Conspiracy Theory – Christianity Is a Fiction

 

Adversaries of Christianity sometimes argue against the reality of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, even as a real historical figure, by claiming Christianity itself is a fictional story. One conspiracy theory claims Christianity and thus Jesus are the result of various groups colluding to invent a morphed deity image of a messiah:[1]

“…Christianity and the story of Jesus Christ were created by members of various secret societies, mystery schools and religions in order to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion.  …this multinational cabal drew upon a multitude of myths and rituals that existed long before the Christian era, and reworked them for centuries into the religion passed down to us today.” – Acharya S.

Challenges to create a fictional messiah figure would have been enormous, especially in an era without any means of electronic communication, media, even the printed word. Just the opposite occurred. Christianity rose so rapidly, Jewish leaders tried to snuff it out quickly and Rome tried to quell it by killing people who professed it.

To believe the claim of a morphed, fictitious messiah image who was a Jew, the theory wants people to believe that a Christianity conspiracy began “centuries” earlier.  Creating a Christian religion with a Jewish messiah ups the ante to the highest degree.

Jews were probably the most scorned, if not hated, ethnic group in the Roman Empire. Judaism itself viewed Christianity as blasphemous for its belief that Jesus is the Messiah.

Contrary to this theory in Biblical history, Jews themselves were warring against each other before being taken captive in Babylon. After being freed by the Persian overthrow, enemies still wanted to subvert the Jew’s efforts, yet this theory says there was collusion with them to develop a fictitious messiah strategy.[2]

Rulers of three Empires – Babylonians, Persians and Greeks – had to be complicit in the conspiracy for this theory to have merit.[3] It then has to be accepted this was a long term strategy “to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion” even though the concept of a Roman Empire was unknown.

Pilate had Jesus crucified and to refute that fact means declaring Tacitus, Suetonius and other Roman historians were wrong. The theory proposes that Jewish leadership was supporting Rome who was, in fact, crucifying Jews by the thousands eventually destroying Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD.[4]

For the invention of a fictional Jewish messiah, a deity or god, “created by members of various secret societies, mystery schools and religions,” a perfect profile would be expected. A fictitious messiah image would call for a flawless ancestral background of pure Jewish lineage, not to mention a flawless ancestral history free of unsavory or illegal activities. Alleged collaborators would then have to weave this 2000 year history of a complex lineage into a messiah narrative.

Genealogy of Jesus of Nazareth was anything but flawless. While going back to the time of Abraham that included blessings, faith, forgiveness, miracles, redemption, prophecies issued and fulfilled; it also involved the most ignoble examples of disobedience to God and yet each involved blessings from God. Disgraceful accounts pulled straight from the Old Testament, the Tenakh, include deceptions, lies, a prostitute, Gentile intermarriages, voyeurism, adultery, murder, greed, lascivious pleasures, etc.

Grandson of Abraham, Jacob swindled his older twin brother’s inheritance blessing from his father, Isaac. Jacob was later renamed by God and became the father of the 12 tribes of Israel.[5]

Jacob’s own conniving sons sold their younger brother, Joseph, into slavery and lied to their father saying he had been killed by a wild animal. Joseph went on to become the second most powerful ruler in Egypt under Pharaoh and eventually saved his same Hebrew family from a famine.[6]

Rahab, a prostitute spared from the destruction of Jericho, married a Hebrew named Salmon and their son was named Boaz who became a wealthy resident of Bethlehem.[7] Boaz married the Gentile daughter-in-law of his Jewish relative Naomi, allowing Naomi to redeem her otherwise lost inheritance.[8]

Jewish sage Rabbi Rashi professed his distaste of having a Gentile in the prophetic lineage of the Messiah. His disgust appears in his commentary on the Bethlehem prophecy of Micah 5:2:[9]

“you should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah: [Rashi] You should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah because of the stigma of Ruth the Moabitess in you.” – The Complete Jewish Bible

Grandson of Boaz and Ruth was Jesse whose son, David, became the King of Israel.[10] David committed some dastardly deeds that would be scandalous in any century.

King David’s voyeurism led to an affair with his neighbor’s wife and when his plan to cover-up her illicit pregnancy failed, the King had her husband sent to the front lines of a war knowing he would be killed.[11] Subsequent prophecies foretold the future Messiah would come from the lineage of King David.

King Solomon, son of David, built his own palace first, then built and consecrated the promised Temple of God. In the interim, Solomon indulged in the pleasures of 700 wives and 300 concubines, many of whom were Gentiles who brought with them forbidden idolatry influences.[12]

A prefect lineage of a made-up messiah was simply not possible as demonstrated time and again by Scriptural history. This flawed genealogy would have been a huge obstacle for anyone who attempted to “rework[ed] them for centuries into the religion passed down to us today.” According to the Gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born into this flawed Jewish royal lineage.

