea from Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion that Moses was actually assassinated by the Israelites (possibly at the instigation of Aaron), and that they only deemed him a prophet after the fact out of suppressed guilt.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_and_Monotheism

    Money quote:

    “I have never doubted that religious phenomena are to be understood only on the model of the neurotic symptoms of the individual, which are so familiar to us, as a return of long forgotten important happenings in the primeval history of the human family, that they owe their obsessive character to that very origin and therefore derive their effect on mankind from the historical truth that they contain.”

    Sounds like a pretty good description of Judaism to me!

  51. @Guillaume Durocher

    I’ve never understood the appeal of Habermas.

    Peter Sloterdijk either. German philosophy is just not what it used to be. But then again, what is?

    • Replies: @Fuerchtegott
  52. @davidgmillsatty

    You might want to check out this guy:

    He’s a Jew, of course, and I just got his book on the afterlife. I haven’t read it (gotta finish Dmitry Orlov’s 5 Stages Of Collapse first) but it looks like it might be pretty good. All of his books look interesting, in fact.

    • Replies: @RVBlake
    , @Peter D. Bredon
  53. Malla says:
    @The Alarmist

    (Moses) They did not flee slavery, but instead were chased out as oppresive moneylenders.

    They might have been Bolsheviks of their days, too. During Roman times, the Chrestiani, were the Jewish Marxists of their days. The Vulture Capitalist-Marxist B.S. game has been used on civilizations from ancient times.

    From
    Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin: A Dialogue Between Adolf Hitler and Me by Deitrich Eckart

    http://www.racerealist.com/eckart_1.htm
    http://www.racerealist.com/eckart_2.htm

    “And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother and every one against his neighbor; city against city and kingdom against kingdom. And the spirit of Egypt shall fall in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards (Isaiah 19:2-3).

    …snip…

    “And in 1871, in Paris, the Jewish defense also ran according to plan. There the communists destroyed whatever they could, but the many places and houses of the Rothschilds remained completely intact. [4] All this enables us to understand the place in Exodus according to which ‘a mixed multitude’ also left Egypt with the Jews.”

    “In Egypt the scoundrels’ scheme succeed only about halfway,” he finished. “The Egyptians became masters of the situation at the last moment and sent the ‘mixed multitude’ to the devil, together with the Jews. There must have been a desperate struggle. The slaughter of the firstborn reveals that clearly enough. Just as they have done with us, the Jews had won the great lower stratum of the population for themselves — ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!’ — until one night they sent out the order, ‘Down with the bourgeois! Kill them, the dogs!’ but things didn’t turn out so well as they had expected. That portion of the Egyptian nation that had remained patriotic turned the tables and booted Moses, Cohn, and Levi out of the country, followed by the inhabitants whom they had incited. During this exodus they carried along as much stolen booty as they could manage, the Bible reports with satisfaction. It also reports, in no uncertain terms, that the Egyptians were glad to be rid of them (Exodus 12:35-36; Psalms 105:38). The best, though, was the reward the Jews gave their stupid accomplices. Suddenly they began calling them ‘rabble,’ [5] whereas formerly they had called them ‘comrade’ and pretended to love them. Imagine the faces these deluded ones must have made in the desert when they heard this.”

    “The murder of seventy-five thousand Persians, in the Book of Esther, no doubt had the same Bolshevist background,” I answered. “The Jews certainly didn’t accomplish that all by themselves.”

    “No more,” he confirmed, “than the dreadful bloodbath over half the Roman Empire, which took place during the reign of Emperor Trajan. Hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish nobles in Babylonia, in Cyrenaica, in Egypt, and on Cyprus butchered like cattle, most of them after the most abominable torture! [6] And today the Jews still rejoice over that. ‘

    …snip…

    “By now, the Egyptians had forgotten dear Joseph, who was dead and gone but there was no lack of others on whom to blame the state of affairs, namely the landowners, the industrialists, the bourgeois. According to the Jews, no one else was responsible. ‘Proletarians of all countries, unite!’ And the masses believed it and turned on their own flesh and blood for the sake of the ‘chosen people,’ who had brought on all their distress in the first place. But to us they touchingly read aloud in school the beautiful story of Joseph and his brothers. No doubt many teachers ‘wept a good while.’ It’s enough to drive one to despair.”

  54. anarchyst says:
    @Tusk

    No one can be sure about “God” as no one has ever seen “it”.

    It is my humble opinion that the “God” of the Old Testament is not the “God” of the New Testament. Jews have worshiped false Gods such as a “golden calf”.

    However, if it turns out that the “Gods” are one and the same, jewish behavior figures into the way a “God” would deal with stubborn, vengeful, nasty and criminal behavior.

    Regards,

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  55. @Digital Samizdat

    And look with what a Kasper Sloterdijk was replaced.
    Precht.

  56. @davidgmillsatty

    Nor is the story of the Flood, which was first recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh from ancient Babylon.

    • Replies: @Gleimhart Mantooso
  57. @AaronB

    “Christianity kept the Old Testament because it understood that Jesus only made sense as the crowning piece of a story of development. Judaism also only makes sense in the same context – as can be seen by a glance at the OT and the way it changes.” [my emphasis]
    In effect, Judaism does not, (& probably can never) make any sense because it is inherently static. To accept a Christ, a redeemer, to accept the “fulfillment” of the Law would END the Judaic identity. Judaism is built its own upon ethnic/religious identity in contradistinction to ALL other identities.
    The Jesus of the NT could NEVER be their redeemer. The Jewish Messiah is the fulfillment of Jewish identity, of all Jewish “development”: he is literally the King of ALL Kings. That is, he leads the Jews to the actual conquest of ALL peoples & the whole world.
    The author importantly, points out the often tenuous or casual connection between the OT & the Talmud — this, should send off alarm bells itself as to Jewish commitment to the humble & spiritual acceptance of the OT.

    • Agree: Fuerchtegott
  58. @AaronB

    Well stated. There is more to say of course, but this much is well said.

    Historically or culturally, or for taxonomic purposes, we may think of Christianity as being Aquinas and the Catholic Church and long zany philosophical debates and the pronouncements of popes and so forth.

    But it is not. Christianity is the Gospels, the actual words and deeds and ministry and death and resurrection and glorification of Jesus Christ. Even St. Paul is just commentary in comparison. And you are right to say that the Gospels are not properly understood without a proper understanding of the personality of God as attested in the OT and an understanding of development. Catholics call this “salvation history”). Of course this understanding also demands throwing the whole Talmud right out the window, as should be done, but that is a whole different conversation.

    When all is said and done, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  59. RVBlake says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    Where did you receive your assurance that Ehrman is Jewish?

  60. @AaronB

    “No Greek thought war was wrong”

    More nonsensical caricatures of Greek culture. Both Plato and Aristotle envisaged ideal cities at peace, in their natural condition, rather than fighting unnecessary wars . War was considered unnatural. Also, the Cynics, notably Crates thought war was quite stupid.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
  61. Malla says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Jews hated the Hellenistic Greeks and their civilization based on rationalism and philosophy and probably worked to destroy them. That continues to this day in the Jewish hatred for the West (incl. Russia) and their continues efforts to undermine the West.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  62. @AaronB

    The fact that you took your information from the first random site off Google demonstrates complete lack of knowledge of the subject matter. Aristotle stresses throughout all his books on ethics the idea of the Golden Mean. This is fundamental to Aristotelian philosophy and is certainly not revisionist. Therefore, Aristotle cannot have advocated his Ideal Man as being extremely proud but rather having proper ambition and pride. You are slandering Aristotle by misrepresenting what he wrote.

    The Greeks had a lot to say of humility. In fact, they had a god representing shame, respect, modesty and humility and his name was Aidos and there was some commonality with Christianity. Aristotle and Epictetus said quite a lot about the need for aidos or humility; however, Aristotle also cautioned against undue humility.

    It seems that a lot of your understanding of the Greeks is filtered through Nietzsche. Obviously, he was brilliant but he read into the Greeks what he wanted to read rather than what was actually there.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  63. @Malla

    You are right. This is all a true story but…

    Greeks managed to get along with Punjabi and were eventually assimilated into Northern India. Why were they unable to do this with Jews?

    Jews never got a foothold in India. They arrived in antiquity and the St. Thomas Christians have some juice in Kerala (I hung out with them) but overall Jews never became powerful in Indian society. Why? Is it only that everyone is slimy and conniving in India and Jews had no evolutionary advantage?

    Why do Jews feel a particularly animosity towards England? Why not Pakistan? Or Bangladesh?

    Speaking of Jews and Indians, please watch the exciting new Sunny Leone horror film I EAT YOUR SKIN

    • Replies: @Malla
  64. AaronB says:
    @Agathoklis

    Aristotle stresses throughout all his books on ethics the idea of the Golden Mean. This is fundamental to Aristotelian philosophy and is certainly not revisionist. Therefore, Aristotle cannot have advocated his Ideal Man as being extremely proud but rather having proper ambition and pride. You are slandering Aristotle by misrepresenting what he wrote.

    Fair enough, and you are not wrong.

    However, the Mean is a term of relation – it is relative to a reference point.

    Aristotle makes clear that his reference point is what a person deserves – excess would be to demand more than one deserves, deficiency would be to demand less. The mean is to demand the proper amount relative to ones excellence.

    The Great Souled man is the summit of excellence, therefore the Mean for him particularly is to demand the maximum of honor due to a mortal man.

    Perhaps the excess for him would be to demand the honor due to a superhuman God, and the deficiency for him would be to demand the honor due merely to an ordinary respectable citizen.

    Does this make sense?

    • Troll: Fuerchtegott
  65. Talha says:
    @Felix Krull

    Funny how there’s no such thing as Judaeo-Islam.

