Jesus was King Arthur, and a Pharaoh, and King of Edessa–The “Scholarship” of Ralph Ellis


There has been some interesting harassment going about the Internet from an independent “scholar”, Ralph Ellis, who has been rather upset about the treatment his ideas have gotten from various biblobloggers. Tom Verenna has been doing the most to show the deficiencies in his work (especially here, here, here, and here), though Steve Caruso from Aramaic Blog has also been rather patient in showing how the etymologies Ellis uses are several degrees of wrong (see here as well as Tom’s blog links above). Etymologies have a history of being abused, so it’s not surprising to see it violated by yet another non-expert. Because of this criticism, Ellis is now going about the Internet trying to smear Tom, including on my blog when I reviewed ‘Is This Not the Carpenter?’ (see here, edited to remove a link to some smut about Tom). Tom has a round-up of his harassment. So, let me institute the same policy I said I wanted to use against those that harass people in the skeptic movement: point it out, call it out, and make sure support is given to those that need it.

Also, I had to look at what Ellis is up to and get a good laugh. Hey, Tom and Steven can’t have all the fun. So far it looked like shooting fish in a barrel, so why not get in some easy laughs? (But does shooting these fish make me a bad vegetarian?)

For those of you that don’t want to go through the history of links I provided above, let me state some of Ellis’ theses. He has written several books about Jesus, trying to argue that he was, for example, the king of Edessa, a city in a region that is also known as not Judea. Ellis also claims that Jesus is King Arthur, sent with his wife and queen Mary Magdalene to exile in Britain by the Romans. You know, just like what the Romans always did with rebels, right? I mean, it’s not like there are any sources that say Jesus was crucified by the Romans or anything, right?

However, his research had to go through a publisher, so it can’t be completely cray cray, can it? Well, unfortunately, all of his books are through a publisher known as Adventures Unlimited Press. They have a nice collection of books on how to survive 2012 (which I did just fine without this help), and they are the publisher of ancient astronaut folks like David Hatcher Childress (who makes many appearances on Ancient Aliens) and Erich von Daniken, and the biggest pusher for astrotheology, Acharya S/D.M. Murdock. Basically, it’s self-publication of pseudo-anything and everything. Basically, take the sum total credibility of all university book presses (Oxford, Princeton, Uni of Chicago, etc.), take the inverse of that, and you have the upper limit to the credibility of anything at Adventures Unlimited. (Also, Acharya doesn’t publish her books through AUP anymore [she now self-publishes]; that is how low the credibility of this publisher is.)

So let me take some time to demonstrate that, even if you research something for a very long time (Ellis claims to have been doing independent research for over 30 years), you may not get anything actually correct. Unless you have good method and attention to detail, you will make significant mistakes. And with history and languages, there are a lot of details to get right or even probably right.

When it comes to his claims, I wanted to bounce through his book on King Arthur and Jesus, and in particular I wanted to see what he did with the Star Prophecy (Number 24:17); Ellis talks about it a lot, largely because of its connection with the Dead Sea Scrolls and thus the Essenes (but that connection has been challenged). But I came across so much wrongness I had to point it out. It also shows just how strange a collection these books are of his ideas, because so much doesn’t even really have anything to do with Jesus or the King Arthur legends.

In his King Jesus (p. 120), Ellis is trying to connect a bunch of names together etymologically and then connect that to stars and star worship. He wants to related the Egyptian word for star with not only a 3rd century Syrian queen, but also to god names like Ishtar (whom I mentioned before), Astarte, Ashtroreth, and “Zoroastra” (not a misspelling on my part, and one that Ellis uses two in his book plus in the index). He also claims these all derive from ester (אסתר) or aster (αστηρ), again having the meaning of ‘star’. There is so much wrong in just this one paragraph, I need to space it out.

First, his use of the word ‘star’ in Egyptian seems off. According to Hieroglyphs.net, here is the word for star (sba, and not saba):

Somehow, Ellis has added a few more characters to his word for ‘star’ at the end, and the best I can tell is he didn’t realize that this was another possible ending or variant to the word (compared to this page under ‘star’), but I’m not sure. But really, going off to Egypt to derive the names of Semitic and Persian gods is very odd. More importantly, there is no obvious connection between sba (or saba to be kind to Ellis) and aster/ester. It’s just an assertion by Ellis without even a hint of plausibility.

The connection between the Greek word for ‘star’ (aster) and the goddess Ishtar are also very distant. Aster comes from Proto-Indo-European that means to glow or shine, while Ishtar is not even in the same language family–these words are as distantly related to each other in language families as mushrooms are from dogs in evolutionary terms. The only research I am aware of on that goddess’ etymology is from a century ago (see George A. Barton Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 31, No. 4 (1911), pp. 355-358), and Barton argues it comes from ‘self-waterer’ or something with irrigating croplands. That makes sense considering she is related to fertility and her myth with Tammuz going into the netherworld may also connect to seasonal life and death of crops. However, what needs to be noted is that no one theorized that the name has anything to do with star or stars; it was never a viable option to linguists. Now, Ishtar was connected to Venus, called the morning star, but not because of her name; that was picked up from Ishtar’s earlier, Sumerian incarnation, Inanna, a name that obviously isn’t related to aster. Again, Don’t try to relate Inanna to aster; she is Sumerian, and that language cannot be fit into any language family, let alone Indo-European.

