Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Muhammad was not Iyas ibn Qabisah al-Ta'i

This particular theory on Islamic origins started popping up in 2020.  I watched the video where Jay Smith and someone called Mel first lay it out and I was disappointed.

I first stumbled upon this watching some other videos where they alluded to this, and in those they say "Iyas ibn Qabisah's nickname was Muhammad" as if that is an indisputably independently verified fact.  But it's actually not, it's based on their very bad use of Thomas the Presbyter.

Thomas the Presbyter in 640 AD talking about the battle of Dathin in 634 refers to "Tayy of Muhammad", Mel concludes the person being called Muhammad here must be the leader of the Tayy tribe and then talks about Iyas who was a leader connected to that tribe a generation earlier.

A lot of modern translations of Thomas translate this reference as "Arabs of Muhammad" because there is a lot of evidence that non Arabs of that region and time period often used Tayy as a synecdoche for the Arabs.  But even if we interpret Thomas as intending to mean the Tayy tribe specifically, he says "Tayy of Muhammad", as in he's referring to Tayy who were followers of Muhammad.  Nothing in this quote makes the Muhammad in mind a specifically Tayy tribal leader or Tayy himself at all.  It also does not imply this Muhammad was himself present at the battle or still alive.

In the official traditional Islamic view of this history the Tayy had all become followers of Islam by a few years ago at this point.  So nothing in Thomas contradicts the mainstream view.

Meanwhile Iyas ibn Qabisah even while he was governor of Al-Hira from 602-617 was not the sole leader of the Tayy, the Tayy generally never had one single leader, they were split up into many clans with their own chiefs.

I listened to this thesis with an open mind because I already since way back in 2019 and 2018 had my own reasons for thinking the Lakhmid kingdom and Al-Hira have an overlooked importance to understanding the historical context of Islam's origins.  When you consider how Kufa was basically a re-founding or expansion of Al-Hira and Ali's tomb being in a city that used to be a Christian burial ground in the same general area.  And also my thesis that Nestorianism was an influence on how Islamic Theology and Christology developed.  I've also long been into the story of Al-Numan III and his Lesbian daughter.  But I'm also interested in Arabic history that goes back even further like the Christian Queen Mavia in the fourth century.

Iyas plays a role in all that history and so does now interest me, but saying he is who the mythology of Muhammad was originally based on simply doesn't work.

In the video they quote some 7th and early 8th Century Christian sources that call Muhammad a King.  I understand that might seem a little weird at first, but remember the Priests saying 'We have no King but Caesar" probably annoyed Pilate because the Romans were in deep denial that they were no longer a Republic.  Muhammad had absolute power in Medina, calling him a King then is officially wrong only in the same was calling Hitler a king would be official wrong.

All three of these references they quote said Muhammad's reign as King began in 622, same year Muhammad became a political leader in the Islamic narrative.  Meanwhile Iyas was not ever formally a King either, in fact he was less of a King then Muhammad in Medina since he was a governor subordinate to the Sassanids.

They want to claim after Iyas lost governorship of Hira in 617 he became a King of the Arab rebels in 622.  But they can't cite any primary source saying that not dependent on their flawed conjectures.  Yet they keep stating it as if they've proven it.

The early Christian sources on the Arab conquest they quote also refer to the Arabs having two leaders for a time and then being united under Muawiyah, and they seem to view that as some enigma in conflict with the Muslim history.  Well let me mention something about the Rashidun Caliphate most people don't know, Ali never actually ruled the entire Kingdom that Umar and Uthman had just conquered, he was based in the East while the West including Israel was ruled by Muawiyah.,_Ali-Muawiya_Phase.png

They even took an early Christian source saying Muhammad was born of Noble ancestry and said that contradicted the Islamic narrative.  And at that point they are either misunderstanding or intentionally misrepresenting what the official traditional history is.  Muhammad ibn Abdullah is a direct patrilineal descendent of Qusai ibn Kilab who was a King of Mecca and the Quraysh tribe in the 5th Century.  And between them in that genealogy is mostly people who were entrusted with the custodianship of the Kaaba. Muhammad is not claimed to have been a commoner by any of the 9th and 10th century sources Smith wants to discredit.

Maybe they're confused because some American Muslims have sought to pretend Muhammad was a nobody, that his rise to power was a rags to riches story, a 7th century Arabian version of the American Dream.  Not unlike the way some Americans like to talk about Jesus, "He was born in a stable and became the most famous person in history" no Bing Crosby that's not what makes Jesus so important.

Now I agree with Jay Smith that the "Mecca" King Qusai actually ruled was Petra.  But unlike Smith I don't think the Petra theory itself really discredits Islam at all, in fact I watched a video on YouTube by Shia Muslims supporting it, tying it into their hatred of the Saudis and prophecies that the Twelfth Imam/Mahdi will destroy Mecca.  And in Jordan I imagine even Sunni Muslims could be fine with it, it would help their tourism industry.  We Christians also have disagreements on where certain Biblical locations actually are.  And no the Qibla does not exist because Muslims literally think Allah won't hear them if they Pray in facing the wrong way, it's a just a purely ceremonial custom.

If Jay Smith is going to decide for the sake of intellectual consistency that every mainstream official Biblical site must be true and if not Christianity is utterly discredited, then he and I will have a problem.  Because the Crucifixion of Jesus is pretty unambiguously placed East of The Temple, that's what "Nigh to the City" and "Without the Camp" meant in Hebrew idiom.