    Not really. Islam doesn’t really have a need for the Bible at all, you could burn all the Torahs and the Bibles in the world and it wouldn’t make a difference to any of the Islamic narrative or doctrines or jurisprudence. In fact, the entire tradition is considered “Israiliyyat” (meaning “stuff reported by people of Bani Israel”); if you look at books of history of prophets (like Imam Ibn Kathir’s, for instance), every other paragraph starts with:
    “The People of the Book claim…”
    “It comes to us from the People of the Book…”

    Mufti Ismael Menk explains it pretty well and concisely:

    Also, the last manifestation of Islam was revealed directly to the Ishmaelite line, completely bypassing the line of Ishaac (pbuh), the descendants from which terms like “Israel” and “Judah” and such come.

    Peace.

  66. AaronB says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Thanks.

    It’s obvious that Jesus’s ethics are significantly different from the early parts of the Bible, but then so are the ethics of the Prophets.

    If Christianity is a “repudiation” of the OT, then so are the Prophets.

    It is very obviously a story of development, of progress, to universal peace in times of the Messiah (for Christians, the Second Coming I suppose), and has always been seen that way by both Jews and Christians. One might call it The Sentimental Education of Mankind, on one level.

    If you want to get a Bronze Age people to start this journey, God has to present himself in ways they can relate to, and that make sense in their environment. What’s more, what makes moral sense in a Bronze Age environment may not in a later age. Environments change and evolve, and make different demands of us.

    That being said, the early parts of the Bible also contain things of great moral and spiritual value, and Jews have also always considered the whole Bible to have a metaphorical and esoteric meaning as well as a literal one.

    This whole concept – that mankind as a whole is involved in a fateful drama, is one of the great compelling ideas that has animated Western culture.

    Spiritually, it has a powerful effect – one comes from humble beginnings, and one is destined to attain great heights. The whole world and everything in it has meaning.

    Jesus as the culminating figure of one major stage of this development situates him in this drama – if he merely came to oppose what went before, rather than develop out of it, he’d represent spiritual Dualism, not Monotheism.

    One God must have designed a world where all of history works towards his plan – that Jesus would suddenly appear, merely to repudiate what went before, implies randomness, error, waste, and lack of design. That Jesus fulfills Gods plan, is consistent with an omniscient One God.

    Monotheism in general implies development and gradation, not simple opposition and repudiation. In this respect it is Similar to the religions of the East.

    Of course, Jews do not agree that Jesus was the Messiah 🙂

    But that is a different story…

  67. Stan says:

    The biggest invention of Jews is Yahweh, who sanctifies genocide, ethnic cleansing and land theft.

  68. @davidgmillsatty

    Putting religion aside, there is ample evidence for an “afterlife”. The body contains energy. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
    There were many experiments done, starting in the 19th century, demonstrating that there is an afterlife. This is one example:
    https://www.survivalafterdeath.info/library/crookes/researches/notes.htm

    • Replies: @davidgmillsatty
  69. utu says:
    @Guillaume Durocher

    One may think that if Jews were not defeated in time by Romans and Christianity the Greek heritage would be completely appropriated by them and the Greeks would be retconned from history.

  70. @Talha

    In theory, Islam was a form of socialism and self-improvement as oppose to purely a monotheistic religion.

    • Replies: @Talha
  71. @anarchyst

    The God may, or may not, be the same God. I depends on how you look at it.
    These days Christians and Jews (for that matter Muslims) think of “the God of Abraham” as being the “one God”. Look at the Commandments:

    20 And God spake all these words, saying,
    2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
    3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
    5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    I see that there are more Gods than one; no statuary or painting allowed (photography an absolute no no); ignore the other Gods, I’m the only one that counts; and if you don’t ignore the other Gods, I’m going to fuck you and your family, but good.

    Not sure that’s the God of Christianity, since we have statuary, painting, and photography. Neither would the God who ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son. Note Abraham was upset that it was his son, not that it was someone else’s son.
    Not sure that the real Christian God would have seen Rebekah’s colluding with Jacob to steal Esau’s blessing as a okie-dokie, then elevate Rebekah to a star of the faith.

    In any event, the old Lutheran catechism that I was brought up on never really addressed that head on. The message was that the Commandments were the covenant, the Jews broke the covenant, and therefore, were no longer the “chosen ones” because they followed the Talmud. The New Testament was the new covenant, and Christians were now the “chosen ones”. The Christ is “the way” to God (none comes to the Father, but through me).

    Take your pick. From my perspective the main difference is that do unto others is the necessary fabric of society, regardless of religion, and that Christianity is open to all, whereas the do unto others of Judaism is applicable Talmud-wise, only to other Jews.

    • Thanks: anarchyst
    • Replies: @Talha
  72. @davidgmillsatty

    You may be interested in this take on the Bible;

  73. Talha says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Obviously Muslims don’t accept that theory. 😉

    But yes, it certainly did introduce many social reforms.

    Say, did you ever travel to or live in South Africa?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  74. Talha says:
    @Curmudgeon

    3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me….I see that there are more Gods than one

    This is a good article I posted elsewhere on some research about the evolution of that concept among the ancient Jews (the jury is obviously still out about what this all means and, of course, open to debate on conclusions as well as potential new discoveries):
    “When the Jews Believed in Other Gods: The bible is rife with references to deities other than Yahweh: The prophets didn’t deny these gods existed, they just didn’t think Jews should worship them”
    https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:CYuqSU67WPMJ:https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium.MAGAZINE-when-the-jews-believed-in-other-gods-1.6315810

    (for that matter Muslims) think of “the God of Abraham” as being the “one God”

    I can only really speak for my tradition; in Islam, the formula (which we teach toddlers, to be honest) is much more clear:
    Laa ilaaha illa Allah

    The sentence follows the structure of ‘laa nafi al-jins’ – negation of category or categorical negation. And places an exceptional clause at the end for “Allah”

    This has generally been translated simply as “There is no god except Allah”, which is sufficient of itself to clarify, but a more in-tune translation with the import of the language structure being used would be along the lines of:
    “All categories of ‘gods’ are negated – except Allah.”
    “There are no such things as ‘gods’, there is Allah.”

    The language simply doesn’t allow for any confusion about even the possibility of any other “god”.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  75. @Talha

    I should state that social reform is a byproduct and by extension a form of social conscience.

    And lets be fair. In Dubai, the oil money is spread around. In oil rich Texas, there is massive poverty-TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is fundamentally an economic horror film about how deprived and low the rural poor can get.

    Never been to SA

    • Replies: @Talha
  76. orionyx says:
    @Zimriel

    The Jews did not invent the alphabet, and there are two things sustaining this assertion:
    1. The alphabet of the Jews is defective: its 22 letters can’t represent all the sounds of the Semitic language, and at least 2 millennia ago, several of those 22 letters had been conflated.
    2. Why is the alphabet in alphabetical order? Because in that order, it forms an easily-remembered mnemonic, enabling it to be learned in minutes. But the Jews didn’t know this mnemonic, so they gave the letters fanciful names like alef and bet – an ox’s head and a house.
    The South Semitic alphabet, which survived in Southern Arabia and perhaps gave rise to Ge’ez and Amharic, had 29 letters for all the sounds of Semitic. Its order is different, perhaps showing that they used a different mnemonic.
    The modern Hebrew alphabet is not that of the time of Herod. Instead, it’s the Aramaic alphabet of the time, which is still taught in some Christian villages in Syria.

    • Replies: @zimriel
  77. MarkinLA says:

    Did the Jews invent financial fraud? It sure seems like it.

  78. AaronB says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Well, yes and no.

    The Greeks were the cultural imperialists of their day. They didn’t just conquer, they tried to impose their culture on everyone. And compared to Judaism, their culture was very materialist and focused on the body.

    Jews do not take well to this kind of thing – not only did they rebel – and win – against the Greeks, I think they were the only people to rebel against the combined might of the Roman Empire, twice.

    I don’t think there is any people in the world quite as stubborn as the Jews – the Bible describes them as unbelievably stiff necked.

    On the other hand, many Jews were attracted to Greek culture and partially assimilated, as today with Western secular culture. So the relationship was not one of total dislike and rejection.

    But at the end of the day, Greek culture and Judaism do stand for opposite poles – Greece for the material world and the body, and Judaism for the spirit and God.

    However, Judaism, being monotheistic, tends to think in terms of cooperation and co-ordination rather than simple opposition (everyone is part of Gods plan in some way), so there are traditions which tell us that the task of the Greeks was to beautify the world in cooperation with the Jews infusing spirituality into the world, and there is not supposed to be any essential animosity.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  79. @utu

    Baloney. Science has nothing to do with religion. None. Zip. Nada. Religion just takes up the space in our knowledge where we haven’t advanced science far enough yet.

    I am a life form and once I quit being a life form, I am done. If you want to think that once you are no longer a life form you are something else, go right ahead and think that way. Not for me.

    • Troll: Truth3
    • Replies: @utu
    , @Jon Baptist
    , @Truth3
  80. Talha says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is fundamentally an economic horror film about how deprived and low the rural poor can get.

    You know, I had never really thought about it that way…interesting take.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  81. @Curmudgeon

    Energy does not make you a life form.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  82. Fomenko thought works attributed to ancient Greece and copied into books in the Renaissance were actually original works of the period with a false attribution to ancient authors.
    DATING PTOLEMY’S AMALGEST

  83. @AaronB

    ‘The Greeks were the cultural imperialists of their day. They didn’t just conquer, they tried to impose their culture on everyone.”

