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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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    • syzygyastro profile image

      William J. Prest 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Revelation details seven churches, of which the RCC is linked most accurately to Thyratira. Interestingly, some evidence supports the idea that its exclusive reign persisted for 1,260 years, a significant number in the Bible. The great problem with Christendom is that Paul introduced pagan concepts and this was enhanced with the RCC that also introduced Maryology into the worship service, hence the reference to consorting with Jezebel in Revelation. Romans had their saviour figure, Romulus that is described as having the characteristics of Jesus the Nazarene. Thus, it was somewhat easy to shoehorn Jesus as a substitute for Romulus. On top of that, the laity by and large was ignorant and all teaching issued from the RCC that gave the services from the Vulgate in Latin. This persisted until Martin Luther blew the whole thing open in one of the earliest examples of whistle blowing. This began the downward sprail of the RCC. Today, despite its following, the RCC appears to be in its final death agonies.

    • Ceegen profile image

      James 4 years ago from Maine, USA

      Constantine "the Great" is considered by a lot of Christians, me being one of those types, to have only been a Christian in name. Constantine paganized Christianity by "adopting" the faith via his "conversion", taking the Roman emperor's title of "Pontifex Maximus" (pope!), and then redefined what is and what is not Christian. The Roman Catholic Church has, for almost two-thousand years now, been systematically destroying everything Jesus stood for. But it isn't necessarily just the RCC that is doing it, because according to the bible it is the whole world that is in rebellion.

      Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? Why did Jesus forgive the people who crucified him, saying, "Forgive them, Father, for the *know not what they do*"?

      I don't really know how to put it into words.

    • syzygyastro profile image

      William J. Prest 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Like in any other investigative field, I am attempting to sleuth out the truth through all the misinformation that has accumulated over the last 2,000 years. There is no denying at this point that there was at least a movement that so challenged Rome that they eventually adopted it as their own, but in a changed format. Jesus and those like him had to have existed in order to create such an effect on history that reverberates to this day. I admit that some of the foregoing is speculative and is a process of establishing the full truth outside of the filters of those who change the accounts for self serving interests. I am in the process of cross examining the myriad of Bibles out there and have already uncovered shocking differences. This will be a hub in the future when the analysis is completed. The cave 7 texts are so far the most reliable since they are known to be contemporary to the period, but are we seeing the real facsimile of those texts; or, are we seeing something else that has been screened for our consumption?

    • Ceegen profile image

      James 4 years ago from Maine, USA

      Right, but Tacitus recorded things "as is". So what we know about the early Christians in the Roman empire, was that it had spread even to Rome by the time it was written... Approximately 115 AD. Backed up by the NT fragments found in Qumran cave 7, all proving that Christianity was well established in the Middle-East by at least 68 AD, and the known world by 115 AD.

      So the idea that Jesus wasn't a real person, a pseudonym, or just "someone else" holds less and less water the more you scrutinize the claim. Besides that, I think you're a wonderful writer and your use of rhetoric is quite solid. I just happen to disagree with the thesis of this hub, that's all.

      And yes, those who live by the sword shall die by the sword, and the double-edged sword of truth cuts both ways. Those who live by the bible, die by the bible. Those who want to live by violence, will be taken in violence. It's just the way it is.

    • syzygyastro profile image

      William J. Prest 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Tacitus referred to the Christians in Judea by name and that implies a reference to Jesus Christ. His comments are not extensive other than that they were creating difficulty for the Roman imperialists. Also concerning swords, Jesus also said that those who live by the sword shall die by the sword and that is not a metaphorical reference, but a statement of truth that is as true today as then.

    • Ceegen profile image

      James 4 years ago from Maine, USA

      When is a sword not a sword? When it's a metaphor:

      Hey what did Tacitus say about Jesus? Might want to look that up, too.

    • syzygyastro profile image

      William J. Prest 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Concerning swords, there is an instance recorded in Luke 22:35-39, where he stated that swords should be obtained and so two were and he said it was enough, for some end no doubt. Then we read that when he returns it will be with a sword and will rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15). That is in the NT in most translations. Then there is the OT where Jehovah commanded in many instances, for the Jews to go into territories to slay the inhabitants and take over the territories.

