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If the life and death of Socrates were those of a sage, the
life and death of Jesus were those of a God.
 - Rousseau

Comments on "The Christ Conspiracy"
A look at various aspects

The Christ Conspiracy: Conclusion

      When pressed, scholars and clergy alike will admit that the founding of the Christian religion is shrouded in centuries of intrigue and fraud. They will confess that there is not a single mention of Jesus by any historian contemporaneous with his alleged advent[1] and that the biblical accounts are basically spurious,[2] not written by their pretended authors[3] and riddled with tens of thousands of errors, impossibilities and contradictions[4]. They will even admit that such texts had been forged by the hundreds and later interpolated and mutilated.[5] Such "experts' may even go so far as to concede that the historicity of Christ has been called into question from the beginning, with that fact itself being cloaked in euphemism and deceit.[6] They may further confess that there is absolutely no physical evidence of the event or the man, and that the numerous relics, including the infamous Shroud of Turin, are fakes, as are the tourist spots where the drama allegedly took place.[7] These scholars may even have the courage to admit that the Jewish religion, upon which Christianity claims to be based, is itself not what it is asserted to be but is basically a rehash of older myths and theologies,[8] as, in the end, is Christianity.[9]

[Commentary] While LARGELY true, the above paragraph represents several unwarranted blanket statements and overstatements. Here are the salient points:
1. Given that Josephus, the Jewish-Roman historian who DOES mention Jesus, was born about the time that Jesus died, this is technically true. Given that Jesus restricted his focus to spiritual issues and had no impact on national or international politics and wars, this is saying almost nothing at all. There are several powerful reason to consider Jesus as being historical.
2. Setting aside the Old Testament wherein large amounts of the material may have been crafted to create a unifying "history" for the Hebrew people, there are NO spurious documents in the New Testament with one or two possible exceptions. The Gospel of John is an eyewitness account, and the other three Gospels including Acts are compilations of second hand and third hand accounts. They may have inaccuracies, embellishments, and misconceptions, but they are by no means spurious. The balance of the New Testament is largely in the form of letters that were recovered. Even throwing out Revelation and one or two other documents has zero impact upon the import of the demonstration and message of Jesus.
3. The various books of the Bible have titles, most of which don't necessarily purport to reflect the actual author or compiler. There is no legitimate reason to think that for the most important book, the Gospel of John, the name does not reflect the actual author. The same can be said for the Gospel of Thomas. Outside of Luke, who WAS the author of the Gospel named such, the other Gospels are named after honored men.
4. An exaggeration, but significantly true for the errors and some of the "contradictions". No one can say with certainty about many of the "impossibilities".
5. Using the term "such texts" is very tricky phrasing, but largely applies to the many non-canonical documents which were excluded.
6. This is largely meaningless innuendo, and hardly worthy of further comment.
7. True enough.
8. True enough.
9. True enough.

      In other words, like the Christian fathers, these scholars and experts will concede that the gospel tale and Christian ideology constitute a direct lift from so-called Paganism. They will even admit that the gospel story is fiction, cagily calling it "benign deceit." Yet these scholars and researchers will continue in their quest to find a 'historical" Jesus, endlessly pumping out tomes that would be better off as trees. Waite describes their futile endeavors:

[Commentary] "These Scholars" that would say what is purported above have some agenda other than to know the truth, and are simply wrong.

Many attempts have been made to write the life of Christ. But it is difficult to see where, outside of the gospels the material for such a work is to come from; while, if the gospels are to be taken as a basis, it is equally difficult to understand what is to be gained by rewriting what is contained in them. Any such attempt only brings out, in plainer light, the discrepancies in those accounts, and finally results in a mere display of ingenuity on the part of the biographer, in his efforts to reconcile them; or, as in the case of some writers, in a sublime unconsciousness of any discrepancies whatever. [i]

[Commentary] Who can or needs to argue with this? It seems appropriate to point out that in the non-eyewitness, compiled Synoptic Gospels, there are naturally some minor and largely non-relevant discrepancies.