I’m also impressed by the made-up god name of “Zoroastra”. I think Ellis is referring to Zoroaster, though somehow feminizing the name, but either the correct or incorrect form will be a false lead. Zoroaster is the Greek transliteration of the Persian word for the prophet (not a god; that’s like confusing Mohammad with Allah) Zarathustra (Avestan: Zaraϑuštra). The ending of his name (-uštra) is universally believed to mean ‘camel’, rather than ‘star’. This name was actually confusing to the Greeks, and they thought that Zoroaster was the founder of astrology, even know we know the ancient Persians had little interest in astronomy or astrology until much, much later. So, this means that Ellis got Zoroaster’s name wrong, mistook him for a god rather than a prophet, and used the Greek transliteration rather than the original, Persian name of the prophet.

But Ellis isn’t done failing yet. He also claims that all these names are derived from ester, better known probably as the Jewish beauty Esther from the Bible. Her name is more likely derived from or a cognate to the goddess Ishtar mentioned above rather than the other way around. But even this connection is not certain; I would guess in favor of the Ishtar/Esther connection because another figure in the Book of Esther, Mordecai, is almost certainly related to Marduk (Marduka), a major Babylonian deity as was Ishtar, so the parallelism is suggestive. But the real problem is that ester is not the Hebrew word for ‘star'; what would be kokab (כוכב), which in Aramaic becomes kokhba, hence the name of the famous 2nd century Jewish rebel leader bar Kokhba (Son of the Star), a figure Ellis even mentions in this same paragraph. So, quite literally, his lack of knowledge about these words are calling him out in the very paragraph he used them (though he has some weird spelling I haven’t seen before [bar Kokhbar]).

Again, this is all in just one paragraph of his book, one that I came across pretty much at random. You cannot try to fail this hard. What it does show is the level of parallelomania that make mythicist arguments about Jesus look bad. Well, then again, I don’t know if you could ever make Jesus mythicism look this bad; Kersey Graves’ The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors is terrible scholarship, but it wasn’t anywhere near this bad, since Graves will get things right better than at random.

Perhaps I’m being a bit too hard on Ellis. After all, it’s just some speculations about names. He can’t be that bad when it comes to historical facts, right? Actually, he can screw that up nicely as well. In the same book, he has a chapter on the New Testament (starting on p. 203), and the mistakes keep on coming. The very first sentence says that that it has been faith that has kept Christianity going for over 2000 years. Considering that the time of Jesus’ life and the earliest Christians would be in the 30s CE, that is less than 2000 years. But hey, why let math get in the way of bad history? We also get Ellis’ claim that Paul was the creator of Christianity. Interesting that, considering that Paul clearly tells us in multiple letters that he was not the first to follow in the new faith and even persecuted it. 1 Cor 15 gives a list of people that saw the resurrected Jesus before Paul, and if the 500 mentioned there isn’t a scribal aberration  then there were literally hundreds of people in the Christian church before Paul converted. If anyone could be said to be the founder of Christianity who was not Jesus, you would think it was Peter, the first person to see Jesus according to Paul, and he is shown to be the big guy at the beginning of the church according to Acts 2 (oh, and G.Matt saying Peter was the rock of the church, etc. etc.). Paul certainly changed the Christian faith, but he did not invent it.

We also have to ignore other details about Paul’s life from those letters he wrote. For example, 2 Corinthians 11 has the tale of Paul’s escape from Damascus during the reign of Aretas IV (or is he Jesus, too?); this would have to be before 40 CE which is about the year Aretas died. But Ellis wants to claim Paul was born in 37 CE; so Paul was either not born or a baby when he had to run away from the ethnarch of Damascus, and having already been a Christian for some time according to both his letters and Acts. Of course, Ellis knows about this escape story, for he also mentions how Paul/Saul being ‘of Tarsus’ means that he was lowered down in a basket since ‘tarsus’ means basket. So Paul made up this story about his escape from Damascus because of the city he allegedly came from? Oh boy. (It doesn’t help that this of Paul coming from Tarsus comes from Acts rather than Paul’s letters, so even that may be historically suspect.)

