Question EVERYTHING!” ~ George Carlin
Valerie Tarico, AlterNet
A growing number of scholars are openly questioning or actively arguing against whether Jesus lived.
Most antiquities scholars think that the New Testament gospels are “mythologized history.” In other words, they think that around the start of the first century a controversial Jewish rabbi named Yeshua ben Yosef gathered a following and his life and teachings provided the seed that grew into Christianity.
At the same time, these scholars acknowledge that many Bible stories like the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, and women at the tomb borrow and rework mythic themes that were common in the Ancient Near East, much the way that screenwriters base new movies on old familiar tropes or plot elements. In this view, a “historical Jesus” became mythologized.
For over 200 years, a wide ranging array of theologians and historians—most of them Christian—analyzed ancient texts, both those that made it into the Bible and those that didn’t, in attempts to excavate the man behind the myth. Several current or recent bestsellers take this approach, distilling the scholarship for a popular audience. Familiar titles include Zealot by Reza Aslan and How Jesus Became God by Bart Ehrman.
But other scholars believe that the gospel stories are actually “historicized mythology.” In this view, those ancient mythic templates are themselves the kernel. They got filled in with names, places and other real world details as early sects of Jesus worship attempted to understand and defend the devotional traditions they had received.
The notion that Jesus never existed is a minority position. Of course it is! says David Fitzgerald, author of Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All. For centuries all serious scholars of Christianity were Christians themselves, and modern secular scholars lean heavily on the groundwork that they laid in collecting, preserving, and analyzing ancient texts. Even today most secular scholars come out of a religious background, and many operate by default under historical presumptions of their former faith.
Fitzgerald is an atheist speaker and writer, popular with secular students and community groups. The internet phenom, Zeitgeist the Movie introduced millions to some of the mythic roots of Christianity. But Zeitgeist and similar works contain known errors and oversimplifications that undermine their credibility. Fitzgerald seeks to correct that by giving young people interesting, accessible information that is grounded in accountable scholarship.
More academic arguments in support of the Jesus Myth theory can be found in the writings of Richard Carrier and Robert Price. Carrier, who has a Ph.D. in ancient history uses the tools of his trade to show, among other things, how Christianity might have gotten off the ground without a miracle. Price, by contrast, writes from the perspective of a theologian whose biblical scholarship ultimately formed the basis for his skepticism. It is interesting to note that some of the harshest debunkers of fringe Jesus myth theories like those from Zeitgeist or Joseph Atwill (who tries to argue that the Romans invented Jesus) are from serious Mythicists like Fitzgerald, Carrier and Price.
The arguments on both sides of this question—mythologized history or historicized mythology—fill volumes, and if anything the debate seems to be heating up rather than resolving. A growing number of scholars are openly questioning or actively arguing against Jesus’ historicity. Since many people, both Christian and not, find it surprising that this debate even exists—that credible scholars might think Jesus never existed—here are some of the key points that keep the doubts alive:
1. No first century secular evidence whatsoever exists to support the actuality of Yeshua ben Yosef.
In the words of Bart Ehrman:
“What sorts of things do pagan authors from the time of Jesus have to say about him? Nothing. As odd as it may seem, there is no mention of Jesus at all by any of his pagan contemporaries. There are no birth records, no trial transcripts, no death certificates; there are no expressions of interest, no heated slanders, no passing references – nothing. In fact, if we broaden our field of concern to the years after his death – even if we include the entire first century of the Common Era – there is not so much as a solitary reference to Jesus in any non-Christian, non-Jewish source of any kind. I should stress that we do have a large number of documents from the time – the writings of poets, philosophers, historians, scientists, and government officials, for example, not to mention the large collection of surviving inscriptions on stone and private letters and legal documents on papyrus. In none of this vast array of surviving writings is Jesus’ name ever so much as mentioned.” (How Jesus Became God pp. 56-57)
2. The earliest New Testament writers seem ignorant of the details of Jesus’ life, which become more crystalized in later texts.
Paul seems unaware of any virgin birth, for example. No wise men, no star in the east, no miracles. Historians have long puzzled over the “Silence of Paul” on the most basic biographical facts and teachings of Jesus. Paul fails to cite Jesus’ authority precisely when it would make his case. What’s more, he never calls the twelve apostles Jesus’ disciples; in fact, he never says Jesus HAD disciples –or a ministry, or did miracles, or gave teachings. He virtually refuses to disclose any other biographical detail, and the few cryptic hints he offers aren’t just vague, but contradict the gospels. The leaders of the early Christian movement in Jerusalem like Peter and James are supposedly Jesus’ own followers and family; but Paul dismisses them as nobodies and repeatedly opposes them for not being true Christians!
Liberal theologian Marcus Borg suggests that people read the books of the New Testament in chronological order to see how early Christianity unfolded. “Placing the Gospels after Paul makes it clear that as written documents they are not the source of early Christianity but its product. The Gospel — the good news — of and about Jesus existed before the Gospels. They are the products of early Christian communities several decades after Jesus’ historical life and tell us how those communities saw his significance in their historical context.”
