Friday, May 17, 2013

The Myth of Christianity

The Myth of Christianity
NOTE: If your not ready for the truth, please disregard this article.

I have been holding this article back for some time. It is written by several authors including myself. I had waited for more information to see if what I am writing really has merit and factual.
Being a Theologian and doing comparison studies on many different religions over the decades, I end up diving into Archaeological-Anthropology. It is very common to look at the people of that particular time if the comparison studies are on the origination of that particular belief.
I had studied and even taught Christianity up until 2010 when I started researching my own religion. I was running on blind faith during and up to the years of 2010-2012 because my research was bringing up things that questioned my own religion more. Was it a validated Religion or a Mythology?

What turned me away from Christianity more than anything else in 2011 was the bias and hatred towards others. The Jesus Ideology had merit but most and I do say most are not following that ideology. Gandhi said it best: “I do like your Christ, but not you’re Christians.”
Even though this article is about the Myth of Christianity, the same can be said for Islam. Both Islam and Christianity are myth, because both rely on each other, both might hate one another but their beliefs run on the same path until the New Testament/Jesus and Mohammed appear in their respective text and then they part ways with the Bible and the Qur’an. What brings this conclusive evidence is when both books borrow from each other their beliefs. When one is a myth, then the other becomes a myth as well.
Like most people, especially those raised Christian, like I was, I had always assumed that Jesus Christ had really existed, even though he may not have been divine.  After examining the biblical, extra-biblical, and early Christian evidence, along with the myths of the time, I have concluded that there is no reliable evidence that Jesus actually existed — and significant evidence that he was purely mythical. This is not just hearsay or made up. What I am about to convey to you is actual fact.

Biblical Evidence
The typically accepted story of Jesus is a hodge-podge of stories primarily from the gospels, from Paul and the other epistle writers, and from the book of Revelation.  The first step is to separate these sources, to see what the authors wrote about.  This is made difficult by the fact that there's been significant editing, copying, and even forgery.  The authors, editors and transcribers did not treat the writings as sacrosanct and unchangeable.  Instead, they often treated the stories of Jesus as tales that could be modified to further their own agendas, or to make for better tales.

If Jesus was real, this composite drawing is what he would
have looked like. What? You thought he was white?
The apocalyptic book of Revelation gives no support for the historicity of Jesus and can be dismissed easily as a reliable source, because of its other-worldly, hallucinogenic images.
The earliest known references to Jesus are in the writings of Paul (ne Saul of Tarsus), who had a “vision” of Jesus while he was on the road to Damascus.  Paul's writings are part of the epistles, which were written after 48 CE [Common Era, equivalent to A.D.].  If there had been an actual Jesus, Paul should have written about his life and teachings.  He didn't (except for a few well-known interpolations). Paul and the other epistle writers — including Peter — don't seem to have known any biographical details of Jesus' life, or even the time of his earthly existence.  They don't refer to Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee, Calvary or Golgotha — or any pilgrimages to what should have been holy sites of Jesus' life.  They also don't mention any miracles that Jesus was supposed to have worked, his moral teachings, his virgin birth, his trial, the empty tomb, or even his disciples.

I find this astounding!  The most basic details that we've been told about Jesus' life were unknown to the earliest Christian authors.  It wasn't that they simply neglected to mention these details.  There were many places that Paul and the others could have referred to the disciples or used Jesus' moral authority to emphasize their own points, but they didn't. The simple explanation is that these details didn't exist yet, and wouldn't exist until the gospels were written about forty to seventy or more years later.
To the epistle writers, Jesus appears to have had little or no earthly existence. Paul is anything but a witness for the actual existence of Jesus, explicitly saying that he never met Jesus but just saw him in his “vision.”  Paul and Peter refer to themselves as apostles (messengers), not disciples (followers).  Paul said he was not inferior to “super-apostles” who preached of a different Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:5 and 12:11), and he explicitly opposed Peter (Galatians 2:11) — which makes no sense if Peter had physically known Jesus.  Paul also describes both his own and Peter's “vision” of Jesus using the same word. This means that Paul didn't think that Peter followed an earthly Jesus, but (like him) a spiritual sky god savior that could only be known thru revelation.  This savior was a spiritual intermediary between God in Heaven and men on Earth.  Paul even admitted that that all his ideas came from revelation and not from any man. In other words, he made it up or got his inspiration from Jewish Scripture and other religions.  Two prime candidates are Zoroastrianism and Mithraism, which had a center in Paul's hometown of Tarsus.

