The True History of the Gospels

When read as Jewish literature, the New Testament Gospels seem to contradict history. They describe a pacifist Jewish Messiah and depict Romans in a positive light during an era when a Jewish messianic movement waged war against the Roman Empire. To explain these and other contradictory aspects, scholars have speculated that the Gospels were the product of a Roman mystery cult which for some reason merged its theology with messianic Judaism. This theory has a weakness beyond the obvious lack of archaeological evidence. Why would the cult that provided the Gospels its pro-Roman perspective and pacifism have wished to merge with a religion that was anti-Roman and violent?

The discovery of the Jesus/Titus typology, however, reveals not only the real meaning of the Gospels but their authors. They were written by the intellectual circle around the Flavian Caesars.

But how did the creation of the Gospels actually come to pass?

The Gospels grew out of discussions that occurred between Vespasian and Julius Alexander at the court of Antonia, the mother of the Emperor Claudius. The men discussed a topic that was vital to each: how to halt rebellions by messianic Jews. Antonia could well have participated in these talks as she was no stranger to the struggle between the Romans and the Jews. Antonia was the daughter of Marc Anthony, the Roman general who had ousted the Maccabees as the rulers of Judea and replaced them with the Roman tax collectors, the Herods.

The conjecture that such talks occurred comes from these facts: Around 45 C.E. Antonia employed Julius Alexander Lysimarchus as her financial steward. Julius Alexander was the “Abalarch” – the Roman appointed tax collecting ruler of Alexandria. He was the brother of Philo, the Jewish philosopher who combined Judaism with elements of Greek and Roman thought. Philo’s philosophy is often cited as the basis for much of the Gospels’ theological perspective, particularly its blend of Judaism and Stoicism.

Though Philo’s blending of Hellenism and Judaism is routinely analyzed by scholars as sincere, given his family’s financial relationship with Rome some skepticism is warranted. And when understood as the writings of a family member of Rome’s biggest tax collector, Philo’s writings can be seen as an effort to inject Stoicism into Judaism to pacify rebellious Jews.

Antonia also employed Caenis, a woman famous for her memory, as her private secretary. Caenis was the long-term mistress of the future Caesar Vespasian. Suetonius described her as Vespasian’s wife in all but name. Julius Alexander would have discussed with Vespasian how the Jews’ messianic prophecies were, as Josephus later recorded, the mainspring of their rebellion. They would have also discussed Julius’ brother’s work, which attempted to modify Judaism into the peaceful existence in the Empire. From the relationship between Vespasian and Julius, the Flavians, Herods and Alexanders developed a close two-generation relationship.

Julius had two sons. The elder, Marcus, married Berenice, the granddaughter of Herod. After Marcus died at a young age, Berenice became the mistress of Vespasian’s son, Titus. Julius’ younger son, Tiberius Alexander, inherited his father’s entire estate after the death of Marcus, making him one of the richest men in the world. He renounced Judaism and was recorded as slaughtering fifty thousand rebellious Jews in Alexandria. When the Jewish war broke out in 66 CE Tiberius and the Herods assisted the Flavians, contributing money and troops.

During the Jewish war Vespasian challenged Vitellius for the Roman throne in 69CE, and Tiberius was the first to publicly state his allegiance for Vespasian as Caesar. Tiberius declared that Vespasian was not just Caesar, but a “Lord” or a divine being. Vespasian returned to Rome to assume the mantle of emperor, but left Tiberius behind to assist his son Titus with the destruction of Jerusalem.

Though overlooked by NT (New Testament) scholarship, these families are the most obvious candidates to have produced the Gospels. Who else but this group had the motivation, opportunity and the capacity to have written them?

Reading the Gospels as Flavian literature clears up many of their mysteries:

1) Stoicism in the Gospels – The combining of Judaism and Stoicism was an old technique for this group, Philo having developed the technique in the prior generation.

2) The “Logos” – One of the great mysteries of the Gospels is the term “Logos” that appears at the beginning of the Gospel of John. Logos is almost always translated as “word,” though this is not what the author meant and produces an incoherent statement.

John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.”

The concept of the Logos used in the Gospel of John was developed by Philo. He based his concept of Logos on Platonic elements calling it the “idea of ideas” or the “archetypal idea”. Philo’s Logos had a typological relation to man. The Logos was the original type and man is the copy. The purpose of the Logos is to the shape the mind of man. In other words, Philo saw the Logos as a preexisting ideal pattern that earthly man could build his mind upon.

The authors of the NT – the Flavians, Herods and Alexanders – understood Philo’s “Logos” and therefore represented their story of Jesus as an “archetypal idea” which Titus’ military campaign was the continuation of. The concept of Logos would have been understood by a very small group in the first century and was certainly not known by Jewish hoi polloi.