I do not believe the Black Stone was ever in Petra however, it's not mentioned in the Quran and some Quran only Muslims reject it as inherently Pagan.  The Black Stone is similar to things done south in Yemen not by any of the Nabatean Arabs.  There was a similar "Red Stone" in Ghaiman and a "White Stone" at al-Abalat/Tabala.  So I think this was added the Kaaba traditions when the current Meccan Kaaba was founded.

I first heard about this new theory when I watched the recent debate between Jay Smith and David Wood about the historicity of Muhammad.  My position on that issue is kind of between theirs.  I believe in the basic outline of Muhammad's biography more then Smith does, but I do think there has been some corruption and distortion and I do find Wood's obsession with the "criterium of embarrassment" rather annoying, as an aspiring writer of fiction myself, I would never invent a Prophetess without giving her embarrassing flaws.

I think both are wrong actually when they attribute the Infancy Gospel of Thomas to the Gnostics, what we object to in that Gospel the Gnostics would probably hate even more.  I don't think any of it was "less embarrassing" to it's author then it is to us, they simply disagree with the view that Jesus needs to be flawless, it's basically a 2nd Century version of Last Temptation or Jesus Christ Superstar.  And the thing is Muslim doctrine doesn't even claim Muhammad to be without Sin the way Jesus is claimed to be by both Christians and the Quran.

However I do think Wood is on the right track with his "Faith of the Fatherless" thesis.  Which is ironically specifically why I don't think the Satanic Verses story happened.  Even if Muhammad had at some point temporarily wanted to compromise with the Pagans allowing them to keep this trio of Goddesses, Wood's own psychological profile for Muhammad utterly contradicts that he would ever call them Daughters of Allah.  He could have just made them three important Angels or Jinn, the kind of thing Christians and Jews compromising with Paganism had already been doing (and still do like Tolkien and Lewis).  My own theory on the Satanic Verses is that the Sura in question was a plagiarism of an older Nabatean hymn that predated Muhammad, the verses in question were never in the Quran's version, but at some point the existence of the other version became known and Muslims who didn't want to admit Muhammad didn't invent it had to explain the existence of these verses which seemed to be in it's oldest version.

However to Smith I'd argue the entire Petra thesis helps the historicity of Muhammad.  If the Kaaba was moved during the time of Abd All ibn al-Zubayr and the stories about the Prophet didn't begin to be fabricated till after that, then how come those stories are still so clearly and accurately describing Petra?

Petra also helps the traditional claim of Muhammad's Ishmaelite ancestry, modern Jordan and very North Western Saudi Arabia is basically where The Bible places the Ishmaelite tribes, around Biblically Paran and Kadesh (I believe Kadesh Meirbah is Petra, a city that went back and forth between being Edomite and Nabatean).  These Tribes intermarried with each other a lot so it isn't surprising that Muhammad has claimed descent from both Nabojath and Kedar, Dumah and Tema were also in this area.

I want to talk briefly about the Doctirna Jacobi and the issue that it implies Muhammad is still alive in 634 IF it's talking about the same Arab Prophet.  This source is a second hand account of a second hand account, and while it reflects the time period it's main narrative is probably fictional since it's a Christian account of a Jew saying Jesus was probably the Messiah and all this is our punishment for rejecting Him.  But the main point is this Prophet doesn't even appear in the narrative directly.  News didn't travel as fast back then as it does now, it's entirely possibly Christians in Carthage didn't know the Prophet who started this Arab movement was already dead by the time they entered The Hold Land.  It also might be they were confusing Umar with the original Prophet.

I think it's entirely possible that the teachings of the Prophet in question are not being accurately represented by the document, or at least not quoted directly. Things like "kays of paradise" may not be based on any exact expression he said, but the fact remains Paradise and how to get there was part of Muhammad's message so it fits just fine.  

Muhammad was prophesying the second coming of Jesus which people hearing about his message second or third hand could have thought was about a new Messiah when that wasn't the original intent, he did pronounce the name differently then these Greeks were used to.

The most important fact to me is this document's main criticism of this Prophet is exactly what most American Christians' main criticism of Muhammad is, that he and his message are too violent, so to see them turn around and go "this can't possibly be criticizing that same blood thirsty Prophet I'm criticizing" is just funny to me.

There are plenty of contemporary references to the Arab Conquest being prompted by a Schismatic Arab Prophet named Muhammad.  It doesn't matter how many details at first glance seem odd, the basic picture fits just fine.  There is even a Seventh Century use of the word Moslem by John of Niku.  Sebeos also mention Umar by name, there is also a Hejaz Arabic inscription for Umar.  We also have Ad Annum a 705 document that lists all the Caliphs but Ali (who might be left out since he never had the west) but says Muhammad only reigned 7 years starting in 621 or 622, and gives Umar 12 years, 2 years more then usual.  Earlier then that we have Jacob of Edessa, and then there is another Chronicle in 724.

But these revisionists want to misuse parts of these same sources to say the opposite, that the "real Muhammad' was still alive a later point not that he died even sooner.  I think the extra two years being added to Umar's reign here are probably at the start, I think his invading the Eastern Roman Empire immediately is unlikely, even Alexander The Great had to deal with domestic stuff first.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth-2 Timothy 2:15

This is an often overlooked verse of Scripture, which is interesting given how it's about Scripture.

