Critical Podium Dewanand Christianity
The "real" Jesus Stories
Sacrifice code wfor0412
Sacrifice date 25 march 2009
The "real" Jesus Stories
The ball regarding the "real" Jesus was set rolling by The
Aims of Jesus and His Disciples by Hermann Samuel Reimarus, published
posthumously from Brunswick (Germany) in 1778. Taking his cue from Jesus'
anguished cry from the cross - "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken
me?" - Reimarus had observed, "This avowal cannot, without violence,
be interpreted, otherwise than as meaning that God had not sided with
Him in His aim and purpose as He had hoped. This shows that it had not
been His purpose to suffer and die, but to establish an earthly kingdom
and deliver the Jews from political oppression - and in that God's help
had failed Him."2 His disciples, however, had become used to making
a living by "preaching of the Kingdom of God" and "forgotten
how to work". They were not prepared to renounce "this mode
of life". They felt sure that they could "find a sufficient
number of faithful souls who would join them in directing their hopes
towards a second coming of the Messiah" and "share their possessions
with them" in expectation of future glory. "So they stole the
body of Jesus and hid it, and proclaimed to all the world that he would
soon return. They prudently waited, however, for fifty days before making
this announcement, in order that the body, if it should be found, might
The next in the series of what Schweitzer names as "The Earliest
Fictitious Lives of Jesus", was An Explanation of the Plans and Aims
of Jesus by Friedrich Barhdt, published in II volumes from Berlin between
1784 and 1792. The cue in this case was provided by Nicodamus who figures
in John's gospel and Joseph of Arimathea whom we meet in all the four
gospels. They were, according to Barhdt, leading members of a Secret Brotherhood,
the Essenes, which had its cells in all ranks of the Jewish society at
that time. The Brotherhood was out to destroy the false Messianic hopes
harboured by the Jews, and thus foster a rational religion. They were
in search of a character who could be made to masquerade as the Messiah,
and give currency to the Brotherhood's teachings. They found in Jesus
what they were looking for, and stage-managed him in a series of dramatic
episodes. The miracles of Jesus were calculated frauds masterminded by
the two string-pullers and foisted on a superstitions population with
the help of the widespread Essenes network. They also tricked the Sanhedrin
into trying Jesus for rebellion and condemning him to death. At the same
time they saw to it that Jesus did not hang on the cross for long. Luke
had stuffed him with drugs so that he did not feel the pain of crucifixion.
In any case, he was instructed to cry aloud and hang his head after a
short while so that he could he declared dead and taken down quickly.
They put him in a tomb which had been prepared in advance. "Since
the humours of the body were in a thoroughly healthy condition, His wounds
healed very readily, and by the third day He was able to walk, in spite
of the fact that the wounds made by the nails were still open."4
Jesus came out of the tomb and met Mary Magdalene whom he bade tell His
disciples that he had risen, and was going to his Father in Heaven before
long. He appeared to them several times from his place of concealment
till he took leave of them at the Mount of Olives near Bethany. "From
the mountain He returned to the chief lodge of the Brotherhood. Only at
rare intervals did He again intervene in active life - as on the occasion
when He appeared to Paul upon the road to Damascus. But though unseen,
He continued to direct the destinies of the community until His death."5
More or less the same pattern in presenting the "real" Jesus
was followed by Karl Heinrich Venturini who published anonymously his
work, A Non-supernatural History of the Prophet of Nazareth, in 4 volumes
from Copenhagen (Denmark) during 1800-1802. In his story too Jesus is
stage-managed by a secret society in order to destroy the false Messianic
hopes of the Jews.
