Skip to comments.'The Beast' movie: Jesus didn't exist; Former Christian director's secretive film
Posted on 10/12/2004 2:54:10 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
A movie whose purpose is to prove that Jesus Christ never existed and that demonizes Christian fundamentalists is scheduled to open on June 6, 2006 that is, 06-06-06, the "666" biblical mark of the Beast.
Directed by Brian Flemming, who is described on the film's website as a "former fundamentalist Christian," "The Beast" promises to spread the theory he claims is "gaining credibility among scholars" that Jesus was made up out of thin air.
"The authors of the Gospels, writing 40 to 90 years after the supposed life of Christ, never intended for their works to be read as biographies. There are no credible non-Christian references to Christ during the period in which he is said to have lived," states the film's site.
Currently in pre-production, the film's cast and crew are "legally sworn to secrecy," the promotional site says.
Here's how the film's promoters describe its plot:
When her father, a biblical scholar, mysteriously disappears, a Christian high-school student named Danielle investigates. She discovers that he had stumbled across a cover-up of Christianity's best-kept secret: that Jesus Christ never existed.
Now that she possesses proof of this dangerous fact, Danielle must confront two strong forces: a band of fundamentalist Christians who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth, and her own desire for Jesus Christ to be real.
Diving into factual territory well-explored by scholars but largely hidden from the view of the public, "The Beast" is an epic story of innocence lost, faith in crisis and the astonishing power of the truth to survive.
On the trailer, which is viewable on the film's site, ominous music plays while these words flash across the screen: "Centuries ago, a legend was invented forgery fraud coercion wealth greed torture murder war gave it the power to dominate the world." The words are displayed on a background of a painting of Christ's face.
The producers offer a newsletter for those interested in following the making of the movie.
Fleming is touted on the film's website as "internationally acclaimed."
States the site: "Flemming's work has been called 'a parallel universe' by the BBC, 'jaggedly imaginative' by the New York Times, and 'immensely satisfying' by USA Today. The Fox News Channel dubbed him 'a young Oliver Stone.' Flemming won the New York Times Claiborne Pell Award for Original Vision for his groundbreaking feature film 'Nothing So Strange,' which was released theatrically in 2003 and is currently distributed on DVD in more than 200 countries."
Supporters of the film have participated in a discussion forum on the site.
Says one excited poster: "I must say, I highly commend this director for his immense courage on putting something like this out!! The fact that he has the courage to put out a movie about the possibility of Christ never existing after all the controversy surrounding a movie about the LIFE of Christ (well death really) is just amazing!!
"Mad Kudos (and thanks) to EVERYONE involved in the making of this movie and good luck in handling all the 'adverse' reactions!!"
Another participant enthused, "I'm so excited! I can't wait until it's released! This is DEFINITELY the age of Aquarius!!"
Greg Koukl is head of Stand to Reason, a Christian apologetics organization. He says this kind of story line is not unusual among books and movies.
"It always turns out that fundamentalist Christians are the bad guys," he told WorldNetDaily.
"The problem with this is the evidence they draw from is always out on the fringes of academic scholarship" evidence, he says, that is not even used by the leaders of the leftist Jesus Seminar.
Koukl noted historians that have no affinity for fundamentalist Christianity certainly write about Jesus and his impact on history.
"Nobody is trying to explain the indelible mark of Jesus of Nazareth on history by saying he never existed," he said. "That's way beyond the pale. No credible historian would make that claim. It's a bizarre statement from an academic perspective."
Koukl wonders what motive anyone would have to invent Jesus and then "fool everybody."
He dismisses "The Beast" promoters' argument that because no non-Christian accounts of Jesus exist from the time of his life, he must be a fictional character.
"It may be the case that only Caesar wrote about the Gaelic wars," he explained, "but just because there are no other writing about the Gaelic wars doesn't mean we can't trust Caesar," mentioning the four Gospels are themselves four separate accounts of Christ's life.
He mentioned there are a "number of historical references to Christ outside Christianity, which buttress the fact he did exist."
Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of MovieGuide and chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, predicts "The Beast" will bomb with American moviegoers.
"Generally, these movies do very poorly at the box office," he told WND. "'Saved!' which had a lot of publicity, did about $6 million at the box office. That's pitiful."
Baehr said bringing the film's contentions into the light of day in the media works well to expose the agenda of its promoters.
"The way you pull the teeth of a false argument is bring up the argument first and show that it's frivolous and fallacious," he said. "Of course it's frivolous. The original apostles wouldn't have gone to their death for Jesus if they didn't believe he was real."
Baehr said, "There is a small group of teenagers who will see ['The Beast'] who will be convinced it is the truth. It will have an impact on a susceptible few."
