satanism today and tomorrow

The Economic Origins of Christianity

Kirill Kolikov



As an economist, I know that money underlies any political event. Economy, in its turn, is influenced by human psychology. Many years ago, it was psychology that prompted me to study economic aspects of what happened on 14th of Nisan, year 781 from the founding of Rome...

When reading the gospel in my teens, I was astounded by the disgusting scene that Jesus made in the temple of Jerusalem. That sudden and seemingly unreasonable burst of aggression looked totally contrary to Christ’s personality and sermons. Christ overturned the tables, shouted and cursed... Later it would be called "driving the traders from the temple". However, historians know well that there never have been any traders inside the temple of Jerusalem, simply due to the lack of place for them. In fact, the question was the money-changers that were sitting at the square in front of the temple. If it were somebody else who did such an act of vandalism, he would be viewed as a hooligan. Imagine that today somebody rushes into the church, crashes the tables where candles and religious books are sold, and shouts: "Traders, clear out from the temple!" — how would you take it? The same way Christ’s actions were perceived in his time.

Why did not they just kill Christ immediately for such a blasphemy? only because 12 robust guys accompanied him and some of them were armed? Why did Christ conduct his raid exactly at Passover, while he had seen these traders' tables many times before and looked perfectly indifferent to them?

These questions gave me no rest, and I engaged into investigations.



The economy of the Ancient World was not much simpler than the modern one. In order to understand the hidden causes of the death of a vagrant Judaic preacher, who originated one of the world religions, we must grasp some aspects of the financial system of the Roman Empire.

Speaking in modern terms, Christ fell prey of business monopolies, because he was calling them to stop currency speculations based on inflation and to start investing into productive sectors of economy. Christ was killed by big money.

Due to geological factors, it turned out that gold was mined mostly in the East, while the Apennines were rich in silver. Therefore, 1 g gold cost 12.6 g silver in Rome, but 4.7 g silver in Jerusalem. Sooner or later, somebody had to profit on it...

Judea was the only province of the Roman Empire that was allowed to coin its own money. Some restrictions existed though: the Judeans could mint only special religious coins — shekels. The point was that Roman coins had Pagan inscriptions and images on them and, therefore, according to the Judaic religion, were forbidden to be brought into the temple. However, donations had to be made. Therefore, the levites (Judaic priests) asked Rome to allow them minting their own coin. Don't think bad of it, we don't want to mess with the finances of Rome! just for religious purposes!

Shekels were exchanged in front of the temple, at the tables, which Jesus crashed. A shekel was a huge golden coin, equal to 20 Roman denarii. At Passover, each adult Jew had to donate one half-shekel to the temple; it was a kind of local tax.

In addition to the Roman governor, Judea was ruled by the Synedrion, a sort of religious parliament. There were two parties in it: the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Drawing an analogy to the modern politics, the Sadducees were fundamentalists, while the Pharisees adhered to a more moderate, even mildly liberal, position.

The Pharisees were pragmatic and, therefore, controlled the exchange tables at the temple doors: money always comes to pragmatic rather than fanatic people. The money-exchangers did not like the Sadducees for their narrow-minded fanaticism, but supported them financially — exactly like some kings of business are now funding the Communists.

The Sadducees were blaming the Western occupants in order to switch the people's anger from the Pharisees onto the Romans. The Sadducees sympathized with the Zealot terrorism. They defended the traditional values, which were eroded with the Western cultural contagion... So the Sadducees declared the Romans to be guilty of all the Judean problems. The Western imperialists are robbing the poor East!

...But really, the things were quite the contrary.



The things were the contrary. The pragmatic Pharisees exchanged silver for gold in Jerusalem at the rate of 4.7:1, loaded that gold on ships and sailed to Rome, where gold was exchanged back for silver, but at the rate of 1:12.6; then the silver was brought back to Palestine... The Wall Street can't even dream of so profitable currency transactions! So, what did Rome do?

