Joseph Atwill, a self-proclaimed Biblical scholar recently announced he has discovered the metaphorical Holy Grail of non-believers and proclaims that when it is revealed, Christianity will be shaken to its core.
The controversial American Biblical scholar claims to have discovered ancient confessions “that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats and that they fabricated the entire story of Jesus Christ.”
Atwill has planned a day long symposium, “Covert Messiah,” to present the findings on October 19 in London, England.
In a press release earlier this month, Atwill declared that he has purported evidence that will support his theory that Jesus Christ was a myth created by the Romans to keep their territory and its people under control. Described as “psychological warfare,” it was a measure that was supposed to give Roman citizens a purpose and hope to distract them from problems faced by the kingdom. The main mission of the Roman emperors was to control the masses by creating a faith system people cannot question. The “Covert Messiah” website claims often people are misled by “by false ideas, false histories, and false gods circulated by the power elite.”
Atwill is confident the public will accept his hypothesis over time.
Atwill is a stern supporter of the view that in order to control chaos and secure social order, government often creates false histories and false claims. He supported this view by including the example of The Church’s disaffection towards science during the middle ages.
The press release consists of many allegations such that the Jewish population of Rome were tired of waiting for their Messiah to come and became violent. The advent of Jesus Christ was a competing story preaching of peace rather than violence.
Atwill’s theory is based on the study of “Wars of the Jews” against the New Testament. “Wars of Jews,” by Josephus, is the only surviving first-person account of first-century Judea.
One of Atwill’s critics, Professor James Crossely of the University of Sheffield, insists James Atwill is a sensationalist, not an academic, and these kinds of allegations are not taken very seriously in the academic community.