His miracles are nothing more than cures effected by a "portable
medical chest" which he carries secreted in his robe. His disciples
are always ready at hand to distract the attention of the audience so
that genuine medical treatments look like miracles. But the miracles failed
to impress the Jews, and in due course Jesus also became disillusioned
with the secret society. So the society decided that Jesus be taken to
Jerusalem and made to proclaim publicly that he was the Messiah. He was
hailed by the people of Jerusalem, but the Jewish authorities refused
to change their notions about Messiahship. They arrested him all of a
sudden and put him to death. Joseph of Arimathea who washed and anointed
his body saw some hope in the fresh blood flowing from the wound in his
side. So the body was not buried but kept under watch for twenty-four
hours after which Jesus revived. He was removed to the Lodge of the secret
society, and made to appear at intervals to his disciples. His strength,
however, got exhausted after forty days when he took final leave of his
disciples. "The farewell scene gave rise to the mistaken impression
of his Ascension."6
Charles Christian Hennell, August Friedrich Gfrorer, and Richard von
der Aim (pseudonym of Friedrich Wilhelm Ghillany), whose works were published
in Germany between 1831 and 1863, presented Jesus along the same lines
as those of Barhdt and Venturini. It was Ludwig Noack who struck a different
note in his book, The History of Jesus, published in 1876. "Jesus'
temperament, according to Noack was pre-disposed to ecstasy, since He
was born out of wedlock... Assailed in a thousand ways by the cruelty
of the world, it would seem to Him as though His Heavenly Father, though
unseen, was stretching out to Him the arms of consolation." He became
acquainted with Greek ideas about sons of God as also with Philo's doctrine
of the Logos.7 "Ambition, too, came into play - the high ambition
to do God a service by offering up of Himself. The passion of self-sacrifice
is characteristic of a consciousness such as this... From the first He
was as much at home with the thought of death as with His Heavenly Father."8
His adversaries, however, refused to concede his claim that he was the
Son of God. They tried to stone him to death so that he had to go into
hiding. "Judas, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who was a man of much
resource, helped Him to avoid being arrested as a disturber of the peace
by arranging that the 'betrayal' should take place on the evening before
the Passover, in order that Jesus might die, as He desired, on the day
of the Passover. For this service of love, he was.... torn from the bosom
of the Lord and branded as a traitor."9 So Jesus really died, and
did not rise on the third day. Like Earnet Renan who had published his
highly sentimental Life of Jesus in 1863, Noack had no use for resurrection
Towards the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth
century appeared some Lives of Jesus which presented him as a hypnotist
or occultist. In his Jesus of Nazareth published from Leipzig (Germany)
Paul de Regla stated that Jesus was born out of wedlock but was given
shelter by Joseph because he was an exceptionally beautiful child. When
he grew up, he attracted the Essenes as his disciples. "His preaching
dealt with the rights of man, and put forward socialistic and communistic
demands."10 He knew hypnotism and used this art to stage miracles.
He was not dead when he was taken down from the cross, and was reanimated
by the Essenes.
Emile Lerou, a French lady, used a pseudonym, Pierre Nahor, when she
published her Jesus in 1905. In this, a distinguished Brahmin from India
had sizable property in Nazareth, and an influential following in Jerusalem.
He took Jesus to Egypt and taught him Indian philosophy as well as hypnotism.
Jesus cured Mary Magdalene, a distinguished courtesan of Tiberias, and
thus acquired great hold over rich and pious ladies. They sent to him
baskets of food which his disciples distributed to people. When Jesus
came to know that "the priests were resolved upon His death, He made
His friend Joseph of Arimathea, a leading man among the Essenes, promise
that he would take Him down from the cross as soon as possible and lay
him in the grave without other witnesses". And while he was on the
cross, "He put Himself in a cataleptic trance" so that he looked
like dead, and was taken down quickly. He revived in the tomb, and appeared
several times to his disciples. But he had been badly hurt. He dragged
himself to Nazareth and died at the door of his Brahmin teacher from India.11
The one thing which these "real" Jesus stories in the nineteenth
century had in common was that they presented him as a great leader, on
his own or as the mouthpiece of some secret society. The stories that
started coming out in the twentieth century acquired an altogether different
tone. Christian apologists continued to paint Jesus, historical or otherwise,
in attractive colours. But the stories that stole the show had a character
to the contrary. The "real" Jesus was more and more brought
down to earth in a manner that proved pretty painful, even alarming, to
the believing Christian. I am summarising some of these stories in a chronological
1.. 1905, G.L.Loostan, Jesus Christ from the Psychiatrist's Viewpoint,
Bamberg (Germany), 1905.
2.. 1910, W. Hirsch, Religion and Civilization, Munich (Germany), 1908.
3.. 1912, C. Binet-Sangle, Jesus Madness, Paris, 1912.
"After a thorough examination of the Gospel narratives, they independently
reached the same conclusion: Jesus was mentally ill and suffered from
paranoia", a mental disease defined as "the sneaking development
of a persistent and unassailable delusion system, in which clarity of
thought and action are nonetheless preserved."12
4.. 1906, George Moore, The Brook Kerith, London, 1916.
