The media just love a good Christian tear-down. One of the most recent efforts being promoted right now is by a self-styled "biblical scholar" named Joseph Atwill, who will be presenting at a conference this weekend.Another totally unqualified, so called bible expert disparages our Savior.
Atwill, who has no formal theological training and who declines to call himself an atheist, nonetheless claims that Jesus never existed but was invented as a form of psychological warfare by the Romans against the Jews.
Atwill claims that the stories of Jesus' ministry were concocted (he doesn't specify by whom) as what he calls a "prefigurement" of the military campaign of Emperor Titus Flavius.
The whole conspiracy theory would be easy to dismiss except that, like Dan Brown's "DaVinci Code" years before it, it has caught the imaginations of the atheists in the media.
Atwill says he uncovered the coverup while reading Josephus' "Wars of the Jews," an account of first-century Judea, alongside the Gospels and saw parallels in the locations of Jesus' ministry activities and Flavius' war against the Jews as described by Josephus.
In a press release, Atwill said, "Although it’s been recognized by Christian scholars for centuries that the prophesies of Jesus appear to be fulfilled by what Josephus wrote about in the First Jewish-Roman war, I was seeing dozens more. What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus. This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern. The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar."
"What seems to have eluded many scholars" is always the prequel to having one's head up one's ass.
The bible is the most heavily criticized and analyzed book in the history of Mankind. There is more documentation to the historical existence of Jesus than there is for most persons of Antiquity, but Atwill saw through the clever two thousand year old Roman political ruse and saved us all from further embarrassment. That Christianity sprung from a Roman plot and eventually supplanted the Empire must have had Titus Flavius going "Oh, snap!" in his grave.