The Great Secret
(Roy, Utah: self-published 2000)
Special Annotated Digital Edition
THE GREAT SECRET
THE TRUE AUTHORSHIP
THE NEW TESTAMENT
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The family headed by Lucius Piso were the Calpurnius Pesos, descended from statesmen and consuls, and from great poets and historians as well. Gaius Lucius Calpurnius Piso, was the leader of the family.
In the middle of the first century of the present era, Rome's aristocracy felt itself confronted with a growing problem. The Jewish religion was continuing to grow in numbers, adding ever more proselytes. Jews numbered more than 8,000,000.... Romans feared that Judaism would become the chief religion of the Roman empire.... The Pisos searched for a solution to the problem. They found it in the Jewish holy books.... The Pisos mocked, but marveled at, the Jewish belief in their holy books. Therefore they felt that a new "Jewish" book would be the ideal method to pacify the Judeans and strengthen their control of the country.
About the year, 60 A.D., Lucius Calpurnius Piso composed Ur Marcus, the first version of the Gospel of Mark, which no longer exists. Then Piso wrote, the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. The Jesus figure which Piso creates is a composite. He plagiarized the Hebrew scriptures. Especially, he loved and borrowed freely from the prophet Isaiah, whose 44th chapter was most helpful. Piso's idea to make Jesus a god to whom to bow, worship and pray came from Isaiah 44:17;... and the idea for Jesus' cross came from Isaiah 44:13. Piso makes Jesus "fulfill" a multitude of verses from the Hebrew Bible.
PISO ALSO CREATED JOSEPHUS' WORKSIn addition to creating Jesus in literature, Piso created for himself another famous literary role, that of a perported Jewish general and historian: Flavius Josephus. As Josephus, Piso contended he had bravely led his fellow Jews in the war against the Roman invaders. However, like Jesus, Josephus existed only in literature, that is, in Piso's own writings. Under his fictional name of Flavius Josephus he wrote during these approximate years the following:
Jewish Antiquities 90-93 C.E.
His purported autobiography 96-103 C.E.
Contra Apionem 103-105 C.E.
Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades c. 105 C.E.
The Gospel According to Saint Matthew.
The Gospel According to Saint Mark.
The Gospel According to Saint Luke.
The writings of Paul.
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1. Now as to Hades, wherein the souls of the righteous and unrighteous are detained, it is necessary to speak of it. Hades is a place in the world not regularly finished; a subterraneous region where the light of the world does not shine; from which circumstances, that in this place the light does not shine, it cannot be but there must be in it perpetual darkness. This region is allowed as a place of custody for souls, in which angels are appointed as guardians to them, who distribute to them temporary punishments, agreeable to every one's behavior and manners.
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rashly believed the resurrection of the body; for although it be dissolved for a time on account of the original transgression, it exists still, and is cast into the earth as a potters furnace, in order to be formed again, but in a state of purity, and so as never to be destroyed any more: and to every body shall its own soul be restored; and when it hath clothed itself with that body, it will not be subject to misery, but being itself pure, it will continue with its pure body, and rejoice with it, with which it having walked righteously now in this world, and never having had it as a snare, it would receive it again with great gladness; but as for the unjust, they will receive their bodies not changed, not freed from diseases or distempers, nor made glorious, but with the same diseases wherein they died; and such as they were in their unbelief, the same shall they be when they shall be faithfully judged.
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8. In whatsoever ways I shall find you, in them shall I judge you entirely; so cries the END of all things. And he that hath at first lived a virtuous life, but towards the later end falls into vice, these labors by him before endured, shall be altogether vain and unprofitable, even as in a play, brought to an ill catastrophe. Whosoever shall have lived wickedly and luxuriously may repent; however, there will be need of much time to conquer an evil habit, and even after repentance his whole life must be guarded with great care and diligence, after the manner of a body, which, after it hath been a long time afflicted with a distemper, requires a stricter diet and method of living; for though it may be possible, perhaps, to break off the chain of our irregular affections at once, yet our amendment cannot be secured without the grace of God, the prayers of good men, the help of the brethren, and our own sincere repentance and constant care. It is a good thing not to sin at all; it is also good, having sinned, to repent, as it is best to have good health always; but it is a good thing to recover from a distemper. To God be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
These lines will be familiar to the New Testament scholar. It is further evidence that the New Testament was written by Calpernius Piso alias Flavius Josephus.
With their fathers death in 65, the Pisos vanish from public Roman history. For the next 73 years they are busy writing the additional books of the New Testament and tightening their power over the known world; but they appear only by their alias names.
To the researcher, the above account of Piso, alias Josephus, may seem to be spurious. But it is interesting to know that there is nothing written of Josephus' life, by any of the many historical writers of his day. If Josephus was a real person and experienced the account said to have been written of himself, surely he would have merited some place in the history of Rome or Jerusalem. But his works are the only evidence that he may have actually existed. (The information on these pages was taken from a paper titled "The True Authorship of the New Testament" by Abela Reuchli [sic - Abelard Reuchlin])
The following account of Josephus' purported life was written in 1878 by W.S. LaSor:
"Josephus, or more accurately Joseph ben Matthias, was born the year Gaius acceded to the throne of the Roman empire, A.D. 37, and died sometime after A.D. 100. He was born of a priestly family and through his Hasmonean mother could boast of royal blood... In brief we can divide his life into two parts, each about thirty-three years in length: the first half could be described as the life of Joseph ben Matthias, Jewish priest, General, and prisoner; the second half, with some reservations, as the life of Flavius Josephus the Roman citizen and author....
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The earliest non-Christian reference to a Christ occurs in Piso's Antiquities of the Jews A.D. 93.
Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works -- a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilot, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those who Ioved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. (William Whiston, Josephus' Complete Works, 1978 ed., p. 379)
Calpurnius Piso, (alias Josephus) tells of Christ a second time:
Albinus... assembled the sanhedrim of the judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or some of his companions] and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned. (ibid. p. 423)
About 110 CE, the Roman historian Tactitus told of Christ and the Christians:
Nero, in order to stifle the rumor, (as if he himself had not set Rome on fire,) ascribed it to those people who were hated for their wicked practices, and called by the vulgar, Christians: these he punished exquisitely. The author of this name was Christ, who, in the reign of Tiberius, was brought to punishment by Pontius Pilate the procurator. (Whiston, p. 639)
About 147 CE, Justin Martyr wrote: "You Jews knew that Jesus was risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, as the prophecies did foretell was to happen. (ibid)
These testamonies were undoubtedly inspired by the earlier written statements by Piso.
Jesus in Rabinical Tradition
There are other references to Jesus in Jewish literature, beyond those found in the works of Josephus, he is mentioned, expressly or allusively, in a number of places in the earlier Rabbinical literature.... It is from the Tannaitic period that we should expect the most reliable traditions about Jesus, if indeed any traditions about him are to be found at all. The most important is a baraitha preserved in the Talmudic tractate Sanhedrim (43a) "Jesus was hanged on Passover eve. Forty days previously the herald had cried, 'He is being led out for stoning, because he had practiced sorcery and led Israel astray and incised them into apostasy. Whoever has anything to say in his defense let him come and declare it.' As nothing was brought forward in his defense he was hanged on Passover eve...."It is to be noted that these testimonies of Jesus were written, not at the time of Jesus' supposed life, but many years later, probably taken from Piso's works.
To these may be added statements found in the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Passages about Jesus in the Babylonian Talmud show that the Babylonian Amorian had no conception of the historical Jesus and of the time when he lived; All they new about him was composed by hearsay. (also) It is worthy to note that there is no mention of Christianity and its founders in the Palestinian Talmud. (p. 769)
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It is the opinion of this writer that Piso created the New Testament story and most of the characters, then tied them to a specific time and place in history, connecting it with actual people such as the Herods. (See appendix for name lists)
JOSEPHUS PARALLELS IN THE NEW TESTAMENTSince over one hundred personal names in Josephus' perported writings are also found in the New Testament, it seems obligatory on the part of the researcher to scan his works for further correspondence in details. Textual evidence is not found wanting to show that the writer of the New Testament was also the writer of Josephus' works:
The above parallels show that it is only in Josephus (Piso) and Acts that God commands Abraham to flee Mesopotamia. The book of Genesis tells tells nothing of Mesopotamia. This seems to indicate that both the Luke account and the Josephus account were written by the same person.
