Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
21-04-2012, 06:05 PM (This post was last modified: 21-04-2012 06:12 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
I will be presumtious enough to think that some readers here might like to read this chapter from my book. It summarises what myself and a number of other authors have concluded about the gospels and Jesus. Id does contain some fascinating ideas. Hope it is not too long.
Chapter 6…Jews and Romans
The relationship between Jews and Romans in the years before, during, and after Yeshua is
Robert Eisenman (http://www.roberteisenman.com/), in his exhaustively researched and very
detailed book James, Brother of Jesus,
presents a sensible assessment of Jesus’ time and the decades afterwards. He
divides Palestine into two power blocs: the rulers and the populists. The
rulers were the Romans and those who had been given power by them. They
included the Herodian puppet dynasty, the Sadducees, the Sanhedrin, some
Pharisees, and the gentiles, including Paul’s “Christians.” The populists were
the native population, most of whom, to varying degrees, were opposed to Roman
domination. They included the Nazarenes, the Qumran community (the community
who stowed away the Dead Sea Scrolls), and various other groups whose exact
delineations and relationships will probably never be clarified. United under
the influence of James, they opposed the Roman establishment. Eisenman portrays
James as a xenophobic fundamentalist Jewish figure. He was quite probably, in
his own time and among his own people, a more significant figure than Yeshua.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, hidden until about seventy years ago, are like a time capsule that takes us back nearly 2000 years into a world as seen from the Jewish perspective, one in which they were living under
harsh and brutal Roman domination. They are an invaluable glimpse into the
past, because nearly all other Jewish messianic literature was destroyed by
There was more to the antagonism toward Romans than just the political and economic suppression of Jews. They were an intensely proud people who imagined themselves as God’s special people onearth. Despite their many sectarian affiliations, most of them were united by a determination to preserve their common Jewish identity to the exclusion of all alternatives. Many of them considered it their duty to inform the world about
the power and majesty of their God, and bring all nations under his authority.
They wanted to be what the Romans actually were: the people at the top. In this
they grossly overestimated their own importance and their own abilities, because
they had no history of any long-lasting successful government, no
well-disciplined army organized enough to be effective, and were notorious for
fighting among themselves. They had their heads in the clouds, dreaming about a
messiah who would create the kingdom of God on earth. They had an invisible,
mythical Yahweh and a hoped-for messiah, whereas the Romans had a very real and
effective government and army.
Eisenman and other eminent scholars, including
Douglas Lockhart (http://douglaslockhart.com/) and Peter Cresswell (http://jesustheterrorist.com/about-the-author.htm), claim that the Dead Sea Scrolls include
copies of James’ sermons thundering against “the Enemy” and “the Liar,”
referring to someone daring to teach dogma at odds with the traditions of
observant Jews. There is only one candidate to whom James could be referring
to, and that is Paul, whom James would have quite rightly considered a traitor
and an agent of the Roman establishment. It is ironic that Yeshua’s brother
referred to the creator of Christian theology as a liar. Paul admitted that he
was a liar. He wrote, “For if the truth of
God hath more abounded through my
lie unto his glory; why yet am I
also judged as a sinner?” (Rom. 3:7, KJB).
The Scrolls give us a far more realistic assessment of
Jewish first-century Palestine than the falsified and heavily edited gospels! No wonder the Vatican diligently policed their
interpretation in the decades after their discovery. (http://www.dreamscape.com/morgana/carme.htm). If someone made a good movie based on these
historical facts about Yeshua, Paul, and James, it would surely be a
mind-bending blockbuster that would rock the Christian establishment.
“Jesus” is a Gentile Creation
Let’s consider the role of Jesus in this
scenario. I have already stated the obvious implication: Yeshua was not the
pacifist pro-gentile preacher of ethics he is portrayed as in the Bible. He was
a fundamentalist Jew whose primary agenda was the establishment of a Jewish
kingdom of God in Palestine. The stories of him eating with tax collectors, who
were working for the Roman government, were designed to make him appear pro-gentile.
