"Did Jesus exist? What was his real name?" a heavily criticized, controversial documentary on Amazon Prime asks. It claims that Jesus Christ of the Bible has been confused with a Greek philosopher who lived around the same time.
The Amazon documentary, "Bible Conspiracies," claims Jesus' life and miracles documented in the New Testament may have been mistaken for Apollonius of Tyan, a Greek philosopher, who was born on Dec. 25 in the third or fourth year B.C.E. in Central Anatolia to a virgin.
"He became a disciple of Pythagoras renouncing flesh, wine, and women. He wore no shoes and let his hair and beard grow long," the documentary claims. "He soon became a reformer and fixed his abode in the Temple of Aesculapius."
The unorthodox claims go against the more traditional view of Apollonius that view him as nothing more than a philosopher.
"He reportedly restored life to the dead and spoke of things beyond the human reach. And, unlike Jesus, there is evidence to prove that Apollonius actually existed,"
the documentary claims.
The documentary claims Jesus married Mary Magdalene at the wedding feast in Cana and the two had children, and questions if Bethlehem -- Jesus' birthplace -- even existed at the time. Instead, it claims Jesus actually plotted his own death and was seeking to start a new religion.
But beyond Jesus, "Bible Conspiracies" makes other outlandish claims such as the Tower of Babel being destroyed by aliens and that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by a nuclear explosion.
Critics gave the documentary low ratings, knocking it for featuring no experts or theologians.
"Does not live up to its name -- doesn't reveal any Bible 'conspiracies' only tries to cast doubt on the Bible with no historical evidence or interviews with trustworthy experts, just pure conjecture,"
one reviewer noted.
Another said: "Heavily biased opinion piece...not an objective analysis at all. A hodge-podge of truths, half-truths, fallacies, and unfounded conjecture. Do not waste your time here, there are far better research documentaries on this particular subject out there."