By Georges Ory
Translation of examine des origines chrétiennes
Translated via Paul Davidson
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34 applied to diverse sects. 41 During this time, the only knowledge that pagans had so far of the name Jesus came from Gnostic sects that adopted as their god around the year 115. Jesus the man was completely unknown. The silence or gullibility of historians Are we to think that the Jewish historians, like the pagan writers, were redacted by Imperial censorship, by the rabbis, and by the Church Fathers in all things concerning the Messiah Jesus? No doubt, the books of the Bible were destroyed and remade on many occasions; the Jewish and Christian orthodoxies got rid of many apocryphal, apocalyptic, and Gnostic books, as well as the polemical works of their adversaries.
Some would like, without valid reason, to connect a message sent by the Emperor Claudius to the prefect of Egypt in 41 with the Christians: “I explicitly order the Jews not to bring in or admit Jews who come down the river from Egypt or from Syria, a proceeding which will compel me to conceive serious suspicions. ” That order concerns not Christians but messianic or apocalypticist Jews who were preaching the end of the world and the coming of their Messiah. What Claudius feared most of all regarding the Alexandrian Jews was not their messianism, which applied to few of the hellenized Jews in Egypt, but their number and the anti-Semitism that could result.
Two centuries after the alleged event, Lanctantius, Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome suggest that Peter and Paul were victims of Nero’s fury (which is far from being an established fact), but they have no idea regarding the accusation made against the Christians, that they had set fire to Rome; nor to the multitude of the faithful who were thrown to the flames. Around 400, Sulpicius Severus repeated the comments of Tacitus on the Christians and on the fire of Rome, but later writers are unaware of it, including these particular remarks.
An analysis of Christian origins by Georges Ory