On occasions he denigrated aspects of Jewish law, which no true Jew would ever
do, so this was fictional too. The benign preacher who claimed he wasn’t a
zealot and was murdered at the insistence of a Jewish crowd is a fabrication to
undermine the idea of Jesus being king of the Jews.
The gospels’ portrayal of tax collectors and the
Roman bosses and soldiers as the good guys is a fiction, as are the New
Testament’s attempts to portray subservience as holiness.
Christianity is a religion that would have been totally
foreign to the real Yeshua, the character upon whom it was allegedly modeled.
This is big news. It means Christianity is based on little more than spurious
reconstructions of stories about Yeshua, and the ramblings and prejudices of
Paul. I ask all readers to pause and think about the enormity of that. If a
religion is built on a foundation of lies and prejudice, can it have any
Was Christianity a Roman Plot?
There is another fascinating angle to consider. It is
probable that Paul’s philosophy was inspired by the need for anti Jewish propaganda,
and was instigated by an arm of the Roman government. The fact that belief in
the divinity of Jesus arose in many diverse areas of the empire a number of decades
after his death suggests to me that it could have originated from a central
source, which definitely wasn’t Nazarene.
The inspiration for such a plan would have been to
undermine the power of Judaism, and particularly messianic Nazarenism. Jewish
zealot extremists promoted the subversive idea that a king of their race would
soon govern the world on behalf of God and in place of Caesar. Some gentiles
were converting to Judaism. The Roman authorities must have been worried. If
they couldn’t pacify the Jews, it would set a dangerous precedent for other
races to revolt. They needed to keep
control over the valuable trade routes to Asia and Egypt. They must have been thoroughly frustrated at
having to use force to suppress Jewish extremists, as it was disruptive, expensive,
and taxing on the army. Roman vitriol towards
Jews bubbled over when soldiers razed the
Temple in 70 CE when there was no real military need to do so. Judaism’s nerve
center had to be destroyed.
I think the Roman government promoted its own
propaganda that included Paul’s writings and the Gospels. They tried to weaken
Judaism from within by infiltrating and diluting it with gentiles. They knew
words could be more effective than weapons. A story that the Jewish messiah had
already been and gone and was not a political activist, but rather a spiritual
intermediary between God and man, suited their agenda nicely. If the idea
caught on, there would be no more messiahs and no more revolts. “Blessed are the
peacemakers,” “turn the other cheek,” and “love your enemies” meant getting on
with Rome. To promote such a
story would have been a lot less expensive and less hassle than having to
repeatedly use the military.
If there is any truth in this, there could have
been many “Pauls” throughout the empire who were working as agents of the Roman
government, spreading propaganda. Paul attempted to infiltrate the Nazarenes,
undermine them and their messianic message and would have passed information
about them on to the Roman authorities. His conversion and his rather novel
beliefs would have been his cover and his modus operandi.
It fits with Paul being a Roman citizen who had
very dubious Pharisaic credentials.
This would explain how Paul managed to support
It fits with a man who was at first in league
with the Sadducees, but later preached that the Torah was obsolete and that
Christ was not a crucified political dissident but a pro-Roman God risen from
It explains why Paul repetitively ran into
trouble, physically attacked by Messianic Jews nearly everywhere he went, yet
was never attacked by gentiles.
It would also explain why the Roman authorities
treated him so well, despite the fact he so regularly disturbed the peace.
It would explain why Paul wrote the following to
the Nazarene community in Rome:
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no
authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those
who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to
good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what
is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to
you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in
vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices
evil. Therefore you must be
subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because
of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually
to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear
to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:1-7 KJV). These words are from a government agent, not
from a Pharisee who has seen the light!
It would fit with the fact the book of Acts states:
“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as
Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen,
which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul” (Acts 13:1, KJV).
