Was Christianity a Roman Government Plot?


Emperor Titus

There is a fascinating angle to consider. I think it is probable that an arm of the Roman government instigated Paul’s philosophy, later known as Christianity, which propounded anti Jewish propaganda. The fact that belief in the divinity of Jesus arose in many diverse areas of the empire a number of decades after his death suggests to me that it originated from a central source such as the government. It was easier to use propaganda to control popular opinion in those times than it is today, because the public was less informed.

There was good reason to mar the power of Judaism, and particularly messianic Nazarenism (Jesus had been the leader of the Nazarenes.) Jewish extremists promoted the subversive idea that a king of their race would soon govern the world on behalf of God and in place of Caesar. The odd gentile was converting to Judaism. The Roman authorities must have been worried. If they couldn’t pacify the Jews, it would set a dangerous precedent for other races to revolt. They needed to keep control over the valuable trade routes to Asia and Egypt. They were frustrated at having to repeatedly use force to suppress Jewish extremists, as it was disruptive, expensive, and taxing on the army. Roman vitriol towards Jews bubbled over when soldiers razed the Temple in 70 CE when there was no real military need to do so. Judaism’s nerve center had to be destroyed.

I think the Roman government promoted its own propaganda that included Paul’s writings and the Gospels. They knew ideas could be as effective as weapons. They tried to weaken Judaism from within by infiltrating and diluting it with gentiles. A tale that the Jewish messiah had already been and gone and was not a political activist, but rather a spiritual intermediary between God and man, suited their agenda nicely. If the idea caught on, there would be no more messiahs or revolts. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” “turn the other cheek,” and “love your enemies” meant getting on with your Roman masters. To promote such a story would have been a lot less expensive and less hassle than having to repeatedly resort to using force.

There could have been many “Pauls” throughout the empire who were working as agents of the government, spreading propaganda. In my opinion it is obvious that Paul attempted to infiltrate the Nazarenes, undermine them and their messianic message, and I suspect he would have passed information about them on to Roman authorities. His conversion and his rather novel beliefs were his cover and his modus operandi.

This fits with Paul being a Roman citizen who had very dubious Pharisaic credentials.

It would explain how he managed to support himself financially.

It fits with a man who may have been at first in league with the Sadducees, but later preached that the Torah was obsolete, and that Christ was not a crucified political dissident but a pro-Roman God risen from the dead.

It clarifies why Paul repetitively ran into trouble, roughed up by Jews nearly everywhere he went, yet was never attacked by gentiles.

It explains why the Roman authorities treated him so well, despite the fact he so regularly disturbed the peace.

It makes clear why Paul wrote the following to the Nazarene community in Rome:

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:1-7 KJV). These words are from a government agent, not from a Pharisee who has seen the light!

It fits with the fact the book of Acts states:

“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul” (Acts 13:1, KJV). So the earliest Christian community at Antioch boasted a member of the family of Herod Antipas, the pro-Roman Tetrarch who had murdered John the Baptist, and Paul (Saul) was associated with him.

Paul finished off his letter to the Philippians with a salutation: “All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household” (Phil. 4:22, KJV). This confirms that Paul had contact with the Emperor Nero’s family.

Paul’s “arrest” by the Romans is not inconsistent with the fact he was in league with them. He was a little out of control and ended up being a source of civil unrest. He had become a diehard dogmatist causing trouble wherever he went. Instead of undermining Judaism, he incited Jews to the point of violence, something Rome didn’t want. The “arrest” was, in fact, for his own protection. Reading between the lines, he was never treated like a prisoner. Rather, there were remarkable Roman resources used to protect him.

If this propaganda theory is true, Paul was a spy and a massive charlatan, and a cog in the wheel of a very cunning Roman government plan. It means Rome turned the Yeshua story around 180 degrees to create Jesus, the Christ, a benign pacifist messiah. Even today, most non-Jews misunderstand what the actual Messianic movement was. This misunderstanding was Rome’s doing.

The government twisted the knife to further wound Judaism by blaming the crucifixion of Jesus on the Jews and making Romans look like the innocent good guys. A flagrant manipulation of facts is a recurrent theme in world history when powerful governments try to reverse popular opinion.