What about the detail of Paul being a student of the famous rabbi Gamaliel? Again, this comes from Acts rather than Paul’s letters, but the issue here is if Paul would have been even old enough to be a student of Gamaliel. Interestingly, Ellis jumps to the Clementine Recognitions to support his claims of having him alive around the year 66 CE, but this source is very late, highly legendary, and claims Gamaliel was a Christian convert (which makes him also a Christian before Paul, thus another Christian before Paul “created” Christianity), even though Jewish tradition believed him to be orthodox to his last breath. Besides, I have it on good authority that Gamaliel was dead before then. The usual date he is said to have died was about 50 CE, which is too early for Paul to be his student if Ellis is right about Paul being born in 37 CE. And what authority am I using to justify this date of Gamaliel’s death? Why, Ralph Ellis! He said so in Jesus, King of Edessa (p. 217). To be fair, these two books are written a whole year apart, so he can forget what he spewed out in the past (his Jesus at Edessa book is the newer one, so is it the more accurate then?).

So, even when it comes to historical details, it’s a mess. Ellis uses the least reliable sources we have when it comes to the life of Paul while pretty much ignoring the most reliable sources we have (his own writings). The life painted not only contradicts what we have in our records, it even contradictions what Ellis says from book to book. And again, this is only a snapshot of what Ellis is claiming about history and the New Testament.

What seems to be causing so much failure on Ellis’ part is his inability to figured out or explain what details from our ancient sources are factual and what are not. Again, we have to dismiss the letters of Paul to get Ellis’ ideas to work, but somehow stories about Jesus in the Gospels have truth to it, including the legendary bits. Back in his Jesus/King Arthur book (p. 308), besides mistakes such as confusing a messiah for a king (they are not the same thing), Ellis seems to take the story of the Magi coming to Jesus at his birth (Matt 2) as totally historical. Apparently Jesus was a descendant of the magi (p. 539), so that is why they were so interested in his birth. So not only does Ellis take the amazing story of the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi as history, but he doesn’t seem to think that the genealogy at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel is worth considering; you know, the one that has Jesus come from the line of King David and many Jews; there isn’t a Persian in sight. But now to plug my future project, my book on the Star of Bethlehem coming out later this year will make clear that the entire episode hasn’t any historicity. Then again, that has been the consensus of scholars for quite some time (see the results from the Jesus Seminar, for example). The key thing to take away is that there is simply no consistency in what Ellis considered authentic. Without that bit of rigor, you can come to any conclusion, especially when the facts change from book to book.

A more plausible Jesus hypothesis.

So do I really need to continue on and see how he proves that Paul of Tarsus was actually Flavius Josephus (an interesting detail that Josephus left out of his own biography, it would seem), or any of the other ludicrous ideas he has in these books? And if he can connect Egyptian pharaohs, Jesus, kings of Edessa, and King Arthur, doesn’t that show he can connect anything to anyone? I can’t wait to see how Jesus was also Confucius and Queztalcoatl in Ellis’ next book: Jesus: Ah, What the Hell, I’ll Say It: He’s EVERYTHING, Man.

Alright, now I need some spirits for the sake of my spirit.

35 thoughts on “Jesus was King Arthur, and a Pharaoh, and King of Edessa–The “Scholarship” of Ralph Ellis

  1. Pingback: I’m Being Harassed and Threatened by Ralph Ellis | The Musings of Thomas Verenna

  2. Pingback: On Ralph Ellis | Daniel O. McClellan

  3. Pingback: Aaron Adair on Ralph Ellis and Jesus as King Arthur | The Musings of Thomas Verenna

  4. We now have another player in this field, one Aaron Adair, who has again made a critique of my work through studying blogs.

    Ok, so let us have a look at what Aaron has written.

    >>Ellis has written several books about Jesus, trying
    >>to argue that he was, for example, the king of Edessa,
    >>a city in a region that is also known as not Judea.

    And your point is, Aaron? Do you think that people did not travel in the 1st century. Indeed, since both Acts of the Apostles and the Doctrine of Addai state that there were ambassadors shuttling between Edessa (Antioch) and Jerusalem, and since it was the Queen of Edessa who furnished the Temple of Jerusalem, I think there are many links between the two regions. Indeed, in the guise of King Izas of Adiabene, it was the king of Edessa who fomented and prosecuted the Jewish Revolt, and was captured after the siege of Jerusalem.

    So do tell us in what way Edessa is NOT linked and related to Jerusalem.

    >>Ellis also claims that Jesus is King Arthur, sent with his wife
    >>and queen Mary Magdalene to exile in Britain by the Romans.

    I will deal with this at a later date, as the explanation is too long.

    >>You know, just like what the Romans always did with rebels,
    >>right? I mean, it’s not like there are any sources that say Jesus
    >>was crucified by the Romans or anything, right?

    I think you need to look up the history of King Caracatus – for this is precisely what the Romans did. They took rebel barbarians, civilised them, and sent them back home as representatives of the Pax Romana. They did exactly the same to King Abgarus V of Edessa too (in my opinion, this was Jesus’ father).

    As to being crucified, Josephus Flavius specifically mentions that one of the leaders of the Revolt survived his crucifixion. No prizes for guessing which one.

