What do you think is the correct answer?
Let us examine answer A first. I know that many people believe in the historical Jesus, but this does not make it the correct answer. For this, we need to have at least one reliable source from that period that informs us about this alleged historical man named Jesus.
In the past, some claimed that the book (in Greek) titled “Antiquities of the Jews”, written between 79 and 94 of our Current Era (abbreviated as CE) by Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – 100 CE), is such a source. However, the notorious passage regarding Jesus, later on called the “Testimonium Flavianum”, turned out to be a forgery, most likely interpolated by Eusebius of Caesarea (265 – 340 CE).
Others claim that the final work of Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 – 120 CE) named “Annals” (in Latin), written around 116 CE, would be a trusted source. However, Jesus is only mentioned in one page at the end of his penultimate book of this second historical series (of in total 30 books in both series). In 1885, Polydore Hochart (1831 – 1916) proved this to be also a fraudulent insertion.
To cut a much longer story short: there is no proof at all that the historical Jesus ever existed. If this Biblical character really had existed at the beginning of our current era, surely historians like Josephus and Tacitus would have really written about him. Therefore, answer A must be false.
So, what about answer B? In 1877, a book (in German) titled “Christ and the Caesars” written by Bruno Bauer (1809 – 1882) was published. It states that the Biblical narratives about Jesus were made up by the Roman Emperor Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus (9 – 79 CE) and his sons. According to this claim, this was done to convert the militant Jewish rebels into peaceful Roman citizens.
In a more recent version of this Roman conspiracy theory, it was Gaius Calpurnius Piso, who was executed in 65 CE by Emperor Nero (37 – 68 CE), and especially his son Arrius Calpurnius Piso, who created the fictional Jesus, the New Testament, the Church, and Christianity. It gets even more bizarre, as this theory also claims that Titus Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian mentioned above, was allegedly a penname of Arrius Calpurnius Piso.
There is, however, one crucial problem with this Roman Invention Theory. It cannot, in any way, explain the profound Spiritual Truths in these writings. Therefore, also answer B must be false.
Quintus Junius Rusticus (100 – 170 CE) served as urban prefect of Rome between 162 and 168 CE. In the year 165 CE, he sentenced a man named Ioustínos (also born in the year 100 CE) to death. Just before the beheading of this brave man and five others commenced, this Roman prefect asked him (in Latin): “If you are killed, do you suppose you will go to Heaven?” “I do not suppose it”, the brave man answered, “but I know, and am fully persuaded of it.” In the English language, this man became known as ‘Justin Martyr’. He was the author of eight writings (in Greek): First Apology, Second Apology, Dialogue with Trypho, Discourse to the Greeks, Hortatory Address to the Greeks, On the Sovereignty of God, The Psalmist, and On the Soul. In “Dialogue with Trypho”, he describes God as “that which always maintains the same nature, and in the same manner, and is the cause of all other things”.
However, when we study the work and life of this early martyr who categorically refused to renounce the One True God, this pressing question arises: “Why did he nowhere in his work refer to any of the 27 writings of what we nowadays refer to as the Bible’s New Testament?” Justin Martyr went into great lengths to explain the meaning of the writings of the Old Testament. Furthermore, he lived in Palestine, in a town nowadays called Nablus, and he read and wrote also in Greek. The only possible reason for him not referring to the Good Message is that the original New Testament stories and epistles must have been written (in Greek) after his violent death in 165 CE. This is fully consistent with the above conclusion that the historical Jesus never existed, and moreover, neither did the alleged apostle Paul.
The truth is that the New Testament writings on the Good Message (and many apocrypha writings as well) were written by initiates in Universal Wisdom. These initiates understood that also the Old Testament writings (which they read in Greek) described many profound insights derived from this very same Universal Wisdom. In order to quicken these insights, and to make it more appealing to a layman, these Mediterranean initiates used storytelling to share their understanding with others. They named the main character in this meaningful story ‘Iesous’ in Greek, which became ‘Iesus’ in Latin, and ‘Jesus’ in English.
The Jesus character personifies the consciousness of an Enlightened Human. This consciousness is named ‘Christos’ in Greek, which became ‘Christus’ in Latin, and ‘Christ’ in English. When we fully understand this Wholly Truth, then we should no longer refer to ourselves as a “Christian”, as this is the name of a believer in the historical Jesus. Instead, we then have also become a ‘Lover of Wisdom’, which is the literal meaning of the word ‘Philosopher’ (in Greek).
If you, as a unbelieving Philosopher, want to learn more about the Universal Wisdom personified by the Biblical character of Jesus, then you are most welcome to follow the Wholly Science video course. On top of that, you can subscribe yourself to Wholly Scripture TV. Say goodbye to ‘believing’, and welcome ‘Knowing’.
This article was orginally written on April 7th, 2017 by Johan Oldenkamp.
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