The God Who Wasn’t There

61 minutes 8.2/10

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, Flemming 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 worshiped 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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  • David

    I have to wonder at the section concerning the rapture letter which is supposed to be sent to the non believers once the sheep have been raptured.
    My concern is this:
    if all the sheep have been raptured, who then is going to hit the send key?

    • Fred Howard

      the send button can only be pushed by the unbelievers that have been notified ahead of time and letters sent to relatives of those who were raptured. even the rapture is disputed about the exact time [ pre trib, mid trib or post trib]. some scholars even believe that it won’t happen. that CHRIST will come back and christians will have a place of refuge on earth until HIS return. i think this documentary is a fair assesment but even brian was taught to fear GOD in all ways . we should fear the power of GOD not HIS love. what the bible is basically saying to me ; in order to live a supernatural life you have to have a supernatural spirit. some christians believe they have a license to sin but yet judge their brother while they still in their own sins. some christians belive that everything will be alright once they accept CHRIST. on the contrary the PERSONAL battle is just begiining . it is somehting hard to explain and everyone has a right to their own beliefs. the way i see the world is there are people comming to CHRIST and people in CHRIST in LOVE . only GOD knows who are HIS no matter who we are or what we believe. christians should judge each other in the WORD and guard your own soul. as far as what people believe time will tell. GOD BLESS everyone.

  • taffysaur

    exactly what i thought. what a bunch of fucking morons.

    good movie, i’ll probably buy it.

  • http://www.brokencomplex.com mic

    Brian Flemming attended Village Christian – my former high school (LAB) arch nemisis: and on behalf of all those sentenced to those institutions: we thank him. (Now i realize i wasn’t alone.)

  • http://www.streetwisepundit.com/ Chuck

    Outstanding point about one person taking a fake quote and publishing it; then hundreds and even thousands of websites publish this same fake quote, with people never questioning the validity of the quote.

    The religions psyche flourish in cultures that are at the clan/tribe mythological stage of moral development. As I say, Christians are disciples of death that worship a human blood offering. They think it brings vicarious redemption for their vicarious guilt… As Sam Harris points out, when people with this world view get elected to high office, we have entered the danger zone…

  • Sarah

    “I Am Not Afraid.”
    Hum… Doesn’t seem like it by his face on the camera… Hahaha Courageous guy… Good ideas, good investigation, for the wrong reasons. The beginning of the movie is awsome. I started to not like it that much when he used Mel Gibson’s Jesus too much (horrific movie, that shows a human being suffering for nothing. I hate it). And I ended up doubting the reasons why he did the movie at all. He went to his former school, to question things about his own childhood. His fears and disbeliefs… Too personal, to contaminated with some poor ideas… Contrary to the beginning of it, full of research work and good information. But well, at least he tried to make a point, and this is brave.
    Now I want him with a camera when he dies, so that he will show us if he went hell for denying the Holy Spirit… Hahaha For those asking, I was raised in a catholic enviroment, including school, and after growing up decided not to believe it anymore (the catholicism. In God I still believe). For the resons he exposed very well… The discrepancy between what catholics live and what the bible really says… And since I don’t want people to die just because they renegate my God (as the bible says), I see no point on following it. God Itself never came to me to say that this or that is right or wrong… So, who am I to judge others?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.l.maddox Jamie Judas

    I haven’t watched this film yet, but I was wanting to say a few words and maybe share a link before I do. I saw an ad on Facebook that said “Was Jesus Even Alive?” That of course attracted me right away. I love to hear theories about different things, especially religion. Conspiracy theories are my favorite also. I’m incredibly excited to watch this one, because I’m pretty sure I’ve watched every film or doc that shares theories and facts disproving Christianity. Here’s some links to some amazing docs that I love very very much.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txp8LhL56rU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6w2M50_Xdk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97_v1ZICbLQ&feature=related

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.l.maddox Jamie Judas

    This documentary is beautiful. Brian Flemming did an amazing job on this one. This documentary goes deeper into the subject than any other I’ve seen. Zeitgeist was beautifully done don’t get me wrong, but The God Who Wasn’t There is perfect. I love how Brian interviewed people himself and did research himself…that is what makes a good director. I noticed this doc had some of the same material that Zeitgeist does, which just makes it even more better. This film also saddened me greatly…just the thought of someone sending their only son to die like that is just down right evil..I actually began to cry. I love this documentary and I’m so happy that there is a Brian Flemming. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

