"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

Dear Reader, we have added this ebook, because it has some very interesting facts, we do not endorse all this writer says, however because of the historical facts – we thought it was a interesting read. It will make you think!!

Evidence that Jesus was a Myth

All of the evidence for Jesus the alleged founder of the Christian Church can be invalidated.  At best there is no evidence, at worst the evidence indicates that Jesus never existed.  From my other books which you can access through the homepage you will see that the Jesus story was unknown in the early Church, you will see that the Jesus who the apostles knew was just a post resurrection apparition and you will see New Testament traditions that Jesus didn’t live in the first century but in times long forgotten.

Introduction

Jesus Christ did not exist.  If he did there is no acceptable evidence for it.  And if there is acceptable evidence then it is too flimsy to justify taking Jesus seriously as a god or wizard.  To the world, I offer Was There a Jesus?  The truth can be known and should be.  Unfortunately, defending the existence of Jesus and accepting him as a man and not a myth is where the money is and where the power lies.  That is the real secret of the strength of the popular belief that he was a real person.

The sources we have are the gospels and the rest of the New Testament writings which are regarded as scriptures or God’s word by the Christians.  We have a few short writings from the first post-apostolic generation and a few quotes from secular writings.  We will test them all to see if they really assist the case for belief in Jesus as a historical Jesus.  Thankfully the body of writings is a small one which makes the task not too difficult. We will see that if Jesus did not exist then it was a case of definitely not existing or a case of having no evidence one way or the other which would mean we don’t know if he existed or not.  Either is fatal to the Christian faith.

A CATHOLIC BOOKLET

A Catholic Truth Society booklet called, Did Jesus Exist? gives many dubious arguments insisting that he did exist.

It insists that the gospels were written in the first century (4) against the evidence and ignores the possibility that they were confidential if they did exist that early.  It says that Mark must be genuine for if it were not it would be ascribed to Peter (5) as if the authority that first made the ascription would necessarily have thought of Peter!  There is no evidence for the Marcan ascription before late in the second century.

Who was believed to have written it has nothing to do with its being authentic.  What if everybody knew that Peter was against books and we don’t know?  The forger would have decided then to pretend to be Peter’s associate.  Pages 8 and 9 respond to Wells (author of Did Jesus Exist? a book that says he did not) who wrote that if we believe in Lenin and no or hardly any evidence for him exists and nobody mentioned him we would have a strong argument from silence that he never existed.  They tell us that this would show that Jesus did exist for we do have documents about him and nobody could invent a non-existent revolutionary who was spearheading the 1917 Revolution in Russia and get away with it.  You can get away with it under certain circumstances and if you create a need to believe in the person.

Jewish tradition is held to back up the existence of Jesus on page 12 but this Jesus might not have been our Jesus but just somebody who he was based on.  A fictitious character can be based on a real one and the character is still fictitious even if both characters bear the same name.  If the Christians invented Jesus those who were embarrassed by this might have lied saying: “Oh Jesus was that guy that was hanged on the Eve of the Passover some decades ago.  That was him you know.”

A forged letter of St Paul’s, 1 Thessalonians 2:15 calls the Jews the people who put Jesus to death.  Wells has expunged it as an insertion and is criticised for that (page 15).  The statement of the booklet that he has no right to do that is slander.  The passage accuses the Jews of killing Jesus and the prophets and of being foes to the whole world.  This is simply anti-Semitic hysteria and incitement to hatred – the author might have lied to provoke hatred against the Jews.  The next line says that the Jews sought to stop the apostles speaking to the Gentiles to convert them which is impossible to believe and it gloats that God’s wrath has visited them. Judaism was a racist religion and didn’t care what the Gentiles believed.  Perhaps the text was revised by a rabid hate-monger for later it preaches love to enemies (5:15).  There is no doubt that we cannot trust what the letter says about the Jews killing Jesus.

Now, the letter also says that the Jews killed the prophets.  The Jews were accused of killing prophets by Jesus before he founded the Church.  Jews in the context can mean the whole Jewish race past and present.  That means the letter does not contradict the view that the Jews killed Jesus centuries before.

Jesus accused the Jews of killing the prophets meaning the Jews as a whole taking the Jews who had killed them in the past long before his generation into consideration.  Maybe the Jews are being said to have killed Jesus in the same sense here.  The mention of the prophets would indicate that for the prophets mean the writers of the Old Testament and the author would have been specific if his own brand of prophets had been meant.

Think again.  Jesus is mentioned first and the prophets after, implying that Jesus might have died before these prophets.  And why would the letter writer abuse the Jews here when it would have been enough and better to say it was an evil few?  There were Jews in Thessalonica and he would have desired to convert them and not alienate them.  The writer abused the Jews because they killed Jesus ages before and not in the first century for if Pilate had killed him he could have said so.  It had to be ages for only centuries before could there have been a possibility that all the Jews had killed Jesus.  He must have meant that the Jews killed him directly for we have no evidence that he could have meant indirectly through Pilate.  Jesus might have been stoned and then crucified as a display by Jewish dissidents who did not mind that crucifixion was considered an unlawful method of execution for Jews for the writer never said that Jesus died on the cross.  Or perhaps they nailed Jesus up as some kind of display knowing he was about to die anyway.  It is important to realise that though the writer says only once that Jesus died on the cross (Philippians 2:8) and he says he bears the crucifixion marks of Jesus on his own body he does not say that Jesus was nailed to the cross.  If Jesus was tied there would still have been marks.  Perhaps he was tied to the cross and stoned and these are the marks Paul means for Paul was certainly stoned a few times.  These interpretations are probably right and they totally demolish the gospel account of the death of Jesus.

The Jews did not kill Jesus personally if he was crucified unless the Thessalonians author is supporting the Jewish Talmud which says that Jesus was hanged up for stoning on the Eve of the Passover.

The wrath the letter says was visited upon the Jews is probably the disaster of 70 AD which means the letter is a forgery for Paul was dead then.  There is no other disaster that could have affected all the Jews at the time and the letter has it in for them all.  So even if the letter did say Jesus was slain by Jews in recent times it would still not count as evidence for Jesus for it came from a liar’s quill.

Page 16 says that Paul said that a wife must stay with her husband and this is not from Paul but the Lord (1 Cor. 7) and this may be from oral tradition so Jesus must have existed.  It says that this is the most simple and straightforward interpretation.  That is a lie for Paul never hinted that he used it though he did expect others to use the verified tradition he started himself.  Paul had a lot of visions so that is where it came from.  The vision is the simplest explanation considering he had lots of them.  He never asked the people to hold fast to the traditions about Jesus or even mentioned them but he did ask them to hold fast to the apostolic tradition embodied in himself.

The author of the booklet would have said if it had occurred to him that Wells was wrong to say that the persons who fleshed out Jesus the myth plotted him in the time of Pilate for that was a time of great suffering.  He would say it would be silly to pick Pilate and then exonerate him and not to put Jesus in the time of Herod the Great which saw worse suffering.  But the gospellers had to pick a time in which there was not so much excessive suffering but excessive crucifixions.  And why not pick Pilate and then make excuses for what he did to please Roman readers?  Also, the prophecy of Daniel concerning the seventy weeks seemed to the Church to have required that the Messiah die about the time of Pilate.

The author would be glad to know that Wells has come to believe not that Jesus existed but that he was based on some first century people on account of the Book of Q.  Q is the alleged forerunner of Mark’s gospel which was allegedly used to help create the gospel and the other synoptic ones too.  Q might only prove that there was some character that the Jesus character was modelled on but since it is so based on teaching that may be an overstatement.  No two scholars agree on exactly what material in Mark constituted Q.  A growing number hold that Q exists only in the imagination of the scholars for Mark could have invented and plagiarised from Pharisee teachers all the things he says Jesus said in his gospel without using any specific sources – people inventing stuff tend to subconsciously reproduce what they have heard or seen and that is all they need.  The book of Q can be explained without a historical Jesus and it never says the son of God will be crucified on earth or gives any concrete statement that he was a real person and every single thing Mark, the first gospel, says happened during the execution of Jesus can be traced back to an Old Testament verse and anything that isn’t is just an elaboration of what was found in the Old Testament suggesting that the whole story was made up from the Jewish Bible (The Evolution of Jesus of Nazarethhttp://human.st/jesuspuzzle/partthre.htm).  Christians complain that literary dependence of the gospellers on Q needs proof and then they say then that the commonality between the synoptics can be explained by there having been a historical Jesus! (What About the Discovery of Q? by Brad Bromling D.Min).  The similarity suggests the contrary, that there was no Jesus and myths and legends or lies had to be used to make up his story because there is too much similarity.  Eyewitness reports would have been very difficult to make tally especially in the wording of what Jesus said.  The Christians will grasp at any straw no matter how silly it is to get people to agree with them.

FOUNDATIONAL ERRORS IMPLY THERE WAS NO JESUS

There are four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  They purport to inform us about the life of Jesus Christ.  Have we any evidence that these men were more interested in what they wanted us to believe than in what the evidence said?

If the idols and alleged mentors of the four evangelists, the apostles were deranged with credulity or incapable of religious honesty then so were they.

A foundational error is an indication in the story that undermines a large part of the story.  If the foundation is faulty the whole structure built on it falls as well.  For example, if we find a clue in the gospels that the trial of Jesus never happened that is a foundational error and means that a large part of the gospels is make-believe.  If we find a clue that the apostles did not go about with Jesus that means that the gospels are entirely false for the gospels supposedly comprise their testimony.

We find foundational errors for everything in the gospels.

One indication of the value of foundational errors is to be seen in the following example.  We read in the gospels that Jesus condemned divorce.  Now what is supposed to have started Jesus saying divorce was always adultery and wrong was the Pharisees coming up to test him asking, “Does the law allow a man to divorce his wife?”  That makes it very very likely that if they did not do this and that somebody made up the diatribe against divorce.  If the thing that started Jesus off never happened and this can be shown then we can safely dismiss the rest of the story as fiction.  The start is the foundation of the story and no story that lies on a bad foundation should be accepted.  We might be wrong yes but if we keep the rule about foundational errors rejecting the whole account is all we can do.  It keeps things simple and we must always go after the simplest suggestion which is to reject the whole story when a foundational error is the rock the story is built on.

Some will object that maybe the account of what Jesus said was true but the gospel erred in assuming that the Pharisees started the discussion off.  That is possible.  It might be right.  But we cannot accept it.  The rules of evidence require that we focus on what the records say and leave speculation out.  What is written and what is seen matters more than what we think.  We have no evidence that the objectors are right.  So it is undeniable, if the gospel says the Pharisees started the ball rolling and is wrong then we have to hold that the discourse Jesus made against divorce was never uttered.

Incidentally,  the Pharisees would not have come up to Jesus and asked him that for they knew that he knew the law well enough to know that it did allow divorce and they knew he claimed he did not contradict the law and was careful with his words.  The gospel says they were trying to test him to see if he would reiterate the teaching of the law which is simply not plausible.If the gospels commit foundational errors then their idol may have not existed.  As a rule, the more foundational errors we find the less likely it is that their Jesus was a historical entity.  We will see that hardly anything in the gospels is free from such error.  The gospels are fairy-tales.  Their realistic look is a fabrication, an illusion.  Jesus did not exist.

The Gospels say that the Jews and the Romans were desperate to kill Jesus but then say that they let him go about.

This is a foundational error for they wouldn’t have tolerated him five minutes never mind three years.  If they are wrong about Jesus’ freedom then everything they say about him is untrue.  He could not have worked and preached if he would have been dragged away to the dungeon the moment he opened his mouth.

Another foundational error is the assertion that the Jews had to scheme to arrest and dispose of Jesus quietly for there would be a revolt while it is also said that the public knew what happened to him.  If Jesus was destroyed quietly then the story of the passion is fictitious for nobody would have known what happened and he would have been taken without the apostles being about.

The gospels say that Jesus was popular with the people and it was hoped and suspected by most that he would be the Christ, an illegal claim that guaranteed the death penalty from the ruthless Roman rulers.  If he had been he would have been crucified a lot lot sooner

Another foundational error is that Jesus was allowed into Jerusalem on a donkey acting like a messianic king.  John says the apostles never realised that this fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy until after Jesus had risen (12:16).  But they would have found out from the crowd many of whom would have known what Jesus was trying to get across by his behaviour.  The apostles had to have known that the Messiah was to do what Jesus did for there was tremendous stress on the Messiah in those days.  The gospel is just trying to rationalise why the entry into Jerusalem was not mentioned at the start.  The real reason was that it never happened.

Another foundational error is the claim of the gospels that the apostles were the foundation of faith in Jesus and his witnesses even though they had abandoned him.  It would take a lot of credulity to forsake a miracle-working prophet who knew the future and who could raise the dead like the gospels say.  They were not reliable so how could they be the foundation?  The Church believes the apostles when they allegedly accepted the testimony of the women and their friends when they said they saw the risen Jesus – we have no evidence but a gospel assertion that they did say that – but it does not believe the apostles were right the time they did not believe these people (Mark 16:14).

Matthew 15:29-39 has Jesus going up a hill to avoid the crowds presumably.  But anyway they find him indicating that far from being the Son of God he was below average intelligence and so dense that he could not make away though he knew they were coming.  They brought their sick a long way and up the hill over him.  This story cannot be true for if Jesus had been a healer he would not have caused them all this bother.  Christians say he probably came down the hill to save the sick from the burden of being carried up but the story does not say that and in fact says he sat down up the hill when the crowds came along.  Jesus worrying about what others would think if he did not pay the tax (Matthew 17:27) is too unbelievable to be true.  He was the last person that could be accused of being like that.

Another foundational error is the fact that the Gospels claim to have been constructed out of a huge body of data about Jesus.  But where is this data?  Nobody has tried to preserve it which is extraordinary considering that the Church was persecuted and needed to write down all it could.  Why did Paul not care?  Was it because there was no data?  It had to be.  The Gnostics alone cared about the traditions that were not in the gospels but the Church scorned them as heretical humbug.  And it was certainly right to do so for the traditions were often nonsensical.  But when the Gnostics were able to keep traditions however bad they were why could the orthodox not have done the same?  The whole thing suggests that the gospels were made up.

Another foundational error is the assertion that the Jews and Romans were obsessed with destroying Jesus’ work and let the apostles preach in public and let his brothers by blood live though they carried royal blood in their veins.

The gospel story that false witnesses spoke against Jesus at his trial (eg. Mark 14) shows that the gospellers were untrustworthy when it came to giving little mundane details meaning that they cannot be relied upon in more serious matters.  There were no false witnesses for none were needed, Jesus had committed the sacrilege of claiming to be the man closest to God while preaching what was considered to be heresy.  The High Priest tore his robes when Jesus made the claim before him though Jesus had made it before.  The purpose of the trial was to set Jesus up and if the false witnesses did not exist the trial didn’t happen so there was no trial and no crucifixion for the trial prepared the way for the cross.  Get it?  No crucifixion, no Jesus.

John’s author mentioned that he wrote the gospel so that we might believe.  If he expects us to believe on the strength of his word alone then his standards for what is to be considered credible is low, much too low.  He made his Jesus say that he did not accept human testimony such as the Baptist’s.  This is a hint that his book was tongue-in-cheek for it was just a human testimony.  It shares a very small number of things with the other gospels so it is saying that they are religious novels too.

The Final Response page on the Internet by Steven Carr shows how much of the life of Jesus was stolen from the Old Testament.  The Christians regarded the Old Testament as a prophecy of Jesus and so they felt justified in doing things like making out that when Elisha multiplied food to feed a crowd that Jesus must have done the same though they never heard of it.  We also see that it is odd that Jairus, the man whose daughter Jesus raised from the dead, has a name meaning he awakens.  This suggests that somebody made up the story first and the name of the man later because the story was about a resurrection.

The gospel books claimed to be for backing up the faith and yet one gospel has one woman seeing the risen Jesus and another one has more.  You need to mention all the witnesses you can if you want to be credible.

Had the synoptic gospellers been interested in verification they would not have used the same stories so much.  Many of the accounts are nearly word for word identical.  They would have found different ones if they did any investigating.  If they wanted to say that the other stories were true all they had to do was to outline them and say so.  You never tell what is already reputed or known about an important person unless there is nothing else to tell or to add which would mean that the person is a myth.

The gospels claim they are for instructing the world.  Therefore, they thought that Jesus’ errors were not errors.  And his errors are as prominent as sore thumbs.  For example, he said that when God said that he was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob it proved that there is a resurrection!  They closed their minds to believe lies.  The lies must have been made up pretty late and were not doing the rounds as tradition first for they would have been corrected and improved.  They are further evidence for Jesus possibly being non-historical. We have no reason to believe that he was a real man when liars wrote his gospels for him.

We know that Mark was inventing his gospel for he never said there were guards watching the tomb of Jesus which Christians would have had to say even if it were not true for their resurrection story had no credibility without that claim.  Matthew was the inventor of the guards story.  What else did he invent?

The resurrection narratives are completely lacking even in basic routine scientific verification.  For example, no effort was said to have been made to ensure that it was really Jesus who died on the cross – we are not told if anybody who knew Jesus had a good view of his face which was disfigured anyway.  We read of a testimony that Jesus was pierced in the side on the cross but no proof is given that in his highly strung state at the cross that the alleged witness only thought he saw that.  Maybe Jesus was just hit with a lance and it looked like he was wounded in the side.  Jesus would have been sweaty so that explains the blood and the water the witness saw.

The lack of verification indicates that the stories were made up by the gospellers for if something had really happened all objections would have been carefully refuted and they would have invented stories to remove all doubts.  There is no evidence that the very early Church let the public read the gospels and plenty of indications that they did not.  Another problem is the fact that Luke and Matthew report different things regarding the birth of Jesus and thereabouts.  All four gospels differ on the events surrounding the resurrection.  Yet they and Jesus believed that before anything could be accepted as reliable there had to be at least two level-headed and honest witnesses as the God of the Law of Moses commanded.  The gospels then defied the law and showed themselves to be capable of religious fraud.  Luke reported that Jesus once said that having the Law of Moses and the Prophets was more important than listening to anybody who managed to return from the dead which shows that those gospel-mongers who stressed the importance of Jesus himself were frauds.  The supposedly most reliable account of Jesus’ life is his passion and crucifixion.  But these stories are full of things that should have been said to silence critics but which were not showing that the stories were invented. Stories should get more convincing as critics are responded to.The authors of the gospels were perfectly capable of believing or claiming that Jesus existed, worked miracles or rose, against the facts.

When all the big things in the Jesus story are fiction it follows that the lesser stories cannot be trusted at all either.

The gospels give us no reason to believe in the existence of Jesus.  Even if they did we could safely ignore them for we have proof that even the apostles taught that they never knew of a man called Jesus when he was alive before his crucifixion.

THE BAPTIST’S SILENT TESTIMONY

The Bible and the Church honour John the Baptist and have made him a saint.  They say he was the forerunner or precursor of Christ and the “greatest prophet of all” who was to put everything right (Mark 9:12).  Isaiah was interpreted as saying that John would fill in valleys and flatten mountains.  It seems that John’s arrival would have a devastating physical effect on the sinful world and prepare it for Jesus.  Jesus said John was Elijah, one of the greatest prophets, who the Old Testament said would return to prepare the world for judgement.

All that makes John the chief witness to the non-existence of Jesus for he did not believe that Jesus lived and was granted such a high rank in the evidence scale.

John was a bizarre supreme prophet and precursor if all he did was to give Jesus a dip in the Jordan and speak a few sentences to recommend him to the people.  He did too little.  The gospels say he could not do miracles.  The Old Testament says that Elijah was able to manage them so how could John have been the new Elijah.  All that makes one suspect that John never testified to Jesus at all.  He knew nothing about him or despised him.  But if John hated Jesus the Gospellers would not have mentioned and praised John too much for that might draw attention to John and his revealing statements.  But they were hoping to present John as an apostle of Jesus who dwelt relatively in the quiet if anybody said that John never knew Jesus.  So John never heard of Jesus.

The writings of the first century Jewish historian, Josephus never linked John with Jesus which he would have done for he was such a good and thorough historian and which he would have done had there been a Jesus. Josephus was unlikely to mention John’s works and not mention his chief role if he was really a precursor.  Somebody then put in a bit about Josephus saying that Jesus was a wise miracle-working man and perhaps not a man at all who was crucified by Pilate to please the Jews and who was reported alive after he was executed and that he was the Messiah which was an obvious forgery for an anti-Messiah like Josephus.  The whole thing about Jesus could be a forgery which is why we cannot rely on Josephus as evidence for the existence of Jesus.

The gospels report that John approved of Jesus.  John might have done so if the gospels were true for he may not have had any reason to frown upon Jesus at the early stage of the ministry.  So if John would have approved then John hinted that there was no Jesus by not becoming his disciple and by staying out of Jesus’ entourage.

The Gospellers felt that Jesus could not stand on his own two feet and felt they needed a new prophet who was loved by the Jews to testify to Jesus to deal with the vacuum.  They sensed that the apostles had no credibility and that the Old Testament prophecies were not enough.  They felt that God would send a new prophet to say when the man who would fulfil them would come.  So they invented Jesus’ association with John the Baptist and Luke even transmuted him into Jesus’ cousin.  This would probably have been done when few people remembered John so that they could pull it off which suggests a late date for the writing or the publication of the gospels.

The Baptist was totally well known and very popular (Matthew 3:5).  Jesus was not as popular and John was not interested in propagating faith in Jesus.  He would have been as popular as John and probably more had John ministered just to pave the way for him.

So, when the gospels tell us John did not know that Jesus did miracles to show he was the promised Messiah, it shows John did not believe in his miracles and had little interest in what Jesus was doing meaning he was not his forerunner.  John then would have disagreed with the gospel miracle accounts and the account of the baptism of Jesus.

John sent his men to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah after having told Jesus and prophesied that Jesus was the Messiah at his baptism.  The gospels say that.  There can be no question about it, John did not believe Jesus was the Messiah at all.   The gospels lie.  John’s question is tantamount to a denial that Jesus was a real miracle worker, a real prophet and a good man.  A prophet of God would know what Jesus was and wouldn’t need to ask.  John then was contradicting most of what the gospels say.  He was denying their Jesus existed.

So, when the people thought Jesus was the risen John it shows that the gospels are lying when they said that Jesus was as much a superstar as John before John died.  The gospels are more likely to be truthful about John for he was not their idol than about Jesus.  If Jesus did not exist before John died then he probably did not exist after it either!

Josephus said that John baptised to purify the body when the soul had already repented.  His baptism was not an expression of repentance leading to forgiveness like the gospels say.  Also, John, according to Josephus, taught that “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 thoroughly cleansed by right behaviour” (page 37, He Walked Among Us).  This challenges Jesus and Paul’s negative attitude to human ability to do good.  They thought nobody could stay out of sin.  And it is hard to believe that John who was chiefly a baptiser could be a precursor for a religion and a man like Jesus?  It shows the gospels are lying when they say that the Jews didn’t know what to say when Jesus asked them if John’s baptism was divine or human?  It was just a religious symbolic rite so they could have said what they liked.

Josephus recorded that Herod had John thrown in Machaerus and then murdered in case he would lead a revolution for he had so many disciples – which shows that Jesus could not have gotten away with having a big fan-club either.  A precursor prepares the people for somebody’s coming so Jesus would have got all John’s following and more if John was his precursor.  This contradicts the gospels which say Herod killed John to please the daughter of Herodias because he promised her whatever she wanted in front of the guests and could not go back on it.  It is hard to believe that John would have been killed if he were considered to be so dangerous for exile would have been a better and safer solution.  Why was he not arrested and killed or incarcerated before he got so many disciples?  Probably John was able to escape too well so they couldn’t get him and when they got him they thought it was best to kill him.