"Abraham greatly loved Isaac, as his only begotten" (Antq. I, XIII, I) The writer of Hebrews states: "Abraham when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son." (Hebrews 11:17) "his only begotten," in reference to Isaac, is found only in Josephus and Hebrews. The term is not found in the Old Testament account. This again seems to indicate that the Hebrews account was written by Piso.
In Piso's Josephus we read:
"The beauty of the child (Moses) was so remarkable, that it detained the spectators, and made them stay longer to look at him". And that Moses was "educated with great care." (Antq. II, IX, 6, 7) The writer of Acts has Steven say that Moses was "exceedingly fair" and "was learned in all wisdom of the Egyptians." The Old Testament account tells nothing of Moses' body nor his education. This again indicates that the New Testament account was written by Piso.
THEUDAS AND JUDAS OF GALILEEPiso writes:
Now it came to pass,... that a certain magician whose name was Theudas persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and to follow him to the River Jordan, for he told them he was a prophet.... and many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus... sent a troop of horsemen out against them; who falling upon them unexpectedly, slew many of them.... They also took Theudas alive, and cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem....
The New Testament author writes:
For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves, who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him were scattered, and brought to naught.
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After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. (Acts 5:36, 37)
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLDPiso records that:
Accordingly it appears to me, that the misfortunes, of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared with the Jews, are not so considerable as they were.... For example I shall relate how Antiochus, who was named Epiphanes, took Jerusalem by force and held it three years and three months.... Accordingly Matthias... together with his own family... fled to the Mountains... and... many of the people followed him. (Wars preface v. 4,7)
This Antiochus Epiphanes, and his taking of Jerusalem by force, was described by Piso as the abomination of desolation "which came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel." (Antq. XII, VII, 6)
In the New Testament, the writer of Matthew tells a similar account, but applies the event to some time in the future:
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place. Then let them which be in Judae flee to the mountains.... For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be." (Matt. 24:15, 21)
The similarity of these verses from Piso and Matthew again seem to indicate the connection between the two.
ZOROBABLE SON OF SALATHIELThe old Testament book of 1st Chronicles lists the genealogy of the descendants of David. Chapter three, verses 17 and 18 lists Jeconiah as the father of Salathiel, and Zorubbable as the son of Pedaiah and nephew of Salathiel. Josephus (Piso) also gives the genealogy of David, but differs from the Bible, telling that Zorobable was the son of Salathiel, leaving Pedaiah out of the genealogical line. Piso (Josephus) renders the spelling of Zorobable differently from the Zorubbable of the Bible (Antq. XI, III, 10).
The writers of Matthew I:12 and Luke 3:27 also list the Davidic genealogy but both follow the line given in Josephus, leaving Pedaiah out of David's line. Matthew and Luke follow the Piso-Josephus account again when they spell the name "Zorobable" while the Bible uses the Zorubbable spelling.
THE TWELVE AND SEVENTYJosephus reads:
He (Varus) therefore called twelve of the Jews of Caesarea, of the best character and ordered them to go to Ecbatana.... He also enjoined them to send seventy of their principal men.... so these seventy went down to Caesarea, together with the Twelve..." (Jos. Life, sec. 11)
Piso' New Testament also tells of the twelve and seventy:
Then he called his twelve disciples together... and sent them to preach the Kingdom of God... After these things the lord appointed other seventy a two and two and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place. (Luke 9:1, 10:1)
THE TEMPLE OF DIANAPiso tells us that:
...when Judas heard that Timotheus prepared himself to flight, he took all his own army and went in haste against Timotheus... About this time it was that King Antiochus, as he was going over the upper countries, heard that there was... a very rich Temple of Diana, and that it was full of all sorts of donations.., left there by Alexander... king of Macedonia..." (Antq. XII, VIII, 4, XII, IX, I)
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The writer of Acts also mentions "Timotheus" "Alexander" and "Macedonia" in connection with the "Temple of Diana" story:
So he sent to Macedonia, two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus.... moreover... this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no Gods.... also that the Temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised.... and they drew Alexander out of the multitude. (Acts 19:22, 27)
TRIAL OF THE SANHEDRIMPiso tells of Herod's trial before the Sanhedrim:
...for those women continued every day in the temple, persuading the king and the people that Herod might undergo a trial before the Sanhedrim for what he had done. Hycranus was so moved by these complaints, that he summoned Herod to come to his trial for what was charged upon him... when Herod stood before the Sanhedrim,... he affrighted them all, and no one of his Accusers durst, after that, to bring any charge against him, but there was a deep silence, and nobody knew what was to be done.
The New Testament tells of Jesus' trial before the Sanhedrim:
And the chief priests and the council (the Sanhedrim) sought witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none... and there arose certain, and bare false witness... And the high priest stood up in their midst and asked Jesus, saying: Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee? But he held his peace and answered him nothing.... And the chief priests.., delivered him to Pilate, and Pilate asked him, Art thou King of the Jews? And he answering said to him, Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered him nothing (And Herod said: I am innocent of the blood of this just person (Matt. 27:24)
FALSE PROPHET ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVESPiso tells of a false prophet:
...now these impostors and deceivers persuaded the multitude to follow them into the wilderness, and pretended that they would exhibit manifest wonders and signs, that should be performed by the providence of God.... Moreover, there came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem, one that said he was a prophet, and advised the multitude... to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, which lay over against the city.... He said further that he would shew them, how, at his command the walls of Jerusalem would fall down. (Antq. XX, VIII, 6)
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The writer of Mark tells a similar story:
And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said to him, see thou these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone that shall not be throne down. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew ask him privately, tell us when shall there things be.... And Jesus answering them began to say: Take heed lest any man deceive you: for many will come in my name saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.... For false Christ's and false prophets shall rise and show signs and wonders, to seduce if it were possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:1-6, 22)
In this parallel the Egyptian false prophet in Piso becomes the prophet Christ of the New Testament. It is seen that in both accounts the prophets were deceivers who led their followers into the wilderness. In Piso the false prophet would manifest "wonders and signs," while in Mark the-prophet reversed the saying and would "show signs and wonders." In both stories the prophets prophesied that they would destroy the walls or buildings of the temple.
The writer of Acts has the chief captain ask Paul: "Art thou not that Egyptian which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers." Acts 21:38)
These Essenes reject pleasures as as evil, but esteem continence (self restraint), and the conquest over our passions, to be virtue. They neglect wedlock, but... do not absolutely deny the fitness of marriage, and the succession of mankind thereby continued; but they guard against the lascivious behavior of women, and are persuaded that none of them preserve their fidelity to one man. (Wars II, VIII, 2)
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.... For I would that all men were even as myself. (celibate)... I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. (1st Cor. 7:1-9)
These men are despisers of riches.... Nor is there any one to be found among them who hath more than another, for it is a law among them, that those who come to them must let what they have to be common to the whole order, insomuch that among them all there is no appearance of poverty or excess of riches, but every one's Possessions are intermingled with every other's Possessions; and so there is, as it were, one patrimony among all the brethren.... To provide succor... when they stand in need of it. (Wars II, VIII, 3,6)
And all that believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their Possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
They are eminent for fidelity, and are ministers of peace; whatsoever they say also is firmer that an oath; but swearing is avoided by them, and they esteem it worse than perjury; for they say, that he that cannot be believed without swearing by God, is already condemned. (Wars II, VIII, 6)
But above all things, my brethren, Swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea, and tour nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. (James 5:12).
