The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
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08-03-2013, 06:01 PM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2013 06:05 PM by Mark Fulton.)
The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
Hi everyone,

I really want to share some great history with you. I think I know how and why the gospels, and therefore Christianity, were created.

I've touched on this in previous posts over the last few months, but I thought I'd try to present it more clearly so that everyone can consider it without getting too bogged down. Please take your cynical hats off and put your thinking hats on.

Joseph Atwill, a contemporary historian and author, has spent over a decade studying the works of Josephus, the gospels and the dead sea scrolls. Shortly I will give you a youtube link where he describes his theories. Firstly, some brief history.

The Roman empire ruled the known world at the time the gospels were written. Perhaps 10% of the people in the empire were Jews, and most of them lived in Palestine. The Jews were a constant thorn in the side of the "Pax Romana" i.e. the peace of the empire. Many of them refused to accept Roman rule because of their religious beliefs. They wanted to be what the Romans were; the guys at the top of the pecking order. They believed that the whole world should worship their God, Yahweh. in the years 66 to 70 CE. they started a major war (the first Jewish war). The Roman army annihilated them in a crushing defeat. But it soon became obvious that although the Jews had been defeated militarily, the religion that had inspired their ambitions hadn't. Traditional Judaism was inherintly militaristic, as they refused to be subjugated by Gentiles; in fact they believed that it was their duty to conquer the Gentile world. Many of them dreamed of a messiah, one from amongst their ranks who would lead them with God's help into glorious military victories.

Joseph Atwill believes that the gospels were written under the direction of the Roman Emperor Titus in order to create a benign version of Judaism, one that didn't threaten world peace. Atwill believes that the character of Jesus was created as a satire of the Roman Emperor Titus i.e. Titus is in fact Jesus. Titus was the son of Vespasian and together they had been the military generals that had defeated the Jews. Vespasian went back to Rome and became Emperor and subsequently his son Titus became Emperor after him.

The aim of the gospels was to get Jews and Gentiles worshiping Titus (as Jesus), who was a benign pacifist messiah, without them knowing it, and thereby obeying Roman rule. They were created to introduce a version of Judaism into the world so that the religion became diluted with law abiding Gentiles. It was hoped Jews would not be such a military threat in the future. Hence we get "love your enemies," "turn the other cheek," and "pay your taxes to Caesar" from Jesus. It was pure propaganda, intended for the slaves and lower classes.

What's the evidence for this?

Please read my post no 38, here...
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...sus?page=4

Please watch Joseph Atwill being interviewed here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g40Eck6gW7U

Please watch (this is an Australian professor backing the theory up)...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zlj5-iwKueQ

Please note...if this is all true, IT COMPLETELY BLOWS AWAY CHRISTIANITY'S CLAIM TO BEING DIVINELY INSPIRED.

While we knew that anyway, this nevertheless gives the historical background about the largest fraud that's ever been inflicted on mankind.
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08-03-2013, 06:29 PM
RE: The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
Why would they then hunt down and kill the folks who believed it, then later adopt it. Doesn't sound very logical.
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08-03-2013, 06:41 PM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2013 06:49 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
(08-03-2013 06:29 PM)mrbuddy4413 Wrote:  Why would they then hunt down and kill the folks who believed it, then later adopt it. Doesn't sound very logical.
Good question.

It’s often claimed the government persecuted Christians. The fact is persecution of Christians wasn’t often a policy of the state. Rome was usually tolerant of all religions, including Christianity.

The Flavian dynasty (Vespasian, Titus and Domitian) ended with Domitian's assassination in 96 CE. Thereafter, there were new governments, often with different agendas.

Persecution happened sporadically many years later, but usually only if Christians refused to worship the state’s gods. 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/christianity/history/persecution.htm).

What’s more, many stories of supposed persecutions of Christians by the Roman government are, in fact, now recognized
as ninth century exaggerations and fabrications.