Jewish Scripture was the main source for Paul, probably using the Greek translation (called the Septuagint).  He thought that the heavenly existence of its predicted messiah was revealed to him by God (Galatians 1:16) and in Scripture, with Jesus as the spiritual intermediary between heavenly God and earthly man — not as a recent living person, but as a mystery hidden for long ages past, or to be revealed. Paul often referred to Jesus as “The Christ” (a spiritual term).  Even the name “Jesus” appears some 218 times in the Septuagint, so it was not a new name to those familiar with the translation. Paul also never even indicated when Jesus' life, sacrificial death and resurrection occurred, but implied that they had happened in the spiritual past.  He also blamed Jesus' death on evil demons, not the Jews or the Romans as in the gospels.  Paul's concept of an unblemished, sacrificial, humiliated savior came out of Isaiah 52-53 and Daniel 9. This idea helped make Christianity more popular among the lower classes during the first couple of centuries.  They could identify with a righteous man unjustly crucified by the despised ruling class, but who was eventually triumphant.

Another problem with Paul is that his famous “vision” of Jesus has all the earmarks of an epileptic brain seizure.  We now know that epilepsy can cause religious delusions, hyperreligiosity (excessive concern with religion), hypersexuality (excessive concern with sexual matters), and hypergraphia (an overwhelming urge to write).  These are all characteristics that could be used to describe Paul, as revealed in his letters.  Perhaps epilepsy is the “thorn” that tormented him, which he referred to in 2 Corinthians 12:7.  We can also tell that people were accusing Paul of lying, because he attempted to defend himself in Romans 3:5-8.

The main biblical references to Jesus are in the gospels, which were written by unknown authors after 70 CE (and quite possibly decades later).  In a semi-literate and superstitious society, that's a long time after Jesus' supposed life — a long time for myths to grow.  Most scholars agree that the first mention of what we call the gospels was by Papias in about 140 CE, although he only referred to Mark and Matthew.  All four gospels are first mentioned by name in 180 CE, by Irenaeus of Lyons.
Mark is the earliest gospel.  It is ungrammatical and betrays its author's lack of knowledge of the geography and social situation of Palestine — showing that the author was not a local. Luke copied the error in geography (Luke 8), while Matthew changed the location and number of men (Matthew 8). Mark's author also made the mistake of having Jesus quote from the Greek translation of Scripture (the Septuagint), instead of the original Hebrew. Both Mark and John begin with Jesus already a grown man — with no virgin birth, magic star, or other childhood stories.  A strong case can even be made that the gospel of Mark was written as a re-telling of the Homeric epics.

The gospels of Matthew and Luke disagree on the year and other details of Jesus' birth, including his lineage.  Matthew has him born in the Bethlehem home of Joseph, during the reign of Herod the Great (who died in 5 or 4 BCE [Before Common Era]).  Luke thinks he was born in a stable during the census conducted by Quirinius in 6 CE — a difference of at least 9 years!  Matthew didn't write about the census, and Luke didn't write about the wise men or Herod's “slaughter of the innocents.”  Matthew and Luke disagree wildly on Jesus' ancestry, including even his grandfather. (Matthew 1:16, Luke 3:23).  Plus, the lists in Matthew and Luke differ from 1 Chronicles 3.  Note that even listing Jesus' male ancestry disagrees with the doctrine of a virgin birth (which was added later in the myth-making process).  Some apologists claim that Luke lists Mary's geneology, but that's impossible because Mary isn't mentioned and because at the time women were not thought to contribute any genetics to a baby, but were thought of as a fertile field where the seed (Greek: “sperm”) was planted.

If the gospels were written by eyewitnesses, why did they wait so long and why don't they describe Jesus?  Why were the gospels written mainly in third person format (like a story), instead of first person format?  The gospels often quote Jesus' thoughts or words when he was alone or with other people.  These are examples of fictional narratives, not history.  Why do the gospels of Matthew and Luke plagiarize much of Mark (and add the childhood stories)?  Of Mark's 666 original verses, some 600 appear in Matthew (with improved grammar), some 300 in Luke. The gospel of Matthew oddly refers to Matthew in the third person.  The gospel of Luke states that it was written as a retelling of previous accounts.  The gospel of John also oddly refers to its supposed author in the third person, and hardly refers to Jesus as a real person with a real life.  Like Paul, the author viewed Jesus as more of a sky god.

