Breaking in the news yesterday was the claim that Jesus is an invented character. According to the source, Joseph Atwill (a confessed atheist and biblical scholar), this information has been gleaned from historical documents that have been reviewed countless times by other scholars, but apparently was overlooked. Atwill made similar statements in his book written in 2006, and now claims to have additional information. His book, Caesars Messiah, has mixed reviews on Amazon. Many reviewers call it rubbish, and many others claim it is a great book.
This is not the first or the last time that someone will come forth with evidence they claim proves God does not exist or that the Bible is false. Attempts to disprove the Bible have continued for centuries. However, without outside media influence, the vast majority of people persist in a sense that God does exist. Never has there been discovered an atheistic tribe of people.
Mr. Atwill states that Jesus was invented by the Roman government as a form of psychological warfare to calm the Jews. You see, the Jews were under Roman oppression and many of them were hoping that the long awaited Messiah would come as a warlike figure and overthrow the Romans. Well, the Messiah did come but not in the form of a warlike figure. The author states that this was Rome’s plan. Rome invented a pacifying Messiah, one who would turn the other cheek and love his enemies. A Messiah who would say “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.” A Messiah who would tell the people to obey the government, as stated in Roman 13.
In considering these statements, and without a full revelation of the author’s newest facts (to be released on October 19th), I would like to make some initial observations.
1.) The author is a confessed atheist so it makes perfect sense that he would believe that the Bible is false. For one thing, the Bible reports miracles. From an atheist’s view, these are not possible. I have personally spoken to many atheists who try and attack the Bible. I have learned from experience that what they really need to do is honestly review the evidence for God’s existence apart from the Bible. Unfortunately, most refuse to do this and have made up their minds without honestly examining the evidence.
2.) Believing that Jesus was invented in the fourth century, we would need to believe that the entire New Testament was all concocted by the Romans. I want to point out that there is not a single piece of ancient literature that has been more thoroughly investigated by scholars than the New Testament documents. The documents are historically accurate to the highest degree, according to scholars.
3.) We are supposed to believe that the Roman government, while devising a scheme to tame the Jews, just happened to write down some of the most profound ethical teachings the world has ever known? Teachings that have spanned over 2,000 years and countless attempts to rid the world of the book they are written in? Some of the most ethical teachings ever revealed in a scheme to deceive? Really Mr. Atwill?
4.) We are also supposed to believe that all of the early church fathers writings, written in the first and second century, supporting the New Testament documents, were also forged?
5.) We are to believe that the seventeen secular written sources that scholars have discovered supporting the New Testament documents were also forged by the Roman government?
6.) We also need to believe that the Romans knew very little about the Jews beliefs when they concocted the New Testament? Most of the Jews of that time rejected Jesus as the Messiah. If the Romans were trying to build a Messiah that would accomplish their desires of psychological warfare, it seems to this writer at least that they would have made a more attractive Messiah for the Jews. A teaching where everything went smoothly. A book that was not so full of embarrassing (but true) details and struggles faced by followers.
7.) In examining this interview with the Joseph Atwill, http://uk.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11201273.htm, I also made a few additional observations that would indicate his overall knowledge of history is incorrect in many areas. Here is a quote from that interview.
“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. To this day, especially in the United States, it is used to create support for war in the Middle East."
I believe this claim in itself shines a light on Mr. Atwill’s atheist agenda. If he has a knowledge of history, he would know that the atheism, the belief that he supports, trumps Christianity by an astonishing margin when it comes to war and man’s inhumanity to man. While there have been incredibly wrong things done by some who claim to be Christians, those who truly follow the teachings of Jesus are not involved in these acts. A Christian is a person who follows Jesus’s teachings. Although we may be fooled at times by people falsely claiming to be Christians, God is not fooled. While I could continue with this article it is probably best to wait for Mr. Atwill’s new evidence, which he is revealing on October 19th. I am one hundred percent confident that his promoted disclosure is more about selling books and comforting those who do not want God to exist, than it is about truth.
While you are waiting for this revelation to be made by Mr. Atwill you might want to pick up the book, “Killing Jesus” by Fox news anchor Bill O’Reilly, which is the current number one best seller. This book is a heavily researched in-depth report of the historical Jesus and completely contradicts Mr. Atwill’s claims that Jesus was invented. If you do not have the eleven dollars to purchase O’Reilly’s book, you can read my book on the factual evidence for God’s existence and identity for free on Amazon. In it, I expand on and support my statements above.
The truth is that there are people on both sides of the fence when it comes to Jesus, and that will never change. One of the worst mistakes anyone can make is to just pick a side that supports what they want to be true without investigating the facts. Doing this will result in living a life of doubt, and experience a very up-and-down ride concerning God. Jesus himself said in John 14:6 ”I am the Way the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except by me.” The question is not who others believe Jesus is. The question is who do you believe Jesus is? I hope you will take an honest look at the evidence of Gods existence first, followed by the evidence for Gods identity. If it is true that God exists, and Jesus is who he claimed be, it is true for everyone, everywhere, even if they do not believe it.
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