Apollonius of Tyanna

Is Apollonius of Tyana - Paul of Tarsus ?

  1. Apollonius is St. Paul

  2. Apollonius an Archetype Jesus

  3. Apollonius in the New Testament

  4. Who wrote the Pauline Epistles

  5. The Crucifixion of Apollonius

  6. References / Bibliography

  7. Miscellanea

The Unknown Life Of Christ - The Essene Teacher Of Rightousness, Apollonius of Tyanna



Is Apollonius of Tyana - Paul of Tarsus ?

Apollonius of Tyanna, a Pythagorean philosopher and contemporary of the Jesus Christ of the Gospels. Many agnostic and atheistic scholars as well as other free thinkers believe that some portions of the Gospels of Jesus Christ are actually modeled on the adventures of Apollonius. Quite possibly, due to the  lack of historical evidence for Jesus as depicted in the Gospels. - some believe him to have actually been the Jesus Christ.  Others postulate the theory that Paul the Apostle and Apollonius are one and the same.

Some scholars argue that Paul of Tarsus a/k/a Paul the Apostle did  not exist, and that All of the original writings and teachings attributed to him in the New Testament are the writings and teachings of  Apollonius of Tyanna. Other scholars present reasonable arguments that Paul was only a mythical character patterned after Apollonius.

 The hypothesis that Apollonius was actually the apostle Paul lends itself much credence upon a brief review of the available facts..

  1.  Apollonius is a Greek name, the Latin Romanized version would be Apollos . Apollos over a period time as well as convenience morphed to Paulos. Paulos in its English format is Paul
  2. Apollonius was born in the city of Tyana, in the Roman province of Cappadocia, in present day Turkey. At the age of twelve Apollonius went to Tarsus and was educated there, coincidentally Tarsus is the birthplace of Paul of Tarsus a/k/a Paul the apostle.  Tarsus is the place Apollonius moved to at a young age and went to school, hence he could be referred to as Paul of Tarsus both Apollonius and Paul were in Tarsus at the same time in their youth, as Newman points out, Apollonius and Paul were also at Ephesus and Rome at at exactly the same time . Apollonius's biographer does not mention Paul at all,  but Paul's biographer speaks of "Apollos" having been at Ephesus with him. .Many of his teachings coincide with Paul of Tarsus, and Paul is said to have done many of the same things Apollonius did. {Catholic Authorities claim that Apollonius of Alexandria is the Apollos of the New Testament }
  3. Both Paul of Tarsus and Apollonius were unmarried and as far as History records neither produced any progeny .
  4. Martin Luther(Founder of Protestant- Christianity} believed Apollonius to be the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews . And there are strong cases that early Christian censors, and plagiarizers inserted the name Pol / Paul in place of Apollonius/apollos/paulos wherever it could be found, it remained in the New Testament as Apollos in some instances because the Paul character they were creating was the speaker in the instances in question . Fortunately, one book survived in its entirety- Life of Apollonius of Tyana - by Philostratus. The Life of Apollonius of Tyana was secretly carried to the Near East where it remained over a 1000 years. In 1801 it was brought to Europe and was translated into English .
  5. In the Greek text, Apollonius is commonly written as Pol as well as Apollos,  "Apollos" of the New Testament - the eloquent "Jew" whose preaching and baptizing at Corinth and at Ephesus preceded the work of the Apostle Paul. Almost as if the narrative of Apollos is John the Baptist to Paul/Pol being Jesus.
  6. Apollonius is named for the Greek sun god Apollo. Paul's original name as per the Gospels was Saul, a mutation of Sol / The Sun God as per the religion of Constantine - Sol Invictus/ The invincible Sun.
  7. The companion of Apollonius, as well as scribe was Demis. As per  -2 Timothy 4:10  Demas was the companion of Paul See Also Philemon, Verse 24; I Corinthians, Chapter 3: Verses 4 -- 6 & Verse 22; I Corinthians, Chapter 4: Verse 6; Titus, Chapter 3: Verse 13. Demas is also the name of one of the "criminals" crucified alongside Jesus as per The Narrative of Joseph of Arimathea
  8. Apollonius, said by legend to be the son of Proteus, a shape shifting God found in the writings of Homer. Assuming elements of the Life of Apollonius to be Allegorical, is the connection to Proteus a hint as to " how versatile he was, and for ever changing his form" ...or identity.  Proteus was also known for his ability to foresee the future
  9. Paul fought with wild beasts at Ephesus; so did Apollonius
  10. Paul noticed the alter to the unknown God; so did Apollonius
    • Acts 17:22-23  Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.
    • Apollonius spoke of Athens as the place ' “altars are set up in honor even to unknown divinities.” ...
  11. Paul, on his way to Rome, landed at Puteoli, so did Apollonius
    • 1 Corinthians 15:32
      If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."


