The Pisonian Conspiracy
It is more than coincidence that Jesus of Nazareth lay dead for over 35 years and not one single word was written either about his life, his teachings or his crucifixion, that is, of course, until members of the powerful Roman Piso family concocted a plot to create a new Jewish like religion to compete with that of the Messianic Jews. After this it took less than 5 years for the very first gospel pertaining to Jesus of Nazareth to be written.
The "Tathbit" tells us of a group of disgruntled Nazoreans who seek the aid of a Roman officer in an attempt to improve their lot amongst the Pharisee in the Temple. When the Romans ask them to bring their book they go back to the elders who tell them that they have done bad. The elders hide the book. The Romans hunt down the elders and slay them, but are never able to find their holy book. The rebels try to recreate the teachings of the Master which may have been the Gospel of Thomas. The conspirators then agree to write stories much like those in the Old Testament about their Master, which probably served as the source for much of the Apocrypha. So, here you have Roman conspirators conspiring to create a new Judaism for the Empire, the Essene trying to convert the Romans to Judaism and a group of disgruntled Nazoreans seeking the cooperation of the Romans. In his testimony in "Antiquity Unveiled" the Roman Emperor Vespasian corroborates the Roman attempts at acquiring the Jewish scriptures. He states that he was unable to obtain even one. Both of these documents verify that the Romans were intent on carrying out the Piso plan. All the elements were in place. The Romans were now aware of the Essene script, pertaining to the second coming of the 'Teacher of Righteousness.'
By the middle of the first century CE, Roman aristocrats were confronted with a growing problem, that being the viral growth of Judaism in the empire. There were more than 8 million Jews in the empire which made up more than 20% of the population living east of Rome. Of these more than half lived outside of Palestine. Jewish ethics and morality, in particular those of the growing Pharisaic sect, were not compatible with the Roman institution of slavery off of which the aristocracy fed and ruled.||
Fearing that Judaism would become the dominant religion in the empire, Roman author, Annaeus Seneca, tutor and confidant of Emperor Nero, suggested in a letter to his friend Lucius Piso that lighting candles on Sabbaths be prohibited. St. Augustine in his "City of God" claimed that "the conquered have given laws to the conqueror."
"In 65 A.D. some senators concocted the Pisonian Conspiracy to murder Nero in the Circus Maximus, while the games were going on, and then place Caius Calpurnius Piso in Nero's position. They were found out and Nero went on a rampage to root out any opposition and there were daily executions. In fact all together there were nineteen executions and suicides. Among the ones killed were Faenius Rufus, Seneca, Lucan and Poppaea. Corbulo commited suicide. In 66 A.D. a second wave of executions took place and some of the important men who perished were Caius Petronius, Paetus Thrasea the Stoic, and Barea Soranus. Almost everyone who was suspected of treason was executed including many senators and prefects. This all took place in 66 AD, the same time when the horrible Jewish revolt broke out."--Tacitus, "Annals"
Even though Nero had discovered the Pisonian plot, the wheels had already been set in motion by the Roman followers of Lucius Piso. Gaius Calpurnius Piso had already composed the first draft of the Gospel of Mark known as Ur Marcus. According to the testimony of Damis in 'Antiquity Unveiled,' Josephus, Apollonius and himself (Damis) were all initiated into a secret order called the 'Sons of Sun.' The other members of the order were the Emperors Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Nerva and Trajan. Strangely the Emperor Claudius was also a member which means that the plot to create a new Jewish like religion was already in place before Nero became emperor of Rome. A key provision of the order was that members would not show any outward signs of a relationship between themselves and other members. This explains why Josephus fails to mention Apollonius in his writings.
How The Pisonian Conspiracy Led to the Writing of the Gospels and the Dead Sea Scrolls
While doing research for this book, I have often wondered why Apollonius changed his original position from having good relations with members of the Essene community to that of a friend of the Roman Emperors and a more adversarial relationship towards the Essene. Although I had already collected much of the following material quite some time ago, I suddenly had a realization that these pieces of information were written about events which occurred at or about 66 CE and were interrelated. In the original document by 'Abd al-Jabbar, which was written almost a thousand years later, the author is under the impression that the leader of the 'Christian' (Essene) community was Jesus Christ when in all likelihood the person in question was actually 'James the Just' who was killed c 62 CE, or even more likely Apollonius of Tyana.
