Category Archives: Language

Why the Bible is not true: bad translations and worse interpretations

Every religion has its leaders, usually self-appointed guardians of morality who have had some form of indoctrination either by other leaders or by books.  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have the greatest number of illiterates acting as leaders in their respective cults.  The worse offenders are the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox bishops especially in the USA where the new crop are appointed by a marginal scholar, the German-born pope (Josef Ratzinger), and in the land of Slavs by the criminal/cigarette selling billionaire patriarch Kirill of Moscow.  The are joined by the Ayatollahs of Iran whose knowledge of ancient Arabic is minimal (to be as generous as possible) and the illiterate imams in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Iraq and other Arab nations (but with less lethargy in debates in Egypt and no scholarship prevalent in Somalia, Nigeria or Uganda that merely regurgitates what the current crop of poorly edited Qur’an state and students are required to memorize as if they were successors to Muhammad’s Memorizers).

Cain leads Abel to the field (by James Tissot)

In each of these cults there are accounts, to varying degrees of a rather erotic story that is redefined, reglossed, and redacted into the mythology of two brothers known as Cain and Abel.  Neither existed, but are references to actions.
“Cain” is an old Gaelic word that became Hebrew in time as קַיִן.  It is a word that went from a marginal comment to being incorporated into ancient scripts.  Originally, it meant a rent paid in the form of a subsidy of crops and other agricultural and animal raising enterprises; the crop was usually wheat, but at times corn and various root crops, none of which were special.

Stele of Qadesh in ancient Egypt

It is depicted throughout the history of art as a man bundling wheat or other grains). 

The idea that Cain was a warrior or a man given to battle and murder comes from ancient Celtic legends that made their way south and into Babylonian legends that ultimately flowered in Apiru/Hebrew mythology.

Scot and Irish scribes glossed from marginalia into the corpus of texts. The ancient Hebrew word is Qayin and means “created one”. It has been found in some ancient scrolls and translates as “to rise up” or in ancient Akkadian it means “to strike” with a special antecedent from the earliest Apiru from India who joined the Akkadians as mercenaries in the service and pay of the rulers of Egypt. 

Qadesh Treatise (3000 BCE)

The Akkadian and Egyptian Qayin (הֶבֶל) actually refers to a fertility ritual involving sodomy for both females and males at the instruction of deities (known as Satis, Sati, Amaunet, and Isis, who was a part of all world religions including the faith devoted to Pachamama of Perú) and was a part of the ancient Egyptian Trinity that Constantine I ultimately would refashion into the Christian Trinity) who spoke through their priests.

Ésotérisme Mon étrange pouvoir

It was known as “Ésotérisme Mon étrange pouvoir” that made the priests more valuable than the worshippers. Males were retained in the temple to assure fertility but were subordinate to the female who carried the seed and was the instigator of the act. It is not until much later, with the rise of rabid patriarchy that the male asserts dominance–in part because of the Code of Qadesh (The Rules for Ritual Sodomy in Honor of the Goddess) that they became active but then required the recipient to lay on the ground, leading to the rank and vain plagiarized insertion by Apiru warriors into the Book of Leviticus.

Yahweh’s Wife (on potsherd)

The actual statement in Leviticus is not the rejection of the act but the importance of the act in worshipping and recognizing foreign gods of both genders  (לא יהיה־לך אלהים אחרים על־פני Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 5:7) with an overt effort establishes the exclusive nature of the relationship between the emerging nation of Israel and its god, Yahweh (one of the bull gods of ancient Egypt as the God of Israel) by marrying the agricultural deity to the Canaanite goddess of fertility Asherah.

the Lord their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs.- Judges 2:7

While the various writers of Deuteronomy and Leviticus commanded the people “of Israel” to turn from “pagan [country or foreign] gods”, few did.  The majority rejoiced in the old ways and practiced polytheism. The people of Israel did not, reluctantly, embrace monotheism until the Babylonian Captivity. 

the Lord their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs.- Judges 2:7

Part of the confusion is because of a misunderstanding and bad translation of the word Elohim (אֱלֹהִ֔ים that is interchangeable with אלוה and אֱל) all of whom were war lord, murderers, and highly sexual beings.  The Hebrew text uses Elohim for “gods”, a noun that is notably used both as a plural; however, later redactors and revisionists labored at making this plural noun a singular noun (that would be El: אֱל) when it was necessary to speak of the god of Israel (cf. van der Toorn, K.; Becking, Bob; van der Horst, Pieter Willem, editors (1999), Dictionary of deities and demons in the Bible (revised 2nd edition, Leiden [u.a.]: E. J. Brill, 1999, p. 274, 352-3).  There is no linguistic justification for this absurdity (cp. Mark S. Smith (2008). God in translation: deities in cross-cultural discourse in the biblical world.  vol. 57 of Forschungen zum Alten Testament, Tübingen, Deutschland : Mohr Siebeck, p. 19).  It is but a nationalistic ploy in an effort to unite a divided people of various cultures into one.

Egyptian fertility and love temple of the goddess Hathor at Dendera

What the later Hebrews and early Christians did was to embrace fertility rites but with love added, and commitment required, following the Shema. The Shema and its accompanying blessing/ curse reveals the intent of the commandment to include love for the one, true God and not only recognition or outward observance, as seen graphically in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (cf. Wylen, Stephen M. (2000). Settings of Silver: an introduction to Judaism.  New York, NY: Paulist Press)  This was even the message of Jesus of the New Testament (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27. Ref. “Shema”, in HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, 1996, Achtemeier Paul J., ed., New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers) and found in the canonical Gospels approved by the Emperor Constantine I before he destroyed the writings of Arius and other Gospels at his Council of Nicaea in 325 CE.

Cain, by Henri Vidal, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

What is noteworthy for its absence in this reused tale of the past is that there is no reference to either Cain or Abel wearing clothes (in Arabic, Cain and Abel are always known as the Two Brothers and are cited jointly: ابني آدم, while neither one is mentioned by name).  Clothing was a sign of sin and denial, as seen in the account in Genesis where Adam sewed aprons for himself and Eve (the helpmeet, not helpmate) after they were expelled from the garden.  The absence of information indicates that both males were nude, and their body structure being different, leading Abel to parade arrogantly in front of his brother, as his name

Cain and Abel (by Titan)

indicates, and thus bring jealousy (a sin) into the scenario.  Artists have traditionally captured the two “youth” as nude (naked implies arousal and sinful acts), thus cementing the attack being upon pride, and it could have resulted in Abel’s toying refusal to worship the gods in the manner of the Babylonians (who settled the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that run through Iraq–the center of Eden) who practiced Qadesh (ritual sodomy). 

The vilification of Cain comes only with the writers who composed the various texts (letters or epistle) of Paul  (Saul of Tarsus).  In these cases the writers of the works ascribed to Paul make the landlord of Gan Eden (the garden of Eden) a vengeful, lustful and demanding people (elohim, where the word gods is regulated with temporal leaders who took on the trappings, appearance and

Cain’s offering (word cut 1701, in private collection of author)

title of gods) who played favorites.  This is clearly seen in the “offering”.  While Cain’s gift to the Great Lords was “of the fruit of the ground.” This is a direct reference to the alleged origin of Adam  (Hebrew: אָדָם‎, Arabic: آدم‎, Syriac: ܐܵܕ݂ܵܡ and found in all Abrahamic myths) is a word that translates as “red earth” or “dust” and “dirt” and even “handsome” (Gesenius, Wilhelm & Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (1893). Genenius’s Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures. New York, NY: J. Wiley & Sons. p. xiii.); it also has the meaning of “the one who is closest to the soil being formed from the soil” and thus the recipient of a superior person (Eve) who could induce fertility.  Paulinity, the successor to primitive Christianity, gave the story a different twice: Abel’s sacrifice was “more excellent” (it is found only in Hebrews 11:4; there were numerous questions in the fourth century church created by Constantine as to whether or not Hebrews was even authentic or significant) than Cain’s, and was accepted by God. 

The problem with Cain’s gift, by later redactors and used especially by scandalous sixteenth century scholars passionate for their own interpretations is the fact that Cain’s offering symbolized the resolute debate with the Great Advocate (the serpent: the god of wisdom, that in Babylonian languages and later incorporated into ancient Hebrew as Satan, means Advocate, and one who was favored by the gods in Job 2:1) around the Tree of Knowledge, but never a Snake.  In the earliest days of recorded history, the snake stood for knowledge and useful wisdom.  It was frequently portrayed as a woman, and represented her tongue and vagina.  Later with the advance of patriarchy, the snake became male and represented the tongue and the penis that would enter the celibate, chaste, saved, and enslaved to the gods.  To this end it must be argued that Cain was offering a challenge to the gods (elohim) and debating their monopoly on wisdom and insight, as the deities in Gan Eden were not considered to be at all omniscient (all-knowing), and even

Snake and temptation

omnipotent (all-powerful), nor omnipresent (everywhere). At best the gods were selfish, arrogant, haughty and vengeful, as seen in the repeated verbal ejaculatory exclamations that “vengeance is mine” (Psalm 6:1; Psalm 90:7; Hosea 13:11; Mark 9:43-48; Romans 2:8; Romans 12:19-21; Hebrews 10:30; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).  In every case the gods are  טהומוס or θεμος (themos) and וגרה (ogre, or dragon δράκοντας), beyond contempt and frightening. If we used the most ancient interpretations of the snake and the offering, it was Abel who attempted to beguile Cain with his tongue, either by singing or using it sexually, and either inviting or rejecting anal penetration.

Hathor giving the breath of life to the pharaoh (Egyptian Museum, Cairo)

As for Abel (הבל also pronounced Havel), it is from Hebhel that became Hebrew.  It actually translates as “vanity” but can be translated as “breath” and is indicative of ancient Egyptian deities who “breathed” upon dirt to create life, much in the same manner as the gods of what is today’s Iraq: ancient Babylon.  Abel also translates as “futility”: attempting to take credit for what another did thus arousing jealousy, animosity, and hatred. In the oldest Hebrew Bible, Abel translates as  “elusive” and indicates a tease or toying individual who like to frustrate others deliberately–not exactly god-like qualities nor those of a son of any god or prophet.  It is a better reference point for the myth of the slaughter of the brother.

Abel (Genesis 4:2, 4, 8-9, 25) is called a “righteous” man only in the New Testament (Matthew 23:35). His innocence appears only in a redaction (Luke 11:51).  His gift to the lords or gods of the garden were considered meritorious only in the writings of those who created the letters of Paul (Hebrews 11:4), with the absurd notion that Abel had blood equal to that of the Jesus of the New Testament (Hebrews 12:24) that had curative powers and could eliminate sin from others. None of this appears in the Torah. 

Cain’s death entering the Ark on Abel (MS in author’s private collection)

Modern translators recognize the errors in these definitions, for as I Samuel 6:18 points out, Abel is a word for a great stone on which the Ark landed (Cain, it was thought, through his wife and their descendants, were responsible for the Great Flood, but his death was allowed to enter the Ark so he could suffer so that others could live), or was put around the necks of the accused to sink into deep waters to test the gods judgment on them as to whether or not they were innocent (they would rise above the water) or guilty (they would drown)–a misuse of justice that lasted throughout the Middle Ages and even found its way into Colonial America in the form of the dunking stool.

Cain married sister Luluwa and had children

Abel was killed because of his boasting, bragging, vanity, and selfishness.  When it was first written in cuneiform the story tells us of a braggart that constantly bullied his brother rousing his brother to take his life by stoning.

What people do not know, commonly, is the first actual Biblical record of Cain and Abel and the alleged fratricide does not appear until the first century CE and then is a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls (The Dead Sea Scrolls were inspected using infra-red photography and published by Jim R Davila as part of his doctoral dissertation in 1988. See: Davila, Jim R (1988). Unpublished Pentateuchal Manuscripts from Cave IV Qumran: 4QGenExa, 4QGenb-h, j-k. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University). Unfortunately over the years, and with the determination of the first Constantine (emperor of the East), many of the original scrolls were burned in an effort to “purify” Constantine’s newly established “catholic [universal] church”.  (Some scholars argue today that Constantine either had most scrolls with this fable burned or that a few escaped to the Dead Seas by various small communities of chrestianos and christianos.)  To do this required a total rewriting of approved biblical works that the Arian bishop Eusebius of Caesarea did so well years later. There is no mention of “brevity” in Abel in any early scrolls; on the contrary he was seen as a lecherous individual and who enjoyed cuckolding Cain, as an exegete in a Midrash suggests when it was written noting that Abel teased Cain about their marriage to twin sisters, with Abel demanding the most beautiful woman:  Aclima (Brewer, E. Cobham (1978 (reprint of 1894 version) and Cain having vaginal intercourse (the act of marriage) with Luluwa). The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Edwinstowe, England: Avenel Books. p. 3). 

Contrary to Maggie Gallagher (National Organization for Marriage) and Bryan Fischer (American Family Association), marriage was never between one man and one woman who were not related anywhere in the Bible.  This was common practice in ancient civilizations, and the sexual escapades were popular in more than a few of the tribes thus Abel hastened his own death in keeping with the period of the time to become a “god” (he is referred to as a saint in the early Christian religions, and oddly enough styled a prophet in Islam).

The influence of ancient Egyptian theology, practiced and written thousands of years before any Hebrew writing, brings strong bearing on the Cain and Abel myth.  According to Coptic Christianity (that was far older than either Roman Catholicism or Greek Orthodoxy, the latter two not being established until 325 CE, while Coptic Christianity actually can be dated to 100 BCE or

Part of Matthew 17-18 on a Coptic scroll

later) and the Coptic Book of Adam and Eve (2:1-15), and the Syriac Cave of Treasures, Abel’s body was placed within the cave after many days of mourning.  Most of the important Christian writings were preserved by the Coptics, despite repeated efforts of Roman Emperors, patriarchs and popes to have them destroyed.

The first parents, Adam and Eve, along with their descendants (detailed briefly in Genesis 5), offered their prayers over the unblemished and perfectly maintained cadaver of Cain whom everyone kissed from head to foot. The Sethite line of the Generations of Adam swear by Abel’s blood to

“The First Mourners” [Adam and Eve] by William Bourguereau

segregate themselves from the unrighteous, but there is no record of any blood being retrieved but only that it went into the soil (Genesis 4:10, redacted in Hebrews 12:24) but in much the same way as the blood that went to the goddess Maat attempted to summon justice.

In the extra-biblical Book of Enoch (22:7), one not sanctioned by Constantine I at Nicaea or anywhere else, the soul of Abel is described as having been appointed as the chief of martyrs.  These martyrs were neither witnesses nor saints, but zombies crying for vengeance and demanding the destruction of the seed of Cain (on zombies in the Bible, read Zechariah 14:12, Ezekiel 37: 1-14, Isaiah 26: 19-20, Deuteronomy 22:4-8, Matthew 12:11; 17:7; 27:51-53; Luke 1:69, etc.). This view is repeated in the Testament of Abraham (A:13 / B:11), where Abel has been raised to the position as the judge of the souls. It is of ancient Egyptian origin in the manner of the chief god of the Trinity: the Lord Osiris, known as Lord of Lords, King of Kings, and most importantly: God of gods (a common claim

Zombies in the Bible (and Jesus)

made by religious that claim to be superior to others or who have the only way, but here it was the pharaoh who was also murdered by his brother: the god Seth.  Seth cut him into fourteen pieces and scattered them to the winds.  Osiris’ sister-wife (much like the sister-wife Sarah joined with Abram/ Abraham) ultimately found all fourteen pieces and bound them up thereby creating mummification (but only after impregnating herself with Osiris penis (that had to be rescued from the stomach of a crocodile) so that she could give birth to a savior son: Horus (text is in the Egyptian Book of the Dead)

3 Comments

Filed under Ancient Egypt, Bible, Church history, Genesis, Language, Old Testament

Psychology of Saul/St. Paul – A Study of Linguistics, Translation, Interpretation and Biblical Study

Saul (Hebrew: שָׁאוּל) of Tarsus, or שאול התרסי (St. Paul: Παῦλος, the name Paul does not appear until Acts 13:9) is never mentioned by any source other than the Book of Acts in the New Testament.  The reliability of the Book of Acts has been questioned repeatedly by numerous scholars (Walton, Steve (2000). Leadership and Lifestyle: The Portrait of Paul in the Miletus Speech and 1 Thessalonians. New York, NY, USA and Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 3; Hare, Douglas R. A. (1987). “Introduction”, in Knox, John. Chapters in a Life of Paul (Revised ed.). Atlanta, GA, USA: Mercer University Press. pp. xxii; the Book of Acts account of Saul/Paul visiting Jerusalem contradicts the account in Galatians (i.13-24), that Saul/Paul allegedly wrote about the incident, ref. “Paul, St” Cross, F. L., ed. (2005). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press, see: “Paul, St.”).

