“All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.” – Lucretius (Roman Philosopher 99 B.C.E. – 55 B.C.E.)
I have recently discovered a fascinating book and documentary entitled “Caesar’s Messiah,” by Joseph Atwill, which claims Jesus as found in the Christian Gospels, was an invention of the Roman Flavian dynasty headed by three Roman emperors – Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian, who in cooperation with turncoat Romanized Jewish intellectuals, and Rome’s puppet Jewish rulers of Judea, created a “pacifist Messiah” for an alternative version of Judaism, in order to control the missionary activity of Judean zealots and the spread of their brand of militant messianic Judaism that waged war against Rome for a century. The creation of Jesus Christ and Christianity was a way Rome could create a benign form of Judaism that would not fight against the Roman Empire, but enable “peace” in the Empire, or the “pax Romana.” Converting slaves and the non-messianic Greek-speaking Jewish diaspora – those living outside of Judea, into worshiping Caesar as a god without them knowing it, was a way Rome could end the rebellion in the long term, while making those who subscribed to their fraudulent pacifist Judaism call Caesar their “god” and “lord” at the same time. Targeting the non-messianic Greek-speaking Jewish diaspora – those living outside of Judea, would at least in part explain why the Gospels were written in Greek, and not the Aramaic or Hebrew languages they most likely would have been composed in had they been genuine texts of the Jewish messianic movement, such as the “Dead Sea Scrolls.” The very fact the Gospels were written in Greek therefore bears witness to their fraudulence, since the genuine literature of the messianic movement of the Scrolls were composed in Hebrew, further illustrating they were intended for an exclusive Jewish messianic audience – not the intended “universal” audience of the Gospels – hence their existence in the “universal” language of Greek. It was the religious exclusivity of the Jews and their monotheism that created problems for Rome, and is ultimately the reason they failed to integrate Judaism into the Roman Empire as they did with the religions of other conquered peoples. The invention of Christianity – a benign form of Judaism whose Messiah was a peace-loving pacifist who advocated paying taxes to Caesar and to “turn the other cheek,” was one of Rome’s “solutions” to this problem of integrating Judaism into the Empire.
While this theory may or may not be factual, it is admittedly quite compelling, and is tempting to at least explore the possibility of a fabricated Christ by the Romans since such a notion makes a lot of sense in light of some basic facts, such as why the Gospels were written decades after Jesus’ supposed death. You would think if these stories were as miraculous and amazing as the Gospel writers claim they were, they would have written about them immediately, or at least very soon after they occurred instead of waiting to write about them decades later. Even more puzzling than this is the fact there exists not one written word from Jesus himself. You would think since he is purported to be the very Son of God, whose message was no less than the salvation of humankind, he would have at least written something for us to go on given the immense importance of his mission, instead of leaving posterity the unenviable task of deciphering the meaning of writings which are at best, second-hand, third-party written accounts whose authorship cannot be factually proven to be that of “eyewitnesses.” It is also suspicious there are absolutely no contemporary third-party written accounts of Jesus’ life, from religious or secular writers or historians, dated from the time he supposedly lived to corroborate the Gospel stories. Even the “Dead Sea Scrolls” contain no definite reference to Jesus Christ as found in the Gospels. There were several writers and historians such as Philo of Alexandria, who lived and worked in and around Jerusalem during the time of Jesus’ purported existence, and reported on numerous events which were comparatively mundane and far less newsworthy than the “good news” of the Gospels, yet there is not one word in their writings about Jesus, his disciples, his miracles, or any other “supernatural” events. All of the so-called “contemporary third-party sources” Christian apologists do cite that are not Christian sources, such as Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, and Suetonius, were all born after the alleged death of Jesus, whose words therefore do not qualify as true “contemporary,” or first-hand, third-party accounts. Their accounts can be only hearsay at best – meaning, they were merely expounding on stories others were already telling about Jesus.
It is also a striking fact that all of these before-mentioned writers and historians were Roman – including the Jewish turncoat writer and historian Josephus, who took on the Roman Flavian family name when he was adopted by them after he went to the side of the Romans following his capture by Vespasian’s army during the First Jewish-Roman War. It is suspicious all of these writers were Roman, while none of the earliest mentions of Christianity outside of the Christian movement come from non-Roman sources. This would make sense if the Romans invented the religion. This also makes the general puzzlement of many scholars such as Richard Carrier to the preponderance of Roman sources to early Christianity, seem silly and unnecessary if one abandons the long held notion the Romans would not and could not have had anything to do with early Christianity, and simply accept the evidence clearly in front of us – right down to Titus-issued Roman coins containing the exact dolphin and anchor symbol that was also used by the early Christians, as stated in another excellent book on the Flavian origins of Christianity, “Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity,” by James S. Valliant and C.W. Fahy. This dolphin and anchor symbol was the symbol of Christianity for three centuries, until it was replaced by the Roman Emperor Constantine with the symbol of the cross. The exclusive Roman “testimony” of early Christianity therefore only further strengthens the postulation for a Roman origin of Christianity. How could the Romans not know about early Christianity if they were its inventors?
In order to understand why the Romans would have invented Christianity, it is necessary to understand the political, religious, and ideological context in Judea both before and during the early first century when Christianity evolved. The Romans, who were the ultimate governing body of Judea during the first century, faced ongoing problems with a militant messianic Jewish movement, which grew and evolved from ongoing centuries-long invasions of Judea by both the Greeks and the Romans. Since the Jews’ monotheism clashed with the imposed polytheism of the Greeks and the Romans, this created irreconcilable conflict between the Jews and these invading cultures. Both the Greeks and the Romans imposed their polytheism on the monotheistic Jews, who were not allowed to simply live in peace to follow their own faith, but made to accept the idols and statues of the rulers and gods of these invading cultures, which was completely at odds with the first commandment of the Jewish Covenant to have no other gods, graven images, or idols before their one God Yahweh. Roman emperors were extraordinarily narcissistic, and their vanity demanded they be worshiped as gods by Roman citizens and conquered peoples. Rome accepted the gods of other cultures, and allowed conquered peoples to worship their own gods, as long as they also worshiped Caesar as a god. However, the monotheistic Jews refused to worship Caesar as a god, even after being subjected to torture. Therefore, the Jews posed a unique problem to Roman rule that required an extraordinary solution. As a result of this ongoing conflict, and the Romans’ stubborn unwillingness to bend on the worship of Caesar, they had to maintain costly and time-consuming efforts of almost constantly putting down rebellions from the disruptive militant messianic Jewish movement, and therefore had the political and financial motivation to limit the spread of new Jewish messianic radicals by creating a “peaceful Messiah,” and a corresponding new religion which would be friendly to Rome, since these radicals had proven their faith could not be undermined by force. Both the Romans and the Jews were essentially immovable objects with regards to religion, and the one which eventually won out was the one with more political and military power – the Romans. Since history is written by the winners, and the Romans were the winners of the First Jewish-Roman War, as well as the ongoing war with the militant messianic Jewish movement, combined with the fact the Gospels are estimated by most scholars to have originated between 70-90 C.E., during the time of the Roman Flavian dynastic rule, the Roman Flavians should be the first group to be investigated when looking into the true authorship of the Gospels, especially since they were written from such a pro-Roman perspective. All of these facts, combined with the incredible lack of any archaeological evidence whatsoever dated from the time Jesus supposedly lived on Earth which could verify the factual existence of a historical person known as Jesus Christ, as discussed in “The Christ Myth” chapter, is too overwhelming to ignore, and makes it far more likely Jesus was never a living historical person, but a mythical character, invented for whatever reasons by whomever found such a Messiah-god useful for the purpose of controlling others.
It is amazing to contemplate just how much pure vanity of all things was at the heart of this conflict – the incredibly stubborn unwillingness of Roman emperors to not be worshiped as gods. Perhaps the most profound long-term consequences of this vanity that has endured to this very day is centuries of anti-Semitism and fundamentalist Christianity, which preaches the fear of Hell if one dare not believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Of course, once Christianity became the official state religion of the Roman Empire, and the most dominant religion in the western world by far; anyone, including Jews who did not believe in Jesus Christ were subject to persecution. Jews however, were given exceptional “special treatment” as the Nazis used to say, because many Christians believed Roman Christianity superseded Judaism, and the Jews’ refusal to accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah was an affront not only to the Christian faith, but to those Christians in positions of power. Jews were therefore segregated and persecuted against, treated as scapegoats for “poisoning” wells, which many believed at that time was responsible for the Black Death plague of the 14th century, the charge of “blood libel,” or the accusation Jews used the blood of Christians, particularly Christian children in religious rituals, etc. While there are many other reasons for anti-Semitism besides religious differences between the Jews and other cultures that has developed over many centuries, religion is the true root cause of these other objections to Jews, since religion was the reason for the initial conflict both before and after the Common Era between the Jews and the Greeks and Romans. Once Christianity became the dominant religion of the western world, the religious differences between Judaism and Christianity resulted in Christians pushing Jews out of mainstream society, and keeping them from practicing and owning many types of businesses, which therefore restricted the ways Jews could earn money to survive. Jews therefore excelled in other areas they were not restricted in, such as money lending, that Christians were restricted in. Christians, by virtue of their own religious restrictions, gave Jews a virtual monopoly in the money lending industry, which allowed Jews a way to become wealthy, which then led to further contempt of the Jews for supposedly “non-religious” reasons. The Jews’ great wealth compared to Christians’ relative poverty may very well have been the seeds to the charges brought against the Jews for their supposed quest for “world domination.” The ironic hypocrisy of this of course, is how Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany wanted this “world domination” for themselves that they decried in the Jews. Hitler’s pogrom would have them forcibly take away that which the Jews rightly earned, to “take back” from the Jews what Hitler and the Nazis believed was rightly “theirs” to take, under their mistaken ideology of being the “superior” Aryan race in one of the most horrendous examples of genocide the world has ever seen.
It was the words in the Gospels of the supposed founder of their faith, Jesus Christ, which told Christians they could not lend money at interest, thus taking away any motivation for Christians to lend money or to open banks, which must charge interest to survive as a viable institution. All businesses have to make money to survive, and money lending and banking is no exception. Since people needed money, and Christians couldn’t do the job by virtue of religious restrictions, the Jews filled the void, then were blamed later by Christians for “usury,” or charging unfair and exorbitant fees for lending money. Of course, the Catholic Church at the same time, had no problem selling indulgences, or the remission of God’s punishment for sins to other gullible Christians in exchange for the Church’s arbitrarily stated fee, without recognizing the utter hypocrisy in persecuting Jews for usury while themselves selling an outright fraud. At least the Jews had something tangible and real to offer in exchange for a fee, which at least gave interest charges an honest basis. Christians were also taught by their own scriptures and again by Christianity’s supposed founder Jesus Christ, to accept being poor, to sell all they have for the Kingdom of God, preaching the virtues of poverty, a sentiment reinforced by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament, and then when Christians realized a life of poverty wasn’t so much fun after all, again blamed the Jews for having what they did not have as a result of religious differences, all the while ignoring the tenth commandment to not covet thy neighbor’s goods. Yet rather than question their own scripture, or think critically about what was actually taking place, Christians instead blamed the Jews, making them out to be convenient scapegoats for these apparent “inequities” Christians themselves helped bring on.