It's often said that luxury destroyed Rome, and this is a bitter truth. Taxes were properly collected in all the provinces, but Roman officials failed to save up the gold reserves. Gold was melted into adornments. Also, touring entertainers were making easy money in Rome, but, when leaving for home, exchanged Roman silver coins for gold. Gladiators (and the beasts they were fighting) were also bought for gold.

Almost all Roman aristocrats lived on credit, but who were their creditors? Mostly the Jews were — the Pharisees, who made business on the exchange tables of the temple.

So, the public debt grew, and Rome was driving to an economic collapse. Emperor Tiberius understood it and tried to fight the financial leak-away: restricted alcohol trade, banished artists from Rome, closed down expensive restaurants, tried to restrain prices by decree. This all led to nothing good, of course: inflation galloped, black market flourished, tension in the society grew. The authorities irritated at the Pharisees, whose speculations harmed the economy, the aristocrats got angry at the usurers — and at Tiberius and his restrictive decrees. Such a situation is not far from a conspiracy...

As a result, a plot aiming to kill Tiberius really was organized. Lucius Aelius Sejanus, the prefect of the Praetorian guards (now we would say Commander-in-Chief) became its leader.

Here, a digression has to be made. Sejanus's plot took place in 30 CE. Formerly, Christ was considered to be crucified in 33 CE, but modern historians move this date three years back, just in Nisan 30 CE, the time of the conspiracy against Tiberius. "Throw Tiberius into Tiber!" — that was the slogan of the conspirators.

However, Sejanus needed support in the probable case of a civil war. He wrote to his friend Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea. Pilate agreed, but he had a problem: he was not sure, whether his legions were willing to fight for the pretender. They earned in Judea much more than in Rome, due to the disparity in gold-silver exchange rates. What the hell could be the reason for them to want back to Rome!?

So, some money should be given to the legionaries, but where to get it? Pilate was an ordinary Roman official and lived on his salary. Where could he find such huge money to bribe the whole legion? Yes, he knew it. Once he had already taken funds from that source, and then barely managed to justify himself for it.



Jerusalem had a rusty sewerage system; streets were stinking. Pilate had been writing to Rome many times, asking for funding to repair it, but the capital was deaf to his requests. The local Jewish authorities were also stingy, claiming the sewerage to be on the Roman responsibility. But, if an epidemic struck, they certainly would curse the occupants for the poor sanitation!

That was why Pilate dared to take money from the temple treasury by force. He used it for enormous public works: repaired the sewerages, built water supply and bath-houses. Of course, the priests flooded the authorities in Rome with complaints: "Temple plundered! What a blasphemy!" Pilate was called to Rome to appear in the Senate. However, he had a proper response: "Gentlemen, in that city there was shit floating in the streets! Legionaries suffered from dysentery! But now I've fixed it all and also I've built new bath-houses!"

For that time, the senators excused Pilate: "Yes, the bath-houses are more important than an aboriginal temple!", but now Pilate can't repeat the same trick. It would be known in Rome soon if he takes the temple treasures again. So, he must think hard how to explain it.



Pilate lived in Caesarea, the capital of Judea province. Only at Passover he came to Jerusalem, to bring gifts from the Roman Emperor to the temple. For that time, just in his presence, at 400 m from his residence, such a crying outrage happened: a young man crashed the exchange tables near the temple. Surely, it became known to Pilate in a moment.

Pilate was not a fan of aborigines' traditions and certainly not a liberal. Once he sent, by request of the levites, heavy cavalry onto the crowd that was listening to a heretic vagrant preacher Theudah. The cavalry trampled down the aborigines. Why does Pilate now feign that nothing has happened? According to the laws, the death penalty is provided for such deeds, but sentences to death must be approved by the Roman authorities.

Pilate does not react, because the young man shouts an interesting slogan: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's", and certainly expects Pilate to hear it. Pilate understands that the demonstration is organized specially for him, and inclined against those whom he hates to the innermost of his heart — the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Pilate's silence has a justification: "There has been no insults at the Emperor, and I don't care about your religious clashes. Don't you ask me about the death penalty for the hooligan?" Indeed, for some reason, the levites don't ask to sentence Jesus to death. They even have not arrested him. Why do they hesitate?