The author "caused considerable scandal by depicting Jesus being
nursed back to health by Joseph of Arimathea".13 But Moore cited
in support of his story some of the oldest Christian heresies and the
Quran, all of which proclaimed that Jesus had not died on the cross.
5.. 1929, D.H. Lawrence, The Man Who Died, London, 1929.
It was a short story originally named The Escaped Cock. "Jesus was
taken down too early from the cross, revived in the tomb, petrified his
followers, who assumed he was dead, 'resurrected', and slipped away to
Egypt to enjoy conjugal relations with a priestess of Isis."14 It
was at the "climatic moment" in the "sexual congress"
that he declared, "I am risen."15
6.. 1931, R. Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist, London,
Piecing together some scattered information in the gospels, the author
presented Jesus as the leader of armed bandits. He relied on the Jewish
tradition preserved in Toldoth Jeshu, particularly on a passage preserved
in a fifth-century Hebrew version of Josephus, stating that "Jesus
had more than 2000 armed followers with him on the Mount of Olives".16
7.. 1946, Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum, Genius, Madness and Fame, Germany,
In a chapter, "The Problem of Jesus", the author said that Jesus
of the gospels betrays "quick-tempered soreness and a remarkable
ego-centricism", and that "what is not with him, is cursed".
Jesus "loves everything that is below him and does not diminish his
ego" but "utters threats against everyone who is established,
powerful, and rich". He is also "a sexually abnormal man"
and there is in him ""a lack of joy in reality, extreme seriousness,
lack of humour, a predominantly depressed, disturbed, tense condition,
coldness towards others insofar as they do not flatter his ego" including
his mother and brothers. His "lack of balance" makes him "now
weak and fearful, now with violent outbursts of anger". The psychiatrist
concluded that Jesus was suffering from paranoia.17
8.. 1946, Robert Graves, King Jesus, London, 1946. The author showed
Jesus as surviving the crucifixion and living as a lover of Mary Magdalene.
9.. 1950, Morris Goldstein, Jesus in the Jewish Tradition, New York, 1950.
The well-known American Rabbi presented Jewish traditions vis-à-vis
several Jesuses and inferred that the Jesus of Christianity could be the
Jeshu who "was stoned and hanged because he practised sorcery and
led Israel astray". Nobody was prepared to defend him although "for
forty days before the execution, a herald unsuccessfully urged people
who knew anything in his favour to come forward".18
10.. 1954, Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ, New York,
This was written by a Greek author who had won the Nobel prize in literature
for his earlier work. In this novel, Jesus dies on the cross. "Before
he does so, however, he has a vision of what his life should have been
had he not voluntarily submitted himself to his final sacrifice. In this
vision - a kind of 'flash-forward' in fantasy - Jesus sees himself married
to the Magdalene (for whom he has lusted all through the book) and fathering
a family upon her."19 The plot also shows Judas betraying Jesus at
the latter's express command. Some critics thought that this was "a
passionately religious, passionately devotional, passionately Christian"
piece of literature. "Nevertheless, the novel was banned in many
countries, including the author's native Greece, and Kazantzakis himself
11.. 1956, Albert Camus, The Fall, Paris, 1956.
The famous French author had the following passage in a dialogue: "Say,
do you know why he was crucified - the one you are perhaps thinking of
at the moment? Well, there were heaps of reasons for that ... But, besides
the reasons that have been very well explained to us for the past two
thousand years, there was a major one for that terrible agony, and I don't
know why it has been so carefully hidden. The real reason is that he knew
he was not altogether innocent."21
12.. 1960, Hugh Montefiore, 'Jesus, the Revelation of God', in Christ
For Us Today, London, 1960.
"Inspired by certain mysterious references such as the 'disciple
Jesus loved...: leaning back on Jesus' breast' (John 13:23-25), in the
1960s Anglican Bishop Hugh Montefiore put forward the idea that Jesus
might have been a homosexual as 'an explanation we must not ignore'."22
13.. 1961, Paul Winter, On the Trial of Jesus, Berlin, 1961.
He analyses the gospel materials in detail and proves that the Jewish
authorities did not condemn Jesus to death, though they were quite competent
to do so if they had found him guilty of blasphemy. They handed him to
Pontius Pilate simply because they were afraid that his activities might
lead to an insurrection and bring about a heavy-handed Roman intervention.
