Friday, September 22, 2017

Was Jesus the Mother of All Conspiracies?

Is Jesus the mother of all conspiracies? According to a documentary published a few years ago, Caesar's Messiah, the founder of the Christian religion was the psychological warfare tool of the Roman emperors to control the empire in the aftermath of the Jewish revolt which was finally crushed in 73 AD - only to be crushed again in 135.

While other theories of Roman uses of the Christian religion focus on the fourth century Constantine, Caesar's Messiah takes the story back to the Flavian emperors who ruled from 69-96 AD. In order to avoid future costly wars, the Flavians turned to psychological methods to pacify its captive populations.

The protagonists in this plot were the Flavian caesars themselves, most notably Vespasian and his son Titus, the Jewish historian Josephus who was adopted into the Flavian family, and the Jewish Alexanders of Alexandria, one of whose scions was Philo. While Josephus and the Alexanders were Jewish, their sympathies were clearly Roman, the latter of whom had married into the Flavian family.

Josephus led a rebellion against Rome in the mid 60s, but when faced with defeat changed his allegiances to Rome, after which he became the highly feted court historian. But there is some argument that Josephus himself was a fictional character.

One of the main commentators in the documentary, Joseph Atwill, compared the writings of Josephus with those of the gospels. He found 40 points of similarity between actions of Titus, whom he argues is the Son of Man spoken of by Jesus in the Gospels, and of Jesus. One example offered is that both Jesus and Titus go to Jerusalem sending messengers ahead of their arrivals. Another example is that Titus found the Jews fighting among themselves, with the parallel Gospel event being Jesus' saying that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

An even more interesting parallel is that Titus ordered all of the fruit trees leading to Jerusalem from the Roman camps cut down which corresponds to Jesus cursing the fig tree. While some may dismiss the parallels as somewhat vague or inconclusive, the cumulative weight of 40 of them makes it virtually impossible to be coincidence. The conclusion is that the Gospels relied upon Josephus for their constructions. This connection might help resolve unknowns regarding the elusive Q document spoken of by modernist theologians as being a source document for parts of Luke and John.

The prophecies which Jesus gave concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled precisely as "predicted" with Titus, the Son of Man, fulfilling the eschaton.

The reference to the Son of Man is quite possibly the relationship between Vespasian and Titus whom the Roman Senate decreed were gods, and whose images were placed in all temples throughout the empire, including the Jewish Temple. This relationship anticipates the trinity members the Father and Son. Perhaps the 2d son Domitian represents the Holy Spirit.

At this point we get to the allegations of anti-Semitism in the Gospels. As an aside, we note that the Jews are not the only Semitic people - in fact they are a miniscule percentage of them. So the term is used for more Jewish whining and special pleading. According to Caesar's Messiah, the Romans took the incendiary Jewish writings, including the Old Testament, in order to remove any possible future incitations to rebellion. In their places, the Romans invented the Gospels to teach a pacifist, cheek turning attitude, and compliance with Roman authority. So the Messianic Jews were made to be the sinister heavies in the crucifixion of Jesus, with Pilate washing his hands of the dastardly deed.

Thus good Jews would follow the Son of Man, ie Titus and the Roman emperors exemplified by the beatific and pacifistic teachings of Messiah, while the bad Jews would follow the bellicose Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes and their messianic Christ - not Jesus - who would deliver them from the Romans.

In this context, Jesus' troubling statement that he came only for the lost tribes of Israel makes perfect sense. The word for lost is actually a Greek word meaning punished or destroyed; it does not mean misplaced. Thus the Roman Jesus came with a new gospel only for the recalcitrant Jews who needed to fall in line. While messianic rebels certainly paid it no heed, much larger and docile swaths of the population did.

The Alexanders of Alexandria bankrolled much of the literary production which formed the Gospel writings, while Josephus and other unnamed authors produced either the source material or perhaps the Gospels themselves. With these religious documents, Christians and good Jews would learn submissiveness to the authorities.

On its surface the case seems persuasive with Christianity being exposed as a pagan Roman religion foisted upon its peoples in order to suppress rebellious tendencies. If this is the case, then the Gospels would have been written sometime between 80-150, with 80-100 being the most likely span since this was a Flavian project.

It would be interesting to find out what the subsequent emperors did with this legacy. Returning to Constantine, Atwill suggests with strong evidence that the emperor chose Christianity as the state religion because it was the family cult. In other words, Constantine was probably a descendant of the Flavians - he was known as Flavian Constantine - and was honoring his family by selecting their religion as the new Roman established religion.


Reference
Caesar's Messiah - The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus

Copyright 2017 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.