Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768).1778,
On the Intention of Jesus and His Teaching.
Enlightenment thinker and professor of Oriental languages
at the Hamburg Gymnasium, his extensive
writings – published after his death – rejected
'revealed religion' and argued for a naturalistic deism.
Reimarus charged the gospel writers with conscious
fraud and innumerable contradictions.
Marie Arouet (Voltaire) (1694-1778).
The most influential figure of the Enlightenment was
educated at a Jesuit college yet concluded, "Christianity
is the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody
religion that has ever infected the world ... The
true God cannot have been
born of a girl, nor died on a gibbet, nor be eaten
in a piece of dough." Imprisoned, exiled,
his works banned and burned, Voltaire's
in revolutionary France assured him a final resting
place in the Pantheon
in Paris. Religious extremists
stole his remains and
dumped them in a garbage heap.
Count Constantine Volney,
Les Ruines; ou, Méditation sur les révolutions
des empires (Ruins of Empires). Napoleonic investigator
saw for himself evidence of Egyptian precursors of Christianity.
1792, The Dissonance of the Four Generally Received
Evangelists and the Evidence of their Respective
Authenticity. English rationalist challenged
apostolic authorship of the 4th Gospel and denounced
several Pauline epistles as spurious.
François Dupuis, 1794, Origine
de tous les Cultes ou La Religion universelle. Astral-mythical
interpretation of Christianity (and all religion). “A
great error is more easily propagated, than a
great truth, because it is easier to believe,
than to reason, and because people prefer the
marvels of romances to the simplicity of history.” Dupuis
destroyed most of his own work because of the
violent reaction it provoked.
1795, The Age of Reason. Pamphleteer who made
the first call for American independence (Common Sense, 1776; Rights of
Man, 1791) Paine poured savage ridicule on the contradictions
and atrocities of the Bible. Like many American revolutionaries
Paine was a deist:
do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish
church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by
the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by
any church that I know of ... Each of those churches
accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part,
I disbelieve them all." – The
Age of Reason.
Robert Taylor, 1828, Syntagma
Of The Evidences Of The Christian Religion; 1829, Diegesis. Taylor
was imprisoned for declaring mythical origins for Christianity. "The
earliest Christians meant the words to be nothing more than a personification
of the principle of reason,
of goodness, or that principle, be it what it may, which may most benefit
mankind in the passage through life.”
Godfrey Higgins (1771-1834). 1836, Anacalypsis – An
Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis; or an Inquiry into the
Origin of Languages, Nations and Religions. English pioneer of archaeology
David Friedrich Strauss, 1835, The Life of Jesus Critically
Examined. Lutheran vicar-turned-scholar skilfully exposed gospel miracles
as myth and in the process reduced Jesus to a man. It cost
him his career.
1841, Criticism of the Gospel History of the Synoptics.
1877, Christus und die Caesaren. Der Hervorgang des
Christentums aus dem romischen Griechentum. (in English translation). The original
iconoclast. Bauer contested the authenticity of all the
Pauline epistles (in which he saw the influence of Stoic
thinkers like Seneca) and identified Philo's role in emergent
Christianity. Bauer rejected the historicity of
Jesus himself. "Everything
that is known of Jesus belongs to the world of imagination." As
a result in 1842 Bauer was ridiculed and removed from his
professorship of New Testament theology at Tübingen.
Waldo Emerson, 1841, Essays.
One time Trinitarian Christian and former Unitarian
minister held Jesus to be a "true prophet" but that
organised Christianity was an "eastern monarchy".
Sunday-schools, and churches, and pauper-societies
are yokes to the
Mitchell Logan, 1842, Christian Mythology Unveiled. “Reigning
opinion, however ill-founded and absurd, is always queen of the nations.”
Christian Baur, 1845, Paulus,
der Apostel Jesu Christi. German scholar who
identified as "inauthentic" not only
the pastoral epistles, but also Colossians, Ephesians,
Philemon and Philippians (leaving only the four
main Pauline epistles regarded as genuine). Baur
was the founder of the so-called "Tübingen School."