The gospels account makes no sense whatsoever.  They contradict each other for if John was so popular, Herod would not have killed him just to keep a promise especially when we are told he was terrified of harming John in case he would get bad luck.  Herod told the girl she could have half of his kingdom which is more embarrassing than breaking a promise to kill.  He was not shamed at the thought of breaking it.  And it is impossible to believe that the girl would not have taken the half of the kingdom and Machaerus and had John disposed of herself!  Why go to all that trouble and reject so much over a man in jail who couldn’t do Herodiasany harm any more?  Herod would have been drunk when he promised half of his kingdom and so could have got her executed instead of John despite Herodias.  Or he could have excused his oath on the grounds that he was intoxicated so he had no need to keep it even to save face for everybody could see he was drunk anyway and he had already embarrassed himself.  Or he could have blackmailed the girl to say the oath was just made in jest.

He Walked Among Us page 38 surmises that Herod wanted to kill John but only got the guts to do it when the girl manipulated him and removed his softness which does not conflict with Josephus who only says John was incarcerated and executed to avoid insurrection.  This is worthless speculation and how could John be put to death for that when he could do no harm in Machaerus?  It was an invincible stronghold and if Herod feared a rescue attempt he would have been discreet about where John was.  Therefore, Josephus is saying that John was not imprisoned in Machaerus but was taken there for execution.  Josephus never said that John was imprisoned there.  The gospels lied about John’s imprisonment.

What Josephus wrote is more probably true than what we read in the gospels.  If John really testified to and worked for Jesus then we would be reading that Jesus was the next to be dispatched to Machaerus for without John, John’s disciples would turn to him.  But Josephus mentions John’s execution and his editor says at this time Jesus appeared.  Jesus did not appear until after John had died which contradicts the gospels but may explain why many thought that Jesus was John back to life.  Christians say at this time means John’s time in general and not the time of his execution.  That is improbable.  The forger of the data about Jesus in Josephus would not have written at this time if he meant the time John died for it would have been better to mean the latter.  The forger said that the gospel version of Jesus never existed at least until John was out of the way.

When the gospellers tell such lies about John what else were they lying about?  They made up the miracles surrounding the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan and said that John knew Jesus then as in knew who he was, the Christ and the Son of God.  The Gospels say that what Jesus did and said before John died and it is all lies because Jesus was not known before that time.  Do you see the implications of this, Mark 1-8, nearly half of the oldest gospel is untrue.  Matthew 1-13 is lies for in chapter 14 the people start thinking that Jesus is the late Baptist resurrected.  And there are only twenty-eight chapters in Matthew.  Need I go on?  There are too many lies for Jesus to have existed.

When people who knew the Baptist well were saying that Jesus was John back from the dead and that was why he had miraculous powers (Mark 6:14) that shows how incredibly gullible the gospellers knew they were especially when John never did any miracles.  So he was credited with miracle powers after his death.  And the gospellers depended on these to get their data if the traditional view that they acted like historians has any truth in it at all.

John the Baptist virtually shouts at us that he never heard of a Jesus and that nobody did.

THE OBSCURE CHRIST

The gospels go on as if Jesus was as well known and as popular as tea bags are today (Matthew 4:23-25; Matthew 21; John 6:10; John 12:19).  His parable of the mustard seed which he thought was the smallest seed in the world shows how little an impact he was claiming to be making and he said the seed would later grow to make a huge tree.

Jesus was a heretic according to the standards adhered to by the Jews and the Law enforced the murder of heretics (Deuteronomy 13, 18).  The Jews Jesus moralised at were more than keen to comply (Luke 4:28-30; John 11:48; Acts 7:54-60).  Jesus showed he thought himself to be Christ from his baptism (John 1) and the Bible says he never lied so he had to admit he was the Messiah if that is what he was.  Moreover, false messiahs could drive Rome to destroy the nation (John 11:48).  The Jews could not afford to let Jesus live.  If there had been a Jesus he would have been assassinated by a lone assassin.  That way the Jews would not have needed to resort to the scandal of getting Jesus crucified or getting the blame.

Rome could not let Jesus live or go about freely even if he were only a spiritual king for that could be a cover for subversive activity for once he had the crowd under his spell he could display another side to his character and start off a rebellion.  Since 6 AD there had been so much turbulence that there was no way the Romans could have been expected to even think about tolerating Jesus and all the prefects in Palestine and especially Pilate were well known for their appalling barbarity and extreme intolerance (page 368, The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief).  And a spiritual king can be more dangerous than a political king for the former claims to be inspired by God.  Also the Romans had abolished the Jewish monarchy and to claim to be the Messiah was to claim the Israelite throne (The Myth-Maker, page 37, 1986 Edition, Wiedenfield and Nicholson, London). That of course makes claiming to be the Messiah ten times worse.  Why did he not drop or change the title and call himself King of Hearts or something?  He couldn’t because he was not that kind of a king but a political Messiah.  The Gospels are lying about Jesus being free.  This is proof that nearly everything about Jesus in the gospels had to have been made up.  Jesus’ popularity shows that he gave no teaching that left the people spellbound and did no miracles.  This again eliminates nearly everything written about him.  A man who has so much legend about him is not likely to have ever existed.

Jesus said that he had nowhere to lay his head meaning that he had nowhere comfortable to have a sleep (Luke 9).  That shows how unpopular he was and that nobody gave a toss about him.  He also said that a prophet has no honour among his own country and that he was no exception (John 4:44).

The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to be welcomed by all its citizens is untrue for days later they were begging for his execution.  And Jesus was never anointed as king so how could the people welcome him as king?  They would not have hailed him as king for that would guarantee that Rome would destroy their idol and get them into trouble too for welcoming him to Jerusalem.  And what about the real king, Herod?  Jesus could not be king unless he vanquished him first.

In Luke, we read that King Herod was anxious to meet Jesus.  If that is true then Jesus was not well known and hard to pin down.  Whoever the king wants to see the king sees – but only if he or she exists.  Pilate was as keen and never met him until the trial either.  That must have been because there never was a Jesus for them to meet.

If Pilate wanted to save Jesus like the New Testament says then why didn’t he get some witnesses to defend him?  Jesus must have been reclusive or a myth when there were none.  Why didn’t the Sanhedrin find some pro-Jesus witnesses at least to keep up appearances and have them taken apart by their coached false witnesses?

John 16:3 and Acts 3:17 speak of the leaders not knowing Jesus by spiritual experience meaning who he is so it cannot be said that the gospels purposely contradict themselves on his popularity.  The Bible uses know in the ordinary way and know in the sense that God inspires you to know who Jesus is.

The New Testament describes the apostles as very timid men and then it contradicts this by attributing the courage to risk their lives by being at Jesus’ heels all the time to them.  The stories of Jesus and his entourage are make-believe.

If Jesus had been so popular then why did Mark, the first gospeller write so little about him?  And why did he waste time and ink recording silly parables with morals in them that we all know anyway?  Did his imagination go dull on him when he was inventing his saviour?  It must have.

If the gospels lied so much about Jesus then he could just as easily have been invented.  When you make up a God you have a better chance of promoting him by saying he was once well known.  The lies mean nothing in the gospels should be taken as evidence for Jesus.  When a person lies a lot it does not mean that all they say is a lie but that all that might not be a lie should be neither believed or disbelieved.

He Walked Among Us (pages 29, 30) claims that there was not much attention paid to Jesus for in those days the secular press ignored miracle stories just like it does today.  This is nonsense for the Jews were very religious and such stories would have been enthusiastically demanded as signs that God was going to remove the Romans from Palestine.  They were gullible times.  People don’t have much interest in religion these days and still there is a high demand for miracle stories but stuff like healing and astrology do get a very prominent place in papers.  Anything to do with mental or physical health will always be popular and is destined for the papers if there enough people interested in it.  The book claims that the Romans ignored Jesus for he did not attract huge crowds and that gave them no concern.  If he did miracles he had to attract them.  The book is in conflict with the gospels here which brag about the crowd.  The book says that anywhere the people wanted to make a king of Jesus he slipped away.  That would have been enough to get him the attention of the Romans.  The book will contradict the gospels before it would admit that Jesus’ miracles were shown to be fake by the lack of interest in them.

The silence or near-silence of non-biblical writers about Jesus refutes his alleged flavour of the century status.  Jesus if he existed was an obscure ordinary man.

EVANGELICAL EVIDENCES

Is the Christian view that the gospels are justification for Christendom’s beliefs about Christ and its assumption that he existed right?

The online book, The New Testament is not Inspired proves that the gospels are unreliable.  It exposes the gullibility of the people and the New Testament writers.  It exposes their duplicity.  My online book, They Hid the Four Gospels, proves that the gospels were hidden which would have boosted the Christian hoax if it were a hoax.

We now know that the Jewish Scriptures reached their final form a long time after Christians would make you believe they were written.  The gospels present Jesus as teaching love your neighbour as yourself and treat others as you would like them to treat you as summaries of the Law and the Prophets despite the fact that these works are full of God’s hatred for unbelievers and his thirst for blood.  This might suggest that a legend about a man having lived centuries before when the Law and Prophets were taking shape and were not so violent and nasty and was worked into the gospels.

The Romans did not tolerate anybody who was suspected of being the Messiah like Jesus was full stop, therefore the story of the ministry was entirely made up.  It is no use pointing out things that are allegedly marks of authenticity because they match other records or because they seem to have been too shameful to have been invented for an invented history of your grandfather would have the same elements even if it was unintended.

Jesus told lies and made no prophecies of the future that were provably made before the event and the gospels still said he was a true reliable prophet of God.  The Jews were falsely accused by Jesus of blasphemy for saying that Satan could be doing exorcisms though Jesus for a mysterious evil purpose.  It was false for it was possible.

Nine-tenths of Jesus’ life is omitted from the gospels.  Perhaps Jesus did nothing interesting up to his ministry or never talked about it?  But he must have ministered to people before his big ministry.  So, that is not it.  The gospels tend to be quite potty in the information they have selected so is that why they tell us so little?  Yes to a large extent though it seems potty books would give some details of his pre-ministry life if it were potty to do so but then when it is potty you never know.  We can think that the gospellers always reasoned that it was best to say little about Jesus for he never existed and the less lies told the less chance you have of being caught out.  Christians object that they would have described loads of private miracles and portrayed Jesus as not being a public figure if they did but if that had already been done by some with some measure of success which is how inventing fake historical characters starts they would have been able to go a step further and be more daring.  It is obvious that they used the reasoning to a large extent too from the material they chose.

It is most likely that the explanation for Jesus’ hidden life is that he never had a life at all.  We are not told what Jesus qualifications were for his schooling and training are mysteries to us.  We would be if Jesus was the supreme revelation from God.  If there had been a Jesus we would be for it would not have been overlooked.

It is argued that if Jesus were an invention he would have been given more impressive credentials.  He would have been declared a priest of the line of Aaron, etc. etc. (page 142, Jesus Hypotheses).  But most lies are believable anyway.  But at the same time, what better or more lofty credentials could one have than to be declared Son of God and king of the Jews and priest and Messiah and supreme prophet allegedly by God himself?  It is simply not true that the gospels were restrained in their opinion of Jesus.

It is argued that Nazareth, an unimportant place, is prominent in the gospel story inferring that Jesus must have existed for why single out this place and make it so important that it had to be the base for a Messiah?  They will even say that Matthew invented (true) a prophecy to explain this anomaly (false).  But obscure or non-existent prophets have to be plotted in out-of-the-way places.  You wouldn’t like to say that Jesus was based inBethlehem or Jerusalem if he never lived.  Matthew could have invented the prophecy for hundreds of reasons or perhaps he thought it was in the Bible though it was not.  If Nazareth did not exist in those days and might have been an embryonic settlement of Nazarenes, consecrated secretive and loner men, then it was natural to plot Jesus there.  There is something wrong when Jesus never visited the neighbouring town of Sepphoris when it was so close and so big and busy and the capital of Galilee.  Perhaps there was a mysterious and religious Jesus there and the inventor of Christ just made it out that it was this man he meant though it was not if anybody contradicted his account.

The evangelists might have been afraid to attribute big fancy miracles to Jesus – like turning all the flowers of the Mount of Olives into peacocks – because people would be asking them where his miracle powers are now. Jesus’ miracles may not have included making a new mountain rise out of the ground in a second but they are just as absurd as that in their own way.  For example, would God magically wither a fig tree just because Jesus looked for figs on it and found none?

There are few statements in the New Testament which conflict with history or archaeology.  When you want your book to be the best chance at becoming irrefutable you will keep it in harmony with history and geography.  Even many novelists use real names and real geographical places in their works of fiction to make them more believable and to give the readers a better feel.

The Gospellers were afraid of God.  Since God works against lies and errors you have to make what you say as believable as possible and that is what they would have done.

The John Gospel does not have a great structure or planning or selection of data for to be written by one who knew all about Jesus.  Yet the very last verse in it says that the information was extremely plentiful.  Then why is there so much in the passion narrative that is a duplicate of material in the other gospels?  Why does Jesus tend to go on a bit and ramble and be boring, repetitious and vague?  Why cannot he have better and more stories about Jesus than he does?  The answer is that the Jesus stories were scarce and the gospel had to be padded out with silly or invented ones.  And when a famous person has no story that many people can vouch for then that person is a myth.  It is no use pointing to characters who are accepted as historical on the testimony of one writer or whatever.  That does not prove that there was a Jesus.  Believing in a man’s reality is only as good as what evidence exists for or against it.  A single witness is believable but not very believable if he or she testifies to somebody existing when the subject is a believable one.

The Jews were prejudiced against the notion of God becoming man.  Christians say that the gospel story that God did this must mean that it is true because Jesus’ witnesses were Jews.  This is rubbish.  Every religion has its heretics.  Jesus fought to root out prejudice.  The Old Testament never said that God would never become a man.  Real Jews stick to what the scriptures say.  And besides Jesus never claimed to be almighty God.

The absurd notion that it is easier to believe in a miracle resurrection than to believe that Jesus was accidentally buried alive and escaped from the tomb despite the stone and the soldiers is one of the many rationalisations for the veracity of the gospels that Christians come up with.  So if your wallet disappears and you are sure that nobody that was in the house that day to your knowledge did it that means it is a miracle.  It is easier to believe it was a miracle than that somebody got into the house without being seen.  This is not rational thinking.  It is brainwashed thinking.  The natural explanation no matter how complicated should be considered true as long as it avoids belief in a miracle.  Christians are exposed to conditioning.

THE EMBARRASSMENT ARGUMENT

It is supposed that since the gospels say things about Jesus that were embarrassing for them that he must have existed.  They could have left them out even if they were true so they would be mistakes and you can make mistakes whether or not it is a real person you are writing about.  Hello, they had to be mistakes.  They are an indicator of fallibility and that there couldn’t have been much good to tell about Jesus when they had to settle for unflattering stuff – the supposedly embarrassing material makes us think there was no Jesus when stories about him were hard to come by.  Then again, Hinduism has lots of shocking stories about its favourite god,Krishna, so there was a strong religious tradition for attributing evil or bizarre antics for gods though you wanted people to start devotion to them.  The idea was that gods could do things people were not allowed to do and still be considered good.  In a sick way, people like Gods they say are perfect but who still exhibit flaws.  Its human nature.  That is why Gods doing malicious things while claiming to be paragons of holiness got more popular not less.  Good in the religious sense is boring.

The embarrassment argument is totally worthless regarding attempts to prove the Jesus tale and indicates that it is questionable.

Perhaps the shaming bits and pieces about Jesus were not shaming to the early Church when it put them in the gospels.  It didn’t have to include them.  People might not have realised that they should have been ashamed. The moral sense in those days was very dull.  The Church had long enough to see that Jesus could have his popularity despite some of the unsavoury stories about him so it would have ceased to have even noticed that the stories were shocking and would not have desired to hide them.    This is what has happened throughout most of Christian history.  People have heard about the terrible things God and Jesus did and yet they did not register these actions as evil and distasteful.  They would have felt uncomfortable but as they were desensitised by Church conditioning to overlook and applaud what they seen, rightly or wrongly, as evil in the scriptures they took little heed.

Jesus’ racist spitefulness towards the distraught Canaanite lady (Matthew 15), his saying that he came only to save Israel, his agony in the garden, his triumphant ride into Jerusalem which implies that he was claiming to be a political Messiah, his crucifixion, his having a sign above his head calling him the King of the Jews – allegedly implying the same – on the cross and his shouting that God had abandoned him on the cross and his tomb being left unguarded between the supposed resurrection and his appearances are listed as proof that he was a real person.  The bizarre thing is that the reasoning that the embarrassing things are most probably true is usually promoted by people who scoff at Jesus’ miracles.  What could be more embarrassing than saying a person did miracles if they did not do it?  If you can make up miracles you can make up anything – end of story. We know on many grounds, for example, from the fact that it would be beneath God’s dignity to do miracles, that the wonders did not take place.

One major embarrassment was Jesus choosing an apostle, Judas, who betrayed him which led to Jesus’ death by crucifixion.  But it could be that Judas never meant Jesus to die and was only after the money.  The Gospels hint as much.  Judas could have believed that God would take care of Jesus.  And Jesus said that the apostles were to witness to him on earth and Judas did that in his own way.  He did not see the risen Jesus but he made the resurrection happen and the gospels would have us believe that he knew Jesus could and would rise and that is enough for him to be the giver of evidence.

John baptising sinners and Jesus getting baptised seems embarrassing but the Church would have said that it was done for some reason other than to be cleansed of sin.  Perhaps Jesus was showing he was renouncing ordinary life and beginning a new career as a wandering prophet.  The Church said he got baptised on our behalf to show he planned to atone for our sin though he was innocent.

The gospels themselves give accidental clues that Jesus never existed especially when they say embarrassing things about Jesus that scholars think they would not have made up.  But they did make everything up.  Here is one instance.  To believe that Jesus was able to cause trouble in the temple and put animals out and stop people coming in means he had a huge army with him to help him for the temple was a very big area is too much. He would have been apprehended as soon as he threw over the first stall if not as soon as he walked in the gate.  In fact he would not have got in for the Temple was protected against rioters who knew how to spot suspicious gatherings.

If Jesus was violent in the Temple he would have been arrested there and then which means that the stories of the last supper and his later arrest and crucifixion and resurrection are untrue for he was in jail.

It is held that the crucifixion must have really happened because there was no way the Church would have made it up for it was so shameful and nobody was likely to recognise a crucified criminal as the Son of God. People do unlikely things and we are told the crucifixion did nothing to stop converts running to the Church after the supposed resurrection.  The Bible itself then rejects the argument.

The Church answered the critics by arguing that the Old Testament predicted that the crucifixion would befall the Son of God.  So the Church had nothing to worry about – it was nothing that it couldn’t handle.  To admit that the Son of God died at all in any way would have been embarrassing but the Church solved that embarrassment by inventing the idea of Jesus having to undergo the shame of the cross for our sins.

There was nothing to stop the Church from inventing the crucifixion simply because it wanted to teach that the blood of Jesus saves us from all sin.  And perhaps the apostles were first told of the crucifixion of the saviour in visions and they didn’t invent it.

Anyway, any harm done by the shame would have been excelled by the advantage of making people feel that Jesus took on all that pain to atone for their sins.  The embryonic Church promoted the crucifixion of Jesus without much evidence to help it demonstrate that it did not prove that he was a liar when he said he was the Son of God.  When that happened the crucifixion yarn could not be seen as a major problem.

What is embarrassing is how the gospels say that Jesus wanted to be crucified.  He did not protect himself with his miracles or threaten those who would crucify him.  He did not walk away when he had the chance before his arrest though he knew what was coming.  He was deliberately provocative during his trial.  He told Peter that he was a Satan when Peter said he hoped Jesus would not be crucified.  A Jesus who deliberately courts death on a cross is a fatal blunder and Paul would have denied that Jesus did this.  Paul stated that Jesus was a victim who was killed by demons which refutes the view that Jesus pulled his crucifixion on himself.

I am perturbed by people who say the cross story proves that Jesus lived for they would not make that up for it was too shameful and these people have no problem believing the miracles were made up or that Jesus’ claim to be God or the Son of God was made up.  It is embarrassing to have to make up things like that so why not the cross as well?

The bit about Joseph and Mary leaving the boy Jesus in Jerusalem by mistake is said to be true for it was too embarrassing on all three to have been made up (page 150, Jesus Hypotheses).  But maybe the gospeller did not care how he made Jesus’ parents look but wanted to show that Jesus was too wise to listen to everything they said.

It is also said that if the birth of Jesus had been invented a secret birth in Bethlehem would have been created (page 164, Jesus Hypotheses).  Such arguments are simplistic.  Lots of fictitious stories say that many people had witnessed the events.

Jesus asked God why he forsook him on the cross.  This was a quote from a psalm.  A Jew who habitually prayed the blasphemous psalms might not have realised what he was saying when he asked God why he had forsaken him and could easily have made the mistake of putting this insult in the mouth of a non-existent Messiah.  Catholics pray, “Lead us not into temptation”, which accuses God of wanting us to sin which is against the Bible and even say that Jesus made this prayer.

All of the unpleasant tales can be reconciled with an interpretation satisfactory to the Christian though not often to the objective person who looks hard enough but they were not written for geniuses but simple people.  The early Church might have written away and just prayed for guidance to solve the apparent problems of the New Testament.  There would have been much confusion for they would not have got far in theological development and so the problems are unlikely to have bothered them.  Cardinal Newman said that a thousand difficulties did not make one doubt and had his own problems with Catholic theology.  The embarrassment argument is completely irrelevant.  The blusher bits don’t make it probable that the gospels have truth or a ring of truth.  For example, in the story of the Canaanite woman Jesus might have told her that he meant no offence by saying that she was a dog before he said it.  A Christian would argue this way but it is really changing the story.

The sign, “The king of the Jews,” that Pilate reportedly put over Jesus on the cross is continuously put forward as evidence that the gospels were being truthful at least with this for it is supposedly embarrassing.  It implies Jesus was a political king while the Christians saw him as a spiritual king.  But the truth is the Christians believe Jesus is a political king by right and will be in actuality when he returns to earth.  The fact that the gospels like Pilate proves they are saying he erected the sign because he believed Jesus really was a king by right.  They said Jesus claimed to be the anointed one or Christ which means political king so why should they have a problem with the sign?  Why would they be embarrassed about the sign if say Pilate put it up in mockery or faith?

The gospels present Jesus as a non-political king so they had nothing to be ashamed of in the King of the Jews title and entry into Jerusalem bit.  They were writing for pillocks anyway.  As for his brutality words the woman and others the Jews were used to having a nasty vindictive racist god.  The embarrassing bits were not in the least embarrassing at all.

The embarrassment of the contraception ban in the Catholic Church does not mean that what the Catholic Church teaches about contraception is right or sincere.  Jesus said that the meek shall inherit the earth – so if you react to an enemy by being positive and kindly instead of with bitterness and hatred you shall inherit the earth.  That is a clear mark of insanity for the enemy will laugh at the meek and destroy him or her.  Equally insane is Jesus’ teaching that if you won’t look after the property of another you wouldn’t look after your own either and neither God or man would trust you with it (Luke 16:12).  We are accustomed to stupidity in the gospels so it is foolish to use that shameful stupidity as evidence that Jesus must have lived.  And yet Jesus said that if his doctrine is false his resurrection could not really happen for it depends on the teaching being right for a sign that sinners are being saved cannot be valid if the message of salvation is doubtful.

Some of Jesus’ disciples had names suggesting that they were his lieutenants and that he was involved in stirring up a revolt against the Romans.  The realistic parts of the gospel can be explained without a real Jesus.  A fictitious character can be invented by stealing the details and events from some real person’s life and the myth might even bear a similar name to the model.

