So, here is the problem.  Since Jefferson edited his bible to eliminate the miracles, there has been an effort by Christians to claim Jesus was a real and wise man, a rabbi,  whose teachings were distorted by Paul and his successors trying to create a popular religion.

I suggest  problem is not whether Jesus ever existed but whether he had any impact prior to his recreation as a myth by Paul.

The absence of any mention of Christians as part of the resistance to Rome either by Josephus or by any other Roman source leaves it hard to imagine that either Jesus or the Nazarenes had much impact.  This means that the entire Roman Bible (my term for the New Testament) is at best based on a fictional exaggeration of the events around Jesus’ supposed career.

A second issue is, if Jesus existed, who was he? He obviously could not have been the son of a poor carpenter since that would not have afforded him the money for the education claimed by the Roman Bible and necessary to have been recognized as a rabbi. It is more likely that he was one of many lay Pharisees excited by the teachings of Hillel.  This explains why so much of the text attributed to one voice by the Jesus Project is very close to the words Jews attribute to Hillel. Hillel was the leader of the Pharisees, a man who taught passive resistance .. giving into the Romans where possible while remaining true to Judaism.  The quotes attributes to “Jesus” by the people claiming the voice of his apostles, were likely to have reflected their own need to get along as Romans while disguising the Pharisees .. a movement for passive resistance against the Romans.

One way of reconciling this is to dispense with the claim that Paul was a Pharisee. As a Roman citizen growing up outside of Israel, the idea that Paul was somehow a student of Hillel makes no sense,   Paul was more likely a Greco-Jew, that is one of the many Jews living outside Israel who wanted to Hellenize their beliefs to be more acceptable in Roman society. His inspiration on the road to Damascus , whether made up intentionally or  a real hallucination, would have been the basis for his trying to sell a Dionysian Jesus to the Jewish followers  in Israel.

When James rejected Paul, the seed were created for Paul to remake Jesus as a Roman God, taking from Hillel what we now see as  the best part of Jesus.  This would also explain why the Roman Bible contains no “gospel” attributed to James even though he was the leader of the Nazarenes after Jesus’ death.

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  1. Mark Adams #

    Christianity does not take off until a battle at a bridge. I suppose history would be different if Constantine had dreamed that placing a Jewish symbol on hi soldiers flags and shields. Then the search for Jesus begins. Of course emperors wives will find proof. Even though some 300 years have passed since Jesus lived.

    In years to come it could be the biggest religion on Earth could be one started by a science fiction writer. Or one started by a movie maker. The force could be with the later.

    While much of the old testament is actual history there are many parts that are murky and certainly some archeology in Israel is done in hope of finding proof of Jacob, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, ect. Still many of these are from the King’s house and underpins Jewish religion as it was recorded, and much of the ordinary people beliefs were not recorded, or not thought as important. Which is why a song about Romans in Rome being loving people and wearing flowers in their hair was lost, and stolen by a 20th century song writer to describe people in San Francisco some of whom followed the grateful dead.

    Christians search for proof of Jesus continues. Gives magicians of Oz hope though.

    And the Seahawks won. Americas true religion with the big festivities coming up in the Superbowl.

  2. theaveeditor #

    Like the essay! TX.

    BTW .. a big part of Constnatine’s morivation is the the Roamn soldeirs has adopted Chrstianity as a military religion.