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D.M. Murdock - The Christ Conspiracy
Posted: 28 June 2011 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Host: Robert Price

D.M. Murdock, who also goes by the pen name “Acharya S.,” is the author of The Christ Conspiracy, the most controversial of modern treatments of the Christ Myth theory. She has had to field flack from both apologists and atheists.

An independent scholar of comparative religion and mythology, Murdock was educated in Classics and Greek Civilization, at Franklin & Marshall College and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece. She has traveled extensively around Greece, participating in the archaeological excavation at Corinth, in addition, probably, to eating loads of squid.

Her other books include Suns of God, Who Was Jesus? and Christ in Egypt. Her articles and books can be found at her websites TruthBeKnown.com, StellarHousePublishing.com and FreethoughtNation.com. Point of Inquiry is happy to feature an interview with Acharya by fellow Jesus Mythicist Robert M. Price (assuming, of course, that both of them exist!).

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/dm_murdock_the_christ_conspiracy/

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Posted: 28 June 2011 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Two of my favourite people together.  I can’t wait to listen to it.  smile

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Posted: 28 June 2011 08:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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After perusing Murdock’s Truth Be Known website for a couple of minutes I’ll pass on this podcast. She seems to be deep into woo, and Robert Price is just annoying.

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Posted: 28 June 2011 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I read the book “The Christ Conspiracy” a few years ago.I had mixed feelings about it,on one hand the author goes into psuedo-archaeological thories like a super advanced worldwide civilisation that existed before the last ice age,these individuals built the pyramids and so forth,however the stuff about the Christ B.S. is great reading,also the theories about the nature of religious beliefs in general is very interesting.The author seems like she’s on the border of woo IMO.

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Posted: 28 June 2011 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Ms. Murdock did well, fitting the all the messiah myths together like a glove and hand.  Special consideration for the Jesus messiah seems to be the primary distinction that it has.  It’s so simple when you look at it that way.  smile  Price finds a good guest.  Interesting to hear the Emperor Constantine and followers had to cheat so badly to make theirs the prevailing Christian cult, thus establishing the orthodoxy that led to Catholicism.  Tsk tsk tsk… cheaters. 

The parallels between John the Baptist/Jesus and the Egyptian Anubis/Osiris show a strong link, a good point by Ms. Murdock.

The mythology take on Jesus just demonstrates once again, one thing you can never say about Christianity is that you know something about it, because all of it is so very doubtful, dubious, and even fictive and deceptive.

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Posted: 28 June 2011 09:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I agree Jump and it makes more sense when Acharya and Price tell it.  Just goes to show it’s all a myth.  I expect this is going to be another good one, as soon as I get it downloaded to listen to it.  I’m excited.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I was very excited to hear this, not because I like Archarya, but because it was her weird analysis that led to my deconversion. She says enough things that are verifiable and accurate that she gets your attention, and requires your diligence to understand, then she mixes in craziness to support her ideology. This is the basic tactic of dictators and religious leaders through history. To debunk her I had to teach myself a method of debunking, which led to debunking a whole lot more.

I was expecting a more hostile interview. But Price may have been the perfect one to do this. He agrees with her basic idea that Christ never existed, and uses parallels to other myths to show it. He was very friendly to her, but managed to slip in a few scholarly questions that she couldn’t handle. Her nervous laughter and the statement “you’ll have to edit this out”, revealed a lot.

I was glad to hear that she has completely abandoned some of her stands and that she was willing to site more of her sources than I’ve heard before and admit that some of them are not as strong as she once said. I still can’t bring myself to buy one of her books, although I am intrigued by this more scholarly work she claims to be coming out with. I was disappointed that she stood by the parallel to the resurrection of Horus. As always she leaves out the parts about being killed by Seth and how Isis reassembled the 13 parts and fashioned a phallus.

A few years ago, when Price had a Q&A podcast, I asked him if there were parallels beyond the basic archetypes like resurrection, changing water to wine and bringing people back from the dead. He said no, the Egyptian dying and rising gods were pretty flat characters.