    Incorrect. There is strong evidence that in Greek colonies in southern Italy, Sicily and around the rim of the Black Sea, Greeks generally reached an accommodation with the native peoples. Of course, they usually established trading emporia or small colonies which meant pushing the native people inland slightly, but later, they did not fight imperial wars but usually wars for resources. That is probably too much of a subtle difference for your coarse little mind. Later, during Alexander’s campaigns and during the period of his Diadochi (Successors) and Epigone (later Hellenistic kings), Greeks did not wage war to convert the local people; however, they did send out war veterans to established small cities among the locals. The local people were so enamoured with the benefits of Hellenic culture they readily adopted Greek norms like Jews attending the gymnasium and some even stopped the barbaric practice of circumcising themselves so as not to embarrass themselves. Only later, when the Greek-speaking population was now calling itself, Romaioi (Byzantines) were there occasional campaigns by zealous empowers to convert Jews and other heretics; but, again generally Roman policy was to find an accommodation with alloethnie (other ethnic groups) and allothriskoi (other religious groups).

    “And compared to Judaism, their culture was very materialist and focused on the body.”

    Again, you are propagating another tired cliché more befitting a little child. Platonic, Pythagorean, Cynic, Neophythagorean and later Neoplatonic philosophy was very focused on the mind sometimes to the detriment of the body. The Greeks were generally focused on the mind and body; however, to a Jew Hellenic culture may look very materialist because the Jews completely rejected the body.

    “I think they were the only people to rebel against the combined might of the Roman Empire, twice.”

    Rubbish. Many ethnic groups rebelled many times against the Roman empire. The Hellenistic kinds fought battles for many years against the Romans, and rebelled many times thereafter such as the Achaean War and the Mithridatic War. These were proper rebellions with large armies and the Greek rebels taking Roman territory for a short while. Not the little irrelevant pinpricks of the so-called “Jewish rebellions”. Other ethnic groups that rebelled against Rome were the Germans and Gauls. One of the self-aggrandising myths of the Jewish people is that they rebelled against Rome. In reality, these were merely small flare ups for Rome and were of no significance.

    “But at the end of the day, Greek culture and Judaism do stand for opposite poles – Greece for the material world and the body, and Judaism for the spirit and God.”

    Please refer to the above. Regarding more non-elite spirituality, perhaps as a starter go and read E.R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational. It is somewhat outdated but the scholarship remains second to none. Then read Plato, Plutarch, Maximum of Tyre, Numenius, Plotinus, Porphry, Proclus and Simplicius.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  84. @Talha

    I can’t comment, other than to say that the Jews see themselves as descendants of Abraham and in following his faith.
    To an “outsider” this Muslim sees a connection between the three.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/dec/25/ahmadinejad-christmas-message

    • Replies: @Talha
  85. @davidgmillsatty

    Look at the studies. Crookes is no fraud.
    The physical human body is a complex mass of chemicals. “Froghead” children are born with a pons, but no cerebrum, and therefore no cerebral cortex (cognition). They die within hours. The cognition is the energy for the pons, which triggers the involuntary, like breathing and heart beat. No energy = no life.

    • Replies: @davidgmillsatty
  86. zimriel says:
    @orionyx

    I’m talking about the Palaeo Hebrew alphabet, not the Imperial Aramaic falsely called “Hebrew” today. The PH alphabet is ancestral to Phoenician, Greek, Latin, and Aramaic alphabets together. Obviously the southern Hebrews in Sinai didn’t go on to invent the Aramaic alphabet, the Babylonians imposed that defective nonsense on them.

  87. Talha says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Oh there is definitely a connection between the three. We also believe we are on the primordial monotheism of Abraham (pbuh):
    “Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a Haneef (a pure monotheist), a Muslim [submitting to Allah]. And he was not of the polytheists.” (3:67)

    “They say, ‘Be Jews or Christians [so] you will be guided.’ Say, ‘Rather, [we follow] the religion of Abraham, as Haneef (pure monotheists), and he was not of the polytheists.’” (2:135)

    We regard the Prophets from Bani Israel (pbut) as true prophets and believe Jesus, the Son of Mary (pbuh) was also a prophet. BUT that’s not because THEIR books say so, but because OUR book says so.

    As I said, if all the Bibles in the world were burned or Jews and Christians all turned their back on their religion, it wouldn’t make a dime of difference to Muslims. We also believe prophets were sent to other people across the world (not just the descendants of Ishaac [pbuh]); not because the Bible says so, but because our book says so:
    “And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], ‘Worship Allah and avoid false gods.’…” (16:36)

    The Bible seems to make an assumption that God only granted revelation to (or sent prophets among) the descendants of Bani Israel – and we simply see no reason to accept that a priori assumption.

    Hope that makes it clearer.

    That’s why our formula for monotheism (as I detailed it) doesn’t rely on anything reported (or evolved) in either the Old or New Testament, so any if they ever had any assumptions of other possible deities – then we are free from that completely.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  88. @Talha

    Mainline Sunni Islam is clearly an abomination and should never have escaped the sand dunes of the Arabian peninsula. However, certain so-called heterodox sects like the Druze, Alawi, Alevi and certain forms of Shia show the influence of Greek (and Roman) philosophical schools and practice at varying degrees and should be supported and studied. Both Sunni Islam and Judaism are infantile religions. Very simply, the banning of the figurative depiction of the divine or the one or the absolute or the thousands of rules governing everyday life betray an insecure and fearful people. In comparison, although not perfect as the theology of Proclus, Orthodox and Catholic Christianity are generally closest to our Greco-Roman inheritance.

    • Replies: @Talha
  89. @davidgmillsatty

    David,
    Thanks for your intelligent historical note and analysis, which is right on the mark.
    Plus, your last sentence brought a smile to my lips! Again, so true!

    • Thanks: davidgmillsatty
  90. Malla says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Greeks managed to get along with Punjabi and were eventually assimilated into Northern India. Why were they unable to do this with Jews?

    Maybe, Jews be raciss!!! Greeks with time assimilated into Punjabis and Afghans or even more into the interior of India.

    Jews never got a foothold in India.

    Maybe they did, maybe they assimilated in India. The ‘Rebbe’ in one of his speeches had stated that earlier most Jews live in the Middle East and India (South Asia). It seems Jews do not like being assimilated into YT but MAYBE do not mind assimilation with desi.

    Why? Is it only that everyone is slimy and conniving in India and Jews had no evolutionary advantage?

    Could be, very good point. We Hindus are also known as Hinjews. But to be honest, nearly all brown folk behave like second rate Jews.

    Why do Jews feel a particularly animosity towards England? Why not Pakistan? Or Bangladesh?

    I and the poster Rurik have discussed this phenomenon. Rurik has some excellent posts which I agree with.

    https://www.unz.com/gatzmon/predators-united/?highlight=Poland#comment-3384720
    https://www.unz.com/pbuchanan/is-this-how-europe-ends/#comment-3763176

  91. Talha says:
    @Agathoklis

    Mainline Sunni Islam is clearly an abomination and should never have escaped the sand dunes of the Arabian peninsula.

    Well the Byzantine Empire certainly had its chance to stop it, but dropped the ball on that one, didn’t they?

    In comparison, although not perfect as the theology of Proclus, Orthodox and Catholic Christianity are generally closest to our Greco-Roman inheritance.

    Cool, though not exactly sure why a person from Pakistani (and original Persian) descent would really care.

    Look, you can think Islam is the stupidest religion on the planet or the spawn of the devil or made up by aliens, makes no difference to me; I was just clarifying the doctrine because it was mentioned.

    Peace.

  92. AaronB says:
    @Agathoklis

    I have the deepest respect for the Neo-Platonists, but didn’t they get their ideas from the Jews? 🙂

    Kidding, kidding..

    And Plato of course was very unphysical, and you are certainly correct that Hellenistic culture had that element.

    In general, these things come down to a question of emphasis. Some cultures choose to make certain things front and center, while others choose other things to emphasize – yet both may contain on some level what the other emphasizes.

    This is unfortunately becoming a bit too much of a pissing match – I have deep respect for ancient Greek culture – who could not? – and it is blindingly obvious that the Greeks were vastly superior to the Hebrews in a variety of ways. No one could deny that – ancient Greece was one of the worlds pivotal cultures.

    And it is also true that Greek thought contributed to Christianity, sometimes heavily – the Neo-Platonists contributed heavily to Christian mysticism, and Greek philosophy to Christian philosophy – though to my mind, less fortuitously.

    Only – it remains a fact that on the emotional, imaginative, and spiritual level – not the intellectual level – Judaism was the main inspiration for Christianity – indeed, Christianity saw itself as continuing the essential Jewish story, the Jewish drama, and took over key ideas and values that were especially prominent in Judaism although they may also have existed in Greek culture on some level.

    But you will deny all this, so perhaps there is little point in going on. You are a man very proud of his culture, which I can respect.

    In the end, however you wish to see Christianity is unimportant to me – only, the ideas should remain.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  93. utu says:
    @davidgmillsatty

    If you are a materialist you must accept that you have no free will. That both your consciousness and free will are illusions. But to go on living you must keep pretending that they are kind of real.

    If you keep insisting that you have no free will which you must as a materialist and that your consciousness is a mere epiphenomenon then you must accept you are an automaton who is programmed to fake feelings, pleasures, pains, desires, thoughts and decisions that only create an illusion for you. You are not a master of yourself. How could you, if you have no free will and your consciousness is just a theater played for you by what you can’t control?

    Only by rejecting materialism or a part of it you can free your free will to become real and no longer an illusion. This opens you to what can’t exists in the material realm. Hence you have a room for religion and much much more.

