Explaining the historical ‘Jesus' (and the Christian religion) in three easy steps
A simple primer that sums up my argument for the existence of an ‘historical Joshua' (note that ‘Jesus' is a mistranslation) and also sums up my dispute with the churches over that ‘Christian theology' (which is also a ‘mistranslation', and an oxymoron- An oxymoron consists of two words that contradict each other)
Step One : Someone is crucified, which means that they were tortured to death by ruthless oppressors. It is worth noting here that ‘Christianity' emerged after one century of slave revolts in the Roman Empire. Close to six thousand slaves were crucified en masse as a deterrent to further revolt within the Roman Empire. The story begins to spread that one these torture victims was rescued by God by being raised from the dead, and the popularity of the new movement alarms the Roman Empire.
Step Two : If you can't beat them, join them. When it becomes clear that the story is not going to disappear, the same social group of ruthless oppressors decide to co-opt the movement. Such a strategy contains within itself certain difficulties as the movement has its central symbol that of crucified victim of the oppressor, combined with the humiliating imagery of the victims of oppression being rescued by God. (The symbolic meaning of the crucifix could be put in to words as follows - Caesar crucifies slaves, but God raises his victims from the dead.) It might seem an impossible task to co-opt such a movement and transform into an instrument of the religious right and the state, but this is accomplished through the work of theologians, who create ever more elaborate mythology which they systematically employ to hide the fact that a crucifix is an instrument of torture. They borrow heavily from elements of Greek metaphysical philosophy and Egyptian mythology, and eventually they are able to create a pro-torture genocidal doctrine that completely transforms the meaning of a crucifix. In the end their efforts at destroying the movement from within are so successful that the religion they create is adopted as the official religion of the state. It becomes the theology of the oppressor for centuries afterwards, and is typical of oppressors and systems of fascism, total ‘orthodoxy' in thought and speech is demanded, as oppressors once again use the crucifix as instrument of terror with which to threaten the people with the most extreme forms of torture and genocide if they commit ‘heresy' and refuse obedience to the religious and state authorities. In this transformed state the crucifix proves to be a much more effective tool of oppression than it was when it was employed as crude club by the same oppressors before theology was invented. Their ‘Jesus' becomes divine, and thus the ultimate authoritarian, and proceeds to rule with the unquestioned power of a god over various systems of brutal oppression and exploitation as the partner of Caesar, monarchs, feudal landlords and various other such dominant elements of society.
Step Three : All churches, including what are called ‘main line' or ‘liberal' churches, continue to use the elements of this theology, thus normalizing the doctrine and in the end paving a road for the religious right, which is then able to achieve the same dominance throughout history that can be seen today. Critics show up who make a note of the fact that the Christian theology consists of an amalgam of ancient mythology borrowed from various cultures, and from this they conclude that since the theological mythology is concocted, which is so obviously the truth, therefore there was no ‘historical Jesus'. Much like so many churches they fail to notice the presence at the very center of that system of, a crucifix, which is an instrument of torture and brutal oppression. They fail to understand the symbolic meaning of such a symbol, and therefore do not understand the contradiction that exists between the symbol and the theology, so that in refuting all that mythology they claim to be refuting the existence of an ‘historical Joshua', but this is a logical fallacy, since disproving a myth does not disprove any historical event that might have spurred the development of the myth (it is typical that legends are found to have originated in historical events, and so therefore it is fallacious to claim that one can discount history by discounting mythology, in particular when you consider that there were very good reasons to cook up mythology in this instance).
Some assorted commentary
Another typical argument employed by the debunkers of Christian mythology is that there is no historical evidence of the existence of any such ‘Jesus'. In refutation of this argument I offer myself up as an ‘object lesson' in the workings of systems of oppression, for you see, you can exist and you can be erased and expunged both at the same time. One of the consequences of facing determined oppressors is that you are always forced to go back to the very beginning, and start over again right from scratch, and attempt to tell your story back from the very beginning, starting over and over and over again. I notice this myself all the time. I have no history. I do not exist. As an example of this I could speak about evidence which is suppressed and kept hidden from people, thus being expunged from the ‘official historical record.' Now the evidence is not completely expunged, and it still exists in ‘unofficial forms', but it is characteristic of the argument from absence that the lack of ‘official evidence' is evidence for the lack of evidence. Such an argument displays an ignorance of how systems of official oppression operate and there is this naive assumption being made that systems of oppression do not exist and that they do not oppress, therefore there should be ‘official evidence', and if there is not, and if only ‘unofficial evidence' is found this is said to be highly suspicious and therefore evidence for the lack of any worthwhile evidence. Actually it is just evidence for systemic oppression.