Outside of the Book of Acts of the Apostles, there is no historical evidence for a Saul of Tarsus, nor for a St. Paul. Even in the alleged writings of St. Paul, there is nothing to suggest that Saul/Paul was ever a Hebrew, for he relies on Septuagint Koine (Ελληνιστική Κοινή: Hellenistic [common] Greek, or ἡ κοινὴ διάλεκτος, “the common dialect”, was spoken from 300 BCE to 300 CE—but little was written in this language; most compositions were made using Attic Greek; it made its mark by being the language of the Septuagint: the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Christian New Testament, both of which are filled with linguistic errors and grammatical mistakes) Greek, and shows not even a modest knowledge of the Hebrew language, its grammar, or its composition and history (Ανδρίοτης, Νικολαος Π. (1967) Ετυμολογικο  λεξικο της κοινης Νεοελληνικης; Institut d’études néo-helléniques (Thessalonique, Grèce); Publisher: Αριστοτελειο Πανεπιστημιο Θεσσαλονικης  – Ινστιτόυτο Νεοελληνικων Σπουδων (Ιδρυμα Μανολη  Τριανταφυλλιδη); and Ανδρίοτης, Νικολαος Π. (1961). Λυκια. 1α, Το Ιδιωμα του Λιβισιου της Λυκιας. Publisher: Κεντρο Μικρασιατικων Σπουδων).

Saul/Paul is not mentioned by Tacitus, Pliny, or Josephus. Saul/Paul is found only in the Book of Acts. But there is a work far older than the Book of Acts that actually leaves a description of Saul/Paul both physically and psychologically. The description of Paul is preserved in Acta Pauli et Theclæ, an apocryphal book that has been proved to be older and in some respects of greater historic value than the canonical Acts of the Apostles (see Conybeare, Frederick Cornwallis (1894). The Apology and Acts of Apollonius and Other Monuments of Early Christianity. London, UK: S. Sonnenschein & Co. pp. 49-88):

A man of moderate stature, with crisp [scanty] hair, crooked legs, blue eyes, large knit brows, and long nose, at times looking like a man, at times like an angel, Paul came forward and preached to the men of Iconium: ‘Blessed are they that keep themselves chaste [unmarried]; for they shall be called the temple of God. Blessed are they that mortify their bodies and souls; for unto them speaketh God. Blessed are they that despise the world; for they shall be pleasing to God. Blessed be the souls and bodies of virgins; for they shall receive the reward of their chastity.'”

It was by such preaching that “he ensnared the souls of young men and maidens, enjoining them to remain single” (Conybeare, loc. cit. pp. 62, 63, 67; cp. ibid. pp. 24-25; Galatians iii. 38; I Corinthians vii. 34-36; Matthew xix. 12; Clement of Rome, Epistle ii. § 12). The work known as the Book of Acts of the Apostles can be dismissed as a later-day fraud, and the lie of Saul/Paul easily found in the reference of Acts xviii.18: Ὁ δὲ Παῦλος ἔτι προσμείνας ἡμέρας   ἱκανὰς  τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἀποταξάμενος ἐξέπλει εἰς τὴν Συρίαν, καὶ σὺν αὐτῷ  Πρίσκιλλα καὶ Ἀκύλας, κειράμενος ἐν Κεγχρεαῖς τὴν κεφαλήν, εἶχεν γὰρ  εὐχήν. 

It would have been impossible for Paul to bring a Nazarite sacrifice in the Temple, as for him the blood of Christ was the only sacrifice to be recognized. Furthermore, Saul/Paul was around women most of the time and never commented on menstruation that Jewish law forbade man to be near or touch (Babylonian Talmud, the Tractate Niddah, and Leviticus xv.19 et seq.) yet the writers of the letters, that are argued to be from his pen, are disparaging of women. It is the authors of the writings ascribed or accredited to Saul/Paul who refer to Jesus as “the high priest after the order of Melchizedek” who atoned for the sins of the world by his own blood (Hebrews iv.14 to v.10, and vii.-xiii).

Saul/Paul’s references to specific Hebrew teachings are sparse (1 Corinthians vii:10-11 and ix.14). When Saul/Paul does speak on social issues, one of the mainstays of Judaism, Saul/Paul counters Hebrew thought and is more Hellenistic than Judaic.  For example, the issue of women in early Christianity has sparked controversy since the Emperor Constantine created his catholic church in 325 CE at Nicaea.

There is evidence that Saul/Paul did not recognize gender of males or females in any way or for any reason, as seen in his comment on baptism.  In early Christianity Saul/Paul suggested that gender hierarchy had been dissolved through baptism.  Those who received baptism into the cult of Christ found a new humanity, one that was beyond gender.  This is expressed in the baptismal formula used by St. Paul in Galatians 3:27-8:

Baptism of Jesus by Giotto

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

While some feminists, such as Professor Rosemary Radford Reuther argue that the baptism of a convert released the individual from any gender identification, she goes too far in claiming that Saul/Paul required gender-neutrality.  Professor Reuther wrote:

The gender part of this formula was probably linked from its beginning with celibacy. Women became equal with men by dissolving their traditional relations with men as wives. Thereby they were also freed to teach and preach in local assemblies and as traveling evangelists.” 

The issue of celibacy troubled the Saul/Paul of the New Testament.  He is ambiguous.  He only comments that celibacy is preferred, noting “it is better to marry than burn with passion” (1 Corinthians vii.9; my emphasis).

What Luke, Saul/Paul’s “intimate friend” and “scribe” wrote was in keeping with Luke xx.35: marriages would no longer be performed in the Kingdom of God: οἱ δὲ καταξιωθέντες τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐκείνου τυχεῖν καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῆς ἐκ νεκρῶν οὔτε γαμοῦσιν οὔτε γαμίζονται. The issue at stake in this reference is whether or not a person can “control” himself or herself and his or her sexual passions—a definite problem for Saul/Paul as I argued decades ago in my book Battling with Beasts, especially when he was confronted by numerous admirers: Luke, Timothy, and Titus, for example (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1991). Battling with Beasts: Sex in the Life and Letters of St. Paul: the Issue of Homosexuality, Heterosexuality, and Bisexuality. Garland, TX, USA: Tangelwüld Press).

St Thecla (late first century image)

Women were not a problem for Saul/ Paul.  He numbered many among his closest confidants and admirers, including St. Thecla who preached and baptised when accompanying Saul/Paul (see: Acta Pauli et Theclae, a Coptic text; today it is included in the New Testament Apocrypha, but was acknowledged as canon at the end of the first century–only when males found more believers turning to the ministry of women was it denounced as fraud and denied its place in the canon of the New Testament. It is attested as early as Tertullian, a stinging gynephobe and misogynist, in his De baptimo 17:5 (c 190).  Tertullian veighed against its use in the advocacy of a woman’s right to preach and to baptize). That women could (and did) preach and teach is recorded and granted in 1 Corinthians xi.5.  Biblical literalists with marginal educations and little interpretative or translation skills, such as is common among Southern Baptists, Adventists, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and Ultra-Orthodox Jews argue that women are not allowed to preach or teach, citing 1 Corinthians xiv.33b-35.  That is unscholarly and un-Biblical.