    • Agree: Curmudgeon
    • Replies: @davidgmillsatty
  94. @RVBlake

    I guess he’s not! The Jewy name fooled me.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_D._Ehrman

    Not your average goyische kopf tho’

  95. @AaronB

    It is not about which culture is better or worse. A historian, even an amaetur one, does not make moral judgements or ranks peoples. He is most concerned with being historically accurate and many of the things you things you wrote about the Greeks were innacurate. And objectively, the Jewish contribution to Christianity and Western culture more generally has been overstated. Jews were simply actors at the beginning of the Christian story. That was it. There was a lot of Christian history (theologians, saints, patriarchs, popes, poets, emporers, soldiers and so on); in fact, an overwhelming part of Christian history history occurred after 33AD. As for the spiritual and theological thrust of Christianity, that was hammered out over centures of argument, apologetics and councils. Yes, they sometimes referred to the Old Testament but only as preparation for the New Testament and Patristic literature. The Jews played no role in this story whatsoever. The supposed contribution of Judaism to Christianity is primarily due to contemporary US and Western politics and will recede as the memory of WWII fades.

    However, an individual might make moral or qualitative judgements of this or that people. Personally, I do not give much consideration to the Hebrews or Jews as a historical people. Neither like them or dislike them. They are just one of many people that pass through history of similar importance to the Skythians, Cumans, Avars or Iberians but definitely not as important as the Egyptians or Persians. Unfortunately, we lack a powerful Persian or Egyptian lobby in the United States to incentivise publishers to produce books exalting the contributions of these peoples to world history. If we did, we might have people lazily referring to our Egypto-Christian heritage.

    • Agree: utu
  96. @Digital Samizdat

    So the flood didn’t happen cuz an account of it was given elsewhere! Such unassailable logic. I bet Moses read the Gilgamesh thing on Wikipedia and just changed some shit to make it his own.

    No wait; don’t tell me. Moses didn’t exist and is based on something some superior brown people thought up a million years ago.

  97. Malla says:
    @Agathoklis

    ” They (Jews) are just one of many people that pass through history ”
    oooo…That was harsh!!!! BRUTAL!!!!
    but honest fact.

  98. anon[207] • Disclaimer says:
    @Agathoklis

    They are just one of many people that pass through history of similar importance to the Skythians, Cumans, Avars or Iberians

    That’s silly, Skythians, Cumans etc. didn’t produce a literate culture and are only known by what others wrote about them. They also didn’t create a religion providing core elements for later universalistic faiths encompassing much of humanity (not even sure what the religions of Skythians etc. were, I suppose some kind of primitive shamanism).
    imo you also underestimate the importance of references to the Old Testament for medieval Christians, they were prominent in many contexts, e.g. a Helleno-supremacist like you will certainly know of the emperor Heraclius, whose imperial propaganda presented him as a new king David (the figure of the Melchisedek, king and priest, a pre-figuration of Christ, was also important for the self-conception of Byzantine emperors). Yes, the references to the Old Testament were usually refracted through the peculiar lens of Christian typology, no doubt Jews would have interpreted things differently (Christian views of the OT were probably a sort of “cultural appropriation” to them), but it’s misguided imo to claim that the OT plays barely any role in Christianity, Marcion lost the debate quite decisively.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  99. AaronB says:
    @Agathoklis

    Well, you may be right.

    I am not so much interested in a “historical” conversation with someone unless we have broad agreement on basic fundamentals, as someone could simply refuse to accept any evidence I offer, and interpret everything in a way I consider logically untenable.

    But it may be that Jews are just another passing people with no more significance than the Scythians and played no significant role in world history, and that Christianity and Islam are not significantly rooted in Judaism, and that the way history has been taught for the past few hundred years is completely mistaken.

    And it may be that all the ideas that I ascribe to Jews are really found with equal emphasis and development among the Greeks, or more so, and that you can easily turn to them for religious inspiration.

    And it may be that Aristotle’s Great Souled man is really the precursor to the Christian ideal of humility and meekness, the broken hearted man of the Psalms, and that pagan Greeks were the ones who provided the world with an ideal of life being focused on service of God, and not material development, and that original sin and thus salvation are not significant parts of Christianity, etc, etc, and all the other stuff.

    As a matter of objective history, certainly this is not how history has been taught in the West for several hundred years, predating Jewish influence, and certainly everything I have read contradicts this – but I suppose everyone is entitled to their interpretation of history, so if this is what you think, more power to you.

    I guess the real test will be in the coming years – will Christians who understand their tradition as you do, and turn to the Greek classics for religious inspiration and see themselves as disconnected from Judaism, be able to sustain a vital and dynamic religion that doesn’t degrade into materialism and polytheism?

    If yes, then more power to you guys. Good on you. And good luck. I wish you guys the best.

    It doesn’t really matter if Jews get “credit”, what matters is that the True God is being served correctly.

    If you guys can achieve that with no connection to Jews, then fantastic – you don’t need Jews, and everyone is happy.

    So I guess time will tell. Or it would, theoretically, if your view was the dominant view in Christianity, which it is not, and Christian liturgy, prayer, practice and life is suffused with references to figures, poetry, and sentences from the OT.

    But it would be an interesting experiment, I grant you.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Agathoklis
  100. @Talha

    Most people overlook the fact that Texas and Oklahoma have immense oil wealth.

    But every time I bring up the fact that Dubai is a Muslim country and has a higher standard of living and a better infrastructure and Emirate all have a house, free education, a free vehicle or that I never felt endangered as I had in Phoenix everyone says “Its the oil!”

    Well Texas has oil. And the poverty in Texas bush country is fairly astonishing. And so is the poverty in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

    Much is made of the poverty of foreign workers in Dubai, but they do not behave Mexican immigrants in Texas either. Much is made of refugee crimes in Europe, but nobody is raped on Dubai streets.

  101. anon[207] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    and that original sin and thus salvation are not significant parts of Christianity

    Original sin is certainly an important part of Western Christianity at least, but is it actually part of Judaism? iirc there’s no equivalent concept of the Fall linked to the Adam and Eve story in Judaism, that’s more of a Christian innovation.

    I guess the real test will be in the coming years – will Christians who understand their tradition as you do, and turn to the Greek classics for religious inspiration and see themselves as disconnected from Judaism, be able to sustain a vital and dynamic religion that doesn’t degrade into materialism and polytheism?

    The real project is of course to re-establish worship of the immortal gods (nothing “degrading” or materialist about that either).

    • Replies: @Talha
  102. I’ll tell you something else the “jews” invented: The most universal form of government: the entire plethora of religious angel-on-a-pin-counting drivel that occupies so much of “Western thought”. Great article, pity the comments are dominated by believers of kinds. May I suggest we go quiet for a moment and reflect on the similarities between, say, communism and, er, choose any ‘converting’ religion. Once you agree on the lack of differences, we can start talking how religion is nothing but social engineering.
    The obsession to relate all history and culture to religion is a process I am investigating, and this article helped me along, thanks G.
    That’s G. Duocher, not the holy spook one.

  103. Talha says:
    @anon

    The real project is of course to re-establish worship of the immortal gods

    What does this mean?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @anon
  104. @anon

    Although it is largely the same book, Christians used and interpreted the stories of the Old Testament in an entirely different way than the Jews. The interpretive role was conducted by Greeks, Syrians, Latins, a handful other people and a very small number of converted Jews. The edifice of Christianity was built by Gentiles.

    Roman (Byzantine) emperors appropriated many symbols and figures of history i.e. Alexander the Great, pre-Constantinian Roman emperors and the Old Testament for their propagandistic purposes while at the same time periodically crushing Jews for their heresies. Christians making occasional references to Jews does not mean that we should create meaningless terms such as Judaeo-Christian. The Zoroastrian religion also made some contributions to Christianity but we do not use the term, Zoroastrian-Christian to describe our heritage. Why? Because the Zoroastrian lobby in the United States is tiny.

  105. @AaronB

    “I am not so much interested in a “historical” conversation with someone unless we have broad agreement on basic fundamentals, as someone could simply refuse to accept any evidence I offer, and interpret everything in a way I consider logically untenable.”

    It is hard to take someone seriously when they conduct an Internet searches, latch onto the first entry and then peddle this weird interpretation of Aristotle i.e. extreme pride. Extreme is the last adjective one would use to describe Aristotle’s thought.

    “And it may be that Aristotle’s Great Souled man is really the precursor to the Christian ideal of humility and meekness”

    I did not make any claims that Aristotle’s Magnanimous Man was precursor to the Christian ideal of humility and meekness. However, many Christian values were present in Greek culture. Greek culture was more expansive and emphasised other values as well.

    “ that pagan Greeks were the ones who provided the world with an ideal of life being focused on service of God, and not material development”

    I would be really interested if you can find references in Greek thought on the ideal life being focused on material development and not for example, The Good, or The One, or Pleasure or Reason. If you do, you will have discovered something scholars have not discovered since the Renaissance.

    “original sin and thus salvation are not significant parts of Christianity”

    Original sin is non-existent part of Orthodox Christianity; especially, as it is understood by Catholics, but rather the Orthodox believe in Ancestral Sin. Even then Theosis is a more important element.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  106. Talha says:
    @anon

    Ah, OK – return to paganism. Fascinating.

    I wonder which pantheon will win out:
    https://mythopedia.com/greek-mythology/gods/
    https://mythopedia.com/norse-mythology/gods/
    https://mythopedia.com/celtic-mythology/gods/

    Though not sure how Zoroastrianism fits into that scheme, but I guess we’ll see.

