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Bible Scholar: Jesus Never Lived — Myth Created By Romans To Control Masses

by David Badash on October 10, 2013

in News,Religion

Post image for Bible Scholar: Jesus Never Lived — Myth Created By Romans To Control Masses

Was Christ real? American biblical scholars are claiming that Jesus Christ never actually lived — that he was a myth created by ancient Roman aristocrats as a tool to oppress and control believers. “When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare,” says scholar and author Joseph Atwill. “They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system. That’s when the ‘peaceful’ Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to ‘give onto Caesar’ and pay their taxes to Rome.”

Atwill, author of the best-selling book Caesar’s Messiahwill be presenting his theories at a symposium in London next week along with scholar Kenneth Humphreys, author of Jesus Never Existed. A press release calls the creation of Christ “a sophisticated government project, a kind of propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of the Roman Empire.”

“The latest in Biblical scholarship has now uncovered new evidence that provides a disturbing explanation: Christianity never strayed; Jesus Christ is a fabricated cover story for an Imperial psychological warfare operation born out of the First Jewish-Roman War in the first century,” their website, Covert Messiah, explains. “The Caesar’s [sic] commited a crime against consciousness. They reached into the minds of their subjects and planted false concepts to make them easier to control,” Atwill adds on the website, which asks, “Is Christianity the genesis of
modern psychological warfare?”

The pair have a documentary, Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus directed by Fritz Heede. The film claims the invention of Christianity was “crowd control.”

Watch the trailer:

Image: YouTube screenshot

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dadolwch October 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm

An interesting theory. I'm curious to know more about these scholars' credentials. Are they credible or kooks?

abmindprof October 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I'd say kooks. I think there's considerable work on the historical Jesus. It's quite speculative but about the details, not the existence itself. James was his brother anyway.

miltonfindley October 18, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I have actually read the book, and while it is not all that easy to follow, and while I have not finished following up what he had to say, I will say that he has made a compelling case for his thesis. What he has to say is very explanatory and minor checking of the scripture associated indicates that he has not strayed from generally accepted information. There is even a historical Jesus reference or six in his text, and a pretty good explanation. Certainly the disciples are well represented as historical figures.

BJLincoln October 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm

All religion was created by man and used to control others. From the leader of the tribe of cave dwellers to the current Pope, belief systems have flourished. I believe as humans, we need to believe in something greater than ourselves. It was used to explain the unexplained and kept the group together with something in common. It's the greedy that created the rules to separate them from the common folk.

twiga_riq October 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm

There is no question in my mind that much of what is today known as Christianity is built on a 'mythos' which was never presumed to be historical fact. But to claim that Jesus has no historical basis stretches credibility way beyond rational limits. There are too many details in the period between c. 30 – 100 CE that require a tortuously convoluted conspiracy theory to explain as other than based at least in part on the life of some real human figure.

miltonfindley October 18, 2013 at 7:54 pm

The author is not making that claim, he is giving the historical basis in his work.

Firespot October 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

You know, I was actually wondering about this recently. Since in my opinion, the bible was made by a bunch of people to control others… I was wondering if Jesus was real or not and this adds to the speculation!

bgryphon October 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I have no doubt that the Jesus of the Bible did not exist. At best it is a synthesis of prophets and teachers of various 'mystic' schools of the period and Egyptian sources. And of course the editing those original or near-original texts have undergone rival anything any modern dictatorship's 'newspeak' and censorship.

One of the best books I've read on the origins for most of the elements of the Christos mythology is "The Pagan Jesus: Recovering the Lost Light" by Tom Harpur (ordained minister, scholar and long-time contributor to The Toronto Star's religion section). Also worth a look is "The Jesus Mysteries: Was the 'Original Jesus' a Pagan God?" by Timothy Freke and "A Rebirth of Christianity" by Alvin Boyd Kuhn.

DeWayneinSD October 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm

First Jesus Christ despite what some atheists think was a real minor historical figure executed in Jerusalem by Rome this is referenced by Tacitus and Josephus. Fact he was a real man its the public image (and Religion) created for Jesus that is myth and artifice.

And it wasn't the disinterested Roman bureaucracy that Created the harmless non -political Jesus but Christians themselves.

The Romans were NOT that involved in physiological warfare to create a "docile religion" where it was not needed (they had plenty of cults to choose from) ..but the early Christians WERE very motivated!

The destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD is when Rome violently suppressed a religious(i.e.Political) movement and a nation for the first time since Julius Caesar a century before.(The Gallic Wars) The deification of Roman Emperors also had an effect on the Jewish religious climate but Rome had decided enough was enough and the Jewish Nation was put to the sword.

The Romans were famously tolerant to non political Religions so the pogrom against the Jews(and death of over a million in 70 AD) had a profound effect on Christian writers and all the first books of the New Testament including the gospels were written AFTER the fall of Jerusalem and even the later dispersal of Jews (135) from Palestine that became the diaspora.

Early sporadic Christian prosecution began under Nero who like most Romans labeled Christians "a Jewish sect" and thus politically dangerous.

The Jewish political taint was a huge threat to early Christianity so the Christians rapidly turned Christianity into a "pro Roman religion one that was no Political threat" it was not Rome doing this it was Christian writers.

The later Antisemitism and charge that Jews had Christ crucified was Christian propaganda to please Rome to show LOYALTY to Rome and blame the discredited Jews not the Roman Military Governor.

And come on they were the NOT the first Religious propagandists they knew the real Jesus Christ was a Essene religious leader who had allowed himself to be co-opted by Jewish POLITICAL radicals and for that he was executed.

All subsequent Christian writing STRAINED to strip the political fanaticism from Jesus Christ simply to protect their new religion from state persecution. It worked for a few decades but the Romans were not idiots they soon saw Christianity as a bigger threat than Judaism…

Religion is always co-opted for political reasons.