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It is apparent that the author of Luke/Acts used a format taken from the works of Piso (Josephus):
The pastoral letters of the New Testament are said to be, by most biblical scholars, the earliest written of the New Testament documents, mainly because they make no reference to, or use any material from, the Synoptic Gospels. It is logical to assume then, that the Epistle to the Romans may have been the earliest written of the pastoral letters as it was addressed to the [supposed] new Jewish/ Christian Church at Rome. But the real purpose of the epistle, may not have been to lend support to the fledgling church at Rome, but to establish a fictitious remote date for the formation of the Christian Church, and, by interpolating from Old Testament literature as many as two-hundred sayings, to convince the pious Jews that the "New Gospel" was the same as the old.
A second purpose in writing the epistle to the Romans may have been to create scripture which would appeal to Jewish thinking. Passages such as:
But glory, honor, peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jews first, and also to the Gentile; for there is no respect of persons with God (Romans 2:11).
In the first verse of this epistle, the Piso is careful not to offend the Jews. He begins by telling his readers that his gospel is "The gospel of God, which he had promised afore by his prophets in the Holy Scriptures."
He is quick to mention that Jesus "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh...and declared to be the Son of God...by the resurrection of the dead."
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When I was in the twenty-sixth year of my age it happened that I took a voyage to Rome; and this on the occasion which I shall now describe. At the time that Felix was procurator of Judea, there were certain Priests of my acquaintance, and very excellent persons they were whom on a small and trifling occasion he had put into bonds and sent to Rome to plead their cause before Caesar. Accordingly I came to Rome, though it were through a great number of hazards, by sea; for, as our ship was drowned in the Adriatic Sea, we that were in it, being about six hundred in number, swam for our lives all that night; when, on the first appearance of day, and upon our sight of a ship of Cyrene, I and some others, eighty in all, by Gods providence were taken up into the other ship... (Life p. 2 v.3)
The writer of the New Testament book; The Acts of the Apostles tells a strikingly similar story about Paul the apostle. Paul, like Josephus, informs us that he was a "Pharisee." (Acts 23:6) Paul, like Josephus, is brought in bonds (Acts 25:14) before Felix to be judged. (Acts 24:22) Paul, like the prisoners in the Josephus story, is taken to Rome to be tried before Caesar, according to Roman law. (Acts 25:10) Paul and "certain other prisoners" as in Josephus were taken aboard a ship, set sail, and:
...not long after there arose... a tempestuous wind... and when the ship was caught, and could not bear up to the wind, we let her drive.... But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria (Adriatic) about midnight the shipman deemed that they drew near some country....
The writer of Josephus says nothing of the trial of Josephus' priests before Caesar and abruptly ends his story with comments about an actor of plays named Aliturius.
The New Testament writer, as if he were following the text he had previously written, also says nothing further on this most important part of his story, i.e. the trial of Paul before Caesar. The writer lapses into a dialogue on Paul's missionary work among the Romans.
Saul together with Philip... ran away from the city... (Jerusalem)... in the meantime the people of Damascus, when they were informed of the destruction of the Romans set about the slaughter of those Jews that were among them... but as to those (including Saul).... got together in great numbers... and appointed a great many generals for the war.... Jesus the son of Sapphias, one of the high priests; and Eleazar, son of Ananias, the high priest... Joseph the son of Simon was sent as a general to Jericho... and John the Essene, to the toparchy of Thamma." (Wars II, XX, 1-4)
And Saul was consenting to (Steven's) death and at that time there was a great persecution... at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea.... As for Saul, he made havoc of the church... Then Philip went down to the city... And there was a certain man called Simon... and Saul... went unto the High Priest and desired of him letters to Damascus... And there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias... (Acts 8:1-14, 9:1-10)
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Now the sagacity and wisdom which God had bestowed upon Solomon was so great... for he spake a parable upon every sort of tree, from the hyssop to the cedar, and in like manner about beasts, about all sorts of living creatures, whether upon the earth, or in the seas, or in the air: for he was not unacquainted with any of their natures, nor omitted inquiries about them, and described them all like a philosopher. (Antq. VIII, 11, 5)
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying.... All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not to them. (Matt. 13:3, 34)
CASTING OUT DEMONSPiso/Josephus:
After telling about King Solomon teaching in parables, Piso tells of Solomon's other talents:
God also enabled (Solomon) to learn that skill which expels demons, which is a science useful and sanitive to men. He composed such incantations also by which distempers are alleviated. And he left behind him the manner of using exorcisms. by which they drive away demons, so that they never return, and this method of cure is of great force unto this day; for I have seen a man of my own country whose name was Eleasar, releasing people that were demonical.... The manner of the cure was this: He put a ring that had a root of one of those sorts mentioned by Solomon to the nostrils of the demonic, after which he drew out the demon through his nostrils; and when the man fell down immediately, he adjured the demon to return into him no more. (Antq. VIII, II, 5)
It is interesting that Matthew, in the chapter just preceding his recitation of Christs parables, tells of one "possessed with a devil" and casts him out. (Matt. 12:22) Mark and Luke also give their rendition of the same event. Both Piso/Josephus and Mark tell of healing of the sick in connection with casting out devils
JOHN THE BAPTISTPiso/Josephus:
Herod the tetrarch had married the daughter of Aretas (the King of Arabia)... however, he fell in love with Herodius... (his brother Philip's wife) This man ventured to talk to her about a marriage between them... one article of this marriage was this, that he should divorce Aretas's daughter.... who soon came to her father, and told him of Herod's intentions. So Aretas made this the first occasion of his enmity between him and Herod, who had also some quarrel with him about the limits of the country of Gamalitis. So they raised armies on both sides and prepared for war.... And when they had joined in battle, all of Herod's army was destroyed... now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God... as a punishment for what he did to John, that was called the Baptist; for he slew him. who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue... and... to come to baptism... not in order to the putting away some sins only, but for the purification of the body... Now when many others came to crowd about him, for they were greatly moved by hearing his words. Herod who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause... Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus... and was there put to death. (Antiq. XVIII, V, 2)
The writer of Mark gives a shorter and somewhat different version of the story:
And King Herod heard of [Jesus] (for his name was spread abroad) and he said, that John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do show forth
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themselves in him.... For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife; for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, it is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Therefore Herod had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy... and heard him gladly....
The author of Acts also tells of Agustus and the birth of a god:
And it came to pass in those days, there went up a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed... and Joseph also went up from Galilee... to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.... and she brought forth her first born son... And., lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them... and the angel of the Lord said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
It is interesting that the birth of the Roman god Augustus, and the birth of the Christ Child would both set into action the beginning of a new calendar system, and this only five years apart. Once again it is seen that the writers of the New Testament borrowed from Roman history.
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The pastoral letters of the New Testament are said to be, by most biblical scholars, the earliest written of the New Testament documents, mainly because they make no reference to, or use any material from, the Synoptic Gospels. It is logical to assume then, that the Epistle to the Romans may have been the earliest written of the pastoral letters as it was addressed to the [supposed] new Jewish/Christian Church at Rome. But the real purpose of the epistle, may not have been to lend support to the fledgling church at Rome, but to establish a fictitious remote date for the formation of the Christian Church, and, by interpolating from Old Testament literature as many as two-hundred sayings, to convince the pious Jews that the "new Gospel" was the same as the old.
A second purpose in writing the epistle to the Romans may have been to create scripture which would appeal to Jewish thinking. Passages such as:
But glory, honor, peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jews first, and also to the Gentile; for there is no respect of persons with God (Romans 2:11).
In the first verse of the epistle, Piso is careful not to offend the Jews. He begins by telling his readers that his gospel is "The gospel of God, which he had promised afore by his prophets in the Holy Scriptures."
Piso is quick to mention that Jesus "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh...and declared to be the Son of God...by the resurrection of the dead."
THE MANY FACES OF JESUSPiso/Josephus tells of over a dozen high priests whose names were "Jesus." The name Jesus means "Son of Salvation." Technically speaking, any one of the Jesus's mentioned by Piso could have been called "the anointed one" or "Saviour," in fact the appellation "Saviour" was given by Piso to several other persons:
King Artaxerxes called Mordecai, "my benefactor, and my Saviour" at Antq. XI, VI, 12.
Ptolemy Epiphanes, King of Egypt, was called "my saviour" at Antq, XII, I, I.
