Parts of the New Testament Are Corrupt, Corrupted by Roman Emperors Putting Down a Rebellion.

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    Feb 08, 2014 1:38 PM GMT
    I highly recommend that you read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill.

    In a nutshell, the Gospel we have today is tainted by a Post-Failed Revolt Against Rome and Rome's need to respond with Religion-Creation-Propaganda to turn an activist Jewish Messiah into a pacifist Jewish Messiah.

    One caesar adopted a Jewish historian who worked for the propaganda campaign. This same caesar gave Rabbi Johannan ben Zakkai Yavne University outside of Jerusalem after the Revolt was over. If not having a historian and a university president is enough, Rome also had its own college/university and enforcement over religions within its realms.

    Parts of the New Testament were backdated. It had to be backdated from the HORRORS of Jewish Revolt.
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    Feb 09, 2014 12:59 AM GMT
    I know about this theory. To be honest, it makes perfect sense. But one thing troubles me. This was supposedly concocted by Flavius. But this was after Nero and we know that the Christians existed under Nero, because they were persecuted by him....

    I sometimes despair at our "modern" Abrahamic religions. Things seemed so much better further back in the past.... the druids, zoroastrianism, other paganism and polytheism..... even now all the saints are really just our answer to polytheism.......
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    Feb 09, 2014 1:06 AM GMT
    please-tell-me-more.jpg
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    Feb 09, 2014 1:27 AM GMT
    Sumarokov:

    I know about this theory. To be honest, it makes perfect sense. But one thing troubles me. This was supposedly concocted by Flavius.


    Steefen:

    Hm: Titus Flavius Josephus born Joseph ben Matityahu.



    Sumarokov:

    But this was after Nero and we know that the Christians existed under Nero, because they were persecuted by him....


    Steefen:

    Christians of the oral tradition, maybe?

    Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Luke, Gospel of John were not written before the start of the Jewish Revolt (66 Common Era)--activist, even militant Messiah movement is in full swing.

    This theory is actually a side-by-side reading of the New Testament and the War of the Jews by Titus Flavius Josephus. In places, the New Testament is a satire of historical events the New Testament is a spiritual analogy of historical events that took place not during the years 29 - 36 Common Era but 66 - 74 Common Era.



    Sumarokov:

    I sometimes despair at our "modern" Abrahamic religions. Things seemed so much better further back in the past.... the druids, zoroastrianism, other paganism and polytheism..... even now all the saints are really just our answer to polytheism.......


    Steefen:

    Tell us more about the despair.

    I like the deities of the Solar System by way of Astrology. I also think Apollo was probably a cool archetype for which to have reverence.

    Life isn't just an intellectual luxury, there is also the financial war on the middle class, the working poor, and the poor in the United States.

    (Will post more under my next reply to the other gentleman who asked for more information.)
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    Feb 09, 2014 1:55 AM GMT
    Matiz saidplease-tell-me-more.jpg


    Hi Matiz,

    I want to preface what I say by saying: human beings still need love, human beings still need to be good to one another, human beings still need to be accountable for saving themselves as much as possible. Salvation is a necessity of the human condition. Humans need to be saved from dangerous situations. The best that Christianity has to offer is not destroyed by the findings that its scripture and its God is partly Roman propaganda and Vespasian and his son Titus needing to honored as Lord.

    Matiz and all reading this thread,

    This is what I read earlier today:

    Joseph Atwill, the author of Caesar's Messiah looked at the story of the man possessed by Legion.

    The man was possessed by Legion in the city of Gadara.
    Jesus got rid of the demons.
    The demons took possession of pigs/swine.
    The swine started running. They ran into water and drowned.

    Jesus was not a great exorcist in this instance because this is a satire of history. Here's the history that actually happened.

    By this time John was beginning to tyrannize. Now, some submitted to his tyranny out of fear and some out of goodwill. All of their reasons for militant action against Rome was now being reduced to one head, one leader, John.

    John and his men were too small to be an army but too many to be just a gang of troublemakers. A legion (an ancient army term) is not an army and a legion has more members than just a gang of troublemakers. John and his followers are Legion.

