Proving a negative is next to impossible but R. G. Price, author of the new book, Deciphering the Gospel, attempts to do just that. He argues Jesus Christ never existed. Price is no Biblical scholar. He’s a software engineer and data analyst. Still, being an amateur didn’t stop Michael Faraday from being a pioneer in the field of electromagnetism, one of many amateurs who have contributed to science.
Price reaches his conclusion that Christ is a fictional character because of anomalies that exist in four Gospels of the New Testament: Mark, Mathew, Luke and John. The last three, he argues, rather than being different stories about Jesus, are a retelling of the first, Mark. Mark, written between 70- 80 B.C., around the time the Romans sacked Jerusalem, is, according to Price, an allegory. The Romans understood little of the Jewish text in which they discovered the story, but were enamored of it. When they founded Christianity, they kept his tale in the literature.
That Roman error — mistaking allegory for fact – says Price, has survived the centuries and given life to a fictional character. “Virtually every scene in the Gospel of Mark,” he points out “is developed from literary references to either letters from Paul or the Jewish scriptures, including the walking on water scene, the cleansing of the temple and the crucifixion, itself.” (“The bible isn’t what Christians think it is,” by R. G. Price, Freethought Today, Jan/Feb. 2019, pg. 22)
Kirkus Review, a top literary review publication, gives Deciphering the Gospel a positive nod. “Price’s proof is not definitive – it is likely than none ever will be – but much of it is persuasive and all of it is thought-provoking.” Curious readers may be interested to read this book for themselves.