Charles Bradlaugh, 1860, Who Was Jesus Christ? What Did Jesus Teach? Most famous English atheist of the 19th century, founded the National Secular Society and became an MP, winning the right to affirm. Condemned the teachings of Jesus as dehumanizing passivity and disastrous as practical advice. Bradlaugh denounced the gospel Jesus as a myth.
1863, Vie de Jésus (Das Leben Jesu / Life of Jesus). Although trained as a Catholic
priest Renan was inspired by German biblical criticism and wrote a popular biography of Jesus which cost him his job (which he later regained). Renan concluded that the hero of the Christians was a gifted but merely human preacher, persuaded by his followers into thinking he was the messiah.
Renan subsequently wrote a History of the Origins of Christianity in seven volumes.
Ingersoll, 1872, The
Gods. 1879, Some Mistakes of Moses. Illinois orator extraordinaire,
his speeches savaged the Christian religion. "It
has always seemed to me that a being coming from another
world, with a message of infinite importance to mankind,
should at least have verified that message by his own
signature. Is it not wonderful that not one word was
written by Christ?"
Walter Cassels, 1874, Supernatural Religion - An Inquiry Concerning the Reality of Divine Revelation
Kersey Graves, 1875, The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviours.
Pennsylvanian Quaker who saw through to the pagan heart of Christian fabrications,
though rarely cited sources for his far-reaching conclusions.
1879, De Bergrede en andere synoptische
Fragmenten. Theologian, art and literature
historian who identified The Sermon on the
Mount as a collection of aphorisms from
Jewish Wisdom literature.The publication of Pierson's Bergrede was
the beginning of Dutch Radical Criticism.
Not just the authenticity of all the Pauline
epistles but the historical existence of Jesus
himself was called into question.
C. Keeler, 1881, A Short
History of the Bible. A
classic exposé of Christian fraud.
Abraham Dirk Loman, 1882, "Quaestiones Paulinae," in Theologisch
Tijdschrift. Professor of theology at Amsterdam who said all the epistles
date from the 2nd century. Loman explained Christianity as a fusion
of Jewish and Roman-Hellenic thinking. When he went blind Loman said his
blindness gave him insight into the dark history of the church!
Thomas William Doane,
1882, Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other
Religions. Outdated but a classic revelation
of pagan antecedents of biblical
myths and miracles.
Adrianus Naber, 1886, Verisimilia.
Laceram conditionem Novi Testamenti exemplis illustrarunt
et ab origine repetierunt. Classicist who saw
Greek myths hidden within Christian scripture.
1886, The Historical Jesus and Mythical Christ.
1907, Ancient Egypt-The Light of the World. Another
classic from an early nemesis of the priesthood. British
Egyptologist wrote six volumes on the religion of ancient
Edwin Johnson, 1887, Antiqua Mater. A Study of Christian
Origins. 1894, The Pauline Epistles: Re-studied and Explained. English radical theologian identified the early Christians as
the Chrestiani, followers of a good (Chrestus) God who
had expropriating the myth of Dionysos Eleutherios ("Dionysos the Emancipator"),
to produce a self-sacrificing Godman. Denounced the twelve apostles
as complete fabrication.
Rudolf Steck, 1888, Der Galaterbrief nach seiner Echtheit
untersucht nebst kritischen Bemerkungen zu den Paulinischen Hauptbriefen. Radical
Swiss scholar branded all the Pauline epistles as fakes.
1889, The Life of Johoshua: The Prophet of Nazareth.
Christiaan van Manen, 1896, Paulus.
Professor at Leiden and most famous of the Dutch Radicals,
a churchman who did not believe in the bodily resurrection
of Jesus Christ. After resisting the argument for many
years van Manen concluded none of the Pauline
epistles were genuine and that Acts was
dependent on the works of Josephus.
Joseph McCabe, 1897, Why
I Left the Church. 1907, The Bible in Europe:
an Inquiry into the Contribution of the Christian Religion
to Civilization. 1914, The Sources of the Morality
of the Gospels. 1926, The Human Origin of Morals. Franciscan monk-turned-evangelical
atheist. McCabe, a prolific writer, shredded many parts
of the Christ legend – "There is no 'figure
of Jesus' in the Gospels. There are a dozen figures" – but
he continued to allow the possibility for an historical
Albert Schweitzer,1901, The
Mystery of the Kingdom of God. 1906, The Quest of
the Historical Jesus. The famous German theologian
and missionary (35 years in the Cameroons) ridiculed
the humanitarian Jesus of the liberals and at the
same time had the courage to recognize the work of
the Dutch Radicals. His own pessimistic conclusion
was that the superhero had been an apocalyptic fanatic
and that Jesus died a disappointed man.