Antiochus Epiphanes, (God manifest) was called "my saviour" at Antq. XII, V, 5.
King Herod was called "saviour" at Antq. XIV, XV, 8.
And Caesar was called "saviour" at Antq. XVI, IV, 3.
Jesus Son of Ananus:Piso/Josephus tells us that "Jesus son of Ananus" became despondent over the sinful actions of the Jews at Jerusalem. Jesus came to the temple and cried "in the most lamentable tone possible":
...woe, woe to Jerusalem... he every day uttered these lamentable words as if it were premeditated, woe, woe, woe to Jerusalem! a melancholy presage of what was to come.... Woe, woe unto the city again and to the people and to the holy house! (Wars VI, V, 3)
The writer of Matthew has Jesus of Nazareth also go the temple at Jerusalem and chastise the Scribes and Pharisees in the same lamentable way:
But woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against man... Woe unto you... hypocrites! for ye devour widow's houses... Woe unto you... for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte... Woe unto you blind guides, which say, whosoever shall swear by the temple it is nothing... Woe unto you... hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law... Woe unto you... for ye are like whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones... O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that
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The Twelve Year Old JesusPiso/Josephus tells of the childhood of Josiah, (another name for Jesus) which is much like the Jesus of the New Testament:
Josiah... was of a most excellent disposition, and naturally virtuous.., and when he was twelve years old, he gave demonstrations of his religious and righteous behavior, for he brought the people to a sober way of living... he prudently corrected what they did wrong, like a very elderly man, and like one abundantly able to understand what was fit to be done... thus he acted in following the wisdom and sagacity of his own nature, and in compliance with the advice and instruction of his elders... he also offered his accustomed sacrifices and burnt offerings upon the altar. He... called for Eliakim, the high priest, and for the scribes... and sent them to Huldah the Prophetess, the wife of Shallum and bade them go to her and say that he desired that she would appease God.
The New Testament tells us that:
Joseph went up... to the city of David... because he was of the house and lineage of David.... Mary being great with child... brought forth her first born son... (and) his name was called Jesus... and they brought him to Jerusalem...to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law (of Moses).... and there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel.... and she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord... and when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord they returned to Galilee... now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem.... and after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors. (of the law) both hearing them. and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers... And (Jesus) increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:4-52)
The parallels between the BCE childhood story, of Josiah, (Jesus) in Piso's writings, and the childhood story of Jesus of the New Testament are striking. Both say the child was "twelve years old", both say he was known for his wisdom, in both, the accustomed sacrifices were made, both accounts tell of a prophetess who prays to God (presumably on behalf of the child) and both accounts mention the "Feast of the Passover." The Josephus account tells that Josiah acted in compliance with the advice and instruction of the elders. The Lukean account has Jesus "sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions. And both accounts tell that the child was of the house of David. But Piso could not establish a genuine genealogy for Christ. (see below)
Jesus of Nazereth?Matthew tells us that Joseph, Mary and the new born child "came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets: 'he shall be called a Nazerine'" (Matt. 2:23) The scripture Matthew is referring to is found in Judges 12: 23, but refers to Manoah and his wife: "For, low, thou shalt conceive, and bare a son: and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazerite unto God from the womb... to the day of his death."
The Scripture tells what the child's name would be: not Jesus, not Christ, but Sampson. There is no city in the Old Testament nor in Josephus's works that bears the name Nazereth.
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But when he (the King of Syria) was dead, his brother Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes (God manifest) took the kingdom.... About this time, upon the death of Onias the high priest, (of the temple at Jerusalem) they gave the high priesthood to Jesus (son of salvation) his brother... but this Jesus... was deprived of the priesthood (after three years) by the king, who was angry with him, and gave it to his younger brother who was Onias... This Jesus changed his name to Jason: but Onias was called Menalaus Now the former high priest Jesus raised a sedition against Menalaus, who was ordained after him, the multitude were divided between them both. And the sons of Tobias took the part of Menalaus, but the greater part of the people assisted Jason. (Antq. XII, V, I)
The scene was Palestine ca. 175 BCE. The Selucid empire, which included the Holy Land, with its capital in Antioch, was ruled by king Antiochus Epihanes IV (god manifest) whom the Greeks called "The God." The Selucid empire, for the most part, had been hellenized by its Macedonian rulers. The exception being the city of Jerusalem with its pious Jews whom Antiochus sought to bring over to the Greek way of living. The high priests of the Jerusalem temple reigned over their peoples only with the permission of king Antiochus who extracted taxes from the temple treasuries. Jesus, called Jason, a direct descendant of King David, had usurped the high priest office from his brother Onias, by offering king Antiochus more in tax revenue.
Immediately on taking office, Jesus/Jason the high priest, no doubt at the urging of his god Antiochus, attempted to bring his fellow Jews over to the more relaxed and enjoyable Greek way of life. By overthrowing the overbearing laws of Moses taught in the "Law and the Prophets," such as circumcision and the Sabbath day restrictions, Jesus/Jason hoped to bring the Jews in Jerusalem into the Hellenistic world.
Jesus/Jason's fellow priests, eager for freedom from their rigorous sacrificial ceremonies, neglected their work, made light of their temple duties and engaged in entertainment in the new-built Greek gymnasium.
Jesus/Jason reigned as high priest of the Jerusalem temple for a period of three years. But the more pious brethren refused to submit to the Hellenization process, fearing that God would punish them for this sin. This caused a schism to develop among the Jews. Some were eager for change while others were afraid to depart from the religious practices of their forefathers. Jesus/Jason made suspicious enemies as well as devout followers. After a troublesome three year reign, Jesus/Jason was deposed by his wicked brother Menalause who had offered king Antiochus even more revenue from taxes.
Thus, Jesus/Jason, who had the full support of his god Antiochus, and who had usurped his brothers office, saw his own usurped by another and was forced to flee to the Amanities (modern Amman Jordan) where he officiated for a time in a schismatic temple. In the meantime a false report came to the exiled Jesus that king Antiochus had been killed in Egypt. Seizing what he thought to be an opportunity to regain his former position as high priest of the Jerusalem temple, Jesus/Jason raised an army and attempted a coup. But Jesus' enemies repulsed his attack and forced him to flee back across the Jordan to his sanctuary in Arabia.
A grave situation faced Jesus in the Amanitis. Antis, the Arabian king, out of respect to king Antiochus, arrested Jesus as a fugitive and brought him to trial. Jesus was eventually released or escaped and fled into Egypt where he lived out the remainder of his life as a political fugitive.
This abridged account of Jesus, who changed his name to Jason, was taken from 1st and 2nd Maccabees and told in part by Piso in his Antiquities of the Jews XII, V. I.
If this Jesus was the model for the New Testament Jesus, it would explain several statements said to
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have been made by the Nazerene. It seems inconsistent to have the peace-loving New Testament Jesus say:
Think not that I have come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a mans foes shall be of his own household. (Matt. 10:34-36)
But this statement would fit very well the militant Jesus who was attempting a coup in Jerusalem to regain his former position as high priest of the temple. It seems strange that the obscure Nazerene of the New Testament would have the authority to enter the Jerusalem temple and "cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrow the tables of the money changers, and the seats of those who sold doves." But he might do so if he were the new high priest of the temple, and was in the process of changing the old Jewish temple rites into the new Greek form of temple worship. Jesus/Jason could not put new wine into old bottles, nor a piece of new garment upon an old.
The author of Mark tells us that "They were astonished at his doctrine for he taught them as one having authority." The pious Jews were certainly astonished when Jesus/Jason began teaching them the Greek way of life. The Nazarine said: "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." Jesus/Jason did not attempt to Hellenize the Jews on his own authority, but under the direction of king Antiochus Epiphanes, his god. When the writer of Acts has the witnesses say of Steven: "This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us." they are describing perfectly the mission of the Jesus of ca. 159 B.C.E.. And when the writers of the synoptic gospels told the people that the kingdom of God would come with power, they were not telling of the meek teacher of the New Testament, but the Jesus/Jason of ca. 159 B.C.E.