Are Elements of the Jesus Christ   Narrative based on Apollonius ?


  1. Apollonius was born in 4 BC, the year now recognized by scholars as the Birth year of Jesus Christ.
  2. The life and biography of Apollonius contains a missing period of about  20 years , which begins when he was about thirty , at approximately 50 years of age his biographical record can again be traced.

    So where was Pol/Apollonius for twenty years after being so visible and so successful as a philosopher and teacher ?

    Just a possibility:
    Luke 3:23: "Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his work."

  3. Apollonius is responsible for bringing the stories of Krishna to the West, he brought back to Rome the teachings of Krishna who Greeks called "Christos".  Many believe that a certain Bishop Marcion discovered the writings of Apollonius in Asia Minor (Turkey) a century later and translated them  into Greek and Latin, producing  the first compiled "Christian" Bible.
  4. Sossianus Hierocles claimed, it was library of Apollonius'  that was plagiarized in producing the New Testament.   Hierocles, a governor in Bithynia and later Lower-Egypt, {reign of Diocletian 245-315 AD)  and an enemy of the Christians verbally attacked Christianity . As per Eusebius of Caesarea .  "Hierocles tried to weaken the importance of Christ's miracles without however denying them, and wanted to show that Apollonius had performed some of equal importance and even more important ones."  Eusebius replied with a treatise that he wrote Against The Thesis Of Hierocles on Apollonius of Tyana. Eusebius recognized that Apollonius was a very wise man worthy of admiration; admitted everything that was told about his holiness and his teachings, but  rejected many of the miracles that were assigned to him, dismissing them outright or assigning them as either  magic or to the work of demons. 

     Hierocles also states in his writings that  “Jesus was the leader of a band of highway robbers numbering more than 900 men” 

    Luke 22:36 : "But now he that hath a purse, let him take it and likewise his scrip; and he that hath no sword let him sell his garments and buy one."

    and - "You proclaim Jesus a god on account of a few prodigies recorded by their evangelists, yet we have writers of more education than yours and with more care for truth, who relate solid judgment, do not make him a god on account of them, only regard him as a man found pleasing to the gods."

  5. Numerous contemporary historians make mention of Apollonius's remarkable career but absolutely ignore his fabled contemporary, Jesus. Jesus appears in later writings by Christians , most of whom went to great lengths to denigrate Apollonius , as though by discrediting the Sage from Tyanna The King of Jews would somehow gain in stature - [it worked].
  6. As per legend The coming of Apollonius was announced to his mother by an Angel, and he was born either 3 or 4 BC - the same date {Circa}which scholars now claim Jesus was born.
  7. He visited Rome and raised the daughter of a senator from the dead. Which is reminiscent of daughter of Jairus {Luke Chapter 8 40-42}
  8. Followers of Apollonius claimed that he was the son of Proteus, a god of the sea, not nearly as popular as Poseidon or Oceanus, he was better known as their servant. Apollonius is said to have repudiated this claim. Regardless, it was believed by many contemporary and subsequent adherents that Apollonius was of divine parentage and that messengers of Apollo sang at his birth. As per legend the Angels sang at Jesuses.
    • "To his  mother, just before he was born, there came an apparition of Proteus, who changes his form so much in Homer, in the guise of an Aigyption Daimon. ... asked him what sort of child she would bear. And he answered: ‘Myself.’ ‘And who are you?’ she asked. ‘Proteus,’ answered he, ‘the god of Aigyptos ’ Well, I need hardly explain to readers of the poets the quality of Proteus and his reputation as regards wisdom; how versatile he was, and for ever changing his form, and defying capture, and how he had the reputation of knowing both past and future. And we must bear Proteus in mind all the more, when my advancing story shows the hero to have been more a prophet than Proteus.” - Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 1.4
  9. The Christian Holocaust instigated by Nero coincided with / or was the same persecution inflicted upon the Apollonians.