Again, what tends to be lost is all of this absurd, racist, antisemitic belief in each of these areas of life, including economics and culture is the fact that its origins come back to religion, and particularly Christianity itself, as will be explored in more depth later on in this chapter. Modern antisemitism is in large part the result of how Christians segregated Jews from mainstream society since they refused to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, just as they refused to worship Caesar under Roman rule, as stated previously. In a nutshell, the Christians blamed Jews for taking advantage of a situation the Christians themselves had created by segregating Jews for religious reasons. While Jews do tend to separate themselves from society on matters of religion, they do not start wars to coerce others to convert to their faith, and would in fact rather be left alone to live and practice their faith in peace, while still being able to partake in mainstream society in other ways at the same time, such as in the arts and in business. However, the conquering Christians would not allow Jews or anyone else to “live and let live,” because their faith tells its followers, in the words of Jesus himself to “make disciples of all nations” because if not, those unconverted poor souls are doomed to Hell. It is quite sobering to see the shocking parallels between Roman conquest and the charge by Jesus to “make disciples of all nations.” While these words are often interpreted within a loving context, they are actually words of conquest and domination. The Crusades and the Holy Inquisition, in which people were terrorized and coerced into “converting” to Christianity, were just more manifestations of this conquest mentality by the Catholic Church – yet more signs of its Roman origins. It is amazing what evils we can and will justify in the name of a so-called “just” and “holy” God. It goes to show that whether it is Nazism, fascism, racism, manifest destiny, or Christianity, they all have the same insidious goal of being “united” under “one God” – whether that “god” be a nation, a race, a religion, or any other ideology manufactured by our egotistical self-interests.
By the fourth century, the Roman Emperor Constantine I would become instrumental in making Christianity the “official” state religion of the Roman Empire, and also instituted several laws concerning Jews, including outlawing the conversion of Christians to Judaism and restricting congregations and regulating religious services. Nicene Christianity became the official state religion of the Roman Empire under the Roman Emperor Theodosius I in 380 C.E., and with this, Jews became the object of religious intolerance and political oppression. Even before then, in the early fourth century, intermarriage between unconverted Jews and Christians was prohibited under the provisions of the Synod of Elvira. Christians were prohibited from celebrating Passover with Jews by the Council of Antioch in 341 C.E., while Christians were forbidden to keep the Jewish Sabbath by the Council of Laodicea. Of course, the very purpose of Christianity was anti-Semitism all along, since the goal of inventing Christianity in the first place was to subdue messianic Judaism. This agenda required an anti-Jewish sentiment as found in the Gospels, whose content can at least in part be seen as Roman anti-Semitic propaganda. By the fourth century, anti-Semitism and charges of “deicide” – or “god killing” of the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus became widespread, and is a belief that has helped to promote and justify anti-Semitism to this day – its most horrific manifestation coming in the form of the Nazi’s “final solution” – the attempted mass extermination of the Jews under the self-proclaimed Christian Adolph Hitler in the 20th century. The final seeds for the 20th century Jewish Holocaust were planted in the 16th century by the German Reformation leader Martin Luther, the father of Christian Protestantism, who wrote a 65,000-word anti-Jewish treatise in 1543 entitled, “On the Jews and Their Lies,” after Jews would not convert to Christianity as he had hoped. This made Luther and his so-called “reformed” Protestant Christian church no better than the Catholic version of Christianity he so ardently criticized. Martin Luther’s treatise codified the kind of European anti-Semitism the Nazis would use centuries later to justify the Holocaust and the murder of six million Jews.
This theory of Roman complicity in the invention of a new god to undermine the radical messianic Jewish movement makes more sense to me than any other explanation I have heard for the origins of Christianity, because it has the fewest holes than any other theory I have heard, while at the same time, too many of the pieces of this puzzle fit together for this theory not to be at least partially true in light of some known facts about Christianity.
- The very name – Roman Catholic Church
- The Gospels written in Greek, not what would have been Jesus’ followers’ native language of Aramaic, or religious language of Hebrew
- The Catholic Church’s official language in Latin, the native language of Rome
- Many of the first Christians belonging to the royal Roman Flavian family, or taking on the family name, such as Pope Clement I and the Roman Emperor Constantine. In some traditions, Clement is said to have been the direct successor to Peter, while Constantine was instrumental in eventually making Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire. Roman Emperor Theodosius I made Nicene Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire in 380 C.E., something he would have never done had Christianity not served the interests of Rome.
- The Gospels’ uncanny parallels to the sequence and locations of the events and imagery of the Judean military campaign of Titus Flavius during the First Jewish-Roman War as described in the book “Wars of the Jews,” written by Josephus Flavius on commission by Titus as the “official history” of the war. Josephus Flavius was a Jewish scholar who eventually became a Roman citizen and a Flavian himself, assuming the emperor’s family name.
- The headquarters of the Church in Rome
- The sympathetic attitude towards the Romans in the Gospels
- The non-sympathetic attitude towards the Jews in the Gospels, and outright anti-Semitism of the Gospels
All of these facts point to a Roman conception of the Gospels, not merely the product of a disgruntled or rogue group of Jewish followers of a new brand of Judaism under the leadership of a zealous rabbi.
That said, this theory does not seem to entirely account for the different “strands” of Christianity, such as the Gnostics and other Christians who preached a very different gospel than the “hellfire and brimstone” of fundamentalist Christianity. On the one hand, if Christianity had been entirely a “government project” by Rome to deceive and undermine the Jewish people, then it seems likely there would have been no other “strands” of Christianity, with multiple gospels beyond the Biblical four in existence since, like the Warren Commission of the United States government “investigating” John Kennedy’s death, the Romans would have controlled all of the elements of the “official story,” with no alternative stories in existence. On the other hand, it is possible multiple gospels exist as “early drafts” of various ideas and sayings which were later “fleshed out” in more theologically complete versions of gospels as found in the “holy four” of the Bible. This would make sense since many of the non-canonical gospels reveal a much less strongly defined theology which could have become increasingly refined in the “final versions” of the “holy four.” It is also plausible that just as alternative viewpoints challenging the “official story” of John Kennedy’s death have been raised and passionately defended in the United States, the Romans could have invented Jesus, disseminated many stories of him, and other, more enlightened individuals took the name Jesus and later created their own brand of Gnostic religion, which by definition relied more on direct knowledge than subjection to faith in an authority. This possibility is plausible since some scholars estimate the “Gnostic Gospels” such as the Gospel of Thomas were written after the “holy four” in the Bible. Interestingly enough, these Gnostic versions of Christianity were eventually stamped out, and their scriptures left out of the Bible, not surprisingly, since they undermined the notion of a central authority, which went against the Roman emperors’ and early Church’s objectives to control and dominate others through fear and coercion. This was accomplished through the authors’ use of agenda and theology, so blatantly stated within the traditional four Gospels of the Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and especially John, which is the strongest of the four to contain the clearest threats of all, to ensure the sheep of the flock obey the will of the authoritative power structure of Rome.
There are those Christian apologists who often claim Christianity is essentially “good,” while it can be corrupted by those who run it to make it “bad.” I used to buy in to this idea myself when I first began my writings on “The Mystical Voice.” The problem with arguments and excuses like this is the fact this manipulative and agenda-laden theology is written in the very words of the Gospels themselves, and not “corrupted” later by “imperfect leaders of the faith.” We need only look at one excellent example, from John 3:18 to see this.
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
This is obviously nothing more than a threat to coerce the masses to obey the will of the power structure that created the Gospels. So we can blatantly see the Gospels were themselves created as a political tool to control and manipulate the ignorant masses. The creators of this tool were incredibly successful, since it is used to this very day for the same manipulative purposes by governments and populaces as found in the United States, who claim to be following “God’s will” to justify anti-Ssemitism, the persecution of homosexuals, and endless wars, which are almost always nothing more than the “legal” killing of those who inconveniently fail to believe as we do, or serve our selfish agendas.
The bottom line is, regardless of the facts pertaining to the true origins of Christianity, fundamentalist religion is essentially about mind and behavior control, while the means for that control is reward and punishment to coerce others into adhering to a desired standard of behavior. The ones who create, enforce, and control this standard are those who are in positions of power and authority. Rome was such an authority, and with their adoption of the Jewish Josephus, who changed his name from Joseph Ben Matthias to Josephus Flavius after his adoption by the Flavian family, and became a Roman citizen when he went to the side of the Romans after his capture; along with members of two powerful Hellenized Jewish families – the Herods and the Alexanders, who at the time shared control with the Roman Flavians over the region between Egypt and Syria, they had a powerful alliance with those who possessed a vast knowledge of Judaic scripture and philosophy necessary to create the Gospels. The Flavians were literally “in bed” with the Herods. Berenice, who was the daughter of Herod Agrippa I, was a Jewish client queen of the Roman Empire, a member of the Herodian dynasty that ruled the Roman providence of Judea between 39 B.C.E., and 92 C.E., and was for a time, Titus’ mistress. Tiberius Alexander was born into a wealthy Jewish family of Alexandria, whose uncle was the famous philosopher Philo of Alexandria. While born a Jew, Tiberius had abandoned the Jewish faith and was Titus’ second in command and appointed by Vespasian to be Titus’ chief of staff, who was with Titus during the siege of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Tiberius employed his legions while Prefect of Egypt between 66-69 C.E. against the Alexandrian Jews – his very own people in a brutal response to ethnic violence. The fact of the matter is, the Romans as the ultimate governing body of Judea at that time, were the only group in the region who had the power, the means, the necessary political Jewish alliances, as well as the motivation to create and implement a new version of Judaism which would serve its interests, and not constantly battle against it as the radical messianic Jewish movement did, even after Rome’s defeat of the Jews in the First Jewish-Roman War with the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 C.E., as well as the fall of the Jewish fortress of Masada in 73 C.E.
Christianity was not the only religion invented and maintained by the Roman Empire. The Romans well understood the power of manipulating and controlling the masses through religion as well as other means. The Romans invented imperial cults for deified emperors – as Titus did for his father Vespasian, and Domitian did for his brother Titus. Of course, “deifying” emperors was done because it was politically useful, not because of any genuine religious feeling, as such deification allowed for “proving” the legitimacy of Roman rulers. If the gods deemed them “ordained,” then they could rule over their subjects with “divine authority.” Roman emperors, particularly the Flavians, were well-known for their belief in their “divinity,” as well as their desire to be worshiped as gods. Titus Flavius’ brother Domitian demanded he be addressed as “master and god.” The Arch of Titus, which still stands to this day, was constructed posthumously in Rome, acclaiming Titus as “the son of a god.” While some might consider it far-fetched to posit the Roman Empire invented Christianity as a form of mind and behavior control of its subjects, when we view it from the factual perspective of the Romans’ historical track record of manipulating the masses by putting on gladiatorial shows, creating “gods,” imperial cults, and deifying their emperors; the notion that Roman emperors, with the aid of their Jewish puppets, would have invented Christianity to trick stubborn Jews into worshiping Caesar as a god, is not at all surprising. Another reason the Gospels and the works of Josephus were almost certainly written to be read together, as one combined whole in order to understand the true meaning of the work, composed at the same time just around or after the First Jewish-Roman war, is because after the death of Nero and the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Vespasian, who seized the throne in this void of power during the First Jewish-Roman war as Nero’s appointed general to put down the Jewish rebellion in Judea, had a problem in “proving” he was the legitimate heir as the next emperor of Rome. While this “legitimacy” of rule is a concept not understood today, conferring the title of “dius,” or “god” was only possible by the Roman Senate, and if granted, allowed for creating one’s “legitimacy” to rule. By having Josephus’ “histories” “prove” Vespasian’s “divine” status by showing the prophesies of Jesus Christ in the Gospels had “come to pass” in Vespasian’s conquest of Judea through his son Titus – the true “son of man” Jesus had prophesied in the Gospels, the Senate could accept Vespasian’s claims for legitimacy, thus allowing him to rule with “divine authority.” This was yet one more reason for the Flavians to create the Gospels. It is also convenient their newly-adopted “official historian” Josephus Flavius, believed and proclaimed Vespasian as the true Christ Judaic scripture had prophesied. Whatever “evidence” was presented to the Senate to “prove” Vespasian’s legitimacy, the Gospels would have been the perfect “evidence” of Vespasian’s “divinity” since his army, led by his son Titus, fulfilled all of Jesus’ doomsday prophesies – including the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem with “not one stone left upon another,” the encircling of Jerusalem with a wall, the destruction of the “wicked generation” as Jesus described in the Gospels, the towns of Galilee “brought low,” etc. In any case, the Roman Senate did in fact, accept the evidence presented to them, and thus deified Vespasian through the Imperial Cult of Vespasian created by his son Titus, who was born on December 30 – ironically sharing almost the same birth date, and the same age of 33 years old at the time of the siege of Jerusalem as the man to whom he is satirically linked in the Gospels when he was allegedly crucified – Jesus Christ. Through Vespasian’s deification, he became a “god,” and Titus, the “son of god.”
