Approaching Infinity, I know I'm incorporating all the info I've read to come to a happy medium in my own mind, until something really concrete can land me in another direction.
As long as you're aware that's what you're doing (basically, system 1 ruling system 2).
No, I haven't read Carlotta. I'm a bit broke, and 38.00 for the paperback is a little more than I can do right now. It's on my Amazon wish list. Hopefully soon, and I mean that. I spend a bit too much on books for my budget as it is.
About half of his book is available to read for free on his website: _http://www.carotta.de/subseite/texte/jwc_e/contents.html
Is there proof that there was a Jesus other than Caesar? Proof, absolute....probably not. Like trying to find prove that a certain person lived 2,000 years ago that wasn't anything more than a priest, a human teacher, and that people really got into what he had to say. We have stories of "teachers" teaching the same thoughts all over the world. Were they all Jesus? No, were they Caesar? Don't think so.
I don't think anyone's suggesting that. In fact, the teachings are largely irrelevant, as the majority of them were written generations after the fact, most likely interpolations or group beliefs attributed to the 'founder' of the cult. The thing that matters is looking at how things progressed historically, and Carotta's book is really the best to get an idea of how this should be done.
I'm just not able to put the two, (Jesus & Caesar), together just yet in my own mind. Maybe I'm stuck on some of the words that are attributed to Jesus, (or someone like him), and I can't put Caesar in those shoes just yet. I do see Caesar as a great, wise man, well versed in law, speaking, human relations, and a wonderful leader to his people, and troops. Maybe he was just a little too ambitious for the programmed idea I have of the story of Jesus. Maybe none of the things attributed to Jesus were ever said by anyone other than the person who dreamed them up and wrote them down. Kinda sad, but that could be true too.
I think you're close to the Mark here (pun very much intended). No one is saying that Jesus, as he's presented in the gospels
, is Caesar. Rather, Caesar's story (especially his passion) and legacy were gradually transformed into the image of the Jewish messiah. The Gospel of Mark is almost entirely traceable back to Caesar's story, but with subtle name changes, translation errors, puns, misreadings, adaptations to a new social environment, etc. In fact, many of Jesus' sayings (i.e., the early ones found in Mark, not the later interpolations) can be traced directly to Caesar or Caesar's story (again, see Carotta).
I just have to keep an open mind as best I can, and work through my delusions with the new facts and info that's made available. I'm working it, and questioning everything. Laura mentioned once that my choice of reading material needed some work. Probably very true. I try to read things from both ends of the argument, and that can cause a conflict in my own mind. I can only hope that truth will win out. I appreciate you making me think more about my feelings.
Well, reading both sides of the argument is actually a good exercise. It teaches you to think, see the flaws and weaknesses in both sides of the argument, come to your own conclusions. But you've got to be ruthless with yourself and think with a hammer. For example, you can read the exchange between a critic of Carotta and whoever writes for the DJ site: _http://divusjulius.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/talkingdead/