Jesus never existed. That is the conclusion of a researcher who says he has combed 126 texts written during or shortly after the time Jesus is supposed to have lived — and found no mention of Jesus whatsoever.
The claim that Jesus, the messianic figure at the center of the world's largest religion, Christianity, was simply a fictional character is not a new one. Advocates of the "Mythical Jesus" theory have been around for years, arguing that the story of Jesus bears a close resemblance to numerous other mythological stories of ancient gods who were born of virgin mothers and performed miracles.
In a new article entitled "The Fable of the Christ," Michael Paulkovich summarizes his findings, or lack of findings, which lead him to believe that Jesus never actually existed, but is instead a fictional character, made up to give followers of the religion founded in his name a central icon worthy of their worship.
Paulkovich says that only one of the 126 texts he combed through contains any mention of Jesus — and that, he says, is a forgery. That text is the first-century history book The Jewish Wars by the Roman historian Josephus Flavius, who wrote his work in the year 95 CE.
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But, despite making his home just one mile from Jesus's supposed hometown of Nazareth, Josephus appears totally unaware of the famous miracle worker who later went to Jerusalem where he became such a political threat that the Romans found it necessary to execute him by crucifixion.
The few mentions of Jesus in The Jewish Wars, Paulkovich argues, were added by later editors, not by Josephus himself.
Otherwise, says the author, despite the remarkable feats Jesus is alleged to have performed and the great deal of political unrest caused by his arrival in Jerusalem, not a single writer from the time and place of Jesus's life finds that Jesus so much as rates a footnote.
"Emperor Titus, Cassius Dio, Maximus, Moeragenes, Lucian, Soterichus Oasites, Euphrates, Marcus Aurelius, or Damis of Hierapolis. It seems none of these writers from first to third century ever heard of Jesus, global miracles and alleged worldwide fame be damned," Paulkovich said in a recent interview.The Dead Sea Scrolls, also known as the Qumran texts, also contain no mention of Jesus. Even the Apostle Paul, the New Testament figure credited with spreading the new religion that came to be called "Christianity" shortly after the supposed death of Jesus, never says that Jesus was a a real person — even in the Bible itself.
"Paul is unaware of the virgin mother, and ignorant of Jesus' nativity, parentage, life events, ministry, miracles, apostles, betrayal, trial and harrowing passion," Paulkovich states. "Paul knows neither where nor when Jesus lived, and considers the crucifixion metaphorical."While today Christianity has become the most popular religion in world history, with 2.2 billion human beings calling themselves Christians, Paulkovich points out that as late as the the Fourth Century, Christianity was still a small and widely persecuted cult.
The invention of a mythical figure for followers of the cult to rally around gave the early Christians the strength to survive, according to this theory. On the other hand, another recent advocate of the "Mythical Jesus" believes that Christ was invented by the Romans as propaganda to pacify the public.
"When I consider those 126 writers, all of whom should have heard of Jesus but did not — and Paul and Marcion and Athenagoras and Matthew with a tetralogy of opposing Christs, the silence from Qumran and Nazareth and Bethlehem, conflicting Bible stories, and so many other mysteries and omissions," Paulkovich writes, "I must conclude that Christ is a mythical character."