The Hebrew Bible vaguely introduces the concept of a messiah figure expected to manifest in the future. In this video teaching, we explore 10 criterion of the final Messiah.
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When an Evangelical Christian friend of ours passed away from COVID, I pondered what would become of his soul. Without realizing he was propagating idolatry, our now deceased friend had actively evangelized to others doing his best to get people to believe in and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. By all accounts, he was a “godly” guy. Subsequently, curiosity led me to research what the Hebrew Bible had to say about idolatry and potential consequences for both the apostate Jew and misinformed Gentile that perceives and worship Jesus as God.
What Is Idolatry?
According to the Bible, idolatry is defined as worshiping others, or other deities, or objects as if they are God (Exodus 20:2-4, 34:17). It’s interesting that God or other Biblical authors acknowledge there are other deities, or other concepts believed to be deities (Exodus 15:11, 20:3-4; Psalm 96:5, 97:7, 135:5). In other words, the text acknowledges the fact that mankind struggles to focus on an invisible, infinite God and instead tends to fashion finite, visual being(s) and deem them God. Remember the golden calf incident?
Additionally, idolatry is likened to adultery and considered both an abomination and even identified as hating God (Exodus 34:15-16, Ezekiel 16:15-22; Psalm 81:9-16).
These passages, however, are directed towards ancient Israelites, which now are known as Jews.
Are Only Jews Prohibited from Worshiping Anything as God or All Humanity?
Just as God instructed Jews to not worship other gods early on in the Book of Exodus, God also gave the Egyptians in the same story the opportunity to repent from worshiping their plethora of false gods and to worship the One and Only True God instead. At one point, Pharoah repented and the LORD relented in the plague (Exodus 10:16-17). Unfortunately, Pharoah repeated old patterns and refused to let the Israelite people go to worship God. Through it all, however, God’s motive was to reveal Himself as the One True God to not just the Israelites, but the Egyptians as well. Consequently, many realized the gods they worshiped were false ones and chose to enjoin themselves with the Israelites and fled alongside them (Exodus 12:38). In other words, God’s mission and subsequent use of the plagues weren’t just to relieve and rescue the Israelites from oppression but was to also make His name and authority known to thousands so that they could intimately know God and how He defines covenant relationship with Him. Essentially, God removed them from bondage to a polytheistic culture so they could know the bond of Oneness. In light of this revelation, ponder the concept that Jesus’ statements of being one with the Father didn’t mean he is proclaiming himself as God or part of a godhead, rather Jesus conveyed the bond of covenant relationship with God- oneness. Hence, praying to God that others could also be one with God (John 17). If Jesus were saying he was God, then his prayer would mean he was praying others could also be God.
Another similar opportunity of oneness with God was presented to the Ninevites, who were Gentiles, in other words, not Jewish for Ninevah was a populous capital city in the Assyrian Empire. Commissioned by God to deliver this important message, Jonah reluctantly arrived to warn the aggressive Ninevites to repent from their many sins, presumably including idolatry or there would be dire consequences (Book of Jonah). Unlike Pharoah, the Ninevites repented and God’s grace was given. He delighted in forgiving these Gentiles (non-Jews) just as God would have the Egyptians. While dwelling on God’s grace towards the Ninevites, notice no human needed to die for their sins, no blood needed to be shed, and yet, God forgave them. Tragically, the Ninevites must have reverted to their pagan tendencies because later the prophet Nahum warned of God’s judgment specifically for their idolatry (Nahum 1:1,14).
Interestingly, passages foretelling the future reveal idolatry, or worshiping anything but the One and Only God, will be forever banished from all the Earth, meaning for both Jew and Gentile (Zechariah 13:2, 14:9,16-21). It should be noted in Zechariah 14:16-21, in the future, the nations that choose not to worship God in the way He instructed, specifically by coming to the temple for the Feast of Trumpets/Sukkot, will suffer consequences. It’s interesting because that is one of the three holy holidays God taught the Israelites they must celebrate by coming to the temple. He did not command that to everybody, just Jews, and yet, in the future, everybody must participate regardless if they are a Jew or of the nations (Exodus 23:14-17, 34:18-23; Deuteronomy 16:1, 9-10, 13, 16-17). All of which validates the Israelites, or Jews, are chosen to lead the nations to God’s teachings found in Torah, which is referred to as “light” (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6; Psalm 119:105-106; Proverbs 6:23).
