EXPOSITION OF THE ISSUE AND WHAT WE CAN SAY WITH CERTAINTY
The issue of the historicity of Jesus Christ has zealously kept busy a great part of humanity from the 1st century C.E. until today. On this subject there are, roughly speaking, three categories of people. (1) Those who religiously believe whatever is written in the Gospels and Catechisms of the various Christian sects. For these people both the divinity and the historicity of Jesus Christ are given. On account of religious faith they do not find necessary scientific and historical proofs and they do not search for them. This is the category of the so believers. (2) Those who accept that indeed there was some man, named Jesus, who was not god but the leader of a movement. His followers deified him and characterized him as the mythological Christ after his death by making up and attaching to him diverse legendary stories. These people, in other words, accept the historicity of Jesus the man, but not his divinity. Even the original older Christian among the Jews, the Ebionites (= the poor, am haartes) considered Jesus Christ just a prophet. This is the category of the so historizers (3) Those who insist that the Judaic idea about Christ (Messiah), which already existed for a very long time, was in the end attached to a nonexistent mythological person whose name for some reasons was Jesus. These people, of course, deny both his divinity and historicity. This is the category of the so mythicists.
The partisans of each of these three categories present many reasons in order to justify their points of view and stances. Here, we will present the main remarks and conclusions but we will not spend any time with the exposition and the validity of all these reasons. They have been discussed and written a good many times and are found in an enormous worldwide bibliography, which anybody interested may consult. This, of course does not mean that any proposed or written reasons are automatically true of legitimate.
In this work, we take the scientific approach and not a religious one. So, the religious faith of the first category is not included in our scope. Religious faith has no place in science and should not be muddled with the completely different concept of scientific faith, which can be overturned any time the scientific data hint to new scientific results. Religious faith, however, is the conviction of fanatics that cannot be overturned and does not allow for proofs or objections; only acceptance or rejection.
So, in this work we plan to write the main remarks and conclusion on the historicity of Jesus Christ, which the do not usually receive fitting attention and weight, whereas in our opinion they are very important. We will in brief present some strong and dependable reasons that are not usually presented to the degree they deserve, whereas they suffice to draw the following conclusion: “Jesus Christ of the Christian religion cannot, at least for the time being, be considered Historical person. As for the Jesus Christ of the Gospels, he is proven to be just mythology!”
We must say that this conclusion is in agreement with the third category of the mythicists. Hence, we overturn the conclusion of the second category, that is, the historicity of some Jesus, so insignificant that History did not notice whose followers during his lifetime and or after his death clung to him various mythological stories in order to switch him to a Divine Christ, hybrid o the Judaic mythology.
Concerning the category of the believers we wish to add the few followings: The Christian Christ is not identical with the Christ-Messiah of the Judaic messianic tradition, thing that the Jews themselves who are specialists on biblical issues stress and prove. Even if the Christians have overused the Jewish tradition, they have created a Christ hybrid, because in order to justify their multiple and contradictory positions, they distorted and misinterpreted the Jewish scriptures and traditions. In no way we can extract the Christian Christ from the Old Testament. In spite of the fact that all Christian stories regarding Jesus Christ are flamboyantly contradictory and that a first somewhat, but far from completely, standardized form of the Christian narration emerges at the time o Irenaeus, i.e. 150 years after the action of this inconceivably special and extraordinary person, nevertheless the Christian believe indisputably everything written in the Gospels or included in their traditions. Those Christian who wrote “Ecclesiastical History”, as they like to call it, they were based on the hypothesis that this person existed without examining or referring to anything historically verifiable about his existence. For them, he existed axiomatically! Axiomatically they also justify the fact that no official History refers to him, by insisting that no official History spends any time with humble and insignificant people as him. But excuse us! No matter how unnoticeable this person may have been during his childhood, although in his twelfth year he scared all the elders and wise men of the temple of Yahveh with his knowledge and wisdom made them totally wonder, and no matter how short his action-time was, one to three years, the Gospels “confess” that: With negligible effort he cure: lepers, blind, paralyzed, dumbless, possessed, etc. The mobs followed him anywhere he went as if they were crazy and he fed thousands of them twice with food not enough for even ten people. He resurrected three dead persons and in the end himself. Signs and wonders occurred during his baptism, crucifixion and resurrection. Moreover, “John the Evangelist” closes his Gospel with the scary verse 21: 25 “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written everyone, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the book that should be written. Amen.” But still, besides all of these, as we develop in the sequel, no historical reference and witness exists anywhere about this person and any of these “infinite” tremendous “feats”.
Even worse than above, we can say this: Let us for a moment accept the wrong Christian dating of the writing of the Gospels, from +70 K. E. to +95 K. E. Then, at least four decades passed by before the Christ’s disciples and the followers to report his feats, signs and wonders in the Gospels, having let before that the non-related Paul to speak about his theories. Is it possible so many eyewitnesses to wait for forty and more years before they sat down to write a report on these unheard of “events”, after they had let a convert intruder, who had not witnessed any of them, to do run around promulgating his theories? And again, they do not agree among themselves on what they wrote, but say and unsay, contradict each other, etc. Also, at that time there was a great number of rabbis, chroniclers, historians, scientists, Jews, Greeks, Romans, Gentiles (such as Dio Chrysostom, Dio Cassius, Diodoros Siceliotis, Plutarch, Oinomaos, Pausanias, Juvenal, Pliny the Elder, Seneca, Philo, Justus, and many more) and none of them was impressed by any at all, so as to note down at least one of these tremendous “events” that were impossible to have happen in secret? In the known History many subordinate events have been noted and there would be no difference if they had completely been ignored. But from the numerous and extraordinary events concerning Christ nothing passed onto History. If it were possible!
Unfortunately the forceful, Christian, dogmatic brain washing that has occurred on the western people for 16 centuries have had as result the avoiding of criticism, research and acceptance of logical argument! On the contrary the majority of the western people are willing to tolerate and accept any illogical story and any senseless element, to justify contradictions and rectify the unrectifiable, even if these acts are done on their expense.
We must write a few remarks about the historizers. All of them reject the divinity and the miracles of Jesus Christ along with the signs and wonders found in the Gospels as myths. Then hey consider whatever is left t as historical evidence. Although the lines left are very few and disconnected they still consider them enough to reproduce that “history” of that time. To this end, they impose some hypotheses based on whatever they subjectively consider probable or plausible and continue into constructing “historical” theories, out of which none agrees with any other one. Any historizer, in his / her attempt, chooses from the Gospels and the Christian traditions only whatever fits in making his / her theory and rejects everything else. An almost universal hypothesis about Jesus among the historizers is that they want him to be a revolutionist, either against the Romans, or against the local religious-political tyranny, or against both. Another universal hypothesis is that he was so invisible, humble and insignificant so that no official History noticed him at all and wrote even one piece of information about him for posterity. But then, this is very strange! He was a revolutionist against the Romans and the local exploitation of the Jewish people during that period, who was unjustly convicted and suffered dishonorable and painful death because of his noble goals and still no History noted anything about him! Whereas History has noted about several charlatans and others very insignificant, it has chosen to leave this important one out! Very strange fact indeed! Very often, a historizer also pronounces the sentimental and non-scientific aphorism: “How else could it be, someone must have existed. Even if some things did not happen in the way I have explained them…, then there must be another explanation!” Thus, the fact that “every historizing scientist can make, and eventually makes, his / hers history about Jesus Christ which is completely different from the histories of all others” proves that the Christian Jesus is not a historical person, and the Jesus of the Gospels is a childish mythology. There have been a great many historizers in the last three century, each of which has constructed a different “historical” theory about Jesus and published it in the international bibliography. You may want to check out a few of them.
So, while every historizer molds his / her “history” about the life of Jesus, but only after he / she has annulled his personality before start, on the contrary every mythicist steadily and logically contributes to the conclusion “Jesus never existed”, by means of all the elements and data he / she searches, discovers and presents. It would have been more accurate to start with the hypothesis that all Christian traditions regarding Jesus Christ are myths and legends and then rummage in this labyrinth of deceptive and contradictory data if a historical person can be discovered. Thus in the last 300 years a great number of scientists, historians, theologians and whole university schools have spent enormous amount of time, energy and money researching the possibility of discovering a Historical Christ hidden in the numerous religious documents of the various Christian sects that refer to him. Apart from the Old Testament and its Apocrypha, these documents are: The New Testament, an extensive and multifaceted Apocryphal bibliography, the Holy Traditions and the different Catechisms. Finally, all these efforts ended in zero! All those unbiased great scientists, brilliant brains, and university schools found a Jesus Christ phantom and nothing more! [A proof for this is offered by the great research work of Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, Introduction by James M. Robinson, Collier Books, 1968, etc.]
If we overlook the tremendous number of contradictions, errors, illogicalities, etc. that they contain, we see that behind all this extensive bibliography, initially, there are various primordial Christian (or better Judeo-Christian) societies, each of which says its own perceptions and likings about this legendary person. The title Christ is the Greek translation of Messiah (the anointed one) of the Jewish tradition from the 7th century B.C.E. onward. In the dreams (prophesies) of the Jews, Messiah was going to be that anointed, by the mercy of Yahveh, king of the lineage of David who would reinstate the state of David. In this way he would put and end to the adventures and the sorrows of his people on which so many inequities were perpetrated by the occupiers from all around. Nothing more than that. From this Greek translation of this term we have got the terms Christians and Christianity.
As centuries went by, with the continual sufferings and the religiosity of the Jewish people, the notion about the Messiah changed and adjusted to the newly appearing situations. As a result, many heresies on the messianic issue as in the whole Jewish religion appeared. We encounter: Sadducees, Zadokites, Pharisees, Essenes, Sons of light, Notzrim, Ebionites, Zealots, Eschatologists, Apocalypics, Therapeuts, Christians, and so on. Finally in the Christian heresy (also called the way or the heresy of Nazoraeon, or superstition in Acts 9:2, 24: 5, 22, 25: 19), we find the Messiah-Christ taking the diverse forms of the Jesuses of the Gospels, Paul, etc.
What is stated in the Gospel according to Luke, 2:34, “behold, this (Jesus) is set … to a controversial sign” is not prophesy of a future contingency, but the then existent situation. In the 1st century C. E. already, Jesus Christ was a controversial and fervently disputable sign among the plenty of the Christian sects, societies and groups.
Until the years 181-185 C. E. of the first appearance of the four Canonical Gospel with the titles they bear, given by Irenaeus, that is about 150 years after the death of the putative Jesus Christ, there have been about 150 Christian heresies. But even much earlier Paul and John screamed against the heretics, pseudo-teachers, antichrists, pseudo-prophets etc. in the in Epistles. E. g.,
1) 1st Corinthians 1: 11-13 “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
2) 1st John 4: 1-3 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
3) 2nd John 7 “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
4) Matthew 14: 23-24 “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”, Mark 13: 21-23 and Luke 17: 21-23, 21: 8.
5) Kelsos in his book the “True Word” writes: “… but I also know a third kind to be those who called some psychic and other spiritual; and some who claim to be Gnostics and some who accept Jesus…”
Exactly when and where the Christian communities appeared for the first time is a question that has not been answered yet with absolute accuracy and still aggravates the researchers. From the Acts and the Epistles we learn that besides the Jerusalem community there were Christian communities in Alexandria, Damascus, Antioch, Rome, several years before Paul’s conversion and his Judeo-Christian action. As for Egypt we have also testimonies from other sources. For instance, we see the suspect Jews Aquila and Priscilla, shortly arrived from Italy, and the unknown Alexandrian Jew Apollo meeting Paul in Corinth and agreeing on common action (Acts 18: 2-3, 24, 19: 1, Romans 16: 4, 1st Corinthians 1: 12, 3: 4-6, 16: 12, 19, Titus 3: 13). Paul himself with the whole Epistle to the Romans, which he wrote in Corinth, makes it clear that there was a Judeo-Christian community in Rome for long time before he visited the capital city (see also verse 15: 20). Beyond guesses and traditions, nobody knows exactly how Christians were found in Rome so early. But, this fact proves the assertion about the existence of ancient Judeo-Christian communities all over the Roman Empire.
Many things have been proposed about the beginning of the Christian communities. Certainly the event of the Pentecost in the Acts 2, is far detached from reality, concerning their beginning. All the data show that the Christian movement started about 200 years before Christ. There are many common and uncommon characteristics amongst of all these inchoate, archetype Christian societies. A common element of all these communities was an immediate eschatology and total demerit of the existing world together with an immediate apocalyptic messianism. Horror and terror dominated these societies, for according to their beliefs the end of the world was already in front of their doors. The judge Messiah would appear in any moment to renovate everything in this world and woe and thrice woe to those that he would punish. Another common point was a continuous reference to the canonical or non-canonical Jewish scriptures (eschatological, apocryphal, apocalyptic, etc.) Every community tried to use and interpret them at will and liking. This is an uncommon element.
Finally, all the efforts concerning Jesus’ historicity of all the unbiased scientists and university schools ended in a phantom (phantasm) and not in a Historical person. Some times the fanatics who want to “prove”, as they think, Jesus’ historicity bring up some references of no importance, of very suspicious origin and ludicrous, which we neglect here. But those who want to assert that Jesus was “indeed” a Historical person, according to the criteria that the Science of History demands, they mainly adduce the following four references, which have been examined and reexamined in a vast international bibliography.
(1) Two references from the Jewish Historian Josephus Flavius Ben Mattitiau (37-100 C.E.). These are located in his work Jewish Antiquities, written in 93-94 C.E.
(2) A reference from the Roman politician and Historian Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 C.E.), which is located in his work Annals, written in 110 C.E.
(3) A reference from the Roman Historian Gaius Tranquillus Suetonius (69-140 C.E.), which is located in his work The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, written in 110 C.E.
(4) An epistle to the Roman Emperor Trajan from the Roman Governor of the province of Bithynia in Asia Minor, Plinius the Younger (62-113 C.E.), written in 107 C.E.
The first reference from Josephus (J.A. 18:3:3 or 18:63-64) is our central point of examination and commendation. Therefore we will make more comments and remarks on this in the paragraphs that follow. It is the strongest reference bearing witness about Jesus Christ even though it is quite short (8 rows). As it stands, it aims to verify Jesus Christ’s historicity. That is why many times we see it by itself as the proof of Jesus Christ’s historicity in small articles of periodicals and newspapers. The second reference from Josephus (J.A. 20:9:1 or 20:200) consists only of three parenthetical words within another serious matter that the Historian reports. Its aim is not to bear witness to Jesus Christ’s historicity (see J.A. 20:9). Without the first reference the second one would have nil historical value. We will examine these two references in many ways in the following parts of this exposition.
The other three references are included in the exposition of other events just by the way. They do no aim to bear witness to Jesus Christ’s historicity.
(a) Tacitus in describing the conflagration of Rome in Nero’s time (+64), simply and by the way verifies the known fact of the existence of Christians in Rome that believe in some Christ, who was executed by Pontius Pilatus in Judea. This is not a historical testimony on Jesus. (E.g., the fact that many Hindus believe in Krishna for several thousand years is not a historical proof that Krishna existed.) Tacitus offers no direct reference regarding Christ and he obviously does not have such a goal. If Tacitus, as Roman historian, made a direct report regarding Jesus, he would have referred to him with his real name as it was written, if it were ever written, in the archives of the Empire and not with the Judeo-Christian title Christ.
(b) Suetonius writes: “Judaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma expulit”, that is, “he expelled the Jews from Rome, because incited by (some) Chrestus they (always) raised riots”. All the fuss is done for this line that the Christians present it as reliable historical reference regarding Jesus Christ. But here, Suetonius refers to some Chrestus who incited the Jews, not the Christians, to raise riots in Rome very often. So, the emperor Claudius was forced to expel the Jews from Rome, thing that is referred to in the Acts of the Apostles 18: 2. Here again, he refers to Jews and not to Christians. The “Chrestus”, just as the “Christ”, is a title and not a name. Is it maybe a grammatical error? Some Christians like to say so. But, is it so; It is arbitrary to insist that this “Chrestus” is Jesus Christ. History as science does not base its conclusions on the benefit of a certain group! Christ never went to Rome let alone to incite the Jews to raise riots. Also, according to Christians, Jesus Christ left the earthly life in the years +30-35, whereas Claudius was emperor in +31-54. Hence, this phrase is incomplete and unclear as for whom this “Chrestus” was. Suetonius does not explain but he clearly means him as someone. Therefore, even though the phrase has received many interpretations it always remains enigmatic. Consequently this phrase does not constitute a historical reference to Jesus, and much more to Jesus Christ of the Gospels. Maybe this “Chrestus” was a Jew that went to Rome and presented himself to the Jews there as their expected Messiah. Those who believed him raised riots against the Romans and the other Jews that did not believe him, as a result. In those times the Jewish Messiahs were quite a few each year.
(c) The Roman governor Pliny the Younger in his epistle writes that all of a sudden discovered the occult group of Christians. They sing hymns antiphonally in honor of some Christ whom they believe as god. He does not write the name Jesus but only the title Christ! He then asks the emperor Trajanus how to deal with the Christians, who for the first time discovered in Bithynia, … , etc.
Consequently all these passages were written with goal to present certain facts that they had nothing to do with the “historical” Jesus. They do not take us back to the descriptions of the Gospels and the Acts, which are the official documents of the Christians, and they do not verify anything from them. They simply refer to some Christians and on account of that to some Christ or Chrestus, but not directly to Jesus. Hence, they were not written with purpose to bear any historical testimony for Jesus Christ. Also, besides the epistle of Plinius and the reference in Josephus, all the other indirect references to Christ, (not to the Christians), put together do not fill even one page. Eventually they have no value in proving Jesus’ historicity. Maybe they have some value for the historicity of his believers, fact that was never disputed. The believers of many religions believe in many mythological entities, but this does not prove these entities are historical.
Pliny’s epistle has survived in the works of the always unreliable Eusebius of Caesarea and it is considered a forgery either partly or as a whole for the following reasons:
(1) Eusebius as historian and as person is not trusted by any impartial scientists for many reasons. He is considered forger, interpolator, liar etc. E.g. he forged the goofy correspondence of Jesus Christ with the king of Edessa Mesopotamia, Abgaros, and other things.
(2) Phrases and a paragraph of this Epistle have also been found in another epistle of the governor of Syria Tiberianus to the same emperor Trajanus, as the great researcher Hieronymo Xaviero has shown in his book Historia Chrsti Persice (The Persian History of Christ) in 1703.
(3) Pliny (+61-115) and Tacitus (+55-120) were closed friends and Roman politicians. On the one hand Tacitus seems to know about the Christians in Rome, but on the other hand according to the epistle (that was supposedly written in +112) Pliny discovers them for the first time in Bithynia, when he was appointed and moved there as governor in +98, under the emperor Trajan. But even there, he had not paid any attention to the Christians for 14 odd years (+98-112), if he had noticed them.
Certainly, the last remark on the epistle of Pliny can also be used as an argument that the testimony of Tacitus about the Christians in Rome is a forgery. Many christianologists as: Hochart, H. Schiller, P. Fabia, R. Taylor, Α. Drews, Malver, and others, consider Tacitus’ passage as a sheer forgery. As all these researchers explain, in the time of Nero the followers of the heresy of the putative Jesus Christ were not known under the Latin title Christiani, whereas this is found in Tacitus’ passage. (The Latinism “Christiani” also found the Acts 11:26, 26: 28, and in 1st Peter 4:16, is a later interpolation. We see that even much later the Great Emperor Julian, +331-363, does not use it, but he writes the Galileans.) In the Tacitus’ passage, Pilatus is wrongly referred to as procurator instead of the correct prefectus. But Tacitus was a Roman politician and therefore he knew better. So this mistake could not have been made by him but by the forger. R. Taylor in his book Diegesis, pp. 392-397, develops 20 reasons for which this passage of Tacitus must be forgery.
If though in the time of Tacitus in +110 the followers of the heresy of Jesus had become known with the name Christiani and Tacitus uses this anachronistically, then how could it be possible his friend Pliny the Younger to say in the same years that he discovered them for the first time in Bithynia? The situation with Tacitus becomes even more despondent, because: The first references to his works appear quite recently, that is, at the end of the 15th century and after, when a mutilated copy of the Annals was published for the first time in Venetia, by the rich collector Johannes de Spire in +1468. This publication is incomplete because the crucial chapters about Gaius Caligula and Claudius are missing. These chapters could tell us many things on several issues and answer many questions. Before this publication, that is, for almost 1300 years, Tacitus is entirely ignored by all the Christian Fathers and non-fathers, even all the Popes of Rome. He is not referred to anywhere; there is no hint or insinuation to him, whereas this reference about martyrdoms and persecutions by Nero would comprise one more praise and strong advertisement for all the Christians. Nero became evil for the Christians only after the year +1468! What do you think? Strange! But even if for a moment we assume that this tardy paragraph of Tacitus is genuine, its testimony is on some Christians, who by the way believed in some Christ. It does not constitute a historical reference on Jesus Christ.
For many reasons developed by the most important educated researchers of the last 300 years (whose long name-list we omit here), among whom there were many Christian theologians, all these references are considered to be expedient forgeries and / or interpolations done by Christian copiers at later times. Others insist that they are partially forged and locate the inserted forged points in them. Finally the faithful Christians accept them as authentic the way they stand simply because they support their faith. All the reasons that these three groups invoke have been published in hundreds of books and articles. We are neither going to quote all these reasons here nor deal with religious faiths and repeat well known things. The interested readers can easily find and study the reasons of all three groups and decide for themselves who they agree with.
Let us not forget, however, that the earliest manuscripts of all these writings are from the 11th century C.E. and afterwards. No originals have survived. References to them by other writers occurred a few centuries after they were originally written or after their discoveries. E.g. the very important reference from Josephus appeared for the first time in the works of Eusebius of Caesarea in 314-315 C.E., and about 70-80 years after him in the works of Jerome. But it is not found in the numerous works of Origen before them. Even much later, the bishops of Constantinople, the Judeo-Christian John Chrysostom and the learnt Holy Photios did not know about it.
Let us for a moment assume that all of these references are authentic as we have them available today. Still, they have no significant gravity in proving the historical existence of Jesus Christ for the following reasons:
(1) Besides the one in Josephus the others do not verify anything from the Gospel legends. Only the first Josephus’ reference does this very briefly, since it is a paragraph of 7-8 lines.
(2) The other references, besides that they are too short and therefore inadequate to sufficiently develop anything, they are located in the midst of other issues and their goal is other than to bear testimony to the historicity of Jesus.
(3) All the references are quite posterior and not written by contemporaneous writers or eyewitnesses.
(4) Above all however, the main reason for which these references fail to have any historical meaning, even if we do not take into consideration the fact that they are posterior, is the fact that they do not carry us back into the years and the numerous events the Gospels expose. That is, they do not take us back before 35 C.E., which is the accepted upper limit of the year of the death of Jesus Christ of the Gospels, who performed countless miracles, unimaginable signs and wonders and the mobs followed like crazy, whom he fad twice with a few loafs of bread and three fish, etc.
Consequently the burden of proof of the historical existence of Jesus Christ lies to the greatest extent on the first Josephus’ reference. As this appears in the extant Greek manuscripts, it has been given the title “Testimonium Flavianum” within the realm of research. Although it was written 60 years after the death of the putative Jesus and not by a contemporaneous author (as e.g., Philo Judaicus Alexandrinus) or an eyewitness (as e.g., Pilate), without this reference all the controversies about the historicity of Jesus would have essentially taken end. So here, we pose the following question: On account of the Testimonium Flavianum can we possibly satisfy the criteria of the science of History to conclude that in fact the historical Jesus existed?
For this testimony we have that:
(1) It is tardy by 60 years.
(2) It refers to just three points related to the Gospels very meagerly.
(3) It was not written by a contemporaneous author or an eyewitness.
(4) Above all the following holds: From the great number of researchers of the last 300 years, 40% dismiss it as a sheer interpolation; 50% consider it partly authentic and partly forged; 10% accept it as the way it is. These three groups report long lists of strong and weak reasons to justify their points of view. Hundreds of books and articles have been written which expose all three views in detail. Here we get around these elements for we do not like to write them one more time. The interested reader can easily find and study them all and decide. Needless to say who belong to the last 10%.
Let us then see what all these mean from the point of view of the science of History.
(1) History does not sanction the historicity of some person, especially so much and rightly disputed, on the basis of one and only one 8-line paragraph of untrustworthy writing-style and provenance.
(2) It demands cross-references by other, various, unbiased, independent and reliable authors. In this matter there is not even one such cross-reference; even a sample. The Gospels are anonymous, messy and incongruent products of Christian occult groups.
(3) It needs reports and references by contemporaneous or authors who lived in the era of the events; if possible from eyewitnesses. No such references exist at all.
(4) It looks for and examines any written works coming either from the hand of the under investigation person or from someone to whom this person dictated or taught what to write. Jesus has not left any written works either from his own hand or from his amanuensis. The Gospels are pseudepigrapha and written long after the time of the putative Jesus and do not agree with each other.
(5) It uses findings and excavations of the science of archeology and its various branches (papyrology, numismatics, epigraphy, ancient codices, manuscripts, etc.). In this matter nothing pertinent from all of these scientific branches exists.
(6) It needs an authentic standard portrait (picture, figure) of the historical personage under investigation. Such a portrait does not exist for such a renowned benefactor, revolutionist, etc.
(7) It requires accordance of the scientists and researchers who are the specialists on this subject. In the present matter, however, only tremendous discordance exists based on many strong reasons. (E.g., there is no discordance amongst the specialized scientists that Solo, the Athenian lawmaker, is a historical person, despite that he lived 600 years before the period in which we face the posed historical question. But in the historical Jesus problem that we face here the discordances are unbridgeable, all Christian History notwithstanding.)
[A small parenthesis on the four Canonical Gospels:
Most Christian believers claim that the four Canonical Gospels were written by Disciples of Christ (Matthew and John) and disciples of the disciples (Mark and Luke). This has always been the church’s official position and permanent dogma along with that the authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit (godly-inspired)! (Then why the Holy Spirit needed four Gospels and not just one compete, clear and accurate).
However, all the scientists, many of whom are Christian theologians, admit that they were written at a time much later than the time of death of the putative Jesus by unknown authors. The authors’ names on them are not names of actual authors and therefore they are pseudepigrapha documents. The different, variant, conflicting, erroneous and incompatible narrations they contain prove beyond any doubt that they could not have been written by inspired disciples and eyewitnesses, such as Matthew and John.
Eusebius writes that bishop Papias heard from someone named John the Elder that Mark wrote from memory all the things regarding the Lord recounted to him by Peter and that Matthew wrote the words of the Lord in Aramaic. Others say that Luke was a disciple of Paul the Apostle and wrote whatever he heard from others. But in his report, Eusebius clearly says that Papias only heard; consequently neither Papias nor John the Elder had any copies of these writings, a very indicative fact for the inexistence of the written passages of the Canonical Gospels in Papias’ years (middle of second century). There is no indication that John the Elder was John the disciple, as many like to insist. They do not seem to have any connection. If they are the same person, the John the disciple must have lived about 150 years. Also, Matthew’s Gospel, as it is today, was written in Greek and therefore it cannot have any relation to an Aramaic collection of the words of the Lord.
If Mark indeed wrote whatever Peter said to him, then it is very curious he forgot to write that after Peter’s confession, 8: 27-30, Jesus himself gave the primacy to Peter, made him the corner stone of his church and gave him the keys of the kingdom of heaven, things that Matthew, 16: 13-20, remembered so well.
These Gospels appeared in content and under the titles that they bear for the first time about the year 185 C.E., in the writings of the bishop of Lyon Irenaeus who proposed them to become the only canonical and orthodox ones. (By the way, his excuses for that a completely nonsense.) However, he stated: “The Gospel according to …” and not “The Gospel of (or written by)…” In fact, no author reveals his name or anything about himself in any of them, as he should if he had undertaken to write history.
These Gospels are not known, either as a set of four or as content, to any authors before Irenaeus, such as: the apologists Aristides, Quadratus, and Justin the martyr; the bishop of Hierapolis Papias; the first historian of the church the Jewish Hegesippus; and even the arc-heresiarch Marcion of Pontus who suggested a first canon of the New Testament in the 140’s C.E., regardless of the fact that for its reasons the church of Rome rejected it. Justin in his Apology 50 and his Dialogue with Trypho 53 says that Jesus’ disciples left and dispersed after his crucifixion, whereas the Gospels say at his arrest. This means that Justin simply knew a different tradition than the one of the later Gospels or the Gospels underwent many alterations, a well documented fact.
But even if for a moment we accept the wrong dating proposed by the orthodox theologians, that is, the four Canonical Gospels were written as they exist today about 40-60 years after the death of the putative Jesus Christ, then very naturally the following plausible question arises: Why the writers and or the eyewitnesses waited for so many decades to write about and present the terrific and tremendous miracles, sings and wonder Jesus had executed? Which disciple and or eyewitness would have idled for so long time without exposing anything at all from these inconceivable signs and meanwhile to allow Paul first to present a completely different Christ? Is this turn of events probable? Countless miracles took place, signs and wonders happened, Jesus resurrected three dead people and finally himself, etc. and they waited for 40-60 years to write a report about them, whereas Paul says nothing about any of them, except for Jesus’ resurrection, in the meantime? Who can believe in such a turn of events? As all things show Paul’s theories and whatever he used put down at least partially the bases and gave the hints for the writing and the mythologies of the later Gospels, under the new situations that were created after the fatal years +66-73, the complete separation of Christians and Pharisaic Jews (+135) and the miserable failure of Christian eschatology.
Originals of the four Canonical Gospels do not exist. Irenaeus gospel-writings did not survive! The 1500 old copies kept in the museums of the world have been copied from other manuscripts. Most of the do not contain the whole Gospels let alone the whole New Testament, but only parts. From copying to copying every copier or editor changed whatever satisfied the needs of his times and his heresy. The corrections, alterations, and interpolations that have occurred have caused 80 000 deviations. There is not a single page of the so called “originals” without containing some contradictions. For example, the worldwide known Codex Sinaiticus, kept secretly (who knows why) in the monastery of the Sinai mountain until 1864, contains 16 000 corrections derived from 7 different editors and several parts that were replaced 3 and or 4 times. The Hebrewlogist Friedrich Delitz located 3000 errors caused just by copying. The plight of the little older Codex Vaticanus is much worse.
In the years +200 – 210 Tertullian attacked Marcion with invectives and lies. He accused Marcion of corrupting the Gospel According to Luke. The passages that he quotes from the Gospel According to Luke of his days to compare them with the corresponding ones in the Gospel of Marcion and thus prove his accusation are different from those that the nowadays Gospel According to Luke contains.
The earliest manuscripts and codices extant today go back to and after the year +350 C.E (Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus). In the year +330’s C.E. the uneducated emperor Constantine ordered the four Canonical Gospels to be edited anew and republished under the supervision of the deceptive Church historian Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, and the originals at hand to be destroyed throughout the Roman Empire. So, there is nothing strange about the inexistence of manuscripts before the year +350 C. E. Hence, these four Canonical Gospels have always been documents of faith; have been revised, rewritten and adjusted many times according to various needs of epochs and heresies. They have then become completely contradictory and therefore they have no historical value whatsoever.
In general we observe that most of the material written in the four Canonical Gospels is neither the biography of a historical person nor an exposition of historical events. The authors mostly convey their interpretations and not objective descriptions and they try to make up stories instead of real History. They do not write something directly but they try to correct already existed narrations and traditions before them. This is certainly verified in Luke’s introduction 1: 1-4 “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the world; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed”. We can observe elements like that in the other Gospels too.
The Canonical Gospels as the whole New Testament are full of contradictions, errors, illogicalities and nonsense. Contradictions are found not only from one Gospel to another but also in the same Gospel. The genealogies of Jesus, the narrations of: nativity, baptism, temptations, miracles, passion, resurrection reappearances and ascension are all contradictory. That is, everything is contradictory! Many teaching items and commandments say and unsay not only from book to book but many times within the same book, etc. All these observations have been published in the international bibliography in every detail. Find them in it, if you are interested in examining all the details and elements. For all these reasons we can distinguish three and even four different Jesuses Christs in the whole New Testament: One or two of the Synoptics (Matthew and Mark vs. Luke), one of John and one of Paul. Probably there is one more in the remaining books of the New Testament. It is impossible all this mess to have been written by the same author, or historian, or by disciples and eyewitnesses. These are fables, and therefore lies, and that is why there is no agreement. Anyone writes whichever he thinks or he likes!
For all the above reasons and several more, the Gospels have no historical value. However, the historizers claim that within the Gospels there are grains of History. This is probable but historically uncertain. Also, the pieces that one shows as true grains of History are so disconnected that no one can substantiate anything out of them. That is why each historizer moulds his / her own different history as a probable scenario of some events that took place around some Jesus who was generally known or unknown, significant or insignificant revolutionist or anti-revolutionist, but known only to his few followers, etc. Finally each of these histories falls in abeyance and the Jesus of the Gospels poses as a childish mythology.