So the earliest Christian community at Antioch boasted a probable member of the
family of Herod Antipas, the pro-Roman Tetrarch who had murdered John the
Baptist! Paul (Saul) was associated with him.
Paul finished off his letter to the Philippians
with a salutation: “All the saints salute you,
chiefly they that are of Caesar's household” (Phil. 4:22, KJV). This confirms that Paul had contact with the Emperor
Paul’s “arrest” by the Romans is not necessarily inconsistent
with the fact he was in league with them. Paul was a little out of control and
ended up being a source of civil unrest. He had become a diehard dogmatist
causing trouble wherever he went. Instead of undermining Judaism, he incited
Jews to the point of violence, something Rome didn’t want. The “arrest” was, in
fact, for his own protection. He was never treated like a prisoner. Rather,
there were significant Roman resources used to protect him.
Five days after his so called arrest in Jerusalem, the
High Priest Caiphas and his lawyer Tertellus went to Caesaria and accused Paul
of being an insurrectionist:
“Now after five days Ananias the high priest came
down with the elders and a certain orator named Tertullus. These gave evidence to the governor against Paul. And when he was called upon, Tertullus began
his accusation, saying: “Seeing that through you we enjoy great peace, and
prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight, we accept it always and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your
courtesy, a few words from us. For we have found this man a plague, a creator
of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the
sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple, and we seized him,
and wanted to judge him according to our law.
But the commander Lysias came by and with great violence took him out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining
him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him. And the
Jews also assented, maintaining that these things were so.” (Acts 24:1-9).
The High Priest was cow tailing to the Romans, claiming Paul was an enemy of Rome (he didn’t know Paul
was in bed with them). It is ironic that a few years earlier another High
Priest had tattled on another suspected ringleader of the Nazarenes, Yeshua, who
suffered a very different fate to Paul. Paul was a Roman citizen and a useful
intelligence asset, so Felix, the Roman governor, was not about to hand him
over to the High Priest. Paul, after two years
in Caesaria, where he was kept in “safe custody” under the protection of Felix, in his palace, was eventually packed off to the relative safety of Rome, where he still needed a Roman guard to protect him from the Nazarenes.
He was allowed to continue writing his pro government letters there. I suspect
his employment was eventually terminated and he was put out to pasture
somewhere safe, which may be why we don’t know for sure how or when he met his
demise. There were no more letters after his sojourn in Rome. It is said he was
tried and executed in Rome, yet there is no evidence for either.
If this propaganda theory is true, Paul
was a spy and a massive charlatan, and a cog in the wheel of a very cunning Roman
government plan. It
means Rome created Jesus, the Christ, a benign pacifist messiah. Even today, most non-Jews misunderstand what the
actual Messianic movement was. This misunderstanding was Rome’s doing.
The government twisted the knife to further wound Judaism by blaming the
crucifixion of Jesus on the Jews and making Romans look like the innocent good
guys. They then taught that Jesus was a celibate who produced no posterity,
just in case his real family caused them future grief. They wanted no more
messiahs claiming the right to rule and inciting Jewish peasants to
insurrection. The Roman emperors Vespasian, Titus and Domitian sought out
members of the “royal house of David” in the late decades of the first century
to help make sure this didn’t happen.
The government hoped the story of the new idol would convince people that true
spirituality and the promise of eternal life were synonymous with getting along
with the Roman government. It was the winners that wrote the history.
This would explain why the true identities of all four Gospel authors are unknown. It is ironic that the gospels became the most successful literary enterprises ever
undertaken in the history of the world, yet were not based on real history. Christianity
solidified the allegiance of superstitious people throughout the Empire to
In modern times, this is called propaganda or disinformation or psychological
warfare. It is fascinating to imagine these subversive tactics as part of the
first-century Roman Empire and jaw-dropping to realize the dogma has survived
without being exposed for what it is, and is still coloring the way people, and
in particular Christians, look at the world.