THE SOBRIETY ARGUMENT FOR JESUS’ EXISTENCE

It is argued by Christian scholars that since the gospels are not characterised by absurd plots and claims that they must be history.  There is nothing in them for example, about Jesus becoming the Emperor of Rome or turning the Mediterranean Sea into blood or battling vampires and chatting with dragons. This argument sounds rational but is quite bizarre.  It says stories evolve and get better over time.  So it all happens one step at a time.  But that means there will be miracle stories that are sober.  It means that for a time the miracle stories though made up will be pretty tame.  It means that the gospels could have been put down on paper at a time when the stories were tame.  The argument is a flop for it assumes too much.  It assumes needlessly that the gospels would not have been written down until the stories about Jesus evolved to an outrageous stage.  We must remember too that most of the miracle stories of the Bible are pretty tame too so the Christians would have preferred these types of stories for they would have been more used to them.  Tame miracle stories only mean you like tame miracle stories not that you are being truthful.

The New Testament writers lied about Jesus’ life and miracles.  They lied also about little historical details.  They claimed that Jesus cured ten lepers – the number is a small detail.  If they concocted small details they cannot be trusted with details of import for perhaps they left out some detail that throws the miracles or resurrection into a different light.  Jesus himself said that anybody that lies in small things cannot be trusted in more important things – he was suggesting that lies always destroy trust so he forbids lies even when you feel forced by the circumstances to tell them for that is still harming trust.  Jesus refuted the popular Christian belief that there are minor errors or lies in the Bible and yet it is still the word of God.

The early Christians had plenty of time to learn what to say and what not to say.  The gospellers would have heard people who attributed lots of miracles to Jesus being greeted with, “If Jesus healed so much when he was on earth why cannot he do it as much now?”  This taught them to avoid drawing out the response that people would make if they presented a Jesus who feverishly cast magic spells around him like his life depended on it. They knew that the more restraint the better it would be for intellectuals would be convinced easier.  But they knew some silly stories were necessary but they had to be restrained.

There are piles of books on the market without absurd plots.  The gospellers knew, as all mature people do, that it is better not to make a story too far-fetched.

Nevertheless, the gospel miracles are silly to some degree however small.  They could not have happened for there is no God crazy enough to do them.  The devil would rather promise everlasting happiness for doing as much evil as you can and do miracles for that purpose so its not him.  So there is nothing to do them unless you want to blame psychic powers.

All miracles are useless for they help one when all of us should be helped when we don’t have free will.

If useless miracles have happened then we must believe every outlandish miracle report.  The same applies to miracles that look useless to us so there is no use in pretending that if they are done for a reason we cannot figure out that it is different.

This makes all the New Testament miracles and signs bizarre and unbelievable.  And why are they ridiculous?  Because when you believe in a miracle you believe in it because of the witnesses so it is the witnesses and not the miracle you are believing because the miracle gives you no reason to believe but they do.  God would want you to put belief in him and not in human testimony first so if he does miracles you would see ones yourself.  If Jesus did miracles he would prove it to you today.  It does not matter if he forces you to believe because he cannot force you do to good and love him or so he says.  Religion proclaims miracles to get people to join up. Miracles are about deceitful organisations looking for control over your thinking.  They are about men not God.

The Church says the resurrection of Jesus was the greatest miracle ever and it could not be a hoax from men or Satan.  If that is true then the gospellers thought it was a better miracle than turning Mount Everest into bread and so the sobriety argument does not support them but refutes them.  Jesus battled demons.  Is this really any worse than battling vampires?  Is feeding 5000 men with a few baskets of food more sensible than believing that Lord Krishna in India was able to duplicate himself so that there was a huge number of Krishnas on earth?

The argument that a strange story is likely to be true when it is sober and could be a lot stranger doesn’t apply in the case of miracles because strange events are natural and miracles require a supernatural source.  The former are more likely than the latter.

The gospels taught foolish doctrines which stand as evidence that they are not as sober as Christians boast.  They approved of Jesus’ wacky exegesis which said that God’s title, “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” proved the resurrection of the body.  The John gospel deceptively said that Jesus saying that he was one witness for himself and God another fulfilled the legal demand for two witnesses before a testimony could be accepted.

“If the gospellers made up the miracles and other deeds of Jesus then why do Matthew and Luke and Mark have many stories in common?  Why did they not dream up new stories?  The answer is because they were telling the truth.”

There could have been any number of reasons for that.  Perhaps they just served up some of the same old lies to make it look like that it wasn’t just their opinion that Jesus did and said such and such.  If I write an irrefutable fake gospel that has overlaps with some other gospel does that really make it likely to be genuine?  If Christians wouldn’t accept it then they have no right accepting their own.  Sobriety is of little importance when lies can be demonstrated to have been told.

The use of similar stories, the material common to the gospels, suggests that the life-story is a pack of lies when it is about a person they could have got different stories about.

Read my book, New Testament is not Inspired, to see how the New Testament while claiming to reverence reason actually reverences credulity.

The New Testament tells serious lies which make all the sobriety in the world no help to it.

The sobriety argument for the existence of Jesus is a failure.  When you attempt to apply it to the gospels it makes you more certain that there was no Jesus.

ISSA

There is evidence that Jesus was worshipped before he was allegedly born.  This Jesus was a god and like most gods was probably an invention.

In the book, Who Was Jesus?  A Conspiracy in Jerusalem, page 144) we read that an “ancient god called Issa, or Jesus, was worshipped in Arabia at one time”.  This worship predated the worship of the Christian godhead “by many centuries” (ibid, page 144).

In John, Jesus meets a woman at Sychar which happens to be in Arabia and not in the Holy Land.  John has constructed the story from an ancient myth about the Jesus god.  There is evidence that the New Testament authors mistook places where the Arabian Jesus worked for places in the Holy Land.

Now we move on to new evidence for the existence of Christ that is in the book, Jesus Lived in India by Holger Kersten.

Volume 19 of the Purana was written between the third and the seventh centuries.

It says that a king in Kashmir, King Shalavahana, met a handsome man sitting on the mountains.  The man was white and robed in white.  The man said he was virgin-born.  The man called himself Isha-Masiha, which means the Lord, the Messiah.  He called himself Isha-putra which means the Son of God.  He said that in another land an evil goddesses persecuted him and he became the Messiah.  He destroyed the goddess by prayer and by disciplining his body.

Now, the reign of the king was in 49AD or in 78 AD.  Was Jesus alive and in India then as Kersten believes?  The interpretations of what the white man really meant is a matter of dispute.

The king might just have had a vision.  There are some reasons why the man he saw could not have been Jesus.

Jesus was a Jew and he was not white.

Jesus would not wear white robes when he was a wandering preacher even according to the gospels.  They dirty too easily and give a bad impression.  He might have worn them once on the Mount of Transfiguration but that is okay.

Messiah means King of the Jews.  Jesus would not have used the title outside of a Jewish context.  A Messiah is supposed to work for political power and Jesus if he was an ordinary man as these accounts say could not have used the title for he could hardly come back in the second coming to rule could he?

Why did Jesus not say he disciplined his body by getting crucified and that he survived it?

How could Jesus have been handsome when he had come through so much and been out in the sun which would have wrinkled his face a lot?  Matthew says he was born before 4BC.  The Christians believed that Jesus was ugly because they said that Isaiah 53 was about him and it said he was far from handsome.

The story may be true but it is certainly confused if it is about Jesus which would be natural when it was recorded so long after the event.  Anyway the story is too late and might have been devised by a mythmaker under the influence of Christianity.  If it were credible we still could not rely on it but would have to be undecided.  But the earliest evidence indicates that Jesus never existed so it has the pre-eminence.

If this man is Jesus then he denies the gospels.  The Gospels are proven wrong when they say Jesus believed in one God and died on the cross and rose again and was nearly forty if not forty when he was killed.  Their Jesus would be pure invention.  But at the same time, the earlier documents, the gospels, have more authority terrible as they are.

But when there is evidence that Jesus was believed to have lived before the time given by the gospels it is possible that Shalivahana was not the king who met Jesus – it was an earlier one.  Evidence for this could be the fact that Jesus says that the people he first lived among, the Jews saw the terrible goddess in all her frightening glory.  He called the Jews barbarians which fits his attitude to them as recorded in the gospels (Matthew 23). The Jews did not have a vision of the goddess in the first century so it must have been long before in an age when records were badly kept for there is no real evidence that such an event happened.  And plainly, there is no evidence for Jesus either if that is the case.

It seems that a testimony that Jesus, who was called Jesus the prophet of Israel and Yuz Asaf (the leader of the healed people), started to prophesy in 54 AD was engraved on an ancient Temple, in Srinagar India in 78 AD.  But they could have been put on later.

There is no good evidence that Yuz Asaf was Jesus Christ.  The evidence is late and flimsy.  It is overridden by the gospels which say that Jesus left this world after his resurrection.  So there is no evidence in the final analysis.  Yuz Asaf’s tomb at Srinagar is asserted to be the tomb of Jesus.  There are feet on the tomb with crescent shaped marks on them.  Kersten thinks they are the crucified feet of Yuz Asaf who was Jesus Christ. But the marks do not resemble nail holes and there are no New Testament grounds for holding that Jesus was nailed through the feet.  If a man was believed to have supernatural powers one might think of showing the crescent of the moon on his feet as a sign that he walked in the ways of magic.  The moon is a magical emblem.

An Iranian historian who died in 962 AD, called Sheikh Al-Sa’id-us-Sadiq identified Jesus with Yuz Asaf and said that Yuz Asaf preached the parable of the sower in India.  But this testimony is too late.  The historian’s work could have been affected by confusion and was certainly influenced by the gospels for the parable he recorded is almost exactly as they have it.

A man called Notovitch who was born in 1858, who has never been discredited, claimed that he read information about a Jewish prophet, Issa, who he believed was Jesus, in the documents of a Tibetan monastery.  He published a book on it all.  But if these writings which have never been found exist then we don’t know when they were really written or if they were lies made up from the New Testament and other materials and imagination.  And it is odd and suspicious that the monastery will not let the world see the writings.  There are photocopiers in Tibet today.  But Notovitch suffered greatly over his story which adds credence to his honesty or perhaps he was dishonest and thought suffering would win him the honour and respect he craved eventually.  But did he report what he seen or what he thought he seen?  And there were people after him who said they saw the writings.  These writings say that Jesus Christ survived the crucifixion by yogic techniques.  The writings are hidden because they are late fantasies.

There is no evidence that Jesus lived.

PROPHETIC EVIDENCE

Surprisingly, the evidence from bible prophecy indicates not necessarily that Jesus never existed but that lots of things were made up about him because of them and that he may never have existed.  Prophecies that were not concerned with Jesus were used to make the Jesus story which shows that the story is untrue.

Jesus had a lot of harsh things to say about Jewish tradition.  Yet this tradition was to blame for much of the unjustified messianic interpretation of Old Testament texts.  Jesus himself according to the gospels interpreted prophecies according to tradition even though he scorned that tradition left, right and centre and eventually ended up on the cross over it.

Christians pored over the Old Testament and weaved its plots into the Jesus story.

 

The annunciation was invented from the story of the angel appearing to the barren wife of Manoah to inform her of the miracle birth of Samson (Judges 13).  The angel tells her that she will have a baby and what he will be and that he will save his people from the Philistines.  The angel told Mary the same things but said that Jesus would save his people from sin.

Mary’s Magnificat was plagiarised from that of Hanna (1 Samuel 2).  Both women had miracle births.

Jesus allegedly cured a man with a withered hand.  The man had one withered hand and he was cured in a house of worship.  In 1 Kings 13, Jeroboam is in the Temple and his hand is miraculously restored.

Moses’ face was transfigured and Jesus was transfigured on the Mount of Olives.

The story of Elisha multiplying twenty barley loaves to feed one hundred men and Elisha telling somebody else to distribute the food and some being left over after they had eaten must have suggested the New Testament story of Jesus multiplying bread and fish for thousands and getting the apostles to give it out and some being left over.

Jesus calming the storm comes from Psalm 107 which describes men in a boat being caught in a storm and crying to the Lord who calms the storm.  This Psalm is just recounting the experience of many and is not to be understood as a prediction for you can’t see predictions everywhere.

God is everywhere and on the sea so the book of Job poetically says that God walks on the sea (Job 9:8).  He is not predicting anything about Jesus for the context intended that these descriptions of divine power were to show how powerful God is.  Jesus could not have shown that before he physically walked on water.  The fact that Mark says that Jesus did not intend to be seen but planned to walk by the boat on the water that night proves the story was an invention for a real miracle worker only uses his powers as signs of love and not just for short-cuts.  Job then inspired the tale of Jesus walking on the water.

Elisha raised a dead boy and so did Jesus.  The spirit of God came upon Samson and upon Jesus.

The entry into Jerusalem on a donkey was taken right out of Zechariah which says a king will do this.  But if Jesus was really welcomed as a king then why didn’t he become one and be made one?  Anybody could ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and say they are a king and not take over like Jesus.  He would have had to have been enthroned to be a real king.

Even the Psalm where the author complains that his friend who ate bread with him at table has been called a prophecy of Judas betraying Jesus after the last supper!

The events surrounding the death of Jesus were inspired by Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.

Jesus might not have existed when his life story was constructed from ancient texts.  If he did exist we have lost the historical Jesus.

But what if Jesus purposely fulfilled the prophecies?  Maybe he did but it is easier for a person to write his story in line with them than it is for him to fulfil them even if they are easy.  We don’t have the independent and unbiased testimony necessary to claim that Jesus did the fulfilling himself.  You have to have very serious reasons for saying a person miraculously fulfilled prophecy for it is so unnatural and abnormal and there is something badly wrong when it easy.  If Jesus miraculously fulfilled prophecies easy to fulfil then miracles are a sign that miracles are no good for being signs for anything else.

The prophecy of Daniel about the 70 weeks is supposed to give the year in which the Messiah would die.  This could have led to somebody thinking that the Messiah despite the absence of evidence lived some years before and died in that year.  He would have then depended on supposed divine visions and revelations to get details about this obscure Christ and used the prophecy to prove that Jesus existed on the assumption that scripture cannot err.  He would have worked out that the Messiah must have been raised from the dead when he failed to fulfil the prophecies about the glorious power of the Messiah over the world so he would come again to do that.  Maybe Daniel’s prophecy was the reason the Jesus story started off.

A man whose life story contains a lot of alleged happenings that mirror happenings that mirror happenings in books written years before could have been made up.  Or at least much of his story could have been made up. Some would say in Jesus’ case that this need not call the reports into question for the Old Testament prefigured him or that Jesus’ life was mapped out by God to copy some OT events.  But the Old Testament and Jesus never said it did that.  Jesus said it prophesied about him but that is different and implies he just happened to fulfil them and did not do it on purpose.  Jesus’ life matching the Old Testament “history” is more likely to mean the gospellers and their predecessors had to invent a history for him and scoured the Old Testament to get ideas.  We know that in the Book of Mormon, that a character called Alma whose life story is uncannily almost identical to Paul’s though he was born before Jesus and Paul and in America has to be fictional for it is just too close to be true.  And Christians bigotedly say this of Alma though their Jesus tale was as bad.  We know the Jesus story was written by somebody that had the Old Testament though it claims to have been written before Christ.  Alma and Jesus have their fictitiousness in common.

It is startling but true that novels from the time of Jesus have stories of lovers which are parted by death and the dead female is buried and stolen from the tomb by grave robbers upon discovering that she is alive and the grave clothes are left behind and people think he or she has risen from the dead and when he thinks she may have survived he goes and searches for her and when he finds her he is totally unable to believe that she is not a ghost (WWW, Robert M Price, Christ a fiction).  Christians will claim the Jesus story inspired this  but the Jesus story could just as easily have been inspired by it.  Love stories are always going to be better known than Jesus stories so Jesus’ story did come from the love story.

Christians used to say the Devil made fake dinosaur bones to fool the world into rejecting the book of Genesis – and if Christians could say that then how do you know that those who said Jesus existed, died and rose were not as stubborn?  They were unreliable if they were.  How do we know that the apostles who may have had a say in the formation of the New Testament were not just as bad?  Maybe they would just have been as biased.  Perhaps they said that the Devil destroyed the evidence for Jesus’ existence.  Perhaps they claimed that when the body of Jesus turned up that it was a satanic hoax geared to discredit the resurrection?  It is absolutely true that the gospellers did not use eyewitness testimony as much as they used the Old Testament prophecies to figure out what Jesus must have done and what happened in his life.  Matthew went to the Wisdom of Solomon and Zechariah to create the details about Jesus and his passion that were lacking in Mark.

JESUS’ TEACHING MADE UP

Strong evidence that Jesus was made up comes from the fact that his teaching was stolen from other teachers and authorities.

A critic of GA Wells, James Patrick Holding stated that Jesus must have existed though GA Wells thinks he didn’t because there couldn’t be a Church that gets its ethical teaching from a non-existent teacher (WellsWithout Water).  But this is a distortion of logic because it is possible to hallucinate that a man risen from the dead has appeared to you and made you a prophet.  The Mormon Church was full of prophets in the early days and look at it now.  Joseph Smith was only one of many prophets in that faith.  When Joseph Smith could get ethical teachings from a fictitious God who used to be a man and who is totally different from the Christian God why couldn’t this happen in the more credulous first century?

The parable of the Prodigal Son appeared in the Deuteronomy Rabbah 2:24, a commentary on the Law.

Hillel taught that we must treat others as we like them to treat us which fullness the Law and the Prophets (Shabbath 31a) which is almost identical to what Jesus allegedly said years later.

As Karen Armstrong noted in her book, The First Christian, “The more we read of the rabbis, the more we see that Jesus’ teaching is for the most part well within the rabbinic traditions and not strikingly original.  Like the Pharisees, he is insistent that ‘Charity and deeds of loving kindness are equal to all the mitzvot in the Torah’ (Tosefta Peah 4:19)” (page 30).

It is hard to see how the crowds could have been as spellbound by Jesus as the gospel says when he only served up what was on the menu for the previous hundred years.

It was child’s play to put teachings into Jesus’ mouth that he never gave.

It was no bother to the Gospellers to invent the sermons that Jesus allegedly preached and the teachings he uttered.  They did not give dates for when Jesus said this or that.  Memories are short and minds wander during lectures.  Not everybody would catch all that was said.  Do you remember exactly what the priest preached at Mass two weeks ago?  But Jesus’ teachings were recorded long after they were allegedly given which does not vouch for accuracy.  And the Gospellers did not care when they did not say anybody was taking notes at the sermons and that they used those notes.  Luke says he consulted records but gave no proof that the records were authenticated.  The fact that the teaching was not verified though Jesus said his teaching was one of the proofs that he was the Son of God proves that Jesus was a fake.  Jesus implied that even if his doctrine was not hitting the bull’s-eye then his miracles had to be fake.  He proclaimed that miracles proved nothing if they came from a man whose doctrine was mistaken.  To believe in Jesus is to trust Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and not Jesus at all.  They are the gods of Christendom.  They have the audacity to claim to be servants of the Son of God.

Jesus talks too much.  He is too obscure and repetitive at times.  This garrulousness is a device to avoid saying too much about what he is supposed to have got up to.  The less said about a man’s actions the better if he does not exist.  His discourses could not have been constructed from memory so they must have been made up.  If they were, then there is no reason why the stories of Jesus’ deeds could not also have been made up.  It is evidence that they probably were.  Don’t say the information came from notebooks for there is no evidence that Jesus had anything recorded.  There is evidence that he did not expect the people to depend on memory (Matthew 10:27).  He did not have his apostles taking notes or memorising for he said the Holy Spirit would come and remind them of what he had been saying (John 14:26).  Never is any hint given that notes were kept though Christian books lie that the apostles did keep notebooks.  We are told that the word was to be shouted from the rooftops (Matthew 10:27) when he should have said be read from the rooftops but didn’t.  We are told that he would send the Holy Spirit to remind the apostles what he said indicating that no books would be kept or needed to be.  When the points in Jesus’ parables could all have been expressed in one paragraph and many of the parables are repetitive it is a sign of inauthenticity and artificial gospel-mongering.

Jesus told the apostles that he spoke in parables to prevent understanding among the outsiders.  If that is true then the stories about crowds coming to hear him are fiction for you don’t come to listen to a man who can’t speak plainly to you.

THE ELLEGARD BOOK

The book by Professor Alvar Ellegard, Jesus – One Hundred Years before Christ, is a study of how the Jesus story could have been put together if Jesus was a myth.  The theory is that Ignatius of Antioch, in the second century, was the first person to turn Jesus into a historical person and the gospels hobbled along later to give him more solidity.  Let us put it under the microscope.

The letters of Paul never speak of Jesus coming again or returning (page 26) which is open to the possibility that Jesus never lived on earth meaning this future coming would be his first coming.  James is called the brother of Jesus in Paul’s letters (Galatians 1:19).  There is too much evidence in Paul that this was not meant literally for his Jesus was an obscure person who nobody knew about and who had started appearing to people (see my Josephus Denier of the Existence of Jesus).  Jesus may have adopted James as a brother in a vision.

I do not agree with the reason the book gives for a Christ faction in the Greek Church in Paul’s time which he says is that a pre-Christian Essene form of Jesus worship was in existence (page 23).  The faction must have believed in direct communication with Christ because anything else would involve accepting a man like the way it was with Peter or Paul or Apollos as the emissary of Christ so you wouldn’t say any of them were a Christ faction.  The Christ faction were Gnostic in inclination for they believed that they could not sin so they lived immorally and had supernatural abilities and knowledge.  Paul never attacks their rejection of the Jesus story – Gnostics were so radical that they believed that everybody rejecting the  Jesus story and inventing their own story was a sign of spiritual insight for truth differed from person to person an attitude that the vast majority of Gnostics have and always have had – so he had no Jesus story.  He did not say they must stop telling lies about Jesus on the basis that the evidence says it is lies because he could not.

When answering Marcion’s followers who contended that Paul was the sole witness to Jesus having been resurrected, Irenaeus replied that Paul said that the same God was inspiring him and Peter.  Irenaeus should have used the text, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, which says that Peter and some others saw the Jesus of the resurrection besides Paul.  Irenaeus would have used it if it had been in his text of Paul for he needed to back up what he said for his opinion would not have washed with the Marcionites.  Page 19 says it is weak to argue that Irenaeus would have used the text for it gave him better support.  But when you see what I have argued in Secrets of Calvary about the inauthenticity of the text the argument gains better support.

Because there is no evidence of the buildings called synagogues in Palestine in the first century and since they are mentioned a lot in the gospels and Acts and not in the first century texts it makes it likely that the gospels and Acts were either written or altered in the second century when there were such places.  Sometimes the word was used to refer to gatherings before the second century but that is different (page 33).

He disagrees with Thiede’s claim that fragments of Mark were found at Qumran dating Mark to 50 AD because the fragments are too small and unclear to be sure that they are from Mark (page 185).  Moreover, the Cave 7 where they were found may not have had the same history as the rest and could have been used by Christians for hiding texts in (page 186).  I would add that it is possible that somebody put the fragments there in order for them to be “discovered” for the evidence for the lateness of the Gospels is conclusive.  It was the location they were found in that led to them being dated so early.  Plenty of ancient material for planting is available on the black market and even at some legitimate markets in the East.

It is possible that the parallels between the Shepherd of Hermas and the Gospels mean that the Shepherd was used to create the gospels (page 46).  Or it could be that they have the same source.  The wording is not the same.  Strong evidence that Hermas helped originate the gospels comes from the fact that it avoids seeing the Son of God as a historical figure who people met and touched and laughed and cried with.  The author datesHermas to the sixties of the first century.

All that is wrong with this is that he does not look to see if Hermas would have used the gospels or the source that the gospels used.  Also, when a simple verse gets more complicated wording in a parallel text it is most likely that the harder one is the later version.  Things tend to get fancier the longer time goes on and Hermas is the least fancy version of the Christian gospel.

However, Ellegard notes that a gospel parable of Jesus inspired by Isaiah 5 is more complicated than the Hermas version which is closer to Isaiah meaning that Hermas inspired the Gospel version (page 48).  WhenHermas ignored Paul and his writings (page 48) it is astonishing if he would have plagiarised the gospels or used the source of the gospels.  This may be only an indication that the gospels were edited and elements from other books were implanted in the second century.