We know that the gospels have been changed over time, with editing and errors by transcribers, and even material differences between the different translations.  Biblical scholars have shown that the last twelve verses of Mark (16:9-20) were added in the second century, likely to give Jesus post-resurrection activities.  The story of Jesus and the adulteress (a favorite of mine because it teaches personal responsibility) was not in the original gospel of John.  Evidence shows that it was likely added in the middle ages.
Why should we trust the unknown authors and editors of the gospels?  How do we know that they weren't wacky or knowingly writing fiction?  We can even tell that the authors attempted to fulfill scriptural prophesy, because they got it wrong in many places:
  • Jesus was born in Bethlehem to (incorrectly) fulfill Micah 5:2.
  • Matthew and Luke disagree on Jesus' male ancestry, and thus also with the virgin birth.
  • Mary was a virgin to (incorrectly) fulfill Isaiah 7:14.
  • Jesus' family went to Egypt to (incorrectly) fulfill Hosea 11:1.
  • Herod did the “slaughter of the innocents” to (incorrectly) fulfill Jeremiah 31:15.
  • Jesus was from Nazareth to (incorrectly) fulfill Judges 13:5.
  • On Palm Sunday Jesus impossibly rode two animals at once to (incorrectly) fulfill Zechariah 9:9.
  • Jesus' hands and feet were pierced on the cross to (incorrectly) fulfill Psalm 22:16.
  • Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver to (incorrectly) fulfill Zechariah 11:12.
There's even reliable evidence that Nazareth was uninhabited at the time of Jesus. In an attempt to show that Jesus fulfilled scriptural prophesy, the unknown author of Matthew apparently confused “Nazareth” and “Nazarene” (a person from Nazareth) with “Nazirite” (a man who lives apart and has made a vow of abstinence). Actually, there is no history of a Nazareth before, during and after the death of Jesus.
These errors aren't too surprising if you realize that the authors' native tongue was probably Aramaic, the (Old Testament) Scripture was originally in Hebrew, and they were writing the gospels in Greek.

All this disqualifies the gospels as any sort of reliable eyewitness accounts.  For more insights on the reliability of miracles or eyewitnesses, here are useful quotes:
“No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle unless that testimony is of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish.”
— David Hume, Of Miracles (1748)
“Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course, or that a man should tell a lie?  We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course; but we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time; it is, therefore, at least millions to one, that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.”
— Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason (1794)

“It is a fact of history and of current events that human beings exaggerate, misinterpret, or wrongly remember events.  They have also fabricated pious fraud.  Most believers in a religion understand this when examining the claims of other religions.”
— Dan Barker

Christian historicity researcher David Fitzgerald wrote, “In the earliest Christian writings, such as the seven genuine epistles of Paul, Christ is a spiritual being revealed in Jewish Scripture, rather than a recent historical figure.  Decades later the anonymous author of what we call ‘The gospel according to Mark’ wrote an allegorical story of this mythological Christ set in pre-war Judea, borrowing from many ancient religious and literary motifs.  The idea of a Christ come to earth was irresistible; later Christians loved the story and couldn't help but make their own corrections and additions to ‘Mark's’ text, turning a purely literary creation into the basis of their own imagined biographies.  Dozens of these gospels were written, and centuries later four of them were eventually selected to form the beginning of our familiar New Testament.”

Some early Christians even admitted the mythical origins of Christianity.  Arguing with pagans around 150 CE, Justin Martyr said, “When we say that the Word, who is the first born of God, was produced without sexual union, and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter (Zeus).”
The Jesus story reeks of mythology, with magic being added as the story was re-told over time.  If the earliest Christians thought of Jesus as a spiritual sky god, his appearance in the later gospels as a living man must have been a fictional creation.

Some people claim that many of Jesus' disciples and apostles died for their beliefs, and this proves that Jesus must have existed and been divine.  However we don't even know if the disciples existed, much less how they died.  All of the information about them comes from later stories and the Bible, which we've seen is highly questionable.  Even if the stories about the apostles are true, they could easily have been deluded or crazy.

Other Religions and Myths of the Time
Studying other religions and myths of the time, and the (non-orthodox) competing versions of Christianity, is complicated by the fact that many of their texts and references to them were not copied or were destroyed by faithful Christians (especially during the notorious book-burnings of the fourth and fifth centuries).  Once a Christian sect gained absolute political power under Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, opponents were compelled by threat of death, prison, or dispossession to fall in line. 
Christianity has many similarities to what we know of previous religions from Greece, Persia, Egypt and still other places — and is by no means unique.  There were more than a dozen other deities and saviors (Mithra, Osiris/Serapis, Inanna/Ishtar, Horus, Perseus, Bacchus, Attis, Hermes, Adonis, Hercules/Heracles, Tammuz, Asclepius, and Prometheus) who were resurrected after violent deaths.  Many of these gods had their births announced by stars, had a virgin mother and divine father (or other miraculous birth), or had tyrants try to kill them as infants.  The two main Christian holidays were incorporated from earlier pagan rituals and festivals.  Easter (near the spring equinox, and with its fertility symbols of rabbits and eggs) was named after the pagan Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre.  Christmas was formerly the Roman festival Saturnalia (for the god Saturn), and more than a dozen gods were born on December 25 (the old winter solstice, when the sun is “reborn” and starts rising in the sky) — Jesus, Mithra, Zeus/Jupiter, Horus, Attis, Dionysus, Adonis, Tammuz, Hercules/Heracles, Perseus, Bacchus, Apollo, Helios, and Sol Invictus.

