The God Who Wasn't There

The God Who Wasn't There

2005, Religion  -   372 Comments
Ratings: 7.48/10 from 80 users.

The God Who Wasn’t There (2005)Former fundamentalist Christian Brian Flemming places the core concepts of his former religion under the microscope in a documentary that attempts to do for religion what Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me did for the fast-food industry. In his bold quest to seek answers to the difficult questions that few are willing to pose, Fleming is joined by Deconstructing Jesus author Robert M. Price, renowned historian Richard Carrier, and The End of Faith author Sam Harris.

From the ignorance of many contemporary Christians as to the origin of their religion to the striking similarities between Jesus Christ and the deities worshipped by ancient pagan cults and the Christian obsession with blood and violence, this faith-shaking documentary explores the many mysteries of the Christian faith as never before.

This documentary argues the "mythicist" case in the historical Jesus debate. This position says that Jesus of Nazareth wasn't a real person but a fiction based on Jewish scriptures and mystery religions of the Roman Empire. It doesn't make sense to talk about a "real" Jesus - there wasn't any. This documentary has good information but could have been better produced - any high school student could have done a better job.

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2 years ago

Wait, we should question vicarious punishment/redemption via human ritualistic sacrifice predated by animal sacrifice to appease an imaginary being for something two imaginary people did that wasn’t really all that bad after being deceived by a talking serpent?

Stephe Aucoin
3 years ago

Why or rather he coukd s loving merciful God send the majority of his creation to a eternal damnation. Omnipotent God knowing the future that man couldn't follow his commands knowing full well the outcome..
A jealous blood thirsty cruel God.

Robert Nowak
3 years ago

Ok, anybody that's going to tell ME, GOD and JESUS CHRIST, ARE ALIEN'S?! And ANYONE who believes in, THIS NONSENSE, YOU NEED HELP!!

Bill Asbury
3 years ago

My comment is "awaiting moderation"??????
So much for the free exchange of ideas in the 21st century. Be afraid....very afraid

Bill Asbury
3 years ago

Paul doesn't know anything of the life of Jesus besides three events??
All the Gospels besides Mark are derived from Mark?
Paul didn't believe Christ was a real person?

You do know Paul was a aware of a tradition of Jesus that none of the Gospels mention. It is Paul and Paul only who quotes Christ's saying "It is more blessed to give than receive" Acts 20:35
You do remember that Paul received the Gospel years before connecting at all with the Jerusalem Church but when he did, he was in full agreement with them!! Gal. 2:1-10 and Acts 15
Paul didn't think Jesus was a real person? Laughable....1 Corinthians 15:17

If there are myth makers, surely their names are Price, Carrier and Harris.

Jeff Walther
4 years ago

Religion ain't the problem. Supernaturalism (religion as known) IS the problem. True, valid ethical religion MUST be 100% true. All supernaturalism is knowably and consistently mistake, bogus, wrong. Get rid of the poison supernaturalistic part(s) and everything worx and is aOk by every measure, all things considered, for all good intents and purposes. It's not religion but aeriously erroneous and flawed suppernaturalism that is the cause and culprit in all cases of bad religion(s).

4 years ago

Organized religion is a mental illness !!!

6 years ago

Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your deity made you in his image, I reply that he must have been very ugly! ;Victor Hugo

7 years ago

Life can be so delightfully simple. By all means, be spiritual. Walk into nature and experience the holiness of it all.
Religion? Now there is trouble with a capital 'T'. Steer clear of it.
Don't pray to their God and don't pay their Taxes. They are evil to the core. They will kill you eventually or one of their competitors will.
There are many of them for it is a lucrative business.
Peace be with you.

James Smith
7 years ago

Despite all of the requests here and elsewhere for any proof of any religion at all, not one iota of proof has ever been produced. People still "believe" and have "faith". Both of those meas "accepting as true that for which there is no supporting evidence and even much contrary evidence." How intelligent is that?

It might be evidence that evolution in intelligence has not been equally effective.

K Sean Proudler
9 years ago

The fact that people actually "BELIEVE" this Bible Jesus Christ stuff is shocking indeed.

To "BELIEVE" you must accept without having a direct connection with the truth. Thus you are accepting something while being located at a distance from the actual truth. Thus if you stick to your "BELIEFS" then you stick to being located at a distance from the truth, and do so forever. Thus in the long run, the truth loses since everyone avoids it by permanently staying away from it.

Thus any religious believers in turn by being believers condemn the truth thus condemn God.

The proof of this is that if you present true proof of the existence of God to such "BELIEVERS" they will spit at it and shun it in every way possible. Truth is condemned by them.