3. Even the New Testament stories don’t claim to be first-hand accounts.
We now know that the four gospels were assigned the names of the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, not written by them. To make matter sketchier, the name designations happened sometime in second century, around 100 years or more after Christianity supposedly began. For a variety of reasons, the practice of pseudonymous writing was common at the time and many contemporary documents are “signed” by famous figures. The same is true of the New Testament epistles except for a handful of letters from Paul (6 out of 13) which are broadly thought to be genuine. But even the gospel stories don’t actually say, “I was there.” Rather, they claim the existence of other witnesses, a phenomenon familiar to anyone who has heard the phrase, my aunt knew someone who . . . .
4. The gospels, our only accounts of a historical Jesus, contradict each other.
If you think you know the Jesus story pretty well, I suggest that you pause at this point to test yourself with the 20 question quiz at ExChristian.net.
The gospel of Mark is thought to be the earliest existing “life of Jesus,” and linguistic analysis suggests that Luke and Matthew both simply reworked Mark and added their own corrections and new material. But they contradict each other and, to an even greater degree contradict the much later gospel of John, because they were written with different objectives for different audiences. The incompatible Easter stories offer one example of how much the stories disagree.
5. Modern scholars who claim to have uncovered the real historical Jesus depict wildly different persons.
They include a cynic philosopher, charismatic Hasid, liberal Pharisee, conservative rabbi, Zealot revolutionary, nonviolent pacifist to borrow from a much longer list assembled by Price. In his words (pp. 15-16), “The historical Jesus (if there was one) might well have been a messianic king, or a progressive Pharisee, or a Galilean shaman, or a magus, or a Hellenistic sage. But he cannot very well have been all of them at the same time.” John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar grumbles that “the stunning diversity is an academic embarrassment.”
For David Fitzgerald, these issues and more lead to a conclusion that he finds inescapable:
Jesus appears to be an effect, not a cause, of Christianity. Paul and the rest of the first generation of Christians searched the Septuagint translation of Hebrew scriptures to create a Mystery Faith for the Jews, complete with pagan rituals like a Lord’s Supper, Gnostic terms in his letters, and a personal savior god to rival those in their neighbors’ longstanding Egyptian, Persian, Hellenistic and Roman traditions.
In a soon-to-be-released follow up to Nailed, entitled Jesus: Mything in Action, Fitzgerald argues that the many competing versions proposed by secular scholars are just as problematic as any “Jesus of Faith:” Even if one accepts that there was a real Jesus of Nazareth, the question has little practical meaning: Regardless of whether or not a first century rabbi called Yeshua ben Yosef lived, the “historical Jesus” figures so patiently excavated and re-assembled by secular scholars are themselves fictions.
We may never know for certain what put Christian history in motion. Only time (or perhaps time travel) will tell.
About the Author
Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington and the founder of Wisdom Commons. She is the author of “Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light” and “Deas and Other Imaginings.” Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com.
This is not an attack on anyone’s personhood. If your personhood is tied to this myth, your ego will react in defense mode, as that is what the ego does. How many people will this piss off? Since when did what people believe become politically correct? What people believe has always been the problem. I find it amazing (and at times amusing) that Christians are so many in number and so sold on a lie they themselves won’t/can’t honestly investigate open mindedly. I’m truly amazed that they take offense at the true origins of a belief system invented by political men to control the population, and take offense when someone disagrees with them, not to mention their circular arguments that the facts are all wrong. This is ego based, not spiritual. Why do we call them Apologists instead of liars? That a ‘human’ can live an entire life believing a 2,000 year old lie just blows my mind. Christianity is heavily plagiarized from earlier doctrines/sources, and Jesus Christ was completely made up from other god-myths and human beings. That is an historical fact! The words put in Jesus’s mouth can be traced to earlier sources! Truth is that Constantine ordered his new bible should be (in his own words) made to “astound,” obviously in order to steal the hearts and minds of the masses, or propaganda, which is nothing new and an art form even in early Rome. AND IT’S STILL WORKING. I’m all for spiritual seeking and Jesus as an idea, but not through a religion completely fabricated by Roman elite politicians to placate the crowds. Same goes for Islam, Judaism, any Literalism, ism-ism. Dadaism. Ism Schism. THE KINGDOM OF ROME’S JESUS WAS CALLED THE DARK AGES! When science and spirituality come together a new paradigm will emerge. The sleepers will awake or disappear and propaganda will no longer work. Rome never fell, it still exists today as the Vatican. We need to strip away beliefs and re-member our Divine True Nature. Since X-tianity took away over 10 years of my life, I’m starting with that bullshit story. While we can appreciate the mythology, literary beauty and wisdom stolen from others and placed in the mouth of the Hesus Krishna character, or Hey Zeus or whatever (later known as jesus christ in the 4th century, courtesy of Rome), nothing is better than letting go of false beliefs and meditating to your own higher Self, directly communing with Oneness and the True nature of Reality. Christian Literalism is a lie. There was no Jesus. There is no Santa, Easter Bunny, or Humpty Dumpty. If you can’t handle that don’t read this. Talking/Praying to a made up invisible friend is childish and aimless, but I will live and let live … (You might find fault with some of what I say, but most of this is sourced from historical records). Please refer to recommended reading at the end!