Jesus/Jason, as he fled from Jerusalem after he was deposed as high priest of the Jerusalem temple, might well have said:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not. Behold your house is left unto you desolate (The Abomination of Desolation.,of 159 B.C.E.) and verily I say unto you, ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say: blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Luke 13:34, 35)
Note that the names; Joseph, Jesus, John, Judas, Mattathias, Simon and Philip are found in book twelve of Piso's Antiquities, following the Jason/Jesus story. These same names were used by Matthew in his story of Jesus of Nazereth.
DATING THE MESSIAHThe book of St. John tells that the Messias was "the Christ" of New Testament times. But we must turn to the Old Testament book of Daniel for the correct dating of the Messiah. The angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and said:
O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.... Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (by King Cyrus ca, 593 B.C.E.), unto Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks and three score and two weeks (of years. see Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6).... and after three score and two weeks (434 years) shall Messiah be cut off... and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.... and he shall cause the sacrifices and the oblations to cease, and the spreading of abominations he shall make it desolate... (Daniel 9:22-27)
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It seems incredible that the angel Gabriel would say that the people of the Messiah would be responsible for the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the temple, and the bringing about of the "abomination of Desolation". This would be unbecoming of the New Testament Jesus or his people. But these events fit the historical Jesus/Jason perfectly.
To date the Messiah of the book of Daniel we need only subtract the "three score and two weeks" (434 yrs) when the Messiah was to be cut off, from the ca. 593 B.C.E. date when Cyrus was commanded by God to rebuild the Jerusalem temple. The answer is; the Messiah of Daniel's vision would live ca. 159 B.C.E., at the very time of the historical Jesus/Jason.
Piso at Antq. XII, VII, 6, as well as that told by Bible commentators, tell that the Abomination of Desolation, i.e. the placing of pagan idols and improper sacrifices on the alter of the Jewish temple, spoken of by Daniel, took place immediately after the three years Jesus/Jason was high priest of the Jerusalem temple.
When the abomination of Desolation, which had already taken place in ca. 175 B.C.E., is spoken of by the writers of Matthew (24:15) and by Mark (13:14) as if it were coming in their day, they are placing the events if Jesus/Jason's life in the time period of Jesus of Nazereth, which implies that the two Jesus' were the same person. Actually, Piso used the story of Jesus/Jason when he wrote his Jesus of Nazereth story.
Piso confirms this date when he tells that: "This abomination (of desolation) came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel, which was given four hundred and eight years before (Antq. XII, VIII, 6) The Piso date is quite accurate. The time that expired between the commandment to King Cyrus, and the Gabriel revelation, would account for the small difference between the Daniel account and that of Piso.
The ca. 159 B.C.E,. date for the reign of the Messiah is confirmed a third time when Daniel interprets the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel tells of four successive kingdoms which would rule on the earth. At the end of the forth kingdom:
shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom (with the Messiah as king) which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to another people... and it shall stand forever. (Daniel 2:44)
The first of the four kingdoms, spoken of by Daniel, was that of King Nebuchadnezzar, which was represented by the head of gold on a great image. The second kingdom was that of King Darius the Mede, represented by arms of silver. The third kingdom was that of King Cyrus of Persia, represented by a belly and thighs of brass. The forth kingdom was that of King Alexander, the Macadamian, represented by legs of iron; and feet, part of iron and part of clay.
Alexander's empire continued after his death under the leadership of Selucid, one of Alexander's generals, whose descendants continued to rule until Antiochus IV was defeated by Judas Maccabees. This ended the rule of Daniel's fourth kingdom.
It was towards the end of the reign of King Antiochus IV ca. 175 B.C.E. that the "God of heaven" would set up his kingdom with the messiah as its king. This again points to our Jesus/Jason.
Piso understood well the writings of the book of Daniel and what was meant by the rule of the four kings:
...there should arise a certain king that should overcome our nation and their laws and should take away our political government and should spoil the temple, and forbid the sacrifices to be offered for three years time. And indeed it so came to pass, that our whole nation suffered these things under Antiochus Epiphanes, according to Daniel's vision... (Antq. X, XI, VII)
The 159 B.C.E. date for the reign of the Messiah is confirmed a forth time when Daniel tells us that he "saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man come with the clouds of heaven... and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom... His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom... shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13, 14)
It is clear that Daniel is still telling of the ca. 159 B.C.E. Messiah
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Piso once more erroneously applies the time period of the Son of Man to his own time for he writes:
For as the lightning cometh out of the East, and shineth unto the west, so shall the coming of the son of man be.... And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven... this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (Matt. 24:27,30,34)
It is obvious that Piso, the writer of the New Testament, borrowed the messianic concepts from the book of Daniel and erroneously applied them to his Christ/Jesus stories briefly mentioned in his writings.
It is interesting to note that the Qumran Zodokite Document states that "After 390 years of captivity God restored his people; twenty years later he raised up a Teacher of Righteousness, and that twenty years after the Teacher of Righteousness the "men of war will be consumed in a great battle." (D.S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic 1964, p. 201)
According to Piso, at St. John 1:41, the appellation "Messias" is interpreted as "The Christ." "The word 'Messiah' (Hebrew Mahsiah) occurs frequently in the Old Testament. The Jews who made the Septuagint (ca. 280 B.C.E.) translated it to the Greek 'Christos, the anointed,' he upon whom has been poured a chrism of holy oil." (Will Durant, Caesar and Christ, Footnote p. 544)
It follows then, that the Messiah of Daniel's revelation could also be called Christ. And if the Jesus/Jason of ca. 159 B.C.E. was the expected Messiah, as shone above, it also follows that Piso's Jason/Jesus could also legitimately be called "The Christ."
THE GENEALOGY OF JESUSThe Prophet Samuel tells us that:
The word of the Lord came to Nathan saying, go and tell my servant David... I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels and I will establish his kingdom... forever. (2nd Samuel 7:4, 5, 12)
Piso, applying these verses to Christ, tells that David "being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that out of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." (Acts 2:30)
Piso seems to be suspiciously determined to, inform his readers of Jesus' decent from King David of the Old Testament: (Matt. 9:27, 12:23, 21:9, Mark, 10:48, Luke 2:4, John, 7:42, 2nd Tim. 2:8, and Rev. 22:16.
From David to the CaptivityPiso tells us that there were fourteen generations "from David until the carrying away into Babylon.... And from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations." (Matt. 1:17)
Piso's Matthew's list is almost completely different from the seventeen generation list he gives in Luke 3:23. Piso's Matthew's list of names from David to the captivity follows closely the name list given in the book 1st Chronicles 3:10, except four of the names; Joash, Amaziah, Azeriah and Jehoiakim were left out of the Matthew list apparently to make the number come out to the prescribed number fourteen. This omission makes the Matthew list artificial. Piso's second list of names, from the captivity to Christ, cannot be verified from Old Testament name lists and also appears to be artificial. Piso's Mark, the earliest written of the gospels, omitted any reference to the genealogy of Jesus.
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GENEALOGY FROM THE CAPTIVITY TO JESUS
* Names left out of Matthew genealogy.