Just look at how the Mormon sect less than 200 years old has been twisted and turned to appease the Politicians

hipmonkey February 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm

The "references" you mention were 'discovered' in the 1500s after a reward for them was posted. Any historical 'evidence' is interpolated or invented much much later. I don't understand why some people can't deal with the reality of a jesus myth. Otherwise intelligent people completely flub the truth from an emotional basis of NEEDING jesus to be a real person. Humpty Dumpty wasn't real, Superman wasn't real, Santa Claus wasn't real, Jesus wasn't real. It's just a story. Nno fabricated story has been so overly analyzed in mankinds history. What a waste of time!! God isn't jesus, knowing jesus is a myth does not make one an Atheist. It makes one a smart critical thinker. This religious lie is the basis of all other lies we have to live with.

MickeyPerry October 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Finally. I have been saying this all my life. The bible was written to control others! All of these so-called Gods,saints ,whatever,were MAN made creations as to control and scare others! I BELIEVE THIS!

Pinky_Nixon October 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Nah, this guy's not at all credible. That's not an approach the Romans would take; he's gotta be kidding. Besides, scholars don't shoot a crappy video and schedule a press release, they get their stuff peer-reviewed just like scientists. Christianity's total bullshit, but so is this.

CJohnSavvy October 10, 2013 at 8:44 pm

This is part of the spirit of antichrist spoken of by Paul of Tarcisius. It was already active during Paul's day, all through the centuries down to the present. Deny Jesus all you want but nothing will change the fact that he was real then, now and forever. All you atheists will see him in his full glory when he returns.
Still, I must add the 'Christianity' of today is a complete sham of a religion. The papacy is the beast of Revelation, the Roman catholic church is the mother of harlots and all the other denominations are the daughter harlots.

DaleTop October 11, 2013 at 7:13 am

It's nice to see somebody with serious historical creditials taking on this topic. We give far too much leaway to religion. They make claims anybody with a lick of sense knows is BS, but nobody challenges them.

hvchronic October 11, 2013 at 11:40 am

The point is moot, whether or not you give credit to some crafty Roman oligarchs with too much time on their hands. Whatever it began as, it's obvious that Christianity pretty quickly evolved into a tool to keep the minds of the poor and downtrodden off of what's really been happening to them at the hands of crafty oligarchs down through history. Jesus probably doesn't exist, especially as an all-powerful entity entertaining favors while He sits on a cloud preparing for the End Times, but on the off chance that He does, I like to nudge Him once in a while. Like this …

Hey, Jesus! Please get off Your Holy Duff and come back among us losers, fix all these ills and kick some plutocratic ass! In case you don't get the point, here's a song about that. It's in the Gospel mode, which I heard you like:

davidiclineage October 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Personally, I think it's a lot more complex than this presentation. I do believe the story is more likely an implant than true history, but am not so quick to dismiss the motives behind implementation. I believe other stories, also thus implanted culturally, hold significance relevant to this larger body of tales. I believe it was all a matter of calculation so reminiscent of Douglas Adams' writings I am stretched to the limits of credulity myself.

In conclusion, I believe the result of these long social computations is a qualitative shorthand that reduces the language we speak to semi abstract pseudo-mathematics based on the symbols of our alphabet and their interrelation within the structure of a word.

If anyone's interested, I put the symbol legend up under this wordpress account a while back. If you'd rather question my sanity, that's fine too.

Matt_Thorn November 6, 2013 at 8:49 am

Um, yoohoo? Does anyone running this site have a functioning brain? Did anyone take a moment to check on the credentials of Atwill and Humphreys? Go ahead check now. I'll wait.


Yes! That's right! They have NO credentials! They are not "scholars"! If you can tell me where either of them got a Ph.D. (Hell, even an M.A. will do!), I will retract my statement. One is a "programmer," the other makes broad and extremely vague claims to be a "UK academic," yet never mentions where he studied or where he (supposedly) taught.

I'm an atheist who believes Jesus of Nazareth was a mortal man like myself who stirred up enough trouble back in the day to get himself executed. But the fact that I'm an atheist does not mean I will embrace every idiot theory put forward by some self-described "scholar" who cannot back up his or her claims with verifiable evidence. I wonder if these two believe the Moon landings were a hoax as well.

Mostly, though, my opinion of this site has plummeted. Folks, do some basic background checking. It took me less than five minutes on Google to discover that these two not only have no affiliation with a university or serious research institute, they also most likely do not have advanced degrees in any field. (If they do, they are for some reason reluctant to talk about those degrees in concrete terms.) Sheesh! Do your bloody homework!

Google my name. You'll find I have one M.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an M.A. and M.Phil. from Columbia University in the City of New York. It's not hard to find this information!

hipmonkey February 18, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Check the credentials of Constantine and Eusebius, and the other liars the made up the gospels. They were not nice people. There's a reason this religion was followed the the Dark Ages. BTW, Santa wasn't real either.

givemwat4 March 22, 2014 at 11:16 am

There are hundreds, even thousands, of fragments of the New Testament that have been found that date prior to the year AD 200. The finds at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt gave us a lot of material just by itself. The "Codex Sinaiticus", a nearly complete Bible, was found in a monastery and it dates to the year 350. These documents have been used to verify the Bible that we have today. I think you need to revisit this.

givemwat4 March 22, 2014 at 11:11 am

Wait. If the Romans invented Christianity to pacify the masses, then why did it take until Constantine (around AD 350) for Christianity to be "legalized" in the Roman Empire? Christians were fed to animals, burned as torches by Nero…this is hardly a way to endear a government to the masses.

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