The book claims that Jesus was transmuted into a historical person by the lies of St Ignatius of Antioch, a bishop of the early second century.

The textual parallels between Ignatius’s writings and the sayings ascribed to Jesus in the gospels are distinguished by the fact that Ignatius never attributes them to Jesus while the gospels do (page 204).  I have argued elsewhere that these parallels could have arisen by chance and tradition and are very few.

Ignatius wrote that the Spirit of God knows where it comes from and goes to.  In John this becomes the wind representing the spirit blowing where it goes and nobody knows where it comes from.  It gets more complicated and poetic in John so Ignatius seems to have been reworked to create what is in John.

Ignatius said that we must receive the bishop as the one who sent him and regard him as the Lord.  This corresponds with Jesus saying that whoever receives the person he sends receives him (John 13:20).  Ignatius’ version is simpler than Jesus’ because he commands accepting the bishop as the Lord instead of everybody Jesus sends.

The author is right to argue that since Ignatius said that the Jewish prophets preached the gospel (Philippians 5:2) his reference to the need for gospels does not mean the books of the gospels we have (page 206). Philippians 8:2 has him protesting against people who said they would not believe in the gospels if what the gospels said was not in the ancient prophets.  This does not mean books for few would have got the books and since they were so expensive and delicate they were only available to a few.  He then said that the records were the cross, death and resurrection proving that he did not mean books.  He said that Jesus drank after the resurrection which is not in the gospels (page 210) and shows he did not have them.  If he had he would have regurgitated the account of Jesus eating fish in the gospel of Luke which was far more impressive and persuasive.  If there had been gospels then the fish story being better known would naturally have been selected.

Some of the parallels in the book can be traced back to coincidence.  A doctrine like, “The Son does all the Father wants”, could be mistaken as a parallel text to, “Whatever the Father does the Son does”.  Times wording will be similar for the doctrine cannot be stated just in any old words but in much the same wording.

The evidence for the whole structure of Ellegard’s argument is not terribly convincing but it is convincing enough.  There are coincidences that give it strength.

THE JESUS MYSTERIES – A STUDY

The wonderful book, The Jesus Mysteries, by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy is essential reading for the informed Atheist.  The book is an effort to demonstrate that Jesus never existed but was made up out of myths about pagan gods.

Like Jesus, Osiris-Dionysus had a virgin mother – her name was Semele and she was made pregnant by Zeus when he flashed lightning on her – and was born in a cave or shed and offered a baptism and transmuted water into wine at a wedding and rode on a donkey into a city that welcomed him and died for sinners at Eastertide and returned to life and went to Heaven (page 5).  So both gods did much the same things.  Both gods were considered to be the Son of God (page 28).  In the mystery religions the myths were re-enacted in the hope of bringing spiritual enlightenment to the initiates.  There was a legend that Zeus fathered a child by Io simply by using a magic breath.  Though seed comes into the equation a few lines later (page 63, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus) there is still enough here to suggest the idea of conception by breath or magic alone.  We must remember that seed is never excluded from the gospel legends of the Virgin Birth of Jesus.  Justin Martyr admitted that pagans believed that the sons of the god Zeus were born without sex just like he believed about Jesus (page 29).  The Church says that he was wrong but though many pagans believed in divine-human sexual union not all did.  As the book of Ecclesiastes says there is nothing new under the sun.

Pythagoras allegedly calmed a stormy sea like Jesus (page 39) and Asclepius cured the sick and raised the dead like Jesus.  Apollonius of Tyana who was another first century miracle man claimed that he saw the miraculous multiplication of food.  This could have suggested the legend that Jesus fed the five thousand with a few bits of food (page 41).  The idea of putting evil into pigs to destroy it in the Eleusian Mysteries could be the root of the story about Jesus putting demons into pigs and the pigs killing themselves (page 41).  Jesus was in a purple robe wearing a crown of thorns.  His earlier pagan counterpart Dionysus wore the same except that the crown was ivy.  There are pagan idols of Dionysus hanging on a cross.  Arnobius was horrified about the worshippers of Dionysus using a cross in worship (page 52).  Arnobius lived in the third century.

Tertullian claimed that the Devil mimicked the religion of Jesus when he inspired the Mithra religion to practice baptism that forgives sins and offered bread as communion and have a resurrected god (page 28).  Blaming the Devil for the Christians mimicking paganism was in vogue from the time of Justin Martyr (page 28).  Was this mimicking happening before Christianity took shape?  Yes.  Justin and Tertullian had to say that the communion rite was introduced into Mithraism by demons for only demons could know about the rite before Jesus instituted it.  They couldn’t have thought anything else.  There was no need to blame demons if Mithraism was doing the same rite after Jesus’ time. This shows the rites were exactly the same in symbolism and sacramental purpose.

The Case for Christ would object that the Mithraic baptism was done with the blood of a sacrifice which could not have inspired the Christian view of baptism (page 162) but that was enough to suggest the ideas of washing away sin and gaining benefit from Jesus’ blood sacrifice through the waters of baptism and the initiation this rite brings.  The Christians did not practice sacrifice outside the boundaries of the law of Moses at least so it was natural to use water instead of blood.

The pagan religions had dying and rising gods as nature symbolism.  Christians answer that Christianity did not mean nature symbolism by proclaiming that Jesus died and rose.  But they still believed that a real personal divine being that was in nature and which nature was made of died and rose again so it was only a small step to have the likes of Jesus dying and rising again.  Every man was believed to be the God who dies and is reborn in their pantheistic theology so in actual fact the Christians made such theology simpler by limiting the superior beings death and return to Jesus.

It is said that unlike the pagan gods who never died for others or voluntarily only Jesus died for sin (page 187, He Walked Among Us).  But the gods dying was enough to suggest that Jesus would die and the idea of him dying for sins came from the Jewish sacrificial ritual and the pagan rites of sacrifice in which animals were killed to appease the anger of the gods.  Some of the pagan gods died for others.

Tacitus mentioned Christ who he never calls Jesus being executed under Pilate.  This was based not on records for he made the error of calling Pilate procurator and not prefect of Judea for Pilate never used the procurator title but on hearsay (page 135).  An inscription that was uncovered in 1961 says that Pilate was prefect (page 290).  Calling him procurator could have been down to a Christian legend.

Firmacus Maternus claimed that the Devil tried to get the true faith ridiculed by inspiring the doctrine that Dionysus rose from the dead (page 261).  I would just like to add that this must have been belief in a literal as opposed to a mythical resurrection of Dionysus (one that symbolised spiritual stuff and the daily “resurrection” of the sun) for belief in a myth would have nothing to do with belief in a historical resurrection or bring scorn on it.  Maternus wrote in the fourth century and sarcastically snarled that the Devil has his own Christians.  We know this god was worshipped long before Jesus Christ and this man knew that though some believed the resurrection of the god was a solar myth not all did.

The pagans were into having the twelve signs of the Zodiac representing twelve disciples of the god.  Jesus had twelve disciples (page 42).  Christians will respond that Jesus had twelve because of the twelve tribes ofIsrael but then why did he choose Judas the apostate who had been false all along meaning that Jesus only really had eleven apostles?  What use was twelve apostles for the twelve tribes of Israel when Israel became apostate at the time of the mission of Christ and would not accept him and when we know nothing about most of these men?  To say there were twelve for the twelve tribes is to call Jesus a failure.  Why does the Talmud say he did not have twelve?  The Christians got the number from paganism.  It was trying to make Jesus have twelve when he didn’t to please the pagans.

The pagan god Mithras said that the person who will not eat his body and drink his blood so that they will be one will not know salvation (page 49).  This was found on an inscription and is so similar to Jesus’ lecture on eating his body and drinking his blood in John 6 that John must have developed his sixth chapter from Mithraism even though there is no reason to think John 6 is about communion.  If it were not for the pagan context, the Christians would be blazoning it as a quote from John!  Let this be a warning to the snippets of texts that allegedly show that the gospels had an early origin.  Mithraism was too hostile to Christianity to take inspiration from it.

All of Jesus’ teaching was spoken to the world before by pagan gods and philosophers.

Clement of Alexandria and Origen admitted that the Church had secret doctrines that were not suitable for everybody (page 97).  These are lost now.

The earliest Gnostic Christians like pagans were not literalists.  They believed that the Jesus story was symbolism.  That was why they did what Tertullian and Irenaeus say they did: invented new stories about Jesus and altered any stories they got from tradition (page 111).  Origen denied that the New Testament Jesus story was literally true (page 114).  Christians often interpret Origen as denying that Jesus lived physically on earth (page 65, Let’s Weigh the Evidence).  Origen believed that Jesus was primarily the word of God and a mystical being who was spoken about in fable and allegory in the gospels.  He did not accept the gospels as literally true and regarded the literal sense as immaterial with the consequence that if they were ever right historically that was an accident and so the records in them do not matter in the least (page 108, The Early Church).

The New Testament was written in Greek so the inventors of Jesus could have given him his name because in gematria the name adds up to 888 which is a sacred number in the occult numerology system of Pythagoras (The Jesus Mysteries, page 116).  It is a magical name and would signify that Jesus was a magician or that those who invented him were occultists.

It does not seem necessary to hold that the Jesus story was wholly directly borrowed or plagiarised from pagan myths.  All that matters is that the story could have been inspired by the imaginations of those who had been influenced by the legends.

Docetists did not believe that Jesus was a phantom that pretended to die on the cross but meant it symbolically (page 119).  I would change this to say that not all believed that Jesus was a phantom.  But I would say most of the Docetists believed Jesus was a symbol for the idea of a phantom pretending to be a man is bizarre and the believers would be unable to trust this phantom’s gospel for he would be deceptive.  The Fathers said thatDocetism was literal but the way Gnostics used symbols and believed the truth could only be grasped by pictures and parables because it was so abstract and abstruse argues against them.  Thus, some of the Docetistscould have denied that there was such a person as Jesus Christ and regarded him as a mental vehicle like the guides imagined and evoked in Silva Mind Control.  When they did not care for his history and yet placed him at the centre of their spirituality it is probable that they did not believe that such a man ever lived and died on earth.  It stands to reason that some would have believed that Jesus was on earth but was an apparition while the other Docetists would have gone further.  The Christians would say that what they have done is not to deny that Jesus lived on earth but that he was a real human being which would mean that since they are wrong that there really was a man called Jesus.  But they would have been saying that Jesus was known not to be a man for he was invisible at times and could walk through walls and acted like a vision.  In fact the Docetic NagHammadi scrolls say just that.  Some of their writings speak of Jesus doing an illusion to make it look like he ate and drank.  They used so much symbolism that this might mean that Jesus didn’t need food and drink.  I suppose there is no reason to think that any Docetists believed Jesus was just an apparition.  Their stories were meant to guide them and were not considered final or gospel truth.  They improved their myths all the time. They might all have thought he was a symbol.

The book says that the Romans were professional record keepers and especially in relation to legal matters and the fact that no plausible record concerning the trial and crucifixion of Jesus was mentioned or kept in the early Church shows that Jesus could not have existed (page 133).  I would add that it never existed for Josephus would have used it if it had and if there had been a Jesus.The Crestus mentioned by Suetonius is not Christ for that was a popular name (page 134).  It is not likely that it is a corruption of Christ though the Christians don’t think that.  McDowell quotes him as saying that Christians were dying for their faith.  But this is blatant dishonesty because all Suetonius said was that Nero was punishing Christians for their mischievous superstition.  McDowell lies to be able to say that these people died for their belief in Jesus meaning that there must have been a Jesus all right.  But he doesn’t even know why they were punished or if they could have done anything to escape the punishment.

The material about Jesus in Josephus is noted to differ in style from that of Josephus.  I would add that it looks like a creed.  Josephus would not write a creed and him not a Christian.  And if you take it out you don’t miss it for it is stuck in the middle of an argument.  So it is a forger’s insertion (page 137).  Josephus mentioned ten Jesuses and yet Christians translate the name as their Jesus when they think he means their Jesus and don’t follow suit with the other ones (page 138) though when Judea was full of miracle-men according to Josephus who had their followers acting like spirits were controlling them and then used to convince them that God would free them in the desert and they took the name Joshua in memory of the Joshua who conquered the promised land (page 201).  If Josephus called Jesus the so-called Christ and did not make any effort to show that he did not mean him when he criticised these lunatics it says a lot.

The book says that Luke said that there were six months between the conceptions of Jesus and John and this was in Herod’s time according to Matthew.  But then it says Jesus was still not born ten years later at the time of the census!  The authors wondered if this was a miraculous decade long pregnancy! (page 141).

It could be a mistake to accuse Jesus of contradicting himself on forgiveness as page 143 does.  He said that forgiveness should be granted 77 times a day despite saying that anybody who won’t repent a sin should be ostracised.  But the former case is in the context of people repenting while the second is procedure for handling people who are not sorry and Christians add that it has to be a serious sin to merit that treatment.  But it could be responded that when you sin and repent that much a day you should not be forgiven for you are not really sorry so there is a contradiction and especially when Jesus never said that ostracising was necessary for serious sin but just sin therefore any sin.

In Mark, Jesus depends on mistranslations of the Jewish Bible that he erroneously thinks bolster his case (page 144).  Fallible wasn’t he?  That shows that the he and his gospellers were dishonest for anybody knows that the original is best but they would not use it.  (Acts made the same mistake in Peter’s Pentecost address, page 150).  That shows that the gospels were not composed by Israelites and so have nothing to do with the apostles who were Israelites because the Jews would have chewed Jesus up and spat him out while splitting their sides with laughter at his silliness and he would have had no credibility had he used mistranslations.  The apostles were the foundation of faith so the Jesus scriptures should have come from their pen alone.  It is not as good for others to do these things for them.  When Jesus made them apostles he was saying they will be the foundation but history prevented that happening.  He was a fake prophet.

Acts is telling a lie when it claims that Paul preached to everybody in Asia in two years (page 149).  History proves it.  Luke had no reason to say all if he did not mean all for the context does not give us any reason not to take the fullest sense.

It says a lot when Bishop Melito of Sardis travelled to Judea in 160 and encountered only Gnostic heretics who used scriptures that denied the New Testament (page 172).  A bishop would have met true believers if there had been any.  We see that there was no evidence at that time for anything the Catholic Church says Jesus did for there was no force in Palestine to preserve the truth about him and to back up what the New Testament would say.

The fourth century historian, Eusebius, had to depend on one writer on the earliest Church, for the evidence relating to early Christianity was so meagre (page 184).  Inventing Jesus was so easy!  Also, Eusebius is all we have got apart from the New Testament about the primitive history of Christianity (page 317).  The thing the Christians hope you never find out about him is that he wrote a book called Preparation of the Gospel in which he wrote that it was recommended to tell a lie to convince people that the faith would benefit them for their own good.  He also advised in the same book that it was a holy duty to tell lies to young people to get them to live good lives.  The Church did not burn his books as heretical though it could not let any other heretic’s book alone which says it was just as incapable of honesty as he was.

The Jesus Mysteries agrees with me that none of the four gospels were published in the time of St Justin Martyr (page 224).  The Shepherd of Hermas does not clearly quote the New Testament (page 331) indicating that the New Testament was largely hidden.

In 250 AD, only two per cent of the population of the Roman Empire were Christian.  There is no reason to doubt the unreliable Eusebius when he says that only three villages were Christian in the Holy Land!  He would have hated to admit that so it must have been true.  It makes the faith look bad and unconvincing.  It shows that there was no persuasive evidence despite Acts boasting about the miraculous rise of Christianity in Palestinefrom the start.  The Christians were secretive and were pacifists so the near-liquidation of the Jews can’t be the reason for the small number.

When Helena the mother of Constantine went to find the cross in the Holy Land she could not find anybody there to tell her about Jesus except one old man who took her to the alleged cross of Christ.  This was even three hundred years after Jesus died.  She found that nobody had heard of Jesus which tells against his existence.

There is evidence that Paul was a Gnostic for he uses Gnostic terms.  Paul might not have believed in an earthly Jesus or in a Jesus for whom there was non-mystical evidence at all.

Christianity says that Gnosticism did not produce it for it preceded Christianity.  But that proves nothing and makes no sense.  Christian Gnosticism was distinct from the Gnosticism that preceded it.  The original Christianity could have been Gnostic

WAS SIMON MAGUS THE FOUNDATION OF THE JESUS MYTH?

Irenaeus of Lyons stated that Simon Magus claimed to have suffered in Judea (page 290, The Encyclopedia of Heresies and Heretics) which seems to hint that Simon’s followers believed that Simon was really Jesus. Irenaeus wrote: “This individual claimed that he appeared before the Jewish people as the Son but came down from Heaven in Samaria as the Father and visits other nations as the Holy Spirit”.  Perhaps Simon pretended to be the risen Jesus after having the body nicked for all we know.  That things like this could have been said shows that the evidence for Jesus was non-existent or weak enough for Simon to do these things and pull  itoff.

According to The Acts of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul Simon Magus used magic to turn a ram into his own image and this metamorphosed creature was beheaded under the Emperor Nero so that everybody believed Simon had died.  But three days later Simon was back claiming to have risen from the dead.  It is agreed that some tales in the book go back to the second century.  What is even more shocking is that starting with Justin Martyr in the second century all agreed that Simon did have miraculous powers which they attributed to Satan.

Justin recorded that Simon went to Rome and did miracles there and ended up with a statue being erected in his honour.  The statue of a pagan Sabine god with the inscription SEMONI SANCO DEI was found making many believe Justin was misread the inscription but Justin could have been informed that Simon was regarded as an incarnation of that god. But anyway the description in the inscription of Simon as a holy person shows that Simon was regarded as holy role-model and not the libertine of Christian tradition.

Justin stated that the miracles Simon did in Rome in the time of Claudius were stupendous and nearly all the Samaritans and many Gentiles adore him as a God.  When the real Simon would not have been able to do miracles it is clear that they were adoring a Simon who did not exist so the climate was right in those days for the creation of a totally non-existent Jesus.  The book of Acts probably from round the same time says that Simon was considered to be the power of God, meaning a man filled by the power of the Lord, by the Samaritans and who like Jesus had captured all their hearts and had them spellbound with his great powers meaning that he taught a reasonably orthodox theology for the Samaritans were similar to the Jews.  He was accused of trying to buy the power to give the Holy Spirit from Peter who cursed him for it but that is just gossip. Anyway, was the story of Jesus plagiarised from that of Simon?  The Mandaeans have ancient traditions that Jesus was a magician and Simon Magus was his true identity (page 61, Jesus the Magician).  The traditions are old when they match what St Irenaeus was saying in France while this sect was based in Iraq.

Strange how nobody denying the miracles of Jesus is evidence among Christians that he did miracles while they deny the miracles of Simon whose miracles were not contested and who unlike Jesus was unmistakably believed to do obviously supernatural things.  See my Non-Miraculous Witnesses and Jesus the Conjurer that Jesus did nothing very impressive in the miracles department.

THE JEWS ON THE ORIGIN OF JESUS

The Talmud speaks of a Yeshu but likes to avoid saying his name a lot of the time.  We are not certain if the person who seems to be Jesus in it is our Jesus.The Talmud contains information that dates back to the time of Jesus and the Mishnah part of it was finished and written at the start of the third century AD.  The Babylonian Talmud and the Palestine one were completed later.  The Rabbis were very strict about learning their material off by heart and any teacher who forgot his material had to relearn it from his students.  Forgetting even a single word of the Mishnah was regarded as bad as losing one’s soul (page 164, 165, He Walked Among Us).

The Christians say that it seems that the Jews grew gradually reluctant to condemn Jesus by name in case their books would be burned by the growing Christian Church.  We read that they did not do this suddenly but over time they were less inclined to name Jesus (page 45, The Jesus Event and Our Response).  If they were afraid of Christians then why did they name Jesus sometimes?  Why did they not remove all the references to Jesus?  Why not call him (if it is him) such and such a one which they did at times all the time?  Why did they leave references to Jesus in?  They knew what the Christians were like and knew that if they called Jesus such and such they would still be in bother.  The Christians did not have the resources to persecute Jews in every land.  That is why the Jew’s behaviour is so bizarre.  It looks as if they had figures in their books that they thought might be Jesus but didn’t want to name them Jesus in case Jesus never existed.  They didn’t want to give the Jesus myth any historical basis.

A part of the Talmud called the Barita says that Jesus sneered at the wisdom of Israel and transgressed against it and also quotes him as saying that he said good things about Israel (page 45, The Jesus Event and Our Response).  These statements need not be contradictory.

The Talmud speaks of a lot of Jesuses and the Bible Jesus may have been a fictional person based on one of these characters.  When the gospels say Jesus taught in the Temple and the Temple Guards did not know him at his arrest and gives lots of clues that Jesus was not well-known, it indicates that there was no such man and that the Talmud might have mistaken the man Jesus was based on for Jesus.  The Gospels show then that the Talmud, if it confuses Jesus with other people then it was not because of sloppiness.

The Talmud says that Jesus was a bastard and his father was Pantera, who seems to have been a Roman soldier.  Pantera is alleged to have had an adulterous relationship with Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Why invent a father for Jesus when branding Mary as a self-confessed adulteress would do?  Jesus’ mother was a hairdresser who left her husband, Pappas Ben Judah (Joseph never existed), and Jesus learned spells and magic tricks in Egypt and tattoos on his skin (page 47, Jesus the Magician).

The Gospels claim that Christ was accused of being illegitimate and there are also many hints and statements in the gospels that Jesus was considered by some not to have been a real Jew, a half-breed.  For example, the Jewish leaders call him a bastard in John’s gospel.  Jesus could  have been a Gentile pretending to be a Jew for all we know.

Christians say that Pantera comes from the word virgin.  They say that since Christians called Jesus the son of parthenos which is virgin in Greek that a mistake in the naming led to many thinking that Pantera was Jesus’ father!  But Jesus was not called the son of the virgin until the fourth century (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus: Is it reliable?).

If Jesus were accused of illegitimacy because of the virgin birth this origin would not have been broadcast in his mother’s lifetime to protect her and his own reputation.  But if he did not look like a proper Jew the rumour would have been inevitable that his father was a Gentile.  That would be the most likely explanation for the rumour.

Jesus died on the cross according to Philippians 2:8.  Was he hanged on a cross first and then nailed to it as a warning to rebels?  The Talmud denies the nailing for it goes unmentioned and had it been true it would have spoken about it with glee but the Christian scriptures lend credibility to the Talmud in regard to hanging.  And why would Jesus have been nailed when he could hang from the rope?  John 5:46 has Jesus saying Moses wrote about him so the Jews should believe in him which may support the identification of Jesus with Balaam for Moses certainly never clearly wrote about Jesus but he did write about Balaam according to tradition. Christians will point out that Moses said a prophet like him will come but that could have been anybody and would not entitle Jesus to say Moses wrote about him and Jesus proved it was not this he meant when he told the Jews they don’t believe in Moses when they deny what he wrote.  Perhaps, the writer of John did not realise the import of what he reported.  Worse the writing of Moses Jesus had in mind said that the prophesied person would come from their midst so he could have been Joshua as well.  The context says that the Hebrews must not listen to fortune-tellers like the other nations for they will have a prophet like Moses so it had to be the person who succeeds Moses as prophet and who is as convincing as Moses which Jesus was not.  Did Jesus do miracles that all the people saw like Moses when God came down to talk to Moses on Sinai?

