On the Historicity of Jesus

montalk.net » 16 November 11

This Research Note is for those who need clarification regarding my position on the historical existence of Jesus Christ, since I mention Christ quite a bit in my Gnosis articles.

Did Jesus actually exist? Common answers include:

A) Yes, he was everything the Bible says he was. Jesus was God’s only begotten Son, whom the Lord sent to die for our sins.

B) Yes, but he was just an ordinary man, at most the leader of a Jewish rebellion against Roman authorities.

C) No, Jesus was a complete fabrication assembled from various pagan sun-god myths of the time.

The first is based solely on the word of the Bible and associated texts. It’s my observation that those who believe the Bible or any religious text is 100% the “Word of God” are reasoning from programmed and unquestioned root assumptions and flawed logic. But if that gives them moral strength in life, then good for them.

The second “historical” or “factual” interpretation ignores all the occult, metaphysical, and spiritual dimensions of the Christ phenomenon that indicate there is indeed something to it. This is a popular view held by atheists and secular historians who have an overly narrow definition of what constitutes proof. The actual scholarly research on the historicity of Jesus is interesting and has been the subject of many books, but it’s very limited and doesn’t do enough sleuthing into the metaphysical to get the bigger picture.

And the third fails to separate the historical and occult “signal” from the religious and political “noise” when it comes to the institutionalized portrayal of the character we know as Jesus Christ. Typically this view is held by those who hold a grudge against organized Christianity for its manipulative, spiritually oppressive nature. That includes those who have been clued into the ritualistic pagan aspects of Christianity, as showcased by Zeitgeist, Acharyah S., David Icke, and others. I agree with their observations overall, but it seems they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Instead of doing the usual academic routine (discussing Tacitus, Suetonius, etc…) here I will give a more holistic, abductive, nonlinear line of reasoning. My view on the matter is as follows.

It’s a lot easier to hijack something than to fabricate it. Instead of inventing a totally non-existent character of Jesus Christ and selling that product to the masses, it makes more sense that the authorities would consolidate already existing paradigms into a single system. The purpose of such a system would be to portray these authorities as divinely sanctioned.

Assimilated paradigms included Mithraism, Greek Neo-Platonism, and Judaism. For instance, the solar/zodiacal elements in Christianity came from Mithraism and related pagan systems. But these are just auxiliary additions, not the core nucleus of Christianity. The nucleus is the original Christian system, which existed alongside the other elements prior to their combined assimilation into an organized religion.

All of these elements were then glued together by the authors of the New Testament, who added various rationalizations, logical sleights of hand, fabricated backstory, and gaudy superstitious elements to create a belief system that would appeal to the widest audience. The Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John were variations of the same story further customized for Greek, Jewish, and Roman audiences.

Thus the New Testament is a patchwork of truth and lies. The original pre-assimilation Christianity is buried in there somewhere. How can it be found? By stripping away the rationalizations, sleights of hand, superstitious miracles, pagan symbolism, etc… This is done the same way one approaches any potential source of disinformation; you look for logical fallacies and attempts at persuasion that would play into a negative agenda. When those are removed, only the following remain:

  • The wisdom-teachings of Jesus, including sayings and parables. These do not benefit any human authority, their spiritual worth is self-evident, and they correlate with metaphysical/occult principles.
  • The Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus gave Buddhist-like alternatives to the ignorant form of morality and justice espoused in the Old Testament. The spiritual truth of these is also self-evident, or at least testable and observable in life.
  • Stories of Jesus healing people and casting out demons. These “miracles” are entirely performable by anyone today with the proper knowledge. Healing and negative entity removal are common practices. Contrast this with walking on water, turning water into wine, or bread into fish, which are cheap tricks inserted by the New Testament authors to wow the superstitious.

Another reason why not everything in the New Testament is fabricated, is that there are portions that seem to be reported as given, without commentary, and with an unstated sense of befuddlement, as if the New Testament authors themselves didn’t know what to make of it and simply passed it along. For instance, Jesus healing a blind man by mixing spit with mud and putting it on his eyes. Such an act possesses an internal logic that escaped the authors, but is logical to anyone who understands etheric energy and its role in healing. There are elements in both the Old and New Testament that are too obtuse, mysterious, or inexplicable to the audience to serve a persuasive function. Fabricators write to ensnare the widest audience, meaning everything they write is done with design, purpose, and intent, so as to be loud and clear for the intended target. Obtuse descriptions go against that principle, indicating they are externally sourced, and the authors were probably just passing along eyewitness testimony, oral tradition, or folklore.