There is a common attitude among Evangelical Christians that goes "how dare are you suggest some parts of Scripture are more important then others", they feel the integrity of Scripture considers it important they label all Scripture equally as authoritative for every purpose.

In the same Epistle chapter 3 verse 16 Paul says all Scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness.  But maybe those should be "or" rather then "and", the KJV uses neither.

As charming an Ideal as it is to try and treat every single obscure statement of Scripture as being equally as important as what Jesus said on The Cross or Moses on Mt Sinai, that's incredibly unhelpful.  The Bible is a big book, you can in theory read all of it in a few days if you really pushed yourself, or played an audio book version at double speed.  But you are not going to properly consume it or understand it that way.  So at the very least we should maybe give new Christians some guidelines to what they need to read first.

To a certain extent I think Christians should consider even the least of the New Testament higher priority then even the most vital parts of the Hebrew Bible (commonly called the "Old Testament").  That stuff is all important but Christians should always be reading it through a New Testament filter.

Top priority should be the life story, teachings and example of Jesus.  We get that in the 4 Gospels and very beginning of Acts (where many Bibles have the words of Jesus in Red) and then the entire Book of Revelation.  

Then next under Jesus in Authority would be the 12 Disciples, and almost about equal with them the Beloved Disciple and maybe also the Maternal half siblings of Jesus.  We get their teachings in the first 15 Chapters of Acts and the General Epistles, and also arguably the narrative voices of Matthew, Mark and the Fourth Gospel.

The rest of the New Testament is basically Paul.  It might concern you that I'm aiding and abetting the Anti-Paul cultists by categorizing him as the least authoritative New Testament voice, but it's consistent with Paul himself, he defined himself as the least of the Apostles in 1 Corinthians 15:9.

Judaism traditionally divides the Hebrew Bible into three categories, The Law or Torah which is the Pentateuch the Five Books of Moses.  And then The Prophets and The Writings.  New Testament references commonly taken as referring to the "Old Testament" as a whole are actually just saying The Law and The Prophets.

Now The New Testament is arguably including in the Prophets some material the traditional Jewish reckoning does not, Jesus calls both Daniel and Jonah Prophets, and Peter calls David a Prophet in Acts 2, Davidic Psalms are the most commonly quotes Psalms in the New Testament, but not the only ones, for example Asaph's are quoted and there is justification for labeling him a Prophet as well based on comparing 1 Samuel 1:9 to 2 Chronicles 29:30.

But the New Testament never actually unambiguously quotes the post Torah historical books.  It alludes to history from them, and quotes Psalms they also quote, and Elijah once, but that's it, their overall narrative voice isn't endorsed at all.  They are important for providing context, but perhaps they shouldn't be viewed uncritically as history books.  I have a prior post on comparing Chronicles to Samuel-Kings.

And I have also discussed how the New Testament speaks rather dismissively of Solomon, so perhaps the writings attributed to Solomon should be ranked at the very bottom?

This post isn't me arguing anything should be thrown out.  When when dealing with things like apparent contradictions we should consider who said the verse in question and for what purpose.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Your definition of Fascism is probably wrong, including Umberto Eco.

Including myself in some of my past attempts to talk about Fascism.

Being a Leftist who doesn't like how loosely my fellow Leftists use the word Fascism is an awkward situation to be in.  The problem is we've gotten so used to Fascism as a Synonym for evil that people assume the only reason to argue someone or some ideology isn't Fascist is to defend them.

What I'm going to argue Fascism should actually mean is something I do not like, but the various things most people seem to mean when they say Fascism are things I dislike even more, Authoritarianism, Militarism, Imperialism, Totalitarianism, Nationalism, Xenophobia, Racism, Antisemitism, Bigoty, Eugenics ect, and so I kind of wish they would just use those words which already have negative connotations, saying "Fascism" when you mean one of those just muddies the waters.  If something I like is being called Fascist then the accuser probably isn't even applying their own definition properly, but if you're accusing someone associated with the American Republican Party or any form of Conservatism then they're not someone I have any desire to defend as the true path.

But it's not just people using it as a derogatory, even some of the people who've called themselves Fascists have in my view not actually understood what the term meant.  Of the three Fascist parties that existed in 1920s-30s Brittan I'd argue only Mosley actually had any idea what he was talking about.  All three were jerks who I'm glad never actually took power, but only one was using the word properly.

Umberto Eco is who I singled out in the title because a lot of Breadtubers treat his Ur Fascism as the gospel of how to define what Fascism is.  The problem is he is one of many who's goal in defining Fascism was not intellectual honestly but a desire to define both Mussolini's Fascism and German Nazism based on what they appeared to have in common rather then how either of those parties defined themselves so that he could back up the mainstream narrative of WW2 as a war against an evil ideology rather then a War fought for the same reasons the first one was.

Yes you got that right, I'm questioning the term's applicability even to the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler, the elaboration on that will come later, my point right now is that's the ideology where the "Palingenetic Ultra Nationalism" was the core of what they were about, for Mussolini that narrative was merely a means to an end.

Mussolini invented Fascism as an ideology, he made it clear what he meant Fascism to be was simply his form of the Socio-Economic system called Corporatism which in turn he defined as a "third way" between Capitalism and Socialism.