Mithra had the most similarities to Jesus.  Mithra was born in very humble circumstances with shepherds watching, had twelve disciples (as in twelve signs of the zodiac), raised the dead, was often depicted with a halo, and was known as “The Light of the World” and “The Good Shepherd.”  After he died, he joined God to judge the souls of the dead.  Thru him sinners could be reborn into eternal life.  Because Mithra was a sun god, he was worshipped on Sundays.  His followers had ritual meals of bread and wine, which represented his flesh and blood.  It's not surprising that Mithraism died out as Christianity spread.
The Christian custom of the Eucharist (with bread and wine) was likely derived by Paul from Mithraism, because drinking blood has always been an abomination in Judaism.
Former fundamentalist Robert M Price wrote, “In broad outline and in detail, the life of Jesus as portrayed in the gospels corresponds to the worldwide Mythic Hero Archetype in which a divine hero's birth is supernaturally predicted and conceived, the infant hero escapes attempts to kill him, demonstrates his precocious wisdom already as a child, receives a divine commission, defeats demons, wins acclaim, is hailed as king, then betrayed, losing popular favor, executed, often on a hilltop, and is vindicated and taken up to heaven.”

Extra-Biblical Evidence
As for the extra-biblical historicity of Jesus, there is absolutely no reliable contemporary evidence that he ever even existed.  He made no impression on any historian of the first century.  If Jesus existed or if the spectacular events in the gospels really happened, they would have been noted by many writers — including Philo of Alexandria (who wrote extensively about Judea during the alleged time of Jesus), Seneca the Elder, Pliny the Elder, Justus of Tiberius, and over thirty others. None of these men referred to Jesus or the fantastical biblical events.  The earliest extra-biblical supposed references to Jesus or Christ are in one paragraph and one sentence in the writings (about 93 CE) attributed to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (who also wrote about Hercules).  Here are the supposed references, in his Jewish Antiquities:
18.3.3 — “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.  For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks.  He was the Messiah.  And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease.  He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him.  And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”
20.9.1 — “...brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James...”
The sentence is far too brief to mean much.  The phrase "who was called Christ" is awkward and was likely inserted by a transcriber.  Plus, a few lines later Josephus refers to Jesus, the son of Damneus.  This is likely the Jesus referred to in the sentence. The paragraph looks like just about everything a Christian could hope for, to prove that Jesus actually existed.  Unfortunately, it's an obvious latter insertion — almost certainly created by “church historian” Eusebius, who first referred to it shortly before Emperor Constantine's Council of Nicaea in 325 CE.  We know this for several reasons:
  • Despite the fact that Josephus' writings were widely read, no Christian or scholar before Eusebius refers to it, especially not the Christian scholar Origen, whose library Eusebius used.
  • Origen even wrote that Josephus did not believe in Jesus Christ.
  • If the pious Jew Josephus had truly thought that Jesus was the Messiah, he would have become a Christian.
  • It's unlikely that Josephus would have referred to the accusing Jews as “the principal men among us.”
  • There never was a “tribe of Christians.”
  • Copies of Josephus' works existed, that lacked either reference to Jesus.
  • The style of the text is radically different from the rest of his writings.
  • The text is completely out of context with the paragraphs around it, and interrupts their story line.  The next paragraph begins, "About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder..."  This refers to the previous paragraph, where Pilate had his soldiers massacre a large crowd of Jews in Jerusalem.
  • Josephus wrote extensively about many minor people of the time.  A single paragraph and sentence for the Messiah is impossible.
With these two spurious references removed from Josephus' writings, he becomes strong negative evidence for Jesus.  If Jesus had existed, Josephus would have written extensively about him.
There are some supposed second century references to Christians or Christ - by several men.  In about 100 CE, Pliny the Younger referred to Christians in Asia Minor, but he didn't refer to Jesus.  The most used Christian reference from that century is by Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 CE).  He purportedly wrote around 117 CE about “Christos” being executed by Pontius Pilate.  However, Tacitus would have used Jesus' name, not his religious title “Christos.”  Notedly, Tacitus' reference was not mentioned by Origen, Eusebius, Tertullian (who quotes a great deal from Tacitus) or Clement of Alexandria in the third century.  It was likely added in 1468 by Johannes de Spire of Venice, because no mention is made of it in any known text prior to then, but there are many later references. Another writer, Suetonius, in about 120 CE referred to a man named Chrestus and his Jewish followers.  However, “Chrestus” is the correct Latin form of an actual Greek name, and is not a misspelling of “Christos.”