The reader must also keep in mind that the modern historical and theological science completely rejects the Acts of The Apostles as a source of historical elements -or even grains-. Despite the opposite opinion of the fanatics that falsely or purposely consider some Luke as a top historian who allegedly wrote them, the Acts are full of myths, errors and interpolations, they do not write dates, they finish suddenly and unnaturally, etc. Form a comparison with the works of Josephus we undoubtedly see that the authors or the forgers of the Acts plagiarized quite a bit of them. However, they have distorted and reported wrongly many of the subjects they have copied! We will come back to this issue in the appendix 1.
End of parenthesis.)
Accordingly, we have that the Testimonium Flavianum either by itself or together with the other references, which as we have already said are of minute historical values and come from very doubtful sources, does not suffice to sanction the historicity of Jesus, even if we consider it authentic as it is written down. Much worse however, is that 90% of the specialized researchers and scientists strongly dispute it as total interpolation or partial forgery!
The final and beyond any doubt conclusion that is extracted is: “The reason for which the Jesus Christ of the Christian Religion cannot be considered a Historical person is that there are not objective data and elements historically capable of proving beyond any Historical doubt his Historical existence (as well as his non-existence)”. This means that we cannot conclude either if he existed or if he did not exist. In such a case, Jesus “the so called Christ” as he has been presented to us by the Christian group for 2000 years remains in the realm of myth. He is a persona esoteric and legendary of this group and cannot be considered historical. The New Testament and the Holy Tradition do not aim to write down and to convey history, but various plots of the Christian myth. That is why all the stories they offer are strongly contradictory and not agreeable.
From this point on, anybody can believe and write whatever he likes. But belief is one thing and science is another. Those who say, “I believe such and such …”, had better have the sportsmanship not to mingle science in order to attribute validity to their belief. Personally we are perfectly satisfied by agreeing with all those scientists who support the above conclusion and the following thesis: “We do not have Historical proofs of the existence or nonexistence of Jesus who later became the Christian Christ. The problem remains open, because of almost complete want of objective data.” There are quite a few scientists who maintain this final thesis. The rests are beliefs, theories, preferences, tastes, etc. That is, they are attempts and subjective estimations all of which add up to zero from the Historical point of view.
These arguments and conclusions, together with many others found in the next two parts of this article, are already used by the partisans of the third category that we wrote of at the beginning. Looking into all the elements that we have today at our disposal it seems unlikely that new elements may be discovered which would be capable of justifying the positions of the second category. However, per time we cannot completely exclude such an eventuality. We keep hearing that archaeologists find graves and elements which can offer categorical answers. We wait for and wish that the categorical answer is found, so that this useless issue is over once and for all. Now, what the significance of the justification of the second category would be, if it were eventually proven to be right? We answer that even if the second category is eventually right, the Jesus Christ whom it proclaims is totally different from the Jesus Christ portrayed in the Gospels or the entire New Testament and the Christian faithful crowd and sects believe in. Consequently from the religious Christian point of view the Jesus Christ of the second category is just as catastrophic to the “Christian truth” as his complete nonexistence, that is, his fully proven mythological character.
We can, however, declare with certainty that: the persona of Jesus Christ of the New Testament is a fictional construction, even if it is possibly based on some unknown existed person. There are a great many reasons that prove the truth of this assertion beyond any doubt and which have been exposed and published in thousands of research books and articles. So, we are not going to develop this claim at length. Only we very briefly state that: The evangelists (whichever they may be) and the various Christian communities of the first two centuries weave an anachronistic, tardy and eschatological myth. Therefore they are not interested in the historical truth, the accurate exposition of the putative facts and deeds, the correct geographical knowledge, the existing political and cultural conditions of those times, etc, even if many times in this myth and among their numerous errors and fictional elements they interpose historical elements, and names of real persons, places, etc . They are not event interested in writing in congruence with one another at all, but they expose a tremendous disorder and contradictory narration! Only within these frames and facts, all those numerous and glaring differences, contradictions, inconsistencies and inconsequence, which are found in passim over the whole New Testament and Christian traditions, can be justified and understood. All the efforts of the Christian fathers and divines to bridge and rectify this uncontrollable mess have pitiably failed, just as the construction of a historical Jesus has always added up to zero! In particular, on the basis of the Gospels‘ and Paul’s narrations we can distinguish and make up three or maybe four different Jesuses Christs, etc. “What further need of witnesses have we?”
[ 1: In the Gospels we read inexistent or imaginary names of places such as: Nazareth, Cana, Gergesa, Bethany over the Jordan, Aenon, Salim, etc. On the other hand they do not refer to the greatest and the most flourishing city of Galilee, the capital Sepphoris (Sepphorites), located at the center of Galilee. This is very noticeable and strange. They refer to unknown small villages and they do not refer to the largest city, given that Galilee is a small area and all cities and villages are near each other. Writing about Siberia, it is understandable someone in Vladivostok not to write about Novosibirsk. But in the small Galilee …?
Nazareth and Cana are not referred to in any historical work. E.g., the very educated Josephus was the general of the revolutionary army in Galilee during the first three years of the revolution of the Jews against the Romans, +66-73 C.E. So he has reported every part of Galilee in his lengthy works and especially Sepphoris in great detail and in various instances. But he nowhere has written anything about Nazareth and Cana, just as any other Judean and or gentile writer and scientist.
Pilgrimages with these names were built in the 4th century at the positions that the Christians thought that Nazareth and Kana were located originally. Then slowly-slowly they grew to become townships. For the outside Galilee imaginary locations, Gergesa, Bethany over the Jordan, Aenon, Salim, no pilgrimages were built. The word Nazareth is derived from a misunderstanding of the word Nazarite or Nazarene (Mark 1: 24, 14: 67, 16: 6, Luke 4: 34) and Cana from Canaanite which in Hebrew means zealot (see: Simon the Canaanite or Zealot, Matthew 10: 4, Mark 3: 18, Luke 6: 15, Acts 1: 13.) Most probably, Cana meant a secret camp of zealots.
Already in the 4th century some ecclesiastic fathers warned about the fraud of the pilgrimages places and call the faithful Christians to avoid them. In particular the ecclesiastic father Gregory of Nyssa, brother of Saint Basil “the Great”, warned: “Do not visit the places of pilgrimages because in those there is the greatest deception”. The fact that these named-locations are considered real by the faithful and are marked in biblical maps is due to the Gospels references only and nothing else. They claim: “Since the Gospels write so then it must be so!…”
The Gospel According to John has many and big differences with the three other Gospels. Only this contains several newly emerged stories such as the turning of the water into wine, the resurrection of Lazarus, etc., but it also exposes tremendous differences in common topics with the other three. Undoubtedly this is also the only Canonical Gospel that contains many Gnostic elements. Therefore this Gospel constitutes one more element for the mythologically made Jesus of the Gospels and hence for his inexistence. We refer to these differences here and there. Here we will note only three. (1) There are nowhere in John the fasting of Jesus and his temptations by the devil in the desert after his baptism. As the other three report they lasted 40 days. John says that right after his baptism, in the next two days he found some of his disciples and in the third day he performed his first show, the miracle in Cana.
(2) He expelled the merchants from the temple at the beginning of his activism, whereas the other three they put this episode at the end, 5 or 6 days before his crucifixion.
(3) John portraits a Jesus acting for three years, whereas the other three at most one! (You figure it out.)
John strives to convince us that he tells the truth, thing that no other evangelist tries to do, at many points of his Gospel, e.g., 19: 35, 21: 24 “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know (How do we know? He puts words in our mouth!) that his testimony is true.”, etc. A reader suspects him of having a problem with the things he writes. Finally he admits that his purpose is to do propaganda of belief and not History: 19: 35 “And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.” and 20: 31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” The whole chapter 21 has been proven to be a later addition in order to reinstate Peter’s party and Petristic traditions in the church. The one who added this chapter, he also thought of the mythology regarding the person(s) who had written the whole Gospel.
Who shall we believe now? John or one of the other three? We see again the Jesus of the Gospels is a sheer myth and nothing else. This mythical person was constructed by diverse real people who in their effort to embody their scopes and intensions, whatever these may have been, they based their myths in already existed mythological and real material. Moreover, a mythical person doe not ought to coincide with a real one!
The bishop of Antioch Theophilus (bishop in the years +169-177 C.E.) did not manage to satisfy the demands of non-Christians to indicate to them a resurrected dead. Also, the apologist Minucius Felix (middle of the 2nd century) tries with his concocted accusations to overpass the non-Christian accusations that the Christians worship crosses and someone who was crucified. He did not speak of resurrection in this conflict.
Thomas Maras has exhibited and commented on many contradictions in his book: The Contradictions of the New Testament, (in Greek) and has drawn the conclusion that the Jesus of the New Testaments is a concocted childish mythology, that is a lie! Similarly the great researcher Earl Doherty in his book: Challenging the Verdict, A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel’s “The Case of Christ”, Age of Reason Publications, 2001, has examined many (not all) contradictions and errors of the Gospels, and the Epistles and at many points he has drawn the same conclusion. Each author of these pseudepigraphic books makes up an expedient that serves his theology. Similarly the Christ of Paul is a pure construction of his morbid fantasy! (See Appendix 2, below.)
The great researcher and scholar Hyman E. Goldin greatly documents the same things in his admired and full of very informative notes book, The Case of the Nazarene Reopened, The Lawbook Exchange Ltd., 1948-2003.]
The memorable Robert Taylor frequently writes, in his works , one of the most cogent, in his opinion, criterion on the rejection of Jesus’ historicity and of all claims of the Christian religion! This is, he and all the rationalists and skeptics up to his times had to suffer at the higher degree the hatred, the dishonor, the calumny and in the end imprisonment and torture by the Christian apologists and officials, for any questions and objections they had submitted to them. In this very way, Taylor himself, besides having to pay several monetary fines imposed on him, was insulted, falsely accused and finally sent to gaol and tortured twice. So in his writings, he refers several times to the fact that he eventually understood, from his owned experience, which Christian arguments were the only cogent and smashing…! We then see that if the Christian apologists and historians have had available convincing criteria for Jesus’ historicity they would have provided them in a clear manner right from the beginning and the whole issue would have been ended. But, instead of such criteria they have always been providing unproven hypotheses and they have been possessed by an unleashed and aggressive mania to exterminate the skeptics and rationalists by any illicit and violent way.
[2. Robert Taylor, Edmonton England 18-8-1784, Tours France 5-6-1844. Anglican evangelical priest who abandoned Christianity as soon as he had studied enough to discover and comprehend the tremendous contradiction, mistake, inconsequence and catastrophic nature of this religion. In the end he became simply a theist as he himself writes. He wrote the three excellent books:
(1) The Diegesis, Kessinger Publishing, or Health Research Publications.
(2) Syntagma of the Evidence of the Christian Religion, Kessinger Publishing.
(3) The Devil’s Pulpit, Kessinger Publishing.]
Someone may claim that the above criterion of Taylor is somewhat subjective. Here, however, we cite the following very important from historical point of view piece of information, which has not received the attention that deserves and has not been sufficiently analyzed. Even if we suppose that there was indeed some Jesus behind the myths of the Gospels which were attributed to him after his death, he must have been a completely insignificant person and known only to the Christian esoteric tradition. This assertion holds on account of the fact that NO historian, author politician, rabbi, official or state record has taken any notice or made any reference to him, fact that follows not just from the sources we have got in our hands today but in his work Against the Galileans (Loeb Classical Library, Volume ΙΙΙ, pages 376-377, § 206 B) Great Emperor Julian (332?-363 C.E.), speaking to the Christians of his time, has made the following challenge and statement of great historical importance:
|«… ών [εκ τών ανδρών, Ιησούς Παύλος, Κορνήλιος, Σέργιος Παύλος, κά.] είς εάν φανή τών τηνικαύτα γνωριζομένων επιμνησθείς -επί Τιβερίου γάρ ήτοι Κλαυδίου ταύτα εγίνετο-, περί πάντων ότι ψεύδομαι νομίζετε.».||“But if you can show me that one of these men [Jesus, Paul, Cornelius, Sergius Paulus, etc.] is mentioned by the well known writers of that time, -these events happened in the reign of Tiberius or Claudius-, then you may consider that I speak falsely about all matters.” |
We quote here the English translation of the whole paragraph 201 Ε – 206 Β in Julian’s book Against the Galileans, by Loeb Classical Library, Volume ΙΙΙ, pages 374-377. We consider all elements exposed in this paragraph to be of particular importance and significance and they should be carefully studied and examined. We emphasize and underline some of them and you notice the rest of them.
«But what great gift of this sort do the Hebrews boast of as bestowed on them by God, the Hebrews who have persuaded you to desert to them? If you had at any rate paid heed to their teachings, you would not have fared altogether ill, and though worse than you did before, when you were with us, still your condition would have been bearable and supportable. For you would be worshipping one god instead of many, not a man, or rather many wretched men. And though you would be following a law that is harsh and stern and contains much that is savage and barbarous, instead of our mild and humane laws, and would in other respects be inferior to us, yet you would be more holy and purer than now in your forms of worship. But now it has come to pass that like leeches you have sucked the worst blood from that source and left the purer. Yet Jesus, who won over the least worthy of you, has been known by name for but little more than three hundred years: and during his lifetime he accomplished nothing worth hearing of, unless anyone thinks that to heal crooked and blind men and to exorcise those who were possessed by evil demons in the villages of Bethsaida and Bethany can be classed as a mighty achievement. As for purity of life you do not know whether he so much as mentioned it; but you emulate the rages and the bitterness of the Jews, overturning temples and altars, and you slaughtered not only those of us who remained true to the teachings of their fathers, but also men who were as much astray as yourselves, heretics, because they did not wail over the corpse in the same fashion as yourselves. But these are rather your own doings; for nowhere did either Jesus or Paul hand down to you such commands. The reason for this is that they never even hoped that you would one day attain to such power as you have; for they were content if they could delude maidservants and slaves, and through them the women, and men like Cornelius and Sergius. But if you can show me that one of these men is mentioned by the well-known writers of that time, these events happened in the reign of Tiberius or Claudius,then you may consider that I speak falsely about all matters. »
These words and challenges are written by Julian the great who was a man of integrity, educated, researcher, and philosopher. As Emperor, he had the records and the sources of the Empire at his disposal. By directly referring to the reign of Tiberius, Julian includes the action years of the putative Jesus, to whom he also directly refers in this paragraph. He also includes the initial years of the Apostle Paul, to whom he also directly refers in the same paragraph and moreover Sergius (Paulus) is referred to by the Christians only in relation to the Apostle Paul, in the book of Acts 13: 6-12. Cornelius and his conversion have to do with Peter as the book of Acts 10: 1-43 narrates. So, Julian brings up to a very well historically documented period during which, as it is supposed, these persons lived and acted. Consequently, Jesus and the others are NOT by definition historical persons, because historical persons are specifically those that are found and referenced in the appropriate sources.
We also consider it a noticeable the fact that he does not refer to Gaius Caligula, the emperor between Tiberius and Claudius! What could a possible explanation for this be? A very probable explanation could be that the putative events concerning Jesus Christ took place during the reign of Tiberius (+14-37) and the episodes concerning the proconsul Sergius Paulus and the centurion Cornelius took place during the reign of Claudius (+41-54).
(Finally, the first emperor who declared the Christian myth as a “real fact” and forcefully imposed it was the blood-thirsty and unbalanced Constantine, who later on, after his death, was sanctified and called “great” by the Christian church!)
In Julian’s times (+331-363) the Christians had uninhibited access to the writings of any author, politician, and to the documents of the state archives. They had their men in every position! However, they neither indicated any reference of either known or unknown author nor any document of the state archives or otherwise against this extremely challenging provocation of the great emperor, whom in fact they fatally hated. Hence this reference is of great historical significance, even though some could insist that in his work Against the Galileans, Julian does not directly challenge the historicity of these persons. In the way he speaks to the Christians of his time in this paragraph, Julian primarily wants to emphasize the full insignificance of the men he refers to (Jesus, Paul, Cornelius, Sergius Paulus, etc.), for leaving nothing praiseworthy behind them and no reliable source had ever made any reference to them. This fact in itself is a historical criterion against the historicity of these men. Also, Julian wanted to press the fact that these men had never given their followers orders to destroy and lay in waste everything found in front of them and kill either those who did not accept their believes and remain faithful to their traditional religion or their own heretics. Here therefore, we have got a witness of a creditable person about the quality of the character of the just legalized Christians in the fourth century. They were filled with vileness, wastefulness, murder mania, devastation, etc, properties they had already exposed since the second century. Then, they have the audacity to talk about love, forgiveness, tolerance and all those smoke-bubbles they like to brag about! All what Julian wanted to establish in his short lived twenty-month reign was a complete religious freedom and mutual tolerance. His premature and suspicious death (he was killed at the age of 32 years under unclear and suspicious conditions, 331 – 363 C.E.) rendered futile the success of this noble goal! From that time on the Christians had had absolutely no barrier; they destroyed everything either inanimate or animate! Very nice new world order and evolution!
We do not disagree with these points at all. But no matter how one sees and examines the content of Julian’s book Against the Galileans, this challenge necessarily brings forward the question of historicity of all these persons, an issue and a debate that at those years was still very heated. The reason that this reference has a great historical value and significance and rings a bell to the Historian scientist and researcher is the following: One of the most important criterions of historicity of a person that the Science of History uses is: “the existence of reliable, independent, congruent and contemporaneous with this person references. Many times later references are also used if they are estimated to be reliable, congruent and the specialists agree on their reliability and historical value.”
But to this present challenge and provocation the Christians gave absolutely no answer and did not grasp this opportunity to bring forth historical references and thus prove the historicity of these persons and close this issue once and for all, even though during these years they could have consulted the archives of the empire and invoked and or projected any source of their own or otherwise. They did absolutely nothing of that kind! Then this fact essentially proves in a firm and a historical way that no person out of those that Julian refers to at this part of his book was (and still is) anywhere referred to beyond the esoteric Christian mythology. Consequently their attitude and behavior puts the above powerful historical criterion out of use and validity. Therefore the above persons are not historical on account of the fact that apart from definitely not fulfilling this essential historical criterion they do not also fulfill any other one. As we have already said above, a person is by definition historical if it is specifically found and referenced in the appropriate sources.
This declaration and provocation of Julian together with the stance and silence of the Christians proves that: even in the middle 4th century both of the Flavian Testimonies (major and minor, Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities 18: 3: 3 or 18: 63-64, and 20, 9: 1, or 20: 200), were as unknown to the learnt Julian as to the Christians of his time, who offered absolutely no answer to him. The Emperor Philosopher was so well educated that he must have known for sure if there were or were not any references in Josephus or anyone else about Jesus Christ. Even if half a reference existed in Josephus, the well recognized Jewish Historian and supporter of the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), Julian would have known it and he would not have dared to make such a statement and challenge. Also, amongst the Christians who knew Julian personally at that time were the Cappadocian Gregory the theologian and the Cappadocian Basil the “great”, as having been his classmates in the school of Athens. Moreover Basil must have hated him fatally, if we think about his attitude toward Julian’s death . However, no answer to Julian and no exposition of such a reference was found in any work of these two Christian Fathers as well as in any other Christian’s paper or in any other paper or anecdote. Even forty (40) years later, the fanatic Christian Syrian-Jew John Chrysostom does not know at least the major testimony as the Holy Photios also did not, in the 9th century.
[3. In an extant epistle of Julian to Basil (e.g., see Loeb Classical Library, Julian, Volume III, pages 81-83), Julian emphasizes their friendship and mutual estimation toward each other, since the years they were classmates in the Academy of Athens. This epistle is a strong sample of the religious freedom, the respect on personal religious direction, and on the right of viewpoint that Julian sincerely wanted to hold. However, the not before long legalized Christians did not respect any of these values at all. As for Julian’s untimely and funest death, Basil reported that he had dreamt about it. According to some Christian traditions Julian was assassinated by a Christian soldier, named Mercurius, whom Basil blessed him for his act. The Christian church went even further and sanctified him. A depiction of Mercurius assassinating Julian is found on an icon of the Church of Annunciation (1547-1551) in Kremlin, Moscow. There is a second epistle to Basil (e.g., see: Loeb Classical Library, Julian, Volume III, pages 284-287) in which Julian addresses the vengeful malevolent rumors that Basil had spread about Julian as being unsuitable to become or be emperor!]
Consequently: these facts prove that both of the Flavian Testimonies are completely (in toto) forgeries and interpolations, which in Julian’s years had not got sufficient time to be widely disseminated yet. Since the first who cites the major and most important testimony in his works is Eusebius, about forty (40) years before Julian, then we easily draw the conclusion that this forgery was made by Eusebius.
(In the three parts of this work that follow, we expose a few additional powerful elements about these two forgeries and about the assertion that Eusebius is the perpetrator of the deception called Major Testimonium Flavianum, if not of both testimonies.)
For some strange reasons this clear and categorical report of Emperor Julian as his whole book Against the Galileans have not received the weight and the due attention they deserve. We wonder why? Can anybody explain?
This challenge of the Emperor Julian happened about 34 year after the finding of a cross on which allegedly Christ was crucified. The fairy tale of the finding of this cross at +327 K. E. by Helen the mother of the disturbed emperor Constantine, is quite known. This has been criticized by many researcher and we do not need to repeat what they have stated. It is a myth-making as so many hundreds of findings of holy relics, such as e.g., the tale of the donkey Jesus sat on! (Anyone interested in more details can look at the pages 281-293 of the book of the great researcher Joseph Wheless, Forgery in Christianity, Kessinger Publishing.)
Many apologists adduce this fairy tale as historical evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ. That means that for 44 years Julian had not learnt his lesson and 300 years should have passed in order to find, as the Christians have said, such historical evidence concerning the existence of Jesus. Either some Jesus was crucified on Helen’s cross or not the Jesus Christ of the Gospels remains mythology for the reasons we have presented above. This cross does not make up a historical evidence for any Jesus Christ. The place the excavated was full of crosses and Jesuses. Up until today archaeologists excavate crosses in Jerusalem. Josephus writes that in the destruction of Jerusalem (+70) the woods of the surroundings were depleted due to fact that the Romans constructed too many crosses in order to crucify the Jewish revolutionists. Helen’s “Holy Cross”, was abducted by the Persian to Ctesiphon (Seleucia on the Tigris River) in +614 and retrieved by the emperor Heraclius (+575-641). Then it was split into so many tiny pieces that they would load an ocean-liner. Today it is not available in one piece to have it examined.
At any rate, it would have been a blessing if sufficient and undisputable Historical data and elements were discovered, able to give definitive answer, positive or negative, to this serious question on the historicity of Jesus Christ, so that this matter would be over with once and for all. We could easily list many such missing data. E.g.: authentic manuscripts of Josephus (of the first three centuries or even nine centuries), of the New Testament, of Hegesippus, etc.
Also, we must be very careful because from time to time some swindlers appear who present many faked objects (e.g., the shroud of Turin, the ossuary of James, etc.), in order to provide strong archeological evidence for the historicity of Jesus Christ. Then the blindly religious Christians immediately and without any examination and confirmation grasp the chance to boast about proofs. By the way, the shroud of Turin and the ossuary of James were so well contrived that the scientists had to spend a lot of time and energy and try very hard to scientifically discover and prove that both of them were frauds.
By the way, many well educated Jews – some of whom I have heard myself or I have studied their books- claim that the Jewish community possesses a reliable manuscript of Josephus, which does not contain the references to Jesus. I do not know how true this claim may be. If their manuscript is of the 11th century (like the one under the title Jossipon) or later, then the reference to it has no essential value. The counterargument to such a manuscript is that its copier or its translator, being a Jew, purposely subtracted the references to Jesus Christ, etc. If, however, the Jewish community has preserved a reliable manuscript of the first three or even nine centuries, then it would perpetrate a great service to humanity if it offers it to the hands of specialized and impartial scientists for a credible examination. The time is now ripe to get it out of its secret shell without the fear of the Holy Inquisition. With all due respect I invite them to do so.
Ioannis, Neoklis Philadelphos, M. Roussos,
Doctor, Professor of Mathematics,
Researcher of the Christian and Biblical Issues
WE CONTINUE WITH THE FOLLOWING COMMENT on the above article, by Pan. Marinis
Published in the Periodical: Hellenic Pantheon No 27, pages 41-43, December 2004 – February 2005
Testimonium Flavianum is a gross forgery of Josephus’ work which is not accepted by any serious researcher.
Whereby the question arises why it has come back to proscenium in the recent times? The answer does not honor our epoch! Fundamentalistic Christian Churches and Universities in the USA overtly despise the upright thinking and what is self- evident!
About these forgeries, the Greek theologian Mr. Konstantinos Siamakis, Dr. of Theology, writes in his book Non-Christian Testimonies about Christ and Christians, (in Greek) Publications “Athos” 2000, pp. 232, Chapter “36, with title: Anepigrapha or Pseudepigrapha”:
As it was referred earlier, a spurious passage about Jesus Christ has been wedged in Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities, in which the redactor eulogizes the Lord and admits his Divinity, the eternal truth of his preaching, his wonders, and his resurrection, and also appraises and downrightly names the Christians. Obviously there must have been a “Christian” forger before the year +330, since Eusebius has already cited this Josephus’ passage as a genuine one, (It is wedged in Josephus, J. A. 18, 63-64, and Eusebius cites it in his Ecclesiastical History 1, 11, 7-8.) and this passage reads as follows:
|Γίνεται δέ κατά τούτον τόν χρόνον Ιησούς σοφός ανήρ, εί γε άνδρα αυτόν λέγειν χρή· ήν γάρ παραδόξων έργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ανθρώπων τών ηδονή ταληθή δεχομένων, καί πολλούς μέν Ιουδαίους, πολλούς δέ καί τού Ελληνικού απηγάγετο· ο Χριστός ούτος ήν, καί αυτόν ενδείξει τών πρώτων ανδρών παρ’ ημίν σταυρ επιτετιμηκότος Πιλάτου, ουκ επαύσαντο οι τό πρώτον αγαπήσαντες· εφάνη γάρ αυτοίς τρίτην έχων ημέραν πάλιν ζών, τών θείων προφητών ταύτά τε καί άλλα μυρία περί αυτού θαυμάσια ειρηκότων. Εισέτι τε νύν τών Χριστιανών από τούδε ωνομασμένον ουκ επέλιπε τό φύλον.||About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats 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 Messiah. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection in the first place for him. On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.|
[Note by I. N. Ph. M. Roussos: The famous English Christian theologian and great Hellenist Henry St. John Thackeray (1869-1930), whose translation of Josephus was published by the Loeb Library of Harvard University, observed that this paragraph does not fit the writing style and the spirit of Josephus and it must be either completely inserted or for the most part forged. These observation on the Testimonium Flavianum started in the 16th century and went on for very long with the famous German theologians Scaliger, Eisler, Schürer, Niese, Norden, Zeitlin, Lewy, Juster, and more. Afterward a very long research and bibliography was created of this issue by theologians and scientists of all Christian heresies and nationalities.]
Twenty-two other such passages, some of which are quite extended, are found as inserted in the Slavonic translation of the Jewish War, which are investigated from the historical and philological point of view by the Greek professor of theology S. Agouridis in his doctoral dissertation … Dr. Agouridis demonstrates that these 22 passages, besides that they come from the hand of some peculiar Pharisee, they have moreover undergone adaptation by some heretical (Patropaschitis [a]) Christian. Consequently it would be a mistake to characterize these as authentic testimonies for Christ.”
[a: Patropaschites are the Christian heretics who believe that in the passion of salvation the Father God suffered himself and not the Son God! (In Greek: Father =Pater and suffer = pascho.) ]
All these make it futile to spend our time giggling with the self-proven! However, let us look at this gross deception in some more detail!
· The paragraph is indeed “inserted” and moreover foreign in meaning, as the thoughts of the previous paragraph continue without violation in the next one, while it has no relation to the subject matter of the chapter.
· It is known from the beginning that the critics of the Christian religion acutely disputed the historicity of the person of Jesus. There is a series of authors who on the one hand wrote extensive apologetic works and on the other hand it is proven from their works that they knew the writings of Josephus (see Michael Hardwick, Josephus as an Historical Source in Patristic Literature though Eusebius). We mean the authors: Justin the Martyr, Theophilus of Antioch, Melito of Sardis, Minucius Felix, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Julius Africanus, Pseudo-Justin, Tertullian, Hippolytus of Rome, Origen, Methodius, Lactantius, and more. However, none of these apologists makes a reference to this paragraph, an act that would have resolved the whole issue immediately and would have additionally given weaponry for proving the divinity, the miracles, etc. of the person under question. Let us think of the fact that Origen quotes Josephus in order to prove the historicity of John the Baptist, even though he was never put under historical disputation! Also, there has survived a Latin synopsis of the work of Josephus under examination (J. A.) by a Christian author, attached to a Latin translation of the 6th – 8th century. Even there nothing is cited.
· It has been proven that the language of this paragraph is completely different from the language of Josephus. The verb “ουκ επαύσαντο: did not give up” is deprived of (second grammatical) object. The word “ποιητής: poet: one who wrought” was not used anymore with its general meaning [i.e., maker, creator] in Josephus times, but it was used to characterize a linguist writer that put words in verse [poet, poem]. “παρ’ ημίν: amongst us” is a solecism. The word “φύλον: tribe” in the ancient times had the nowadays meaning – and that is how it is used by Josephus 11 times – of nation (ethnos), race, and is never used to characterize other kinds of groups. This mistake is committed by Eusebius himself – twice in his Ecclesiastical History!
[As Solomon Zeitlin explains in: Josephus on Jesus, With Particular Reference to the Slavonic Josephus and the Hebrew Josippon, The Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Philadelphia 1931, this word is not used by any Christian Father before Eusebius. Neither, Tertullian upon whom Eusebius is based as he admits, writes is. All of them simply say the “Christians” and not “the Christian tribe”. For this reason the Latin Father Rufinus, even though he writes half a century after Eusebius and translated Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History into Latin, he does not use it either. I. N. Ph. M. Roussos]
Thereby we conclude that this paragraph was written by someone who did not know Greek well. Ken Olson in his very interesting work (Eusebian Fabrication of the Testimonivm, 2001) has shown that the paragraph agrees in all traits with Eusebius’ manner of writing! Besides other things this fellow [Eusebius] is accustomed to use the strange phrase «παραδόξων έργων ποιητής: one who wrought surprising feats» when he refers to working of miracles. Eusebius wanted to remove the accusation that Jesus, as presented, was an “enchanter” and that is why he says that he was “σοφός: wise” and his adherents continued to believe in him because his miserable death did not belie their expectations since he was resurrected. We here have to do with a series of syllogisms that Eusebius uses quite often! The paragraph was written by Eusebius in order to reinforce the argumentation he had developed earlier in his work Evangelical Preparation, Olson concludes.
· We ought to consider and understand Josephus’ ideas. As he was a follower of the Roman Peace “Pax Romana”, personally protected by the Emperor Vespasian and writing for a Roman audience he does not cease to condemn all of those who disturbed the peace, popular revolutionaries, peripheral religious fanatics, apocalyptic prophets, enemies of the existed world order in general, and he holds them responsible for the final destruction of Jerusalem! In addition, the phrase “σοφός ανήρ: wise man” constitutes Josephus’ highest honorary expression that he keeps for Solomon and the Prophets! The written elements in this paragraph make it a forgery by themselves.
[It is not possible the polymath Jew Pharisee Josephus to style Jesus Christ “wise man”, because if Jesus is sufficiently represented by the Gospels, then it is known to all that most of the Lord’s Words in them, come to overt antithesis with the Pharisaic Judaism, the orthodox Judaic interpretation of the Old Testament and then social life of the Jews. Also, many acts and words of Jesus were strongly hurled against the Pharisee and the Jews in general. Josephus was both a Jew and a Pharisee. I. N. Ph. M. Roussos]
We have proven that Josephus mentions nothing about Christ and or Christians. Whence this fact poses another imperative question! Josephus recording of the events in Palestine around the year +70 in great detail and paying special attention to analogous groups he ought to have reported something concerning the Christian movement since he writes so many things about other movements of surely lower significance!
This silence constitutes a fact very difficult to explain! For us it constitutes a first class issue! We consider it as a well founded argument “ex silentio” that there were no Christians in the Palestine of +70!
[Also, Josephus was born in +37 and lived in Rome from +74 till his death, about +100. He published his works in the years +93-95. But he reports nothing at all about the Christian communities of Rome or at least the Petristic or Paulistic Christianity that was supposed to be there and constitute hubris for the Orthodox Judaic Pharisaism. I. N. Ph. M. Roussos.]
We must investigate this situation further in the future! Here let us just think of the following: Undoubtedly, there is a main landmark in the history of Christianity. Christianity becomes as known to the public as to the state authorities the year +250. At that time, Emperor Decius [b] in the frame of nation-building process and the, indispensable for the defense against the barbarians, invigoration of the national morale, he organized national celebrations in all the cities of the Greek world. Then, to their great surprise, the officials saw some rioters who out of their own volition insulted the Greek Civilization and the Empire, called themselves Christians! [c]. From that point starts out the public history of Christianity.