If you google "Bible Code Introduction 156 462" without the quotes, you can find the proof of Jesus Christ.

If you find it, click on the flashing words "Watch / Listen", and let the webpage take you on a webpage tour of such proof.

Jeff B
10 years ago

This documentary did nothing to persuade me that Jesus Christ is anything but was interesting...BUT it was nothing that would cause me or any other Christian I know to lose their faith...maybe I just missed the main point...I don't know...

10 years ago

Yeah, I'm not gonna rave about any opinion I have cause I'm relatively uneducated, and I think some other people shouldn't either. I would suggest studying the Bible and it's opposing side completely before getting all emotional over an epiphanic discovery about whether there is or isn't a God, or whether the Bible has no credibility, etc.

10 years ago

Probably one of the most important documentaries ever made.

10 years ago

I grew up Jehovah's Witness and the first time I heard the song, "Every Single Day" it was used in a video I found on youtube about 4 years ago. Someone made a video explaining all the reasons you should NOT become a witness. I remember someone commenting on the video and stating the song was from the this movie. Never had the chance to watch until today. Needless to say, I don't know what took me so long to view this video. As a person who was taught that critical thinking is a trait of the devil, it was the very trait that made him challenge God, this video put it in the perspective my mind could process! I think it's amazing how religion can challenge everything but when it's challenged using the same method (show me the proof) they claim faith as their trump card. This position always provokes an irresistible question, "So is believing in something enough to make it real? If so, how does Santa Claus fit in with this approach?"

10 years ago

I really enjoyed the documentary - even though the music score was pathetic.

10 years ago

I grew up in a family where religion was never mentioned nor was athiesm. It wasn't until my mid twenties when I discovered what some believe to be true, religion. One of my coworkers who I became good friends with was a "born again" devoted Christian. I could tell he was passinate about his religion but I could not understand why. This was twenty years ago, during a time of my live where I really wanted to fit in with people. He was very adamant about convincing me to believe in jesus. At one point, he said something that I will never forget during a hypothetical question on what he would do if asked by god. His answer, "anything" to includ taking his own newborn sons life. I am quite sure he was telling the truth. Sorry Frank, if you're out there reading this post, I'm steal the Heathen I always was...

10 years ago

I made it as far as minute 14 when the narrator, trying to sound like he is giving a critical academic perspective on Jesus' life, 1.) assumes without comment that Paul authored Hebrews, 2.) quotes Hebrews 8:4 completely out of context, and 3.) reaches a ridiculous conclusion from Hebrews 8:4 which contradicts numerous passages that scholars know Paul wrote.

This is the very definition of poor scholarship.

10 years ago

I made it until minute 14, when the narrator, giving the appearance that he is examining Jesus' life critically and academically, 1.) assumes without discussion that Paul wrote Hebrews, 2.) then quotes Hebrews 8:4 completely out of context, and 3.) finally draws a conclusion from that one verse that contradicts a hundred other things that scholars know Paul wrote.

It's one thing to look at Christianity critically. But this is a very unscholarly attempt to do so.

11 years ago

Could not get through the frist half hour of this documentary. I think by now, we all get the idea that alot of what religous instituions have done to, what we still think is factual ancient text is, manipulate them for some sort of personal gain and this narrator will have people of faith realizing that "we living a lie, or rather, believing a lie".

The narrator is fatcual, he has soucres which he attempts to adequately back up his agrument. I agree that Chirstianty is not entirely based on fact, alot of the biblical stories are theological however, and this is my question.

The simalarities between all these Gods up to 33AD is astonishing to say the least. Their believes clearly derive from the same source which is the planet. This is evidence of universal common understanding and aknowlegdement of the study of celetrial bodies - astrology. How is this that, that which seemed impossible at that time, understanding cycles and the measurement of time through the movement of the sun, presessions etc could have been so factualy correct?

We shouldnt be stratching our heads falsifying what manifested from such powerful information, in fact we should expect it.

helena zlno
11 years ago

this guy is a little frustrated...the narrator...

11 years ago

It's crazy what people will believe to feel comfort.

11 years ago

The first 3 and 1/2 minutes are pure junk, exposing the amateurish producing. This is absolute tripe.

11 years ago

This should be a must view for everyone afflicted with the virus of religion. This and the short George Carlin skit "Religion is Bullshit" might give pause to those brainwashed from birth as I was and make them realize how empty and fruitless mysticism and supernatural fairy tales really are. I happen to be Mensan with an IQ of 148 which gives me the wherewithal to evaluate and discern fantasy from reality which probably the vast majority with even intelligence of the average doctor at 120 and certainly the average prole with his 100 IQ would not have the mental machinery to accomplish. Religion really is the worst mind virus as Arthur C. Clarke said so well.