    And…
    “Plethon believed the universe has no beginning or end in time…”

    I’m also fascinated how some people simply seem to have no problem with the concept of infinite regress. And especially given what we know about the history of the universe via observation.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @anon
  107. anon[178] • Disclaimer says:
    @Talha

    I wonder which pantheon will win out:

    No problem:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretatio_graeca

    And anyway, sophisticated pagans in late antiquity like Porphyry or the emperor Julian didn’t really believe in the literal existence of the gods and goddesses…those are more like symbols for different aspects of the one deity. Just as the myths aren’t quasi-historical narratives about events that really happened, but symbols for eternal truths. The issue is in some sense less one of polytheism/monotheism in the strict sense, but more about the claims to exclusive revealed truth made by Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

    • Replies: @Talha
  108. @Jeff Stryker

    Well Texas has oil. And the poverty in Texas bush country is fairly astonishing. And so is the poverty in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

    Yeah, but them A-rabs in Doo-bye hate ‘Murican freedoms. Like the freedom to rip off the rest of the citizenry.
    We have a similar problem in Canada. When our two biggest oil producing provinces were created, the provincial governments retained all mineral rights. In the other provinces, it was the private land owners, as in Texas. While our largest producer, Alberta, has the mineral rights, it also has among the world’s lowest royalties. Other than good roads and no sales tax, Alberta does astonishingly little for its citizens. The other provinces, where the oil is in private hands, can actually cost the province money. Roads are pounded by the drilling equipment and in need of repair more frequently, but it’s the rest of us paying for the upkeep, not the people on whose land the oil wells are.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Jeff Stryker
  109. I was reading a not well known text which I think illustrates the different perceptions of the divine in the Old Testament compared with the what went before the Sinai revelation.

    In the 2nd Book of Samuel (6:7; + 1 Chron 13:9) Uzzah is described as putting his hand on the Ark of the Covenant to stop it tipping over as its was being transported when the oxen accidentally stumbled. Most people I think would expect Uzaah to be commended for his response, albeit reflex, to the endangered sacred ark however, for this he is struck down dead by god.

    A similar incident is recorded in the 5th dynasty (c. 2494 – c. 2160 bc) tomb of Rawer in Ancient Egypt but the outcome is very different. Not only was the King divine (the King who evicted the Hyksos is described as having been “sent as a Saviour” in a Karnak stela) but all the objects connected to divine Kingship were divinised and most sacred (deseret).

    Rawer was sailing with the King and His entourage when he accidentally stumbled on the sacred royal staff. Rawer is not struck down by the King but instead records for posterity His response “My Majesty desires that he (Rawer) be very sound without a blow to him” and how “ His Majesty commanded that it be put in writing on his tomb which is in the necropolis. His Majesty caused a document to be made of it, (which was) written (inscribed) beside the king himself, at the stoneworks of Pharaoh, in order that it should be written in accordance with what was said, in his tomb that is in the necropolis”.

    As the scholar who translated the texts notes “The Egyptians would have regarded the event as very dangerous for both king and gods and as a result for themselves. The priest might have expected punishment both in life and after death. The king’s action was designed to protect the priest in both life and the afterlife. The inscription is an excellent example of the royal duty, to be just towards and to protect the Egyptians, in action. The king as a god in his own right did not have to apologise so publicly to anybody but what we have here is an illustration of the principles of Maat in action”.

    As another text from the 18thdynasty (c. 1550 – 1295 bc) on divine monarchy declares “How sweet is His love for us. His kindliness has converted our hearts. Great is His love for everybody when they have drawn near to the Son of Isis.”

    The ambiguous nature of divinity in the Hebrew scriptures is illustrated by the census conducted by David. In 1 Chronicles 21:11 it is Satan who is described as telling David to take the census but in 2 Sam 24:1 it is god who tells David to take the census. Seventy thousand people are then described as being killed by the plague which god then sends as punishment for Davids apparent misunderstanding.

    Another example of mixed signs is the psalms of David. I suspect most Christians do not realise that what they hear of some psalms by way of liturgical readings have been subject to censorship. Take the famous “By the Rivers of Babylon” psalm which ends with “a blessing on anyone who seizes your babies and shatters them against a rock!” i.e. the very thing which in the 20thcentury German soldiers were accused of doing to Jewish babies as a very heinous deed. There is a quite a list of psalms described as “imprecatory” with the cursing texts missing in devotional books and hymnaries.

    Meekness and humility must be difficult to practice when a religion is based on racism and chosenness as described in the Old Testament. Jesus came down to the level of the Jews in order to guide them back to true spirituality and away from primitive legalism.

    There is no clear understanding of a joyful eternal life given to the Jews as part of their **covenant** no matter what they try and spin today as sheol. There is no clear description of post mortem judgement in the Torah to worry their crooks whilst robbing their gentile hosts. Both these were very clearly in place in Ancient Egyptian beliefs millennia before they reappear in the New Testament so to describe the religion of the Old Testament as marking an ethical development of the Ancient Near East, never mind mankind as a whole, rings very hollow. Material gains which are the primary means of showing divine favour in the OT are a poor substitute.

    On final scene to illustrate the difference. There are numerous texts from Ancient Egypt describing how adultery was very much frowned upon. Compare this with Abraham trying to pimp his wife to the King of Egypt who is outraged at his proposal (Gen 12:18).

    Some allusions made in posts above:

    For those who falsely blanket condemn all forms on non Abrahamic religions as being sacrificers of their children then just remember that Jephthah’s sacrifice of his daughter in the Old Testament is not only approved by the OT god but is explicitly described as having been inspired by his spirit descending on poor Jephthah who then makes the vow unawares that it will be his daughter who is killed as a result (Judges 11:29-31). Abraham moved with alacrity to sacrifice his **only** son when commanded to do so. The issue here is that it was his **only** son, the one whom he had waited for so very long and it was this extraordinary demand rather than sacrifice as a principle which was the point at issue. That Jephthah would much later be directed by the same god to sacrifice his daughter emphasises this. Christians especially should hesitate before looking down their noses at the issue of such sacrifices. Jesus was born in order to die so that their sins could be forgiven. He was spotless lamb of god and in the Western Church that sacrifice is being commemorated today.

    • Agree: Kolya Krassotkin
    • Replies: @davidgmillsatty
  110. Talha says:
    @Curmudgeon

    The other provinces, where the oil is in private hands, can actually cost the province money.

    Wow…that really sucks.

    While our largest producer, Alberta

    Ouch, now I feel kind of bad that my favorite hockey team has been the Edmonton Oilers for all these years.

    But, in my defense, they became my favorite when I first started watching hockey and they had a team with Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Anderson, Lowe, Coffey, etc. I mean, c’mon how could you not like that team?!

    Peace.

  111. @Jeff Stryker

    Norwegians have arrangements similar to those of Petro-dollar Arabs courtesy of the firm Statoil.

    Sadly the money is also used for racial egalitarianism, creating a diversity pigsty and other destructive pursuits.

  112. @Curmudgeon

    None of it helps Natives in Canada, that is for sure. Natives in Northern Ontario were poor. The poorest people I met. In the poorest circumstances I ever saw. We really don’t associate poverty with Canada, but aboriginals in Canada are poor.

    I was reminded of Philippines in Northern Ontario, because Natives up there look Asian and live in poverty like the Philippines.

    Did not realize Canada could be poor.

  113. @AaronB

    Aaron: “B-b-but the long-discredited semitic canard of muh so-called “judeo-Christianity” has been accepted dogma for thousands of years! Honest!!!”

    Uh huh:

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  114. Talha says:
    @anon

    didn’t really believe in the literal existence of the gods and goddesses…those are more like symbols for different aspects of the one deity.

    I get it, I’m just surprised personally that people want to set up anthropomorphic intermediaries…it always seems like a worship of the self, as Xenophanes pointed out:
    If interested in the rest of the discussion, it’s below the MORE tag.

    Peace.

    [MORE]

    The issue is in some sense less one of polytheism/monotheism in the strict sense, but more about the claims to exclusive revealed truth made by Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

    Well that certainly is a very important point here. I mean what you are proposing is admitting to devising or making up a religion according to whatever people (whoever this class of oracles or elites or intellectuals or popular vote or whatever) decide is best. I guess that suits some people. And that seems to be fine if we are just dealing with abstract concepts that human beings want to define as they want AND assuming that, if the Divine even exists; 1) they are defining the specific approach to that Being that appeals to them and 2) that It simply doesn’t care to voice a concern or opinion about it.

    This is similar to certain philosophers that posited that this Originator/Creator/Source is not all that concerned with the daily lives of man. The implicit assumption being that religion is not really a primary function to approach a primary goal/purpose, but rather simply an ancillary utility (a bit like how evolutionary psychology may consider religion to have been an adaptation, convenient to our survival) to facilitate other primary goals.

    This seems quite in line with (post)modern sensibilities where everyone can have their own truths so perhaps it may work out the way you are intuiting:

    Churches are indeed closing around Europe; will pagan temples arise in their stead? I know the Muslim community has bought a few underfunded or failing church buildings. Will pagans be willing to sacrifice their time and money to these abstract gods? It is certainly an intriguing prospect:

    HOWEVER…if the Divine does indeed exist, then It is certainly more Real than you or I or anything else and perhaps It has an opinion on the matter and It may not approve of; 1) being put into the “friend zone” or 2) having devotion misplaced towards abstract beings.

    And if It has communicated Its expectations to human beings, and expects them to adhere to them, and reserves the right to take them to task if they don’t…well then that is another matter altogether.

    In which case, as Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr stated:
    “In accordance with the real nature of things, it is the human that must conform to the Divine, and not the Divine to the human.”

    With regards to the Islamic view on revealed truth; the Qur’an states that “warners” and “messengers” were sent all over the world to various people over various times:
    “Indeed, We have sent you with the truth as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And there was no nation but that there had passed within it a warner.” (35:24)

    These were all Divinely-inspired emissaries, but their core message of monotheism was lost or corrupted over time. This is a good summary of the cautious view that a Muslim takes on the matter; since denying the prophethood of a true prophet is a major, major sin and claiming the prophethood of one who is not is likewise:
    Q: In discussing prophethood in Islam, what is the Sunni position on the possible prophethood of ancients like Krishna, Buddha, or Confucius?

    A: It is very probable that many of the great religious figures of other traditions were true prophets. Similarly, we see traces of monotheism in the beliefs and practices of such traditions.
    However, we do not affirm prophethood or Divine Origins for any prophet or religion that the primary texts of the Qur’an and Prophetic sunna have not affirmed such for. However, we also believe that the origin of religions is monotheistic, and they corrupt towards polytheism.
    https://islamqa.org/hanafi/qibla-hanafi/43746

    Well, I guess it really will be interesting what happens in the coming years if you are on point.