14.. 1963, J. Carmichael, The Death of Jesus, London, 1963.
He showed that Jesus was a guerrilla leader who first collaborated and
then broke with another Jewish rebel, John the Baptist. John recognized
his superiority when he seized the temple in Jerusalem as a preliminary
to seizing the city and leading an anti-Roman uprising. But the Roman
soldiers stormed the temple and Jesus had to go into hiding from where
he was betrayed by Judas. He was then crucified by the Romans along with
other leaders of the rebellion. He cites Sossianus Hierocles, the prefect
of Egypt who wrote in the reign of Diocletian (245-315 AD) and who had
stated that "Jesus was the leader of a band of highway robbers numbering
more than 900 men", and also a lost version of Josephus which stated
that "Jesus had more than 2,000 armed followers with him on the Mount
15.. 1963, Hugh Schonfield, The Passover Plot, London, 1963.
This international best-seller of which more than three million copies
have been sold shows that Jesus arranged his own mock crucifixion in order
to pass as the Messiah according to the prophecy in the Old Testament.
The crucifixion was arranged by Joseph of Arimathea who gave him a drug
in a sponge in order to induce the appearance of death. The plan was to
take him inside the well-prepared tomb, and revive him. But the plan misfired
because of the lance-thrust by the Roman soldier in Jesus' side. Jesus
died and was buried secretly elsewhere. The man seen by Mary Magdalene
standing by her side was not Jesus but someone else who had come to help
in reviving Jesus. It was a case of mistaken identity. There was no resurrection.
16.. 1965, Samuel Sandmel, We Jews and Jesus, London, 1965.
This Professor of Biblical Studies in the Jewish Institute of Religion
in London, had protested indignantly against Paul's view, parroted by
Christian tradition, that the Jewish Law at the time of Jesus was sterile,
and had become a burden so that Jews were ready to be liberated from it.
He took great pride in the ancient Jewish Law, and dismissed Jesus as
someone whom the Jews did not care to remember.
17.. 1967, S.G.F Brandon, Jesus and the Zealots, Manchester, 1967.
18.. 1968, S.G.F Brandon, The Trial of Jesus, Manchester, 1968
This Professor in the University of Manchester, England, argued that Jesus
was an ardent Jewish nationalist who led a rebellion against the Romans.
The inscription - King of Jews - affixed to the cross was genuine because
it occurs in all the gospels. He had many Zealots among his disciples,
including Judas Iscariot. He failed, and was crucified by the Romans.
This was the whole story. Jesus, the risen Christ and Saviour, was an
invention of Paul for the consumption of Gentiles.
19.. 1969, S.S. Levin, Jesus alias Christ, New York, 1969.
He argued that "the miracles, ethical teachings, and warnings that
the world will shortly come to a catastrophic end are wrongly ascribed
to Jesus in the gospels, and in fact represent actions and sayings of
John the Baptist".24 Jesus' entry into Jerusalem was a political
demonstration, and his effort to clean the temple was an effort to seize
it after surveying its defences. But the Romans foiled his insurrection,
and crucified him. That was his end.
20.. 1970, Carlo Fuento, Terra Nostra, New York, 1970.
The Mexican novelist showed that Jesus survived the "fraudulent crucifixion"
which involved a substitute, and was no saviour.
21.. 1970, W.E. Phipps, Was Jesus Married?, New York, 1970.
The author, a Professor of Theology, proved that Mary Magdalene was married
to Jesus, particularly with reference to the recently discovered Gospel
of Philip which preserves a tradition that she was his spouse.
22.. 1970, Carlyle Slaughter, Magdalene, London 1970.
It is a novel which presents Mary Magdalene as a lover of Jesus.
23.. 1971, Haim Cohn, The Trial and Death of Jesus, New York, 1971.
Cohn was an ex-attorney-general of Israel and a member of its Supreme
Court when he wrote this book. He dismissed the Jewish trial and condemnation
of Jesus as a ridiculous fiction. The Jewish authorities, in fact, had
tried to save him by advising him not to proclaim himself as the Messiah.
It was Jesus who invited death by such a proclamation before Pilate. So
crucifixion is the central theme in the story of Jesus. He was killed
by the Romans. And he was not buried because victims of crucifixion were
not allowed that rite.
