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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The "Historical" Jesus?

(The following is a slightly modified excerpt from my book Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled.)

It has been demonstrated herein that there is no evidence for the existence of Christ, Christians or Christianity in the literary or archaeological record of the first century. Nor do the earliest Christian texts provide evidence of an "historical" Jesus. In addition, the canonical gospels do not make their appearance until late in the second century. Moreover, a number of the main characters and places in the gospel tale cannot be verified by extrabiblical evidence. In the end, it is evident that "the traditional narrative of the Birth, Death, and Resurrection was constructed from data of the Old Testament, mystically interpreted." As Leidner remarks, "The gospel story is fictional in its entirety. There never was a Jesus of Nazareth and there never was a crucifixion story."

It is claimed that the reason Jesus is not found in any historian's works of the day is because, while a "real person," this "world savior" was an "itinerant Galilean preacher" and an "obscure rabbi." This obscure rabbi's "bio" was then enhanced by his followers, who, after his death, added a series of miracles and fairytales to his mundane life. After a thorough analysis of all the evidence, it is clear that the gospel tale is not a "bio" of an "itinerant Galilean preacher," who nobody had heard of but whose unknown and impoverished followers were so powerful that they could pull off one of the greatest coups in history. It simply did not happen. There was no "man" who so inspired his lowly disciples that--with greater supernatural power than Jesus ever possessed--they could convince Rome, with its crusty, cynical, old white male elite, to fall down on its knees to worship him. Particularly when he was of a "race" or ethnicity deemed peculiar and troublesome, if not despised, throughout the Roman Empire.

As to the Romans mindlessly adopting this non-entity from the backwater and turning him into a god...can anyone seriously imagine today the U.S. Senate entertaining for one moment the idea of deifying, say, a begging, dirty, scruffy, homeless provincial preacher from an alien culture, whose fable was presented to them, decades or centuries after the alleged events, without a shred of evidence that it ever happened? And to adore and worship one whose close companions included poor and uneducated hayseeds? The all-powerful Romans suddenly overthrowing their entire established, entrenched and profitable religious organizations and priesthoods, the secret societies to which practically all the elite belonged, closing down the mystery schools that had been in existence for ages, forgetting utterly about the numerous gods they adored for eons, and reducing their current leader, who himself was deified, to a mere servant of an obscure preacher from hicksville? Such a scenario is impossible to conceive, even with the gullibility and credulity of a small child. Such a view constitutes naivete of the highest order. Importantly, it represents a deleterious delusion....

When one studies the subject in depth, the conclusion is that there is no core to the Christian onion. Overall, it is evident that, like Gulliver's Travels, the gospel story is fiction, not history. Like Gulliver, Jesus is given a "real world" in which to play out his drama, with real figures out of history, but this tactic is no different than what was done with the numerous ancient gods, who in actuality never existed as "real people."

(The following is from my book The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold.)

Christianity and the story of Jesus Christ were created by members of various secret societies, mystery schools and religions in order to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion. In making such a fabrication, this multinational cabal drew upon a multitude of myths and rituals that already existed long before the Christian era, and reworked them for centuries into the story and religion passed down today.


Anonymous said...

Although I agree there is no valid evidence for the existence of a 'Jesus Christ', I have just watched a BBC documentary called 'Did Jesus Die?'. It assumes there was such a historical character but one who did not die on the cross and was not resurrected.

Instead, his comatose body was revived and spirited away (no pun intended), eventually escaping to India (where previously, from the age of 14 to 29, he was trained as a healer by buddhists). You have, of course, heard all of this before.

I can see how such an explanation would appeal to the agnostic and non-christian, but would hold little appeal to believers and non-believers alike. It sits uncomfortably between biblical 'knowledge' and secular speculation. But it is a view that christians should consider, a way-point perhaps on the road to the rational.

A number of christian scholars in the film do not accept the resurrection as fact, but more of a metaphor. This fact has yet to filter down to congregations. If/when it does, I wonder what the reaction of the church hierarchy will be?

Anonymous said...

Did you see this one? The Vatican is really PO'ed over the upcoming 'DaVinci Code' movie.
Yes, the folks that brought you the Inquisition, everlasting hellfire, and sexual guilt
are getting back in the censorship business (or trying to.)

It seems that the poor, innocent-as-a-baby lamb Catholic Church feels threatened and put upon by a mean old movie. Their spokesman said in a press release that no producer could get away with insulting Muslems or the Holocaust in such a manner. The Vatican comparing a movie they don't like (and that doesn't serve their interests) to the Holocaust!
What a laugh.

Of course, many younger people may not be aware that the Catholic Church was in the business of dictating what movies you could and could not view.
As well, they've always tried to tell you what books you could read, music you could listen to, what type of sex you could have....and, oh yeah, what you could think. The penalty for disobeying their iron commands? Only eternal damnation in hell. Yes, these guys are real

By the way, some of the greatest movies ever made were censored by Catholic "decency" groups. That meant that many brilliant foreign films could not be seen in areas of the United States. They hounded great filmmakers like Luis Bunuel, *Roberto Rossellini, Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini, et al.

