The False Prophets And The Christ Myth Theory
Like the false brethren and false apostles I dealt with in previous posts, we analogously have the pseudoprophētōn or “false prophets” of Matthew 7. We read:
- 15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus you will know them by their fruits. 21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’ (The Jewish Annotated New Testament (p. 25). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.)
Again we have this idea of people who seem to be sincere followers of Jesus but are viewed as fundamentally wrong about something. This seems to refer to believers that follow the message of Jesus from when he was alive, but reject the cross and resurrection theology of the 12 and later Paul. If this is the case, they have essentially been written out of history except for traces of them missing crucifixion/resurrection faith in such places as Q and the Didache. Interestingly, we do have gospel stories of followers overcoming their doubts about the risen Jesus, which may point to this forgotten group. The gospels are written from the point of view of Christians who invented the crucifixion/resurrection faith that we see in the pre Pauline Corinthian Creed such as Peter and James. It would certainly be odd for some of the followers who went through a lengthy mentorship with Jesus to accept Paul, who was given his apostolic status merely from having a vision. Thus, we know the “super-apostles” downgraded Paul. The possibility of this non crucifixion/resurrection group who followed the message of Jesus from before he died possibly questions the Jesus mythicism hypothesis.
For a previous post on the topic, which also links to earlier posts on the false-Christians Paul hates, see: