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ROME NEEDED CHRISTIANITY (08/28/99) One of the main reasons that people have not realized that Rome actually

needed Christianity is because; (1) The Romans won their war with the Jews, and (2) as such were the writers and recorders of public history, and (3) they deliberately hid the fact that this war was actually one long ongoing all-out war that lasted for over one hundred years! (4) They make much of saying that they (the Romans) do not 'like', want, or understand Christianity. While, nevertheless, and in fact, 'advertising' it and pronouncing its 'virtues'. (5) As well as these things, they also make it appear that Christians were persecuted, thrown to the lions and martyred. But in fact, all of these can be explained away and shown to be total fabrications. The truth of the matter is that Christianity was indeed "manufactured" to fit Rome like a custom-made glove. The Romans needed Christianity for a number of reasons; but most of all, if it were to be effective and seen as 'true' it could NOT be found to be linked to the Roman leadership itself. So, officially, it HAD to appear that Christianity was NOT WANTED by the Roman leadership so that THEY would never be suspected as actually having had created it! First and foremost we have to know about the war and what it was about. The war between the leadership of the Pharisees and the leadership of the Romans was over the issue of slavery. Bear in mind that when we speak of "The Pharisees" or "The Romans", we are not referring to the 'followers' or the 'group', but the real power and force of the group - the leadership. It was first a war between the Herodian leadership (who were in actuality the leadership over the Sadducees) and the leadership of the Pharisees. The Pharisees had political and financial support from the Maccabean royal house (aka Hasmoneans) in their opposition to the Herodians, who began their leadership officially in the form of King Herod. It was Alexandria Regent of the Maccabean house who was allied to the Pharisees. The goals were several, but primarily to (1) end slavery, and (2) institute a new democratic form of government, and (3) do away with the oligarchy, which took the form of rulers who were not looking out for the best interest of the people, but only their own self interests. Since Rome had a vested interest in preserving the institution of slavery it backed the Herodians and made Herod King of the Jews to establish his authority firmly over ALL Jews. Nevertheless, the Pharisees did not give up the fight. Now, if we can see Rome as supporting the Sadducees, a Jewish sect/faction, then why wouldn't Rome support a new religion that was even more beneficial to the interests of Rome? Rome found itself in a volatile situation... because not only could it lose the institution of slavery (which it needed in order to operate that type of government), but it could also lose their current Imperial government to a new form of government "of the people". For Rome, a solution was needed. We are told of various insurgents and revolts by the Romans in their histories, but we are NEVER told outright that this was really one long all-out war. We are never told that there was a WAR, because then we would want to know what it was about. So, we are instead given the least amount of information possible without giving it all away, but still just enough to reconstruct and deduce what really happened. In addition to Roman history, we have information in the Talmud and other sources as well. In any case, two lines of reasoning were pursued by certain Roman aristocrats. Nero himself was not particularly bothered (apparently), by the Pharisees and perhaps he was even 1

resigned to give over the Roman government to them upon his death. However, Nero WAS adverse to the Piso family and their plans at gaining power and control. And the Pisos were likewise adverse to Nero and whatever his plans were. The Pisos wanted Nero dead and wanted to get their own close family and relatives in power over Rome. At first the Pisos had (1) the "quick fix" idea of giving new components to the existing Jewish religions in the form of a new sect that most probably would have been a combination of those existing religions, a "consolidation" of those sects if you will. But all of the sects would have had to have agreed upon this, and they did not. They (the Piso family) would also have to have had Nero's permission to do this as well, and he apparently rejected the idea. So, with these obstacles in the way, there was no way that this idea was going to succeed. The Sadducean hierarchy/leadership (i.e., the Herodians) were more than willing to cooperate with the Pisos, but the Pharisees and Essenes would not. Because both the Pharisees and Essenes were against slavery, the leadership of both joined forces. It appears that the passive Essenes disbanded as a sect in 70 C.E. (when the Temple was destroyed), and took the role as scribes for the