Constantine adopted Christianity in the 4th century only because it gave him power.
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08-03-2013, 06:59 PM
RE: The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
(08-03-2013 06:01 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Please take your cynical hats off and put your thinking hats on.
My Thinking Hat is my Skeptical Hat, if its cold sometimes I wear my Cynical Hat. However if I smell any bullshit I immediately put on my Atheist Helmet. Now that I cleared that up I'll read the rest of your post, but no guarantees. Consider

"Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's."- Mark Twain in Eruption
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08-03-2013, 07:01 PM
RE: The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
Constantine didn't believe? It was purely a calculated move? Is there evidence that he did not believe the Gospels?
Let me help you here. Wouldn't it have just been easier to say "they wrote persecution into the NT so it would be more believable while they continued persecution." Sounds more believable that way.
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08-03-2013, 07:22 PM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2013 01:13 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
(08-03-2013 07:01 PM)mrbuddy4413 Wrote:  Constantine didn't believe? It was purely a calculated move? Is there evidence that he did not believe the Gospels?
Let me help you here. Wouldn't it have just been easier to say "they wrote persecution into the NT so it would be more believable while they continued persecution." Sounds more believable that way.
In 313 CE, the Emperor Constantine (reigned from 306–337 CE) reversed the government’s policy of hostility to Christianity in his Edict of Milan. This turned out to be a momentous occurrence in world history. Constantine was a highly superstitious man and a Mithraic (in 304 CE Mithras had been declared Protector of the Roman Empire). He probably respected all religious cults, and interestingly, saw no contradiction in championing both Mithraism and Christianity. He held the title “Pontifex Maximus,” high priest of the cult of the state, (http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/a104.htm) for himself. This title was to be later taken by the Popery.


What made Constantine embrace Christianity? His mother was a Christian. The church was springing up strongly. It was wide reaching and well organized, as it had modeled its hierarchy on Roman (not Jewish!) principles. It had a clerical class, and a chain of command that was competent at controlling conflicts. The bishops had a level of legal autonomy allowing
them to interpret law. The Christians accepted people from all parts of the empire. Unlike many Jews, they respected Roman rule. All this was attractive to Constantine because he wanted stability. In the preceding decades civil wars and external enemies had challenged the Pax Romana. He was overseeing a massive, disparate empire, so the social cohesion made possible by a universal monotheism was appealing. He knew the people were easier to control if they all
shared the same religion.


His government embraced Christians as allies. In 320 CE he declared himself a Christian and fashioned himself as a priest-king who was the thirteenth apostle of Jesus. (http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/arc/constant...ntine.html). Christianity was given a colossal leg up by becoming the official religion of the empire. The new faith went to bed with the political masters of the Western world and the empire had a universal religion to unite most of its people. It was a marriage of convenience that suited both parties. It was due to this symbiotic connection that Christianity was established and given the means to flourish.



Re "Wouldn't it have just been easier to say "they wrote persecution into the NT so it would be more believable while they continued persecution." Sounds more believable that way."
Um...sorry ...you've lost me! Could you reword this?
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09-03-2013, 09:38 AM
RE: The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
.
(08-03-2013 06:29 PM)mrbuddy4413 Wrote:  Why would they then hunt down and kill the folks who believed it, then later adopt it. Doesn't sound very logical.


You need to understand that there were two Churches at this time. The Church of Jesus and James (a Nazarene sect) and the Church of Saul (ie, Josephus Flavius). The Church of Jesus was pretty Judaic, and its members would not even eat with Gentiles. In contrast, the Church of Saul was overtly Gentile, and Saul had a special dispensation from James (the brother of Jesus) to preach a simplified Judaism to the Gentiles (that contained just five rules and did not mention circumcision). I call this sect, Simple Judaism or Judaism Lite. It is this sect that became Christianity, which is why Christians are not normally circumcised.

If you read the epistles you will see that these two Churches became enemies - especially over the divisive tradition of circumcision. Saul-Josephus was dead against circumcision. In fact, Saul said if the Church of Jesus liked circumcision so much, they should cut off their entire penis and have done with it. (Gal 5:11-12)

Not surprisingly, the Romans thought that Saul-Josephus' Simple Judaism was a jolly good idea, and promoted it, and promoted Sau-Josephus too. Especially after the Jewish Revolt. So what about the accounts of Roman persecution? Well this was directed at the Church of Jesus, not Simple Judaism. In fact, it is widely thought that Vespasian's cousin, Clement, because Simple Judaism's second pope. So it was Simple Judaism (Christianity) doing the persecution, and yet it is Christianity that complains about being persecuted - hypocrisy and duplicity of the highest order.


