Jesus Christ: a god? – an illusionist? – a criminal? – an ill man?

01 08 2006

The Gospels provide enough information about the life of the Christian prophet relying on which we can conclude that Jesus Christ was a god, a kind-hearted illusionist, a criminal, or just a mentally ill man.

Jesus Christ was treated according to law, and faced a death sentence as it has happened many times to lots of criminals.

According to the Christian interpretation, Jesus Christ was a martyr who sacrificed himself for the salvation of mankind and who was tortured to death although he was completely innocent. However, Jesus was not lynched spontaneously. Jesus Christ was judged according to the law of the Roman Empire, and crucifixion was a standard punishment for criminals, not any special kind of torture.

Christians believe that the prophet of Christianity Jesus Christ (in his life – Yehua or Yeshua from Nazareth) was a god (or the only god) or at least a son of their god and that he lead an exceptionally virtuous life. However, there already was the rule of law in the Roman Empire, so, when somebody was sentenced to death, there had to be a serious reason.

The Gospels are the only sources according to which we can judge about Jesus Christ, his character and life

Jesus Christ practically was not mentioned in any historical sources of his time with an exception of a couple of references, which look very much like fakes that were attached by Christians later. There is nothing strange in it – in the first centuries of the Common Era, there were hundreds of persons such as Jesus Christ. They called themselves prophets, the heirs of the Jewish king David, or messiahs, they predicted the end of the world, hiked across Palestine and tried to rally as many as potential supporters around themselves in order to begin an armed fight against the Roman conquerors – and it was not considered extraordinary in the Jewish culture of that time.

Sometimes such prophets succeeded in their missions, and in every such case the Romans had to fight a new Jewish rebellion. Therefore, the Romans, who sought peace in their empire, tired of fighting with never ending Jewish resistance, tried to neutralise the most successful prophets before they had rallied too many followers. Thus, the contemporaries did not find it worth even to mention the fact that Jesus Christ – seemingly, an ordinary Jewish rebel, was sentenced to death alongside with other prophets.

However, some interesting information about Jesus Christ is provided by Gospels – stories by the first followers about the man they worshipped as their god.

Unfortunately, only those Gospels that were selected by Christian clerics and canonised and included into the Bible are available for ordinary people. Doubtless, these are the Gospels that best correspond to the interests of the Christian bureaucracy, and they depict Jesus Christ from the most favourable perspective.

Anyway, in the four Gospels of the New Testament of the Western tradition: by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, there is enough information enabling one to understand what kind of person Jesus Christ actually was. It is important, however, not to pay too much attention to his abundant sermons to the crowd, during which he usually repeated the ideas of the ancient Jewish prophets, but to rely on what Jesus Christ spoke to his followers in private, as well as on his own concrete deeds and actions. The medieval scribes could have distorted the meaning of some Jesus Christ’s sermons, but it seems highly improbable that they could have dared to fabricate many new episodes.

At first glance, Jesus Christ seems to be a kind-hearted illusionist

It is accentuated in the Gospels and other places of the New Testament that Jesus Christ first of all spoke about positive feelings – love, compassion, forgiveness, etc., so one can develop a feeling that Jesus Christ was an absolute philanthropist, do-gooder, who was doing and wishing others only good during his entire life.

A great attention is paid to the so-called Christ’s ‘miracles’ – such as resurrection of the dead, curing of incurable patients, walking on water or feeding great numbers of people with a little amount of food and water or wine.

Somehow, the Gospels have not even noticed that all the ‘miracles’ were nothing else but the standard conjuring tricks of ancient Jews, which could be performed by many and the techniques of which most likely were passed from generation to generation in the Jewish families that specialised in such ‘miracles’.

Therefore, Jesus Christ was not liked by enlightened Jews. All that stuff which was admired by gentiles and that was (and still is) worshipped by Christians as the miracles by their god was nothing but trite conjuring tricks in the eyes of the educated Jews of that time, which were performed by every self-respecting prophet; possibly, everybody could watch some of them in the marketplace on public holidays.

It is noticed even in the Bible that Jesus Christ managed neither to turn stones into bread nor to jump down from the roof of the Jerusalem shrine. The encouragement to do this is called ‘devil’s temptation’ in the Bible.

Jesus Christ emanated an outstanding hatred for everybody who did not worship him and a horrifying coldness, if not despise, towards his family.

So, after a superficial reading of the Gospels, Jesus Christ seems a harmless illusionist, who travelled across Palestine, preached sermons, showed tricks and invited people to become better. Christ’s death on the cross at first sight looks as a self-sacrifice of an innocent man for the sake of his faith and bright ideals.

