Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – 100 AD)
If you’re going to ensure that your life improves after being captured by your enemy, you need to embrace your new family as if God had foreordained their victory over you and your countrymen. That’s what Yōsef ben Matiṯyāhu did in 67 AD. (And just to state out loud one interesting echo: Jesus’ uncle (brother of Mary) is named Joseph of Arimathea, in the Gospels. Is this ‘proof’ of Josephus being their author? Maybe…)
Because his birth details are unknown, it could be said that he is as untraceable as Jesus, on the world stage of 1st century Palestine and Rome. If he hadn’t written so much, would we even know about him? That’s the same paradox as the search for Jesus. Maybe Josephus is a myth created by Roman writers. Who really knows?
The discovery of the Flavian invention of Christianity creates a new understanding of the entire first century C.E. Such a revelation is disorienting, and the reader will find the following points useful in understanding the new history that this work presents.
• Christianity did not originate among the lower classes in Judea. It was a creation of a Roman imperial family, the Flavians.
• The Gospels were not written by the followers of a Jewish Messiah but by the intellectual circle surrounding the three Flavian emperors: Vespasian and his two sons, Titus and Domitian.
• The Gospels were written following the 66–73 C.E. war between the Romans and the Jews, and many of the events of Jesus’ ministry are satirical depictions of events from that war.
• The purpose of Christianity was supersession. It was designed to replace the nationalistic and militaristic messianic movement in Judea with a religion that was pacifistic and would accept Roman rule.Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus: Flavian Signature Edition (p. 19). Kindle Edition.
“One of the individuals involved with the creation of the Gospels was the first-century historian Flavius Josephus, who, as he related it, led a fabulous life. He was born in 37 C.E. into the royal family of Judea, the Maccabees. Like Jesus, Josephus was a child prodigy who astounded his elders with his knowledge of Judaic law. Josephus also claimed to have been a member of each of the Jewish sects of his era, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes.”
Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus: Flavian Signature Edition (p. 21). Kindle Edition.
OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Josephus inserted himself into the story by having his experience (at age 14) of questioning the teachers about points of Jewish law become a description of Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem at age 12. That’s mythos.
The next point of reference is the use of legendary individuals’ stories as a basis of Jesus’ life narrative:
Of these individuals, only Horus would have any ‘real’ properties to convince a skeptical Roman crowd, but Mithra would have run a very close second. (Christians would not have noticed the precedents/precedence.) Certainly, I have tackled this thorny issue before, especially in discussing the book “The Pagan Christ“. However, this does not diminish Jesus’ importance in the cosmic story, just our human curiosity.
I know it’s gilding the lily to suggest that Jesus and Horus are ‘identical’. Most of the problems with this stem from the need by modern Christians not to feel bamboozled.
The simple fact that Josephus may have been the source for the writers of the four Gospels is enough to finally set aside the problem of a Pagan Christ. Jesus’ life story may be a fabrication around his sayings, in order to give them context, but my instinct tells me that the message was clear, even if the myth-making was not.
And just to demonstrate how my suspicious mind works: when I first read about Josephus, years ago, I wondered if he might have actually been the Apostle Paul, since the changing sides story was such a strong echo. Checking their (recorded) birth dates meant that I could discount that theory, but the doubt remained.
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