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Will the Real Jesus Christ Please Stand Up

Updated on May 23, 2014
Apollonius of Tyana emerged as one of the contenders for the historical Jesus according to some commentators. He is know to us through Philostratus
Apollonius of Tyana emerged as one of the contenders for the historical Jesus according to some commentators. He is know to us through Philostratus | Source

Please Stand Up!

Getting to the heart of the matter, the real revolutionary is often copied but never equalled. Throughout history, names have been changed either by the person who is spreading the message, or followers who want to protect the identity of the real person who would otherwise be hunted down ruthlessly and eliminated. By this method, many buy time in order to spread their message. One thing is certain, the persecuting power seeking to protect its holding, will not relinquish their hold willingly. Anyone who is a threat or is perceived as a threat will be dealt with ruthlessly. Perhaps you have some personal familiarity with the idea. You hold ideas or political leanings or live a lifestyle that you don't want bosses and family to know about, so you take on a public assumed identity so that you can say or do what you really want with some immunity. The assumed identity can be a name that one pulls out of thin air in order to ghost-write themselves without risking fragile sources of support and income. Meanwhile, when at work, family or church, you present your legal identity. Many people live double lives unbeknownst to even their closest contemporaries. Three notable figures of recent history come to mind that did this and these are none other than Leon Trotsky (aka Lev Bronstein), Stalin (real name unknown) and Adolph Hitler, whose father's name was Alois Hitler, formerly Alois Schickelgruber. All had solid reasons to take on assumed names, particularly under the oppression of the Czar of Russia. In the case of Hitler, his father was born a bastard child, the product of a rape by a Rothschild upon his grandmother, who was a servant. Adolph spared no effort to erase these facts from history, destroying records and his birth town in Austria as he did not want it known that he was the child of a bastard father born of a rape by a rich Jew. Hitler turns out to be part Jewish. History can get weird at times. It is likely they all had to hide in plain sight and that they had families and relations they wanted to protect from a ruthless state apparatus. In the case of Hitler, he did not want the fact that he was part Jewish on account of being rabidly anti-Semitic. In this age of the NDA and CES among others, hackers and spy organizations, it is getting harder and harder to live under an assumed identity. This was not so in ancient history. One could live out their entire lives as a self designated kind of double agent, being an assumed identity in harrowing and difficult situations and their real identity when peacefully at home with the family. When the authorities came knocking, the person whom they were seeking was “not there” but a “mistaken identity” and actually someone else. Except in the harshest of times, reasonable doubt usually works.

There is no doubt that such a thing happened under the oppressive domination of Rome over Judea and among the Jewish collaborators. It is also likely that this kind of thing happened everywhere Rome extended its territories and terrorized the locals. Consider the fact that Jews warred with Rome from the outset and there were three major wars between 66AD through to 135AD. The last war was particularly brutal with the loss of some 200,000 up to 580,000 lives over three years. That last revolt was lead by the messiah-king Shimon Bar-Kokhba, aka Bar-Kosebah (1). At that time, Judea was under total Roman control and the expelled Jews fought unsuccessfully to take back their lost land under the ruling Jewish Messiah of the time. The first war began a mere few decades after Jesus and Paul were presumably on the historic scene. Paul used the name Jesus Christ in the NT, but who is this Jesus Christ in reality and are there accounts outside by Roman and Jewish sources of a real Messiah aside from the third war? Could this be the reason we read so little account of Jesus Christ in many accounts and that we should actually be looking at other names to fill the historical void with evidence and stories? Is it even possible that the dates we have are all incorrect? Such things are not out of the question given the long time and the now enormous pile of obscurantist stories and myths. Another part of the problem that we have to acknowledge is the fact that almost everyone was illiterate in the region except for the scribes who took down the important information dictated by the elites.

We know from Paul, at least in the Acts, that many Christians obtained sanctuary in Damascus that had obtained sovereignty from Roman imperialism during the reign of Caligula. This may account for a dearth of names during the many struggles and the fact that Christianity managed to survive the tremendous purges in Judea and later in Rome. But there were Christians also in Jerusalem and in Rome! Digs have come up with some crucified remains of a executed Jew by Rome in Jerusalem in 21 AD by the name of Yehohanan ben Hagkol (2). During the time of Roman occupation and especially during the wars, as many a 500 people were crucified a day. This makes it difficult to trace who the individual was that had the name Jesus Christ attached to him. Many thousands of people were crucified on Golgotha outside of Jerusalem as well. People could only be crucified under the direct order of the Roman procurator. Pontius Pilatus, aka Pontius Pilate was one such person who is mentioned by Tacitus as well as in stone that bears Pilate's name. The fifth in line of Roman procurators in Judea who resided in Caesarea but was not adverse to leading a battle against insurrections in the wider domain (3). This person is both exonerated from and vilified as the executor general of Jesus Christ, giving the order for crucifixion. But as the procurator, he would have been responsible for the sentencing of hundreds to set an example against sedition and rebellion. Crucifixion was historically done in a highly visible and public manner to terrorize the subjects of the Roman imperialist empire. There were mass crucifixions as well, such as against the Spartacus slave rebellion.