According to the Roman laws, Pilate must personally talk with Jesus before sentencing him to death, but such a conversation is exactly what the levites are afraid of.

What did Pilate know about Christ at that time? He knew that Jesus was a professional preacher, with charisma and some sympathy of the locals. Christ did not support the Zealots. From rumors, Christ's real father was not an old carpenter Josef, but a Roman soldier Pandira. So, Pilate could feel some respect to Jesus, who was a half-Roman and whose ideas were advantageous for Pilate's policy...



So, Jesus wants to meet with Pilate, and even risks to be sentenced to death for it. Why?

Jesus was not blind. He saw clearly what was going around. He saw the growing irritation of Rome against financial speculations of Jerusalem. He saw Pilate's anger at the Zealot terrorists, who were killing Roman citizens, burning houses, and poisoning wells. He saw a widening abyss between the levites living in luxury and common people hungering in misery. The only one who somehow managed to keep order in the city and the country was Pilate, the damned occupant, a cruel governor whom everybody hated.

Christ understood: this all could not end well. Sooner or later, the tension would discharge in blood. By the way, it really happened so: some years after the crucifixion of Christ, a revolt arose, but emperor Titus suppressed it and destroyed the temple; that was exactly what Jesus alluded to in every his speech.

As a necessary mean, Christ considers starting to invest the accumulated speculative capitals into productive sectors of economy: vineyards, workshops, forges, mines... It's enough with filling the pocket! The thesis that one should share one's wealth runs all through the sermons of Christ.

At that time, Jesus already has a party of his followers; he wandered in Judea not in vain. Even in the Synedrion, he has supporters among the most educated Pharisees — Joseph of Arimothea, and Nicodim. Christ's dream is to enter the Synedrion with his party and to influence the financial flows: to stop the currency speculations, to care about the municipal services, to provide welfare for the poorest groups of the population.

It's clear that the levites would not voluntarily let him in the Synedrion, especially because only members of the levite clans can sit there. However, with Pilate's help, the plan to introduce a third party — Christ's one — into the Synedrion can be carried out. Pilate should merely write to Rome: here, a very advantageous gentleman has appeared who needs to be included into the aboriginal senate for the benefit of Great Emperor Tiberius, — and the question would be fixed; gritting their teeth, the levites should have to obey.

In exchange for it, Jesus would "give to Caesar what is Caesar's": as a full member of the Synedrion, he would be able to purchase some exchange tables and to turn financial flows for the benefit of Rome and Pilate.



Surely, the high priest Caiaphas, head of the Synedrion, immediately understood, to whom the phrase "give to Caesar what is Caesar's" is addressed. So, Jesus is a threat for the wealth of the temple. It would be risky to yield him to the Romans and to ask for the death penalty. Usually, Pilate did not take much trouble over approving the sentences, but not in such a case.

Thus, no other choice remains than to kill the guy without a fuss. However, it's not so easy. First, as we'll see later, Jesus has a talent of conspirer. Second, he is guarded, and some of the apostles are armed. Peter, as we know, always carried his sword (and finally would use it). Sword is a rare privilege: only Roman citizens may be armed; the natives are put to death for it. Even the temple guard has only wooden bludgeons.

So, Peter is a Roman citizen. How could a native of Judea get the citizenship? Possibly, he fought as a Roman mercenary. For example, in 19 CE Roman commander Germanicus led a war in Cappadocia and Armenia. He hired mercenaries in nearby provinces in the East. For services in battle, a mercenary could get the Roman citizenship. Apparently, Peter was a good soldier.

Mercenaries served in cavalry; therefore, Peter carried a long sword, which could not be hidden under clothes. This means that everybody in Jerusalem knows that Jesus is accompanied with armed men, and so, trying to fall upon him with wooden sticks is sheer madness.