Allow me to give you an example of what I mean. In the past I have spoken of events as Banff National Park, and the appearance of these unusual flying craft. The same flying craft appeared on a live television broadcast two days after the Summit of the Americas in 2001. The craft was filmed by the Space Shuttle Camera and accidentally broadcast live to the world by NASA. About five weeks after the incident, in June 2001, there was one small leak that came out of NASA. Offsite link on the BBC: UFO Video goes to Hollywood - a quote from the article: "officials at NASA are said to have asked to examine the tape, because they believe it shows the same type of craft once spotted by the space agency's own cameras during a space shuttle mission." As we now know, NASA has been offered a big carrot, in the form of a very expensive trip to Mars, and so it is understandable that we now have hypocritical space scientists who keep their mouths shut and participate in systems of brutal oppression so they can not anger their political overlords, and thus they will be able to ‘go to Mars.'
Now if I were to attempt to tell my story to someone, first I must go all the way back to the beginning and start over each and every time, this official void being created for that very purpose, and no doubt I will be met with extreme skepticism and evidence will be demanded from me to back up such an unusual story. When there is no official evidence to be found the claim can then be made that since there is no official evidence there is no evidence, but this is not the truth, since there is evidence and there is also systemic oppression which ruthlessly works to conceal all the evidence, thus explaining why the evidence cannot be found. There is ‘unofficial evidence', but as in the case of that ‘historical Joshua', such evidence is discounted by critics, who demand official evidence, which they would be very unlikely to find for the reasons I am pointing out to you here. Thus the system of ruthless oppression reaches its intended goal, which is to create the type of people who demand official evidence and don't find any official evidence and thus participate in systems of oppression by destroying unofficial evidence. The process is circular and self reinforcing which then explains why it is done that way.
Another example of the same sort of thing is what I call my ‘intelligent design experiment', which is producing remarkable and interesting results. Once again there is only ‘unofficial evidence'. The way this works is that later critics will come along and debunk the unofficial evidence on the grounds that they require official evidence, which was not forthcoming, thus proving how there wasn't any evidence.
Now you might not be familiar with the whole story, and I am not going to tell you the whole story, because that would mean that once again I would have to go back to the beginning and start over again, starting over and over and over again right from the very beginning. I also won't have any official evidence, which will be a problem for me, since all I have is the unofficial evidence, which people think untrustworthy, unlike the ‘official evidence', which they are naive enough to consider trustworthy.
It is characteristic of systems of oppression to resort to ever increasing levels of oppression at times goes on, since to turn away from oppression would expose oppression, and thus discredit the oppressors. For this reason they will be found stumbling into a snare from which they cannot escape and which eventually threatens to ruin them should they be unsuccessful in maintaining their system of oppression.
Understanding how this process works is critical if a person is to make any sense out of human history.
When I look at human society what I see are a collection of lab rats who are the subjects of an experiment designed to condition them to respond in a certain way. A lab rat might be conditioned to push the red lever but never, under any circumstances, must that lab rat go any near the green lever. After some persistent training you can create a collection of lab rats who diligently avoid the green lever. Let us assume that the green lever opens the cage door and allows those lab rats to beat a hasty retreat and escape from captivity and further experimentation. One can see how pushing the green lever would be a good idea, but such well trained lab rats will diligently avoid the green lever, and will also refuse to respond to repeated appeals to push the green lever, because that would be wrong.
How deep and how wide is the system of ruthless oppression on this planet? It is so deep and so wide, that it even defies the high heavens in its attempt to hang onto its indoctrinated slaves. Looking at things from this side of the chasm, I find that system of oppression to be quite idiotic and blind. The rewards it offers to those who participate and benefit from its oppression are remarkably paltry, but given that we are studying a conditioned lab rat here, one must suppose that when the rat pushes the red lever, as it has been so persistently trained to do, and it gets a small reward for having done so, the conditioned lab rat assumes that this paltry reward was really something big, and thus to keep those ‘rewards' coming that lab rat will be found pumping away at that red lever right to the bitter end to keep those wonderful ‘rewards' coming. The truth, symbolized by the green lever, which cannot be touched, will be incomprehensible to such a trained lab rat. To such a lab rat, the truth sounds like stupid nonsense, and this behavior pattern persists even when evidence is produced to demonstrate that this so called ‘stupid nonsense' is in fact the truth, and therefore the lab rat is living a lie.