[b: The great Emperor Decius had not had enough time to give definite solution to the novel Christian problem because he was killed in battle against the Goths in a marshy area by the delta of the Danube river, the year 250 C. E., about four months before he completed two years as Emperor. (Thus, Decius has got the honor to be the first Emperor lost in battle!) ]
[c: For instance, in Smyrna (Asia Minor today Turkey) during these celebrations such rioters appeared in front of the sub-prefect, who had chained themselves and demanded to become martyrs (that is, to die in a martyrdom) because, as they were screaming, they were Christians. Then the sub-prefect very surprised shouted that: “Methinks all of us have gone crazy” and continue: “If these fellows desire to die then they can jump off a nearby cliff”.]
Every “non-Christian testimony” before 250 seems to simply be a posterior forgery. Thereby, all events before 250 remain dark! Before 250 we have only one fixed chronology. Based upon the works of Irenaeus of Lyon we know that the [four canonical] Gospels came into circulation the years +180-185.
[d: We must not preserve deceptive impressions about the sociology and the number of Christians. They were very few in 185 C. E., the year of edition and circulation of the canonical gospels – whereas, let us emphasize, until that time no tradition concerning the historical Jesus exists as we know it all well from the writings of the above referred Irenaeus -. In provinces of the empire such as Gaul (France) they were as inexistent in 185 C. E. as in 285 C. E.! Irenaeus and his congregation were but a small group of technicians / builders from Asia Minor who had moved to Lyon looking for work. Although Irenaeus was a saint and a godly church father, he did not have the gift of speaking in tongues and there he faced great difficulties for he was unable to understand the Celtic dialects of the area. – The Christian congregations consisted exclusively of members of the meager class of the freely moving workers and civil servants, fact well documented in numerous research works on the sociology of Christianity. -]
SUPPLEMENT OF MORE ELEMENTS ABOUT TESTIMONIUM FLAVIANUM
Ioannis Neoklis Philadelphos M. Roussos
Already in the first part of this work we draw and interpreted the conclusion that: “The declaration and provocation of Julian together with the stance and silence of the Christians proves that: even in the middle 4th century both of the Flavian Testimonies (major and minor, Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities 18: 3: 3 or 18: 63-64, and 20, 9: 1, or 20: 200), were as unknown to the learnt Julian as to the Christians, who offered no answer to him… Consequently: these facts prove that both of the Flavian Testimonies are completely (in toto) forgeries and interpolations, which in Julian’s years had not got sufficient time to be widely disseminated yet. Since the first who cites the major and most important testimony in his works is Eusebius, about forty (40) years before Julian, then we easily draw the conclusion that this forgery was made by Eusebius.”
In this present part of our work we expose even more powerful elements about:
1) These two forgeries.
2) The conclusion that Eusebius is the perpetrator of the deception, which is called Major Testimonium Flavianum, if not of both major and minor testimonies.
3) Why it was impossible for Josephus’ hand to have written both testimonies either entirely or partially.
Whereas, in the last 300 years the paragraph of Major Testimonium Flavianum was a great issue of research and hypotheses, by the 19th and the first half of the 20th century was already put in obscurity and was incidentally brought up just in discussions of specialists. No liable scientist referred to it anymore as it had already been condemned as a bold forgery on account of the unsurpassable reasons that Mr. Marinis has previously exposed plus various others. However, during the second half of the 20th century until today we have witnessed it coming back attacking more severely in all social grades of the Christian believers. By chance we have also read relative articles published in prime daily newspapers whose writing styles betray the fact that they were written by uneducated and blindfolded servants of the Christian propaganda, who were unrelated to the issue and they imply happened to know this paragraph and nothing else. Unless they knew more things that they decided to hide on account of their well known reasons. Besides these remarks and many mistakes these articles contained those prime newspapers published them without hesitation. In our days the religious fanaticism and the antiscientific delirium have returned more forcefully and thus we observe all sorts of antiscientific phenomena and events coming from everywhere essentially, but mainly from the USA and the Vatican. Today, we are again in the grave danger of a second medieval period, much more devastating than the first one.
Also, through all these years, there have been many Christian theologians who on the one hand acquired some scientific responsibility that did not allow them to accept this paragraph as authentic but on the other hand they could not have completely rejected it, because then they would not have had any substantial non-Christian historical testimony about Jesus Christ, whom they did believe as God. Therefore, they fabricated an intermediate solution by insisting that the paragraph was partially written by Josephus and later on was altered by a Christian forger. Moreover they have come to the point to decide which parts were written by Josephus and which by the forger. (E.g., see the footnotes of the publications of the Loeb Classical Library, Jewish Antiquities XVIII 63-64, along with several interesting comments.) Even if this possibility is not mathematically impossible, the size of this paragraph is too small to perpetrate the action of such a forgery easily.
From all analyzed points and data that we have at disposal we conclude that the paragraph under investigation is a forgery totally, perpetrated by Eusebius of Caesarea who has been proven to have done many other forgeries, have written many lies, have destroyed his sources, have not cared for the truth and have committed many other conspiratory stuff like that. For many years now many articles and books have been written to clearly show the falsity of Testimonium Flavianun. Nowadays numerous such articles have been attached to many websites in the internet in which anybody can find many important arguments, facts and remarks. Here, we supplement the evidences and arguments previously presented by the prominent researcher Mr. Marinis, with some additional significant reasons and remarks:
· As Josephus explains in his autobiography The Life after a three year probationary period he abandoned the Essenes and became a Pharisee like as was his father, Mattitiaou. He remained so until the end of his life. The Pharisees even until today not only did not recognize Jesus as Messiah but even they set forward a very strong counter argumentation against the Christians. It is not possible for a talented, orthodox and privileged Pharisee, knowing fluently the Scriptures of the Old Testament, to declare so emphatically “He was the Messiah. …for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him.” together with the other remaining things. All these constitute a clear Christian language. Moreover in the Gospels we read that if anyone confessed Jesus as Christ (Messiah), the Pharisees expelled him from the synagogue (qahal). See, Gospel according to John 9: 22, 33-35, 12: 42. The things that the putative John exposes at this point of “his Gospel” reflect the new situations and clashes between the Christian Jews and the Pharisaic Jews and as they were formed after the year 71 C.E. However, Josephus not only was not expelled from any Jewish synagogue (qahal) but he remained a Pharisee for life.
· It lies beyond anyone’s imagination, let alone someone who writes History in a scientific way as the educated Josephus, to write with his own hand this paragraph as historical truth that took place during Pontius Pilate’s governance and admit about Jesus that: (1) he was the Messiah, (2) he wrought many miracles (even though he does not report any single one of them as an example), (3) he was raised from the dead after three days, (4) the divine Prophets of the Old Testament had prophesied about him and his acts, (5) he was wise, (6) it is not proper to simply call him a man (human), and then Josephus himself instead of adopting the new religion of Christianity, as many Jews and Gentiles did just that according to the paragraph, he remained faithful for life to his initially chosen doctrine of the Pharisees. Which scientist would have seen a dead resurrected after three days (even half a day) or he would have written it down in his History as a true fact and would not have changed perceptions and world view and or something intricate would not have happened to him as a result? Also, what do you think? Instead of a line would not he have devoted a few pages to describe this unexpected phenomenon of resurrection of a three day diseased and also convey to us his own experience as a result of this happening? Who would not have covered many pages to describe the most import man who was the incarnation or the son of God?
· The fact that the extensive writer Plilo Judaeus Alexandrinus in his numerous works does not refer to Jesus or allude to him in any way and manner, support the assertion that Jesus Christ is a myth and Josephus paragraph a forgery. Philo live from – 5 B. C. E. to +50 C. E. and was very involved with the social, political, religious, and so on, issues of Judea and the Jews. As we see the span of his life includes the span of the supposed Jesus by many years before and after. So, he is a contemporary of Jesus, but in his lengthy work, he does not write even one word about him or for the tremendous feats and signs that characterize his active life according to the Gospels. Therefore, for Philo Jesus Christ did not exist. The by 60 later Josephus knew very well the work of Philo. Then how is it possible for him to refer to Jesus whereas his predecessor and contemporaneous to the events Philo ignores him? The Galilean historian Justus of Tiberias (+35-110 C. E.) even though he wrote 15 years before Josephus, but delayed in publication by 5 years, did not write a single word about Jesus and or the Christians. The famous Roman naturalist and scientist Pliny the Elder (+23-79 C. E.) has recorded all the unusual natural phenomena of his times (earth quakes, solar and lunar eclipses, etc.). He lived a few years after Jesus and traveled all over the empire. He still did not write anything about the miracles, signs and wonders referred to in the Gospels. Nobody told him anything about them!
· [But even the New Testament reports very curious things. The resurrected Jesus did not appear to those who judged and condemned him unjustly (Sadducees, Pharisees, Scribes, Priests and High Priests), his executioners (Pilate, Roman soldiers, the Jewish guards and custody, etc.), and the Jewish people who turned into a mob and abandoned and betrayed him, but he appeared to his disciples only and most of the times in so incomprehensible ways that make you think that he enjoyed playing “hide and seek” with them! For what reason? Senseless events… See Matthew 28: 17, Mark 16: 12, Luke 24: 13-32, John 20: 15, 21: 12, etc. Elsewhere again, he appears normally Luke 24: 41-43, John 20: 19-29.]
· This paragraph is referenced for the first time in the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea (Ecclesiastical History, II, vi). . Nobody knows it before him. But even after him many Church Fathers do not know it. For instance the voluminous writers John Chrysostom (347 – 407), Holy Augustine (+354 – 430), Methodius (+9th century) and others do not know it, although these fathers confess that they knew the works of Josephus very well. Concretely Chrysostom states that: “…I do not even remember if Josephus reports the name or the word Christ anywhere in any of his works, besides a testimony which I referred to before and in which the passage concerns James the bother of the Lord.” (We will examine this in the sequel.) Chrysostom refers to Josephus often but he never cites this paragraph of the Testimonium. Neither Holy Photius (+820 – 891) refers to it, (please note, five and a half centuries later), whereas he passionately looks for historical testimonies about Jesus. Vexed he destroys by fire and for ever to work of the Galilean Historian Justus of Tiberias because even if he writes before Josephus he says nothing about Jesus. Photius has written three articles about Josephus but he does not write anything about the Testimonium in them. In another article about Justus of Tiberias, Photius emphatically declares that the Jewish Historian Josephus has not noted any bit of information about Christ. The meaning of all these facts is that these Fathers after Eusebius either do not have any forged copy of Josephus in their hands or probably they know that this paragraph is a forgery and they consequently ignore it. We also add that before Eusebius some Fathers such as Clement of Alexandria (+150-215) who has copied many excerpts from ancient writers in his extensive writings and the apologist Justin the Martyr (+100-165) in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, and more, do not report anything about the Testimonium.
· Let us stay with Justin briefly. Been born in Samaria he had been influenced by both Judaism and Hellenism. However, when he was converted to Christianity he turned against both with rage and hatred. They say in Christianity he found the real Philosophy. As it seems, only on account of that the Christians surnamed him “philosopher”, for otherwise from his extant writings we conclude that this man did not have any idea as to what philosophy is, or if he did, he had abolished it because of his Christian delirium. Besides the two Apologies, the first to the Emperor Antoninus Pius and the second to the “Sacred Senate of Rome”, we also have his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew and his Hortatory Address to Hellenes. (If this were possible!)
In his writings he never invokes the Canonical Gospels by name but a work under the title “The Memoirs of the Apostles“. Few phrases found in this writing remind of some phrases in the canonical Gospels and on account of this fact many Christians guided by the benefit of their faith they claim this fact to be a proof of the existence of the canonical Gospels since the days of Justin. It is certainly a distortion of the truth and a Christian wishful thinking  because they purposely hide the fact that most of the phrases of this work not only do not exist in the canonical Gospels but also they are not reminiscent to any of their phases at all. Many of these phrases have been located in apocrypha non-canonical passages that have survived up to us and many others must have come from other apocrypha non-canonical passages and traditions that have been lost. (Maybe, we must canonize all the apocrypha.)
[: Analogous and worse distortion of the truth and Christian wishful thinking we find in the so-called testimony of Tatian the Syrian (c.120-c.175), student of Justin. (This is another long issue for another time.)]
In our present issue his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew has great significance. Justin tries with passion to convince Trypho to accept Christianity as the only true religion and vindication of Judaism. But Trypho the Jew is a tough nut and is not convinced about it. From his words, it becomes clear that Justin is vexed by him. He talks to Trypho about a Jesus who was the Christ (Messiah) of the Old Testament according to the prophets, but he does not present to him any Christ’ biographical element and feat of his acts. In a rage and hatred against the Jews, two or three times he finally insists to Trypho that the Jews crucified Christ and then he was resurrected. As he writes, the Jews by themselves perpetrated the crucifixion of Christ. The Romans, Pilate, centurion, soldiers, cohort, etc are not even mentioned anywhere by him. This fact, of course, runs against the narrations of the canonical Gospels and the elements contained in the putative Josephus’ Flavian Testimony.
On the one hand, if the Samaritan Justin knew all these data he would not have hidden them at all, because as a fanatic faithful Christian he had kept no special sympathy towards the pagan and imperialistic Romans and moreover he would have brought up cogent historical data to convince his unyielding interlocutor. On the other hand, this tough Jew, Trypho, did not protest and did not suggest to Justin to have a look at the Gospels in order to see that the Romans and Pilate deserve at least half of the guilt for this committed crime and also have another look at Josephus in order to see that according to his “historical testimony” Pilate himself was responsible for the crucifixion of Christ. These elements in the hands of Trypho the Jew would have been exonerating for the Jews, whom Justin attacked with rage and hatred. So, if he had happened to know them he would have presented them to Justin and he would have used them to exonerate his compatriots Jews, who at that time needed such kind of exonerations heavily, and thus to refute the fanatic renegade Justin. But such things did not occur in this dialogue!
From studying and analyzing this Dialogue we conclude that both Justin and Trypho know nothing about the Canonical Gospels and the Testimonium Flavianum, because very simply these are later-time concoctions and forgeries. This fact is an additional strong point not only against the Testimonium Flavianum but also against the existence of the Canonical Gospels during the time of Justin. Once more we have to do with a Christian forgery or interpolation and pseudepigrapha.
· Origen (185-254 C.E.) in his work Contra Celsum, first book, chapter 47, writes:
|«Εβουλόμην δ’ άν Κέλσω, προσωπο¬ποι¬ήσαντι τόν Ιουδαίον πα¬ρα¬δε¬ξά¬με¬νόν πως Ιωάννην ως βαπτιστήν βα¬πτίζοντα τόν Ιησού, ει¬πείν ότι τό Ιω¬άν¬νην γε¬γο¬νέ¬ναι βαπτιστήν, εις άφε¬σιν αμαρτημάτων βα¬πτίζοντα, ανέ¬γραψέ τις τών μετ’ ου πολύ τού Ιωάννου καί τού Ιησού γεγενημένων. εν γάρ τώ οκτω¬καιδεκάτω τής Ιου¬δαϊ¬κής αρχαι¬ολογίας ο Ιώ¬σηπος μαρτυ¬ρεί τώ Ιω¬άννη ως Βαπτιστή γε¬γε¬νη¬μέ¬νω καί καθάρσιον τοίς βα¬πτι¬σαμέ¬νοις απαγγε¬λομένω. ο δ’ αυτός, καίτοι γε απι¬στών τώ Ιησού ως Χριστώ, ζητών τήν αιτίαν τής τών Ιερο¬σο¬λύμων πτώ¬σε¬ως καί τού ναού καθαιρέσεως, δέον αυτόν ει¬πείν ότι η κατά τού Ιησού επιβουλή τούτων αιτία γέγονε τώ λαώ, επεί απέ¬κτη¬ναν τον προφητευ¬όμενον Χρι¬στόν· ο δέ καί ώσπερ άκων ου μα¬κράν τής αλη¬θείας γε¬νόμενός φησι ταύτα συμβεβηκέναι τοίς Ιου¬δαίοις κατ’ εκδί¬κη¬σιν Ιακώβου τού δικαίου, ός ήναδελφός Ιησού (τού λεγομένου Χρι¬στού), επει¬δήπερ δι¬καιότατον αυτόν όντα απέκτειναν. ».||“I would like to say to Celsus, who represents the Jew accepting John somehow as a Baptist, who baptized Jesus, that the existence of John the Baptist, baptizing for the remission of sins, is related by one who lived no great time after John and Jesus. For in the 18th book of Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been the Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple [said that it was ‘to avenge James the just’], whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless -being, although against his will, not far from the truth – that these disasters happened to the Jews as|
punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ) , – the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice.”
(Ante Nicene Fathers’ Translation)
[2: In some editions we have: (called Christ) in parentheses, whereas in others editions we heave: “of Jesus called Christ” in quotation marks.]
Here the Christian Zealot Origen has used some bleary and fuzzy phrases and does not cite Josephus with precision. As a Christian Zealot, Origen himself does not avoid making his own forgery at some points. E. g., Josephus clearly writes that the baptism of John was NOT performed for “the remission of sins”, but only for the purification of the body just as any washing. For both John and the baptized person baptism was a necessary initiation before the baptized could accept God and was not for the forgiveness of any sins. Josephus precisely writes:
|«…καί πρός τόν θεόν ευσεβεία χρωμένοις βαπτισμώ συιέναι· ούτω γάρ δή καί τήν βάπτισιν αποδεκτήν αυτώ φανείσθαι μή επί τινων αμαρτάδων παραιτήσει χρωμένων, αλλ’ εφ’ αγνεία του σώματος, άτε δή καί τής ψυχής δικαιοσύνη προεκκεκαθαρμένης.».||“…and piety towards God, and so doing to join the baptism. In his view this was a necessary preliminary if baptism was to be acceptable to God. They must not employ it to gain pardon for whatever sins they committed, but as a consecration of the body implying that the soul was already was already thoroughly cleansed by the right behaviour.”|
To avoid expounding these points for too long we suggest to the readers to carefully examine Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities, book XVIII (18), verses 116-119, and book XX (20), verse 200. But, avoiding prolixity, let us look into three admissions concerning Josephus and Jesus made by Origen in this passage. He avers that:
(1) Josephus “does not believe in Jesus as the Christ, (Messiah)”. (In his book 6, chapter 5, paragraph 4, or verse 310-315 of The Jewish War Josephus consider as Messiah the victorious Roman emperor Vespasianus, who was pronounced emperor of the Jewish soil, and went on to say that the Jewish prophesies were fulfilled in him. We wonder if Origen had kept this in his mind!)
(2) Josephus “ought to have said that the conspiracy [of the Jews] against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the [Jewish] people“, however he does not say this, but he claims that the cause of all these calamities was to avenge the unjust killing of James the Just by the High Priest Ananus, who conspired against James and put him to death, whereas James was a just and righteous man! This excuse together with the phrase (called Christ) is referred in Eusebius Ecclesiastical History, book 2, chapter 23. Eusebius has copied this from these lines of Origen, almost a verbatim.
(3) Josephus is quoted here as bearing witness to John the Baptist not as heavenly sent forerunner of Christ, but simply as a Jewish religious leader and baptizer on his own account, without mentioning anything with regard to John recognizing Jesus as the Christ (Messiah), lamb of God, baptizing him, and having been influenced by Christ’ activities, preaching and or the sensation of Christ’ imminent coming.
(4) [By the way, let us also observe that Origen here simply says “…Christ, who was a prophet,” and nothing else. That is he does not refer to Jesus as the Son of God, or as one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity, etc. What explanation can the Christians offer about this?]
For the sake of completeness of the matter we add that: The minor Testimonium Flavianum appears in Josephus’ work The Jewish Antiquities, book XX, chapter 9, paragraph 1, or verse 200 and it is as follows:
|Άτε δή ούν τοιούτος ών ο Άνανος, νομίσας έχειν καιρόν επιτήδειον διά τό τεθνάναι μέν Φήστον, Αλβίνον δ’ έτι κατά τήν οδόν υπάρχειν, καθίζει συνέδριον κριτών καί παραγαγών εις αυτό τόν αδελφόν Ιησού τού λεγομένου Χριστού, Ιάκωβος όνομα αυτώ, καί τινας ετέρους, ως παρανομή κατηγορίαν ποιησάμενος παρέδωκε λευθησομένους.|| Possessed of such a character, Ananus thought that he had a favourable opportunity because Festus was dead and Albinus was still on the way. And so he convened the judges of the Sanhedrin and brought before them a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, and certain others. He accussed them of having tragressed the law and delivered them up to be stoned.|
The parenthetical phrase [called Christ] that exists in Josephus’ passage without parenthesis is the so-called Minor Testimonium Flavianum. This, as the Major Testimonium Flavianum, is also considered to be a forgery by all unbiased researchers. We are going to examine this briefly and make certain important remarks. This phrase is clearly coming from Christians because:
(1) Origen himself in this present passage, in his book Contra Celsum, speaks blearily and imprecisely in misquoting Josephus -fact unacceptable-, and glaringly contradicts himself within six lines. He has put this phrase in parentheses. But we do not need to go that far. Origen himself says in this passage that Josephus “does not believe in Jesus as the Christ, (Messiah)” and right after turns to tell us that Josephus writes: “who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ)”. That is, Origen himself contradicts himself within six lines. If that were possible!
(2) The phrase “(called Christ)” is a frequent Christian phrase. We see it verbatim in the New Testament: Matthew 1: 16, 27: 17, 22, John 4: 25 and in a lot of other Christian literature. So, it is apparent that some Christian copyist has most easily inserted these two words in Josephus’ passage since this point fitted his goal perfectly. Maybe he thought that was the James Josephus meant and so he wanted to give an additional explanation. But the phrase hanged up in the air because: Besides that Josephus offers sufficient explanations for all persons he introduces, since writing for the Greco-Roman world, he addresses topics they do not know, he would have invoked the major Testimonium Flavianum (J. A. 18: 3: 3 or 18: 63-64) if indeed existed, since this minor Testimonium Flavianum appears later in the same work (20, 9: 1 or 20: 200). But he says nothing about it and he does not mention even one characterization of Jesus Christ from those written in that. This is very uncharacteristic of Josephus because in all previous parts of his works he makes detailed references and he applies this tactic unfailingly. But here, nothing like that has happened. Besides the fact that this is contrary to the way Josephus writes, without the first paragraph the second one could not have contained this phrase written with the hand of this Historian!
(3) About the question, if James the Just of Josephus is James the brother of the Lord of the Christians (Acts 15: 13, Galatians 1: 16, and also Matthew 13: 57, Mark 6:3, etc.), there are no data and elements to give a definitive answer to anything. All possibilities are open. In all probability we have to do with two different persons, and most probably the stealing of the first by the Christians in order to portrait the second. In their traditions and in Eusebius we see that the narrations on the death of James “the brother of the Lord” are different, not only from that of Josephus about the death of James the Just, but also among themselves. Eusebius unsuccessfully tries to compromise the reports of the first church Historian Hegesippus (c.110- c.185 C.E.) and of Clement of Alexandria (150-215 C.E.) with the one of Josephus. As he writes, they say that the scribes and Pharisees tumble over from the wing of the temple. In another or the same episode a fuller (of wool clothes) came out of the mob and finished him up by a strong hit with his wooden club…, κλπ. Additionally Eusebius in the Ecclesiastical History, book 2, chapter 23, informs us that James never took a bath, shaved or combed himself, etc. (John Chrysostom has included these “tremendous virtues” in the rules of monasticism. “Viva the Christian and Nazaritic filth and insanity!”) Thus, there is a complete jumble even at this point which is of major importance to Christian history and religion. We wished this had been the only one! … As in so many cases in the same way in this one too the Christians have created a mess! Also, Eusebius, with the exception of a few fragments, destroyed the works of Hegesippus, as he did with the works of many others. We wonder why?!
The Catholic Epistle of James was allegedly written by James the brother of the Lord. Nevertheless, nowhere the writer says that he was the brother of Jesus either literally or metaphorically. Metaphorically means that he had received this title as member and leader of the Christian brotherhood. The Epistle begins: “James a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” His says “a servant” and not brother! (The same things hold for the Catholic Epistle of Judas.)
Josephus and the Jewish people could not have blamed the High Priest Ananus for the execution of someone hated heretic Christian and violator of Moses law. An execution such as this was legitimate by the Law of Moses and agreeable to the Pharisee Josephus and the Jewish society. Ananus simply made haste to execute him fast enough, before the arrival of the new Roman governor Albinus, so that he did not have to entangle with all the Roman regulations regarding executions, on the account of which the Just could have been exonerated. As it seems the wicked Ananus executed an innocent Jew with summary process and that is why Josephus blames him. If this person was the leader of the Christian heresy he would not care less and he would have written something about his Christian position, heresy and group. But he writes absolutely nothing. The epoch the corruption in Judea was so enormous that even the nowadays Jews mention it. On the account of all these, James the Just must have been a person other that James the Brother of the Lord. In most probability the Christians usurped the Just in order to present a reference of a Historian to the Brother of the Lord (or brother of God). (We have mentioned that the Acts of the Apostles have used and plagiarized Josephus.)
(4) Some may suggest the account that James the Just was the man who took over the headship of the Christian Judaic Heresy during those very difficult years. According to the Christian tradition, and it is implied in the Acts 15: 1-33, First Corinthians 15: 7, Two Galatians 1: 19, 2: 9, etc, James was the first bishop of Jerusalem. (The divine contradiction that this headship was given to Peter by the creator of Christianity himself, God Jesus Christ, as Matthew 16: 17-19, John 21: 15-19, etc, convey, we let the Christian elucidate it to us.) The possibility that James was the head of this particular heresy goes along with the fact that, according to Josephus in the under exposition happening, the Archpriest Ananus accused him and some others (most possibly sympathizers of his) that they violated the Mosaic Law and wanted to clean them out of the way as soon as possible. Unfortunately Josephus does not report any specific elements of the accusation from which we could draw definite conclusions, but simply insinuates that the accusation was fabricated and unfair. James as the head of the Christian movement may have shown judiciousness, self-sacrifice and justice and that is why they had named him “the Just”. Afterwards, the as usually making myths Christians because of his courage and justice for to honor him as the first leader of the Christian movement, right after (?) its creator, it is possible that they gave him the title “brother of the Lord”, regardless if Jesus Christ was a real or a mythological person, his brother or not. (For the Christians the existence of Jesus Christ was above history, it was a religious faith.) That is this title has a metaphorical and honoring meaning.
The probability if this account is particularly small, due to the fact that Josephus who lived in Judea and Galilee during these very trying years (50 – 80) and was a participant and close witness of the Jewish war against Rome (66 – 73) and the horrible events that took place, does not mention anything about Christians and or any whatsoever role that they played. He writes as they do not exist, or nobody knows anything about them or as if they deserve no reference whatsoever. This is the “ex-silentio” argument referred to earlier in the comment by Pan. Marinis. This is a completely curious and noticeable fact that must be studied and examined in all length and depth!
(5) We must also say that Josephus speaks about a score of men named Jesus. Therefore the part “who was a brother of Jesus” if in itself is not a part of the forgery does not prove anything, because he does not explain which Jesus he talks about. (Unless he did explain in the original and now the explanation is gone.) Hence if these words do not constitute a part of the forgery, then Josephus speaks about some other Jesus for whom there are no traces since as we have demonstrated Josephus does not deal with Jesus Christ at all and does not know anything about him. If, however, these words are part of the forgery, then the original text stops with the words “the Just“.
The whole fuss happens for the three words «τού λεγομένου Χριστού», “who was called Christ” which are found in the Gospels and the Christian writings. If Jesus Christ were a historical person and the Messiah, then why the participle “called” is so often and repeated, even long after his ascension. Maybe because, they used to call him so, but the people did not believe in him? Except for the Gospels, however, several Christian writers repeat it for long.
As we analyzed earlier the Pharisee Josephus does not know anything about Jesus Christ and it is impossible that he has written these words in this unrelated issue with which he deals here just for the purpose to criticize the Archpriest Ananus as a wicked and despotic man. Moreover to put in this untenable phrase without giving any explanation either on the spot, or earlier, or later is completely uncharacteristic of Josephus. As we have seen, the testimonies of John Chrysostom, Holy Photius, etc, and even the initial testimony of Origen, in which he admits that Josephus “does not believe Jesus as the Christ” are conducive to this conclusion. As we can observe these three words could be easily inserted, at this convenient point, in later manuscripts of Josephus. But, without the support of the larger first paragraph, as proven to be forgery, these three words here by themselves have no historical value! You do not verify the historicity of a person through an unrelated episode and by referring to others’ names. Imagine claiming that Alexander the Great is a historical person simply because they surnamed him Great and he had a sister called Thessaloniki!
Besides these three words this whole episode exposed by Josephus in that chapter is considered to be an authentic writing of the Jewish Historian, by almost all the specialists. There is no serious evidence against this passage. Others suggest that it is uncharacteristic of Josephus to be so brief for such an important happening. He does not write any manes of Judges, witnesses, false-witnesses, notes of the trial, etc. It is a very lean paragraph written in a great haste. Therefore, a few experts remain skeptical and fewer discard it as complete forgery.
Since there are no original or closed to original manuscripts of Josephus’ works extant, we cannot accurately check the situation. However, by logical induction we can conclude that: Most probably Origen perpetrated or suggested in his writings this forgery, because of his mania to attack Celsus. This is also suggested by the parenthesis (τού λεγομένου Χριστού) (called Christ) in Origen’s book Contra Celsum, and in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius about 70 years later. In Josephus work, this forgery was inserted either by Origen himself, or someone else contemporaneously or a bit earlier, or by the notorious Eusebius later. Consequently we can logically draw the following:
(1) Most probably Origen hinted this forgery by including this parenthesis in his writings, because of his mania to attack Celsus and afterwards Eusebius and the others adopted it.
(2) Either Origen himself on purpose perform the forgery since this point was extremely convenient, or because he thought that at this point Josephus could have meant Christ but did not write it, and so he inserted this parenthesis as an additional explanation.
(3) Or somebody else, in all evidence and directions Eusebius, prompted by this parenthesis in the writings of Origen conceived the idea and forged the work of Josephus at this spot. (There is also the strong hypothesis of Pseudo-Origen and Pseudo-Celsus concerning the author of Celsus’ True Word. If this hypothesis is correct, then these fellows were a bit younger contemporaries of Eusebius. In such a case Eusebius must be the perpetrator of the forgery.)
(4) It is very possible, however, that Origen did nothing of the above, for how could he contradict himself in a length of six lines. Then from the works of Eusebius and in all evidence and directions we can easily suspect that Eusebius himself perpetrated the major and the minor forgery in the works of Josephus and he also forged Origen in order to have next to him another one baring similar witness. (Eusebius himself has pronounced his own condemnation, in his Ecclesiastical History, book 1, chapter 11, and he is renowned for his messy and reckless job, his frivolousness, his lies and falsity, etc. He did not owe any apology to anyone, not even Christ!)
Otherwise I cannot see how it is possible to put together and rectify all the messy and contradictory data and extant elements that we have expose up to here, one of which is Origen’s glaring contradictory behavior that we explained above.
The majority of researchers considers the minor Testimonium Flavianum, as well as the major one, as a forgery. There are some who suppose that Josephus put this phrase « (τού λεγομένου Χριστού) » at that point in order to specifically distinguish this Jesus from so many other Jesuses that he had referred to here and there, since he had heard that some people called James the Just as “the brother of the Christ”. This supposition is logical but very improbable on the account of all the arguments presented in this work. But, even if for this reason we assume that it is valid, then again it does not make itself a historical testimony for Jesus Christ, since then the phrase refers to James’ sobriquet that happened to reach Josephus’ ears, without the Historian giving it any meaning or substance and checking out what that might have meant.
· Additionally, Origen in his book Contra Celsum, book 1, chapter 46, 47 and 68 confutes Celsus who has accused Jesus to have learnt the witchcrafts of the Egyptians and that his miracles were nothing but witchcrafts. Origen confutes him by saying that Jesus’ miracles are incomparably greater than whatever is referred to in the Greek myths and that Jesus has performed miracles in order to win the people and teach them his greater ethical teaching, fact that no Egyptian could come even close. Exactly at this point, invoking the clause “wise man, … one who wrought surprising feats” of the Testimonium Flavianum would have served Origen perfectly is his battle against Celsus. This, however, did not happen which means that even though Origen knew Josephus very well, this testimony was unknown to him, and therefore non-existent.