Thus Christians are venerating a cult and a book written by Jesus' worst enemy (Saul-Josephus). The New Testament is a bit like reading a biography of Winston Churchill, written by Hitler. Yes, the error of Christians is this great.


.
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09-03-2013, 10:47 PM
RE: The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
(09-03-2013 09:38 AM)ralphellis Wrote:  .
(08-03-2013 06:29 PM)mrbuddy4413 Wrote:  Why would they then hunt down and kill the folks who believed it, then later adopt it. Doesn't sound very logical.


You need to understand that there were two Churches at this time. The Church of Jesus and James (a Nazarene sect) and the Church of Saul (ie, Josephus Flavius). The Church of Jesus was pretty Judaic, and its members would not even eat with Gentiles. In contrast, the Church of Saul was overtly Gentile, and Saul had a special dispensation from James (the brother of Jesus) to preach a simplified Judaism to the Gentiles (that contained just five rules and did not mention circumcision). I call this sect, Simple Judaism or Judaism Lite. It is this sect that became Christianity, which is why Christians are not normally circumcised.

If you read the epistles you will see that these two Churches became enemies - especially over the divisive tradition of circumcision. Saul-Josephus was dead against circumcision. In fact, Saul said if the Church of Jesus liked circumcision so much, they should cut off their entire penis and have done with it. (Gal 5:11-12)

Not surprisingly, the Romans thought that Saul-Josephus' Simple Judaism was a jolly good idea, and promoted it, and promoted Sau-Josephus too. Especially after the Jewish Revolt. So what about the accounts of Roman persecution? Well this was directed at the Church of Jesus, not Simple Judaism. In fact, it is widely thought that Vespasian's cousin, Clement, because Simple Judaism's second pope. So it was Simple Judaism (Christianity) doing the persecution, and yet it is Christianity that complains about being persecuted - hypocrisy and duplicity of the highest order.


Thus Christians are venerating a cult and a book written by Jesus' worst enemy (Saul-Josephus). The New Testament is a bit like reading a biography of Winston Churchill, written by Hitler. Yes, the error of Christians is this great.


.
I prefer to call the sect that Jesus and James belong to the Nazarenes, because that was their real name. And I agree it was totally Judaic and in opposition to Paul.

This story about Paul having a special dispensation from James to teach a modified form of Judaism is sourced from the book of Acts.Paul also claims he shook hands with James and agreed with him that he was to go to the Gentiles. I don't think either of these scenarios are likely to be true. James was a pious Jew, he would not have allowed an alteration of the Torah. Paul was a self-admitted liar, very capable of inventing stories to suit himself.

I agree with your last paragraph. Yes, this is the bizarre irony of Christianity.

Has anyone out there had a look at Atwill's interview?
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09-03-2013, 11:30 PM
RE: The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
(09-03-2013 10:47 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 09:38 AM)ralphellis Wrote:  .


You need to understand that there were two Churches at this time. The Church of Jesus and James (a Nazarene sect) and the Church of Saul (ie, Josephus Flavius). The Church of Jesus was pretty Judaic, and its members would not even eat with Gentiles. In contrast, the Church of Saul was overtly Gentile, and Saul had a special dispensation from James (the brother of Jesus) to preach a simplified Judaism to the Gentiles (that contained just five rules and did not mention circumcision). I call this sect, Simple Judaism or Judaism Lite. It is this sect that became Christianity, which is why Christians are not normally circumcised.

If you read the epistles you will see that these two Churches became enemies - especially over the divisive tradition of circumcision. Saul-Josephus was dead against circumcision. In fact, Saul said if the Church of Jesus liked circumcision so much, they should cut off their entire penis and have done with it. (Gal 5:11-12)

Not surprisingly, the Romans thought that Saul-Josephus' Simple Judaism was a jolly good idea, and promoted it, and promoted Sau-Josephus too. Especially after the Jewish Revolt. So what about the accounts of Roman persecution? Well this was directed at the Church of Jesus, not Simple Judaism. In fact, it is widely thought that Vespasian's cousin, Clement, because Simple Judaism's second pope. So it was Simple Judaism (Christianity) doing the persecution, and yet it is Christianity that complains about being persecuted - hypocrisy and duplicity of the highest order.


