The Christian faith is the result of the most successful psy-ops program in history, according to a self-professed American Bible scholar.
Joseph Atwill will present his controversial theory Oct. 19 in London that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats as part of a sophisticated government project to help pacify Jews in occupied territories.
Atwill, author of "Caesar's Messiah," claims he’s found ancient confessions by the scriptures’ authors that they invented Jesus Christ and his story as basically a form of propaganda.
"Jewish sects in Palestine at the time, who were waiting for a prophesied warrior Messiah, were a constant source of violent insurrection during the first century," Atwill said. "When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare. They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system. That's when the 'peaceful' Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to 'give onto Caesar' and pay their taxes to Rome."
He says that Jesus was not based on an actual historical figure, but Atwill argues that the events of his life were overlaid on top of actual events from the First Jewish-Roman War, waged by Emperor Titus Flavius in Palestinian territories.
“The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar,” he says.
Atwill said he understands that his theory is bound to upset Christians, and he’s hoping skeptics will come to challenge him after his lecture as part of a symposium, “Covert Messiah,” along with Kenneth Humphreys, author of "Jesus Never Existed."
“Although Christianity can be a comfort to some, it can also be very damaging and repressive, an insidious form of mind control that has led to blind acceptance of serfdom, poverty, and war throughout history,” Atwill says. “To this day, especially in the United States, it is used to create support for war in the Middle East."
[Image via Agence France-Presse]