11 years ago

I have to say, this guy seemed to have a personal agenda...Not really trying to inform so much as to attack. I enjoy documentaries of various outlooks and viewpoints... But you can tell when a film is sincere. When its fairly displaying information or trying to force you to an opinion. I feel this is of the latter.

istvan gergely
11 years ago

We don't have to undersand everything, simply because we can't.
There is only one thing that we need. LOVE. Through LOVE we will find God, and he will find us.

Nicholas Melanson
11 years ago

These quotes from the bible in this movie are lies...look it up for yourself.
This is a really poor documentary with a very bias slant.

11 years ago

Very intriguing documentary. I too, accepted Christ at an early age...then again as an adult. Then went into ministry after attending Liberty Bible Institute. I then went to Seminary and worked my way into a Master's degree...and an Honorary Doctorate. I had many unanswered questions pertaining to the validity of scripture and the contradictions found therein. I went on a 40 day fast... to cleanse my soul and enlighten my mind to what it was that God wanted of me. It accomplished only two things...incredible hunger...and I lost 30 lbs. I was never... enlightened...God did not come to me even though I prayed and lamented. In 2004, I came to the realization that all I had believed was search of answers... I researched it myself...and...because of the dates...times...missing books....contradictions... and lack of..... evidence...I came to the harsh reality that this was made up. I cried for weeks. But...after a time... I came to understand that I am much better off taking ownership for my own reality....this was FREEDOM.

11 years ago

What is God? Who is He? What does He want from us? How can we know? He is mysterious and gives us few real answers. He speaks in riddles, "I am that I am", and gives us undefined directives. "Thou shalt not Kill" then He gives the Israelites instructions on how to kill the Caananites. WTF??? No wonder people are confused with the Bible!
The Bible, my friends, was written on many levels, in ancient Hebrew, in an alphabetic-numeric script. Read the King James version all you want, you will not understand the Torah. Even if you do understand the Torah, you will not understand the Talmud. These are the commentaries, there are several thousand volumes of them going back thousands of years, of the Torah. It is the greatest single body of work by man on earth. I can't touch it, therefore I can't comment. Who is God? I am that I am. Who am I? God's loving creation.

11 years ago

i just wanted to say..i'm a former bahai, and they DO NOT force you into believing anything you don't want to. i'm an agnostic. i'm spiritual in the paranormal sense. not trying to say BE a bahai, jsut sayin it's a WAY more laid bakc religion than christianity. honestly? i didn't want the obligation

Martyn Cutcher
11 years ago

I found the point that Paul's epistles made little to no reference to a historical Christ a real "Elephant in the room". One that I am sure few Christians have noticed.

11 years ago

Had to turn this off after he describes those burned children at Waco as "crispy fans" of christianity. Not only is that tasteless but it's not even accurate. As crazy as the Branch Davidians might have been, the federal government began the incident by shooting first and ended it by burning everyone to death, so religion wasn't even the cause of their deaths, since they died defending their personal property from an unprovoked invasion, not on some religious crusade.

11 years ago

The quote from Luke 19 is misleading because the words are in the context of a parable. It is not Jesus actually saying to kill anyone. It is about spiritual death. That kind of cheapens this documentary for me because they obviously needed something to make Jesus, fictional or not, look bad.

11 years ago

Please reupload the #documentary! #atheism

Shane Van-Heer
11 years ago

believers will believe in Jesus Christ, non believers do what they do best (ratchet up c***). athesists, non believers and the like, as you do not pray - hope that you never run into me (ie if you at least believe in hope).

Dan Flynn
11 years ago

I was raised Mormon and read my way out of that religion almost ten years ago. Although I resent it, in retrospect I'm glad that it was Mormonism and not a more "mainstream" version of Christianity. Mormons are taught that the bible, as we've inherited it, is not infallible, and that many "plain and precious truths" (as they say) were lost due to human error and/or malice. Of course, the alternative translations offered by the Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, are also baloney, but at least this teaching primed my mind to be able to rise above the bible and Christianity in general. Sometimes I wonder if maybe the whole purpose of ole Joe Smith's con act was to fabricate a version of Christianity so ridiculous as to make it essentially act as a stepping stone for people to graduate from Christianity and religion in general. Thanks Joe!

11 years ago

Well,shouldn't the children be playing and having fun in their childhood.It's awful to see that children are mind washed since childhood to have "FAITH" in god .... shouldn't it be something that every individual have to figure out on their own, to believe or not to and have every right to make a choice.