The name Jesus/Yeshua appears in many ancient sources such as the Talmud. Many people were called Yeshua in the time of Jesus.
The name Jesus/Yeshua appears in many ancient sources such as the Talmud. Many people were called Yeshua in the time of Jesus. | Source

Historians and philosophers in Greece and Rome report of the existence and life of a contemporary of Jesus Christ who had his attributes but was frowned upon by early Christians, especially in 325 AD at the council of Nicea. That philosopher – teacher was Apollonius of Tyana (4, 5, 6) who does have something of a record in history by Philostratus. He was born in the same year as Jesus Christ and apparently taught and helped people much in the same manner of Christ. But, contrary to the story of Jesus Christ, he is born in wealth, whereas Jesus was reportedly born in poverty in an animal barn. Apollonius is reported to have instigated rebellions against tyrants and insisted on a vegetarian lifestyle, even refusing to wear leather. He is a follower of Pythagoras. He was one of the original communists in his thinking, but in today's world, owing to his class position and hob-nobbing with the well to do and powerful, this would likely translate, socialism for the rich. Some modern writers on Apollonius suggest that this is the real person and that Jesus is the fictitious personality, perhaps even a pseudonym to offer protection as suggested above by those who sought to destroy him, particularly as he instigated revolts against tyrants. There is even a hint in the NT concerning someone called Abaddon/Apollyon (7). Here he is depicted as a destroyer and linked to the hellish abodes of Sheol and Ghenna; the prison of the afterlife and the pit of fire. Curiously, the terminology is reversed when the Christians are labelled as destroyers and terrorists. The accounts made for Apollonius well after the events of his life describe Christianity as a thorough going genocidal and warlike conglomerate of sects at each others throats throughout history and directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of their fellows who disagree with one slant of doctrine or another. Further, millions of women were murdered for being accused of witchcraft. The First Nations were put to genocide and in a few cases, extinction.

Yet another figure can be attached to Jesus Christ and that is the bastard son of Mary, raped as a young woman by a Roman Soldier or mercenary by the name of Pantera. Thus, the son born of the rape, was called Joshua or Yeshu or Yeshua Ben Pantera. Owing to the shame that would come upon a young woman pregnant out of wedlock in a thorough going patriarchal society with women as the property of men, Joseph quickly married her to spare her shame out of solidarity against Roman oppressors in another account. Alternately according to some passages and interpretations in the Talmud, Mary was either unfaithful or was raped when she was married to Joseph (8). As Joseph was apparently of the line of David, the son to be born would inherit that lineage and thus be anointed as a Christ, which means anointing, as royals were anointed with oil even though not properly or at least questionable as to the boy being Joseph's offspring. In those days it was easier to hide such things if everything was accomplished in a timely fashion. It is even suggested that Joseph was a Roman mercenary. There are records of a Yeshu Ben Pantera who was a healer and had five followers. Yeshu is referred to in the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was ultimately put to death by stoning by Jewish authorities for alleged infractions of the law and then hung on a tree according to Roman guidelines. He had gifts of healing and magic that were picked up in Egypt. These allegations and more are made in the Talmud including a reference of Yeshu/Jesus burning in hell for idolatry and sorcery.(9). Paul suggests such an incident in the NT (10).

Given the vast scope of time and the fragmentary nature of the information, we are left with a few candidates for the real Jesus, being Apollonius of Tyana (aka Apollyon or Abaddon), Yeshua Ben Pantera or Yehohanan ben Hagkol, crucified in AD 26 and has remains as proof. Apollonius has the most historical proof. Yeshua Ben Pantera is referred to in the Talmud and Dead Sea Scrolls. Whoever it was, controversy ignited through his followers. All but Yehohanan had followers. The story was told and retold with embellishments and the Jesus we have come to know was established in the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. As with any other great figures in history, a lot of myth grew up and surrounded this figure. Who then is the real Jesus? Perhaps Jesus is a composite of all three, with the high spirituality and knowledge of Apollonius, the lowly conditions of Yeshua and the fate of Yehohanan. This is still an open question, but our bet is on Yeshua Ben Pantera as the chief candidate who later reached mythological proportions with the telling, retelling and embellishment of existing original stories. Some sources claim the historicity of Jesus alone (11), but Jesus did not come fully formed out of thin air; much of him was manufactured. There has been a lot of help along the way. In the end, whoever he was in person, he was part of a much wider movement to oust imperialist Rome and helped who he could at the grass roots level. This truth at least got through the filter of Paul and the Council of Nicea. After this, the story gets very complicated.







  6. Revelation 9:11



  9. Galatians 3:13



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