Christianity invented by Romans as Psy-Ops campaign?

I recently came across an article posted by a friend on Facebook that claims that Christianity was invented by the Romans as a “Psy-Ops” campaign against the Jews.
Link to article: rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/10/bible-scholar-christianity-invented-as-part-of-ancient-roman-psy-ops-campaign/.
How would one respond to something as ridiculous as this?

The Romans did not invent Christianity. In fact they hated it for they saw Christ as competition for their “Emperor Worship” I don’t think they had much love for faithful Jews either, since there were probably Jews that would not worship the Emperor or even simulate such a thing. Remember 2Maccabees?

There was another thread about this yesterday. Basically, it’s based on the “findings” of one guy who wants to believe that Christ never existed, despite the myriad of extra-biblical sources confirming his existence, one of the primary being a Jewish scholar who certainly wouldn’t have been helping the Romans in their campaign.

I’d ignore it, people who try to deny that Jesus existed have about as much attachment to reality as I have to the far side of the moon. (i.e. absolutely none whatsoever :p)

I showed an article about this to two of my Scripture professors here at the seminary. One of them pointed out that the man who has originated this supposition is not a scholar at all, that he has no academic credentials in Scripture, and that the material he sources (Josephus) actually affirms what Christianity has to say, and not the opposite. I personally rate the claim as second most unbelievable theory about Jesus not existing, after the one (I’m not making this up, there really was a book to this effect years back) which holds that Jesus was a codename for a magic mushroom fertility cult.

-ACEGC

Ask them just how much weed they smoke.

So the Romans came up with the idea that would ultimately completely undermine their empire and bring about it’s final demise?
AND they came up with a set of beliefs that would withstand 2000 years of attacks starting from their own government?

How do they explain the persecutions? Do they write them off as miths?
I guess they must have paid St. Peter a lot of money to play the part of the Bishop of Rome.
Oh! wait did they not crucify him also?

Some people do really need to lay off the heavy stuff. It’s a proven fact that it fries the brain :rolleyes:

It is easier for me to believe to someone stating seeing pink flying elephants :stuck_out_tongue:

http://www.corebrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/016-225x300.jpg

I think they were using some thing harder . . . :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh! You mean I’m not supposed to see pink flying elephants? I guess I’m gonna have to shoo Dumbo out of here. Sure will miss him though:shrug: And to think I don’t even drink alcoholic beverages!

Refutations of Joseph Atwill

evidenceforchristianity.org/do-you-have-a-response-to-the-work-of-joseph-atwill-the-roman-conspiracy-to-invent-jesus

tektonics.org/books/csmessrvw.html

Ceasar’s Messiah Conspiracy Theory is Easily Refuted

A sensational headline is making its way around the internet: Ancient Confession Found: ‘We Invented Jesus Christ.’ Accordingly, I have received quite a few messages about this new “Covert Messiah” claim by conspiracy theorist Joseph Atwill. This is actually old hat from Atwill who authored the book Ceasar’s Messiah back in 2005. The overall thesis is that the Roman Emperor Titus conspired to invent a new religion that would pacify the population rendering them easy to govern. As Atwill spins his yarn, Titus enlisted the help of Flavius Josephus who left various clues in his works that Atwill has ever so shrewdly decoded for us less perceptive readers. Of course, this raises lots of obvious questions about why the Roman’s were feeding Christian to the lions and banishing them from Rome as recorded by Suetonius. But more fundamentally, it seems that Atwill misunderstands Jesus:

[quote]When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare. They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system. That’s when the ‘peaceful’ Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to ‘give onto Caesar’ and pay their taxes to Rome.1

]

The fact that the Roman’s were the ones that crucified Jesus seems to escape Atwill. A superficial reading of the Gospels might seem to support his conspiracy theory but Jesus was fundamentally hostile to the pagan world system. He was not, and is not, a pacifist. Speaking of Jesus, the book of Revelation strongly controverts the claim:

“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”(Re 19:15

)

“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”(Re 19:15)

This passage from the Gospel of Matthew below hardly fits the profile that Atwill attempts to shoehorn Jesus into:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”(Mt 10:34–37

)

Jesus asked for unqualified allegiance, something even the most venerated rabbi did not claim. The central point of the teaching above is that love of God and his kingdom must take precedence over every other human relationship including the Roman Empire. This is why the early Christians were willing to lay down their lives rather than worship Caesar as a god. This is why Paul was martyred (interestingly before Atwill’s theory has even been launched) and that fact brings up the most egregious fallacy in the theory: he assumes Jesus was “created” post AD 70.

Archeologists have dated many of Paul’s letters long before AD 70. 1 Corinthians is a prime example containing data that solidly dates to around AD 55. He wrote it from Ephesus during his third missionary journey. Paul was nearing the end of his stay and making plans to leave (1 Cor. 16:5–8). We can be certain of the date because Paul appeared before the Roman governor Gallio in Achaia in Acts 18:12–17, and his appearance, probably in AD 51, provides a firm date for determining the chronology of his ministry. A statue with an inscription preserves the fact the Gallio served in the region from AD 51-53 a detail consistent with Paul’s writings. This undesigned coincidence demonstrates the authenticity of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians which amongst other things, discusses Jesus resurrection from the dead, the central truth claim of the Gospel.

For this reason, even the most critical scholars date 1 Corinthians to AD 55. 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 contains the account of the resurrection a full eighteen years before Atwill’s conspiracy theory was said to be launched. This video explains an early creed that falsifies the Ceasar’s Messiah hypothesis:

youtube.com/watch?v=DL1bDzq5zg4

This latest “discovery” appears to be an attempt to revive the largely discredited and dismissed conspiracy theory. Atwill’s new evidence is to be revealed October 19th. I expect that historians and scholars will shred it in a matter of days.
[/quote]

1 John 4 prophesied all of this. The “information age” simply accelerates it.

Catholic apologist Trent Horn answers a question about Joseph Atwill’s claim that the Romans invented Jesus

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=829536

The Romans invented Christianity and then a lot of Jews named Peter, James, Paul, et al allowed themselves to be executed proclaiming the resurrection of a nonexistent man just to make it stick. Makes perfect sense to me.:shrug:

What is it about “we believe on the blood of the martyrs” that people don’t understand? Peter and all the others who knew Jesus didn’t die proclaiming a “belief”; they died proclaiming an historical fact. Jesus who had died on the cross resurrected. Doubt anything else, but no other group of people have ever died for an historical reality.

There are people out there that like to combat wacky conspiracy theories, but I’m not one of them. Its much easier to believe a faith that’s got all the history and documentation on its side, rather than another dime a dozen wack job idea attacking Christianity.

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