Jesus Christus: Was ist belegte Tatsache, was bloße Erfindung?

Eine Rezension von Siegfried R. Krebs

WEIMAR. (fgw) Der zweifach promovierte Naturwissenschaftler Harald Specht beschäftigt sich nicht nur mit materiell-gegenständlichen Dingen, sondern intensiv auch mit geisteswissenschaftlichen Themen: Sei es kunsthistorisch oder religions- und kirchenkritisch. Die Betonung liegt dabei auf wissenschaftlicher Beschäftigung, daher stellt er seinem wohl besten Buch „Jesus? Tatsachen und Erfindungen“ einen bekannten Spruch von René Descartes voran: „De omnibus dubitandum – An allem ist zu zweifeln“. Und eben das unterscheidet Wissenschaft von der Theologie, die nur absolute Wahrheiten verkündigen kann und will. Daher kommt der Frage nach der neutestamentarischen Figur „Jesus“ überragende Bedeutung zu. Steht oder fällt doch mit der Antwort die Religion des Christentums, insbesondere die Institution „Kirche“ mitsamt des Machtanspruches der Priesterkaste über Mensch, Gesellschaft und Staat.

Link zur Rezension

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20 Kommentare

  1. Here is one example of how applying eisenmanian historicism to early christian issues can often be more helpful than recourse to mythicism.
    Dr Detering in his great book Falsche Zeugen, first rightly states that Sueton´s Chrestus is Chrestus and not Christus – only to fall back into the Christus trap by hypothesizing that simon magus was meant here.
    No : if chrestus is indeed chrestus, then it must be someone who was called chrestos – greek for benivolent, good, sweet, kind, loving.
    Was there someone at the time of Claudius, fitting the description ?
    Yes : Agrippa the first, king of Judea . Joseph Flavius (J. AJ 19.7.3, 330) calls him just that – chrestos. For Agrippa was known to be mild and moderate.

  2. And : we are looking here to identifying an impulsore chresto, someone who was agitating the jews, in rome and elsewhere, against roman rule : well, Agrippa I ran afoul of the Romans for plotting with other middle eastern kings to expand his power at the detriment of rome. Therefore he was duly poisoned in the year 44 ce. It is irrelevant it is not 49 – Sueton gives no date for his impulsore chresto and the expulsion of the jews from rome.

  3. Therefore we might forcefully argue that Sueton´s notice about chrestus has nothing whatsoever to do with alleged early christians in rome as early as the 40ies ce. It has to do with jews and jews alone – as Sueton literally states.
    Agrippa I according to Josephus was gentle unto zealots too, as to one Simon ( the real simon peter of history) who inspects his household in Caesarea. One more reason to be judged a subversive and a rebel by roman power.

  4. Robert Eisenman in his James the Brother of Jesus was the first to associate Sueton´s chrestus and Josephus` chrestos for Agrippa I. But Eisenman did not venture to identify sueton´s impulsor with agrippa I. I am the first to do so that I am aware – correct me if I´m wrong.

  5. acts of the apostles 12, 21-23 drily reports Agrippa the first´s Death as a punishment from God – no wonder pro-roman acts would take a dim view of a rebel king…
    Chrestus is chrestus – end of story.

  6. Sueton´s notice about the expulsion of jews from rome under claudius because they had rioted impulsore chresto has nothing whatsoever to do with messianism or alleged early christians or the alleged jesus christ – matter closed.

  7. Let us now wax a little more scientific/philological, lest such luminaries and wardens of scholarly ways as a salm rene or a thompson thomas get a heart attack for lack of footnotes and proper punctuation – for to them, packaging is everything and arguments nothing.

  8. We wouldn´t have to retrodate orosius´s date of 49 for the expulsion of jews from rome if chrestos were agrippa I either, for even though agrippa was assassinated in 44, roman jews might have continued to riot in his name. Orosius´ date is in any event controversial and uncertain.