Most scholars believe that the Apostle Paul’s epistles are the earliest known writings on Christianity, composed around 50-60 C.E. While it is debatable whether or not this dating of Paul’s epistles is accurate to begin with, even if they are, Paul – given his zealous religious fervor could have easily and likely been among those Jewish messianic zealots who contributed to these early messianic ideas about a “Christ Jesus” which eventually made their way into the “official” Gospel story as recorded by Rome. Rome was a master of absorbing foreign customs and religions into their own culture, and so the idea they could have “absorbed” and implemented already existing Jewish messianic tales, legends, and heroes into their own version of these ideas by molding and crafting them into a new religion to suit their purposes is not at all surprising. Rome tried to control Judaism for years before the Flavians – dating back to the previous Roman Julio-Claudian dynasty, even to the point of hand picking the Jewish religious leaders – including the high priest. Given that, it is not at all implausible that Paul, being a Roman citizen like Josephus, could have also been working for the Romans, although unlike Josephus, under the Julio-Claudian dynasty, who wrote before the First Jewish-Roman War about a “Christ Jesus” whose story would be later fleshed out in the Gospels. In fact, in the book, “Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity,” it is suggested the Apostle Paul may have been working for Rome to infiltrate the messianic movement, with the mission of promoting a more benign form of Judaism, or “Pauline Christianity,” which is the pacifist, tax-paying, obedient to slave masters version of Roman Christianity that exists today. Robert Eisenman, who is an American biblical scholar, archeologist, theoretical writer, and historian, who led the campaign to free up access to the “Dead Sea Scrolls,” and is the author of numerous books, including “James the Brother of Jesus,” speaks in his work of a great theological conflict between the pacifist faction of Pauline Christianity, and the militant messianic faction of James the Just – or James, the “brother of Jesus,” which may well be a description of him being a “brother” in terms of being a close associate to Jesus in the messianic cause rather than an actual blood relative. This ideological conflict is evident in the New Testament itself, with Paul continually admonishing his followers to beware of “false prophets,” and “false doctrine,” and sometimes attacking the practice of religious male circumcision, arguing that Gentile converts need not follow Jewish customs such as dietary restrictions, and Mosaic law, preaching “faith alone” is the way to salvation rather than works. This “Pauline” version of Judaism was radically different from the James version of messianic Judaism in almost every way, which made conflict between the two camps inevitable. Eisenman reads the documents of the Scrolls as militant, nationalistic, and zealous. This reading, along with Eisenman’s identification of James the Just with the “teacher of righteousness” described in the Scrolls, makes it clear had he been a true “brother of the Lord,” then both he and Jesus would have been militant, messianic zealots, and not peace-loving pacifists of the Pauline New Testament, as we will later explore and re-discover in more depth when comparing the New Testament apostles Simon Peter and John to their militant messianic counterparts in the works of Josephus. Also noteworthy is the fact that Eisenman identifies the “wicked priest” in the scroll community as Priest Ananus ben Ananus, James’ executioner, and the “man of lying” in the scroll community as the Apostle St. Paul. One can see how the scroll community would have perceived Paul as a traitor and a liar, as well as a sell-out to Pagan ways, who became, as Paul himself admitted, “all things to all people” to win converts over to this pacifistic version of Judaism and it’s fraudulent peace-loving version of Jesus. We will later see how Josephus also described Paul as among “wicked priests” within his work, “Antiquities of the Jews,” in one of the tales immediately after the famous “Testimonium Flavianum.” The fact Paul knows nothing in his epistles of Jesus’ miracles, Sermon on the Mount, the nativity, or any of the parables Jesus told to teach about the Kingdom of God makes sense if the Gospels did not yet exist when Paul wrote his epistles. Paul’s likely collaboration with Rome as an infiltrator of the Jewish messianic movement to help assist in undermining this militant movement, explains how Paul’s epistles could have existed before the First Jewish-Roman War, and how “Christianity before the Flavians” could have happened while not undermining the likelihood of the Gospels themselves being produced by the Flavians. They simply could have carried on the work of those who had gone before them – to “finish the job” if you will, by officially putting an end to Judaism in the Roman Empire, starting with the promotion and implementation of the Empire-friendly version of Roman Christianity. Despite their differences, the goals of the Julio-Claudian and Flavian dynasties would have been the same with regards to messianic Judaism – the adherents of which waged a century-long war against Rome.
The Romans were masters of controlling their subjects by inventing ingenious means to perpetuate their power and control over them. The Roman poet Juvenal coined the phrase “bread and circuses” as a metaphor to describe the superficial means of appeasement, or the creation of public approval not through exemplary or excellent public service or policy, but through diversion and distraction, satisfying the immediate and shallow requirements of the masses. This is what the construction of the Coliseum by Vespasian Flavius and his son Titus was all about. It is difficult to imagine a more profoundly iconic and powerful legacy of vicious deception than what the Roman Flavian family left behind with the invention of Christianity and the Coliseum – the most popular religion in the world, combined with the most iconic structure symbolizing the power and might of Rome. They not only created magnificent structures and games, which would sometimes feature ingeniously cruel forms of public executions, but they also invented religions and imperial cults to invoke “fear” and “wonder” in the populace to keep them in obedience to the will of the authoritative power structure. Within a world of such immense superstition and ignorance, religion was a perfect tool to control the poor, the sick, the suffering, potential zealous “troublemakers,” and all those subjects and slaves of Rome who had no hope for a better life. For such people, the message of a “Messiah” who promised “the last shall be first, and the first last,” and ideas such as “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God,” the notion of a God who judges the wicked and rewards the “righteous,” with the prospect of “eternal life” for all those who “believe,” and eternal torment for those who don’t, must have been incredibly compelling indeed.
It is important to note the fact that in Old Testament Judaism, the traditional concept of the afterlife as known in Christianity is absent. Ecclesiastes 9:10 speaks to this fact.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”
In the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve are told by God they will die, not that they will be sent to Hell nor die a “spiritual death” for all eternity. They are simply told, in Genesis 3:19.
“For dust you are and to dust you will return.”
In the story of David’s sins of adultery and murder in his involvement with Bathsheba, he is not told he will be sent to Hell for his sins, but accepts the death of the child he fathered with Bathsheba as his “punishment.” It is only with the advent of Christianity, and its “pacifist Messiah” Jesus that the traditional notions of “Heaven” and “Hell” as we have come to understand them appear in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It is an amazing contradiction a man so famously known for his “compassion, forgiveness, and love” was such a passionate spokesman for what is perhaps the most inhumane concept ever conceived – the concept of Hell – a concept totally inconsistent with Jesus’ advice to “love your enemies” and “turn the other cheek,” which is a moral standard that apparently applies only to people, but not to “God,” or more accurately – Rome – the power structure which insidiously utilized this concept to manipulate and control its subjects. This is exactly the kind of coercive tool Rome needed to ensure the obedience of its slaves and subjects. By distracting the masses with promises of “eternal life” for those who “obey” the established religion, the Romans could minimize rebellion by convincing their subjects they would get a pleasant “reward” for all eternity for “good behavior” (non-rebellion), as well as eternal torment for those who did not obey (rebellion). The ingeniousness and simplicity of this manipulative tool is very easy to see. By making false promises of “afterlife justice,” the Romans enabled those subjects who bought in to this false religion to tolerate injustice and cruel treatment since “something better” awaited them after death. While these ideas must have been incredibly appealing and compelling to those first-century people who lived and died under the tyrannical Roman Empire, these ideas are still compelling to humanity today, many of whom continue to swallow these tales hook, line, and sinker, simply because we are taught these things are true, and because we want to believe they are true, not because there is any actual legitimate evidence to prove these notions as fact.
Once again we see the rich and powerful taking advantage of the gullible and vulnerable by using the oldest manipulative trick in the book – insidiously catering to deep, primal ego needs and humanity’s greatest hopes and fears. Unlike the manipulative and coercive games of fundamentalist religion, True “religion” if we want to call it that, seeks to educate and enlighten individuals through genuine truth-seeking by asking questions and finding truth based on evidence. Obviously, neither Rome nor the Catholic Church ever had any interest in truth, but in obedience to their unquestioned authority. This is perhaps the most damning argument of all against the so-called “truth” of Christianity, because regardless of who wrote the “holy four” Gospels in the Bible, their purposes are blatantly stated within the texts themselves – to have us be enslaved to authority without question – calling that authority “God,” and His “institution” on Earth – the Church. And while the inventors of this religion cleverly called this authority “God,” it actually was, as it always is – the authority of the power structure itself – the one which created this god for its own convenience which was and is glorified and worshiped, not some “divine Deity” who desires our praise of Him.
That is how, if the Caesar’s Messiah theory is correct, the Romans ingeniously controlled and split the Jewish people, coercing many of them into worshiping Caesar without them being aware of the fact. The Gospel writers even go so far as to satirically refer to this in the words of the chief Jewish priests, from John 19:15.
“We have no king but Caesar.”
Those Jewish sheep who bought in to this new pacifist version of Judaism had the proverbial wool pulled over their eyes by the Romans, along with the help of some of their own people who cooperated with Rome, such as Josephus Flavius, and as stated previously, members of the two powerful ruling Hellenized Jewish families – the Herods and Alexanders, who at the time of the Flavian dynasty, ruled over the region between Egypt and Syria. Like the Roman Flavians, these families shared a financial and political interest in containing the disruptive messianic Jewish movement, and therefore had the motivation to help sell out their own people and religion by inventing a “pacifist Messiah” to replace the movement’s awaited militant warrior Messiah of the “Dead Sea Scrolls.” They had not only the motivation, but as stated previously – the knowledge of Judaic scripture and philosophy necessary to create the Gospels, especially with such close connections to individuals like the great Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria, who as stated previously, was the uncle of Tiberius Alexander – Titus’ second in command during the siege of Jerusalem. The invention of this “pacifist Messiah” was accomplished by putting a Jewish mask named Jesus Christ on the face of the Roman’s god of Caesar – Titus Flavius. Those who worshiped Jesus, were actually worshiping Titus without knowing it, because the Jesus Christ character in the Gospels is fictional, since he was created as a typological character, meaning, the Jesus character was based on a “type,” sharing similar, albeit satirical experiences and characteristics to Titus in Josephus’ book, “Wars of the Jews.” This typological relationship between Jesus and Titus was created in much the same way archetypes and stereotypes are used in literature, such as the “hero,” the “villain,” the “trickster,” etc. This brings to mind Mozart’s final opera “La Clemenza di Tito,” whose plot portrays Titus Flavius as a sympathetic and forgiving ruler, based quite loosely on history, as was typical in opera libretti at that time which attempted to portray historical events and characters. Titus’ portrayal as a merciful despot, who forgives a close friend for attempting to assassinate him, was no doubt a political decision by the commissioners since this opera was to be a new work to celebrate the coronation of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, as King of Bohemia. Mozart, a committed Catholic, would have been horrified and almost certainly offended greatly by the Caesar’s Messiah theory that the very man upon whom his final opera was based – Titus Flavius, was actually the real-life man behind the supposed founder of his faith – Jesus Christ.