    >> Here is the word for star (sba, and not saba)
    >> Somehow, Ellis has added a few more characters
    >> to his word for ‘star’ at the end.

    Umm, you do know that Egyptian does not have vowels, I hope. Thus sba can be siba, seba or saba. The Coptic equivalent suggests seba may have been the original.

    And if you look at a decent Egyptian dictionary, instead of a wiki web reference, you will see that the Egyptian sba is often spelt with a ‘kite glyph’ denoting ‘a’ at the end of the word.

    So apologies please. It is highly unprofessional to make sweeping statements and personal attacks like this, if you are not certain of your facts.

    >>The connection between the Greek word
    >>for ‘star’ (aster) and the goddess Ishtar are
    >>also very distant.

    No they are not. And if you had bothered to read the book, you would have found out why.

    The foundation of this widely venerated goddess was the Egyptian Isis, who was called Ast or Est in the Egyptian. It is from Ast that we derive Aster, Ashtoreth, Ishtar and even Easter (the direction).** And these goddesses (and the word) are closely linked to stars because Isis (Ast) was known as the Queen of Heaven (Queen of the Stars), which is what she is called in the Tanakh (Jeremiah). And of course if we translate Queen of the Stars into Egyptian, we derive the Queen of Saba (the Queen of Sheba). This is why the latter was so famous – she was an incarnation of Isis.

    Apologies please, for not understanding enough about Egyptian and biblical history.

    ** Why do you think we have Easter Eggs, at Easter? Answers on a postcard please….

    >>Barton argues it (goddess Aster) comes from ‘self-waterer’

    You need to brush up on your Egyptian deities a bit (quite a lot, actually). The water is not water at all, it is more cosmic. Think of the cosmic Sun Boat of Ra. Why do you think Mary Magdalene was known as the Stella Maris or the Star of the Sea?

    Gosh, this feels like the first day of the academic year, with freshers being on the back of the drag-curve.

    >>Now, Ishtar was connected to Venus, called
    >>the morning star, but not because of her name

    This is going to be a long evening.
    Isis (Ast) was Astarte, and Ishtar (and Esther). But she was also Aphrodite (foam of the sea – get it?). And in Rome they called her Venus (the Morning Star). Thus Ast (Isis) and Ishtar are stars and seas and connected to Venus. Do you understand now?

    >> I’m also impressed by the made-up god name
    >> of “Zoroastra”. I think Ellis is referring to Zoroaster
    >> Zoroaster is the Greek transliteration of the Persian
    >>word for the prophet (not a god);

    Both forms of the name are valid, as is Zarathustra if you really want. Your reference to camels is a mistranslation by Eugene Burnouf. We are not so sure what this name really means, but the most common etymology in the books I have indicates that the name means ‘Golden Star’, which happens to fit with my research very nicely. (House of Orange, and all that).

    And where do I say that Zoroastra is a god? Please show us. Apologies please. You cannot simply make up criticisms out of thin air, like Verenna does. It is unprofessional and it makes you look foolish, not me.

    >>But the real problem is that ester is not the Hebrew
    >>word for ‘star’; what would be kokab (כוכב), which in
    >>Aramaic becomes kokhba,

    Who said that Esther is “HEBREW” for ‘star’? It was not me. Apologies please.
    In clarification, the BDB Aramaic dictionary says:

    *** Esther, of PERSIAN derivation
    *** Esther = “star”
    *** The queen of Persia, heroine of the book of Esther

    Aaron, if you have never read the Tanakh, then just hold up your hand and admit you have made some mistakes here. We will not hold it against you, we all make mistakes sometimes.

    >>1 Cor 15 gives a list of people that saw the
    >>resurrected Jesus before Paul

    Actually, it mentions that Jesus ‘rose from the dead’. And the meaning of this?

    Answer…
    So did Lazarus rise from the dead.
    So have I been raised from the dead.
    And if you still have not twigged as to the meaning, then go down to your local Masonic Temple and ask them what it is all about.

    >>If anyone could be said to be the founder of Christianity
    >>who was not Jesus, you would think it was Peter, the first
    >>person to see Jesus according to Paul,

    Gosh, gosh gosh. Aaron, where do I start with this one? What this statement means, is that you know nothing of the history of Christianity and the religion that (you??) are following.

    There were five sects in the 1st century. Sadducees, Pharisees, Essene, the Fourth Sect Nazarene, and Simple Judaism for Gentiles. The Nazarene were the sect of Jesus, which is why Jesus was called The Nazarene (as was Queen Helena). Simple Judaism for Gentiles was the sect of Saul (Paul), and he was given permission to evangelise this sect from James, the brother of Jesus (Acts 15:23-29).

    You will note that Saul’s sect were not circumcised, while Jesus’ was. This grew into such a dispute that Saul said if Jesus’ sect liked circumcision so much, why did they not just cut of their entire penis? Simple Judaism also did away will all of Judaic law, and replaced it with ‘faith’. In the end, Simple Judaism triumphed and the Nazarene sect was destroyed. We now call Simple Judaism Christianity – which is why Christians do not abide by the laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

    Thus Christianity has nothing to do with the Nazarene Church of Jesus, because it was invented by Saul. Q.E.D.