The reader may well be wondering why, if this is true,
it is often claimed the government persecuted Christians. The fact is overt persecution
of Christians was not often a policy of the state. It may have happened
sporadically about one hundred years after Paul was gone, and only if
Christians refused to worship the god or gods of the state. By this time the
militaristic ambitions of peasant Jews had been finally and definitively
crushed in the second Jewish war of 132-5 CE, and there were different agendas
on the government’s mind. (see http://www.religionfacts.com/christianit...cution.htm). What is more, many stories of supposed
persecutions of Christians by the Roman government are, in fact, now recognized
as ninth century fabrications.
It took a lot of reading and thinking before the idea that Christianity could have
originated in the government dawned on
me, and I was encouraged by discovering that many other commentators had
deduced something similar too. Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote
“Operation Messiah” in which they postulate that Paul was “supporting the
imperial structure, benefiting from it, cooperating with it, often saved by it.
The end product for Rome was exactly what it wanted-a loyal, other –worldly,
spiritual movement that was completely divorced from Palestinian revolutionary
movements, from Jewish nationalism and from any challenge to Roman imperial
authority. Its followers were supposed to pay taxes and be loyal citizens of the
I think there is no doubt that a significant part of the New Testament is based
on racist anti Jewish sentiment. S. Achyara quotes a website called “The Other
Jesus” in which the author states the following.
“We must remember that the New Testament was written at a time when Palestine had
been under European domination for almost four hundred years. Europeans found
Jews to be a very difficult people to deal with. To them, the Jews seemed to be
the most stubbornly backward kind of barbarians they had ever encountered. Jews
spoke an incomprehensible language (meaning that it was not at all like Greek
or Latin). And Jews did many things that were intensely offensive to European
sensibilities, like cut the tips off of male children’s penises as a matter of
“religious” law. They were obsessed with “nonsensical” dietary superstitions
and a seemingly endless set of “absurd” restrictions that seemed to prevent
them from ever getting anything accomplished. The Greeks and Romans, both being
steadfast believers in monogamous marriage and fierce defenders of the sanctity
of the institution of the family, were morally outraged when they discovered
that Jews allowed a man to have more than one wife if he wanted to. They were
even more disgusted and scandalized by the Jewish practice of permitting men to
divorce a wife for no reason other than he felt like doing so. In stark
contrast to the general Greek and Roman attitude of religious tolerance, the
Jews had an obnoxious tendency to denounce everyone’s religion but their own in
the most disrespectful ways imaginable, and sometimes spoke as if they had the
right, or even the obligation to destroy the churches, altars, and holy shrines
of other people. This last point, as you might imagine, created an acute antagonism
among Europeans toward Jewish religion quite different from their encountered.
The way this story is often told, the Romans and Greeks are typically presented
as the “bad guys” without ethics or moral values, while the Jews are presented
as the “good guys” on the moral high ground. But any such analysis is much too
simplistic. For such a view ignores the fact that the pagan Europeans of that
era were outraged and offended by the same Jewish ideas and practices that many
contemporary Christians object to even today. Had the average modern Christian
been in Palestine in the first century AD, they would probably have had more
sympathy for the Greek and Roman position than for the Jews… The Greeks, and
their successors the Romans, would need to create some kind of a “social
movement,” presumably with a heavy religious content, that would counteract the
aspects of Jewish culture they perceived as most problematic. Such a campaign
would loudly denounce practices such as circumcision, ridicule the strict adherence
to Jewish dietary laws, preach against divorce and for monogamous marriage.
European propaganda would need to preach against rigid interpretations of
Jewish law, dispense with Jewish rituals in favor of European ones, and work to
make free associations between Jews and non-Jews acceptable. Most importantly,
Greek and Roman propaganda efforts would need to find something that would make
Jewish submission to foreign authority acceptable within a Jewish religious
framework. And since at the center of this dispute lay Jewish concepts of a
Messiah who would free Palestine from evil foreign rulers, even a century or
two before Christ, it would have taken no great prophetic powers to have
guessed that the European propaganda campaigns would eventually be intertwined
with arguments about who was and who was not the genuine Messiah.” I’m not
convinced that the average gentile was as bigoted as this, but am sure there is
an element of truth in it.