    • KS

      Hi Jamie,

      I hope you don’t mind, I just wanted to explain a little about the bit of the film which saddened you so you don’t need to feel so sad. The bible is quite clear that Jesus willingly gave his life; it was part of the plan and he knew before he was born into our world, that this was all going to happen.
      What would need to be more fully understood to really make sense of it all is the Trinity- One God but three persons. I’m sure you’ve heard in Christianty “God is Love”? For God to be love, he would have to be plural (and in the first sentence of the bible “In the beginning, God…” the Hebrew word for ‘God’ is plural. An entire biblical theology would go on to show you where God uses “I” and “us” or “we” interchangeably, and then most noticeably in Jesus baptism all three persons are present (the holy spirit, descends on Jesus, and the Father says “This is my son whom I love, with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17) (if you can get your head around that one) but definitely no time to go into it more than that on here… So, God existed perfectly loving within the trinity without the need of anything outside himself to love. God didn’t neeed to create, he wanted to. But he didn’t want robots and the fall out of that is some will choose to love him as their creator and some won’t- but as a Just and fair God, he had to fairly judge all the offense his creation was causing him (sin) but wanted to save anyone who would listen through Jesus, because he is also a loving God. The price HAD to be paid, or it wouldn’t be fair…
      Before Jesus, God asked for animal sacrifices to be made in the temple and people lived under a strict law the law of the old covenant (the old testament). All of this foreshadowed Jesus who was to be sent into the world as no one could keep the law perfectly and animal sacrifices were more of a symbol of what was to come.
      So to solve this, Jesus came as the ultimate sacrifice- the holy lamb- and the new covenant was made ‘the new testament’ as people could now live under grace, free from the law as it was fulfilled in Jesus living the law to perfection (which no one else was able to do). Now that’s love- the judge, who is also the one most offended in the situation, taking the penalty himself. Jesus stood in the place of man-kind so those that accept him could be seen as perfect by God and enjoy a relationship with him without the separation sin would cause otherwise, because God is Holy and can’t coexist with unholiness; that’s where you hear people saying Jesus is our mediator and also why people pray “in Jesus name” and the mediator between us and God the Father. Jesus’ blood is the only ‘thing’ that has the power to wash clean and make ‘righteous’ (meaning right standing before God).
      But basically, God’s love and total justice is displayed on the cross by Jesus willingly paying the penalty for man-kinds sin. He could have jumped off the cross as he IS God and equal to God the Father (as he said could when they were mocking him) but he stayed to finish what was started and he did it so no one else would ever have to be punished if they accepted him as who he said he was- the fulfillment of the Old Testament, the Savior. The good news is he rose again- So he is alive and well, we don’t need to be sad :)

  • PizzaPill

    Very US-centric, but funny to watch

  • Craig

    This is an embarrassing and extremely ignorantly bias documentary against Christ and His Church. This does not rightfully represent the Scriptures and especially Paul’s letters. Has anyone on this site seriously examined the Bible without taking a verse here or there and blowing them completely out of context?

    • Nacho Can Sandy Ravaged

      The best way to become an athiest is by examiningthe bible in my opinion or even just by examining the history of the bible.

      • Eanor

        Yeah, especially if you *start* with bias.

      • KS

        It’s also the best way to become a Christian. It’s God who chooses what you see and what you don’t. But my sentence is almost an oxymoron if you don’t believe in God or that the bible is true.

    • Buggery

      I don’t buy the “taken out of context” argument when discussing verses in the bible. Preachers and televangelists calling themselves true Christians hit the podium with their fist, point to the bible and loudly proclaim to the audience: “This is the word of God!” There’s no context to be had, as its written as fact. There’s no allegory, no metaphor. Fact.

      When you read the bible and question whether the world was made in 6.0 days, that’s your brain evolving out of the fog of Christianity. You can’t have your cake and eat it too; you can’t believe in God and then turn around and accept the scientific field of geology (or astrology, biology, physics, etc…)

      • KS

        It maybe be partly assumed that the congregation and other believers would already have some understanding of God’s character which he demonstrates throughout the bible. Reading anything outside of this understanding is dangerous in terms of how it distorts the message. Also any good bible teacher will tell you how completely important it is to understand who wrote the letter, who it was to, what the point of the letter was and what the culture of that specific audience was- reading the bible outside of that is tricky actually or it just misses so much or the wonder and truth. And if you believe in the God of the bible, you can be very comfortable indeed with understanding he made everything- including the patterns of creation, the study of which we call science. So in that sense you can 100% “have your cake and eat it”.

  • marleonetti

    Either the guy who made this doc has a total ignorance of historical facts or he is just straight out lying. There are so many errors with this doc from start to finish that it is difficult to know where to begin. Let’s take Paul the apostle for example – he clearly makes many references to Christ’s humanity and how he suffered on earth before going into heaven. But the narrator of this doc says Paul never makes any references to it – totally false !