    >>We also have to ignore other details about Paul’s life.
    >> For example, 2 Corinthians 11 has the tale of Paul’s
    >>escape from Damascus during the reign ofAretas IV

    That is one of the most obvious interpolations in the N.T. Read it again, and see what I mean.

    >>The usual date Gamaliel is said to have died was about
    >>50 CE, which is too early for Paul to be his student if Ellis
    >>is right about Paul being born in 37 CE.

    I would agree with that date, for many reasons. (And so there is no disagreement between my books.)

    But why cannot Gamaliel be Saul’s tutor? Please explain.
    You seem to forget that a Jew becomes a man at 12 or 13, at his barmitzvah, and so Saul would have had to have demonstrated his great knowledge of the Tanakh before the priesthood (high priest) at that age (ie: in about AD 50). So where is the conflict here?

    This is why Jesus is said to have amazed the priestly elders, aged twelve.
    Quote:
    And it came to pass, that after three days they found
    him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers,
    both hearing them, and asking them questions.
    And all that heard him were astonished at his
    understanding and answers.
    (Luk 2:46)

    This is why Josephus did the same thing as a ‘child’ (ie: not a man- before his barmitzvah).
    Quote:
    Moreover, when I was a child, and
    about fourteen years of age, I was
    commended by all for the love I had
    to learning; on which account the
    high priests and principal men of the
    city came then frequently to me together,
    in order to know my opinion about the
    accurate understanding of points of the law.
    Life 2

    Do you not see the parallels? (And no, Saul was not Jesus, he was Josephus).

    And if you do not believe this, then please explain all the major parallels in the lives (life) of Saul and Josephus. Especially them both being on the same shipwreck.

    >>So not only does Ellis take the amazing story
    >>of the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi as history,
    >>but he doesn’t seem to think that the genealogy
    >>at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel is worth
    >>considering; you know, the one that has Jesus
    >>come from the line of King David and many Jews;
    >>there isn’t a Persian in sight.

    And herein lies your whole problem – fabricating a straw man out of thin air to knock down a book you have never even bothered to read.

    If you had the decency to read the book, you will discover that I maintain that Jesus WAS of the line of David. Do you think that royals never travelled in this era?

    The line of Jesus came from Queen Thea Muse Ourania. She was sent from Rome to Parthia by Emperor Octavian, where she became the wife of Phraates IV and the Queen of Parthia. But she was kicked out of Parthia in AD 4, and travelled to the west and established a new city state at Edessa.

    So here we have a royal family of the line of David,
    And also of Egyptian extract,
    Who were in a journey, in AD 4,
    Somewhere in Syria (Bethanya),
    In search of an Inn to stay at,
    Whose child WOULD have been of interest to the Persian Magi,
    Whose child WOULD have been a threat to Herod.

    What is there in this theory that detracts from the established story? Indeed, this theory explains things that were previously inexplicable, like why Herod was afraid of this birth of a ‘lowly carpenter’ !!

    Face facts, Aaron. This theory is built on firm foundations, and explains everything in both the Old and New Testaments. It even explains the identities of Adam and Eve – now that one was REALLY difficult to solve.

  5. Hello Ralph,

    You should not need to worry about me deleting your current post as you have worried about in another comment section. Just a warning: don’t be libelous. You can insult me if you’d like, as I don’t consider that libel. But if you stick to the topics at hand, I don’t see a problem, and I will tell you if a problem is developing.

    As for your comment above, its length requires I do another blog post, so look for that in the near future. On that upcoming post, it may be more efficient if you have comments that are shorter and on one point in order to be progressive in dialogue.

  6. Pingback: More on Ralph Ellis and his Jesus as King of Edessa | Fleeing Nergal, Seeking Stars

  7. >>So Ralph, in other words Aaron’s holding you to
    >>the same standard *I* held you to.
    >>Don’t goof this second chance up.
    >>Steve Caruso

    Come, come, now, Steve, you got cold feet because you knew you were losing the debate, and so you deleted the entire thread. Anyway, I have uploaded the entire thread onto my website, so that others can judge why you deleted my comments. And no, you cannot make comment there, because I do not have that facility:

    http://www.edfu-books.com/Caruso.html

    .

    • Ralph,

      I wasn’t aware that I was “losing” anything. I’m not alone in this assessment, either as complete strangers are seeing it the same way I am. Furthermore, I made my reasons for what I did as clear as crystal; however, I do not anticipate that you’ll actually take them at face value. :-)

      In that same vein, I also note that for someone who makes a lot of guff about censorship, that you’ve opted to self-censor your *own* foul remarks and you added *additional* material to your page there. Taking this into account, you really *haven’t* actually uploaded everything. I am perhaps being a pedant. :-)

      What I find most troublesome is that you’re still having Hebrew and Greek encoding difficulties. You need to seriously fix your charset as this is becoming a chronic problem between your ebooks and your website.