      Indeed, the efforts to find a historical Jesus have been pitiful and agonizing,[1] based mainly on what he was not: To wit, the virgin birth is not history, and Jesus's parents were not called Mary and Joseph. Jesus was not from Nazareth, which didn't exist at the time, and the magi, star, angels and shepherds did not appear at his birth. He didn't escape to Egypt, because Herod was not slaughtering children, and he didn't amaze the priests with his teaching at age 12 in the temple. He did not suddenly at 30 reappear out of nowhere to mystify people who, if the birth stories had been true, would have already known him. The "historical" Jesus didn't do miracles or raise the dead. The sayings and sermons weren't originally his. He wasn't betrayed by Judas, since that would be illogical if he were already "world famous." There was no trial, no crucifixion and no resurrection.

[Commentary] This paragraph is largely composed of hysterical, arrogant and pretentious claims that the author CANNOT know, and cannot be legitimized, one way or another. It betrays the emotional, unbalanced agenda of the author for the whole book.
1. There is really no pressing reason that there SHOULD be any recoverable or tangible historical evidence left by Jesus.

      Such are some of the numerous parts of the gospel story that have been thrown out by 'skeptical" historicizers and evemerists over the centuries because they represent elements found ubiquitously in the myths of the solar heroes and in mystery rites.[1] Tossing all these parts out, we might wonder, even more skeptically, where is the historical Jesus Christ?[2]  Have we found the core in the onion?  The leap of faith even among evemerists is mindboggling. If 99 percent of this story is based on the myths and only one percent on any 'history," what are people admiring and worshipping?[3]

1. This is not a definitive reason to dismiss or "throw out" parts of the Gospel story, because one can make the argument that Jesus both necessarily and deliberately patterned his life and some of its features after parts of the ancient mythical hero aspects.
2. Why not look in the eyewitness accounts of John and Thomas?
3. Disingenuous to say the least. There is a HUGE dimension of humility, acceptance, and compassion that are missing in virtually all other older mythical accounts. There is the unabashed human dimension and humanism, and brotherhood extended. There is the focus on life and its value, fulfillment and enhancement, where the love of God is portrayed and demonstrated. Finally, there is an unparalleled vision of final goodness and an unsurpassed destiny of joy in the message of Jesus. These are about the only things that ARE WORTHY of admiration and worship!

      Although they are taught that 'Jesus' represented a stunning break from the 'old Pagan world," believers are worshipping basically the same deity or deities as the Pagans-in fact, practically all of them rolled into one.[1] Yet, not knowing this, the faithful smugly set themselves apart in an atmosphere of superiority and pity, if not outright hatred, for so-called Heathens and Pagans, i.e., 'those not of the faith.' As Jackson says, "Many Christians denounce Paganism as a false religion. If this is correct, then Christianity is also false, for it is of pagan origin, and if one is not true, then neither is the other." [ii]

1. This is true for "Christian" believers but NOT for the true believers because, rightly understood, Jesus WAS a stunning break from the old, and this is obvious to almost everybody that reads the Gospels with an open mind.

      To reiterate, as Robertson says, 'There is not a conception associated with Christ that is not common to some or all of the Savior cults of antiquity." [iii] And Carpenter states that 'the doctrine of the Saviour is world-wide and world-old, and that Christianity merely appropriated the same (as the other cults did) and gave it a special flavor." [iv]

[Commentary] True enough.

[i]  Waite, Charles, History of the Christian Religion to the Year Two Hundred, Caroll Bierbower, 1992, p. 22.

[ii] Jackson, John G., Christianity Before Christ, American Atheists, 1985, p. 213.

[iii] Robertson, J.M., Pagan Christs, Dorset, 1966, p. 52.

[iv] Carpenter, Edward, Pagan and Christian Creeds, Health Research,1975, p. 130.


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