I say "his form" because I would not even call all forms of Corporatism Fascist, in fact at it's broadest definition Corporatism can be compatible with Leftism.  An American in 2020 may look at that term and think it refers to "corporations" as in big business, however the cooperatives in mind here are actually more like Unions or medieval Trade Guilds.  The Corporatism traditionally advocated by the Catholic Church and Syndicalism is a bottom up Corporatism while Mussolini's was a top down Corporatism.  But more importantly then that it was a state run Corporatism.

The chief motto of Mussolini's Fascist party was "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato" ("everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state").  Of all the traits we commonly associate with Fascism, Statism is actually the most important.  And that's why it annoys me when certain American political movements get called (or even call themselves) Fascist that are actually strongly anti-State ideologies, from Anarcho-Capitalism to Posse Comitatus who's ideology is literally Mob Rule.  Again both are ideologies I consider wrong, one is more evil then the other with it's blatant white supremacy but both are bad ideas.

Mussolini and Hitler actually hated each other, they almsot went to war over Austria in 1934.  Mussolini did not believe in Biological Racism (he was Nationalist but anyone in Italy was Italian even if you moved then just before WW1 broke out) or Antisemitism.  In 1938 racial laws were passed in Italy because at the time they had become dependent on Nazi Germany, but they were never fully enforced.  I'm not pointing this out to paint Mussolini as some Saint unfairly demonized by his forced association with Hitler, he was a Statist and Imperialist.

I'm simply pointing out that Nazism was not simply Mussolini's system applied to Germany.  None of the Far Right Parties of Weimar Germany called themselves Fascist (it seems only former Roman provinces actually used the term which makes sense) but there were a couple of Hitler's rivals on the German Far-Right I would say were much closer to being what German Mussolini might've looked like.  Ernst Niekisch actually had a relationship with Mussolini along whom we could add the other National Bolsheviks and Ernst Junger.  

The fact is Nazism (and what gets called French Fascism) was much more homegrown then this lazy "Hitler copied Mussolini" narrative implies.  The philosophical core of Nazism was laid out by Houston Stewart Chamberlain in his Foundations of the Nineteenth Century in 1899 and there were Antisemitic German Nationalist movements even before then, Hitler's style was very influenced by Gerog Ritter von Schonerer, there were groups like the Pan German League and the Fatherland Party.  Meanwhile Ernst Haeckel and Alfred Ploetz laid the groundwork for Nazi Eugenics.

Sometimes people seek to define Fascism based on it's methods of obtaining power rather actual ideology.  In this case however Hitler actually failed when he tried to copy the March on Rome, and the Kapp Putsch and various Freikorps activities came before the March on Rome.  Mussolini's Back Shirts were also predated by the Camelots du Roi founded in France in 1908 and the Red Shirts of the American south in the late nineteenth century who's height of political influence was the elections of 1900 (they actually did much of what Birth of A Nation attributes to the KKK).

What's interesting about the French Fascists of the 20s and 30s is that many became Collaborators with the Nazis and the Vichy Regime during the War like Charles Maurras, Marcel Bucard, Marcel Deat, Jacques Doriot, Eugene Deloncle, Joseph Darnand, and Peirre Plantard, but some became part of the resistance like Georges Valois (the only one who's group's name actually used the word), Jacues Arthuys, Henri Giraud, Colonel Passy, Geroges Loustaunau-Lacau, and Marie-Madeleine Fourcade.  Others tried to have it both ways like Perrie Taittinger, Francois de le Rocque and Jean-Louis Tixier-Vignancour.  Those who were unambiguous collaborators certainly can't be said to have actually cared about Nationalism, they were clearly more about opposing Democracy.

While Mussolini's Corporatism defined itself as neither Capitalist or Socialist, it's not the only way to be neither of those things.  The Nazi Party as it was originally founded on that too, particularly co-founders Drexler and Feder were explicitly opposed to both Capitalism and Bolshevism and that legacy was carried on by the Strasser brothers.  (However under Hitler's Leadership the Nazi Party betrayed it's anti-Capitalist roots in 1932 when while in debt they made a deal with IG Farben and Krupp, Hitler's alliance with Emil Kirdorf in 1927 also helped lay the ground work for this change.) 

The fact people today forget is that in the early modern era Capitalism was still new and was itself a Progressive ideology in that context, even Marx ultimately acknowledged it as an improvement over Feudalism.  Throughout the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries you were only socio-economically conservative if you wanted to maintain or return to Feudalism.  

Reactionary anti-Capitalists included the Confederate States of America with the whole "Sothern Gentlemen" stereotype being based on their Neo-Feudalism, the Royalists of Nineteenth and early 20th Century France, Houston Stewart Chamberlain mentioned above along with Theodor Fritsch and Guido von List in Germany and the British Empire Union founded in 1916.  All Reactionary Anticapitalists also opposed Socialism, Communism, and Marxism, which is what's left out when Procapitalists talk about the anitcapiitalism of the above groups.

Today I feel like Reactionary objections to Capitalism still exist on the American Right, especially among Evangelical Christians, they just don't want to admit it's anti-Capitalist.  When you're complaining that "degenerate" Art is popular because it sells, when you want Drugs, Gambling, Prostitution and Pornography to be illegal, you are not taking the "Free Market" position.  Also the general attitude that Rural Life is better then Urban life is founded upon objections to the influence of industrial capitalism.

And because the Left has forgotten that you can be to the Right of Capitalism, on the modern internet a lot of reactionary objections to Capitalism get mingled in with the progressive ones and unwittingly supported by Leftists.  Cyber Punk is a popular genre of fiction among Communists who feel technological innovation is inherently bad, this also gets tied in with supposedly Leftist objections to the Basic Income, instead of preparing for the inevitability of workers being replaced by machines they would rather stubbornly fight it.  I also feel like anytime you just generically say Consumerism is bad you are being unwittingly Conservative.