11 years ago

This is the most laughable anti-Christian film I have seen. The entire section on the holy spirit was a joke. It was directed at the Sadducees (or Pharisees?) for claiming that Jesus was driving out demons through the power of Beelzebub. It is not saying that you deny the holy spirit that makes the difference.

11 years ago

The idea that christianity has been the cause of most wars is completely inaccurate. Most of the wars and violence out there have been done by non-christians. Stalin, an athiest, killed fifteen million of his own people. Mao Tse Tung, an athiest, murdered millions of chinese in the Cultural revolution. When atheists kill they are acting in accordance with their view. When Christians kill out of violence they are not acting in acordance to Christ's teachings.
In the end, if you add up the numbers for the anti religious groups compared to the christian wars, you will find that the numbers don't even compare.

:) For more info on this question see "Youtube Dr. Ravi Zacharias Religion and war."

12 years ago

I watched this documentary and I am the kind of person who tries to see all sides of the story (I also watched "For the Bible Tells Me So"). I am a Humanist, and I have to say this was a good documentary, not amazing. But it made some really good points. Esp. about wrong judgement about homosexuality and just for denying or thinking about doubting the Holy Ghost.

12 years ago

If one man has an imaginary friend you call him crazy. If? more than one person has the same imaginary friend its called religion.

12 years ago

I thought it was very well done. It was not supposed to be some hyper technical "expose" or something. It was more in line with the Michael Moorer films. Loved the interview with the obviously uncomfortable Christian headmaster! I thought it illustrated very well the lack of real understanding that most believers have in their own faith ( like the constant..."I don't know" and the extra emphasis on "just have faith" as opposed to having concrete reasons for believing in the claims of Christianity). It did seem to just end a bit abruptly though.

12 years ago

Just saw this documentary and I must say I was dissapointed in it. The thing about good documentaries is that they are un-biased and show both sides of the arguement so that you can make sure own decisions about the subject. This documentary was from the very beginning completely biased and obviously trying to show Christians in a negative light. They only listed Christians in history who have done terrible things but no Christians who have done good things in history. Yeah there are a lot of "Christians" who are a--holes but thats because they are people. There are also a lot of atheists or agnostics or just whatever peopler, that are a--holes. You shouldn't base your decisions about what you believe based on what other people say or do. You should base your beliefs based on your studying different religions and the Bible or whatever and figuring out what you think for yourself. Some of the things this documentary says about the Bible are also false which is unfortunate because a lot of people will probably take it for fact because they are too lazy or don't care enough to actually read the Bible themselves. Its so sad when people try to force their beliefs on other people...why can't we just let everyone believe whatever they want to believe! I am a non-denominational Christian but I am also pretty liberal and I hate when anyone tries to persuade someone to believe whatever they believe. I also hate how some people will talk to me for half an hour about why God doesn't exist and why Christianity is stupid and I sit and just listen and let them say whatever without judgement but when I try to tell them what I think about it, all of a sudden they assume I'm gonna try to convert them and they don't want to hear my opinion...that seriously pisses me off. So now whenever the topic of religion comes up, I just ask people if we can please not even talk about it at all. If you don't care to hear about what I believe in thats fine, but don't expect me to care about what you think...

12 years ago

As a pastors kid, I fully understand his resentment of Christians, and especially how they indoctrination children. BUT.... get your facts strait. I will, and always will, listen to cold hard facts. AND.... get your facts in context. I spent half the video facepalming, and the other half feeling bad for you. I don't feel the need to point out the problems as they have been fleshed out in earlier posts. I, though, completely agree with not indoctrinating children in a "get out of hell free" method. You are a prime example of the anger and resentment that builds. Let go of your anger. Im not telling you to convert, I'm telling you to come to a place that you can truly be unbiased, and see the world as what it is. You found people to say what you wanted to hear and presented fact out of context to get a point across. this is misleading and an embarrassment to science. You are just as much a preacher as my father is on sunday.

12 years ago

There are many who call themselves Christians yet also consider themselves enlightened enough to believe in evolution and not believe in silly Old Testament stories like Adam and Eve and Noah's Ark. But just what do they believe in? Salvation? Salavtion from what? Eternal damnation? Salvation is only necessary if we were indeed eternally damned for Eve's unpardonable sin of eating an apple in the Garden of Eden, so no matter how enlightened you are, if you believe that Jesus is your savior, you must therefore also believe in the preposterous story of Adam and Eve--you must be a creationist.

