A documentary claims that Jesus Christ was not actually Jewish as we have been led to believe; instead, he might have been a Greek philosopher.
The Amazon documentary, Bible Conspiracies, suggests that Jesus may have been mistaken for religious preacher Apollonius of Tyana.
Apollonius lived at the same time as Jesus and was thought to restore life to the dead, with the documentary claiming that Apollonius may have been the true face behind the New Testament.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the preacher was born within the same era Jesus is commonly believed to have lived. Apollonius is also said to have striking similarities with the central figure of Christianity.
These include the era of their existence, performing miracles, and preaching to large crowds about religion.
The documentary does not dispute Jesus existed, but it does say that the ‘son of God’ who is described throughout the New Testament as performing miracles and dying on the cross could have been based on Apollonius.
The documentary explains how Apollonius gained followers by performing so-called miracles in a similar way the Bible suggests Jesus did.
He became a disciple of Pythagoras renouncing flesh, wine and women. He wore no shoes and let his hair and beard grow long.
He soon became a reformer and fixed his abode in the Temple of Aesculapius.
As the preacher continued to perform miracles he amassed religious followers, furthering his notoriety.
The documentary continues to make more explosive claims, stating that there is actually evidence to prove Apollonius existed – unlike Jesus.
Eventually Apollonius became a wise sage himself and his own notoriety grew. Aurelian the Roman Emperor vowed to erect temples and statues to his honour. Was there ever anything among men more holy?
He reportedly restored life to the dead and spoke of things beyond the human reach. And, unlike Jesus, there is evidence to prove that Apollonius actually existed.
However, many have criticised the documentary for being ‘pure conjecture’, arguing that it puts forward no real evidence to back up its claims.
One person wrote:
Boring, and unconvincing………there are always those who want to find ‘hidden meanings’ and put their own spin on everything. I saw nothing in this that makes me doubt anything I believe.
While another said:
Does not live up to its name – doesnt [sic] reveal any Bible ‘conspiracies’ only tries to cast doubt on the Bible with no historical evidence or interviews with trustworthy experts, just pure conjecture.
Whereas Jesus is the central figure of Christianity and is believed to be the son of God, traditional views of Apollonius believe that he was no more than a philosopher.
The documentary clearly goes against these views with its depiction of Apollonius, but it seems doing so has resulted in backlash from viewers.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).