Why Jesus Knew His Followers Would Become Fishers Of Men

Seneca famously said “Religion is true to the masses, false to the wise, and useful to the rulers." For example, Serapis (Σέαπις, Attic/Ionian Greek) or Sarapis (Σάαπις, Doric Greek), was cleverly instituted as a Graeco-Egyptian god. The Cult of Serapis was cleverly introduced during the 3rd century BC on the orders of Ptolemy I of Egypt as a means to unify the Greeks and Egyptians in his realm.
It is not out of the realm of possibility to speculate that the miracle/resurrection tales about Jesus started as Noble Lies to assist in selling Jesus’ ethical teaching of “love your enemy and neighbor," a cause the disciples may have been willing to die for.
(A) There were certain instances of well thought of lies in Greco Roman literature, such as the Noble Lie of Plato, and the lie Cadmus advocates for about Dionysus in Euripides’ Bacchae.
(B) As for the bible, there are numerous instances where lying was permitted:

  1. God rewarded the Egyptian midwives for lying to the Pharaoh.
    And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men-children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives. Exodus 1:18-20
  2. Rahab was “justified" when she lied about Joshua’s spies.
    And the woman [Rahab] took the two men and hid them and said thus: There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were; and it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark that the men went out; whither the men went I wot not; pursue after them quickly, for ye shall overtake them. But she had brought them up to the roof of the house and hid them with the stalks of flax. Joshua 2:4-6
    Was not Rahab, the harlot, justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?. James 2:25
  3. David lied to Ahimelech when he said he was on the king’s business. (He was King Saul’s enemy at the time.) We know that God approved of this lie, since 1 Kings 15:5 says that God approved of everything David did, with the single exception of the matter of Uriah.
    David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business…. 1 Samuel 21:2
  4. Elisha told King Benhadad that he would recover, even though God told Elisha that the king would die.
    Benhadad the king of Syria was sick … And the king said unto Hazael … go, meet the man of God, and enquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease? Elisha said unto him, go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the Lord hath showed me that he shall surely die. 2 Kings 8:8-10
  5. In the Deuterocanonical book of Tobit, the angel Raphael lied to Tobias, saying “I am Azarias."
    Tobias said to him: I pray thee, tell me, of what family, or what tribe art thou? And Raphael the angel answered … I am Azarias. Tobit 5:16-18
  6. Jesus lied when he told his family that he wasn’t going to the feast, but later went “in secret."
    [Jesus said] Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast. … But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. John 7:8-10
  7. Even God lies now and then by putting lying spirits in the mouths of his prophets.
    And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him … I will go forth and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him and prevail also; go forth and do so. 1 Kings 22:21-22
    The permission of lying under special circumstances would not separate the Hebrew and Christian scriptures from other ancient spiritualities. It would actually put them all very much in line. The justification of lying hypothesis is very interesting. It resonates with much in spirituality … even shamanism …where the neophyte is taken in with ‘magic’ to attract their attention and then is taken to the Truth… and the understanding that what they initially thought was magic was simply deception … and the recognition of how early they were deceived.
    Justified lying occurs a lot in ancient spirituality. Confucius, in the ‘Analects,’ indicates:
    “The Governor of She said to Confucius, ‘In our village we have an example of a straight person. When the father stole a sheep, the son gave evidence against him.’ Confucius answered, ‘In our village those who are straight are quite different. Fathers cover up for their sons, and sons cover up for their fathers. In such behaviour is straightness to be found as a matter of course.’ (13.18)"
    The Noble Lie also has a history of societal structuring intentions. For example, The pious fraud or noble lie is present in Plato’s Republic in Book 2, Sections 414-7, where Plato says a functional stratified society could be realized if they could convince the people of the lie that everyone from different levels of society were created by God to exist in a certain level of society.
    Also, Euripides has Cadmus say in the Bacchae that ““Even though this man (Dionysus) be no God, as you say, still say that he is. Be guilty of a splendid fraud, declaring him the son of Semele, for this would make it seem that she was the mother of a god, and it would confer honour on all our race.”
    This is also true of the Code of Manu. Roger Berkowitz argues of the Manu based society, that its division of society into four castes, each with its own particular obligations and rights, is a desired end because it reflects the natural order of society. He says ‘“The order of castes, the highest, the most dominant Gesetz, is only the sanction of a natural-order, natural legal- positing of the first rank, over which no willfulness, no ‘modern idea’ has power. It is nature, not Manu or the Brahmin legislators, that divides the predominantly intellectual from those who are predominantly physically or temperamentally strong, and both of these from the mediocre, who are extraordinary in neither intellect nor strength. The Indian caste system is an artifice, a Holy Lie—but it is a lie that serves natural end.’
    Similarly, we see the permission of lying in Islam. In the Pro-Muslim book ‘The Spirit of Islam,’ Afif A. Tabbarah writes, concerning the mandates of Muhammed, “Lying is not always bad, to be sure; there are times when telling a lie is more profitable and better for the general welfare, and for the settlement of conciliation among people, than telling the truth. To this effect, the Prophet says: ‘He is not a false person who (through lies) settles conciliation among people, supports good or says what is good.’"
    So, it is perfectly reasonable to suppose the miracle/resurrection stories about Jesus were lies that his followers told to sell Jesus’ ethical system of “loving your neighbor and enemy," a cause his followers were perhaps willing to die for (like Socrates).