  10. Justin Martyr , a Christian apologist, born about 100 C.E., was said to have asked: 

    • "How is it that the talismans of Apollonius have power over certain members of creation, for they prevent, as we see, the fury of the waves, the violence of the winds, and the attacks of wild beasts. And whilst Our Lord's miracles are preserved by tradition alone, those of Apollonius are most numerous, and actually manifested in present facts, so as to lead astray all beholders?"
  11. An Athenian man,  possessed by a devil shrieked in fear and rage, and could not face the look of Apollonius, reminds us of the Gospel narrative of the demon possessed man of Gadera
  12. Many pictures recognizable as a likeness of Jesus actually have their origins in a portrait of Apollonius of Tyana painted in the reign of Vespasian

    from Antiquity Unveiled by Jonathan M. Roberts in which evidence was presented to prove that no such man as Jesus of Nazareth ever lived, but the name was adopted by the framers of Christianity to cover the identity of Apollonius of Tyana whose teachings and mode of life they purloined and made use of as a model upon which to construct their system."

    "All through the Third Century there is repeated mention of this (Apollonius' teachings). But it was not until Hierocles in the beginning of the Fourth Century boldly charged upon the Christian priesthood their plagiarism of the teachings and works of Apollonius, that the latter found it necessary to set every means at work that could in any way help to conceal the great truth that Hierocles proclaimed with such portentous force. It was true that no one knows exactly what it was that Hierocles wrote, for Eusebius, who took upon himself the task of destroying the testimony of Hierocles, took precious good care to destroy the work of his formidable opponent, and give his own version of the matter instead. The reply of Eusebius to Hierocles has come down to us. Why has not Hierocles' arraignments of the Christian priesthood also come down to us? Let that priesthood answer." (J. M. Roberts -- Antiquity Unveiled)




Appollonius in the New Testament

I Corinthians 1:11-12: " . . . It has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, 'I belong to Paul,' or 'I belong to Apollos,' or 'I belong to Cephas,' or 'I belong to Christ.' Has Christ been divided?"

I Corinthians 3:4-6: "For when one says, 'I belong to Paul,' and another, 'I belong to
Apollos,' are you not merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth."

I Corinthians 3:22-23: " . . . Whether Paul or
Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future -- all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God."

I Corinthians 4:6: "I have applied all this to
Apollos and myself for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so that you may learn through us the meaning of the saying, 'Nothing beyond what is written,' so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against another."

I Corinthians 16:12: "Now concerning our brother
Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but he was not at all willing to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity."


Scholars date 1Corinthians no later than 55 AD. All scholars also agree that the name "Apollos" is indeed "Apollonius.". And that Apollonius had visited Corinth and established a church/school there, according to all historical records of the time, Apollos of First Corinthians may well have been Apollonius of Tyana. and it is very likely that Pol - not Paul was the Author of the epistle to the Hebrews, or that Pol and Paul were one and the same. It is notable that  in   I Corinthians 16:12  Paul explicitly states that Apollos could not be at the same place ,at the same time that he was there. In addition in an old version of 1st Corinthians found in a French monastery by a Huguenot soldier entitled the Codex Bezae . The name Apollos is spelled Apollonius.

...concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but he was not at all willing to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity.