      In any case, I’m still not suffering any hard feelings from our exchange. You’re simply wrong. Zealous, but wrong. If this were in person, when all was said and done I’d even buy you a drink (or a cup of coffee’s good, too; I’m more of a coffee person, myself). I only wish that you’d take my requests to heart and stop cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying poor Tom. You’re opening yourself up to some major liability.

      Peace,
      -Steve

  8. >>In that same vein, I also note that for someone who
    >>makes a lot of guff about censorship, that you’ve opted
    >>to self-censor your *own* foul remarks and you added
    >>*additional* material to your page there.

    Not true. I made a copy of the thread exactly as it was just before you deleted it all. And the ‘extra material’ is the two posts that you would not allow on your site, after you banned me from it. If you did not indulge in censorship, you (and everyone else) would have all the facts before them. But since you want to hide from the truth, you will always be one chapter short of a dissertation.

    .

    >>What I find most troublesome is that you’re still having
    >>Hebrew and Greek encoding difficulties. You need to
    >>seriously fix your charset as this is becoming a chronic
    >>problem between your ebooks and your website.

    No. Again the problem is again yours, in thinking that all tablets and devices can handle the myriad of fonts you were using. All I did was copy your thread, and drop it into Apple’s ePub software to create an HTML equivalent. And the fact of the matter is that many software packages and many tablets cannot handle the complexities of what you were writing.

    That is why a couple of Greek characters were missing from my book, and why all the Hebrew was formed from little jpeg pictures. Thus your criticism of my book was wholly unjustified. If Apple and Kindle had allowed the sale of pdf books everything would have been fine. But this ePub nonsense is just that – complete nonsense. Even the major ePub translation companies did not know what they were doing. For instance, they took nine months to get the videos in the (previous) book to work !

    .

    >>In any case, I’m still not suffering any hard feelings
    >>from our exchange. You’re simply wrong. Zealous,
    >>but wrong.

    So do tell us where the inscriptions mentioning Hadyab (Adiabene) are in Arbella. Please do tell. And please do tell us how the gospel author would have found EXACT equivalents of the names ‘Manu’ and ‘Shalmath’ in the Tanakh? Please do tell.

    Just admit it, you did not understand the limitations of pesher, and you were making up criticisms on the hoof – and thus lost the argument.

    .

    >>I only wish that you’d take my requests to heart and
    >>stop cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying poor Tom.

    Bullying Tom??!! Now you are having fun, surely. Mr Verenna is the biggest cyber-bully on the net, as many authors will freely attest, and then he hides behind his cyber-fortress blowing raspberries at those he has attacked.
    http://tomverenna.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/im-being-harassed-and-threatened-by-ralph-ellis/

    Apart from his small cabal, which you appear to be a party to, the rest of the world has long realised that we need protection from Mr Verenna. And likewise academia needs protection from Mr Varenna, too, before he brings the entire educational edifice into disrepute.

    .

    • .
      >>I only wish that you’d take my requests to heart and
      >>stop cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying poor Tom.

      Oh, and as an aside, are you going to call upon your friend, Mr Verenna, to apologise for all the errors and false accusations he made in his so-called book review? His errors include:

      Verenna said I conflated four kings.
      … This is completely untrue. He has misunderstood the entire book.
      … (Not surprising, since he never read it.)
      Verenna implied I conflated kings from different eras.
      … This is completely untrue.
      Verenna said I mistakenly used the wrong coin image.
      … This is completely untrue.
      … The reason for the image I used is given in the book.
      Verenna said I could not spell a Greek word correctly.
      … This is completely untrue, it was a limitation of ePub technology.
      Verenna mentions King Abgar VI, VII and VIII many times in his review. Yet these kings do not appear in my book. Was he reviewing another book entirely?

      In addition, in his reviewing:
      Verenna does not know that many Persians were Jews.
      Verenna does not know that Queen Helena was married to King Abgar V !
      Verenna is therefore unaware that Adiabene and Edessa were linked.
      Verenna seems confused by the terms Abgar and Abgarus.
      Verenna does not know that Josephus DOES mention that King Abgar fought alongside King Aretas.
      Verenna thinks that King Abgar VI was king during the Jewish Revolt, and thus I have made an error.
      …. Wrong king, Varenna. Abgar VI was not king until AD 71, and I never mention him. Again, Varenna is reviewing a different book entirely.

      Please tell us, Mr Caruso, how you can stand behind and defend such an abysmal review of a book, and defend the reviewer who made it? You know I do hate the premise of guilt by association, but perhaps you can see how Mr Verenna’s attitude and ineptitude might tarnish your own reputation, if you stand too closely to him.

      .