3) The ministry of Jesus – The entire storyline of Jesus’ ministry comes from Titus’ military campaign. Once a reader understands the typological genre, the symbolic parallelism is not too hard to see and of course the parallel events occur in the same sequence.

4) The Gospels’ use of “technical terms” of the Imperial Cult – A great many Greek words used in the NT were what have been called “technical terms” of the Imperial Cult. The use of these terms is not mysterious but to be expected simply because they were the religious words used by the authors.

c. 2011 Joseph Atwill – Copyrighted Material

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20 Responses to The True History of the Gospels

  1. Tim Underwood says:

    This has to be the most complete short description of the true history of the Gospels ever writen. “So much to do, so little time.” This was Winston Churchill’s response to the musings of his friend about how much wine they had consumed throughout their lives. Biologists use a bush illustration to trace the ancestry of surviving species. The creation of religions is somewhat similar in nature. The surviving names had many ancestors.

  2. john w baechler says:


    Question: There is that remarkable passage in the NT, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword!” Who was mouthing this through the “Jesus” TYPE? Was this Daddums Vespasian or his boy Titus — rattling a Roman short-sword at the messianic resistance? Or were the Flavians letting Eleazar/Lazarus (the real messiah) have
    his bloody say?

    I recently found myself in a very interesting situation at a social gathering. Usually I
    avoid discussing religion or politics at all costs (most Americans know little and understand even less — about anything at all.) I was caught in the middle bewteen
    what I call a “rationalist punk” and a local Methodist minister. They were in a heated
    debate about, yes, “Jesus.” I wanted to slink away with the other guests and have another cold one, but I couldn’t resist hearing what they had to say. Their dispute
    was over that (in-)famous passage in Josephus, the “TF.” The punk claimed that
    the TF was never there in the original text and could not be used as proof of an historical Jesus. The vicar of course was eager to claim the TF as genuine and a
    proof of historicity. I excused myself into the conversation and said they were
    both right and both wrong, and that a scholar (you of course) has shown through
    inter/intra-textual analysis of Josephus that the TF was originally there (at least
    in some form). However, as I told them, Josephus did not write the TF as a confirmation of a “Jesus,” quite the contrary, and that the real truth behind behind
    the TF will harm Christianity’s case for a historicity. I gave both of them your website
    and a quick synopsis of your analytical model. And THEN I had my next cold one.


    • Sharon Kathleen Johnson says:

      Couched as it is between two stories about women being tricked into conjugal relations with a God, The Testimonium Flavium HAD to have been a story about Mary being tricked into believing that the Roman soldier Panther was God. That was the prevailing Judaic understanding of the virgin birth and the one Josephus was most likely to endorse–that Jesus was the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier.

      • Tim Underwood says:

        Of course you would have to accept that Mary, the mother, was an actual historical person.
        Panther would have to be a character in the Judaic mythos to counter the Christian mythos.

  3. penny says:

    Hi Joe,
    Although i see what you see as far as the typology between Josephus and the NT i don’t see how the Romans did not leave a paper trail. Why is there no Roman record of this? Supposedly the Romans were great at keeping records of everything. If the Flavians used this to deify the Flavians wouldn’t this be common knowledge for the people of Rome? At least to the Senators of Rome.
    What technical terms of the Imperial Cult are you referring to?


  4. admin says:

    Jesus coming with a sword in Matt 10 refers to Titus’s return at Book 4, 1, line 70. In the passage Titus slays a number of Jews and then traps another group next to a cliff where the men “threw their children and their wives down the cliff. In other words, – a man against his father, a daughter against her mother.” Vicious Roman typology.


  5. admin says:

    Actually the Romans were not great at leaving a paper trail but were famous for having their libraries burn.
    Hoi Polloi were not permitted access to any information except what their rulers deemed fit.
    Many of the religious terms found in the NT were used in the literature of the Imperial Cult. See the following site:


  6. redmanshouts says:

    Are you getting much scholarly support these days? If I speak to people online they simply say you are on your own and not worth taking seriously. I don’t agree as the findings speak for themselves, but I’d like a list of scholars or works that support you if possible.

    I have a thousand questions, but “Thecoe, which translates as the “Village of the Inquiring Mind,”” I cannot find this anywhere online. It may be common knowledge, but I’d like to be able to explain this translation.

    Thanks Joe and looking forward to the new book.

  7. admin says:

    Hopefully you will soon be able see the documentary and learn the opinions of other scholars in regard to a Roman origin of Christianity and the Jesus myth.

    The ‘Theoca’/'Golgatha’ humor will only be found in Caesar’s Messiah.


  8. redmanshouts says:

    What are your thoughts on Francesco Carotta? Do you think your writings compliment one another?

  9. admin says:

    No, our theories are not compatible. Carotta maintains the Gospels emerged out a cult that worshiped Julius Caesar whose literature was mistranslated.