Unique to Christianity and the center of the its core creed are the Resurrection accounts of Jesus.[13] No one, including the followers of Jesus, ever believed a resurrection could happen before Jesus was crucified.

In one weekend, one morning dawn, everything changed; it did not take “centuries” to rework “the religion passed down to us today.” Adversaries of the Resurrection accounts necessitated that the witnesses or those who believed their accounts – Christians – to be refuted, ridiculed, imprisoned and even killed.

Arrival of Jesus of Nazareth happened during the era when Rome was entering it’s height of glory in which the early Christians lived. Accounts people heard about Jesus rang true, many believed and were labeled as “Christians.” Their belief was so strong, they were willing to die for what they believed. Would anyone die to defend a false legend?

Updated November 17, 2022.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

REFERENCES:

[1] Acharya S. (Murdock, D.M.)  The Christ Conspiracy. Google Books advertisement. n.d. <https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Christ_Conspiracy.html?id=KnIYRi3upbEC Conspiracy Theories>. Stitcher. image. 2018. <https://megaphone-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/podcasts/4b9e4b82-9bf9-11e8-ad4e-23b6913e004d/image/aa316e8eb017eeb2d66bd3ab5ef8270c329c2cdb5347f0e589403a20369416bc4a7f9ac6d6f18a9a13fd4eb5c6d622a7e506238a1124dbd66019deba3532d1ee.jpeg
[2] I Kings 11:26-12:24; Ezra 4;4, 5:6-17.
[3] Ezra 1:2-4, 6:7-12; 7:11-28. Spiro, Ken.  “History Crash Course #27: The Greek Empire.” Aish.com. 2001. <http://www.aish.com/jl/h/cc/48939587.html>  Hooker, Richard. “Hellenistic Greece: Alexander the Great.” Washington State University. 1999. <http://web.archive.org/web/20110104072822/http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/GREECE/ALEX.HTM>
[4] Suetonius (C. Suetonius Tranquillus or C. Tranquillus Suetonius). The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Ed. Maximilian Ihm, trans. J. C. Rolfe. University of Chicago|Bill Thayer. n.d. “The Life of Titus.” 109 AD. <https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Titus*.html> “Siege of Jerusalem.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2020. <https://www.britannica.com/event/Siege-of-Jerusalem-70> Josephus, Flavius. Wars of the Jews. Book II, Chapter XIV, Book V, Chapter XI.. <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false>
[5] Genesis 25; 27-28.
[6] Genesis 37; 41-46.
[7] Joshua 2, 6, Ruth 4; I Chronicles 2:1-17.
[8] Ruth 2-4.
[9] The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi’s Commentary. Micah 5:2 Rashi commentary.
[10] Ruth 4; I Chronicles 2.
[11] 2 Samuel 11-12.
[12] 2 Chronicles 7, 9; I Kings 7-8, 10.
[13] I Corinthians 15:3-4.

Veiled – a Genealogical Fact

 

Anyone who reads the Matthew and Luke Gospel genealogies of Jesus of Nazareth can easily see they are listed differently – Matthew chronologically works forward starting with Abraham, Luke works backward from Jesus of Nazareth all the way to Adam…and the lists are not identical. Thus it leads to a controversy where detractors say the lineage inconsistency proves the inaccuracy of the Gospels.[1]

Variation between the two Gospels occurs with the interim generations between King David  and the birth of Jesus. Matthew and Luke genealogy lists have two names in common sharing ancestors at the end of the Babylonian captivity, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel.[2]

Matthew lists genealogies back to the House of David through Solomon. Luke traces the lineage of Jesus back to David’s son Nathan – a different lineage path. Many experts believe Luke’s lineage is that of Mary assumed by Joseph under Judaic Law covering her inheritance rights as a Jewish female only-child.[3]

Hebrew genealogical records were not just limited to the land of Israel. Jewish historian Josephus wrote they were tracked and recorded by local priests and prophets for all Jews living “at Egypt and at Babylon, or in any other place of the rest of the habitable earth…with the utmost accuracy.”[4]

All Jewish genealogies were readily available in the Temple until it was destroyed by Rome in 70 AD, seven decades after the birth of Jesus. The utmost religious importance was placed on Hebrew genealogy for the specific purpose of ensuring the purity of the lineage of the priesthood.[5]

To become the wife of a Priest, a Jewish woman was subjected to the scrutiny of her “genealogy from the ancient tables,” according to Josephus. Proof was required that a female was a Hebrew thus necessitating documented credible lineage history.