Even if the references by Josephus, Tacitus, and others in the second century are original, they only amount to second-hand testimony or hearsay written 60 or more years after the purported events, or simply refer to Christian beliefs of the time.  The fact that modern Christians have to rely on these supposed references exemplifies the weakness of their claims for an historical Jesus Christ.

Some people think that the Shroud of Turin is physical evidence for the existence of Jesus.  However, scientific analysis shows that the Shroud is a forgery.  It depicts a man two inches taller in front than he is in back, its “blood” is actually the pigment red ocher (real blood would be black), and it's been carbon-dated to 1260-1390 CE (consistent with when it was first “discovered” in 1357).  It's also ludicrous to think that the Shroud was kept hidden for over 1300 years until the crusaders came to the Middle East, looking for souvenirs to take home (like most tourists).  Some enterprising forger likely made a bundle.

Could it be that “The Greatest Story Ever Told” is just a story?  Is one of the most influential characters in history just a myth?  Have billions of people believed in a fictional messiah?  Did people die for their Christian faith in vain?  This isn't so far-fetched; people believe lies all the time and even kill or die for them or for their religion.  Look at Jonestown, Heaven's Gate, the Solar Temple, 9/11, suicide bombers, and the almost countless wars and slaughters based completely on religion.

Because many people's minds are infected with religion, they don't like to question the existence of their savior or prophet.  Religion causes people to accept irrational ideas with little or no evidence.  If I were to say that banana Popsicles can make people invisible, most people would likely ask for a little proof.  But, a very old book emulates other myths of the time and says that 2000 years ago some guy was born with a ghost as his father and a virgin as his mother; this guy did miracles, was killed, came back to life, and rose bodily up to heaven — and billions of people accept the story seemingly without question.

So, let's look at the evidence we have.  From the earliest Christian epistle authors such as Paul, we have little to indicate that Jesus was a real person.  And, we have strong evidence that to them he was just a spiritual sky god, constructed from earlier myths.  From the later (and unknown) writers of the gospels, we have a story that grew over time, with more fantastical events added as the story was told and re-told — just like a myth.  None of the gospel authors even claimed to have met Jesus.  From the historians of the first century we have nothing.  Nothing!

PAUL ON JESUS - Hebrews 8:4 — “If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.”

PAUL ON THE SOURCE OF THE JESUS STORY - Galatians 1:11,12 — “I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”

PAUL ON THE SOURCE OF THE JESUS STORY - Romans 16:25-26 — “Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings ...”

PAUL ON THE SOURCE OF THE JESUS STORY - 1 Corinthians 1:7 — “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.”   

In Mark 5 and Luke 8, Jesus went to the country of the Gerasenes, transferred demons from a man into 2000 pigs, and drowned them in the sea.  However that was about 31 miles from Galilee, the nearest sea.  The King James translators realized this, and changed the location to “the country of the Gadarenes,” which was close to the sea.  Later translators used the original.  [Check out translations of Matthew 8 for different locations.]  In Mark 10, Jesus said that a woman could divorce her husband, which was impossible in Palestine at that time.  

