Some historians now believe that the kingdom of “all Israel” never existed and that Israel and Judah emerged separately. In 722 BC Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians and its sacred writings to El were subsequently combined with similar Judean scriptures to Yahweh. These were further combined in about 622 BC with Deuteronomy when this long lost Book of Moses was supposedly “rediscovered” in the Temple. The German scholar, De Wette, described the “rediscovery” as a “pious fraud”.
In 586 BC Judah was conquered by the Babylonians who in turn fifty years later were conquered by the Persians who made Palestine a province in 458 BC. This, therefore, marks the real beginnings of Judaism a combination of the declining Yahweh cult and Persia’s official religion. Zoroastrianism.
Zoroastrianism introduced to the Jews the concept of a god of love whose good would triumph over the Devil’s evil. Heaven was for the righteous and Hell for the wicked. Zoroastrianism also introduced the concepts of angelology, the soul, a Messiah, Resurrection and a Judgement Day. “Paradise” is derived from the Persian for an “idyllic afterlife” – “Pairidaeza”.
The archaeologist, John Romer, in his work Testament, writes:
“The influence of ideas that once filled the mysterious faith of ancient Persia runs through the Old Testament and continues well into the pages of the New Testament; an influence that leaves a trace even in the words of Jesus. “
In 332 BC, Palestine was conquered by Alexander the Great and a Greek influenced Jewish priesthood eventually emerged, the Sadducees. In 152 BC the Jewish Maccabean uprising occurred, out of which emerged the Pharisees whose apocalyptic ideas stemmed from the Book of Daniel. E.E. Kellett in his History of Religion states that “it was, as is now fully acknowledged, from the Pharisees that Christianity drew much of its inspiration.”
A third group also emerged — the Essenes — who introduced the concept of a holy community temporarily replacing the “perverted” Temple worship of the Sadducees.
Kellett describes the apocalyptic philosophy’s development:
“The idea of a ‘new heaven and a new Earth’ had hitherto been materialistic. A gradual transformation of this view look place in the last century before Christ, and prepared the way for his ideas. Apocalyptic ideas asserted a catastrophic end of the world. It is needless to prove that this conception, also, was taken over by early Christianity.”
The first Christians were probably Essenes living in Jerusalem called Naasenes or Nazarenes. The Essene Dead Sea Scrolls describe a schism between the followers of the Essene leader, the “Righteous One”, who strictly adhered to the Law of Moses and a breakaway group led by the “Wicked Priest” who wanted faith to replace Jewish Law.
This parallels the New Testament schism between the Jewish Christians of James the Just and the Greek Gentile Christians of Paul. The New Testament refers to Jesus as the “Righteous One” and is the only non-Essenian literature to use their term for the Devil “Belial”. Jesus, James the Just’s brother, clearly says: “Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Law. I did not come to abolish but to complete.” (Matt. 5:17 20). But Paul claims: “Christ bought us freedom from the curse of the law”! (Gal. 3:8-18)!
Similarly, the conflicting genealogies of Jesus attempt to show that Jesus was virgin born and descended from the Jewish “House of David”. Jesus confirmed his Judaistic cause in Matthew (15:24 26): “I was sent to the lost sheep of Israel and to them alone”.
Christians claim that Jesus’s so-called “Doctrine of Love” is unique, but Zoroastrianism’s god was a god of love and the Old Testament Book of Leviticus says “Love they neighbour as thyself”. (Levi. 19:18). Rabbi Hillel, the Liberal Pharisee who died in AD 9 preached “Love thine enemies”. Jesus later hijacked the phrase, falsely claiming the Old Testament said “Love your neighbour, hate your enemy”. This is curious given Jesus’s own statements: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, he cannot be a disciple of mine” (Matt. 5:43-44). In fact, some disciples of Jesus were Zealot insurrectionists. At Gethsemane, some disciples were armed with swords and one attacked the High Priest’s servant.
The accounts of Jesus’s life are all riddled with numerous contradictions. For example, Matthew claims that Jesus was born before Herod’s death in 4 BC but Luke says the birth occurred when Cyrenius governed from AD 6.
Given the many contradictions it’s no surprise that there is not one genuine contemporary account of Jesus’s life. As Gibbon says in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:
“During the age of Christ the lame walked, the blind saw, the sick were healed, the dead were raised, demons were expelled but the sages of Greece and Rome appeared unconscious of any alteration in the moral or physical government of the world.”
Christianity’s real founder was Paul. His writings which make up 44 percent of New Testament were written many years before the Gospels.
In AD70. the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, its Temple and dispersed the Jews. Four years later they overran the Fortress of Masada and 960 Zealots committed suicide.
This final destruction of the Jewish Messianic movement meant that their doctrines were totally reversed. The Gentile Christians made their Holy Community, as symbolized by Jesus, a permanent Temple replacement. Jesus promised salvation in the next world and Mosaic Law was replaced by faith in Jesus as the central doctrine.
Christianity survived by accommodating Rome’s influence on its teachings. Hence the whitewashing of Pilate’s role in Jesus’s death. In AD 325 the Council of Nicae fixed the Canon of the New Testament. The Emperor Constantine arbitrarily decided the location of Jesus’s birth, death and ascension, and built a church on each site.
Professors Eisenman and Wise in their work The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered state that some Essenes were known as “The Children of Salvation”. The Hebrew for “salvation” is “yesha” – and the noun “yeshuato” means “his salvation” (“his” = “Righteous One”) — and “Yeshua” is Hebrew for Jesus. Eisenman and Wise further state: “The personification of this concept in the Gospel can be considered a most revolutionary development and one that has not ceased exercising its influence on mankind even now.”
The Dead Sea Scrolls referred to were suppressed for 40 years because, as Eisenman and Wise state, it is impossible to distinguish them from the doctrines of the Jewish Christians. Christianity’s origins in the violent xenophobic Jewish Messianic movement contrast vividly with the demure picture painted by today’s Christians. Today’s Christians may equate “Loving your neighbour” with the so-called socialism of the Labour Party, but as has been shown such sentiments did not even originate with Christianity. As Socialist and Materialists we reject the notion that our destiny is ultimately determined by something outside the material world. The ideas that the existence of a complex universe presupposes the existence of an even more complex creator/designer/god — whose own existence does not — answers nothing.