How do we know for certain that Jesus was a fictional, typological character invented as a satirical version of Titus Flavius in “Wars of the Jews” by Josephus? Because Jesus shares satirically similar experiences, words, and actions as Titus, at the same locations and in the same sequence in the Gospels as they occur with Titus in “Wars of the Jews.” These parallels between the two works are too precise to have occurred by chance, meaning the relationship was deliberately created to illustrate a point, as is the case with all typological and/or satirical relationships in literature. This means those who worship Jesus today are also unwittingly worshiping Titus as Jesus, Titus’ father Vespasian as God, and Titus’ brother Domitian as the “Holy Spirit.” The Christian concept of the trinity as three persons of one God was based on the three Roman Flavian emperors who each represented an aspect of the trinity, and were three persons of one Caesar, not a “supernatural” one God or deity. The true identities behind the masks created by the Gospel writers can only be revealed by solving multiple puzzles contained within the texts of the Gospels and the writings of Josephus.
Even without these striking parallels between Jesus and Titus, the parallels between Jesus and other mythical gods throughout history, such as Dionysus, Hercules, and Horus being born of a virgin as the son of a god on December 25th, performing miracles for the betterment of humankind, dying and rising back to life, to name just a few, are far too precise to have been created by accident, and was obviously common knowledge drawn upon by the Gospel writers in the creation of their own version of the universal “savior myth.” Contrary to the opinion of most modern Christians, the essential elements of the Jesus story are not unique to Christianity, and are in fact rehashes of what had already been established within several myths long before it. All of these facts drive home the ultimate point – Jesus was not a historical person, but a fictional character based on a “type,” whether it was Titus, Horus, Dionysus, or all or some of the above. The parallels are too blatant and too obvious to reasonably believe otherwise.
If the Flavians invented Christianity for their own manipulative purposes, than Josephus’ words on the supposed “historicity” of Jesus Christ as found in his “Testimonium Flavianum” makes sense, since it would be in the interests of Rome for him to create this illusion since the last thing the creators of a fraudulent religion would want to do is reveal the truth of its fraudulence to prospective converts. This is why Josephus created the “Testimonium” to be a part of a puzzle – so the educated, through solving the puzzle, could understand the religion’s fraudulent origins, while hiding the fact from the ignorant, who would not perceive the puzzle, believing the “Testimonium” and the two tales which immediately follow it in “Antiquities of the Jews” to be unrelated and separate tales. This is what virtually every scholar has done throughout history, which is why the “Testimonium” is almost universally misunderstood to be either a fraud or partial fraud, or “official documentation” for the historical existence of Jesus Christ. Here is the full text of the “Testimonium Flavianum.”
“About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”
While some Christian scholars will cite Josephus’ “Testimonium” as true “historical documentation” for the existence of Jesus Christ by a non-Christian third party, it is actually just one piece of a three-part puzzle created by Josephus within “Antiquities” to satirically document the true facts of Christianity’s fraudulent origins, since the parallel tales after the “Testimonium” satirically and metaphorically describe how would-be militant Jews were “had” by the Roman strategy of tricking them into buying their fraudulent pacifist Judaism. Josephus ingeniously documents this in the first tale after the “Testimonium” by describing a man who tries to seduce a woman into sleeping with him by offering her money and presents, but is rejected by her since she cannot be bought, as she is a woman of integrity. The man then uses the woman’s weakness for religion to trick her into sleeping with him when he pretends to be a god whom she admires, who three days after sleeping with her then reveals himself to not be the god who he disguised himself to be, making a “third day divinity declaration” of not being a god – the exact mirror opposite of Jesus’ “third day divinity declaration” to reveal he is a god three days after his crucifixion when he rises from the dead. The meaning of this tale is clear – the woman (Judea) is desired by a man (Rome). But the woman cannot be bought, so the man, knowing the woman’s weakness for religion, resorts to tricking her into believing he is an authentic god to seduce her, when in reality he is a false god – the pacifist Messiah Jesus Christ, posing as the “real God” – the true militant Messiah of Judaism. Said another way, Rome could not make the Jews worship Caesar as a god, since they had the integrity not to worship him, even after being tortured, so to circumvent the Jewish religious stubbornness, they tricked the Jews into worshipping Caesar by creating a Romanized Messiah (Jesus Christ) posturing as the authentic Jewish Messiah. In worshipping the false Romanized Messiah, the Jews unwittingly worshipped Caesar.
The second tale after the “Testimonium” speaks of “wicked priests” who helped to carry out the plot of spreading the “good news” of the fraudulent Judaism. The Apostle Paul was almost certainly one of these “wicked priests,” as he is described in this tale as “a Jew who was driven away from his own country and had had accusations laid against him for transgressing the laws of the Jews, and was known to have lived at Rome.” He is also satirically referred to with the name “Paulina” in the first tale after the “Testimonium.” The three stories are clearly linked together by these intertextual relationships. The very presence of a “third day divinity declaration” appearing in the first tale after the “Testimonium” is a dead giveaway of the link between those two tales, since the only two “third day divinity declarations” in all of known literature could not have appeared next to each other by pure chance. The third tale links back to the second by numerous parallels of women of integrity being tricked, whose husbands have the same names, and who both know the Emperor Tiberius. Tales two and three are therefore interchangeable, and are therefore both linked to the “Testimonium.” Contrary to the belief of many Christian apologists, including the opinion of William Whiston, who wrote a translation of Josephus’ complete works, Josephus was never a “closet Christian.” He was a Jewish turncoat and an adopted Flavian who was their “official historian,” and one of their very best and most loyal propagandists. Josephus was just one of several members of the intellectual circle of the Roman propaganda machine responsible for creating the Christ myth as found in the Gospels, and inventing or at least re-inventing Christianity for the benefit of Rome.
Like Josephus, Paul was also a Roman citizen, and a part of this Roman propaganda machine. At the same time, he sometimes described himself as “a slave in chains,” and the New Testament says he spent a good deal of time in prison as well, although as James S. Valliant and C.W. Fahy point out in their book, Paul was suspiciously well taken care of while in prison – something that would not have happened had Paul been a genuine messianic zealot, which he could not have been as a citizen of Rome – the very nation with which the Jews were engaged in a century-long war. His circumstances appear contradictory at times – being known as a citizen and yet calling himself a “slave” at the same time, although this description of him being a “slave” could have also been a metaphor to him being a slave to “Christ,” or ultimately, Caesar, who wore the Christ mask. As stated previously, even Roman citizens were in a sense “slaves” in that they had to proclaim their allegiance to Caesar and recognize his “divinity.” Putting the Christ mask on Caesar was a way Rome could trick uneducated Jews and slaves into worshiping Caesar as a god without them being aware of the fact. As for Paul, he is a bit of an enigma whose words appear sometimes brilliant and enlightened and other times remarkably ignorant and absurd. The impression of multiple “personalities” at work, of different “voices” and seemingly contradictory agendas which can be heard in the character of Paul throughout the New Testament, make it seem quite possible that if he was based on a historical person, he was almost certainly fictionalized by the Romans, just as we will explore in more depth shortly, how the historical Jewish messianic zealots Simon and John were also almost certainly fictionalized by the Romans when they were turned into the pacifist Christian apostles “Simon Peter” and “John” in the Gospels. Like Josephus, Paul was also a Jewish sellout utilized by Rome. Paul shows a two-faced tendency in his writings similar to Josephus, justifying his positions no matter how contradictory they may be. Paul even went so far as to admit he became “all things to all people,” in 1 Corinthinans 9:22. While Paul was referring to the need to become “like others” to win them over to Christ, this is not what those members of the authentic, uncompromising, militant messianic Jewish movement of James the Just would have done. Of course, Paul would become all things to all people to win people over to “Christ” – or Roman rule, since he was used by Rome to promote their Jesus cult through his epistles. Had the original documents of these epistles been in existence prior to the Gospels as is commonly believed, and Paul was writing as a messianic Jewish zealot and not as an agent of Rome, then the Romans would have later transformed them into the “Romanized,” “official” versions as found in the New Testament to suit their purposes as they did with the Jewish militant Messiah of the “Dead Sea Scrolls” by turning him into the pacifist Messiah Jesus of the Gospels. However it is much more likely, as stated previously, that Paul was in fact, working for the Romans as an infiltrator of the messianic movement, and his epistles were simply an earlier form of Roman propaganda during the Julio-Claudian period, which would be greatly expanded later on in the four Gospels, created during the Flavian dynastic rule. The implications of this of course, is that Paul could have been working for the Romans for a time under the notorious Emperor Nero, who is said to have ruthlessly persecuted Christians by burning them alive as torches. As we will explore in more depth later on, this “persecution of Christians” at this time was in reality the persecution of messianic Jewish rebels who waged war against Rome, as the historical Simon was. It would make sense, if Paul was an agent of Rome, he would have worked for the cause to persecute these “Christians,” or followers of their “Christ” – meaning, any messianic figure who would lead the Jews militarily against Rome – not the Jesus Christ character of the Gospels.
Regardless of the true facts about who the Apostle Paul was and what he did or did not write, the fact is, the writings of Paul account for just under a third of the New Testament – about 28% – more than any other single writer of the New Testament. Whether actually composed by Paul or not, the work now attributed to Paul was considered important enough by the Roman Catholic Church to include them in the New Testament – something they would have never authorized had Paul’s work not supported their dogmatic, theological agenda. Thus we can see Paul was not a man “blinded by the light” in a Christ conversion as he was fictionally described in the book of Acts, but was in fact and ultimately, a tool of Rome, regardless of whether he was working directly for Rome or was a messianic Jewish zealot. If Paul did experience a “conversion,” than it was not due to his seeing a vision of Christ, but rather a realization or a “vision” of the fact that the future now belonged to Roman Christianity, and Judaism was becoming obsolete. His “conversion” was therefore due to practical and political motivations – purely “worldly” reasons, not a “spiritual” reason.
Joseph Atwill posits the fascinating and compelling idea that the messianic zealots Simon and John from “Wars of the Jews” were changed into the Christian apostles Simon Peter and John in the Gospels, and were satirically depicted as the two “demoniacs” of Gadara in the Gospel of Matthew version of the story in which the demons are sent into pigs and drowned, with two other versions of this story found in the Gospels of Mark and Luke. Interestingly enough, only in the Matthew 8:28-34 passage are there two demoniacs, who are satirically linked to Simon and John of the rebellion in “Wars of the Jews”- “possessed by demons” if you will, or “infected by a rebellious spirit” in the eyes of Rome. In the other two synoptic Gospels of Mark and Luke, there is only one demoniac. In Mark 5: 18-19, when the former demoniac finally came to his senses after the demons had been driven from him into the herd of pigs, the man pleaded with Jesus to be allowed to stay with him, and Jesus told him to go home and tell everyone what good his patron had done for him and the mercy shown to him. On a side note this is interesting because it contradicts the several other times when Jesus instructed those whom he cured to not tell anyone about what happened to them. However, since even apologists and theologians agree that nothing is inadvertent in the Gospels, it is useful to find a potential meaning behind why Jesus told him to spread the “good news.” Mark 5:20 describes how this ex-demoniac spread the “good news.”