· Is seems plausible that the Christians besides stealing the frequently run into name of James they also have stolen the name Jesus (Yoshouah = Yahveh saves or Yahveh is savior) and diverse stories from the Old Testament, Talmud, Philo Judaicus Alexandrinus and Josephus in order to construct their own Jesus. For this reason this imaginary person has not found any position whatsoever in any of the so many accountable sources. Otherwise, somewhere in Philo, Josephus, Justus of Tiberias, Talmud and numerous other writings, with which the Emperor Julian the Great has challenged the Christians as we wrote earlier, something would have been noted about this famous and or notorious and tremendous miracle worker who was raised from the dead after three days. This possibility of stealing and usurping names and stories is a very possible one and it has been suggested and supported by many researchers. About Christian stealing and various usurpations study at least the following monumental research works:
1. Gerald Friedlander, The Jewish Sources Of The Sermon On The Mount, Kessinger Publishing.
2. Hyman E. Goldin, The Case of the Nazarene Reopened, The Lawbook Exchange Ltd., 1948-2003.
3. Randel Helms, Gospel Fictions, Prometheus Books, 1989.
4. Harold Leidner, The Fabrication of the Christ Myth, Survey Books, 1999.
5. Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, Introduction by James M. Robinson, Collier Books, 1968.
6. Joseph Wheless, Forgery in Christianity, Kessinger Publishing.
7. Joseph Wheless, Is it God’s Word?, Kessinger Publishing.
8. Hayyim Ben Yehoshuah, Refuting the Missionaries, (Excellent Research Essay on Website. Look at the Appendix 1 of this work below!).
· As we have already stated the paragraph of the Testimonium Flavianum is wedged in the work Jewish Antiquities XVIII, 63-64 and has no relation to the immediately previous and the immediately followed ones. We also say that the previous paragraph is also found in the other famous work of Josephus the Jewish War, ΙΙ 175-177, followed by other paragraphs in which Josephus deals with other issues totally unrelated to the Testimonium. But for such a man, the Messiah Jesus Christ the great miracle worker, it is expected by someone such as Josephus to impart many more elements and data, some miracles and details, thing that he indeed does for so many subordinate others.
· Josephus informs us that his father Mattitiau (Mathieu or Matthias) was a high dignitary of the Pharisaic heresy of Judaism, who lived and acted during the years of the governorship of Pilate and the action of the putative Jesus Christ. Nowhere, however, does Josephus report that his father ever narrated to him anything bit about this Jesus, who in so many and various ways upset Galilee and Judea and had Homeric clashes and tirades with the Pharisees. Curious?
· The mania of the Christians to forge and tinker with the works of Josephus is not proven only by the Latin synopsis of the 8th – 9th century and all the inserted pieces in the Slavonic translation, as the great researcher Mr. Marinis has denounced in his previous important comment, but also from a forgery that exists in an Arabic manuscript of the 10th century. The Testimonium Flavianum (Jewish Antiquities XVIII, 63-64) is still there, but with several strong alterations if compared to its Greek version. Hence, here we have to do with the phenomenon of “forgery of the forgery”! This Arabic revised paragraph is referred by Agapius, who was a Christian Arab and Melkite , bishop of Hierapolis, in his book “The book of Title”. We consistently observe a mania of Christian copyists and redactors to forge and alter the works of Josephus in order to adduce a made up historical witness to Jesus of the canonical Gospels.
[4: Melkite: (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
The term Melkite (also written Melchite) is used to refer to various Christian churches and their members originating in the Middle East. The word comes from the Syriac word malkāyâ, meaning imperial. In Arabic, the word is transcribed Mālikī (ملكى). The term melkite was originally used as a pejorative after the acrimonious division that occurred in Eastern Christianity after the Council of Chalcedon (451). It was used by anti-Chalcedonians to refer to those who backed the council and the Byzantine Emperor. It is unknown at what period the Melkites began to use the term for them. The Melkites were generally Greek-speaking city-dwellers living in the west of the Levant and in Egypt, as opposed to the more provincial Syriac- and Coptic-speaking anti-Chalcedonians. The Melkite Church was organized into three historic patriarchates – Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem – under the authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople. The anti-Chalcedonians set up their own patriarchs in Alexandria (Coptic Orthodox Church) and Antioch (Syriac Orthodox Church). The Nubian kingdom of Makuria (in modern Sudan) in contrast to their Monophysite neighbors, also practiced the Melkite faith, from c. 575 until c. 1300.From 1342, Roman Catholic clergy were based in Damascus and other areas, and began the secret conversion of Orthodox clergy and people to Catholicism. At that time, the nature of the East-West Schism was undefined, and most of those converted continued to worship and work within the Orthodox Church as a pro-Western party. In 1724, Cyril VI, a pro-Western bishop, was elected as Patriarch of Antioch. Considering this to be a Catholic takeover attempt, Jeremias III of Constantinople appointed the Greek* monk Sylvester to the patriarchate instead of Cyril. Sylvester’s heavy-handed leadership of the church encouraged many to prefer Cyril’s leadership. The newly elected Pope Benedict XIII recognized Cyril’s claim to the patriarchate, and welcomed him and his followers into communion with Rome. From that point onwards, the Melkite Church was divided between the Orthodox, who continued to recognize the authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Catholics, who recognize the authority of the Pope of Rome. However, it is only the latter, Catholic group who continue to use the title Melkite. Thus, in modern usage, the term applies almost exclusively to the Greek* Catholics from the Middle East.]
[* Note of the article’s author: Here the word “Greek” does not necessarily mean the natural nationality Greek person. It mostly means the Hellenists that is the Hellenic-learned or the dwellers of those areas that had accepted the Hellenistic Civilization, but by this time they were Christians. E. g., the Arab Agapius, bishop of Hierapolis (Phrygia, Western Asia Minor, today Western Turkey) of the 10th century whom we have referred in the article.
We also add: What can we first of all say about or admire from the Christian fights amongst the thousands of heresies of this only true religion, out of which a tiny and relatively peaceful sample is the above example of the Melkites. After that the Christians have the audacity to advertise the dogma that their Church is protected and guided by the Holy Spirit!]
Dear readers, keeping all these elements we have here expounded in mind and many more that you may study either by chance or better out of your own interests for search, decide for yourselves what group of researchers you agree with: (1) With those who claim that the Testimonium Flavianum is entirely authentic. (2) With those who claim that it is partially authentic and partially forged. (3) With those who consider it as a forgery in toto. (4) Maybe you can suggest a new group for yourselves! But afterwards it is moral duty to keep analogous attitude and stance.
Ioannis, Neoklis Philadelphos, M. Roussos.
Doctor, Professor of Mathematics.
Researcher of the Christian and Biblical Issues, 2009.
Since quite a few unexamined and or not well educated Christian apologists and theologians out of ignorance and or on purpose claim that the Talmud contains several cogent references and elements about the historical Jesus Christ, I here include the published work (also posted in the internet) of the Jewish Rabbi Hayyim ben Yehoshua, who is a Talmud specialist and researcher. This work is very essential and well documented and therefore it deserves a deep study and examination. Besides showing a deep knowledge of the matter, it not only causes a non-repairable damage to any such unexamined and or purposely made assertion, that the Talmud provides references and elements confirming the historical Jesus Christ, but it completely refutes it.
Research Essay on the Christian Myth
By the Jew Scholar Hayyim ben Yehoshua
Prologue and notes in the text by Dr. Ioannis Neoklis Philadelphos M. Roussos
There are many Christians lacking study and examination or expedient apologists and theologians who contend that Talmud and New Testament bear cogent witnesses and elements about the historical Jesus Christ. For this reason I here attach the great work of the Jewish scholar Hayyim ben Yehoshua, who has especially studied and researched the Talmud along with all relative material, and he has published it in the internet. This work is very condensed and documented with plenty of interesting elements. In order to keep it short, the writer and researcher readily presents many known data and or some new ones that he uses, as well as the conclusions he came up with and or some acceptable by the unbiased scientific community with such swiftness that may shocked a few. Thereby on the one hand this work is very essential and equipped with many important elements; on the other hand the interested reader must study and examine it very carefully. It is very worthy! Besides that it shows deep knowledge of the subject matter and its topics, some of which are not widely known to Christians and or non-Christians, it not only causes irreparable damage in any such expedient and unexamined contention, that is “Talmud and New Testament refer to historical Jesus Christ”, but it refutes it completely.
The writing of Talmud, as it is known, started in Palestine and Babylon the second century C.E. and finished the sixth. During the Medieval in the various persecutions of the Jews, the Christians tried to destroy Talmud many times. As it looks now, their maniac attempts have had partial and temporary outcome only. Talmud was edited republished in Basel Switzerland in the +16th century under the austere censorship of Christians. Nevertheless the Jewish community sufficiently kept the original Talmud. Its comparison with the edited and censored by the Christians Talmud shows clearly all the Christian alterations and interpolations! Consequently, when doing research it is very important to check which Talmud we use for references, the real or the censored one. This point is well emphasized below by the special versed in Talmud Hayyim ben Yehoshua. But even the pertinent references by Christians to the later and censored (mainly Babylonian) Talmud are reactions concerning Christianity in general and not Jesus Christ in particular.
Professor Frank R. Zindler, in the appendix: Sepher Toldoth Yeshu and the Quest of the Historical Jesus In Jewish Sources, of his book The Jesus The Jews Never Knew, examines in detail not just the works of Josephus and Talmud but also all the other Jewish sources for which the Christians claim that they allude to or testify Jesus Christ. Among all these elements he also includes the Talmudic ones that Hayyim ben Yehoshua develops here. We have to do with a unique, great and complete research book that gives clear and documented negative answer to the question: “if there are any Jewish sources that allude to or testify Jesus Christ of the Christians”. We have to do with a work that must be studied by all of those who are interested in the unravelling of truth in respect to the historicity of Jesus Christ.
Zindler examines the Testimonium Flavianum in detail and puts forward the view that interpolations and forgeries in Josephus’ works were perpetrated at various points gradually and evolutionarily by various Christians circles, such as the partisans of the Baptist, the partisan of James the Brother of the Lord, (we encounter both of them at various points of the New Testament already), and others. Zindler supports this very significant view with many elements and documentation and he thus gives answers to all questions on the forgeries done in Josephus’ works.
Executing forgeries in the Greek Josephus, who is the main Josephus, had started before Origen’s years. Eusebius “the great redactor or editor”, who is the greatest suspect of this practice, edited in a better way all the forgeries that had taken place until his days and wrote them in smoother Greek. Certainly, the forgeries also continued after Eusebius in many Greek, Latin and Slavonic publications. In this way, several Josephus’ manuscripts including these forgeries have been created until today, while the other more authentic ones have vanished in the passing of the Christian centuries. The Latin translation of the 9th century that has escaped only partially forged and the testimonies of Saint John Chrysostom, Holy Photius, and others, completely concur with this evolution of events. But not just these: Zindler also presents the passages together with the Christian forgeries located in them taken from many manuscripts of Josephus kept in several museums of the world. These manuscripts have been dated precisely in a time span of many different centuries after Eusebius.
Zindler rewrites also all the points and elements of the Jewish Sources that Christians invoke together with the complete passages in which they are found, so that the reader himself / herself to be able to clearly see that the Christian assertions are false. As one sees from the title of this book, Zindler supports the thesis that the Jews never knew Jesus Christ, a thesis supported by many researchers and logically follows from Christ’s historical inexistence.
We must emphasize that the historicity of Jesus Christ is a matter different from the historicity of the movement that was later called Christian movement. The historicity of this movement has never been disputed and it started at about 200 B. C.E. After achieving many forms, titles and diverse Christs (e.g., of: Daniel, Paul, Synoptics, John, Apocryphal, Gnostic, and of many more) ended in what we call Christianity today, with main personage Constantine’s Jesus Christ (see chapter 5: Robert M. Price, The Da Vinci Fraud, Why The Truth is Stranger Than Fiction, Prometheus Books, 2005.).
After Talmud and Jewish references, Hayyim ben Yehoshua does a condensed and very informative retrospection in the main apocrypha and the writings outside the Canon of the New Testament, which Christians many times use and invoke, and also in the writings of several known Historian that Christians contend they bid accurate historical information about Jesus. Ben Yehoshua proves that no trustworthy, reliable, historical information is provided by either category of writings notwithstanding. Moreover, in this whole examination of writings and elements that he develops, he demonstrates the relations of various Christian traditions and legends with various historical Jewish and non-Jewish persons and with various pagan myths.
Ben Yehoshua presents and develops data and topics that reach into the 2nd century C.E. He does not continue any further, but still he does not exhaust everything that exists within this time span. There are still many elements up to the 2nd century that he does not refer to. In order to include all the data and everything that concerns Christianity, this singular heresy of Judaism, even up to the 2nd century C.E., an enormous corpus must be written, just like the one by Zindler that we discussed a bit above, and not just a small paper with scope the presentation of the basic elements, topics, hints, questions and conclusions. Afterward, whatever is left behind is up to the interest of the reader and researcher to find and complete it and also fathom the justifications of the conclusions here exposed, together with whatever else has to do with this special type heresy of Judaism.
Even though this work has been written for and addressed to the author’s co-nationals in order to know how to face the Christian missionaries and propagandists, it can equally well be addressed to and be used by all humans who had not had the luck to undergo an irreparable mental ankylosis by the Christians. Even if someone accepts only a few elements provided by this work, if not all since not all have been given sufficient justification, the final conclusions do not change essentially. In fact, there are many irrefutable elements in this work which are not up to subjectively accepting them, but they are objectively admitted under the scrutiny of impartial research, examination, knowledge and critique. On the basis of only these elements the conclusions drawn are the following:
1. All the elements Talmud contains are very hazardous to the official Christianity. There is no whatsoever historical Jesus Christ within the Talmud. Some elements in it, prove that the Christian movement had started before the Hashmonean period (- 167 B. C.E.) as a small and insignificant Judaic, messianic and eschatological heresy, which during the Hashmonean period became more known and a bit stronger, styled itself as Notzri. Its members were called Notzrim (in plural). In the book of Acts of the Apostles 9: 2, 24: 5, 22, 25: 19 it is also called the “way” or “the heresy of Nazoraion” and “superstition“. Moreover, some Talmudic records were used in the development of the Christian myth. Until the destruction of + 66-73 C.E. this heresy was an exclusive Judaic and Ebionitic affair. From the destruction of + 70 C.E. until the second destruction of +132-134 C.E. this heresy mutated to the Judaeo-Christianity and then in order to survive was forced to get out of the Judaic limits.
2. Some persons such as: Yeishu ben Pandeira, known as Yeishu ha-Notzri, ben Stada or ben Sotera or Sitera, etc. referred to in Talmud, have absolutely nothing to do with the Christian Jesus Christ. On account of the fact that some incidents of their lives are similar to some corresponding incidents of Jesus Christ’s life, the Christian propagandists have tried to propagate that all of those people were the one and unique Jesus Christ. This propaganda, of course, is deliberate and false because they purposely cover up the large number of striking differences between these persons and Jesus Christ of the New Testament, which ben Yehoshua completely reveals below. If then some Christian pseudo-apologist claims Talmud as being a historical source for the Christian Jesus, anyone has nothing else to do but show him / her this work of ben Yehoshua to put an end to the propaganda fairy tails.
3. The New Testament has no historical value and no historical Jesus is drawn out of it. Even though Matthew in 28: 15 writes: “so they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day“, Talmud says nothing at all about the bribery of the guards of the tomb.
4. Most apocrypha books have no historical value. Some, however, help in understanding the gradual development and evolution of the Christian myth and the emergence and action of numerous Christian heresies.
5. Christianity stole, adjusted and embodied a good many things and elements of the pagan philosophies, superstitions, religions, celebrations, mysteries, etc. It replaced the before it superstitions with its own stronger, dogmatic and catastrophic superstition.
6. Finally we have no sufficient, impartial and reliable sources in extracting a historical Jesus Christ. Their complete want proves that the Jesus Christ of the Gospels and the New Testament in general is just a made up fabrication.
All the additional notes and comments in the text, made by I. N. Ph. M. Roussos, are put inside brackets […]. Next, have a productive study combined with cross-examination, critical thinking, prudence, objectiveness and impartiality.
PART 1: THE MYTH OF THE HISTORICAL JESUS
Much concern has been expressed in the Jewish media regarding the activity of “Jews for Jesus” and other missionary organizations who go out of their way to convert Jews to Christianity. Unfortunately, many Jews are ill-equipped to deal with Christian missionaries and their arguments. Hopefully this article will contribute to remedying this situation.
When countering Christian missionaries it is important to base one’s arguments on correct facts. Arguments based on incorrect facts can easily backfire and end up strengthening the arguments of the missionaries.
It is rather unfortunate that many well meaning Jewish Studies teachers have unwittingly aided missionaries by teaching Jewish pupils incorrect information about the origins of Christianity. I can recall being taught the following story about Jesus at the Jewish day school which I attended:
“Jesus was a famous first century rabbi whose Hebrew name was Rabbi Yehoshua. His father was a carpenter named Joseph and his mother’s name was Mary. Mary became pregnant before she married Joseph. Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem during a Roman census. Jesus grew up in Nazareth and became a learned rabbi. He travelled all over Israel preaching that people should love one another. Some people thought that he was the Messiah and he did not deny this, which made the other rabbis very angry. He caused so much controversy that the Roman governor Pontius Pilate had him crucified. He was buried in a tomb and later his body was found to be missing since it had probably been stolen by his disciples.”
A few years after being taught this seemingly innocent story, I became interested in the origins of Christianity and decided to do some further reading on the “famous Rabbi Yehoshua.” Much to my dismay, I discovered that there was no historical evidence of this Rabbi Yehoshua. The claim that Jesus was a rabbi named Yehoshua and the claim that his body was probably stolen both turned out to be pure conjecture. The rest of the story was nothing more than a watered down version of the story which Christians believe as part of the Christian religion but which is not supported by any legitimate historical source. There was absolutely no historical evidence that Jesus, Joseph or Mary ever existed, let alone that Joseph was a carpenter or that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth.
Despite the lack of evidence for Jesus’ existence many Jews have made the tragic mistake of assuming that the New Testament story is largely correct and have tried to refute Christianity by attempting to rationalize the various miracles that allegedly occurred during Jesus’ life and after his death. Numerous books have been written which take this approach to Christianity. This approach however is hopelessly flawed and is in fact dangerous since it encourages belief in the New Testament.
When the Israelites were confronted with the worship of Baal they did not blindly accept the ancient West Semitic myths as history. When the Maccabees were confronted with Greek religion they did not blindly accept Greek mythology as history. Why do so many modern Jews blindly accept Christian mythology? The answer to this question seems to be that many Christians do not know themselves where the distinction between established history and Christian belief lies and they have passed their confusion on to the Jewish community. Browsing through the religion section of a local bookshop, I recently came across a book, which claimed to be an objective biography of Jesus. It turned out to be nothing more than a summary of the usual New Testament story. It even included claims that Jesus’ miracles had been witnessed but that rational explanations for them might exist. Many history books written by Christians take a similar approach. Some Christian authors will suggest that perhaps the miracles are not completely historical but they nevertheless follow the general New Testament story. The idea that there was a real historical Jesus has thus become entrenched in Christian society and Jews living in the Christian world have come to blindly accept this belief because they have never seen it seriously challenged.
Despite the widespread belief in Jesus the fact remains that there is no historical Jesus. In order to understand what is meant by a “historical Jesus,” consider King Midas in Greek mythology. The story that King Midas turned everything he touched into gold is clearly nonsense, yet despite this we know that there was a real King Midas. Archaeologists have excavated his tomb and found his skeletal remains. The Greeks who told the story of Midas and his golden touch clearly intended people to identify him with the real Midas. So although the story of the golden touch is fictional, the story is about a person whose existence is known as a fact -the “historical Midas.” In the case of Jesus, there is however, no single person whose existence is known as a fact and who is also intended to be the subject of the Jesus stories, i.e. there is no historical Jesus.
When confronted by a Christian missionary, one should immediately point out that the very existence of Jesus has not been proven. When missionaries argue they usually appeal to emotions rather than to reason [*] and they will attempt to make you feel embarrassed about denying the historicity of Jesus. The usual response is something like “Isn’t denying the existence of Jesus just as silly as denying the existence of Julius Caesar or Queen Elizabeth?”. A popular variation of this response used especially against Jews is “Isn’t denying the existence of Jesus like denying the Holocaust?” One should then point out that there are ample historical sources confirming the existence of Julius Caesar, Queen Elizabeth or whoever else is named, while there is no corresponding evidence for Jesus.
[* As soon as the missionaries come to logical difficulties they object that the faith in Christ, Bible and Christianity is a sentimental issue; “of the heart” as they like to say and not of the intellect and brain. This is great deception! That is, I believe not because I have been convinced that certain events were true, as they proclaim, and I have accepted that reality has so, but because that is what I enjoy and I sentimentally repose myself on it. As if the religious faith and or world-view is a matter of taste just like the ice-cream. Excellently! …]
To be perfectly thorough you should take time to do some research on the historical personalities mentioned by the missionaries and present hard evidence of their existence. At the same time you should challenge the missionaries to provide similar evidence of Jesus’ existence. You should point out that although the existence of Julius Caesar or Queen Elizabeth etc., is accepted worldwide, the same is not true of Jesus. In the Far East where the major religions are Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism and Confucianism, Jesus is considered to be just another character in Western religious mythology, on a par with Thor, Zeus and Osiris. Most Hindus do not believe in Jesus, but those who do consider him to be one of the many avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu. Muslims certainly believe in Jesus but they reject the New Testament story and consider him to be a prophet who announced the coming of Mohamed. They explicitly deny that he was ever crucified.
To sum up, there is no story of Jesus, which is uniformly accepted worldwide. It is this fact, which puts Jesus on a different level to established historical personalities. If the missionaries use the “Holocaust reply,” you should point out that the Holocaust is well-documented and that there are numerous eyewitness reports. It should be pointed out that most of the people who deny the Holocaust have turned out to be anti-Semitic hate-mongers with fraudulent credentials. On the other hand, millions of honest people in Asia, who make up the majority of the world’s population, have failed to be convinced by the Christian story of Jesus since there is no compelling evidence for its authenticity. The missionaries will insist that the story of Jesus is a well-established fact and will argue that there is “plenty of evidence supporting it”. One should then insist on seeing this evidence and refuse to listen any further until they produce it.
If Jesus was not an historical person, where did the whole New Testament story come from in the first place? The Hebrew name for Christians has always been Notzrim. This name is derived from the Hebrew word neitzer, which means a shoot or sprout -an obvious Messianic symbol. There were already people called Notzrim at the time of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Perachyah (c.100 B. C.E.). Although modern Christians claim that Christianity only started in the first century C.E., it is clear that the first century Christians in Israel considered themselves to be a continuation of the Notzri movement which had been in existence for about 150 years [and so from the beginning of the Hashmonean period][*]. One of the most notorious Notzrim was Yeishu ben Pandeira, also known as Yeishu ha-Notzri. Talmudic scholars have always maintained that the story of Jesus began with Yeishu. The Hebrew name for Jesus has always been Yeishu and the Hebrew for “Jesus the Nazarene” has always been “Yeishu ha-Notzri.” (The name Yeishu is a shortened form of the name Yeishua, not Yehoshua.) It is important to note that Yeishuha-Notzri is not an historical Jesus since modern Christianity denies any connection between Jesus and Yeishu and moreover, parts of the Jesus myth are based on other historical people besides Yeishu.
[From fall the known elements we can conclude that even if the same Christian, messianic, eschatological heresy had not started as consolidated group, at least its bases had been already put down a century before the -167 B. C.E., that is the inception of the Hashmonean period. Besides the elements in the Talmud the author cites here these elements include: Writings of the heretic Judaism, teachings of rabbis, apocryphal, messianic, pseudepigrapha, eschatological, demonological and astrological writings, etc.
For instance, the demonology of the New Testament has many glaring similarities with the demonology of the Testament of Solomon, a hideous demonological passage derived from the sick minds of those epochs. We suggest to you to study this booklet with the New Testament abreast to see for yourselves these similarities and understand what morbidity is!
In the parables of the apocryphal book of Enoch and in the apocryphal 4th book of Esdras (sometimes written as Esdras 2), both pseudepigrapha of the 1st century C.E., we find the description of the outer darkness, the hell with furnaces and tortures opposite to the Paradise of pleasures. Morbid, sadistic and masochistic descriptions and scenes create by morbid fantasies similar to those found in the New Testament.
Another very morbid demonological book of the Christian Old Testament is the book of Tobit, which does not belong to the Jewish Old Testament. It was written by an unkown writer during these periods of the 2nd century B. C.E. Any sensible person wonders how there could be humans who believe in such a senseless monstrous demonology and superstition. Read it out of curiosity to find out what cretinism is all about, with amorous demons, deaths, livers and bile of fish, smokes, the archangel Rafael, gold drachmas, and a number of senseless, anti-aesthetic fairy tales. Whereas the Jews have dropped this book, the Christians have come along to pick it up.
The Teachings of Sirach were written by the son (or grandson) of Sirach, named Jesus, also during these years. Whereas the Jewish Bible has not included them in its Canon, the Christian Bible has placed them in its Canon so under the title Wisdom of Sirach or Ecclesiasticus. This is a serious and didactic passage.
The book of Daniel, as scientists have proven, is also pseudepigraphon and was written in Israel within the years -166-165 B. C.E. It was not written in any Babylon by someone named Daniel within the years of the Babylonian exile -585-535 B. C.E., as the Christians wrongly and falsely scream. This is an untidy, shapeless, morbid, eschatological book with many glaring historical mistakes and contradictions. Also, many parts of it greatly resemble corresponding parts of the other morbid book of The Revelation to John. All Christians highly respect it! The Christians have classified it with the great prophetic books, the facts that it was written post time and so “it does not prophesy or predict anything at all from the past” and some of its predictions with regard to some years a bit after its composition failed completely, notwithstanding. The Jews have always considered it suspicious, have not included it with the great prophetic books, but they have simply classified it with the marginal and suspicious Writings. In the international bibliography there are many books and articles that expose all the mistakes and the inconsequence of the book of Daniel and thus proving its falsity.
In brief, the ten deuterocanonical books of the Christian Old Testament, which the Jews have not included in the Canon of Tanach, and the book of Daniel were written during these periods. With the exception of the Wisdom of Sirach, which is a serious and didactic booklet, the others are pseudepigrapha and evil products of morbid fantasies. What can someone firstly express about such nonsense and lies!… Nevertheless they prevailed!
And the list of such nonsense and lies continues on… In addition study:
1. Carl Anderson, The Astrology of the Old Testament or the Lost World Regained (1892), Kessinger Publishing Company.
2. Steven Ashe, The Qabalah, The Testament of Solomon, Glastonbury Books, 2006.
3. Alvar Ellegard, Jesus, One Hundred Years before Christ, The Overlook Press, 1999.
4. Gerald Friedlander, The Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount, Kessinger Publishing.
5. Francis Legge, Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity from 330BC to 330 AD, Kessinger Publishing.
6. G. R. S. Mead, Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.?, Kessinger Publishing.
7. Todd E. Klutz, Testament of Solomon.
8. Todd E. Klutz, Rewriting the Testament of Solomon, Library of Second Temple Studies, 53, T & T Clarc, 2005.]
We know very little about Yeishu ha-Notzri. All modern works that mention him are based on information taken from the Tosefta [= Appendix to Talmud] and the Baraitas – [interpretations, comments] writings made at the same time as the Mishna [Teaching] but not contained in it. Because the historical information concerning Yeishu is so damaging to Christianity, most Christian authors (and even some Jewish ones) have tried to discredit this information and have invented many ingenious arguments to explain it away. Many of their arguments are based on misunderstandings and misquotations of the Baraitas and in order to get an accurate picture of Yeishu one should ignore Christian authors and examine the Baraitas directly.
The skimpy information contained in the Baraitas is as follows: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Perachyah once repelled Yeishu with both hands. People believed that Yeishu was a sorcerer and they considered him to be a person who had led the Jews astray. As a result of charges brought against him (the details of which are not known, but which probably involved high treason) Yeishu was stoned and his body hung up on the eve of Passover. Before this he was paraded around for forty days with a herald going in front of him announcing that he would be stoned and calling for people to come forward to plead for him. Nothing was brought forward in his favour however. Yeishu had five disciples: Mattai, Naqai, Neitzer, Buni, and Todah.
In the Tosefta and the Baraitas, Yeishu’s father is named Pandeira or Panteiri. These are Hebrew-Aramaic forms of a Greek name. In Hebrew the third consonant of the name is written either with a dalet or a tet. Comparison with other Greek words transliterated into Hebrew shows that the original Greek must have had a delta as its third consonant and so the only possibility for the father’s Greek name is Panderos. Since Greek names were common among Jews during Hashmonean times it is not necessary to assume that he was Greek, as some authors have done.
The connection between Yeishu and Jesus is corroborated by the fact that Mattai and Todah, the names of two of Yeishu’s disciples, are the original Hebrew forms of Matthew and Thaddeus, the names of two of Jesus’ disciples in Christian mythology.
The early Christians were also aware of the name “ben Pandeira” for Jesus. The pagan philosopher Celsus, who was famous for his arguments against Christianity, claimed in 178 C.E. that he had heard from a Jew that Jesus’ mother, Mary, had been divorced by her husband, a carpenter, after it had been proved that she was an adulteress. She wandered about in shame and bore Jesus in secret. His real father was a soldier named Pantheras. According to the Christian writer Epiphanius (c.320 – 403 C.E.), the Christian apologist Origen (c.185 – 254 C.E.) had claimed that “Panther” was the nickname for Jacob the father of Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus. It should be noted that Origen’s claim is not based on any historical information. It is purely a conjecture aimed at explaining away the Pantheras story of Celsus. That story is also not historical. The claim that the name of Jesus’ mother was Mary and the claim that her husband was a carpenter is taken directly from Christian belief. The claim that Jesus’ real father was named Pantheras is based on an incorrect attempt at reconstructing the original form of Pandeira. This incorrect reconstruction was probably influenced by the fact that the name Pantheras was found among Roman soldiers.
Why did people believe that Jesus’ mother was named Mary and her husband named Joseph? Why did non-Christians accuse Mary of being an adulteress while Christians believed she was a virgin? To answer these questions one must examine some of the legends surrounding Yeishu. We cannot hope to obtain the absolute truth concerning the origins of the Jesus myth but we can show that reasonable alternatives exist to blindly accepting the New Testament.
The name Joseph for Jesus’ stepfather is easy to explain. The Notzri movement was particularly popular with the Samaritan Jews [*]. While the Pharisees were waiting for a Messiah who would be a descendant of David, the Samaritans wanted a Messiah who would restore the northern kingdom of Israel. The Samaritans emphasized their partial descent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who were descended from the Joseph of the Torah. The Samaritans considered themselves to be “Bnei Yoseph” i.e. “sons of Joseph,” and since they believed that Jesus had been their Messiah, they would have assumed that he was a “son of Joseph.” The Greek speaking population, who had little knowledge of Hebrew and true Jewish traditions could have easily misunderstood this term and assumed that Joseph was the actual name of Jesus’ father. This conjecture is corroborated by the fact that according to the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph’s father is named Jacob, just like the Torah Joseph. Later, other Christians, who followed the idea that the Messiah was to be descended from David, tried to trace Joseph back to David. They came up with two contradictory genealogies for him, one recorded in Matthew and the other in Luke. When the idea that Mary was a virgin developed, the mythical Joseph was relegated to the position of simply being her husband and the stepfather of Jesus.
[* If we are to conclude on the basis of the New Testament, we then see that only very few Jews and Pharisees went over to the Judaeo-Christian heresy. Also from the year +70 C.E. and after a few were sympathetic to it and a few very cautious. E.g., see: John 3:1-21, Acts 5: 34-42, etc. The Samaritans seem to have gone over much more. E.g., see: Luke 10: 25-37, 17: 11-19, John 4: 1-42, Acts 1: 8, etc. These encomia for the Samaritans appear in the two late canonical Gospels according to Luke and John, whereas Matthew in 10:5-6 writes: “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and not into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (An additional glaring contradiction! If only it were just one!…) Nothing strange here, since the animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans had existed since the years of Solomon until then, which is also confessed in John 4: 9 “Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritas.” And in 4: 20 “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.“
Until today some Samaritan Christians do exist and they do not get along with the official Judaeo-Jews. Justin the Martyr (and philosopher according to the Christians), one of the first eponymous Christians, was a Samaritan. He did not have any easy or fruitful time with Trypho the Jew in their Dialogue, at all! Also the insulting and violent clash and bickering between the Judaeo-Christians and the Pharisees that started in +70 C.E. and continued for ever after, is well known not only from the Gospels but from several historical sources as well.]
To understand where the Mary story came from we have to turn to another historical character who contributed to the Jesus myth, namely ben Stada. All the information we have on ben Stada again comes from the Tosefta and the Baraitas. There is even less information about him than about Yeishu: Some people believed that he had brought spells out of Egypt in a cut in his flesh, others thought that he was a madman. He was a beguiler and was caught by the method of concealed witnesses. He was stoned in Lod.
In the Tosefta, ben Stada is called ben Sotera or ben Sitera. Sotera seems to be the Hebrew-Aramaic form of the Greek name Soteros. The forms “Sitera” and “Stada” seem have arisen as misreading and spelling mistakes (yod replacing vav and dalet replacing reish).
