Controversial author Joseph Atwill is holding a conference in London, October 19 to make a big announcement. He claims that Jesus didn’t exist and that Christ our Savoir and Lord was devised by Roman aristocrats and that the New Testament is a fabrication.
Atwill’s claim is based off of his personal suppositions and conclusions derived from the writings of Josephus Flavius, the first century documentarian. Atwill however excludes explicit statements of fact by Josephus that claim both the existence of Jesus and that he was the Christ.
Atwill claims, “Jesus was invented by the Roman Empire as a form of “psychological warfare” to control its subjects. Joseph Atwill suggests that the entire New Testament was actually written by a group of Roman aristocrats in the hopes that their idea of a “peaceful Messiah” could be used to guide the behaviors of the population. H/T MSN
Joseph Atwill, who is the author of a book entitled ‘Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus’, asserts that Christianity did not begin as a religion, but was actually a sophisticated government propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of the Roman Empire. H/T Independent
According to Atwill’s press release, “I present my work with some ambivalence, as I do not want to directly cause Christians any harm,” he acknowledges, “but this is important for our culture. Alert citizens need to know the truth about our past so we can understand how and why governments create false histories and false gods. They often do it to obtain a social order that is against the best interests of the common people.” Atwill Press Release
“When the Roman had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare. They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system. That’s when the ‘peaceful’ Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to ‘give onto Caesar’ and pay their taxes to Rome.” Atwill Press Release.
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2Peter 2:1-3
Atwill’s Press release Claims, “most intriguing discovery came to him while he was studying “Wars of the Jews” by Josephus [the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea] alongside the New Testament. ” What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus. This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern. The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar.”
Proving Hoax Wrong
This is where Atwill’s theory falls apart. The very source (Josephus) he gives to draw his own conclusions that Jesus was made up is the very source that explicitly states the physical presence of Jesus and that Jesus Christ was in fact the Christ.
“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day , as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.”The Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.3
There is yet a second reference regarding the physical presence of Jesus here on earth and that he was the Christ in The Antiquities of the Jews 20.9.1. There Josephus states when Christ was brought before the Sanhedrin that, “Jesus, who was called the Christ”.
What we have here with Mr.Atwill as it would appear, that he is preying upon those unfamiliar with the works of Josephus. Flavius Josephus, a Pharisee considered his own writings to be documentation, a written history of events and not divinely inspired. I think of Josephus as a first century news reporter. In any case Atwill makes suppositions while denying clear statements of facts from the writer himself.
Watch the movie trailer below about Atwill’s claim tht Jesus was a roman hoax.
From the Atwill Press Release: “Atwill encourages skeptics to challenge him at Conway Hall, where after the presentations there is likely to be a lively Q&A session. Joining Mr. Atwill will be fellow scholar Kenneth Humphreys, author of the book “Jesus Never Existed.”
Scripture forewarns of people like Atwill, false prophets and those who deny Christ. Here is a sampling of a few verses. We encourage everyone to read their Bibles daily. The power of God and his word is true knowledge and our shield against every fiery dart.
“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:33
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Colossians 2:8
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” Galatians 3:1
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” Ephesians 5:6
What do you think? Do you think Jesus was a Roman hoax? Post your comments on it below.