The richness of Jesus’ ministry, his battles with the occupier government and his own religion’s leaders did not come from Egypt. They came from the people who parted ways with Egypt. That Constantine and King James took these stories and made them work for their oppressive societies has little to do with the original scriptures. The sad thing is Archarya is capable of sorting out that history, but instead she muddies the waters.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Lausten - 29 June 2011 06:49 AM

I was very excited to hear this, not because I like Archarya, but because it was her weird analysis that led to my deconversion. She says enough things that are verifiable and accurate that she gets your attention, and requires your diligence to understand, then she mixes in craziness to support her ideology. This is the basic tactic of dictators and religious leaders through history. To debunk her I had to teach myself a method of debunking, which led to debunking a whole lot more.

Yes, she helped with my deconversion, as did Bob Price, Bishop Spong and less known people.

I was expecting a more hostile interview. But Price may have been the perfect one to do this. He agrees with her basic idea that Christ never existed, and uses parallels to other myths to show it. He was very friendly to her, but managed to slip in a few scholarly questions that she couldn’t handle. Her nervous laughter and the statement “you’ll have to edit this out”, revealed a lot.

I’ve talked to Bob and Acharya personally.  She and Bob are supposedly friends.  Given that Bob is one of my mentors, I am in the same camp- I do not believe JC ever existed either.

I was glad to hear that she has completely abandoned some of her stands and that she was willing to site more of her sources than I’ve heard before and admit that some of them are not as strong as she once said. I still can’t bring myself to buy one of her books, although I am intrigued by this more scholarly work she claims to be coming out with. I was disappointed that she stood by the parallel to the resurrection of Horus. As always she leaves out the parts about being killed by Seth and how Isis reassembled the 13 parts and fashioned a phallus.

Buy one of her more recent ones then.  They are great and so was the show.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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In my view, every book by Acharya gets better and better. Critics still tend to bludgeon her to death with her first book a decade later even though she’s written 5 or 6 since then.  A 2nd edition for Christ Conspiracy is a brilliant idea. Christ in Egypt was absolutely fantastic! She substantiated her claims to the point of ‘over documenting her case’ as Dr. Price said in his own review. 

Christ in Egypt: Reviewed by Dr. Robert M. Price
http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/reviews/murdock_christ_egypt.htm

I read a comment on Facebook recently that suggested Acharya’s mythicist position is on par with Darwin’s theory of evolution: “The “mythicist position” is nearly as radical now as Darwin’s ideas were in the 19th century....”

I really enjoy her mythicist position video ... it just seems like common sense.

What is a Mythicist?
http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/mythicist.html

I learned quite a bit from this thread:

Evemerist vs. Mythicist Position

“Never before has there been such a succinct, clearly explained comprehensive position for mythicists. You should be made aware that the mythicist position outlined above is the very first clear outline of the mythicist position throughout history. Good luck finding such a nicely spelled out mythicist position anywhere else. A very special appreciation goes to Acharya/Murdock for stepping up to the plate with such a visionary position. The Mythicist Position takes us far beyond the endless Theist vs. Atheist debate….”
http://www.freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2160

I can honestly consider myself a freethinking mythicist because I am very interested in the origins and purpose of the myths Acharya writes about. So, I must thank her for it because were it not for her I’d probably never know, which is sad because I find it far more interesting and fascinating than what religion would like for us to believe. Plus, you’ll never get this info from the Dawkins, Harris atheist crowd either. I’d like to see those guys acknowledge Acharya’s work because she does what they don’t do - trace back the origins of religious concepts and their purpose. It’s simply shocking to find out that it’s based in natural phenomena!!! Imagine that, an Occam’s razor explanation for the origin and evolution of religious concepts with similarities and differences due to the variety of environments, culture and era! Acharya makes it very simple to finally understand.

Richard Dawkins on ZEITGEIST, Part 1
http://www.freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=21425#p21425

Acharya’s Work Complements Sam Harris’s Philosophy
http://www.freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3588

Acharya’s revised version of Zeitgeist Part 1 was very well done. I’d like to see it peer reviewed by Dr. Price and other mythicists and then after any potential necessary changes (if any), published in a scholarly journal.