Pharisees. Now you have been briefed on the war and the goals and motives for both sides. Knowing this, will allow one to understand why Christianity was indeed needed by Rome in order to preserve itself in the form that it was in at that time. (2) The larger task of creating a whole new religion and eliminating the opposition. The Romans under Vespasian alerted the Herodians ahead of time to evacuate Judea, and so they did... leaving behind their followers along with the Pharisees and Essenes to be destroyed. The Herodians were the close relatives of the Pisos and the Flavians and had always had the same sympathies, goals, and motives. They had always been loyal and supportive of the Pisos and the Flavians, and so they were spared. Whereas, those who were opposed to slavery and the creation of a new religion were left in Judea to be attacked by the full military force of Rome if necessary. But they were used to war and prepared to resist and survive for some time afterwards. This war, from its start around 140 B.C.E., would last until the dispersion of the Jews (the Diaspora) in 135 C.E. But the Romans had destroyed the Temple in 70 C.E. and thought that they had won the war in 73 C.E. with the conquest of Masada, and so they started to work on the new religion. They used selective elements that read like a shopping list of only the best components for their specific purposes, drawn from earlier and pre-existing religions and philosophy while incorporating new ideologies and rhetoric. Since the war was waged over the issue of slavery, the new religion had to (1) defuse any revolt that might be made by the slaves themselves, (2) and keep them from joining the existing revolt that was already organized outside of Rome, (3) placate the slaves. In short, the religion has to be something that had a great impact and appeal to the slaves and the poor citizens of the Roman empire, which, was most of the population of the Roman empire. It had to be something that they could 'relate' to and that gave these oppressed persons 'hope'. Another thing that the Roman leadership had to do was to bolster the morale of the troops in the military and give comfort to their family members who would lose sons to the war. Persons who believed in an afterlife would have no fear of death and would fight more bravely in war. The new religion would also provide a sense of 'nationalism' by giving a majority of Romans (meaning those persons living not only in Rome, but also the rest of the Roman empire) a common enemy the Jews. The "Jews" after the year 70 C.E. were the Pharisees primarily, and their close cousins who were formerly the Essenes, but who now served in the war as scribes. Though the Jews refrained for a very long time from revolt between the years 73 C.E. and 115 C.E., they still 2

nonetheless, were preparing for that time and were doing what they could to gain any advantage. Some persons are bound to say that the Romans were opposed to Christianity because they did not want to lose their OWN religion, the worship of the Roman gods. But by this time and under these circumstances, that was really of little concern to them... besides, the new religion would be a vast improvement over the old Roman gods. Religion, it must be realized, has specific purposes. It was (1) a business, a way to bring in goods, real property, and income. And (2), a means of controlling the population. These, were the major factors for consideration by the Roman leaders. But now, in addition to these, was the consideration of 'saving the empire' itself. The choice was not hard to make. As far as Roman concerns of losing the old Roman gods to the new Christian one, they knew that the old gods would live on in history books and on their coins, and they retained a few token public altars for the worship of the old gods to make it appear that those were still supported officially by Rome. But many of them were being refurbished systematically into churches. Many of the old Roman gods were in fact even incorporated into the New Testament. So there was no conflict as far as this was concerned. Again, Rome had little choice in what it might do to preserve itself under the conditions of the time, as well as trying to retain the institution of slavery - losing the old Roman gods would be a small price to pay from a realistic standpoint. In reality, it would actually be good for Rome to lose the old Roman gods as people would chose their own favorites to worship among many. This was not a particularly 'unifying' thing for the Roman people. Whereas the belief in ONE central god, would be. Also, the worship of one god as opposed to many made the collection of sacrifices and tithes easier and more efficient. Previously, money, cold hard cash, was not offered to the old Roman gods very often. But with Christianity, that provision was built right in... in the form of tithes, as if it were a 'requirement'. Christianity augmented other ideas that the Roman leaders were trying to put forth to