To the question Was Jesus Christ a real person? American biblical scholar Joseph Atwill says, “The short answer is no.”
Oh boy! This ought to be fun.
On October 19 Atwill will present some provocative new findings in London. Atwill’s thesis is that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats who fabricated the entire story of Jesus Christ. Per Atwill: “The Caesars committed a crime against consciousness. They reached into the minds of their subjects and planted false concepts to make them easier to control.” Atwill claims to have iron-clad proof of his claims.
Atwill’s most intriguing discovery came to him while he was studying “Wars of the Jews” by Josephus—the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea—alongside the New Testament.
I started to notice a sequence of parallels between the two texts. Although it’s been recognised by Christian scholars for centuries that the prophesies of Jesus appear to be fulfilled by what Josephus wrote about in the First Jewish-Roman war, I was seeing dozens more. What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus. This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern. The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar.
Here’s a promo video about Atwill and his findings:
(Thanks to Ron Kretsch!)