  9. Here is the relevant passage from the Antiquitates Judaeorum where Josephus terms Agrippa the first chrestos :
    τοῖς ὁμοφύλοις ἀναλόγως χρηστὸς καὶ συμπαθὴς μᾶλλον
    in eisenman´s rendering :
    he was also gentle and even more compassionate to his own countrymen

  10. the greek text is from the niese edition you can find at perseus :
    J. AJ 19.7.3, 330
    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0145%3Abook%3D19%3Awhiston%20chapter%3D7%3Awhiston%20section%3D3
    That is to say, Agrippa I was equally munificent to both foreigners and jews, but more sympathetic to the latter.
    But his benevolence unto romans might have been only a facade, concealing its opposite : rivalry and ambition. At 338 sqq below in the Antiquitates, Josephus relates how agrippa once offended roman governor of syria Marcus, by arriving at a meeting with him in the company of several middle-eastern kings he had made an alliance with.

  11. There followed a diplomatic incident between agrippa and marcus, which spelled the beginning of agrippa´s fall from grace with roman imperial power. To be accurate, this was not the first time that agrippa I had aroused roman suspicions in josephus´account : AI 326 (J. AJ 19.7.2 niese) states that agrippa had been intent on renovating and reinforcing jerusalem´s walls, which had raised ever-vigilant marcus´s
    eyebrows. Marcus had informed claudius, so claudius ordered agrippa to cease and desist from his endeavour immediately. Since then we can well imagine how claudius had remained wary of agrippa´s attempts at “ innovation „.

  12. So in reality, his appearance of chrestotes notwithstanding, agrippa was and had always been a plotter and a schemer for his own self-aggrandizing and imperial ambitions which were bound to put him on a collision course with Rome.
    As a young man in Rome, agrippa had been cast into prison for wishing emperor tiberius dead – or so it is reported. And in the year 38, his passage through alexandria instigated riots there between greeks and jews : definitely an impulsor, our chrestus !!

  13. Dr Deterings tentative hypothesis, sueton´s chrestus could be simon magus, is thus to be ruled out. Firstly again, because it would renormalize chrestus into christus – uneconomically and unnecessarily. Secondly, because simon magus is a travesty for paul – and a paul would never have gone to rome to stir up riots among the jews there, lest he got himself lynched – the jews hated paul.

  14. Let us proceed to get into the whole paul/simon magus affair.
    The christian forgery called acts of paul and thecla describes paul as having a “ somewhat curved nose…with the face of an angel „. One cannot entirely rule out that the curved nose thing be referential – that is to say, that paul, whoever he was, really had a curved nose. Interestingly, islamic tradition knows a mahdi, a christ-like character, who will dwell among men but hiding his true identity. Now this mahdi too has a curved nose. And his face shines – like paul´s angel face, one could surmise. And like moses´, after he came out from the cloud on mount sinai or the tent of meeting in the wilderness as per exodus 24:39 and numbers 6:25.

  15. Now Dr Detering identifies simon magus with paul – ferdinand christian baur is reported to have done so too. This if true would imply that acts of the apostles for instance, duplicates paul into simon magus. A disinformation trick new testament forgers often have recourse to – see all the judases and simons and jameses in the canonic gospels for instance. The more you split the atom, the better you will conceal a given character´s true identity. Detering avers that paul is a nick meaning small, while simon was his real name. I think instead, that simon too is a nick, and that the guy´s real name was saul.
    See, simon is a greek name not a jewish or semitic one. The hebrew form is simeon not simon. And guess what simon means in greek…with a curved nose ! Or at least that is what the greek adjective simos means : flat-nosed or curved-nosed or snub-nosed. Nothing like this ugly nose could have better given away the identity of paul and simon magus. One begins to suspect that even the forged acts of paul and thecla contain a kernel of truth – of referential truth that is, without which nobody would have believed in them.

  16. So again – why rule out that paul aka simon really sported this flat/snub/pug/curved
    nose ? You might rightly wonder at this point, how can one with a dog-like nose look like an angel, but then again, a true believer isn´t nosey…
    So there you have it : paul was nicked simon because he was simos in greek = flat-nosed. But – what about paul ? Certainly whoever dubbed paul simon/pug nosed, wasn´t being kind to him. And magus too is a sort of insult in the bible. Now as for paulus, in latin in can mean small, so maybe those same malevolent acts forgers added insult to injury by rechristening saul first as shorty (paul) and then as flat-nosed (simon). But acts itself tells us that the guy´s original name had been saul.