Since there was so little information concerning ben Stada, many conjectures arose as to who he was. It is known from the Gemara [= Oral interpretation of the teachers of Misna in Talmud] that he was confused with Yeishu. This probably resulted from the fact that both were executed for treasonous teachings and were associated with sorcery. People who confused ben Stada with Yeishu had to explain why he was also called ben Pandeira. Since the name “Stada” resembles the Aramaic expression “stat da,” meaning “she went astray” it was thought that “Stada” referred to the mother of Yeishu and that she was an adulteress. Consequently, people began to think that Yeishu was the illegitimate son of Pandeira. These ideas are in fact mentioned in the Gemara and are probably much older. Since ben Stada lived in Roman times and the name Pandeira resembled the name Pantheras found among Roman soldiers, it was assumed that Pandeira had been a Roman soldier stationed in Israel. This certainly explains the story mentioned by Celsus.
The Tosefta mentions a famous case of a woman named Miriam bat Bilgah marrying a Roman soldier. The idea that Yeishu had been born to a Jewish woman who had had an affair with a Roman soldier probably resulted in Yeishu’s mother being confused with this Miriam. The name “Miriam” is of course the original form of the name “Mary.” [This is a Hellenized form of Miriam or better Miryiam in Hebrew, derived from Μαίρα Maira or Μαίρη Mairee in the Doric and Ionian Greek dialects respectively. In Latin, there is the name Marius derived from Mare = sea.] It is in fact known from the Gemara that some of the people who confused Yeishu with ben Stada believed that Yeishu’s mother was “Miriam the women’s hairdresser.”
The story that Mary (Miriam) the mother of Jesus was an adulteress was certainly not acceptable to the early Christians. The virgin birth story was probably invented to clear Mary’s name. The early Christians did not suck this story out of their thumbs. Virgin birth stories were fairly common in pagan myths. The following mythological characters were all believed to behave been born to divinely impregnated virgins: Romulus and Remus, Perseus, Zoroaster, Mithras, Osiris-Aion, Agdistis, Attis, Tammuz, Adonis, Korybas, Dionysus. The pagan belief in unions between gods and women, regardless of whether they were virgins or not, is even more common. Many characters in pagan mythology were believed to be sons of divine fathers and human females. The Christian belief that Jesus was the son of God born to a virgin is typical of Greco-Roman superstition. The Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria (c. 30 B.C.E – 45 C.E.), warned against the widespread superstitious belief in unions between male gods and human females [*], which returned women to a state of virginity.
[* Josephus in his book Judaic Archaeologies, XVII 66-77, describes such a satanic event with the faithful to her husband Paullina, of noble descent, which have had very awful consequences.]
The god Tammuz, worshipped by pagans in northern Israel, was said to have been born to the virgin Myrrha. The name “Myrrha” superficially resembles “Mary/Miriam” and it is possible that this particular virgin birth story influenced the Mary story more than the others. Like Jesus, Tammuz was always called Adon, meaning “Lord.” (The character Adonis in Greek mythology is based on Tammuz.) As we will see later, the connection between Jesus and Tammuz goes much further than this.
The idea that Mary had been an adulteress never completely disappeared in Christian mythology. Instead, the character of Mary was split into two: Mary the mother of Jesus, believed to be a virgin, and Mary Magdalene, believed to be a woman of ill repute. The idea that the character of Mary Magdalene is also derived from Miriam the mythical mother of Yeishu, is corroborated by the fact that the strange name “Magdalene” clearly resembles the Aramaic term “mgadla nshaya” meaning “women’s hairdresser.” As mentioned before, there was a belief that Yeishu’s mother was “Miriam the women’s hairdresser.” Because the Christians did not know what the name “Magdalene” meant, they later conjectured that it meant that she had come from a place called Magdala on the west of Lake Kinneret. The idea of the two Marys fitted in well with the pagan way of thinking. The image of Jesus being followed by the two Marys is strongly reminiscent of Dionysus being followed by Demeter and Persephone.
The Gemara contains an interesting legend concerning Yeishu, which attempts to elucidate the Beraita which says that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Perachyah repelled Yeishu with both hands. The legend claims that when the Hashmonean king Yannai [*] was killing the Pharisees, Rabbi Yehoshua and Yeishu fled to Egypt. When returning they came upon an inn. The Aramaic word “aksanya” means both “inn” and or “innkeeper.” Rabbi Yehoshua remarked how beautiful the “aksanya” was (meaning the inn). Yeishu (meaning the innkeeper) replied that her eyes were too narrow. Rabbi Yehoshua was very angry with Yeishu and excommunicated him. Yeishu asked many times for forgiveness but Rabbi Yehoshua would not forgive him. Once when Rabbi Yehoshua was reciting the Shema [**], Yeishu came up to him. He made a sign to him that he should wait. Yeishu misunderstood and thought that he was being rejected again. He mocked Rabbi Yehoshua by setting up a brick and worshipping it. Rabbi Yehoshua told him to repent but he refused to, saying that he had learned from him that anyone who sins and causes many to sin is not given the opportunity to repent.
[* Alexander Yannai (125-76 B. C.E.), Hashmonean king and high priest in the years (106-103)-(79-76) B. C.E.]
[** The daily prayer that begins with “Shema Yisrael” and consists of the verses Deuteronomy 6: 4-6, 11: 13-21 and Numbers 15: 37-41.]
The above story, up to the events at the inn, closely resembles another legend in which the protagonist is not Rabbi Yehoshua but his disciple Yehuda ben Tabbai. In this legend, Yeishu is not named. One may thus question whether Yeishu really went to Egypt or not. It is possible that Yeishu was confused with some other disciple of either Rabbi Yehoshua or Rabbi Yehuda. The confusion might have resulted from the fact that Yeishu was confused with ben Stada who had returned from Egypt. On the other hand, Yeishu might have really fled to Egypt and returned, and this in turn could have contributed to the confusion between Yeishu and ben Stada. Whatever the case, the belief that Yeishu fled to Egypt to escape being killed by a cruel king, appears to be the origin of the Christian belief that Jesus and his family fled to Egypt to escape King Herod.
Since the early Christians believed that Jesus had lived in Roman times it is natural that they would have confused the evil king who wanted to kill Jesus with Herod, since there were no other suitable evil kings during the Roman period. Yeishu was an adult at the time that the rabbis fled from Yannai; why did the Christians believe that Jesus and his family had fled to Egypt when Jesus was an infant? Why did the Christians believe that Herod had ordered all baby boys born in Bethlehem to be killed, when there is no historical evidence of this? To answer these questions we again have to look at pagan mythology.
The theme of a divine or semi-divine child who is feared by an evil king is very common in pagan mythology. The usual story is that the evil king receives a prophecy that a certain child will be born who will usurp the throne. In some stories the child is born to a virgin and usually he is son of a god. The mother of the child tries to hide him. The king usually orders the slaying of all babies who might be the prophesized king. Examples of myths, which follow this plot, are the birth stories of Romulus and Remus, Perseus, Krishna, Zeus, and Oedipus. Although Torah literalists will not like to admit it, the story of Moses’ birth also resembles these myths (some of which claim that the mother put the child in a basket and placed him in a river). There were probably several such stories circulating in the Levant, which have been lost. The Christian myth of the slaughter of the innocents by Herod is simply a Christian version of this theme. The plot was so well known that one Midrashic scholar [*] could not resist using it for an apocryphal account of Abraham’s birth.
[That is, the explicator and commentator of the passages of Tanach, the Jewish Old Testament.]
The early Christians believed that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. This belief is based on a misunderstanding of Micah 5.2, which simply names Bethlehem as the town where the Davidic lineage began. Since the early Christians believed that Jesus was the Messiah, they automatically believed that he was born in Bethlehem. But why did the Christians believe that he lived in Nazareth? The answer is quite simple. The early Greek speaking Christians did not know what the word “Nazarene” meant. The earliest Greek form of this word is “Nazoraios,” which is derived from “Natzoriya,” the Aramaic equivalent of the Hebrew “Notzri.” (Recall that “Yeishu ha-Notzri” is the original Hebrew for “Jesus the Nazarene.”) The early Christians conjectured that “Nazarene” meant a person from Nazareth and so it was assumed that Jesus lived in Nazareth. Even today, Christians blithely confuse the Hebrew words “Notzri” (_Nazarene_, Christian), “Natzrati” Nazarethite) and “nazir” (nazarite), all of which have completely different meanings.
The information in the Talmud (which contains the Baraitas and the Gemara), concerning Yeishu and ben Stada, is so damaging to Christianity that Christians have always taken drastic measures against it. When the Christians first discovered the information they immediately tried to wipe it out by censoring the Talmud. The Basle [Switzerland] edition of the Talmud (c.1578 – 1580) had all the passages relating to Yeishu and ben Stada deleted by the Christians. Even today, editions of the Talmud used by Christian scholars lack these passages!
During the first few decades of this century, fierce academic battles raged between atheist and Christian scholars over the true origins of Christianity. The Christians were forced to face up to the Talmudic evidence. They could no longer ignore it and so they decided to attack it instead. They claimed that the Talmudic Yeishu was a distortion of the “historical Jesus.” They claimed that the name “Pandeira” was simply a Hebrew attempt at pronouncing the Greek word for virgin- “parthenos.” Although there is a superficial resemblance between the words, one should note that in order for “Pandeira” to be derived from “parthenos,” the “n” and “r” have to be interchanged. However, the Jews did not suffer from any speech impediment, which would cause this to happen! The Christian response is that possibly the Jews purposefully altered the word “parthenos” to either the name “Pantheras” (found in Celsus’s story) or to “pantheros” meaning a panther, and “Pandeira” is derived from the deliberately altered word. This argument also fails since the third consonant of both the altered and unaltered “parthenos” is theta. This letter is always transliterated by the Hebrew letter tav, whose pronunciation during classical times most closely resembled that of the Greek letter. However, the name “Pandeira” is never spelled with a tav but with either a dalet or a tet which show that the original Greek form had a delta as its third consonant, not a theta. The Christian argument can also be turned on its head: maybe the Christians deliberately altered “Pantheras” to “parthenos” when they invented the virgin birth story. It should also be noted that the resemblance between “Pantheras” (or “pantheros”) and “parthenos” is actually much less when written in Greek since in the original Greek spelling their second vowels are completely different.
The Christians also did not accept that Mary Magdalene was connected to Miriam the alleged mother of Yeishu in the Talmud. They argued that the name “Magdalene” does mean a person from Magdala and that the Jews evented “Miriam the women’s hairdresser mgadla nshaya)” either to mock the Christians, or out of their own misunderstanding of the name “Magdalene.” This argument is also false. Firstly, it ignores Greek grammar: the correct Greek for “of Magdala” is “Magdales” and the correct Greek for a person from Magdala is “Magdalaios.” The original Greek root of “Magdalene” is “Magdalen” with a conspicuous “n” showing that the word has nothing to do with Magdala. Secondly, Magdala only got its name after the Gospels were written. Before that it was called Magadan or Dalmanutha. (Although “Magadan” has an “n,” it lacks an “l” and so it cannot be the derivation of “Magdalene.”) In fact, the ruins of this area were renamed Magdala by the Christian community because they believed that Mary Magdalene had come from there.
The Christians also claimed that the word “Notzri” means a person from Nazareth. This is of course false since the original Hebrew for Nazareth is “Natzrat” and a person from Nazareth is a “Natzrati.” The name “Notzri” lacks the letter tav from “Natzrat” as so it cannot be derived from it. The Christians argue that perhaps the Aramaic name for Nazareth was “Natzarah” or “Natzirah” (like the modern Arabic name), which explains the missing tav in “Notzri.” This is also nonsense since the Aramaic word for a person from Nazareth would then be “Natzaratiya” or “Natziratiya” (with a tav since the feminine ending “-ah” would become “-at “when the suffix “-iya” is added), and besides, the Aramaic form would not be used in Hebrew. The Christians also came up with various other arguments, which can be dismissed since they confuse the Hebrew words “Notzri” and “Nazir” or ignore the fact that “Notzri” is the earliest form of the word “Nazarene.” [*]
[* See: Mark 1: 24, 14: 67, 16: 6 “And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: Behold the place they laid him.” So, Mark is used to this word all the time, but we also find it just one time in Luke 4: 34. In the other three canonical Gospels, except in Mark and once in Luke, we find the word Nazoraeos.]
To sum up, all the Christian arguments were based on impossible phonetic changes and grammatical forms, and were consequently dismissed. Moreover, although the legends in the Gemara cannot be taken as fact, the evidence in the Baraitas and Tosefta concerning Yeishu can be traced back directly to Yehoshua ben Perachyah, Shimon ben Shetach and Yehuda ben Tabbai and their disciples who were contemporaries of Yeishu, while the evidence in the Baraitas and Tosefta concerning ben Stada can be traced to Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus and his disciples who were ben Stada’s contemporaries. Consequently the evidence can be regarded as historically accurate. Therefore modern Christians no longer attack the Talmud but instead deny any connection between Jesus and Yeishu or ben Stada. They dismiss the similarities as pure coincidence. However, one must still be aware of the false attacks on the Talmud since many Christian books still mention them and they can and do resurface from time to time.
Many parts of the Jesus story are not based on Yeishu or ben Stada. Most Christian denominations claim that Jesus was born on 25 December. Originally the eastern Christians believed that he was born on 6 January. The Armenian Christians still follow this early belief while most Christians consider it to be the date of the visit of the Magi. As pointed out already, Jesus was probably confused with Tammuz born of the virgin Myrrha. We know that in Roman times, the gods Tammuz, Aion and Osiris were identified. Osiris-Aion was said to be born of the virgin Isis on the 6 January and this explains the earlier date for Christmas. Isis was sometimes represented as a sacred cow and her temple as a stable, which is probably the origin of the Christian belief that Jesus was born in a stable. Although some might find this claim to be farfetched, it is known as a fact that certain early Christian sects identified Jesus and Osiris in their writings. The date of 25 December for Christmas was originally the pagan birthday of the sun god, whose day of the week is still known as *Sun* day. The halo of light which is usually shown surrounding the face of Jesus and Christian saints, is another concept taken from the sun god.
The theme of temptation by a devil-like creature was also found in pagan mythology. In particular the story of Jesus’ temptation by Satan resembles the temptation of Osiris by the devil-god Set in Egyptian mythology.
We have already hinted that there was also a connection between Jesus and the pagan god Dionysus. Like Dionysus, the infant Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger; like Dionysus, Jesus could turn water into wine; like Dionysus, Jesus rode on an ass and fed a multitude in the wilderness; like Dionysus, Jesus suffered and was mocked. Some early Christians claimed that Jesus had in fact been born, not in a stable, but in a cave – just like Dionysus.
Where did the story that Jesus was crucified come from? It appears to have resulted from a number of sources. Firstly there were three historical characters during the Roman period who people thought were Messiahs [*] and who were crucified by the Romans, namely. Yehuda of Galilee (6 C.E.), Theudas (44 C.E.) and Benjamin the Egyptian (60 C.E.). Since these three people were all thought to be the Messiah, they were naturally confused with Yeishu and ben Stada. Yehuda of Galilee had preached in Galilee and had collected many followers before being crucified by the Romans. The story of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee appears to be based on the life of Yehuda of Galilee. This story and the belief that Jesus lived in Nazareth in Galilee reinforced each other. The belief that Agrippa killed some of Jesus’ disciples in c. 44 C.E. appears to be based the fate of Theudas’s disciples. Since ben Stada had come from Egypt it is natural that he would have been confused with Benjamin the Egyptian. They were probably also contemporaries. Even some modern authors have suggested that they were the same person, although this is not possible since the stories of their deaths are completely different. In the New Testament book of Acts, which uses Josephus’s book Jewish Antiquities (93 – 94 C.E.) as a reference, it is made clear that the author considered Jesus, Yehuda of Galilee, Theudas and Benjamin the Egyptian, to be four different people. However, by that time it was too late to undo the confusions, which had already taken place before the New Testament was written, and the idea of Jesus’ crucifixion had become an integral part of the myth.
[* In Josephus we have many more pseudo-messiahs and Jesuses that claimed to be prophets and Messiahs who suffered a lot in the hands of the Romans. (Just study Josephus to see this.) Interesting example is Jesus son of Ananus, a rustic character, who prophesied for many days the fall of Jerusalem, Jewish War, VI 300-309. The poor fellow was arrested, tortured and put to death by the Romans. Even the Acts of the Apostles, 5: 34-39, recognize the phenomenon of self-proclaimed Messiahs and give as examples: Theudas and Judas the Galilean (Gaulanites). So, this passage in the Acts and the written messages in: Matthew 7: 15, 24: 23-24 “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the every elect.”, Mark 13: 21-23, Luke 17: 21-23, 21: 8, John 5:43, Acts 5: 36-37, 9:22, 2nd to Thessalonians 2: 3-10, 1st John 2: 18-19, 2nd John 7, Apocalypse, etc., reflect the followings: 1st) The fact that in Judaism during those periods Messiahs were very much in fashion. They appeared very now and again and with last one of them Simeon Bar Kokhbah in +132-135. 2nd) The unstoppable immediate eschatology and the terror about the imminent end of the world and the coming of the kingdom of heavens that had captivated the Christian groups of the first three century of the C.E. This conclusion has been put forward and supported with many elements and arguments even the worldwide renowned theologians Johannes Weiss and Etienne Trocmé in their studies on the Primal Christianity. E. g., in the common dinners, after the cutting of the bread the end of the primal Christians’ prayer was: “Grace come, may this world end; maran-atha!“, as this was saved in the manual of the primal church during the second half of the first century, Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles):10. In Paul’s 1st Letter to Corinthians 16:22 we find again the Aramaic words “maran-atha.”= Come oh Lord!]
Secondly, the idea arose that Jesus had been executed on the eve of Passover. This belief is apparently based on Yeishu’s execution. Passover occurs at the time of the Vernal Equinox, an event considered important by astrologers during the Roman Empire. The astrologers thought of this time as the time of the crossing of two astrological celestial circles, and this event was symbolized by a cross. Thus there was a belief that Jesus had died on “the cross.” The misunderstanding of this term by those who were not initiated into the astrological cults was another factor contributing to the belief that Jesus was crucified. In one of the earliest Christian documents (the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) there is no mention of Jesus being crucified yet the sign of a cross in the sky is used to represent Jesus’ coming. It should be noted that the centre of astrological superstition in the Roman Empire was the city of Tarsus in Asia Minor – the place where the legendary missionary Paul came from. The idea that a special star had heralded the birth of Jesus, and that a solar eclipse occurred at his death, is typical of Tarsian astrological superstition.
The third factor contributing to the crucifixion story is again pagan mythology. The theme of a divine or semi-divine being sacrificed against a tree [wood], pole or cross, and then being resurrected, is very common in pagan mythology. It was found in the mythologies of all western civilizations stretching from as far west as Ireland and as far east as India. In particular it is found in the mythologies of Osiris and Attis, both of whom were often identified with Tammuz. Osiris landed up with his arms stretched out on a tree like Jesus on the cross. This tree was sometimes shown as a pole with outstretched arms – the same shape as the Christian cross. In the worship of Serapis (a composite of Osiris and Apis) the cross was a religious symbol. Indeed, the Christian “Latin cross” symbol seems to be based directly on the cross symbol of Osiris and Serapis. The Romans never used this traditional Christian cross for crucifixions; they used crosses shaped either like an X or a T. The hieroglyph of a cross on a hill was associated with Osiris. This hieroglyph stood for the “Good One,” in Greek “Chrestos,” a name applied to Osiris and other pagan gods. The confusion of this name with “Christos (= Messiah, Christ)” [Messiah = the anointed one, or the one that has been anointed by the holy oil, first of which in Judaism was the first king of the Jews Saul] strengthened the confusion between Jesus and the pagan gods.
At the Vernal Equinox, pagans in northern Israel would celebrate the death and resurrection of the virgin born Tammuz-Osiris. In Asia Minor (where the earliest Christian churches were established) a similar celebration was held for the virgin born Attis. Attis was shown as dying against a tree, being buried in a cave and then being resurrected on the third day. We thus see where the Christian story of Jesus’ resurrection comes from. In the worship of Baal, it was believed that Baal cheated Mavet (the god of death) at the time of the Vernal Equinox. He pretended to be dead but later appeared alive. He accomplished this ruse by giving his only son as a sacrifice.
The occurrence of Passover at the same time of year as the pagan “Easter” [for Ishtar] festivals is not coincidental. Many of the Pessach customs were designed as Jewish alternatives to pagan customs. The pagans believed that when their nature god (such as Tammuz, Osiris or Attis) died and was resurrected, his life went into the plants used by man as food. The matza made from the spring harvest was his new body and the wine from the grapes was his new blood. In Judaism, matza was not used to represent the body of a god but the poor man’s bread which the Jews ate before leaving Egypt. The pagans used the paschal sacrifice to represent the sacrifice of a god or his only son, but Judaism used it to represent the meal eaten before leaving Egypt. Instead of telling stories about Baal sacrificing his first born son to Mavet, the Jews told how mal’ach ha-mavet (the angel of death) slew the first born sons of the Egyptians. The pagans ate eggs to represent the resurrection and rebirth of their nature god, but the egg on the seder-plate [Seder=the Hebrew dinner on the Exodus celebration] represents there birth of the Jewish people escaping captivity in Egypt. When the early Christians noticed the similarities between Pessach customs and pagan customs, they came full circle and converted the Pessach customs back to their old pagan interpretations. The Seder became the last supper of Jesus, similar to the last supper of Osiris commemorated at the Vernal Equinox. The matza and wine once again became the body and blood of a false god, this time Jesus. Easter eggs are again eaten to commemorate the resurrection of a “god” and also the “rebirth” obtained by accepting his sacrifice on the cross.
The Last Supper myth is particularly interesting. As mentioned, the basic idea of last supper occurring at the Vernal Equinox comes from the story of the last supper of Osiris. In the Christian story, Jesus is present with twelve apostles. Where did the story of the twelve apostles come from? It appears that in its earliest version, the story was understood to be an allegory. The first time that twelve apostles are mentioned is in the document known as the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. This document apparently originated as a sectarian Jewish document written in the first century C.E., but it was adopted by Christians who altered it substantially and added Christian ideas to it [*]. In the earliest versions it is clear that the “twelve apostles” are the twelve sons of Jacob representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The Christians later considered the “twelve apostles” to be allegorical disciples of Jesus.
[* Many researchers, some of which are Jews, maintain that the same things hold for the Apocalypse to John in the New Testament.]
In Egyptian mythology, Osiris was betrayed at his last supper by the evil god Set, whom the Greeks identified with Typhon. This seems to be the origin of the idea that Jesus’ betrayer was present at his last supper. The idea that this betrayer was named “Judas” goes back to the time when the twelve apostles were still understood to be the sons of Jacob. The idea of Judas [Judah, Yehuda, in Hebrew meaning: praise or encomium] betraying Jesus (the “son” of Joseph) is strongly reminiscent of the story of the Torah Joseph being betrayed by his brothers with Yehuda as the ringleader. This allegory would have been particularly appealing to the Samaritan Notzrim who considered themselves to be sons of Joseph betrayed by mainstream Jews (represented by Judas/Yehuda).
However, the story of the twelve apostles lost its original allegorical interpretation and the Christians began to think that the “twelve apostles” were twelve real people who followed Jesus. The Christians attempted to find names for these twelve apostles. Matthew and Thaddaeus were based on Mattai and Todah, two of Yeishu’s disciples. One or both of the apostles named Jacobus (James) is possibly based on Jacob of Kfar Sekanya, an early Christian known to Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, but this is just a guess. As we have seen, the character of Judas is mostly based on the Judah of the Torah but there might also be a connection with Yeishu’s contemporary, Yehuda ben Tabbai the disciple of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Perachyah. As already mentioned, the idea of the betrayer at the last supper is derived from the mythology of Osiris who was betrayed by Set-Typhon. Set-Typhon had red hair and this is probably the origin of the claim that Judas had red hair. This idea has led to the Christian stereotypical portrayal of Jews as having red hair, despite the fact that in reality, red hair is far more common among Aryans than among Jews.
Judas is often given the nickname “Iscariot.” In some places where English New Testaments have “Iscariot,” the Greek text actually has “apo Kariotou” which means “from Karyot.” Karyot was the name of a town in Israel, probably the modern site known in Arabic as Karyatein. We thus see that the name Iscariot is derived from the Hebrew “ish Karyot” meaning “man from Karyot.” This is in fact the accepted modern Christian understanding of the name. However, in the past, the Christians misunderstood this name and legends arose that Judas was from the town of Sychar, that he was a member of the extremist party known as the Sicarii [thereby, they thought that Iscariot meant the man of murder, the murderer] and that he was from the tribe of Issacher. The most interesting misunderstanding of the name is its early confusion with the word scortea meaning a leather moneybag. This led to the New Testament myth that Judas carried such a bag, which in turn led to the belief that he was the treasurer of the apostles.
The apostle Peter appears to be a largely fictitious character. According to Christian mythology, Jesus chose him to be the “keeper of the keys to the kingdom of heaven.” This is clearly based on the Egyptian pagan deity, Petra, who was the door-keeper of heaven and the afterlife, ruled over by Osiris. We must also doubt the story of Luke “the good healer” who was supposed to be a friend of Paul. The original Greek for “Luke” is “Lykos” [in fact “Lukios” = full of light. In Latin, Lux = light] which was another name for Apollo, the god of healing.
John the Baptist is largely based on an historical person who practised ritual immersion in water as a physical symbol for repentance [see e.g., the Josephus’ passage in the Jewish Antiquities, XVIII (18), 116-119]. He did not perform Christian style sacramental baptisms to cleanse people’s souls – such an idea was totally foreign to Judaism. He was put to death by Herod Antipas who feared that he was about to start a rebellion. John’s name in Greek was “Ioannes” and in Latin “Johannes.” Although these names were usually used for the Hebrew name Yochanan, it is unlikely that this was John’s actual Hebrew name. “Ioannes” closely resembles “Oannes” the Greek name for the pagan god Ea. Oannes was the “God of the House of Water.” Sacramental baptism for magically cleansing souls was a practice which apparently originated in the worship of Oannes. The most likely explanation of John’s name and its connection with Oannes is that John probably bore the nickname “Oannes” since he practised baptism which he had adapted from the worship of Oannes. The name “Oannes” was later confused with “Ioannes.”(In fact, the New Testament legend concerning John provides a clue that his real name might have been Zacharia.) It is known from Josephus’s writings that the historical John rejected the pagan “soul-cleansing” interpretation of baptism. The Christians, however, returned to this original pagan interpretation.
The god Oannes was associated with the constellation Capricorn. Both Oannes and the constellation Capricorn were associated with water. (The constellation is supposed to depict a mythical sea-creature with the body of a fish and the foreparts of a goat.) We have already seen that Jesus was given the same birthday as the sun god (25 December), when the sun is in the constellation of Capricorn. The pagans thought of this period as one where the sun god is immersed in the waters of Oannes and emerges reborn. (The Winter Solstice, when days start getting longer, occurs near 25 December.) This astrological myth is apparently the origin of the story that Jesus was baptised by John. It probably started as an allegorical astrological story, but it appears that the god Oannes later became confused with the historical person nicknamed Oannes (John).
The belief that Jesus had met John contributed to the belief that Jesus’ ministry and crucifixion occurred when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea. It should be noted that most dates for Jesus quoted by Christians are completely nonsense. Jesus was partly based on Yeishu and ben Stada who probably lived more than a century apart. He was also based on the three false Messiahs, Yehuda, Theudas and Benjamin, who were crucified by the Romans at various different times. Another fact that contributed to confused dating of Jesus was that Jacob of Kfar Sekanya and probably other Notzrim as well, used expressions like “thus was I taught by Yeishu ha-Notzri,” even though he had not been taught by Yeishu in person. We know from the Gemara that Jacob’s statement led Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus to incorrectly conclude that Jacob was a disciple of Yeishu. This suggests that there were rabbis who were unaware of the fact that Yeishu had lived in Hashmonean times. Even after Christians placed Jesus in the first century C.E., confusion continued among non-Christians. There was a contemporary of Rabbi Akiva named Pappus ben Yehuda who used to lock up his unfaithful wife. We know from the Gemara that some people, who confused Yeishu and ben Stada, confused the wife of Pappus with Miriam the unfaithful mother of Yeishu. This would place Yeishu more than two centuries after he actually lived!
The New Testament story confuses so many historical periods that there is no way of reconciling it with history. The traditional year of Jesus’ birth is 1 C.E. Jesus was supposed to be not more than two years old when Herod ordered the slaughter of the innocents. However, Herod died before 12April 4B. C.E. This has led some Christians to re-date the birth of Jesus in 6 – 4B. C.E. However, Jesus was also supposed have been born during the census of Quirinius. This census took place after Archelaus was deposed in 6 C.E. ten years after Herod’s death. Jesus was supposed to have been baptised by John soon after John had started baptising and preaching in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius i.e. 28 – 29 C.E. when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea i.e. 26 – 36 C.E. According to the New Testament, this also happened when Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene and Annas and Caiaphas were high priests. But Lysanias ruled Abilene from c. 40 B. C.E. until he was executed in 36B.C.E by Mark Antony, about 60 years before the date for Tiberius and about 30 years before the supposed birth of Jesus! Also, there were never two joint high priests, in particular, Annas was not a joint high priest with Caiaphas. Annas was removed from the office of high priest in 15 C.E. after holding office for some nine years. Caiaphas only became high priest in c. 18 C.E. about three years after Annas. (He held this office for about eighteen years, so his dates are consistent with Tiberius and Pontius Pilate, but not with Annas or Lysanias.) Although the book of Acts presents Yehuda of Galilee, Theudas and Jesus as three different people, it incorrectly places Theudas (crucified 44 C.E.) [*], before Yehuda who it correctly mentions as being crucified during the census (6 C.E.). Many of these chronological absurdities seem to be based on misreadings and misunderstandings of Josephus’s book Jewish Antiquities which was used as reference by the author of Luke and Acts.
[* It is obvious that the book of Acts copies Josephus at many points. (Read the passages Robert Ambelain compares and uses from both books in his book: La Vie Secrete de Saint Paul, Laffont, 1971.) It also contains many historical errors in comparison to Josephus. To both above awesome historical errors the Christians have given the following answer: “Theudas and Lysanias of Josephus are others from Theudas and Lysanias of Luke and Acts.” This is an answer that anyone could very easily pronounce since it is not possible either to be verified or to be rejected on account of the fact that there is absolutely no element toward either direction. If however, the matter has so, then they are not referred to in anywhere else except the book of Acts. This is very improbable due to their positions and actions. Finally none can prove that the Christians are right or wrong based on nothing! As you know we cannot travel to past to check it out! Another error in the Acts 12: 20-25 is the report of the death of Herod Agrippa the 1st in +44. Josephus report the events very differently in The Jewish Antiquities ΧΙΧ, 346-361. (There are more historical errors in the Gospel of Luke and the Acts that we will not rewrite here. Those that we have already seen comprise a good sample of errancy.)
There is one more possibility beyond the recklessness, illiteracy or expediency of the Acts‘ author and later editors. This is that they have committed these errors purposely believing that their originality would attribute independent historical veracity, given that no other historical source would contain these names within the epochs that they moved and mingled them to. It is also possible they believed that the real historical sources would be destroyed soon enough. (Many apologist of Christianity put also forward the same justification in the case of Cyrenius in Luke 2: 1-2 and its glaring contradiction with Matthew, on the mythology of Christ’s birth. They say that the Cyrenius of Luke is a different one from the Cyrenius of Josephus and the official Roman History. Again, others say that they were the same, but he made two censuses, one for Matthew and one for Luke, and others say otherwise…! So you see how easily they can disentangle, as they think, the Bible contradictions and errors. Excellently! ).]
The story of Jesus’ trial is also highly suspicious. It clearly tries to placate the Romans while defaming the Jews. The historical Pontius Pilate was arrogant and despotic. He hated the Jews and never delegated any authority to them. However, in Christian mythology, he is portrayed as a concerned ruler who distanced himself from the accusations against Jesus and who was coerced into obeying the demands of the Jews. According to Christian mythology, every Passover, the Jews would ask Pilate to free any one criminal they chose. This is of course a blatant lie. Jews never had a custom of freeing guilty criminals at Passover or any other time of the year. According to the myth, Pilate gave the Jews the choice of freeing Jesus the Christ or a murderer named Jesus Barabbas. The Jews are alleged to have enthusiastically chosen Jesus Barabbas. This story is a vicious anti-Semitic lie, one of many such lies found in the New Testament (largely written by anti-Semites). What is particularly disgusting about this rubbish story is that it is apparently a distortion of an earlier story which claimed that the Jews demanded that Jesus Christ be set free. The name “Barabbas” is simply the Greek form of the Aramaic “bar Abba” which means “son of the Father.” Thus “Jesus Barabbas” originally meant “Jesus the son of the Father”, in other words, the usual Christian Jesus. When the earlier story claimed that the Jews wanted Jesus Barabbas to be set free it was referring to the usual Jesus. Somebody distorted the story by claiming that Jesus Barabbas was a different person to Jesus Christ and this fooled the Roman and Greek Christians who did not know the meaning of the name “Barabbas.”
