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Jesus? Never heard of him (extended).

Sexton Blake

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Around 60-70 CE in Egypt, Pamphila writes her immense work of history, summikton historikon hupomnematon logoi, but she apparently never heard of Jesus the Christ, whose words went to "the ends of the whole world" (Rom 10) nor is she aware of the "darkness over all the land," and the zombie army conjured by Jesus (Mt 27), this supposedly having occurred a mere thirty or so years before Pamphila's extensive and revered works.

Similarly the famous historian Plutarch (46-125) writes around the year 75 of Mithras worship in the Roman Empire, but strangely is unaware of Jesus and his worldwide miracles. Plutarch, living in the region, first and second century, seems ignorant even of Christians in general.


Flavius Josephus. Christian apologists often claim that Josephus wrote of Jesus Christ in the last decade of the first century (writing between 75 and 95 CE). These verses were "found" by christian apologist (ie: liar) Eusebius in the fourth century CE. Never mentioned before and mentioned non-stop afterwards. 140 years ago, disproving these verses were said to be like whipping a dead horse, but christians still use them.


Matthew. Writing in Greek (not Aramaic, the apparent language of Jesus -nor in Hebrew) c. 85-95 CE"' and certainly in possession of the fraudulently fabricated Septuagint, some anonymous author (not "Matthew") composes a text eventually (erroneously, or dishonestly) attributed to the Matthew who might have lived during Jesus. This forger, or perhaps some later copyist (St. Jerome perhaps?), makes his first century Christ match the aforementioned "prediction" by the prophet of the Septuagint in Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Jesus was not, in fact, named Emmanuel. Moreover the name "Jesus" (Joshua, or Yeshua) means "Yahweh saves." Not "God with us."


Pliny the Younger. Christian apologists often cite Pliny as a contemporary extra-biblical author who supposedly corroborates the Jesus tales. But Pliny was not a Jesus contemporary, having lived from 61 to 1 12 CE. Nor does he validate any saga of a "Jesus Christ" in any way. He wrote c. 111 CE in a letter to Rome that Christianity was a "degenerate sort of cult carried to extravagant lengths," being "wretched."  He wrote of Christians, but apparently never heard of Jesus of Nazareth (or of Bethlehem or wherever) .


Tacitus. Another non-contemporary of Jesus, Tacitus, lived from 56 to 117. It appears his Annals were never quoted by other authors until many centuries afterward. The one passage Christian apologists use to "prove" Tacitus wrote of Jesus, 15:44, is clearly forged. The word "Christ" is interpolated only one time; in other places his word chrestians refers to "good people," not "followers of Christ" (nor followers of "Chrest") . Moreover it is completely out of
character for Tacitus to refer to a man who he says "suffered the extreme penalty" (executed) as a christ, a messiah. It has been conjectured that the Annals were forged by Poggio Bracciolini as late as the 15th century.


Apollonius. As previously mentioned, Apollonius traveled and wrote extensively in the first century, dying around 97 (as Philostratus claimed) or perhaps as late as 120 (as Dzielska hypothesizes). In none of his writings, and indeed none of the various writers who were aware of Apollonius in the first and
second century, do we find any reference to Jesus.


Suetonius. Caius Suetonius Tranquillus, close friend of the younger Pliny lived c. 70-130 CE. His Lives, XXV, mentions a man named "Chrestus," but not "Christ" or "Christus." Apologists often claim Chrestus is Latin for Christ (not true), and thus proof Suetonius wrote of Jesus. In fact Suetonius wrote that this Chrestus lived when Claudius donned the purple - some twenty years too late. Suetonius wrote c. 125 of: "Christians . . . a class of men given to a
new and mischievous superstition" (Twelve Caesars, "Nero," XVI) . Like Pliny the Younger, Suetonius is aware of Christians, but never heard of Jesus.


Phlegon. Living in the second century, none of Phlegon's works survive today. Prolific Christian Father Origen Adamantius may have written that Phlegon wrote of Jesus in Against Celsus, II:14. More likely, this is a later interpolation inflicted upon Origen's work. As we know, Eusebius, well familiar with Origen and writing about him in the fourth century, does not record this in his Ecclesiastical History. Or anywhere. Thus we may conclude that the corruption of
Origen's writings occurred sometime after Eusebius.


Eusebius attempted to cite various "proofs" of the life of Jesus, including his own obvious inventions. Eusebius claimed, for example, that Pontius Pilate sent Emperor Tiberius "an account of the circwnstances concerning the resurrection of our Lord from the dead" (Ecclesiastical History, II, 2). Can you imagine Pontius Pilate referring to Jesus as "our Lord," or to his "resurrection"?


Thallus. We do not know when Thallus (or "Thallos") lived, only that ninth century monk Georgius Syncellus wrote that Julius African us (160-240) briefly mentions him. In his Extract of Chronography10' Syncellus claimed that Africanus claimed that Thallus claimed that there was an eclipse in the first century, which, it seems, we are to connect to Matthew 27, alleging with no other evidence that when Jesus died, there was a "darkness over all the land" (three hours, mind you: the longest of solar eclipses may last eight minutes). The legend originated by a man who most probably lived in the second century, and then brought to us as far ahead and asunder as the ninth. As far as we know Thallus had never heard of Christianity or Jesus.


