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List of people claimed to be Jesus

This is a partial list of notable people who have been claimed, either by themselves or by their followers, in some way to be the reincarnation or incarnation of Jesus, or the Second Coming of Christ.


18th centuryEdit

19th centuryEdit

  • John Nichols Thom (1799–1838), a Cornish tax rebel who claimed to be the "saviour of the world" and the reincarnation of Jesus Christ in 1834. He was killed by British soldiers at the Battle of Bossenden Wood, on May 31, 1838 in Kent, England.[3]
  • Arnold Potter (1804–1872), Schismatic Latter Day Saint leader; he claimed the spirit of Jesus Christ entered into his body and he became "Potter Christ" Son of the living God. He died in an attempt to "ascend into heaven" by jumping off a cliff. His body was later retrieved and buried by his followers.[4]
  • Jones Very (1813–1880), American essayist, poet, literary scholar, and Greek tutor at Harvard who befriended several prominent American Transcendentalists and suffered a nervous breakdown in 1837 after which he claimed to have become the Second Coming of Jesus.
  • Bahá'u'lláh (1817–1892), born Shiite, adopted Bábism later in 1844,[5] he claimed to be the prophesied fulfillment and Promised One of three major religions. He founded the Bahá'í Faith in 1863.[6] Followers of the Bahá'í Faith believe that the fulfillment of the prophecies of the second coming of Jesus, as well as the prophecies of the 5th Buddha Maitreya and many other religious prophecies, were begun by the Báb in 1844 and then by Bahá'u'lláh. They commonly compare the fulfillment of Christian prophecies to Jesus' fulfillment of Jewish prophecies, where in both cases people were expecting the literal fulfillment of apocalyptic statements.[7]
  • William W. Davies (1833–1906), leader of a Latter Day Saint schismatic group called the Kingdom of Heaven located in Walla Walla, Washington from 1867 to 1881. He taught his followers that he was the archangel Michael, who had previously lived as the biblical Adam, Abraham, and David. When his son Arthur was born on February 11, 1868, Davies declared that the infant was the reincarnated Jesus Christ.[8][9] When Davies's second son, David, was born in 1869, he was declared to be God the Father.[8]
  • Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India (1835–1908), claimed to be the awaited Mahdi as well as (Second Coming) and likeness of Jesus, the promised Messiah at the end of time. He claimed to be Jesus in the metaphorical sense; in character. He founded the Ahmadiyya Movement in 1889, envisioning it to be the rejuvenation of Islam, and claimed to be commissioned by God for the reformation of mankind.

20th centuryEdit

  • John Hugh Smyth-Pigott (1852–1927). Around 1890 Smyth-Pigott started leading meetings of the Agapemonite community and recruited 50 young female followers to supplement its aging population. He took Ruth Anne Preece as his second wife and she had three children named Glory, Power and Hallelujah.[10] By 1902 his fame had spread as far as India, from where Mirza Ghulam Ahmad warned him of his false teachings and predicted his miserable end. The house which may have belonged to Smyth-Pigott in St John's Wood was visited by John Betjeman in his film Metro-Land. It is built in the neo-gothic style. It is currently the home of the television presenter Vanessa Feltz and was previously the home of Charles Saatchi.[11] Smyth-Pigott died in 1927 and the sect gradually declined until the last member, sister Ruth, died in 1956.[12] Her funeral in 1956 was the only time when outsiders were admitted to the chapel.[13]
  • Krishna Venta (1911–1958), born Francis Herman Pencovic in San Francisco, founded the WKFL (Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith and Love) Fountain of the World cult in Simi Valley, California in the late 1940s. In 1948 he stated that he was Christ, the new messiah and claimed to have led a convoy of rocket ships to Earth from the extinct planet Neophrates. He died on December 10, 1958 after being suicide bombed by two disgruntled former followers who accused Venta of mishandling cult funds and having been intimate with their wives.