Rabbi Eliezar some time before 100 AD said it was illegal to tattoo yourself on the Sabbath day even though Jesus had had done it.  Eliezar was converted to Jesus by a Galilean who called Jesus, son of Pantera (page 43,Jesus the Magician).  When an educated man goes to somebody that says that Jesus was born out of wedlock by a man Pantera it shows that what is now called Christianity was not believed then.  There is name calledPantera so Christians are saying that it was a corruption of the Greek parthenos for virgin is unlikely and just typical of the unfair and stupid speculation Christians use against intellectual critics.  The rabbis used Hebrew not Greek.  The fatherless birth was not invented until the second century and is not in the New Testament.  Jesus was not given the title, Son of the Virgin, in the first two centuries (page 47, Jesus the Magician) so there was no such corruption.

So when the Christian and the Christian Rabbi believed Jesus was Pantera’s offspring it shows that this came from the Church of the time.  If Jesus existed he must have looked like a cross between a Roman and a Jewess if not a non-Jew.

Nobody would have made up these things for spite.  Being illegitimate would not have stopped Jesus being a prophet of God.  Illegitimates were barred from priestly duty but Jesus never claimed to be a Levitical priest. David was a prophet despite the terrible things he did.  God thought that people married to adulteresses were dirtier than normal and yet he encouraged the prophet Hosea to wed one.  It is surmised that when Mary said Jesus was not her husband’s son that it started the rumour of his illegitimacy.  But the rumour would be more likely to start if it were true.  It would have been easier to blame her husband.  And the Jews could not accuse Mary of adultery without stoning her.  Pantera must have been a famous person when his name comes up so much as if he were well known.  They believed they were telling the truth when they said that he was Jesus’ daddy when he was well-known.

Mary was said to have descended from kings and princes (b. Sanh., 106 A).  If so then the Jews did believe that Jesus was royalty even though the gospels say they did not and even said they had no heir to the throne but Caesar!  The gospels hint that they did not have genealogical proof that Jesus was royal.  The Talmud would not say she was royal unless it believed they had.  If Mary could prove it she would not have been poor for there would have been so many who would have been pleased to finance her for she could give Israel its king or even Christ king.  The Talmud is denying the gospel picture of a poor Mary who had to ride about on a donkey and give birth in a stable because there was no room at the inn.

There is a story of the impudent one from Jewish tradition that was reported by R. Akikba who died in 135 AD.  He Walked Among Us (page 63) repeats the tradition that there was some important and unnamed man whose mother confessed that a man, the groomsman, fathered on her wedding night making him a son of uncleanness.  Akikba found her sitting in the market selling peas and broke his promise to be discreet about her confession.  It seems that this baby was believed to be Jesus.  Jesus was called the impudent one or the son of impurity.  That Akikba had this interview with his mother suggests that there might have been more Jesuses, Sons of God than one thinks.  That must have been confusing!  The book says the passage has been interfered with but when it is not clear on Jesus Christ the interference can’t be serious.  Why would anybody want to corrupt it to blacken somebody that was not clearly mentioned?  Perhaps something happened the record and it had to be pieced together again.  The story makes no sense apart from being a reference to a Jesus of some description even though McDowell likes to quote a version of the bit where Jesus is apparently quoted by Akikba as saying that if from a hire of a harlot they have come to the same they shall go that is rejected by scholars and which harks back to some dubious nineteenth century book (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus: Is it reliable?)

THE JEWS AND BALAAM

Jewish tradition completely ignores the gospels and gives information that tallies with them only a little.  Were the Jews scared of drawing attention to the gospels?  Some of this tradition was created before the gospels went public.  And to mention Jesus at all was enough to draw some to study the gospels so the answer is no.  And Christianity was weak at that time anyway, which gave the Jews the advantage if they wanted an onslaught on the gospels.  When the Talmud ignored the gospels it showed that they were considered to be too ridiculous to be worth refuting.  The Talmud implies that the gospels are not evidence for Jesus or anything about him.

Here is a quote from The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief, Volume 1, Gordon Stein, Editor Prometheus Books, New York, 1985, page 367).  “Jewish traditions on which the Talmud drew persistently place Jesus among these ancient victims [of crucifixion] by dating him somewhere in the 2nd century B.C.”.

The Talmud calls Jesus Balaam.  Balaam was true prophet of God according to the Bible who was asked to curse Israel but didn’t.  Numbers 24:1 says he stopped looking for signs in nature about what God’s will was. But omens are only superstition when God does not speak through them for God could speak through signs of nature.  So, why does the Talmud praise Jesus by calling him Balaam?  Some think it was because Balaam went off on a donkey on a mission forbidden by God and that Jesus committed the same sin when he entered Jerusalem on a donkey.  This is improbable for it would not be a clear enough comparison and would be too unimportant to emphasise by name-calling and it is supposed to be meant to be a terrible sarcastic insult.  The Talmud sometimes makes a distinction between Jesus and Balaam.  The only possible or probably solution is that Jesus claimed to be Balaam reincarnated or that the Jesus story was based on Balaam, that is that Balaam was Jesus.

Ahmed Osman noticed that the Talmud says that Moses wrote the Book of Numbers and the bit about Balaam meaning Jesus (page 35, The House of the Messiah).  This states that Balaam was Jesus.  It need not mean that Jesus lived in Moses’ day except that Jesus was the same person as Balaam but was Balaam’s future life.

The Talmud treats Balaam as somebody important to know about when it says that Moses wrote a book with information on Balaam in it (b.B. Bathr. 14b).  The Talmud is then saying that Balaam is a very very important person when such an important man as Moses wrote a book about him.  It also indicates that the Talmud saw Balaam as very important and you are only important if you are well known or if a book can make you important.  So the Talmud is indicating that Jesus is Balaam because Jesus was important and Balaam was not important if he was not Jesus.  So Balaam has to be Jesus.  The Talmud does not emphasise Balaam except when he is called Jesus so Balaam must be Jesus (page 35, The House of the Messiah).  The Talmud says that Pinhas, a priest, killed Jesus-Balaam.  Pinhas lived in Moses’ time according to the Torah.

The Talmud is saying that Jesus lived in the time of Moses and was Balaam.

He Walked Among Us argues that it is not (page 61).  It gives a quote that simply says that Balaam, Doeg, Ahitophel and Gehazi were commoners and the kings, Jereboam, Ahab and Manasseh will have no part in the salvation to come.  Then another one says that the disciples of Balaam the wicked shall inherit the destruction of Gehenna for God says that liars who kill will not see half their lives.

The book maintains that there was no reason to hide the identity of Jesus under the name of Balaam.  This shows the duplicity of the book because the Talmud and its Mishna did not mean to hide Jesus.  Either they were just inferring that Jesus’ name was too evil to be mentioned much or that they didn’t want to give much evidence that he existed.  When Jesus was clearly mentioned a few times when it was not really necessary it cannot be true that they didn’t want to mention his evil name.   The book then contradicts its first objection by saying that the rabbis called Jesus such and such to avoid naming him.  Then what did they call him Balaam for?  Then it says that Balaam could not have been a nickname for Jesus for Balaam was not an Israelite!  Ugh!  What kind of logic is this?  Anyway, the Law allowed racial mixing so there would have been a few Israelites of mixed origin about.  Balaam could have been a half-Israelite down the line somewhere.  If it was a nickname it had nothing to do with race but what their morals were like.

The book says that the Balaam name could be a cover for some others.  It could but when the Talmud hates mentioning Jesus by name he is the number one person being covered and there is no point in writing about somebody who want to blacken and hiding them too much unless the readers will know who you mean in which case there is no hiding intended.  Then it is said that some of the passages about Balaam are late and have no historical reliability if they mean Jesus.  Then despite this assertion the book then quotes a late passage that has the two existing side by side so it is willing to use this as proof though it says late ones can’t be.

The passage says that Balaam prophesied that a man would deceive the world by claiming to be God and that nobody should listen to that man.  This here is worth quoting, “He will deceive and say that he departed and cometh again at the end.  He saith and he shall not perform” (page 62).  This appears to refer to the ascension and second coming of Christ.  The passage said that the man was not God because God cannot lie and it sought to prove that Jesus did lie and this was its proof.  So departed must refer to departing this world in death and coming again at the end must refer to the resurrection.  Why?  Obviously, the second coming at the end of the world or the resurrection of Jesus taking place at the end of the world and not happening will prove nothing to us now for we don’t know yet if Jesus was a liar.  We need to have tangible proof for the prophecy to mean anything to us.  When Jesus died and will not come back from the dead until the general resurrection he must have been a liar for God would come back from the dead sooner.  That is what the passage is driving at. Jesus did not rise and so was a liar when he said he was God for God would rise.

The passage says that Balaam spoke this message to the whole world.  It could be that Balaam was Jesus and that the fake God-man he warned against was the Antichrist who would depart and promise to return at the end of the world his departure having taken place at that time as well.  Perhaps the Antichrist was the gospel Jesus who came pretending to be Jesus-Balaam the true prophet of God and who perhaps looked like him and managed to take over his life by stealing his identity.  Maybe this Jesus was an evil spirit who tricked people to think there was a historical Jesus.  Paul said the antichrist would be an impostor and a false Christ and Revelation says the Antichrist will be dealt a mortal blow and then seem to come back to life.  Jesus did speak to the world and warn against false messiahs which supports this interpretation.  There is no evidence that the biblical Balaam spoke to the world.  And why would the Jews want to believe that Balaam, an unimportant figure, made such a prophecy instead of Moses or Isaiah or somebody?  So, the passage must contain early material that has evidential strength and it must mean to be honest.  The Jews had traditions that Balaam was Jesus and Jesus Balaam lived many centuries before Christianity surfaced in the first century.

To recap, Balaam refuted the gospel Jesus as a false portrait and Balaam himself was the real Jesus according to traditions.

Balaam’s prophecy states that the man will be born of woman.  This is to stress that the man was born the normal way for it wants to show that this man will have no right to claim to be God because of that.  If the man were virgin born it would be more likely for him to be God.  The Talmud says that the other Jesus was an enemy of the Jewish religion and nobody could call him up for his advice.  It also suggests that this Jesus did not rise again bodily when Titus was called first and then Balaam and Jesus last.  If Jesus had risen from the dead in any form or irrefutably thought to have risen he would have been called first.  Klausner dates this passage earlier than the above one which was written before 260 AD when the Rabbi who was behind it died (page 62).  This either suggests that Jesus never rose or nobody who might have known said he did or that this was another Jesus and possibly the one the secular historians, like Josephus, meant.  The passage did not mean to hint the things that are so detrimental to Christianity for it would be more up-front if it did which bolsters their importance.  It does not prove that the Christian Jesus was not Balaam.

An older passage from the Babylonian Talmud says that a man called Onkelos used spells to call up Titus, Balaam and Jesus for he sought to know if he should become a convert to Judaism.  Jesus told him that Israel was the most important thing in the world and anybody who hurt it would boil in filth and that to hurt it was to hurt God.  This is supposed to prove that Balaam was not Jesus.  But the passage merely reports these visions and does not say if they were true or false.  But still, it is surprising that Jesus got such a positive treatment.  This suggests that this Jesus was not the Jesus of the Christian gospels but another healer and prophet.

The problem with the Babylonian Talmud is the fact that it is hard to date what is in it and anything plausible it says is weak in value because of that.  But weak or not the story is very believable and should still be used as evidence against Christ particularly when it makes attacks against Christ that were so subtle that nobody knew them.  The sly Josh McDowell takes the assertion of the Amoraim in the Babylonian Talmud as evidence for Jesus but does not give any hint that it is reliable enough.

The fact that Balaam Jesus was thought to have lived very very long ago means that the Jews had nobody in the first century that they could pin down as being Jesus Christ.  Jesus did not live in the first century. The gospels which say he did are false.

THE TALMUD ON THE DEATH OF YESHU

Talmud says that Yeshu was hanged on the Eve of the Passover.  For forty days before that a messenger went in front of him to let the public know that he would be put to death by stoning.  So he must have been strung up and then stoned.  The Talmud denies the crucifixion for nobody says hanged when they mean hanged on a cross for that is too vague.  Hanged seems to mean that Jesus was tied up on a tree or something so that the people could stone him better.

The Talmud contradicts the gospel claim that Jesus had to be taken secretly for execution and that Judas was hired to arrange a discreet capture.  It implies then that nobody minded if Jesus was going to be stoned because if they cared they had long enough to rescue him.  He had too few disciples for them to be of any use.  It says that he had five disciples whose names are very different from the gospels.  The Talmud also says that the Jews give Yeshu a good chance to clear himself for the purpose of the notice was so that anybody who could defend him would have a good chance to.  I reject the statement that the five are leading believers in Jesus who were not disciples of Jesus on the personal level (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus, Is It Reliable?).  There is no evidence in support of this and why would second generation Christians be remembered?  They were direct personal disciples of Jesus.

Why would the Jews make any of this up?  They would have liked to say that Jesus was betrayed by one of his own and why would they make it up about the notice to hint that Jesus was not popular for they could have just said it out straight?  And why would they have been so ashamed to say that, if most of the people had been led astray by Jesus?  Why would they say that Jesus’ mother was royal and then destroy a bloodline by planning to kill her son and not make it clear that though the mother was royal Jesus had no rights for he was the son of Pantera?

Sometimes the New Testament says Jesus was hanged.  It is important that Acts 10:39 says that Jesus was slain and then hanged on a tree.  This gives the Talmud more weight and so it cannot be as easily dismissed as the Christians like to think.

The Talmud gives laws that would prove that the trial of Jesus as recounted in the New Testament never happened if they existed at that time.  Christians claim that the Talmud made up the laws to discredit the story, which is ridiculous.  As if they had nothing to do but battle Christianity which was a predominately gentile religion and the Jews didn’t want gentiles.  Why would they go out of their way to prove that the trial never happened?  There were many things that would have disturbed them far more that they would have liked to make up lies about to discredit but they left them alone.

The fact that the information given by the Talmud is simpler than the gospels suggests that it is more primitive than the gospels though it may not have been written down until after the gospels were composed.  The earlier evidence is given to refute something, the better.  The Talmud material is obviously more primitive than the gospels.  Stories get more complex as time goes on.  If it is invented stuff knowing that the Christian version of events was the right one then why is it so sober?  Why is it much more sensible?  The saner a story is the more likely it is to be true.  Yet Christian frauds use this argument for the gospels being true knowing that it would do a better job of authenticating the Talmud.  The Talmud never looks at the gospels which is strange and indicates that its Jesus material preceded the gospels.

The only problem with the Yeshu material is that if there was a Jesus or if the Christians had taken advantage of gaps in the Jewish history to invent one it was most probably about him for there was no way the Talmud would pass over him completely.  Instead of attacking Jesus the Talmud could have reported what others said about him and feign disapproval which was one way of getting the criticisms past the censors.  If Christians could have been so wrong about Jesus then he easily might not have existed.  And also, if the figure is not Jesus or is somebody that was just confused with Jesus then Jesus probably never ex

FATHERS TESTIMONY VALUELESS

What documents would be next in importance to the New Testament?  Obviously, the next oldest related writings.  These are the apostolic Fathers, that is, the fathers of the Church who supposedly learned from the apostles.  Christians say that Jesus is likely to have existed when the Apostolic Fathers say he did exist.

The Fathers tell us so little about him that he could easily have been an invention.  It is not enough for them to say they believe or know that Jesus was a real person and not a fake.

Clement say that Jesus died a bloody death and rose again.  He was sent by God and sent the apostles to preach his message after their doubts had been cured by his return from the dead.  He quotes Jesus saying that it is better to be murdered than to lead a person into sin.

He doesn’t say if the apostles saw the resurrected Lord or even when Jesus lived.  His Jesus could have been a being who was crucified by demons in the distant past and rose sometime since then and who appeared to somebody in a dream who converted the apostles later for all we know.  His Jesus could have been a dream.

Ignatius said that Jesus was born of Mary (Ephesians 7), baptised (18), sinless (Magnesians 7) and was God.

He says that he wants “you to be unshakably convinced of the Birth, the Passion, and the Resurrection which were the true and indisputable experiences of Jesus Christ, our Hope, in the days of Pontius Pilate’s governorship” (Magnesians 11).  This is very important for it is the testimony of a Christian who was likely to have known the apostle John that Jesus Christ was born of Mary and died and rose when Pilate was Procurator.  This period is from 26-36 AD!  Was Jesus only ten years old when he was killed?  This would prove the gospels to be sheer fantasy.  If one takes the unwarranted view that Ignatius structured the sentence badly and meant that Jesus suffered and rose and was not born in Pilate’s time then one can just as easily say that he meant that Jesus rose and was not born and did not suffer in Pilate’s day.

The Epistle to the Smyrnaeans (1) says that Christ was born of the virgin and was baptised by John and then “in the days of Pontius Pilate and Herod the Tetrarch” was crucified.  This seems to give the impression that Jesus was born and baptised before their taking office.  But Jesus according to the gospels must have been baptised when Pilate was Procurator (Luke 3:1).  He gives a quote from Jesus saying touch me for I am not a spirit that seems to have been plucked from Luke 24:39.  But Luke says more than that.  There Jesus says touch me and see that I am not a spirit for a spirit does not have flesh and bones like I have.  Had Ignatius known Luke he would have quoted it completely for it was believed that spirits could be touched after they materialise themselves so the author of Luke had to go and say they felt flesh and bones to make it seem more real.  His logic was that it was better to feel flesh and bone and not just flesh alone.  The apostles thought that Jesus was a ghost and ghosts can give the illusion of being touched.  Luke looks like an improvement on Ignatius’ assertion meaning that Luke was written by a follower of Ignatius.  The absurdity of Jesus’ declaration that being touchable meant he could not be a ghost shows that the risen Jesus could not be trusted.

Smyraeans (3) tells us that Jesus was resurrected and was still like any natural man.  This can agree with Jesus being a child when he died for man meant women and children as well as men.  The Catholic creed says: “for us men and for our salvation he came down from Heaven.”

The first century Epistle to Diognetus simply says that Jesus was the sinless Saviour who taught his apostles the Gospel in the plainest language (11).  This contradicts the gospel of John where the apostles complain about Jesus not speaking plainly.  There is a lot of vague talk even in the synoptics.  And Jesus even said once that he hid his teaching in parables to keep their meaning from the people.  Diognetus is proving that John’s gospel is a hoax and the same about the other gospels.  It also denies that the Jewish regulations in the Torah were literal though Jesus observed them and took them literally which shows it knows nothing of the Jesus of the gospels and which makes his existence improbable.  It even undermines the visions of the risen Jesus to the apostles which supported the Law which may mean that it is accusing the apostles of not reporting what the risen Jesus said accurately.  And it is older than the gospels so its word comes first.

Barnabas from the first century mentions the miracle power, death and resurrection of but goes into no detail.  Judging by the silliness of his letter it is obvious that his standard of what a miraculous wonder would be would be rather low just like many of those who write into the appalling St. Martin’s Magazine to say what “miracles” he did for them have.

The apostolic Fathers provide no convincing evidence for Jesus being a historical reality.  They often contradict the Gospels which shows that either they knew nothing about them or did not recognise them as having any authority.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS DISCREDITED

The writings of the Apostolic Fathers hail from the late first to early second century.  They seem to add weight to the evidence for Christianity therefore it is important they we discredit them and do a good job of it.

To achieve that we have to show that they were gullible and careless and dishonest in matters of religious belief.

Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, the author of the Epistles to Diognetus, the author of the Epistle of Barnabas and the author of the Didache (and maybe the demented composer of the Shepherd ofHermas) are the Apostolic Fathers.

These were gullible silly men.  They have given clear evidence that the gospels were not known when they were written.  Christians will say I use them to prove this then I run them down and discredit them when they attest to the resurrection and to the existence of Jesus.  But the more gullible they were the more likely they would have been to hug and kiss and distribute the gospels perhaps purged of any bits they did not like.  They were not reliable in relation to evidence for the supernatural and to the existence of Jesus.  Also, they make positive declarations in favour of Christianity while the sayings of Christ are dealt with in passing.  They are being fanatical with faith and merely reporting the sayings so if they are being fanatical then it does not affect the sayings for they are not what they are being fanatical about.  Emmanuel Swedenborg was a fanatic and delusional but still his books can show us that he had the Old and New Testaments.

Clement

Clement of Rome thought that when Rahab was saved by hanging a scarlet cord from her house that it was a prophecy of salvation by the red blood of Jesus (12) which shows that he saw miracles where there need have been none and was too credulous to be relied on.  When a man writes such nonsense on small things why trust him in greater?  Jesus himself said as much.

Clement was conscious that some is not all.  He did not let that stop him from claiming that the seeming dying and rising of things in nature means that all people are going to rise (24).

He even accepted the far-fetched superstitions about the Phoenix, the bird of legend from whose ashes a new bird grows.  Concerning this matter he wrote, “Look at that strange portent that occurs in the East” as if it were proven!  He declared that the creator made use of this bird to show that there is a resurrection.  This proves his slackness when the legend as he gives it doesn’t even allude to a resurrection but the making of a new bird from what is left of the old.   He was desperate for evidence for the resurrection and when that was the best he could do then plainly when there was no evidence for the resurrection of Christ and therefore none for his existence for the resurrection was his chief achievement.

Clement wrote that lying is the only thing that God cannot do (27).  Yet he would have agreed with God deceiving us in other ways.  God made the natural laws that make people be deceived by dreams – even forgotten ones that can serve no purpose.  Clement was a hypocrite.

Ignatius and Polycarp

St Ignatius of Antioch was undoubtedly crazy.  In his letter to the Romans he expressed his intention to refuse to escape from the Romans to save himself from a horrid death in the arena.  He vowed to incite the lions in it to tear him to bits if they were not interested in eating him.  “I am truly in earnest about dying for God – if only you yourselves put no obstacles in the way.  I must implore you to do me no such untimely kindness”.  S tPolycarp was as bad.  In the Martyrdom of Polycarp (7) we are told that when he was arrested to be murdered he could have escaped but didn’t.

They knew that the apostles did not deliberately set out to get martyred for if they had they would have succeeded long before.  They waited until they were nearly dead anyway if they did.  The fathers claimed to be preserving their tradition and yet they set bad example and preached fanatical lies.  It is an insult to the apostles to take them to be reliable sources of apostolic tradition.  Also Ignatius did not know the teaching of Matthew’s gospel that if you are in danger of death in one town flee to another.

Ignatius did not bother condemning Christians for having slaves in his Epistle to Polycarp.  Slavery is absurd for it teaches that some people are inferior because of the circumstances under which they were born. Criminally, he told his slave-owners not to be overbearing.  He accused slaves who bought their freedom with the money of the Church of being selfish – a ridiculous accusation for some Churches must have been wealthy.

Ignatius had to contend with heretics who held that Jesus was a spirit or symbol not a man.  They denied that Jesus’ human life and his death were real.  Ignatius argued that if this is so then everything else must be an illusion as well!  (Smyrnaeans 4).  Such an argument is simply dreadful.  It shows that he was not very bright and careless in matters of religious dispute.

He advised his people not to speak to heretics and to simply say a prayer for them although he later disclosed that he didn’t even want to remember that they existed!  The hypocrite!

Ignatius knew that the foundational Christian virtue was humility.  Yet in his open letter to the Church of Philadelphia, he was quite a braggart, “I am thankful to say that, where you are concerned, my conscience is clear. Nobody can be bold enough to claim that I have ever been oppressive to a single one of you in any matter, great or small”.

The gospels were not published even in the early second century for Ignatius of Antioch could do no better against the Docetists who believed that Jesus was a ghost not a man than to illogically say if Jesus was an illusion so is everything else.  He would have told them to listen to the historical records and why they should but there were none.  There was no evidence for the existence of Christ.

Barnabas

The Epistle of Barnabas was supposed to have been written by Barnabas who was the companion of Paul.

This ridiculous letter maintains that the Old Testament is an allegory.

This passage speaks volumes about the madness of its author: “The scripture tells us that out of his own household Abraham circumcised eighteen and three hundred …Now, in writing eighteen, the ten is expressed by the letter I and the eight by E; and there, you see, you have IE (sus) [Iesus is Jesus].  And then, since grace was to come by a cross, of which T is the shape, it adds “and three hundred”.  Thus it indicates “Jesus” with two of the letters, and “the Cross” with the third.”  This is complete fantasy.  Anybody can see that this is crap.

