Jesus A Covert Messiah? Romans Made Up Jesus Claims Bible Scholar

Is Jesus a covert messiah? That's the claim of one self-professed Bible scholar who claims the ancient Romans made up Jesus as politically driven crowd control.

Jesus has been making some unusual news lately. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Vatican misspelled his name as "Lesus" on the new Papal medals.

Joseph Atwill will present his Jesus evidence at the symposium "Covert Messiah" in London on October 19th. His presentation alleges that Jesus never literally existed and was the invention of Romans:

"When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare, that's when the 'peaceful' Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to 'give onto Caesar' and pay their taxes to Rome."
Many are already angered over the idea that the Romans made up Jesus, and there is speculation that the revelation (pun intended) will rock Christianity back on its heels.

But will Joseph Atwill's so called research really stand up to the faith of millions around the world? Is there really any claim that could be made to shake the foundations of a religion that has persisted for 2,000 years? Does Joseph Atwill really have irrefutable evidence that Romans made up Jesus, or does he merely seek to undermine the largest religious organization in the world?

The subtitle to Mr. Atwill's presentation reads: "Is Christianity the Genesis of Modern Psychological Warfare?" Because of this, some are suggesting Joseph Atwill (a known agnostic) has a hidden agenda.

Mr. Atwill claims that is not his intent:

"I present my work with some ambivalence, as I do not want to directly cause Christians any harm, but this is important for our culture."
Mr. Atwill has based his work on Wars of the Jews, a book by Josephus, a contemporary scholar of first-century Judea. But is it enough to validate his claims that he's not trying to stir the hornet's nest? His own assertions seem to contradict themselves. On the one hand he claims to have no desire to harm Christianity, but on the other he discusses the supposed "down sides" of the faith:
"Although Christianity can be a comfort to some, it can also be very damaging and repressive, an insidious form of mind control that has led to blind acceptance of serfdom, poverty, and war throughout history, to this day, especially in the United States, it is used to create support for war in the Middle East."
What do you think of the idea that Jesus was a "covert messiah"?