I've kind gone a bit off topic.  The gist of what separates Fascist Corporatism from other "Third Positions" is that it's specifically a Top-Down Syndicalism with the Unions run by the state.  Putin's Russia actually defines itself as Corporatist, so see I'm still allowing you to call one of the modern Left's contemporary boogeymen a Fascist.

In The Doctrine of Fascism written by Mussolini and Giovani Gentile there are sections about opposition to Marxim and Individualism but also a section called "evolution from Socialism".  In the section "the Totalitarian Fascist vision of The Future" Mussolini defines Fascism as being from his own POV at least Progressive not Reactionary, stating it's not about returning to before 1789 and saying that he's drawing on Marx the same way Marx drew on the "Utopian Socialists" who came before him.  In this writing the word "Capitalism" isn't used instead it's referred to as "Economic Liberalism" which is what Capitalists called themselves back then.  Mussolini did use the word Capitalism elsewhere like when he coined the terms Heroic Capitalism and Supercapitalism where it's clear he views Capitalism as inherently bad.  

My pointing out that Mussolini saw himself as Progressive doesn't mean I'm agreeing, one only has to look as Plato and Sparta to see how the core of Fascism is really quite Ancient.  I also think Mussolini has more in common with Robespierre then he was willing to admit in this text.

The same points about Corporatist AntiCapitalism apply to the French Fascism of Georges Valois however he combined it with the Orelanist Royalist French Nationalism of Mauraas.

My most important point in bringing up TDoF however is that there isn't a hint of Palingenetic Ultranationalism in it, in fact because of points I just made it's outright incompatible with the Palingenetic part.  There is a section on "tradition" but it's the shortest section and really vague in what it's saying.

The reason that Fascissm, Strasserism and National Bolshevism aren't Marxist theories in-spite of how much they borrow from Marx is that they reject the Class Struggle narrative in-favor of Class Collaboration.  This aspect of Fascism is one of the traits they inherited from Giuseppe Mazzini.

Peter Coffin said in one video, I don't recall which one, that "Communism that's only for White People isn't Communism", I'm sure people defining Communism from the outside won't always agree with that, but my point here is that Communism for Whites only is basically Strasserite Nazism.

The difference between Fascism and Nazism is that in Fascism the State is more important then the Nation however much it may appeal to Patriotism, in Nazism the State is powerful only to serve the Nation and Citizenship in said nations is usually limited to specific ingroup, often biological "race".  Eco came up with a good thesis for identifying the underlying soul of Nazism, but it isn't universally applicable to Fascism.  In Brittan Arnold Leese was really a Nazi in-spite of what he called his Party.

Of all the fictional Empires that have bene called "Space Nazis", the only ones that really fit the proper philosophy of Fascism are maybe the Cardassians of Star Trek Deep Space Nine.  And I'm yet to see one I'm willing to properly call Nazism.  The Empire in Star Wars is more inspired by Bonepartism.

American "small government" Conservatives are wrong when they try to define Fascism and Socialism as being the same thing.  But the problem with how Neo-Liberals try to prove them wrong that is that it is Socialism they are defining incorrectly, their definition of Fascism is mostly correct, or at least more correct then how most people define it.

Calling Nazism a form of Fascism isn't that far off all things considered, "Reich" by that time basically meant "State".  The real problem with trying to paint the entire Axis with the Fascist brush is Japan, but that's mostly off topic.  

And at the same time there were Fascists and Nationalists who fought on the Allies side, the French ones I already alluded to, but also Otto Strasser's Black Front and NazBols in Germany and the remnants of the AustroFascists.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Church of Ephesus and Cessationism

First of all don't read too much into this premise.  I'm not arguing every Cessationist congregation is an Ephesus or that you need to be Cessationist to be an Ephesus.  And even though I'm a Continutationist making this observation, this potential relationship could be true even if Cessationism is true.  Ephesus has the third best review of the Seven Churches so it's by no means an inherently derogatory association.

One of the main things Ephesus is praised for is exposing and rejecting False Apostles, and while in the immediate context I think this refers to the same "ravenous wolves" Paul warned the Ephesians about at Miletus in Acts 20:29, in terms of applying this to then future and now contemporary Church issues I feel it can tie into how I in-spite of being a Continuationsit on the Spiritual Gifts in general do believe the Office of Apostle was only for the first generation of The Church, that being one required being an Eye Witness to The Resurrection.

So I get uncomfortable when people like the host of The Prophecy Club calls himself an Apostle, but I think this can also apply to the Catholic/Orthodox concept of Apostolic succession, and to the Temple Lot Mormons calling their leaders a Quorum of Apostles.  And any other Pentecostal or Charismatic leaders calling themselves an Apostle.

And I have other areas of disagreement with many of my fellow Continuationists, I have been considering rejecting the usual identification of Thyatira with the Catholic Church and instead seeing it's False Prophetess as embodying many of the excesses of the more problematic Charismatic tendencies.  

My reading of Corinthians on this issue is Paul taking the same Contutationist position I do and needing to deal with both Proto-Cessationists and overly reckless Charismatics causing problems in the Corinthian Church.