“And he went away and started spreading the news in the Decapolis about what Jesus had done for him, and everybody would marvel.”
Atwill posits this passage is a lampoon of the Jewish messianic rebel leader John, who would later be turned into John the disciple of Jesus Christ in the Gospels, who tradition has it, wrote one of the Gospels. It is possible the captured Jewish zealot John may have been forced by Rome to assist them in the creation of their fraudulent Gospels – to tell of the “good news” of Rome, as the former demoniac in the Mark passage also “spread the news in the Decapolis about what Jesus had done for him.” It is possible the Apostle Paul could have also been forced by Rome to promote Roman Christianity through his epistles if they originated after their often estimated date of 50-60 C.E. As stated previously however, it is much more likely Paul was an agent of Rome employed to infiltrate and help destroy messianic Judaism by preaching a pacifistic version of Judaism – (Christianity), as described in Paul’s epistles that would be friendly to Rome. The battle between the pacifist camp of Paul and the militant camp of James the Just was obviously won by Paul’s camp, since his is the version of Christianity we have today. As stated in the book, “Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity,” Paul was eventually executed under Nero not because of his zealous religious fervor or because he was a follower of Jesus, but because he had become expendable once the leader of the militant messianic Jewish movement James the Just was murdered.
It could also be said the single demoniac from the Mark and Luke versions of the story is a composite satirical character of both Simon and John, since the demoniac in Mark 5:5 is described “among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.” The Jewish zealots Simon and John in “Wars of the Jews” hid themselves in the “tombs” under the city, as others did, only to come out once the Roman army got within the city walls, which metaphorically represents the “resurrection of the dead” that is supposed to happen at “the end of the age” when all will rise up from their tombs to be brought before the Lord (Titus) to be judged. The entire story of the “final judgment” found in the book of Revelations is a satire of the Jews’ “final judgment” at the hands of Vespasian’s army led by his son Titus at the end of the First Jewish-Roman War, and has nothing to do with some future doomsday occurrence as commonly believed. Josephus’ Wars 7.2:26 describes the event from which the satirical version of Mark 5:5 was based.
“This Simon, during the siege of Jerusalem, was in the upper city; but when the Roman army was gotten within the walls, and were laying the city waste, he then took the most faithful of his friends with him, and among them some that were stonecutters, with those iron tools which belonged to their occupation.”
As Atwill points out, one who cuts themselves with stones, as said in the Mark passage is a “stonecutter” from the Josephus passage. Both Simon and John were “stonecutters,” but the name has special significance for Simon, whose character in the New Testament was nicknamed by Jesus in the Gospels after another type of stone – Peter, which means “rock.” The ingenious satirical black humor of the wordplay in the Gospels is striking. If the demoniacs are satires of Simon and John, then since John lived to tell the tale of his salvation in the Decapolis, the other would have been Peter, who was not spared, but sent to Rome to be executed. The fate of these two disciples is revealed in John 21:18-22.
“Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” Peter turned and saw that disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
The parallel to the battle of Gadara story in “Wars of the Jews” also has the same number of Jews taken prisoner – two thousand two-hundred, compared to the “about two thousand” pigs who drowned in the sea after being infected by the demons in the Gospels. The darkly satirical and insulting portrayal of Jews as pigs, or swine (animals considered by Jews “unclean,” as demons were also known in Biblical literature to be “unclean” spirits), who are “infected” by the “wickedness of rebellion” or “possessed by demons,” is easy to see when one considers these stories happen at the same location, feature the same number of swine/Jews drowned/captured, the name of “Legion” for the name of the demon, which is a name for a component of an army, and is also about the same general size as Josephus’ description of a legion-sized group of rebels in this parallel story in a passage from Wars 4.7.2:408.
“…too small for an army, and too many for a gang of thieves.”
These details between Josephus and the Gospels, combined with one more detail in both stories of a group “racing wildly” into the water and perishing, are too uniquely close and the sequence too precise to have occurred by accident. The Gospel story of the demons of Gadara is a satire of the battle of Gadara story in “Wars of the Jews.” When seen in the light of Josephus’ work, this seemingly incoherent Bible story suddenly makes sense, as is so often the case when comparing parallel tales between the works of Josephus and the Gospels. The Gospel version of the story is simply a darkly symbolic satire of the Josephus version, which states that Simon and John were the “unclean spirits” or “demons” who “infected” the group of pigs, or Jews who were recruited into their rebellious cause against the Romans. The drowning “pigs” represent the captured/drowning Jews when they were defeated by the Romans in the battle of Gadara.
What is perhaps most striking of all is Josephus’ story in “Wars of the Jews” of a human Passover lamb – the only known piece of literature besides the Gospels which tell the tale of a human Passover lamb, which alone makes their connection certain beyond a shadow of a doubt. Like so many of the parallels between Josephus and the Gospels, this parallel is again too unusual and precise to be mere coincidence, especially when we consider the fact that both stories involve a mother by the name of Mary, the sacrifice of her child as a human Passover lamb in the city of Jerusalem during Passover, and the eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood. It is interesting to note that the name “Mary” in Hebrew is “Miriam,” which means “rebellious,” and the name “Mary” is “Martha” in Aramaic. It is also interesting to note how many Marys and Marthas are close to Jesus in the Gospels. Mary and Martha are essentially the same name – both of which can mean “rebellious,” or “bitter.” While this might seem sacrilegious to name Jesus’ mother – the symbol of purity and Godliness “rebellious” or “bitter,” this again makes sense when we look at the Gospels not as history, but as Roman propaganda denigrating the “rebellious” Jews through their fraudulent religious literature. They even used ingenious wordplay by the very naming of the women closest to Jesus “rebellious.” What is particularly striking about Josephus’ story is that Mary, the mother of the child, is forced by starvation from the Roman siege of Jerusalem to eat her child – literally fulfilling the seemingly “symbolic” prophecy of Jesus Christ at the Last Supper telling his disciples to eat his flesh and drink his blood. This grotesque story is the literal fulfillment of Jesus’ prophetic words, since those trapped within the city walls of Jerusalem during the siege eventually had to resort to cannibalism since they did not have enough food to eat. Not only is this story grotesque, but it is also an extremely demoralizing depiction of how the Jews, who usually follow strict dietary restrictions, especially to not eat pork, were reduced to eating human flesh.
Time and again throughout the Gospels and the works of Josephus, Jesus prophesies an event that literally takes place in Josephus, whether it is the “Son of Man” coming to destroy the temple with not one stone left upon another, the encircling of Jerusalem with a wall, the towns of Galilee brought low, three being crucified while one survives, the sacrifice and the eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood of a human Passover lamb, who is a son of a woman named Mary. Again – these blatant parallels among many others between the Gospels and Josephus, are too close and precise to have been created by accident. Part of why we know this “son of Mary” in “Wars of the Jews” is a human Passover lamb can be found from Wars 6.3.4:201.
“There was a certain woman that dwelt beyond Jordan, her name was Mary; her father was Eleazar, of the village Bethezub, which signifies the house of Hyssop.”
Hyssop is an evergreen bushy herb often referenced in the Bible as a cleansing agent – one that God instructed the Israelites to use as a kind of “paintbrush” to mark their doorposts with lamb’s blood so the angel of death would pass over them. The cleansing nature of hyssop symbolized the cleansing of the Israelites from God’s judgment of the Egyptians through the blood of the lamb, as this would also be the case in Christian symbolism of Jesus being the perfect human Passover Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world through his redemptive blood sacrifice on the cross during Passover. At Jesus’ crucifixion, the Roman soldiers offered Jesus a drink of wine and vinegar on a sponge at the end of a stalk of hyssop. Again – the typological relationship between the Old and New Testament is blatant in order to illustrate the intended symbolic relationship between the two, and the idea the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old.
There is another darker, sinister element to this grotesque story told by Josephus as found in Wars 6.3.4:205-208.
“and snatching up her son, who was a child sucking at her breast, she said, “O thou miserable infant! For whom shall I preserve thee in this war, this famine, and this sedition? As to the war with the Romans, if they preserve our lives, we must be slaves! This famine also will destroy us, even before that slavery comes upon us:- yet are these seditious rogues more terrible than both the other. Come on; be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets and a byword to the world, which is all that is now wanting to complete the calamities of us Jews.” As soon as she had said this she slew her son; and then roasted him, and ate the one half of him, and kept the other half by her concealed.”
The implications of this Josephus passage are immense. The fact Mary roasts her son is significant since Passover lambs were to be roasted in their preparation as food as instructed by God, further emphasizing this child was a human Passover lamb. This passage also illustrates the fact that this human Passover lamb is described in the words of his own mother as “a fury to these seditious varlets and a byword to the world.” The “seditious varlets” and “seditious rogues” referenced in this passage are the Jews themselves, as described by Mary herself, and the phrase “byword to the world” as she describes her son uses “byword,” defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a proverb, or one that personifies a type – precisely what we discovered earlier about Jesus being a “type,” or a mythical character rather than a literal, historical person. So here in this profoundly damning passage of Josephus, we have a literal confession not only of the creation of the myth of Jesus, but also the fact he was invented to be a “fury” to the Jews. To put it simply – to be the foundation of anti-Semitism – the “calamities of us Jews.”
If Joseph Atwill’s theory is correct, the Gospels were written as a satire of Titus’ military campaign in Judea as described in “Wars of the Jews.” The actual meaning of the word “gospel” is “good news of military victory.” While this definition may initially not make sense from a traditional interpretation of the Gospels, it makes perfect sense when seen for what they are – typological stories metaphorically representing the military victories of the Titus-led Roman Empire against the Jews – such as in the before mentioned example of the battle of Gadara. Two excellent examples of the kind of “black humor” the Romans would sometimes utilize in these typological stories to sadistically illustrate their point, involve the “miracle” story of the loaves and fishes in the Gospels, and Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding. Jesus turns five barley loaves and two fish into a feast so large, there are baskets of leftovers after five thousand people are fed. When Roman soldiers would lay siege to a city such as they did to Jerusalem in 70 C.E., they would use a technique called “loaves and fishes,” in which they would bake bread with fecal matter mixed into it and would amputate the penises of captured citizens of the city and throw the “loaves and fishes” over the besieged city’s walls to “feed” the starving inhabitants of the city. The Roman slang word for “penis” was “fish.” The Gospel story of Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine, was a satirical rendition of the cruel practice of Roman soldiers “turning water into wine” by urinating into water they would give to the citizens dying of thirst. So while the citizens and visitors of Jerusalem the Romans besieged were dying of thirst and starvation, the Romans would “feed” them with human waste and amputated penises, and then satirize the fact they did this in stories designed to trick the Jewish people into believing whatever the Roman propaganda machine wanted them to believe, while poking fun of them at the same time. The Romans had an almost unthinkable level of barbaric sadistic viciousness and cruelty towards their enemies. Not only did the Romans trick many Jewish people to buy in to their fraudulent religion, they did so by using black humor to add insult to injury, humiliating and poking fun of the Jews by basing the stories of their Messiah on the Roman Emperor Titus Flavius’ successful military campaign against them, so those Jews who adhered to this god would inadvertently call Caesar “Lord.” From this perspective, Christianity is not a worldwide religion which grew from the spiritual teachings of the messianic “Son of God,” but was created by its inventors as a kind of cruel “inside joke” on the Jewish people, by turning their long-awaited original militant warrior Messiah of the Scrolls into a pacifist one of the Gospels which would serve Roman interests.