Lastly, the claim that the resurrected Jesus appeared to his disciples is also based on pagan superstition. In Roman mythology, the virgin born Romulus appeared to his friend on the road before he was taken up to heaven. (The theme of being taken up to heaven is found in scores of pagan myths and legends and even in Jewish stories.) It was claimed that Apollonius of Tyana had also appeared to his disciples after having been resurrected. It is interesting to note that the historical Apollonius was born more or less at the same time as the mythical Jesus was supposed to have been born. In legends people claimed that he had performed many miracles which were identical to those also ascribed to Jesus, such as exorcisms of demons and the raising to life of a dead girl.
When confronted with Christian missionaries one should point out as much information as possible about the origins of Christianity and the Jesus myth. You will almost never succeed in convincing them [*] that Christianity is a false [concocted, artificial] religion. You will not be able to prove beyond all doubt that the story of Jesus arose in the way we have claimed it has, since most of the evidence is circumstantial. Indeed we cannot be certain about the precise origin of many particular points in the story of Jesus. This does not matter. What is important is that you yourself realize that logical alternatives exist to blind belief in Christian myths and that reasonable doubt can be cast on the New Testament narrative.
[* This is certainly true for those who refuse to sit down and think but repose themselves on faith alone and nothing else. This happens not because of lack of cogent arguments and objective data able to prove something or at least to suggest many major questions whose answers must be sought for.
Christian religion plays with psychology, and it steps and invests on the human weaknesses and fears and not on the objective truth. Therefore it is an artificial and concocted religion with theology and dogmatism very perilous and catastrophic so much for the individual as much as for the whole society as totality.
No logical and scientific argument can stagger the faith of a religious believer who from preamble refuses to sit down and think. A religious believer as fanatic and blind “in eyes, ears and mind” does not put his / her beliefs on the table of examination and cuts off every discussion and research about truth from the beginning. He or she has no desire to examine the existent arguments and data even out of curiosity. He or she prefers to die for his / her faith instead of recognising his / her mistakes and retract. He she has undergone such a mental ankylosis that only brain washing may achieve something in his / her case. Maybe tough experiences, inexorable events and long-lasting teachings of life can also help.
Nevertheless, all the elements, records and arguments presented here and elsewhere have strong influence on the humans that think with consistency, search the truth, do not reject logic and recognise the value of science. This as any other exposition of arguments and data helps all these people do not blindly fall into the shackles of religious faith or if they are in its trap, it helps them to get out.]
PART 2: THE LACK OF HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR JESUS
The usual Christian response to those who question the historicity of Jesus is to palm off various documents as “historical evidence” for the existence of Jesus. They usually start with the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John [*]. The usual claim is that these are “eye witness accounts of the life of Jesus made by his disciples.” The reply to this argument can be summed up in one word -*pseudepigraphic*. This term refers to works of writing whose authors conceal their true identities behind the names of legendary characters from the past. Pseudepigraphic writing was particularly popular among the Jews during Hashmonean and Roman periods and this style of writing was adopted by the early Christians.
[* Also the complete titles of these gospels do not say that they were directly written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but they indicate: The Gospel “according to” Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.]
The canonical gospels are not the only gospels. For example, there are also gospels of Mary, Peter, Thomas and Philip [*]. These four gospels are recognized as being pseudepigraphic by both Christian and non-Christian scholars. They provide no legitimate historical information since they were based on rumours and belief. The existence of these obviously pseudepigraphic gospels makes it quite reasonable to suspect that the canonical gospels might also be pseudepigraphic. The very fact that early Christians wrote pseudepigraphic gospels suggests that this was in fact the norm. It is thus the missionaries’ claim that the canonical gospels are not pseudepigraphic which requires proof.
[* We have known of the existence of about 65 gospels, out of which about 35 have survived either totally or partially.]
The Gospel of Mark is written in the name of Mark, the disciple of the mythical Peter. (Peter is largely based on the pagan god Petra, who was door-keeper of heaven and the after life in Egyptian religion.) Even in Christian mythology, Mark was not a disciple of Jesus, but a friend of Paul and Luke. Mark was written before Matthew and Luke (c. 100 C.E.) but after the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. which it mentions. Most Christians believe it was written in c. 75 C.E. This date is not based on history but on the belief that an historical Mark wrote the gospel in his old age. This is not possible since the style of language used in Mark shows that it was written (probably in Rome) by a Roman convert to Christianity whose first language was Latin and not Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic. Indeed, since all the other gospels are written in the name of legendary characters from the past, Mark was probably written long after any historical Mark (if there was one) had died. The contents of Mark is a collection of myths and legends put together to form a continuous narrative. There is no evidence that it was based on any reliable historical sources. Mark was altered and edited many times and the modern version probably dates to about 150 C.E [*]. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 C.E. -c. 215 C.E.) complained about the alternative versions of this gospel which were still circulating in his lifetime. (The Carpocratians, an early Christian sect, considered pederasty to be a virtue and Clement complained about their versions of Mark which told of Jesus’ homosexual exploits with young boys!)
[* In the codices of the 4th century the Gospel According to Mark ends with the verse 18: 6 “… because they were afraid“. The remaining verses 16: 9-20 are a later addition, in order to say a few things about Jesus’ reappearances and ascension. Otherwise just an announcement “… he is not here …” did not anymore suffice for the needs of the newly created religion.]
The Gospel of Matthew was certainly not written by the apostle Matthew. The character of Matthew is based on the historical person named Mattai who was a disciple of Yeishu ben Pandeira. (Yeishu, who lived in Hashmonean times, was one of several historical people upon whom the character Jesus is based.) The Gospel of Matthew was originally anonymous and was only assigned the name Matthew some time during the first half of the second century C.E. The earliest form was probably written at more or less the same time as the _Gospel of Luke_ (c. 100 C.E.) since neither seems to know of the other. It was altered and edited until about 150 C.E. The first two chapters, dealing with the virgin birth, were not in the original version and the Christians in Israel of Jewish descent preferred this earlier version. For its sources it used Mark and a collection of teachings referred to as the Second Source (or the Q Document [from the German word Quelle = source]). The Second Source has not survived as a separate document, but its full contents are found in Matthew and Luke. All the teachings contained in it can be found in Judaism. The more reasonable teachings can be found in mainstream Judaism, while the less reasonable ones can be found in sectarian Judaism. There is nothing in it which would require us to suppose the existence of a real historical Jesus. Although Matthew and Luke attribute the teachings in it to Jesus, the Epistle of James attributes them to James. Thus Matthew provides no historical evidence for Jesus.
The Gospel of Luke [*] and the book of Acts (which were two parts of a single work) were written in the name of the Christian mythological character Luke the healer [the physician according to the Christian tradition] (who was probably not an historical person but a Christian adaptation of the Greek healer god Lykos). Even in Christian mythology, Luke was not a disciple of Jesus but a friend of Paul. Luke and Acts use Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities as a reference, and so they could not have been written before 93 C.E. At this time, any friend of Paul would be either dead or well into senility. Indeed, both Christian and non-Christian scholars agree that the earliest versions of the two books were written by an anonymous Christian in c. 100 C.E. and were altered and edited until c. 150- 175 C.E. Besides Josephus’s book, Luke and Acts also use the Gospel of Mark and the Second Source as references. Although Josephus is considered to be more or less reliable, the anonymous author often misread and misunderstood Josephus and moreover, none of the information about Jesus in Luke and Acts comes from Josephus. Thus Luke and Acts is of no historical value.
[* The introduction to the Gospel of Luke 1: 1-4 is suspicious but very revealing. In it he writes “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the world; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed,”. We now observe the followings:
He confesses that many have taken in hand to write a declaration and not history. So, there were many fictional gospels in circulation, fact well known and corroborated. He says that the written things were delivered as oral narrations by eyewitnesses and did come not written documents of that time. Curiously enough he does not reveal even on of those eyewitnesses! Whereas he here opens the opportunity himself to reveal his name and tell us who he is, nevertheless he does not do it. If he were indeed a physician and the amanuensis of the Apostle Paul what prevented him from telling us who he is. He would give greater authority to his writings. But since there were so many narrations, as he confesses, he did not take one or some of them that he thought of more accurate to send it (them) to most excellent Theophilus, but he decide to write send his own one , which as it seems must have thought as the best of all the others! So we here have a proof that many different people wrote whatever they liked or thought of as true from the oral traditions that reached their ears. As for the godly inspiration … this would come later among the dogmas!
The fact that this Gospel contains many crucial incidents, which do not exist at all in or are entirely different from those in the two earlier synoptic and of course the John’s, shows that its compiler used more sources and his own initiative or fantasy.
There is also the question: who the most excellent Theophilus is? He most probably is the bishop Theophilus of Antioch, who was bishop during the years 169-177 C.E., because there was no other most excellent Theophilus before him. Consequently the Gospel was written or reedited on the basis of the traditions and previous passages between the years 170 and 177 C.E. and the editor placed this introduction and whatever else he liked. The Catholic Encyclopaedia accepts this eventuality, which also agrees with all the records given to us by Father Jerome +342-420 C.E. Thereby we conclude that the Christian conspirators’ dates are expedient, false and helter-skelter…
The scientists and researchers date the writing or the crucial editing and rewriting of the four canonical Gospels during this period (+175-185 C.E.) in which the bishop of Lyon Irenaeus played the most important role. As for the orthodox dating of +67-95 C.E. (or even +62-99 C.E.), it is completely imaginary and arbitrary, and it is used because it helps somewhat, but far from completely, the Christian mythological situation. Also the priority of the Gospel of Matthew has been rejected by all the scientists and as first canonical Gospel is considered the Gospel of Mark. If again the Gospels were godly- inspired, there would have been just one accurate and complete and not four different, messy, unclear and contradictory!]
The Gospel of John was written in the name of the apostle John the brother of James, son of Zebedee. The author of Luke used as many sources as he could get hold of but he was unaware of John. Thus John could not have been written before Luke (c. 100 C.E.) Consequently John could not have been written by the semi-mythical character John the Apostle who was supposed to have been killed by Herod Agrippa shortly before his own death in 44 C.E. [*] (John the Apostle is apparently based on an historical disciple of the false Messiah Theudas who was crucified by the Romans in 44 C.E. and whose disciples were murdered.) The real author of the Gospel of John was in fact an anonymous Christian from Ephesus in Asia Minor. The oldest surviving fragment of John dates to c. 125 C.E. [**] and so we can date the gospel to c. 100 – 125 C.E. Based on stylistic considerations many scholars narrow down the date to c. 110 -120 C.E. The earliest version of John did not contain the last chapter which deals with Jesus appearing to his disciples. Like the other gospels, John probably only attained its present form around 150 – 175 C.E. [***] The author of John used Mark sparingly and so one suspects that he did not trust it. He either had not read Matthew and Luke or he did not trust them since he does not use any information from them which was not found in Mark. Most of John consists of legends with obvious underlying allegorical interpretations and one suspects that the author never intended them to be history [****]. John does not contain any information from reliable historical sources.
[* I have not been able to locate the source from which Hayyim ben Yehoshua has drawn this indeed remarkable piece of information. If things are so, then obviously no Apostle Theologian John has written either the Gospel or the three Epistles or the Apocalypse. But even if ben Yehoshua is here mistaken, this still does not prove that John has written them. All the other elements Yehoshua has cited here show that these writings are pseudepigrapha and the questions about who and when he has written them remain without answer yet. As you shall see, Yehoshua comes back to this particular information twice below. The first time, in the paragraph about Papias, he says that this is based on standard Christian traditions. These traditions are for the time being unknown to us. If anybody knows them it will be very good to communicates them to all of us. In the book of Acts, chapter 12, we read that Herod Agrippas the 1st stabbed to death James (Jacobus) the brother of John only, a little while before his death in the year +44 C.E. Also, some well known Christian traditions claim that John passed away in Ephesus in +99-100 C.E., at the very old age of 120 years. Certainly nothing can guarantee that these traditions are true. But if these traditions are true then the +30 C.E. John was 50 years old, thing that contradicts a different tradition that wants John to be a quite young man, as he has always been depicted fallen on the chest of Jesus at the Last Supper. The confusion between John the Apostle and John the Elder is very possible to have been perpetrated either by ignorance or by purpose, or because all these records are up in the air, or because the liar and deceiver Eusebius has served them unto us in this way, etc. In conclusion “Lord’s knowledge remains unknown!”]
[** This is a tiny fragment of papyrus. From the words preserved on it, one may conclude that it contained the verses of John 18: 31-34 in the front side and the 18: 37-38 in the back side. Its earliest possible dating has been located between +125-160 C.E. But if these words actually come from the Gospel of John or from a passage of a different writing we cannot say. We must not forget that those times there were many similar writings and oral traditions circulating among the Christians, which contained common words, phrases, episodes, written by authors of the same or similar circles, etc. Therefore nothing can be concluded with certainty.]
[*** We must add a few things about the nowadays forms of the four canonical Gospels. Whereas the authors do not reveal their identity, the titles they bear: Gospel According to Matthew, etc., were put on them by the bishop of Lyon Irenaeus, in the years +181-185 C.E.
But the nowadays version of the canonical Gospels is not the one Irenaeus composed. At the orders of Constantine the Great they were edited and republished by Eusebius c. +330 C.E. They also took care to destroy all the earlier versions. But again, this version is not the one we have at hand today. If we compare the Gospels we use today with the earliest extant manuscripts and codices of the 4th and 5th centuries and the more recent ones that are preserved in museums and collections, we find many small and large, very important differences and misunderstandings. There are altered and or corrected verses and words, new chapters that did not exist before, interpolations, words of different meanings, etc. The people who have not understood it yet, it is time to do so: This is the essence of the great godly inspiration that needed more than a thousand years to take an end and do its job well! Very impressive!]
[**** John strives to convince us that he tells the truth, thing that no other evangelist tries to do, at many points of his Gospel, e.g., 19: 35, 21: 24 “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know (How do we know? He puts words in our mouth!) that his testimony is true.”, etc. A reader suspects him of having a problem with the things he writes. Finally he admits that his purpose is to do propaganda of belief and not History: 19: 35 “And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.” and 20: 31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”]
Christians will claim that the Gospel of John itself states that it is an historical document written by John. This claim is based on the verses John 19.34 – 35 and John 21.20 -24. John 19.34 – 35 does not claim that the gospel was written by John. It claims that the events described in the immediately preceding verses were accurately reported by a witness. The passage is ambiguous and it is not clear whether the witness is supposed to be the same person as the author. Many scholars are of the opinion that the ambiguity is deliberate and that the author of John is trying to tease his readers in this passage as well as in the passages which tell miraculous stories with allegorical interpretations. John 21.20 – 24 also does not claim that the author is John [*]. It claims that the disciple mentioned in the passage is the one who witnessed the events described. It is again notably ambiguous as regards the question of whether the disciple is the same person as the author. It should be noted that this passage is in the last chapter of John which was not part of the original gospel but was added on as an epilogue by an anonymous redactor. One should beware the fact that many “easy to understand” translations of the New Testament distort the passages mentioned so as to remove the ambiguity found in the original Greek.(Ideally one needs to be familiar with the original Greek text of the New Testament in order to avoid biased and distorted translations used by fundamentalist Christians and missionaries.)
[* As we saw above, John strives to convince us that he tells the truth, thing that no other evangelist tries to do, at many points of his Gospel. He surely admits that his purpose is to do propaganda of belief and not History: 19: 35 “And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.” and 20: 31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” The whole chapter 21 has been proven to be a later addition in order to reinstate Peter’s party and Petristic traditions in the church. The one who added this chapter, he also thought of the mythology regarding the person(s) who had written the whole Gospel.
Undoubtedly the Gospel According to John is the only Canonical Gospel that contains many Gnostic elements. Many Gnosticists reject the hypothesis that this was written by the disciple of Jesus, John that theologian son of Zebedee. Krejenblum in his work Das Evangelium der Wahrheit (= the gospel of truth), Berlin1900-1905, insists that this Gospel has Gnostic origins and he attributes it to Menander the teacher of the Gnostic Basilides. Given that Gnosticism almost eliminated orthodox Christianity in the second century and this Gospel is the last canonical one it is not surprising at all that it contains many Gnostic elements.]
In order to back up their claims that the gospels of Mark and Matthew were written by the “real” apostles Mark and Matthew and that Jesus is an historical person, missionaries often point to the so-called “testimony of Papias.” Papias was the bishop of Hierapolis (near Ephesus) during the middle of the second century C.E. None of his writings have survived but the Christian historian Eusebius (c. 260 – 339 C.E.) in his book, Ecclesiastical History (written c. 311 – 324 C.E.) paraphrased certain passages from Papias’s book Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord (written c. 140 – 160 C.E.). In these passages, Papias claimed that he had known the daughters of the apostle Philip and also reported several stories which he claimed came from people named Aristion and John the Elder, who had still been alive during his own lifetime. Eusebius appears to have thought that Aristion and John the Elder were disciples of Jesus. Papias claimed that John the Elder had said that Mark had been Peter’s interpreter and had written down accurately everything that Peter had to tell about Jesus. Papias also claimed that Matthew had compiled all the “oracles” in Hebrew and everyone had interpreted them as best they could. None of this, however, provides any legitimate historical evidence of Jesus nor does it back up the belief that Mark and Matthew were really written by apostles bearing those names. Papias was a name dropper and it is by no means certain that he was honest when he claimed that he had met Philip’s daughters. Even if he had, this would at most prove that the apostle Philip in Christian mythology was based on an historical person. Papias never explicitly claimed that he had met Aristion and John the Elder. Moreover, just because Eusebius in the 4th century believed that they were disciples of Jesus does not mean that they were [*]. Nothing at all is known about who on earth Aristion actually was. He is certainly not one of the disciples in the usual Christian tradition. I have seen books in which certain fundamentalist Christians claim that John the Elder was the apostle John the son of Zebedee and that he was still alive when Papias was young. They also claim that Papias lived in c. 60 -130 C.E. and that he wrote his book in c. 120 C.E. These dates are not based on any legitimate evidence and are complete nonsense: Papias was bishop of Hierapolis in c. 150 C.E and as already mentioned his book was written sometime in the period c.140 – 160 C.E. Pushing the date for Papias back to 60 C.E. still does not place him during the lifetime of the apostle John who according to standard Christian legends was killed in 44 C.E [**]. Besides, it is unlikely that John the Elder had anything to do with John the Apostle. According to Epiphanius (c. 320 -403 C.E.), an early Christian named John the Elder had died in117 C.E. We will have more to say about him when we discuss the three epistles named after John. Whatever the case, the stories which Papias collected were being told at least a decade after the gospels and Acts had been written and reflect unfounded rumours and superstition about the origins of these books. In particular, the story about Mark obtained from John the Elder, is nothing more than a slight elaboration of the legend about Mark found in Acts and so it tells us nothing about the true origins of the Gospel of Mark. The story about Matthew writing the “oracles” is simply a rumour, and besides, it does not have anything to do with the Gospel of Matthew. The term “oracles” can only be understood as a reference to the collection of writings known as the Oracles of the Lord which is referred to in the title of Papias’s book and which in all likelihood is the same thing as the Second Source, not the Gospel of Matthew.
[* Do not forget that all these things are based on the writings of the tardy Eusebius, who wrote them in the first half of the 4th century. He has not been trusted at all by any objective and impartial researcher. It is fully suspicious the fact that whereas Eusebius has had all these writings and books at hand, except for very few passages that he distorted, he did not take any care to preserve them. After him all these sources were nowhere to be found anymore.]
[** Here is the second point at which he writes this special information. Which may be these Christian standard traditions? We maintain the opinion that the author should have cited them here as explicitly as possible, because as we explained earlier there are other standard Christian traditions that disagree with these that he invokes here.]
Besides the canonical gospels and Acts, missionaries also try to use the various Christian epistles as proof of the Jesus story. They claim that the epistles are letters written by Jesus’ disciples and followers. However, epistles (from the Greek epistole, meaning message or order) are books, written in the form of letters (usually from legendary characters from the past), which expound religious doctrines and instructions. This form of religious writing was used by the Jews in Greco-Roman times. (The most famous Jewish epistle is the Epistle of Jeremiah, which is a lengthy condemnation of idolatry written during the Hellenistic period in the form of a letter from the prophet Jeremiah to the people of Jerusalem just before they were exiled to Babylon. [This Epistle does not belong to the Canon of Tanach. The Christians have included it in their Old Testament.]) As in the case of the gospels, there are Christian epistles not contained in the New Testament which both Christian and non-Christian scholars agree are pseudepigraphic and of no historical value since they expound beliefs and not history. The existence of pseudepigraphic epistles and indeed the whole concept of an epistle, suggests that epistles were normally pseudepigraphic. Thus again it is the claims by missionaries and Christian fundamentalists, that the canonical epistles are genuine letters, which requires proof.
The Epistle of Jude is written in the name of Jude (Judas) the brother of James. According to Mark and Matthew, Jesus had brothers named Judas and James. Comparison with other writings shows that the Epistle of Jude was written in c. 130 C.E. and so it is obviously pseudepigraphic. There is no evidence however that its author used any legitimate historical sources as regards Jesus.
Two of the canonical epistles are written in the name of Peter. Since Peter is a mythical Christian adaptation of the Egyptian pagan deity Petra, these epistles were certainly not written by him. The style and character of the First Epistle of Peter alone shows that it could not have been written earlier than c. 80 C.E. Even according to Christian legend, Peter was supposed to have died following the persecutions instigated by Nero in c. 64 C.E. and so he could not have written the epistle. The author of Luke and Acts used all written sources he could get hold of and tended to use them indiscriminately, however he did not mention any epistles by Peter. This shows that the First Epistle of Peter was probably written after Luke and Acts (c. 100 C.E.). No references to Jesus in the First Epistle of Peter are taken from historical sources but instead reflect beliefs and superstition. The Second Epistle of Peter speaks out against the Marcionists and so it must have been written c. 150 C.E. It is thus clearly pseudepigraphic. The Second Epistle of Peter uses as sources: the story of Jesus’ transfiguration found in Mark, Matthew and Luke, the Apocalypse of Peter and the Epistle of Jude. The non-canonical Apocalypse of Peter (written some time in the first quarter of the second century C.E.) is recognized as being non-historical even by fundamentalist Christians. Thus the Second Epistle of Peter also does not use any legitimate historical sources.
We now turn to the epistles supposedly written by Paul. The First Epistle of Paul to Timothy warns against the Marcionist work known as the Antithesis. Marcion [*] was expelled from the Church of Rome in c. 144 C.E. and the First Epistle of Paul to Timothy was written shortly afterwards. Thus we again have a clear case of pseudepigraphy. The Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy and the Epistle of Paul to Titus were written by the same author and date to about the same period. These three epistles are known as the “pastoral epistles.” The ten remaining “non-pastoral” epistles written in the name of Paul, were known to Marcion by c. 140 C.E. Some of them were not written in Paul’s name alone but are in the form of letters written by Paul in collaboration with various friends such as Sosthenes, Timothy, and Silas. The author of Luke and Acts, went out of his way to obtain all sources available and tended to use them indiscriminately, but he used nothing from the Pauline epistles. We can thus conclude that the non-pastoral epistles were written after Luke and Acts in the period c.100 – 140 C.E. The non-canonical First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians (written c. 125 C.E.) uses the First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians as a source and so we can narrow down the date for that epistle to c. 100 – 125 C.E. However, we are left with the conclusion that that all the Pauline epistles are pseudepigraphic. (The semi-mythical Paul [**] was supposed to have died during the persecutions instigated by Nero in c. 64 C.E.) Some of the Pauline epistles appear to be have been altered and edited numerous times before reaching their modern forms. As sources they use each other, Acts, the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke [***] and the First Epistle of Peter. We may thus conclude that they provide no historical evidence of Jesus.
[* The educated rich-man from Sinop of Pontos, Marcion, was a fanatic follower of Paul, Gnostic, eschatologist and of excessively strict ethics. He made a first canon of the New Testament in the first half of the second century. This included only the ten first Epistles of Paul after he eliminated all the Judaic elements from them. Also their order in his canon was other than the later standardized one. Outside this Canon he had put the Epistles 1st and 2nd to Timothy, to Titus, to Hebrews, the last two chapters, 15 and 16, to the Romans, and a few other passages. (Large sections of the Pastoral Epistles 1st and 2nd to Timothy and Titus refer to issues of the second century, unknown to Paul in the first century. Consequently these sections cannot have been written by him. How could the same person write in the 1st Corinthians 7:1 “… It is good for a man not to touch a woman” and 8 “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I (single).”, along with all those perversions of the whole chapter 7, and then in 1st Timothy 3: 2 “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…” and 12 “Let the deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well”? Also, in Paul’s years the hierarchies of Elder and Bishop were not existent. Others say, they existed only in Egypt! Other parts of the Pastoral Epistles seem to be Paul’s or they are tradition referring to him.) In this canon, Marcion put just one Gospel, similar to the Gospel of Luke but without the Judaic elements that are in it. For Marcion, the Hebrew god Yahveh was an evil demon. Of course, the Judaeo-Christian Church of Rome did not accept Marcion’s propositions and expelled him for its bosoms in the years +142 – 144 C. E.]
επίσκοπον ανεπίληπτον είναι, μιας γυναικός άνδρα,» και 12 «διάκονοι έστωσαν μιας γυναικός άνδρες, τέκνων καλώς προϊστάμενοι και των ιδίων οίκων.»;
[** Do not be surprised by the adjective semi-mythical on Paul, Even if he had called him mythical, it would not have been exaggeration. Certainly, among Christians, Paul’s historicity is given and beyond any doubt. However, many impartial scientists on theses issues dispute it and reach the conclusion that this person is mythical. Others do not dispute it and others consider it plausible even though they recognise the fact that there is not sufficient evidence for it. The recent French researcher Robert Ambelain proposes the view that Paul existed and was an Idumean Arab and grand son of the king Herod the Great. The characters: Saul, Saulos, Paulos and Simon Magus found in the Acts and the Epistles, in the form they exist today, represent different aspects and periods of Paul. Others, as M. Verettas and K. Kyriakakis, who consider the contents of the three Epistles of John and the Apocalypse along with the Acts and the Paul’s Epistles, identify the antichrist with Paul. Others again, as Harold Leidner, want Paul to live for a little while after the events of +70-73 C. E, in spite of the standard Christian date of his death in +64-67 C.E. In general there is a complete disagreement among the researchers.
We write here a few elements on this issue for the updating of the reader, which we leave in his / her criticism and searching interest. (1) There is no contemporaneous and reliable information about the date of+ Paul’s birthday. We have only guesses and calculations about it done by much later researches, Christians and non-Christians. (2) If you, no matter who you are, know even one reliable, unbiased, admissible, and contemporaneous with Paul historical reference of indication about Paul, then you must publish it worldwide so all the other interested researcher in the world learn what it is. Except for the Christian esoteric narrations such a historical reference or indication does not exist anywhere. The Christians however, insist that Paul traversed the Roman Empire in the 30 years of his action (from the stoning of Stephen (Stephanus, Stephanos) and afterwards.) He had pulled many into prison, persecuted the Christians forcefully before his conversion. He have had contact or clash with: the Jewish leaders, the chiefs of Asia Minor, Roman authorities, consuls, governors, centurions, chief captains, the Roman emperor, local religious and political authorities, synagogues, and many people. He: was persecuted, “fought with beasts”, was beaten, was stoned, was familiar with the imperial palaces keeping friends in them, went twice to Rome where he stayed for long time, and these catalogues can continue for long. Nevertheless none independent, objective and contemporaneous historian, politician, writer, rabbi, layman, etc., outside the Christian clan noticed him anywhere at least inadvertently! What do you think of this fact? Is not it indeed curious and beyond any probability. What is your answer? As we referred earlier the Great Emperor Julian asked the Christians to bring him such a reference about Paul and others but he did not get any answer!
We must emphasize here that fatal blow against the Jesus Christ’s historicity is the Christ of Paul. The Jesus Christ(s) of the Gospels and any historical Christ was unknown to Paul. (See Appendix 2, below.) Then we accept that Paul was a historical person in the middle of the 1st century when as they insist he was active and wrote his works, then was must necessarily admit that Jesus Christ was not a historical person but a mythological one. Otherwise both stories about Paul and Jesus are fairy tales and nothing more. That is they are lies. But the writing attributed to Paul and all sources before him must have put the bases and the hints of the writing and the mythology of the later four canonical Gospels. After the complete separation of Jewish and Christians (+135 C.E.) and the miserable failure of the eschatology of the latter, the newly created situations demanded new written works different than those of Paul and above all historizing in order to justify the cause and the survival of the Judeo-Christian heresy! Also, in the second century they usurped many Gnostic passages and badly understood Neo-Platonic elements. As it is known, in that era Gnosticism nearly eliminated the orthodox Christianity from the face of earth. So, in Paul’s writings and the Gospel of John we find many Gnostic and twisted Neo-platonic elements. Those times, the struggle of prevalence between the side of Faith (of the dogma “believe – do not search”) and the side of Gnosis (Gnosticism) took place. Finally, for reasons that we will not expose here, the side of Faith was the winner.
These conclusions comprise the heavier argument of the mythicists against the historicity of Jesus and or Paul. This argument is especially strong or event unsurpassable for the knowledgeable and frank Christian researchers, many of whom abandoned the Judeo-Christian religion after they studied and learnt the elements and evidence. Reader what do you have to say?]
[*** If we consider the polemics of Tertullian Contra Marcio, it seems, a complete overhauling of the Gospel According to Luke happened in the years +140-150 in order to give answer against the Gnostic Marcion. Then, the two first chapters were added, which were always considered to be additions by all the specialists and come to glaring and unsurpassable contradictions with many topics of all the Gospels. Ten, net to it they made up the Acts (in an original version, different that the one we have today) in order to show: (a) The golden age of the church before heresy was come in and destroy the ideal image and flow. (b) Paul belonged to the orthodox Christian movement of the Jerusalem clan of Apostles and was not Marcion’s teacher, as Marcion himself had asserted.
After all these, a new overhauling and reediting of the Epistles of Paul took place for which ben Yehoshua writes about here and with his work continue your studying.]
The Epistle to the Hebrews is a particularly interesting epistle since it is not pseudepigraphic but completely anonymous. Its author neither reveals his own name nor does he write in the name of a Christian mythological character. Fundamentalist Christians claim that it is another epistle by Paul and in fact call it the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews. This idea, apparently dating to the late fourth century C.E., is not accepted by all Christians however. As a source for its information on Jesus it uses material common to Mark, Matthew and Luke, but no legitimate sources. The author of the First Epistle of Clement used it as a source and so it must have been written before that epistle (c. 125 C.E.) but after at least the Gospel of Mark (c. 75 – 100 C.E.).
The Epistle of James is written in the name of a servant of Jesus called James (or Jacobus). However, in Christian mythology there were two apostles named James and Jesus also had a brother named James. It is not clear which James is intended and there is no agreement among Christians themselves. It quotes sayings from the Second Source but unlike Matthew and Luke it does not attribute these sayings to Jesus but presents them as sayings of James. It contains an important argument against the doctrine of “salvation through faith” expounded in the Epistle of Paul to the Romans. We can thus conclude that it was written during the first half of the 2nd century C.E., after Romans but before the time that Matthew and Luke were accepted by all Christians. Thus regardless of which James is intended, the Epistle of James is pseudepigraphic. It says almost nothing about Jesus and there is no evidence that the author had any historical sources for him.
There are three epistles named after the apostle John. None of them are in fact written in the name of John and were probably only ascribed to him some time after they had been written. The First Epistle of John, like the Epistle to the Hebrews, is completely anonymous. The idea that it was written by John arises from the fact that it used the Gospel of John as a source. The other two epistles named after John are written by a single author who instead of writing in the name of an apostle, chose simply to call himself “the Elder.” The idea that these two epistles were written by John arose from the beliefs that “the Elder” referred to John the Elder and that he was the same person as the apostle John. In the case of the Second Epistle of John this belief was reinforced by the fact that that epistle also uses the Gospel of John as a source. We can thus conclude that the first two epistles ascribed to John were written after the Gospel of John (c. 110 – 120 C.E.). Consequently none of the three epistles could have been written by the apostle John. It should be pointed out that it is quite possible that the pseudonym “the Elder” does refer to the person named John the Elder, but if this is so, he is certainly not the apostle John. The first two John epistles use only the Gospel of John as a source for Jesus; they do not use any legitimate sources. The Third Epistle of John barely mentions “Christ” and there is no evidence that it used any historical sources for him.