  115. AaronB says:
    @Agathoklis

    Well, before proceeding further, would you be willing to accept Aristotle’s own words?

    …an extreme in respect of the greatness of his claims, but a mean in respect of the rightness of them’,

    Is this not exactly what I said above?

    Before discussing the philosophic and cultural materialism of Greek culture, Democritus, Leucippus, Epicurus, Lucretius, the cult of the athlete, etc, we should at least be able to agreed on the very clear and simple words of Aristotle.

    So – can we agree that Aristotle’s Great Souled man, in Aristotle’s own words – represents an extreme? And that it is an extreme specifically of claiming honor – pride?

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  116. @anarchyst

    And, yet, the cucked, gentile Western male (who is not black/Asian/Jewish/Muslim) refuses to do anything about these problems.

    • Replies: @Anon
  117. @AaronB

    Claims that Greek philosophy was not antiwar in key aspects, are a blood libel on Cynicism and early (proper) Stoicism.

    Yanks want to ‘adopt’ Stoicism because it fits their idea of ‘machismo‘ (a σ away from μαχίμο KEK) – same as the Romans. To fit Yank bravura, Stoicism has to be shorn of all its antiwar (and anti-State) characteristics, which are part of its foundation.

    The 6 gajillion Stoic philosophers who died in Roman steam baths, did not do so in order that some guy on the internet could defame their memory 2500 years later. ποτέ μην ξεχνάς

    .

    Cynics and early-Stoa Stoics were solidly antiwar: they just lost out to assholes when Rome took over, and lost even more worser when the Church slammed the gate down on all philosophy that pre-dated (and was superior to) their fictional superhero.

    Krates (Zeno’s teacher, and early ‘non-leader’ [KEK]of Cynicism) said that living life in accordance with Cynic principles would eliminate war.

    As for early Stoics, Zeno’s idealised Republic was inconsistent with martial endeavours (basically, Zeno’s Republic was a repudiation of Plato’s work of the same name):

    6. Moreover, the much-admired Republic of Zeno, the founder of the Stoic sect, may be summed up in this one main principle: that all the inhabitants of this world of ours should not live differentiated by their respective rules of justice into separate cities and communities, but that we should consider all men to be of one community and one polity, and that we should have a common life and an order common to us all, even as a herd that feeds together and shares the pasturage of a common field. [Plutarch, “On the Fortune Of Alexander“]

    Hard to square that with war (in contrast with Plato’s Republic, in which there were natural rulers and natural slaves. Fuck him).

    I’ve said before that Roman Stoicism was the shitty, derivative Stoicism, and that the correct philosophical and ethical foundations are those that were in place by the time of Chrisyppus.

    However even Roman ‘Stoics’ were anti-war, and that (plus the early-Stoa position) was what inspired Erasmus in works like “The Praise of Folly” in the 16th century.

    Thinking of Erasmus (for whom those who participate in war are the dregs of society) reminds me that in my taxonomy of shitty and derivative Stoicism I had forgotten Christians – who try to pretend that their philosophy is not “Stoicism with a cartoon-superhero-Cynic overlay” (which is why they’re so tiresome).

    Some Roman ‘Stoics’ on war:

    Epictetus

    A wise and good person neither quarrels with any one himself, nor, as far as possible, suffers another to do so.

    That’s the opening line from Concerning the quarrelsome and ferocious (πρὸς τοὺς μαχίμους καὶ θηριώδεις) – Book IV Ch V of Epictetus’ “Discourses” (as reported by Arran).

    Interestingly, the word translated as ‘contentious’ – ‘μαχίμους’ – is much better translated as ‘warlike‘.

    Seneca

    Man, naturally the gentlest class of being, is not ashamed to revel in the blood of others, to wage war, and to entrust the waging of war to his sons, when even dumb beasts and wild beasts keep the peace with one another. Against this overmastering and widespread madness philosophy has become a matter of greater effort, and has taken on strength in proportion to the strength which is gained by the opposition forces.

    War, I trow, will meet us, and an enemy ready prepared on shore and tribes destined to cruel slaughter, but not without much damage to the conqueror, and ancient cities in flames. Why do we press whole nations into arms? Why do we enrol armies to marshal their lines amid the billows? Why do we disquiet the seas? The land, I suppose, is not wide enough to compass our death. [snip]

    But what can one call it but plain insanity actually to carry destruction in your train, to rush in anger against men you never saw, to lay waste without provocation all that comes in your path, and, after the fashion of wild beasts, to kill a man you do not hate? We are worse than beasts, for they bite only in retaliation or from hunger; but we, utterly lavish of our own and others’ blood, harass the seas by the vessels we launch, entrust our safety to the waves, and pray for favouring winds, counting it our good fortune to be borne in safety to the wars!

    Erasmus (inspired by Stoics)

    At the first mention and whiff, as it were, of a campaign, the dregs of humanity are roused to come out of their hiding-places, and collect like bilge-water from all over the world: men burdened by disgrace or debt or fearful of the threats of the law on account of their misdeeds, or men who are conscious of their crimes and so think they cannot be safe in time of peace, or who have dissolutely squandered their capital and are now led astray by sordid poverty to the worse crime of robbing others. Finally, there are men whose evil disposition and evil mind so act on them (as if they were born for crime) that they would have dared to do such things at the risk of their lives even without the prospect of going unpunished or the offer of pay. Wars have to be carried on with these sweepings of humanity; such dregs have to be received into cities and homes, although a whole generation will hardly be enough to clean the stink from your citizens’ morals. If indeed we learn nothing so easily as depravity, there is also nothing so difficult to forget. – Panegyric

    In these insane wars that men wage against each other through brutish savagery or harsh necessity do you not see that once the spirit of the soldiers has been spurred on by the promise of abundant booty or the terror of the enemy’s cruelty in victory or the reproach incurred by cowardice or by the desire for praise, they accomplish with cheerful alacrity whatever labours have been imposed upon them? How cheap they esteem life and how they vie with one another to rush upon the enemy! And yet, I ask you, how paltry is the reward these miserable creatures aspire after at such risk and with such fervour? to be congratulated by some insignificant officer and feted with some crude ditty amidst the uproar of the camp, or to be crowned with a garland of grass or oak leaves and take home a little more pay. – ‘Handbook of a Christian Soldier’

    • Agree: Agathoklis
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  118. @Agathoklis

    Unfortunately, we lack a powerful Persian or Egyptian lobby in the United States to incentivise publishers to produce books exalting the contributions of these peoples to world history. If we did, we might have people lazily referring to our Egypto-Christian heritage.

    Gold… especially since most people don’t understand references like “Philadelphia” (Ptolemaic period) and “White House” (per-hedj – 3000 BCE) – both very specific ‘callbacks’ to Egypt (and also, weirdly, to cults centred on Sēth – god of chaos, disorder, and violence… and foreigners).

    If modern Greeks had a stronger sense of identification with Ancient Greeks (including Sol(om)on – another piece of cultural theft), they ought to try to Lobby their way to getting the whole lot declared “Athenian-European Civilisation” (the day after all the politicians are put to the sword).

  119. They did invent Fractional Reserve Lending and Debt based currency.

    • Replies: @davidgmillsatty
  120. @Agathoklis

    ‘…And objectively, the Jewish contribution to Christianity and Western culture more generally has been overstated. Jews were simply actors at the beginning of the Christian story. That was it…’

    I’d modify your statement somewhat.

    Jews qua Jews didn’t contribute a great deal. Since the enlightenment, assimilated Jews have contributed a great deal — but as part of the larger culture, not as Jews. Few if any Jews who have made a fetish of Judaism come to mind who have ever contributed much to the larger culture.

  121. @Kratoklastes

    ‘Claims that Greek philosophy was not antiwar in key aspects, are a blood libel on Cynicism and early (proper) Stoicism…’

    We won’t get into the teachings of the Old Testament vis-a-vis war and violence. The real absurdity here is that the party advancing this canard is a native and advocate of a state that has — almost uniquely in modern history — attacked every single one of its neighbors, frankly advocates an unfettered right of conquest, and feels free to bomb and kill literally anyone within reach that it can get away with bombing and killing.

    …but Greek philosophy wasn’t pacifist enough to suit him. I see. It’s a bit like being called a fat slob by Jabba the Hutt.

    • Agree: Agathoklis
  122. anonymous[415] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    Christianity simply cannot be understood without the Old Testament, the more I reflect on it.

    I think we’re mixing up a few things.

    The OT is a part of the Christian heritage, but the OT is not modern Judaism. A nod to the OT is not a nod to modern Judaism. The 2 are not one and the same.

    The OT belongs to the traditions of both religions. Christianity is OT + NT. And modern Judaism is OT + Talmud.

    As others have pointed out, “Graeco-Christian” or “Graeco-Roman-Christian”, is more accurate in describing Western culture because these traditions form the bedrock of Western civilization.

    Rabbinic Judaism is not a pillar of Western civilization. The OT is, but the OT is not modern, rabbinic Judaism. And the OT is as much a religious heritage of Christianity as it is of Judaism.

    As a result, it would be false and misleading to use words like “Judeo-Christian” since Western culture is not informed by Rabbinic Judaism as the name might imply.

    • Thanks: Kolya Krassotkin
    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Zarathustra
  123. AaronB says:
    @anonymous

    There has always been a very broad awareness that Western culture is as much indebted to Greece and Rome as to Judea, and that has always been acknowledged and emphasized.

    It’s always been “Greece and Judea”. That has always been the case.

    Judeao-Christian has only ever referred to the moral and spiritual heritage of the West – the intellectual, aesthetic, and scientific heritage obviously comes from Greece.

