Every good Christian knows, the New Testament has many parallels or typology to the Old Testament. Christians believe the New Testament is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is the inerrant word of God. Many passages found in the New Testament seemingly quote the Old Testament, although, after careful-study, most of these quotes have been altered, out of context, or just plain in error unbeknown to the average Christian. Nevertheless, it is common for Christians to notate the parallels of both the Old and New Testament to explain and prove the New Testament must be inspired by the Holy Spirit. But what if that same method of typology could prove that the New Testament wasn’t inspired by God, but rather, inspired by the Emperors of Rome, who believed they were God?
While still identifying as a Christian and after my quest to thoroughly study the prophets of the Hebrew Bible as well as the Messianic prophecies, I found myself questioning the legitimacy of the New Testament. I penned an article with my questions and findings, which you can read here. During that period of my research, I found it alarming to discover the gospels were written not just several decades after Jesus allegedly lived and died, but last of all the New Testament books. Like many Christians, I suppose I assumed the books of the New Testament were written in chronological order. Upon discovering the Gospels were written last, I found it doubtful the disciples of Jesus would be alive numerous decades later, or could accurately recall events a plethora of years earlier, and suspicious none of them scribed their names to any of the gospels, not to mention the gospels are written in Greek, not Hebrew/Aramaic, the would-be language of Jesus’ alleged disciples. Nor did I understand why such critical documents if they indeed are the word of God would be written in Greek when all of the Hebrew Bible is written in Hebrew and the prophets state in Zephaniah 3:9 the pure language (of Hebrew) will one day be restored (to the entire world) so all people will know and be able to call on the name of God (inferring the Jews already know the name of the LORD and how to call upon Him and it is in Hebrew, not Greek). Since then, in addition to realizing Jesus does not fit the criteria of a messiah according to the Hebrew Bible, I stumbled upon an interview of a prosecuting attorney, who authored a book called Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christ. Consequently, I purchased and read the detailed book, which prompted me to research Roman history from that period. Indeed, this author, as well as others such as Joseph Atwill’s Caesar’s Messiah provide compelling and overwhelming evidence that the Gospels, in particular, but also the Book of Acts may have been inspired by the Flavian Dynasty and penned, at least in part, by Josephus, the captive and apostate Jewish historian for the Flavians.
In the approximate 300 pages of the thought-provoking book, Creating Christ, the authors compiled over 30 years of their compelling research presenting the strong possibility and uncanny parallels of events that transpired between Emperor Vespasian, born as Titus Flavius Vespasianus, and his son, Emperor Titus, collectively known as the “Flavian Dynasty”, and the eerily similar accounts of God the Father and God the Son duo found in the Gospels. The Father-Son duo of Vespasian and Titus acted in unity to win the affection of the eclectic people of the Roman Empire while promoting syncretism of numerous cultures and faiths throughout the Empire as well as the concept of “peace on earth”, all the while quelling and conquering anyone who rebelled like the Torah-observant, militant Jews of Judea-specifically, in Jerusalem. Titus, in particular, was deified, meaning made himself into an official god-in-the-flesh, and even presented himself as the Jewish Messiah. According to the historical research presented throughout the book, the goal of Rome was to convince the non-compliant Jews to compromise their faith and identity and submit to the hybrid of many known beliefs throughout the Roman Empire, which eventually became known as Christianity. Additionally, the authors prove how several turn-coat Jews denied their faith and heritage and not only aided the Flavians and the Roman army in seizing control of Jerusalem as well as the temple in 70 A.D., but then the traitorous Jews, having been armed with Torah scrolls, likely drafted propaganda quoting Jewish Scriptures to help convince zealous Jews they ought to worship, submit, and serve the Roman Emperor and join his imperial cult. One such traitorous Jew was Josephus, who perhaps to save his own neck upon being captured prophesized Vespasian would be Emperor. In time, Josephus became adopted by the Flavians and was richly rewarded as he recorded the events of the Flavian Dynasty. Fascinatingly enough, both the authors of Creating Christ and Caesar’s Messiah report several common themes found in the Gospels and Josephus’ documentation of the Flavians such as Josephus documented Vespasian and Titus performed miracles such as spitting in their hands and healing the blind (John 9:6) or feeding a plethora of people, or how Titus was 33 when he made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and it was 40 years later he destroyed the Jewish Temple, or how Vespasian was short and his father was a tax collector (like Zacchaeus in Luke 19:2-3), all similar parallels to what the Gospels report pertaining to Jesus and his interactions. Similarly, there are some parallels of Josephus’ life woven into the Gospels such as three of his friends were crucified, but one was revived similar to how Jesus was allegedly crucified alongside two others but was “resurrected” aka revived. Additionally, Romans, including their Emperors, were known to be quite debaucherous while the Jesus of the Gospels is persuading the Torah-observant Jews to overlook adultery when a woman was caught (see John 8), not to mention Jesus encouraged his followers to be sure to pay their taxes imposed by Emperor Vespasian (because they were Jewish)-(see Matthew 22). Other modern scholars authored books, such as Caesar’s Messiah and Operation Messiah, and also detailed various parallels or typology between various stories of the Gospels as well as the Book of Acts and the Flavians or other Emperors throughout Roman history. Moreover, it is known by scholars that the earliest writings of the Gospels were penned during or shortly after this Flavian era, several decades after Jesus allegedly lived and died. In other words, scholars are conveying the Gospels and even parts of the Book of Acts, are likely to be fables inspired by various acts of Emperors as well as weaving in both Jewish and Greek culture into the New Testament to synchronize and unify the various faiths throughout the Empire into a one-world-religious-Roman-order.
