I’m still in the middle of processing what it means that the Gospels were written by actual Flavians or people retained by Flavians to write what they did.
I rarely use the word conspiracy. All conspiracy is is a plan made by people with whom you disagree or appear to be in conflict with you.
Any powerful person or group knows how to make plans. Planning is an essential skill of leadership.. In a competitive world, any group or individual which cannot plan is going to be someone’s dinner.
The Flavian dynasty was following a completely understandable instinct, creating an Empire. Empire creation is endemic to intelligent primate social experience. Traditional history is replete with Empire building.
I believe the Roman Flavians understood what was necessary to create, expamd and preserve an Empire, certainly better than you or I.
One of the most misunderstood and neglected aspects of Roman imperialism was the fact that the Romans respected the uniqueness of every culture, people, or country that they Incorporated into their own entity. Empire is not Borg.
They did not require conformity from their subject peoples. In order to become part of the empire the subject peoples had to adopt a few practices or beliefs, while their own society and system was respected. Subject peoples were allowed self-government to a very high degree.
If the leadership of a subject peoples could yield to certain basic requirements, they were allowed to maintain and head their own existing hierarchies. Thus their status and prestige was preserved if they would accept a degree of Roman hegemony over them.
Theologically, The Book of Romans by the Flavian Paul was a tortured and ultimately successful endeavor to incorporate Roman tolerance and diversity into the many practical virtues of the Jewish temple state, which was built on the tanakh.
Part of the Roman genius of Empire was their ability to teach various subject peoples to tolerate differences between their society and the society of their neighbors, while managing their own societies and hierarchies. This was difficult for advanced peoples to accept. The Jewish temple state found this subservience very difficult to negotiate. In fact, this subservience proved impossible to tolerate.
The Romans violently dismantled the hierarchy of the Jewish temple state.
But they preserved the lessons learned by the Jews in at least two places. First, they preserved it through the creation of Christianity.
Second, they preserved it by assisting the creation of Rabbinic Judaism. This assistance took the form of creating the center at Yavneh on the southern coast of Israel. All the non-revolutionary Jewish leadership that remained after the destruction of Jerusalem retreated to this center at Yavneh.
It was here that the cream of the Jewish intelligencia worked out the transition from a Temple state to a unifying religion. This was an enormous task, and the Jewish intelligentsia perform this task brilliantly.
Personally, I can’t describe the Flavian accomplishment of creating a replacement ideology for Judaism, I cannot characterize this as a fraud, or a deception, or a conspiracy.
In English we have the idea of cherished illusions, sacred illusions.
These sacred illusions are essential to gain the cohesive cooperation of massive numbers of people.
If we are to preserve and Gain the act of cooperation of all the various factions in society, we must respect their various ideologies, believes, and religions.
We may feel astonished, incredulous, baffled or repulsed by the beliefs of other groups. But if we do not respect, embrace, or at least tolerate those differences, then as individuals we really have not learned the virtue of diversity and tolerance.
Not everyone can celebrate diversity. To reject tolerance and demand celebration is an essential flaw.
Responsible leadership will by definition respect diversity. The majority of large brained primates have genuine difficulties with tolerance and respect of what they consider fundamental differences. And that’s okay. We always have had this difficulty, and we will always have this difficulty. But our top leadership must learn how to manage and tolerate differences and how to manage and tolerate their own people who cannot respect and tolerate differences.
Let me repeat that. The top leaders of the groups which will persist into the future must learn to respect and tolerate the differences of other groups, as well as learn to respect, tolerate and MANAGE the differences within their own group, especially regarding that specific virtue itself, the virtue of tolerance and respect, and the skill of MANAGEMENT.
It’s always a humbling experience for me to realize that at certain times I am an unruly person who needs to be managed. But when I realize that I am indeed being managed, I’ve gotten to the point that I can actually acknowledge that someone is managing me and sometimes express my gratitude to them.