One of the film's producers, Amanda Jackson, was contacted for this story but did not respond by press time.
Thallus, Greek historian, records a discussion of the darkness which fell upon the land during the crucifixion of Christ (refer to Matthew 27.45, Mark 15.33, Luke 23.44,45).
Thallus explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun. Two things we can infer:
1. That the gospel story (crucifixion & resurrection) was known in Rome in non-Christian circles towards the middle of the first century.
2. That the enemies of Christianity tried to refute the story by giving a naturalistic explanation to the facts which it reported.
"a cover-up of Christianity's best-kept secret: that Jesus Christ never existed. "
Let me get this straight .. These same people who are trying to tell us that Christ never existed expect us to believe that Bush is the anti-christ?????
While we're being all "courageous" and everything, when is an expose of Mohammed coming out? (That question was rhetorical. I realize that "courage" and exposing "truth" only applies to the Abstract Host Population and that protecting the "otherness" of other cultures is just as important to liberals. Of course, this merely confers that they are jumbles of internal contradictions.)
"Without the intervention of Paul the Christ movement would have remained a minor Jewish sect. Paul was educated in the Greeko-Roman manner, was a Roman citizen, a bureaucrat and knew how to get things moving."
Who intervened with Paul...what persuaded him to do a 180 degree turnaround? What persuaded him to trade in his comfortable life for one that would lead to scourging, stoning, shipwreck, imprisonment and ultimately beheading?
I like Gamaliel's Counsel from Acts 5.38,39
"So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God."
No but thanks for asking
We were not talking about Jesus. You were commenting on the dead rising from their graves and walking around, line.
Yes so was I. You mentioned they would be wearing shrouds and I mentioned that Jesus left his in the grave as would many of the people who left their graves. Jesus=left his grave without His shroud thereby proving that others might has as well.
Thanks and welcome to the world of reasoning. Glad you have joined us.
"There is no doubt we are in the time of tribulation. Revelation tells us to beware the False Prophet... And how will we know who he is...
Some say that you can tell because he will claim False miracles promising life from death.. well isn't a promise of life from death exactly what Embryonic stem cell research is? "
Deception was Christ's first warning regarding the sign to his return. He was not talking to non-Christians either. The instead of jesus, the "anti-christ will have the power to perform miracles, and "IF" possible will deceive even the "very elect".
Think about it, what would cause "Christians" to pray for mountains to fall upon them, and what would cause Christ to tell those who claim they taught in His name, cast out devils in His name to be told get away I never knew you..... cause they worshiped the wrong Christ they were deceived.
Paul said IIThessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (so Satan comes first, pretending to be Christ)
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be save.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
You'd think that the success of the film "The Passion of the Christ" would have, maybe, given Hollywood a clue? Maybe?
However, there is the citation in antiquites XX 9:1 regarding the death of James, the Lords brother (as dbf stated)
Also, Josh McDowell lists Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, as sources to show that Christ was known to have existed through his followers.
But he was born close enough to the events to know that Jesus existed because those around him could attest to it. In fact many of them were part of Jesus' generation.
The pre-production secrecy and creation of 'controversy' is an attempt to mimic Mel Gibson's success with The Passion of The Christ.
As for the premise of the story, I'm sure some will cling to it to rationalize their own beliefs.
What makes you think it didn't? Such a rumor out of the provinces wouldn't likely have been considered credible by folks such as P. the E.
Besides which, you need to re-examine your notion of what constitutes "proof." Haven't you heard the old-but-valid aphorism "Absence of proof does not constitute proof of absence"?
They are listed in Josh McDowell's work A Ready Defense
Probably a better way to state the importance of the Gospel accounts is that they give us the only history of Christ's life, (manner of birth, his sayings, his manner of death etc)
The secular historians cited prove that he was a real person.
"Without the intervention of Paul the Christ movement would have remained a minor Jewish sect. Paul was educated in the Greeko-Roman manner, was a Roman citizen, a bureaucrat and knew how to get things moving. Paul is not one of my favorite Christian writers, and I personally dislike much of what he interjected into Christianity but without him the message of The Christ would not have survived."
Interesting, Paul did know his Old Testament, and he did pen most of the New Testament. Paul made the Old the basis and the foundation which Christianity has credibility. Man is the one who has played with the original text the Old and the New, but hey that was written would take place.
If Jesus didn't exist, then why did 1st Century Jews write about him in the Talmud?
Who knows how they would have walked around? You are missing the point. People saw them and it was cited in the text. The clothing is irrelevant at that point.
There are two versions of Josephus' account.
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus, and his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon their loyalty to him. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive. Accordingly they believed that he was the Messiah, concerning whom the Prophets have recounted wonders.