20 octobre 2016

Les Romains ont-ils inventé Jésus?

J'ai déjà publié un billet ici à propos de cette théorie selon laquelle les Romains auraient inventé le mythe de Jésus de toute pièce.

Voici un extrait d'un texte dédié à l'auteur de cette théorie:

American Biblical scholar Joseph Atwill will (...) present a controversial new discovery: ancient confessions recently uncovered now prove, according to Atwill, that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats and that they fabricated the entire story of Jesus Christ. His presentation will be part of a one-day symposium entitled “Covert Messiah” at Conway Hall in Holborn.

(...) 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. “Jewish sects in Palestine at the time, who were waiting for a prophesied warrior Messiah, were a constant source of violent insurrection during the first century,” he explains. “When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare. They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system. That’s when the ‘peaceful’ Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to ‘give onto Caesar’ and pay their taxes to Rome.”

Was Jesus based on a real person from history? “The short answer is no,” Atwill insists, “in fact he may be the only fictional character in literature whose entire life story can be traced to other sources. Once those sources are all laid bare, there’s simply nothing left.”

Il est toutefois important de souligner que la théorie de M. Atwill attire de sévères critiques, pour ne pas dire carrément du mépris, de la part d'autres historiens.

D'abord, Thomas Verenna:

This is a serious flaw in Atwill’s work. He makes claims but doesn’t seem to realize how ridiculous they actually are; it is that scholars find his work “outlandish”. It is just plain wrong. I mean it is still crazy talk, but it is more that his whole premise is wrong.

For example, like all sensationalist crap-dealers, Mr, Atwill claims to have discovered the secret, super-dooper, hidden code in the text. Amazing! I self-proclaimed “Biblical scholar”, with no formal training in the material, has used his magic decoder ring and stumbled upon a code! How clever of him. 

(...) None of them make the illogical leap that similarities between Josephus (a Jew) and the Gospels (written by Jewish authors) mean that the Romans did it. In fact it is the same misguided leap that some evangelicals make about God. 

(...) Second, what is utterly absurd is the notion that the Jews were ‘a constant source of violent insurrection.” No, they weren’t. 

(...) Notwithstanding this damning evidence against him, Atwill’s premise is quite narrowed and simplistic, demonstrating a critical lack of understanding of the cultural dynamics of Judea in the first century.

(...) Even logically, his analysis is flawed. If this tactic was used against the Jews, why didn’t the Romans use it against an even greater threat: the Gauls?! 

Ou encore Richard Carrier:

There are at least eight general problems with his thesis, which do not refute it but establish that it has a very low prior probability, and therefore requires exceptionally good evidence to be at all credible:

(1) The Roman aristocracy was nowhere near as clever as Atwill’s theory requires. They certainly were not so masterfully educated in the Jewish scriptures and theology that they could compose hundreds of pages of elegant passages based on it. (...)

(2) We know there were over forty Gospels, yet the four chosen for the canon were not selected until well into the 2nd century, and not by anyone in the Roman aristocracy. Likewise which Epistles were selected.

(3) The Gospels and the Epistles all contradict each other far too much to have been composed with a systematic aim in mind. Indeed, they contradict each other in ways that often demonstrate they are deliberately arguing with each other. (...)

(4) The Gospels and the Epistles differ far too much in style to have come from the same hand, and many show signs of later doctoring that would problematize attempts to confirm any theory like Atwill’s. (...)

(5) Christianity was probably constructed to “divert Jewish hostility and aggressiveness into a pacifist religion, supportive of–and subservient to–Roman rule,” but not by Romans, but exasperated Jews like Paul, who saw Jewish militarism as unacceptably disastrous in contrast with the obvious advantages of retooling their messianic expectations to produce the peaceful moral reform of society. (...)

(6) Pacifying Jews would not have been possible with a cult that eliminated Jewish law and accepted Gentiles as equals, and in actual fact Christianity was pretty much a failure in Palestine. Its success was achieved mainly in the Diaspora, where the Romans rarely had any major problems with the Jews. The Jewish War was only fought in Palestine, and not even against all the Jews there (many sided with Rome). How would inventing a religion that would have no chance of succeeding in the heart of Palestine but instead was tailor made to succeed outside Palestine, ever help the Romans with anything they considered important?

(7) If the Roman elite’s aim was to “pacify” Palestinian Jews by inventing new scriptures, they were certainly smart and informed enough to know that that wouldn’t succeed by using the language the Judean elite despised as foreign (Greek).

(8) The Romans knew one thing well: War. Social ideology they were never very good at. That’s why Rome always had such problems keeping its empire together, and why social discontent and other malfunctions continued to escalate until the empire started dissolving. Rome expected to solve every problem militarily instead–and up until the 3rd century Rome did so quite well. (...) So why would they think they needed any other solution?

6 commentaires:

Hans Georg Lundahl a dit…

S'agit-il de la théorie sur les Calpurnius Piso?

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : Debunking Piso Conspiracy as to Numerological Signatures by the Pisos

Prof Solitaire a dit…

Non, Hans... la numérologie, c'est de la foutaise. Ce dont il est question ici, c'est de similarités entre les textes (événements, lieux, chronologie, etc.)

Hans Georg Lundahl a dit…

Bon, entre quels textes et par exemple les Évangiles?

Je n'aimerais pas manquer une occasion de réfuter la théorie d'Atwill!

Hans Georg Lundahl a dit…

"How could this go unnoticed in the most scrutinised books of all time? “Many of the parallels are conceptual or poetic, so they aren’t all immediately obvious. After all, the authors did not want the average believer to see what they were doing, but they did want the alert reader to see it. An educated Roman in the ruling class would probably have recognised the literary game being played.” Atwill maintains he can demonstrate that “the Roman Caesars left us a kind of puzzle literature that was meant to be solved by future generations, and the solution to that puzzle is ‘We invented Jesus Christ, and we’re proud of it.'”"

Ceci d'un de vos liens, et la numérologie était précisément prétendu comme le genre d'indices donnés "par les Pisons", selon la version de Reuchlin.

Prof Solitaire a dit…

Tu n'as pas à réfuter la théorie d'Atwill, Hans, puisque, comme tu le vois dans ce billet, de vrais historiens l'ont déjà fait...

Hans Georg Lundahl a dit…

J'aimerais en fait essayer mon propre bras avant de regarder la solution des autres.

Si "vrai historien" n'est pas tout à fait exact, au moins, pour les parties de l'antiquité et du moyen âge qui parlaient le Latin, ce n'est pas trop loin. Je suis latiniste.