The first whistleblower
Very little written by Dionysius has survived, although we do know he tried to blow the whistle on the widespread forgery occurring during the early days of Christianity. The New Testament was written in Greek and Hebrew, although Jesus spoke Aramic. There is no direct eyewitness testimony in the New Testament, and the bulk of the material was crafted by Paul and his associate Luke, neither of whom ever met Jesus, and it seems largely constructed to anoint Paul as the true leader of the faith.
Since there are no original documents to consult, just copies of copies of copies, we will never know the truth because at any stage in the copying process, changes could have easily been made by corrupt scribes, and it would be naive not to believe changes would not be made as Christianity formalized its dogmas.
The first 300 years of the church were documented almost exclusively by Eusebius, an obvious fabricator working to construct a myth for the benefit of his emperor Constantine. Constantine’s mother was a Christian, and after he became emperor he had a vision while looking at the sun. He saw a cross and the words: “By this sigil conquer.” That’s when he got the idea to put the cross on the Roman shield, instantly transforming Christianity from a religion serving the poor to becoming the symbol of Roman aggression. Eusebius also welded the names “Jesus” and “Christ” into one word. Prior to his arrival “Christ” was something applied to anyone anointed with oil and not reserved for Jesus.
Almost three hundred years after Jesus was crucified, a prophet named Mani was crucified in Persia. Mani had successfully integrated Zorastrianism, Christianity and Buddhism with astrology and mathematics, and his religion was sweeping the world faster than anything in history, and upsetting the status quo everywhere. Integrating religions is not in the interest of the empire, which relies on religion to divide, so people can be conquered. I have to wonder if the sudden transformation of Christianity into the state religion of the empire wasn’t in some way connected to the fear of a new enlightenment manifesting throughout the realm.