    Let's say, Gadara was a community with some sense of peacefulness. They had their rich members in the community. Gadara wasn't looking for trouble with Rome.

    John comes to Gadara and he's more militant than the Sicarii. He recruits men. Some recruits are made recruits by force. John is the possessor. John and his men are Legion.

    Well, who is Jesus? Jesus is the Roman general who becomes Caesar, or emperor: Vespasian.

    Vespasian comes to Gadara and sends John and his Sicarii running. They ran away from the power of Christ Vespasian. Many ran into the Jordan like the swine in the bible story. The Sicarii were deemed swine because Jews do not like swine (pork) and the Jews of Gadara didn't appreciate John coming into the city causing trouble, recruiting their sons to their death. The only thing they got for going against the powerful Romans was a split-second of courage before getting stabbed through their guts or through their chest with a Roman sword or chopped in the face with a Roman sword or have their heads cut off at the neck by Roman sword or killed by Roman darts.

    Dart
    Main article: Plumbata

    Late infantrymen often carried half a dozen lead-weighted throwing-darts called plumbatae (from plumbum = "lead"), with an effective range of c. 30 m, well beyond that of a javelin. The darts were carried clipped to the back of the shield.



    So, the New Testament account is nothing more than a satire of what actually happened at Gadara.

    Jesus is not Jesus: Jesus is Rome, Jesus is Vespasian.
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    Feb 09, 2014 12:28 PM GMT
    "The Demoniacs of Gadara" appears in Mark, Matthew, and Luke. It is highly likely it would be considered a Q-sourced account. Q-source and Mark cannot be dated complete until Vespasian arrives at Gadara. Discussion appreciated.
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    Feb 09, 2014 12:53 PM GMT
    The major problem with a "theory" like Joseph Atwill is that his scholarship is not accountable to the larger community of Biblical scholarship and academia. It's like a lone "scientist" who does his own experiments in the privacy of his own garage and makes claims that he's discovered another subatomic reality that would upset the current quantum theories. There is absolutely no historically accepted evidence to support his wild conspiracy theories. Very poor scholarship. No academic accountability.

    See also Counter-argument to Atwill
  • PIccadilly

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    Feb 09, 2014 12:56 PM GMT
    Corrupt or not, the bible was written by people who believed the world was flat. Maybe it's time to get over it.
  • secondstartot...

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    Feb 09, 2014 1:00 PM GMT
    6a00d8341c44f153ef013488f6b0bb970c-pi.jp
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    Feb 09, 2014 1:08 PM GMT
    Piccadilly saidCorrupt or not, the bible was written by people who believed the world was flat. Maybe it's time to get over it.

    Over-simplification. … which does more harm than good. Such ignorance of historical context and appreciation of differences in world views limit you from truly engaging the text as a historical literary document and appreciating its influence upon humanity's story, which has transformed the lives, cultures and societies of many throughout the centuries. Such biases ignore the richness of history and the lives that went before you. One could say such a suggestion as the above may betray a certain measure of ingratitude and arrogance.

    It's like saying that just because the medical community failed to understand germ theory in medieval times that ALL medical literature prior to that time should be considered irrelevant. Quite the contrary. For example, Chinese holistic and homeopathic medicine in millennia past offers incredible insight that, only in more recent times, Western medicine is taking heed—such as acupuncture and pressure point therapies.
  • PIccadilly

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    Feb 09, 2014 5:06 PM GMT
    TerraFirma saidOver-simplification. … which does more harm than good. Such ignorance of historical context and appreciation of differences in world views limit you from truly engaging the text as a historical literary document and appreciating its influence upon humanity's story, which has transformed the lives, cultures and societies of many throughout the centuries. Such biases ignore the richness of history and the lives that went before you. One could say such a suggestion as the above may betray a certain measure of ingratitude and arrogance.

    It's like saying that just because the medical community failed to understand germ theory in medieval times that ALL medical literature prior to that time should be considered irrelevant. Quite the contrary. For example, Chinese holistic and homeopathic medicine in millennia past offers incredible insight that, only in more recent times, Western medicine is taking heed—such as acupuncture and pressure point therapies.