The New Zeitgeist Part 1 Sourcebook (August 2010)
http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/zeitgeistsourcebook.pdf

I found myself wanting more when the podcast was over. I hope CFI/Point of Inquiry/ Dr. Price has Acharya S on again because it seemed like they were just getting warmed up.

[ Edited: 29 June 2011 08:41 AM by Dionysus ]
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Posted: 29 June 2011 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Dionysus:

I don’t see anything new here. You provided a lot of information, so being brief will be difficult.
From the Zeitgeist Source Book:
1-14 are all birth narrative stuff. Many high ranking religious people have acknowledged this is most likely not historical, added on later to enhance Jesus’ image. None of it is in the book of Mark. There are lots of cultures that didn’t interact who used numbers like 3 and 12. This is actually shown on pg 67
15-17 So they called him the Lamb. There aren’t that many domesticated animals to draw from.
18 Notice how she excuses the multiple story lines for Horus. His name was used and reused over centuries in Egyptian history.
I will just skip the astrology stuff because it doesn’t seem to relate to anything really. There are lots of crosses everywhere. I could find one and show that it follows some other mythic line too.
39 – This thing about Moses bringing in the age of Aries is just weird. What is she saying? Is she saying there is something to astrology, or that Moses thought so, so he does this symbolic act? Or just what are the authors trying to say by including astrology symbolism? What else about Moses teaching parallels astrology? At least with Jesus I can see some Piscean aspects of him, but Moses?
42 – One little line about a water bearer means something about Aquarius? Really? So whomever wrote the gospels is suggesting that 2000 years in the future there will be a new age? Why would they care? Why don’t they say more about it or what the Age of Aquarius will bring?

On the mythicist link:
Although she claims it here, I don’t see Archarya “going outside the theist-versus-atheist box” at all. She constantly uses language that denigrates not only theists but academics alike. Now she is expanding to say they don’t accept mythicsim either. There are plenty of people who have been studying myth for a long time, and they do it with barely a mention of Christianity. Worse, she only focuses on the history of the symbols. She then leaps to conclusions about how they were shared, passed on and integrated into cultures with no textual criticism or archaeology to back it up. Showing a picture of 12 people then pointing to book that has 12 disciples is simply not adequate.

I have never seen any discussion by her about what the Egyptians were trying to do with their gods vs what Jews were trying to accomplish with theirs. Myth always has a meaning, it may be about politics of the time, a way to tell history and embellish the heroes, or just a lesson for the children. Archarya rarely touches on that.

If you are looking for something that not only discusses the history but talks about how mythology is useful for discussing ideas, try this: Branch From the Lightning Tree

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Posted: 29 June 2011 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Lausten - 29 June 2011 10:14 AM

39 – This thing about Moses bringing in the age of Aries is just weird. What is she saying? Is she saying there is something to astrology, or that Moses thought so, so he does this symbolic act? Or just what are the authors trying to say by including astrology symbolism? What else about Moses teaching parallels astrology? At least with Jesus I can see some Piscean aspects of him, but Moses?
42 – One little line about a water bearer means something about Aquarius? Really? So whomever wrote the gospels is suggesting that 2000 years in the future there will be a new age? Why would they care? Why don’t they say more about it or what the Age of Aquarius will bring?

It’s not weird at all and makes perfect sense.  Much more sense than anything else I’ve heard.  In fact, it makes it very understandable as to how people would have came up with such myths and even makes the story make sense.  Anything else makes no sense at all and one might as well throw the book away or burn it.

On the mythicist link:
Although she claims it here, I don’t see Archarya “going outside the theist-versus-atheist box” at all. She constantly uses language that denigrates not only theists but academics alike. Now she is expanding to say they don’t accept mythicsim either. There are plenty of people who have been studying myth for a long time, and they do it with barely a mention of Christianity. Worse, she only focuses on the history of the symbols. She then leaps to conclusions about how they were shared, passed on and integrated into cultures with no textual criticism or archaeology to back it up. Showing a picture of 12 people then pointing to book that has 12 disciples is simply not adequate.