Did Jesus fulfill the Prophesy?
  • THE PROPHESIED COMING OF ISRAEL'S RULER - Micah 5:2 — But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
  • THE BIRTH OF JESUS FORETOLD - Luke 1:32,33 — [Jesus] will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob [Israel] forever; his kingdom will never end.  [NOTE: Jesus never reigned over Israel.]
  • FALSE PROPHESY - Isaiah 7:14 — Therefore the Lord himself will give you [King Ahaz] a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.  [NOTE: The original word (“almah”) in Hebrew meant maiden, not virgin (“betulot”).  The context also shows that this was meant for its time, not about 700 years later.  In addition, 2 Chronicles 28 shows that King Ahaz lost the battle. And, Jesus was never called Immanuel in the Bible.]
  • THE PROPHESIED NAZIRITE - Judges 13:5 — “ ...because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” [NOTE: This actually referred to Samson, not Jesus (about 1100 years later).]
  • NAZARETH, NAZARENE, NAZIRITE CONFUSED - Matthew 2:23 — [Joseph] went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.” [NOTE: “Nazarene” and “Nazareth” are never used in the Old Testament.]
  • ISRAEL (JESUS?) IN EGYPT - Hosea 11:1 — “When Israel was a child, I [God] loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”  [NOTE: This denotes a past event, not one over 700 years later. It likely referred to the mythical exodus of the Jews from Egypt.]
  • JESUS IN EGYPT - Matthew 2:13-15 — When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
  • PROPHESY OF THE “SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS” - Jeremiah 31:15 — This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.”  [NOTE: Matthew 2:18 refers to this, but Ramah was on the other side of Jerusalem from Bethlehem.  Also, a 600 year-old tale of one woman weeping for her children hardly conveys the magnitude of the supposed slaughter.]
  • HEROD'S “SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS” - Matthew 2:16 — When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under.[NOTE: Herod's “slaughter of the innocents” is not recorded by any historian of the time or in any other gospel. However, it fulfilled a common story line for saviors.]
  • THE PROPHESIED COMING OF ZION'S KING - Zechariah 9:9 — Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
  • JESUS RIDES TWO ANIMALS AT ONCE! - Matthew 21:7 — They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. [NOTE: A person can't sit on the backs of two animals. The author mistranslated Zechariah 9:9, which actually meant one animal.]
  • CRUCIFICTION FORETOLD? - Psalm 22:16 — Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
  • JUDAS' PAYMENT FORETOLD? - Zechariah 11:12 — I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people. There occurs no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. Devastating to historians, there occurs not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus came well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either: unknown authors, people who had never met an earthly Jesus, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings. Although one can argue that many of these writings come from fraud or interpolations, I will use the information and dates to show that even if these sources did not come from interpolations, they could still not serve as reliable evidence for a historical Jesus, simply because all sources about Jesus derive from hearsay accounts.

What appears most revealing of all comes not from what people later wrote about Jesus but what people did not write about him. Consider that not a single historian, philosopher, scribe or follower who lived before or during the alleged time of Jesus ever mentions him!
If, indeed, the Gospels portray a historical look at the life of Jesus, then the one feature that stands out prominently within the stories shows that people claimed to know Jesus far and wide, not only by a great multitude of followers but by the great priests, the Roman governor Pilate, and Herod who claims that he had heard "of the fame of Jesus" (Matt 14:1)". One need only read Matt: 4:25 where it claims that "there followed him [Jesus] great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan." The gospels mention, countless times, the great multitude that followed Jesus and crowds of people who congregated to hear him. So crowded had some of these gatherings grown, that Luke 12:1 alleges that an "innumerable multitude of people... trode one upon another." Luke 5:15 says that there grew "a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear..." The persecution of Jesus in Jerusalem drew so much attention that all the chief priests and scribes, including the high priest Caiaphas, not only knew about him but helped in his alleged crucifixion. (see Matt 21:15-23, 26:3, Luke 19:47, 23:13). The multitude of people thought of Jesus, not only as a teacher and a miracle healer, but a prophet (see Matt:14:5).

So here we have the gospels portraying Jesus as famous far and wide, a prophet and healer, with great multitudes of people who knew about him, including the greatest Jewish high priests and the Roman authorities of the area, and not one person records his existence during his lifetime? If the poor, the rich, the rulers, the highest priests, and the scribes knew about Jesus, who would not have heard of him?

Then we have a particular astronomical event that would have attracted the attention of anyone interested in the "heavens." According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst." Yet not a single mention of such a three hour ecliptic event got recorded by anyone, including the astronomers and astrologers, anywhere in the world, including Pliny the Elder and Seneca who both recorded eclipses from other dates. Note also that, for obvious reasons, solar eclipses can't occur during a full moon (passovers always occur during full moons), Nor does a single contemporary person write about the earthquake described in Matthew 27:51-54 where the earth shook, rocks ripped apart (rent), and graves opened.

Matthew 2 describes Herod and all of Jerusalem as troubled by the worship of the infant Jesus. Herod then had all of the children of Bethlehem slain. If such extraordinary infanticides of this magnitude had occurred, why didn't anyone write about it?
Some apologists attempt to dig themselves out of this problem by claiming that there lived no capable historians during that period, or due to the lack of education of the people with a writing capacity, or even sillier, the scarcity of paper gave reason why no one recorded their "savior." But the area in and surrounding Jerusalem served, in fact, as the center of education and record keeping for the Jewish people. The Romans, of course, also kept many records. Moreover, the gospels mention scribes many times, not only as followers of Jesus but the scribes connected with the high priests. And as for historians, there lived plenty at the time who had the capacity and capability to record, not only insignificant gossip, but significant events, especially from a religious sect who drew so much popular attention through an allegedly famous and infamous Jesus.