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Herod offered him (Markas Antonius) money to make him king, as he had formerly given it to him to make him to make him Tetrarch.... But Antigonus, by way of reply to what Herod had proclaimed... said that they would not do justly if they gave the kingdom to Herod, who was no more than a private man, and an Idumean, ie. a half Jew, whereas they ought to bestow it on one of the holy family, as their custom was; for, that in case they at present bear an ill-will to him, and had resolved to deprive him of the kingdom, as having received it from the Parthians, yet were there many others of his family that might by their law take it, and these such as had no way offended the Romans; and being of the sacerdotal family, it would be an unworthy thing to put them by, now... they said thus one to another, and fell to reproaching one another on both sides... (Antq. XIV, XIV, 4, XIV, XV, 2)
From Piso's statement, it is plain to see that from the beginning, there were serious reservations on the part of King Herod's own family as to whether Herod should be made "king of the Jews." Piso goes on to say:
Strabo (the Roman historian) attests to what I have said, when he thus speaks: 'Antony ordered Antigonus the Jew to be brought to Antioch, and there to be beheaded... as supposing he could in no way bend the minds of the Jews so as to receive Herod, whom he had made king in his stead; for by no torments could they be forced to call him king, so great a fondness they had for their former king; so he thought that this dishonorable death would diminish the value they had for Antigonus' memory, and at the same time would diminish the hatred they bear for Herod. Thus for Strabo' (Antq. XV, I, 2)
Herod took Jerusalem by force and was made king and governor without having just claim to the government. To further secure his position, Herod deposed the royal high priest Hycranus, and replaced him with Ananelus "an obscure priest out of Babylon." This action, on the part of Herod, "occasioned a sedition in his own family." Alexandra, the daughter of Hycranus, and wife of Alexander, could not bear this indignity, believing that her own son, Aristobulus, should be made "King of the Jews." "Now this son was one of the greatest comeliness... and the daughter Mariamne was married to Herod and eminent for her beauty also... These children seemed not derived from men, but from some god or other."
THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPTPiso continues:
Alexandra was much disturbed because Herod had secured the priesthood office for himself when it was Alexandra's son Aristobulus who was the rightful heir. Herod feared that one day the child god would deprive him of the kingdom. 'Alexandra privately conspired against Herod's (supposed) royal authority and endeavored to bring it about that he might be deprived of the government. She therefore sent to Cleopatra, and made a long complaint of the circumstances she was in, and entreated her to do her utmost for her assistance. Cleopatra hereupon advised her to take her son with her, and come away immediately to Egypt. This advice pleased her; and she had this contrivance for getting away: she got two coffins made, as if they were to carry away two bodies, and put herself into one, and her son into the other and gave orders to such of her servants as knew of her intentions, to carry them away in the night-time. (Antq. XV, II, 5, XV, 111, 2)
In Matthew, Piso tells a similar story about the child god Jesus:
When Herod the king heard these things, (the birth of Jesus) he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.... And... the angel of
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the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying: Arise, and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt... for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. And when he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: and was there until the death of Herod. (Matthew 2:3, 4, 13-15)
KING HEROD SLAYS THE INFANTSPiso writes:
When Herod was near his death he spake thus to them: 'I shall die in a little time, so great are my pains... but what troubles me is this, that I shall die without being lamented, and without such mourning as men usually expect at a king's death.' So Herod took care, when he was departing out of this life, that the whole nation should be put into mourning, and indeed made desolate of their dearest kindred, when he gave orders that one in every family should be slain.... Now Herod altered his testament and granted the kingdom to Archelaus. (Antq. XVII, VI, 5,6)
In Matthew, Piso writes:
Then Herod was exceedingly wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and all the coasts thereof, from two years old and younger... But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, arise, and take the young child and his mother and come into the land of Israel. But when he beheld that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of his father Herod he was afraid to go thither." (Matthew 2:16, 19, 22)
The story by Piso of the slaying of "one in every family", at Herod's command, after his death in the year 4 B.C.E., corresponds in time to his story in Matthew that "Herod slew all the children" at Christ's birth in ca. 4 B.C.E. and seems to confirm that both stories were telling of the same event.
DEATH OF A GODPiso writes that King Herod feared that he might be deprived of the government by the child god Aristobulus, the legal heir, who was said to be "not derived from men, but some god or other so he:
proposed to himself to put this young man out of the way.... And now upon the feast of the tabernacles.... Herod drew Aristobulus into a lonely place and had him killed. When this sad accident was told the women their joy was soon changed into lamentation at the sight of the dead body that lay before them, and their sorrow was immoderate.... Herod endeavored that none abroad should believe that the child's death was caused by any cause of his.... although his death was supposed to tend to his own security... as for Aristobulus' funeral, he took care that it should be very magnificent, by making great preparation for the sepulcher to lay his body in. and providing a great quantity of spices... till the very women, who were in such great sorrow, were astonished at it... (Antq. XV, III, 2-4)
Piso's story, of the death of the child god Aristobulus is similar to that which he tells of the death of Jesus in the New Testament:
After two days was the feast of the Passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the Scribes sought him that they might take Jesus by craft, and put him to death.... And the chief priests accused him of many things; but he answered them nothing... and they cried out... crucify him... and it was the third hour.... And the centurion said; truly was this man the son of God. There were also women looking afar off... and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem....
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The killing of the god in both stories took place at the approach of the "Feast of the Tabernacles" or "passover." In both stories "spices" were brought to the sepulcher to anoint the dead body of the god. In both stories women mourn the death of the god. In Piso's "Josephus," the names of the women who mourn are not given, but it is logical that the dead child-god's relatives, Mariamne and Salome would have been among the women mentioned. In his "Mark," it was the two Marys and Salome who came to mourn.
There is no question that the account from Piso's Josephus, and his New Testament account, were telling the same story. The only basic difference is that in Piso's New Testament account the name Jesus was used instead of Aristobulus.
There are also many similarities between the Piso account and his New Testament account concerning Herod's dealings with the god, Mary and Joseph, prier to the god's death.
In both stories, Herod is obsessed with the thought that one day the child-god would deprive him of the kingdom. In both accounts Mary flees to Egypt with the child-god to escape the wrath of King Herod. In both stories Herod kills or threatens to kill children, both tell of the death of Herod and the passing of the kingdom to Archelaus, Herod's son, and in both the God, or child god is eventually killed. A sepulcher is provided, soldiers are mentioned, and women come to the tomb to mourn.
There seems to be no question that Piso is telling of the same event in both accounts. However there are some notable differences. In his earlier account it is Alexandra, the sister of the child-god who takes him to Egypt. In his Matthew account it is the child-gods parents, Joseph and Mary who make the journey. In his first account Mariamne is the wife of Herod while his Matthew account tells that Mary is the wife of Joseph. The threat of "slaying of one in every family" at the death of Herod, differs from the "slew all the children" in his later account. And most notable of all, in Piso's Josephus account it was the "child-god Aristobulus" who was the center of the story, while in his synoptics it was the "Jesus the Christ-child."
CRUCIFIED JEWSCrucifixion was the Roman method of capital punishment. Piso tells us:
...they were first whipped and then tormented with all sorts of tortures before they died, and then were crucified before the walls of the city... so the Soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest; when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses -wanting for the bodies. (Josephus' Wars V, XI, I)
In the New Testament Piso writes:
And so Pilot... delivered Jesus, when he had scourged (whipped) him, to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away.... And they clothed him with purple, and planted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, and began to salute him. Hail, King of the Jews!.... Thomas said unto them, except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails... I shall not believe. (Mark 15:15-18, John 20:24, 25)
THREE DAYS IN THE EARTHPiso:
... the Romans went away rejoicing, as taking it for granted that Niger was destroyed; but he leaped out of the tower into a subterraneous cave, and in the inter most part of it, was preserved, and on the third day afterward he spake out of the ground to those who with great lamentations were searching for him, in order to give him a decent funeral; and when he was come out he filled all the Jews with unexpected Joy, as though he was preserved by God's providence to be their commander for the time to come. (Wars III, II, 3)
Piso's Gospel of Luke reads:
For he taught his disciples, and said to them, The Son of Man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him, and after he is killed, he shall rise the third day.... and as they
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spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, peace be unto you. .... And they worshipped him, and returned with great joy. (Mark, 9:31, Luke 24:36-39, 53)
In the gospel story, the Romans thought they had killed the Nazerene. In the Piso story the Romans thought they had killed Niger. In his gospel account Piso's Christ was in the sepulcher three days and his followers thought he was dead. In both accounts, the supposed dead person, after coming out of the sepelchre or cave, spoke to those who were mourning his death. In both stories the Jews were filled with unexpected great joy on learning that he was alive, and in both, the person would be their future leader.
The story elements in Piso's Niger story seem to confirm that the controversial statement given at Antq. 18:3, of Christ's resurrection after three days in the tomb, was authentic and not a later interpolation by Christian writers.