Most contemporary scholars today recognize that 1 Corinthians xiv.33b-35 is an interpolation that was not a part of the original text.  Research into the composition, word order, and such demonstrates how misogyny rose in the early church among male bishops who considered themselves threatened with the advance of female bishops and female priests (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1984). Woman as Priest, Bishop and Laity in the Early Catholic Church to 440 A.D.: with a translation and critical commentary on Romans 16 and other relevant scripture and patrological writings on women in the early Christian Church. Mesquite, TX, USA: IHP) adding I Timothy ii.11-15 to their tortious trophy cases for battering the rights of women to enter the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter ii.9).  It is the chauvinism of Reformation pastors such as Martin Luther, John Knox, Jean Calvin and others who enabled Adolf Hitler to grabbed on to in their move to suppress women, and condemn women to “Kirche, Kueche, Kinder” (church, kitchen, children) that was initially introduced by Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Weddings were performed by women priests (British Museum Sculpture 2307)

Reuther’s comments that women had a secondary status because Pauline Christians wanted women to cover their hair (as it was considered a temptation to sin by men; any part of a woman’s body that was uncovered was considered “naked” and would lead to incest, adultery, and other sexual vices; Talmud, Berakhot  24a) was also true for men by culture and custom, although there is some Biblical justification for it.  A man was required to cover his head as a mark of submitting to the gods Abraham (codified in Exodus xxviii.4-40; the kippah (yarmulke), however, dates to the seventeenth century when David haLevy of Ostrog reasoned that the head-dress was necessary to differentiate between Jews and Christians praying as defined in Leviticus xviii.3 and Shabbat 156b; this changed in the Reformed Jewish movement in the USA in the 1970s).

The historical reality of a Saul/Paul has various interpretations, for he became a part of the brotherhood (Acts ix.28) and is “managed” by the elders, who took him from Damascus (Acts ix.25) and was brought to the table of the original apostles by Barnabas (Acts ix.27). Later he was sent back to Tarsus until Barnabas “brought” Paul back to Antioch (Acts xi.26) and then was “sent” to Jerusalem with famine relief (Acts xi.30).

Saul/Paul does not become a “missionary” until later (Acts xiii.4). When he is sent on a mission, he is directed to go as a messenger and not a leader (Acts xvi.4-5: “As they went through the cities they delivered them the decrees for to keep that were ordained of the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem and so the congregations were established). Furthermore, Saul/Paul was “sent away” to Berea (Acts xvii.10) and later “brought” to Athens (Acts xvii.14-15), all the time remaining an orthodox Jew who shaves his head in Cenchrea (Acts xviii.18).

Saul/Paul’s name appears 177 times in the Book of Acts.  It is never coupled with the familiar honorific term “apostle”.  Apostle (ἀπόστολος) is not a title but a word for “messenger” in contract to a disciple (μαθητής: mathetes), who is a student and studies under the leadership of a teacher who was to be a subject-matter expert.  The term was  introduced decades later by those who fashioned his biography and wrote the letters they headed with his name. This is unique since Acts was, supposedly, written by Saul/Paul’s companion and “admirer”: the Apostle Luke.

The Letters of Saul/Paul are nothing less than bombastic self-aggrandizing. The author makes certain that the name of Saul/Paul is on all—but one: Hebrews. Saul/Paul is extremely arrogant.  He proclaims his own success with unmatched enthusiasm and bravado.  Saul/Paul says little about the work of his “believers” or what their churches/congregations are doing (2 Corinthians ii, iii). Instead he “admonishes” and “exhorts” the believers like a father would discipline a child.

None of the letters makes any reference to a “Damascene road” conversion or to his being born in Tarsus.  Today, the American Psychiatric Association uses the term “Damascene conversion” to refer to any abrupt change in personality, and as a personality disorder.  In 1987, D. Landsborough, a psychiatrist,  published an article in which he stated that Paul’s conversion experience, with the bright light, loss of normal bodily posture, a message of strong religious content, and his subsequent blindness, suggested “an attack of [temporal lobe epilepsy], perhaps ending in a convulsion … The blindness which followed may have been post-ictal” (Landsborough, D. (1987). “St. Paul and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy,” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 50; 659-664; cf. Brorson, J.R. and Brewer, K. (1988). “Matters arising: St Paul and temporal lobe epilepsy,” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 51; 886-887).  Did it happen? That is doubtful as there exists no secondary source, nor even a second primary source that supports this claim.  Science, medicine, and psychiatry equally refute the possibility of such an incident.  No where in The Act of the Apostles is there a statement of Saul/Paul suffering a lack of awareness of blindness (a characteristic of cortical blindness that could be caused by  the total or partial loss of vision in a normal-appearing eye caused by damage to the visual area in the brain’s occipital cortex:  the total or partial loss of vision in a normal-appearing eye caused by damage to the visual area in the brain’s occipital cortex) was reported in Acts, nor is there any indication of memory loss. Additionally, Paul’s blindness remitted in sudden fashion, rather than the gradual resolution typical of post-ictal states, and no mention is made of epileptic convulsions.  Indeed such convulsions may, in Paul’s time, have been interpreted as a sign of demonic influence, unlikely in someone accepted as a religious leader.  This evidence supports my original thesis presented in my work Battling with Beasts where Saul/Paul was attempting to hide his own homosexuality, and persecuting those who were–as was common in Damascus, but which even fundamentalists cannot explain away (Witherington, Ben (1998), The Acts of the Apostles: A socio-rhetorical commentary, Eerdmans, pp. 312-313.). Was Saul/Paul really from Tarsus and on his way to Damascus?  Acts 9:7 and 22:9 raise strong questions against the authenticity of the account and even of Saul/Paul’s existence.  St. Jerome actually reports, in Letter 120: To Hedibia, that Saul/Paul was from Galilee! 

The name of Saul/Paul, connected with the epistle (or “letter”) to the Hebrews in Jerusalem by Church tradition.  It was not attached to it in writing or signature, as was the case with the other epistles.

The Letter to the Hebrews, gives a clear picture of the psychology of Saul/Paul and his irreverent and frequent outbursts of anti-Semitism that slither from his writings–writings that were not completed in the first century.  There are those who argue that the letters are indirectly referenced by Clement of Rome (c. 96 CE in 1 Clement xlvii:1) but the text of 1 Clement xlvii.1-4 references subject found in the Letters ascribed to Saul/Paul.  Clement neither cites the name of the Letter(s) in question, nor does the name Paul appear in any of Clement’s verses.  There is no indication in Clement that the bishop knew of or knew about Saul/Paul.  Instead it is Clement’s cited letter that we read the pseudo-historical narrative from the problems in Eden forward.  These lines were used as the foundation for the plagiarisms that became the Epistles of Paul.  They are obvious forgeries to convince the emerging communities of christianos and chrestianos that there truly was a Jesus and a Paul—and to a minor regard, a Peter. This is especially true in the case of the dubious Letter to the Colossians that presents an unparalleled description (among the writings of Saul/Paul) of Jesus as ‘the image of the invisible God’:  a Christology found elsewhere only in John’s gospel that many have successfully argued in Gnostic in substance.

Colossians closely identifies with the Epistle to the Ephesians, putting both under scrutiny (MacDonald, Margaret Y. (2000). Sacra Pagina: Colossians and Ephesians. Collegeville, MN, USA: Liturgical Press).  In both cases, the message is mangled under the weighty hand of the writer who is busy identifying himself (or herself) as Saul/Paul.

The primary, sultry problem with Saul/Paul is the self-style Apostle’s overwhelming ego.  Saul/Paul praises himself relentlessly: “I magnify my office” (Romans xi.13) “I labored more abundantly than they all” (1 Corinthians xv.10) “As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia” (2 Corinthians xi.10) “for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest [sic] apostles” (2 Corinthians xii.11) and so forth. Half of Saul/Paul’s thirty-seven uses of the word “apostle” are a reference to himself. Saul/Paul is his own advertisement.

It is worthy of note that none of the Gospel writers identify or define Saul/Paul as an apostle.  None of the four gospels even mentions Saul/Paul.   Not even Luke, his scribe, and the Gospel of Luke, by myth and legend is written after Saul/Paul allegedly dies in Rome; dating of the Gospel ranges from 60 to 93 CE and Saul/Paul allegedly dies in 63/64 or 67 CE, along with “Peter”.

As for the celestial “Christ” calling out to “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” it is amateurish plagiarism.  Myth has it that his companions fell down with him, but this not the tale in any current edition of the Bible:

Biblical translations of Acts 9:7 generally state that Paul’s companions did, indeed, hear the voice (or sound) that spoke to him:

And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
—Acts 9:7, King James Version (KJV)
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one.
—Acts 9:7, New American Bible (NAB)
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
—Acts 9:7, New International Version (NIV)

By contrast, Catholic translations and older Protestant translations preserve the apparent contradiction in Acts 22:9, while many modern Protestant translations such as the New International Version (NIV) do not:

And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
—Acts 22:9, King James Version (KJV)
My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me.
—Acts 22:9, New American Bible (NAB)
My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
—Acts 22:9, New International Version (NIV)

The classic problem is between translation and interpretation.  This fine line is frequently ignored by most schools and universities that twist and contort the two as to being identical, whereas, in reality, they are not.  The NIV, New Living Translation, and similar versions contend that the translation used for Acts 22:9 is inaccurate.  The verb used here — akouō (ἀκούω) — can be translated both “hear” and “understand” (both the KJV and NIV translate akouō as “understand” in 1 Corinthians xiv:2, for example; it often takes a noun in the genitive case for a person is being heard, with a noun in the accusative for the thing being heard).  Late first-century readers and those who were familiar with the document in the second century probably understood the two passages to mean that everybody heard the sound of the voice, but “only Paul understood the articulated words” (Longenecker, Richard N. (1971) The Ministry and Message of Paul, Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Zondervan, p. 32).  This was in keeping with the Oracles of pagan shrines where only the priests/ priestesses were privy to knowledge. To attempt to translate a document that is approximately 1700 years old using contemporary words is an insult to the translation and interpretation process and deletes the original meaning.  This is compounded when it becomes apparent that the fable being expressed as sacred is not from the source cited, but, instead, is far older.  Even more critical is the unanswerable question of why there were no reports of the seizure by any of the companions of Saul/Paul, nor are any mentioned by name, the reason for their accompanying Saul/Paul is not given (and it was unusual for more than two messengers to be sent to any locale, while one was more standard (the one incident of three messengers occurs in the fable of messengers meeting with Abraham: Genesis xvii.1-20, cp. ibid. xviii.1-16, the same being the case with Sarah who alone heard that she would be impregnated with an heir for Abraham).

Tearing apart animals and men to eat their flesh and gain eternal life (Euripides, Bacchanae, 5th century BCE)

The great light and fall comes from the Persecution of Dionysius as related in Euripides Bacchae (404 BCE; note the lines on “getting out of prison” (ll. 968 ff that matches the account of Saul/Paul and their leaving prison; the antecedent for kiss of Judas can be seen in ll. 1670-1674; the persecution is at ll. 1760 sq; most of the stories associated with Jesus and Saul/Paul can be found in the Bacchanae; an English translation is here.  Plagiarism has long been a problem everywhere; even ancient Hebrews plagiarized the line, as read in I Samuel xxvi.18.

Bread in baskets found in Middle East today (as in the past)

If Saul/Paul was the “chiefest [chief]” apostle (not Peter as in Matthew xvi.18), then why did he have to escape (2 Corinthians xi.32, 33)—and why in a basket (Acts ix.25)?  Baskets throughout the Mesopotamian region since as early as 3700 BCE were lowered by a rope by tenement dwellers to buy bread from street vendors. The buyer would first lower the basket with payment for the bread, and then, on seeing the bread put in the basket, pull up the basket to retrieve the family loaf. There is no record that there was a “man-sized”  (adult)  baskets, as baskets, by culture, rule and law were to retrieve food for a family—not for an entire community, and no building contained more than three to four families (there were no skyscrapers). 

Bread and other food baskets in Damascus in 2011 CE

While bread was a staple, it was eaten quickly as there were no preservatives, and bread was baked throughout the day to guarantee freshness.  Baskets, then and today, for other food that was sold commercial were made of light-weight construction material and could not hole the weight of an adult male.

Caption Bronze Coin of Aretas IV with Inscription "Aretas King of Nabathæa"

The biggest question: why did Saul/Paul just not climb down the rope like any normal person? Furthermore, why the escape? It is claimed by the authors of Saul/Paul that he was escaping from “the governor under Aretas the king” (2 Corinthians xi.32,33), but Aretas IV Philopatris was the King of the Nabataeans from roughly 9 BCE to CE 40 andruled a vast area in harmony with the people: Jew and Gentile. His full title, as given in the inscriptions, was “Aretas, King of the Nabataeans, Friend of his People“, which was in direct opposition to the prevalent φιλορώμαις (“Friend of the Romans“) and φιλόκαισαρ (“Friend of the Emperor“).  His daughter Phasaelis married Herod Antipas, who later divorced her, causing her to flee to her father who invaded Harod’s kingdom, destroyed his army (Josephus puts it at 36/37 CE in order to connect it with the beheading of John the Baptist: Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 18.109-118), before dying in 40 CE.  There is no record of Aretas knowing or corresponding with Saul/Paul, nor is there any record of Saul/Paul speaking to the king’s governor (ethnarch) through a window as noted in (2 Corinthians xi:32, 33, cf Acts ix:23, 24).  The full history of Aretas is not yet known, and it may have been at a later time, for archaeologists have discovered a coin of Aretas dated 101 CE (new style dating). 

Saul/Paul gives no explanation as to how he earned this monarch’s displeasure. Acts ix.23, 24, claims that Saul/Paul offended the Jews, but the Jews were not orthodox in the kingdom of Aretas, and there is no record of them giving any outcry against any preacher.  Most Jewish residents were too intent on earning a living, correcting children, and so forth than to pay attention to an itinerant preacher.

The incident in Acts ix.23,24  is also plagiarized.  It comes from Josephus, Vita xvii that was reused to embellish Acts xvi.25, 29.

There was no estrangement between Jews and Christians as Christians saw themselves, and publicly proclaimed themselves to be a branch of Judaism.  There were no initial hostilities–and no martyrdoms (such as of Stephen; Acts vii; Stephan/Stephanos: Στέφανος is a title, not a name; it means “crown” a term given to those who surrender their life for a cause or event; his death, was the result of his declaration of a theophany: the visual/physical seeing of god,

Theophany on Road to Damascus

“Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” In Acts 7:56: a declaration that went against Jewish law and was repetitive of pagan practices–a similar to the seizure and theophany of Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus and notes a mental illness, as Hovarth and Zuckerman defined concerning people who are high sensation seekers and are inclined 1) to thrill and adventure seeking such as skydiving; 2) to unusual activities such as wild parties; 3) at the extremes are usually disinhibited thus prone to heavy drinking, drug use, gambling and sexual experimentation; and 4) exhibit a susceptibility to boredomwith low tolerance for routine repetition; see: Horvath, P., & Zuckerman, M. (1993). Sensation Seeking, Risk Appraisal, and Risky Behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 14(1), 1147-1152; Scott, R. P. & Potts, R. W. (1995). “Using spiritual interventions in psychotherapy: Practices, successes, failures, and ethical concerns of Mormon psychotherapists.” Professional Psychology Research and Practice, 26:163-170) unless rape, adultery, or murder was involved.

The early Christians considered themselves to be a part of Judaism (Irenæus, Adversus Hæreses, i.26). Its first fifteen “bishops” were circumcised and hostile towards heathens (Sulpicius Severus, Historia Sacra, ii. 31; Eusebius, Historia Ecclesia iv. 5; compare Matthew. xv. 26) that included “the uncircumcised” as well as those who did not attend to purification ceremonies and Jewish holidays.  Furthermore, the “Christian bishops” spoke regularly with the leaders of the synagogue (Grätz, Hirsch. Geschichte der Juden von don altesten Zeiten bis auf die Gegenwart. Leipzig, Germany, iv. 373 et seq) making Saul/Paul unnecessary–until there was a movement to reconcile with the Gentiles–a movement that did not occur until toward the end of the second century and into the third.