Robert Eisemann, Peter Cresswell, Joseph Atwell (whose theory about the origin of the
gospels I will discuss in chapter 15) and no doubt many other authors have
reached similar conclusions.
I hope the reader understands the significance of this. Are the hairs on the back
of your neck standing up? They have been on mine. If this is true, Christianity has been the most monumental fraud ever inflicted on humankind.
Acharya S “The Christ Conspiracy”
Cresswell, Peter 2010 “Jesus the Terrorist” O books,
Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus:
The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea
Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation
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21-04-2012, 06:26 PM (This post was last modified: 21-04-2012 06:52 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
Finally, some documentation. It fits very neatly with everthing I been saying about Paul, being the cooker-upper of Paulianity, (as opposed to Christianity). Very nice. I did read the original version, I must not have been paying attention. In fact, I've been thinking of writing another book, (when I get done with the novel .. hopefully with an editor without PMS !)), called, "Paulianity, How Saul of Tarsus Changed Everything" ... maybe we should do it together ?
Insufferable know-it-all. God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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Mark Fulton (21-04-2012)
21-04-2012, 06:26 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
It was but I read it anyway.
"In this they grossly overestimated their own importance and their own abilities,", don't we all.
Any promise of a postmortem preservation of personal identity is preposterous. (read in Daffy Duck voice)
21-04-2012, 06:45 PM (This post was last modified: 21-04-2012 08:27 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
This snippet is not as long, and I think is fascinating...
There is an alternative and fascinating theory as to the origins of the gospels. Using religion for the good of the state was a well-established practice in ancient Rome. The contemporary writer Joseph Atwell, who spent ten years studying the gospels, the Dead Sea scrolls and the works of Josephus, has an intriguing theory that the gospels were all written by intellectuals working for the government during the Flavian dynasty (69-96 CE). He writes in his 2005 book
“Caesar’s Messiah” (http://www.amazon.com/Caes+ars-Messiah-R...oks&ie=UTF) of a connection between certain events from the ministry of Jesus that closely parallel the military campaign of the Emperor Titus in the first Jewish war. He believes that sometime during the Flavian dynasty, when Vespasian, then Titus and then Domitian were emperors, intellectuals under their direction created the gospels, and incorporated a skillful satire of the Jews that becomes apparent on reading Josephus’ “Wars of the Jews” and his “The Life of Flavius Josephus.”
Mr Atwell believes the existence of a real Jesus may have been a fact, yet that doesn’t mean that anything that character may have said is faithfully recorded in the gospels.
He believes that Titus had the gospels invented for two reasons; firstly to act as a theologicalbarrier against the spread of messianic Judaism, and secondly because if he could get Jews to worship “Jesus,” it would mean they accepted Roman authority. Titus had decimated militant Judaism, but he couldn’t get the Jewish prisonersto worship him as Lord. The revolt may have been crushed, but the religion that inspired it wasn’t. It became obvious that Jews were still
dreaming about their messiah, so he transformed himself into the embodiment oftheir dreams. He had a derivative of
Judaism created that worshipped him (as Jesus) without its followers knowing it. He became the Son of God, sent by his father (Vespasian), who had already been deified by the Roman Senate. The agenda was to tame Judaism by
transforming it into a cooperative, government friendly religion.
If this is why the gospels were created, the cruel joke of Christianity is that it was done to subdue stubborn Jews and to get them to worship the Roman Caesar as Lord without knowing it. The Flavians wanted Christianity to flourish before the Gospels’ satirical level became widely known. The gospels were designed to become apparent as satire only to the more educated classes who had access to Josephus’ works. They were, as originally written, a black comedy.