The smooth generalization, which so many historians are content to repeat, that Constantine “embraced the Christian religion” and subsequently granted “official toleration”, is “contrary to historical fact” and should be erased from our literature forever (Catholic Encyclopedia, Pecci ed., vol. iii, p. 299, passim). Simply put, there was no Christian religion at Constantine’s time, and the Church acknowledges that the tale of his “conversion” and “baptism” are “entirely legendary” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. xiv, pp. 370-1).
Constantine “never acquired a solid theological knowledge” and “depended heavily on his advisers in religious questions” (Catholic Encyclopedia, New Edition, vol. xii, p. 576, passim). According to Eusebeius (260-339), Constantine noted that among the presbyterian factions “strife had grown so serious, vigorous action was necessary to establish a more religious state”, but he could not bring about a settlement between rival god factions (Life of Constantine, op. cit., pp. 26-8). His advisers warned him that the presbyters’ religions were “destitute of foundation” and needed official stabilization (ibid.).
Constantine saw in this confused system of fragmented dogmas the opportunity to create a new and combined State religion, neutral in concept, and to protect it by law. When he conquered the East in 324 he sent his Spanish religious adviser, Osius of Córdoba, to Alexandria with letters to several bishops exhorting them to make peace among themselves. The mission failed and Constantine, probably at the suggestion of Osius, then issued a decree commanding all presbyters and their subordinates “be mounted on asses, mules and horses belonging to the public, and travel to the city of Nicaea” in the Roman province of Bithynia in Asia Minor.
They were instructed to bring with them the testimonies they orated to the rabble, “bound in leather” for protection during the long journey, and surrender them to Constantine upon arrival in Nicaea (The Catholic Dictionary, Addis and Arnold, 1917, “Council of Nicaea” entry).
Their writings totaled, “in all, two thousand two hundred and thirty-one scrolls and legendary tales of gods and saviors, together with a record of the doctrines orated by them” ~ (Life of Constantine, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 73; N&PNF, op. cit., vol. i, p. 518).
Thus, the first ecclesiastical gathering in history was summoned and is today known as the Council of Nicaea. It was a bizarre event that provided many details of early clerical thinking and presents a clear picture of the intellectual climate prevailing at the time (Disjointed, incoherent idiocy). It was at this gathering that Christianity was born, and the ramifications of decisions made at the time are difficult to calculate.
About four years prior to chairing the Council, Constantine had been initiated into the religious order of Sol Invictus, one of the two thriving cults that regarded the Sun as the one and only Supreme God (the other was Mithraism). Because of his Sun worship, he instructed Eusebius to convene the first of three sittings on the summer solstice, 21 June 325 (Catholic Encyclopedia, New Edition, vol. i, p. 792), and it was “held in a hall in Osius’s palace” (Ecclesiastical History, Bishop Louis Dupin, Paris, 1686, vol. i, p. 598).
In an account of the proceedings of the conclave of presbyters gathered at Nicaea, Sabinius, Bishop of Hereclea, who was in attendance, said,
“Excepting Constantine himself and Eusebius Pamphilius, they were a set of illiterate, simple creatures who understood nothing” ~ (Secrets of the Christian Fathers, Bishop J. W. Sergerus, 1685, 1897 reprint).
It was that infantile body of men who were responsible for the commencement of a new religion and the theological creation of Jesus Christ.
Constantine was the ruling spirit at Nicaea and he ultimately decided upon a new god for them. To involve British factions, he ruled that the name of the great Druid god, Hesus, be joined with the Eastern Savior-god, Krishna, and thus Hesus Krishna would be the official name of the new Roman god. Another theory is the name Christ came from Helios Christos, a Roman sun god. We know there was a sect that called themselves Chrestians (Chrestians means ‘the good ones”). They used oil to baptize or anoint each other and never heard of a Jesus Christ. My own thought is that a sect of Jewish mystics took to write a new ‘belief’ in a spiritual Messiah after the destruction by Rome fell upon them. This group was splintered (A reason given by Constantine to create a new “unified” religion) and when the leaders (about 600) of the new religion were gathered at the Council of Nicaea they were ordered to bring their ‘fragmented’ artifacts with them. These were used to write the New Testament, and were then destroyed. There may have been a Yeshua used later as a character myth, or possibly, but unlikely, a real Rabbi. It’s possible that Jesus Pandera (100 bc) was the basis for the original character. Or he was invented from Old Testament stories (which is the most likely in my opinion). The point here is that the Jesus described in the bible (the only one we can possibly know anything about) did not exist as a person or entity in history. One may feel the need to think of Jesus as an idea, or as some of the Gnostics did as a reference to oneself (as an Initiate), but remains a STORY. That’s kind of my disclaimer to any Literalist who might read this. Any regular reader knows my position is belief = ignorance. Knowledge voids are filled in with beliefs. Beliefs close the mind and stagnate not just the person but the human race from gorwing and evolving. …. Imagine no religion. ~ JL
NO JESUS CHRIST UNTIL THE 4TH CENTURY
It has often been emphasized that Christianity is unlike any other religion, for it stands or falls by certain events which are alleged to have occurred during a short period of time some 20 centuries ago. Those stories are presented in the New Testament, and as new evidence is revealed it will become clear that they do not represent historical realities. (This position is not new and goes back to Christianity’s inception).
