Although mythicists are primarily focused on spreading unpersuasive ideas about Christian origins, at least one mythicist has decided to do the same in relation to the Mandaeans. Salm makes claims about the Mandaeans and Gnostics that are demonstrably false in his recent interview on Vridar. Mandaean sources consistently view celestial powers such as the sun, moon, planets and zodiac as malevolent, not positive as Salm would have us believe. They identify the sun with Adonai, the God of the Jews, and they identify Jesus with Mercury. And neither of those is viewed positively by Mandaeans.
I was particularly disappointed to find that James Randi, renowned freethinker, offers his support for Salm’s book and views, alas showing from the outset that he hasn’t checked his Bible references and is completely unfamiliar with the material (he says that the story of Jesus’ birth in Nazareth is found in John 1 !!!). Freethinkers, please think freely! Don’t fail to be skeptical of someone’s claims just because that someone is an atheist, or is challenging religious dogma. When it comes to thinking freely and promoting freethought, the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.
By all means, challenge claims that are made about the Bible by religious believers. But if you do so in a way that shows that you haven’t done your homework (and in particular if you botch even the most basic and familiar of details), you expose yourself to have been uncritical on at least one occasion, and that will inevitably undercut the effectiveness even of criticisms you make, even if those ones are well researched and/or on target.
|http://ffrf.org/out/ HT Hemant Mehta|
As a footnote, Rene Salm was connected with the offer a while back of a prize to anyone who demonstrated that Jesus existed. In searching for that site information to remind myself of the details, I found another site by someone who is offering money to anyone who can provide evidence for pre-Christian religion that Jesus could clearly have been based on. I assume that some mythicist readers may wish to give him a run for his money – literally. 🙂 And in related news, John Loftus is giving away more copies of Earl Doherty’s book.