    I realize the bible has historical value, like many other irrational things. But just because they passed the test of time, it doesn't make them immune to criticism. Quite the opposite, especially now that we are far more knowledgeable. The bible wouldn't bother me so much if it were unanimously called for that it obviously is: a fable. Just like acupuncture is still regarded as a controversial medical practice. Astrology is another one of those ridiculous "theories" as old as the world, yet, inexplicably, it lives on...

    On a side note, bacterias were discovered after the Middle Ages, so as far as I know, there was no "germ theory" at that time.
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    Feb 09, 2014 5:36 PM GMT
    Piccadilly saidCorrupt or not, the bible was written by people who believed the world was flat. Maybe it's time to get over it.


    Ancient Greek Astronomer, Eratosthenes of Cyrene, discovered the world was round. Romans knew this generally. This knowledge declined during the Dark Ages.

    Unfortunately, we, as modern teachers, have misled our students by oversimplifying history. icon_redface.gif
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    Feb 09, 2014 7:19 PM GMT
    TerraFirma saidThe major problem with a "theory" like Joseph Atwill is that his scholarship is not accountable to the larger community of Biblical scholarship and academia. It's like a lone "scientist" who does his own experiments in the privacy of his own garage and makes claims that he's discovered another subatomic reality that would upset the current quantum theories. There is absolutely no historically accepted evidence to support his wild conspiracy theories. Very poor scholarship. No academic accountability.

    See also Counter-argument to Atwill


    TerraFirma,

    You're not providing any disagreement to Atwill's take on "The Demoniacs of Gadara."

    Second, most so-called scholars of the New Testament have not studied The War of the Jews as closely as Atwill or Ralph Ellis. To really have an impact on this discussion, you have to get into the archeological dirt of this topic--you really have to clash with Atwill.

    I'm going to try to clash with Atwill but this Gadara plank is a winner.

    A minister of a prominent church simply clashed with Atwill by saying:

    I think the article misses the whole point of Johannine theology (which was the purpose of including the story in the first place). Furthermore, John was much less concerned with Roman culture than with Greek

    This is about history, the historical Jesus, did Jesus exorcise demons, did Jesus save a man from psychological demonic disturbances.

    Despite what Atwill has put forth about Vespasian chasing Zealots into the Jordan River

    Second, despite what Atwill has put forth about Vespasian's son, Titus, making his soldiers "fishers of men" because on another occasion, the rebels were in boats on the Sea of Galilee but the Romans defeated them. The Jews were in the water. Titus' soldiers fished these men: killed them in the Sea of Galilee.

    Despite these, WAS THERE AN INSTANCE OF JESUS PERFORMING AN EXORCISM OF ONE DEMON BUT A LEGION OF DEMONS?! This is how the traditional Christian cannot have his Christ diminished!

    At some point in time Jesus really had to do something. We can't just believe. Faith needs to be based on historical fact.
  • LJay

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    Feb 09, 2014 7:25 PM GMT
    And?
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    Feb 09, 2014 7:42 PM GMT
    Piccadilly saidCorrupt or not, the bible was written by people who believed the world was flat. Maybe it's time to get over it.


    The Bible is about

    the Freedom of Human beings (Moses' Exodus)

    care of an underdog people (Joseph helping the Israelites in the time of famine)

    good government (Jesus' Kingdom of God)

    to name a few.

    Piccadilly, in the U.S. today:

    we have the financial enslavement of the middle class, the working poor, the poor

    the U.S. is enslaved in the lie of 9/11



    (read The New Pearl Harbor by David Ray Griffin); if that's too controversial, go back in time and read about the like of the Gulf of Tonkin incident that put us in the war with Vietnam

    we are enslaved by High Fructose Corn Syrup in inexpensive food

    we are enslaved by high costs of low quality internet access (You need to really understand how far Stockholm and South Korea are ahead of us. See if you can google a good author interview for the book "Captive Audience.")

    The U.S. has plenty of underdogs.

    Is the U.S. a Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of Righteousness?