The Church agrees, saying: “Our documentary sources of knowledge about the origins of Christianity and its earliest development are chiefly the New Testament Scriptures, the authenticity of which we must, to a great extent, take for granted.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. iii, p. 712)
The Church makes extraordinary admissions about its New Testament. For example, when discussing the origin of those writings,
“the most distinguished body of academic opinion ever assembled” (Catholic Encyclopedias, Preface) admits that the Gospels “do not go back to the first century of the Christian era” – (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. vi, p. 137, pp. 655-6).
This statement conflicts with priesthood assertions that the earliest Gospels were progressively written during the decades following the death of the Gospel Jesus Christ.
In a remarkable aside, the Church further admits that,
“the earliest of the extant manuscripts [of the New Testament], it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD” – (Catholic Encyclopedia, op. cit., pp. 656-7).
That is some 350 years after the time the Church claims that a Jesus Christ walked the sands of Palestine, and here the true story of Christian origins slips into one of the biggest black holes in history. There is, however, a reason why there were no New Testaments until the fourth century: they were not written until then, and here we find evidence of the greatest misrepresentation of all time.
A new god was proclaimed and “officially” ratified by Constantine (Acta Concilii Nicaeni, 1618). That purely political act of deification effectively and legally placed Hesus and Krishna among the Roman gods as one individual composite.
That abstraction lent Earthly existence to amalgamated doctrines for the Empire’s new religion; and because there was no letter “J” in alphabets until around the ninth century, the name subsequently evolved into “Jesus Christ”.
GOSPELS (The New Testicles)
Constantine then instructed Eusebius to organize the compilation of a uniform collection of new writings developed from primary aspects of the religious texts submitted at the council.
His instructions were:
“Search ye these books, and whatever is good in them, that retain; but whatsoever is evil, that cast away. What is good in one book, unite ye with that which is good in another book. And whatsoever is thus brought together shall be called The Book of Books. And it shall be the doctrine of my people, which I will recommend unto all nations, that there shall be no more war for religions’ sake.” (God’s Book of Eskra, op. cit., chapter xlviii, paragraph 31)
“Make them to astonish” said Constantine, and “the books were written accordingly” – (Life of Constantine, vol. iv, pp. 36-39).
Eusebius amalgamated the “legendary tales of all the religious doctrines of the world together as one”, using the standard god-myths from the presbyters’ manuscripts as his exemplars.
When the New Testament in the Sinai Bible is compared with a modern-day New Testament, a staggering 14,800 editorial alterations can be identified. These amendments can be recognized by a simple comparative exercise that anybody can and should do. Serious study of Christian origins must emanate from the Sinai Bible’s version of the New Testament, not modern editions
Modern Bibles are five removes in translation from early editions, and disputes rage between translators over variant interpretations of more than 5,000 ancient words. However, it is what is not written in that old Bible that embarrasses the Church, and this article discusses only a few of those omissions.
It is apparent that when Eusebius assembled scribes to write the New Testimonies, he first produced a single document that provided an exemplar or master version. Today it is called the Gospel of Mark, and the Church admits that it was “the first Gospel written” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. vi, p. 657), even though it appears second in the New Testament today. The scribes of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were dependent upon the Mark writing as the source and framework for the compilation of their works. The Gospel of John is independent of those writings, and the late-15th-century theory that it was written later to support the earlier writings is the truth (The Crucifixion of Truth, Tony Bushby, Joshua Books, 2004, pp. 33-40). Thus, the Gospel of Mark in the Sinai Bible carries the “first” story of Jesus Christ in ”history,” one completely different to what is in modern Bibles. It starts with Jesus “at about the age of thirty” (Mark 1:9), and doesn’t know of Mary, a virgin birth or mass murders of baby boys by Herod. Words describing Jesus Christ as “the son of God” do not appear in the opening narrative as they do in today’s editions (Mark 1:1), and the modern-day family tree tracing a “messianic bloodline” back to King David is non-existent in all ancient Bibles, as are the now-called “messianic prophecies” (51 in total).
The Sinai Bible carries a conflicting version of events surrounding the “raising of Lazarus”, and reveals an extraordinary omission that later became the central doctrine of the Christian faith: the resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ and his ascension into Heaven. No supernatural appearance of a resurrected Jesus Christ is recorded in any ancient Gospels of Mark, but a description of over 500 words now appears in modern Bibles (Mark 16:9-20).
The resurrection verses in today’s Gospels of Mark are universally acknowledged as forgeries and the Church agrees, saying,
“the conclusion of Mark is admittedly not genuine … almost the entire section is a later compilation” – (Encyclopaedia Biblica, vol. ii, p. 1880, vol. iii, pp. 1767, 1781; also, Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. iii, under the heading “The Evidence of its Spuriousness”; Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. iii, pp. 274-9 under heading “Canons”).
