February 16th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC)
Re: I thought you might like to know more of the specifics...
Other things you've quoted on, from eclipses to other Jewish figures, are nothing to do with Jesus. Even if there was an eclipse reported in a Christian document and by another author, it simply means there was an eclipse. Maybe even an unnatural one!
But an unnatural eclipse is just as much proof for Satanism, Paganism, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism... as it is for Jesus!
"It was also typical to assimilate eclipses to major historic events, even when they did not originally correspond, or to invent eclipses for this purpose (Préaux claims to have counted 200 examples in extant literature; Boeuffle and Newton have also remarked on this tendency). The gospel stories also make a solar eclipse impossible: the crucifixion passover happened during a full moon, and the darkness supposedly lasted three hours (indeed, Julius Africanus claimed it covered the whole world). Such an impossible event would not fail to be recorded in the works of Seneca, Pliny, Josephus or other historians, yet it is not mentioned anywhere else outside of Christian rhetoric, so we can entirely dismiss the idea of this being a real event.
We know next to nothing about Thallus or his works. We don't even know if he wrote only one book or several. The only information we have about him, even his name, comes entirely from Christian apologetic sources beginning in the late 2nd century, and that information is plagued with problems. Scholars since the 18th century have even invented facts about him, and some of these groundless notions--like the idea that he was a Samaritan--are repeated even today."
Etc. As far as sources go, this one could be proof for anything, but is probably only proof of Christian mythmaking.