What we have here are three groups; the Romans, the Pharisee, and the Essene all at at odds with one another. The Romans wanted to control the Jews and the people of the Empire. The Pharisee wanted to maintain control of all of the various Jewish sects and the Essene wanted to overthrow both Roman and Pharisaic rule. The following explains how members of the Essene formed a pact with the Romans against the Pharisee.
"...with all my endeavors to get possession of the old books of the Jews, I did not succeed in getting one; for the Jews destroyed them rather than that they should be desecrated by heathens. ...how Christians can claim that they have copies of the ancient Hebrew prophets, when I could not obtain one, I cannot understand....because I searched their dead, their houses, their captives, but could not obtain nothing of them except the acknowledgment that the Jews had such books...My main purpose in giving Josephus his life was, to get through him those books;"--J.M. Roberts, "Antiquity Unveiled," Testimony of Vespasian. As far as I know, Vespasian did not read or write Hebrew, and he was not considering converting to Judaism. So, what was his motive in pursuing these books. I think the following will shed more than some light on exactly what was happening.
The following is from a document, of Nazorean origin, which was most definitely written in Syriac and is part of a collection made by by the well-known tenth century Mu'tazilite author 'Abd al-Jabbar. Keep in mind that the author most definitely is not unbiased. "The Romans (al-Rum) reigned over them. The Christians (used to) complain to the Romans about the Jews, showed them their own weakness and appealed to their pity. And the Romans did pity them. This (used) to happen frequently. And the Romans said to the Christians: Between us and the Jews there is a pact which (obliges us) not to change their religious laws (adyan). But if you would abandon their laws and separate yourselves from them, praying as we do (while facing) the East, eating (the things) we eat, and regarding as permissible that which we consider as such, we should help you and make you powerful, and the Jews would find no way (to harm you). On the contrary, you would be more powerful than they."
"The Christians answered: "We will do this." (And the Romans) said: "Go, fetch your companions, and bring your Book (kitab)." (The Christians) went to their companions, informed them of (what had taken place) between them and the Romans and said to them: "Bring the Gospel (al-injil), and stand up so that we should go to them." But these (companions) said to them: "You have done ill. We are not permitted (to let) the Romans pollute the Gospel. In giving a favourable answer to the Romans, you have accordingly departed from the religion. We are (therefore) no longer permitted to associate with you; on the contrary, we are obliged to declare that there is nothing in common between us and you;" and they prevented their (taking possession of) the Gospel or gaining access to it. In consequence a violent quarrel (broke out) between (the two groups). Those (mentioned in the first place) went back to the Romans and said to them: "Help us against these companions of ours before (helping us) against the Jews, and take away from them on our behalf our Book (kitab)." Even though the text uses the word Gospel, you have to understand that this text was written by a Muslim theologian during the late tenth century. It is very unlikely that there existed anything like the Christian gospels during the time that the author is referring to. The writings in all liklihood were the Dead Sea Scrolls and not the gospels.
You must keep in mind that the author was not a contemporary of the events and was writing from an historical perspective so to him the Essene, who were Jews, were the Christians, and the books in question are undoubtedly the Dead Sea Scrolls. This was written in the tenth century and the author knew nothing about the Dead Sea Scrolls.
"Thereupon (the companions of whom they had spoken) fled the country. And the Romans wrote concerning them to their governors in the districts of Mosul and in the Jazirat al-'Arab. [NOTE: In the context this geographical term might exceptionally designate the Jazira region In North-Eastern Syria, rather than the Arabian Peninsula. Accordingly, a search was made for them; some (qawm) were caught and burned, others (qawm) were killed."
"(As for) those who had given a favorable answer to the Romans they came together and took counsel as to how to replace the Gospel, seeing that it was lost to them. (Thus) the opinion that a Gospel should be composed (yunshi'u) was established among them. They said: "the Torah (consists) only of (narratives concerning) the births of the prophets and of the histories (tawarikh) of their lives. We are going to construct (nabni) a Gospel according to this (pattern)".