Take, for example, the works of Philo Judaeus whose birth occurred in 20 B.C.E. and died 50 C.E. He lived as the greatest Jewish-Hellenistic philosopher and historian of the time and lived in the area of Jerusalem during the alleged life of Jesus. He wrote detailed accounts of the Jewish events that occurred in the surrounding area. Yet not once, in all of his volumes of writings, do we read a single account of a Jesus "the Christ." Nor do we find any mention of Jesus in Seneca's (4? B.C.E. - 65 C.E.), writings nor from the historian Pliny the Elder (23? - 79 C.E.).
If, indeed, such a well known Jesus existed, as the gospels allege, does any reader here think it reasonable that, at the very least, the fame of Jesus would not have reached the ears of one of these men?

Amazingly, we have not one Jewish, Greek, or Roman writer, even those who lived in the Middle East, much less anywhere else on the earth, who ever mention him during his supposed life time. This appears quite extraordinary, and you will find few Christian apologists who dare mention this embarrassing fact.
To illustrate this extraordinary absence of Jesus Christ literature, just imagine going through nineteenth century literature looking for an Abraham Lincoln but unable to find a single mention of him in any writing on earth until the 20th century. Yet straight-faced Christian apologists and historians want you to buy a factual Jesus out of a dearth void of evidence, and rely on nothing but hearsay written well after his purported life. Considering that most Christians believe that Jesus lived as God on earth, the Almighty gives an embarrassing example for explaining his existence. You'd think a Creator might at least have the ability to bark up some good solid evidence.

Some people actually believe that just because so much voice and ink has spread the word of a character named Jesus throughout history, that this must mean that he actually lived. This argument simply does not hold. The number of people who believe or write about something or the professional degrees they hold say nothing at all about fact. Facts derive out of evidence, not from hearsay, not from hubris scholars, and certainly not from faithful believers. Regardless of the position or admiration held by a scholar, believer, or priest, if he or she cannot support a hypothesis with good evidence, then it can only remain a hypothesis.
While a likely possibility exists that an actual Jesus lived, another likely possibility reveals that a mythology could have derived out of earlier mythologies or possibly independent archetypal hero worship. Although we have no evidence for a historical Jesus, we certainly have many accounts of mythologies from the Middle East during the first century and before. Many of these stories appear similar to the Christ saviour story.

Just before and during the first century, the Jews had prophesied about an upcoming Messiah based on Jewish scripture. Their beliefs influenced many of their followers. We know that powerful beliefs can create self-fulfilling prophesies, and surely this proved just as true in ancient times. It served as a popular dream expressed in Hebrew Scripture for the promise of an "end-time" with a savior to lead them to the promised land. Indeed, Roman records show executions of several would-be Messiahs, (but not a single record mentions a Jesus). Many ancients believed that there could come a final war against the "Sons of Darkness"-- the Romans.

This then could very well have served as the ignition and flame for the future growth of Christianity. Biblical scholars tell us that the early Christians lived within pagan communities. Jewish scriptural beliefs coupled with the pagan myths of the time give sufficient information about how such a religion could have formed. Many of the Hellenistic and pagan myths parallel so closely to the alleged Jesus that to ignore its similarities means to ignore the mythological beliefs of history. Dozens of similar savior stories propagated the minds of humans long before the alleged life of Jesus. Virtually nothing about Jesus "the Christ" came to the Christians as original or new.

For example, the religion of Zoroaster, founded circa 628-551 B.C.E. in ancient Persia, roused mankind in the need for hating a devil, the belief of a paradise, last judgment and resurrection of the dead. Mithraism, an offshoot of Zoroastrianism probably influenced early Christianity. The Magi described in the New Testament appears as Zoroastrian priests. Note the word "paradise" came from the Persian pairidaeza.

Osiris, Hercules, Hermes, Prometheus, Perseus, Romulus, and others compare to the Christian myth. According to Patrick Campbell of The Mythical Jesus, all served as pre-Christian sun gods, yet all allegedly had gods for fathers, virgins for mothers; had their births announced by stars; got born on the solstice around December 25th; had tyrants who tried to kill them in their infancy; met violent deaths; rose from the dead; and nearly all got worshiped by "wise men" and had allegedly fasted for forty days. [McKinsey, Chapter 5]
Even Justin Martyr recognized the analogies between Christianity and Paganism. To the Pagans, he wrote: "When we say that the Word, who is first born of God, was produced without sexual union, and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter (Zeus)." [First Apology, ch. xxi]
Virtually all of the mythical accounts of a savior Jesus have parallels to past pagan mythologies which existed long before Christianity and from the Jewish scriptures that we now call the Old Testament. The accounts of these myths say nothing about historical reality, but they do say a lot about believers, how they believed, and how their beliefs spread.