Indicating  either of the two possibilities

  1. Exactly as Paul had stated .."not at all willing to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity"
  2. Appollos/Apollonius was already there , but as his alter ego Paul

Who wrote the Pauline Epistles

Fourteen books of the New Testament were "Epistles" allegedly written by Paul [Pol] of Tarsus [The Apostle Paul] to members of the Church.  An "Epistle" is a literary letter  intended to be published and/or read by the general public. This was an established literary style . The "Pauline" Epistles in the New Testament probably did not start out as epistles. They were apparently letters to various churches and individuals written to address specific problems at a church location or with a leader. They were probably intended to be read aloud during a single service, at a single church.

The authenticity of the Pauline Epistles has been the subject of much debate. For instance, The Book of Hebrews - Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, regarded Apollonius [Pol] as the real author of this Epistle, and this is still the opinion of Many eminent scholars. He may have also written others, some have attributed the apocalypse of Saint John [Revelation] to Apollonius of Tyanna as well, while others claim a connection to the Mandæan Book of John..  The writer of  Revelations demonstrates no knowledge of the activities of the apostle Paul or of his letters. Though "John" relishes the martyrdom of the saints, Paul's "execution in Rome" does not get a mention.

The early Christian writer, Justin Martyr, in the mid-2nd century, has nothing to say of Paul or his epistles. Likewise with other early Christian writers , prior to the second Century AD/CE

The earliest known list containing all of Paul's accredited letters dates from the late 2nd century. The author of the list is unknown , but the list takes its name from its 18th century discoverer Muratori.   The Muratori list includes the statement, "Moreover there is in circulation an epistle to the Laodiceans, and another to the Alexandrians, forged under the name of Paul ... ".



The Crucifixion of Apollonius

"It has been claimed that Apollonius of Tyana  was initiated into the Arcanum of Egypt in the Great Pyramid, where he hung upon a cross until unconscious and was then laid in the tomb for three days. While his body was unconscious, his soul was thought to pass into the realms of the immortals (the place of death) After it had vanquished death (by recognizing that life is eternal) it returned again to the body, which then rose from the coffer, after which he was hailed as a brother by the priests, who believed that he had returned from the land of the dead. This concept was, in substance, the teaching of the Mysteries." (Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages (Reader's Edition) p. 183)

Numerous scholars have theorized that Jesus did not die on the Cross . The crucifixion may very well have been an Gnostic - Allegorical equation.  In The Jesus Mysteries  Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy bring to light an interesting facet of the early Christian Tradition of Martyrdom and crucifixion . Crucifixion being somewhat symbolic of executing ones "lower self" ,to crucify the false ego or "crucify" ones lower nature/ animalistic self in order to be symbolically "born again" or resurrected.

In the original Greek texts of the New Testament one finds a totally new interpretation of the Crucifixion of Jesus. One finds the possibility that the real meaning of the crucifixion is to crucify the lower self and be "Born again" . 

["The real meaning of crucifixion is to crucify the false self that the true Self may rise. As long as the false self is not crucified, the true Self is not realized."  -Hazrat Inayat Khan / The Soul's Journey ]

 [ See "Jesus Barabbas"  for further clarification on this topic]

The ancient Mystery religion[s] all contained a crucifixion scenario, or close facsimile, that of Apollonius was no different. However, in Christendom the crucifixion scenario changes to an actual historical event ...[perhaps].


Miscellaneous notes concerning Apollonius


  Apollonius had the strange ability to understand any Language, in his own words...

"And I," said Apollonious, "my good friend, understand all languages, though I never learnt a single one."

"You need not wonder at my knowing all human languages; for, to tell you the truth, I also understand all the secrets of human silence."


He is said to have understood the language of birds, and conversed with them.


He wrote many books and treatises on a wide variety of subjects during his life, including science, medicine, and philosophy. Most of which were destroyed by early Christians. The Book of Stones is a lengthy analysis of alchemical works attributed to Apollonius by Persian alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan ( ca.721 -815 )  ,,,Medieval writer Nicetas tells us of  bronze doors at Byzantium which bore inscribed extracts from the Book of Rites, a lost work of Apollonius, and that these doors were melted down in order to destroy non-Christian beliefs which had persisted around the teachings of Apollonius of Tyanna.