Undaunted, however, the Church accepted the forgery into its dogma and made it the basis of Christianity.
The trend of fictitious resurrection narratives continues. The final chapter of the Gospel of John (21) is a sixth-century forgery, one entirely devoted to describing Jesus‘ resurrection to his disciples.
The Church admits: “The sole conclusion that can be deduced from this is that the 21st chapter was afterwards added and is therefore to be regarded as an appendix to the Gospel” – (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. viii, pp. 441-442; New Catholic Encyclopedia (NCE), “Gospel of John”, p. 1080; also NCE, vol. xii, p. 407).
Narratives from the ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata, appear verbatim in the Gospels today (e.g., Matt. 1:25, 2:11, 8:1-4, 9:1-8, 9:18-26), and why passages from the Phenomena of the Greek statesman Aratus of Sicyon (271-213 BC) are in the New Testament.
Extracts from the Hymn to Zeus, written by Greek philosopher Cleanthes (c. 331-232 BC), are also found in the Gospels, as are 207 words from the Thais of Menander (c. 343-291), one of the “seven wise men” of Greece. Quotes from the semi-legendary Greek poet Epimenides (7th or 6th century BC) are applied to the lips of Jesus Christ, and seven passages from the curious Ode of Jupiter (c. 150 BC; author unknown) are reprinted in the New Testament.
Tischendorf’s conclusion also supports Professor Bordeaux’s Vatican findings that reveal the allegory of Jesus Christ derived from the fable of Mithra, the divine son of God (Ahura Mazda) and messiah of the first kings of the Persian Empire around 400 BC. His birth in a grotto was attended by magi who followed a star from the East. They brought “gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh” (as in Matt. 2:11) and the newborn baby was adored by shepherds. He came into the world wearing the Mithraic cap, which popes imitated in various designs until well into the 15th century.
Mithra, one of a trinity, stood on a rock, the emblem of the foundation of his religion, and was anointed with honey. After a last supper with Helios and 11 other companions, Mithra was crucified on a cross, bound in linen, placed in a rock tomb and rose on the third day or around 25 March (the full moon at the spring equinox, a time now called Easter after the Babylonian goddess Ishtar). The fiery destruction of the universe was a major doctrine of Mithraism – a time in which Mithra promised to return in person to Earth and save deserving souls. Devotees of Mithra partook in a sacred communion banquet of bread and wine, a ceremony that paralleled the Christian Eucharist and preceded it by more than four centuries.
Christianity is an adaptation of, Mithraism welded with the Druidic principles of the Culdees some Egyptian elements (the pre-Christian Book of Revelation was originally called The Mysteries of Osiris and Isis) Greek philosophy and various aspects of Hinduism.
A JESUS CHRIST NEVER EXISTED
We must frankly admit that we have no source of information with respect to the life of Jesus Christ other than ecclesiastic writings assembled during the fourth century.” (Codex Sinaiticus, Dr Constantin von Tischendorf, British Library, London)
There is an explanation for those hundreds of years of silence:
The construct (fabrication) of Christianity did not begin until after the first quarter of the fourth century, and that is why Pope Leo X (d. 1521) called Christ a “fable.” – (Cardinal Bembo: His Letters…, op. cit.).
Recommended Reading: (For those interested in more scholarly essays and historical references)
Somewhere between running water and voices, I hear drums. I can not make out what the voices are saying. Just a low murmur. I sure like the way the water and drums drown out the conversations that never stop. Pitches. Running water makes music and has different pitches in it’s rhythm. And the drum mimics the heart beat, but with decorations and ornaments that make the dragons fly by.
Grandpa was clever at devising ingenious devices, the man with the grizzled beard always kept his eyes on the world. His advice was full of cut and dried old phrases. A lifetime working at the rubber plant left him with a lack of imagination, he became an ordinary guy. A descendant of the Dutch, settlers of New York, just an off handed, lonely, Knickerbocker guy. An old patroon. He was the guardian of activity…a divine entity. But he hadn’t a clue.
So anyway, the old patroon was legally blind from a large waterfall of cataracts. Clouds over the pupils. Hmmm… He had them removed before laser surgery was discovered, and now he was 92 (now being back then). He once asked me, as death got nearer to him, if I believed if Jesus really rose from the dead.
“I guess spiritually Grampa,” I answered and thought it was a pretty good answer. But like an admission of guilt, the words escaped from my mouth and ran into his ears and did not bother to hide in the halls of his brain till it made sense upon further investigation by him.
A great hostility and rage he became. “I know spiritually! I mean literally, do you believe it?” he yelled back angrily. The doubt on the face of a man wanting so badly to believe. I felt awkward so I said nothing. Perhaps I should have been honest and said no, but I remained silent…such an empty reply. Grandma, his wife and Baptist Christian believer, died two years before. And now his lonely body was nothing but a vessel for pain and grief. Poor guy, 92 years of life, only to be reduced to this. How fucking rude of life! He wanted to see his son, who died in World War II by a Kamikaze pilot, his 18 year old body lost in the ocean forever. He wanted to see his wife again, who through the years had became half of him. He wanted to believe the Christians so he could see his wife and son in heaven, but his doubt was torturing him. He was stuck in rational mode trying to believe a story full of holes, and his mind became strapped down and wasn’t free to wonder. He just couldn’t jump the hurdle that the church put up. Strangulation by dogma.