the people as well, such as; (1) the idea that anyone would aspire to achieve goals such as being a writer/historian, or leader in some capacity, or even an emperor. When in fact, the truth was that all of this was tightly controlled and only family members and close relatives to the existing leaders could be chosen for those positions. This was the facade that was created, a false hope, deliberately made to keep the masses 'content' and 'in their place'. (2) The Roman people were given the false idea that they were 'free' to some extent and even that slaves might someday earn their freedom or be given it by their masters under certain conditions so that they too might aspire to achieve greatness, power or wealth... and if not in this lifetime, they had a second chance in the next if they were 'good' believing Christians! Even the lowly slave would find his 'reward' in heaven if he was a good Christian and did as the New Testament had advised. O.k., so how did Caesar fit into the Christianity? How would it be of any benefit to him? People will say that Christianity undermined Caesar's authority and that 'Jesus' overshadowed him as a god, and that that was a reason why Rome and the Caesars would be against it. However, again, Rome really had no choice and the New Testament actually treats Caesar as an equal to god. The inference and directive was to treat Caesar as an equal (to) god or as a slightly lesser god than the 'high god' and perhaps equal to god's son on earth (i.e., 'Jesus'). The New Testament says "the powers that be", in other words 'Caesar', are "ordained by God." And 3

also, good Christians were expected to "Render unto Caesar," i.e., pay their taxes and whatever else that Caesar would ask of them. Which is really like saying 'behave' and do your duty as a Roman. And at the same swipe, "Render unto God what is God's," in other words, pay your tithes and all else that is 'prescribed' by the New Testament (and eventually, the whole bible once the Septuagint was re-written to correlate and support the assertions within the New Testament). Those who were Caesars really didn't care people really thought of them as 'gods' as long as they were supported, respected and/or feared. Christianity actually bolstered loyalty, nationalism and authority for Caesar. As far as we can tell there were no 'negatives' in Christianity as far as it relates to Caesar and the Imperial Roman system of government. The authors of Roman history that 'complain' of Christianity and/or who speak of the persecution of Christians, etc., knew that we would eventually figure this all out and that in knowing the truth about these things that this would expose those comments as deliberate lies. On the subject of the acceptance of Christianity by the Roman people, they were given familiar elements in Christianity that made it very palatable. As Dr. Wallace F. Dean states in "The Mania of Religion"; "The virgin mother story was easily acceptable to the Roman people, because they were already psychologically conditioned to the same established myth of the vestal virgin Rhea Silva and her godly son Romulus." And as we not elsewhere, 'Jesus' was given a number of the same characteristics as well-known, well-loved ancient gods and heroes. He had so many of the same characteristics and titles as those ancient gods that this could hardly be missed by anyone who was familiar with them. Dr. Dean also says in his book that; "The writers of those two testaments (Matthew and Luke) used a pagan Egyptian myth, which was converted into a messiah for the Christians. The Christian (Church) fathers of Rome did not want an unseen Christ. They wanted a messiah having a human image, so they used a well-known precedent of the human Eucharist of flesh and blood. The myth worked so well for the Egyptians, why not use it on the Christians? And they did, with very good results." Dr. Wallace F. Dean was a special guest member of "The Jesus Seminar" and an associate of the wellknown scholar Marcus Borg. Dr. Dean further comments upon the Roman familiarity with and acceptance of Jesus by way of his attributes; "There was the established (myth of the) vestal virgin Rhea Silva, the virgin mother of the twins Romulus and Remus, who were fathered by the Roman god Mars (the god of War). This godly relationship was borrowed from the Greek's virgin mother Alcmena and her son Hercules, who had a twin brother called Iphicles, whom he killed. Hercules was known as the "Only Begotten Son," who went to the lower world (Hades/Hell), and ascended to Heaven (i.e., the 'heavens'), and he too was called the "Prince of Peace"." Yes, he, Hercules, was called the "Only Begotten Son," even though he had a twin brother (not to mention other male siblings). As we say, Jesus' title of the "Only Begotten Son" is in fact a joke; just one of many jokes that knowledge reveals to us that were written into the New Testament. The phrase "Only Begotten Son" did not always mean what it appears to when we think of it in the literal sense, it also had another meaning that was a figurative way of saying 'favorite son'. Like an affectionate term of affection where a father would say to his favorite son "You are my ONLY son!" As if this one son overshadows or outshines his brothers. The word in question is 'monogenes' in Greek. This puts a whole new meaning on the phrase as found and often quoted by Christians in John 3:16, as instead of meaning what they had thought it did, suddenly it means "For God ('the father', in this case Josephus) so loved the world (i.e., materialism), that he gave (to the world), his 4