I don’t think she leaps to conclusions.  Bob and I have discussed her many times and little is conclusions.

I have never seen any discussion by her about what the Egyptians were trying to do with their gods vs what Jews were trying to accomplish with theirs. Myth always has a meaning, it may be about politics of the time, a way to tell history and embellish the heroes, or just a lesson for the children. Archarya rarely touches on that.

You haven’t read Christ in Egypt have you?

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Posted: 29 June 2011 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Lausten, is this an inadvertent admission that you’ve never actually read a single book by Acharya S?

“I still can’t bring myself to buy one of her books”

If that’s the case then, why should anybody trust your opinion of her work?  Besides, it’s usually good manners to actually study the work first BEFORE ranting on about it out of ignorance. Her online articles do not contain ALL of the details - that is what the books are for.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christ_Conspiracy/message/15717

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Posted: 29 June 2011 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Anything else makes no sense at all and one might as well throw the book away or burn it.

Hard to respond to that. My comment may have been rash, certainly there could be interpretations of the bull and ram symbols that relate to astrology, I just never heard any. I was calling you out, giving you a chance to supply one.

Here is an interpretation if you would like to consider someone else’s opinion:
Jewish Library article
I make no endorsements here, just giving an example of what I meant to ask for.

Bob and I have discussed her many times and little is conclusions.

When you don’t take time to form your responses well, it gives me the sense you aren’t taking me seriously. That’s fine, I didn’t even read the books, but I think I have given you some specifics to respond to. I think it is perfectly fair to form an opinion based on reviews, articles, her web and Zeitgeist. I have never said that some artifact she points to is forged or that some translation is wrong.

You haven’t read Christ in Egypt have you?

No, and I don’t plan on it if she is going to be secretive. Bart Ehrmann gives you enough in his interviews to let you know he has something to say, and I have bought and read his books. The link you supplied is a perfect example of how she uses many words to say she is better read than me, something I don’t refute, and focuses on her themes of exposing Christian history, and not on the points I raised. I’m thankful that expositions like hers have been made, but let’s get on with it now. Great, the Bible is not history, now what?

I’ll agree to cut back on the name calling and I would prefer that you engage on the questions I raise, not my education or ability to match Archarya on her archaeology skills. Can you make more specific connections from gods of India to the Jews, other than that someone had traveled there a few hundred years before Jesus? Can you connect the cultural meaning of the symbols you claim are being used with something that was going on at the time?

I’m not trying to preach to anybody, but I think you can see a big difference between what Archarya does, which I summarize as: there is astrology with a Ram following a Bull and there is this Bible story with similar images,
and what other scholars do which I provide in the above link. Here is an excerpt:

“The bull had an important role in the art and religious texts of the ancient Near East. The storm-god *Hadad is frequently represented standing on a bull. Taking these facts into account it is generally assumed (after H. Th. Obbrick) that Jeroboam’s calves corresponded to the *cherubim of Solomon’s Temple, i.e., they were regarded as seats or pedestals upon which the Lord was thought to stand invisible to human eyes.”

another excerpt, discussing how those stories and symbols were used throughout Jewish history:

“For the Church the golden calf episode served as proof that the divine covenant with Israel had never been consummated, so that the Jewish claim to a special relationship with the Almighty was unacceptable (see Smolar in bibl., p. 91).:

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Posted: 29 June 2011 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Lausten, I suggest you read Victor H Matthews work.  He is a prof who teaches Old Testement Parallels.  The parallels are to other previous cultures with stories that are the bases for the O.T. stories.  I took a couple of his classes in at the Uni I attended and it tells me Acharya is right on track with all she is saying.  http://www.amazon.com/Victor-Harold-Matthews/e/B001ITXG0I/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1309378518&sr=8-1

http://www.missouristate.edu/relst/matt.htm  There is his bio as a prof.  He teaches the origins of the Bible being from other cultures such as Assyrian, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and other places.  Notice, I said Egypt.  Within the last few years, given I know him personally, I inquired of him concerning Acharya’s work.  He agreed with it.  When I commented few people, but him and others like him believe me, he stated you can’t make them believe it due to our culture trying to insist it is historical.  Now, if you take the Episcopal Church, even the Archbishop of Canterbury has stated that the Virgin birth story is “legend”, which is a form of mythology.  Thus the mythicist thought stands and the more you dig into this, even Tom Harpur, an Anglican priest in Canada who wrote The Pagan Christ gives the same Egyptian origin, which involves Sun worship or Astro/Solar theology.