    The leadership the Bible provides is still a good direction in which to go: 1) empower the poor (combatting depression and crime), give people freedom to the extent that they can have a good or better quality of life (one above abusive labor practices), 3) we'll have upper dogs but the underdogs deserve appreciation and dignity. None of this is outdated.

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    Feb 09, 2014 8:03 PM GMT
    TerraFirma saidThe major problem with a "theory" like Joseph Atwill is that his scholarship is not accountable to the larger community of Biblical scholarship and academia. It's like a lone "scientist" who does his own experiments in the privacy of his own garage and makes claims that he's discovered another subatomic reality that would upset the current quantum theories. There is absolutely no historically accepted evidence to support his wild conspiracy theories. Very poor scholarship. No academic accountability.

    See also Counter-argument to Atwill


    TerraFirma, I read the Richard Carrier article back in October. I've posted at Carrier's blog. (I also had to tell Ralph Ellis that if he makes a good point when he posts, don't expect Carrier not to save face--Carrier is not likely to be objective to claim mia culpa.) I just refreshed my mind about it by taking a look at the link you provided.

    Carrier does not overturn the notion that Josephus characterized the actions of the Sicarii as demonic. John who was worse than a Sicarii would definitely be demonic. John who was the leader of Sicarii rebels definitely would have been a problem that the Romans would have to take care of. Finally, Carrier does not overturn the history that the Romans chased Sicarii into a body of water where they drowned. Carrier does not overturn the history that the Sicarii went into a city and recruited young men (possessed them).
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    Feb 09, 2014 8:11 PM GMT
    TerraFirma

    There is absolutely no historically accepted evidence to support his theory.


    StephenOABC

    Historically accepted evidence:
    Rome put down the Jewish Revolt.

    Rome fought in Galilee.
    Rome fought in Jerusalem.
    Rome fought at Masada.

    How Rome defeated the rebels (the battles) in the Jewish Revolt as recorded by Josephus probably do not include: Josephus was wrong about Vespasian defeating rebels along the River Jordan or at the Sea of Galilee.
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    Feb 09, 2014 10:36 PM GMT
    Stephen, you seem to have missed my main point: Joseph Atwill is that his scholarship is not accountable to the larger community of historical Biblical scholarship and academia. This is fundamentally problematic and why he loses all academic credibility.
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    Feb 09, 2014 11:27 PM GMT
    TerraFirma saidStephen, you seem to have missed my main point: Joseph Atwill is that his scholarship is not accountable to the larger community of historical Biblical scholarship and academia. This is fundamentally problematic and why he loses all academic credibility.


    This sort of reasoning is fallacious when the person in question is not an expert. In such cases the reasoning is flawed because the fact that an unqualified person makes a claim does not provide any justification for the claim. The claim could be true, but the fact that an unqualified person made the claim does not provide any rational reason to accept the claim as true.

    When a person falls prey to this fallacy, they are accepting a claim as true without there being adequate evidence to do so. More specifically, the person is accepting the claim because they erroneously believe that the person making the claim is a legitimate expert and hence that the claim is reasonable to accept. Since people have a tendency to believe authorities (and there are, in fact, good reasons to accept some claims made by authorities) this fallacy is a fairly common one.


    TerraFirma,

    In the history of the quests for the historical Jesus, more than 30 years went by when nothing was happening because "the larger community of historical Biblical scholarship and academia" got it wrong.

    Second, the larger community of scholars and academia have yet to recognize Egyptology in their objective study of the Hebrew Bible. The Rosetta Stone was deciphered and there are scholars who have yet to inform the public that the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament is biased. Without objectivity, there is error.

    There is the Moses account of the Exodus.
    There is Manetho's account of the Exodus.

    Square on to your point: there are Josephus scholars. Number two, if objectivity is different from the conservation of The Bible by conservative scholars, you're not going to get the facts. If people cannot read The War of the Jews and The New Testament and tell of the parallels there, standards of education are lowered.

    There are people who will tell you, we do not expose certain historical truths for a "good" reason.

    I simply explained one part of Atwill's case that holds up. When comparing the accounts of the Gadara exorcism, New Testament and War of the Jews, there are significant parallels.