As he laid dying in the hospital, his daughter, my aunt, lay dying from lung cancer just down the hall. But nobody told Grandpa. It would have been too much for him, they thought. I don’t know. I just let them think their thoughts, and do their deeds. My then much younger mom, his other daughter, was with him when he left this world. She watched him sit up in bed with his arms extended and call his wife’s name. My mother was sure he saw her, as he hugged the air and laid down and died.
Now I ask, “Grandpa, is there life after death?”
Silence…such an empty reply.
But somewhere between running water and voices, I hear drums.
In this article we will explore how the true teachings of Jesus can be summed up by three little words: you are God. Some missionaries came to my house the other day and I was given the opportunity to come face to face with the religious mind, to discover their relationship to God, and to remember my own (non-voluntary) experience with religion.
In such a short time though it was, it was absolutely clear that the foundational flaw of religion based off of the bible as it is primarily taught today (and in general, for the past 2000 years), is that it teaches first and foremost that we are separate from this force called God. But that is a contradiction because the bible, specifically the teachings of Jesus as I will clearly illustrate, teach that you are god, and that we are all God.
So, I have taken it upon myself to convince those missionaries, and you, that you are not only equal to God, but that you are God.
Now if you think it is blasphemy to believe that you are God, not only does that contradict what the bible says, but that is a major preconception you have been imbued with that will restrict you from ever experiencing directly that you are god, which in essence is what a spiritual awakening really is: an experience that you are intimately connected with God, that you are love, that you are loved, that you are unlimited, and that you are God, because that creative consciousness is within you.
According to a recent study done by Cambridge, around 88% of the worlds population believe in God. 88%! That is 6.16 billion people around the world, according to this study, who believe in God. That is not a trivial number.
Yet out of these 6.16 billion people, for how many of them is God more than just a belief? For what percentage of that 88% is God a tangible force that they connect to on a daily basis by allowing the bonds of their ego to dissolve, and then channeling that force into all that they do, and all that they are?
If those people could center themselves in the awareness that they are God-consciousness instead of just believing in the existence of such a magnificent force, then we could change the world in a matter of months. It is only when we continue to live separate from this infinite consciousness which is our original nature, that we are powerless and that we perpetuate all suffering and negativity on this planet.
None of the major spiritual teachers throughout history were religious. Jesus wasn’t a Christian, Buddha was not Buddhist, and Lao Tzu was not a Taoist (and I am not even sure I would call Taoism a religion, simply because there is no dogma taught at all, just observation, alignment, and harmony with nature and the cosmos).
All of these spiritual masters did not practice religion, they mastered themselves in solitude by looking within and meditating, and as a result they discovered that they were infinite and connected with the universal consciousness. Only later did we call this consciousness God.
That is what the core of all their teachings are about: that we are all spiritual beings, and that we are equal to god, and by practicing such things as forgiveness, kindness, honesty, and introspection we can become the Gods that we already are and create a peaceful heaven here on Earth.
Because Christianity is the worlds largest religion (practiced by an estimated 2.2 billion people), as a case study let us look at Jesus. He said three things which I want to draw your attention to specifically, and I will discuss each quote in an effort to show you that you are God, and that if you practice a bible/Jesus orientated religion, then it is actually in alignment with the truth of the teaching to believe that you are God.
God Is Love
“He who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)
Jesus says quite clearly here that God is love. He is not loving, he is not like love, he literally is love.
But really, what is love? Moreover, what is human emotion?
All human emotion is energy. What we have labelled as various emotions is merely our endeavor to classify and label different vibrations of energy that we feel so that we can talk about it with others. When you are feeling really low energy, you say you are depressed. When you are feeling very malevolent energy, you say you are angry, hateful, or maybe evil. But according to Jesus, what would you say when you are feeling the highest energy possible?
You would say you are love, or, that you are God.
Interestingly enough I came to an understanding of my spiritual nature through a study of physics, specifically Nassim Haramein’s unified field theory. Physicists have discovered that the entire universe is pure energy, and that nothing is solid. In the words of Einstein,
“Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”
All that we are is energy, and that energy has no boundaries. It is infinite, it is the invisible force that permeates all space, and it is the force that connects all things because it is all things. Sound familiar? Everything in the universe is connected by energy, and that energy is consciousness, and that infinite consciousness is the source of creation which we have labelled as God.
When you oscillate with the vibration of love, you are resonating with the highest energy of creation which by necessity must be that universal and infinite consciousness, and thus you don’t just align with that energy, or channel it through you, you expand and become that energy.
This is a fact of physics.
This is what Jesus meant when he said that God is love. He didn’t mean that Gods love was something outside of you or separate from you, he said clearly that when you are in love, you abide God, and God in you, and thus, you are God when you are love. There is no separation. When you become love, you become God.