Hollywood didn't bark too much, because by and large, they schmoozed religious groups and paid lip-service to organized religion. And besides, those foreign films were showing up the overrated pap that the spoiled "geniuses" of Hollywood were churning out.

*see the court case relating to the censoring of Rossellini's film 'The Miracle."

Anonymous said...

Ha - I've just watched a documentary called "The da Vinci Code: The Greatest Story Ever Sold" - Wonder where they got that title from. :)

Yeah - The Catholic Church really don't want their flock exposed to alternative (and perhaps more plausable) versions of their christ myth. Maybe they're afraid that if they start digging they'll find the myth as empty as the tomb...

Anonymous said...

Acharya - I have read much of your work and I must say that it is refreshing in this day and age of robotic thinking to see someone out their who maintains an independent train of thought. Your book "Christ Conspiracy" was wonderful and while I have tried to share it, some are so deeply indoctrinated they can't get past the title!!!!

One would think that with Jesus Christ being such a prominent figure in world history, their would be substantial evidence of his alleged existence. I'm at a stage in my life where I am re-examining everything that I thought, believed and was told that was reality. Thanks to individuals such as yourself, I have probably learned more in the past 4 years that I have my entire life.

The "ruling" elite, dominant "minority", or occultist, whichever you choose, have done their jobs well. Of course, they have had thousands of years of a head start, but nonetheless have perfected their craft.

While the bible does hold many inherent truths, it is cloaked in the occult. It is their "rule book" on the manipulation of mass culture and society. Theirs an old saying, "the best place to hide the truth is in a lie".

As people, we need to do more research and find where all these things come from. I saw where one of the bloggers used the word "holocaust". I'm just curious if they know the "true" meaning of the word. Holocaust comes from the root word "Halo" or "sun" and a holocaust is a "sacrafice that involves a burnt offering". So what are the occult really telling us about what happened to the "Jews" during WWII???

Duane said...

Have you given consideration to John Meier's "Marginal Jew" series? I've found it to offer the most even-handed examination of the evidence for (and against) the life of Jesus.

Additionally, I'm puzzled by your claim that the gospels were written in the late 2nd century. Even the gospel of John is being reconsidered as an earlier tradition and most scholars date the gospels between 60-95 AD.

Acharya S said...

Thanks. Yes, I've read much of Meier's multi-volume series. It contains much good information. Of course, I do not concur with his basic premise, which is to assume a priori that Christ truly existed and then go on from there. It seems a rather futile endeavor if Christ's life can be demonstrated to be a rehash of fictional and mythical elements.

I am well aware of the mainstream dating of the gospels, including the very early dates proposed by Christian evangelists. However, there simply is no scientific evidence to prove this early dating. The canonical gospels as we have them do not show up in the historical/literary record until the end of the second century. If you would like to see more of my argument for this contention, you will need to refer to my books, particularly Who Was Jesus?

Anders Branderud said...

"Historical Jesus"?!?

Just using this contra-historical oxymoron (demonstrated by the eminent late Oxford historian, James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue) exposes your Christian-blinkered agenda--dependent upon 4th-century, gentile, Hellenist sources.

While scholars debate the provenance of the original accounts upon which the earliest extant (4th century, even fragments are post-135 C.E.), Roman gentile, Hellenist-redacted versions were based, there is not one fragment, not even one letter of the NT that derives DIRECTLY from the 1st-century Pharisee Jews who followed the Pharisee Ribi Yehoshua.

Historians like Parkes, et al., have demonstrated incontestably that 4th-century Roman Christianity was the 180° polar antithesis of 1st-century Judaism of ALL Pharisee Ribis. The earliest (post-135 C.E.) true Christians were viciously antinomian (ANTI-Torah), claiming to supersede and displace Torah, Judaism and ("spiritual) Israel and Jews. In soberest terms, ORIGINAL Christianity was anti-Torah from the start while DSS (viz., 4Q MMT) and ALL other Judaic documentation PROVE that ALL 1st-century Pharisees were PRO-Torah.

There is a mountain of historical Judaic information Christians have refused to deal with, at: (see, especially, their History Museum pages beginning with "30-99 C.E.").

Original Christianity = ANTI-Torah. Ribi Yehoshua and his Netzarim, like all other Pharisees, were PRO-Torah. Intractable contradiction.

Building a Roman image from Hellenist hearsay accounts, decades after the death of the 1st-century Pharisee Ribi, and after a forcible ouster, by Hellenist Roman gentiles, of his original Jewish followers (135 C.E., documented by Eusebius), based on writings of a Hellenist Jew excised as an apostate by the original Jewish followers (documented by Eusebius) is circular reasoning through gentile-Roman Hellenist lenses.

What the historical Pharisee Ribi taught is found not in the hearsay accounts of post-135 C.E. Hellenist Romans but, rather, in the Judaic descriptions of Pharisees and Pharisee Ribis of the period... in Dead Sea Scroll 4Q MMT (see Prof. Elisha Qimron), inter alia.

The question is, now that you've been informed, will you follow the authentic historical Pharisee Ribi? Or continue following the post-135 C.E. Roman-redacted antithesis—an idol?