Joseph Atwill

Special guest

An ICC world-ranked chess player, Atwill studied Greek, Latin and Biblical studies at St. Mary's Military Academy in Japan. Atwill went on to  cofound software companies Ferguson Tool Company and ASNA with early IBM programmer David Ferguson.

In 1995, Atwill returned to his studies of Christianity through his interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It seemed incredible that two diametrically opposite forms of messianic Judaism emerged from Judea at the same time.  One sect was waging a religious war against the Romans, seeking a Messiah that would lead them to military victory. Simultaneously, the followers of Jesus were supposedly organizing a religion based around a Messiah that told them to “turn the other cheek” and “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.”

The key came in Josephus’ War of the Jews, which describes Titus’s destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.  The military campaign exactly paralleled over 40 moments in the ministry of Jesus described in the Gospels; an inconceivable coincidence.

As Atwill presents in Caesar's Messiah, the Flavian Roman imperial family created Christianity to pacify the militaristic opposition to their rule. Even more incredibly, they placed a literary satire within the Gospels to mark their handiwork.  This symbolic framework is the hidden history of Western civilization. In his follow-up book, Shakespeare's Secret Messiah, Atwill shows how this typology was understood and employed by Marlowe and Shakespeare, and what it means for the future of the Christian world.

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Joseph Atwill has been a guest on 1 episode.