Famously said those looking for an historical Jesus
1901, The Messianic Secret (Das Messiasgeheimnis in den Evangelien). Wrede
demonstrated how, in Mark’s gospel,
a false history was shaped by early Christian
Albert Kalthoff, 1902, Das Christus-Problem. 1907, The Rise of Christianity.
Another radical German scholar who identified Christianity as a psychosis.
Christ was essentially the transcendental principle of the Christian community
which aimed at apocalyptic social reform.
Robert Stowe Mead, 1903, Did Jesus
Live 100 BC? 1907, The Gnostic Crucifixion. A discussion
of the Jewish Jeschu stories which moves Jesus back
to an earlier time.
Thomas Whittaker, 1904, The Origins of Christianity.
Declared Jesus a myth.
Emilio Bossi/Milesbo 1904, Gesù Cristo non è mai esistito (Jesus Christ Never Existed). Bossi was a radical lawyer/journalist ("Milesbo" being his pen-name). Jesus is a concoction from Tanakh and the mystery cults, and Jesus's ethics are a patchwork from Philo and Seneca.
William Benjamin Smith, 1906, Der vorchristliche Jesus.
1911, Die urchristliche Lehre des reingöttlichen Jesus. Argues
for origins in a pre-Christian Jesus cult on the island of Cyprus.
Gerardus Bolland, 1907, De Evangelische Jozua.
Philosopher at Leiden identified the origin of Christianity in an earlier
Jewish Gnosticism. The New Testament superstar is the Old Testament 'son
of Nun', the follower renamed Jesus by Moses. The virgin is nothing but
a symbol for the people of Israel. From Alexandria the "Netzerim" took
their gospel to Palestine.
Pope Pius X condemned the Modernists who were "working
within the framework of the Church". Among those denounced and excommunicated was Alfred Loisy (The Gospel and the Church, 1902), Catholic priest and theologian who made the pithy observation "Jesus announced the Kingdom, and it's the Church that came." An anti-Modernist
oath was introduced in 1910, as well as the Confession for children – opening the door for rampant abuse.
Prosper Alfaric (1886-1955) French
Professor of Theology, shaken by the stance of Pius X,
renounced his faith and left the church in 1909 to work
for the cause of rationalism.
Peter Jensen, 1909, Moses, Jesus, Paul: Three Variations on the Babylonian Godman Gilgamesh. Orientalist argued that Jesus was reworked Babylonian mythology.
Mangasar Magurditch Mangasarian, 1909, The Truth About
Jesus. Is He a Myth? Erstwhile Presbyterian Minister who saw through
the fabrication. "Even in the first centuries the Christians were compelled to resort to forgery to prove the historicity of Jesus."
1909, The Foundations of Christianity. Early
socialist interpreted Christianity in terms of class
E. Remsburg, 1909, The Christ:
A critical review and analysis of the evidences of
His existence. Gospels rife with contradictions.
Doubtful that Jesus existed and a supernatural Christ
is certainly Christian dogma.
Arthur Drews, 1910, Die Christusmythe (The Christ Myth).
1910, Die Petruslegende (The Legend of St Peter). 1924, Die
Entstehung des Christentums aus dem Gnostizismus (The Emergence
of Christianity from Gnosticism). 1926, The Denial of the Historicity of Jesus. Eminent philosopher was Germany's
greatest exponent of the contention that Christ is a myth. The gospels historized
a pre-existing mystical Jesus whose character was drawn from the prophets
and Jewish wisdom literature. The Passion was to be found in the speculations
John Robertson, 1910, Christianity and Mythology.
1911, Pagan Christs. Studies in Comparative Hierology. 1917, The
Jesus Problem. Robertson drew attention to the universality of
many elements of the Jesus storyline and to pre-Christian
crucifixion rituals in the ancient world. Identified the original Jesus/Joshua
with an ancient Ephraimite deity in the form of a lamb.
