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The Evidence for Jesus as seen in the epistles of Timothy and Titus

The epistles to Timothy and Titus are controversially ascribed to St Paul, the first Christian writer.  Let us look at their evidence for Jesus.  They do nothing to support the version of Jesus preached by the gospels.
1 TIMOTHY
 
After commanding Christians to live virtuously the First Letter to Timothy continues “fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses. In the presence of God, Who preserves alive all living things, and of Christ Jesus, Who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I [solemnly] charge you, To keep all his precepts” (1 Timothy 6:12-14). Christians say this speaks of the trial of Jesus before Pilate and verifies his existence as a man. Those who attack the existence of Jesus counter that this proves nothing for 1 Timothy was a forgery. Forged or not, the epistle tells us what top Christians believed in the first century about Jesus and it certainly contains evidence that Jesus never lived.

The context as you can see is about verbally fighting for the faith and Jesus is cited as a model to follow in this. The verses differ from the gospels for in the gospels Jesus never testified to the importance of living the faith and about eternal life in front of Pilate and he certainly never verbally fought for the faith at that time.

We read in Matthew that Pilate’s wife told him that she had a dream about Jesus being a holy man of God and for Pilate not to harm Jesus. Was this the testimony meant? It could have been and it could have been that Matthew only assumed the dream related to the trial of Jesus when in fact it was just something on its own. To a Christian for whom Jesus was the Son of God this dream would have been considered to be a revelation to her from Jesus. This dream is more a testimony about the things 1 Timothy said Jesus testified to than anything Jesus reportedly said. She was unlikely to have told her husband not to harm Jesus if the Jews were forcing him like the gospels slanderously allege. Matthew is hoping to falsely make out that the dream was about a real living historical Jesus. So did she have a vision of a possibly non-historical Jesus or a messenger of his like many others about that time? Or did she just hear the voice of Jesus in her dream? Was it through the wife of Pilate that Jesus testified to Pilate? Perhaps Timothy One reflects a legend that Jesus spoke to Pilate through Pilate’s wife?
 
Perhaps Pilate was there when the 500+ had a vision that 1 Timothy made out was a vision of Jesus? Whether or not they would have agreed with the letter’s interpretation is a mystery. The risen Jesus in Pauline theology was the one that did all the testifying which makes this so much more probable. Pilate could have been involved in the mystery cults which sought to induce visions and sometimes unknown gods were reported in these visions. The Emperor claiming the protection of the gods for the Empire would have wanted all his employees to have such experiences and to be in touch with the gods. The Christians could have argued that the god Pilate saw was really Jesus.

A prophet through whom Jesus was speaking could have went to Pilate and testified and that could be what the letter means. The letter said the Church was the body of Christ and so the true Christian was so close to Christ that the Christian was considered to be a part of the body of Christ like a hand or foot. Christ was the head and nobody else could be for the head is superior to hands and feet. So Christ could have testified before Pilate without there being a historical Jesus being present.

Why does the letter have it that Christ Jesus bore witness before Pilate and that we must keep his precepts until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in the same breath? This strange sentence structure suggests tampering. The absence of a relation between Jesus’ meeting with Pilate and us keeping Jesus’ commands further corroborates this assertion.

It could be that Jesus was totally unknown until after the resurrection meaning that the Christians assumed that he was tried by Pilate. But what use is that to the historian?

Perhaps some Jesus went to Pilate and there was a rumour that he testified to him and this Jesus was mistaken by Christians through gossip and biased thinking to have been an appearance of their own Jesus.