The bitterness found in the Pauline letters is apparent throughout church history, but more so under Protestantism that revived Pauline views and notions. This is because the Epistles of Saul/Paul were the true founder of “Christianity” (Paulinity) and not Jesus (nor a man known as Saul/Paul), a reality that even Martin Luther and Jean Calvin accepted in their praises of Paul. With these a biased opinion of Judaism and its Law took possession of Christian writers especially in the days of the Third Reich and currently with Bradlee Dean and contemporary evangelical Christianity (cp., e.g., Weber, Ferdinand Wilhelm (1897). Jüdische Theologie auf Grund des Talmud und verwandter Schriften, gemeinfasslich dargestellt. Leipzig, Germany: Dürffling & Franke, where Judaism is presented throughout simply as “Nomismus”; Schürer’s description of the life of the Jew “under the law” in Schürer, Emil (1898-1902) Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi 3d ed., Leipzig, Germany: J. C. Hinrichs, ii. pp. 464-496; Bousset, Wilhelm (1903) Religion des Judenthums in Neu-Testamentlichen Zeitalter. Berlin, Germany: Reuther & Richard. p. 107; and the more popular works by Karnack and others; see also Schechter, Solomon (1890) in Jewish Quarterly Review. [old series] iii. 754-766; Abrahams, Israel (1899). “Prof. Schürer on Life Under the Jewish Law,” ibid. xi. 626; and Schreiner, M. (1902). Die Jüngsten Urtheile über das Judenthum. pp. 26-34 where he comments that the sayings of Jesus are assertions but without substance or law; ref. Chwolson, David Abramovich (1901). Die Blutanklage und Sonstige Mittelalterliche  Beschuldigungen den Juden: eine historische Untersuchung nach den Quellen, Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany: J. Kauffmann, pp. 1-78).

Anti-Semitism in early Christianity: Christ between Paul (left, with an open church for former pagans) and Peter (right, with closed church for Jews) (Santa Costanza, Rome)

Like the Gospels and Letters, Acts also is a loosely random collection, a collage of various tales interwoven without having justification on the basis of current thought or statements allegedly made by the New Apostle. Among the numerous errors in the Book of Acts is the claim that the “Christians” (they never called themselves that, but referred to themselves as “believers” or “brethren”) were persecuted—but once Saul/Paul returns to Tarsus, the persecution abruptly stops (Acts ix.31). Saul/Paul claims that the Jews were “of murderous intent” (Acts ix.23, 24), but the only record—in Acts—of any Jew having a “murderous intent” was Saul/Paul, himself, who flees to “Arabia” for three years, even though Damascus was a part of Arabia.  Saul/Paul’s flight from Jerusalem was because of perceived dangers (Acts ix.29-30) is nothing but a replay of Josephus, War ii.20.1).

The Book of Acts states that Saul/Paul at the Council of Jerusalem argued heatedly against circumcision—and won (Acts xv.19, 32).  Saul/Paul then promptly circumcised his own disciple, Timothy, whom he found in Lystra (Acts xvi.3)—a destructive act of delusional schizophrenia (a Gestalt psychology of mood-swings and actions) that might have been the result of agorophobia: acting out in panic (anankastic personality disorder) that which was previously denied.  Saul/Paul glories in this sexual mutilation without recording Timothy’s thoughts on the act that even Josephus (Vita xxiii) notes was unnecessary and no one was “constrained by force” to endure it. Saul/Paul, on another occasion, most likely nearly at the same time, graciously spared his other follower, Titus from the barbaric act of circumcision (Galatians ii.3, 4). Why? Both were considered Jew-Christians. This would occur only if they were slaves, but Saul/Paul declared there were no slaves—another contradiction. The fact that Saul/Paul wrote two distinct letters to Timothy and only one to Titus, shows handily that there was a greater preference for Timothy—but for what reason? As for Saul/Paul being a “seeker of wisdom” with a thirst for knowledge, that is not only unbiblical but also fiction, if Acts is to be believed. Acts xix.19 notes that Saul/Paul presided over Christianity’s first book burning and condemned those who had the books, despite the injunction of the Jesus of the New Testament who forbade any mortal to judge another mortal (Matthew vii:1).

Most of Saul/Paul’s other journeys are pious legends at best. It is claimed that Saul/Paul Christianized Ephesus—the very city where the Beloved John lived for decades (Acts xviii.18ff, xix.5, 7; cp. Eusebius, Historia Ecclesia xxiii). As for being an “apostle”—the early church did not accord Saul/Paul that honor until the first half of the second century CE—and only after the Bar Kosiba war

Hadrian Adventus Jud: Wars between the Jews and Romans: Simon ben Kosiba (130-136 CE)

had ended. By then, Saul/Paul was dead and a new Messiah had risen and was seen as the promised warrior—not like the passive Jesus. This war was over whether or not Hadrian (117-138), who is considered to be one of the most remarkable and talented men Rome produced, was the “saviour and god” personally associated with Zeus, by the Greek cities—a worship that spread to Syria and Antioch by 129, or his association with another male.  Most scholars agree that the war was over the issue of his male lover, a beautiful Greek youth named Antinous.  Antinous had been Hadrian’s companion of several years before the youth drowned, under odd circumstances, in the Nile.

Antinous, Hadrian's lover

After the boy’s death, Hadrian instituted a new religion for his worship and built a sanctuary city (Antinoopolis) where the tragedy occurred—and permitted a Christian bishop to enter and proselytize, as well as two other rival theologies who had little sympathy for the dead youth or the relationship the boy had with the Emperor.  It was this intolerance that led to the war. The war was precipitated by an unusual high outpouring of hate-filled messages that came from the Jews who objected to people worshipping a boy whom they saw as a Qadesh/Qedesh (קדשה technically “dog” but it also signifies a dancer, cf. 1 Kings xv.12; 2 Kings xxiii.7; the female religious prostitute (cf. Herodotus, Historia i.199) was a Qedeshah (קדשה) a term–used primarily for a woman–that literally means “consecrated”  (feminine form) from the Semitic root קדש for “holy” or “set apart”.  This term was used for Antonius around whom a cult grew spontaneously.  Its adherents argued that the youth was a virtuous young man who, by self-sacrifice, conquered death and now was able to offer salvation and protection to others (by the

Antinous becomes a god

fourth century, when the pagan Emperor Constantine created his catholic church at his Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, Antinous was presented in statuary as a young god with the grapes of Dionysus in one hand (prior to changing them into wine) and a cross in the other).  While such a sacrifice was applauded and heralded, the complaint was that the youth “changed his sex[ual position] for that of the other [a woman]” (cp. Leviticus xviii:22 that is incomplete in composition and most likely should read: And with a male you shall not lay [in the] lyings of a woman.” That is, two men must not engage in sexual behavior on a woman’s bed, and xx.13 that ignores “as with” indicating a rejection of acceptance of reality, ref. Rabbi Gershon Caudill, “A Heterosexual Jewish Rebbe’s View on the (Supposedly) Homosexual Texts in the Hebrew Bible” (there was no Hebrew word for “homosexual”; it had the same purpose as xix.22 forbidding tattoos). 

Emperor Hadrian

That this term should be applied to a young male only indicates that society then, as it does today, assumes that one party within a homosexual relationship was in the role of the female, the other in the role of the male as society was not sophisticated enough to know that both parties could be equally “feminine” and/or “masculine”. This is what would lead to the alleged condemnation of “effeminancy” in a ritual act, or the “changing of one’s role” that homophobes celebrate when chanting the mantra of hate in Leviticus and Romans. This is the “confusion” that does not exist in the normal and natural psychology of the homosexual (male or female) but led to the prohibition in Deuteronomy xxiii.17-18, which is distinctly not against the act, but rather is a prohibition against “bring[ing] the hire of a prostitute (זנה) or the wages of a dog (כָּלֶב or keleb [Strong Hebrew 3611]) into the house (temple) of the Lord your God to pay a vow…”. It is a reference to ritual or temple/sacred prostitution—not a denunciation or forbiddance of homosexuality.

The fear was over the reinvigoration of Canaanite worship services when Yahweh was but a minor god and ultimate forced to marry the Canaanite goddess Asherah (Venus/Astarte), which grew more intense when the Greek rulers of Jerusalem were accused of bringing prostitutes (hetairai: ἑταῖραι who were courtesans who entertained with song, poetry and conversation) into the Temple in Jerusalem and having sex with them there: 2 Maccabees vi.1-4: Μετ οὐ πολὺν δὲ χρόνον ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ βασιλεὺς γέροντα Ἀθηναῖον ἀναγκάζειν τοὺς Ιουδαίους μεταβαίνειν ἀπὸ τῶν πατρίων νόμων καὶ τοῖς τοῦ θεοῦ νόμοις μὴ πολιτεύεσθαι, Not long after this, the king sent an Athenian senator to compel the Jews to forsake the laws of their fathers and cease to live by the laws of God, μολῦναι  δὲ καὶ τὸν ἐν Ιεροσολύμοις νεὼ καὶ προσονομάσαι Διὸς Ὀλυμπίου καὶ τὸν ἐν Γαριζιν, καθὼς ἐτύγχανον οἱ τὸν τόπον οἰκοῦντες, Διὸς Ξενίου, and also to pollute the temple in Jerusalem and call it the temple of Olympian Zeus, and to call the one in Gerizim the temple of Zeus the Friend of Strangers, as did the people who dwelt in that place. χαλεπὴ δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὅλοις ἦν δυσχερὴς ἡ ἐπίτασις τῆς  κακίας. Harsh and utterly grievous was the onslaught of evil. τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἱερὸν  ἀσωτίας καὶ κώμων ὑπὸ τῶν ἐθνῶν ἐπεπληροῦτο ῥᾳθυμούντων μεθ’ ἑταιρῶν καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἱεροῖς περιβόλοις γυναιξὶ πλησιαζόντων, ἔτι δὲ τὰ μὴ  καθήκοντα ἔνδον εἰσφερόντων. For the temple was filled with debauchery and reveling by the Gentiles, who dallied with harlots and had intercourse with women within the sacred precincts, and besides brought in things for sacrifice that were unfit.

The Vulgate considers 2 Maccabees to be a deuterocanonical book, but it reads:

1 sed non post multum temporis misit rex senem quendam antiochenum qui conpelleret Iudaeos ut se transferrent a patriis et Dei legibus 2 contaminare etiam quod in Hierosolymis erat templum et cognominare Iovis Olympii et in Garizin prout erant hii qui locum inhabitabant Iovis Hospitalis 3 pessima autem universis et gravis malorum erat incursio 4 nam templum luxuria et comesationibus erat plenum et scortantium cum meretricibus sacratisque aedibus mulieres se ultro ingerebant intro ferentes ea quae non licebat.

The Books of the Maccabees, however, are not trustworthy.  They incorporate many pagan/ancient stories (in much the same way as the Qur’an, Torah, and New Testament), including the trial (apology) execution of Socrates.  Maccabees uses the Greek literary genre in Koine Greek rather than the Hebrew.  At the time of its appearance, its author claimed he was abridging the five-volume work of Jason of Cyrene. There is an Arabic edition: و بعد ذلك بيسير ارسل الملك شيخا اثينيا ليضطر اليهود ان يرتدوا عن شريعة ابائهم ولا يتبعوا شريعة الله و ليدنس هيكل اورشليم ويجعله على اسم زوس الاولمبي ويجعل هيكل جرزيم على اسم زوس مؤوي الغرباء لان اهل الموضع كانوا غرباء فاشتد انفجار الشر وعظم على الجماهير و امتلا الهيكل عمرا وقصوفا واخذ الامم يفسقون بالمابونين ويضاجعون النساء في الدور المقدسة ويدخلون) This multiculturalism (considered an infection by bringing in a different culture, the same psychosis that took control of the mind of the Norwegian mass murderer and Christian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik on July 22, 2011) infuriated Shimon ben Kokhba (שמעון בן כוסבא, deliberately mispronounced by his followers as Bar Kochba, or son of the star: referring to the Star Prophecy of Numbers 24:17, at the instance of his contemporary, the Jewish sage Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph (ca. 17 – ca. 137 CE), who in the Talmud is referred to as “Rosh la-Chachamim”: “Head of all Sages”).

Simon Bar Kokhba coin

Kokhba’s original name wasAntinous becomes a god. To fulfill the “prophecy” of the coming of a messiah to rescue Israel, Simon bar Kokhba had himself led on a horse “as prophecy foretold”.  John of Patmos would later embellish this story to make a saviour return to earth on a horse to join the forces of evil in the battle of Armageddon.

The Jews went to war over the youth’s role in religion once Hadrian’s ban on circumcision was enforced. Hadrian viewed circumcision as nothing less than sexual mutilation (Historia Augusta, Hadrian xiv.2).

It appeared  to Jews and “believers” (proto-Christians who saw themselves as a part of the Jewish world) that the world was at war (Dio Cassius, Historia Romana lxix.9.12-13). Instead of there being four horsemen, each on a different colored horse bringing famine, death, and so forth, there were thousands of horsemen on common horses that brought the plagues Potmos would embellish in his fantasy.

At the end of the War, 500,000 of the three million Jews were slaughtered.  Tens of thousands were sold into slavery and the arena.  The study of the Prophets (scripture) and the Sabbath was outlawed.  Even the name of Judaea was erased from the map, being replaced by Sina Palestinia.

Roman Empire 117 CE

The Christians saw it as fulfillment of the prophecy of Saul/Paul and John of Patmos, that the Jews would incur divine wrath for rejecting their prophet Jesus. There were at most 10,000 early Christians.   With the death of the last circumcised bishop, they were able to install one of their own: Marcus.  History records Marcus as the first bishop of those not circumcised and sixteenth bishop of Jerusalem, according to some chroniclers, and the Gentiles ruled (Eusebius, Eclessia Historia iv.6).

To lessen the assault expected against them, the authors of the epistles attributed to Saul/Paul were toned down. Saul was sanitized, as his zeal became an issue within the early communities, many who did not recognize him as an apostle, as was the case with “Philip the Evangelist” of Caesarea (Acts xxi.8), and it is recorded that Peter controlled the churches in Jerusalem and Antioch (Acts vi-xii), and Paul’s missionary zeal was not unique, but equally matched by that of Philip who proclaimed “The Christ” (anointed one) in Samaria and on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, where he baptized the eunuch (Acts viii.38).  The Essenes did not recognize Saul/Paul and they were not living only in the wilderness, but in a number of towns in Judaea. According to Josephus they were living in Jerusalem in a very closed community, where they had probably settled after the 31 BC earthquake that disrupted their lives at Qumran (Kesich, Vaselin (1986). “The Historical Jesus: A Challenge From Jerusalem,” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, vol. 30, No. 1, p. 26.).

It has been argued, on the basis of some archeological findings, that Essenes settled on Mount Zion, which also became the center of Jewish Christianity. The Alexandrian Jews were more receptive to Christians than those from Asia Minor, but here, too, we find no mention of Saul/Paul (Koester, Helmut (1982).  History, Culture and Religion of the Hellenistic Age.  Philadelphia, PA, USA: Fortress Press. vol. II, p. 42, 90). 