Gustaaf Adolf van den Bergh van Eysinga, 1908, Examining the Authenticity of the First Epistle of Clement. 1912, Radical
Views about the New Testament. 1918, Voorchristelijk Christendom.
De vorbereiding van het Evangelie in de Hellenistische wereld. 1930, Does Jesus Live, or Has He Only Lived? 1951, Early Christianity`s Letters. Theologian
and last of the Dutch radicals to hold a university professorship.
1916, The Two Babylons. Exhaustive exposure
of the pagan rituals and paraphernalia
of Roman Catholicism.
Edward Carpenter, 1920, Pagan and Christian Creeds.
Elaborated the pagan origins of Christianity.
Rudolf Bultmann, 1921, The History of the Synoptic Tradition.
1941, Neues Testament und Mythologie. Lutheran theologian
and professor at Marburg University Bultman was the exponent of 'form
criticism' and did much to demythologise the gospels. He identified
the narratives of Jesus as theology served up in the language of myth. Bultmann
observed that the New Testament was not the story of Jesus but a
record of early Christian belief. He argued that the search for an
historical Jesus was fruitless: "We can know almost nothing concerning the life and
personality of Jesus." (Jesus and the Word, 8)
1922, The Golden Bough. Anthropological interpretation
of man's progress from magic, through religion to science.
Christianity a cultural phenomenon.
Paul-Louis Couchoud, 1924, Le mystère
de Jesus. 1926, La Première Edition de St. Paul. 1930, Jesus Barabbas. 1939, The Creation of Christ. Couchoud
espoused an historical Peter rather than an historical
Jesus and argued that the Passion was modelled on the
death of Stephen.
Georg Brandes, 1925, Die Jesus-Sage. 1926, Jesus – A
Myth. Danish scholar identified the Revelation of St
John as the earliest part of the New Testament.
Joseph Wheless, 1926, Is It God's Word? An Exposition
of the Fables and Mythology of the Bible and the Fallacies of Theology.
1930, Forgery in Christianity. American attorney, raised in the
Bible Belt, shredded the biblical fantasy.
Henri Delafosse, 1926, L'épître aux Romains.1927,
Les Lettres d’Ignace d’Antioche. 1928, "Les
e'crits de Saint Paul," in Christianisme.
Epistles of Ignatius denounced as late forgeries.
L. Gordon Rylands, 1927, The Evolution of Christianity.1935, Did
Jesus Ever Live?
John G. Jackson, 1933, Was Jesus Christ a Negro? 1937, Introduction To African Civilizations. 1941, Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth. 1970 Man, God, and Civilization. 1985,
Christianity Before Christ. Most influential Black Atheist drew attention to
the Ethiopian and Egyptian precedents of Christian belief.
Edouard Dujardin, 1938, Ancient History of the God Jesus.
Alvin Boyd Kuhn, 1944, Who is this King of Glory? 1970, Rebirth
for Christianity. Jesus was never a person, but a symbol of
the divine soul in every human being.
Herbert Cutner, 1950, Jesus: God, Man, or Myth? Mythical
nature of Jesus and a summary of the ongoing debate between mythicists and
historicizers. Mythic-only position is continuous tradition,
not novel. Pagan origins of
Georges Las Vergnas, 1956, Pourquoi j'ai quitté l'Eglise
romaine Besançon. 1958, Jésus-Christ a-t-il existé? Vicar general of the diocese of Limoges who lost his faith. Argues that the central figure of Christianity had no historical existence.
Georges Ory, 1961, An Analysis
of Christian Origins.
Guy Fau, 1967, Le Fable de Jesus Christ.
John Allegro, 1970, The
Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. 1979, The Dead Sea
Scrolls and the Christian Myth. Jesus was nothing other
than a magic mushroom and his life an allegorical interpretation
of a drug-induced state. Not jail for Allegro – but
George Albert Wells, 1975, Did Jesus Exist? 1988, The
Historical Evidence for Jesus. 1996, The Jesus Legend. 1998, Jesus
Myth. 2004, Can We Trust the New Testament? Thoughts on the Reliability
of Early Christian Testimony. Christianity a growth from Jewish Wisdom
literature. Later books concede possible influence of a real preacher.