How Are Jews to Handle Idolatry?
- Not to intermarry with those of another faith (Deuteronomy 7:3, 20:16-18; 1 Kings 11:1-2; Ezra 9)
- To divorce those of another faith (those who worship other gods) (Ezra 10)
- To tear down, destroy, toss out, remove all evidence of idols in one’s territory (Exodus 34:13; Isaiah 27:9)
- To continue to lead in love as they guide other Jews and non-Jews to Torah’s teachings, which is God’s teachings of what He loves and hates; moreover, the faithful Jew uses God’s Torah, which means “teaching”, to teach others what love is and isn’t.
What Are the Consequences of Idolatry, If Any, for Jews & Gentiles?
Below is a list of the specific consequences for Jews, but to rephrase in a modern-day reality, Jews that worship Jesus (or any other god):
- Cursed (Jeremiah 17:5)
- Makes Jews/Israel vulnerable to physical attacks such as war and disease (sent by God as a means to discipline the Jews – Judges 8; Psalm 81:9-17; historical and Biblical siege of the Northern Kingdom by Assyria for their idolatry as well as siege of Southern Kingdom by the Babylonian Empire for doing the same. Both events were warned by the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah)
For the Gentile, the Hebrew Bible details similar consequences:
- Early death or destruction (Nahum 1:13)
- Will become like the idols they worship – mute, blind, deaf, lifeless, no breath, (spiritually) dead (Psalm 135:15-18)
Moreover, for both the Jew or Gentile, or in broader terms, all of humanity, it does the following:
- Idols of one’s heart cannot be hidden from God (Psalm 44:21-22; Ezekiel 14:1-11)
- Vexes God prompting rebuke (Deuteronomy 32:19-24)
- Makes God jealous (Exodus 34:15; Isaiah 42:8; 48:11)
- Makes God angry (Psalm 106:34-46)
- Activates TRUE prophets to advise otherwise/warn (Judges 8:7-10; Hence, prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, and Nahum warning Jews and Gentiles of such destructive choices)
- Cursed (Jeremiah 17:5)
- Activates severe consequences such as fire, plagues, war, aggressive beasts (Ezekiel 14:12-23- Notice the language in verse 13 “if a land”, not specifically, the land of Israel so any land that worships another god, similar to what the future prophecy Zechariah 14:16-21 conveyed)
In conclusion, while digging through these passages, it became grossly evident to me that idolatry causes God pain, severs any hope of oneness with God, and produces significant consequences as God enforces His boundaries of love. It is too late for our deceased Christian friend, but perhaps the most recent plague of COVID and its many variants along with these compelling Scriptures could invoke repentant hearts as we cast down our idols and indeed make our hands clean.
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The Hebrew Bible vaguely introduces the concept of a messiah figure expected to manifest in the future. Messiah simply means “anointed one” and the Hebrew term “mashiach” has been used throughout the Hebrew Bible to describe many prophets, priests, and rulers, including a Gentile King. To learn more about the term “mashiach”, read my article “Not THE Messiah, But Many Messiahs“.
Many Jews and Christians alike believe a messiah or anointed ruler will manifest one fine day, but it should be noted not all Jews or Christians believe in such concepts. I have found the various branches of Judaism and their off-shoots have varying interpretations as to when this messiah will appear if they believe in a messiah figure at all. Christians obviously believe Jesus is the one and only messiah and that he will return at some point in the near future to rule and reign. In other words, Christians, specifically Evangelical Christians, believe in a “second-coming” of the messiah.