This cruel joke involved creating a new religion back-dating the start of this “pacifist Messiah” Jesus’ ministry to 30 C.E., exactly 40 years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. These dates, including the date of Christ’s birth, were invented by Josephus and the Gospel writers to make it seem as if the timeframes and prophesies in the book of Daniel from the Old Testament, foreseeing the Messiah, came to pass in the life and ministry of Jesus, while also showing the fulfillment of the “abomination of desolation” both Daniel and Jesus spoke of with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 C.E. Josephus and the Gospel writers had the amazing luxury of being able to literally invent time to suit their purposes because the modern calendar as we know it today did not exist at the time it was invented by Josephus and the Gospel writers. In other words, at the time it actually was 70 C.E., nobody knew it was 70 C.E. This made it remarkably convenient for the Gospel writers and Josephus to invent history and its timeframes any way they liked to suit their agendas. Our modern calendar and system of dating as we know it was created and measured against the event of the historical destruction of Jerusalem, and not the mythical birth of Jesus as is commonly believed. Jesus’ birth year was back-calculated from the destruction of Jerusalem to be aligned with Daniel’s prophetic timeframes, and was not the actual year of the literal physical birth of an historical Jesus. The creation of the 40 year timeframe between the start of Jesus’ ministry and the destruction of Jerusalem also served to illustrate a clear typological parallel to the 40 years of “wandering” in the wilderness by the Israelites with Moses in the Old Testament book of Exodus.
While Jesus’ ministry was based on the “type” of Titus’ military campaign, Jesus’ birth and childhood were typologically based on the story of Moses. We know this because Jesus and Moses share similar childhood and “coming of age” experiences, and in the same sequence, such as the journey of a Joseph to Egypt, a massacre of innocents, a passing through water in “baptism,” 40 days in the desert, to parallel the 40 years of the Israelites’ wandering in the wilderness, with three parallel sets of temptations. This typological relationship was created to link Judaism with Christianity, and give the impression Christianity had grown directly from Judaism, and was the fulfillment of Judaic prophesy, with Jesus being the “second savior of Israel,” paralleling Moses as the “first savior of Israel.” Perhaps most importantly, this back-dating was also created to give readers the impression Jesus was “divine” by “proving” he could “see into the future” when his “prophesies” “came to pass” as it were, in the written histories as recorded by Josephus. The reason Jesus’ “prophecies” were so “accurate” is because the events he “predicted” had already happened when they were written by the Gospel writers. Even most Biblical scholars agree the Gospels’ origination date to be around 70 – 90 or so C.E., during the time of the Roman Flavian dynastic rule, after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple Jesus had “predicted” would come to pass.
The “second coming” Jesus referred to in the Gospels was not the return of himself in the far-off future, as most modern Christians understand it, but “foreshadowed” the coming of the “Son of Man” – Titus Flavius, the true “Christ,” during the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 C.E., with not one stone left upon another, as Jesus had “foreseen.” Jesus himself said the present generation, understood in his time as a 40-year period, would not pass away before the prophesied events would come to pass. They did indeed come to pass, not coincidentally, exactly within that 40-year time period from the start of Jesus’ ministry in 30 C.E., with the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Titus-led Roman army in 70 C.E., ushering in a new era, and the “end of the age” as Jesus spoke of. This “end of the age” was essentially the end of Judaism, and the dawn of Christianity. If Christians today realized the “second coming” has already happened, and that it was Titus, not Jesus who was the True “Son of Man” coming on the “clouds of glory,” they would find themselves in an awkward position to say the least.
The events of Jesus’ ministry as recorded in the Gospels were not only metaphoric representations of the events and military victories against the Jews in Titus’ military campaign as described in “Wars of the Jews,” but were written in the same sequence at the same locations. As we discovered previously in just one of several examples Joseph Atwill explores in “Caesar’s Messiah” – the “demons of Gadara” story of the Gospels compared to the “battle of Gadara” story of Josephus; the many parallel events and locations, and especially the same sequence of these events as found in “Wars of the Jews” and the Gospels, are too precise to have been created by accident. Even if one was to speculate the parallels are purely “coincidental,” they would not exist in the same sequence within the storyline if that was the case. The fact they appear in the same sequence proves one work was based on the other. Since Titus is a historically documented person who actually lived, while Jesus is not, then Jesus’ fictional ministry was based on Titus’ factual military campaign. Titus’ historical existence can be proven by multiple sources from the time he was alive, while not a single piece of historical evidence exists for Jesus from the time he supposedly lived. While Josephus certainly falsified history in “Wars of the Jews” to make the story “work” to “prove” Daniel’s prophesies “came to pass” in the campaign of Titus as Jesus had prophesied, it is still a historical fact backed by multiple sources that Titus was a historical person as the second of the three Roman Flavian emperors, whose Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 C.E.
The common belief that Josephus’ histories were written independently of the Gospels, as believed by William Whiston is incorrect, as the incredible number and complexity of the parallels, especially the sequence of those parallels between the works illustrate that the Gospel writers and Josephus were working to deliberately create a combined work to create the illusion of the “divine” fulfillment of Jesus’ prophesies, while also “proving” that Vespasian was the “true god” of his son Titus, who was in turn the “true Christ” behind the Jesus character in the Gospels. In fact, what the Gospels ultimately amount to is an enormously complex and ingenious satirical system with myriad puzzles embedded within their texts alongside “Wars of the Jews” by Josephus. As stated previously, this Roman project between the Gospel writers and Josephus would have in part served to “prove” the divinity of Vespasian before the Roman Senate, thus allowing for his legitimization as the next Roman emperor after Nero’s death. The Gospels were written in such a way as to be understood on at least two levels – one was the seemingly obvious surface narration of the story of Jesus’ ministry, and on another, it was to be read as a satire of Titus’ military campaign. The creators of Christianity knew the slave and uneducated populations for whom the religion was intended would only see the surface narration of the story, and miss the satirical meaning of the work. History has proven this to be true, and sheds a dark light on Jesus’ words from Luke 8:10 which describe this very intention.
“The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “though seeing, they may not see, though hearing, they may not understand.”
A god who would deliberately conceal truth from others is a god with no integrity, as Jesus shows himself to be in this passage. However, when we remember Jesus is actually speaking as Titus, the passage makes perfect sense coming from a narcissistic and manipulative Roman emperor. As we learned previously in the example of Josephus’“Testimonium” and the two tales which immediately follow it in “Antiquities,” the reason for the creation of these myriad puzzles was to inform the educated of the true origins and satirical meaning of the work, while hiding it from the unlearned and ignorant slaves for whom the religion was intended. The puzzles were created to keep the ignorant unaware they were following a fraudulent religion, while entertaining the educated with dark humor, poking fun of the Jewish people and slave populations who had been “had” by the brilliant creators of this religion for their own manipulative purposes. The words of Jesus reflect a darkly humorous twist on this fact, in speaking to the exact opposite of what was actually the case, from Matthew 11:25.
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, and revealed them to little children.”
Old Testament Judaic literature was meant to be read intertextually, whose meaning could only be understood through the recognition of numerous typological relationships, meaning the specific essential elements from a story from one book or chapter would give meaning to another by means of such things as common or parallel themes, locations, sequences, numerical associations, and archetypes. One would have to read carefully and possess the memory necessary to combine the elements from all of the books and chapters for the true meaning of the stories to be understood, instead of being read as separate, individual tales. The Gospel writers and Josephus were keenly aware of this fact, and ingeniously decided to implement this technique into their own literature, with the incredibly dark irony of making it the means by which those who read their work as they would have read Judaic literature, could discover the truth of the “new Judaism’s” fraudulence. As stated previously, this is why the “Testimonium Flavianum” is often incorrectly cited by Christian scholars as true “historical documentation” by a non-Christian third party for the existence of Jesus Christ. It is also the reason why many skeptics’ belief the “Testimonium” was later inserted or at least modified in “Antiquities” by Christian apologists to “prove” historical documentation for Christ is also incorrect. Had these scholars on either side of the argument read the “Testimonium” and the two tales which immediately follow it intertextually, as Josephus had intended, instead of ignoring as irrelevant the two tales after the “Testimonium,” they would have understood the three stories form a combined whole, whose meaning can only be understood when read as such.
Like the Judaic literature from the Old Testament – the Gospels, “Wars of the Jews,” and the writings of Josephus, were also meant to be read intertextually, as one complete work, in order to understand the true meaning of the work, instead of being read as individual tales to be taken only at face value, as virtually everyone reads the Gospels today. In fact, following the invention of the printing press, Latin editions of the Bible included “Wars of the Jews” as well as “Antiquities” by Josephus. By reading these stories individually rather than intertextually, their true meaning cannot be understood since each of the four Gospels and the writings of Josephus contain only partial information of a larger picture, which relies on additional information from the other Gospels and writings of Josephus for the complete and true story to be known, like multiple pieces of an enormously complex literary puzzle. As a result of this fact, all sources, all “angles” must be read and thoroughly examined as a whole to ascertain the true meaning of the combined work – that the Romans invented Christianity for the purpose of replacing radical militant Judaism with a “pacifist” version of Judaism which would serve the interests of Rome, complete with myriad clues embedded in different texts to inform posterity they had done so. Among these texts are the Gospels themselves, “Wars of the Jews,” “The Life of Flavius Josephus,” as well as “Antiquities of the Jews,” particularly the “Testimonium Flavianum,” and the two tales which immediately follow it in “Antiquities.”
Truth is always the whole, never a part or a fragment. The authors of the New Testament illustrated this truth ingeniously by creating a vast literary puzzle in which the truth could only be known when all sides and sources were considered. Only then could one be “permitted” to see the truth of the New Testament by expanding one’s mind and thinking “outside the box” – to be willing and able to think the “unthinkable.” Contrast this with the blind following of faith in authorities and quoting single scripture passages out of context by typical modern-day Christians, and the difference between the two approaches to truth are as different as night from day – black from white. It is the ultimate contrast between faith and reason, as these works challenge the reader to rise above blind faith and superstition, to an understanding of truth through rational thought and logic. There is one darkly humorous clue this was the intention of the authors of the Gospels and Josephus in a parallel between “The Life of Flavius Josephus” and the Gospels. In “The Life of Flavius Josephus,” the place where three men are crucified and one survives is named “Thecoa,” which means “Village of the Inquiring Mind.” In the Gospels, the place where Jesus and the two criminals are crucified is named “Golgotha,” which means “Place of the (empty) Skull.” If it was the authors’ intention to illustrate the point that reason and critical thinking is the authentic path to truth instead of blind faith, then it makes this work all the more astounding, especially in light of the fact virtually the entire world, especially Christians, only read the Gospels on one level, viewing them as a literal historical account instead of a satire. Most people only view these works as historical religious literature supposedly supporting factual supernatural claims and the necessity of faith to see the truth, instead of a satirical, secular psychological and intellectual device supporting the premise that truth can only be approached by looking at all sides of a problem through reason, logic, awareness, evidence and observation, instead of blind faith in authorities without evidence, belief in “miracles,” and hope in ideologies.
