Hi professor. We exchanged messages years ago. I am happy to see you also in Substack. Just passing here to say that I saw the book project on regulation (actually, all the chapters are online). I loved the one on Government Failure.

Best Wishes

Claudio Shikida (from Brazil)

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"But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock", as it ought to be, to retard conversion of the children to the new sect,...

"...and unto the Greeks foolishness", esp. if they are familiar with Israel's own superstition about their mashiach. The fellow is to be a nationalist hero of the children of Israel and a brutal gangster to "dogs", as Jesus liked to describe the rest of humanity. He surey fantasized about being Führer of Israel, though. Gospels reveal several times his burning desire to be the mashiach. See the parable of the minas, for example.

The Greeks had other reasons, too, for skepticism. It's not clear just what Jesus is supposed to be doing with his salvation. Taking away the sins of the world sounds like pretending humans hadn't been disobedient to the petulant god of Israel. Why would the god have a sudden change of heart. He sounds like a manic-depressive psychpath.

Any Greeks familiar with both Gen. 1 and the work of Aristarchus of Samos would surely be suspicious of the tale about ascension to shamayim. Gen. 1 tells you very clearly that heaven is a hard object, the rakia, capable of upholding a great mass of water after the water beneath it has been drained. In short, heaven is a dome. Since Gen. 1 insists that Moon, Sun, and other stars are attached to this dome, during a solar eclipse the Sun and Moon are stacked one above the other at nearly the same distance from the Earth. This alone is enough to persuade an honest person that Gen. 1 is myth. So there's no shamayim to ascend to. Greeks familiar with Eratosthene's work would likey have surmised that the Earth is a rotating ball, which makes one wonder about which direction Jesus flew away from Earth. There is no up in space, and even in ancient times someone posed a question about how space could have an edge or boundary. So again, to what has Jesus ascended?

We are left to conclude that Jesus remained on Earth. Well, where on Earth is this fine Israelite man? Is Jesus teaching in a faraway land? Is he even alive? Was the body tucked into a hole in the ground? Was it dispersed by cremation? Cut into pieces carried away by wild animals? Whatever the case, we can be rightfuly confident today that the body never departed the Earth's atmosphere, much less traveled many light-years across the galaxy. This is a tremendous problem for anyone who believes that Jesus is the god of Gen. 1.

Moe and his cretinous followers don't share that christology of course. So why copy the ascension story from Saul's gangs? It would have been enough to say that Jesus was buried in an umarked grave. (Never mind that J still had failed to accompish the deeds of the maschiach.) Now Islam, too, is trapped with the ascension myth, and this fortuitious blunder will make it easier to cleanse the Earth of that third hideous cancer.

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