Throughout thousands of years, many have claimed to be the much anticipated “messiah” and many more will surely do the same, but none of them fit the profile of the final messiah. So how can a person know who is or isn’t the final messiah? To learn clues of what to look for in a messiah, we must study the book that made us even aware of such a concept, the Hebrew Bible.
- The Final Messiah must be a human born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
- The Final Messiah must be Jewish, specifically of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Deuteronomy 17:15).
- The Final Messiah must be a descendant of Jesse, King David’s father (Isaiah 11).
- The Final Messiah must more specifically be a descendant of David and his son, Solomon- note: David had many sons (2 Samuel 7:8-16; 1 Kings 8:15-22; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Psalm 132:12; Psalm 89:31-38).
- The Final Messiah will be made known to the world and reign after or near the time of the miraculous literal rescue of the Jews in Israel, the literal resurrection and regathering of House of Israel/Northern Kingdom, and the House of Judah/the Southern Kingdom, which collectively represent all twelve tribes of Israel. All twelve tribes will once again and permanently dwell as one kingdom in the land of Canaan/Israel (Isaiah 11:12; Ezekiel 36-37; Jeremiah 30-31; Zechariah 8-12; Isaiah 54-66; Joel 3; Amos 9:11-15).
- The Final Messiah will teach, uphold, and administer Torah to all nations from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2; Zechariah 14:16-21; Ezekiel 37:24).
- The Final Messiah will bring peace to the entire globe as he unites the world (Ezekiel 34:25; Isaiah 2:2-3; Micah 4:3).
- The Final Messiah will rule when the entire globe worships the One True God (Isaiah 2:18; 66:23; Zechariah 14:16-21).
- The Final Messiah will help build the third temple and facilitate worship. More specifically, he will make various offerings on behalf of the people including the sin offering and help the priests lead the people in worship of God (Ezekiel 37:26-27; 45:16-46:18; Amos 9:11).
- The Final Messiah will have sons (Ezekiel 46:16-18).
The Final Messiah could be David himself upon being resurrected, which would be a literal interpretation of the prophetic text (Ezekiel 34:23; 37:24-25; Jeremiah 30:8-9; Micah 5:2).
Now knowing the criteria or profile of the final messiah, let’s compare what the New Testament tells us about Jesus to see if he fits this profile.
- According to Matthew 2:2, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
- According to Matthew 1:3 and Luke 3:33, Joseph, Jesus’ father was from the tribe of Judah. And yet, Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father. Also, compare Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Both are said to be Joseph’s lineage, but they don’t match. Regardless, Joseph was not Jesus’ father, according to Matthew 1:18-19. According to Luke 1, Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, was of the tribe of Levi, so that would infer Mary also was of the tribe of Levi, not Judah. Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- According to Matthew 1:5-6 and Luke 3:32, Joseph is a descendant of Jesse. Regardless, Joseph was not Jesus’ father, according to Matthew 1:18-19. The New Testament does not tell us Mary’s specific lineage other than her cousin was a Levite (Luke 1). Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- According to Matthew 1:6-7, Joseph came from Solomon. According to Luke 3:31, Joseph is a descendant of not Solomon, but a different son of David, Nathan. Regardless, Joseph was not Jesus’ father, according to Matthew 1:18-19. Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- Obviously, there has not been literal salvation by rescuing Jews, nor a literal resurrection, or reuniting the House of Israel and the House of Judah to the land of Canaan/Israel, so Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- Obviously, Torah (the laws of God) are not being taught, upheld, and administered worldwide, so Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- Obviously, there is no worldwide peace. In fact, as I am typing this, there is a war going on between Ukraine and Russia. Moreover, Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34). Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- Obviously, the entire globe is not worshipping the One True God. Instead, many different religions and gods still exist. Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- Obviously, there is no third temple and sacrifices have not resumed much less a prince/ruler offering sacrifices. Also, if Jesus was the “final” sacrifice for the world’s sins as Hebrews 10:1-18 teaches, why will there be future sin-offerings? Jesus does not meet this criterion (and clearly Hebrews 10:1-18 is fake news).