Jean Magne, 1975, Christian Origins, I-II. 1989, III, IV. Logique des Dogmes, Logic of the Sacraments. 1993, From Christianity to Gnosis and From Gnosis to Christianity: An Itinerary through the Texts to and from the Tree of Paradise.
Max Rieser, 1979, The True Founder
of Christianity and the Hellenistic Philosophy. Christianity
started by Jews of the Diaspora and then retroactively
set in pre-70 Palestine. Christianity arrived last, not
first, in Palestine – that's why Christian archeological
finds appear in Rome but not in Judea until the 4th century.
Abelard Reuchlin, 1979, The True Authorship of the New
Testament. Conspiracy theory par excellence: Roman aristocrat Arius
Calpurnius Piso (aka "Flavius Josephus") conspired to gain control
of the Roman Empire by forging an entirely new religion.
Karlheinz Deschner, 1986-2004, The Criminal History of Christianity, Volumes 1-8. A leading German critic of religion and the Church. In 1971 Deschner was called before a court in Nuremberg, charged with "insulting the Church."
1992, Paulusbriefe ohne Paulus?: Die Paulusbriefe
in der Holländischen Radikalkritik (The Pauline Epistles Without Paul). 2012, Der gefälschte Paulus – Das Urchristentum im Zwielicht (The Falsified Paul. Early Christianity in the twilight). German
minister in the Dutch radical tradition. No Jesus and no
Paul. The latter Detering identifies with the Samaritan sorcerer Simon Magus.
Courtney, 1992, 2004 Et tu, Judas?
Then Fall Jesus! The Passion is essentially Caesar's fate in Judaic
disguise, grafted onto the dying/resurrcting cult of
Attis. Jewish fans of Caesar assimilated the sacrificed
'saviour of mankind' into the 'Suffering Servant' of
1995, The Great Lie. Greek historian finds
strikingly similar parallels between biblical texts
and Greek mythology. He exposes the cunning, deceitful
and authoritarian nature of religion.
1998, The Great Deception: And What Jesus Really Said
and Did. 2002, Paul: The Founder of Christianity.
2004, The Resurrection Of Christ: A Historical Inquiry. After
25 years of study German professor concluded Paul,
not Jesus, started Christianity. Lüdemann was
expelled from the theology faculty at the University
for daring to say that the Resurrection was "a pious
self-deception." So much for academic freedom.
Alvar Ellegard, 1999, Jesus One Hundred Years Before
Christ. Christianity seen as emerging from the Essene Church of
God with the Jesus prototype the Teacher of Righteousness.
D. Murdock (aka 'Acharya
S') 1999, The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest
Story Ever Sold. 2004, Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha
and Christ Unveiled. Adds a astro-theological
dimension to christ-myth demolition. Murdock identifies
JC as a composite deity used to unify the Roman Empire.
1999, The Jesus Puzzle. Did Christianity Begin
with a Mythical Christ? 2009, Jesus: Neither God Nor Man. Powerful statement of
how Christianity started as a mystical-revelatory
Jewish sect – no Jesus required!.
Timothy Freke, Peter Gandy,
1999, The Jesus Mysteries. 2001, Jesus
and the Lost Goddess : The Secret Teachings of
the Original Christians. Examines the close
relationship between the Jesus Story and that
of Osiris-Dionysus. Jesus and Mary Magdalene
mythic figures based on the Pagan Godman and
Harold Liedner, 2000, The Fabrication of the Christ
Myth. Anachronisms and geographic errors of the gospels denounced. Christianity
one of history's most effective frauds.
Robert Price, 2000, Deconstructing Jesus. 2003 Incredible
Shrinking Son of Man: How Reliable Is the Gospel Tradition? Ex-minister
and accredited scholar shows Jesus to be a fictional amalgam of
several 1st century prophets, mystery cult redeemers and gnostic 'aions'.
Hal Childs, 2000, The Myth of the Historical Jesus and
the Evolution of Consciousness. A psychotherapist take on the godman.
2000, Philosopher and theorist of "ego death" who
jettisoned an historical Jesus.
