Let’s just go back to the drawing board, leave aside all of the assumptions of Christian history, look at the texts afresh, consider every possibility, and open the whole game up. By doing that we’ll see that Christianity is really paganism by a different name.
Some of the Bible scholars are mavericks working outside the restrictions of mainstream religious institutions. This allows them the freedom to provide fresh insights and draw some startling conclusions about how Christianity was formed.
And for Joseph Atwill the key lies in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the only Jewish literature ever discovered from the first century AD or CE… the time Jesus would have been preaching among the Jews. The characters in the Dead Sea Scrolls were militaristic and you can see that this movement wanted to push the foreigners out of Israel; they were fundamentalists, whereas the characters of the Gospels are different.
They’re pacifistic, they’re turning the other cheek, they’re giving the Caesar what is Caesar’s. How did a movement like Christianity come to exist in a region that was occupied by Roman soldiers and had Jewish zealots within it that were going to push these Romans out? How was that possible?
Joseph began studying the other two major works of that era, The ‘New testament’ and the ‘Wars of the Jews‘ by Josephus, a Roman court historian who described the war between the Romans and the Jews in the first century. While reading these works side by side he noticed an amazing connection between them.
Certain events from the ministry of Jesus seem to closely parallel episodes from the military campaign of Titus Flavius. A campaign which took place forty years after Jesus supposedly lived. Joseph’s efforts to understand these connections led him to an incredible discovery. Christianity had been invented by a little known family of Roman Caesars, the Flavians, and they left us documents to prove it.