You Are God
“Is it not written in your Law, “I have said ‘you are gods’”?” (John 10:34)
This second quote of his couldn’t be any clearer. I am not sure how this is explained away in the major religions that use the bible, but Jesus is clearly telling each and every one of us, resounding to the world from two thousand years ago, that we are indeed God; that you are God.
He knew and he discovered within himself that he was not only connected to the creative force of the universe, the unified field, or the matrix of all matter as physicist Max Planck called it, but he realized that he was that creative force, and that all of creation was in a literal sense God.
Every person without exception is God. Every animal, every tree, and every star. It is only from the ego that we perceive separateness because we ourselves have become separated and disconnected from our internal connecting link with spirit that resides within each and every one of us.
We do not need to seek a priest to know God, we only have to seek our true nature and our inner truth and we will know that we are God. If everything in the universe is formless energy, and we are all connected by that energy, and if we are made up of that energy, and if that energy is the force we call God … how could we be anything but God?
Everything in that statement is absolutely true, provable by science, except for saying that energy is God. Most science (except for Nassim Haramein’s work) has not made that link between spirituality and science, but there are others such as Einstein and Max Planck who did. Einstein said himself, “I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.” Calling that energy ‘God’ is provable, but the only way to really know it is by experiencing it directly through yourself.
God Is Within You
“The Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)
So what Jesus is saying here is that the kingdom of God, heaven, the place where God allegedly resides, is actually within you. In other words, God is within you. I know, as well as anyone else who has ever seriously meditated knows, that when you go deep enough within yourself you will discover that you are infinite universal consciousness which some call God.
This is not egotistical. In fact, it is quite the opposite of ego, because when you go deep enough within yourself you also expand in consciousness and you become aware of yourself as an infinite and eternal spiritual entity, and your ego simply cannot exist in an environment like that.
Your ego is defined by your possessions, your body, your achievements, and your memories and so on, but when you meditate, you discover that you are something transcendent of all of that. ( For more information on the ego read: What Is Ego?)
Truly great spiritual teachers never practiced religion, they practiced love, and sought universal truth. They practiced deep meditative introspection and discovered knowledge of the universe and the secrets of the soul within them. And as a result of this they discovered the path to enlightenment and god-realization. This is what Jesus was trying to teach us, when he said with exasperation, “Is it not written in your laws that I said “You are Gods”?”
Imagine what he must have felt like, being able to see clearly that God is within every single creature, and that every human is the embodiment of God and made in “his own image” in terms of pure consciousness, but then every time he tried to tell them and prove to them with acts that defied reason (miracles), all the people either bowed at his feet, or hung him on the cross …
When are we going to understand this truth that he tried to teach us?
When are we going to understand that when Jesus said, ‘You are Gods’, he meant, that we are all Gods. Our true nature is not form, it is pure energy which is consciousness. We are God-consciousness who has incarnated into this level of reality, but we have become so identified with material form that we forgot our original nature.
All you have to do to experience this truth for yourself and discover that you are God, is follow the advice of Jesus from this article, and look within yourself.
Be still, and know that you are God.
About the Author
Brandon West is the creator of Project Global Awakening. A website dedicated to the research of a variety of scientific and spiritual disciplines, and applying that knowledge to help you live an inspired life and change the world. Follow Project Global Awakening on Facebook, and Twitter.
Although I emailed Brandon and got his explicit permission to republish this:
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
I just subscribed to the Project Global Awakening website and it is wonderful. Do yourself a favor and go there now (link above) and look around, excellent articles, simple 8 step method meditation lessons, much more, check it out and subscribe. There is so much good material to read. the first article I read was this:
There’s a course on how to meditate, human origins, Conscious Mind, the actual nature of Reality, ancient 10,000 year old Egyptian Knowledge and much more.
The Pagans argued that their God was older and therefore original. The Christians admitted Christ came later, but claimed Attis was a work of the devil whose similarity to Christ, and the fact he predated Christ, were intended to confuse and mislead men. This was apparently the stock answer — the Christian apologist Tertullian makes the same argument.
The following are some of the similarities between Attis and the Christian story of Jesus:
Attis was born on December 25th of the Virgin Nana.
He was considered the savior who was slain for the salvation of mankind.
His body as bread was eaten by his worshippers.
His priests were “eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven.”
He was both the Divine Son and the Father.
On “Black Friday,” he was crucified on a tree, from which his holy blood ran down to redeem the earth.
He descended into the underworld.
After three days, Attis was resurrected on March 25th (as tradition held of Jesus) as the “Most High God.”
It is recorded that Attis was represented as a “a man tied to a tree, at the foot of which was a lamb, and, without doubt also as a man nailed to a tree…”
Itis reported that on March 22nd, a pine tree was felled and “an effigy of the god was affixed to it, thus being slain and hung on a tree…” Later the priests are supposed to have found Attis’ grave empty.
Birth Attis of Phrygia was born of the Virgin Nana on December 25th. He was both the Father and the Divine Son.