Dennis MacDonald, 2000, The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark. Professor of New Testament studies and Christian origins maps extensive borrowings from the Homeric epics the Iliad and the Odyssey by the authors of the gospel of Mark and Acts of the Apostles.
Burton Mack, 2001,The
Christian Myth: Origins, Logic, and Legacy. Social formation
of myth making.
Luigi Cascioli, 2001, The Fable of Christ. Indicting
the Papacy for profiteering from a fraud!
Israel Finkelstein, Neil Silbermann, 2002, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. Courageous archaeologists who skillfully proved the sacred foundational stories of Judaism and Christianity are bogus.
Frank R. Zindler, 2003, The Jesus
the Jews Never Knew: Sepher Toldoth Yeshu and the Quest
of the Historical Jesus in Jewish Sources. No evidence
in Jewish sources for the phantom messiah.
Unterbrink, 2004, Judas the Galilean.
The Flesh and Blood Jesus. Parallels between
the tax rebel of 6 AD and the phantom of the Gospels
explored in detail. 'Judas is Jesus'.
of Jesus, no doubt.
Harpur, 2005, The Pagan Christ:
Recovering the Lost Light. Canadian New Testament
scholar and ex-Anglican priest re-states the ideas
of Kuhn, Higgins and Massey. Jesus is a myth and all
of the essential
ideas of Christianity originated in Egypt.
Carotta, 2005, Jesus Was Caesar:
On the Julian Origin of Christianity. Exhaustive inventory of parallels.
Alarmingly, asserts Caesar was Jesus.
Joseph Atwill, 2005, Caesar's Messiah:
The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus. Another take
on the Josephus-Gospel similarities. Atwill argues that
1st century conquerors of Judaea,
Vespasian, Titus and Domitian, used Hellenized Jews to
manufacture the "Christian" texts in order to
establish a peaceful alternative to militant Judaism. Jesus was Titus Flavius? I
don't think so.
Michel Onfray, 2005, Traité d'athéologie (2007 In
Defence of Atheism) French philosopher argues for a
positive atheism, debunking an historical Jesus along the
Kenneth Humphreys, 2005, Jesus
Never Existed. Book of this website. Draws together
the most convincing expositions for the supposed
messianic superhero. The author sets this exegesis within
the socio-historical context of an evolving, malevolent
Jay Raskin, 2006, The
Evolution of Christs and Christianities. Academic
and erstwhile filmaker Raskin looks beyond the official
smokescreen of Eusebius and finds a fragmented Christ movement
and a composite Christ figure, crafted from several literary
and historical characters. Speculates that the earliest
layer of myth-making was a play written by a woman called
Thomas L. Thompson,
2006, The Messiah
Myth. Theologian, university don and historian of
the Copenhagen school who concludes Jesus and David are
both amalgams of Near Eastern mythological themes originating
in the Bronze Age.
Jan Irvin, Andrew Rutajit, 2006, Astrotheology and Shamanism: Unveiling the Law of Duality in Christianity and other Religions. Explores astrotheology and shamanism and vindicates John Allegro's work with psychoactive substances.
Roger Viklund, 2008. Den Jesus som aldrig funnits (The Jesus who never existed). A Swedish scholar reaches the same inescapable conclusion: Jesus never existed.
Thomas Brodie, 2012. Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus: A Memoir of a Discovery.. Priest and former director of the Dominican Biblical Centre, Ireland concludes "Jesus did not exist as a historical individual" and is a literary reworking of the account of Elijah and Elisha.
Richard Carrier, 2012. Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. Erstwhile editor of Internet Infidels and activist for atheism argues for the use of Bayes' Theorem as a way out of the befuddled mess that besets Jesus studies. Probability "proves" Jesus never existed.
Raphael Lataster, 2013.There Was No Jesus, There Is No God.
Religious studies scholar at the University of Sydney puts his head above the parapet. This former fundamentalist Christian concludes from the spurious evidence, Bayesian reasoning, and rigorous logic that the historical Jesus never existed.
Sid Martin, 2014, Secret of the Savior. Jesus as a cypher for Israel? Not a new idea but skilfully presented here by Sid Martin, who analyses the gospel of Mark with the thesis that not a man but Jewish history was his source.