Mr Big behind worldwide criminal organisation. Known variously
as 'Jesus', 'Christ', 'Lord', and 'Saviour'.
appearance in Palestine though unknown in official records. Cult
members convince themselves JC is alive today. Intelligence
suggests never actually existed.
we do not know who any of the authors of the four Gospels were.
The traditions that they were written by Jesus' apostles Matthew
and John, and Paul's companions Mark and Luke, are in any case subject
grave and virtually insuperable doubts...
And even though it has
not been possible to establish who the evangelists are, they emerge
as four very distinct individuals – so distinct that
they often seem to present not one Jesus, but four."
– Michael Grant (Jesus, 1977, p180,183)
is not merely Christ, divine son of God, that is an article
of faith, but also the so-called "Jesus of history". A
liturgy of carefully crafted "proofs", a hallowed parade
of alleged witnesses, and a handful of dogmatically
the sacraments of this faith.
But what better explains a thousand different Jesuses than
the single word: fiction.
teachings of the Jewish prophets – in essence, pronouncements
God's Law and social criticism of their own age – were
re-purposed by the Christians as "fore-telling" their
own would-be hero, centuries into the future.
miracle, every pronouncement and every micro-drama of the
godman's supposed existence was teased out of Jewish
a handful of supplementary sources. Traditional pagan
motifs completed the detail.
radicals and rebels – 1st century Palestine had them in
abundance. But a 'life' conjured up from mystical fantasy,
a mass of
quotations, copied story elements and a corpus of self-serving
speculation, does not constitute an historical reality.
As it happens,
we have an excellent witness to events in Judaea and the Jewish
diaspora in the first half of the first century
AD: Philo of Alexandria (c25 BC-47 AD). Yet Philo
a word about
Jesus, Christianity nor any of the events described in the
New Testament. But a Jewish neo-Platonism fed into nascent Christianity.