24.. 1973 Haim Maccoby, Revolution in Judea: Jesus and the Jewish Resistance,
He showed that the first-century generation of Jews which Christian tradition
has blackened as "wicked" was, in fact, "the greatest generation
in Jewish religious history", and that "to dissociate themselves
from this generation would be for the Jews to dissociate themselves from
Judaism".25 For him Jesus was a Jewish revolutionary who "staged
an uprising against the Roman" after the precedent set by Judas of
Galilee in 6 AD. Kingdom of God meant an independent Jewish state. Pilate
was cruel by nature, and crucified Jesus. The gospels were written by
"death-worshipping mystagogues" who "exalted the Roman
cross into a religious symbol" and "saw more meaning in Jesus'
death than in his life".26 He names Paul as the chief culprit in
25.. 1973 W.E. Phipps, The Sexuality of Jesus, New York, 1973.
He says that according to the Mishnaic law an unmarried Jew could not
be a teacher. So Jesus was married, and Mary Magdelene was his wife. Analysing
John 20.17, he concludes that here Jesus asks Mary to cease from sexual
intercourse in which they used to be engaged earlier.
26.. 1973, J.A.T. Robinson, The Human Face of God, London, 1973.
This Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge, says that Jesus' birth through
normal sex is not ruled out by the gospels. It is clear that Joseph was
not the father of Jesus but it does not mean that there was no "prior
intercourse between Mary and some unknown male which Joseph subsequently
27.. 1973, Morton Smith, Clement of Alexandria and the Secret Gospel
of Mark, Harvard (USA), 1973.
"In 1958...Professor Morton Smith of Columbia University discovered,
in a monastery near Jerusalem, a letter which contained a missing fragment
of the Gospel of Mark. The missing fragment had not been lost. On the
contrary, it had apparently been deliberately suppressed - at the instigation,
if not the express behest, of Bishop Clement of Alexandria, one of the
most venerated of the early Church fathers."28 The fragment showed
Jesus and Lazarus spending several days and nights together in a state
of utter nakedness. The Bishop had received a complaint that this episode
in the gospel was enabling some heretic sects to indulge in immoral practices.
Professor Smith published the fragment with the historical background,
and opined that the "whole episode refers to a typical mystery initiation".29
28.. 1973, G. Vermes, Jesus the Jew, London, 1973
This Reader in Jewish Studies in the University of Oxford maintained that
Jesus was very much a Jew in all his doings and sayings, and a great teacher.
He was not a guerrilla leader. He could not have been tried by the Jews
for blasphemy which he had never committed. The gospel accounts of a Jewish
trial of Jesus must have been invented by Hellenized Jews like Paul. Jesus
was persecuted and executed by the Romans.
29.. 1974, Morton Smith, The Secret Gospel, London 1974.
"Dr. Smith has interpreted Jesus as a hedonistic libertine.
Smith imparts a heavy sexual innuendo to the nudity of the baptismal
rite he believes Jesus to have practised, and suggests that, transported
by his experiences of the Kingdom of God, Jesus thought himself above
the constraints of the Jewish law, and able to do as he pleased."30
30.. 1975, Donovan Joyce, The Jesus Scroll, London, 1975.
The author, an Australian journalist, claims to have seen a scroll stolen
from the Masada excavations. "It was signed Yeshua ben Ya'akob ben
Gennesareth who described himself as eighty years old and added that he
was the last of the rightful kings of Israel. The name when translated
into English became Jesus of Gennesareth, son of Jacob. Joyce identifies
the author as Jesus of Nazareth." It means that Jesus survived the
crucifixion, and fought in the Roman siege of Masada during the Jewish
revolt of 66-74 AD.31
31.. 1976. Mariana Warner, Alone of All Her Sex: Myth and the Cult of
Virgin Mary, London, 1976.
"Mary Warner begins with the gospels, noting the slight allusions
to Mary and the curious confusions between the two women of that name.
She points out the falsities, fables and manifest fabrications that have
32.. 1978, Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician, London, 1978.
"Dr. Morton Smith depicts his protagonist as a typical wonder-worker
of the age, a figure of a kind that thronged the Middle East at the beginning
of the Christian era."33
33.. 1980, Liz Green, The Dreamer of the Vine, 1980. It is a novel about
Nostradamus in which Jesus is shown as a married man who leaves a bloodline.