However, having thoroughly studied the New Testament, one can get a completely different perspective on Jesus Christ. Some of his actions show that Jesus Christ emanated an outstanding hatred for everybody who did not worship him and a horrifying coldness, if not despise, towards his family. Jesus Christ showed obvious signs of a violent and sadistic personality, some episodes by the Gospels raise serious concerns about the psychiatric health and even the legal adequacy of the Christian prophet.

Sadism was not strange to Jesus Christ.

Very much about the personality of Jesus Christ is revealed by one of the few episodes in the New Testament from Christ’s childhood. Once, when the family was on return from Jerusalem, twelve years old Jesus Christ ran away from his parents without warning them. Driven into despair, the parents spent three days in search of their son before they found Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem. When the mother of Jesus Christ, Marry, complained: ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’, the cruel boy retorted without remorse: ‘Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my father’s house?’. (Luke, 2/42-49)

Most psychoanalysts would immediately recall the Oedipus complex and other similar syndromes here; anyway, one thing is clear – Jesus Christ did not feel sorry for causing pain on his parents. His reaction shows that the despair and pain of the parents were pleasant to Jesus – the rude answer of the would-be prophet wounded his mother and the man who was raising Jesus Christ as his true son even much deeper.

Jesus Christ as a latent sadist appeared also in the episode when a Pharisee (supporter of strict obedience to the religious laws of Judaism) invited him for diner and was surprised that Jesus sprawled out at the table without having washed his hands. (As it is many times noticed in the Bible, washing hands before meal was a sacred duty of every Jew at that time, – it is quite possible that the saying about a pig and a church gained its popularity because of this episode.)

Then Jesus Christ, obviously with pleasure, mocked the host and all the Pharisees and spitefully humiliated them, their faith, habits and the whole Jewish culture. (Luke, 11/37-52)

Even if the Pharisee had been wrong, any decent man, prophet or god could not so shamelessly scoff at the people who had invited them to their place, treated him to diner and was behaving in the way that was considered appropriate by the entire Jewish nation. Seemingly, Jesus Christ felt that the host and other Pharisees were sympathising with him and immediately exploited his status of a guest in order to gratify his sadistic inclinations.

(This episode was later a lot of times repeated by Christians, who were mocking and humiliating Jews for many centuries. However, Jews were one of the few non-Christian nations that were not exterminated during the Middle Ages.)

Both of these episodes show the hidden cruelty of Jesus, his extraordinary narcissism, which Jesus Christ, seemingly, developed by thinking about his divine origin. The narcissism helped Jesus to make an impression of an extraordinary self-confidence (or impertinence), which led his uneducated contemporaries to believe that Jesus Christ was a prophet, messiah or even a god.

Jesus Christ was prone to violence

Perhaps the best-known manifestations of the prophet’s inclination towards violence is the scene, when Jesus Christ in fierce anger drove the salesmen and money changers away from the Jerusalem temple: ‘So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.’ (John, 2/15).

Jesus Christ’s position on the incompatibility of business with a shrine deserves respect. (Interesting, how would Jesus Christ react yo the contemporary Vatican City, which at first glance can recall a big market of souvenirs.)

Nonetheless, the fact that Jesus Christ committed violence against the people for whom trading or changing money probably was the only way of maintaining their families – instead of the highest Jewish priests, who permitted and maybe encouraged this (perhaps even collected special taxes from the traders) – shows that Jesus Christ was not really concerned about the sacredness of the shrine.

It seems that Jesus Christ just exploited a convenient occasion to play a hero and to engage in violence against the poor people of low social status, who did not dare even to try to resist the vicious prophet and the company that followed him. If Jesus Christ had tried to raise his hand against the actual culprits – the highest Jewish priests who organised the animal trade and change of money in the shrine in order to facilitate sacrificing to Yahweh for overseas visitors – Jesus would have been tamed in few seconds.

Jesus Christ managed to get angry with A TREE that did not give him its fruit in spring!

However, the culmination of the violent Jesus Christ’s character should be considered the famous scene about Jesus and a fig tree which is described in the majority of Gospels (for example, Mark, 11/13-14 or Mathew, 21/19).

Once Jesus Christ had a wish to try the fruit of a fig tree that was growing by the roadside; however, it was spring, and the tree, of course, could not satisfy the whim of the Christian prophet. Then Jesus Christ got angry, cursed the fig tree and, as the Gospels say, the poor tree withered. (This is also considered a miracle as there is no notice in the Bible that Jesus Christ or somebody of his followers would have cut the roots of the fig tree or watered the it with some special solution.)

The fact that Jesus Christ managed to get angry with A TREE that did not give him its fruit in spring and, therefore, wished to kill the poor fig tree or even killed it tells us a lot about Christ’s personality. Obviously, Jesus Christ craved to master every single living being, demanded unconditional submission, and those who did not obey had to be destroyed.