Additionally, it is a known fact the New Testament has interpolations, meaning added phrases and additions, to support man-made church doctrine (such as the trinity). Similarly, the one and only brief historical reference regarding a “Jesus” in that era was written by the turn-coat Josephus and even that is disputed as an interpolation (added later). The name Jesus was a popular name and is even found in the Talmud describing different people of different eras. Nevertheless, let’s say, an actual “Jesus” may have existed in the 1st Century A.D. Perhaps he was a type of peace-loving Reform Jew and Rabbi, who gained some Jewish followers. What if Rome, having liked what they heard about Jesus, opted to expand on and fabricate the Jewish Jesus to their benefit in order to quell militant Jews and gain their allegiance? Such a concept is not far fetched when one studies the great lengths Emperors of Rome or the Roman Catholic Church would do to elevate themselves and their ideologies – just study how Caligula, an Emperor prior to to the Flavian Era, made some of his own soldiers appear to be British captives while parading his alleged prisoners through the streets of Rome to make the people think Caligula conquered Brittania when he hadn’t. Or how several centuries later, post-Flavian era, the Roman Catholic Church re-purposed the pagan festival of Saturnalia and called it Christmas in order to convert more pagans. It doesn’t take much research to discover, Rome has a long documented history of marketing propaganda to achieve their purposes of unity, power, and control.
Furthermore, Valliant and Fahy, authors of Creating Christ, extract details often overlooked by Christians or former Christians, including myself, within the Gospels and the Book of Acts highlighting how Jews are constantly painted as evil whereas Rome is portrayed as fair, reasonable, and honorable mediators, who ought to be trusted and obeyed. The authors also extract the Apostle Paul’s writings of notable imperial people listed throughout the New Testament to suggest the Apostle Paul was aiding Rome in relaying their propaganda. For example, in Philippians 2:25-30, Paul sings the praises of Epaphroditus and implored the people of Philippi to embrace him. Epaphroditus was the Roman Secretary or Administrator, who helped Nero, an earlier Emperor, commit suicide, as well as served the Flavians. In other words, Epaphroditus was an elite in the Roman court and evidently, buddies with Paul. Josephus also wrote about Epaphroditus and their great comradery as former religious Jews who both served the Roman Empire, specifically the Flavians. Paul seems to also be one of the persuaded, former religious Jews who purported the Roman Empire’s goal of synchronism as he emulated Torah’s criteria of a false prophet in Deuteronomy 13 and instead convinced (and still convinces) his readers to abandon Torah (Book of Galatians) and submit to Rome (Romans 13). Notice Paul writes in the closing of his letter to the Philippians (of the Roman Empire) in Philippians 4:22, “All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.” inferring he is well acquainted with those close to Caesar, if not Caesar himself. Hence, dropping names like Epaphroditus. Perhaps this is why Paul insisted Caesar hear his case in Acts 25:10-12. (Note: Caesar is a title meaning Emperor derived from the days of Julius Caesar)
In summary, while I wouldn’t necessarily agree with everything conveyed in the book, the authors of Creating Christ provide an overwhelming amount of evidence, even much not discussed in this article, to create a reasonable doubt to the authenticity of a historical Jesus as described in the Gospels while supporting the likelihood that the Gospels may have been inspired by acts of Vespasian, Titus, and other Roman Emperors, as well as the urgent need to quell Torah-observant, religious, militant Jews in addition to hybridizing various religious beliefs of Greeks and Jews into a one-world-order of the Roman Empire.
Regardless of how the New Testament came about and progressed into the most popular religion of our day, it was evident to me prior to reading these books, the New Testament is not inspired by God, but was allowed by God as a test (Deuteronomy 13). As for me, I will stick to the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, and serve only the God of Israel, not the god or opinion of Rome or any other.
Shalom and blessings!