What if Peter had a short sword nevertheless, and carried it illegally under the clothes? It would be suicidal. The city is full of spies and informers watching for everybody; Roman soldiers are patrolling everywhere. No, Peter could only legally have a sword and always carry the Roman citizenship certificate.

So, in daytime Jesus appears only guarded by former mercenaries. He spends nights in suburbs, at the villas of his rich friends. How can one get him?

Unexpectedly, Jesus gives himself away!



The Passover night is coming. Jesus asks his followers to go to the city, where they will celebrate Passover. He tells them to go to some house and check whether a jug is standing there; and if it's present, to say some words to the host.

The followers fulfill everything punctually. They go to the house, check the sign, and tell the host the password — like in modern spy novels. Then, Jesus and the apostles come at the secret address. The host is also one of Christ's followers.

Jesus and the apostles has been drinking and having fun for some time. But two men, Jesus and Judas, are nervous. Christ says to Judas: "Go and do what's needed". Judas leaves. A bit later, Jesus offers his friends to take a walk; nothing strange after drinking a lot of wine. However, Jesus leads them out of the city, to the garden of Gethsemane — why?

Notice the main point: Judas has left before; he can't know where Jesus and the apostles are going — if he really is a traitor, not an accomplice. Nevertheless, Judas leads the high priest's men just to Gethsemane, where he admittedly gives Jesus up. So, the plan was worked out by them both.

It's easy to imagine what Judas has told Caiaphas: Jesus and his men are drunk and sleeping at Gethsemane; they can't show resistance; and the place is desolate. Of course, Judas asks money "for betrayal"; unselfishness is suspicious.

So, it's a dark night in the garden of Gethsemane, near Jerusalem. Christ is nervous, he has just put his life on stake. Then Judas and Caiaphas's cutthroats come. Judas kisses Jesus... Don't say that it's a treacherous kiss. No, it's a kiss of a friend: "Stand firm! I've done what you asked!"

Now, Peter puts his sword in use... If the temple guard came to arrest Jesus, there would be no clash. "You are arrested. Go!" — "OK, I've been waiting for it." It's a peaceful scenario of a legal arrest. But really, they came to kill Jesus, not to arrest him. This is why the combat began and blood shed: Peter has chopped off an ear of one of Caiaphas's men; his name is known — Malch. Jesus stops the massacre...

What has happened? A great trouble has happened to Caiaphas: the temple guard took part in a mass scuffle on the holiday night, which ended with injuries; and the most disastrous is that the aborigines attacked a Roman citizen! Surely, Pilate in person has to investigate this case.

— What for the hell did you come with sticks there? — Pilate would ask.

— To arrest a blasphemer, Sir! It was not easy by day, they are tempered guys, but at night, when they were drunk... Sorry, we tried to go without blood.

— And have you taken him?

— Yes, Sir!

— So, bring him here!



Jesus is being convoyed to the city. Peter with his sword goes behind, just in case. What if they try to kill Jesus "in an escape attempt"?

Christ is brought into Caiaphas's house and has got some blows. Peter does not intervene. His role as a Roman citizen is to be the main witness. Somebody identifies Peter: this is Christ's friend! But Peter disclaims: no, I don't know him, I simply walked in the garden at night, saw that a boy was about to be thrashed with sticks and tried to defend him...

Was Peter frightened, as the author of the gospel supposes? Hardly so. Peter was a war veteran; he experienced much greater danger in his life. With his sword, he could slaughter that unarmed townsfolk like sheep. However, the situation becomes uncertain: whether Peter is Christ's accomplice or really a casual passer-by, but in any case he is a Roman citizen and they can do nothing with him: he is not under their jurisdiction. Therefore, Peter can calmly leave: the situation has got out of Caiaphas's hand, and Jesus does not risk to be killed by the moment, because the whole city is already alarmed. Peter has done his part: Jesus is brought to the city alive.