Mara bar-Serapion. Serapion is another source often used by Christian apologists in attempt to prove extra-biblical writings of a Jesus during his time. All that is known of Serapion's date is that he wrote sometime between the Jewish Wars (after 73 CE) and the third century; thus, not a contemporary by a long shot. Moreover he merely wrote a letter to his son mentioning a "wise king" of the Jews, who the Jews "wrongly" executed. Serapion does not mention this wise king's name.


Lucian. Satirist and rhetorician Lucian (c.125-180) may or may not have written: " ...t he man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world ... " Writing late second century, Lucian is far from contemporary, and the act of "introducing cults" or even claiming to be a messiah -did not violate Roman law, and certainly was not an offense in the Empire at that time worthy of crucifixion. ""' Only the most heinous of offenses warranted death on the cross. Thus the supposed crucifixion of Jesus for the offense of claiming to be a messiah is one of the most obvious lies of the New Testament.


Marcion. Christian father Marcion of Pontus, 144 CE, claims all existing (second century) copies of Luke had been corrupted by Jewish interpolations, including Jesus being a Hebrew and circumcised at the Jerusalem temple- both, says Marcion, being lies. A fervent Christian, Marcion claims Jesus had no childhood, being zapped down to earth a full-grown man,'"7 and that Jesus was not crucified. 108 The views of Marcion are explained by Tertullian (160 - c. 225) in his Against Marcion, 1 .15: But now, how happens it that the Lord has been revealed since the twelfth year of Tiberius Caesar [Tiberius' reign began 14 CE], while no creation of His at all has been discovered up to the fifteenth of the Emperor Severus ...


So, Tertullian cites Marcion claiming that Jesus materialized on Earth, out of nowhere, around the year now designated as 26 CE (14 CE + 12), thus the beginning of his life and his ministry. This throws several wrenches into the gears of the Jesus timeline, as modem apologists and historians believe Jesus flourished as an evangelical c.28-36. Wrote Tertullian: ...whatever is the (created) substance, it ought at any rate to have made its appearance in company with its own god.

But now, how happens it that the Lord has been revealed since the twelfth year of Tiberius Caesar, while no creation of His at all has been discovered up to the fifteenth of the Emperor Severus; although, as being more excellent than the paltry works of the Creator, it should certainly have ceased to conceal itself, when its lord and author no longer lies hid? I ask, therefore, if it was unable to manifest itself in this world, how did its Lord appear in this world? ... But now there arises a question about place, having reference both to the world above and to the God thereof. For, behold, if he has his own world beneath him, above the Creator, he has certainly fixed it in a position, the space of which was empty between his own feet and the Creator's head.

Therefore God both Himself occupied local space, and caused the world to occupy local space; and this local space, too, will be greater than God and the world together. For in no case is that which contains not greater than that which is contained ... Now, begin to reckon up your gods. There will be local space for a god, not only as being greater than God, but as being also unbegotten and unmade, and therefore eternal, and equal to God, in which God has ever been. Then, inasmuch as He too has fabricated a world out of some underlying material which is unbegotten, and unmade, and contemporaneous with God, just as Marcion holds of the Creator, you reduce this likewise to the dignity of that local space which has enclosed two gods, both God and matter. For matter also is a god according to the rule of Deity, being (to be sure) unbegotten, and unmade, and eternal.

If, however, it was out of nothing that he made his world, this also (our heretic) will be obliged to predicate of the Creator, to whom he subordinates matter in the substance of the world. But it will be only right that he too should have made his world out of matter, because the same process occurred to him as God which lay before the Creator as equally God. And thus you may, if you please, reckon up so far, three gods as Marcion's, the Maker, local space, and matter. Furthermore, he in like manner makes the Creator a god in local space, which is itself to be appraised on a precisely identical scale of dignity; and to Him as its lord he subordinates matter, which is notwithstanding unbegotten, and unmade, and by reason hereof eternal. With this matter he further associates evil, an unbegotten principle with an unbegotten object, an unmade with an unmade, and an eternal with an eternal; so here he makes a fourth God. Accordingly you have three substances of Deity in the higher instances, and in the lower ones four. When to these are added their Christs the one which appeared in the time of Tiberius, the other which is promised by the Creator Marcion suffers a manifest wrong from those persons who assume that he holds two gods, whereas he implies no less than nine. though he knows it not.

This may seem odd, but read Luke and subtract only chapters one and two (chronicling Jesus' supposed birth and illusory childhood), which clearly are interpolated, quite fictional and out of place, likely having been added long after the original scripture. Then Marcion's reading seems valid. ")') To many early Christians, the prophesied Messiah was a spirit, an idea, a logos - a magical essence or "word" from Heaven. However, that does not exonerate the rest of the Bible or Marcion's thoughts from critical analysis. Having said that, I must point out that Marcion was a brilliant man of his day who also rejected the nonsense of the Old Testament.