    An examined Christianity requires this information.
    An examined Christianity requires the information that shows the parallels between the biographies of Paul and Josephus.
    An examined Christianity requires the information which explains why of all the early churches, Antioch, Corinth, Ephesus, etc., it was Rome where today we have the Vatican. We cannot explain the primacy of the early Roman Church without the influence of Vespasian, Titus, and their adopted Titus Flavius Josephus.

    Third, there are many in this world who would COMMIT their children to an un-examined Christianity. There are many in this world who would COMMIT their children and communities to an un-examined agnosticism, atheism, and rejection of Christianity.

    An unexamined Christianity is an uneducated stance.

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    Feb 09, 2014 11:30 PM GMT
    TerraFirma,

    "Jesus exorcised Legion" has implications.

    "Jesus did not exorcise Legion" has implications.

    On what side do you fall?
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    Feb 11, 2014 2:08 AM GMT
    TerraFirma,

    In the history of the quests for the historical Jesus, more than 30 years went by when nothing was happening because "the larger community of historical Biblical scholarship and academia" got it wrong.

    CORRECTION:

    The Quest for the Historical Jesus

    Albert Schweitzer concluded that the goal of recovering the historical Jesus that lay behind the Christ of faith was doomed to failure. It could not be done. We could only get back as far as the Jesus who was proclaimed by the church, the Christ of faith, the Jesus of the gospels. He also concluded that the Jesus of history was not even important. What was important was the Christ of faith.

    The truth is, it is not Jesus as historically known who is significant for our time but Jesus as spiritually risen within. What is important is not the historical Jesus but the spirit which goes forth from Him.

    In essence, Swhweitzer agreed with Augustine: spiritual truth, not historical fact, was what mattered.

    The impact of Schweitzer's Critique:

    For the next 50 years (not 30 years) what was important in biblical scholarship was the Christ of faith, not the Jesus of history. From 1906 to the 1960s there was virtually no interest in the historical Jesus among scholars. Historical research came to a halt.

    In 1964 Ernst Kasemann re-started the quest for the historical Jesus because faith cannot and should not be severed from its historical roots.

    --from a sermon by Rev. Walt Marcum, Kerygma, Highland Park UMC
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    Feb 11, 2014 2:12 AM GMT
    Ralph Ellis discredits Richard Carrier

    However, like a previous reviewer here, I was mightily dismayed at the way 'academia' treated Atwill's book. They refused to read it, declared it to be rubbish, and then deleted anyone who defended the book from their discussion. Richard Carrier was perhaps the worst offender:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664

    Having given moderate support for Atwill's thesis, Carrier hit back with a broadside displaying an unbelievable lack of knowledge. And when his errors were noted, he deleted several people from the blog, so that his errors could not be exposed. Cannot have the great professor looking like a fool, now, can we? This is quite a trend in modern academia - that if you lose an argument you delete everyone from the blog. Anyway Richard Carrier said that:

    >>Richard Carrier said:
    >>No mention is made of any arms being taken (onto the Mount of Olives).
    Has Dr Carrier ever read the New Testament? Jesus ordered swords to be purchased in Luke 22:36. They were delivered to Jesus in Luke 22:38. Jesus went to the Mount of Olives in Luke 22:39. And those same swords were used on the Mount of Olives in 22:50 to cut off an ear. So why does Richard Carrier not know of this?

    >>Richard Carrier said:
    >>Jesus is not the high priest in any Gospel narrative.
    Yet Hebrews 7 details how and why Jesus became High Priest. The explanation is complex, because Jesus was not a Levite and needed an excuse, but luckily Hebrews 3:1 and 8:1 give a summary. The first of these says: "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus"
    That sounds like a High Priest to me.

    >>Richard Carrier said:
    >>There is no revolt in the Gospels.
    Yet Mark 15:7 says, quote:
    "And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made revolution with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection."
    In what way is that not a revolution?

    >>Richard Carrier said:
    >>Barabbas was the leader of the revolt, not the
    >>Gospel Jesus. And Barabbas ... is not crucified.
    It appears that Richard Carrier does not know that Barabbas was also called Jesus; and that the Koran, the Talmud and the Gospel of Barnabas all say there was a switch of characters, and so Jesus was not crucified.