WAS MARY UNFAITHFUL TO HER HUSBAND?Piso tells that it was rumored that Mariamne was "false to Herod's bed," Mariamne's soldier-uncle Joseph being the seducer. Herod's sister Salome "confirmed the suspicion about Joseph." Herod commanded that both of them be slain immediately. (Wars, I, XXIII, 3-5)
It is interesting that Celsus, the Roman historian c. 250 C.E. circulated with others a scandalous story about the New Testament Mary and a Roman soldier. (Guignburt, Jesus p. 127, Kalusner, p. 23, cited in Will Durant, Caesar and Christ 1944, p.559)
Jesus is occasionally referred to in the Rabinical literature as Jesus Ben Pantera or Ben Pandira... according to Origin, Panther was a sir-name of Jesus' grandfather Jacob. (This was a reply to a Jewish calumny, quoted by Celsus, that Pantheras was the name of a pagan soldier.) (F.F. Bruce, Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament p. 57) The writings attributed to Matthew contain a shadow of the scandalous story.
Now the birth of Jesus was on this wise: when as his mother was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost, then her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. Matt. 1:18, 19)
THE TALMUD MARY STORIES
...the Talmud Mary stories... revolve entirely around the accusation of her unfaithfulness to her husband.... Simon ben Azzai has said: 'I found in Jerusalem a book of genealogies; wherein was written: that so and so is the bastard son of a married woman' This Simon ben Azzai flourished.., at the end of the first and beginning of the second century. (Note that Piso published in 94 CE) .... this book of genealogies can be taken to mean nothing else than an official record; nevertheless we are told that it contained proof of Jeschu's bastardy, for "so and so" is one of the well known substitutes for Jesus and Jesus alone in the Talmud, as has been proved and admitted on either side.... "the virgin birth" doctrine was invented in answer to this record.... we therefore conclude that the earliest Jewish Mary legends came to birth somewhere towards the close of the first century. It is exceedingly difficult to classify these Mamzer legends or to treat them in any satisfactory chronological fashion, but it is remarkable that in them there seems to be two deposits of tradition characterized by different names for Jeschu -- ben Strada and ben Pandera, names... of which the current meaning was evidently simply "son of a harlot"....
In the Piso story, it was Mariamne's soldier-uncle Joseph with whom Mariamne was "false to Herod's bed."
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THE GOSPEL OF THOMASThe Gospel of Thomas was part of the Nag Hammadi discoveries in Egypt in 1945. The author of these writings apparently knew of the scandalous Herod-Miriamne-Joseph story cited by Piso. This writer has Jesus say: "...whoever recognizes father and mother will be called the child of a whore." (Marvin W. Meyer, The Secret Sayings of Jesus, 1984, p. 37)
This saying, attributed to Jesus, may explain the difficult verse in Luke: "Whoever does not hate father and mother as I do cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26)
FALSE WRITINGSThe pseudepigrapha has traditionally included pseudonymous and anonymous Jewish writings produced between 200 B.C.E. and 200 C.E. They usually purport to have been written by illustrious figures from Jewish history who lived long before they were actually composed. (Tanner, Rogers and McMurrin, Towards Understanding the New Testament, 1990, footnote p. 59)
This period gave rise to a quite unique literature, in which were manufactured facts for the past and for the future, and did not submit to the usual literary rules and forms, but came forward with the loftiest pretensions. Particular sayings and arguments of assumed "apostolic teachers" were brought forward as being of great authority. (G.R.S. Mead Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, 1960, p. 125)
A NEW RELIGIONIf it is indeed possible to develop a likely scenario, as to how, and why, the New Testament was written, it may proceed something like this; With the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., the Jews were dispersed into Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Babylon, and Italy. By the time Piso published in 93-94 C.E., the simple, true story of the Nazerine became more and more obscure until it had almost completely disappeared from folklore. A new "pseudonymous history" could be safely developed by the Piso family, The Jews, who in past centuries, had been the source of irreconcilable conflict to the Greeks and now to the Romans, flocked to Rome in increasing numbers. No doubt Roman officials could see that if the Jewish influx into Rome continued, the same age-old conflict would raise her ugly head. Solution; Find a way to appease the pious Jews by creating a new religion based primarily on the Messianic hope of the Jews, but retaining Roman mythology. Piso's new pseudonymous history called the "New Testament" was apparently written sometime after 80 C.E.
Since certain events in the life of the New Testament apostle Paul seem to have been taken from the writings of Piso, and since Paul was not part of the synoptic gospels, it seems probable that Paul's history was an afterthought; Propaganda created by the Roman writer to create the impression that the church had been in existence for some 70 years.
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"Hillel the younger c. 30 B.C.E., stands as a classic figure of a Palestine scholar... as little is known with certainty about his life as about his near contemporary, Jesus, whose saintly silhouette suggests similar qualities of sensitivity and wisdom.... According the accepted tradition, he was born abysmally poor, of non-priestly family in Babylon. He became the leading scholar of his century in Jerusalem.... In the tradition of many exciting teachers Hillel founded a school founded for him, Bet-Hillel, and uniquely a dynasty which gained for itself a teacher as well as a scribe, a mystic, a man of retreats and silence, and a sensitive man who knew well the anguish of the poor....
CONCLUSIONThe New Testament Jesus appears to have been a composite figure. A combination of several Jesus personalities invented by Calpernius Piso. There was the Josiah-Jesus who at twelve years of age offered the accustomed sacrifices at the Jerusalem temple. There was Jesus the High Priest of the Jerusalem temple, who attempted to helenize the Jews but failed. There was the "Jesus of Galilee," who was crucified by the Idumeans, and finally there was the c. 65 A.D. Jesus who pronounced woe upon the people of Jerusalem.
G.A. Wells agrees with my theory that there was more than one Jesus displayed in the New Testament:
In the twenty seven books of the New Testament there is not one Jesus but many, and from the beginning, Christians were divided about his fundamental nature. (Wells The Historical Evidence For Jesus, p. 197)
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Durant Will, Caesar and Christ.
Johnson, Paul, A History of the Jews.
Josephus, Flavius, Antiquities of the Jews.
Josephus, Flavius, Wars of the Jews.
Josephus, Flavius, Life.
Mead, G.S.R., Fragments of a Faith Forgotten.
Meyer, Marvin W., The Secret Teachings of Jesus.
Piso, Arius, Calpernius, The New Testament (true Author).
Reuchlin, Abelard, The True Authorship of the New Testament.
Russell, D.S., The method and message of Jewish Apocalyptic.
Schweitzer, Albert, The Quest of the Historical Jesus.
Silver, D.J., A History of Judaism.
Tanner, Rogers and McMurrin, Towards Understanding the New Testament.
The Interpreters Bible.
Wells, G.A., The Historical Evidence For Jesus.
Whiston, William, Josephus' Complete Works.
Austin, Texas: February 1988, pp. 39ff
Copyright ©: 1975 Society of Separationists
AMERICAN ATHEIST RADIO SERIES / Madalyn O'Hair
DID JOSEPHUS WRITE IT?
When the first installment of a regularly scheduled, fifteen-minute, weekly American Atheist radio series on KLBJ radio (a station in Austin, Texas, owned by then President Lyndon Baines Johnson) hit the airwaves on June 3, 1968, the nation was shocked. The programs had to be submitted weeks in advance and were heavily censored The regular production of the series ended in September 1977, when no further funding was available.
The following is the text of American Atheist Radio Series program No. 356, first broadcast on August 23, 1975.
Christianity, without Christ, cannot be. It is just that simple. Because of this, a veritable duel to the death has existed between Atheists and Christians for as long as the Atheist has been permitted to duel. In early Christian history, he was simply murdered for heretical beliefs. Since 1667, he has been permitted to speak with only the harassment of prison terms, loss of employment, and complete boycott by the Christian-dominated culture, with severe economic and psychological sanctions against him.
The argument always reaches to the histotical writers of the time of Jesus Christ. Of course, the Christian historians will not admit that god certainly could have preserved the records of his only son, had there really been a god. In the United States, we did a much better job preserving the documents which made us a nation than did god to preserve the documents which would have proven the authenticity of his son.