  • Ahn Sahng-hong (1918–1985), a South Korean who founded the World Mission Society Church of God in 1964, who recognize him as the Second Coming of Jesus. The World Mission Society Church of God teach that Zahng Gil-jah is "God the Mother", who they explain is referred to in the Bible as the New Jerusalem Mother (Galatians 4:26), and that Ahn Sahng-Hong is God the Father.[17]
  • Sun Myung Moon (1920–2012), believed by members of the Unification Church to be the Messiah and the Second Coming of Christ, fulfilling Jesus' unfinished mission. Church members ("Unificationists") consider Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han, to be the True Parents of humankind as the restored Adam and Eve.[18][19]
  • Clyde Benson, Joseph Cassel and Leon Gabor, all pseudonyms for psychiatric patients. In 1959, Milton Rokeach conducted an experiment by having the three patients who believed they were Jesus Christ share a room at a psychiatric hospital, and published his results in the book The Three Christs of Ypsilanti.
  • Jim Jones (1931–1978), founder of Peoples Temple, which started off as an offshoot of a mainstream Protestant sect before becoming a personality cult as time went on. He claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus, Akhenaten, the Buddha, Vladimir Lenin and Father Divine in the 1970s.[20] He organized a mass murder suicide at Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978.[21] He shot himself after the murders were done.
  • Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997), an American who posted a Usenet message declaring, "I, Jesus—Son of God—acknowledge on this date of September 25/26, 1995: ..."[22] Applewhite and his Heaven's Gate religious group committed mass suicide on March 26, 1997 to rendezvous with what they thought was a spaceship hiding behind Comet Hale–Bopp.[23]
  • Charles Manson (1934–2017), American criminal, cult leader, and songwriter.[24]
  • Yahweh ben Yahweh (1935–2007), born as Hulon Mitchell Jr., a black nationalist and separatist who created the Nation of Yahweh in 1979 in Liberty City, Florida. His self-proclaimed name means "God, Son of God". He could have only been deeming himself to be "son of God", not God, but many of his followers clearly deem him to be God Incarnate.[25][26] In 1992, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison.[27]
  • Laszlo Toth (1938–2012), Hungarian-born Australian who claimed he was Jesus Christ as he vandalized Michelangelo's Pietà with a geologist's hammer in 1972.[28][29]
  • Wayne Bent (1941–), also known as Michael Travesser of the Lord Our Righteousness Church. He claims: "I am the embodiment of God. I am divinity and humanity combined."[30] He was convicted on December 15, 2008 of one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in 2008.[31]
  • Ariffin Mohammed (1943–2016), also known as "Ayah Pin", the founder of the banned Sky Kingdom in Malaysia in 1975. He claimed to have direct contact with the heavens and is believed by his followers to have been the incarnation of Jesus, as well as Shiva, and the Buddha, and Muhammad.[32]
  • Mitsuo Matayoshi (1944–2018) was a conservative Japanese politician, who in 1997 established the World Economic Community Party based on his conviction that he is God and Christ, renaming himself Iesu Matayoshi. According to his program he will do the Last Judgment as Christ but within the current political system.[33][34]
  • Tony Quinn (1944–), an Irish businessman, whose followers believed him to be Jesus Christ.[35][36]
  • José Luis de Jesús Miranda (1946–2013), Puerto Rican founder, leader and organizer of Growing in Grace based in Miami, Florida, who claimed that the resurrected Christ "integrated himself within me" in 2007.[37]
  • Inri Cristo (1948–), a Brazilian who claims to be the second Jesus reincarnated in 1969.[38] Brasília is considered by Inri Cristo and his disciples as the New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse.
