Thursday, October 10, 2013

'WE INVENTED JESUS CHRIST'


Source Article:
Ancient Confession Found: 'We Invented Jesus Christ'
http://uk.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11201273.htm


"Biblical scholars will be appearing at the 'Covert Messiah' Conference at Conway Hall in London on the 19th of October to present this controversial discovery to the British public.

Jesus Christ: completely constructed from other stories for an ancient Roman propaganda campaign?
[Jesus Christ] may be the only fictional character in literature whose entire life story can be traced to other sources.

London (PRWEB UK) 8 October 2013

American Biblical scholar Joseph Atwill will be appearing before the British public for the first time in London on the 19th of October to present a controversial new discovery: ancient confessions recently uncovered now prove, according to Atwill, that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats and that they fabricated the entire story of Jesus Christ. His presentation will be part of a one-day symposium entitled "Covert Messiah" at Conway Hall in Holborn (full details can be found at http://www.covertmessiah.com).

Although to many scholars his theory seems outlandish, and is sure to upset some believers, Atwill regards his evidence as conclusive and is confident its acceptance is only a matter of time. "I present my work with some ambivalence, as I do not want to directly cause Christians any harm," he acknowledges, "but this is important for our culture. Alert citizens need to know the truth about our past so we can understand how and why governments create false histories and false gods. They often do it to obtain a social order that is against the best interests of the common people."

Atwill asserts that Christianity did not really begin as a religion, but a sophisticated government project, a kind of propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of the Roman Empire. "Jewish sects in Palestine at the time, who were waiting for a prophesied warrior Messiah, were a constant source of violent insurrection during the first century," he explains. "When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare. 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."

Was Jesus based on a real person from history? "The short answer is no," Atwill insists, "in fact he may be the only fictional character in literature whose entire life story can be traced to other sources. Once those sources are all laid bare, there's simply nothing left."

Atwill's most intriguing discovery came to him while he was studying "Wars of the Jews" by Josephus [the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea] alongside the New Testament. "I started to notice a sequence of parallels between the two texts," he recounts. "Although it's been recognised by Christian scholars for centuries that the prophesies of Jesus appear to be fulfilled by what Josephus wrote about in the First Jewish-Roman war, I was seeing dozens more. What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus. This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern. The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar."

How could this go unnoticed in the most scrutinised books of all time? "Many of the parallels are conceptual or poetic, so they aren't all immediately obvious. After all, the authors did not want the average believer to see what they were doing, but they did want the alert reader to see it. An educated Roman in the ruling class would probably have recognised the literary game being played." Atwill maintains he can demonstrate that "the Roman Caesars left us a kind of puzzle literature that was meant to be solved by future generations, and the solution to that puzzle is 'We invented Jesus Christ, and we're proud of it.'"

Is this the beginning of the end of Christianity? "Probably not," grants Atwill, "but what my work has done is give permission to many of those ready to leave the religion to make a clean break. We've got the evidence now to show exactly where the story of Jesus came from. Although Christianity can be a comfort to some, it can also be very damaging and repressive, an insidious form of mind control that has led to blind acceptance of serfdom, poverty, and war throughout history. To this day, especially in the United States, it is used to create support for war in the Middle East."

Atwill encourages skeptics to challenge him at Conway Hall, where after the presentations there is likely to be a lively Q&A session. Joining Mr.Atwill will be fellow scholar Kenneth Humphreys, author of the book "Jesus Never Existed."

Further information can be found at http://www.covertmessiah.com.

About Joseph Atwill: Joseph Atwill is the author of the best-selling book "Caesar's Messiah" and its upcoming sequel "The Single Strand."



DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

When we were first introduced to the book Caesar’s Messiah, our response to the idea that the Romans wrote the New Testament in order to control the masses of the day was equal parts belief and disbelief. The thesis made a lot of sense, and yet it seemed too outrageous in the face of the gigantic numbers of people who hold Christianity sacred and Jesus as a historic figure.

After a three-year journey of studying this subject more deeply and becoming familiar with the works of many scholars on the origins of Christianity, we feel that the thesis has much merit and deserves to be seriously considered as a likely possibility of what actually occurred in history 2000 years ago. Though we didn’t wish to dismiss the positive teachings of Christianity, it is the history and politics of the way the religion came about that we feel are the real issue.

The challenge then became how to approach such a scholarly and academic topic as the analysis of ancient texts, in a visual format in order to keep the attention of the audience. Thanks to the artistic cinematography of Fritz Heede and Marisa Maldonado, and the inclusion of classic paintings to illustrate scenes from the time period, we were able to avoid the pitfalls of re-enactments, which can tend to feel too concrete and forced of an interpretation of an ancient era. We were also blessed with interesting and passionate scholars who are a far cry from dry academics, being on the cutting edge of scholarship and in many instances challenging to the academic world.

As production progressed, we couldn’t help notice the immediate relevancy of the Caesar’s Messiah thesis to the unfolding of current day political affairs. It is our hope that audiences will open up to the possibility that the history written in official books is not always actual fact, and that religion is often used as a political tool to control the populace, even to this day.