    This is easily demonstrated as incorrect. For example, neither the Moses/Jesus typology nor the Jesus/Titus typology could have emerged out of mistranslations and the journey of Jesus is a mirror of Titus’s journey not Julius’s.


    • redmanshouts says:

      I realise both theories are not compatible in their entirety, but they agree on a few things, Flavius Josephus, Roman authorship, gospel Mark named after Marc Antony and parallels between Jesus and a Caesar/Emperor.

      Carotta simply didn’t see what you have, but the wreath/crown of thorns allusion and the fact Caesar is stabbed and then hung on a cross after death (the opposite of Jesus) sound like reasonable identifications to me. Your overall explanation makes more sense and the journeys of Jesus match those of Titus with ease by comparison.

      Another unheralded discovery is the parallels between Paul and Josephus in ‘King Jesus’. That identification of parallels is by far the most fascinating thing Ellis has written and like Carotta he finds something very interesting, even though his overall explanations, in my opinion, lack a certain clarity.

      Josephus is irrefutably fused with Christianity, whoever he was.

  10. admin says:

    Francisco and I have had a number of exchanges and I would first point out that he is a truly cultured individual. He is able to debate without rancor. Moreover, even though his general theory is incorrect many of his insights are brilliant and many are correct. He is one of the few scholars whose works I recommend.

    For example, he noticed that Joseph of Arimathea was a typological character based upon Joseph bar Mathis. Unfortunately he decided that the Flavian typology was only a light gloss and did not take this insight further. It is as hard to accept that one theories are wrong as it is to accept that one’s god doesn’t exist.

    Belief is a dangerous thing. -Joe

  11. Johnny Guano says:

    About DAMN time somebody “nailed” the NT!!!
    Next up: The True History of the Old Testament …. and then possibly the Odyssey.
    The Old Testament (and the Odyssey) is clearly supposed to be ‘de-coded’ in the same manner. as Atwill, Hudson et al. have done. That is why TWO stories are interwoven and God is referred to in the singular and the plural in Genesis and Mankind is created twice: once they are created – man and woman, and the 2nd time as a genetic experiment (via Adam’s Rib) – by the “Fallen” Gods. And it is the “Elohim” (plural) – the elite rulers – who ‘guard’ the Tree of knowledge. That is: to prevent the masses from knowing the truth.
    The bizarre ages of the Patriarchs are clues to true identities – via different calendar systems (e.g. lunar). There also seems to be a big connection to King Tut (his murder perhaps) and Akhenaten. I believe the “mummy’s curse’ (Tut) is a lot like how John Hudson solved Christopher Marlowe’s murder (by the elite – since he basically came up with a similar thesis as Atwill) – apparently Carter et al. found some papyri (or other evidence) in Tut’s tomb that tells a COMPLETELY different story of the Exodus.

  12. Pingback: Merged gospels | Zullfikar

  13. ZanOverall says:

    Having just finished reading the book, I am fully convinced that
    Christianity was created as a Roman psy-op. The book is one more reason to believe that almost everything “they” told me is wrong!
    Mark Twain said: “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Thanks for doing all those years of reflecting for us, Joe.
    (An added benefit: I now spell with confidence two tricky words, “Caesar” and “Messiah.)
    Note to the moderator, note not intended to be part of my post: please consider and use this later version of my post above. I decided not to connect the two persons named with me.
    I wouldn’t want what some people might consider my over the top views to taint those two people or the website.

    • Ditocorto says:

      What are your thoughts on Eric Laupot ( ? Do you think your writings compliment one another?
      The principal difference, for me, is only about the real identity of historical Jesus…

  14. Peripatetic says:

    Is this the Antonia you are referring to?

    If so, I’m confused about the dates. You say, “Around 45 C.E. Antonia employed Julius Alexander Lysimarchus as her financial steward.” But, if I’ve got the right Antonia, Wikipedia gives her date of death at 37 C.E. What am I missing?

    Also, interesting about Logos. a notion first enunciated by Heraclitus (circa 5th-6th B.C.E.). He begins the thread that moves through the Sophists, through Plato, Philo, the neo-platonists (Plotinus in particular), Augustine, etc.


    • admin says:

      Yes, Antonia Minor, the daughter of Marc Anthony and mother of Claudius, hired Philo’s brother to manage her finances. Her secretary was Vespasian’s mistress and thus at her court began the relationship between the Alexanders and the Flavians that led to Christianity.


  15. iam says:


    have I understood you correct, that one idea of the gospels is that the Jewish god send Lazarus/Eleazar as savior and the Roman god send Jesus/Titus as savior.
    And that the savior of the Roman god Jesus/Titus killed the savior of the Jewish god Lazarus/Eleasar? And therefore Rome conquered Juda?

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