In chapter 10, it is declared that the Jewish food laws of the Old Testament were never meant to be taken literally!  In other words, don’t eat pigs means don’t associate with people who are pigs!  This is incredible. Barnabas knew fine well that using that method of interpretation one could make the Old Testament mean anything.

He wrote, “Do not speak sharply when you are giving orders to servants, whether men or women, if their trust is in the same God as yours; else they may lose their fear of him who is over you both” (19).  This is hypocrisy because the apostles were cutting and abusive just like their Jesus.  His logic is warped.  Your unpleasantness does not mean that people will start fearing you more than God.  Barnabas would deny that the gospels are inspired or even important for they record the abusive talk of Jesus.

Didache

The Didache is the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.  Its silences speak louder than its words for major Christian teachings are absent.  It is less than seminal.  Nobody would write a basic account of apostolic teaching and leave out such foundational Christian dogmas such as salvation by faith and by grace, the saving death and resurrection of Christ.  Sharp chastising is forbidden in it which proves that it is not the teaching of the apostles at all who were cross men like Jesus.

Hypocritically, the Didache says that we must give food and money to prophets for they have earned it and then it says that any prophet who looks for money is to be called a charlatan.  According to the stupid author, it is bad to ask for payment but not to accept it.  Accepting it is asking for more!

The Didache (6) contradicts Paul, the first Christian author, when it says that Christians must not eat meat sacrificed to idols and calls it false worship.  Paul said that there was no harm in it except when it might be an occasion of bad example for other people who see you doing it (1 Corinthians 10) and that it was not worshipping false gods.  Commonsense agrees.  Anybody can see that eating such communion sacrifices is not worship.  Some may object that the Didache does not forbid eating meat bought at the market just because it has been sacrificed but only when eating it is part of a religious ritual of worship and symbolic union.  They are wrong.  The text says, “Be careful to refuse” this food.  This is not the language of one who has Christians going to sacrifices in mind.  If they couldn’t eat the meat they wouldn’t go.  And what would they be doing there anyway?  Most of the pagans didn’t bother with the temple.

To Diognetus with Love

The Epistle to Diognetus accuses pagans of wilfully adoring stones or whatever in their idolatrous worship.  The pagans were not that crazy.  They adored the spirit they believed inhabited the idol or meant the honour given to the idol to pass on to the being represented like the kiss given to John’s photo is meant in honour of John not the photo.

Diognetus criticises such worship for the idols cannot take care of themselves.  This is sheer dishonesty and malice for when he believed that when his own God did not take care of his own affairs that it was for a mysterious purpose.  The bigot knew that the gods that indwelt idols might let them be stolen and desecrated for a mysterious purpose.

Conclusion

It is the vice of imprudence to heed the writings of the Fathers for they were all daft and addicted to nonsense.

DIALOGUE WITH TRYPHO

About 150 AD, Justin wrote his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew.  Some think that Trypho never existed but he did for on one occasion when he and Justin were discussing the interpretation of prophecies about Jesus, Justin wandered from the subject to discuss the alleged removal of supporting material from the Old Testament.  The dialogue then was created from an actual conversation.

Trypho said that nobody from Jesus’ time knew Jesus and that Jesus was invented.  Trypho was an informed and worthy opponent when Justin had to write a book to challenge him.  Justin, like Irenaeus much later, believed that Jesus lived to be an old man (page 40, St Peter and Rome) which conflicts with the gospels which we know Justin never knew completely for much of the historical part if not all of it was top secret.  But there is reason to believe that Justin knew nothing but the bare skeleton of the Jesus story.  Justin himself then inadvertently gives support to Trypho for Justin himself clearly knew nothing about Jesus and could not demonstrate that he must have lived.  Thus we have a valuable witness to Jesus being a legend.  In the Dialogue, Justin was extremely nasty to the Jew.  He accused all Jews of being idolaters, spiritually ruined and depraved and incapable of honesty or fair play and said that they were the wickedest people on earth and that they fornicated like harlots (page 161, The Light Shining in Darkness).  How could we trust anything – that was not bad – that Justin said about Jesus when he was so keen to win the argument with the Jews even at the cost of heaping vile slander on them?  His apologetic was not about real love for Jesus but winning an argument and since the Jews were blamed for Jesus’ death Jesus was a good weapon to use against them to incite hatred.  Justin cannot be trusted.  That the Church preserved his hate-filled writings does not speak well for the Church either.

The Jew, Trypho, stated that there was no evidence for Jesus for nobody who would have known had heard of him as a real person in Palestine and so he never existed.  This was about or soon after 150 AD.  I quote, “if the Messiah has been born and exists somewhere, he is incognito and does not even recognise himself.  He will have no power until Elijah will come and anoint him and tell all who he is.  You [Christians] have listened to an unfounded rumour and have invented some kind of a Christ for yourselves” (Chapter VIII, Dialogue With Trypho).  The whole point in his making this statement was to refute the rejection of circumcision and the feasts and the Sabbath among the Christians.

It is interesting that Trypho voices the unbiblical Jewish belief as fact that the Messiah will not know who he is until Elijah the precursor anoints him and reveals him.

He suggests that the New Testament authors created the story of Jesus’ baptism and anointing by the Spirit with the Baptiser John, Elijah, in the Jordan from Jewish legends.  And as well that there is no evidence for the gospel tales that Jesus had an origin surrounded by miracles and which convinced many that the baby was the Messiah for Jesus would have known if he was the Messiah before his Elijah came.

It is one thing for Jesus to fulfil God’s prophecies but there is something amiss if he manages to fulfil prophecies that God never made!  The Old Testament never says that Elijah will come to prepare the way for Jesus though Jesus and his Church imagined it did!

Trypho was asserting that even if the Jesus of the Christians existed that nobody claiming to be Elijah declared him to be a Messiah to open his eyes that he was the Messiah so he rejects the gospels saying that John did tell Jesus in the waters of the Jordan that he was the Messiah.  Justin did not try to defend the story on historical grounds because he couldn’t.  John never claimed to be Elijah in any sense – Jesus and his entourage made that claim for him which smacks of dishonesty.  To fulfil the alleged prophecy it would be necessary to have independent evidence that John claimed to be Elijah.  Christians say John claimed to be Elijah when he claimed to be the precursor of the Messiah as prophesied by Isaiah but there is no evidence that the passage predicts an Elijah.  Trypho was rejecting the Jesus story as authentic and Justin never tried to set him straight because the man was right.  Any psychologist reading the Dialogue with Trypho would see that Justin was being canny and evasive and knew fine well that his idol, Jesus, was a fiction.

We are told that the Christ of the Christians did not fit the criterion for being a real Christ but was an invention.  However, Trypho does not concentrate on the existence of Jesus.  His purpose was to show that the Messiah of the Christians could not have been a real Messiah and that the Christian view of the Messiah was not supported by the Old Testament.  The reason he did that was because the Christians believed in the existence of Jesus on the basis of the prophecies.

Justin replies in Chapter 9 that he forgives Trypho for saying those things for Trypho has been misled by false scripture teachers and he promises to prove to Trypho that the stories are not fables.  He means by proving the Old Testament prophesied Jesus.  Now Justin never ever tries to prove that Jesus did x, y and z according to the scriptures but looks at Jesus through the scriptures.  This tells us that Justin could not prove the existence of Jesus for what you have to do is to prove that Jesus did this and that and then that this was foreseen in the Old Testament criteria for a true Messiah.

Chapter XVII brings us Justin accusing the Jews of sending missionaries all over the world just to make trouble for Christians and slander them.  This is impossible to believe for the Jews did not care what non-Jews thought.  Why did the Jews pick on Christians and not Christ?  The passage gives no hint that they went about slandering Jesus and saying the resurrection was a hoax which indicates that the Jews knew Jesus never existed.  Justin wants to forget the Jews believed that.  He says the Jews still persecute Christ but Christians hold that to persecute Christians is to persecute Christ.

When Justin claimed that the Old Testament had been altered, he lost any right to say that the Bible had no contradictions (Chapter LXV) and that it proved Christ was born and was the saviour.  Trypho would certainly have pointed that out to him but Justin left that point out.  He would also have objected that had Jesus been the Christ Jesus would have restored the Bible.  Justin quoted some allegedly missing scriptures (Chapter LXXII).  One from Esdras merely says that there is a saviour and if the people turn away from him they shall be laughed at.  Another from Jeremiah says that somebody is like a lamb for the slaughter and the Jews will say they should kill him.  Another says the Lord came down to raise his people from the dead.  A line about God reigning from the wood has supposedly been cut out of a psalm.  Not one of these lost scriptures necessarily proves that God became man or anything about Jesus.

Chapter XXIX says that anybody baptised in the Holy Spirit does not need the other “baptism” of circumcision.  Jesus would always have had the Holy Spirit and was still circumcised.  Justin is contradicting the gospels that Jesus was circumcised.

Chapter XXXIV denies that a Psalm is about Solomon and says it is about Christ for it is about somebody who is adored by all kings and who rules the world.  Quoting this Psalm would have been useless for Tryphowould say it proved nothing for Christ did not achieve these things yet.  So Justin is saying that all kings adored the man Christ some time in the past and that Christ was emperor of the world meaning that Jesus lived longlong before the time period the gospels give.  This is a clear contradiction of the New Testament and proves it was censored or not regarded as infallible at the time.  Trypho never replied to this for it was so silly and impossible to disprove.

In Chapter XXXIX we read, “Trypho said, ‘prove to us that the man who according to you was crucified and rose into Heaven is the Messiah of God.  For you have proved by the scriptures you have recited before that the scriptures say the Christ must suffer and return to rule all nations.  Show us that your Christ is the Christ”.  Justin replies, “It has been proved sirs.  It has been proven to those who hear and who have heard what you have heard and accepted by you.  But I return to what I was discussing and will give the other proof later to you in case you say I cannot prove”.

Trypho says that the Christians are SAYING Jesus was nailed to the cross indicating that there was no evidence for it but their word.  Justin, in reply, tells the Jews that the prophecies are proof enough.  In other words, the prophecies must have been fulfilled so even if there is no evidence for Christ we know from the prophecies that the Christ story is true and can work out the details of the story.  In other words, the prophecies are the only real record of Christ.  In other words, if the interpretation is wrong then Jesus Christ never existed.

Later in Chapter XLVIII Trypho challenges Justin to prove Christ as he promises and he complained that it was “all very paradoxical and no proof is possible.  It is when you say that this Messiah existed as God before the origin of time and then that he agreed to be born and become a man and yet that is not just a man this is more than paradoxical but foolish – that is how I see it”.  If you analyse this you see that the traditional claim of the Church that Trypho was disputing the idea of a God waiting for a long time to become man is false for Trypho as a Jew would have known that the same complaint could be made about God being so slow in sending the Messiah be he God or not.  There is no absurdity in God waiting for the right time.  As a scholar, Trypho would have known that the similar thought that it is too silly to believe that God would have waited so long before making the world was flawed.  He is rejecting the idea that the Messiah was born as a man and could be a divine being for a God made man would only be a God pretending to be a vulnerable man.  He is implicitly denying that Jesus could do miracles and rise from the dead.  Justin replies, “I am unable to prove that he existed before his birth as a son of the creator of all things and that he was God and born man of a virgin.  But I have proved that he is the Christ”.  Justin means only the Old Testament proves Christ to have been the Messiah and Justin is denying that there are any books or proofs that Jesus was a God and existed before he was born which is a challenge to the traditional interpretation of the gospel of John which appears at first glance to support the traditional theology that there are three persons in God and the second person the Word or Son became man.  Justin even says that Christ is the Christ whoever he is.  He does not know Jesus at all or anything about him.  He has to learn about the mysterious Jesus from Old Testament prophecy.

Justin cannot use the resurrection to prove that Jesus is God even on the basis that if Jesus said he was God and God would prove it by raising him then Jesus was proven to be God by the resurrection.  Justin did not have the uncensored gospels.  And even without them he should still have been able to formulate an argument for the resurrection by arguing on the basis of history and the integrity of the alleged witnesses to the resurrection.

And Justin was not thinking about proving that Christ was born of a virgin but that Christ was born for born is the whole point of what he said.  It’s the main point.  He meant, “I cannot prove that he was born – it just happened to be from a virgin”.  Trypho’s request for proof that Jesus really fulfilled the prophecies is not given and in chapter XLIX Justin goes back to proving from prophecy that Elijah in John anointed Jesus but never uses history to prove the event really happened as prophesied.  Trypho answers that the prophecy used to prove this is ambiguous and Justin argues that there was nobody else but John and Jesus to fulfil the prophecy. He does not use facts to prove Jesus fulfilled prophecy but uses prophecy to work out the alleged facts.  The fact that he indicates that John and Jesus were the only candidates implies that his view was that the baptism in the Jordan was more than just a dip in the water and John hearing a voice and seeing a dove light on Jesus.  It seems to imply that there was a coronation and something that nobody else could imitate.  It was some kind of grand public event and was unique for anybody could go for a dip and say the man who baptised them was Elijah and that the Holy Spirit came down.  Justin rejected and did not know or accept the story of what happened at the Jordan that we have in the gospels.

Chapter LXIX says that the Devil created the legend of Hercules with his divine origin from Jove and his world travels and magic strength, ascension into Heaven to create a counterfeit of the life of Christ so that Hercules seems to imitate Christ.  But Jesus did not travel the world or have great physical strength according to the Gospels so Justin is eliminating the gospels whether he knew them or not as reliable records of the life of Jesus. This would be strong evidence that Jesus may not have existed for the gospels are the only things that stand between belief in Jesus as a person and denial of his reality.  The reason Justin brings all these parallels between Jesus and the gods up is because he wants to convince Trypho that the Devil and his religions know the prophecies of the Old Testament mean what Justin says they mean.

The outrageously ridiculous thesis in Chapter LXX that the mystery religion of Mithras was based on the true interpretation of Daniel and Isaiah but distorted is a sure sign that Justin was extremely embarrassed by the similarity between Christ and Mithras.  He wanted to deflect Trypho from going into the charge that Christians used pagan myths when inventing their Jesus.  And it worked.  Trypho did not use this line of argument. Trypho would have known to a certain extent that Christianity was a copy of paganism but would have found it difficult to answer Justin’s hint that it was independent.  The pagans did not esteem Daniel and Isaiah that much and their legends all came from nature myths – for example, the sun setting and rising suggested dying and rising gods.

Justin devoted Chapters CVI and CVII to proving that the end of Psalm 22 and the story of Jonah showed that Jesus would rise again.  Neither prove any such thing.  Justin wrote in Chapter CVIII that though Jesus had told the Jews that he would perform the sign of Jonah meaning the resurrection they would not believe the resurrection report and maintained that the body had been stolen and the apostles were lying.  Justin made no effort to prove that the resurrection happened.  His logic was if the Old Testament said the Messiah would rise then Jesus must have risen and it is on this logic that he tries to persuade Trypho.  That is why Trypho does not bother answering the objection.  The objection could only be answered on the basis that the gospel stories were verifiable and convincing and this was not done so both Justin and Trypho did not regard the gospels as wholly important if they existed.  It seems more probable that they did not know the historical parts of the gospels at all.  Justin denied the gospel evidence when he said that prophecy proves the resurrection when what he should have been doing was proving the resurrection and then that it was prophesised.

Justin claims to prove that the Old Testament predicted that the Gentiles would be more open to the gospel than the Jews who would mostly turn away.  There is something very dodgy going on when the people who would have known Jesus best were so dead set against him.  The Jews were a lot less addicted to material pleasures than the Gentiles and had a rigid moralistic religion so psychology tells us that they should have been easier to convert.  But the case may be that they knew too much about Jesus to be converted.

Justin showed he did not have the Book of Acts when he told Trypho that you could not be a Jew and a Christian at the one time.  It wasn’t likely then that he had Luke’s gospel either for one goes with the other and the end of Luke says the apostles never left the Temple for they were so busy worshipping after Jesus departed from them into Heaven.

In Chapter CXLII, Trypho tells Justin that it was not the intention of his or his companions to discuss what they discussed.  Trypho says he is pleased with the conversation and that more discussions like that would be of service in understanding the Old Testament scriptures.  Before they left Justin told them he hoped they would come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah of God.  So he had failed to convince them.  Evidently, Trypho was impressed only by the ingenuity but not the conclusions of Justin’s Old Testament exegesis.

Justin says the apostles wrote memoirs of the life of Jesus but he never tells us what was in them or if he used them in his research into the life of Jesus.  Justin was dishonest because he said that when God said that he gives nobody his glory but keeps it for himself for he is the only God that when  he gave Christ his glory the solution to the contradiction is a mystery (Chapter LXV).  When he sees or thinks he sees a contradiction he pretends it is not there.  Justin seriously contradicted the gospels when he said this for had Christ been God there would have been no contradiction.  But Justin believed that Christ was not God but was another God.  This is plain.  His attitude shows that the early Church had no scriptures but the Old Testament and anything else was just a book, useful, but just a book that could be right or wrong and had no binding authority on the Church.  This shows that early Christianity was not based on evidence but on Old Testament interpretation and opinion.

Justin backed up Trypho’s unbelief in the reality of Christ without meaning to.  Justin was the Christian’s first real apologist.  This individual is eulogised by Christians and his eccentricities and fanaticism are conveniently papered over.

GOSPEL STORIES INSERTED INTO TRYPHO

Justin gives some details from the life of Christ that are similar to the Gospel of Matthew in the Dialogue with Trypho.  His version of the visit of the magi says Jesus was born in a cave and that the magi came from Arabiaand learned from the elders of the Jews that the messiah was to be born in Bethlehem and he says that Joseph was told to keep Mary as his wife for her unexpected pregnancy was down to God.  And he speaks of the flight of the Joseph and Mary and baby Jesus to Egypt.  He says like Matthew that the massacre of the Innocents by King Herod who wanted to find and kill the Christ child was prophesied by Jeremiah.  The differences suggest that he was not using Matthew at all.  It could well be that this book was a source for Matthew’s gospel.

It is important that Justin is only close to the gospel story in its most dubious claims, the nativity, the entry into Jerusalem and the baptism in the Jordan.  Even if he really wrote about these things he showed credulity and anyway he was writing too long after the events to be used as backup for the Christian story.

Justin did not know of the extremely basic apostolic and New Testament doctrine originated by Jesus that there was no salvation without explicit faith in Christ for he thought that Socrates and Heraclitus, pagan Greek philosophers, were redeemed in the blood of Christ and were in Heaven.  Anything he says then is to be taken with a pinch of blessed salt unless it was something he would not have liked to admit.

In chapter 49, of his Dialogue, Justin gets Trypho to agree that the Old Testament says that Elijah will precede the Messiah.  But the Old Testament says no such thing which is why the report of Trypho’s agreement is dubious.   This means that Justin’s discourse that heavily borrows from the gospel about John being Elijah and Jesus saying so is an insertion because why try to get Trypho to believe things about John being Elijah whenTrypho would not have believed Elijah had to proclaim Jesus?  Was somebody trying to make it look like the gospels were known before they actually were?  Evidence for this is Trypho’s rejection of the doctrine that Isaiah saying one would come crying in the wilderness referred to the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus.

The discourse is followed by a report that Trypho learned from it that John is being said to have come with the same Holy Spirit as Elijah and he finds that silly.  That is a lie and Justin knows it because the Jews had no problem with God invisibility indwelling more than one prophet at the one time never mind when there was centuries between them.  Justin then quoted texts from the Old Testament to show that it was possible.  Why didTrypho not ask Justin where he got his information that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies from?  Why is he presented as taking for granted what Justin reports to him is right?  Why does he listen to Justin saying about what happened to John the Baptist and that it fulfilled a prophecy and then change the subject to object that John and Elijah having the same Holy Spirit is silly?  Trypho would have questioned the story he was being told.  The bits that seem to have come from the gospels look so much like insertions made long after Justin died.  A forger seems to have been at work.

If Justin had the Matthew or Luke gospel then why did he depend on Isaiah to prove that Jesus was virgin-born in chapter 66 when both he and Trypho knew that it was not good enough as Trypho stated?

The chapter that gives the details about Jesus’ birth and the massacre of the innocents as Matthew has it is dubious for it is offered as proof that Jesus fulfilled prophecy and we are given the impression that Tryphoaccepted it for that is the end of the dispute.  Trypho would not have been that easily convinced.  Then it jumps to the declaration by Trypho that Justin’s scripture interpretations are contrivances.  His silence about the books that allegedly verify that they are not contrivances shows that somebody has been inserting the Matthew material into the passage.

The early Christians would have thought that kings from the east came to worship Jesus and that Jesus had been baptised by John who was Elijah without the gospels because they created the life story of Jesus out of the Bible prophecies and John was a popular prophet.  A lot of the material in Justin can be explained that way.

A scribe probably inserted the material that is close to the gospels.  It was material that could have been left out and it is impossible to see what Justin wanted it for.  And why didn’t he use the story of the entry into Jerusalem when Trypho said nobody knew of this Jesus?  Justin would have proven the gospels to be authentic historical documents before proving that Jesus was predicted in the Old Testament.  That is the logical order and the order Trypho would have demanded for Trypho complained that the Christians were copying from pagan and Jewish religious ideas.  He thought a lot of the Jesus stuff was stolen from the story of Perseus.

OTHER SNIPPETS ABOUT JUSTIN

We have some fragments from Justin’s Work on the Resurrection.  This book was written to answer those who rejected the idea that anybody could come back from the dead.

In the first chapter of that work he said that truth is free and is its own authority and should be believed both for its own status as truth and for the sake of trusting the God of truth who sends it.  He said that the truth of Christianity is sent with authority and it is not right to ask for proof for it for the proof is greater than the proven and since God is truth nothing not even proof can be better than God.

In other words, you believe in Christianity because God says it is true and not because there is any evidence.  So there cannot be any evidence when he has that attitude.  When Justin answers objections to the resurrection he never does it by trying to verify that the apostles and the gospels were truthful so he never had any gospels and did not regard the apostles testimony as evidence.  Rather than depend on evidence the Christian sees if the gospel might be true and then gets a revelation from God that it is true.

It is certain that Justin did not have the gospels.

THE GOSPEL OF PHILIP

Found at Nag Hammadi in Egypt, the Gospel of Philip, tells us that Jesus was an apparition and rose from the dead before he died.  Jesus lived way back in the Stone Age.  Philip says things that have since his time found to have been correct – for example, that Jesus never lived in the first century so he has to be taken seriously.

The research material for this work was just thrown together.  It shows the marks of the Gnostic system of Valentinus.  This means the author had access to the outstanding scholarship of the Valentinians and should be taken seriously.

Because the book is like the format of the catechisms of the second century to the fourth it is dated in the late second century (Nag Hammadi Library, page 141).  But the way it is disorganised hints that most of the material in it must go back a lot further.  The quotations from the gospels are hurried insertions – whoever put them in had no intention of tampering much.  If the gospel in its original form had been all late second century we would expect to see criticisms of the Christian writings in it for it opposes anything that makes people fail to see that the spiritual Jesus saves and there is no physical Jesus.  So in its original form and because of its primitive teaching it goes back to the first century or the early part of the second before the gospels appeared.  It is sacramentalist and it would use the gospel of John which has been a major source of sacramental thinking more if it does not.  It quotes John once and calls it the word of God.  Yet it contradicts it!  The author could only get pieces of John’s gospel for he couldn’t get his piece of it right so he wrote before John was made public in the middle of the second century.  Despite himself he was proving that John was a liar.  This perhaps accidental attack on John’s veracity carries more weight than all the early testaments favouring the apostolic doctrine put together.  The Church will say it was just a mistake.  But you have to take historical material as it is for if you start assuming that anything you don’t like is a mistake you are on the path to danger.  A historical portrait has to stand by what the written sources say for there is no alternative but worthless speculation.

