"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

Caesar’s Messiah …

January 31, 2012

in Christianity:,Jesus

Was Jesus & Christianity Invented by Rome? 

By Joe Atwill

A fact often overlooked by historians is that Christianity’s origins are suspicious. During the entire era in which the religion purportedly emerged; another Jewish messianic movement, called the Sicarii, fought in Judea against imperial Rome. This militaristic movement interpreted –- quite logically — that the same prophecies that the Gospels claim envisioned Jesus, actually predicted the coming of a warrior Messiah who would lead the Jews against Rome. It is unlikely that such a movement would have permitted Jesus, a multicultural and pacifistic “son of David” (Jesus’ philosophy it should be remembered contradicted the original David who was a xenophobic warrior) to have wandered about the Judean countryside teaching his followers to “turn the other cheek” to Roman authority. Further, the Gospels’ literary style is much closer to the popular Greek and Roman romances of the day — that often featured a hero, empty tombs and resurrection scenes — than the ascetic style of writing used throughout the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Given the above, perhaps the most natural suspects for the creation of the Gospels would have been the Roman Caesars. Certainly the most likely of the Caesars would have been the Flavian dynasty, which lasted from 69 – 96 CE, the period when most scholars believe at least some of the Gospels were written. It consisted of three Caesars: Vespasian, and his two sons: Titus and Domitian. Flavius Josephus, a Jew who was an adopted member of the royal family was their official historian and wrote War of the Jews, the history of the family’s war against the Sicarii.

Though overlooked by virtually all of New Testament scholarship, this group should be regarded as the prime suspect for the creation of Christianity because they possessed all of the requirements to have done so. They had a strong financial motivation to replace the militaristic religion of the Sicarii that waged war against them with a pro Roman Messiah cult, they were known to have a staff of intellectuals with the expertise in Judaism and philosophy necessary to write the Gospels, and they possessed the knowledge and bureaucracy required to implement a religion (the Flavians created and maintained a number of religions other than Christianity). Moreover, this royal family was the absolute rulers over the territories where the first Christian congregations began and therefore determined which literature was permitted to circulate in the area.

Further, the Flavians should be considered as the creators of the Gospels simply because the victors write history. Many of Jesus’ “prophecies” are regarding the military victories of the Flavian family. These include the destruction of the Galilean fishing villages, Jerusalem being encircled with a wall, and the leveling of the Temple, which were all “brought to pass” by Titus Flavius during his military campaign through Judea, which concluded with his destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 CE. Titus was also parallel to the Jesus of the Gospels in that he was a “son of God” -– his father had been declared a “diuus” by the Roman Senate following his death — and he founded religions.

The Flavians are also linked to the origins of Christianity in that a number of royal family members were among the first Christians. In fact, the first Christians for whom there is any archeological evidence were members of the Flavian family. But this begs a question. Why was a cult that advocated poverty and meekness so attractive to a family that practiced neither?

The best known of the “Christian Flavians” was Pope Clement the first –- the Pope who is recorded in early church literature as having been ordained by the Apostle Peter. He is described within the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia as the first Pope about “whom anything definite is known,”[1] and was recorded by early church literature as being a member of the Flavian family. The notion that Pope Clement was a Flavian was recorded in the Acts of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, a fifth or sixth century work based upon even earlier traditions.

Titus’ niece, Flavia Domitilla, was another “Christian Flavian.” In the case of Flavia Domitilla there is extant evidence linking her to Christianity. The oldest Christian burial site in Rome has inscriptions naming her as its founder.

Thus the Flavians are linked to the origins of Christianity by an unusual number of facts. Early Church documents flatly state that the family produced some of the religion’s first martyrs and the Pope who succeeded Peter. They created much of the literature that provided documentation for the religion, were responsible for its oldest known cemetery and housed individuals named in the New Testament within their imperial court. Further, the family was responsible for Jesus’ apocalyptic prophecies having “come to pass.” Certainly some explanation seems to be required for the numerous traditions linking an obscure Judean cult to the imperial family-—connections that included not merely converts to the religion, but, if theActs of Nereus and Achilleus are to be believed, the direct successor to Peter.

Moreover, in Caesar’s Messiah I presented an even more compelling reason to suspect that the Flavians had created Christianity. Many of the events from Jesus’ ministry seemed to have been based upon events from Titus Flavius’s military campaign through Judea. These parallels between the two “sons of God” — Jesus and Titus — not only occurred in the same locations, but in the same sequence. The fact that they occurred in the same order provides strong support for the premise that they were intentionally created, as there are no other examples in literature of a sequence of such clear parallels occurring accidentally.

To just list a few of the parallel experiences shared by the two “sons of God”; both Jesus and Titus’s “ministries” began with “fishing for men” on the Sea of Galilee, then encountered an individual at Gadara whose “one head” contains great wickedness that is unleashed and infects another group which then plunges into the sea and drowns. In both “ministries,” each Gadara tale is followed by the story of a son of Mary who is a human Passover lamb at Jerusalem, and then a tale of a crucifixion of three individuals that features a “good counselor” named Joseph of “Arimathea” who takes one down who miraculously survives, which is followed by the condemnation of a Simon and a sparing of a John at the conclusion of the “ministry.”

As I show in Caesar’s Messiah the point of this parallelism was to create a Roman mockery of the typological technique used in the Judaic literature of the era whereby the life of one person could “foresee” that of another. In other words, the Gospels are actually slyly indicating that the life of Jesus “foresaw” that of the “real” Messiah, Titus Flavius, the conqueror of Judea. As readers of my book may judge for themselves, the pattern of conceptual experiences between Jesus and Titus strongly suggests a Roman origin of the Gospels.

 

REFERENCES

1 The Catholic Encyclopedia, “Clement”

 

 

 

 

 

Want to share or print this? Choose how below:
  • Print
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: