The Jesus that should be…

… But is strangely Not

For JB tonight, I have copied and pasted the original article in full for the careful consideration of the WordPress community. JB was trying to mock the author of the article and by it, those who are less than convinced of the Historicity of the Jesus of the New Testament. Really? Did you have to go all the way back to 2014 for this one JB? 

But he succeeded in giving me new ‘food for thought’, Evidence for the Mythicist position on the so called ‘Person and Work’ of one Jesus of Nazareth. Well done, JB. I do appreciate you pointing me in the direction of this article. If anyone has any comments or thoughts, the comments section here is open for discussion, as always. Comment respectfully please.

Without further ado, I present… “The Fable of Christ”. Enjoy. -Kia

—–

JUL
10
2014

Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 34 issue 5

GOD ON TRIAL

The Fable of the Christ

Michael B. Paulkovich

I have always been a staunch Bible skeptic but not a Christ-mythicist. I maintained that Jesus probably existed but had fantastic stories foisted upon the memory of his earthly yet iconoclastic life.

After exhaustive research for my first book, I began to perceive both the light and darkness from history. I discovered that many prominent Christian fathers believed with all pious sincerity that their savior never came to Earth or that if he did, he was a Star-Trekian character who beamed down pre-haloed and full-grown, sans transvaginal egress. And I discovered other startling bombshells.

An exercise that struck me as meritorious, even today singular, involved reviving research into Jesus-era writers who should have recorded Christ tales but did not. John Remsburg enumerated forty-one “silent” historians in The Christ (1909). To this end, I spent many hours bivouacked in university libraries, the Library of Congress, and on the Internet. I terminated that foray upon tripling Remsburg’s count: in my book, I offer 126 writers who should have but did not write about Jesus (see the box on p. 57). Perhaps the most bewildering “silent one” is the super-Savior himself. Jesus is a phantom of a wisp of a personage who never wrote anything. So, add one more: 127.

Perhaps none of these writers is more fascinating than Apollonius Tyanus, saintly first-century adventurer and noble paladin. Apollonius was a magic-man of divine birth who cured the sick and blind, cleansed entire cities of plague, foretold the future, and fed the masses. He was worshiped as a god and as a son of a god. Despite such nonsense claims, Apollonius was a real man recorded by reliable sources.

Because Jesus ostensibly performed miracles of global expanse (such as in Matthew 27), his words going “unto the ends of the whole world” (Rom. 10), one would expect virtually every literate person to have recorded those events. A Jesus contemporary such as Apollonius would have done so, as well as those who wrote of Apollonius.

Such is not the case. In Philostratus’s third-century chronicle Vita Apollonii, there is no hint of Jesus. Nor does Jesus appear in the works of other Apollonius epistolarians and scriveners: Emperor Titus, Cassius Dio, Maximus, Moeragenes, Lucian, Soterichus Oasites, Euphrates, Marcus Aurelius, or Damis of Hierapolis. It seems that none of these first- to third-century writers ever heard of Jesus, his miracles and alleged worldwide fame be damned.

Another bewildering author is Philo of Alexandria. He spent his first-century life in the Levant and even traversed Jesus-land. Philo chronicled contemporaries of Jesus—Bassus, Pilate, Tiberius, Sejanus, Caligula—yet knew nothing of the storied prophet and rabble-rouser enveloped in glory and astral marvels.

Historian Flavius Josephus published his Jewish Wars circa 95 CE. He had lived in Japhia, one mile from Nazareth—yet Josephus seems unaware of both Nazareth and Jesus. (I devoted a chapter to the interpolations in Josephus’s works that make him appear to write of Jesus when he did not.)

The Bible venerates the artist formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, but he was a man essentially oblivious to his savior. Paul was unaware of the virgin mother and ignorant of Jesus’s nativity, parentage, life events, ministry, miracles, apostles, betrayal, trial, and harrowing passion. Paul didn’t know where or when Jesus lived and considered the crucifixion metaphorical (Gal. 2:19–20). Unlike what is claimed in the Gospels, Paul never indicated that Jesus had come to Earth. And the “five hundred witnesses” claim (1 Cor. 15) is a forgery.

Qumran, hidey-hole for the Dead Sea Scrolls, lies twelve miles from Bethlehem. The scroll writers, coeval and abutting the holiest of hamlets one jaunty jog eastward, never heard of Jesus. Christianity still had that new-cult smell in the second century, but Christian presbyter Marcion of Pontus in 144 CE denied any virgin birth or childhood for Christ. Jesus’s infant circumcision (Luke 2:21) was thus a lie, as well as the crucifixion! Marcion claimed that Luke was corrupted; Christ self-spawned in omnipresence, esprit sans corps.

