I was recently reading material from a conspiracy theorist named David
Icke, and tried to look into what he believes and preaches. I ran into a
bunch of articles that try to debunk Christianity and the bible. I am
highly offended by his work, and although he seems to have put a lot of
research into it, I felt as if he is just another false prophet trying to
twist what has been taught in the Bible and about God. His website is One of his works goes
overs how the Bible was part of something called “Pious Fraud.” Pious
Fraud by his definition is: “Pious fraud was a common technique employed
by early Christian writers to make a point. Their intention was to convert
anyone and everyone by any means available.” Other than religious
articles, he also talks about there being a “reptilian race” of humans
that are out to control the world (a little far off if you ask me). I am
highley skeptical of this guy and was wondering if you could please shed
some light on some of this speculations about God, the Bible and


I have spent a bit of time checking out the material at this person’s web
site. I, too, find myself getting a bit angry as I see such lies and
disrespectful attacks on Jesus Christ written by this person. It is
tempting to vent my feelings, which would be to lower myself to the
intellectual level of this writer. Let me avoid doing this, in the
spirit of 1 Peter 3:15,16, which says, “Always be prepared to give an
answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you
have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear
conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior
in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”

In keeping with this advice from the apostle Peter, what I will do is take
just four little quotes from the first article at this web site, titled
“The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus
Christ.” This article is actually by the infamous Acharya S. (more on her
at my web site if you do a search). It seems that her article is
representative of the philosophy of our Mr. David Icke. So, here we go.

The first quote I would like to analyze is as follows:

the most enduring and profound controversy in this subject is whether or
not a person named Jesus Christ ever really existed.

First of all, there is no controversy whatsoever among legitimate scholars
on whether the man Jesus of Nazareth ever lived. We have it on good
authority from a number of non-Christian historians of the first and early
second centuries, including Tacitus, Pliny, Josephus and many others, that
Jesus was a very real person. Tacitus includes the information that
“Christus” (as he calls him) was put to death by Pontius Pilate. Even the
Jewish writers of the Talmud do not deny the reality of Jesus–and they
would certainly know if he were a real person. In the Babylonian Talmud
(2nd century AD) the writer confirms that “Yeshu” (his Hebrew name) was
hanged on the eve of the Passover. For more first and second century
historians, as well as primary source information, go to my book on basic
Christian evidences, “Reasons for Belief: A Handbook of Christian
Evidences” ( We know for a fact from non-Christian
authorities that there were many thousands of believers in Jesus Christ,
who accepted the literal fact of his life, his miracles and his
resurrection within the first century. It is beyond reason to believe
that these people were completely bamboozled into believing in a mythical
man who did not even exist, when there were literally thousands of
eye-witnesses living in the area at that time. Bottom line, anyone with
the audacity to call into question whether or not Jesus even lived is not
to be taken seriously as a scholar or teacher. Such a person is either a
purposeful deceiver or he/she refuses to accept what is absolutely
obvious. I would not listen to such a person.

Below is the second quote taken from this article:

This controversy has existed from the very beginning, and the writings of
the “Church Fathers” themselves reveal that they were constantly forced by
the pagan intelligentsia to defend what the non-Christians and other
Christians (“heretics”) alike saw as a preposterous and fabricated yarn
with absolutely no evidence of it ever having taken place in history. As
Rev. Robert Taylor says, “And from the apostolic age downwards, in a never
interrupted succession, but never so strongly and emphatically as in the
most primitive times, was the existence of Christ as a man most
strenuously denied.” Emperor Julian, who, coming after the reign of the
fanatical and murderous “good Christian” Constantine, returned rights to
pagan worshippers, stated, “If anyone should wish to know the truth with
respect to you Christians, he will find your impiety to be made up partly
of the Jewish audacity, and partly of the indifference and confusion of
the Gentiles, and that you have put together not the best, but the worst
characteristics of them both.” According to these learned dissenters, the
New Testament could rightly be called, “Gospel Fictions.”