"Everyone among us is going to call to mind that which he remembers of the words (ajfar) of the Gospel and of (the things) about which the Christians talked among themselves (when speaking) of Christ." Accordingly, some people (qawm) wrote a Gospel. After (them) came others (qawm) (who) wrote (another) Gospel. (In this manner) a certain number of Gospels were written. (However) a great part of what was (contained) in the original was missing in them. There were among them (men), one after another, who knew many things that were contained in the true Gospel (al-injil al-xahih.), but with a view to establishing their dominion (ri'asa), they refrained from communicating them. In all this there was no mention of the cross or of the crucifix. According to them there were eighty Gospels. However, their (number) constantly diminished and became less, until (only) four Gospels were left which are due to four individuals (nafar). Every one of them composed in his time a Gospel. Then another came after him, saw that (the Gospel composed by his predecessor) was imperfect, and composed another which according to him was more correct (axahh), nearer to correction (al-xihha) than the Gospel of the others."
"If the Christians would consider these things, they would know that the Gospels which are with them are of no profit to them, and that the knowledge claimed (on their behalf) by their masters and the authors (of these Gospels) is not (found) in them, and that on this point) things are just as we have said�-it is a well-known (fact) which is referred to here (namely the fact that they have abandoned the religion of Christ and turned towards) the religious doctrines of the Romans, prizing and (seeking to obtain) in haste the profits which could be derived from their domination and their riches.'"--Tathbit Dala'il Nubuwwat Sayyidina Mahammad
These passages clearly show the reason why the New Testament authors used the Septuagint and not the original Hebrew texts, and clearly points to this period as the time when the gospel accounts were first penned. "Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes".--2Timothy, 1:14,15. This passage from 2Timothy clearly highlights the split, in the Essene community, that was recorded in the Tathbit, and identifies Paul (Apollonius) as the author. Today, most biblical experts are confused by the difference in writing styles between the earlier epistles, those accredited to Paul, and the latter epistles such as the Pastorals usually accredited to an unkown later author. However, what these experts fail to realize is that these later epistles are actually the ones written by Paul. What they fail to realize is the fact that Marcion rewrote the early epistles.
"The original Paul, and the man whom I followed as a mortal, was Apollonius; and Timotheus was a bishop, or an apostle, of the Nazarite, Essenian, or Therapeutic sect,...Until that sect began to abuse the communistic idea--that of having all things in common--I was a member....But the bishops and leading men began to monopolize the enjoyment of the good things of this life. Apollonius himself had the same weakness....He became desirous of controlling the moneys and the tongues of his followers;"--JM Roberts, "Antiquity Unveiled", Testimony of Hermogenes, the great Essenian rival of St. Paul. By the way, Timothy or Thimotheus was none other than Damis.
These events occurred c 66 CE and opened Apollonius' eyes to some incipient threat to his teachings and very existence. "During Apollonius' short stay in Rome, in 66 A.D., although he never let the slightest word escape him that could be construed by the numerous informers into a treasonable utterance, he was nevertheless brought before Tigellinus, the infamous favourite of Nero, and subjected to a severe cross-examination. Apparently up to this time Apollonius working for the future, had confined his attention entirely to the reformation of religion and the restoration of the ancient institutions of the nations, but the tyrannical conduct of Nero, which gave peace not even to the most blameless philosophers, at length opened his eyes to a more immediate evil, which seemed no less than the abrogation of the liberty of conscience by an irresponsible tyranny. From this time onwards, therefore, we find him keenly interested in the persons of the successive emperors."--G.R.S. Mead, "Apollonius of Tyana". Keep in mind that this audience with his Royal Eminence happened during the time of the "Pisonian Conspiracy", and the Emperor must have been paranoid concerning anything religious. Perhaps Apollonius could see the writing on the wall and wanted to avoid suffering the same fate of 'James the Just' and the rest of the Essene sect.