 At the instant the Emperor Domitian was assassinated in Rome, Apollonius spoke of it in a public assembly in Ephesus, and declared the method and manner of his death; which was found to happen at the precise moment of time he spoke of it, and in the exact manner he had described. As per Christian dogma St. Basil,  is said to have been miraculously informed of the death of the Emperor Julian at the very moment that it occurred.

After his death at somewhere around 100 years of age,  Emperor Hadrian collected his works and ensured their publication throughout his realm.

According to an account from Philostratus II { 170-244 AD -Philostratus II wrote several books containing the Life of Apollonius ),  after keeping a vow of silence for 5 years, Apollonius traveled to India in order to "converse with the Brahmins". During his journey, he attracted a scribe among the people of Ninevah, Damis, who extensively recorded events in the life of Apollonius which described not only events in the life of Apollonius, but events relating to a succession of emperors and the Roman Empire itself. The notes of Damis eventually came into the hands of the empress Julia Domna, who commissioned Philostratus II to use the notes to assemble a biography of Apollonius


Eunapius, the pupil of Chrysanius, one of the teachers of Julian, writing in the last years of the Fourth Century says that "Apollonius was more than a philosopher; he was a middle term, as it were, between gods and men."


Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus {325‑391}, who composed a profane history in the Latin language, refers to Apollonius as "that most renowned philosopher," and thought that, "like Pythagoras and Socrates, he was a privileged mortal who lived assisted by a familiar genius."

Sidonius Apollinaris, Bishop of Claremont, speaks highly  of Apollonius. Sidonius translated the Life of Apollonius to Latin and in writing to a friend he says: "Read the life of a man who religion apart resembles you in many things; a man sought out by the rich, yet who never sought for riches; who loved wisdom and despised gold; a man frugal in the midst of feastings, clad in linen in the midst of those clothed in purple, austere in the midst of luxury . . . . In fine, to speak plainly, perchance no historian will find in ancient times a philosopher whose life is equal to that of Apollonius.” [Sidonius Apollinaris, The letters of Sidonius).


As per J.S.  Phillimore { Philostratus in Honor of Apollonius of Tyana 1912 } Apollonius was the founder of a church and a community, made up of his disciples. It is very possible that these were connected to a branch of the Essene, known as the  Nazarenes. Other sources state that there was a group known as the Apolloniei, the adherents of Apollonius, who survived several centuries after his death. Philostratus writes of a temple in Tyana dedicated to Apollonius and founded at the Roman imperial expense, "for the emperors had judged him not unworthy of like honors with themselves."  and Maurice Magre ties Apollonius to the Albigensians, a Gnostic Cathar cult. who were massacred in 1208 Pope Innocent III in what was termed the Albigensian Crusade



As per G. R. S. Mead : "He attracted to himself many followers and disciples. It would have been interesting if Philostratus had told us more about these 'Apollonians,' as they were called, and whether they constituted a distinct school, or whether they were grouped together in communities on the Pythagorean model, or whether they were simply independent students attracted to the most commanding personality of the times in the domain of philosophy."     Apollonius of Tyana the Philosopher Reformer of the first Century.

As per William Lecky in History of European Morals: From Augustus To Charlemagne   Apollonius of Tyanna "obtained a measure of success second only to that of Christ."


Bishop Marcion

The original Gospel of Mark may or may not be the work of   Marcion.  There are strong hypothesis that this Marcion introduced the doctrine that has become Modern Christianity. About 30 years after the death of Apollonius, Marcion went to Antioch, where Apollonius had done a great deal of preaching, and secured a collection of his writings . These he allegedly plagiarized, making the requisite alterations to obscure their actual origins. He took them to Rome, and the rest is History ... well a perverse version of it anyhow.


 An interesting alternative theory pertaining to the Book of Mark is that is was derived from the cult of "Divus Juluis"  See  Caesar as Christ

References / Bibliography




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