After such a scandal, Christ is surely going to get to Pilate. The levites can ask for Jesus's death, but they are Pilate's enemies; therefore, Christ is going to become Pilate's friend, especially because he has what to tell the governor. Jesus can submit such a proposal that Pilate would be unable to deny...

Christ was sure in his expectations, but he could not know one crucially important detail — Sejanus's conspiracy against Tiberius, in which Pilate also took part.



As a participant of the plot, Pilate has got into time trouble. He promptly needs money. Pilate has no time to carry out Jesus's political agenda, which looks interesting, but... Pilate has already said goodbye to Judea, and now he is preparing to send his legion to Rome, to support Sejanus. If it were not so, he would arrange everything the best way: write to Rome, introduce Jesus into the Synedrion, then, using him as a dummy, purchase some exchange tables... But it's no time for this.

What happened after the conversation between Jesus and Pilate, is not exactly known. The gospel says that Pilate sent Jesus to Herod Antipas. Why? Who was Herod?

Herod was the king of Galilee and Parea, a European-style educated man. He grew up in Greece and got used to imperial luxury. Herod lived in Tiberias, the capital of Galilee. Could it be possible that Pilate sent a prisoner there? Hardly. Most likely, Herod, the same way as Pilate, came to Jerusalem for the holiday. Maybe Pilate wanted to consult with educated, pro-Roman Herod? Particularly because Jesus came also from Galilee...

Another evidence of those events came from Josephus Flavius, a Roman historian, who wrote the book 'History of the Jewish War'. He told clearly there that, after encountering Jesus, Pilate set him free, then met the high priest, got some money (30 talents) from him, and ordered to arrest Christ again.

What did really happen? Pilate simply blackmailed Caiaphas: look out, I've found no guilt of him, and now he's free and keeps on acting against you. Tomorrow I can set him in the face of the crowd, and his supporters, including those in the Synedrion, would say: "Here is the Messiah, whom we've been waiting for, who can, with his wisdom, convince even an implacable enemy of the Jews!"

When Pilate betrayed Christ, it was a usual political action for him. But in that case, he did it with gnawing in his heart. What did disturb him after such a successful deal? It may have been a thin thread of sympathy between him and the man from Nazareth.



Did Pilate really address to the people in the square with the question, whom they want to be pardoned, as the gospel tells? It's quite possible. A lofty Roman would be down in the dumps after committing a betrayal. Also, from purely pragmatic considerations, Pilate did not want to lose such an advantageous figure. 30 talents are stored now in the fortress, Caiaphas can't take them back. So, it's worth trying to save Christ, especially since it's customary to release one of the condemned. Caiaphas would have nothing to say in objection: the people decided so!

There were four men to execute: Jesus — for blasphemy, two Zealot terrorists, and Barabbas — an ordinary thief. Pilate addressed to the crowd with praises to Jesus, naming him the king. However, Caiaphas also was not a novice; he knew the mentality of his nation well. The levites had worked on the crowd, and people shouted: "Barabbas! Give us Barabbas!" Pontius gritted his teeth.

(Although maybe the people were not persuaded by the levites, but simply could not excuse Jesus for his scandal in the temple.)

Seeing the failure of their plan, Judas despairingly throws the money received from the high priest over the fence of Caiaphas's house, and commits suicide, because he can't hold the indelible shame of betrayal. The only one who could justify Judas in the eyes of the apostles and descendants is now coming onto Golgotha...



Pilate feels ill. He does not want Christ's death. Dead Christ is needed for Caiaphas, not for Pilate. It has not been happening often so that the events are going against the governor's will. Pilate is angry. He orders to make a wicked joke: to nail on "The King of Judea" tablet to the cross, because it's offensive for the Jews. The levites ask to remove it, but Pilate harshly denies.

The Zealots, Dismas and Gestas, are carrying their cross by themselves, but Christ is not. Roman soldiers, whom probably some special instructions about Jesus were given, have found a man named Simon. That Simon carries Christ's cross. Later, already crucified, Christ asks for a drink, and a Roman soldier gives his flask to Jesus. What a concern about a prisoner condemned to death!