  • Thomas Harrison Provenzano[39] (1949–2000), an American convicted murderer who was possibly mentally ill. He compared his execution with Jesus Christ's crucifixion.[40]
  • Shoko Asahara (1955–2018) founded the controversial Japanese religious group Aum Shinrikyo in 1984. He declared himself Christ, Japan's only fully enlightened master and the Lamb of God. His purported mission was to take upon himself the sins of the world. He outlined a doomsday prophecy, which included a Third World War, and described a final conflict culminating in a nuclear Armageddon, borrowing the term from the Book of Revelation 16:16.[41] Humanity would end, except for the elite few who joined Aum.[41] The group gained international notoriety on March 20, 1995, when it carried out the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. He was sentenced to death, and was executed on 6 July 2018.
  • David Koresh (1959–1993), born Vernon Wayne Howell, was the leader of a Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas, though never directly claiming to be Jesus himself, proclaimed that he was the final prophet and "the Son of God, the Lamb" in 1983. In 1993, a raid by the U.S. BATF, and the subsequent siege by the FBI ended with Branch Davidian ranch burning to the ground. Koresh, 54 adults and 21 children were found dead after the fire extinguished itself.[42]
  • Hogen Fukunaga (1945–) founded Ho No Hana Sanpogyo, often called the "foot reading cult", in Japan in 1987 after an alleged spiritual event where he claimed to have realized he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha.[43]
  • Marina Tsvigun (1960–), or Maria Devi Christos, is the leader of the Great White Brotherhood.[44] In 1990 she met Yuri Krivonogov, the Great White Brotherhood founder, who recognized Marina as a new messiah and later married her, assuming in the sect the role of John the Baptist, subordinate to Tsvigun.
  • Sergey Torop (1961–), a Russian who claims to be "reborn" as Vissarion, Jesus Christ returned, which makes him not "God" but the "Word of God". Also known as "Jesus of Siberia," Torop has an appearance similar to depictions of Jesus. He dresses in all white flowing robes and has long brown hair and a beard. Before claiming to be the Vissarion, Torop worked as a traffic policeman until he was fired in 1990. He founded the Church of the Last Testament and the spiritual community Ecopolis Tiberkul in Southern Siberia in 1990. The Church of the Last Testament has been described as being a mixture of beliefs from the Russian Orthodox Church, Buddhism, apocalypticism, collectivism, and with ecological values. The church currently resides on the largest religious reservation in the world in Siberian Taiga.[45][46]
  • Douglas Metcalf (1921-1968) Leader of the Full Gospel Mission aka Camp David aka The God Squad, a community based in Waipara in North Canterbury New Zealand. Referred to by the group as Lord Jeheshua.[47]
  • Stuart Walker (b1957) Leader of group called "The Pod" in Mona Vale, Sydney, Australia. He also claimed to be Tutankhamun and various other deities. He also claimed to converse with whales. Eventually imprisoned for drug offences [48]

21st centuryEdit

Alan John Miller and Mary Luck
  • Apollo Quiboloy (1950–) is the founder and leader of a Philippines-based Restorationist church, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, Inc. He has made claims that he is the "Appointed Son of God".[49]
  • Alan John Miller (1962–), more commonly known as A.J. Miller, a former Jehovah's Witness elder and current leader of the Australia-based Divine Truth movement.[50] Miller claims to be Jesus Christ reincarnated with others in the 20th century to spread messages that he calls the "Divine Truth". He delivers these messages in seminars and various forms of media along with his current partner Mary Suzanne Luck, who identifies herself as the returned Mary Magdalene.[51]
  • David Shayler (1965–) is a former MI5 agent and whistleblower who, in the summer of 2007, proclaimed himself to be the Messiah. He has released a series of videos on YouTube claiming to be Jesus, although he has not built up any noticeable following since his claims.[52][53][54]
  • Maurice Clemmons (1972–2009), an American felon responsible for the 2009 murder of four police officers in Washington state, referred to himself in May 2009 as Jesus.[55]
  • Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez (1990–). In November 2011, he fired nine shots with a Romanian Cugir SA semi-automatic rifle at the White House in Washington D.C., believing himself to be Jesus Christ sent to kill U.S. President Barack Obama, whom he believed to be the antichrist.[56][57]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Селиванов, Кондратий in: Большая биографическая энциклопедия. Andrei Sinyavsky, IVAN the FOOL. Russian Folk Belief, A Cultural History (trans. 2007).
