Laura's Book "From Paul to Mark" is out!!!!

Alejo

Ambassador
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Actually, I did.

The book is thick with NT exegesis, history, theology, quotes and references from other biblical studies and other books, yet for the general audience I’m afraid it’s too hard to follow and as a scholarly study it may not be in the best company. I did appreciate the book’s all-encompassing approach having some of the known facts and notions revisited, others less known or just good to know as conjectures. Armed with a decent critical thinking, no thesis is anathema or trigger as long as it comes from earnest endeavor. If that’s a project that someone put effort and passion in, who am I to dismiss it or criticize it;

With that being said, at first I thought this could be a book on Christianity’s role and place in history in the big scheme of things more akin to the Secret History of the World, yet this is just what its title sounds like, a lengthy exegesis on early Christianity, with a heavy personal bias towards denial of general accepted Jesus Christ narrative and historicity. So, it’s not about the religion ‘psy-op’, but the religion ‘fake-op’.:-)
(I’m writing these notes lightheartedly on a relaxed afternoon Memorial Day, no mean to be mean or sound dismissive - with all there’s written out there on Christianity nothing can be taken as outrageous anymore and everything can have its place under the sun, all is learning even in denial, plus when it comes to history in general everything is relative after all, right? So these are not value judgments, just personal notes).

The Christ myth theory has been around for a while (over a century now) and while it’s an intellectual exercise that can be passed along as legit truthism, it's in the fringe territory. It sits somewhere in between the ‘suppressed’ ancient technology and the flat earth theory. This book in its entirety is built on the Christ myth theory, with solid arguments otherwise and re-iterations picked up from the abundant genre of its kind, bundles of notes and references which otherwise is a significant effort by itself. Only towards the end it diverges from the Christ myth and brings in Divus Julius as a punch line, marrying the two together. I suppose that’s the goal of the book and its note of originality. Now if you add two wrongs it won’t make a right one, and that’s the self-realization “unfortunately ...no cigar”;

I enjoyed reading-listening to the ebook as a biblical refresher with its abundance of text quotes, although not sure how palatable that is to the untrained reader. Moreover, I appreciated some of the comments and personal interpretation of pauline excerpts - yeah, I used to quip a lot on Paul, he’s the gift that keeps on giving. Some assertions maybe go a little bit haywire even from the Christ mythicism line such as “Paul baptized by John the Baptist” (how'd you come up with that?) and “Judah the Galilean executed in 19 AD by Pontius Pilate” (source!?), but again it’s the exegete’s freedom of interpretation;

I’m not going to take issue with any of the assertions made in the book nor with the Christ myth theory - for a Christian believer that’s a non-issue and for a spiritual seeker there’s more to Jesus than historical Jesus -, neither with the Caesar is so good I’ma take him home fandom. Can’t help noticing however that pinning Caesar as leitmotif for Paul sounds like the worst matchmaking job ever, as in: the movie was okay, but there’s just no chemistry between the two actors - unless Paul had a secret thing for shaved men dressed in togas;

My only question is, as George Noory would ask with a faux-bafflement tone in a radio-show at the end of the day: ‘Why would someone in their right mind, during the birth pangs of Christianity, switch Caesar for Jesus the Nazarene as a narrative?' Yeah, that Jewish son of carpenter that you deem not a good fit for the role. What’s the political gain or whatever other interest for pulling such a three-card monte when a gentlemanly Julius from the ruling nation would have made for a far better story to pass along and digest, and an easier ride to a sanitized new religion infused with pedigree, drama and people’s appeal…unless the obscure Judaic Jesus was the real deal. Anyways, I digress, enjoy reading the book and looking forward to the next one.
This has been the longest and most verbose way I have ever seen someone say "I didn't get it"
 

Hello H2O

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
This has been the longest and most verbose way I have ever seen someone say "I didn't get it"
The reason he didn't get it, is a pretty common malady that I see. Inability to, or choosing not to, question your beliefs, assumptions, dogma. So you go into reading something, determined not to see anything that challenges your beliefs. So you come out the other side with the same beliefs you went in with. And so you come up with these strange conclusions, like Laura is on the fringe, in flat earth territory. Sort of comes with the territory.
 