Time has played a malicious joke with the Synedrion. It's Friday afternoon. The Jewish Shabbat, when nothing is allowed to be done, comes soon. But the criminals should not be left at the cross! So, they must be buried just on Friday. But they would not die in time! A crucified is dying for several days; this kind of execution was purposely invented for longer torments.

However, some ways to hasten the death exist; for example — nailing on the hands. In the hot weather, dirty nails cause sepsis in several hours, and the crucified dies soon. But, contrary to the later icons, Christ was not really nailed on to the cross!

Another way to make a person die sooner is to cut the arteries at the legs; the blood loss causes a prompt death in this case. Dismas and Gestas had their arteries cut, but not Jesus. The motivation was strange: he looks to be already dead! Why? A Roman soldier poked him with a spear, some blood appeared, and that was a reason to declare Christ dead. It's odd. Soldiers are exactly those who must know that the dead don't bleed!

However, the Zealots were really dead, and their corpses were thrown out. At the same time, Christ's body is given to his followers, Nicodim and Joseph of Arimothea, members of the Synedrion. They carry the body to Joseph's garden and wrap it up with a cloth imbued with aloe. It could be a process of embalming, but also a usual bandaging: aloe is a well-known antiseptic. Christ is laid into a crypt; where else should a "dead" be placed?

Caiaphas understands that he has been duped. He rushes to Pilate: what's the matter? you've taken the money, but the criminal is alive! Pilate shrugs: I don't know, they told me he's dead, I was surprised too that it happened so soon. But, if you don't believe, you can set your guard at the crypt.

Surely Pilate is jeering. What for a guard can be on Shabbat, when the true believers stay at home and can't do anything!? Despairingly, Caiaphas asks Pilate to set a Roman guard at the crypt.

This is exactly what Pilate needs! A guard has been set, but the body has disappeared. When the levites ask, the legionaries answer that they fell asleep and did not see anything...

Do you believe that a Roman soldier can sleep on duty? Do you believe that a Roman soldier can confess in sleeping on duty? The Roman law assigns the death penalty for sleeping on duty!

So, where is Jesus?



Most likely, Jesus was staying in Herod's palace. Christ had been living for a year there. It was a strange year in his life; a whole gorgeous palace was in his disposal, he could talk to his friends and to intelligent, educated Herod. However, at the same time, it was a year of total inactivity.

Before getting under house arrest in Herod's palace, Christ may have traveled free for some time. Knowing that Caiaphas's guards were chasing him, he changed his appearance and so met with the apostles. The point was that Pilate still had not determined what to do with Christ. The governor did not know when to march off with his legion to support Sejanus. Something strange was going on in Rome...

...Anti-Jewish riots happened in Rome mostly at the times of economic crises. Tiberius usually did not give in to people's fury. Quite the contrary: he saved the most talented Jews by sending them to public service in the provinces. However, his struggle against luxury and fund wasting brought no results. That was why Tiberius changed his policy and started radical economic reforms. He dared a repartition of property.

Tiberius and the Senate issued two decrees concerning debts. The first decree stated that all debtors should immediately return 2/3 of the debts to the creditors. The second decree ordered to convert 2/3 of usurers' capital into real estates. It was not simply confiscation of property for debts. Tiberius achieved two goals: the greatest debtors would no longer luxuriate in Rome and had to go home, while the Jewish merchants would no longer lend money due to the lack of free capital, and had to care about their new property: squandering is not their custom.

Together with the good news, bad news came from Rome: Sejanus's conspiracy was exposed. How stupid it happened! Tiberius's grandnephew, Gaius Caligula, was appointed the great pontific — i.e. the main priest, who could manipulate legions with his prophecies. Gaius is Sejanus's enemy; the coup was postponed up to sorting relationships with him. But a postponed revolt is a failed revolt. Being tardy in such affairs is a suicidal mistake.

