The talk will be part of a symposium taking place in London on October 19th. How will this be received? Probably skeptically.
Although to many scholars his theory seems outlandish, and is sure to upset some believers, Atwill regards his evidence as conclusive and is confident its acceptance is only a matter of time. “I present my work with some ambivalence, as I do not want to directly cause Christians any harm,” he acknowledges, “but this is important for our culture. Alert citizens need to know the truth about our past so we can understand how and why governments create false histories and false gods. They often do it to obtain a social order that is against the best interests of the common people.”
Atwill asserts that Christianity did not really begin as a religion, but a sophisticated government project, a kind of propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of the Roman Empire.
That he regards it as conclusive is no big deal – everyone loves their own theories. He claims Jesus is not a real person. The historicity of Jesus has been debated before. However, we are dealing with something far more pliable and strong than facing reality, we are contending with faith that will gladly eschew facts. Atwill is clearly not a fan of Christianity, saying it can be an “insidious form of mind control”. Hey, it’s a free country. Religion should be just as open to criticism as every other topic and not given a free pass or special treatment.
I’m not well versed in Biblical scholarship so feel free to add your commentary. (Attempts at conversions or people telling me I’m going to hell will be disallowed.)
Here is Atwill’s website for more. http://www.covertmessiah.com
Historicity Of Jesus FAQ.