NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) — An American biblical scholar is claiming that Jesus Christ was fabricated by the Romans.
Joseph Atwill – author of “Caesar’s Messiah” and “The Single Strand” – will make a presentation in London on Oct. 19 about how Jesus is a fictional character.
“I present my work with some ambivalence, as I do not want to directly cause Christians any harm, but this is important for our culture,” he said in a press release. “Alert citizens need to know the truth about our past so we can understand how and why governments create false histories about false gods. They often do it to obtain a social order that is against the best interests of the common people.”
Atwill says that Jesus was made up by first-century Roman aristocrats who wrote the New Testament. He states that the Romans fabricated Jesus as part of a propaganda exercise to pacify its subjects within the empire.
“When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare. They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system,” Atwill said. “That’s when the ‘peaceful’ Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to ‘give onto Caesar’ and pay their taxes to Rome.”
Atwill claims he stumbled across his evidence after studying Josephus’ “War of the Jews,” the first-person historical account of first-century Judea, alongside the New Testament.
“What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus,” Atwill said in the press release. “This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern. The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar.”
Atwill added, though, that Jesus was not based on a historical figure.
“In fact he may be the only fictional character in literature whose entire life story can be traced to other sources,” Atwill said.
Atwill doesn’t believe his research will put an end to Christianity and says the United States uses this religion to go to war.
“Although Christianity can be a comfort to some, it can also be very damaging and repressive, an insidious form of mind control that has led to blind acceptance of serfdom, poverty, and war throughout history,” Atwill said. “To this day, especially in the United States, it is used to create support for war in the Middle East.”
Atwill made an appearance at the Ives Main Library in New Haven in April for the Love, Truth & Peace Tour.