  2. ^ "Her followers began to call her "Mother" Ann because they believed her to be the female component of Christ's spirit and that she represented the second appearance of Christ on earth."
  3. ^ J. Lowerson, ed. Charlesworth, An Atlas of Rural protests in Britain, 1548-1900 (1983), pp. 139-141: "The 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act was designed specifically to cope with the severe problems of rural England and to prevent... a repetition of the 1830s incidents in the epicentres of Kent... There, complex soil patterns, small-scale farming and low investment rates combined with a rapid population surge to produce... dependence on permanent relief of 25% of population... groups of labourers (1835) ...besieged local magistrates in the workhouse... 37 labourers were imprisoned for... up to two years."
  4. ^ James Barnes: Unveiling of the Middleman: The Truth About Prophecy, AuthorHouse, 2011, pp.63-64
  5. ^ Balyuzi 2000, pp. 35–37
  6. ^ Buck 2004, pp. 143–178
  7. ^ Stephen Lambden. "Catastrophe, Armageddon and Millennium: some aspects of the Bábí-Baha'i exegesis of apocalyptic symbolism". Retrieved November 21, 2009.
  8. ^ a b Robert S. Fogarty (2003). All Things New: American Communes and Utopian Movements, 1860–1914 (Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books) ISBN 0-7391-0520-5 pp. 50–51.
  9. ^ J. Gordon Melton (1996, 5th ed.). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Detroit, Mich.: Gale) ISBN 0-8103-7714-4 p. 565.
  10. ^ Evans 2006, p. 29.
  11. ^ "Vanessa Feltz's House History". Where do you think you live. BBC. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  12. ^ Evans 2006, p. 31.
  13. ^ Byford, Enid (1987). Somerset Curiosities. Dovecote Press. p. 22. ISBN 0946159483.
  14. ^ "Rastafari Movement". September 7, 2006. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
  15. ^ name="tum">Tumminia, Diana G. When Prophecy Never Fails: Myth and Reality in a Flying-Saucer Group. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005, 240 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-517675-9
  16. ^ Bishop, Greg, et. al (2006). Weird California. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN 978-1-4027-3384-0
  17. ^ Norris, Jimmy (January 25, 2009). "Feeling the love". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  18. ^ Moon At Twilight: Amid scandal, the Unification Church has a strange new mission, Peter Maass New Yorker Magazine, September 14, 1998. "Moon sees the essence of his own mission as completing the one given to Jesus--establishing a "true family" untouched by Satan while teaching all people to lead a God-centered life under his spiritual leadership."..."Although Moon often predicts in his sermons that a breakthrough is near, Moffitt realizes that Moon may not come to be seen as the messiah in his lifetime."
  19. ^ Unifying or Dividing? Sun Myung Moon and the Origins of the Unification Church, by George D. Chryssides, University of Wolverhampton, U.K. A paper presented at the CESNUR 2003 Conference, Vilnius, Lithuania.
  20. ^ Galanter, Marc (1999). Cults: Faith, Healing, and Coercion. Oxford University Press; 2nd edition. ISBN 978-0-19-512370-8.(meta-citation)
  21. ^ Reiterman, Tim, and John Jacobs. Raven: The Untold Story of Rev. Jim Jones and His People. Dutton, 1982. ISBN 978-0-525-24136-2. p. 476-524.
  22. ^ I, Jesus—Son of God—acknowledge on this date of September 25/26, 1995: 1. I am about to return to my Father's Kingdom. 1A. This "return" requires that I prepare to lay down my borrowed human body in order to take up, or reenter, my body (biological) belonging to the Kingdom of God (as I did appx. 2000 years ago when I laid down the body that was about 33 years old in order to reenter my body belonging to the Kingdom of Heaven). Marshall Applewhite (1995). UNDERCOVER JESUS SURFACES. alt.consciousness.mysticism. Retrieved August 15, 2005.