Both of these episodes witness that Jesus Christ most probably had a suppressed inclination towards violence, which could manifest itself when Jesus was certain about his impunity, or even suffered from psychological necrophilia. (About psychological necrophilia – Erich Fromm / The anatomy of human destructiveness)

(Jesus Christ’s craving for destroying everybody and everything that did not knuckle under was adopted and put into life by the Medieval Christians, who not only murdered all the Europeans and Americans who did not self-humiliat in front of them, cut down the holy forests and destroyed the majority of the ‘non-Christian’ artworks, – they persecuted even suspicious-looking black cats.)

Jesus Christ incited hatred and encouraged violence

When speaking to hostile Jewish priests, Jesus Christ was very noble, prudent and peaceful. However, whenever Jesus was alone with his followers, the Christian prophet often showed a completely different face.

Jesus Christ did not openly call to destroy shrines, but he predicted that the shrine of Jerusalem would be destroyed (Mathew, 24/2 or Mark, 13/2), and once Jesus even proposed that the Jews would destroy their main shrine so that he could rebuild it in three days actually having in mind (according to John) ‘his body’ (John, 2/19-21).

Jesus Christ urged to forgive people for their wrongdoings, but refusing to worship himself Jesus considered to be an unforgivable crime. ‘He who is not with me is against me’ – he explained (Luke, 11/23) – so Jesus Christ left no doubt that all the people who do not worship him are his enemies.

Jesus Christ always explained that his true followers are those who make enemies of their fellow-men and betray them for the sake of him (for example, Mathew, 10/36-38); Jesus Christ suggested that for his sake one has to raise hand even against his closest relatives: ‘Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.’ (Mathew, 10/21 and 18/15-17; also Mark 13/12).

Finally, having been left alone with his apostles, Jesus Christ openly and honestly confessed: ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law…’ (Mark, 10, 34-35)..

When Jesus Christ had already rallied many followers, he sometimes called for violence even while speaking to the crowd: ‘From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force…’ (Mathew, 11/12) or even indirectly invited to beat the infidels (for example, Luke, 19/27).

Jesus Christ also mentioned wars among nations (Mark 13/8; Luke 21/10).

So, Jesus Christ incited his followers to hate the differently thinking people and engage in violence against them. Indirect and direct calls to hate infidels and to kill them even if they were the closest relatives can be found in all the four Gospels.

(Jesus Christ used quite a standard prophetical strategy – in the beginning, he spoke moderately and accentuated love and forgivingness, but later, when Jesus Christ had become more popular, he started to more and more call for violence towards infidels. This later became the favourite tactics of Christians – they first cunningly penetrated into new communities and countries pretending to have noble and peaceful intentions, but when they captured control, – Christians murdered all and everybody who did not self-humiliate in front of them.)

Violent actions of Jesus Christ and his instigation of violence have to be qualified as crimes

Violence against peaceful people has been considered to be a crime always and everywhere. Doubtlessly, if any follower of Jesus Christ started to devastate the shops in the Vatican City as incompatible with the status of the ‘Holy See’ and whipped their salespersons, the Catholic Church would without hesitation take such a whippersnapper to court and seek the harshest possible sentence for him.

Instigation of hatred and violence has also always been considered to be a crime. Both those who commit violence and those who call for it are normally isolated from the society – in some countries they even can be sentenced to death.

So, Pontius Pilote adopted an absolutely normal decision according to the law of that time – Jesus Christ had to pay for his crimes according to the laws of the Roman Empire, which even now are often considered among the most progressive in the whole human history.

Seemingly, Jesus Christ himself understood that he was urging his followers to commit crimes against humanity: ‘But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts <...> And everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me’ (Mathew, 10/17,22).

Jesus Christ seemingly was fraught with serious psychological problems

It seems now, however, that Jesus Christ was punished too strictly. Perhaps, if Jesus was being judged nowadays, the psychological condition of the Christian prophet would have been taken into account first of all.

The episodes mentioned above: Jesus running away from the parents, the diner at the Pharisee’s place, violence in the shrine and, especially, the ‘murder’ of the fig tree witness that Jesus Christ suffered serious psychological disorders – certain features of sadism and psychological necrophilia, suppressed and possibly unrealised inclination towards violence can be seen in Christ’s character.

Seemingly, Jesus Christ badly suffered for not being son of his mother’s husband and, therefore, for not being eligible to become a rightfull member of the Jewish community. Probably the would-be prophet often encountered contempt and taunting from his fellow children in his childhood and developed a strong inferiority complex.

The episode of running away from the parents shows that most possibly Jesus Christ was seriously concerned about his extramarital origin and, as it often happens in such cases, the feeling developed into narcissism – thoughtless self-glorifying, conceitedness and self-adoration.