I read the works of second-century Christian father Athenagoras and never encountered the word Jesus—Athenagoras was unacquainted with the name of his savior! This floored me. Had I missed something? No; Athenagoras was another pious early Christian who was unaware of Jesus.

The original Mark ended at 16:8, with later forgers adding the fanciful resurrection tale. John 21 also describes post-death Jesus tales, another forgery. Millions should have heard of the crucifixion with its astral enchantments: zombie armies and meteorological marvels (Matt. 27) recorded not by any historian but only in the dubitable scriptures scribbled decades later by superstitious folks. The Jesus saga is further deflated by Nazareth, a town without piety and in fact having no settlement until after the war of 70 CE—suspiciously, just around the time the Gospels were concocted.

Conclusion

When I consider those 126 writers, all of whom should haveheard of Jesus but did not—and Paul and Marcion and Athenagoras and Matthew with a tetralogy of opposing Christs, the silence from Qumran and Nazareth and Bethlehem, conflicting Bible stories, and so many other mysteries and omissions—I must conclude that Christ is a mythical character. Jesus of Nazareth was nothing more than an urban (or desert) legend, likely an agglomeration of several evangelic and deluded rabbis who might have existed.

I also include in my book similarities of Jesus to earlier God-sons such as Sandan and Mithra and Horus and Attis, too striking to disregard. The Oxford Classical Dictionary and Catholic Encyclopedia, as well as many others, corroborate.

Thus, today I side with Remsburg—and with Frank Zindler, John M. Allegro, Godfrey Higgins, Robert M. Price, Salomon Reinach, Samuel Lublinski, Charles-François Dupuis, Allard Pierson, Rudolf Steck, Arthur Drews, Prosper Alfaric, Georges Ory, Tom Harpur, Michael Martin, John Mackinnon Robertson, Alvar Ellegård, David Fitzgerald, Richard Carrier, René Salm, Timothy Freke, Peter Gandy, Barbara Walker, Michael Martin, D.M. Murdock, Thomas Brodie, Earl Doherty, Thomas L. Thompson, Bruno Bauer, and others—heretics and iconoclasts and freethinking dunces all, it would seem.

If all the evidence and nonevidence including 126 (127?) silent writers cannot convince, I’ll wager that we will uncover much more. Yet this is but a tiny tip of the mythical-Jesus iceberg: nothing adds up for the fable of the Christ.

The Silent Historians

  • Aelius Theon
  • Albinus
  • Alcinous
  • Ammonius of Athens
  • Alexander of Aegae
  • Antipater of Thessalonica
  • Antonius Polemo
  • Apollonius Dyscolus
  • Apollonius of Tyana
  • Appian
  • Archigenes
  • Aretaeus
  • Arrian
  • Asclepiades of Prusa
  • Asconius
  • Aspasius
  • Atilicinus
  • Attalus
  • Bassus of Corinth
  • C. Cassius Longinus
  • Calvisius Taurus of Berytus
  • Cassius Dio
  • Chaeremon of Alexandria
  • Claudius Agathemerus
  • Claudius Ptolemaeus
  • Cleopatra the physician
  • Cluvius Rufus
  • Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Gaetulicus
  • Cornelius Celsus
  • Columella
  • Cornutus
  • D. Haterius Agrippa
  • D. Valerius Asiaticus
  • Damis
  • Demetrius
  • Demonax
  • Demosthenes Philalethes
  • Dion of Prusa
  • Domitius Afer
  • Epictetus
  • Erotianus
  • Euphrates of Tyre
  • Fabius Rusticus
  • Favorinus Flaccus
  • Florus
  • Fronto
  • Gellius
  • Gordius of Tyana
  • Gnaeus Domitius
  • Halicarnassensis Dionysius II
  • Heron of Alexandria
  • Josephus
  • Justus of Tiberias
  • Juvenal
  • Lesbonax of Mytilene
  • Lucanus
  • Lucian
  • Lysimachus
  • M. Antonius Pallas
  • M. Vinicius
  • Macro
  • Mam. Aemilius Scaurus
  • Marcellus Sidetes
  • Martial
  • Maximus Tyrius
  • Moderatus of Gades
  • Musonius
  • Nicarchus
  • Nicomachus Gerasenus
  • Onasandros
  • P. Clodius Thrasea
  • Paetus Palaemon
  • Pamphila
  • Pausanias
  • Pedacus Dioscorides
  • Persius/Perseus
  • Petronius
  • Phaedrus
  • Philippus of Thessalonica
  • Philo of Alexandria
  • Phlegon of Tralles
  • Pliny the Elder
  • Pliny the Younger
  • Plotinus
  • Plutarch
  • Pompeius Saturninus
  • Pomponius Mela
  • Pomponius Secundus
  • Potamon of Mytilene
  • Ptolemy of Mauretania
  • Q. Curtius Rufus
  • Quintilian
  • Rubellius Plautus
  • Rufus the Ephesian
  • Saleius Bassus
  • Scopelian the Sophist
  • Scribonius
  • Seneca the Elder
  • Seneca the Younger
  • Sex. Afranius Burrus
  • Sex. Julius Frontinus
  • Servilius Damocrates
  • Silius Italicus
  • Soranus
  • Soterides of Epidaurus
  • Sotion
  • Statius the Elder
  • Statius the Younger
  • Suetonius
  • Sulpicia
  • T. Aristo
  • T. Statilius Crito
  • Tacitus
  • Thallus
  • Theon of Smyrna
  • Thrasyllus of Mendes
  • Ti. Claudius Pasion
  • Ti. Julius Alexander
  • Tiberius
  • Valerius Flaccus
  • Valerius Maximus
  • Vardanes I
  • Velleius Paterculus
  • Verginius Flavus
  • Vindex