Yet they didn’t stop at this. They then taught that Jesus was a celibate who produced no posterity, just in case his real family caused them future grief. They wanted no more messiahs claiming the right to rule and inciting Jewish peasants to insurrection. The Roman emperors Vespasian, Titus and Domitian sought out members of the “royal house of David” in the late decades of the first century to help make sure this didn’t happen.

The government hoped the story of the new idol would convince people that true spirituality and the promise of eternal life were synonymous with getting along with them. It was the winners that wrote the history. Christianity solidified the allegiance of superstitious people throughout the Empire to Rome.

This would explain why the true identities of all four Gospel authors are unknown. It is ironic that the gospels, said to be so truthful, became the most successful literary enterprises ever undertaken in the history of the world, yet were so manufactured.

In modern times, this is called propaganda, disinformation or psychological warfare. It is fascinating to imagine these subversive tactics as part of the first-century Roman Empire and jaw-dropping to realize the dogma has survived without being exposed for what it is, and is still coloring the way people, and in particular Christians, look at the world.

The reader may well be wondering why, if this is true, it is often claimed the government persecuted Christians. The fact is persecution of Christians was not often a policy of the state. Rome was usually tolerant of all religions, including Christianity. Persecution happened sporadically many years later, and only if Christians refused to worship the god or gods of the state. By this time the militaristic ambitions of peasant Jews had been finally and definitively crushed in the second Jewish war of 132-5 CE, and there were different agendas on the government’s mind. (see http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/history/persecution.htm). What is more, many stories of supposed persecutions of Christians by the Roman government are, in fact, now recognized as ninth century exaggerations and fabrications.

It took a lot of reading and thinking before the idea that Christianity could have originated in the  government dawned on me, and I was encouraged by discovering that many other commentators had deduced something similar too. Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah” in which they postulate that Paul was “supporting the imperial structure, benefiting from it, cooperating with it, often saved by it. The end product for Rome was exactly what it wanted – a loyal, other –worldly, spiritual movement that was completely divorced from Palestinian revolutionary movements, from Jewish nationalism and from any challenge to Roman imperial authority. Its followers were supposed to pay taxes and be loyal citizens of the emperor.” Peter Cresswell, Joseph Atwill (whose theory about the origin of the gospels is fascinating) and no doubt many other authors have reached similar conclusions.

I hope the reader understands the significance of this. Are the hairs on the back of your neck standing up? They have been on mine. If this is true, Christianity has been the most monumental fraud ever inflicted on humankind.

References:

Acharya S “The Christ Conspiracy”

Cresswell, Peter 2010 “Jesus the Terrorist” O books, Winchester, UK.

Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls”

Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah”

http://www.uhcg.org/HoI/James-Bro-of-Jesus.html

http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/jesus-pacifist-shepherd-or-zealot-warrior/

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Was Christianity a Roman Government Plot?

  1. .

    Was Christianity a Roman Government Plot?

    It is true!…You are right!

    Catholic Christianity (or catho-Christianity) was founded in Rome between 140-150s, directly sponsored by the Roman power (Emperor + Senate), to mitigate the anti-Roman sentiments among the subjects of the empire, and to induce the slaves to submit to masters without rebelling, but peacefully accepting their condition in view of the ultimate prize ‘post-mortem’, ie the ‘Paradise’.

    Greeting

    Littlejohn

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/362924681563/

  2. Jesus, a MAN and not a God, he was a real historical character (a famous Gnostic teacher of his time, as John the Baptist: Jesus came from that school). The Roman power took possession of this historical figure to found fraudulently, through a hallucinating combination of deceptions and mystifications historical, the worship catholic Christian: one of more bloodthirsty cults that the history.has registred

    Acharia S. greatly mistaken when her says that Jesus was a mythical figure, built on mythological models pre-existing to the Christianity itself. I have tried more times to make her understand it, but it did not do anything ..

    • Anonymous

      Please provide sources, littlejohn, to back your statement(s) regarding the historical existence of the person later accepted as the messianic figure known now as Jesus.

  3. ^ Littlejohn, there’s no actual historical evidence for Jesus as a man. There are hints, speculation, and what’s written in the Bible, but there is really nothing beyond that. Evidence for a historical Jesus has been an on-going search for a long time.

  4. Reblogged this on Gamma Atheist and commented:
    Interesting read here…

  5. Governments has always used religion to oppress their subjects, Marx didn’t wrote that “Religion is the opium for the people” for no reason. (No, I am not a communist, although I think Marx was right in this one.)

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