Sunday, February 16, 2020

Chronicle Review: Caesar's Messiah

At the risk of hyperbole and malicious guffaws, we are prepared to assert and defend the thesis that Joseph Atwill's Caesar's Messiah is the most important book of the last 2000 years.

One might protest indignantly that other contenders are more plausible for such an encomium, such as the Bible, The Origin of Species, or Harry Potter. But none of these books lays waste to a myth which has gripped Western civilization, namely the religion of Christianity.

In a nutshell, Atwill presents conclusive evidence that Christianity was the invention of the Roman court, more specifically the Flavian Caesars, used to pacify the incorrigible Jews who refused to submit to Roman authority. Without an historical Jesus, one could argue that there is no Christianity.

We hedge in our last statement because many believe that Christianity can survive without a real Jesus, and in some respects, this is precisely what the past 2000 years has proven. Perhaps Atwill has not laid waste to anything after all.

The Roman senate was wont to proclaim its emperors gods, starting with Julius Caesar. It took some work to anoint the Flavians thusly, namely Vespasian and his two sons Titus and Domitian. But once done, Vespasian is God the Father, Titus is God the Son, and Domitian is God the Holy Spirit - the trinity of Christianity.

The substance of the proof of Christianity's origins as a psychological warfare tool is grounded in the observation that both the Gospels and Josephus' Jewish Wars are to be read intertextually with each providing linkage to the other. Indeed early versions of the New Testament often included the works of Josephus as an addendum. Christianity thus morphs the Jewish messiah into the Roman messiah, namely Titus, through the use of fabricated history.

Atwill discovered that the military campaign of Titus mirrors precisely that of Jesus' ministry in Judea and environs. As one example, the author spends much time showing that the expression "fishers of men" is actually a dark comic reference to a sea battle at Gadara near the Dead Sea where the Jews were finally overwhelmed by the Romans who used their spears to kill Jewish soldiers as they flailed about in the water.

We also learn that there is more than one Jesus in the Gospels, the most important of whom is the avatar of Titus who prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem, and who is always presented as good compliant Roman citizen urging acquiescence to governmental authority and the payment of taxes. In the famous episode of rendering unto Caesar the things which are Caesars, and unto God the things which God's, Atwill notes the cutting sarcasm when he points out that Caesar and God are one and the same person.

The possibility that Josephus' sequence of movements for Titus and that of Jesus would be coincidence are shown by Atwill to be mathematical absurdities.

In one of the most important sections of the book, Atwill shows that the story of the resurrected Christ is actually a nearly slapstick comedy of errors of mistaken identify and naïve beliefs between the Lazarus who died, and the Jesus who died. Lazarus' empty tomb was confused with that of Jesus - but not the Jesus of Titus - but that of Jesus Barabbas whom Pilate tired to release. Raising Lazarus from the dead was simply a Roman detail's removal of Lazarus' corpse from his grave - See! he arose. Think of the vignette as a madcap adventure of Lucy and Ethel in I Love Lucy.

Atwill also notes similarities between Stoicism and other Roman philosophies with Christianity which were designed to create docile, compliant, and subservient citizenry - for example - turn the other cheek.

Before closing, we should note that the prophesies of Jesus against Jerusalem mirror precisely the campaign of Titus in destroying the city. This provides the conclusive proof that one of the Gospel Jesuses is indeed Titus. In fact, many preterist eschatologies demand that the Roman army be the proxy of God in destroying a rebellious Jewish generation which did not know the hour of its visitation by the true messiah.

Having watched numerous interviews given by Atwill, I was surprised by the amount of undisclosed material yet in the book. We agree that Christianity and its many frauds may never die, but its viability is very much a subject of human depravity which refuses to cherish the truth.

Joseph Atwill, Caesar's Messiah: Flavian Signature Edition, 2011.

Copyright 2020 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.