The Pokey Finger of God

meditations on religion and culture

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Atwill vs. Traditional Early Church legends

September 11th, 2014 · Comments Off on Atwill vs. Traditional Early Church legends · christianity, history

In the traditional Early Church stories, the faith that became Christianity was started by the friends and family of the original apostles, who would meet in each others’ homes and tell stories about the Christ each of them knew. The crowds at these gatherings grew larger each year, and people would travel away to other […]

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Further Revelations

September 3rd, 2014 · Comments Off on Further Revelations · christianity, history

After establishing the creation of the Gospels at around 80AD, at the hand of Josephus, there are still the question of when and who created the remaining books of the New Testament. Briefly, these are the Acts of the Apostles, the letters of Paul, James, and John, and the Revelation of John. I was previously ready […]

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The Flavian Gospels

September 2nd, 2014 · Comments Off on The Flavian Gospels · christianity, history

It occurs to me that Atwill doesn’t say in Caesar’s Messiah that the Flavians invented Christianity, but rather that they had commissioned the Gospels to be written, alongside a history of the violent, decade-long destruction of the Hebrew state. Atwill’s main premise is that these works were meant to be read side-by-side. Each was like […]

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First Five Centuries: What do we know?

September 1st, 2014 · Comments Off on First Five Centuries: What do we know? · christianity, history

I have two problems to resolve. My understanding of the origin of Christianity points to Constantine, while Joseph Atwill’s book “Caesars’ Messiah” points to the Flavians, two centuries prior to Constantine. One of my problems is to connect the development of Flavian Christianity to Constantinian Christianity. The other problem is to find anything at all […]

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Book: Janus in Nicea

March 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Book: Janus in Nicea · christianity, history, Janus in Nicea, media

Quite a milestone was reached last week when I published my book, Janus in Nicea.  I had started this blog some years ago when I realized that the state of my study of Early Church history was such that it needed a home away from Live Journal. After continued work in it, I received a […]

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A Critic!

January 26th, 2011 · Comments Off on A Critic! · christianity, history, intentional communities, metaphysics

I recently received a comment to this site that I deleted, due to a fake email address. The comment was to my State Cult Hypothesis post from two years ago. The entire comment read as follows: “This has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever read. I would like to leave a detailed […]

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Diocletian and the Roman Recovery

December 11th, 2008 · Comments Off on Diocletian and the Roman Recovery · christianity, history, media

Here’s something I’ve enjoyed greatly this last week: Stephen Williams’ Diocletian and the Roman Recovery. This book from 1985 was apparently one of the first biographies of the man written in English. The genius here is the clear and concise comparison between the Empire under the “Good Emperors” and the Empire under “Crisis”. Williams provides […]

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Assertions

October 11th, 2008 · Comments Off on Assertions · christianity, culture, history

Following are the assertions I currently use regarding the origin of Christianity. These will likely each be expanded upon over time. 1. Evidence: There is no physical evidence for the existence of a single, rapidly developed mystery cult whose theology or structure singularly informed the post 4th-century Christian church. There is no art, architecture, ritual […]

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Interlude

August 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on Interlude · christianity, history

I’m getting that sand-through-the-fingers feeling again. Just when I thought I had pegged the origins of “Christianity” via Constantine, I got all caught up on the question of pre-existing material. How can we know what it was he actually defined himself, and what was pre-existing? Of the pre-existing materials, why were some things chosen and […]

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Mile Marker

August 3rd, 2008 · Comments Off on Mile Marker · christianity, history

I’m starting to become overwhelmed (again) with revising my understanding of 1st-4th Centuries CE. On one hand, I can still clearly point to the council of Nicea in 325AD and say that this was the place at which Constantine (re-)created Christianity. On the other, I’m completely befuddled regarding which characters were real and which were […]

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