Saman

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
No, they are actual Kindle books purchased online, like Kerrigan's Byrne Three Ways to Start a Scandal (3 novels in one of the Victorian Rebels series).
Well hopefully at some point in the future, if the publisher has the time, they will provide an update to the Kindle version of the book for the page numbers:

As I suspected, it looks like a file with page settings is missing for the Kindle version of the book, as corroborated by another individual below in a quote from 8 years ago:

Just because there was a hardcopy edition of the book does not mean there are equivalent page numbers for the Kindle edition. Amazon does not "import" books for Kindle. The publisher provides the book in Kindle format, which is not a simple import of the printed version. If the publisher does not include a file that relates page numbers to the locations in the Kindle book Amazon cannot display page numbers.

So some books in rare cases just don't have them. Anyways, would had been nice to have page numbers to keep track of daily reading goals with ease, but it is not the end of the world since there is still a percentage and location indicator; these can still be used for some approximate gauging of how many pages have been read each day. Cheers.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Actually, I did.

The book is thick with NT exegesis, history, theology, quotes and references from other biblical studies and other books, yet for the general audience I’m afraid it’s too hard to follow and as a scholarly study it may not be in the best company. I did appreciate the book’s all-encompassing approach having some of the known facts and notions revisited, others less known or just good to know as conjectures. Armed with a decent critical thinking, no thesis is anathema or trigger as long as it comes from earnest endeavor. If that’s a project that someone put effort and passion in, who am I to dismiss it or criticize it;

With that being said, at first I thought this could be a book on Christianity’s role and place in history in the big scheme of things more akin to the Secret History of the World, yet this is just what its title sounds like, a lengthy exegesis on early Christianity, with a heavy personal bias towards denial of general accepted Jesus Christ narrative and historicity. So, it’s not about the religion ‘psy-op’, but the religion ‘fake-op’.:-)
(I’m writing these notes lightheartedly on a relaxed afternoon Memorial Day, no mean to be mean or sound dismissive - with all there’s written out there on Christianity nothing can be taken as outrageous anymore and everything can have its place under the sun, all is learning even in denial, plus when it comes to history in general everything is relative after all, right? So these are not value judgments, just personal notes).

The Christ myth theory has been around for a while (over a century now) and while it’s an intellectual exercise that can be passed along as legit truthism, it's in the fringe territory. It sits somewhere in between the ‘suppressed’ ancient technology and the flat earth theory. This book in its entirety is built on the Christ myth theory, with solid arguments otherwise and re-iterations picked up from the abundant genre of its kind, bundles of notes and references which otherwise is a significant effort by itself. Only towards the end it diverges from the Christ myth and brings in Divus Julius as a punch line, marrying the two together. I suppose that’s the goal of the book and its note of originality. Now if you add two wrongs it won’t make a right one, and that’s the self-realization “unfortunately ...no cigar”;

I enjoyed reading-listening to the ebook as a biblical refresher with its abundance of text quotes, although not sure how palatable that is to the untrained reader. Moreover, I appreciated some of the comments and personal interpretation of pauline excerpts - yeah, I used to quip a lot on Paul, he’s the gift that keeps on giving. Some assertions maybe go a little bit haywire even from the Christ mythicism line such as “Paul baptized by John the Baptist” (how'd you come up with that?) and “Judah the Galilean executed in 19 AD by Pontius Pilate” (source!?), but again it’s the exegete’s freedom of interpretation;

I’m not going to take issue with any of the assertions made in the book nor with the Christ myth theory - for a Christian believer that’s a non-issue and for a spiritual seeker there’s more to Jesus than historical Jesus -, neither with the Caesar is so good I’ma take him home fandom. Can’t help noticing however that pinning Caesar as leitmotif for Paul sounds like the worst matchmaking job ever, as in: the movie was okay, but there’s just no chemistry between the two actors - unless Paul had a secret thing for shaved men dressed in togas;

My only question is, as George Noory would ask with a faux-bafflement tone in a radio-show at the end of the day: ‘Why would someone in their right mind, during the birth pangs of Christianity, switch Caesar for Jesus the Nazarene as a narrative?' Yeah, that Jewish son of carpenter that you deem not a good fit for the role. What’s the political gain or whatever other interest for pulling such a three-card monte when a gentlemanly Julius from the ruling nation would have made for a far better story to pass along and digest, and an easier ride to a sanitized new religion infused with pedigree, drama and people’s appeal…unless the obscure Judaic Jesus was the real deal. Anyways, I digress, enjoy reading the book and looking forward to the next one.

