Ruler Cult and Emperor Worship as Major Inputs to the Jesus Figure
Cover picture of "Was Jesus Caesar?"
Book search: "emperor worship" -- http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/field-keywords=Emperor%20worship
Web search: "emperor worship" -- http://www.google.com/search?q=%22emperor+worship%22
Web search: "ruler cult" -- http://www.google.com/search?q=%22ruler+cult%22
See also Mystery Religions.
This subject is a potential growth area. In its day, the styling of Jesus as a divine being who yet was firmly rooted in the world was obviously comparable to the already long-familiar Ruler Cult, responding to and co-opting its theme of a practical savior, son of a god, arrived on earth in full presence, offering real and tangible help, benefits, and rescue.
It's not accurate to call the Jesus figure just a rebuttal to Ruler Cult, or just an ironic inversion of Ruler Cult, or just a co-optation of Ruler Cult -- such views set up false polarities like that between literal truth and lies, or between politics and religion. The Jesus figure was an expression of the mysticism-gnosis-philosophy-religion-socio-politics of the day, as was emperor worship.
There were elements of irony and inversion, rebuttal and co-optation, but it's a gross misreading of the cultural context and in-context meaning of both earliest Christianity and of Ruler Cult if one paints a simple-minded picture of first, imperial politics in religious dress (Ruler Cult), leading to a reactive response, of a religion wearing a socio-political styling (Christianity).
With visionary plant-based primary religious experiencing on tap unremarkably, all the modern assumptions about religion being hardly attainable, and therefore set far aside, collapse.
Because intense psychoactive religious experiencing was available as easily as ordering a cup of wine today, religion was not put away into a separate category, and due to the quickening nature of the readily available intense mystic altered state, all domains of life and thought were inspired and all fell together into a single conglomerate glued together, comprising poetry, arts, sport, war, politics, philosophy, government, religion, mysticism, gnosis, and sociology.
Ruler Cult is important and overlooked -- almost suspiciously so. It would be grossly reductionist to portray Ruler Cult as the only source for the Jesus figure; the books on the subject are great showcases of that reductionism: they discover one thread that fed into the cloth, and mistake it for the entirety, and lacking the view of the entirety, they even misread the one thread, not recognizing that the political was viewed in an integral divine light.
Modern scholars don't recognize the visionary plant-triggered intense mystic altered state as reflected in the Jesus figure -- that's another key thread; I propose that frozen-time vertical determinism is still another key thread.
>>The Christian Gospels were written under the direction of first-century Roman emperors. The purpose of these texts was to establish a peaceful Jewish sect to counterbalance the militaristic Jewish forces that had just been defeated by the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 A.D. The key to this story is in the writings of Josephus, the first-century Roman historian. Josephus's chronicle The War of the Jews parallels events recounted in the Gospels.
>>The emperors used the Gospels to spark a new religious movement that would aid them in maintaining power and order. By including hidden literary clues, they took the story of the Emperor Titus's glorious military victory, as recounted by Josephus, and embedded that story in the Gospels - a sly and satirical way of glorifying the emperors through the ages.
Book by Joe Atwill
Publisher: Joe Atwill
http://www.joeatwill.com -- "...the Roman Emperor Titus Flavius created Christianity to replace the Jewish Messianic movement that waged war against the Empire with a pacifistic, pro-Roman religion. Titus also designed the story line of Jesus' ministry in the New Testament as a satire of his military campaign through Judea so that posterity would learn that he had invented Christianity and recognize his genius. Though the New Testament had always been seen as a religious document it is actually a monument to the vanity of a Caesar."
The Flavian Hypothesis: Radical New Proposals Concerning the Origins of Christianity
Book by Francesco Carotta
Planned release Dec. 2003
Publisher: Intl Specialized Book Service Inc
Book by Gary Courtney
ISBN 0 646 08733 9
The Life and Death of Julius Caesar as Source for the Gospel of Christ
Alastair Small (ed.)
JRA Supplement 17. Ann Arbor, 1996. Pp. 264, 51 halftones, 30 figures. $89.50. ISBN 1-887829-17-2.
Book by S. R. F. Price
sample pages online
The Caesar theory is related to the Flavius Josephus theory of New Testament authorship.
Pamphlet by Abelard Reuchlin
Paperback, January 1979
Not found at Amazon
Entering the title and author, 2 hits found at
True Authorship of the New Testament: Arius Calpurnius Piso; Pen Name Flavius
Josephus: A Roman
Reuchlin Foundation Pamphlet. copyright 1979 Pamphlet, 27 pages, 1986 2nd
printing near mint; never sold, but shelfwear; 1986 2nd printing; store stmp
Price: US$ 20.00 (Convert Currency)
Talmudic Responses to Piso: A Postscript Chapter to the True: Authorship of
the New Testament as Revised and Amplified
Privately Published by Abelard Reuchlin Pamphlet copyright 2000 Pamphlet, 53
pages, Original Ed/Printing 2000 mint, center stapled 8-1/2 x 11 pamphlet;
Price: US$ 20.00