34.. 1982, Michael Baigent et el, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, London,
After examining critically a plethora of literature on the "real"
Jesus, the authors conclude that Jesus was descended from King David and,
therefore, a legitimate priest-king of Israel who came in conflict with
the Romans. But his powerful friends "working in collusion with a
corrupt, easily bribed Roman Procurator, appear to have engineered a mock
crucifixion - on private grounds, inaccessible to all but a select few".
Keeping the general population "at a convenient distance, an execution
was then staged - in which a substitute took the priest-king's place on
the cross, or in which the priest-king himself did not actually die".
When it was sufficiently dark and visibility became low "a 'body'
was removed to an opportunely adjacent tomb, from which a day or two later,
it 'miraculously' disappeared". He was already married to Mary Magdalene
and he now escaped to some other place to live secretly and sire children
who were moved to France and founded the Carolingian Dynasty. The disciples
of Jesus and, later on, the Church suppressed the true story, and invented
a Jesus who was made the founder of Christianity. So Jesus of history
has very little to do with the Jesus of the gospels and the churches.
35.. 1983, Anita Mason, The Illusionist, London, 1983.
It is a novel in which Simon Peter is shown as a "simple, untutored
Galilean fisherman and bully" who accepted literally Jesus' statements
about an imminent end of the world. When nothing happened after Jesus'
crucifixion, Peter was a tormented man - full of doubt and disillusionment
himself, but sticking to his story before the other disciples of Jesus.
Paul rescued Peter out of this predicament by inventing a new theology.
It was on this theology that Peter founded his Church, which carried forward
36.. 1984, Michael Arnhein, Is Christianity True?, London, 1984.
The author teaches at St. John's College in the University of Cambridge.
While travelling on a train, he heard a passenger declare that decimalisation
of the coinage was one of the three "biggest 'cons' in history."
"What were the other two, I immediately enquired, and quick as a
flash came the reply, the graduated pension fund an 'JC. I was stunned.
'JC I repeated quizzically. 'Yes, Jesus Christ of course.' And in what
order should these three biggest-ever confidence tricks be placed? On
this point my Mancunian fellow-traveller was equally forthcoming: 'JC
- number One.'" With this preface, the author examines the "historical
improbability: namely that one particular man was no mere mortal but 'the
Christ', whose death changed the course of human history for ever, and
who continues to exist as 'God the son', part of an indivisible threefold
godhead". Going over the evidence produced by Christian theologians
in support of this fantastic belief, the author concludes that the Messianic
claim for Jesus cannot be reconciled with the claim that he is the Son
of God, that there was nothing divine in Jesus, and that Christianity
has been a Big Lie in telling which Adolf Hitler was the latest expert.
37.. 1984, Ian Wilson, Jesus: The Evidence, London, 1984.
It was published as a companion volume to a television documentary of
the same name announced by David Rolfe in 1983. "The series took
no position of its own, endorsed no particular point of view. It simply
endeavoured to survey the field of New Testament studies and to assess
the value of various theories proposed. Yet even before the project got
under way, British pressure groups were lobbying to have the enterprise
suppressed. When it was finished in 1984, it had to be screened, in a
private showing, to a number of Members of Parliament before it could
be cleared for transmission." The author of the book adds a chapter,
"The Real Jesus", in which he says, "Here was nothing about
a call for belief in himself as mankind's saviour, nothing about a new
religion that he wanted instituted in his name." Jesus would not
have endorsed the Nicene Creed "formulated in his name three hundred
years later" because "the Jewish faith was the absolute bedrock
of his belief. A special feature of this book is an attempt to explain
Jesus' miracles as feats of hypnosis. Even the resurrection is explained
as the effect, on Jesus' disciples, of a post-hypnotic suggestion.
38.. 1985, Anthony Burgess, The Kingdom of the Wicked, London, 1985.
The author carried forward Anita Mason's thesis that Jesus of the gospels
was invented by the Church which has been a conspiracy of the wicked from
the very beginning.
39.. 1985. Michele Roberts, The Wild Girl, London 1985.
The novel depicts Mary Magdalene as Jesus' lover and as the mother of
his child. It invited the wrath of the Church in England and the author
was threatened with persecution under Britain's blasphemy law.
40.. 1986, Michael Baigent et al, The Messianic Legacy, London, 1986.