The official trailer for Caesar's Messiah: "Christianity was invented by a little known family of Roman Caesars, the Flavians; and they left us documents to prove it."
DOCUMENTARY SYNOPSIS

The origin of the Christian religion has been a subject steeped in mystery for nearly 2000 years. Who was Jesus? Is he an historical character? Who wrote the Gospels? Why are they written in Greek? Why did they have a pro-Roman and anti-semitic perspective? Why was the religion headquartered in Rome? Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus is a documentary based on the best‐selling religious studies book by Joseph Atwill. Atwill is one of a number of scholars today from all around the world, who are questioning the historic facts behind these mysterious origins of Christianity. When examining the actual history of this era, many of the answers provided by the Church do not hold up to rigorous scrutiny. No doubt, Christianity has done a lot of good for the world, but a lot of bad has come from its most dogmatic believers, who create wars, hatred, and other harm under the disguise of religion. In studying how Christianity emerged, the seven controversial Bible scholars featured in this film agree that it was used as a political tool to control the masses of the day, and is still being used this way today. For example, support for the wars in the Middle East is preached to Evangelical Christians as a way to speed up the coming of the End of Days. Maybe we need to expand the possible answers about how Christianity originated, and deeper questions need to be asked. Maybe we need to examine what political motives were behind the formation of the Christian religion?

The documentary begins with a brief history of the political and religious climate of Judea in the first century CE – the era during which Christianity emerged. Judea was occupied by the Roman Empire, which required them to worship Caesar as a god. The Jews found this blasphemous, and they waged constant rebellions against the Empire. Their religious scriptures prophesied that a militaristic warrior Messiah would defeat the Romans and lead the Jews to liberation. A string of numerous Messiahs presented themselves to lead the people in war against Rome, only to be defeated and crucified – a customary Roman punishment for insurgents of the day. However, the Roman government was growing weaker from over a century of increasingly corrupt rule by the Julio‐Claudian dynasty — the last emperor of this lineage being Nero, who was bankrupting the Empire with his self‐indulgence. In their greatest victory, the messianic Jews finally succeeded in burning Rome and driving the Romans out of Judea. This caused Nero to call upon his best military men, the Flavians – Vespasian and his son Titus — to crush the rebellion for good. The Flavians succeeded not only in destroying the Jewish towns of Galilee and their temple in Jerusalem, but after Nero was deposed and committed suicide, they seized the throne through a military coup and took over reign of the Roman Empire itself. Under the Flavians, the Empire flourished, and many great monuments were built including the famous Coliseum. In order to pacify the Jewish rebellion, they captured and burned all the Jews’ scriptures. It is around this time that a new literature emerged with the story of a very different Jewish Messiah – one who preached “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s”, “turn the other cheek”, and “love your enemy”.
Kenneth Humphreys on the historicity of Jesus: "[It's] a dilemma for those who believe in him. Because on the one hand he supposedly overturned the world, it turned the world upside-down and triggered off this massive movement, but on the other hand he leaves no trace in historical record."

The second half of the documentary focuses on the documents the Flavians left behind which prove their authorship of the Gospels. The Bible scholars deconstruct the Gospels and the character Jesus, showing that they are based on archetypes found in the ancient pagan mystery schools and in earlier Jewish literature. Much of the teachings of Christianity are traced back to the writings of Philo of Alexandria — who was combining Jewish scripture with Greek pagan beliefs — and Stoicism, a philosophy promoted by the Flavians. When the Flavians seized control of the Roman Empire, they needed to legitimise their rule, so they had their Jewish court historian Josephus (originally Yosef ben Matityahu who adopted the name Titus Flavius Josephus) create a large body of work which became the only official history we have of the Jewish-Roman War.

Bible scholar Joseph Atwill noticed many parallels between this historic account of the war and the events in the life of Jesus in the Gospels. Through his study of the ancient Greek texts and his discovery of an antiquated Hebrew literary genre, he found dozens of parallels between the Jesus story and the war history that occurred in the exact same sequence. This shows that the events of Jesus’ life which supposedly took place forty years earlier, were actually all dependent on the events in the military campaign of the Roman Caesar Titus Flavius. Ancient texts were much more allegorical, multi-layered and complex than today’s writing, and when you read the Gospels and the histories of Josephus side by side, a new meaning arises which reveals the authors of the Gospels to be the Roman Flavian Caesars, their co-conspirators, and their literary team.

Along the way, the Bible scholars show how the Roman Imperial Cult — set up to worship Caesar as a god — formed the basis for the Roman Catholic Church, and that some of the Church’s first saints were members of the Flavian court. Atwill also shows how the “second coming of the Christ” referred to a historical event that already occurred. Featuring scholars Joseph Atwill, Robert Eisenman, John Hudson, Ken Humphreys, Rod Blackhirst, Acharya S / D.M. Murdock, and Timothy Freke, this ground-breaking documentary not only gives us a revolutionary new understanding of the origins of Christianity, but shows how the political use of religion is still affecting our personal lives today. We currently live on the brink of an immense paradigm shift, and this modern time is very parallel to the era in which Christianity emerged. Studying this ancient era can give us the much-needed perspective for coming up with solutions to today’s problems, so we can create the better world that we envision.
John Hudson: "The Romans knew there would be opposition to their rule, whatever they did, so in creating the Gospels they created a, sort of, very clever counter-strategy. They co-opted the opposition by creating an opposition movement of their own."..."