Here Tom Harpur states, “Religion is mythology, misunderstood.”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk-6qtQl0vU  I can give you plenty of sources that supports Acharya’s work.  There is nothing that establishes that there was ever a historical Jesus.  Not only that, these sources support the idea of Solar theology too.

If you did not even read Acharya’s books then why are you even bothering to comment on her work?  If you are forming an opinion reviews, then you haven’t read any of the reviews either, based on what you are saying here.  I see no reason to take you seriously at all, esp if you have not read anything of her work.

ROFL!  If you have read Bart Erhman, then you should read Acharya’s too.  However, Bart is the one who is not giving you all the info.  He gives bits and pieces in his books.  The more you read his work the more you find, he is and has gone in the same direction, but does not say it all in one book.

You didn’t read my post either, because I did not give any links.  Also, Acharya doesn’t give any attitude in her books that she is better than anyone.  I don’t know where you get that either.  I also did not say anything about your education or Archaeological skills either.  Honestly, if you are going to quote me, please do not add anything I did not say.  If you are referring to the book I asked if you read, take note, there is no link there.  The only think about Christ in Egypt on her website is a link to buy the book, not the book itself, so you do not have a clue as to what the book says.  Could it be you don’t want to read a tome and prefer short and sweet books that spoon feed little snippets of info that you don’t even piece together and do your own research?  It takes a LOT of work to read various sources, even take classes on religion and mythology.  Acharya and I have done that, albeit she has done far more than I probably will.  There is no way I can take you seriously if you don’t even read her work or do some actual research and study on the subject, including with actual scholars.

Acharya is not being secretive on anything. If you had read her books and did research yourself, you would know this.  I even go to other sources she doesn’t even cite in her books and they justify what she says.  I don’t know why I even bothered to suggest Matthews’ work to you.  I doubt you will read that even and he’s a scholar too, just as Bob Price is.  BTW, Bob has taught at some impressive universities too, as well as supports Acharya’s work.  So he’s not some Joe Schmoe off the streets.  So don’t even try me, if you haven’t even read much on the subject or even taken various classes on the subject or even talked personally with people such as Bob, Spong, and others.  And you expect me to take you seriously when you haven’t even read the book?  Please!

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Posted: 29 June 2011 02:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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You didn’t read my post either, because I did not give any links.

I was responding to Dionysus and you at the same time. Sorry.

Thus the mythicist thought stands and the more you dig into this, even Tom Harpur, an Anglican priest in Canada who wrote The Pagan Christ gives the same Egyptian origin, which involves Sun worship or Astro/Solar theology.

I have no argument with anyone about the Bible being myth. I agree that is well established. In fact it was established a long time ago. My problem with Acharya is she doesn’t provide much beyond that simple analysis. The simple fact that it was Constantine’s mother-in-law, (or maybe it was his mother, doesn’t matter), that went and “found” the cross that Jesus was crucified on is enough for me to figure out that it is garbage archaeology. I don’t need a book to add any detail to that.

I’m trying to be nice, so maybe I should just say that her style doesn’t appeal to me and the data she provides doesn’t do much for my understanding of the place of Jews and Christians in history. That the Moses story of the golden calf was written down sometime around the dawning of the age of Aries just doesn’t mean much to me.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Lausten - 29 June 2011 02:24 PM

The simple fact that it was Constantine’s mother-in-law, (or maybe it was his mother, doesn’t matter), that went and “found” the cross that Jesus was crucified on is enough for me to figure out that it is garbage archaeology.

What?  I don’t recall ever reading Acharya writing that and I go through her books with a highlighter.  Bob saw his books he signed for me, so he knows I do that.  Did it to his too.

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