Monday, November 4, 2013

The Christ Conspiracy, ch 17: The Meaning of Revelation, pt 1

Chapter 17 is devoted to "deciphering" the Book of Revelation. In the very first subchapter, the following very problematic paragraph appears.
Based on its astrological imagery, Massey evinced that Revelation, rather than having been written by any apostle called John during the 1st century CE, was an ancient text dating to 4,000 years ago and relating the Mithraic legend of one of the early Zoroasters. The text has also been attributed pseudepigraphically to Horus's scribe, Aan, whose name has been passed down as "John." Jacolliot claimed that the Apocalypse/Revelation material was gleaned from the story of Krishna/Christna, an opinion concurred with by Hotema, who averred that the book was a text of Hindu mysteries given to Apollonius. In fact, the words "Jesus" and "Christ," and the phrase "Jesus Christ" in particular, are used sparingly in Revelation, revealing they were interpolated (long) after the book was written, as were the Judaizing elements. [1, p. 266]
 Although "John" and "Aan" may look somewhat similar, this only really happens in languages where the name has been significantly reduced over time. In Hebrew, John was Yochanon, Yochana in Aramaic, in Greek it was Ἰωάννης (Iohannes). Murdock, again, utilizes the argument known as very short words, by picking a form that conveniently enough is so short it is easy to fit to Aan (compare Swedish or German Johannes, Latin Ioannes). Aan is short enough to be similar to very many unrelated words, any of the following Biblical names really: Eneas, Enoch, Enosh, On, Ono, Janna, Janoah, Javan ( יָוָן, thus not significantly unlike YWN or somesuch), Achan, Anah, ... This is a thing I keep harping on about, but Murdock has to learn linguistics if she is going to use arguments like these. 

Murdock of course also keeps doing that silly "Christna" thing. On what basis we can conclude that words are later additions to a text if they are used sparingly is never made clear.

Finally, no source is provided for the claim that the text has been attributed pseudepigraphically to Horus's scribe, Aan. As far as Aan/Anup goes, she seems to rely quite a bit on Massey, and I can find no such claim in his material. Who has attributed this text to Aan/Anup? When? There is a reason even Wikipedia disdains weasel-words. In this case, there is no single weasel word, but the use of a passive without an explicit demoted subject (and no source given) amounts to about the same effect. Who passed Aan's name down as John? Without sources - which she does not provide - we do not know, so we cannot check whether this really is an accurate statement. Not even when she mentions Jacolliot or Massey does she provide any references for her reader - these have all written significant amounts of text, making it quite difficult to locate the arguments they present for these claims, and thus making it difficult to evaluate the claim.

This, per se, should be sufficient to show that Murdock's grasp of things is shoddy at best. The chapter mainly conforms to the same pattern, being nothing but a huge bunch of pareidolia. More of that in a later post.

[1] Murdock, D.M.. The Christ Conspiracy, 1999, Adventures Unlimited.

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