‘Warrior king’ Jesus claim rubbished by historians

‘Warrior king’ Jesus claim rubbished by historians

British historian Ralph Ellis, above, reckons that after more than 20 years of research he has been able to prove that Jesus Christ and King Manu of Mesopotamia are the same person. His claim has been dismissed as ‘completely crackers’.

Ellis, who has previously stated that Cleopatra was the great grandmother of Jesus, told Premier that the Romans had tried to delete King Manu from history.

His claim, according to this report, is based on the discovery of a 1st Century coin which shows “the true likeness” of Jesus Christ.

The coin is owned by Ellis, who said that it shows Jesus depicted as a “warrior king” and leader of Edessa, in present-day Turkey. He details the theory in his book entitled Jesus: King of Edessa.

The coin shows a figure in profile wearing a headdress that he likens to a crown of thorns.

That’s a traditional crown of the Edessan kings – a plated crown of thorns. We don’t know the significance of the thorns.

That Jesus was a warrior king came through strongly in the gospel, like in Luke 22:36 when he tells people to go out and buy swords. Even within the gospels you can see this hint about the warrior king rather a prince of peace.

Ellis, who is not affiliated with a university, acknowledged that his theory was “controversial” and that he had not received support from academics.

Religious historians have said that the theory is not just off-the-wall but irresponsible.

Said Francesca Stavrakopoulou, professor of Hebrew Bible and ancient religion at the University of Exeter:

It’s a theory that’s so wacky it’s completely beyond the realms of scholarly debate.

Challenges to the traditional historical interpretations of the texts and artefacts associated with Jesus are welcomed by scholars, Stavrakopoulou said.

I’m really open to various theories that want to look underneath and think again about the claims we make in scholarship. I haven’t got anything against non-academics questioning the assumptions that scholars make.

I’m not one of these scholars who sits in an ivory tower and says that untrained people can’t have good ideas. But this seems to be wildly irresponsible, both about history and conventional scholarship, but also in terms of these historical figures themselves. It’s on a par with people who claim that aliens built the pyramids.

Simon Gathercole, reader in New Testament studies at the University of Cambridge, said that there was a long tradition of valued amateur contributions to history, but that Ellis’ thesis was:

Completely crackers. There’s no evidence from any sources, Christian or non-Christian, that say Jesus ever even went to Edessa. There are legends form the 4th Century that Jesus wrote to the king of Edessa, but there’s nothing from the time.

All the evidence from the time indicate that Jesus conducted his ministry in Galilea and Judea, in modern-day Israel, not in Mesopotamia. This isn’t one of those things where it’s controversial and there’s evidence on both sides. It’s not one of those things where it might be right or might not be. It’s just not.

Hat tip: Fiona Weir

116 responses to “‘Warrior king’ Jesus claim rubbished by historians”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Whahey! 100 comments! When did we last achieve that?

  2. Daz says:

    May the name of Fiona Weir forever be praised, for she has achieved the mighty ton.

  3. remigius says:

    My own view (which I share with Ralph) is that Brian the Snail and Brian of Nazareth are one and the same. They are both called Brian. And they’re the same person.

    And King Arthur.

  4. remigius says:

    Daz, I expect we’ll see a lot of new comments when Barry (King Arthur?) pulls his finger out and starts letting through moderated comments.

    I’m expecting Francesca Stravipolowhotsit to pop by and say something like ‘Ha ha – I told you so!’ (but with more gravitas, and an air of confident authority).

  5. Daz says:

    Remigius, Barry already has done the moderatory thing by the looks of it. There’s a rant about freethought* and, for some bizarre reason, safe spaces, from Ralph on the previous page, with several links included.

    *Which is, we are supposed to understand, the condition of being prepared to believe any old crap regardless of the complete lack of supporting evidence.

  6. ralph ellis says:

    >>>I responded at 10:20pm with “There is no request
    >>for a picture of Jesus, just a plea for a bit of healing.”

    Yes there is. Abgarus asked his ambassador Hannan to “paint a picture using the choicest of paints”. Read the Doctrine of Addai, instead of Eusebius. Or read my book, which would be better.