  17. Now who was the real saul of history here, a persecutor of christians even for acts ?
    Eisenman rightly points us in the direction of josephus flavius, antiquitates judaicae, 20, 213-214: here saul, possibly a member of the herodian clan, his brother costobarus and another relative antipas, lead a riot in jerusalem to plunder the poor. This happens after the stoning of james in 62 ce. H.J.Schoeps had unmasked the stoning of stephen in acts as a stand-in or travesty for the stoning of james. And acts tells us saul had been present at, and supported, the stoning of stephen ; everything here seems to lead us to identifying josephus´ saul with acts´. Eisenman states as much in his masterpiece James the brother of jesus. This saul, a herodian and persecutor of james and his natsorayya, is the only real saul, whom acts and subsequent christian lore turn into christian paul.

  18. So the real saul was a herodian, a persecutor of natsorayya, a stoner of james…and a roman spy : just before the 66-73 war, our saul according to josephus´ bellum judaicum ii, 556, is sent to nero in greece , not to be beheaded by nero as a christian martyr, but instead to brief the emperor about the troubles in jerusalem. In other words :saint paul never existed at all. Nor did simon magus. These fake identities were created in order to dissimulate who this saul really had been. Even acts has to admit that paul´s original name was saul and that he had been a murderer of early „christian martyrs“ such as „stephen“.

  19. Robert Eisenman`s great book james the brother of jesus supports this identification of acts´ paul with josephus´ saul. Why was the name paul chosen to overwrite saul ?
    well, first because they sound similar. What if paulos/paulus were not originally greek and latin names, but latinized forms of a semitic name ? Of a semitic nickname that is ?
    What if paulus, a common roman name, had been chosen by acts´ forgers not only to overwrite saul, but also to dissimulate an original semitic derogatory nick for saul, bestowed upon a persecutor by the natsorayya/zealots ?
    For instance, pau – bal in semitic means empty mouth. The letter of james 2:20 dubs paul “ empty man“ . Pau -ullu in semitic means “ a mouth that extolls “ : again the letter of james 1:26 evokes someone (paul) “ who doesn´t restrain his tongue „.
    And we know from the psudoclementines that paul was a rioter and a screamer.
    A professional agent provocateur. Someone who would have been able to stir up the tumults in rome too, those under claudius – but saul wasn´t known as chrestos, though who knows, he just might have halped his kinsman agrippa the first, ho chrestos, to inflame jews in rome under claudius. Thus Detering´s hypothesis might just be partly right after all…

  20. Now the conundrum here is – why is simon magus cast in a poor light by acts 8:9 sqq ?
    Acts are proroman and so was saul/paul. So why double up paul into a good christian on the one side, apostle paul, and a corrupt simon magus on the other ?
    The issue gets very complex here, but I think we may view acts´ paul as a christianized/inverted josephus´saul ; and simon magus as a parody of marcion´s paul.
    Dr Detering remarked that when acts 8:18-24 portrays simon magus as offering money to peter and john in exchange for the gift of imparting the holy spirit, acts is lampooning an episode of marcion´s life : tertullian portrays marcion as going to rome and offering the „church“ there a donation of 200.000 sesterces in the hope they would spiritualize their doctrine in the pauline/marcionite sense. Which was pretty much antisemitic to boot. But the rome church refused, instigated by its jewish-christian leaders. Peter and john refuse simon magus´ money at acts 8:20.
    Shortly later, Marcion was excommunicated (144 ce). A neat terminus a quo for the composition of chapter 8 of acts…
    Marcion, a greek financier, would have wanted an antisemitic church so as to get rid of jewish financial competition : his paul – the paul of the letters marcion wrote or inspired himself – is much too antisemitic. And much too greek – intellectualized/spiritualized – for mass consumption.
    Christianity as we know it started to emerge in the II century as a compromise between the jewish and the greek/roman financial elites – simon magus was a paul that couldn´t fly…

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