1 Timothy 3:16 says that Jesus was manifested in the flesh and vindicated or proven right in the spirit and seen by angels and proclaimed through the world. The reference to being seen by angels is very odd. Why stress that he was seen by angels? Why not people and/or angels? Why would the Son of God need to be seen by angels to be vindicated for they would know from God that he needed no vindication when God supported him? So it seems that God hid who Jesus was and never even told the angels who did not realise until he was vindicated by rising spiritually from the dead. This Jesus could have lived the life of the gospel Jesus as the gospels report. The angels would have known this Jesus unless this Jesus lived BEFORE the angels could look after the earth and see all that was happening. Then we are told Jesus is proclaimed through the world meaning he has become known in the world to men and is proclaimed. This Jesus then did not testify to his deity before dying and in front of Pilate but after. We must remember too that if Jesus was the popular figure that is presented in the gospels to us that there had to have been people masquerading as Jesus just like we have some who claim to be the living Elvis just for the sake of popping out of the woodwork and telling somebody they are Elvis and disappear again. Maybe Pilate met one of these types of people. But 1 Timothy certainly infers that Pilate saw the risen Jesus for the earthly Jesus was an obscure person but the impostor may explain the beginning of the rumour. And Pilate may have had a vision of an unknown god during a mystery ceremony like many of his pagan counterparts did and that may be what is being referred to. The Christians may have decided that the god was Jesus. Whatever happened Pilate did not see the living Jesus but a vision of the risen Jesus. That is what the epistle is saying.

1 Timothy 2 has Paul saying he is a witness to the fact that Jesus the mediator died as a ransom for sinners. What he says is this, “God wants all to be saved and know the truth for there is one God and one Mediator between God and man who is Jesus Christ who gave himself as a ransom for sinners by sacrificing himself. Jesus is the evidence for all this and was sent at the appointed time and I have been named a messenger to tell of it and I am telling the truth and not lying for I teach the faith and the truth to pagans.”
 
Dissecting this tells us that because God wants all to be saved there must be one God and one Mediator who saves. This indicates that Jesus must have done his work to save aeons before. He did not live in the first century.
 
Next, Jesus is the evidence that all this has happened as well and that there is one God and one Mediator. This illustrates that the previous interpretation is correct. It would be strange to say that the Mediator was evidence for the Mediator. But if Jesus was the Mediator and appeared as a resurrected being long after his life on earth or wherever it would make sense. Paul stresses that he is not lying and swears that he is being truthful that the Messiah came back with this message of one God and one saviour for he teaches the pagans. So Paul has to swear because he can provide no evidence but his own word for his claims. This indicates that the evidence of the apostles who supposedly saw Jesus is being bypassed and dismissed or even rejected. You only swear for serious reasons. Paul being teacher to the pagans hardly means his swearing should be taken seriously. There are loads of false teachers about. This desperation speaks of there being nothing solid to back up what Paul was saying. There was no miracle working Jesus who was buried in a tomb in the thirties AD and showed up again alive in three days. There was no Jesus as depicted in the gospels.
 
Paul said the testimony to this was had at the proper time and to proclaim this saving death was why he was made an apostle and a preacher. The epistle talks as if this was hidden until the proper time meaning it was not known at the time that Jesus died that it was to save sinners. This conflicts with the gospels which have Jesus saying he would die for that before he was crucified. The main point in bringing up Jesus’ death was that Jesus gave up his life. Christians protest, “The main point was that he gave up his life as a ransom for all”. But the purpose is the main point then why is Paul so unclear about how Jesus saved us or if Jesus was right to do that. Perhaps he gave up his life as a ransom but that ransom couldn’t work. The letter is indicating that Jesus’ life was not known until some people started getting revelations about him. The meeting of Jesus and Pilate had no evidential support – it was just something the Christians assumed thinking the Holy Spirit was telling them about it. It is possible to say, “And there is one saviour the man Jesus who died for all as a ransom”, while intending the “who died for all as a ransom” just as an identification for who Jesus was and nothing else the main point being that Jesus alone is the saviour.
 
1 Timothy Chapter 1 verses 12 to 17 are fascinating. Verse 12 says that Paul thanks Jesus who counted him as faithful enough to put him into the ministry as an apostle – implying Jesus was sure he was the right person which could only happen after a long test. But in Acts 9 Paul has a miraculous conversion and ministers a few days after. 1 Timothy then contradicts Acts so it would reject the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts as being reliable. It eliminates a lot of evidence for Jesus then.
 