Plato’s Noble Lie is not at all analogous to small communities meeting in their homes to share food and provide care to each other. Will Durant discusses the similarities of what later became the Monasteries however. They were an elite class that handled education and administration of services. They were not supposed to own anything, rather they depended on support from the community they served. Those rules were easily skirted though and the system didn’t last for long.
The biggest difference though, is Plato tells his lie, presents it as a lie, and says, “now never speak of this again”. He lived in a time when only 1% of people could read that, so he hid it even though it was in plain site. There is no evidence of a monk saying anything like that and ample evidence that they truly believed their false notions of how the world should work.
Your facts do not lead to your conclusion. Plato never offered a solution to how you keep the secret. He suggested taking children from their parents and putting them through a rigorous education to sort out who would do the work and the few that would be told the secret. But maintaining this across generations requires an Illumanati like secret society with the cooperation of all mothers. Medieval Catholicism didn’t work because people simply realized they could get along fine without these “keepers of the truth”. Anyone can lie and claim their special knowledge is needed by the world. Christianity had the embarrassingly successful Islamic nation and marauding hordes from China that pretty well took their special knowledge and put it where the sun doesn’t shine.
The Story of Philosophy]

And I don’t know if it is as helpful as most people think to turn to the writings of Paul to learn about Jesus. Paul was quite clear that he was an accomplished liar, modifying his message about Jesus to cast Jesus in the most “sellable” light possible, depending on whether Paul was presenting the message to Jews, or to Gentiles (1 Cor 9:20-21). Since Paul was modifying the message depending on whether it was going to Jews or Gentiles, and he was trying to present the most tempting Christ possible to win the most converts, who knows what he thought about the actual historical Jesus?
And there is good reason to suspect that Paul was lying, since he was constantly protesting that he wasn’t lying (a sure sign of guilt). Paul wrote:

  1. “I assure you before God that what I am writing to you is no lie (Galatians 1:20)”
  2. “I speak the truth in Christ; I am not lying, as confirmed by my conscience in the Holy Spirit (Romans 9:1).”
  3. “I call God as my witness that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth (2 Corinthians 1:23).”
  4. " The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is forever worthy of praise, knows that I am not lying (2 Corinthians 11:31)."
    As Shakespeare wrote, methinks Paul “doth protest too much.” Paul clearly seems to present himself as a liar who is worrying about getting caught.

Given what has been said (from the point of view of logic), just as it is “mere speculation" to suppose the original Christians were being “dishonest," so too is it “mere speculation" to suppose the original Christians were being “honest." Such is the nature of “The Postmodern Deconstruction of Religion."

Given what has been said (from the point of view of logic), just as it is “mere speculation" to suppose the original Christians were being “dishonest," so too is it “mere speculation" to suppose the original Christians were being “honest." Such is the nature of “The Postmodern Deconstruction of Religion."
THE ANTINOMY OF RELIGION Eisenman is right. There is no reason to trust Paul. Paul obviously "lies" to support his arguments. For instance, Paul claims the risen Christ appeared to "500 of the brothers AT ONCE (1 Corinthians 15:6)." That's ridiculous! Paul is obviously making stuff up to persuade his readers that Christ really rose. In any case, you can picture Jesus and his followers running around the ancient world threatening and scaring people with the lie that "The World Is About To End, so you better get right with God and start loving one another!" A healthy dose of made-up miracle stories and a resurrection story would have helped to sell the ethical message of loving one another, especially decades after Jesus was gone and it became apparent that the world wasn't ending any time soon. Anyway, there is no way to determine if the motives of the original Christians were honest or dishonest, so it is equally impossible to say whether the original Christians were scamming people, or if they were actually devoted to a man they believed was responsible for a plethora of miracles and a resurrection. So, the long and the short of it is we can't argue the original Christians were "honest" in their motives (because of the antinomy of undecideability between the "honest" theory and the "dishonest" theory), so contemporary Christian faith cannot be "rational" in its ground. It requires a leap of faith to believe that the original Christians didn't have dishonest motives. There is simply no way to access the motives of the original Christians. "I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi" (Mace Windu)