Similarly, since organized Christianity was engineered to control the masses, if it were entirely fabricated it would make no sense that there should be elements in the New Testament that undermine or fail to substantiate such control. That these elements exist, and are in conflict with other elements, suggests the authors were forced to include them. That can only be because they were attempting to hijack an already existing burgeoning movement whose contents they could not suppress and instead had to absorb.

And as it turns out, the only elements in the New Testament that subvert or fail to validate the Church/State are the aforementioned sayings and parables of Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount, and the healing/exorcism examples, which scholars have determined are the oldest and thus most original parts of the New Testament. Everything else, including Jesus being born of a virgin, dying for our sins, being the only begotten son of God, the Twelve Apostles and betrayal by Judas, perhaps even the story of crucifixion and resurrection, etc… serve the negative agenda in some way, or else are derivations of Mithraic/Pagan/Occult symbolism added on after the fact.

It’s unfortunate that what defines the modern fundamentalist Christian mindset is belief in precisely these artificial, deviatory, ultimately un-Christian elements, often to the ignorance of the true portions. Example: street corner fundamentalists who push John 3:16 but ignore John 14:12.

And it’s equally unfortunate that those who rightly observe that the modern version of Jesus Christ is a hoax end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater and say that no Jesus of any type ever existed. If that were true, then where exactly did those sayings, parables, teachings, and healing accounts come from? They didn’t come from the Church/State, as they were already circulating before being assimilated and don’t serve the Church/State in any way. And they weren’t pure inventions of folklore either since folklore merely embellishes history; as much as Santa Claus is made up, he is based on a real Saint Nicholas, though one who was very different from the Santa we know today. Whether Jesus Christ or Santa Claus, something with a historical basis passed over into oral tradition and folklore.

What can be said from all the above, is that there once existed a mystic, a sage, a spiritual rebel, who performed healings, taught a certain system of spirituality, and gave prophetic knowledge about the origins and fate of the world. He left behind a legacy that propagated through folklore and secret oral transmission. A cult grew up around this figure and his legacy began to snowball. Within a half century it was co-opted into serving as the nucleus of an engineered religion, and the rest is history.

Therefore we must turn to the sayings, teachings, and parables that predate the writing of the New Testament. Scholars have given these a name: the “Q” source (Q for Quelle, German word for “source”, thus a generic title) which is a hypothesized document containing the original sayings of Jesus. Of course it’s ridiculous to think it had to be a document since it could just as well have been a secret oral tradition. In any case, the closest thing we have to the “Q” source is the Gospel of Thomas, which is a collection of the purported sayings of Jesus. There is some dispute over when it was written. Even if written later, the content indicates it is a setting down of an older oral tradition.

Over 80% of the Gospel of Thomas can be found distributed throughout the New Testament, but padded and deviated with the aforementioned artifices. The Gospel of Thomas contains all the meat and none of the dressing found in the New Testament. It is fundamentally subversive to the religious power structure, and it is of Gnostic disposition, including the 80% that are in the Bible. Thus the New Testament contains a Gnostic nucleus. The rest contains a mix of genuine wisdom from other sources and corruption with malicious intent.

The historical context and timing of these teachings, as well as their spiritual content and direction, says something about the role of the original Jesus Christ. It’s very similar to the role of other avatars such as Gautama Buddha. As I proposed in my Gnosis series, Jesus was an advanced soul who incarnated as a human in order to become a living vessel for a higher divine intelligence. There is a difference between Jesus the man and Christ the higher consciousness that became active in him, and can become active in us. The end goal of his legacy was for each of us to do likewise, and that is the basis of Gnostic belief. It was his intent that we follow in his example and succeed him, whereas the corrupted version of Christianity demands we remain in his shadow on our knees.

The Gnostics, more than any other sect in history, have suffered the greatest and harshest persecution by the Church. It is both ironic and expected that those who were closest to the original Christian teachings would become the greatest targets of those who hijacked the teachings. The greatest threat to any simulacrum is the original.

Further Reading

Synoptic Gospels

Q Source

Gospel of Thomas (Discussion)

Gospel of Thomas (Text)

The Parables of Jesus

The Sermon on the Mount

Why Christians Can’t Disregard the Gospel of Thomas

Dating the New Testament

Also see my Gnosis Series