    Western historiography has for centuries made much of the stark contrast between the spirit of Greece and Jerusalem, and used that to explain the unique dual nature of the West.

    See Mathew Arnold.

    Agathokles’s revisionism simply makes no sense, and is mostly a desire to deny Jews any significance at all and claim all significance for Greece.

    He’s basically doing what Durocher claims Jews did in ancient times 🙂

    Which is fine – although it would be much funnier if he was doing it ironically 🙂

    For my part, I fully acknowledge the tremendous contribution Greece has made. The Greek focus on the material – science, beauty – has its place, and the Greek spiritual contribution influenced mysticism, which I consider important.

    As for Judaism being OT + Talmud, correct, but the Talmud is an elaboration of the Old Testament and rooted in it.

  124. @Talha

    “Islam doesn’t really have a need for the Bible at all, you could burn all the Torahs and the Bibles in the world…”

    Hey Talha, what about the passages in the Koran that mention Moses and Jesus?

    Islam was the creation of a murderous, sex pervert.

    • Replies: @Talha
  125. Talha says:
    @attilathehen

    Man, how did you get off my ignore list? Weird.

    There, fixed it.

  126. @AaronB

    “Aristotle describes his ideal man as being extremely proud, arrogant – and aloof.” Aaron B.

    You clearly wrote that one of Aristotle’s ideals was extreme pride. If you would like to backtrack now that is fine but at least admit it.

    Nowhere do Democritus, Leucippus, Epicurus, Lucretius advocate ‘material development’ as the ideal? Again, I ask you to find me references where the Greeks advocate a life focused on material development.

  127. @AaronB

    I re-post a chart that someone provided above.

    https://postimg.cc/mPFyt4g2

    Matthew Arnold does not represent Western historiography. Actually, he was not even a historian but a poet and a critic.

  128. @AaronB

    “Agathokles’s revisionism simply makes no sense, and is mostly a desire to deny Jews any significance at all and claim all significance for Greece.”

    I clearly made references to the importance of Persia and Egypt and not just to Greece. Of course, Rome is also very important to Western culture.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  129. AaronB says:
    @Agathoklis

    Yes, you did say Persia was more important to the development of Western culture than the Jews 🙂

  130. @utu

    I was brought up in the Presbyterian church whose founder was John Calvin who in the Presbyterian church is known for his belief in predestination. John Calvin was a couple hundred years prior to Darwin. Predestination is the religious equivalent of DNA dictating who you are going to be.

    I happen to side with that notion and not free will. Free will gives religious people the concept that humans get to choose who they are and as a result love to punish people for their inability to be something other than who they are. I pretty much think that your DNA determines who you are and there is not much you can do about it.

    The story of Cain and Able is illustrative of two brothers, one good and one bad. We know this happens all the time even when they grow up in similar environments. It is indicative to me that our DNA dictates who we are and our environment doesn’t have much to do with it.

    Further proof is that you never hear Cain and Able stories of identical twins.

    • Replies: @utu
  131. @Guillaume Durocher

    He’s an “OK Goy” as Gore Vidal would say.

  132. ” However, we often forget that indeed Judaism as we know it, rabbinical Judaism, is a post-Christian innovation. The real relationship between our Jews and the ancient Israelites is not particularly clear, let alone if they are their heirs. Perhaps rabbinical Jews are merely a small, unrepresentative, and perhaps elite offshoot of the old Israelite nations, while the rest got assimilated into the surrounding cultures.”

    “We” don’t need to remember. It’s the Others who need to LEARN this, like geocentric astronomy and the round Earth. If TradCaths and Evangelicals were ever forced to realize this obvious fact, their heads would explode. Good.

    TODAY’S “JEWS” ARE PHARISEES!

  133. @Curmudgeon

    It is true that no energy means no life, but that does not make energy a life form. The universe is full of energy. And so far we have no proof of life anywhere other than earth. How rare is life? So far it seems pretty damn rare.

  134. @SaneClownPosse

    They also invented governments making it law.

  135. @Jack McArthur

    Are you preaching? Who is the damn flock?

    What I don’t get is why people believe in immortality. Why would you believe such a nonsensical thing? Why can’t you admit to yourself that when you die you are done? If you and your kind could, we could stop this religious nonsense and perhaps move on to a better world.

    We could start living with the idea that doing good is its own reward. I don’t need to go to heaven to do good. I don’t want to go to heaven for doing good. And I don’t want people punished for losing the DNA lottery. If you are born a snake, you are born a snake.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  136. anonymous[420] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    It’s always been “Greece and Judea”. That has always been the case.

    Again, the OT is not the sole province of modern Judaism. And “Judea” is also not the sole province of modern Judaism. “Judea” belongs to Christianity as much as it does modern Judaism.

    Judeao-Christian has only ever referred to the moral and spiritual heritage of the West – the intellectual, aesthetic, and scientific heritage obviously comes from Greece.

    By “Judeo-Christian”, what you seem to be implying is “OT-Christian”. But again, the OT does not have a single heir. It is part of the Christian tradition as much as it is the Jewish tradition. Thus, “OT-Christian” is redundent.

    As for Judaism being OT + Talmud, correct, but the Talmud is an elaboration of the Old Testament and rooted in it.

    And the NT is an elaboration of the OT and rooted in it.

    As I said, modern Judaism = OT + Talmud.
    Christianity = OT + NT.

    The OT belongs to both traditions. Jerusalem belongs to both traditions. Judea belongs to both traditions. Modern Jews do not have a monopoly on the OT, Jerusalem and Judea.

    Modern Judaism is not OT Judaism. As others have pointed out, modern Judaism was formulated AFTER Christianity. Modern Judaism is arguably as different from ancient Judaism as Christianity is different from it. They share the same root but have diverged into different branches.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @anarchyst
  137. anonymous[420] • Disclaimer says:
    @davidgmillsatty

    I think the question you ask is actually more complex and subtle than you give it credit for.

    We should also not confuse popular religious forms for the spiritual truth underneath it.

    The notion that “good is its own reward” is a spiritual truth. The idea that the good reaps rewards in this life or another life is a religious/social teaching device to persuade the otherwise uncooperative, stupid and selfish.

    If you are a materialist, then for what ideals like love, friendship and brotherhood? Just purely evolutionary and survival instincts?

    If we are intrinsically separate, detached and alienated from each other, then why come together at all? Why the false illusion of “union” through feelings of love?

    And how are we any “thing” at all if everything is inherently separate?

    How does any “thing” interrelate with anything else if everything is intrinsically different and alien?

    If they relate, then there must be something in “common” which makes that possible. What is that in common?

    Perhaps the root of religious/spiritual sentiment lies in the intuition that while the world appears separate, dual, variegated, diverse and is changing, changing, changing… there is a something underneath it all that connects everything and is actually everything. There is something behind the appearance that is more real than what appears to us through the senses.

    And it is perhaps this “first truth” before the discriminating mind arises that drives our spiritual seeking.

  138. Thanks for your comments. The answer to your first question is no and I dont know to the second. I was going to wish you good luck but thought that would offend you when I read above you had been formed as a child in the Calvanist path. Would a happy sincere DNA on this Easter Sunday do?

  139. AaronB says:
    @anonymous

    Would you prefer to call it our Hebrew-Christian heritage, or our Israelite-Christian heritage then, if you object to the word Jewish? The point is, the moral heritage of the West is rooted in concepts and ideas developed by ancient Hebrews and Israelites, as well as those later developed and added by those calling themselves Christian.

    Christianity considers itself to be rooted in the OT but to have superseded it. Judeo-Christian expresses the roots as well as the advance.

    You are also wrong about Judaism.

    Judaism does not consider the OT superseded. Jews do not consider the Talmud a new “advance”, but merely the oral explanation of the OT. Most of it is concerned with explaining how the laws of the OT apply in daily life – often, the OT does not give clear instructions – and in finding deeper meanings for verses and passages in the OT.

    For Jews, the Oral Law was given simultaneously with the Written Law (OT), and was only written down later. For many of the laws of the OT, there are no instructions on how to carry them out, and there was clearly an oral tradition.

    Christianity does consider the OT superseded.

    So Judaism is a continuation of Judea, and Christianity considers itself to have developed beyond it.

    The source of Christian conflict with Jews has been that Jews refused to abandon Judea and “advance” to the Christian level.

    The NT is an “advance” beyond the OT to a new perspective. Jews do not accept that.

  140. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    He’s good, but Robert Price is better (and funnier); he’s also a Lovecraft scholar, which is an interesting sideline: he knows all about how to write fake scriptures for the yokels.

  141. @AaronB

    Still waiting on references where the Greeks advocate a life focused on ‘material development’?

  142. @AaronB

    “The source of Christian conflict with Jews……”

    Ultimately, the source of Jewish conflict with Christians (a more accurate way to express it) is that Jews refuse to return en masse and in toto to the Land which was expressly given to them by God, but rather insist upon continuing to live in Christian lands not given to them, and in relentlessly trying to exploit, dominate, manipulate, disrupt and betray those foreign lands in which they have no true business. In addition to viewing their Christian hosts with utter condescension and contempt, denying and insulting their religion, and practicing extortion, loan-sharking, rent-seeking and slave-dealing in every Christian land they have ever inhabited.

    Israel will not truly be the Homeland of the Jews until the all the Jews actually go home in good faith to live there. As things stand they will never do that, they are having way too much fun and making way too much money exploiting the West, while using Israel as a combination summer place, bolt hole, and gangster headquarters for a nuclear-armed international crime syndicate.

    I apologize for the salty language, but this highly provocative situation has for too long been papered over whilst all parties pretend it is not provocative. Harshness and truth are not unknown to one another.