The next thing is that we are told that Paul did all he could to injure and discredit the faith meaning he used theology and reason as well as persecution. He knew the faith well and yet he is presented as saying (verse 13) that Jesus was merciful to him because until he became a believer he was acting in ignorance. There is only one way to make the two declarations agree. Paul had a lot of Christianities and interpretations of Jesus to deal with and Jesus appeared to him and gave him the right one. This would indicate that there was no historical Jesus but only a visionary one who manifested after his resurrection. How? Because if there had been a Jesus like the gospel one it would have been easy to work out the truth about him and the facts but there was nothing but confusion and so much that Paul could be excused for his ignorance despite the fact that he knew the faith well.
 
The next thing he says (verse 15) is that there is a saying they can rely on and which nobody should doubt namely that Jesus came into the world to save sinners. He says it is a saying and not that it is a fact. Get the drift: its only a doctrine he doesn’t speak of it as something that can be supported in the way the gospels try to support it. He says then he is the greatest of sinners and has been saved. Now he does not say Jesus came into the world as a man to save sinners but only that he came. The context is about Jesus saving Paul in a conversion experience. So Jesus came into the world as a vision or a supernatural being. That is all this is saying. Had it meant anything else Paul would have been clearer. This is a clear denial that Jesus was known as a natural man. Why? Because you would say Jesus was born as a man into the world to save sinners quicker than you would say that he appeared as risen to save sinners if both were true especially when Jesus saved us by his death on the cross. Then “Paul” rounds off the argument in verse 16 by saying that he is the greatest evidence of the inexhaustible patience of Jesus for he is the worst sinner which inspires people after Paul to be able to trust Jesus alone for salvation! Nobody would dare use such an immodest and boastful argument unless they and their audience understood that there wasn’t any other evidence. Paul was not the worst sinner, and the epistle says earlier that he didn’t mean to do wrong! This contradiction shows again that the author was desperate for evidence that Jesus really was the saviour and couldn’t use the life of Christ, the crucifixion or the resurrection to prove it by themselves because they were not verifiable.
 
All this adds weight to the stuff about Jesus and Pilate chatting being an insertion and such an insertion being made would show that people were trying to fake evidence that Jesus lived because he didn’t.

There is good reason to believe that this letter along with the Second Letter to Timothy was a forgery. The earliest lists did not include these letters and there was no evidence that they existed until Irenaeus in 190 AD. Eusebius excluded them from his list of New Testament books and what he says must bear some weight for Christians because he wrote about a time that is clouded in mystery and confusion for us. We are nearly totally dependent on him for the history of the Church until his time so we have to depend on him no matter how unreliable he was if we want to believe in the authenticity of these letters for only he would have had a chance to know. It is possible that the letters include some items that are genuinely Pauline. Computer tests show that the vocabulary and style do not match that of Paul’s true letters (page 160, The Jesus Mysteries). The reference to Pilate then could have come out of the gospels. The Church states that the letters embody Paul’s teaching and so they must be taken as true scripture even if he didn’t personally write them for a disciple wrote them for him after he was dead. But the blasted letters claim to be from Paul personally to a Timothy! And how do we know the disciple was right to work out what Paul would have written when we don’t even know who he was? The lies that are told are sickening.
  
TITUS
 
The epistle of Paul to Titus shows that if Paul wrote it then he did not believe that Jesus lived in living memory. In Titus chapter 2:11-14 the first thing that is said is that God’s grace has been shown and made salvation possible for all humanity and taught us that we must give up everything that leads away from God. The second is that we are waiting the appearing of the glory of Jesus Christ who sacrificed himself to purify us.
 
The clue is that we learn that God’s salvation calls on us to give up everything that leads us away from God. God has been saying that since the human race began. The passage says Jesus saved us by sacrificing himself for us. Therefore if we put all the thoughts together we see that Jesus saved us and taught us the lesson of this salvation aeons before. He did not live and die in the first century.

Paul definitely taught as did the early Church of which he was the main founder not Christ for even the New Testament says that the Church was founded after Christ that if Jesus lived on earth it was a long time before anybody living then was born.

CONCLUSION

Nothing in those letters convinces us that Jesus really lived.