Josephus was an adopted member of the Imperial family. He lived in the imperial palace, and was their official historian. Titus ordered the publication of his “Wars of the Jews.” Josephus would have considered Vespasian and Titus divine, or at least would have been only too happy to help propagate the myth. Titus became emperor in 79 CE, and was deified shortly after his death in 81 CE.
The historian Seutonius says of Titus
“I have likewise been informed by many persons, that he was remarkably quick in writing short-hand, would in merriment and jest engage with his secretaries in the imitation of any hand-writing he saw, and often say, ‘that he was admirably qualified for forgery.’" (The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, section 466). Titus had his writers backdate Jesus’ ministry to c.30 CE, thereby enabling “Jesus” to foresee events in the future war.
As part of the scheme, Josephus shaped his history of the war so it appeared that the messiah fulfilled predictions from the book of Daniel.
There were plenty of people in the Flavian household who knew Judaism well enough to create Christianity. Titus’ mistress Bernice was a Jew of Maccabean descent. Tiberias Alexander was a Jew in Titus’ circle; he was a nephew of Philo the well-known Jewish philosopher, and he was chief of staff to Titus during the siege ofJerusalem. Josephus himself was a Jew. There were also thousands of Jews living in Rome. John of Gischala, one of the main leaders of the Jewish revolt, had been transported as a prisoner back to Rome, but not executed. Atwell believes he too was used by the Flavians to help create the literature in the gospels.
Titus Flavius, and he alone, fulfilled in real life all of “Jesus’” doomsday prophesies, forty years (within one generation) after “Jesus” allegedly spoke them. Titus was in his late 20’s, just like Jesus. He “laid low” many Galilean towns, circled
Jerusalem with a wall of soldiers, annihilated a “wicked generation,” and wrecked the temple, all as predicted by “Jesus.” He is obviously the “son of man” who Jesus predicts will do these things within the given time frame of one
generation. There are numerous other examples of analogies between Jesus and Titus that Atwell expertly describes; I will recount only a few more.
Both Titus and Jesus began their three-year campaigns in Galilee and finished them in Jerusalem.
Mark’s gospel says:
“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 4:18-19 KJV). That sounds like a nice story, but takes on a more macabre meaning if read in conjunction with Josephus’ Wars of the Jews in which he relates the story of a battle between Jews and Titus’ troops on the same sea of Galilee:
“Sometimes the Romans leapt into their ships, with swords in their hands, and slew them; but when some of them met the vessels, the Romans caught them by the middle, and destroyed at once their ships and themselves who were taken in them. And for such as were drowning in the sea, if they lifted their heads up above the water, they were either killed by darts, or caught by the vessels; but if, in the desperate case they were in, they attempted to swim to their enemies, the Romans cut off their heads or their hands…” Hence Titus’ troops followed him on to the sea of Galilee where they became “fishers of men.”
Jesus and Titus both preached the “good news,” and were sent on a mission from God, their father:
“And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep him from leaving them; but He said to them ‘I
must preach the good news (“euaggelion”) of the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent’” (Luke 4:42-43).
“Hereupon Titus sent one of his horseman to his father, and let him know the good news (“euaggelion”) of what he had done.” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 3, 10, 503).
How then, does Atwell explain the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus? The parallel is in Josephus’ autobiography “The Life of Flavius Josephus”
“Moreover, when the city Jerusalem was taken by force…I was sent by Titus Caesar…to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp; as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician’s hands, while the third recovered. (75, 417, 420-421). So three men were crucified, and one survived. The person who begged the Roman commander to take the survivor down from the cross is Josephus himself, whose Jewish name was Joseph Bar Matthias, from which the gospels get Joseph “of Arimathea.”
When Rome went to war it had a long tradition of absorbing the religions of its opponents. It was easier and more cost effective than fighting against them. This was another example, yet with its own clever twist. The authors were hoping to convince Hebrews that Jesus was the messiah they had been waiting for and therefore strip them of their inspiration to spawn future insurrections.