Besides the epistles named after John, the New Testament also contains a book known as the Revelation to John. This book combines two forms of religious writing, that of the epistle and that of the apocalypse. (Apocalypses are religious works which are written in the form of revelations about the future made by a famous character from the past. These revelations usually describe unfortunate events occurring at the time of writing [*] and also offer some hope to the reader that things will improve.) It is not certain how much editing the Revelation to John underwent and so it is difficult to date it precisely. Since it mentions the persecutions instigated by Nero we can say with certainty that it was not written earlier than 64 C.E. Thus it cannot have been written by the “real John.” The first few verses form an introduction which is clearly not intended to be by John [**] and which provides a vague admission that the book is pseudepigraphic even though the author feels that his message is inspired by God. The style of writing and the references to the practice of kriobolium (baptism in sheep’s blood) suggests that the author was one of those people of Jewish descent who mixed Judaism with pagan practices. There were many such “pagan Jews” during Roman times and it was these people who become the first converts to Christianity, established the first churches, and who were probably also responsible for introducing pagan myths into the story of Jesus. (They are also remembered for their ridiculous belief that “Adonai Tzevaot” [= Lord Sabbaoth] was the same as the pagan god “Sebazios.”) The references to Jesus in the book are few and there is no evidence that they are based on anything but belief.
[* In reality “pseudepigraphon”, since the author of the present uses the identity of some important person of the past.]
[** Certainly in the first 9 verses the name of John is written three times. Maybe here Hayyim ben Yehoshua should have given more explanations on what he indents to say.
As we said earlier, there are many scientists, among whom several Jews, who contend that the Apocalypse of John was a Jewish writing at the beginning which soon after was stolen by the Christians who made some necessary Christian alterations to it. The main theme of this book is the lamentations and the curses of an unknown Jewish writer because of the destruction of Jerusalem and the burning to the ground of the temple of Yahveh. To console himself over these calamities, he imagines the replacement of the destructed Jerusalem by a new one from the heavens through the divine intervention of Yahveh.
The researcher Michael Kokkinoftas in his book Plan Armageddon, Dion, 2000 (in Greek), he has done a very interesting and important percentages analysis on the words, the language and the passages the writer of the Apocalypse uses. Regardless of a few points of view, estimations and suppositions of the writer, some very important checkable conclusions are the followings: The language of the Apocalypse is a very bad version of the Hellenistic dialect Koinie. In conclusion (pp. 356-358), he calculated objectively (since numbers and comparisons can be checked by anybody and are not personal opinions) that: 97.56% of the verses are taken from the Old Testament either verbatim or almost verbatim, or paraphrased to some degree but with the same content and meaning with the corresponding verses in the Old Testament. Hence, only 2.44% of the verses in the Apocalypse can be attributed to its author! As for the main words and meanings 88.21% are borrowed from the Old Testament and only 11.79% are inventions of the author.
This analysis proves the conclusion about the usurpation of this book by the Christians, as we wrote above, and the fact that the Apocalypse is not any true intractable, hard, prophetic, godly inspired, apocalyptic, Christian book, etc. This false thesis, for many centuries now, has been propagandized by the Christians in order to terrorize the masses including even some worthy educated people in their victims. Simply, it is an arbitrary, vile fairy tale which happened to have an unknown Jewish origin. It is full of grizzling revenge, vulgar filth and later interpolations and forgeries. The original Jewish author wanted to express to the Jewish god Yahveh the mourning and depression the destruction of +66-73 C.E. had brought about and to wish hard revenge against all human beings except the elect, which he beseeches him to attribute in a very loathing way. Later Christian plagiarizers, editors and correctors stole this vulgar book with purpose to use it for a continuous and without time bounds terrorization and cruel oppression of the Christian masses, from their days all the way to mythical Armageddon.
It is a very disgusting compilation of stupidity with no whatsoever value, except the prize of stupidity, dishonor and sneakiness that undoubtedly deserves. There is nothing apocalyptic, prophetic or inconceivable in that autistic and repulsive monstrosity, which is only useful for the barbaric oppression of the mindless, gullible and simplistic! This vulgar book with its utopian demonology and the impossible to understand prophecies terrified and tyrannized Europe during the medieval times. Every pestilence and calamity was considered as the fulfillment of some of those moronic prophecies. The poor people panicked and frightened ad ultimatum. The scenes that took place only surrealistic may be characterized. Truly, how much the ill-fated humanity suffered and suffers still from these stupidities…?
About the various Christian book-tapings study moreover at least the following great research works:
1. Gerald Friedlander, The Jewish Sources Of The Sermon On The Mount, Kessinger Publishing.
2. Hyman E. Goldin, The Case of the Nazarene Reopened, The Lawbook Exchange Ltd., 1948-2003.
3. Randel Helms, Gospel Fictions, Prometheus Books, 1989.
4. Harold Leidner, The Fabrication of the Christ Myth, Survey Books, 1999.
5. Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, Introduction by James M. Robinson, Collier Books, 1968.
6. Joseph Wheless, Forgery in Christianity, Kessinger Publishing.
7. Joseph Wheless, Is it God’s Word?, Kessinger Publishing.]
Besides the epistles accepted in the New Testament and besides the epistles which are unanimously recognized as being of no value (such as the Epistle of Barnabas), there are also several epistles which although not accepted in the New Testament, are considered of value by some Christians. Firstly there are the epistles named after Clement. In Christian legend, Clement was the third in succession of Peter as bishop of Rome. The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians is not in fact written in the name of Clement but in the name of the “Church of God which sojourns in Rome.” It refers to a persecution which is generally thought to have occurred in 95 C.E. under Domitian, and it refers to the dismissal of the elders of the Church of Corinth in c. 96 C.E. Christians believe that Clement was bishop of Rome during this time and this is apparently the reason why the epistle was later named after him. Fundamentalist Christians believe that the epistle was in fact written in c. 96 C.E. This date is not possible since the epistle refers to bishops and priests as separate groups; a division which had not taken place yet. Stylistic considerations show that it was written in c. 125 C.E. As references it used the Epistle to the Hebrews and The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians but no legitimate historical sources. The Second Epistle of Clement is by a different author to the first and was written later. We may thus conclude that it was also not written by Clement. (There is no evidence that either of these epistles were named after Clement before their incorporation into the collection of books known as the Codex Alexandrinus, in the 5th century C.E.) As sources for Jesus, the Second Epistle of Clement uses the Gospel of the Egyptians, a document which is rejected by even the most fundamentalist Christians, and also the New Testament books which we have shown to be valueless. Thus again we have no legitimate evidence of Jesus.
Next we have the epistles written in the name of Ignatius. According to legend, Ignatius was the bishop of Antioch who was killed under Trajan’s rule c. 110 C.E. (Although he is probably based on a real historical person the legends about his martyrdom are largely fictional.) There are fifteen epistles written in his name. Of these, eight are unanimously recognized as being pseudepigraphic and of no value as regards Jesus. The remaining seven each have two forms, a longer and a shorter. The longer forms are clearly altered and edited versions of the shorter forms. Fundamentalist Christians claim that the shorter forms are genuine letters written by Ignatius. The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans mentions the threefold ordering of bishops, priests and deacons which had not yet taken place by Ignatius’s death which occurred no later than 117 C.E. and which probably took place c. 110 C.E. All seven shorter epistles attack various Christian beliefs, now considered heretical, which only became prevalent c. 140 – 150 C.E. The shorter Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans contains a quote from the writings of Irenaeus, written after 170 C.E. and published c. 185 C.E. We can thus conclude that the seven shorter epistles are also pseudepigraphic. The shorter Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans was certainly written after 170 C.E. (In fact, if it was not written by Irenaeus then it was probably written after c. 185 C.E.) and the other six were written no earlier than the period c. 140 – 150 C.E. if not later. There are no sources for Jesus in the Ignatian epistle shorter than the New Testament books and the writings of Irenaeus which only use the New Testament. Thus they contain no legitimate evidence of Jesus.
There are two more epistles which Christians claim are genuine letters, namely the Epistle of Polycarp and the Martyrdom of Polycarp. The Ignatian epistles and the epistles concerning Polycarp have always been closely associated. It is quite possible that they were all written by the Christian writer Irenaeus and his disciples. There certainly was a real historical early Christian named Polycarp. He was bishop of Smyrna and was killed by the Romans sometime in the period 155 -165 C.E. When Irenaeus was a boy he knew Polycarp. Fundamentalist Christians claim that Polycarp was the disciple of the apostle John. However, even if we accept the legend that Polycarp lived to the age of 86, he could not have been born earlier than 67 C.E. and therefore could not have been a disciple of John. (It is possible that he was a disciple of the enigmatic John the Elder.) Since Irenaeus had known Polycarp they also assume that Irenaeus was in fact his disciple, a claim for which there is no evidence. The Epistle of Polycarp uses most New Testament books and the Ignatian epistles as references but it uses no legitimate sources for Jesus. Those Christians who reject the Ignatian epistles but believe the Epistle of Polycarp is a genuine letter, claim that the references to the Ignatian epistles are a later interpolation. This idea is based on personal bias not on any genuine evidence. Based on the blind belief that this epistle is a genuine letter, some Christians date it to around the middle of the second century C.E. shortly before Polycarp’s death. However, the references to the Ignatian epistles suggest that it was in fact written some time in the last few decades of the second century C.E., at least about a decade after Polycarp’s death if not later.
The Martyrdom of Polycarp is written in the name of “the Church of God that sojourns in Smyrna.” It starts off in the form of a letter but its main body is written in the form of an ordinary story. It tells the tale of Polycarp’s martyrdom. Like the Epistle of Polycarp, it was written some time during the last few decades of the second century C.E. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that it used any reliable sources for its story, only rumours and hearsay. The story in fact appears to be highly fictionalized. The references to Jesus are not taken from any reliable source.
We have thus seen that the epistles used by missionaries as “evidence” are just as spurious as the gospels. Again, there should beware “easy to understand” translations of the New Testament since they call the epistles, “letters,” there by incorrectly implying that they are really letters written by the people after whom they are named.
Now, besides the books of the New Testament, and besides the epistles relating to Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp, there is only one more Christian religious work which Christians claim as historical evidence of Jesus, namely the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles also known as the Didache. All other early Christian religious works are either wholly rejected by modern Christians or are least recognized as not being primary sources as regards Jesus. The Didache began as a sectarian Jewish document, probably written during the period of turmoil in c. 70 C.E. Its earliest form consisted of moral teachings and predictions of the destruction of the current world order. This earliest version, which obviously did not mention Jesus, was taken over by Christians who heavily edited and altered it, adding a story of Jesus and rules of worship for early Christian communities. Scholars estimate that the earliest Christian version of the Didache could not have been written much later than 95 C.E. It probably only reached its final form around c.120 C.E. It appears to have served an isolated Christian community in Syria as a “Church Order” during the period c. 100- 130 C.E. However, there is no evidence that its story of Jesus was based on any reliable sources, and as we have mentioned, the earliest Jewish version had nothing to do with Jesus. In fact, this document provides evidence that the myth of Jesus grew gradually. Like the Gospel of Mark and the early versions of Gospel of Matthew, the Jesus story in the Didache makes no mention of a virgin birth. It makes no mention of the fantastic miracles which were later attributed to Jesus. Although Jesus is referred to as a “son” of God, it appears that this term is being used figuratively. The evidence we have concerning the origin of the crucifixion myth suggests that one of the things leading to this myth was the fact that the cross was the astrological symbol of the Vernal Equinox which occurs near Passover, when Jesus was believed to have been killed. It is thus not surprising to find that the story in the Didache makes no mention of Jesus being crucified, although it mentions a cross in the sky as a sign of Jesus. The twelve apostles mentioned in the full title of the Didache do not appear as twelve real disciples of Jesus and the term clearly refers to the twelve sons of Jacob representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Thus the Didache provides vital clues concerning the growth of the Jesus myth, but it certainly does not provide any evidence of an historical Jesus.
Since none of the Christian religious texts provide any acceptable evidence of Jesus, missionaries turn next to non-Christian texts. Christians claim that several reliable historians recorded information about Jesus. Although some of these historians are more or less accepted, we shall see that they do not provide any information about Jesus.
Firstly, Christians claim that the Jewish historian Josephus recorded information about Jesus in his book Jewish Antiquities (published c. 93 – 94 C.E.) It is true that this book contains information about the three false Messiahs, Yehuda of Galilee, Theudas and Benjamin the Egyptian, and it is true that the character of Jesus appears to be based on all of them in part, but none of them can be regarded as the historical Jesus. Moreover, in the book of Acts, these people are mentioned as being different people to Jesus and so modern Christianity actually rejects any connection between them and Jesus. In the Christian edited versions of the Jewish Antiquities there are two passages dealing with Jesus as portrayed in Christian religious works. Neither of these passages are found in the original version of the Jewish Antiquities which was preserved by the Jews [*]. The first passage (XVII, 3, 3) was quoted by Eusebius writing in c. 320 C.E. and so we can conclude that it was added in some time between the time Christians got hold of the Jewish Antiquities and c. 320 C.E. It is not known when the other passage (XX, 9, 1) was added in. Neither passage is based on any reliable sources. It is fraudulent to claim that these passages were written by Josephus and that they provide evidence for Jesus. They were written by Christian redactors and were based purely on Christian belief.
[* I have found this piece of information in some Jewish writings and have heard Jews to invoke it. If it is actually true, the Jewish community ought to publish this original edition of Josephus and offer the oldest manuscript in its hands for to be examined.]
Next the Christians will point to the Annals by Tacitus. In the Annals XV, 44, Tacitus describes how Nero blamed the Christians for the fire of Rome in 64 C.E. He mentions that the name “Christians” originated from a person named Christus who had been executed by Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius. It is certainly true that the name “Christians” is derived from Christ or Christus (=Messiah), but Tacitus’ claim that he was executed by Pilate during the reign of Tiberius is based purely on the claims being made by the Christians themselves and appearing in the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke which had already been widely circulated when the Annals were being written. (The Annals were published after 115 C.E. and were certainly not written before 110 C.E.) Thus, although the Annals contain a sentence in which “Christus” is spoken of as a real person, this sentence was based purely on Christian claims and beliefs which are of no historical value. It is quite ironic that modern Christians use Tacitus to back up their beliefs since he was the least accurate of all Roman historians. He justifies hatred of Christians by saying that they committed abominations. Besides “Christus” he also speaks of various pagan gods as if they really exist. His summary of Middle East history in his book the Histories is so distorted as to be laughable. We may conclude that his single mention of Christus cannot be taken as reliable evidence of an historical Jesus.
Once Tacitus is dismissed, the Christians will claim that one of the younger Pliny’s letters to the emperor Trajan provides evidence of an historical Jesus. (Letters X, 96.)This is nonsense. The letter in question simply mentions that certain Christians had cursed “Christ” to avoid being punished. It does not claim that this Christ really existed. The letter in question was written before Pliny’s death in c. 114 C.E. but after he was sent to Bithynia in 111 C.E. probably in the year 112 C.E. Thus it provides nothing more than a confirmation of the trivial fact that around the beginning of the twelfth decade C.E. Christians did not normally curse something called “Christ” although some had done it to avoid punishment. It provides no evidence of an historical Jesus.
Christians will also claim that Suetonius recorded evidence of Jesus in his book Lives of the Caesars (also known as The Twelve Caesars). The passage in question is Claudius 25, where he mentions that the emperor Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome (apparently in 49 C.E.) because they caused continual disturbances at the instigation of a certain Chrestus. If one blindly assumes that “Chrestus” refers to Jesus then, if anything, this passage contradicts the Christian story of Jesus since Jesus was supposed have been crucified when Pontius Pilate was procurator (26 – 36 C.E.) during the reign of Tiberius and moreover, he was never supposed to have been in Rome! Suetonius lived during the period (c. 75 – 150 C.E.) and his book, Lives of the Caesars, was published during the period 119 – 120 C.E. having been written some time after Domitian’s death in 96 C.E. Thus the event he describes occurred at least 45 years before he was writing about it and so we cannot be certain of its accuracy. The name Chrestus is derived from the Greek Chrestos meaning “good one” and it is not the same as Christos Christus which are derived from the Greek Christos meaning “anointed one/Messiah.” If we take the passage at face value it refers to a person named Chrestus who was in Rome and who had nothing to do with Jesus or any other “Christ.” The term Chrestos was often applied to pagan gods and many of the people in Rome called “Jews” were actually people who mixed Jewish beliefs with pagan beliefs and who were not necessarily of Jewish descent. Thus it is also possible that the passage refers to conflicts involving these pagan “Jews” who worshipped a pagan god (such as Sebazios) titled Chrestos. On the other hand, the words Chrestos and Christos were often confused and so the passage might even be referring to some conflict involving Jews who believed that some person was the Messiah. This person may or may not have actually been in Rome and for all we know, he may not even have been a real historical person. One should bear in mind that the described event took place just several years after the crucifixion of the false Messiah Theudas in 44 C.E., and the passage may be referring to his followers in Rome. Christians claim that the passage refers to Jesus and conflicts arising after Paul brought news of him to Rome and that Suetonius was only mistaken about Jesus himself being in Rome. However, this interpretation is based on blind belief in Jesus and the myths about Paul and there is nothing to suggest that it is the correct interpretation [*]. Thus we may conclude that Suetonius also fails to provide any reliable evidence of an historical Jesus.
[* This interpretation is certainly false because, according to the Christian traditions, the mythical Paul went to Rome for the first time in +58-60 C.E., when emperor was Nero and thus long after +49 C.E. and Claudius who was emperor during +41-54 C.E. We wonder how this so simple and certain proof evaded the attention of Hayyim ben Yehoshua!]
All other writers who mention Jesus, from Justin Martyr in the second century C.E. to the latest expounders of Christian myth in the twentieth century, have all based their references to Jesus on the sources we have discredited above. Consequently their claims are worthless as historical evidence. We are thus left with the conclusion that there is absolutely no reliable and acceptable historical evidence of Jesus. All references to Jesus are derived from the superstitious beliefs and myths of the early Christian community. The majority of these beliefs only came into existence after the persecution by Nero and the tragedy of 70 C.E. Many of these beliefs are based on the pagan legends about the gods Tammuz, Osiris, Attis, [Krishna from India], Dionysus [Ahura Mazda and Ariman of the Zoroastrians] and the sun god Mithras. Other myths about Jesus appear to be based on various different historical people such as the convicted criminals Yeishu ben Pandeira and ben Stada, and the crucified false Messiahs Yehuda, Theudas and Benjamin, but none of these people can be regarded as an historical Jesus.
1) J. Allegro, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth, Prometheus Books, reprinted 1991. (Examines how ancient myths were misused by the early church and misrepresented as history.)
2) J. Campbell, Occidental Mythology, Penguin Books, reprinted 1985. (An exposition of religious mythology in western civilization. Includes important evidence concerning the borrowing of pagan myths by Christianity.)
3) E. D. Cohen, The Mind of the Bible-Believer, Prometheus Books, reprinted 1991. (Uncovers the psychological ploys around which the New Testament is built and exposes the adverse effects of Christian fundamentalism.)
4) R. Helms, Gospel Fictions, Prometheus Books, reprinted 1991. (Exposes the gospels as being largely fictional documents composed as a culmination to an extensive mythological tradition.)
5) S. Levine, You Take Jesus and I ‘ll Take God: How to Refute Christian Missionaries, revised edition, Hamoroh Press, Los Angeles, 1980. (Exposes the tricks used by missionaries and the misquotations of the Tanach in the New Testament.)
6) J. M. Robertson, A Short History of Christianity, 2nd Ed., Watts & Co., London 1913. (One of the first serious academic investigations into the origins of Christianity. Exposes the elements of the Jesus story borrowed from pagan myths.)
7) The Talmud. (It should be compulsory reading for all Jews although it is unfortunately neglected in modern times!)
– END OF APPENDIX 1 –
APPENDIX 2 by Ioannis Neoklis Philadelphos M. Roussos
The Christ of Paul
Given that the Christ of Paul constitutes a very strong argument of the mythicists against Jesus Christ’s historicity we here develop this subject.
Paul inaugurates a “new” messianic and eschatological heresy of Judaism the Paulistic Christianity. In brief, Paul knows nothing about the putative facts of the four Canonical Gospels and his Christ is not the carpenter or the builder and miracle wonderer Jesus but as we have partly referred to and we will develop in this appendix much more, in his Epistles and theology he presents a heavenly, sent, subliminal, Gnostic Christ. Even though in his Epistles he makes references to the Old Testament very often, Paul never uses it for finding concrete prophesies that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, thing that the Evangelist do all the time. Certainly he writes the words prophet(s) and prophesy (ies) either abstractly or with in other context and with different meaning! (The only verse of the book of Acts 26: 27 “King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.” belongs to the writer of that book and not to Paul. If this were Luke, then he had already been accustomed to made-up prophesies since the time he wrote his Gospel. In his Epistles, Paul never speaks for prophets and prophesies in the evangelical meaning “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying…” as the evangelists continually do.)
Paul is the first official and the most important and fundamental theologian of Christianity. We will not expose all his dogmas and theological positions, which are quite a few, but only his Christ in comparison with the Christ(s) found in the Gospels. In the book of Acts we moreover find:
9: 22 “But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.”
(This is a very mind-boggling and suspicious verse that needs explanation and interpretation! Also, this time Paul is not persecuted by the authorities of the city of Damascus and the King Aretas 2nd Corinthians 11: 31-33, but he walks conveniently through the city, preaches and creates turmoil and confusion! We would like to know how this change has happened!)
11: 25-26 “Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
24: 5 “For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:”
23: 1-14, 25: 19 “But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.”
And 28: 21-29. Also see Romans 6, especially the verses 9-10. Study these bigger and comprehensive passages that offer a lot of information on this subject. (Due to their length we do not rewrite them here. You can find more passages in the Acts and the Epistles yourselves.)
Theses passages and others make it clear that Paul’s preaching is a newly created Judaic heresy. It is a form of Nazirs in the Old Testament and not Nazoraeon (plural) as is has wrongly been written and standardized. Paul himself many times confesses, in the Acts and the Epistles, that he is a zealot and so Nazir of Judaism and the Mosaic Law.
In addition to the original curse and wrath of the god Yahveh because of Adam’s sin and fall (Romans 5: 12- 14, 6, 1st Corinthians 15: 22, 45, 2n Corinthians 11: 3, 1st Timothy 2: 13-14), Paul’s teaching concerns death and sin as universal powers (Romans 5: 12-14, 6: 23 “For the wages of sin is death;…”, taken from Genesis 2: 17, etc.). It also concerns some Jesus Christ who has died on the cross or was “hanged on a tree (wood)” as Paul emphatically and New testaments says in: Acts 5: 30, 10: 39, Galatians 3: 13, 1st Peter 2: 24, (phrase taken from the Old Testament Genesis 40: 19, Deuteronomy 21: 22-23, Joshua 8: 29, Esther 8: 7, etc.), whom Paul affirmed to be alive (Acts 25: 19). This Paulistic Christ, according to the immediate eschatology of Paul, is going to reappear in a short while and will save form the curse the wrath, the sin, and the death only those who were lucky and willing to believe in him!
Many other verses and passages that you can locate in the Acts and the Epistles, bear witness of the fact that the orthodox and lawful Jews of Palestine and the Empire persecuted Paul in any way they could, for being vexed by the new heresy and teachings he promulgated. According to Mosaic Law, Paul should have been judged in front of the Jewish people and put to death (by stoning) by the orthodox Jews, Exodus 22: 17, Deuteronomy 13, 17, etc. Nevertheless, the Old Testament remains the central axis and source of his distorted Judaic and heretic preaching. Essentially we have to do with the heresy of the Paulistic Judeo-Christianity. So Paul’s reference to the whole Old Testament and Mosaic law are necessarily frequent and dense, so that if someone wanted to take them all off his Epistles, his only putative writings, whatever was left in the end would amount to almost nothing. Finally Paul’s preaching not only confused the Jews all over the empire but from the “gentiles” convinced too few, usually people of particular cases.
In Paul’s Epistles we find very few passages that remind us or are similar to some corresponding ones in the Gospels (e.g., about, love Romans 12: 14, Holy Eucharist 1st Corinthians 11: 23-28, etc.). But the overwhelming majority of all the remaining verses neither reminds nor has any connection with any of the passages in the Gospels. Even the passages that deal with the same subjects have unabridged differences and contradictions among themselves and with the Gospels (e.g., Second coming, Last Judgment, 1st Corinthians 15: 29-58, 1st Thessalonians 4: 13-18, 5: 1-11, 2st Thessalonians 2: 1-12, etc.). The Paulistic Christ exhibits such a glaring and unabridged difference when compared with the Christ(s) of the Canonical Gospels. We here present the comparisons and the differences regarding these Christs more completely and clearly.
The Christ of Paul in the two verses Romans 1: 3 and 2nd Timothy 2: 8, “was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;” He says nothing at all about the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Merriam. In passim elsewhere Paul refers to Christ as: divine, heavenly, mythical, eternal, preexisted, supernatural, predestined, sent envoy, spiritual, mystical, cosmic Son, paragon of creation, the sustaining power of the universe, “the Son, the image, the power, the wisdom,, the glory of the Father.”. See 1st Corinthians 1: 24, 8: 6, Colossians 1: 15-20 “the firstborn of every creature:” “the firstborn from the dead;” (even though several “were resurrected” before him). Here, the verse 20 says essentially that the universe is separated from the transcendental god. Also see: Philippians 2: 5-11, 2nd Timothy 1: 9-10 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:” Hebrews 1: 2-3, etc. These elements are mostly Gnostic and some are twisted neo-platonic, of which some must have entered Paul’s writings in the first and second century, when Gnosticism almost eliminated the orthodox Christianity, and a few of them were found by Paul already widespread in the Christian communities in his days and he used them. These later became the “Logos” (word) in the first chapter of the Gospel of John which contains a lot of Gnostic elements. They also go along with Marcion’s Gnosticism.
Thus, despite the general, abstract and subliminal nature of Christ which is propagated and heralded in all the Epistles of Paul, (instead of the completely bodily one of the Jesus Christ of the Canonical Gospels in which he eats, drinks, mingles with publicans -tax collectors- and prostitutes, heals, teaches, fights, gets angry, loses courage, eats and drinks again after his resurrection, etc.) Paul writes down the glaring contradiction in Romans 1: 3-4 and 2nd Timothy 2: 8, that Christ “was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;” and not from the Holy Spirit with the help of a young Jewish girl, the Virgin Merriam, as Matthew 1: 18 and Luke 1: 34-35 so affirmatively communicate to us. Only later, as Paul continues, “And [he] declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness,.” In Philippians 2: 5-6, however, Paul presents Christ equal to God: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:” (We continuously run into contradictions, deceptions, lies, entanglements, patching, quibbling, …)
In general, the Christ of Paul is not the “historical” man with earthly action, redeeming plan and “his own” teaching as the Gospels portrait him. Paul does not convey to us any Jesus’ teaching and activity as the Gospels do, regardless of their disagreements and contradictions, but he does his theological interpretation on some crucified and resurrected Christ that he did not have the luck to meet him on earth while he was alive. Paul very often declares that he has received his gospel and theology through revelations (apocalypses) and visions. He justifies them in this way and tries to pass them onto others. So Paul’s theology is apocalyptic and not based on “facts that many people had witnessed and experienced” with the Lord Jesus during his activity time and on the theology and teaching that the Lord Jesus himself had delivered to all people. This is very odd. Paul continually comes to numerous and unabridged contradictions with the Gospels and all of the New Testament, even himself! In many controversial issues he does not consult Jesus’ positions and commandments. E.g., in the controversial issue of food and diet Romans 14: 14, etc., Paul does not invoke Jesus’ position Mark 7, etc., which would have fitted him perfectly. In the issue of applying Moses’ law, Paul did not consider Jesus’ opposite position at all Matthew 5: 18, 19: 17, Mark 10: 19, Luke 10: 26, etc.! For more such issues see the passages:
Romans 3: 7 (about Paul’s falsehood), 6: 3-5, 1st Corinthians 1: 15 (about baptism), 6: 12-13, 7: 6, 12, 25 (here he did not have a commandment or a revelation from the Lord’s part), 9: 19-23, 10:23. 2nd Corinthians 5: 13, 11: 17, 12: 16, Philippians 1: 15-18, etc.
We then draw the conclusion that “Paul neither delivers any theology of teaching of Jesus Christ anywhere, nor he supports his own views and commandments by views and positions of Jesus. He simply delivers apocalypses, many times he contradicts God Jesus Christ of the Gospels and he does not report anything about Christ’ life and activities.”
A very serious issue is created by the fact that Paul preached and wrote his new message only on the basis of the resurrection of some indefinitely crucified Christ. But even here there is a problem with him because in the Philippians 3: 10-12 garbles saying: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” That is, he says more of less that even he still does not understand fully the resurrection and tries to comprehend it. Strange things indeed, from a godly inspired apostle, vessel of the choice of Jesus Christ himself.
How could he understand it, if Christ for Paul had a subliminal nature instead of the completely bodily one of the Canonical Gospels? This perception of Christ was very much spread among the plenty of heresies of the first centuries, especially among the Gnostic Christians, and was the son of justice in the Qumran community.
Paul is the first writer in the Canon of the New Testament. But he does not convey to us any teachings and commandments of Jesus Christ, neither he speaks about his miracles, nor he writes a biography of his no matter how brief. As for the baptism and the holy Eucharist he has a view different to those in the canonical Gospels.
He continually uses the phrase “(according) to my gospel”. In the Acts and the Epistles there are 79 verses (unless I have missed some) that refer to the gospel of Paul and to the preaching of this gospel. Although Paul all the time uses excuses with frequent apocalypses, the researcher Charles B. Waite in his scientific book History of the Christian Religion to the Year Two Hundred, lists all the reasons for which this must have been some gospel, written around the year +50 C. E. So, according to Waite this was real gospel writing, different from the other gospels, and not just Paul’s gospel preaching. It must have been in circulation those years and Paul used to use it. Probably, it was the first gospel in the first century, and was the basis of the gospel of Marcion and partial basis of the gospel of Luke, but was far from being identical to them. Others disagree with Waite and insist that “gospel” here means Paul’s gospel preaching and not a certain book. Most likely they are wrong and there are other probable explanations too.
The educated rich man from Sinop of Pontus Marcion, was a fanatic follower of Paul, Gnostic, eschatologist, of severe ethics. In the first half of the 2nd century he put together the first Canon of the New Testament. This contained only ten Epistles of Paul with the Jewish elements in them missing. Their order was also different than the one we have today. Out of the Canon were the Epistles 1st and 2nd to Timothy, to Titus, to the Hebrews and the last two chapters 15 and 16 to the Romans, etc. (long parts of the Pastoral Epistles, 1st and 2nd to Timothy, to Titus, refer to issues of the 2nd century, unknown to Paul. Hence, these cannot have been written by him. The other parts seem to be his or they are traditions that refer to him.) In the Canon, Marcion had put just one Gospel, similar to the Gospel of Luke, without any Jewish element or topic in it. The Jewish God, Yahveh, was an evil demon for Marcion. The Christian Church of Rome expelled Marcion from its bosoms in the years +142 – 144. This is not strange in view of the fact that those years the Christian churches were still appendices or extensions of synagogues (Qahal) and most Christians were Jewish converts.
If we consider the polemics of Tertullian Contra Marcio, it seems, a complete overhauling of the Gospel According to Luke happened in the years +140-150 in order to give answer against the Gnostic Marcion. Then, the two first chapters were added, which were always considered to be additions by all the specialists and come to glaring and unsurpassable contradictions with many topics of all the Gospels. Ten, net to it they made up the Acts (in an original version, different that the one we have today) in order to show: (a) The golden age of the church before heresy was come in and destroy the ideal image and flow. (b) Paul belonged to the orthodox Christian movement of the Jerusalem clan of Apostles and was not Marcion’s teacher, as Marcion himself had asserted.
After all these, a new overhauling and reediting of the Epistles of Paul took place in order to rectify the newly created elements as much as possible and to put in better prospective the polemics against Marcion.
Research has proven that the Epistle to the Hebrews cannot have been written by Paul. This is a common conclusion of all scientists. It is also accepted by the Greek theologian P. Trempelas, who has suggested that the epistle was written by a follower of Paul, who wrote all Paul’s positions from memory, freely and faithfully, after Paul’s death.. The theologian does not justify this eventuality by any data or elements at all. Officially, the Epistle is still attributed to Paul by all Christian Churches, notwithstanding. In our study here, we included it within the scope of Paul, since this is what the churches want.
In Hebrews chapters 5, 6, 7, etc., Paul develops a boring theology to persuade us that Christ as a novel, heavenly and high priest comes form the order of Melchizedek (Genesis 14: 17-23, Psalms 109 (110): 4), not from the order of Aaron. This is heresy, since the Jewish priest according to the God-given Mosaic Law ought to come from the order of the first high priest of the Jews Aaron, brother of the leader, law-giver and prophet Moses, of the tribe of Levites [Septuagint: Exodus 28: 1-3, 29, 38: 1, 39: 21, 40: 10-14, Leviticus 8: 1-36, 9: 1-4, 10, Numbers 3, 8: 5-26, 16: 9-11, 17: 6-28, 18: 7-23, 25: 10-13, 35: 1-8, Deuteronomy 18: 1-14, etc. Some references from Massorah are the same and some are different]. The provenance of Christ as high priest from the order of Melchizedek is a dogma of the Christian church. Jesus Christ is higher and more worthy than Moses and the new religion of Judeo-Christianity that he introduces is higher than Judaism (something he had also said in 2nd Corinthians 3: 4-18). In this Epistle, Moses Law, even though it was given by God the Father, Yahveh, is now subordinate in rank and above all Paul puts: Blind faith, the immediate eschatology of his times and the complete demerit of the natural world. [The demerit of the natural world is heresy against the orthodox Judaism, in which we find: Psalms 18 (19): 1, 2 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”, 103, (104): 24 “O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches” and many other verses like these.]