    • Agree: Kolya Krassotkin
    • Replies: @AaronB
  143. @davidgmillsatty

    Baloney. Science has nothing to do with religion

    Uh, no.
    One simply needs to understand orders of magnitude to come to the conclusion that delving into anything beyond 10 to minus 18 becomes speculation. Science becomes a philosophical pursuit at that point and a de-facto religion.

    “10 to the minus 18 is the limit of our technological prowess. As a species we have no devices that can measure anything that is smaller than this length and so as we journey in this talk to ever smaller scales because we will you have to understand that these smaller scales are not accessible to us that only normal means of science which is experimentation observation.” – S. James Gates Jr.

  144. AaronB says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    I don’t agree with your harsh assessment of Jewish life in the West – there is much that is positive, Jewish attitudes are not that harsh, and much of the problem stems from Jews assimilating into secular Enlightenment culture – but I totally agree with you that most Jews should return to the Land of Israel.

    I was driving through a wealthy suburb in New Jersey yesterday with an Orthodox Jewish friend of mine who also believes that all Jews should return to Israel – and we were both lamenting the high levels of bourgeois comfort and solidity on display, and how these Jews seem far, far too comfortable in America.

    From my point of view, it would be excellent if you guys could make Jewish life here just a bit less comfortable. Obviously I’m not recommending persecution or anything nasty or crazy, but Jews are too comfortable in America. We all need to go back to Israel.

    I also don’t think Jews should have such political and cultural influence in Western nations provided these countries revert to being ethnic national homes – as long as Western countries define themselves as abstract entities based on Reason, I think its unfair to limit only Jewish influence and participation.

    Now, to the extent that Jews work to prevent Western countries becoming ethnic national homes, they are working within the Enlightenment tradition of Western culture and basing their activities in Western sensibilities. Jews are piggybacking on strong Western created cultural currents that stem from the 18th century and have been developed and sustained mainly by whites.

    So while its fair to say Jews have contributed, at some point Westerners have to take responsibility for developing a culture of abstract Reason, that has made all.this possible.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  145. It seems that they are good at inventing. They even invented the holocaust!

  146. @anonymous

    Many OT stories were found on Babylonian clay tables, that are older than OT

  147. anon[287] • Disclaimer says:
    @davidgmillsatty

    the New Testament is a Hellenistic work.

    We have the Gospels and then there is the rest which is mostly verbiage by the self designated “father” of the faithful, a certain Christian killing Pharisee cum Privately Designated ‘Apostle’ and even “Saint” Paul.

    You need to show us a single example of “Hellenistic” thought in the Gospels. As for the rest, I personally only consult the Paulian Contradictory Verbiage — anyone ever notice Saul cum Paul suffers from verbal daiaria? — for incriminating evidence that shows (clearly) that Saul was on a mission to destroy the Church of Jerusalem.

  148. anonymous[785] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    Would you prefer to call it our Hebrew-Christian heritage, or our Israelite-Christian heritage

    No, because that extra emphasis/distinction is unnecessary and misleading. There wasn’t a separate Hebrew/Israeli tradition outside of Christianity that shaped Western civilization. Christianity implicity includes the Hebrew and the Israeli and is a superset of both.

    Christianity considers itself to be rooted in the OT but to have superseded it. Judeo-Christian expresses the roots as well as the advance.

    Christians believe the bible is a kind of unfolding of God’s plan and Christianity is the current chapter in the divine storyline of God. Future chapters await. To that extent, the OT was not rejected by Christians and replaced with the NT. With the coming of the Messiah, Christians simply moved onto the next chapter, maturing and evolving from the dispensation of law/legalism to the dispensation of grace/love.

    The root and “advance” are both expressed in Christianity and it embodies both. And it is through Christianity (at least the religious side) that Western culture was shaped. There was no separate OT culture that shaped the West.

    Judaism does not consider the OT superseded.

    Superceded, fulfilled, expanded, elaborated, matured, more fully developed… I’m not sure it really matters. What’s notable is that modern Judaism introduced a separate authoritative text that did not exist before that is viewed on par with the Torah. What’s true is that Judaism reorganized itself following the destruction of the second temple and was indelibly altered.

    Jews do not consider the Talmud a new “advance”, but merely the oral explanation of the OT.

    Christianity cannot exist without the NT. And modern Judaism cannot exist without the Talmud. It’s not merely a book of commentaries that expounds and elucidates. The Talmud adds a new corpus and body of teachings that goes beyond the OT.

    Christianity has many thousands of commentaries, too, written by many very smart and “spiritual” men, but none have been elevated on par with the NT and they can all be discarded.

  149. anonymous[785] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    but I totally agree with you that most Jews should return to the Land of Israel.

    “Return”? You can’t return to a place where you have not been. Religious ties do not confer ownership. This Zionist insanity must stop.

    an Orthodox Jewish friend of mine who also believes that all Jews should return to Israel

    Should Christians also return to Judea as well? After all, isn’t Judea where Christians originally came from?

    as long as Western countries define themselves as abstract entities based on Reason, I think its unfair to limit only Jewish influence and participation. Now, to the extent that Jews work to prevent Western countries becoming ethnic national homes, they are working within the Enlightenment tradition of Western culture and basing their activities in Western sensibilities. Jews are piggybacking on strong Western created cultural currents that stem from the 18th century and have been developed and sustained mainly by whites.

    The problem is not Enlightenment, liberal society or Reason. The problem is people who exploit Enlightenment, liberal society and Reason for personal and tribal gains.

    When a man deliberately stands in a theater because there are no rules against standing, that is not the fault of the theater.

    The theater expects patrons to act with Enlightened Reason that redounds to the benefit of all not just the self and the few.

    If people cannot voluntarily act with humanity towards their fellow men guided by universal ethics and reason, what is the use of talking about Enlightenment and Reason? Enlightenment is impossible if scoundrels are free to exploit the good.

  150. explorer says:

    The house of Israel were worshipping golden calves and were enslaved and carried off to Assyria as punishment from God. The house of Judea were worshipping Baal and they were carried off by Babylon as punishment by God. The Jews made it back to Judea and the Talmud became their authority. Jesus called it The traditions of the elders. The other tribes of Israel never made it back and were scattered among the nations. Moses and the prophets are what Jesus expounded and fulfilled.

  151. Truth3 says:
    @davidgmillsatty

    The disbarred attorney proves that Trolls are a Life Form.

  152. Compared to their proliferation in spheres of politics, corruption, and corrosion of the Goyim societies, the Chosen People have surprisingly little to offer proportionally in terms of creation or invention in music, engineering, science, medicine, mathematics etc..

  153. Anon[381] • Disclaimer says:
    @attilathehen

    And, yet, the cucked, gentile Western male (who is not black/Asian/Jewish/Muslim) refuses to do anything about these problems.

    The Western gentile (a redundancy) male has attempted to do more about these problems than any other human in history.

    See World War II, in which the Jew had to marshall the entire force of international finance and his mutts to beat the Western gentile who was almost solely operating from one of his prime loci in a small State in central Europe.

    No one has done as much as the National Socialist Germans to combat what is very obvious evil. Not before, and not since.

    Moreover and since then, it has taken overtime propaganda, almost singularly exalting that one military defeat of seventy-five years ago, and flooding Western lands with brown people to keep the Western gentile from expelling the evil from his nations.

    What has anyone else done aside from going along to get along, adopting Jewish slavery systems, or raging against the Jews while defining themselves almost solely by a form of Jewish religion?

    • Agree: anarchyst
  154. anarchyst says:
    @anonymous

    The premise that using the “Old Testament” for “laws” is wrong. Yes, the Ten Commandments proscribe certain behavior, but the rest of mosaic law relies on a vindictive, vengeful “god” to exact “punishment” on “his people”. That my work fine for jews, as they have their evil “talmud” to rely on, but “for the rest of us, it won’t wash.

    Our present troubles are a result of a jewish cabal taking over political decisions in our nominally “multicultural” country.

    Tying Judaism to Christianity was a clever trick used by the jews to “cement” their claim to the “land of Israel” and of the covenant, to which I reply, “God is not a real estate agent”.

    Jews rejected the covenant when they murdered Jesus Christ. Their covenant with God was then “null and void”.

    It is the flawed Schofield translation of the Bible that elevated jews to the status of Christianity’s “elder brothers”, which was then reinforced by the Catholic (flawed) “Vatican II Ecumenical Council” in the 1960s.

    I cringe when I hear well-meaning people talk about out judeo-Christian heritage.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The only common thread between Christianity and judaism may be the Ten Commandments, nothing more.

    The god of judaism is a vengeful god, totally unlike the merciful and welcoming God of Christianity.

    Christianity welcomes ALL, regardless of nationality or social status, not true of judaism.

    Judaism is an insular belief system that shuns outsiders, prohibits proselytization, and promotes a form of supremacy, relegating all gentiles (non-jews) to the status of livestock-subhumans with souls, only to be used for the advancement and benefit of jews. In fact, slavery (of goyim) is still condoned and encouraged in the jewish Talmud.

    Jews DID murder Jesus Christ. Sad to say, even the present-day (post-Vatican II ecumenical council) Catholic church has bought into absolving the jews for Jesus Christ’s murder.

    As always is the case, the jews got others, the Romans to do their dirty work for them, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

    How can Christians have the same values as the Jews; the very people who denounced and betrayed the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, and call for his execution (by others, of course, that is the Jewish way).

    It makes absolutely no sense at all.

    Jews have no respect for Christianity, for Jesus Christ or Mary, his mother, who are both honored as Prophets in Islam, but instead, Jews spit on hearing their names and do the same while passing a Christian of any kind or a Christian Church in Israel. They have no respect for Christians or any other religion.

    It is time the Jewish lobbies and the American Government leaders as well as the evangelical Christian leaders who mislead the poor American young into joining the military and believing that they are doing something for God and Christianity by fighting Israel’s wars were named, shamed and arrested and tried for treason.

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