Are the Gospels based on the life of a real person named
Jesus? Is it possible
to determine what events described in the Gospels really happened or
what things Jesus may really have said? Why were the Gospels written?
Why did the Romans forsake all other religions to adopt Christianity
as the one true religion?
Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existing presents new
that provides evidence-based answers to each of
these questions. Deciphering
the Gospels walks the reader through the
evidence step-by-step. “Price
manages to lay out his ideas in a clear
and accessible manner. He writes for a general audience, giving
necessary background information for those readers not familiar with
the nuances of biblical scholarship.” (Kirkus)
Gospels builds on decades of both mainstream and
“mythicist” biblical scholarship, but fills in gaps with new evidence
brought to light by data analyst R. G. Price. Price brings years of
analytic experience to the research of biblical texts and other early
Christian writings, to reveal previously unrecognized literary
references and textual relationships. Price adds these new findings to
the body of existing scholarship to show that, taken together, we now
have enough information to draw concrete conclusions about how the
worship of Jesus originated, developed, and spread.
Gospels works within the framework of mainstream
biblical scholarship, accepting many mainstream conclusions. Price’s
work is largely in agreement with the dating, believed authenticity,
translation of biblical texts according to mainstream scholarship.
Gospels presents evidence to show where mainstream
scholarship is insufficient.
Ultimately, the case presented in Deciphering
the Gospels builds on the
case presented by Arthur Drews, Earl Doherty, Richard Carrier, and
others: that the worship of Jesus originated with the worship of a
heavenly deity, not a real person. The biggest challenge to the idea
that Jesus was originally a heavenly deity has always been the Gospels.
For years there has been a strong case that the first
worshipers of Jesus were worshiping a heavenly being that they believed
was revealed to them through scripture. However, mainstream scholars
have taken the position that the Gospels provide even more
compelling evidence that Jesus was a real person. What Deciphering the
Gospels shows is that every biography of Jesus descends
from a single
fictional story. That story is what we call the Gospel of Mark.
focuses on the Gospel of Mark to show that the Gospel of Mark
an entirely fictional story written in
reaction to the First Jewish-Roman War of 70 CE, in which the Jesus
character is actually based on the apostle Paul. It is shown
the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, as well as the
relationship between Jesus and his “disciples”, are all derived from
the letters of Paul. Furthermore, the plot of the story and all of the
major scenes are based on literary allusions to the Jewish scriptures,
namely to passages from the story of Elijah and Elisha, as well as to
various psalms and writings of the prophets.
Price demonstrates that these literary references were misinterpreted
by Romans as evidence that Jesus had fulfilled many ancient prophecies,
leading them to conclude that they proved his divinity.
Gospels shows how this evidence proves that nothing
described in the Gospel of Mark really happened and explores the
implications of this finding. What Deciphering
the Gospels shows is
that once we understand that the Gospel of Mark is entirely fictional,
it becomes clear that every biography and description of Jesus
ultimately flows from this single story. It was the Gospel of Mark that
spawned belief in a human Jesus. Once we see that, we see that the
Jesus being worshiped prior to the spread of the Gospel stories was an
imaginary heavenly being, not a person.
the Gospels proves that Jesus never existed by proving
Jesus was a heavenly deity, about whom a fictional story was written
that people mistook as an account of the life of a real person.
Q & AQ: Aren’t there non-Christian historical sources that confirm Jesus was
a real person?
A: No. The book addresses various passages from ancient historical
sources that are sometimes touted as “evidence for Jesus”. Those
sources are passages from Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, and
Suetonius (all from the late first or early second century). The
passages from Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius are widely acknowledged as
not providing any evidence that Jesus was a real person. The passages
from Josephus, the most controversial of the group, are addressed in
detail, showing why they are not credible.
Q: Doesn’t the apostle Paul clearly state that Jesus was a real person?
A: No. The letters of Paul are addressed in detail in the book. An
overview of Paul’s statements regarding the nature of Jesus are also
addressed on this website here: Beyond the Book
Q: Didn’t Jesus have a brother named James who was widely known?
A: No. The idea that someone named James was a literal brother of Jesus
is a product of confusion among second and third century Christian
scholars. The status of James is addressed in detail in the book,
showing that it's clear no one thought James was a literal brother of
Jesus until the late second century.
Q: Didn’t Peter establish a church in Rome and directly tell people
A: No. Virtually nothing is known about the real Peter (or Cephas).
Other than what was written about Peter in Paul’s letters, essentially
everything else written about him is not credible. There is no evidence
that Peter ever actually went to Rome or established a church anywhere.
That is a part of Catholic doctrine, which has been refuted by scholars
and historians for centuries.
Q: Doesn’t the source known as “Q” prove that accounts of Jesus go back
to his own lifetime or shortly after his death?
A: No. “Q” is a hypothesis that was conceived as a way to explain
relationships between the texts of the Gospels. No evidence that Q is
real has ever been found, and there are significant cases against the Q
hypothesis laid out by biblical scholars, such as Michael Goulder and
Mark Goodacre. A case against Q is also outlined in the book as well.
Q: Aren’t there other non-canonical writings, such as the Gospel of
Thomas, that provide evidence for Jesus?
A: While there are many non-canonical writings about Jesus, none of the
ones that describe him as a person or purport to record his teachings
show independence from the Gospels. In other words, all of those
writings show evidence that they were written after the Gospels and
were influenced by the Gospels. Non-canonical writing about Jesus are
addressed in detail in the book.
Q: If Jesus wasn’t a real person, then how did the worship of Jesus
A: This is an open question, but it appears that the worship of Jesus
originated alongside the worship of other heavenly beings worshiped by
some Jews at this time, such as Melchizedek (a heavenly savior figure), Metatron (a Jewish "second god"),
arch-angels such as Michael and Gabriel, and figures like the “son of
Man” described by prophets such as Enoch and Daniel.
Q: If Jesus wasn’t a real person, then why do the Gospels describe him
as one? Why were the Gospels written?
That’s what the book is all about. The case put forward in the book
is that the first Gospel, the Gospel of Mark, was written in reaction
to the First Jewish-Roman War. It is a story written by a follower of
the apostle Paul, in which the Jesus character is an anthropomorphized
version of the spiritual Jesus described by Paul. The story itself is
largely based on the Jewish story of Elijah and Elisha and the
teachings of Jesus are actually Paul’s teachings. All of the other
Gospels are derived from the Gospel of Mark. From the beginning the
Gospel stories were widely believed to be literally true, though
in-fact the first Gospel that they are all based on is a fictional