In the book The Jesus Puzzle, the biblical scholar, Earl Doherty, presents not only a challenge to the existence of an historical Jesus but reveals that early pre-Gospel Christian documents show that the concept of Jesus sprang from non-historical spiritual beliefs of a Christ derived from Jewish scripture and Hellenized myths of savior gods. Nowhere do any of the New Testament epistle writers describe a human Jesus, including Paul. None of the epistles mention a Jesus from Nazareth, an earthly teacher, or as a human miracle worker. Nowhere do we find these writers quoting Jesus. Nowhere do we find them describing any details of Jesus' life on earth or his followers. Nowhere do we find the epistle writers even using the word "disciple" (they of course use the term "apostle" but the word simply means messenger, as Paul saw himself). Except for a few well known interpolations, Jesus always gets presented as a spiritual being that existed before all time with God, and that knowledge of Christ came directly from God or as a revelation from the word of scripture. Doherty writes, "Christian documents outside the Gospels, even at the end of the first century and beyond, show no evidence that any tradition about an earthly life and ministry of Jesus were in circulation."
Furthermore, the epistle to the Hebrews (8:4), makes it explicitly clear that the epistle writer did not believe in a historical Jesus: "If He [Jesus] had been on earth, He would not be a priest."

Did the Christians copy (or steal) the pagan ideas directly into their own faith? Not necessarily. They may have gotten many of their beliefs through syncretism or through independent hero archetype worship, innate to human story telling. If gotten through syncretism, Jews and pagans could very well have influenced the first Christians, especially the ideas of salvation and beliefs about good and evil. Later, at the time of the gospels, other myths may entered Christian beliefs such a the virgin birth and miracles. In the 4th century, we know that Christians derived the birthday of Jesus from the pagans. If gotten through independent means, it still says nothing about Christian originality because we know that pagans had beliefs about incarnated gods, long before Christianity existed. The hero archetypes still exist in our story telling today. As one personal example, as a boy I used to read and collect Superman comics. It never occurred to me at the time to see Superman as a Christ-figure. Yet, if you analyze Superman and Jesus stories, they have uncanny similarities. In fact the movie Superman Returns explicitly tells the Superman story through a savior's point of view without once mentioning Jesus, yet Christians would innately know the connection. Other movies like Star Wars, Phenomenon, K-PAX, The Matrix, etc. also covertly tell savior stories. So whether the first Christians borrowed or independently came up with a savior story makes no difference whatsoever. The point here only aims to illustrate that Christians did not originate the savior story.

The early historical documents can prove nothing about an actual Jesus but they do show an evolution of belief derived from varied and diverse concepts of Christianity, starting from a purely spiritual form of Christ to a human figure that embodied that spirit, as portrayed in the Gospels. The New Testament stories appears as an eclectic hodgepodge of Jewish, Hellenized and pagan stories compiled by pietistic believers to appeal to an audience for their particular religious times.

As a Theologian I present you with the facts and myths of Jesus and how people can manipulate the truth to have millions of followers and religious people thinking that there is in fact a Jesus. The proof is in the pudding that Jesus was not real, never has been real and that the entire Bible is fictional writing.

This is just with the New Testament. I will write and compile other authors articles for confirmation about the Old Testament and how it all blends in with Ancient Mythology.
I am not bias in my Theology and how I go about doing my work. But I remember growing up as a Catholic and getting in trouble because I asked, “Where are the Dinosaurs in the Bible?” Another question had me sent home because I had asked why there were two types of man? (Homo-Sapiens and Neanderthal). Why isn't it in the Bible?
These questions will be tackled with in another article.

In conclusion of my findings as well as others. I have no problem with those who run on a blind faith. I did it myself. But, I find it disturbing when those of the faith start to throw scripture at me and telling me that I am a devil worshiper or even worse.
Understand that I know the Bible in and out, up and down and cross ways. I just refer them to this article which I hope you find very interesting to read and ponder on.
No matter what you feel. The Facts do not lie! They are the truth!

Contributing Writings by: Jim Walker, Tim Baker, Ron Serrell, Dr. Gale Candice Revilla

"I give you a Seed of Truth, nurture it and Grow." ~ Dr. Gale Candice

In Love and Light,

Dr. Gale Candice Revilla
(Candice ~ Enchantress)

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