The Gnostic concepts were already there in Egypt before Christianity. The Christians there adapted to the local standards by creating or recreating a version acceptable to the locals. Religious Gnosticism is just the fallout from the birth of writing that helped form Hinduism, for example. But it transitional areas where many people travel through to go somewhere else, as Egypt was, had a multicultural exposure in population. Because of this, I’d imagine the common denominator to businesses back then was to be accepting the differences of belief. So if you wanted to encourage interest and appeal, the best strategy would have been to create mystery to a secret truth that can only be revealed by yourself!! Some of these people may have been the source of the original Gypsies. And if you’ve been fooled by one, you’ve been “gypped”.
Anything written was held of significant meaning. The original transients would have collected them, have them parsed to be universal to any beliefs, and eventually used them as proof to the crowds of substantial truth. Some of these texts were Christian related and served to represent “a secret knowledge that requires your continued investment to discover.” Perhaps these stories (The New Testament) were developed for the original audiences of Egyptian tourists and tradesmen. And the Pauline versions were later adapted by a salesman who’d just come from their and wants to create business up north.? It seems reasonable. [Oh…I just left a second ago to take a trip in my time machine. Yeah…it’s true!]
Jesus wasn’t likely real. We know him as, “Jesus Christ.” But that was a title, not a name. It was likely that the original Greek did have meaning contrary to what some say. The function of words was extremely important and a meaningless name would not sell. The fairest interpretation has to provide meaning. The closest one that seems relevant is that Jesus was adopted from Je Zeus literally, The Zeus meaning generally, “The God” or “I am God”. With “Christos” meaning one who is anointed or crowned, which implied that he was a Caesar or King of man. So Jesus Christ = “God’s King to mankind” which is the same as claiming that he is the savior or messiah. It fits with the meaning of the Hebrew, Joshua as well.
During these early days, the Jews were being dispersed by the Romans from Israel due to the upheaval and wars. The destruction of the Temple was the means to crush them for good. But it lived on in the diaspora. Locally, in hostile territories, some Jews found it tactical to survive by recreating their religion to be more adaptable to the locations they were in. It was likely a literal blow-back conspiracy by a group of real men and women who used their own fake testimonies to foster a favoritism for the Jewish beliefs and customs. The original conspirators would probably be surprised at its success. One interesting thing that I do find rather suspicious is the lack of criticism to Christianity by religious Jews even today. It makes me wonder if they have written acknowledgement of such a plan within Israel hidden somewhere safe? (I assure you, I’m not anti-Semitic! I do question the State of Israel, however.)
This I found interesting and compelling.
Kudos on your good knowledge of the history of my religion.
I am a Gnostic Christian and esoteric ecumenist.
I’m not sure how Atwill’s theory fit. The only initial response from me without hearing his argument is that he proposes a conspiracy of the Roman’s, not the diaspora Jews trying to be accepted, as I was proposing. At first, I am a little confused by how the Roman’s Flavian family would choose to invest in creating a religion founded on the Jews rather than their own Roman gods.
Which did you find “interesting and compelling”...what I said or what Atwill says or both? I’m not sure if you were being facetious or sincere?
Religions have always been controlled by political systems.
Rome did not really have Roman Gods. They absorbed whatever God’s they came across and were basically atheist.
I find compelling the fact that in The War of the Jews, Josephus writes in many of the same scenarios that are in the N T.
Rome wanted to kill off, if you will, the militant Jewish view of their messiah. The one who was to live and rule.
They did so by making Jesus a Rome supporting pacifist.
Rome wanted that the temple never be rebuilt and so far so good.