Quoting from one source alone can never tell the whole story. This fact is ingeniously metaphoric for what we all must do in our own lives to see the truth – to look at the bigger picture by examining multiple sources rather than sticking to a narrow focus, or limiting ourselves to only one source of information in order to be able to see the “forest through the trees” as it were. That is why the four canonical Gospels’ contradictions cannot be reconciled within themselves independent of the others, as is especially the case in the story of the empty tomb. While all four versions agree that Mary Magdalene is one of the first visitors to Jesus’ tomb, they disagree on numerous other critical details, several of which are impossible to have all actually happened since several statements of fact for these details contradict other statements of fact found in the other Gospels. Not only do each of them give a different time in the morning for the first visit to the tomb, but they also disagree whether Mary Magdalene is alone when she first arrives at the tomb, or with others, and how many individuals are either inside or outside the tomb when she arrives. They also disagree on whether or not the visitors to the tomb see men or angels. There is even disagreement between the Gospels as to whether or not Mary Magdalene even sees Jesus himself with her own eyes during the visit to the empty tomb, or only hears of his resurrection. In the Gospel of Luke, Mary hears of Jesus’ resurrection by two men, but never actually sees him with her own eyes. In the Gospel of Matthew, not only does Mary Magdalene see Jesus, but she and the other Mary are told by one angel of Jesus’ resurrection, and not told by two men as related in Luke. Also, in Matthew when the women actually do see Jesus, they clasp his feet, but are not told by Jesus not to hold on to him as he tells them in the Gospel of John. In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene sees Jesus with her own eyes as she does in Matthew, but unlike Matthew, she is told by Jesus to not hold on to him. The Gospel of Mark provides more contradictions not only between the other Gospels, but also within itself, first stating Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome visited the empty tomb, and saw one man who tell them of Jesus’ resurrection – not the “two men” from Luke, and not the “one angel” from Matthew, nor the two angels in John. Mark 16:9-20 was not even present in the earliest manuscripts of Mark, and probably should have been left out because it completely contradicts Mark 16:1-8 in which the women never actually see Jesus, and also say “nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” In Mark 16:9-20, not only does Mary Magdalene see Jesus, she also tells others.
As stated previously, all of these statements of fact as related by the different Gospel accounts cannot have all happened because many of them contradict each other. They not only contradict each other on seemingly trivial details, like the precise time in the morning when the first visit to the empty tomb took place, and whether Mary Magdalene clings or does not cling to Jesus, but on very important details, such as whether or not Mary Magdalene actually saw Jesus and told others. The inability to reconcile these contradictions between the different Gospel accounts, as well as the fact that nothing in the Gospels is inadvertent, as even Christian preachers and apologists claim, as stated previously, the critical reader is forced to therefore think “outside the box” and read them instead as a combined whole. Joseph Atwill brilliantly explores this concept in “Caesar’s Messiah.” It is a must read to get a thorough explanation of his findings – several of which I do not even mention in this chapter, but are fascinating to explore in his book. What is perhaps most intriguing in “Caesar’s Messiah” is Atwill’s interpretation of the resurrection story in the chapter entitled, “The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb.” Ultimately in his reading, the combined story reveals Jesus does not rise from the dead, but is mistaken to have risen when Mary Magdalene mistakes Lazarus’ empty tomb for that of Jesus. In the disciples’ confusion and overwrought emotional state, they mistake one another for “angels,” and delude themselves into believing Jesus has risen from the dead. This makes sense when we consider the fact from the different Gospel accounts there is no agreement on whether the visitors to the tomb see men or angels and how many of them they see, whether Mary Magdalene sees Jesus or mistakes him for the gardener, and whether the visitors to the tomb actually see Jesus, or are told Jesus has risen.
The individuals the disciples meet after the supposed resurrection are not the Jesus who was crucified, but are others whom they mistake for Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew some doubted, and in the Gospel of Luke two of the disciples do not even recognize Jesus as he walks next to them. Not only are the Gospels and the works of Josephus meant to be read intertextually, but also interactively – meaning, the characters and events in both works can be interchangeable. With that in mind, my reading of the “doubting Thomas” story in the Gospel of John has Thomas touching the scars not of Jesus, but of the man who was the sole survivor of a crucifixion at Thecoa when Josephus asked Titus to have him and two others removed from their crosses in “The Life of Flavius Josephus.” In the Gospels, Joseph of Arimathea requested Christ’s body to be taken down from the cross and buried in a tomb he owned. Unlike Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the city of Arimathea’s location is unknown, and cannot even be proven from archeology, Biblical scripture outside the Gospels, or anywhere else to have even been a real city at all. This makes sense when it is understood that the name of the fictional character Joseph of Arimathea is just a play on the original Jewish name of Josephus – namely Joseph Ben Matthias. Since Josephus requested the removal of the bodies from their crosses – including the one who survived in “The Life of Flavius Josephus,” then it makes sense he was typologically represented in the Gospels themselves as Joseph of Arimathea who requested the removal of Christ’s body from the cross. In the Gospel of John the disciples did not realize it was Jesus who stood on the shore, and later while eating breakfast, none dared to ask his name, since they “knew” he was the Lord. Why not simply ask him his name instead of leaving the question open? Atwill provides a fascinating explanation, illustrating again the interactive nature between the Gospels and Josephus by revealing it was actually Titus and not Jesus who was on the beach with whom the disciples had breakfast and was their true “Lord.” This story in the Gospel of John ingeniously explains in one seemingly trivial detail the very purpose of the creation of the Gospels in poetic metaphor how the Jews were tricked into worshiping Caesar as a god without being aware of the fact. The reason they did not ask his name is because if he answered, they would have known it was indeed their “Lord,” but it was Titus, and not Jesus. In this passage, the Flavians chose a darkly humorous way to poke fun of the disciples’ being tricked into believing Jesus had risen from the dead when he did not. It is yet one more insult added to injury by the Romans towards the gullible followers of their fraudulent religion.
Even if some of the Gospels were written at a different time and place from the others, at some point, one person or group eventually aligned all four of them to tell one combined story of the empty tomb. The reason this had to be the case is because the probability for the perfect fit of the sequence of events and statements of fact to be precisely as they are between the Gospel of John and the other three Gospels to create the combined version of the story is one chance in 254,803,968 as computed by Joseph Atwill in “Caesar’s Messiah.” What is even more striking than this is the fact that if even one statement of fact in this story was something other than what it is in any of the four Gospels, the combined version would contradict itself and would therefore fail. This kind of statistical improbability that the four different versions of the story of the empty tomb were created as they are by chance to perfectly contain all of the necessary statements of fact to tell this combined story from separate and independent authors, are just as conclusive as the DNA probabilities that are used today to match blood left at a crime scene with that of a suspect. Therefore, the different versions of the empty tomb story in each of the four Gospels were not accidentally created from “different takes” on the same event as is commonly believed, but were deliberately created with all the statements of fact and details as they are to tell the true combined story Jesus did not rise from the dead, but was mistaken to have risen by his distraught followers. The contradictions between the four passages were deliberately and ingeniously designed to hide the non-contradictory combined version, which is why it has gone virtually unnoticed for two millennia. Most readers of the separate Gospel accounts are either unaware of the contradictions between them, or they simply accept the contradictions, never looking to resolve them, but the contradictions were never meant to be unresolved since contradictions are always false, like “round squares,” as we have discovered before. That is why the contradictions must be resolved to see the truth.
In spite of the fact of how evil and insidious the Gospel writers’ goals and their means of accomplishing those goals were to undermine radical messianic Judaism to replace it with a version of Judaism which would cooperate with Rome, I would add that with regards to the technique of creating puzzles for the reader to solve to arrive at the truth, the Gospel writers, on the positive side, teaches us another important lesson – that anything in life worth having, including awareness of the truth, takes work. This work often involves reading beyond the surface narration and reading actively and critically, being open to question things which do not make sense or are contradictory. If we find a contradiction, we must engage our critical thinking to resolve it since contradictions are always false, like “round squares.” Truth is not necessarily something we can discover by simply lying on our backs and going with what validates our egos or makes us feel better about ourselves. Approaching truth often involves facing harsh realities which may or may not coincide with what our egos want to believe is true. Even Jesus himself warned his disciples in Matthew 10:16 to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” In other words, to not allow ourselves to be taken advantage of by “wolves” who would “devour us” in our naiveté in believing everything we are told, but to question all we are told, while still remaining harmless and loving at the same time. It takes an amazing amount of courage and personal strength to ask the hard questions necessary to approach the truth. Throughout the chapters of this book, I am quite critical of the notion of “faith” being a valid path to truth, because it requires no effort. It only requires we accept the words of an authority without questioning or evidence, which is the essence of laziness, dishonesty, and enslavement. It makes us second-hand people who recite the words of others without owning them and knowing them for ourselves – without a genuine awareness for why we believe in things. This happens because we are not willing to work to neither see the truth, nor risk the consequences our questioning may have on what we believe to be true. We may discover all we thought to be true is actually not true at all. Our immense fear of this prevents us from asking questions and forces us to accept things on “faith.” The consequences for our laziness and fear are belief in superstitious notions, inaccurate conclusions, and false gods. Truth is all too often sacrificed on the altar of fear – the god virtually all of humanity truly worships.
While not every Jewish person bought in to the Romans’ manufactured god, enough did for the Flavians to succeed in their goals of super-session and immortality. By the mid-second century, the radical messianic Jewish movement never again threatened Rome as Christianity came to essentially replace Judaism as it spread throughout the Roman Empire. It was the ultimate triumph for the Flavian dynasty, and assured Titus and the Flavians would be worshiped as gods for thousands of years, just as they had wished. It was a “religious coup” led by the Romans and their Jewish puppets to achieve the political goal of replacing “intolerant” Judaism with a new version of Judaism which would cooperate with Rome by teaching its adherents to “pay unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” and to “turn the other cheek.” It was indeed the “end of an age” as it were, just as Jesus had prophesied, and the start of a new religion which taught its adherents to accept their God-given lot in life, and not resist their masters. With some forty percent of the population of the Roman Empire being slaves, such a religion with this paradigm was very useful to Rome. It also explains why neither Jesus nor Paul ever condemned slavery for the inhuman abomination it is. If it was good enough for Abraham Lincoln to emancipate the slaves, you would think it would be good enough for the Son of God. However, when we realize Christianity was almost certainly a Roman invention, the absence of Jesus’ condemnation of slavery, and Paul’s endorsement of slaves not resisting their masters makes perfect sense, since the religion was designed not to benefit humanity, but Rome. Thus, the “morality” of modern Western Civilization was built on the foundation of a fraudulent religion originally created to pacify slaves. It is perhaps the most incredibly ingenious, successful, narcissistic, and cruelly designed fraud in the history of humankind – the greatest story ever sold – so great, it continues to this very day in the lives of more than two billion Christians over seven continents. It was not just the Jewish and enslaved sheep of the first century who had the proverbial wool pulled over their eyes, but every sheep since then and to this very day who blindly followed and continues to follow the Christ myth without questioning, taking it as literal, historical fact. Those who do so continue to worship and pay homage to Caesar without knowing it, just as the Flavians intended.
At this point some apologists might try to justify slavery in the Bible with the idea Biblical slavery was “different” from American slavery in which slaves were forced laborers held as the property of their masters against their will, and was instead more like American indentured servitude. This is not entirely true as we find in Leviticus 25:44-46.
“You may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.”
American indentured servants were not slaves for life, but served their masters for a specified term – typically five years, after which time they were free to find work on their own. They were also provided room and board. Unlike slavery, this was an equitable agreement – a contract which was designed to benefit both parties. That is not the kind of slavery as found in this Leviticus passage. Besides, if Biblical slavery was not so “bad,” as many apologists claim, why then does the Bible itself state the “chosen people” are not to be treated as slaves?” If there is any question how Biblical slaves were treated, we need look no further than Exodus 21:20-21.