Christianity was, in fact, a very clever product of the broader struggle that had been going on since Alexander the great in 333 BCE, the one between Hellenism with its polytheism and rationalism, and Judaism’s monotheism and faith.
This neatly explains how Christianity, a pro-Roman religion based on the gospels and said to promote pacifism and obedience, allegedly emerged from a Judean cult in a nation that had over a one hundred year history of a militant struggle against Rome. It is why a pacifist preacher was created out of the story of an unsuccessful nationalist.
It is why the true identities of all the four gospel authors are unknown. It iswhy “Jesus” referred to a “wicked generation,” Jews who rebelled against Rome. It is why the “second coming” of Jesus never happened; it was Titus who came instead. It is probably why the gospels are so often anti Semitic. It nicely explains why “Jesus” would say
“when anyone conscripts you for one mile, go along two” about Roman soldiers conscripting people to carry their packs. It is also one explanation why “Jesus” was able to predict the future; the credulous (or dishonest) Eusebius wrote
“If anyone compares the words of our savior with the other accounts of the historian (Josephus) concerning the whole war, how can one fail to wonder, and to admit that the foreknowledge and the prophecy of our Saviour were truly divine and marvellously strange.” Eusebius failed to realize, or admit, that the gospels’ authors were using Josephus to create Jesus. It explains why the gospels were first written in Greek. It also explains how Christianity’s structures of authority, namely churches and the college of bishops, were based on Roman, not Judaic, traditions. It also explains why so many members of the Roman imperial family were said to be promoting Christianity, for example Flavius Clemens, said to be the fourth pope, Bernice, Titus’ mistress, and Flavia Domitilla, Vespasian’s granddaughter. If these people were “Christians,” they were so in name only, as they couldn’t have believed in their own spoof.
Atwell thinks the Flavians did not intend sophisticated, educated people similar to themselves to read their invention as serious literature or history. It was intended for militant Jews and the hoi polloi, people Josephus referred to as “slaves” and “scum.”
If Atwell’s theory is correct, Christians have been unwittingly worshipping Titus Flavius for nearly 2000 years. Jesus’ injunctions to love your enemies, aspire to poverty, and pay your taxes take on a whole new sinister meaning; that the religion said to be the basis of western morality was invented for the control and pacification of peasants and slaves. Titus' invented religion took hold because common people didn't have the intellectual armor to guard against it, and it succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of the Flavians. Titus, lying in his grave, has had an embarrassed grin on his face for the last two millennia. He was responsible for the most monumental fraud ever inflicted on mankind.
This theory adds a lot of weight to the already mentioned hypothesis that Paul’s Christianity originated as part of a
government plot too. Mr Atwell will be writing a subsequent book that helps explain Paul’s role in this scheme.
There is, however, in my opinion, what seems tobe a minor problem with the theory. It is a fact that no first century sourceever mentions the existence of any of the four Gospels, so there is no particular reason to even date them from the first century. (see http://www.harrington-sites.com/f5.htm). The gospels are never explicitly mentioned in the writings of the Church fathers and apologists until toward the end of the second century, which suggests they were only originally written well into the second century, I would say a minimum of one hundred years after Jesus died. There were hundreds of now so-called apocryphal gospels in the second century, only first whittled down to four in the late second century. Atwell has proposed the four were written during the Flavian dynasty (69-96 CE). There are, however, many possible explanations that render Atwell’s theory still plausible. One is that it is possible that the gospels were first written during the Flavian dynasty, yet only in a minimalist fashion, unnamed and not widely distributed. It could be that they were expanded upon in the later second century, given names and only then widely circulated.
Many scholars disagree with me and think the gospels were first penned in the late first century, which fits perfectly with the theory.
I have not done justice to all of Atwell’s ideas, so I encourage anyone interested to read his fascinating book.