Josephus used a historical Hebrew scenario to make his point. After the release of the Jews from Babylonian captivity, 565 priests were disqualified from the priesthood “having married wives whose genealogies they could not produce.”[6]

As a former Priest and Pharisee insider, Josephus pointed to the Jewish lineage records challenging anyone who questioned his own heritage to check the public records that traced his family’s ancestry back 2000 years.[7] That period of years equates to the same time span covering from Jesus back to Abraham.

Jewish sages agree that prophecies define the undisputed requirement the Messiah must be born in the lineage of King David. If Jesus of Nazareth was not born in David’s lineage, he could not be the Messiah.

Archenemies of Jesus, the Jewish leadership, were at ground zero with full access to the Temple’s complete Hebrew genealogical records dating back millennia. If the High Priest Caiaphas or the Jewish leadership had simply demonstrated that Jesus of Nazareth did not have royal legal rights to the House of David, it would have ended any speculation that Jesus is the Messiah.

Talmud Sanhedrin 43a is a tractate that fell victim to the Censor in the Middle Ages. Restored, it strongly infers that Jesus was of royal lineage because he was associated with the government or royalty; therefore, an exception was made for Yeshu (Jesus) from the Jewish Law defining execution for blasphemy or idolatry.[8]

Sanhedrin 43a Gemara

“With Yeshu however it was different, for he was connected with the government [or royalty, i.e., influential].’” – Soncino Babylonian translation

Rather, Jesus was different, as he had close ties with the government…” – William Davidson translation

Jewish sage Rabbi Maimonides, some 1200 years after the birth of Jesus, produced his renowned work, Mishneh Torah. In it, the Rabbi denounced Jesus as one from the Davidic dynasty who had “aspired” to be the Messiah:[9]

“If he did not succeed to this degree or he was killed, he surely is not [the redeemer] promised by the Torah. [Rather,] he should be considered as all the other proper and legitimate kings of the Davidic dynasty who died. Jesus of Nazareth who aspired to be the Moshiach and was executed by the court…”

All Jewish genealogy records were maintained in the Temple meaning these records had to include both Joseph, Mary and the birth of Jesus.[10] Luke records that Joseph and Mary paid a redemption price to a Temple priest for Jesus in compliance with the Law for a firstborn male and as well as for Mary’s own Temple purification sacrifice ritual.[11] Neither event would have been allowed if the family had not been genealogically vetted and approved by Temple officials.

A truism in the world of investigations is that when information is being intentionally withheld, it strongly suggests the withheld information is damaging.[12] Direct acknowledgement of the lineage of Jesus is rare, practically unspoken – in this case, silence speaks volumes.

What is the likelihood the archenemies of Jesus would have taken full advantage of the opportunity to disqualify Jesus as being the Messiah if they could have only exposed Jesus of Nazareth was not of the royal House of David?

 

Updated October 28, 2022.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

REFERENCES:

[1] Lippard, Jim. The Secular Web. 2004. “The Fabulous Prophecies of the Messiah.”  https://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_lippard/fabulous-prophecies.html> “Contradictions Part 6: Jesus’s Genealogy.” Finding Truth. 2011. <https://findingtruth.info/2011/03/11/contradictions-part-6-jesus-genealogy
[2] Matthew 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38.  Dolphin, Lambert.  “The Genealogy from Adam to Jesus Christ” Idolphin.org. 2011. <http://ldolphin.org/2adams.html>  Edersheim.  The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Book II, Chapter 4.
[3] “Historical Commentary:  The Birth of Jesus.” Producer John Heyman. Film, Event 3. HistoricJesus.com. <http://www.historicjesus.com/3/history.htmlNet.bible.org. Luke 3:23-38 footnotes 69 – 82.  Life Application Bible – New International Version (NIV).  “The Birth of Jesus” (Luke 2:1-20) History and Commentary.” Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton Illinois, and Zondervan Publishing House. 1991, 1790.  Ryrie Study Bible.  Ed. Ryrie Charles C.  Trans. New American Standard. 1978. Matthew 1:1 Luke 3:23 Footnotes.  The House of David. Global Empower Media. image. 2012. <http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_tfUQCGrAsk/UEhE1xBb8ZI/AAAAAAAAH6c/YlnNltTOjcc/s1600/David1.jpg>Edersheim, Alfred. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. 1883. Book II, Chapter 4. <http://philologos.org/__eb-lat/default.htm> Maas, Anthony. “Genealogy of Christ.” Catholic Encyclopedia. 2009. Volume 61909.  <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06410a.htmClarke’s Commentary on the Bible. Luke 3:23.  BibleHub.com.  n.d.  <http://biblehub.com/commentaries/clarke/luke/3.htm>  Gloag, Paton J. Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels. Edinburgh:  T & T Clark.  1895. “Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels.” Online Books Page. Pages ix, 39. <http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008728595>
[4] Josephus, Flavius. Against Apion. Book 1, #6-7. The Complete Works of Josephus. 1850. <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false> “Genealogy.” Jewish Encyclopedia.
[5] I Chronicles 1:24 – 2:10; II Chronicles 2:1-10; Ruth 4:18-21; Matthew 1:5; Luke 3:32.  Josephus. Against Apion. Book 1, #6-7.“Genealogy.”  Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6577-genealogy. “Siege of Jerusalem.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2018. <https://www.britannica.com/event/Siege-of-Jerusalem-70> Josephus, Flavius. Antiquities of the Jews. Book III, Chapter XII.2.  The Complete Works of Josephus. 1850. <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false>
[6] Ezra 2:61-62; Nehemiah 7:63-64. Josephus.  Antiquity of the Jews.  Book XI, Chapter III.10.
[7] Nehemiah 12:23. The Life of Flavius Josephus. #1. CR  footnote “t;
[8] Soncino Babylonian Talmud. Ed. Epstein, Isidor. “Introduction to the Seder Nezikin.” Soncino Babylonian Talmud.  Shachter & Freedman. “Introduction to Sanhedrin.” Soncino Babylonian Talmud. Sanhedrin Chapter VI, Folio 43a. Greenberg, Eric J. “Jesus’ Death Now Debated by Jews.” Jewish Journal. 2003. Reprinted from The Jewish Week.  <http://jewishjournal.com/news/world/8546>
[9] Maimonides, Moses. (aka Rambam.) Mishneh Torah. Ed. Yechezkal Shimon Gutfreund, Brooklyn, NY:  Sichos in English. “The Law Concerning Moshiach.” Kesser.org. n.d. <http://www.kesser.org/moshiach/rambam.html#SIE> Maimonides. Mishneh Torah. Moznaim Publications. Jewish year 4937 (1177 AD). Trans. Eliyahu Touger.  Chabad.org.  2015. “Sefer Shoftim” > “Melachim uMilchamot.” <http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/682956/jewish/Mishneh-Torah.htm
[10] I Chronicles 1:24 – 2:10; II Chronicles 2:1-10; Ruth 4:18-21; Matthew 1:5; Luke 3:32. “Genealogy.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6577-genealogy>>  “Siege of Jerusalem.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2018. <https://www.britannica.com/event/Siege-of-Jerusalem-70>
[11] Luke 2. “First-born, Redemption of.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6138-first-born-redemption-of > Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Book II, Chapter 7.
[12] “Deception in Research Guidance.” University of Wisconsin-Madison|KnowledgeBase. 2016. <https://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=68286> Sapir, Avinoam. LSI Laboratory for Scientific Interrogation, Inc. n.d. <http://www.lsiscan.com/index.htm> “SCAN – Scientific Content Analysis (Statement Analysis).” Advanced Polygraph. 2011. <http://www.advancedpolygraph.com.au/scan.htm> Lesce, Tony. “SCAN:  Deception Detection by Scientific Content Analysis.” LSI Laboratory for Scientific Interrogations, Inc. 1990. <http://www.lsiscan.com/id37.htm>  Gordon, Nathan J.; Fleisher, William L. Effective Interviewing and Interrogation Techniques. p12.  2011. <https://books.google.com/books?id=JuMzKpFu93IC&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&dq=interrogation+if+they+didn%27t+answer+the+question,+they+just+did&source=bl&ots=V4cf3Z1kjl&sig=NeRLKyFKMRr66SWtUQxbLrByKrY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_2Z3phb_aAhVBgK0KHWMQDOA4FBDoAQgtMAE#v=onepage&q=concealing%20information&f=false> Napier, Michael R. Behavior, Truth and Deception. 2017. “Nonresponsive Subject.” p56. <https://books.google.com/books?id=eEUrDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT95&lpg=PT95&dq=Sapir+if+they+didn%27t+answer+the+question&source=bl&ots=95gjQFQYg9&sig=gUOEC7Aiq-yFgqUEA4VClHyzNhA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjspeHFkr_aAhVwjK0KHab-DF0Q6AEIRjAC#v=onepage&q=nonresponsive&f=false>