Jay Rogers
Jay Rogers

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Solving "The Jesus Puzzle"

Recently, I entered into a squabble with an atheist on The Forerunner discussion board on the topic of whether Jesus ever existed.

This atheist insists that the early Christians were actually Gnostics who took some ancient pagan myths and invented a god-man hero by the name of Jesus. He also insists that there is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus of Nazareth was a true historical person. This idea is popularly known as the “Jesus myth.” When I asked who among academic scholars actually accepts the Jesus myth conspiracy theory, I was pointed to the writing of Earl Doherty and Timothy Freke.

The problem with writers such as Freke and Doherty is that they are authors who read some books written in the late 19th and early 20th century heyday of higher criticism. They are basically regurgitating the modernism of 100 years ago.

J.P. Holding comments:

Does the “Jesus-myth” have any scholarly support? In this case, to simply say “no” would be an exaggeration! Support for the “Jesus-myth” comes not from historians, but usually from writers operating far out of their field. G. A. Wells, for example, is a professor of German; Drews was a professor of mathematics; Acharya only has a lower degree in classics; Doherty has some qualifications, but clearly lacks the discipline of a true scholar. The greatest support for the “Jesus-myth” comes not from people who know the subject, but from popularizers and those who accept their work uncritically. It is this latter group that we are most likely to encounter – and sadly, arguments and evidence seldom faze them. In spite of the fact that relevant scholarly consenus is unanimous that the “Jesus-myth” is incorrect, it continues to be promulgated on a popular level as though it were absolutely proven.

A quick read proves these are not accomplished scholars. They are self-proclaimed “experts” who present a one-sided view. The basic tactic of Earl Doherty is to deny everything. There are evidences for the existence of Jesus that are accepted by most modern scholars, but Freke and Doherty simply deny the facts.

In “The Jesus Puzzle,” Doherty makes some amazing denials, such as:

In the first half century of Christian correspondence, including letters attributed to Paul and other epistles under names like Peter, James and John, the Gospel story cannot be found.

Here Doherty makes a huge assumption popular among the 19th century critics that the Gospels were not written in the first century. Most scholars now admit that they were.

He then goes on to state that none of the Gospel story appears in the Epistles.

Here is just a brief summary of the “non-narrative” evidence from the Epistles that also appear the Gospel stories. Those points also attested to by non-Christian writers are marked with an asterisk.

The following is from Luke Timothy Johnson’s book The Real Jesus:

1. Jesus was a human person (Paul, Hebrews)*
2. Jesus was a Jew (Paul, Hebrews)*
3. Jesus was of the tribe of Judah (Hebrews)
4. Jesus was a descendant of David (Paul)
5. Jesus mission’ was to the Jews (Paul)*
6. Jesus was a teacher (Paul, James)*
7. Jesus was tested (Hebrews)
8. Jesus prayed using the word ABBA (Paul)
9. Jesus prayed for deliverance from death (Hebrews)
10. Jesus Suffered (Paul, Hebrews, Peter)
11. Jesus interpreted his last meal with reference to his death (Paul — mentioned also in the writings of Tacitus and Josephus)*
12. Jesus underwent a trial (Paul)*
13. Jesus appeared before Pontius Pilate (Paul)*
14. Jesus death involved the Jews (Paul)*
15. Jesus was crucified (Paul, Hebrews, 1 Peter)*
16. Jesus was buried (Paul)
17. Jesus appeared to witesses after death (Paul)

So it is clear to see that the most vital elements of the Gospel story appear in the Epistles.

In “The Jesus Puzzle,” Doherty then goes on to write that:

The Gospel Jesus and his story is equally missing from the non-Christian record of the time.

Ironically, what follows is the list of pagan historians who do mention Jesus. Doherty counters this by denying the fact that they all mention Jesus. Then in the same paragraph he admits that the these writings do mention Jesus. He brushes this off by claiming that they must be forgeries — even those that are not doubted by scholars. It’s a classic example of the “begging the question” fallacy.

The problem is that historians do not universally consider these passages to be forgeries. In addition, Josephus, Suetonius, Tacitus, Pliny, Lucian and Celsus refer to Christ and Christians sometimes in negative terms. This is hardly the strategy for a Christian forger who is trying to gain credibility for his movement.

When we look at Freke (great name!) we see much of the same posturing by a man holding a B.A. who professes to be a modern day Gnostic. The agenda here is not scholarship, it is to promote Neo-Gnosticism.

To say that Paul was a Gnostic is to deny many the points made by Paul (in the above list) that are incompatible with the religion of Gnosticism. Since the Gnostics believed that all matter is evil, they taught that Christ was a spirit being and had only an illusive body. The Gnostics taught that Christ was a spirit temporarily inhabiting the body of the man Jesus who died.

Freke describes his beliefs on his website as – “the timeless wisdom of awakening” – and this gem: “that the Earth could be conceived as a Global Brain which was in the process of awakening to itself, with the explosion of connections being made across it right now comparable to neural networks.”

Yes, I am supposed to take seriously the rantings of a man who claims that the earth is a giant brain and yet there is no evidence that the historical Jesus existed. Am I supposed to take this seriously? In fact, it strengthens my faith as a Christian to see that the alternative is so, well, “Freke-ish.”