The book is not merely a collection of Gnostic myth that the author believed you could dissent from.  The sacramentalism and the emphasis on knowing magical names of Jesus and the catechism format suggest that it was a dogmatic book for a sect.  What was in it was in it because it was believed to be as much fact as the rising of the sun every morning.

The quote from John says that whoever does not eat the flesh and drink the blood has no life in him.  But the flesh is interpreted as the word of God and the blood as the holy spirit of God.  This would be a denial that the gospel version of Jesus existed as a flesh and blood being so he could have been a vision or an illusion or a symbol from Heaven.

It says that Jesus Christ lived before men knew how to make bread, “Before Christ came there was no bread in the world, just as Paradise, the place where Adam was, had many trees to nourish the animals but no wheat to sustain man.  Man used to feed like the animals, but then Christ came, the perfect man, he brought bread from heaven in order that might be nourished with the food of man”.  This bread could be literal bread so it is literal bread.  The first century Jesus of the gospels is denied.

Philip says that Mary did not conceive by the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is female.  It says that the apostles hated her which shows that its author did not have the New Testament which says that Mary was chummy with the early Church.

The gospel says that Jesus appeared differently to different people suggesting that he was an apparition perhaps one that people induced to appear themselves by hypnotic rites.

It says Christ came to the whole place meaning he had been all over the world.  The gospel comes to the brink of stating that Jesus was just a vision.  It went on to say that Jesus burdened nobody while on earth which contradicts the gospels that he depended on charity to live and expected the apostles to die for him instead of sending them to safe places to preach.  And then he forbade causing distress to anybody though Jesus abused the Pharisees and caused a lot of misery.  The author is disputing the gospel account.  And yet he appeals to some word of God or scripture that supports his teaching meaning there was a book that would not be compatible with the gospels.

The gospel is reckoned by Barbara Thiering and her ilk to state that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a romantic relationship.  It says that he loved her more than the disciples and kissed her often on the mouth to their disgust.  They complained and he said that he loved them like her.  So if he loved her most and did not love her the most then love must be in two different senses.  The first sense is sexual and the second is platonic.

The gospel says that kissing is a sacrament that gives wisdom, “We also kiss one another.  We receive conception from the grace which is in one another”.  Kissing is causing you to be conceived as a child of God and passes on grace.  So is there no romance in Jesus and Mary’s kisses?  There must be some for he kissed her a lot and could have got others who could give the sacrament to do it.  The early Christians kissed one another according to the New Testament.  This was stopped to scotch unkind rumours.  So the sacrament of the kiss points to the earliness of the gospel.

The author thought that Adam was nailed to the cross and that Adam and Jesus were one and the same.  “When Eve was still in Adam death did not exist.  When she was separated from him death came into being.  If he enters again and attains his former self, death will be no more.  “My God, My God, why O lord, have you forsaken me?” (Mk 15:34 and parallels).  It was on the cross that he said these words, for he had departed from that place”.  The place was probably the Garden of Eden for Adam was expelled from it by God.  Philip calls Jesus the perfect man so grammatically and otherwise he must have meant Adam.  He wrote before the gospels became public for they contradict the context he puts the quote in.  Jesus was a vision after his death which took place in prehistoric times.

The gospel says that there is the son of man which was Jesus’ title and then there was the son of the son of man who is he who creates through the son of man and who can beget.  The son of the son is every man so the son of man is Adam.  Jesus and Adam were the same person or Adam was the first person to be possessed by the Christ Jesus force which became a part of him so that when he died you could say it died too.

Philip said that Adam came from two virgins which were the spirit and the earth and that therefore Jesus was born of a virgin to put the fall right.  Adam’s mothers were not women so Jesus’ wasn’t either.  Jesus’ mother was the spirit.  Gnostics saw creation as a fall from God so it is not the fall of Genesis where Adam and Eve were disinherited for disobedience that is meant.  Adam was bad for he was earth and spirit and Jesus was good for he was pure spirit.  Adam became Jesus when he got rid of what his mother earth had put into him.  The therefore shows that Jesus was Adam for he fixed the fall that Adam had.  Nobody else was involved.  Nobody would argue that a person called Adam was virgin born so another person Jesus had to be for that makes no sense.  That is not what the gospel is saying.

The gospel says that Adam became an animal by eating the fruit and that Christ was redeemed himself (page 152) and became sinless.

A story is attributed to the apostle Philip that Joseph the father of Jesus planted a garden of trees and made the cross of Jesus from them.  But the gospel interprets this as an allegory for it starts about the tree of life in the middle of the garden and that it is from an olive tree there that we get the chrism and the chrism grants us a resurrection from spiritual death to life in this world.  Joseph means increase in Hebrew and could be a symbol for the power that made Jesus or Adam.  The cross could be the tree of life in the Garden of Eden that Adam was symbolically nailed to meaning he could not avail of its fruit.  The olives represent the salvation he won for us. This interpretation requires that Jesus be Adam and in the Garden of Eden.  Adam could be the fallen animal man and Jesus the redeemed spiritual man.  Though the two are different persons in many ways they are the same person in essence which is why they can be spoken of as if they were separate persons at times.  If Joseph made Jesus’ cross and Jesus was crucified in Joseph’s garden then we could have a staged mock crucifixion.  It was necessary to fake a resurrection which God used to give mystical knowledge to the world.  The author of Philip might be denying the gospels that Joseph was dead during Jesus’ ministry.

“Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images.  The world will not receive truth in any other way.”  This completely repudiates and contradicts the gospels which are not wrapped up in symbols.  So, Jesus must be a symbolic picture which does not rule out him being a true apparition that unveils truth to us.  The gospel would not be teaching if Philip meant teaching.  Jesus claimed to be the truth and this gospel is taking him literally.

The gospel condemned names because they cloak what is unreal.  It said that words like Father, Son and Holy Spirit and resurrection blind one to the truth.  It means you put your interpretation on them and they become idols.  Words describe facts so the facts about the Son if you take him as somebody that lived on earth are as dangerous.  Obviously, the gospel advocates truth so it forbids dependence on this alleged Jesus.  He would not have come to earth to block our progress so he was not on earth at all and just speaks from Heaven to those who are in mystical communion with him –  and though people differ in the details he gives them the truth that gives them personal transformation in the way that is best for them.

The gospel says that God dyes.  But this is symbolism for the fact that God changes a person in water baptism which the text says.

The line, “God is a man-eater.  For this reason men are [sacrificed] to him”.  The author may only be reiterating the Old Testament demand for killing people who commit certain sins.

We are told that Jesus came to crucify the world.  So perhaps this is just another way of expressing what Jesus asked us to do when he told us to sacrifice ourselves and follow him by bearing our crosses.

It is argued that this gospel is worthless on the grounds that it is crazy.  But you don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.  It is not really crazy.

Philip proves that Jesus was made up.  It proves there were early Christians who denied that the gospels had the real Jesus which is the same as saying there is little or no evidence for the existence of Jesus.

VALENTINUS AND THE EXISTENCE OF JESUS

The Gnostic heretic of the Second Century, Valentinus, held that the Pastoral Letters of St Paul were forged (page 5, The Gnostic Paul).  Interestingly, modern experts have come to the same conclusion so Valentinusknew something we did not.  Valentinus rejected these letters not for doctrinal reasons for the other epistles of Paul were far more rabidly anti-gnostic but for historical reasons.  Valentinus then eliminated the epistle which says that Jesus spoke before Pilate which made it clear that Paul had no historical evidence for his Jesus.

Valentinus subscribed to the language of a historical Jesus and to the whole Christian system but the only difference was that he felt that there were two equally valid understandings of this faith.  The seemingly literal talk masked esoteric symbolism.  For example, they said that the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus was foolishness and quoted Paul in their defence (page 82, 84).  The resurrection of Jesus signifies enlightenment and the achievement of gnosis which resurrects the soul from death to life (page 81).

The Gospel of Philip which has Valentinian influence says that the flesh of Jesus is the logos or word of God and his blood is the Holy Spirit and argues that Jesus said this himself when he stated that anybody who does not eat his body and drink his blood will be lost in death (page 99).  That is a challenge to the view that Jesus was a historical personage.  They did believe that he existed but only on the spiritual plane.  For us, it is enough that they denied his physical sojourn on earth.

The Valentinians were able to live like fully orthodox Christians (page 157, The Gnostic Paul).  They held that they should teach traditional Christianity to their followers and reserve the secret teaching for a few suitable people among them.  The Valentinians held that Paul gave secret tradition to Theudas who gave it to Valentinus (page 5, The Gnostic Paul).  Paul indicated that he was keeping teachings back from the Church that only some very trusted people could be allowed to hear (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

AN ANCIENT TESTIMONY

In the book of Wisdom and in Proverbs, Wisdom is talked about like she was a person.  Paul called Heaven, Jerusalem our mother.  So personification is a popular device in the Bible which firmly embeds it in Jewish and Christian tradition.

At Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945, the ancient gospel of Thomas was found.  It is a collection of sayings which allegedly came from Jesus.  Fragments of this gospel written before 200 AD were uncovered before that. The sayings of the gospel look more primitive and therefore older than the related ones in the canonical gospels.  We can tell for they are simpler and seem to show little knowledge of the context of the sayings that resemble the gospels.  The original draft of the gospel is possibly first century (page 125, Nag Hammadi Library).

This gospel says that Jesus was not a real person but a symbolic teacher of wisdom.  The living Jesus was a symbol just like the Devil is a symbol of wisdom for the Church of Satan in San Francisco.

The first saying says, “Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death”.  So they all have spiritual meaning and if you think hard enough you can break the code.  We have broken the code.  The author must have been totally sure that Jesus never existed for he takes it for granted that we should be able to see that he is saying that so he shows that he believes that any open-minded and knowledgable person out there will agree with him.  He presupposes that there are many disbelievers in the existence of Jesus out there.  He knows of plenty.  He knows of evidence but he does not see the need to draw attention to it.

The gospel can be interpreted as monastic, that all things are just the one God, but we need not go that far and remember the valid interpretation is the simplest.  We need not think it envisages an undivided God without parts which is the creation so nobody can say that the reason it has an impersonal Jesus is because it follows a monastic impersonal God.  The god of monism or pantheism is impersonal for he is stones as well as people so he cannot be a person.

Jesus is the leader of the disciples and their spiritual director.  He could be a mental image like the god Hermes was to his fans that God used to give people visions and revelations inside their heads in their imagination.

Jesus said that the person who will drink from his mouth will become Jesus himself.  If Jesus is a symbol for spiritual insight then the person who achieves spiritual insight makes it a part of him and kind of becomes it when he follows it.  It may seem that to drink from his mouth means hear the word of God and absorb it.  What it really means is to drink spiritual power or a life-force out of Jesus so that you become Jesus.  Jesus then is a force not a person.  He is not a man.  The human Jesus never lived.

Jesus says he is all things and if you break a stone you find him inside (77).  This assertion came after he said that that kingdom of God is like a precious pearl and since the kingdom is enlightenment he shows he is on about gaining wisdom. Then after the assertion he said  that those who come to him look for truth.  So when he said that we can break a stone to find him he meant that he was nature and we hear his word through nature and not through a man.  There is spiritual insight in all things or all things are the power of wisdom.  So Jesus is a metaphor for nature and not a man.  Obviously, Jesus could not be all things if he were a real person.  I can’t become a stone as well as a person if I am conscious only of being a person.

Jesus told his followers to make James the Righteous the true leader if he leaves.  Jesus admits that he is the boss.  But shortly afterwards, he tells Thomas that he is not his master and that he only thinks he is his master because he had not seen the light and is drunk in his ignorance.  So if Jesus is not his real master and yet a master then Jesus does not exist and he only a symbol for the mental force from God that leads to psychological insight or the mystical illumination of gnosis.  James was named as the brother of the Lord so the gospel is telling us he was the brother only in the sense that he was close to the Lord for the Lord is not a real man.  Brother of the Lord is a honorary title.  There is much evidence in Josephus Denier of the Existence of Jesus that the gospel is telling the truth and has inside knowledge of early Christianity.

The author evinces his great regard for Jesus when he says that Jesus wants us to follow James the Righteous after Jesus is gone.  He is saying that Jesus ought to be listened to.  Jesus is a force that will speak through the person of James in the future.  Following James is following Jesus because James will become the incarnation of Jesus.  This implies that Jesus is a spiritual force from God that is to communicate with man through the imagination.  Jesus is saying that ongoing revelation is necessary and he only gives that revelation through a person.

Jesus criticises the apostles for referring to dead prophets instead of the living one in front of them which is himself (52).  Does this tell us that the living Jesus is a man of flesh and blood?  If the dead men were prophets then a real live Jesus would have regarded them as voices like his own, he would not have chastised the apostles.  But if Jesus were only a personification in the imagination through which God speaks it would be preferable for people to go directly to him instead of to other people.  The verse really refutes the notion of a literal Jesus.  A Jesus who speaks last week would be in the same boat as a dead prophet for his word is in the past.  But a non-literal Jesus would speak and remind and be with you all the time so his word would come first.  The living one just means the force that reveals life and salvation for Jesus made it clear that it was mystical communion with God who is nature that saves so stones and men are not important but the divinity in them.  So when he said he meant himself as the road to salvation he was not talking about his human self but the divinity inside.  He was not referring to being human at all.  If Jesus was a divine force speaking through a medium like say James like a spirit would then how does that square with the message of the gospel that each person has to get knowledge about Jesus on his own?  Jesus speaks through James but you cannot learn from it unless you experience mystically what Jesus is saying.  So to the person who does have the magical experience it is just hearing words but not the import of the words.

Jesus proclaimed that it was for James that Heaven and earth were created.  This would have to be truer of Jesus than James if Jesus is a real person.  So Jesus is not real and James is real.  James will be the symbolic Jesus’ main mouthpiece after Jesus ceases to talk to the apostles.  Think about this.  What if Heaven and earth were made for James because he would be the only spiritual medium through which Jesus would speak? When Jesus leaves James, James will be boss.  This has to be the correct understanding.

Since Heaven and earth were made for James it suggests that James alone will give the pure word of God.  This also is a hint that there was no historical Jesus.  It is definitely a hint of great age for the saying about James is so strange and unnecessary there is no other explanation but that the saying was created when James was alive.

When it is James alone, Jesus is denying the gospel portrait of a saviour who came for all and who speaks to all by the power of the Holy Spirit and who had loads of followers.  This is another indication of a pre-gospel origin because it ties in with the earliest strata that express the fact that the predecessors of the gospels did not have Jesus as a Palestinian superstar.  A fact that was too well covered up to have been thought up later.  And it was a fact for it was commonsense that nobody like Jesus would have been tolerated for five minutes by the authorities.

Salome asked Jesus who he was when he came up on her couch and ate from her table (61).  Jesus told her that he was the one who exists from the undivided.  God is the undivided and God is all therefore he who exists outside God is not a real person but a myth, a symbol.

Now it may be objected that a real Jesus could be used as a symbol and image and this means that the gospel is not challenging his real existence.

This is incorrect.  It is not likely that a person will do that without making it clear that he does not intend his symbol to represent the true Jesus.

Why would anybody pick out sayings of a real Jesus that had no relevance for him and put them in this book in the mouth of a symbolic Jesus?  There is no reason and no way it could happen!  Jesus was a symbol that was taken too seriously by some that they turned him into a man.

Jesus said that Adam was not worthy of the apostles which was why he died (85).  This hints that Jesus himself never died.  When Jesus told the apostles that when they see a man who was not born of woman they will know that he is their father and they must worship this man (15).  He means God and himself as the manifestation of God.  He is saying he is not born of woman meaning he is not a real man or a real person.  Since they have to know God in a mystical experience they have to know that same way that the man did not have a human origin.  Since salvation is partly delivery from human ways of thinking and takes you to the abstract the man is not a man at all for a man is a block to salvation.  Jesus means personified force by man not man the material being.  He demands worship so he is saying he is a personified force as well.

Jesus says that only the solitary will be saved (75) indicating that depending on Jesus if he was a man or on apostles is wrong.  You only use them to learn that you must do it on your own or as examples.  This is a denial that the death or resurrection of Jesus saves us.

Saying 30 claims that Jesus will be with the gods who seem to be enlightened human beings. He says that where there are three gods there are gods but where there is less he will be with them.  This implies that very few can be saved by Jesus.  Jesus is saying that he can get nobody to rest in.  That is, there is nobody who fully accepts his principles.

In saying 86, Jesus says that foxes and birds have to rest but he has nowhere to rest.  Since the gospel claims to have an oblique interpretation Jesus must mean he has nobody to rest in.  This Jesus who kept his ministry quiet fits the evidence from the first century that Christianity was not founded by a popular well-known person.

So we have found a first century witness that Jesus was not a real person but a myth in the sense of a meaningful symbol – a vehicle of expression.

THOSE WHO DENIED THE EXISTENCE

Justin protested against the Roman opinion that Christians were really atheists because they worshiped an invisible God and not one of the human gods who lived in some inaccessible place like they had.

Justin says that Christians worship the Son and makes no effort to show that Christians also worship a human God.  This proves that the Romans believed that Christ did not exist and that they felt that the Christian worship of Jesus was a pretence to cover up atheism for they could not seriously worship a man who never lived.  Most people then did deny Jesus’ existence in those days.  It also proves they were right for although Justin says he believes Jesus lived 150 years before he had no evidence for this contention.  Those who would have known best, the educated and the rulers, denied Jesus’ existence.  Most of the Christians had nothing historical to say about Jesus even by then.  Their leaders were as bad.  That got them into trouble for the pagans gave their gods elaborate life-stories.

Justin declared that Sunday was the day God made the world though Genesis says it was Saturday.  He is denying that Jesus was a Jew for, being a Jew, Jesus would not have believed that.  When believing people could not even get Jesus’ religion right it shows that he must have been invented.

Justin’s grave departures from the apostolic teaching do not inspire confidence in him as a worthy foundation for arguments for Jesus’ existence and we can only rely on him when he lets slip what he does not want us to know.

Justin made Jesus a god below God contradicting Jesus’ strict monotheism.

In Pompeii which was destroyed in 79 AD by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius two inscriptions were uncovered that ran as follows:

ROTAS

OPERA

TENET

AREPO

SATOR.

These words make sense, Arepo the sower holds the wheels with care.  This says that Arepo is the sower who governs the wheels of existence and time carefully.  Arepo is a god.  He sows life and fortune in the universe.  But the words make up PATERNOSTER Latin for Our Father twice with the letters for Alpha and Omega twice as well.  So Arepo made the Our Father and the Alpha and Omega should be taken to mean that God is the beginning and the end.  It is nonsense to say that the hidden meaning identifies Christ as the alpha and omega.  The word TENET also makes a cross in the inscription.  When Arepo holds the cross it shows that the cross represents not the death instrument of Jesus Christ but Arepos’ ability to hold all things in being like TENET holds the anagram together.  Arepo is important for he holds the Greek letters, alpha and omega at the start and end of his name.  A secondary meaning could be that Arepo holds the cross for he never rose from the dead.

The fact that the anagram could have read,

SATOR

AREPO

TENET

OPERA

ROTAS

proves that the SATOR was not Jesus for it would have been natural to begin with this word for Jesus used the parable of the sower to signify that Jesus is sowing the word of God.  The anagram would have been intended for this missionary purpose had it been Christian.  Also, the cross made by the word TENET is too obvious.  If it had been a Christian symbol it could not have been employed for that reason UNLESS it honoured God but did not honour Jesus but Arepo instead.

Celsus was a Roman historian and writer and he declared that Jesus’ virgin birth and death and resurrection were fables as were the stories Christians told about Jesus when they were doing magic spells (page 53,54,Celsus, On the True Doctrine).  This was in the sixties or seventies of the second century.  If Jesus’ crucifixion and death were fables so was Jesus.  The Romans had no need to deny the crucifixion.  Indeed they considered it a proof that Jesus was a fake.  Their denial is very significant.

The Testament of Levi says that the Son of God will receive great honour in the world until he ascends.  This denies that the killers if any could have been men for the whole world worshipped him.  It puts Jesus outside the time span spelled out in the gospels for he must have lived in a long forgotten time when that happened.

(See www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-08/anf08-07.htm#P378_53868).

The Church was bothered by converts who began saying that Jesus was not a person but an apparition or symbol seen by natural eyes or by the imagination from the very start.

The Christians say that you could write a book disproving the existence of Napoleon Bonaparte.  Perhaps you could.  But the book would be exalting small evidence over biggest and in contravention of the golden rule: take the simplest interpretation.  It would be ignoring the sanity and consistency of the thousands of people who met Napoleon and the paintings of him and the books about him and the body he has left behind.  But with Jesus there were no reliable witnesses and only one book about him was allegedly written by an eyewitness – a contention which rest on appallingly slender evidence – and which refuted itself by saying two independent witnesses were needed while nearly all its own information came from or was collated by one person who could not prove he was a witness.  Reports about witnesses are not good enough.  That is just the same as depending on gossip or hearsay – they need to be cross-examined and we need the reports.  And all the earliest writings had serious disagreements with the gospels and there is no evidence that they knew the historical portions well at all.  You only hide fictitious men’s biographies until the coast is clear.  It is dishonest to put refuting Jesus on a par with refuting Napoleon.  We can answer every piece of evidence offered for Jesus and we can show that the strongest evidence denies his existence.

A mock book was written by Archbishop Whately to disprove Napoleon when Napoleon was alive in 1819 called Historic Doubts relating to Napoleon Bonaparte.  There is no way that the evidence against him can compare with that against Jesus or its weakness as is seen from the fact that nobody would want to invent a Napoleon but you can see why they would want to invent a Jesus and imagine that he existed.  Christians like to tell you about this book disproving the existence of Napoleon Bonaparte to show how the methods used to disprove Jesus fail.  But there were a lot less testimonies about Jesus and a lot more liars around him and speaking for him and no physical evidence that he lived.  Napoleon was totally different.  If you inflate the evidence for Jesus – for example, if you take the gospels word for it that everybody knew him and ignore the indications within and without the gospels that he was not that well-known – you can make him seem more convincing.  That is the trick used by such books.  But the fact remains that Jesus’ existence is not and cannot ever be as convincing as the existence of Napoleon.  Rather than depending on four books that Napoleon was well-known we are depending on thousands published and unpublished by those who lived in his time.  We have his letters and his death mask.  If Jesus had really been anybody special his existence would be more provable than that of the likes of Napoleon.  The existence of Jesus would not be forcing faith on us for Christianity is not based on faith in the existence of Jesus by itself but in faith in Jesus being God and redeemer.  Jesus is important in the Church not just because he existed for that would not be enough to make him God but because of who he was supposed to be.

SILENCE IS GOLDEN

In many pro-Christian books we read that Jesus must have existed when not one of the many bitter and barbaric enemies the early Church had, queried his existence.  If Jesus had not existed it is thought, this would have been the ultimate weapon for the antichrists to use against Christianity to destroy it.

But there are many world religions and only one or none of them of them can be true.  The intelligent must be able to use the truth to destroy the false ones and yet they still exist.  It follows that people would still say their god was a real person even if he was conceived only in a twisted mind and get away with it.

The early Christians were blackened and slandered and butchered by their enemies.  The New Testament says that their enemies preferred to kill and slander Christianity instead of trying to debunk it.  Pliny declared in the second decade of the second century that the Christians were thought to be guilty of killing their children and eating them and revelling in debauchery at which incest was practiced.  The enemies of the Christians would have felt that religion could not be eradicated by facts for many religions thrived despite being nonsense.  So, they believed they had to use the strategy of persecution to vanquish the Church.  Life is hard for Christians today with so many temptations and with our permissive society and that has contributed to the decline of the Church and poor reason has not been as successful in making it slump.