      The question of Pilate came up when archaeologists discovered a stone with his name on it and Roman accounts. According to the Roman accounts by Tacitus, Pilate was no softy and ruled as a tyrant. Any threat actual or perceived was handled with utmost brutality as the extensive records prove. Romans were also braggarts and actually depicted their tyrannies in stone and mosaics that are strewn over all of its former imperialist hegemony.

      Yes there was deal cutting going on to be sure as there was continual trouble between Rome and Judea but in the end, even that was not enough as the three Roman-Jewish wars attest from 66 AD through to 135 AD.

    • Ceegen profile image

      James 4 years ago from Maine, USA

      "Jesus recognized this, but still overthrew the tables of the money changers."

      Because the temple was supposed to be a "house of worship", not a business. He even said "You've made it into a den of thieves". The moneychangers and vendors were selling animals for the required sacrifices, gouging the people who were just trying to make good on the requirements. There was no stipulation with regards to government so long as it didn't interfere with the religious, and that the religious shouldn't interfere with the process of government, which proves Jesus approved of "separation of church and state".

      "There is an instance where swordplay was used in the presence of Jesus in the garden."

      Yeah and Jesus told Simon Peter to put it away. There was never a time that Jesus advocated violence, and under the new covenant no violence is necessary. That hasn't stopped people from validating the use of violence to suit their own tastes, even though there was never a disciple after that time which ever taught or used violent force to spread the gospel. You just will not find any validation for the use of violence in the New Testament, and anyone who does is flat out lying.

      "Pilate was according to the Roman records, able to make his own decisions without the push of the Jews ..."

      That wasn't the point. The point was that Pilate didn't *want* to crucify Jesus but did anyway, because the mob was yelling and chanting. He caved in to popular opinion, it doesn't matter if it weighed on his conscious.

    • syzygyastro profile image

      William J. Prest 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Just as now, most people used currency for exchange. Jesus recognized this, but still overthrew the tables of the money changers. The saying render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's can also include the sword as that is what the Roman empire lived by. Such were the actions of the zealonts and sacarii. There is an instance where swordplay was used in the presence of Jesus in the garden.

      Pilate was according to the Roman records, able to make his own decisions without the push of the Jews as thousands of crucifixions testify of other branded criminals. Most were executed for some perceived act of sedition against Rome and some were executed for sport as we all know.

    • Ceegen profile image

      James 4 years ago from Maine, USA

      I disagree.

      We have fragments of the New Testament from Qumran cave 7, which was destroyed by Rome in 68 AD, putting a majority of the texts within 38 years after Jesus' death in 30 AD. This means that the texts were written within a generation, "striking distance" of the eye-witness period. And Qumran wasn't some ordinary place, it was a monastery where they meticulously copied religious texts. This means that the texts found there were likely already in circulation years before, as it took scribes a fair amount of time in making a single copy.

      Also, Jesus was hated by the people who wanted to rebel and overthrow the rule of Rome, because he had no problem with giving tribute money or paying taxes. "Render unto Caesar" doesn't fit the profile of a rebel. Most of the other "messiahs" that people promoted wanted Rome gone, which is why most of them were crucified. Jesus, on the other hand, was crucified because the mob was unruly, and Pilate couldn't let Rome know that he wasn't in control of the province or he'd be replaced. If he didn't crucify Jesus the people would rebel, even though he didn't want to crucify Jesus because he found no fault with him.

      Lastly, Jesus treated women with respect. No other "messiah" of that time would be caught dead talking to women in public, much less talking to and teaching women about the Law of Moses. It just was not done in this time period, yet there are plenty of examples of Jesus doing that very thing.

      There are other indicators that Jesus was both unique to the time period and a real person, despite whether or not anyone believes in a resurrection. It wasn't "someone else", sorry.

    • syzygyastro profile image

      William J. Prest 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Ultimately, I don't think we will ever have the full answer. It was too long ago and there have been several disasters, natural and man made that have covered a lot of tracks long since cold. However, that does not mean we should give up any research project. Who knows what we may yet find.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Interesting. I've always thought the most sense theory is that the Biblical Jesus is a make up of the several other guys named Jesus who were running around at the time. I wonder if we'll ever really know? But it's interesting. Nice hub.

    • profile image

      Κανένας 4 years ago


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