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Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  153 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Caesar's Messiah, a real life Da Vinci Code, presents the dramatic and controversial discovery that the conventional views of Christian origins may be wrong. Author Joseph Atwill makes the case that the Christian Gospels were actually written under the direction of first-century Roman emperors. The purpose of these texts was to establish a peaceful Jewish sect to counterba ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 27th 2005 by Ulysses Press (first published April 15th 2005)
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Matt Kimball
Oct 24, 2013 Matt Kimball rated it liked it
The central thesis of Caesar's Messiah is that the Gospels of the Bible were written -- and the character of Jesus Christ was created -- by Roman intellectuals under the direction of Caesar Titus Flavius primarily with the intention of domesticating the Messianic Jewish movements which were resisting Roman occupation of Judea in the First Century, and secondarily with the intention of subverting the Jewish faith such that observants would be unknowingly worshipping Titus Flavius as a god through ...more
Asamatteroffact Glesmann
Apr 06, 2009 Asamatteroffact Glesmann rated it really liked it

It's extremely difficult for me to judge the truth/accuracy of the reasoning in this book because I don't think I have enough expertise on 1st Century Roman history. But of all the attempts to uncover the origins of christianity - this book presents one of the most plausible explanations that I'm aware of. Probably a minority of people think (as I do) that Jesus of the New Testament is a mythological character - NOT an actual historical figure. And probably the majority within that minority beli

Ross Wilkins
Aug 09, 2014 Ross Wilkins rated it really liked it
I would have to say that I'm slightly biased in my religious background to review this book fairly. I have to say that I grew up forced to read the Bible cover to cover into my mid twenties. I even took a Christian/Bible based tour through the "Promised Land" to see the scrolls and locations -including Masada. I was raised believing the scriptures to be literally the word straight from god. Anyways, I'm currently an atheist, I have always felt the Bible had a dark secret it was keeping, and now ...more
Paul Cockshott
Nov 01, 2013 Paul Cockshott rated it really liked it
The book is an analysis of the origins of Christianity as a Roman state sponsored religion. In a remarkably innovative bit of close textual analysis he demonstrates that Josephus Jewish War, and the New Testament were joint works written to mutually support one another. Taken together the New Testament makes prophecies about the downfall of Judaism and Josephus portrays the apparently miraculous acting out of the manufactured prophecies. The author reveals dozens of close thematic and chronologi ...more
Gintas Kamaitis
Oct 14, 2012 Gintas Kamaitis added it
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to dig deeper into the true origins of Christianity
Recommended to Gintas by: podcast by Gnostic media
A very thought provoking book. Since I already had a basic knowledge of John Allegro's work with the Dead Sea scrolls, I found this book very interesting. It certainly explains how a religion with a solid foundation in the Torah and rabbinical tradition, does not have a single historical document or other contemporary account written in Aramaic or Hebrew. Ironically all accounts by Jesus' Jewish apostles were recorded in Latin or Greek, who with the exception of Paul probably had very little kno ...more
Sep 09, 2013 Marc rated it did not like it
The premise of the book was intriguing, but it's execution was horrible. Atwill uses slippery language ("some believe"--who exactly is left unanswered) and fallacious arguments, despite his profession of "logic."

For example, when trying to reconcile the 4 Gospels, he says only those able to think "intelligently and logically" (135-135) will get the "comedy of errors (142)." He then abandons implicit insults and comes right out with ad hominems: Only those who "are illogical will believe that the
Mark Edon
Oct 27, 2013 Mark Edon rated it liked it
I have no knowledge here. I am taking it as read that he isn't distorting the text or choosing versions to suit his case whilst ignoring others, on the perhaps ropey assumption that he wouldn’t get away with it. If anyone knows any different than please let me know.