One of the most upsetting consequences of Christ’s pathological narcissism seems to be the fact that Jesus Christ was ashamed of his family or even was shunning it – this is difficult even to realise for a person in normal mental condition.

According to the Gospels, Jesus did not succeed in performing miracles in Nazareth, his home town, as Jesus Christ himself confessed ant tried to justify himself by means of sonorous phrases (Mathew, 13/57,58; also Luke, 4/23). Therefore, the relatives of Jesus by no means recognised any divinity of the prophet (‘For his brothers did not believe in him’, – John, 7/5), and Jesus Christ, who hardly ever behaved himself in the way he taught others to do, never forgave them for such impertinence.

Jesus Christ stressed many times that the relation with him is a lot more important than the family relations; Jesus demonstrated his spite towards his mother and brothers, who did not worship him, in the episode when they were looking for Christ, found him surrounded by a group of his followers, but Jesus Christ did not condescend even to speak to his closest relatives and called his followers his true family (for example, Mathew, 12/47-49).

On the other hand, the Jesus Christ’s idea of marriage as eternal sexual slavery (Mathew, 19/4-6 or Luke, 16/18) is indeed astonishing. The Christ’s categorical statement on the ultimate sanctity of marriage, which surpassed even the harsh Jewish morality, provokes to formulate a hypothesis that Jesus Christ (at least before he met Mary Magdalene) probably was not popular with women and, therefore, he imagined marriage as a way to turn a woman into a sexual slave (sometimes Jesus just glorified living without sex).

When Jesus Christ was trying to impose his controversial values on others, he often repeated ‘I tell you the truth’ and similar things, which is not usually considered normal for an adult.

The very eclecticism and internal contradictions of Christ’s morality and sermons reveal his unstable psychological condition – Jesus Christ preached in turns that he was brining either love or sword; sometimes Jesus urged people to respect and love their relatives, sometimes he ordered to leave them for his sake. The narcissist prophet even ordered one of his followers to abandon his father’s funeral in order to accompany the Christian prophet (Luke, 9/59-60).

Jesus Christ advertised some values when he was speaking to accidentally gathered people, and he tried to impose other values, often the opposite ones, on his closest followers, but when Jesus Christ was speaking to educated Jews or at court, he cunningly tried to avoid direct answers.

It is mentioned in Mark’s Gospel that once, when Jesus Christ was preaching especially aggressively and many people had gathered to listen to him, his family, in deep concern, came to take Jesus away: ‘When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, "He is out of his mind"’ (Mark, 3/21) – obviously, the family of the Christian prophet was afraid that Jesus Christ was going one more time to get into trouble, and they came to try to rescue Jesus before it was too late.

This implies that Jesus Christ from his youth was considered to be not responsible for his words and deeds, probably he suffered from fits of hysteria, and the members of his family constantly took care of poor Jesus and supervised him.

So, nowadays Jesus Christ hardly could receive a criminal sentence. However, we should not forget that in those days there were not as many prisons as later built by Christians for keeping criminals for many years, and that psychiatry was still beginning to develop and in the first century of the Common Era, compos mentis expertises were not invented yet.

Pontius Pilate did not manage to curb the violence


Who brought more violence and suffering to mankind?

Adolf Hitler

Jesus Christ

both the same

The civil disturbances among Jesus Christ’s followers settled down for a while when their prophet was executed, but after a couple of centuries Europe was overwhelmed by the wave of cruelty and violence, which had been incited and predicted by Jesus Christ; – Christians, initiated by Paul and Peter, united against the culture and humanism of Greeks and Romans and completely ruined them.

As had been predicted by Jesus Christ and other biblical prophets, in the early Middle Ages all the people who did not humiliate themselves in front of Christian clerics were killed, their shrines were ruined, the majority of the artworks were destroyed, books were burnt and even most of the holy trees were cut down by the medieval Christians – no doubt, the most vicious and merciless barbarians in the whole human history.

European culture was turned back for a millennium. Everything that Pontius Pilate believed in and respected was wiped off the face of the earth. The Medieval Christians declared the ancient love for man and life to be a sin and glorified impotence, masochism and necrophilia instead, in order to carry out the bloody directions of Jesus Christ, – villainy for the sake of Church and self-humiliation in front of Christian clerics became the greatest virtues.

Jesus Christ did not kill anybody himself (except the stubborn fig tree), just like Hitler, but so great many bloody crimes were committed in the name of the Christian god, that, compared to them, even the Nazi cruelties look as an insignificant episode in the history of the Christian culture.

Even nowadays, when the modern Christians in cold blood slaughter hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, Yugoslavians or Iraqis while waffling about democracy, human rights and love to your fellow-man, you cannot help thinking one more time about what the mysterious Christian prophet Jesus Christ actually was.

What do you think about it?

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As one grows older, one becomes wiser and more foolish.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld – en

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