    >>Richard Carrier said:
    >>The only Jesus the Talmudic rabbis know about died
    >>before the Romans arrived in Judaea.
    But the Jewish Encyclopaedia says:
    "...the pseudonym `Balaam' is given to Jesus in Sanhedrin 106b and Gittin 57a"
    In addition, Jesus is called 'Yeshu the Nazarene' in Sanhedrin 43.
    So Jesus IS to be found in the Talmud, under the name `Yeshu the Nazarene' and under the pseudonym `Balaam'.
    Why does Richard Carrier not know of this?

    >>Richard Carrier said:
    >>The Vulgate Cycle misidentifies Vespasian as the son of Titus.
    If this was not so sad, it would be funny. Here is a professor of history who does not know that the Vulgate Cycle has the opposite naming convention for the Flavian emperors, to that given by modern scholarship. (Because Vespasian and Titus have exactly the same names - Titus Flavius Vespasianus Augustus - they can be easily confused).

    >>Richard Carrier said:
    >>The Vulgate Cycle (calls) Vespasian a leper rather than the emperor.
    It would appear that Richard Carrier does not know that lepros (a leper) refers to someone with scales (of a fish). Thus Vespasian (ie: Titus) was being identified as a supporter of Christianity, because the symbol of Christianity was and is the fish (the Christian Ichthus).

    So this is modern academia.
  • Rene_Aensland

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    Feb 11, 2014 2:31 AM GMT
    Great thread so far, at work and in lunch.

    I enjoy a good read =]
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    Feb 11, 2014 12:26 PM GMT
    ralphy says:
    It appears that Richard Carrier does not know that Barabbas was also called Jesus; and that the Koran, the Talmud and the Gospel of Barnabas all say there was a switch of characters, and so Jesus was not crucified.

    My Response:
    Joseph Atwill says Eleazar-Lazarus was not crucified.
    The Talmud says Jesus was stoned to death.
    Jesus of Gamala, who Ralph Ellis claims is Jesus, was killed (but not by crucifixion) by the Edumeans.
    The Egyptian Prophet does not seem to be crucified.
    Reza Aslan says when the Samaritan was slain by Pilate he was crucified (I don't know if I buy that).

    Off the top of my head, I don't remember if Menahem was crucified by the Romans. A quick peek at google gives this:

    Emboldened by his success, he behaved as a king, and claimed the leadership of all the troops. Thereby he aroused the enmity of Eleazar, another Zealot leader, and met death as a result of a conspiracy against him

    WHAT ARE YOU ALL CONCLUDING? JESUS WAS NOT CRUCIFIED?
    The three Josephus and Titus brought down from the cross is all we have to corroborate the bible story?
    I don't think Jesus was a Samaritan, so Reza Aslan's claim of crucifixion by Pontius Pilate is going to rescue the biblical claim.


    SO, BART EHRMAN IS WRONG, given that Joseph Atwill is right about Eleazar-Lazarus being Jesus because while Bart Ehrman (Bart D. Ehrman) says Reza Aslan is wrong about Jesus being a Zealot, here we have in historical accounts: Eleazar was a zealot leader.

    OKAY: I have to explain the Eleazar-Lazarus part of the story. I'll do that tonight or tomorrow.

    Definitely gotta run.
    Bye.
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    Feb 14, 2014 12:56 AM GMT
    Piccadilly saidThe bible wouldn't bother me so much if it were unanimously called for that it obviously is: a fable.

    On a side note, bacterias were discovered after the Middle Ages, so as far as I know, there was no "germ theory" at that time.


    The Bible should not be judged like that on a WHOLE as it is a sort of anthology of ancient writings culled together by a community, each writing having been written in its own cultural-historical context for a particular audience. It is only in the collected form that it is now for convenience sake. You may discuss the veracity of each individual book, but frankly, to lump it all together and make judgment as "fable" does not do the pieces any justice as significant works of literature and history with profound influence on life, philosophy, society, law, etc.

    And yes, you are right about the germ theory. I meant that, though I did convey that clearly. Thank you for the clarification.