Hmm.... if that's what you got out of it - and I tested it on people with no awareness of any of the topics - then I can only say you may have read it, but without real comprehension. That may be due to your lack of knowledge of the field and the many disputes.
 

psychegram

The Living Force
The first is that Paul's appears to have made a mistake in violating free will by the use of deception.

That's one reading of it, but the other one is to look at what was actually preserved at least in part because of Mark and not despite of him

I can see what you are trying to reconcile here, but I have a different take on this idea of “Paul using deception”. Context is key.

Fascinating discussion. I'm still only about halfway through the book, but what the heck, I'll dive in.

Was talking about this with a friend recently. The image that popped into my mind was of a caduceus combined with a cross - two serpents wrapped around the crucifix, locked in mortal combat, but so closely intertwined that they have become almost indistinguishable.

One serpent represents the Pauline faction; the other, the Judaic/Imperial faction. The Paulists seek to subvert the deceptions of the Judaists in order to enable enlightenment. The Judaists seek to subvert the enlightenment of the Paulists in order to twist Christianity towards social control.

Neither faction can operate openly. If the good guys did so, they'd be destroyed by the bad guys. If the bad guys did so, they'd be destroyed by the people. The result is a spiritual shadow war fought using deception. The good guys deceive the enemy by hiding their message in allegories that are capable of carrying the essential core of the message to those with "ears to hear and eyes to see". The bad guys deceive the people by appropriating the allegories and deliberately misinterpreting them in order to turn them towards material advantage.

One result has been the schizoid behavior of the church throughout its entire existence - on the one hand, an influence for good; on the other, a tool for evil. Simultaneously bringing light and spreading darkness.

Another consequence has been that both sides have gotten lost in the hall of mirrors constructed by centuries of mythicized history and historicized myth. The allegories are taken at face value, and the true history forgotten. Both of the serpents wrapped around the cross are also blind - they feel one another's presence, but can't see.

This is the true power of what this forum does, and what Laura's new book does. It tears away the veil, shatters the hall of mirrors, and therefore overturns the chess board that has defined the parameters of history for the last two thousand years. I think it's clear that we, as a species, can no longer go on playing the game as it has been played. It was necessary to do so in the past, and we should not be too hard on the good guys for adopting the tactics they did, which were the best option they had under historical circumstances. But those circumstances are now changing. It has become time for truth to come to light; only in the light of truth can the spiritual renewal take place. To continue contending in the shadows is to get dragged further into the cave. To win, all we need to do is leave the cave, and step into the light.
 

zak

Dagobah Resident
(I’m writing these notes lightheartedly on a relaxed afternoon Memorial Day, no mean to be mean or sound dismissive - with all there’s written out there on Christianity nothing can be taken as outrageous anymore and everything can have its place under the sun, all is learning even in denial, plus when it comes to history in general everything is relative after all, right? So these are not value judgments, just personal notes).
Opening the brackets, I would say that despite the packaging of your supposedly straight and clean post, you are precisely mean and dismissive, accompanied by bad faith, as if generalising anything and everything was enough to say and do, and therefore to excuse any behaviour.

The reflection of your post, is like a person entering a restaurant called "l'Entrecôte Bleu", and while sipping his aperitif at ease on his chair, complains to the waitress that there are no menus dedicated to vegetarians, and faced with the explanations that he is in fact in a meat restaurant, goes with a smug look in a vegetarian to order a steack!

Oupensky:
"As I said before, people very often think that if they start to fight the "consideration" in themselves, it will make them "hypocrites" and they are afraid of it because they think that in this case they will lose something, lose a part of themselves. The same phenomenon occurs here as in their attempts to avoid the outward expression of their unpleasant emotions. The only difference is that in one case a man struggles with the outward expression of emotions and in the other case with an inward manifestation of perhaps the same emotions. This fear of losing sincerity is of course a self-deception, one of those lying formulas on which human weaknesses are based. Man cannot help but identify and reflect inwardly and he cannot help but express unpleasant emotions, simply because he is weak. Identifying, considering, expressing unpleasant emotions are manifestations of his weakness, his powerlessness, his inability to control himself. But not wanting to acknowledge this weakness, he calls it "sincerity" or "honesty" and tells himself that he does not want to fight against sincerity, when in fact he is unable to fight against his weaknesses.