The authors carry forward the theme they propounded in The Holy Blood
and The Holy Grail. More stories about the "real" Jesus are
examined and a tentative hypothesis is advanced regarding the formation
of Christianity. One thing which comes out clearly is that Jesus the founder
of a bloodline was not the founder of this faith.
41.. 1986, Herman H. Somers, Jesus the Messiah: Was Christianity a Mistake
(in Dutch), Antwerp, 1986
The author is a renowned theologian who served in the Jesuit order for
forty years. In due course, he developed serious doubts about the divine
character of the Bible, grew out of his faith in Christianity, and left
the Jesuit order. His study of Jesus is a part of his study of the psychology
of prophetism, which he finds paranoid. The prophets of the Bible, he
says, were mentally sick people, and Jesus was no exception. Jesus did
not die on the cross. He was alive when he was taken down, and was revived.
He went into hiding and wrote the Revelation or Apocalypse, the last and
the most blood-thirsty book of the New Testament, credited by Christian
tradition to John, the beloved disciple of Jesus. This book of the Bible
leaves little doubt that its author was a mentally sick man.34
42.. 1994, John Dominic Crossan, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, San
Francisco (USA), 1994.
The author is a Bible scholar at De Paul University in Chicago, Illinois,
USA. "For Crossan Jesus' deification was akin to the worship of Augustus
Caesar - a mixture of myth, propaganda, and social convention. It was
simply a thing that was done in the Mediterranean world. Christ's pedigree
- his virgin birth in Bethlehem of Judea, home of his reputed ancestor
King David - is retrospective myth-making by writers who had 'already
decided on the transcendental importance of the adult Jesus,' Crossan
says. The journey to Bethlehem from Nazareth, he adds, is 'pure fiction,
a creation of Luke's own imagination.' He speculates that Jesus may not
even have been Mary's firstborn and that the man the Bible calls his brother
James was the eldest child." Jesus never cured anyone. He was a wandering
teacher for whom Roman imperialism was demonic possession. "Believing
that such wanderlust spread subversion, the Romans had him crucified.
Jesus - a peasant nobody - was never buried, never taken by his friends
to a rich man's sepulcher. Rather, says Crossan, the tales of entombment
and resurrection were latter-day wishful thinking. Instead, Jesus' corpse
went the way of all abandoned criminals' bodies: it was probably barely
covered with dirt, vulnerable to the wild dogs that roamed the wasteland
of the execution grounds."35
2.. Cited in Albert Schweitzer, op cit., pp 19-20
3.. Ibid, p.21.
4.. Cited in Ibid., p.43.
5.. Ibid., pp.43-44.
6.. Ibid., p.47.
7.. Ibid., p.177.
8.. Ibid., p.178.
9.. Ibid., p.179.
10.. Ibid., p.325.
11.. Ibid., p.326.
12.. Koenraad Elst, Psychology of Prophetism: A Secular Look at the Bible,
Voice of India, New Delhi, 1993, pp.78-79.
13.. Michael Baigent et al., op. cit., p. 15.
14.. Ian Wilsm, op. cit. p. 118 and 171.
15.. Michael Baigent et al., op.cit., p.37.
16.. G.A. Wells, op. cit., p.172.
17.. Koenraad Elst, op. cit. pp.80-81.
18.. G.A. Wells, op. cit.. p.16.
19.. Michael Baigent et al., op. cit., p.16.
20.. Ibid., p. 19.
21.. Cited in James P. Mackey, op. cit., pp.71-72.
22.. Ian Wilson, op. cit., p.80.
23.. G.A. Wells, op. cit., pp. 170-72.
24.. Ibid., p.173.
25.. Ibid., p.173.
26.. Ian Wilson, op. cit., p. 152.
27.. G.A. Wells, op. cit., 162.
28.. Ibid., p.8.
29.. Michael Baigent et el, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Corgi Books,
London, 1984, p. 334.
30.. Ibid., p. 337.
31.. Ian Wilson, op. cit, p. 82
32.. Michael Baigent et al, The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, op. cit,
33.. Michael Baigent et al, The Messianic Legacy, p 17.
34.. Somer's study has been summarised by Koenraad Elst in his Psychology
of Prophetisim: A Secular Look at the Bible, published by Voice of India
35.. Time weekly magazine, New York, 10 January 1994.
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