While Sejanus was keeping on considering, the secret guards kept on watching. Sejanus was arrested, and his accomplices too — except Pilate, who got off with a reprimand, because his participation in the conspiracy failed to be proved. He was only rebuked for not informing the authorities about the suspicious letters from Sejanus.

The failure of the conspiracy changed all Pilate's plans. It turned out that he's not going to march off with his legion. That was a chance for the guy from Nazareth to become useful...

Not only Passover is celebrated in Judea. There is also Pentecost, Purim and many more holidays. Every such day arouses agiotage at the exchange tables. But now Pilate can blackmail the levites again with Jesus, who has become really dreadful for them; he is now a living god, the arisen! With his help, Pilate can now kick these old hypocrites out from their business!



In order to take the financial flows of the temple under control, Pilate needs a Christian party. On Pentecost of 31 CE, the apostles, led by Peter, come to Jerusalem.

Peter and John appear at the square near the temple and give a speech. Peter is a "deputy Christ" now; John is a young talent, who would later write the Apocalypse. What do they call for? They plan to build a financial pyramid! They call the citizens to sell their property and to invest in the apostles. What's going on?

Nothing strange: Pilate needs some working capital for operations at the exchange tables. The levites understand that Pilate is going to take away the exchange business from the Synedrion; they use Tiberius's decrees and begin to feverishly buy the citizens' property up. This suits the apostles well: the citizens bring the gained money to the apostles at high interest.

Sometimes it leads to downright banditry. A married couple, Anania and Sapphyra, sold their parcel and brought money to their new, Christian, Family; but they concealed some money from Peter. When he got to know it, he killed them straight near the temple! The reason was that they deceived the Family.

It was a flagrant crime even for that time of shocking changes. Look at those Christians! they began with smashing in the temple, and now they continue with murders! Indignation was so great that John and Peter were arrested.

However, the apostles had been celling not for a long time. As the scripture tells, an angel came at night and set them free. Seemingly that "angel" was a Roman officer, who came and cursed the locals out: what the fucking right did you have to detain the Roman citizens! that's no business of yours! it's an affair of the state!

After this, everything is going according to the plan. Peter appoints some honest provincials from the Christian party to care about the tables, which are seven at that moment. Some theologians believe that it was something like tables where free food for the poor was given, but it's stupid! Free soup is not a reason for murder; surely the issue was the exchange tables where the story had begun.

So, Jesus's plan started to be carried out. Peter launched his business and got some working capital by promising a high interest rate.

And what did Christ do at that moment?



Probably by Pilate's order, Jesus and the apostles come from Galilee to Jerusalem. However, Christ is worried by the question why he is coming there. When staying in Herod's palace, Jesus certainly saw that Peter became the real leader of his church.

The problem was that Peter's actions did not correspond to Christ's aims. Jesus planned a social, juridical and economic reform, not simply a property redistribution between the Pharisees and Pilate. Naturally, Jesus had disputes with Peter, which are reflected in the gospel. The issue was their old friendship and ideals; what's more important: their dreams — or money and power; especially since Peter was evidently tempted by the latter.

We don't know where their argument had come. We know only that Jesus did not return to Jerusalem, and that Peter was an unrestrained and ambitious man...

Pilate had to deal with Peter. Probably it even made him glad, because Peter was more predictable. Arisen Jesus was dangerous not only to the Pharisees, but also to Pilate. So it's unknown whether Peter killed Jesus himself, or Pilate organized Christ's assassination.

Emperor Tiberius died of a natural cause. Caligula, who succeeded him, exiled king Herod to Gaul, where he died some years later, and retired Pilate, who also moved to Gaul and spent the rest of his life there.

Caiaphas remained the high priest for four years, then retired, and there is nothing known about his last years.

All the personages of the gospel died in the 1st century CE. And history kept on going its way...

From 'Ogonyok' magazine, #39, 1999.
Translated from Russian by Milchar