FAVORITE son (i.e., "Jesus")." The rest of the verse goes; "that everyone who believes on him MAY not perish, but MAY have eternal life." This was said with 'may' because that acts as a 'disclaimer', which really means that depending upon who you are, the reader or the writer, you MAY be remembered and 'live on' forever! The word 'believe' here would mean two different things to one or the other. To the Christian literature writer, 'believe' meant that the writer 'believes' that this Jesus story would 'work' according to the purposes for which it was invented. To the Christian reader it meant only to 'believe' and let the inference do the rest. The reader/believer was 'conned' into thinking that the true/real meaning was that if they 'believed' in this that they would have everlasting life after death. So, it is really a sick joke, rather than anything good or positive. A Summary of what Christianity offered to Rome: FOR SLAVES: (a) Reward in Heaven, (b) An afterlife, (c) Complacency, (d) Hope, (e) strength to endure hardship and/or punishment, (f) A distraction from reality, (g) Consolation, (h) Defused rebellion, (I) Comfort, (j) Cheap entertainment, (k) Loyalty, (l) Obedience to master (again, 'the powers that be'), (m) A chance to be 'good' and virtuous against Jesus' enemies. In this instance, the 'devil', (n) God would be "on your side" on a personal level. FOR THE SOLDIERY AND THEIR FAMILIES: (a) Nationalism by common enemy (in this case, the "Jews"), (b) A rallying point (central church) where none had existed for Rome previously. This means that the religion provided or facilitated a meeting place. Which in turn facilitated the nationalism by common enemy. Remember, besides the anti-Semitism that was written into the New Testament, the preachers could also add, emphasize and/or embellish whatever they wanted or needed to orally in their sermons. So they were free to orate and fully elicit anything that they would like and point to verses in the New Testament that would 'back them up' on whatever position or point they were making. This was real power, and, the New Testament is still being used in this way today! (c) The instillation of bravery within the soldiers by way of eliminating the fear of death, as the Roman soldiers would then believe in an afterlife. (d) Comfort to the families who lose their sons in battle, as they would think that they would live on in the afterlife, and (e) that they could possibly be reunited after death. (f) False hope for advancement in a military career, possibly even reaching the level of emperor. This was truly the carrot being dangled in front of the horse! (g) Cheap entertainment for the troops, (h) A distraction from the reality of war, (i) Loyalty to Rome and Caesar as they were advised that they should be because the emperor was ordained by god, (j) Obedience to immediate superiors, i.e. 'authority' in general, (k) A reward in Heaven, (l) strength to endure, and (m) "god" being on "your side" personally. FOR THE COMMON PERSON: (a) Nationalism by common enemy (both "Jews" and "Satan/Devil"), (b) Sense of community, (c) Newly created jobs and positions; building and refurbishing churches, clerical and other positions within the church - females could even be deaconesses, (d) Comfort to families who lose relatives and loved ones (i.e., the promise of an afterlife), (e) the possibility of reuniting with dead loved ones upon death, (f) False hope for advancement and a better life, if not here on earth during one's life, then in the enjoyment of paradise in Heaven in the next, (g) Entertainment, (h) Distraction from reality, (i) Loyalty to Rome and cheerful payment of taxes, (j) Obedience to authority, (k) Reward in Heaven (again, not just an afterlife, but one that is like 'paradise'), (l) A chance to feel good about one's self by doing what appears to be 'good' and 'right', and in being what one would perceive as 'virtuous' while being an 'agent' of Jesus/god against Jesus' enemies - the "Jews" and the "Devil", (m) Belief 5

that anything is possible (because of "miracles" having been worked), (n) and the belief that 'god' wants good things for Christians, which, no doubt was a point that was brought home by the preachers and/or 'deacons'. By being a 'good' Christian, you had a lot of "power on your side", or so they would think... and that's all that was really important. That they 'believe it'.