Is it possible to step outside of religious programming/indoctrination and question the unquestionable and ask did Jesus really exist? |
A number of excellent authors/researchers have. Their groundbreaking well documented books have led them to come to the same conclusion that the New Testament Jesus character never existed. All works by these authors and the reasons for this conclusion are basically the same and can be summarised with 3 points.
1. No historical evidence can be found for Jesus outside of the Bible
Whether the Bible is used as a guideline or not, the search for the historical evidence of the New Testament Jesus, be it in written, archaeological or geographical form has basically drawn a blank.
Biblical places where Jesus supposed to have walked has shown no evidence for their existence during the so called New Testament times. For example, Nazareth can only be dated as far back as 350CE. Can you imagine the look of bitter disappointment on the local tourist industry's faces after the immense amount of excavating showed nothing earlier than 350CE? The oldest ruins did not even reveal the name of the village. Was it later called Nazareth to make it look as if it was the place where Jesus spent his childhood?
Eminent Jewish historians such as Philo, Justus of Tiberius and dozens of others who lived in the area when the New Testament was supposed to have happened produced many volumes; enough to fill a library detailing the events of the times gave no mention to a Jesus character.
Log books recording events were kept and meticulously filled in documenting day to day handling of the Roman Empire. From this there was plentiful evidence for the existence of Pontius Pilate, but in spite of the attention it was supposed to have caused there was not a single mention of Jesus' trial.
Christian apologists mention written passages in Josephus' "The Antiquities of the Jews" and Tacitus' "Annuls" as irrefutable historical evidence for the existence of Jesus but under careful scrutiny these passages have been dismissed by scholars as obvious forgeries.
2. The Jesus biography was taken from earlier Pagan and Gnostic texts
The major events in Jesus' lifetime for examples; the prophesised messiah born 25th December, virgin birth, had 12 disciples (or helpers), performs miracles such as turning water into wine, causes a great political stir, gets crucified between 2 thieves and soon rises from the dead... etc can be found in earlier writings based on many fictional / mythological characters.
Examples of some of these pagan/Gnostic 'god men' I'm referring to with their identical biographical motif are Zeus of Greece, Baal of Phoenicia, Bali of Afghanistan, Indra of Tibet/India, Quetzalcoatl of Mexico, and Tammuz of Babylon...
All these individuals were also each described as moral and humble, said to be the son of God, the light and the way... died for the sins of the world...etc
3. Literalist V's Metaphorical account
So, basically, it has been said that what really happened was this. Under the auspices of Emperor Flavius Constantine (c. 274 - 337) the Roman Empire used those mythological god men characters with their biography (born 25th Dec, virgin birth...etc) to invent the New Testament Jesus character and form a centralised religion, which occurred as late as 325:
The infamous 'Council of Nicaea' in 325 hallmarked this.
Over the years the Roman Empire won the battle to establish their centralised religion with the New Testament and its literalist Jesus character (literalist because they claimed that Jesus literally existed). They did it for power; political and financial gain. It mustn't be forgotten that the Vatican is one of the richest most powerful organisations on the planet.
The Pagans/Gnostics with their metaphorical god men and spiritual practices were either destroyed or banished into oblivion by the power-hungry Roman Empire determined to achieve religious supremacy and put a lid on the sources from where they stole ideas.
Even before their banishment the Gnostics complained how the new Christian religion was a greatly 'watered down' version of their spiritual practices.
The murderous Constantine only became a Christian just before his death. He only did this so that it would look appropriate for the Emperor to be seen belonging to the newly founded Christian religion. In truth and secret he was a sun god worshiper.
If Jesus the long awaited Jewish Messiah really had existed wouldn't it have taken the Romans a lot longer to accept Christianity since the Jews were their enemy..?
The gospels are also said forgeries adapted from hundreds written by Pagans or Gnostics. Hence the 4 gospels that 'made it to the world' have been called the canonical gospels.
The gospel of Mark, the oldest gospel, was probably not completed until around 90CE. The others Matthew, Luke and John came much later and did not emerge until around 180CE. Justin Martyr 100-165 CE one of the most well known literalist Christianity advocates never mentions any of the gospels in his writings. The fact that the gospels arrived much later than Jesus' so called death is not the only reason why they could not have been eyewitness testimonies.
Someone once told me that those who believe in the gospels could never have read them because if they had they would have dismissed them as false claims due to the many contradictions, errors and inconsistencies.
Here are just some of those irreconcilable contradictions, errors and inconsistencies.
In Mark 7: 1-23 Jesus during a debate with the Pharisees quotes a mistranslated Greek version of the Old Testament! Had it been the original Hebrew it would have not made any sense in supporting his argument. Indeed, the whole point about this blunder is it suggests that at least a part of the gospel was probably invented by Greek-speaking individuals (Greek speaking Romans?) lacking in real understanding of the native Jewish language.
In Mark 10 verse12, Jesus says "If a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery." Whether it was for Jews or gentiles when it came to divorce no such law existed for women until much later.
"Then was fulfilled [by Jesus] that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet..." (Matthew 27:9)
Whoops, Jeremy was not the prophet, it was Zechariah (Zechariah 11:12).
In Matthew 'The Slaughter of the Innocents' refers to the time when King Herod had all the infants in an entire town killed off in the hope that he would murder the baby Jesus. However, 1st century Jewish Roman historian Josephus (who I've already mentioned with his work "The Antiquities of the Jews") details all the crimes committed by King Herod never mentions this. Nor do other historians of the time-This heinous crime was never mentioned because it never happened: The 'Slaughter of the Innocents' story was stolen from earlier Gnostic/Pagan saviour god myths.
Luke and Matthew say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. John says Jesus was born in Galilee (John 7:41-42). It's also highly suspect to me that Mark never mentions such extremely pertinent facts like Jesus' place of birth, the virgin birth and the King David family linage... to substantiate the other gospels.
Both Matthew and Luke state that Jesus' father is Joseph, but Matthew then states that Joseph's father is Jacob while Luke states that Joseph's father is Heli. This is a contradiction between genealogies. Okay, Luke writes it was 'thought' that Joseph's father was Heli, implying doubt. However, both Matthew and Luke take a lot of trouble going through the generations to show that Jesus is descended from the line of David as the promised messiah should be and come up with utterly different family trees, but why bother to take all this trouble over the generations when Jesus' father supposed to be God? Shouldn't the generations stop there? Also, doesn't a virgin birth signify no paternal DNA making those said generations meaningless?!
Following Judas Iscariot's betrayal there are in inconsistencies over his death. Matthew states 'Judas went and hanged himself.' (M27, V-5) but the 'Acts of Apostle's tells he died of an accidental fall.
Confusion over Jesus' last words.
According to Matthew & Mark it was: 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'
Luke however, says that Jesus' last words were 'Father into your hands I commend my spirit.' Then according to Luke it was 'I am thirsty.' Followed by, 'It is finished.'
Well into the 4th century after the Council of Nicaea, scriptures became profoundly unreliable due to the new literalist Christian movement established by Emperor Constantine with his propaganda merchants such as Bishop Eusebius (260-340CE)...
-And there you essentially have it, what has been said to be one of the greatest deceptions in the history of mankind. Don't get me wrong, the deception started and only occurs at the top of the hierarchical tree in the Vatican. Those below are mainly decent people, unaware of the unholy secrets, lies and ulterior motives harboured over the years.
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