How can these things be connected? They must have been put together by forgeries and interpolations in later years. Unfortunately we do not have the original to check them. E.g., the same thing has happened with the two very contradictory genealogies of Jesus, one in Matthew 1: 1-20 and the other in Luke 3: 23-38. Study them to see what is going on. That is why Paul orders Timothy and Titus (1st Timothy 1: 4. and Titus 3: 4) to avoid any discussions about genealogies and more. He had sensed something.
As far as other “facts” Paul says nothing, about any biographical element, the nativity, the life, the actions, the teachings, etc. of Christ. He does not report even a single miracle. Merriam, the mother of Christ along with his supposed or real (who knows?) father Joseph (or the Holy Spirit if you wish) are not referred to anywhere. In Galatians 4: 4 he says: “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law”, without telling us anything about this woman at all. Not much theology is needed to guess that anybody been born, a woman must have given him birth. He does not ever refer to Bethlehem and Nazareth and nowhere has he referred to Christ as Nazoraeos or Nazarene.
In the following references which are incomplete, unclear and contradictory or unrelated to the Gospels, he says very few undocumented and outside of any historical frame things, for:
(1) The Last (secret) supper and the holy Eucharist, 1st Corinthians 11: 23-26. But in the 2nd Corinthians 10: 20-21 we observe that there were holy Eucharists in many religions, as actually existed in Mithraism, in the Mysteries, in Orphism, etc. The betrayer Judas and his role in the holy passion is nowhere to be found in the Epistles. Paul does not know him.
(2) The crucifixion (Romans 6: 6, 1st Corinthians 1: 17-18, 23, 2: 2, 8, 2nd Corinthians 13: 4, Galatians 3: 1, 13, 5: 11, 24, 6: 12, 14, Ephesians 2: 16, Philippians 2: 8, 3: 18, Colossians 1: 20, β΄: 14, 1st Thessalonians 2: 15, Hebrews 6: 6, 12: 2). Not a grain about the “events” of the darkness over the earth, earth quake, the resurrection of several dead holy people, the rending of the Vail of the temple, etc. is written anywhere, even though Paul writes at a time much closer to these “events”! In the 1st Corinthians 2: 8 he writes: “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” In this verse, Marcion, Origen and others explain that those princes that crucified Christ were meant to be demons and supernatural evil powers and not men, peoples and leaders of the Jews and the Romans. At that time, they believed that the demons control the whole world, 1st John 5: 18-19 “We know that whosoever is born of God does not sin; but he that is begotten of God protects himself, and the evil one cannot touch him. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the power of the evil one [the devil]”, even the heavens, Ephesians 6: 12 “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of the present darkness, with the evil spirits of heavens.” (Half of this chapter comprises Paul’s orders about the struggle against the evil spirits.) This conviction is attested plenty of times in the New Testament, the apocryphal bibliography and in the moronic demonology of that time. Hence, they believed that the apocalyptic era is imminent and the coming of God to earth will overthrow the demons and the evil powers and will impose a new world order in both earth and heavens.
(3) The burial (Romans 16: 4, 1st Corinthians 15: 4). Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus, etc., are not referred to anywhere.
(4) The resurrection (Romans 1: 4, 3: 25, 4: 25, 6: 4-5, 10: 6-7 “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)”. Strange verse indeed! What does he mean? 1st Corinthians 15: 4, 12-17, Philippians 3: 10, 1st Thessalonians 1: 10). Paul does not report any functional redemptive action of Christ as man on earth. So, besides his incomplete and unclear words in 1st Corinthians 15: 3-8, in other places he refers to the resurrection of Christ as a sentimental issue (of the heart) and not of faith and not as a resurrection in body. It took place from the earth directly to heaven and from body directly to spirit. There was no sojourn of Jesus on earth after his resurrection and there was no reappearance for God decided so. (This one more contradiction with 1st Corinthians 15: 3-8). See: Romans 10: 9-10, 1st Corinthians 15: 12-16, Ephesians 1: 20, Philippians 2: 6-11, 1st Thessalonians 4: 14, Hebrews 10: 12, (also see: 1st Peter 3: 18). Paul besides lies, threads, guiles, etc. defied the feelings whenever they could give back. Knowledge had never had any place with Paul; only faith, sentimentality, delirium, that is, craziness. Excellently!
(4) The reappearance of Christ firstly to Cephas (Peter?) and then to many others, more than 500, especially to the twelve, to James and all the apostles, and finally to him, 1st Corinthians 15: 5-8. Here, he says nothing more and has made the mistake, to 12 instead of 11, since the betrayer Judas had already died and the election of Matthias to replace him was done after the ascension of the Lord, Acts 1: 15-26. Paul does not know Judas and his role. To him Christ appeared as a vision according to the Acts 9: 1-7-19, 26-27, 22: 3-9-21, 26: 9-14-20, and not as a human body. He writes to the Corinthians from Ephesus, and does not get into letting them know how, where, when, all of those people and himself saw him. Let the Corinthians who lived more that a thousand kilometers away from Palestine to find the way to search the witnesses that still live, as he writes, and ask them about these questions.
(5) In many verses Paul refers to the body of Christ. But for him the body of Christ is either mysticism or allegory. E.g., 1st Corinthians 12: 12, 27, Ephesians 5: 30, Colossians 2: 9, 17, etc.. The women, the sweet spices bearers, of the Gospels who were the first to know about the resurrection and to them he appeared first according to Matthew 28: 9-10, whereas in John 20: 14-17 only to Mary Magdalene, Paul does not refer to anywhere. The concept and the tradition of the empty tomb were unknown to Paul!
From the Epistles it becomes clear that Paul appears to have no idea about all the events that happened between Jesus and the Roman governor Pilatus, the Roman guards and soldiers as they depicted in the Gospels. Nowhere in the main Epistles there is a reference to Pilate. There is only one minimalistic reference to him in 1st Timothy 6: 13, in which he writes: «παραγγέλλω σοι ενώπιον του Θεού του ζωοποιούντος τα πάντα και Χριστού Ιησού του μαρτυρήσαντος επί Ποντίου Πιλάτου την καλήν ομολογίαν,» “I charge you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession;” and nothing else. This is considered an interpolation. The three words “under Pontius Pilate” are easily wedged there by a later editor, thing done too often. Otherwise, how come he says absolutely nothing about Pilate in his main and theological Epistles?
Do not forget that, not only we do not have the originals but all what we have dates from +350 C. E. onward. If Paul had known all the facts regarding Pilate and Jesus, then he should have referred to them many times in his previous main and lengthier Epistles. This is a strong point that indicates Jesus Christ of the Gospels was unknown to Paul. The same three words appeared later in the fourth article of the Creed of Nicaea (+325) and afterwards as follows: «στραυρωθέντα τε υπέρ ημών επί Ποντίου Πιλάτου καί παθόντα καί ταφέντα» “and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and buried.”! Another indication of a later interpolation.
Moreover, Paul appears to know nothing about the awful conflicts and fights of the Roman authorities with the Jewish people. Otherwise, he was conniving and was a deserter of his own people. Paul, even though, is contemporary of Josephus and writes before him, ignores completely all the rebellions that had happened up to his days and some of them were connected to Jesus. Strange! Josephus Flavius has recorded many and the main ones. Even the later Gospels give a few hints and small descriptions of some of them. This point is a strong element against Paul’s historicity or shows his falsehood and conspiracy. It also shows that Paul does not know the narrations, traditions and the “facts” of the Canonical Gospels. Consequently we simply deal with mythologies!
Although Paul is the first who write about and refers to the holy passions of Christ he does not give even a lean description of it or some fact(s) or a detail (Hebrews 2: 5-18, 9: 26). This silence is in all suspicious and indicative because when Paul speaks and brags about his passions 2nd Corinthians 11: 23-33, 2nd Timothy 4: 5-8, he gives a lot of details even in a few lines. But for his Lord, he had not had the sensitivity to write something, given that he was the first to write to people who had no idea about these things and lived very far from Palestine. He simply wants to do a theology that must be accepted by those he addresses it to.
In this theology Chirst, even though he was God of one essence with the Father, in order to suffer the passion became for a small time span lower that the angels (Hebrews 2: 7). The same things are sung in Philippians 2: 5-11, γ΄: 10, where the dogma of the emptying of the godly properties of Christ is set for the first time. Read all these passages to see how the first theologian of Christianity does theology! Paul moves his theology around a typical axis: “last supper, crucifixion, burial, resurrection and reappearance”! This axis is bear because he does not report with it any historical detail or a historical frame around it and no emotional or depicting reference as the Gospels do. He does not even refer to the common hall of the governor or to the names: Pilate, Centurion, Golgotha, Place of the Skull, Joseph of Arimathaea, Nicodemus, Caiaphas, Annas, Jerusalem, Empty tomb, Women bearing sweet spices, etc. (See 1st Corinthians 11: 23, 15: 3-7, 35-58, etc.). As we have already said in 1st Corinthians 15: 5 he says that Christ after his resurrection appeared the first to Cephas (Peter?), then to the twelve (instead of the eleven, since Judas had died a few days before, another contradiction) and then to others etc., instead to the Women bearing the sweet spices according to Matthew, 28: 1-10, and to Maria Magdalene as John, 20: 1-18, so emphatically asserts. Note that these women except the Gospels are not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament. But even for the reappearances that Paul quotes, he does not give us any historical account at all, as if he talked to people who already knew everything!
Finally, in the axis of his theology Paul includes an imminent eschatological resurrection of the bodies! He speaks, preaches and tries to persuade not only on the basis of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but also the resurrection of the dead bodies (1st Corinthians 15, 1st Thessalonians 4: 13-18, 5: 1-11, 2nd Thessalonians 2: 1-12, etc.). Whereas here it would have been very conducive to his cause, he does not mention anywhere just one of the resurrections that Jesus himself performed to the dead: Jairus daughter Mark 5: 35-43, the son of the widow in Nain Luke 7: 11-17, and his four day dead friend Lazarus, John 11: 1-44. (For the latter one, we might excuse him, since even in the first three Gospels have ignored it! Think about it a little bit. Matthew was one of the twelve disciples and eyewitness to this splendid miracle. He saw it with his own eyes together with the other disciples and did not bother to write it in his Gospel! It seems that this miracle did not impress him enough, whereas he was quite impressed by the cure of the fever of Peter’s mother in law, Matthew 8: 14-15. Amazing!) Also, Paul does not write anything anywhere about the resurrection of the dead holy people of Good Friday, Matthew 27: 52-53, and he does not remember the resurrection of the dead Eutychus (the fortunate), he himself performed in Troas, Acts 20: 7-12. Curious? But after all these, Paul tries to convince others who doubt about the resurrection of the bodies by any means other than these miracles. Amazing!
In 1st Corinthians, after the introduction of chapter 15, Paul emphasizes to the Corinthians that there exist the physical and the spiritual body. The first one is represented by Adam, the latter one by Christ. Adam as an earthy creature is made of earthy material, but Christ as a spiritual entity is made of heavenly material. (Paul compares Adam with Christ many times, e.g., Romans chapters 5, 6 etc.) The conclusion of chapter 15 of the 1st Corinthians is that Christ is fully found in the spiritual sphere and he is not referred to as a physical man at all. Many object that he means it. But in such a large theological chapter of 58 verse, of top theological significance for Paul and addressed to novices who lived in an area too far from Judea, such an omission is notable and suspicious. As we can see, Paul many times says other things at other instances. Some times he mingles the physical with spiritual spare and quibbles. (Quibbling in Paul is a very frequent phenomenon.) Nevertheless, if we put everything under consideration Paul’s prevailing idea about Christ is that Christ was a spiritual body and he had not conceived him as an existence on earth.
The Christ of the four Canonical Gospels, however, never mentioned Adam and the Original Sin at all; never, he claimed that his passions constituted the expiatory sacrifice for this sin and went through them for saving the human race from the curse and the wrath of the God Father Yahveh.
The ascension as described in the Gospels of Mark 16: 19 and Luke 24: 50-51 and the Acts 1: 6-11, does not exist anywhere in Paul. He simply writes here and there that Jesus went up to the heavens and is with his father or sits to his right. E.g., Romans 8: 34, Ephesians 1: 20, 4: 8-10, Colossians 3: 1, 1st Thessalonians 1: 10, Hebrews 8: 1, 10: 12, etc. Nothing else!
Hence, any time Paul refers to an event about Jesus Christ he never puts it in any historical frame. All the things he writes lack historical deontology and content. He writes indefinite words and the reader must either take the pain to find out what he means of blindly believe Paul’s apocalypses! E. g., he writes: «παρέδωκα γάρ υμίν εν πρώτοις ό καί παρέλαβον, ότι Χριστός απέθανεν υπέρ τών αμαρτιών ημών κατά τας γραφάς και ότι ετάφη, καί ότι εγήγερται τή τρίτη ημέρα κατά τάς γραφάς» “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1st Corinthians 15: 3-4. The phrase «κατά τάς γραφάς» “according to the scriptures” is repeated in the 5th article of the Creed as follows: «και αναστάντα τή τρίτη ημέρα κατά τάς γραφάς» “and rose on the third day according to the scriptures”. As in the case with 1st Timothy 6: 13, that we have examined above, so here we have to do with copying! Paul does not take the ltitle trouble to tell us what these scriptures are. For the crucifixion and the passion the evangelists some years (15 – 150) after Paul’s death, found some alleged prophecies in the Old Testament, concocted product of their fantasies, distortions and conspiracies. But for the resurrection on the third day according to the scriptures, the reappearances and the ascension there are no concocted prophesies nor scriptures referenced in the New Testament. Much later the Christian apologists allegedly discovered απολογητές the prophetic verses: Psalms 2: 7, 16 (15): 10, Isaiah 53: 10 και Hosea 6: 2, although these verses have nothing to do with the three day resurrection of Jesus Christ. (That is why the Catholics contend that these verses do not refer to it directly but they allude to it)
The indefiniteness of the phrase “according to the scriptures” and the vacuum it leaves behind are expedient and misleading. This phrase came from Paul himself, if he indeed wrote it, or by later editors and interpolators. All of them tried to justify that Jesus was the expected and real Messiah (Christ, Christos), via Old Testament “prophecies” as much as they could and therefore Christianity is the only true religion given by revelation.
It is very strange someone who came out of the blue, to preach to people who live thousands of kilometers far from Judea and had no idea as to what had happened the with the man (not God or Son of God, as he proclaimed to the Athenians in Acts 17: 31 «…εν ανδρί ώ ώρισε,…», “… by that man whom he hath ordained;…” and in 1st Timothy 2: 5 «…, άνθρωπος Χριστός Ιησούς,», “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”) and to offer no whatsoever biographical data and facts about his life and the activities of this man. In relation to all the events contained in the Gospels, all those that Paul refers to in his Epistles are extremely few and too vague for anyone to be able to form an image of this earthy man. Not only he does not present Jesus’ earthly mission and redemptive plan and so many other “facts” that we have already mentioned, but he does not say anything at all about the hasty and unjust trial against him. He nowhere mentions the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the episodes they caused with Jesus Christ! (Paul himself says that he was a Pharisee, just one time in his Epistles, Philippians 3: 5. That is all!)
Regarding these remarks may books have been written, because they constitute a very strong argument in support of the mythicists’ thesis that Jesus Christ is a mythological person. Let us not forget that the first writings of the New Testament, according to the unanimous conclusion of the Christian theologians and all the Scientists, specialists in this matter, are the Paul’s Epistles. He also wrote them for people who lived very far from Judea. Again as novices, they knew nothing about Jesus Christ, except those in Rome maybe, who may have heard a few things before Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans as he confesses in 15:20.
Keep in mind that, all the Epistles, with the exception of those send to individuals, were addressed to Jews of the synagogue and Jewish converts to Christianity and not to the gentiles who live in places like: Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, and so on! So, their titles are misleading and deceitful. He did not write an Epistle to the Romans of Rome, but to the Jews and the Christian-Jews who lived in Rome at that time, and so on… (See, e.g., Galatians 2: 15 “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,”, etc.)
In the Epistle to Galatians 1: 11-12, Paul directly states that the Gospel he preaches did receive it from a man but from Jesus Christ by revelation! “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” See also: 1st Corinthians 4: 15 9: 12-23, 15: 1, etc.
In 1st to Corinthians 11: 23-26, where he cites a few things about the last supper and the holy Eucharist, he also says that he has received this information from the Lord. 11: 23! “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:” (We will come back to this point below.)
In the Romans 6: 3-5 where he talks for the first time about the baptism, he says: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life .For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” He then says nothing about the baptism of Jesus in which “so many glaring and scary events took place”, but he refers to this strange, occult and theological pell-mell that reminds the mysteries of ancient religions, which were performed in the days of Paul. In this epoch we had many burials and resurrections of different deities along with plenty of syncretism happening among them. Paul always acts according to what he says to the Galatians 3: 26-27 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” He speaks in vague ways and with faith alone as guide. He never reports a historical deed (as the baptism) that has been inaugurated by Jesus himself.
Consequently he knows nothing about the baptism of Jesus, by John the Baptist whom he also never mentions, and the “tremendous events that accompanied it”. In 1st Corinthians 1: 14-17 he writes: “I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” Coming down to a screaming contradiction with the Christ of the Gospels of Matthew 28: 19 and Mark 16: 16, and the Acts 2: 38.
By the way and with this occasion, the silence around the biographical data, the manly, earthly, missionary and expiatory action of Jesus Christ does not occur only with Paul but also with all the seven Catholic Epistles of the New Testament, the 1st Epistle of Clement (attributed to the pope of Rome, at the end of the 1st century), The Epistle of Barnabas, etc. Here are some illustrating examples. In, 1st Peter 2: 21-25, 1st Clement chapter 16, and Barnabas’ 5: 8 we find paraphrasing of some things of (the second or third) Isaiah 53 and nothing else to remind in some way something in the Gospels. In 1st Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” we read that Christ was put to death in the flesh, but was given life in spirit; not in the body, in the flesh, as all the Gospels claim! In 1st John 5: 6-12 there is no word for the resurrection “in the flesh” and the reappearances “in the flesh”, but all events happen by the help of faith and the witness (revelation) of the Holy Spirit! In 2nd Peter α1: 16-18 “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.” The transfiguration in the holy mount is presented as the significant fact and nothing is said about the resurrection. It is very notable the fact that all the remarks and conclusion about the: lack of historical frames, indefiniteness, contradictions toward the Gospels and within themselves that we run into in the Epistles of Paul, the same hold true with the seven Catholic Epistles of the New Testament! As Paul does, so the writer of the Catholic Epistles and a few more, report nothing about Jesus as a teacher and or miracle wonderer!
Moreover, in all of these first books of the New Testament that were written by the first and greatest apostles of Christianity, it is nowhere to find a visit or a pilgrimage to the places that Jesus Christ, the God, or the Son of God: was born, worked, performed miracles, suffered, was buried, was raised, etc. Nowhere at all! Coincidence?
If, before we learn what the Gospels write, we study all the Epistles of the New Testament (14 by Paul and 7 Catholic), which in fact were written before the Gospels, then very hardy we form the image of an existed human being, teacher, miracle worker, and nowhere is the image of a man whose tomb was found empty or he was resurrected “in the flesh”! We continuously see the overwork of faith, the Holy Spirit, apocalypses, visions, and mind inventions. E.g., see: Romans 3: 26, 14: 24-25, Ephesians 3: 5, Colossians 2: 2, etc., 1st Peter 1: 20. Also the passages Romans 3: 21-26, Hebrews 9: 26 speak in the present tense. There is nothing historizing. In the passages Romans 1: 1-4, chapters 10, 11, 2nd Corinthians 3: 7-11, Titus 1: 3, Paul refers to topics in which he creates the opportunity to speak about the life and action of Jesus, but he does not say anything notwithstanding!
But even the very few passages that we have already listed: Romans 1: 3, Galatians 4: 4-5 “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons”, 1st Timothy 6: 13, 2nd Timothy 2: 8, which might be considered somewhat historizing are presented so unsupported, hanging in the air, without any historical frame, that only contrivances of the writer, or reflections and adjustments of Old Testament passages (thing that Paul does too often in his Epistles), or reflections of the contemporary mythologies about redeeming pagan Gods, or later interpolations, can be considered. He does not spend a bit of time to explain to the Jews of Galatia in Asia Minor, when this fullness of the time came, who that woman the mother of the Son of God was (who according to Matthew 1: 23 had been prophesied, incorrectly of course, by Isaiah), the annunciation, the dazzling happenings of the nativity story, etc., as if the receivers of the epistle knew already everything well. Strange things? What do you think?
Consistently: Paul has in mind a Jesus Christ different that the one the Evangelists have, without meaning that the Evangelists agree with each other. We let the task to the Christians apologists to clean this mess out and let us know who eventually is right; Paul or which one from the Evangelist! Anyone would invoke the “deeds” of the “historical” Jesus of the Evangelists, “facts” that would have struck everyone and everything dumb for many years, but Paul does not make any use of them. This is the Paul’s stance we observe diffused in his writings! What happens then?
Paul does not know the earthly, the presumed historical Jesus Christ of the Canonical Gospels. This fact proves that as much as the Jesus Christ of the Evangelists so much the one of Paul is a myth. That is, a lie! From all Paul’s writings a conclusion that can be drawn is that if Paul was sincere, then in his mind he hand an occult, incorporeal, spiritualist Christ. He addressed his ideas to cults, heresies of Judaism at that time similar to the heresy of Qumran. The Christ of Paul is analogous to all those pagan expiatory gods of that time, who in the spring time ate a dinner, performed a Eucharist, suffered passion, were buried and three days later were raises.
Consequently on the basis of all the elements we have already examined and a few more that we will examine in a short while, we draw the following conclusion: Whatever Paul writes and peaches are not historical testimonies. If he thinks that he tells the truth, then what he says are products of his imagination, faith, fanaticism and theology and he has not learnt them from older traditions. But, if he really tells the truth, then the traditions of the Gospels are false and therefore must be denounced and rejected. But if the traditions of the Gospels are true then Paul tells lies, thing he has been used to, and he should be discarded as a liar. This Christian dilemma suffices for all Christianity to collapse.
In view of all the above elements, what historical basis exists in Christianity? What proof of a historical Jesus Christ can someone find in the New Testament? None! The Christ of the Epistles of Paul, the Catholic Epistles and a great part of the Gospel According to John is an abstract Gnostic Christ and not the Christ in the human form and action of the first three Synoptic Evangelists. In the whole New Testament we constantly run into the contradiction: whether Jesus Christ was created or was the creator. Is he equal to the creator or is he product of the creator and or his most perfect mean of communication with his creation? Nobody can find anything logical. Anybody can justify or refute any answer on this question. Then the Christians claim godly inspiration from the Holy Spirit! Later, the Creed of the 1st Ecumenical Synod, in Nicaea, +325 K. E., worsened this contradiction. E.g., the 1st Corinthians 15: 23-24 “But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”, contradicts the 2nd article of this Creed “And in one Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of light, True God of True God, begotten not made, One in essence with the father, through Whom all things were made.”, and so on. All these were the cause of many heresies, splits, persecutions, murders, destruction and distortion.
Additionally we observe the followings:
(1) The four Canonical Gospels and the Revelation were written after Paul’s death and all ignore Paul. Maybe justifiably so, maybe not. Who knows for sure? No one! Only the book of Acts writes about him, which was written by the Evangelist Luke (the physician? Colossians 4: 14, etc.), according to the thesis of official church. He wrote it, as claimed, as a continuation of his Gospel, but without offering any good proof for that.
(2) The fact that the Revelation does not mention Paul and any of the churches he had created at all, is another serious issue, since this book was written several years after Paul’s death. It does not confer him and honoring distinctive position even in the verse 21: 14, in which the other disciples are honored, even though he was “a chosen vessel” by Jesus Christ and God himself, Acts 9: 15. Also the description of the second coming and the last judgment in the Revelation 21 and 21, does not agree with the description given by Paul in 1st Corinthians 15 and 1st Thessalonians 4.
(3) In the same way, the seven Catholic Epistles, besides the two suspicious lines of 2nd Peter 3: 15-16 that are considered to be an interpolation, do not say anything about Paul. Besides that, the Epistle of James is so opposite to many teachings of Paul that Martin Luther tried to set it, together with the Revelation of John, outside the Canon of the New Testament. He did not succeed though!
Do not you think that there is something awkward and grave behind all these? If we for a moment pretend to accept something, for the sake of the Christian theologians and in order not to extend the matter into historical search and regeneration of those times, we do this with enormous reservations. Let the stars of the Christian faith solve with certainty the grave problems we have exposed and answer in a convincing manner all the plausible questions we have proposed!
We recapitulate and state: Except for very few verses that remind some verses of the Gospels, at least 99% of Paul’s work has nothing to do with the: life, action, teaching, miracles, passion, resurrection, reappearances, ascension of Jesus Christ of the Gospels. The very few verses that remind something from the Gospels must have been: Either interpolations, or commonplace phrases and descriptions of those times that Paul repeats, or his expedient arbitrariness, or he takes them from of Old Testament and has adjusted and used them out of context as he wishes, or very possibly the later gospel-writers, while writing their Gospels, took these phrases and topics from Paul and the Old Testament; both Paul and the gospel-writers use it extensively. In support of all these possibilities pay attention to the following additional remarks:
(1) Romans 12: 14 “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” This reminds a verse from the sermon of the mount, Matthew 5: 44 and Luke 6: 27-28, but the whole chapter 12 is made up by cutting and darning especially chosen passages of the Old Testament.
(2) 1st Corinthians 11: 23-26 “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” Here he speaks about the holy Eucharist of the Lord Jesus the night he was betrayed. But, we notice the following odd points.
(a) Judas the betrayer and the role he played in the divine tragedy are completely missing not just here but everywhere in Paul. Is not it strange? What do you think?
(b) In verse 23 he confesses « For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you»! Hence this so well known and wide-spread “fact of the holy Eucharist” among the disciples and all the followers of Jesus Christ at that time, Paul did not know but received it from the Lord by revelation. Nobody had happened to let him know about it, But, in Galatians 1: 18-20 he had already discuss things with Peter and James the brother of the Lord and a few more. So why did he need revelation for such a so well know deed among the disciple and all the Christians of that time?
(c) He finishes the address of the Lord with the phrase “till he come”. This does not insinuate the resurrection in 36 hours (three days), but some Parousia (appearance, coming) at times unknown!
(d) Whereas in the Hebrews 7: 1-3 and 9: 19-2, Paul has again the opportunity to convey the rudiments of the holy Eucharist, he does not say anything at all.
(e) The manual of the church by the end of the 1st century, Didache (of the Twelve Apostles), does not contain anything about holy Eucharist, death and resurrection; not even in chapter 11, which supplies the apostles, the preachers and the prophets what to teach in their journeys. The same thing is true with the Gospel of Thomas and the reconstructed document Q.
It seems that Paul had participated in a supper of holy Eucharist and mysteries, something quite ordinary within the vast syncretism of religions that existed those times and he then passed his experience unto the others covered up by revelations. These verses later became the basis of the complete scene of the last supper and holy Eucharist that we find within an alleged historical frame in the Synoptics, but not in John. It is very noticeable the fact that the Gospel According to John does not cite the delivering of this cornerstone mystery of the holy Eucharist! How has it happened and this escaped from the disciple that Jesus loved most and who at this event leaned in the bosoms of Christ and was first rate eyewitness? Strange!
(3) 1st Corinthians 15: 5-8 “And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” Here he speaks of some reappearances of Christ to the 12 and 500 others, which the Gospels ignore as they do for James and himself. He also makes the mistakes to say 12, whereas there were 11 left, since Judas was already dead when Jesus used to reappear and Matthias, Acts 1: 13-26, had not replaced him yet when the reappearances happened. The replacement occurred after the Ascension, Acts 1: 9-11. Paul seems to have no idea about Judas and his betrayal. At least, he does not refer to him anywhere. Draw your conclusions by yourselves!
Τhen, what general conclusion can be drawn from the comparison of Paul’s narrations with the ones in the Gospels? All the elements cited here are very enlightening for Paul’s hallucinations, illusions, lies; the concoctions of the Gospels and the enormous deception of this whole artificial, fabricated, false religion of the Paulistic-Judeo-Christianity.
Paul too many times tries to convince others about the truthfulness of various “facts and deeds”, using the ruse of revelations and visions he insists he has had. But, for some of these “facts and deeds” the revelations and visions were completely unnecessary for they were commonly known and wide spread among the Christians and the followers of Jesus, as the Gospels the Acts and some Epistles so intently confirm.
(4) 1st Thessalonians 2: 13-16, “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.” This is considered to be interpolation for the following three reasons:
(a) Paul never expressed himself with so vicious words of wrath and hatred against his co-nationals, his general anger, hatred and chidings notwithstanding. In fact in Galatians 2: 15, he praises them, saying: “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,”.
(b) In these verses the destruction of Judea and Jerusalem is insinuated, which occurred after Paul’s death. (There are some researchers, however, who contend that Paul died after the destruction. This possibility is apposite to the official position of all Christian churches for 2000 years!).
(c) If these verses are completely ignored and form the previous verse we jump immediately to the verse after them, the flow and the content of the words continue smoothly. With these verses there the flow is interrupted.
(5) The Second Coming of Christ as described in the two Epistles to the Thessalonians is similar to the description of “the Descension of the Son” in the apocryphal and pseudepigraphic book the Ascension of Isaiah and not with the things written in the canonical books, Gospel According to Matthew 25: 31-46 and Apocalypse (Revelation) to John.
(6) 1st Timothy 6: 13. «… under Pontius Pilate». We talked about this before and we justifies why this is an interpolation of the 2nd century. (read that again.)
All these verses make at most 1% of the written works of Paul. So, even if we consider them authentic and not later interpolations, forgeries and or expedient arbitrary concoctions by him or by others, then anybody remains bewildered by the Christ whom Paul presents in the remaining 99% of his works. The teachings Paul conveys sporadically are more or less his opinions or rehashing of Old Testament passages that he has especially chosen. Neither has he conveyed the teaching of Christ, at least that one found in the Lord’s Words scattered in the Gospels. He comes to the point to say: 1st Corinthians 7: 6 “But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 12 “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.” 25 “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.” 2nd Corinthians 11: 17 “That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting” etc. That is, Paul here confesses complete lack of orders from the Lord’s part as well as of godly inspiration and revelations. Then he goes on to sincerely say that he gives his own words and opinions. But later in 2nd Timothy Epistle he writes: 3: 16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” Draw your conclusion yourselves about the contradictions of this fickle man!
Hence we emphatically summarize: The Christ of Paul constitutes a fatal blow to the historicity of Jesus Christ. All the elements exposed above in brief, prove that the Jesus Christ of the Gospels as well as any obscured Christ was unknown to Paul. But then, if we accept that Paul is historical person in the alleged times that he lived, acted and wrote his Epistles, then we must necessarily admit that Jesus Christ, at least as presented in the Gospels, was not a historical person but a mythological fabrication!
Otherwise, both Paul and Christ are Christian mythological fabrications and nothing else; that is, lies. Of course the writings attributed to Paul together with the earlier sources and traditions, no matter what they were, must have been the bases and the hints in writing the mythologies of the later four Canonical Gospels. After the complete and irrevocable separation of Jews and Christians (+135 C. Ε.) and the miserable failure of the eschatology of the latter, new situations were created, that demanded new writings different than those of Paul and above all historizing. This was absolutely necessary for the justification and the survival of the newly Judeo-Christian heresy. This necessity was imposed not only in order to keep the followers within the heresy but also for the need of contriving arguments against the criticisms stemming from both the Jews and the Gentiles. Thus, the later Gospels have necessarily kept very few points out of Paul’ Epistles, which they considered in their scopes, but only after they firstly elaborated and adjusted them to the needs and demands of their times. Then they extended them and set them up in artificial “historical” scenes and frames. Also many necessary and expedient interpolations and forgeries were executed in Paul’s writings.
These conclusions constitute the strongest argument of the mythicists against the historicity of and Jesus or Paul analogously. This argument is very strong if not unsurpassable for the knowledgeable and frank Christian researchers, many of which, including myself, have finally abandoned the Judeo-Christian scourge, turned against it and exposed it courageously with speeches, research works and well documented writings.
You readers, what do you have to say?
END OF APPENDIX 2
By Prof. Ioannis Roussos