Sincerity and honesty are actually something very different. What a man calls "sincerity" in this case is really just the refusal to constrain himself. And deep down, the man is aware of this. But he lies to himself when he claims that he does not want to lose his sincerity. "

At this point, I have this advice from Laura for you:
Setting aside beliefs and assumptions is often the most difficult thing to do. But if you can do that, if you can follow the texts wherever they lead and draw correct inferences, then the reward is getting as close to the truth of the gospel as is possible. After two thousand years of the Lie of materialism against which Paul fought with his whole being, that is certainly no small thing.
From Paul to Mark/Paleochristianity
 

Approaching Infinity

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To all the eagle-eyed typo finders, just wanted to say thank you! Unfortunately, dealing with typos is like playing a game of whack-a-mole. They keep popping up even when you thought you found the last of them.

But we will be updating the files to fix them. And if you happen to find more, just let us know, and we can fix them in the next update.
 

Altair

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Ambassador
FOTCM Member
To all the eagle-eyed typo finders, just wanted to say thank you! Unfortunately, dealing with typos is like playing a game of whack-a-mole. They keep popping up even when you thought you found the last of them.

But we will be updating the files to fix them. And if you happen to find more, just let us know, and we can fix them in the next update.
The owners of the Kindle version can also get automatic updates of the book. See here: Amazon.com Help: Update Your Kindle Book Version
 

A Jay

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Ambassador
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@Approaching Infinity and @Altair there seems to be a typo in the foreword:

The word "would" should be removed?

I think the word "might" should be removed with "would" remaining.

Doing the research, it became obvious that only by looking at the problem from different angles would sufficient light might be shone on the solution so as to make it clear.
 

Lucius

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The book arrived today, I'm getting down to it starting tomorrow! The book is big. I ordered on amazon.de Thank you again to everyone who contributed to the creation of the next book, the collection of this issue. In this world where there is little real information books like this book are simply Priceless. 🙏
 

Alejo

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FOTCM Member
The reason he didn't get it, is a pretty common malady that I see. Inability to, or choosing not to, question your beliefs, assumptions, dogma. So you go into reading something, determined not to see anything that challenges your beliefs. So you come out the other side with the same beliefs you went in with. And so you come up with these strange conclusions, like Laura is on the fringe, in flat earth territory. Sort of comes with the territory.
Truly, his words come across more like someone who is writing a review of a fictional story rather than history.
 

primeaddict

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
In ‘The Ascension of Isaiah’ section of chapter 2 the concept of pleroma is introduced in the Wells’ quote. Would this be what we see as the Cosmic Mind?

Definition: ple·ro·ma /pləˈrōmə/

noun: pleroma

1. (in Gnosticism) the spiritual universe as the abode of God and of the totality of the divine powers and emanations.

2. (in Christian theology) the totality or fullness of the Godhead which dwells in Christ.
 

Jtucker

Jedi
In ‘The Ascension of Isaiah’ section of chapter 2 the concept of pleroma is introduced in the Wells’ quote. Would this be what we see as the Cosmic Mind?

Definition: ple·ro·ma /pləˈrōmə/

noun: pleroma

1. (in Gnosticism) the spiritual universe as the abode of God and of the totality of the divine powers and emanations.

2. (in Christian theology) the totality or fullness of the Godhead which dwells in Christ.
I'm wondering about Gnostic thought in relation to Paul as well. I'm only up to (pp.225) so far, so I'll save my questions until the end, but when I turned on YT last night the algo suggested an audio reading of the Gospel of St. Thomas which kind of freaked me out. Some of the "Jesus Sayings" in Thomas could sound reminiscent of Paul or one of his students. I'm wondering too about the section where Tacitus and Josephus both mention an exile of Jews and Egyptians from Rome. Is it possible the Egyptians were Gnostics?

Possibly they were referred to as worshipping Isis, but that was an approximation of the Gnostic concept of Sophia? I'm probably out to lunch here, but Laura's created such a detailed, vivid picture of the 1st century that it's hard not to interested in everything going on then.
 
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