The main criticism of Ephesus is that they lost their First Love.  I feel like rejecting the Spiritual Gifts is quite possibly the only way to truly do that.  But even if Cessationism is true, I think many Cessationsits especially the Baptists should consider that their reactionary response to what some Contiuationists are doing wrong can potentially lead to that.

The fact that Paul's Epistle to Ephesus is one that gets into Spiritual Warfare a lot could also be evidence that Congregation was slowly becoming one that neglected the Spirit.

In which case I also thinks highly likely for Sardis churches to be Cessationists since they are spiritually dead.  They would be churches with Ephesus's vices but not it's virtues.

Monday, September 14, 2020

I reject calling Mary Theotokos because it's UnBiblical

To me that's what should matter to Sola Scriptura Christians. It's technical accuracy or one's opinion on other issues related the Nestorian Schism should be irrelevant.  If you want to call Mary a title it should be something Scripture directly says of her.

This issue is not my only area of affinity or at least sympathy with Theodore of Mopsuesta, Nestorius and the Ancient Church of The East.  The main thing that makes me hesitant to simply identify as a Nestorian is that they like Cyril and Augustine strongly stress the Platonic doctrine of Divine Impassibility and are thus hostile to the Theopaschite Formula.  To me that it was the "Fullness of the Godhead" and not merely a Man suffering on The Cross is what makes the Atonement truly work, regardless of what theory of Atonement you take.  But I'm not prepared to make a full post on that topic yet.

I've seen people use Luke 1:43 as Biblical support for Theotokos as a title for Mary, where Elizabeth says.
"And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
Problem is if you want to use this verse as your defense of a Greek title for Mary it should be the Greek words used in this verse.  Which are Meter and Kuriou not Theos or Tokos.  

So yes I'm kind of rejecting even the Tokos part as well.  We tend to translate this phrase as "Mother of God" (and Nestorius's alternative Christtokos as "Mother of Christ") but that's not truly accurate.  Tokos is a very technical term for the act of carrying a baby, you could equally apply it to a incubator.  Meter is the familial title of Mother which I think is far more fitting to describe Mary's relationship to Jesus.

But back to what people are usually disputing.  Using this verse to defend Theotokos is based on assuming every use of a form of Kurios in the New Testament must be merely the Jewish custom of using it to stand in for the Tetragramaton, the Holy Name of God, Yot-Heh-Vav-Heh which I prefer to pronounce Yahuah.  However I believe that assumption is never correct of any occurrence of "my Lord", I believe "my Lord" is always a translation of the Hebrew Adoni which in pre-masoretic texts is sometimes difficult to distinguish from Adonai.

Psalm 110 in the KJV begins with "The LORD said unto my Lord" which in the Hebrew is "YHWH said unto Adoni".  All three Synoptic Gospels quote this with the "my Lord" being in reference to Melchizedek as a type of Christ.

I want to mention the Peshita briefly.  Luke's Gospel is one of the many NT books where I consider there to be no basis for Peshita primacy, the book was definitely originally in Greek.  But looking at it as a witness to how Early Semitic Speaking Christians translated it can still be useful.  For Kurios verses the Peshita uses Mar-Yah whenever it's a stand in for YHWH but simply a form of Mar when it's merely a form of Adon.  This verse in the Peshita uses Mari (my Lord) not Mar-Yah (but the Peshita does use Mar-Yah in reference to Jesus elsewhere).

So the Greek title for Mary I would construct from this verse is one using a form of Kurious and a form of Meter.  But as a Weeb I think I'll go with AkaaSan-no-Sama, or I could use Mikoto instead of Sama but that is a bit more obscure a reference for westerners.

I agree with the Theology and Christology of the original Nicene Creed including Homousian.  However while The Bible supports Jesus being God in a Trinitarian sense, The New Testament is far more interested in stressing Him as Christ, The Lord and most importantly the Son of God.  That's Peter's essential dramatic Confession, and Martha's in John 11 and what the first verse of Mark says, and what 1 John 4:15 says anyone who confesses that God Dwells in them.  

So I do think it's bothersome how often modern Western Christianity obsesses over Jesus as God and forgets to stress that The Trinity is a Family that we are being Adopted into.  The relationship between God and Jesus is that of a Father and Son.  

And as a Weeb I like to refer to The Holy Spirit as Onee-Sama.  Proverbs 7:4 is the basis for calling Wisdom(Sophia) a word for Sister and I've argued elsewhere for her being The Holy Spirit.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The French Revolution is still one of the most misunderstood subjects of History

The Oversimplified series on YouTube is supposed to be an ironic name, the videos are in fact trying to show things aren't as simple as good guys vs bad guys but still in an easily digestible summary.  But their series on The French Revolution is still genuinely way to over simplified.  And maybe I'd have the same issues with their Russian Revolution series if I were more informed on that subject, but I'm currently not.

Even the frequently praised Revolutions Podcast still leaves important things out.  Marco DiLucheti's book is useful but he still has personal biases one needs to take with a grain of salt.  The way most Conspiracy Theorists tend to talk about it is still heavily influenced by Nesta Webster who was a Fascist, I don't mean that as shorthand for politics I don't like, she was a member of two parties that openly called themselves Fascist, her status as a Fascist is less disputable then the Nazis.

BadMousePorductions videos are not watchable anymore for some reason, but in their video on the Paris Commune they refereed to that as the first true Leftist Revolution, and while that is kind of true, giving the impression the prior French Revolutions had no one who would fit a BreadTuber's standard of Leftist is a problem for me.