There is evidence that Jesus was a historical person--an ordinary human. And it seems he might, perhaps, have been a very wise man who had some good things to say about love and compassion, but that's as far as I am willing to go in "believing" in him.

12 years ago

This video is thought provoking in some instances, yet in others a complete lie. Brian Flemming spends an hour twisting opinions that are being taken completely out of context and also blatantly using false verses and testimony to convince people that God, Jesus and Christianity is wrong. One example is found 32:06 into the film. This quote from 'Jesus' found in Luke 19 v27 is actually a parable, a story Jesus tells a group of people about a King and his servants. Unbelievably it has been used as a quote directly from Jesus to what his opinion was on non-believers, that they should be killed! It's actually disgusting how he can put this in an use it as a way of making Jesus out to be bad. Ben Flemming must think that we the general public are completely idiotic will not to check the references out for ourselves. To summarise, a very poor piece of investigative Journalism. Don't watch this movie if you want a true and non-biased opinion of Christianity. Mr Flemming you should be embarrassed by this piece of work, this is honestly the worst and most biased documentary I've ever seen.

12 years ago

I found it easier to watch the video by letting it play through once, while I did something else, and then coming back to view it. Also, it can be purchased on Amazon (I bought two copies) to share one. This is a very good and thought-provoking film!

12 years ago

This as opposed to in the beginning something (which is really nothing) exploded in a big bang and 16 billion years later here we are... Pretty arrogant when we are told that science has cracked the mystery that can account for the past 16 bil years, yet still dumbfounded by the first micro seconds. Let's leave matters of philosophy and social science to those arenas and get to working on things that matter - poverty, famine, injustice and the like. If you need a bronze aged fairy to give you hope, that great's, but lets not be so smug to think that we know it all because science told us so... That's just as ridiculous.

12 years ago

@MusikalFuture .. You said: "If you were to read the entire portion of scripture surrounding this ONE verse that was pointed out, you'd understand how it was taken out of context"

And then went on to explain what YOU understand to be the meaning (which oddly enough, is an opinion of context... Which means that it is already out of context). You said:

"Paul wasn't using this verse to say that he thinks Jesus wasn't ever on earth. He was saying that Jesus is the high priest on the right hand of God the father, in Heaven"

"Paul wasn't" was he? "He was saying" was he? ... Were you there with Paul and Jesus when it happened?... Better yet... Was the SCRIBE for this passage even there?

Hows this for losing context: I highly doubt that there were voice recorders and I highly doubt that scribes were on standby for Paul and Jesus when they spoke.. The best analogy for the bible I can put forward is this:

***A drunk in a bar pukes all over his own shirt, which was brand new before he came in. “Damn,” he says. “I puked on my shirt again. If the wife finds out, she’s gonna kill me.”

“Not to worry,” says the bartender as he sticks a $20 bill in the drunk’s pocket. “Just tell her someone puked on you and gave you some cash to cover the cleaning bill.”

So the drunk goes home and tells his wife about the guy who puked on him. She reaches into his pocket and finds two twenties. “Why are there two twenties?” she asks.

The drunk replies, “Oh, yeah, he crapped in my pants, too.” ****

--------Now re-tell the joke to someone without looking at it and get them to write down exactly what you said.

Out of context perhaps?

12 years ago

The context of the first verse posted on the video is twisted; Heb 8:4 "If Jesus had been on earth, he would not even be a priest." If you were to read the entire portion of scripture surrounding this ONE verse that was pointed out, you'd understand how it was taken out of context. Paul wasn't using this verse to say that he thinks Jesus wasn't ever on earth. He was saying that Jesus is the high priest on the right hand of God the father, in Heaven. Paul was simply making note of the fact that here on earth our laws and the pharisees of the times were so corrupt, that even Jesus, the Messiah, God incarnate, wouldn't be able to be considered a priest, due to the laws and standards placed upon earthly priests in that time. Paul is simply pointing out the corruption of the law of the people.
This is the type of thing which makes these sort of videos so believable, and deceiving. Every answer that you seek, can be found in the scriptures, but in the appropriate CONTEXT of them. Meaning that you shouldn't just simply read one verse and form an opinion from it. You should take into fact the entire chapter, book, passage, the surrounding verses around the one you've chosen to point out, etc etc. The truth can be found, but only by an open and willing heart. The root and purpose behind this video isn't to find truth, but rather it is to destroy Christianity by destroying the roots and foundation of it.

Keep in mind that the apostle Paul, wasn't the "only link," or the only way in which Christianity was spread. 11 of the 12 disciples of Christ were martyred as Christians, followers of Christ.