  23. ^ "One year later Heaven's Gate suicides leave a faint trail". CNN.
  24. ^ "Charles Manson: His Death and the Biblical Christian Response". Cross Encounters Ministries. November 21, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  25. ^ "He identified himself as the 'grand master of the celestial lodge, the architect of the universe'"Crimelibrary Archived April 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Miami Herald(October 15, 2001). "the old message of self-esteem has been crowded out by one that elevates their leader to Grand Master of All, the God of the Universe, the Grand Potentate, the Everlasting Father and the persecuted Messiah."
  27. ^ Douglas Martin (May 9, 2007). "Yahweh ben Yahweh, Leader of Separatist Sect, Dies at 71". New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  28. ^ "Notes and Queries: Whatever happened to Laszlo Toth, the man who smashed Michelangelo's Pieta in 1972?". London: The Guardian. Retrieved June 8, 2006.
  29. ^ Evers, Chia (2006). "Laszlo Toth, "Jesus Christ," Attacks the Pieta (May 21, 1972)". Today in Odd History. News of the Odd. Archived from the original on May 16, 2006. Retrieved June 8, 2006.
  30. ^ Inside a Cult Archived May 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine documentary info published by the National Geographic Channel.
  31. ^ "Sect Leader Who Allegedly Sought Virgins Found Guilty on Sex Charge". AP. TAOS, N.M: Fox News. December 15, 2008. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
  32. ^ "Escape from Islam" Archived May 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Weekend Standard, April 23–24, 2005
  33. ^ "After the Upper House Election, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi should hand the seat of the Prime Minister to Jesus Matayoshi, the one true God."Cgunson Archived November 25, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "After the Upper House Election, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi should hand the seat of the Prime Minister to Jesus Matayoshi, the one true God."::: ::: MATAYOSHI Archived November 25, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ "The Man Who Claims To Be Jesus". CBS 4. September 12, 2006. Archived from the original on February 17, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  38. ^ Summary of INRI CRISTO’s life Archived June 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ "Killer Who Said He Was Jesus Is Executed". CBS News. June 21, 2000. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
  40. ^ Killer Who Said He Was Jesus Is Executed. CBS News (2000-06-21). Retrieved on August 13, 2007.
  41. ^ a b Lifton, Robert Jay, Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism. New York: Macmillan (2000).
  42. ^ The British Waco survivors, by Ed Caesar, The Sunday Times, December 14, 2008.
  43. ^ "Foot-reader fined for fraud", BBC
  44. ^ Anastasia Daugule, "White Brotherhood - 15 years later". "Glavnoe" Kharkiv Net Review, a1404
  45. ^ "Tiberkul Religious Settlement - Home of Vissarion, the "Jesus of Siberia."". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  46. ^ Rocco Castoro (December 19, 2011). "THE MYSTERIES OF THE TEACHER". Vice.
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^ "Kingdom of Jesus Christ FAQ". Archived from the original on February 24, 2011.
  50. ^ Divine Truth; God's Way Of Love website. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  51. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Sunday Night, 'Inside Australia's chilling new cult'. Sunday Night, Channel Seven. September 18, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  52. ^ "The MI5 Messiah: Why David Shayler believes he's the son of God; News". London: The Daily Mail. August 15, 2007. Retrieved August 15, 2007.
  53. ^ "David Shayler Mystic on C4 News 10 Aug 2007". YouTube. August 10, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
  54. ^ "Meet Delores, the former now living as a woman in a Surrey commune | News". Archived from the original on July 20, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
  55. ^ Perry, Nick; O'Hagan, Maureen; Armstrong, Ken (December 1, 2009). "Four days in May set stage for Sunday's tragedy". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on December 4, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  56. ^ "White House shooting suspect Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez says he's Jesus". CBS/KBOI/AP. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  57. ^ "Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez Thought He Was Jesus, Obama Was Antichrist". Huffington Post. November 18, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011.