21-04-2012, 08:35 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(21-04-2012 06:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote: I think the Roman government promoted its ownWell, Paul was a total phony and a fraud and a lunatic, any way you slice it. We certainly agree on that.
The problem is, like I said before, few if any Jews were actually fooled by Paul's nonsense. If anything the plan backfired, because Christianity became an almost, if not entirely, non-Jewish entity by the second century (when you say the gospels first appeared). The Roman aggression led to greater unity in Judaism -- the canonization of the Bible was the main outcome of this.
The explicitly pro-Roman, pro-Gentile, anti-Semetic message of the NT definitely points to non-Jewish origins of Christianity. Was it a Roman conspiracy? Well, possibly. Or maybe it was just Roman theologians who thought polytheism was stale and ridiculous and wanted to take control of monotheism sans the Jews.
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Mark Fulton (21-04-2012)
21-04-2012, 08:44 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(21-04-2012 08:35 PM)Blood Wrote:(21-04-2012 06:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote: I think the Roman government promoted its ownWell, Paul was a total phony and a fraud and a lunatic, any way you slice it. We certainly agree on that.
22-04-2012, 03:08 AM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(21-04-2012 07:24 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:(21-04-2012 04:07 AM)Magoo Wrote: But how did all the story's from the bible suddenly become known to everybody and later to become the religion of Rome and later after that, 2 billion peoples religion?
What im trying to say is, how did the story's of Jesus spread, to become such a major world religion? Did the gospel writers just go around saying "Hey hey, read this! It's an amazing story about the son of God! You must believe it!", and people believed it and they told other people about the story's, or what?
22-04-2012, 03:52 AM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
Probably the Council of Nicea. There they put all the bullshit together into a semi-coherent biblesoup.
With the uncanny ability to see all sides in every argument.
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Chas (22-04-2012), Mark Fulton (22-04-2012)
22-04-2012, 09:43 AM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(22-04-2012 03:08 AM)Magoo Wrote: What im trying to say is, how did the story's of Jesus spread, to become such a major world religion? Did the gospel writers just go around saying "Hey hey, read this! It's an amazing story about the son of God! You must believe it!", and people believed it and they told other people about the story's, or what?I think there had been a growing interest and desire for monotheism for a long time, and Judaism was the main and oldest known religion that preached monotheism. But people didn't want to follow the dietary laws or circumcision, or be subservient to Jews. And yet they didn't want to create a brand new monotheism, either, because it would have had zero credibility.
The myth of "Jesus" answered this problem nicely. God and "the scriptures" were emptied of their Jewishness. Jews were no longer God's chosen people, according to the new theology. Why? Because God had sent them a prophet, Jesus, and they had killed him. His sacrificial death was supposed to signify the new covenant whereby salvation and access to God were now open to everyone, not just Jews.
Jesus's supposed historicity and crucifixion are too convenient for this theology to be taken too seriously as factual. The desire for control of monotheism among gentiles created the need for a Jesus type myth -- not the other way around.
So we have a new religion that has ancient scriptures, that appeals to poor and oppressed people as well as intellectuals, is open to everyone, and the best part is, you get a free ticket to the afterlife by simply acknowledging faith in Jesus. That was an irresistible combination for a lot of folks.
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Magoo (22-04-2012), Mark Fulton (22-04-2012)
22-04-2012, 10:22 AM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(22-04-2012 09:43 AM)Blood Wrote:(22-04-2012 03:08 AM)Magoo Wrote: What im trying to say is, how did the story's of Jesus spread, to become such a major world religion? Did the gospel writers just go around saying "Hey hey, read this! It's an amazing story about the son of God! You must believe it!", and people believed it and they told other people about the story's, or what?I think there had been a growing interest and desire for monotheism for a long time, and Judaism was the main and oldest known religion that preached monotheism. But people didn't want to follow the dietary laws or circumcision, or be subservient to Jews. And yet they didn't want to create a brand new monotheism, either, because it would have had zero credibility.
You know, that actually makes a lot of sense.