The Atheist historians are not all that brave as yet. One of ours, indeed, refuses to even identify himself. He writes under the name of Historicus.
Despite the fact that the basis of anti-Semitism in the Western culture is Christianity, when it comes to the all-important argument of whether or not a christ did exist, the average Christian theologian calls upon the evidence of the despised Jew -- particularly that of Josephus, a Jewish historian who lived about the time that Christ's life should have been reported and who was of major significance in the Roman culture. Josephus lived from A.D. 37 to 100, and he was the official (or one of the official) historians of the Roman Empire. Therefore, he had access to documents and information which others might not have had.
Well, Historicus writes about this important problem, the historicity of Jesus Christ, quite often. I have here one of his later works, written in 1972, which I am permitted reproduce in whole or in part. Let's see what he has to say about this question in an article titled "Did Josephus Write It?"
Scholars have often averred that the Jesus of the New Testament is a myth, that he never had existed, and that there is no historical evidence to substantiate the claims for his existence advanced by the Christian church. At first the religious apologists scoffed at this contention and attributed the statements of the scholars to pure wickedness, seeing in it but another attempt of Satan to lure more souls to Hell -- this, and nothing more.
But as the study of mythology advanced, historical parallels were constructed and the truth began to dawn upon unprejudiced persons. The similarities proved to be extremely destructive to the accepted beliefs about the life of Jesus.
Dupuis, Strauss, Drews, Smith, Roberson, and others brought together sufficient evidence to establish upon a firm foundation that there is nothing in all history to prove that the Jesus of the New Testament ever walked the face of the earth.
Contemporary writers displayed an amazing lack of information about Jesus. Here was a man who performed miracles that astounded the multitudes, yet his acts are not found recorded in the books of historians who noted occurrences of much less importance. Remsburg, in The Christ, names forty-two writers who lived and wrote during the time or within a century after the period when Jesus is said to have existed, and from all their writings only four passages are to be found that might possibly support the historicity of Jesus. And of these four passages, not a single one can stand a critical test.
It is agreed that the strongest of them is the passage found in the works of a Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus (living between the years A.D. 37 and 100). Professor Arthur Drews, in Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus, states that "he [Josephusj is the first profane writer who can seriously be quoted for the historicity of Jesus."
If the passage in Josephus is genuine, then strong and in fact formidable proof is offered for the Christian claim along historical lines. On the other hand, should this passage be found a mere forgery, a clumsy interpolation, then the strongest element of proof for the historicity of Jesus in the whole mass of ancient literature crumbles and dissolves.
Josephus was the author of A Defense of the Jewish Religion. In this he showed himself to be a fervent believer in Judaism -- a point that must be kept in mind in view of the passage attributed to him depicting Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. At the time he wrote, the Christians constituted a very small sect, of no particular political or social importance. Late in the first century, Josephus completed his classical work, The Antiquities of the Jews. In this book is found a complete history of his race, dating from the very earliest age, according to the knowledge of his day.
While in the midst of the story of a Jewish uprising, the narrator in this book is interrupted by the following irrelevant passage: "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man -- if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works and a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ. Although Pilate, at the complaint of the leaders of our people, condemned him to die on the cross, his earlier followers were faithful to him. For he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as god-sent prophets had foretold this and a thousand other wonderful things of him. The tribe of Christians, which is called after him, survives until the present day" (Jewish Antiquities xviii, 3, 31.)
Would Josephus, who wrote with such careful sequence, break the unity of his narrative to observe, with Christian piety, that "about this time [lived] Jesus, a wise man -- if it be lawful to call him a man,... he was a doer of wonderful works ... He was the Christ.... he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as god-sent prophets had foretold," etc? All this we are asked to accept as coming from Josephus, an extremely pious Jew!
We should be inclined to think that this Jewish historian, after noting a matter of such prime importance in the history of his people as the coming of the Messiah, would proceed to elaborate on it, to impress its significance upon his religious brethren, for the Jews at that time were bestowing great attention on matters pertaining to the coming of Jesus the Messiah. In fact, they were awaiting the Messiah with painful impatience and desperate hope.
But Josephus, as soon as he is through with the Jesus passage, the heaven-sent Messiah, the long-awaited Christ who was to bring peace and happiness to all those suffering under the cruel Roman heel, goes on, as though nothing of unusual importance had been touched upon, to make the statement: "Also about this time another misfortune befell the Jews;" and the text continues leisurely with the story of how Tiberius expelled the Jews from Rome. Attention is immediately arrested by the wording, "another misfortune befell the Jews." What other misfortune? If Josephus had written the joyful Jesus passage, would he have continued with "another misfortune" and then told of Tiberius and his expulsion of the Jews?
About this passage affirming Jesus as the Christ, a number of observations might be made. Josephus is obviously ignorant of the occurrences connected with Jesus and his followers. As one who accepted Jesus as the Messiah whom the "god-sent prophets had foretold," Josephus must certainly have gathered zealously all available information about him. Yet, the conscientious narrator of Jewish history fails utterly to note such exciting events as: (1) the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, (2) his acclamation as the Messiah, (3) the riot before the governor's house, (4) the surrendering by the Sanhedrim of one of their people to the Roman authorities, (5) the disappearance of the body from the grave. It is not an easy matter, as Professor Drews states, to show that these events were too insignificant for Josephus to record. The Acts of the Apostles (2:41) shows the new religious sect (Christian)entering into deadly rivalry with the old religion. It is difficult to understand how Josephus, a thorough historian in his way, could have failed to include the aforementioned events in his work had these incidents occurred during the fife of Jesus.
That he noticed messianic disturbances in the times is amply proven in his Antiquities (pages xviii, 4, 1). Here are noted the false Messiah and his attempts to induce the Samaritans to rise against their Roman masters. Then there is the incident of Judas, the Gaulonite, who created a disturbance of the people against the census of Quirinus; the story of the pretending prophet, Theudas, who claimed to possess the power to divide the waters of the Jordan to allow his followers to cross in safety.
In Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus, Professor Drews says (page f) "Does anyone seriously believe, in fact, that Josephus could have concealed from the Romans, who had long ruled over Palestine and were accurately informed as to the disposition of their subjects, the messianic expectations and agitations of his compatriots and represented them as harmless, in works which were especially concerned with their" strained relations to their oppressors?
The most important and illuminating fact, however, is that the passage about Jesus as the Messiah is not to be found in the early copies of Josephus. Not until the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius (about A.D. 300) do we come across it, and it is claimed that all reference to this passage is worthless as historical material because of the deliberate falsifications of Eusebius.
Jakob Burkhardt considers the wily Eusebius to be "the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity." He elaborates on his character as follows:
"After many falsifications, suppressions, and fictions which have been proved in his work, he has no right to be put forward as a decisive authority; and to these faults we must add a consciously perverse manner of expression, deliberate bombast, and many equivocations, so that the reader stumbles upon trapdoors and pitfalls in the most important passages. (Leben Konstantins, 2nd edition, 1860, pages 307, 335, 347)
Also of the utmost significance is the absence of the Josephian passage in the controversies of the early church fathers. Not only is the passage not to be found cited in their voluminous disputes, but one fails to come across even a mention of it in works where it would undoubtedly have appeared had it been in existence at that early day. It is not in the polemics of Tertullian, Cyprian, Justin or Origen. Valuable indeed would this passage have been to Justin in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew.
Chrysostom, a careful reader of Josephus, wrote in the latter part of the fourth century. The quotation of the Josephian passage would have weighed strongly in favor of the church. But no mention is made of it in his works, and we are inclined to accept the view of Remsburg that he was "too honest or too wise to use it."
Canon Farrar, in his We of Christ (Volume 1, page 63), sums up the case in the following words: "The single passage in which he [Josephus] alludes to him [Jesus Christ] is interpolated, if not wholly spurious."
The verdict of history has thrown this passage out. And thus the church remains without one iota of tangible evidence to uphold its claims for the historicity of Jesus.
And thus speaks Historicus (Jacob Benjamin).
JOSEPHUS PLEADS WITH JERUSALEM DEFENDERS
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