Your comments are welcome!

The Book of Revelation is seeing the day of the Cross made as 7 time periods, shown as 3 pictures. God doubles twice to ESTABLISH His words as seen in Genesis 41:32 with Pharaoh’s dream.

Only the day of the Cross will fit Isaiah 30:26 when God heals:

Isaiah 30:26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

God takes the day of the Cross which is from Sunset when the Last Supper began, Till Sunset when Jesus had just been placed in the Sepulchre.

God first shows the day as 4 6-hour periods, Seen as 4 beasts with 6-wings in Revelation.

Revelation 4:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

Sunset to Midnight as a lion, Jesus showing who He is, what He will do.

Midnight to sunrise, with the face of a Calf, Seen as the face of a Ox in Ezekiel 1:10. As Jesus is lead to Slaughter. God multiplies Visions and uses Similitudes (Hosea 12:10) They are both looking at the day of the Cross, But through different eyes.

Ezekiel 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

Sunrise to noon, As the Face of a Man, as Jesus is judged.

Noon to sunset as Jesus dies on the Cross, as a flying Eagle as Jesus commends His spirit to God.

The day as 4 6-hour periods, 1=Old Heaven, 2=Old Earth, Heaven and earth flee from His Face seen as the Face of a Man on the third beast with 6-wings. New Earth is Sunrise to noon, New Heaven is noon to Sunset.

Jesus takes all sin, He is all things which offend, There are 144 with Judas, seen as a wall in Revelation 21:17. They added the Cubit or reached angel status, They are the angels given Charge over Jesus, In their hands they bear Him up. They are multiplied by 1,000 in Deuteronomy 1:11 or the 144,000 in Revelation chapter 14. They are Virgins, they are seen in Jeremiah as men travailing with Child (Through Jeremiah’s eyes).

The Body of Christ born the day of the Cross seen in Psalms 2:6/7, Given the heathen in 2:8. Jesus takes sins away, Now God can dwell with mankind, or Immanuel or “GOD with us.”

First seal is the White Horse, As Jesus says who He is, what He will do. Not Jesus has to go and do it, so the Rider on the White Horse goes forth conquering and to conquer as Jesus has to battle sin, death, and hell. White horse coming in clouds is Jesus taking sins during that time, Sin seen as clouds in Isaiah 44:22.

Second seal is the Red Horse as Jesus is lead to slaughter. The Second is the Sacrifice, So the law or white horse with Jesus saying what He must do will kill the Sacrifice or red Horse, and the Sacrifice will kill the law in fulfilling it. Part of the law was “And the law is no more.”

Adding the Red Horse, to the Face of a Calf, is forming the Red Heifer, the day as 3 pictures or for a day, a week, a month and a year. God likened those above to the Head, Those beneath to the Tail, Jesus is the Head of the first 6-hours, Judas and the 144 with Him the Head of the Second 6-hours, So the Calf or Red Heifer is BEHEADED, God’s word like as a fire in Jeremiah 23:29 makes for the Ashes of the Red Heifer needed to cleans the House.

The House is Built the day of the Cross as 7 time periods, the name of the House found in the book of Job is the “Wilderness” Where Jesus was taken after the Baptism and shown the Revelations, then given 42 Months to continue and go back and show the Disciples (Servants) things which must shortly come to pass.

Proverbs 9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

2-Samuel 7:13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

The Third seal is Sunrise to noon. Black Horse with Balances. The Time Jesus was Judged. Third angel sounds and the Star Wormwood falls to the Earth, Jesus made all things cursed, He has to be as the Earth cursed also, Earth destroyed by fire is God’s word like aa a fire as Jesus dies. Stars are for signs, it is a sign of the Judgment falling on Christ from sunrise to noon.

Amos 5:7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,

The Fourth seal is the Pale Horse. Death followed by hell as Jesus died and descended into hell.

Fourth angel sounds a s third of the Sun, and a third of the Moon is smitten, or one of the three pictures is completed, The two great lights made on the fourth day in Genesis is from Noon to Sunrise. The Creation story is also looking at the day of the Cross, the BEGINNING of the New World, Old World had no beginning, New World has no end.

Sun seen as the Throne in Psalms 89:36 is darkened as Jesus died and they think that is the end. Moon seen as the establishment of the Throne is turned to blood as the Blood of Jesus establishes the throne.

The Nation of Israel is the Woman in Revelation Chapter 12, the Moon is under her feet, as She has to offer the Sacrifice under the law.

First angel sounds, “Fire, Hail, Mingled with Blood.” God’s word like as a fire in Jeremiah 23:29 is poured out by Jesus at the Last supper between Sunset and Midnight, Hail is Judas as He greets Jesus and kisses Him “Hail Master” Mingled with blood is as Peter cuts off the ear.

Sunset to Midnight, “Let there be Light.” I am the True Vine, I am the Good Shepherd, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, In My Father’s House are many Mansions, I go to prepare a place for you, as Jesus pours out the Light.

Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, Jesus is that Mountain, Burning with God’s word or fire, Second angel sounds at Midnight, Great Mountain burning with fire is cast into the Sea or the Gathering together of the People as water, The Disciples have Faith like a mustard seed, NO FAITH at all. Jesus is reaching for Non-Jews also, That does not set well with the Disciples.

Parable of building Bigger barns, is Jesus reaching for all, Not just the lost sheep of the House of Israel.

Second day in Genesis, People as waters, 144 with Judas above Jesus which is as the Firmament, sinners as waters under the Firmament, Disciples flee as Islands. Those cold to Jesus as the Snow “Let the Snow be upon the earth”

Job 38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

Third day in Genesis the waters are gathered together, or all in Christ “With His stripes we are healed.”

Psalms 69:Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.

The Second picture is as 2 12-hour periods seen as 2 witnesses in Revelation. Because God double twice, the day is made as a week, Each of the pictures of the day is also then made a week as it is doubled, So they see the dead bodies of the Witnesses three days and a half or half a week for each. Life enters into them when it is fulfilled.

The Third picture is as 1 24-hour period seen as 24 Elders in Revelation. So the day as 7 time periods and seen as 3 pictures also seen as days is ten days total, “Ye shall have tribulation 10 days.

The day is as 1,000 years, alive 930 As Adam, Dead or desolate 70 as Jerusalem. About 1 hour and forty minuted dead, to get the Body, Wrap it, roll the stone and leave before the Sabbath.

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot
or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

So the 144 with Judas gather all things which offend (Jesus with all sin) from the one end of Heaven to the Other, from the one end of the earth to the other, Jesus is also the ELECT which the angels gather the same way.

Jesus is the City seen as New Jerusalem descending down from Heaven (old) between midnight to sunrise. The day as 3 pictures, each looking at the same day, But each differently.

So when Heaven and earth (old) flee from His face which is the Black Horse, Then the White horse or first time period moves forward and it becomes the Great White Throne of Judgment. Everyone is Judged by what is written in the Books.

What is written in the Books is All iniquity on Jesus in Isaiah 53:6, His righteousness on man in Job 33:26. So everyman is given according to His works, of what Jesus did is credited to us, Sheep seen as the Wicked in Jeremiah 12:1/3, Given the Righteousness of Christ, so all our righteousness is as filthy rags, we all have His.

So the Sheep enter the Kingdom prepared for them from the Foundation of the World, and the Lamb is slain from the Foundation of the World.

Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

The Question is for Jesus, and the answer is hanging on a Cross outside Jerusalem.

The 1,000 year reign of Christ is the day of the Cross, He can save the world or Himself. The rest of the dead lived not till the 1,000 years was over, that is the Second day.

Hosea 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

A Hole in the Ground is not a bottomless pit, a Seed like a Peach is, And a seed does not go into the Ground and DIE, Unless that seed happens to be Jesus which had to die. When a seed pit sprouts, it OPENS, and it has SIDES.

Jesus has the power to take up His life, But He could not use it, He had to be there the third day to fulfill the Scripture when they are set free out of hell:

Zechariah 9:11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.

This is where Jesus had to WAIT ON THE LORD:

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Remember where the Carcase is, There shall the Eagles be gathered together? That is the dead Body of Christ in hell. And it is also END TIMES:

Matthew 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Nahum 3:15 There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.

So together with Christ’s dead Body they arise, like a swarm of Locust, and their lifting up is as smoke. Those without the Seal or who do not know God, they will hurt when they tell them of the love and Mercy of God, They are by Heaven’s gate, speaking to the enemies at the gate who do not want to go in.

Jesus had to take sins willingly, Past and present sins ended “With His stripes we are healed.” Then Jesus takes future sins to get the keys to death and hell or makes the tree evil willingly, so He can get into hell and take them all out, So where Jesus was going, (Hell) they could not follow, For hell ended the third day, When He made and end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness as Daniel 9:24 shows.

The Seal in Daniel 9:24 kept the Disciples and Paul, and Even Jesus said the Father had SEALED Im, from seeing sin ended as Accountable to man, it was paid in full at Golgotha. So for the Overspreading of Abominations (all future sins on Christ) He shall make it desolate, or Jesus had to die, The Abomination of Desolations spoken of by Daniel.

Then the Consummation:

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The MIDST of the Week is the fourth 6-hour period from noon to sunset as Jesus died and ended the Daily Sacrifice once and for all time.

So the Consummation is poured upon the Desolate or dead body of Christ with mankind in that Body “Together with My dead body shall they arise.” Even though we were healed, still being human, Christ died for us when He took our future sins.

Isaiah 10:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This left a lot of Revelation unaddressed. But a lot was addressed. More then enough to show a view of the day of the Cross not seen by the Church, or at least not accepted.


Posted by Ken Burton on 03/21/2019 01:29 PM #

Well Ken,

This has got nothing to do with my original post. But I won't treat it like spam because it is at least interesting.

It's an interesting example of an allegorical interpretation of scripture. I personally don't think allegory is a primary method of interpretation and I don't think that John intended this when he wrote Revelation.

Posted by Jay Rogers on 03/21/2019 01:29 PM #

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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