- Jesus did not have any sons or atleast none that we know of according to the New Testament. Jesus does not meet this criterion.
Having been armed with this knowledge, I trust you will be better equipped to determine who is and is not the final anointed one.
To assist you with your studies, I attached a downloadable/printable version of this article.
Many Christians believe Jesus of Nazareth is THE Messiah. But did you know there are many “messiahs” throughout the Hebrew Bible? The reason Christians mistakenly believe there is only one messiah is because of the King James Version translation of Daniel 9. It appears the mistranslation was intentional to lead the reader to believe in Christian dogma. Keep in mind, Christians have been told there are some 300 Messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Bible all about Jesus and Daniel 9 is one of the alledged 300 prophecies predicting Jesus as THE Messiah. Moreover, Christians are trained to read into the text what they want it to mean instead of letting the text interpret itself or reading the text in context. Interestingly, the New Testament not once quotes Daniel 9 as proof text predicting Jesus as Messiah or when he would arrive on the scene. The deceiving urge to do has become more popular within modern times. Additionally, it is common within recent years for some Evangelicals, Hebrew Roots, and Messianics to use the phrase “Yeshua HaMashiach” or some variant to mean Jesus The Messiah, all of which only adds to their confusion. I confess I once was guilty of such false practices before realizing my error.
To clear up the misunderstanding of believing there could only be one Messiah, let’s take a look at the text within Daniel 9 which the King James Version translates the term “mashiach” to be Messiah. More specifically, in Daniel 9:25, it translates the Hebrew text into English as “the Messiah the Prince”.
Similarly, in Daniel 9:26, the King James Version translates the Hebrew text as “Messiah”.
And yet, in the other 37 times the term “mashiach” is used throughout the Hebrew Bible, the King James Version translates the term as “anointed”, which is the accurate translation.
In other words, the term “anointed” or “mashiach” in Hebrew was used a total of 39 times throughout the Tanakh or what Christians refer to as the Old Testament. I will list below each time so you can review them for yourself in your own Bible while using a tool like Bible Hub to see for yourself how the term “mashiach” is translated as “anointed”. Each time it is used it is referring to a priest, prophet, or king that was literally anointed or ordained, if you will, as such. It was not limited to a Jewish king for even the Gentile King Cyrus was anointed or “mashiach” in Isaiah 45.
As you can see within the pages of your own Bible, there was and is not one messiah, but many anointed persons throughout Jewish history. For further study specifically on Daniel 9, read this article and watch these videos:
List of 37 Times The Term Maschiach Is Translated As Anointed:
Leviticus 4:3, 4:5, 4:16, 6:22
1 Samuel 2:10, 2:35, 12:3, 12:5, 16:6, 24:6, 24:10, 26:9, 26:11, 26:16, 26:23
2 Samuel 1:14, 1:16, 1:21, 19:21, 22:51, 23:1
1 Chronicles 16:22
2 Chronicles 6:42
Psalm 2:2, 18:50, 20:6, 28:8, 84:9, 89:38, 89:51, 105:15, 132:10; 132:17
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Here’s another one of the New Testament’s “Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.” Compare Romans 11:26-27 to Isaiah 59:20-21.
As a former Christian, all of the errors and misquotes I have found were while using my Christian Bible (old and new testaments). I did not go to some random special resource to discover this fraud. Look up these verses to see it for yourself in your own Bible.
To learn more, read Why the New Testament Cannot Be the Inerrant Word of God.
What’s the big deal with this misquote? The prophet Isaiah reveals in the future as was at that time and still today, the message is repent and return to Torah, which teaches us how to hit the mark, how not to sin, how to love God and others and is God’s way of salvation; whereas, the false prophet Paul teaches repent and put your trust in a man-deity named Jesus, who takes away their sins for salvation. Essentially, Paul teaches people to worship yet another golden calf or golden lamb you could say named Jesus.