  7. ralph ellis says:

    >>>>You are the one suggesting that the various twelfth century
    >>>>authors suddenly expanded the Arthur story from the eighth century
    >>>>seed into a full grown oak, virtually overnight.

    Because that is what happened. Show me any story that remotely approaches Arthurian history, before Monmouth. Geoffrey of Monmouth and Walter of Oxford ‘invented’ it – and the timing is coincident with the return of Crusaders under the command of the Baldwin of Bolougne, who liberated Edessa from Muslim oppression.

    >>>You would appear to be conflating two different people
    >>>named Josephus. Josephus, son of Joseph of Arimathea;
    >>>and Joseph ben Matityahu, who latinised his name to Titus Flavius Josephus.

    It is not me who makes the confusion, it is Arthurian history. Read High History, or History of the Holy Grail. Or read the analysis by Neitz. They deliberately make this confusion, because it is likely that Jos of Arim WAS Jos Flavius. That is why they say Jos of Arim was the traitor working for Vespasian, because as Jos Flavius, he was.

    >>>Whoever put those words into Jesus’s mouth, they were
    >>>making a quite apt pun on the fact that he was recruiting fishers of actual fish.

    No, there are too many references in too many manuscripts, that refer to the constellations of the zodiac. Read, for instance, OT Joseph’s conversation with pharaoh.


  8. Daz says:

    Would this be the same “Doctrine of Addai” which was, apparently, written around 400CE?

    “No, there are too many references in too many manuscripts, that refer to the constellations of the zodiac. Read, for instance, OT Joseph’s conversation with pharaoh.”

    I’m not disputing that. I’m disputing the idea that the “fishers of men” phrase was such a reference.

    Are you new at this “debate” lark? You appear to be quite bad at responding to what people are actually saying.

  9. ralph ellis says:

    >>>Feckin’ heretic. It’s so obviously Wensleydale, in Yorkshire.

    You are like a gang of children trying to bully the fat kid or the black kid. And then getting excitable when you think they have won. You should be ashamed of yourselves.


  10. ralph ellis says:

    >>>I’m not disputing that. I’m disputing the idea that >>>the “fishers of men” phrase was such a reference.

    So Aries turns to Pisces in AD10, and Jesus turns from a Lamb of God to a Fisher of Men, and you cannot see the equivalence? Why is that?

    Why do you think Jesus had 12 signs of the zodiac – I mean 12 disciples?? Which Arthurian claimed sat around a round table, as did the 12 knights…..


  11. Daz says:

    Yeah, about Aries. “Blood of the lamb = Aries” makes no sense in western astrology, as far as I am aware. The Chinese tradition does indeed bundle goats and sheep together, but the western doesn’t. And there’s even a Bible verse, Matthew 25:32, regarding the separation of the two.

    Oh wow. You found three things with the number twelve in ’em. Well done. Correlation ain’t causation or even tradition, but well done anyway.

  12. remigius says:

    “>>>Feckin’ heretic. It’s so obviously Wensleydale, in Yorkshire.
    You are like a gang of children trying to bully the fat kid or the black kid.”

    As my ‘heretic’ comment was made to Daz, I’ll address my response to him.

    Daz, please except my sincerest apologies. I didn’t mean to bully you.I thought it was humorous comment, but I now realise how insensitive it was.

    And I had no idea you were a fat and/or black kid. Honest.

  13. Daz says:

    ‘s okay. I stopped weeping after the third box of tissues.

    Oops. Ram = male sheep innit. I have no idea why my brain decided twas a goat. Apologies.

  14. remigius says:

    Oh don’t say that – you’ve got me crying now.

  15. Daz says:

    ↑That said, I still highly doubt that either the lamb reference or the fishers reference is anything to do with astrology. The meanings are pretty damn clear.

  16. remigius says:

    “Oops. Ram = male sheep innit. I have no idea why my brain decided twas a goat. Apologies.”

    Don’t worry. Rams/goats/sheep/Knights of the Round table – they’re all much of a muchness.