      • Ralph,

        First, “Not true. I made a copy of the thread exactly as it was just before you deleted it all.”

        Yes, which leaves out a number of posts I removed that were originally there due to foul language and libel to the point that I asked you to re-type them (note, my requests to do so are there). Why not include them, too? Because they make you look bad. :-) You’ve been caught in an equivocal fib.

        Second, And the ‘extra material’ is the two posts that you would not allow on your site, after you banned me from it.

        They were never comments — disallowed or otherwise — on my blog. This is new material. You’ve been caught in another fib.

        Third, Kindles support Hebrew and Greek fonts properly with diacritical marks in both their web browser and ePub books. These aren’t jpegs, but CSS fonts (a standard Kindle and iBooks has supported for years). Your website is in iso-8859-1 (the meta tag in your document header compels it) so it’s no wonder the Hebrew, Syriac, and Greek characters didn’t come through. You’ve effectively turned them off. (You need to encode in utf-8. There is no excuse for this other than your own ignorance and naïveté.) :-)

        Fourth, Arbella, ‘Manu’ and ‘Shalmath.’ Dan McClellan would like a word with you on that. :-)

        Fifth, Mr Verenna is the biggest cyber-bully on the net, as many authors will freely attest. Who? State names — many of them — or withdraw this comment.

        Sixth, his so-called book review? — For the fifteenth time, it wasn’t a book review. Withdraw this claim.

        Seventh, You know I do hate the premise of guilt by association, but perhaps you can see how Mr Verenna’s attitude and ineptitude might tarnish your own reputation, if you stand too closely to him.This is libel. Retract it. The only tarnish that is going on are your attempts to smear him. Tom has earned his keep among academics, and he’s worked hard to do so. You can’t take that away from him by hounding him and everyone you can google who is associated with him. It’s morally and ethically reprehensible, regardless of whatever petty complaint or excuse you have about whether or not he hurt your miserably quisquilian feelings.

        What exactly are your credentials again? I think everyone would like to know.

        Peace,
        -Steve

    • Ralph, I was particularly clear about not allowing libelous statements here. Your claims about Tom are that, not to mention a case of psychological projection. Remember, you have gone around to various blogs to leave links to hack-attacks (including at this very blog), you have reviewed a book by Tom without even knowing its contents, let alone reading it, and you have emailed co-workers to also claim derogatory things about Tom. That is cyber-bullying and it is libelous.

      This is your last warning: keep this up, and you will be banned from commenting here. There will be no second chances.

      • I’ve just about had enough of you, Mr. Ellis. You’ve sent messages to many of my colleagues and where has that gotten you? They either block you or delete the comments from showing up entirely. I get forwarded all emails, whether they are those you send to my Jesus Project friends or those whom I have known elsewhere. I am not sure what ‘cabal’ you are talking about, but the way you have conducted yourself since I made some negative posts on your online work has been stalkerish at beat.

        Everyone you’ve contacted has ignored you entirely or humored you so you can continue to dig yourself into your own hole. Your ignorance on the tone and mood of academia displays your own delusional world view. You trash talk the field comparing all scholars to a persecuting medieval church while heightening your own false credibility while comparing yourself to Galileo who, incidentally, had credentials from an academic institution and taught at university. In one post you claim all academics are evil, demonizing new ideas and in another you claim that all academics agree with you; an astonishing assertion which is both contradictory and wrong (very few academics lambast new ideas and so far no one has come to your defense from the academy). Your best argument against me is a website with information as fictional as your King Jesus of Edessa creation and the links from that satire website are as dead as the links you create from one Abgar to another.

        Every vile post you make and every false assertion you claim isolates you more and more from everyone else and lengthens the distance from you and any hope at garnering support for your disaster of a crusade.

        So please, continue to try to bully me and others into removing our negative comments about your work; continue to libel me online; continue to try to ruin me. Every post you make only works to hasten your own fictional world and, along with it, the complete disintegration of whatever credibility you have left.

      • .

        Mr Verenna,

        The problem is yours, not mine. You are the one who wrote a book review without reading the book. You are the one who made erroneous criticisms of my book, and thus impugned my work and character – using phrases like “ignorant misconceptions and amateurish mistakes” – and then did not apologise for doing this when your errors were pointed out.

        Again I will highlight just two of your many errors. You say I conflate several King Abgars.
        Quote:
        “You are basically suggesting that at least four historical kings (Izates bar Monobaz, Abgar V the Black, Abgar Ma’nu VI, and Abgar bar Manu VIII the Great) from two distinct provinces with separate kings (Edessa in the province of Osroene vs. Arbela in the province of Adiabene) are one and the same person.”

        Where do I conflate King Abgar V with Abgar Manu VI and Abgar Manu VIII? Please show us where. Quote me. And if you cannot show us where, will you now apologise for misleading your readers and impugning my work and character? (Since I never mention kings Abgar Manu VI and Abgar Manu VIII, I think you will have some difficulty substantiating your claims.)

        You go on to say that:
        Quote:
        “Interestingly, you make a fatal error on the cover of your book, illustrating further your incompetence and your lack of understanding of the distinctions between these individuals. The coin you so boldly declare to be “the coin image of Jesus” is not Abgar the V … No, this coin you present on your cover is none other thanAbgar the X. ”

        But this information is highlighted on the inside cover of the book. Since I have already pointed this out to you, will you now acknowledge that my readers were informed about whose coin this was and so this was not a matter of: “incompetence and lack of understanding of the distinctions between these individuals”. So will you now apologise for misleading your readers and impugning my work and character once more?

        The ball is now in your court, Mr Verenna. Will you apologise for your misleading review and the impugning of my work and character, or not?

        Sincerely,
        Mr Ralph Ellis

  9. Mr. Ellis,

    As you have yet to address my arguments against your work–including your incessant and incorrect claim that I wrote a book review (a claim I have never made)–there is no apology necessary. You have felt it more appropriate to smear my name (unsuccessful as it has been for you) rather than deal with any of the criticisms I have raised against your online content. In fact you have addressed no argument against your work, merely made assertion after unsupported assertion along with ad hominem attacks. I must believe now that you actually do not know the difference between an unsupported assertion and a supported historical theory. You have yet to prove me wrong though you have been given a multitude of chances. When you can adequately deal with the concerns I raise in a manner becoming a serious student if history, and if you can demonstrate my conclusions about your hypotheses are wrong, then you will have my apology. I hope I have been clear.

    • .

      Mr Verenna,

      One of the main aspects of your review, is your review of the front cover of my book, in which case you have tacitly admitted that your review is of my book. Indeed, how could you possibly review the theory that Jesus was a king of Edessa if you did not read the book?

      Your continued refusal to acknowledge that you have misrepresented my work is only fooling yourself. Everyone else around you can see that your replies are full of bluster rather than substance – as you have refused to address or explain even one issue that I have raised.

      But please do not think that your prevarication and evasion will be without consequences. Life is not like that, as you will learn one day.

      Sincerely,
      Mr Ralf Ellis

  10. Pingback: Ralph Ellis Swings and Misses Again–More on Jesus as King Arthur and Other Oddities | Fleeing Nergal, Seeking Stars

  11. Pingback: Jesus was King Arthur, and a Pharaoh, and King of Edessa–The … | Ancient Astronaut Theory

  12. I absolutely CAN NOT believe what I have just read. The hysteria of you academics trying not to justify your critique of a book you all obviously have NOT read, but trying to justify your not responding to Mr. Ellis’ sane explanations and corrections of your misinterpretations, is wrong in too many ways to tell you. And, as has been proven by this pitiable thread, you don’t have the minds necessary to comprehend what I would say. Just as I’m SURE I will be accused of liable for merely saying something you boys don’t want to hear.

    My opinion of academics is low through long experience, but boys,let me tell you, this marks an all-time low for your ilk!

    Independent researchers have had to leave the academic community just to keep their sanity and most of all their integrity. Some people actually care about facts as Mr. Ellis has proven he does.

    You can scare children with these tactics of evasion and false witness, but some of us graduated high school a long time ago and make a living out here in the real world where you have to do more than impress children to get by. Some of us actually work and we use our intelligence to do that and we know fake-thinkers a mile away.

    This is disgraceful!

    Mr. Ellis, you have done all you can here. They just can’t keep up with logic. Did you expect anything else? After all, they are just academics.

    I thank you for all your good work, Sir. I’m sure your work will gain the recognition it deserves soon.

    And boys, keep doing whatever it is you do do. College kids will never know the difference. You’re safe.

    Apologize already! You know he’s won….or, oh god!, maybe you really don’t.

    Now that’s an even scarier and more disheartening prospect.

    Mariah McNally

    • I see a lot of ire and conspiracy concerning academia, but you haven’t pointed to anything that is factually wrong in what was said. You are free to do so, and anything I was incorrect about I will amend.

  13. Ralph’s books for me have been liberating and empowering. I do not expect that the historical accuracy and science behind his writing will be 100%. His writing in many ways can be validated by the writings of Edgar Cayce (Edgar Cayce book on Jesus). Historically, Jesus as a Pharaoh 9s part of the Eyptian Dynasty, which includes Joseph and Moses[ Pharaohs.. In his book, Edgar Cayce list several incarnations of Jesus, including his incarnation as Adam and Joseph.
    Did Jesus go to India and study? The evidence indicates that he did.

  14. Pingback: The Star of Bethlehem in Alternative “Scholarship” | Fleeing Nergal, Seeking Stars

  15. Pingback: [EDIT] The Star of Bethlehem in Alternative “Scholarship” | A Tippling Philosopher

  16. Pingback: The Roman Jesus Propaganda of Joseph Atwill | Fleeing Nergal, Seeking Stars

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