As a former Christian, all of the errors and misquotes I have found were while using my Christian Bible (old and new testaments). I did not go to some random special resource to discover this fraud. Look up these verses to see it for yourself in your own Bible.
Here in Hebrews 10 compared to Psalm 40 we can see several errors. Not only did the author intentionally replace God’s word, which it is a sin to add or subtract from Scripture (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32/13:1; Jeremiah 26:2), by subtracting the text “My ears you have opened” and replaced it with “But a body You have prepared for Me..” in attempts to deceive the unsuspecting reader into thinking Jesus’ body was the final sacrifice, but in addition to this blatant alteration of God’s Scripture, the author of Hebrews, presumably Paul, removed “You did not require” and replaced it with “you had no pleasure” to further his agenda.
As discussed in my article “Why Jesus Didn’t Die For Anyone’s Sins”, sin and trespass offerings can only transpire in the temple within Jerusalem, which no longer exists, nor existed at the time the psalm was penned; moreover, those offerings are designed to be a tangible lesson to learn God’s instructions of loving Him and others as they were exclusively for unintentional/accidental sins, not rebellion or intentional sin. When a temple is not present or should the offender be not in Jerusalem, sin and trespass offerings are not required for the remission of sins despite what Christian doctrines purport. We see in 1 Kings 8, King Solomon prays and declares that even when no temple is present or people are not in the land of Israel, God will forgive those who repent and return to His Torah. In other words, all God has ever wanted was for people to hear His documented voice, being His instructions on how to love God and others throughout the Torah; hence, the psalmist praise of “my ears you have opened”. God eagerly forgives those who repent and return to His instructions. As Scripture reveals and repeats in numerous places, all God wants is those with circumcised hearts, willing to listen, trust, and obey (see 1 Kings 8, Psalm 50, 51, 103, 119, Proverbs 3, Isaiah 1:16-17, and many more!). As if all of these intentional and deceptive misquotes weren’t bad enough, the author of Hebrews also left off a key element validating God’s Torah by removing the phrase, “And Your law is within my heart.”
Furthermore, we see in a future era, sin and trespass offerings, as well as other sacrifices, and all of Torah, will resume in God’s presence once the final temple is erected (see Ezekiel 40:38-43; 43:4-46:24; Zechariah 14:16+; Isaiah 56:6-8; Isaiah 2:3).
These errors are clearly intentional as the author of Hebrews is leading the reader to believe 1) A sin blood sacrifices were required (for atonement), 2) God doesn’t want ongoing sacrifices, but just one final sacrifice being Jesus now and 3) by leaving off Torah is within my heart it leads the reader to believe God’s laws are done away with or no longer relevant, a myth the Church has propagated for centuries in attempts to distance themselves from anything remotely Jewish. The author of Hebrews goes on to repeat his grave sin by rewriting it for emphasis in verses 8-9 AND claiming God’s Torah, part of what Christians label “OLD” Testament is removed. Out with the old and in with the new Hebrews 10:9 claims; hence, the birth of Replacement Theology. However, Deuteronomy 13 warns us that anyone that comes along and says God’s law, His Torah, His instructions, His voice is done away with, or steers others to not obey Torah is a false prophet and in dangerous error. This person or doctrine was sent as a test to see if you believe in God or man-made doctrines like Replacement Theology and the Book of Hebrews. Fascinating that the author could not even pen his name to this manuscript just as the alleged authors of the Gospels did not pen their names either.
If circumcision is irrelevant according to Paul (Galatians 5:11 and 6:15), why is it a mandatory expression of worship in the future for both Jew and Gentile should they wish to enter God’s sanctuary/presence (see Ezekiel 44:5-9)?
Likewise, if Jesus is the “final sacrifice” as the author of Hebrews purports (presumably Paul), why are sacrifices reinstated in worship in the future final Temple AFTER the “day of the LORD” (Zechariah 14; Ezekiel 40-46)?
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!