His main technique seems to be reading the various descriptions of events side by side and so spotting variations on a theme in stories that at first glance are not related. He concentrate on the concepts and timelines of he stories
Chris Wilkinson
Dec 19, 2013 Chris Wilkinson rated it really liked it
At times it read too much like at academic thesis, and was hard to sit through for long periods of time. However, there were some very compelling theories and ideas that make sense. I'd love to see this vetted by another biblical scholar and other works on the topic. The Bible after all was written by human hands so there isn't a large leap of faith for me to understand it as a propaganda piece to pacify a violent group of religious zealots. The ironic parallels presented between New Testament a ...more
Feb 08, 2014 Peahen rated it liked it
This book is probably more for serious scholars of Early Christian History. From the perspective of this amateur, it was very thought provoking, but I would like to accompany it with other either supportive or critical works. Unfortunately, at this point I've only found people attacking the author directly, and not addressing his evidence or the facts themselves.

I don't know if this book could have been organized better. He is presenting the gospels and "The War of the Jews" as a synthesis, so t
Psilo Crosse
Jan 11, 2014 Psilo Crosse rated it it was amazing
This book is really good. If you want to find out what Christianity and perhaps organized religion in general is all about read this study.
Danielle Reilly
Jan 28, 2009 Danielle Reilly is currently reading it
A bit difficult to get through thus far as the book reads like a thesis, but highly interesting subject matter.
Jan 08, 2014 Pablo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pe scurt, scriitorul exploreaza o ipoteza care sustine ca personajul Iisus si religia crestina au fost create de familia imperiala Flavia prin imparatii Vespasian, Titus si Domitian, care incercau sa inabuse revoltele fara sfarsit ale evreilor. Alegerea lor a fost sa "editeze" un pic religia mozaica, oferind un leader (mesia) pasnic in loc de unul razboinic, scopul luptei lor devenind din independenta evreilor si a statului iudaic - o "salvare" pe lumea cealalta. Daca evreii credeau cu sfintenie ...more
Apr 07, 2012 Sabi rated it did not like it
In "Caesar's Messiah" Joseph Atwill presents a grand hypothesis which is a conglomerate of nonsensical hypotheses.
According to Atwill Christianity, the New Testament (alongside Jesephus' "The Jewish War"), Jesus, the Apostels as well as the majority of NT characters are part of a Flavian conspiracy to subdue militant Sicarii Jewish rebellion against Rome, by creating a pacifist version of Judaism. What Atwill fails to do is to present credible evidence (other than far-fetched parallels between
A.J. Deus
Apr 19, 2014 A.J. Deus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tunnel - Vision

What Atwill attempts with his work is commendable and deserves five stars just for his attempt to conquer such a monumental topic. However, the author is so engaged to prove his hypothesis that he not only ignores suggestions to the contrary but also misses that he actually would have been onto discovering something truly exciting. Looking beyond the shortcomings, researchers can thus find in this book valuable insights into a possible composition mechanism of the New Testament, a
Oct 11, 2013 Socraticgadfly rated it did not like it
It IS a "real life DaVinci Code," just like the blurb says.

Of course, that book is false. And Dan Brown's not a bible scholar.

Amazing how the parallels stack up.

Parallels between Luke and Josephus? Sure, they're there, and many legitimate scholars have known about them for a long, long, time.

In fact, said scholars see this as nothing other than Luke borrowing from Josephus. For said scholars who, like me, date the composition of Luke in the second century, there's nothing surprising.
Roman Piso
Dec 30, 2014 Roman Piso rated it it was amazing
What do I think of Joseph Atwill's work? I happen to know Joseph Atwill and have discussed the subject matter with him many times. He has also discussed it with Abelard Reuchlin.

As far as his work in relation to ours, he has told me that he likes my work over that of Reuchlin's. However, that may be because of the fact that I try to a) write clearer for a wider audience, and/or b) that I try to write on events chronologically.

