The Question Of The Existence Of Jesus
By James Donahue
Back in 2006 a judge in Viterbo, Italy, made
headlines when he considered hearing a trial between a committed atheist book author and a Roman Catholic priest. At issue
was whether the existence of Jesus could be proven.
Signor Cascioli, author of the book, The
Fable of Christ,” began legal proceedings against Father Enrico Righi after the priest denounced Cascioli in a parish
newsletter for questioning the historical validity of the Jesus story.
Judge Gaetano Mautone first refused to hear
the case, but after a court of appeal overruled him, he set a preliminary hearing and ordered Father Righi to appear and prove
his claims. The appellate judges agreed that Cascioli had a reasonable case for his charge that the priest was “abusing
Cascioli’s argument, which is shared
by many other world scholars, is that there is no reliable evidence that Jesus lived and died in Palestine during the First
Century, other than the Gospel stories, which Christians take on faith. Thus, Cascioli claims, there is no basis for Christianity.
He forced the case before the Italian courts
because he claimed the story told by Father Righi violated two laws, fraudulently deceiving people through an abuse of popular
belief, and the other barring “impersonation” or personal gain from attributing a false name to someone.
Cascioli called the Jesus story “a
deceptive fable” propagated by the Roman Catholic Church.
In the end, Judge Mautone, an obvious Catholic
in an overwhelming Catholic nation, threw the case out of his court and suggested that prosecutors should investigate Cascioli
for slandering the priest.
That Cascioli was able to challenge the Christian
story and go as far as he did in an Italian court, right under the nose of the Vatican, gives credence to the fact that the
Jesus story really cannot be proven. In fact, there is historical evidence that supports the theory that the Christian story
is nothing more than a plagiarized version of several older myths behind world religious movements in Greece, the old Roman
Empire, the ancient Egyptians and the Persian culture.
Most noted among the ancient “gods”
is the Persian sun-god Mithra, a story dating back to about 1400 BC, which offers a hero born of a virgin in a stable on the
winter solstice. He was attended by shepherds who brought gifts. He was said to have shared a “last supper” with
his followers before returning to his father, the god of all. Followers of Mithra was said to have been granted eternal life
Buddha, like Mithra, was also born of a virgin.
He had 12 disciples, performed miracles, healted the sick, walked on water and fed 500 men from a small basket of cakes. He
was transfigured on a mount, was crucified in a sin-atonement, suffered three days in hell and was resurrected. After this
he ascended into heaven, or Nivana.
The Egyptian god figure Horus was said to
have been born of the virgin Isis on December 25. He was born in a cave, his birth was announced by a star in the East, and
he was attended by three wise men. He was a child teacher in the temple. He was baptized by Anup the Baptizer, he had 12 disciples,
he performed miracles, walked on water and raised El-Azar-us from the dead. Horus also was transfigured on a mount, was crucified,
buried in a tomb and resurrected.
The Indian god/man Krishna was born of a
virgin, his father was a carpenter, his birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds, and they brought gifts of gold,
frankincense and myrrh. There was a ruler who attempted to kill the infant by ordering the slaughter of thousands of babies.
Krishna worked miracles and wonders, raised the dead, healed lepers, the deaf and the blind. He used parables to teach about
charity and love. He was transfigured in front of his disciples. Some stories say Krishna died on a tree or was crucified
between two thieves. He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.
The very name Jesus was extremely common
among the Jews at the time Christ was supposed to have lived. In fact the archetypical Jewish hero was Joshua, the successor
of Moses, who also was known as Yeshua ben Nun, which means Jesus of the fish. The name Yeshua, or Yeshu, was a title that
meant “savior.” Thus it was that every group within the Jewish resistance had a hero figure using this name.
historians look to first century Jewish historian Josephus to attempt to prove their case, Josephus mentions 19 different
Yeshuas, or Jesii, with about half of them contemporaries of the alleged Christ in his writings. Of the 28 high priests who
held office between the reign of Herod the Great and the fall of the Temple, four of them were named Jesus. None of them were
known as Jesus of Nazareth.
For the record, historians
now know that Nazareth did not exist before the Second Century, over a 100 years after Jesus was supposed to have been born
and raised there.
There are so many problems
with the Gospel story that entire books have been written exposing them all.
interesting detail involved the decision by Pilate to offer the Jews the release of one prisoner
at the time Jesus was on trial. They were said to have chosen Barabbas instead of Jesus. But the
full name of this dismissed criminal was Jesus Barabbas, and his name, Bar Abba in Hebrew means “son of the father.”
Thus we have a strange conflict. If the Gospel story is correct, Pilate had a Jesus, Son of God, and a Jesus, Son of the Father,
in his prison at the same time. The people allegedly allowed one of them to go free and sent the other on to be crucified.
But if this is the way it really happened, which one did they kill? Did
they choose correctly or was it all a twisted creation of the people who wanted to deify Jesus?