The Festival of Joy — the celebration of Attis‘ death and rebirth
On March 22 a pine tree (origins of the christmas tree?) was brought to the sanctuary of Cybele, on it hung the effigy of Attis. The God was dead. Two days of mourning followed, but when night fell on the eve of the third day, March 25th, the worshippers turned to joy. “For suddenly a light shone in the darkness; the tomb was opened; the God had risen from the dead…[and the priest] softly whispered in their ears the glad tidings of salvation. The resurrection of the God was hailed by his disciples as a promise that they too would issue triumphant from the corruption of the grave.” [for more see Frazer, Attis, chapter 1]
Attis‘ worshipers had a sacramental meal of bread and wine. The wine represented the God’s blood; the bread became the body of the savoir. They were baptized in this way: a bull was placed over a grating, the devotee stood under the grating. The bull was stabbed with a consecrated spear. “It’s hot reeking blood poured in torrents through the apertures and was received with devout eagerness by the worshiper…who had been born again to eternal life and had washed away his sins in the blood of the bull.” [for more see Frazer, Attis, chapter 1]
Attis was called “the Good Sheppard,” the “Most High God,” the “Only Begotten Son” and “Savior.”
[In Rome the new birth and the remission of sins by shedding of bull’s blood took place on what is now Vatican Hill, in our days the site of the great basilica of St. Peter’s]
The Early Church, Henry Chadwick, Penguin Books, 1993, page 24
The majority of people in the world today assume or believe that Jesus Christ was at the very least a real person. Perhaps he wasn’t really “the Messiah”, perhaps he was not “The Son of God”, and perhaps he didn’t actually perform miracles and rise from the dead, but he really was a great moral teacher who traveled around Galilee with followers and got arrested by the Jews and crucified by the Romans right?
Not likely. In fact, a close examination of the evidence shows that the best explanation for the story of “Jesus Christ” is what we call “mythology”. The case that I will be outlining here is that there never was any “Jesus Christ” nor any meaningful real life basis for the story of “Jesus Christ”. Like many other religious figures, “Jesus Christ” began as a theological concept, was later used as a character in allegorical stories, and was then historicized as someone whom people believed really existed. The belief in a literal “human” Jesus most likely emerged as eucharist rituals and theology developed around the concept of the “flesh” and “blood” of Christ and these concepts merged with allegorical narratives about the figure.
What is the basis for the claim that “Jesus never existed”?
Actually, there are many important facts that support this conclusion. First let’s look at an outline of some of the major points in this case:
- The Gospel of Mark was the first story of Jesus that was written, and all others are dependent on it
- The Gospel of Mark shows clear signs of being written as an allegorical fiction
- Virtually every detail of the life of Jesus comes from “Old Testament” scriptures
- Some of the details of the life of Jesus are based on mistranslations of the Hebrew scriptures
- Jesus’ crucifixion on Passover defies historical believability, yet makes perfect sense metaphorically
- The Gospels make many claims that are contradicted by the historical record
- The earliest writings about Jesus, from Paul and others, contain no details of his life
- Many statements in the letters of Paul only make sense if Paul does not view Jesus Christ as a historical person
- There is not one single writing from or about Jesus during his supposed lifetime
- Philo, a prolific Jewish writer who lived from 20 BCE to 50 CE, wrote extensively about the political and theological movements throughout the Mediterranean, and his views foreshadowed Christian theology, yet he never once wrote anything about Jesus. Not only this, but he actually wrote about political conflicts between the Jews and Pontius Pilate in Judea
- All of the non-Christian references to Jesus can be shown to have either been introduced later by Christian scribes or were originally based on Christian claims
- There is no evidence of any knowledge of a tomb of Jesus (empty or occupied) prior to the Gospel stories
- There were many conflicting beliefs about who Jesus Christ was in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd centuries, including beliefs that he had never existed on earth “in the flesh”
- The Catholics made purely theological arguments as to why Jesus Christ had to have existed “in the flesh”
None of these points are meant to stand on their own, but collectively they provide a very strong argument against the story of Jesus Christ being based on a real person.
It is important to note that we have one, and only one, source of information about the life of Jesus and that is the Christian Gospels. The Gospels are the sole source of information about this figure; everything that we “know” about “him” depends on these sources.
There are two basic views of the Biblical Jesus as a real person today, the religious Christian view and the secular historical view. The religious Christian view takes the Gospels as accurate and reliable accounts of the life of Jesus, including all of the miracles. The religious Christian view demands that Jesus Christ was a popular and well known figure in the region, who drew crowds of thousands of people and performed great miracles, who was such a revolutionary figure that the Jewish priesthood was compelled to have him arrested and put to death in dramatic fashion before hundreds or thousands of witnesses.
The secular historical view, which may also be held by some Christians, takes the Gospels as exaggerated accounts of the life of a real Jesus. The secular historical view basically starts with the Gospels and then removes the fantastic or “supernatural” claims in the Gospels and accepts what is left as history. The secular historical view tends to minimize the role of Jesus in the region, stating instead that he was barely noticed by others. Secular historians who believe that Jesus existed rely on the Gospels as essentially historical, but inflated, accounts of his life.
But are the Gospels reliable historical accounts?
Click the links or visit the original website here: Jesus Myth – The Case Against Historical Christ.