However the big problem is that the internal disputes of the Revolution were more complicated then just some people being more "radical" then the others.  The conservative and centrist critics of the French Revolution want to blame The Terror on Leftist radicalization, however that is absolutely not the case, the proto Communists and Socialists of the that era were generally more likely to be victims of The Terror then perpetrators of it.

The origin of using the words "left" and "right" to describe political ideologies comes from the French Revolution, how people tended to be seated in the Assembly.  However what Left and Right meant then is not quite compatible with the way anyone uses it today.  The Right were the Royalists, but by that I don't just mean the strict definition of Monarchy, I mean in order to be considered on the Right Wing of the Assembly you had to support keeping King Louis on the Throne (and his Heirs after he dies), and even then you might fail to qualify if you were too much of what we'd today call a Constitutional Monarchist.  In other words no one in Modern American Politics would manage to be Right Wing by that standard, nor would anyone in Wiemar Germany where even the Far Right Nationalists had come to view the deposed Kaiser as either too weak or a traitor.

The people in the French Revolution who were Leftists by any modern standard were Brissiot (who said "Property is Theft" before Proudhon and founded France's Abolitionist movement) Nicolas Bonnevile (an Atheist who preached Religious Tolerance), Sylvain Marechal, Francois "Gracchus" Babeuf (in reference to whom the word Communist was first coined), Olympe de Gouges, Thomas Paine, Condorcet (who proposed a form of UBI) and his wife Sophie.  To some degree all future Communist, Socialist and Anarchist revolutionaries descend at least in part from this group.

Brissiot voted agaisnt executing the King because he opposed The Death Penalty period, but was labeled a closet Monarchist by his enemies for that and that is where the derogatory Girondin label comes from.  The same unfair condemnation befell Henry Vane during the English Revolution though I wouldn't call him a Socialist.  Yet even Wikipedia falls into the trap of calling Brissiot more "moderate" then his killers.  [Update: and I'm starting to feel the reputation of the Mensheviks may be the same situation.]

The Reign of Terror had three phases the way I look at it.  

The first phase was mainly driven by the Atheists of the Committee of Pubic Safety who wanted to forcibly DeChristianize France.  Their status as Atheists may have been inherently radical at the time, but today these people would be with the YouTube Skeptics who protest to much to being associated with the Alt-Right.  Most if not all of the Socialists I refereed to above were Atheists (or Deists) but they understood the wrongness of trying to abolish religion by force and so opposed the forced DeChristianization, Nicolas Bonnevile wrote a book about it.

The second phase was the period where Maximilian Robespierre was basically an absolute dictator.  It's hard to define Robespierre ideologically as he kind of flip flopped on everything.  But during The Mountain phase I am more then willing to say that he was a Fascist Demagogue, if anyone pre 1889 is worthy of being described that way it's him.  He constantly accused his enemies of colluding with foreign threats, and was among those who saw the Revolution as restoring some mythical pre-Roman Celtic Utopia, meaning it fits the Palingenetic Ultranationalism test.  And remember both Mussolini and the early Nazis used quasi Socialist rhetoric to get popular support.

I also get annoyed at how often dramatizations of the Revolution will make Robespierre seem important a lot sooner then he actually was.  The Rose of Versailles adaptations have a tendency to make him the leader of the third estate even before the Bastille was sieged, I don't know if that begins with the original Manga.  The truth is he was around but no one knew who he was yet, it was years still before he became a leader of any faction.  And the faction he rose to power in was never that powerful while the King still had his head.  Bonnevile and Brissiot were the real leaders of the early Revolution.

The third phase was The Directory, which can often be written off as the most boring phase of the Revolution since most people don't know about The Conspiracy of The Equals.  But basically the Directory was a regime of moderate centrists afraid of the ramifications of extremism.  So they killed anyone wanting to make further change or progress, either to their Left or their Right.  They were Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  On this assessment even the Revolutions Podcast agrees with me.

In the wake of George Flyod's killing many people have become more willing then they were previously to express sympathy for violent rebellion and point out the limitations of Ghandi/MLK style peaceful protests.  And with that I agree, on another blog I wrote "you can't change the world without getting your hands dirty".  But some of these protests have in turn brought out make shift Guillotines and that bothers me.

The Reign of Terror was not violent Rebellion, it was people who were no longer the rebels carrying out state sanctioned violence, and that is something I will oppose without exception.  BTW another little known fact is that the Nazis actually killed more people by Guillotine then the French Revolution did.

Some Revolutionaries feel the need to execute a captured and helpless King because of the fear that his symbolic value to counter-revolutionaries and foreign powers that may invade on their behalf makes him too dangerous to be kept alive.  But it always backfires, those forces can always find another heir to the Throne while you've simply made this deposed king a Martyr only increasing his symbolic value.  Yes, the "Gandhi Trap" can work for the Right as well.

And yes I apply that even to Nuremberg, those convicted should have had to live with what they did, executing them only made them Martyrs to the true believers even to this day.

The Neo-Liberal Centrists are those who would say the French Revolution went wrong the moment they stormed the Bastille, that sentiment I will never support.  

Friday, August 21, 2020

You can be a Zionist and still be critical of the Israeli Government

Of the political disagreements I have with my fellow Twitter Leftists, my belief that Israel has the right to exist is perhaps the most contentious.