Justin. We see around 155 Justin Martyr's writings, admitting to the Roman Emperor that the Christ resurrection story was nothing more than a re-telling of Hellenist myths of the son-gods of Jupiter. I I ! He wrote, c . 155: And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. And if we assert that the Word of God was born of God in a
peculiar manner, different from ordinary generation, let this, as said above, be no extraordinary thing to you, who say that Mercury is the angelic word of God. But if any one objects that He was crucified, in this also He is on a par with those reputed sons of Jupiter of yours, who suffered as we have now enumerated. Gustin, First Apology, ch. 21-22.)


Justin also writes of the similarities between the ancient Mithraic practice of Eucharist and the new ritual within Christianity, reversing the chronology by attempting to relegate the Mithraic as a later imitation: in fact the Mithraic liturgies came first, centuries before the Christian practice (but long after that of Egyptians). And this food is called among us Eucharistia . .. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the
same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn. (First Apology, ch.66.)


Hermas. A text called Shepherd of Hermas was written in the second century, c. 160, and many of the first Church Fathers had access to it. "2 It was among the most popular books of the time, yet its authorship is unknown. 1 13 1" Origen, Eusebius, Jerome and others believed the author was the Hennas mentioned by Paul in Romans 1 6:14.115 11• This is unlikely, as Paul wrote his letters c. 55-60 (and probably died in 67), while Hennas is not penned until late in the second century- over a hundred years later. The text was eventually discarded and relegated to the blasphemous pile of other apocryphal missals, dismissed from Christian canonization and deemed unworthy of the official Holy Bible.


Like so many ancient texts, this book is in my possession. Shepherd of Hermas (or Pastor of Hermas) professes five visions, twelve commandments, and ten similitudes. It has been called a Christian book, but I strongly disagree. It refers to the "Son of God" (a much older Egyptian and Babylonian and Persian deist concept) but never uses the word "Christ," "Jesus," nor "Christian." This, at least a hundred and fifty years after the supposed birth of the supposed Christ child. In Shepherd of Hermas the unnamed "son of God" is nothing but a simple slave. Of course the Bible never refers to Jesus as a slave. In fact, Jesus recommends savage whipping of slaves (Lk 12:46-48) .


Gellius. Aulus Gellius writes his historical compendium Attic Nights c. 169 in Greece and Rome. Despite its romantic title, Attic Nights is quite a boring read, I must say. And Gellius apparently never heard of Jesus or of Christians or miracles, even at this late date - those miracles being of supposed global consequence, andJesus' worldwide "fame" claimed in the scriptures of a century before.


Athenagoras. Christian father Athenagoras writes his Plea for the Christians c. 176, but is apparently unaware of his savior's name, never writing the word "Jesus." Athenagoras is covered in more detail in the treatment on Bible origins, p. 210. Celsus. The books of Greek philosopher Cornelius Celsus are
often embraced by Christians as some sort of proof of Jesus' historicity, writing around 177 against the Christian dogma. Thus he was a century and a half too late to be considered contemporary. The Christian writings had been in circulation for quite a while. So Celsus may have read the tales and commented on them; how is this "proof" he was some sort of Jesus witness? Do not confuse this Celsus with Aulus Cornelius Celsus, Roman
encyclopedist, physician, and prolific writer who was a contemporary of the Christ. ' ' Born some 25 years before Jesus, Celsus overlapped both temporal endpoints by living 20 years beyond the supposed crucifixion. This Celsus certainly should have-but did not-write of Jesus, especially since the words of Jesus supposedly went, according to Paul, "unto the ends of the whole world.


In Octavius, a text attributed to Marcus Minucius Felix c. 200, we see an argument for Christianity, yet neither the names "Jesus" nor "Christ" appear in the manuscript. Moreover the narrator- a Christian-ridicules the idea that any Christian would believe that the object of their worship was a mortal, human man who was apparently put to death as a criminal. 111 Thus the Christian author of Octavius does not believe the Gospel tales!


In 217 Empress Julia Domna takes her own life. Julia had been responsible for passing the memoirs of Damis to Philostratus of Athens, from which most of our information regarding Apollonius has come down. Philostratus would complete his work sometime around 220-230. Even historian Philostratus, centuries after Christ and as late as 247 in Athens is completely unaware of Jesus: in none of his extensive histories is there any reference to Christianity, or Jesus.

Sometime between 270 and 300 philosopher Porphyry writes his Against the Christians, citing four prime objections to the newfangled cult of (forged) messianic prophesy. Essentially he writes that: 127 (1) The Bible favors the Jews as the "chosen ones"-why would God show particular favor to peoples of any one nation? (2) Christians inconsistently accept or reject Hebrew law, and create crazy fables about a "savior" who was crucified, whom even the Hebrews renounce with disgust. (3) Christians oppose each other's beliefs; it is thus impossible to tell what Christians truly believe. ( 4) The Christian writings are riddled with contradictions, including Christ performing miracles and healing others but unable to save himself from torture and execution.


And finally the last verse of the gospel of John 21:25 "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."


Jesus did so many amazing things and yet no one had heard of him.

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