This is a blatant example of use of logical fallacies to make arguments.
In fact, I have taught in a philosophy of science class on the nature of
logical fallacies. As I peruse this article, I find liberal use of a wide
variety of the standard repertoire of deceitful illogical arguments. For
example, Acharya S makes a straw man argument by quoting Mr. Taylor out of
context. What he (Mr. Taylor) is saying is that the early church argued
over the nature of Jesus. Some said that he was entirely human and
entirely divine. Some said he was entirely divine (the gnostics, for
example). Still others said that he was entirely human. What no one ever
argued EVER was whether or not he really existed. The author is trying to
make someone say something which he never said. Taylor is not saying that
people have argued over whether Jesus was real. Such manipulative abuse of
a person’s statement to prove a point is inexcusable. Second, she takes a
quote from Julian “The Apostate” to prove that he said Jesus never
existed. The problem with this is that Julian does not say in this quote
that Jesus did not exist. I am confident that Julian believed that Jesus
Christ was a real person. If you look carefully at her argument that it
was commonly believed back then that Jesus did not live, you will see that
she cannot give a single example.

Let us analyze a third quote from this article:

A century ago, mythicist Albert Churchward said, “The canonical gospels
can be shown to be a collection of sayings from the Egyptian Mythos and
Eschatology.” In Forgery in Christianity, Joseph Wheless states, “The
gospels are all priestly forgeries over a century after their pretended

First of all, simply telling us that “mythist” Albert Churchward said that
the gospels are a collection of myths is not evidence that this is so.
Acharya S. and many of the articles by David Icke try to prove something
is fact by quoting a number of people who say it is so. This is not
evidence. A quote from an eminent scholar in the field may carry some
weight, but who is Albert Churchward? Now, the claim here is that the
gospels were all written more than a century after their “pretended
dates.” In other words, this person has the audacity to claim that the
gosples were all written after AD 150. What she refuses to notice is that
there is not a single serious scholar who would support this opinion. The
reason is that the evidence is a
bsolutely overwhelming that it is not
true. For example, one papyrus fragment of the book of John is known as
the Rylands Papyrus. This fragment of John has been dated to around AD
125. Other fragments of all four gospels have been found from a period
before Acharya claims these books were written. Actually, this is not
even the strongest evidence that these books were written in the first
century. The fact is that a number of church fathers, including Polycarp,
Ignatius, Clement of Rome, the writer of the Didache and others quote
extensively from all four gospels, as well as almost all of the New
Testament books, all before AD 120; some even wrote before AD 100.
Acharya tries to create the impression that the apocryphal gospels (such
as the pious fraud Gospel of Thomas) are of about equal worth to the
canonical gosples. This is not just an unsupported opinion. It is an
outright lie. None of the apocryphal gospels is ever quoted by the very
early church fathers. This is mainly because they were not even written
yet. It is settled fact that all four gospels were written before AD 90.
Almost certainly they were written at least twenty years before that, with
the possible exception of John. This argument does not hold water at
all. Yet, the author speaks as if she had authority.

The fourth quote is a reference to what you adress in your question.

Forgery during the first centuries of the Church’s existence was
admittedly rampant, so common in fact that a new phrase was coined to
describe it: “pious fraud.”

Of the four claims, this is the only one which is at least in part true.
It is true that by the middle of the second century AD a number of “pious
fraud” apocryphal letters came to be written and to circulate. Most or
more likely all of them were produced by members of heretical sects. Most
commonly, they were produced by Gnostic groups. Such heretical teachers
promoted ideas that Jesus was a spiritual but not a human person. They
believed in special, hidden knowledge which was only available to the
initiates of their individual groups. Gnosticism was even becoming a
problem in the first century, as can be seen by the book of first John
which is clearly written, at least in part, to oppose gnostic influence
“(him) which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our
hands have touched” (1 Jn 1:1). The claim of Acharya S. and of David Icke
is that the canonical gosples of Mark, Luke, John and Matthew are also
pious frauds. What they lack is evidence to support this contention. We
know for a fact that the church accepted these letters as being inspired
writings in the first century. We know that the very early church
believed these were factual accounts of real events at a time when those
who were eyewitnesses to the events were still alive. This is absolutely
not the case with the Gospel of Thomas or any of the dozens of other
apocryphal gospels. None of the church fathers in the first two centuries
ever quoted from any of these pious frauds. If you struggle with this
claim, the solution is simple. Read these “gosples” for yourself. Study
what honest scholars say about these books. Compare the evidence to the
four gospels. You will find that the claim that the book of Matthew is a
pious fraud does not stand up to the facts. In fact, the only way to
support this claim is to either avoid looking at the evidence or to
purposefully cover up the truth in order to deceive the reader.

The statements I have made in this little response are pretty strong, but
I believe they will stand up to any reasonable scrutiny. The deceitful
writings of Mr. Icke do not deserve to be treated as legitimate
scholarship, but they are used to create the false impression that there
is truth in these bogus claims.

John Oakes

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