There was a plague that killed many in the Holy Land area in 54 AD and there was the all-out disaster in 70 AD meaning the people who would have known Jesus or if he existed or not were probably dead or exiled and had more important things to think about than him.  We know for a fact that the Jewish survivors in 70 AD were enslaved or executed and Rome changed the name of the country to Palestine after the Philistines who had once lived there to express the extinction of the Jewish nation and any Jews round about were only interested in rebellion (page 9, Introduction to the New Testament, Fr R McKenzie, S.J., Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1965) and not in debunking a Jesus who was nearly entirely a Gentile concern at that time.  It is a fact that at the time the gospels might have been first thrown open to the public in the second century that Rome vowed that the Jews would never be of any importance in Palestine ever again after the bloodshed of the Bar Kochba revolt.

Sanders and Davies agreed that much of Galilee, Jesus’ main haunt, and all of Jerusalem and the temple was laid waste and that many thousands of people were either killed or kidnapped and sold into slavery and that the records would have been incinerated so finding out what happened to Jesus would have been extremely difficult for the evangelists.  I would add that they would have had to make do with revelations from Heaven to fill in the gaps.

The Church suppressed anything that was antithetical to its dogma.  There should be tons and tons of material condemning Christianity but there is not.  The Church would have and must have destroyed it.

Even if Jesus did exist some would have tried to make it out that he never did exist.  If the evidence for his existence was pathetic and the gospels were full of stuff that they could not accept the temptation would have been far too great.  So where are these writings?  Their non-availability means they have been stored and have yet to surface or they have been destroyed in which case then the Church was terrified of them.  And if those who know they are right do not fear the errors of others.

But the great silence about the non-existence of Jesus does not really exist.

There was a silence all right but not a complete one.

In the early Church, there were many people who believed that Jesus Christ was not a man but a vision.  They believed that the Jesus who we read of in the gospels was not a man.  These people were mystics and were not far from being psychologists.  Their Jesus only existed in the mind like modern witches use imaginary people to lead them to spiritual awareness.  They were called antichrists who denied the coming of Jesus in the flesh in John’s time.  In Paul’s day, they denied that Jesus had risen from the dead.  We know their Jesus was a mental force and not a vision of a separate entity because the New Testament just condemns them and never tries to prove to them that Jesus was real as we would expect if they were saying there was a Jesus but he was only a ghost.

THE TRUTH DESTROYED

What if debunkers had recorded the facts about Jesus that contradicted the gospels?  What if they had written about what an evil man he was or that he never rose from the dead or never even existed?

The Christians would have burned their books vanquishing the truth.  And they certainly did that when they admit they reduced books to ashes just for disagreeing with the orthodox position.  They would have gone after deadlier books faster.

The Christian would say, “But they would also have come up with answers to their charges – at least the ones they could answer.  The Christians had no need or desire wipe away all evidence that they had their critics. The New Testament mentions some lies told about Jesus and Christianity.  It is likely that we would have evidence for the inflammatory books if they existed.”

Christians were troubled by dissent and heresy in the first centuries of the Church to an amazing extent.  The Arian heresy was once the dominant religion in Christendom.  The Church detested heresy and losing control over people so much that it removed anything that could lead to it.  As long as anti-Christian books existed they posed a risk to the Church for they could become the ground in which a new heresy could take root.

In 303 AD Diocletian believing that Christians being near places of sacrifice provoked the displeasure of the gods and thereby endangered the Empire for it needed divine protection ordered that Christian Churches must be destroyed and their books handed over to the Empire for destruction (page 49, A Concise History of the Catholic Church).  Because of the Romans, many important documents from the early centuries of the Church have been lost.  This made the Church’s plot to foist its absurd faith on the world more easy.

In the Encyclopaedia of Heresies and Heretics are the following statements:

The Arians taught that Jesus Christ was an angel and was not God.  Constantine made a law commanding that “if anyone shall be caught concealing a book by Arius, and does not instantly bring it out and burn it, the penalty shall be death” (page 33).

“The staunch opposition of Catholic Christianity to the Manicheans following Augustine’s conversion led to their demise in Europe during the following centuries, as well as to the destruction of their literature” (page 200).

“In border regions like Armenia, Marcion’s teachings were reverently preserved for several centuries.  But the triumphant Catholic Church destroyed all of Marcion’s writings.  All that is left are fragments of his work, preserved in quotations that were included in the surviving books of his orthodox opponents” (page 201).

We read in Jesus the Magician (page 1) that in 326 AD Constantine, the Roman Emperor, had the books of heretical Christians destroyed.  In 333 AD he gave an edict against Arian writings and mentioned that pagan ones were being destroyed too specifically the works of an anti-religionist, Porphyry.

We must also recall that much valuable information about Jesus was lost when the Emperor Diocletian in about 303 AD ordered the destruction of Christian scriptures and literature (page 124, Those Incredible Christians).  The Christian Emperors, Theodosius and Valentinian were as bad.

NON-BIBLICAL WITNESSES TO THE WEAK EVIDENCE

Here are non-biblical witnesses that Jesus lived before the first century and was a man of perfect mystery and therefore that there was nothing but flimsy evidence for him if any.

The Talmud says that Pinhas, the priest and grandson of Aaron who was the brother of Moses killed the man we know to be Jesus.  We know that this Pinhas must be that person for the Talmud would not record a forgotten and unimportant person without clarification especially when there was a Pinhas in the Old Testament.  It speaks of him as if he were somebody we can find out about so this must be the biblical Pinhas.  This puts Jesus’ existence at fourteen centuries before the time given by the New Testament.  The Koran says that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a sister of Moses because it calls her the sister of Aaron (Sura 19:28).  Sura 3:5 says that Mary and Aaron had the same father.  The gospel Mary had nothing in common with Aaron for she was not even a member of the priestly line.  The Koran would say if it did not mean a literal sister so literal sister it is.  The book never places Jesus in the time designated in the New Testament.  The Koran though late is evidence for a tradition against the Christian one that said Jesus lived in the first century.  It preserves a tradition that merely slips out of the Talmud.  Muhammad would not have had the intelligence to discover that slip so the information came from another source.

The heretical Teachings of Silvanus says that Christ became man and attacked the tyrants and died for sin.  These tyrants are not angels of evil but human rulers for Silvanus never speaks of evil angels ruling the world.  So Jesus died at a time when the rulers of the world were dethroned.  Jesus must have lived a long time ago – perhaps at the time of the tower of Babel or the flood when rulers were brought down.  The Bible says that Jesus went to the underworld after he died but the Teachings say it was before (page 389, The Nag Hammadi Library in English).  It says Jesus went to the underworld and released the children of death and then he broke the chains in that world causing its powers to flee so that he was able to die as a ransom for our sins.  The demons were stopping him from dying for sinners which means he perished and rose again in the underworld for sinners.  The underworld does not mean this world but the world Jesus went to which is called the Abyss meaning something like Hell.  Silvanus denies that Jesus lived and suffered and rose on earth like the gospels say. Silvanus is from the late first century at the very earliest.  It shows that many Christians did not believe Jesus lived in Palestine in the first century.  Silvanus had no reason at all to say Jesus was put to death for sinners in Hell for he could have still done that on earth.  That is why he should be believed that there is no evidence.  He stressed reason which makes him a damn sight more reliable than anybody else in the first century.

There is a scripture called Melchizidek which was found at Nag Hammadi in 1945.  It claims to record revelations given to this priest of Abraham’s time and it claims that Melchizidek was Jesus Christ.  Their alleged author was killed by crucifixion and rose from the dead.  The hostile angelic powers did this to him according to what a group of people said to him after he came back from the dead and was addressed as Melchizidek. Nobody knows when this book was written but when it predicts the coming of the heretics who will deny that Christ had real human body it may date to the first century.  It lists Old Testament figures and puts Melchizidekright after Noah therefore it says that Jesus Christ lived at the time of Abraham – long before the birth of Moses.

Tatian who composed a harmony of the four gospels in the middle of the second century argued with the Greeks that God becoming a man was not ridiculous because their own Gods became man.  But these Gods were mythical and the Greeks he contended with didn’t mean any of it literally so unless Tatian believed that the gospels were only true as myths not as history only then can what he said make sense (The Silent Jesus).  Tatiantold his pagan critics that they should believe in his Christian religion because it makes up stories about Jesus its god just like they do (The Second Century Apologists, http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/century.htm).

Theophilus of Antioch who may have been the Theophilus for whom the Gospel of Luke was written was unable to give Autolycus an example of a man who rose from the dead (The Silent Jesus).  Certainly he believed that Jesus rose but believed that there was no earthly evidence for it but only the testimony of faith inspired by God.  What he was looking for was something to persuade this man that it was not only a truth revealed by God but a historical one but he had nothing.  He rejected the gospels as having apologetic value for those who wanted proof of miracles and prophecy and men coming back from the dead.  He rejected the most important evidence for the existence of Jesus and that makes him as good as a person who denied the existence of Jesus outright.

Minucius Felix, a Christian defender of the faith in about 150 AD wrote Octavius.  It’s a record a debate in which a Christian called Octavius was engaged in against a pagan called Caecilius which the former stated that the charge of praying to a crucified criminal made against Christians was a calumny  (The Second Century Apologists, http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/century2.htm).  This amounts to a denial that Jesus died on the cross and disposes of the most important evidence for his existence: his crucifixion.  Octavius even says that the pagans are fools for adoring their vulnerable dying Gods.  He denied the crucifixion for if Jesus was physically nailed to the cross and died the same would be true of him and so Octavius would not have used this argument.  But it is certain that in doing so he was rejecting the physical crucifixion but would have talked as if he believed in a crucified and dead saviour who rose.  Gnostic Christianity, the original faith, would have taught that the crucifixion and death and resurrection of Jesus was a metaphor that nobody could understand the meaning of without having a mystical experience that transcended the senses and reason.  Octavius was influenced by it.

If Jesus was mythically crucified and mythically a criminal worshipping him would not be a problem for the story is only a way to convey mystical truth.  It is being accused of adoring a real Jesus who was really physically crucified that is the problem.  Christians say it was a calumny that Jesus was a criminal and that was what he meant.  No for Jesus did break the law so he was a criminal though that does not make him a bad man.  He sneered too at people praying to gods who had been slain.   Christians say he would have believed Jesus was divine so his case was different but no hint that Jesus was divine is given.  His whole point is that beings that die cannot be divine.  Octavius manages to convert his pagan philosopher opponent to Christianity which means he converted to a form that did not depend on a flesh and blood Jesus at all.  The educated philosopher then knew that Jesus was a myth and his concern was the mystical Jesus in Heaven.

Felix said it was a disgrace Christians had to defend themselves against people who said they adored a crucified criminal and his cross (page 40, Jesus and the Goddess).  He regarded it then as an inexcusable error.  He was unable to answer an opponent who asked him if anybody ever really physically came back from the dead.  He retaliated by accusing his opponent of slander instead of trying to answer the question – this was evasion. He was saying, “Though I am an apologist of the Christian faith and a scholar I know of no evidence for the death of Jesus and I don’t want to talk about it.”  For Felix to say that means only that there was no evidence.

MARCION STATED THAT THE EVIDENCE WAS FLIMSY

Marcion, the first Christian to set forth a canon of scripture, was excommunicated by Rome in 144 AD for heresy.  He denied that Jesus existed before he appeared straight out of Heaven in the synagogue of Capernaumwhich is the event that occurs in Luke 4:31.  This means that Marcion denied the existence of Jesus’ mother Mary, the existence of St Joseph the massacre of the innocents and the birth in the manger, the baptism by John the Baptist – in short everything before Jesus began his ministry.  He asserted that the twelve apostles failed to understand the gospel and polluted it which was why Paul was chosen to save and preserve the good news. He did this when he could have said the apostles just kept the secret tradition of the true gospel and preached another theology to the public.  When the apostles could be so wrong why could they not be wrong about Jesus’ existence?

Marcion came very close to saying that there was no historical Jesus.  It is obvious that if Jesus really did descend as a divine super-powered apparition from Heaven as Marcion’s theology stated that Jesus had to be a myth.  Marcion as good as said that the evidence for Jesus was flimsy and that until later in the gospel story it was non-existent for he appeared out of nowhere.  In its reply to him, the Church just used gospel materials and was unable to provide objective evidence for the events surrounding Jesus that Marcion denied.  For example, they did not provide evidence for the link with the Baptist nor did they provide evidence that the massacre of the innocents over Jesus really took place.  Thanks to Marcion the gap in Christianity’s evidences was shown up.  If everybody believed then that Jesus existed it would make no difference to the case against Jesus simply because they could not have believed for the right reasons.  The argument that Jesus must have existed for nobody denied his existence simply has no hope of being right.

The things that Marcion did but did not need to do tell us more than anything else ever could.

He was accused of editing and dropping portions out of the gospel of Luke.  This gospel may not have been Luke but the forerunner of Luke and it could be Marcion was right that the gospel was tampered with and needed amending.  Marcion accepted the crucifixion and the resurrection.  He certainly had no need to deny most of what was in the Lucan infancy narratives.  The Church says he had for he regarded Jesus as an apparition and not a real man.  But Marcion knew that when Jesus seemed to die on the cross he could seem to have been born.  It would have made Marcion’s gospel more acceptable had he kept the stuff about Mary and Jesus’ birth and so easier for his Church.  So he must have been very sure that these things never happened or were late inventions before he could omit them.  We know he studied his case thoroughly and was very cautious (page 104, The Call to Heresy).  We must remember that being closer to the time of Jesus and living before the Church had the chance to wipe out any documents it did not like that Marcion knew things we never will for he had access to many lost documents.  The claim that nobody knew of the God of Jesus until Jesus appeared is very strange and can only be explained as if Marcion learned this from some source he trusted.  He could have had Jesus appearing occasionally before which would look better and stop people from scoffing at his theology on the basis that Jesus took a long time before he came to teach the world and reveal the true God of love.  But he was sure he couldn’t and he was sure he could shut them up.

Marcion founded a very successful and very early Church that was able to get all its members to be celibate and many were martyred.  They committed a huge sacrifice to deny that the human Jesus of the gospels existed for they even denied that he was a Jew by religion and excised all references to his Jewish faith from their scriptures.  Their Jesus was an opponent of the Old Testament.  Marcion was not unjustly biased towards heresy for he had nothing to gain but scorn and also he could not get much power when he forbade his followers to have sex and therefore babies.  Marcion was a damn sight lot more credible than the gospellers who wrote anonymously meaning we can’t eliminate unjust bias, made a hero of a heretic and then lied that he was not a heretic and whose works were hidden from critics who wouldn’t have been that interested in them had they come out.  Marcion had the kind-heartedness to reject the brutality of the Old Testament so he was a better man with his faults than any gospeller ever was.

Marcionism called Jesus not Christus which means Messiah but Chrestus which means The Good.  Marcion denied that Jesus was the Christ or Messiah because he rejected anything Jewish and the Messiah was the Jewish title for the king of the world that God would send but he rejected their God and so he rejected this title.  When Marcion was able to create a successful Church that denied that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah it shows that the evidence for something that was as important as the resurrection could be denied convincingly in those days.  It shows that many held that the Jesus story was riddled with legend.

Conclusion

The most convincing evidence shows that Jesus never existed.  The evidence that he did is useless and is largely make-believe.  The evidence that he didn’t is authenticated by the fact that it is more like accidental slips which makes it totally convincing.  This is the biggest secret the world has ever had, the most important man to supposedly walk on this world in fact never lived.

 

WORKS CONSULTED

A Concise History of the Catholic Church, Thomas Bokenkotter, Image Books, New York, 1979

Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, John W Haley, Whitaker House, Pennsylvania, undated

Asking them Questions, Various, Oxford University Press, London, 1936

Belief and Make-Believe, GA Wells, Open Court, La Salle, Illinois, 1991

Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press, Bucks, 1983

Did Jesus Exist? GA Wells, Pemberton, London, 1988

Did Jesus Exist?  John Redford, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1986

Documents of the Christian Church, edited by Henry Bettenson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979

Early Christian Writings, Maxwell Staniforth Editor, Penguin, London, 1988

Encyclopaedia of Heresies and Heretics, Leonard George, Robson Books, London, 1995

Encyclopaedia of Unbelief, Volume 1, Ed Gordon Stein, (Ed) Prometheus Books, New York, 1985

Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995

Handbook to the Controversy With Rome, Volume 1, Karl Von Hase, The Religious Tract Society, London, 1906

He Walked Among Us, Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, Alpha Cumbria, 2000

In Defence of the Faith, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1996

Introduction to the New Testament, Roderick A F MacKenzie, SJ, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1965

Jesus, AN Wilson, Flamingo, London, 1993

Jesus and the Goddess, The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians, Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, Thorsons, London, 2001

Jesus – God the Son or Son of God? Fred Pearce Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham, undated

Jesus – One Hundred Years Before Christ, Professor Alvar Ellegard Century, London, 1999

Jesus and the Four Gospels, John Drane, Lion, Herts, 1984

Jesus Hypotheses, V Messori, St Paul Publications, Slough, 1977

Jesus Lived in India by Holger Kersten, Element, Dorset, 1994

Jesus, Qumran and the Vatican, Otto Betz and Rainer Riesner, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1994

Jesus the Evidence, Ian Wilson, Pan, London, 1985

Jesus the Magician, Morton Smith, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1978

Jesus under Fire, Edited by Michael F Wilkins and JP Moreland, Zondervan Publishing House, Michigan, 1995

Lectures and Replies, Thomas Carr, Archbishop of Melbourne, Melbourne, 1907

Let’s Weigh the Evidence, Barry Burton, Chick Publications, Chino, CA, 1983

Miracles in Dispute, Ernst and Marie-Luise Keller, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1969

Nag Hammadi Library, Ed James M Robinson HarperCollins New York 1990

On the True Doctrine, Celsus, Translated by R Joseph Hoffmann, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1987

Putting Away Childish Things, Uta Ranke-Heinemann, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1994

Runaway World, Michael Green, IVP, London, 1974

St Peter and Rome, JBS, Irish Church Missions, Dublin, undated

Saint Saul, Donald Harman Akenson, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000

The Bible Fact or Fantasy, John Drane, Lion, Oxford, 1989

The Bible Unearthed, Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, Touchstone Books, New York, 2002.

The Call to Heresy, Robert Van Weyer, Lamp Books, London, 1989

The Case For Christ, Lee Strobel, HarperCollins and Zondervan, Michigan, 1998

The Case for Jesus the Messiah, John Ankerberg Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1989

The Early Church, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1967

The Encyclopedia of Heresies and Heretics, Leonard George, Robson Books, London, 1995

The First Christian, Karen Armstrong, Pan, London, 1983

The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels, Penguin, London, 1990

The Gnostic Paul, Elaine Pagels, Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1975

The History of Christianity, Lion, Herts 1982

The History of the Church, Eusebius, Penguin, London, 1989

The House of the Messiah, Ahmed Osman, Grafton, London, 1993

The Jesus Event and Our Response, Martin R Tripole SJ, Alba House, New York, 1980

The Jesus Hoax, Phyllis Graham, Leslie Frewin, London, 1974

The Jesus Mysteries, Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, Thorsons, London, 1999

The MythMaker, St Paul and the Invention of Christianity, Hyam Maccoby, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London, 1986

The Reconstruction of Belief, Charles Gore DD, John Murray, London, 1930

The Search for the Twelve Apostles, William Steuart McBirnie, Tyndale House, 1997

The Secret Gospel Morton Smith Aquarian Press, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1985

The Truth of Christianity, WH Turton, Wells Gardner, Darton & Co Ltd, London, 1905

The Unauthorised Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992

The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1973

Theodore Parker’s Discourses, Theodore Parker, Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, London, 1876

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Kittel Gerhard and Friedrich Gerhard, Eerdman’s Publishing Co, Grand Rapids, MI, 1976

Those Incredible Christians, Hugh Schonfield, Hutchinson, London, 1968

Who Was Jesus?  A Conspiracy in Jerusalem, by Kamal Salabi, I.B. Taurus and Co Ltd., London, 1992

Who Was Jesus?  NT Wright, SPCK, London, 1993

Why I Believe Jesus Lived, C G Colly Caldwell, Guardian of Truth, Kentucky

Related Writings

They Hid the Four Gospels

The Second Century Testament

Josephus Denier of the Existence of Jesus

The New Testament is not Inspired

Jesus the Conjurer

Non-Miraculous Witnesses

The Sinner of God

The Impostor in the Vatican

Shroud of Darkness

WWW

Who is GA Wells? Rev Dr Gregory S. Neal

www.errantskeptics.org/G_A_Wells.htm

The Silent Jesus

www.askwhy.co.uk/awcnotes/cn4/0325SilentJesus.html#Justin

Apollonius the Nazarene, The Historical Apollonius versus the Historical Jesus

www.apollonius.net/bernard1e.html

Why Did the Apostles Die? Dave Matson,

www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/1997/4Why97.html

The “Historical” Jesus by Acharya S

www.truthbeknown.com/historicaljc.htm

How Did the Apostles Die?

www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/1997/4/4front97.html

History’s Troubling Silence About Jesus, Lee Salisbury

www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=102

Steven Carr discusses the Christian and apostolic martyrs

www.bowness.demon.co.uk/martyrs.htm

www.bowness.demon.co.uk/martyrs2.htm

Challenging the Verdict

A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ

http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/CTVExcerptsOne.htm

http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/CTVExcerptsTwo.htm

http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/CTVExcerptsThree.htm#Twelve

The Martyrdoms of Peter and Paul, Peter Kirby

http://home.earthlink.net/~kirby/

The Martyrdoms: A Response, Peter Kirby

www.bowness.demon.co.uk/martyrs3.htm

A Sacrifice in Heaven,

http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/supp09.htm

The Evolution of Jesus of Nazareth

http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/partthre.htm

The Jesus of History, a Reply to Josh McDowell by Gordon Stein

www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/Jesus.html

Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus – Is It Reliable?, by Jeffrey J Lowder   www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html

A Reply to JP Holding’s “Shattering” of My Views on Jesus

www.infidels.org/secular_web/new/2000/march.html

Robert M Price, Christ a Fiction

www.infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/fiction.html

Earliest Christianity G A Wells

www.infidels.org/library/modern/g_a_wells/earliest.html

The Second Century Apologists

http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/century.htm

Existence of Jesus Controversy, Rae West

www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/littleton/gm1_jesu.htm

Why I Don’t Buy the Resurrection Story by Richard Carrier

www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/index.shtml

Jesus Conference,

www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_sd/jconf_hall.html

Jesus Conference,

www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_sd/jconf_stuckenbruck.html

The Testament of Levi Concerning the Priesthood and Arrogance

www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-08/anf08-07.htm#P378_53868.

Sherlock Holmes Style Search for the Historical Jesus

www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/bp/890/history.html

The Ascension of Isaiah

www.earth-history.com/sacred-ascension-Isaiah.htm

Apollonius of Tyana: The Monkey of Christ?  The Church Patriarchs, Robertino Solarion   www.apollonius.net/patriarchs.html

What About the Discovery of Q? Brad Bromling

www.ApologeticsPress.org

Wells without Water, Psychological Buffoonry from the Master of the Christ-Myth, James Patrick Holding

www.tektonics.org/JPH_WW.html

Critique: Scott Bidstrp [sic] on The Case for Christ by James Patrick Holding

www.tektonics.org/bidstrup02.html

GA Wells Replies to Criticism of his Books on Jesus

www.infidels.org/library/modern/g_a_wells/errant.html

The Ossuary Scam: A Critical Analysis of the “James” Ossuary

http://www.atrueword.com/index.php/article/articleprint/15/-1/1/

The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus, Acharya S

www.truthbeknown.com/origins.htm

BIBLE VERSION USED

The Amplified Bible

The King James Version

 

Friday, 08 July 2005

 

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add your own }

Latisha Cessor March 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm

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Dave & Yvonne March 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words – We shall keep adding you keep reading lol!!

Shalom and every blessing to you and yours.

Dave and Yvonne

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