    • joe blow

      Why is he “totally ignorant” of historical facts???…….and exactly what ERRORS are you referring too??? Can you be more specific??? (Im betting you cant)…everything I heard was totally 100% correct and factual…..which is more than I can say for the NEW TESTAMENT. Or maybe you are too afraid to accept the truth or even to bother investigating it.

    • Gonzo Wenkümmerts

      Its funny how you don´t even know what you are talking about.
      I have read the bible several times and of course that includes Paul, and what this documentary says about his writings is largely true. That was actually one of the first thing that made me doubt my beliefs, back when I was 13 or something.
      And then there is one thing that you people don´t seem to understand. It is not enough to state that “there is evidence”, if you wan´t to convince anybody of your position you will have to present that evidence. Especially in a question like this where other perople have looked and had to draw the conclusion that Jesus as a single individual person has not existed because they could not find any evidence.
      The lack of evidence alone makes a strong case against the existence of Jesus, because we do have evidence for other personalities from that time, and plenty of it. And not only that, almost all that we know of that time contradicts the posibillity of events as they are stated in the bible.

  • Maurice Whitehurst

    For some people, the freedom to think does not include the freedom to be wrong.

  • joe blow

    That was the BEST documentary on this subject that I have seen.

  • Brian J Monahan

    I think he denies his Mother Complex or his Eoedipus complex or whatever, but for any other redundant reasons for making this video this Nerd has no original message for educated people, he could develop into something special if he continues to apply himself- its well made-but I have heard all of this 1000s of times before-what you hate most you become, again, and again and again, he will accept jesus Christ again, and like all Fools, be stuck repeating the same Cylce untill he creates his own philosophies rather than talking about what history allready knows-its impotent, lazy and uninspired- Brian, Psudo Diana, Jesus-Lugh-Brigit- Osiris worshipper-Alchemist-

  • Brian J Monahan

    Also the 3 stooges lashing on Jesus-great Slapstick!

  • Buggery

    The paradox of Christianity: if you live a life according to the new and old testament, you need to be such a terrible person according to 21st century social norms. Many modern Christians pick and choose the parts of the bible to believe in so the guilt of shunning homosexuals or abortionists or non-Christians will not overwhelm their modern sensibilities or ostracize them from modern, progressive civilization.

    Why, then, is God necessary in your life? You’re denying His wishes by being non-dogmatic, non-judgmental, and by believing in fossils and engaging in premarital sex. There is no grey area here: you’re either a bible follower with an ignorant, 9th-century outlook on life, or you’re a bible denier and part of the accepted norms and morals of the current zeitgeist.

    Don’t like being a two-faced Cafeteria Christian? Then write a new bible. Start a new religion and proclaim yourself the new messiah. Or reject religion altogether and accept that your morals have come from constitutional laws, your friends, and family.

    Most people believe in an afterlife scenario to assuage the fear of death and of the naturally short duration of the human lifespan. Accept your fate and make the most of your life while you can. Spending the precious time you have being afraid of the end and going around and judging others does not seem natural at all. Be spiritual and philosophical, help others, be nice, protect yourself and others you love. What else do you need?

  • Gray Olson

    This is a 9/10 documentary in my opinion. There are a couple very minor errors near the beginning of the movie, but they make no significant difference. Other than that it was very good an made all the points intelligently and well spoken.

  • leon

    “Worship me for no reason or be damned for all eternity”

    Lol what an arrogant, narcassistic asshole. Who dafaq would worship someone/something like that?

    • KS

      or “worship me because I created you to worship me and to be totally fulfilled in every way by doing so. or you can choose to live a miserable life and be separated from my presence for eternity”. Plenty of people. God bless x

  • http://nodws.com/ Nodws

    Excellent, except for Richard Carrier I hate that lil bitch

  • KS

    The entire bible is about Jesus. Old and New Testament. Over 400 Prophecies came to pass through Jesus life, death and resurrection… some of these written 700 years prior. Jesus was not just a human, he was human and he was God- God the Son, and existed outside of our understanding of time- for eternity with God the father and the holy spirit (the trinity- God). The bible is not a history book- as in it’s purpose is not soley to document historical events- it is a book about God’s great love for his creation and how he offers them a lifeline to restore creation to himself. The documentary maker missed out that after Jesus resurrection, he remained with the people for 40 days and there are many historical accounts of people who saw him, before he ascended again. It’s very sad that this documentary could blind people before they ever have a real chance to discover for themselves what a magnificent library of books and letters the bible is and how intelligently woven together it is on so many fascinating levels. And the bit about folklore… I would bet the books he is talking about were written long after the New testament. I became a Christian under a year ago when I really studied the bible and other historical documents, the culture of the day and other material to really see for myself what Christianity was about and my life has been utterly transformed through the truth that I found. But of course those who don’t understand simply can’t understand until God chooses to open their hearts and minds- as Hebrew’s 11:1 says, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

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