Thus Christians are venerating a cult and a book written by Jesus' worst enemy (Saul-Josephus). The New Testament is a bit like reading a biography of Winston Churchill, written by Hitler. Yes, the error of Christians is this great.


.
I prefer to call the sect that Jesus and James belong to the Nazarenes, because that was their real name. And I agree it was totally Judaic and in opposition to Paul.

This story about Paul having a special dispensation from James to teach a modified form of Judaism is sourced from the book of Acts.Paul also claims he shook hands with James and agreed with him that he was to go to the Gentiles. I don't think either of these scenarios are likely to be true. James was a pious Jew, he would not have allowed an alteration of the Torah. Paul was a self-admitted liar, very capable of inventing stories to suit himself.

I agree with your last paragraph. Yes, this is the bizarre irony of Christianity.

Has anyone out there had a look at Atwill's interview?

I watched it, and it was interesting. It raises a lot of questions. The motivation certainly makes sense. I like radical 're-examinations". It's so easy to forget about the Roman occupation of Jerusalem, and how much that grated on the Jews.
Didn't Paul try to, (or actually) bribe the Jerusalem group.
http://apolitebribe.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDSUTjxNuiU
There is a somewhat *oblique* reference to it, and Acts said he could go do his thing, as long as he "didn't forget the poor". What that really meant was that he had to keep paying them off, in Jerusalem, I assume. Do you guys think there was more than one Paul ? The first one in Acts is sort of left hanging, and picked up much later, in a different city. There are also serious discrepancies between the philosophies, although it could be the same guy who changed his mind. I also would like to know if the two factions were pricipally located in the big cities, and which one was where, (like Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Rome and Egypt).

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
"And you quit footing the bill for these nations that are oil rich - we're paying for some of their *squirmishes* that have been going on for centuries" - Sarah Palin
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10-03-2013, 04:32 AM
RE: The Real Origin of the Gospels and Christianity
(09-03-2013 11:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 10:47 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I prefer to call the sect that Jesus and James belong to the Nazarenes, because that was their real name. And I agree it was totally Judaic and in opposition to Paul.

This story about Paul having a special dispensation from James to teach a modified form of Judaism is sourced from the book of Acts.Paul also claims he shook hands with James and agreed with him that he was to go to the Gentiles. I don't think either of these scenarios are likely to be true. James was a pious Jew, he would not have allowed an alteration of the Torah. Paul was a self-admitted liar, very capable of inventing stories to suit himself.

I agree with your last paragraph. Yes, this is the bizarre irony of Christianity.

Has anyone out there had a look at Atwill's interview?

I watched it, and it was interesting. It raises a lot of questions. The motivation certainly makes sense. I like radical 're-examinations". It's so easy to forget about the Roman occupation of Jerusalem, and how much that grated on the Jews.
Didn't Paul try to, (or actually) bribe the Jerusalem group.
http://apolitebribe.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDSUTjxNuiU
There is a somewhat *oblique* reference to it, and Acts said he could go do his thing, as long as he "didn't forget the poor". What that really meant was that he had to keep paying them off, in Jerusalem, I assume. Do you guys think there was more than one Paul ? The first one in Acts is sort of left hanging, and picked up much later, in a different city. There are also serious discrepancies between the philosophies, although it could be the same guy who changed his mind. I also would like to know if the two factions were pricipally located in the big cities, and which one was where, (like Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Rome and Egypt).
Hey Bucky, you're still alive!

I'm glad you found it interesting. He's not the most dynamically interesting speaker, but it's what he has to say that really rocks my boat.

I think this sort of view is getting less and less radical as the years go by. It just rings true! I've listened to some good podcasts about Titus and Vespasian. They were great propagandists. This fits exactly with what Atwill is saying.

Historians have had always had trouble explaining how a new religion emerged from a smallish Judaean cult. The fact the government was running the whole show explains it all nicely.

I don't agree with everything Atwill has to say however. I still think Yeshua was a real person and a political activist who tried to start a war with Rome. Atwill thinks Jesus is entirely mythical. He may be right. If Atwill is right, it's very hard to explain all the clues in the the gospels that Jesus was trying to start a war.

Yes, Paul did try to buy some favor with the Nazarenes in Jerusalem. I doubt he was ever successful. The truth is that the two sides were implacably opposed to each other.

I'll check out your links now and come back later.
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