I am a Zionist, but I am also an Anarchist, I hate all Governments and much of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is atrocious.  But as long as Nation-States are going to be a thing, on that land it needs to be a Jewish one so the world's most oppressed minority can have a safe heaven to flee to, the Muslims have more then enough.

None the less every time I allow myself to get involved in one of these twitter threads, they keep trying to make me feel ashamed of my Zionism by talking about things the Israeli government is doing which have nothing to do with Zionism as a principle.  Remember these are the same people who don't like seeing Marxism blamed for the Human Rights violations of Stalin and modern China.

I believe all similar major minorities have a right to a home land, the Kurds, the Yazids, the Druze (I would give the Golan Heights to the Druze if I were in charge) the Ainu and Okinawa and every Native American tribe that still exists.  But the "Palestinians" already have one, it's called Jordan.

I am confident that there is enough habitable room in Israel for all of the world's Jews plus twice the number of Gentiles who currently live there.  It is Capitalism not Zionism that is making these people fight over land and resources.  But it is only with Israel where it is appropriate on the Left to say the answer is one of these people groups shouldn't even be allowed to be there.

They keep calling Zionism a form of Colonialism.  If it's appropriate to refer to Post-Colonial things you don't like as Colonialism then it's also valid to call Pre-Colonial things Proto-Colonialism.  And I say it was Proto-Colonialism that removed the Jews from that land and placed Gentile "Holy Sites" in Jerusalem in the first place.

The Jerusalem of the Hasmoneans was basically completely annihilated in 70 AD, then in 132 Hadrian began plans to build a Greco-Roman city on the spot named after himself and that sparked another Jewish uprising which he brutally put down.  Then he built his gentile city and renamed the province and Jews were forbidden to even set foot in the city, a policy that shamefully the Christian Emperors kept.

However Jews were never completely gone from the region, many settled in Galilee where they had a couple revolts agaisnt Christian Emperors.  But when Calif Umar captured Jerusalem he allowed Jews to return there creating what is now known as the Jewish Quarter which has been continuously inhabited by Jews ever since.  However later Califs eventually built Mosques on The Temple Mount.

There have been a lot of controversies lately about the American Government and/or Corporations building things on Sacred Native land.  I don't understand how religions that are inherently younger then Judaism building Churches and Mosques on the only land Judaism considers Sacred isn't viewed the same way?

So yes, religion is a major factor in why this land specifically was the land we gave to the Jews.  Thing is when you go back to their actual founding Sacred Texts, every still existing religion that gives any amount of sacredness to that land 100% agrees on who it belongs to.  The Koran says that the land of Israel belongs to the Children of Israel.  Muslim opposition to Zionism is a product of modern Wahhabism funded and prompted by the Saudis.  And New Testament Christianity is not interested in tying itself to any specific pieces of geographical realistic at all.

The cultures that existed in this land before the Ancient Israelites no longer exist, whether or not some Palestinians have a connection to them in terms of genealogical ancestry is irrelevant, they no longer practice the same religion or customs, they are mostly Muslims, some are Christians, some may be Atheists, and I'm sure some Canaanite Neo-Pagan group exists but there would be no actual continuity there.

Dog Whistles are a term we on the Left use to condemn things not explicitly bigoted as bigotry via guilt by association.  But when it comes to Antisemitism, the only thing constantly said by Antisemites you are NOT allowed to say is inherently Antsemitic is saying the Jews don't have a right to their homeland.  You can't utter the words "international banker" without being called a closet Nazi, but saying something that is definitely unambiguously bigoted when said about any other oppressed minority is perfectly fine.

I think maybe those of us who oppose Capitalism should be concerned about there being an entire subgroup of super rich Capitalists that have become free from criticism because the small group of them who have Ashkenazi surnames are the only ones most people have heard of.  But still it is true 90% of people singling out "international bankers" of all super rich people to complain about are at least indirectly influenced by Antisemitic conspiracy theories.  And likewise Anti-Zionism was founded upon Holocaust Denial and Anti-Rothschild conspiracy theories long before anyone in the west gave a damn about a sub group of Arabs naming themselves after the Hellenized form of the name of a people who haven't existed since Alexander The Great burned their last city to the ground.

And sometimes people will try to use things like the 1933 Transfer Agreement to say "Zionism and Antisemitism actually go together".  Hitler at first tried to just kick the Jews out because he didn't think he'd have the ablity to do the Genocide he always preferred. But that arrangement was one he was inevitably going to back out of just like the pact with Stalin.

The people currently running Israel can go f--- themselves, but I will not apologize for defending The Jews right to their ancient sacred homeland.

Zionism is an inherently Leftist ideology in origin and in fact predates Marxism, the crimes of the Israeli state should not invalidate the ideology of Moses Hess anymore then those of the USSR, China and North Korea invalidate Marx and Engles.

BTW you may notice I didn't even bring up any Prophecy.  I actually reject certain Eschatological positions assumed to go with being a Christian Zionist.  I'm not Pre-Trib or a proper Dispensationalist and I don't even expect there to be a Third Temple and I view the Gog and Magog Invasion as after the Millennium.  I actually don't currently solidly believe much of anything specific in regards to Israel's role in the End Times.  While that geographical land definitely has a role to play in what I think will happen, a modern Jewish State being there is not required at all.  My theories about "the antichrist" focus on their probable relationship with The Church not Judaism.

But at any-rate I don't think the Temple's actual site is on either those Mosques, I currently favor the Dome of the Tablets theory.