"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,"--Romans 1:1. I may be wrong, but all in all I found 73 passages among Paul's Epistles which claim that he preached the gospel of God. Most Christian scholars seem to ignore Paul's claim that he preached the gospels. "Now and here, I declare that the Christian Gospels were preached by me--preached at Jerusalem--preached at Ephesus--preached at Athens--preached at Philippi--preached at Rome--preached at Antioch--preached at Alexandria--preached at Babylon."--J.M. Roberts, "Antiquity Unveiled," Testimony of Apollonius
Now, it is commonly accepted that 2Timothy, which is a part of the Pauline Epistles known as the Pastorals, was not actually written by Paul since its composition is usually dated after the supposed death of Paul, and its writing stlye is dissimilar to that of Paul. However, this little notation in 2Timothy clearly indicates that not only was the date of compositon earlier than most believe, but that it was most definitely written by Paul. The testimony of Vespasian nails down the date to between 66 and 69 CE. Then how can you account for the discrepancy in writing styles? "For my own benefit and personal aggrandizement, I brought yo Rome the Pauline Epistles. I obtained them in Antioch. I changed or interpolated them to suit myself; because being a scholar, and understanding those epistles to contain facts that were not known by the world at large, I thought that they presented a rare opportunity to make myself great. These epistles were written or copied from the originals by Apollonius, Apollos, or Paulus; and in order to disguise the identity of their author, Apollonius of Tyana, I interpolated that description of Paul that was afterward copied by Lucian."--J.M. Roberts, "Antiquity Unveiled", Testimony of Marcion. Marcion was responsible for the following epistles:
-Ephesians (which Marcion called Laodiceans)
As a result the writing style of these 10 gospels would be distintly different than those actually penned by Paul (Apollonius). Now, it has always been considered doubtful that Paul actually penned Romans which reflects a far different theology than that set forth by Paul in his other epistles. In view of Paul's popularity among many of the so called heretical sects such as the Marcionites, and many of his letters we have received directly from the hands of the Marcionite Churches -- a church known for their anti-Jewish sentiment and fraudulent copies of altered scriptures -- there is good evidence to question if they are indeed his at all�. Many Gentiles who portrayed themselves as Paul, were initiates of Mithracism, and saw their doctrines fulfilled in the person of Jesus, a soter figure sorely missing in the Mithraic doctrine. Now, the Pastorals present a different problem, and may not have been written until the mid second century as Irenaeus was the first person to refer to them in the year 170 CE.
The following comes from the Dead Sea Scroll known as 'The Coming of Melchizedek':
"(Ps. 82;1). Scripture also says about him ; "Over it take your seat in the highest heaven; A divine being will judge the peoples" (Ps. 7;7-8) Concerning what scripture says; "How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality with the wicked? Selah" (Ps. 82;2), the interpretation applies to Belial and the spirits predestined to him, because all of them have rebelled, turning from God's precepts and so becoming utterly wicked. Therefore Melchizedek will thoroughly prosecute the vengeance required by God's statutes. Also, he will deliver all the captives from the power of Belial, and from the power of all the spirits destined to him. Allied with him will be all the "righteous divine beings"(Isa. 61;3).--The Dead Sea Scrolls, "The Coming of Melchizedek" 11Q13 Col.2. The common meaning of Belial in the Old Testament would be the Devil, but here it most likely refers to the uncircumcised Gentiles, and we know that Paul was the Apostle of the uncircumcised. This scroll is usually dated from 66-125 CE, but this content seems to place it much closer to 66 CE, especially when you consider the fate that was about to befall the citizens of Qumran. This scroll also seems to indicate that the Essene were still awaiting the arrival of the messiah long after the canonical death of Jesus. It also helps establish the year 66 CE as the year in which the scrolls were hidden away from the Romans. The scroll also tells us that these so-called early Jewish Christians were not following the teachings of a man named Jesus Christ as the Roman Church would have you believe. The Church put much effort into harmonizing the 2 disparate belief systems of the Greek school of Paul and the Essene Jewish school of Peter, claiming them to be the early followers of Jesus Christ.
"The principle of initiation is expressed in that famous text of what is termed the Scriptures where it is said, 'Thou art a priest after the order of Melchisedec.' The original meaning of that was, 'A priest after the order of the Sun.'"--J.M. Roberts, "Antiquity Unveiled" Testimony of Damis. Here we find Paul, Apollonius telling the reader that this being was he; "And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus."--Galatians 4:14. Melchizedek is a rather shadowy undefined figure mentioned in both Genesis and Psalms. "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God."--Genesis 14:18; "The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."--Psalms 110:4 or precisely the oath of the Essene. Then strange as it may seem this very same shadowy figure appears in the Pauline Epistles: "For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. ..." Keep in mind that Melchizedek is described as not having a father or mother, so this is not a person. There are some who believe that Melchizedek is the Archangel Michael, and others who believe that Melchizedek is Jesus Christ. Now, if you spend some time studying the belief system of the Nazorean sect you will find that they believed in similar type ethereal energies like Ruha and Hibil Ziwa.
To learn how Apollonius met Vespasian visit Simon the Magician
Continued Table of Contents