Michael Paulkovich is an aerospace engineer and freelance writer, a frequent contributor to Free Inquiry and Humanist Perspectives magazines, a contributing editor at The American Rationalist, and a columnist for American Atheist. His book No Meek Messiah was pusblished in 2013 by Spillix


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15 thoughts on “The Jesus that should be…

  1. What such folk refuse to acknowledge is the fact most of us could not give a rat’s arse if there was some smelly little eschatological 1st century Jewish rabbi running around.
    Seriously, who gives a monkey’s uncle?

    It is only that people like JB want us to beleive that this Yeshua is really the washed and scrubbed butter would not melt in his mouth Jesus of Nazareth, the Creator of the Universe, who went around performing miracles left right and center and yet went completely unnoticed by all and sundry, even though thousands upon thousands were supposed to have witnessed him and he arrived in Jerusalem to meet his fate, greeted like a Rock Star!

    Having failed as an omniscient deity named Yahweh in Part 1 of the story, he then embarks on an absolutely crucial mission to ensure the long term survival of humanity. Yet what does he do? Simply pisses about in a grotty little backwater for 18 months to three years and ends up allowing himself to be brutally executed because a human sacrifice was essential to his plan!

    The Creator of the Universe believes he is required must allow himself brutally sacrificed to appease the supposed need for blood so as to demonstrate he is still the omniscient god of the Old Testament , Yahweh.

    Makes all the sense in the world.

    You couldn’t make this crap up …. only they did!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The article, like most overtly pro- or anti-Christian interpretations of Jesus as a figure of history, mistakenly assumes that there are only two options: either (a) a real guy named Jesus lived and did every single thing mentioned in the canonical Gospels, OR (b) he never existed at all. In this case, after ruling out option a, it assumes option b must be the case.

    But of course there’s another option: he existed, but did not do all (or even most) of the things attributes to him in the new testament. It’s not rocket science, yet intelligent people can overlook such simple points when they get so passionately invested in advancing or resisting conservative Christianity.

    Is it possible that Jesus really did everything mentioned in the gospels? Sure. Is it possible that Jesus never existed? Sure. Does the evidence we have make either of those options likely? No, and it would take religious or anti-religious fundamentalism (not to mention a profound lack of creativity) to make either of these bad options attractive to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi tyler. Welcome back. I agree. I don’t liken the binary though pattern either.
      There may have been a real person, or most likely persons, who were the pattern… religious zealot/reformer who was crucified or executed for trying to foment uprising… But that person/persons would not be what you have portrayed in the nt as the risen savior so it’s a big fat irrelevant to the Truth of Christianity. The point is that the Jesus of the nt is a fraud and mythology, that Jesus never existed in history.

      Like

    • Fourth option: he is a composite character, stitched together from actual characters with a lot of Woo thrown in as icing.

      Fifth option: he was a metafictional devise fashioned by 1st century crisis cultists to impart doctrinal points, and wildly misinterpreted by the northern diaspora.

      I like the fifth option. That would be clever, and we know the Greeks were using metafiction at the time, so it’s not too fantastic a thought.

      Like

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