“When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.”
No matter how any apologist tries to spin the harsh and disturbing reality of God’s endorsement of slavery in the Bible, these passages among numerous others clearly show that at least some forms of Biblical slavery were not only of the “indentured servitude” variety, but included the right to beat slaves just short of murder since they were – as the Bible states – the property of another human being. To be a man of God and simply ignore or justify slavery – the insidious act of trying to own another human being no matter how we try to rationalize it makes absolutely no sense. However, if Jesus was actually speaking as the Roman emperor Titus, as we have explored throughout this chapter, and Paul was working for the Roman Empire to promote its Jesus cult, the lack of their condemnation of slavery and Paul’s justification of it makes perfect sense.
The extent of the Romans’ success is borne out to this very day in the fact that Christianity is now the most popular religion in the world by far, with over two billion adherents, just under a third of the current world population, while those who adhere to Judaism is anywhere between only 13 to 14 million. The Romans may have been the greatest anti-Semites in history, and did their job well in rendering the old version of Judaism essentially irrelevant in terms of creating a rival religion which would allow for Judaism to be limited to a relatively small number of people compared to the enormous following of Christianity. Contrary to the opinion of many modern-day Christians, the anti-Semitism within the Gospels is not accidental. As stated previously, it is quite deliberate, and can be no more blatantly seen than in the words of the Jewish crowd who demanded Jesus be crucified, from Matthew 27:25.
“Let his blood be on us and on our children!”
The Roman governor Pilate literally washed his hands before the crowd, proclaiming his innocence, stating it was the Jews’ responsibility for having Jesus killed. Many Christians past and present have used Christianity’s anti-Semitic scripture passages to justify their own anti-Semitism. The very notion of a new religion with supposedly devout Jewish origins being anti-Semitic, is a contradiction and is suspicious on its face, and makes no sense. However, if the authors of the Gospels were not Jewish, or sold out Jews to a Roman agenda, and one of their goals was to undermine the Jewish people and their religion for their own selfish purposes, the anti-Semitism makes perfect sense. Since the Romans, who were known anti-Semites, are portrayed in such a positive light in the Gospels, it is all the more reason to suspect a Roman origin for the religion, especially since no Jewish-based religion at that time in which the Jews were engaged in a century-long war with the Romans would have had a positive word to say about them. The “Dead Sea Scrolls” from the time of Jesus prove this fact, since as stated previously, they describe a vision of an uncompromising militant Messiah who waged war on his enemies, not a pacifist one who told his followers to “turn the other cheek,” “love your enemies,” and advocated paying taxes to Caesar as found in the New Testament. Nor do the authentic scriptures of the Scrolls speak of “God-fearing” Romans who were “more faithful” than the people of Israel, as found in the famous story of the faithful Roman centurion whose servant was cured by Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. It is clear to see from these examples, the “Dead Sea Scrolls,” far from validating the authenticity of traditional Biblical Christianity, blatantly exposes its fraudulence.
All of this clearly demonstrates that the Gospels were written as Roman propaganda for ignorant Jews and slaves who would buy this “pacifist Messiah” and his new version of Judaism, with the goal of replacing the militant radical messianic Jewish movement for the benefit of Rome. The Romans accomplished this by stealing their fraudulent religions’ “history” from the very movement they were trying to undermine. What the Romans invented as “Christian history” was actually messianic Jewish and Maccabean history. The Romans were able to pass off the true identities of these people as “Christians” by doing such things as stealing the identities of the historical Jewish messianic zealots “Simon” and “John,” and turning them into the Christian disciples “Simon Peter” and “John” of the Gospels. It is critical to note that, like the awaited Messiah found in the “Dead Sea Scrolls” we looked at previously, these characters found in “Wars of the Jews” upon whom the pacifist Christian apostles were based, were actually Jewish militant messianic zealots who waged war against Rome, not pacifists who taught their followers to “turn the other cheek.” As also stated previously, had Jesus been a historical person, he would have also been a militant messianic zealot just like the historical Simon and John. The stark contrast between the awaited Messiah of the “Dead Sea Scrolls” and the Messiah of the New Testament provide startling historical documentation for how the Romans literally took the authentic Jewish militant Messiah and turned him into the pacifist Messiah Jesus for their purposes.
The real reason why the historical Simon Peter was crucified in Rome (supposedly upside down), was because he was a notorious Jewish messianic zealot who waged war against Rome, not because he was a “Christian” in terms of being a follower of Jesus Christ. The common misconception of “Christians” being persecuted by Rome is due to a misunderstanding of the various meanings the word “Christian” had in first-century Rome. While it is true that Tacitus in “Annals,” and Josephus in “Antiquities” refer to “Christians” as followers of Jesus, the word also meant any follower of a “Christ,” of which there were many at that time who claimed to be the one who would lead the Jews militarily against Rome. As stated previously, Jewish messianic zealots were often referred to as “Christians,” not what we would describe as Roman Christians or followers of Jesus as we think of Christians today. This explains how Rome could have both invented Christianity and “persecuted Christians” at the same time.
In addition to stealing the identity of the Jewish militant Messiah, the Romans also chose Maccabean family names for Jesus’ apostles and friends, such as Judas, Matthias, or “Matthew,” and Eleazar, or “Lazarus.” This is significant because the Jewish Maccabean family was messianic. By stealing the identities and histories of the messianic Jewish movement and the Maccabees, the Romans cleverly obscured the true history of the movement, making it essentially “disappear” by grafting it on to their own version of Judaism which would serve their interests, and the rest, as they say, is history. The character of Judas Iscariot, who infamously betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver into the hands of the Jews, can be seen as a play on the Maccabean family name of Judas followed by a slightly altered version of the word “Sicarii,” which was a name for the militant splinter group of the Jewish Zealots that violently opposed the Roman occupation of Judea and attempted to expel them. Of course from the Roman perspective, the meaning is clear – Judas the “Sicarii,” truly “betrayed” Caesar by fighting against him, and met a violent end at his own hand as a result. The Sicarii committed atrocities on their own people in Jerusalem to force their hand to join them in their fight against Rome, only “killing themselves” in the process, as Judas did. This also brings to mind the scripture passage, “a house divided against itself cannot stand” from Matthew 12:25. The ominous intended meaning of these passages as described by Josephus and scripture is, “Submit to the will of Caesar, or perish.” What made the Romans’ success so cruelly and ingeniously brilliant was their ability to both absorb and ridicule the messianic Jewish movement within their invention and implementation of Christianity, while pulling this off without their converts knowing it was a fraud all along.
In terms of destroying the Jewish people in the long term and the short term, the Romans were far more successful than the Third Reich, who tried to render the Jews extinct, while the Romans not only slaughtered and crucified Jews, but planted the seeds to insidiously destroy their religious identity and future, while humiliating and poking fun of them at the same time. It was not enough for them to defeat the Jews, just as it was not enough to simply kill their enemies. They had to torture and nail their naked bodies to crosses, so they would be both defeated and humiliated. For the Romans, defeat was never enough. Their goal was absolute conquest, whose culture would “gobble up” and absorb defeated cultures with their customs and religions into their own, as long as all of its subjects would call Caesar their god and “Lord,” no matter what other gods they worshiped in addition to Caesar, as stated previously. Since the Jews would under no circumstances, even under torture, call Caesar “Lord,” as other subjects of Rome did, this ultimately made the polytheistic Roman culture incompatible with the monotheistic Jewish culture, and why the Romans felt they were forced to trick the Jews into calling Caesar “Lord” by creating a religion which would accomplish this, while serving the interests of the Roman Empire at the same time. This was an immensely more subtle, nuanced, and sophisticated version of the “master race” notions of Nazi Germany and American notions of “manifest destiny,” which justified the slaughter of Native Americans by proclaiming it was “God’s will” America expand their culture “from sea to shining sea,” regardless of the cost to any other cultures who might stand in its way.
What the Romans did to the Jews was in a sense “spiritual crucifixion.” It is hard to imagine a more ingeniously evil, cruel, mean-spirited, and barbaric act by anyone in history to match what the Romans did to the Jews. It made the Roman’s vicious use of physical crucifixion look like child’s play. That, combined with the horrific consequences of what this religious fraud has done to humankind over the past two millennia, from spreading unnecessary guilt and shame simply for being human, the enslavement of serfs and the consolidation of virtually all of the wealth to the tiniest minority via the feudal system backing the “divine right of kings” for over a thousand years, and of course, the authority of the Church, the deliberate perpetuation of ignorance by thwarting scientific progress and the proliferation of knowledge, among other atrocities, is incalculable. The converted Christian Constantine’s endorsement of the feudal system essentially kept Western Civilization frozen in time for some thousand years – mired in backwards, anti-scientific and superstitious, magical thinking through the barbaric Dark Ages and Middle Ages– an agenda backed by the absolute authority of the Catholic Church. It would take the Renaissance, which literally means “rebirth,” for Western Civilization to finally begin to emerge from this darkness with the decline of the feudal system, the growth of commerce, the invention of the printing press, and the Copernican system of astronomy replacing the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, among other achievements. It is hard to imagine this inhuman evil of the Romans came from the same civilization which created some of humanity’s most ingenious architecture, the Roman alphabet and with it, the Latin language, the root of all the romance languages, as well as outstanding achievements in government and law, literature, and theater. In virtually all things the Romans did, for good or for ill, they were among the most ingenious, successful, and enduring in all history, and knew exactly what they were doing.
Even if the Romans did not invent Christianity, the point is, someone or some group of people did, and for no other reason than to control others, whatever those specific reasons were. How can we be one-hundred percent certain that Jesus was either a fictional invention inspired by a manipulative agenda, or a charlatan himself, regardless of the facts of how Christianity ultimately came about? Because nobody interested in the genuine freedom and enlightenment of another would ever set themselves up as an authority, nor require others to subject themselves to any authority whatsoever, as Jesus Christ is said to have done, because truth has nothing to do with authority and “following others.” It has to do with asking honest and sincere questions, and finding truth through evidence and critical thinking – in discovering for oneself, not by following an authority through blind faith.
So we see, while the debate over whomever wrote the Gospels may be intriguing and entertaining, it is ultimately just a parlor game distracting us from the truth of the matter – the Gospels, as far as the propagandizing their authors accomplished within them, regardless of the many words of truth they do actually possess, reveal their agenda-driven, fraudulent nature. The Gospel writers, like the very best propagandists, always include nuggets of truth within their sales pitches to keep the general public enticed into believing what they are offering is the whole truth. This is nothing more than insidious trickery designed to manipulate and coerce the gullible masses. Jesus even tells his disciples to beware of such people in Matthew 7:15.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
It is ironic that those whom Jesus was referring to are the very type of people who wrote the fraudulent Gospels in which he appears. The Gospel writers appear to be “telling the truth,” yet do so amidst even greater lies.
The bottom line is, the Gospels served the manipulative purposes of whatever power structure created them. In that sense, it really does not matter who wrote them. What matters is the fact they served and continue to this very day to serve a controlling agenda based on their very own words which state punishment for those who “don’t believe,” and “Heaven” for those who do. Who manipulated and controlled who is not the point. The fact of all organized religions’ fraudulence is the point, because the only reason to “organize” any belief structure is to control others by enslaving them to an “authority.” Knowledge of this truth enables real freedom from any and all authorities who would have us be controlled, enslaved, and manipulated for their purposes. It is only through freedom from the tyranny of authority and agenda from without and within that we can actually be free to see the truth, and brings to startling life the words of Jesus from John 8:32.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”