Caesar's Messiah: Rome Invented Jesus, New Doc Claims

Those were trying times for Rome. Nero, the last of the Julio-Claudian Caesars and a big spender with a reputedly homicidal temper, was on the throne. Stories abound of how he attempted to poison his mother, kicked one of his wives to death, and personally ordered the upside-down crucifixion of St. Peter. Lies and half-truths, most of those tales, but stuff like that sticks. More important, Nero’s Roman Empire was going broke.

While Rome simmered, Palestine cooked. The Jews loathed the Romans. They didn’t want statues of Roman emperors in their temples, didn’t want to pay taxes to prop up the empire, and, most of all, didn't want Caesar’s emissaries making claims on their promised land. And they were recklessly brave in battle. Hot rebellion was in the air.

Through all that, a loose cannon of a prophet was reportedly roaming through the Judean war zone, preaching pacifism and spouting profundities like, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s.”

That’s the situation, more or less, that Joseph Atwill describes at the beginning of Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus, the new documentary movie based on Atwill’s book of the same name. (The film screens at Laemmle Music Hall 3 staring September 28 and is available for sale at Atwill's website, caesarsmessiah.com.)

The wandering prophet was, of course, Jesus Christ. Atwill, a self-taught biblical scholar, contends that not only was there no historical figure of that name, but also the legends that accumulated around him were actually created by the Romans as a way of pacifying the Jews. The evidence is overwhelming, he says.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Jewish texts discovered in caves in Israel in 1947, give a different picture than the idyllic first century Holy Land of the Gospels. From year one, there were battles and confrontations between the Romans and the Jews, the Scrolls note, and there was no turning of the other cheek by the likes of rebel leader Judah of Galilee. And there was nary a mention in the Scrolls of the peaceable prophet Jesus Christ.

“This is where I came into Christian scholarship,” says Atwill, 63, an investor who lives by the proceeds of a dot-com sell off in the 1990s. “There was supposedly this character, Jesus, wandering around in Galilee. Nobody knew anything about him. Galilee is only 30 miles long. Jesus and other historical figures of the time would have known each other.”

Atwill, an admittedly bookish man, dived in headfirst, digging out whatever historical records he could find, studying the Scrolls, and reading Roman accounts, notably that of a family member of the Flavian dynasty of Caesars named Josephus. He found no historical Jesus in any of those writings. But there were some uncanny connections between the story of Jesus as told in the Gospels and the family of Roman emperors who took power after Nero was forced to commit suicide following a coup d’état.

The movie spells out an intriguing scenario of creative deception by the Romans: Sometime in the mid 70s AD, Atwill suggests, Greco-Roman intellectuals wrote the now-well-known stories—in Greek, not the popular Aramaic of the Judaic populace—about the Jewish messiah who defied the Judaic traditions of militancy to preach a sweet, accommodationist message. The legends began to take hold in the decades that followed. The illiterate peasants of the time couldn't read them, of course. But preachers preached it—preachers who were given the red-carpet treatment by Roman authorities.

What about all those Christians being fed to the lions in the colosseum? True enough, Atwill says. Only the victims weren’t followers of Jesus but militant Jews who, as believers in a messiah, or christos in Greek, qualified as “Christians” and earned the ire of the Caesars.

Atwill and other scholars maintain that the Romans were ingenious in pulling off the pacifist hoax, so useful to the ruthless men who administered the Roman empire. They were able to “create a type of Judaism that was benign,” says one commentator.

The Romans even got in a plug for the godlike qualities of the bloody Roman general and soon-to-be Caesar Flavius Titus. It was Titus who led the Romans against the Jews in the war of 66 to 73, crushing the towns of Galilee, laying siege to Jerusalem, and ultimately razing the Jewish temple there. Encoded in the Gospels, Atwill contends, are multiple references to Titus, establishing a direct connection between the emperor and Jesus. Reading the Gospels along with Josephus’s Wars of the Jews, the parallels are striking. There are dual encounters, addresses to followers, random incidents, “all these little weird parallels,” Atwill says. They all took place in the same locations, often using the same words, but 40 years apart. Thus, Jesus recruits two fishermen on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and says, “I will make you fishers of men.” At the same spot 40 years later, Josephus describes the Romans in a sea battle, catching rebels from a capsized boat with their spears, like fishermen hooking fish.

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4 comments
ralf.ellis
ralf.ellis

Atwill's evidence for this is circumstantial. But the gospel events did take place in the late AD 60s, which is why Jesus describes the siege of Jerusalem in Luke 19:43.

If you want the complete evidence for this, and find out who Jesus really was, you need to read 'King Jesus' and 'Jesus, King of Edessa'.

dnlm
dnlm

“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.”

Yet his entire written message was the opposite.. I am not writing this to prove their is a God, but to show these people have no clue as to what they are talking about since their whole premise is the exact opposite of what was actually taught.

Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Acts 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, (Did Not Accept Christ's Teaching Of Liberty/ Simplicity / Christ Being King) moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down (Their Belief System) are come hither also;

7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do ---contrary to the decrees of Caesar---, saying that there is ---another king,(Authority - Ruler - Government) one Jesus.

Mark 10:42-45: But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered (notice how he uses the term considered..doesn't make it true) rulers (govt) over the Gentiles lord it (rule) over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. ---------Yet it shall not be so among you; ------but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

John 19:12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”

13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”

The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.[c]

chickenlips2007
chickenlips2007

God spoke to Moses long before the Roman Empire. God knows what is in the hearts of all men and women. He knows what our intent is and if we follow Him or Satan. God is real Mr. Atwill and could you explain how your writings bring glory and honor to Him? How dare you be so full of arrogance that you believe you are doing God and the world a service by removing Jesus Christ the son of God from history. We all will die one day and meet our maker but you will wish you were never born.

CenterOfThought
CenterOfThought

Edmund, they should replace you with a professional journalist...

 

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