Atwill's work leads people to "Titus" as the main creator of the NT go
Mar 17, 2014 Steefen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The contents of this book are uneven, from groundbreaking to sloppy. As a result, this book cannot be used as a supplemental text in ANY classroom. It cannot be generally recommended. It is urgent that people read the groundbreaking / paradigm-shifting contents.

Minus one star for not having an index.
I went to look up blind or healing the blind and there was no index.
This book will be a long study without an index.
So, for making readers work so hard: minus one star for not having an index.

Veronique Rahmati
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 09, 2013 Denise rated it it was ok
Interesting and lacking.
Dec 14, 2012 John rated it did not like it
Best summarized as a crock of shit. Logically speaking, it is a 250 page post hoc fallacy. It is an exegesis from nothing at all, and with little historical basis beyond the characters involved.

Those open minded to conspiracy theories, like myself, will be drawn in for 5 minutes. Those with any historical knowledge of the creation of the New Testament will have debunked this atrocity in 5 minutes 2 seconds. Of course, those that want to cling to the notion that they have a secret that no-one el
Jun 05, 2016 Jaye rated it liked it
According to Mr. Atwill, the Christian religion was invented by the Romans in order to defuse the problem of Jewish uprisings in Judea. I don't have any issues with the author's scholarship, but I wonder why no one else who's studied the same works has ever come to the same conclusions.
Dec 16, 2014 Voss rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
L'ho dovuto abbandonare. Impossibile leggerlo senza avere una approfondita conoscenza della materia. Cosi tutto potrebbe essere vero come inventato. A me sembra una serie di assurdità. L'idea di base è ridicola. Ma, appunto, non ho conoscenze sufficienti per smentirla.
Pierre A Renaud
Oct 14, 2013 Pierre A Renaud marked it as reshelved
Reshelved due to these reviews:
Atwill’s Cranked-up Jesus (Richard Carrier)
Joseph Atwill's, Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus (Robert M. Price)

Ancient Confession Found: 'We Invented Jesus Christ' - Was he completely constructed from other stories for an ancient Roman propaganda campaign? | Biblical scholars will be appearing at the 'Covert Messiah' Conference at Conway Hall in London on the 19
Oct 03, 2015 Melen rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
I'm not really sure what to think about this. To be honest, he has a couple of interesting points, such as the different version of the resurrection story, but most I think is a stretch. I am sick of the words "lampoon" and "satire" now.

Despite my lack of belief, it was still a fun book to read. I am planning on reading Wars of the Jews, which I would've never considered prior to reading Messiah, so that's a plus I guess.
Jun 08, 2016 Mark rated it liked it
A interesting position on the historical Jesus. Somewhat fanciful at times but certainly unique in its approach. Does not draw on a wide spectrum of scholarship and limits itself to direct interpretation of primary sources rather than to scholarly deconstructions and reconstructions.
I never give up on a book. But this one... I just don't see myself ever finishing it. That's not to imply that it's a bad book. I found parts of it very interesting. But it just does not hold my attention right now.
Nelson Rios
Nelson Rios marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2016
Kitty Taylor
Kitty Taylor marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2016
Terrie rated it it was ok
Jul 20, 2016
Nick Olah
Nick Olah marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2016
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Flavian Rome Puts Its Signature on the Gospels 2 9 Dec 30, 2014 11:14PM  
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Joseph Atwill began his religious studies as a youth in Japan at the only English-speaking school in the country, the Jesuit-run St. Mary’s Military Academy.

The results of Atwill’s research are set out in his book “Caesar’s Messiah”. The second edition of “Caesar’s Messiah”, Ulysses Press 2006, became the best selling work of religious history in the US in 2007, and its German translation “Das Me
More about Joseph Atwill...

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“if a prophet predicted that “next week a dog will bite a mailman” and a historian recorded that during that week “a cur sank its teeth into a letter carrier” 1 likes
“The authors of the New Testament and Josephus created what might be called history´s first intelligence test. The consequence for failing it is belief in a false god.” 1 likes
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