The God who wasn’t there


Jesus myth hypothesis

Most of the film is a presentation of the argument for the Jesus myth hypothesis. Flemming and those he interviews in the film make these claims:

  • The history of Christianity, especially the doctrine of the earliest Christians, is consistent with Jesus having been a mythical character, with historical details only added on later.
  • The Epistles of Paul, which were written before the Gospels, show no awareness on the part of the author that Jesus was supposed to have been a human being who recently lived. Paul mentions only the crucifixion, the resurrection and the ascension and presents them as having occurred in a mythic realm rather than an earthly one.
  • The death-resurrection-ascension sequence was common in previous mythologies and religions, making it more likely that the Jesus character was inspired by his similar forebears than that he actually lived on Earth.
  • Other details of the Jesus biography offered in the Gospels also have precedent in previous mythologies and religions, especially Judaism. For example, the “Massacre of the Innocents” scene appears to be directly inspired by a nearly identical story in Exodus.

Other criticisms of Christianity

Besides defending the Jesus myth hypothesis, the film criticizes some other aspects of Christianity:

  • Flemming argues that moderate Christianity makes even less sense than a fundamentalist interpretation of Christian doctrine, asserting that the Bible contains many messages incompatible with toleration of non-Christians, who reject Jesus as the Savior of Christian doctrine and must therefore be regarded by Christians as damned.
  • Flemming sees God’s demand that people believe in him or be damned as essentially mind control. He interprets Mark 3:29 and similar passages as damning anyone who doubts the existence of the Holy Spirit. He is appalled by the notion that Jesus will forgive murder, theft, and any other sin but not this type of disbelief.
  • Because Jesus knows people’s innermost thoughts, and that therefore one must police one’s thoughts to avoid any doubt, Flemming summarizes this idea with the statement that the greatest sin in fundamentalist Christianity is “to think.”
  • Flemming asserts that Christians have historically been obsessed with blood sacrifice, and illustrates this viewpoint by pointing out that Mel Gibson‘s 2004 film The Passion of the Christ, which contains very few scenes that do not feature graphic violence or suffering, was more financially successful than any previous film about Jesus.
  • The film references poll results indicating that 44% of Americans believe, to some degree, that Jesus will come back to Earth in their lifetime, and that this sort of thinking is not conducive to long-term governmental policies.

2 thoughts on “The God who wasn’t there

  1. Not all Christians are obsessed with blood sacrifice! Those who truly are Christians only want to follow in Jesus’s footsteps. They wouldn’t shed blood. Flemming is trying “so” desperately to prove Jesus did not walk this earth. And believes Christians are “wrong” in what they believe.

    My statement is simple, PROVE JESUS NEVER EXISTED…. If Flemming would read the Bible he would understand there were 500 + witnesses to Jesus’s return after his crucifixion. And he was known if each of the towns he visited.

    I hope God removes the Spiritual Scales which is covering Flemmings eyes and he’ll witness a miracle!!!!!

    Blessings to you…Robin

  2. using the bible to prove that Jesus is true is circular reasoning which is a logical fallacy.

    the bible was not written by eyewitnesses.the unknown authors of the NT were reporting hearsays and second hand accounts. the names are attached to them years later. historians living between 1 and 33 ad never mentioned Jesus, his preachings, miracles, trial and crucifixion.

    read on the 1st council of Nicaea and the other church councils which dictates what Christians like you should believed and how books of the bible were canonized and others rejected

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