There was no Diaspora (διασπορά, “scattering, dispersion”)—as the majority of Jews already lived outside of Judea (it becomes associated with Judaism only after the Bible’s translation into Greek and then to refer to the population of Jews exiled from Israel in ca. 607 BCE by the Babylonians, and from Judea in 70 CE by the Roman Empire). The vanity of Saul/Paul is toned down in the current canon, with his rebuke of Peter who he libeled as having reneged on his commitment to Jesus out of fear (Galatians ii.12-13) and commenting that Barnabas was naively “carried away” in his rejoinder. None of this is found in traits of religious Jews at that time, and this is clearly seen in his writings, for he took all of his scriptural references from the Greek (Septuagint) translation of Jewish scripture, and nothing from the Hebrew.  This reveals that Saul/Paul had difficulty with his own alleged native tongue. As Professor Shlomo San of Tel Aviv University wrote: “The Jews as a self-isolating nation of exiles, who wandered across seas and continents, reached the ends of the earth and finally, with the advent of Zionism, made a U-turn and returned en masse to their orphaned homeland, is nothing but national mythology.” Emphasis mine. (Sand, Shlomo (2009), The Invention of the Jewish People, translated into English by Yael Lotan. London, UK and New York, NY, USA: Verso 2009, also 2010; there is a Turkish edition under the title Yahudi halkı nasıl icat edildi? : Kitabı Mukaddes’ten Siyonizme, translated by Isik Ergüden. Şişli, İstanbul: Doğan Kitap, 2011).

Saul/Paul needed to elevate himself, and tacking himself to an imaginary διασπείρω (used as a verb) served well. To this end, Saul/Paul became the Thirteenth Apostle.

Thirteen was not yet an unlucky number (even after he began to kill the disciples of The Lord: Acts ix.1 but this story is taken directly from Josephus, Antiquities xx.9.4). Thirteen had special significance to ancient Jews, for thirteen was the age a boy became a man; as a man the male became a full member of the Jewish faith and is qualified to be count as a member of Minyan.  Thirteen also has, according to Rabbinic commentary on the Torah, a special place with god has 13 Attributes of Mercy that are the number of principles of Jewish faith according to Maimonides (see his commentary on the Mishnah: tractace Sanhedrin, chapter 10).

We find a mixing of stories in Josephus—not as a testimony to Saul/Paul, nor even to Jesus (whom is mentioned not as a god or a son of god, but as a common brigand, thief and murderer:

“So Jesus the son of Sapphias [chief magistrate of Tiberias], one of those whom we have already mentioned as the leader of a seditious tumult of mariners and poor people, prevented us, and took with him certain Galileans, and set the entire palace on fire … Jesus and his party slew all the Greeks that were inhabitants of Tiberias, and as many others as were their enemies before the war began.”

– Josephus, Vita xii).

It merely recognized the unsettled conditions of the time, and the longing of people for a different life. As the psychologist William James noted, it would initiate the time for a supernatural happening, and gave greater credence to divine revelation: to escape a time of Tribulation in anticipation of the coming of a Messiah (war lord).

Saul/Paul and his apologists claim that he was a Jew before his seizure on the Road to Damascus, but the writings ascribed to the individual belie that assumption. In the Epistle to the Romans, many parts are the product of the second-century Church. In this contempt-filled work, the authors of Romans show a forceful hatred for the Jews and everything Jewish, e.g., such passages as Romans ii. 21-24, in which the writers of this questionable work charge the Jews with theft, adultery, sacrilege, and blasphemy. It is reiterated in Romans ix.22 and xi.28 (cp. Romans iii.2).

The underlying motive of the Pauline theology was to tear down of the partition-wall between Jew and Gentile.  It is best expressed in Ephesians ii.14-22. The redactors of Ephesians, over the years declared that the latter (the Gentiles) are no longer “gerim” (גיור‎: contemplating or actively pursuing הלכה‎: halachic (in accordance with Jewish law) conversion) and הדיירים:  “toshabim” (A. V. “tenants” or “strangers” and “foreigners” as defined in Leviticus xxv.23.  The conversion process requires taking the vow in Ruth i.16-17: כִּי אֶל-אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ, וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין—עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי, וֵאלֹהַיִךְ אֱלֹהָי. בַּאֲשֶׁר תָּמוּתִי אָמוּת, וְשָׁם אֶקָּבֵר; כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה לִי, וְכֹה יוֹסִיף—כִּי הַמָּוֶת, יַפְרִיד בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵךְ.), but “fellow citizens with the saints” of the Church and fully equal members “of the household of God” but a people not yet saved.  Salvation is denied these Jews, Saul/Paul states, because they have not (as of yet) accepted The Christ.

In order to accomplish his purpose of saving the Jews (through a special Messianic promise to bring about a New King), Saul/Paul argues that just as little as the heathen escapes the wrath of God, owing to the horrible sins he is urged to commit by clinging to his idols, so little can the Jew escape by his Law, because “the law worketh sin and wrath” (Rom. iv. 15). As Isaac Troki noted (in Troki, Isaac ben Abraham; Moses Mocatta (1851). ̣חזוק אמונה (Faith Strengthened) or Hizzuk Emunah” London, UK: [s.n.] i.2, 4a, 6) “none of the Messianic promises of a time of perfect peace and unity among men, of love and truth of universal knowledge and undisturbed happiness, of the cessation of all wrong-doing, superstition, idolatry, falsehood, and hatred [Isaiah. ii. 1 et seq., 18; xi.1-9, lxv.19, 23; Jeremiah iii.17; Ezekiel xxxiv.25, xxxvi.25 et seq., xxxvii.26; Zechariah xiii.2, xiv.9; Zephaniah iii.13] have been fulfilled by the Church” of any Christian form, nature, or cult.

The Pauline hatred of Jews was ever more intensified (see Romans. ix.-xi., cp. ix. 31) under Saul/Paul—which is clear evidence of its composition being of a later origin—and culminates in Galatians iii., where, besides the repetition of the argument from Genesis xv.6 and xvii.5, the Law is declared, with reference to Deuteronomy xxviii.26 and Habakkuk ii.4 (cp. Romans i.17), to be a curse from which the crucified Christ—himself “a curse” according to the Law (Deuteronomy xxi.23; probably an argument taken up from controversies with the Jews)—was to redeem the believer. Another sophist argument against the Law, furnished in Galatians iii.19-24, and often repeated in the second century (cp. Hebrews ii.2; Acts vii.38, 53; Aristides, Apologia, xiv.4), is that the Law was received by Moses as mediator from the angels—a quaint notion based upon Deuteronomy xxxiii. 2, LXX.; cp. Josephus, Antiquities xv. 5, § 3. That it is not the law of the Hebrew gods. The laws of the Jews and the idolatrous practices of the heathen are placed equally low as mere servitude of” the weak and beggarly elements” ( cf. “planets”; Galatians iv. 8-11), whereas those who have put on Christ [used as a title, not as a name] by baptism have risen above all distinctions of race, of class, and of sex, and have become children of God and heirs of Abraham (Galatians iii. 26-29; what is meant by the words “There shall be neither male nor female” in verse 28 may be learned from Galatians v. 12, where eunuchism (that includes self-castration and self-sexual mutilation) is advised.

Origen of Alexandria

Origen of Alexandria (185-254 CE) followed this masochistic practice by castrating himself. From a clinical perspective, Origen suffered under the psychiatric sexual disorders category of paraphilias, meaning “abnormal or unnatural attraction to a theory or orientation that denied his natural sexuality (it is very similar to required celibacy in the Roman Catholic monasteries and churches of today). Origen claimed that he castrated himself so he could tutor women without suspicion a form of sadomasochism, and he risked his life countless times in encouraging martyrdom or at least the rejection “of this world” and its “evils” by sexual mutilation and death that is defined as group sadomasochism being psychologically unbalanced, and was especially common among women who gave up sexuality to follow a “religious call” (read: Benjamin, J. (1986). The alienation of desire: Women’s masochism and ideal love.Hillsdale, NJ, England: Analytic Press, Inc., reissued in 1990: New York, NY: New York University Press, cf. Gordon, R. (1991). Masochism: The shadow side of the archetypal need to venerate and worship. New York, NY: Guilford Press, and Montgomery, J. D. (1989). The hero as victim: The development of a masochistic life.Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., Ruderman, E. G. B. (2003). Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose: Women’s “masochism” and ambivalence about ambition and success.Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc.,and Wurmser, L. (1997). The shame about existing: A comment about the analysis of “moral” masochism. Mahwah, NJ: Analytic Press, with special attention to Jewish males in Boyarin, D. (1994). “Jewish masochism: Couvade, castration, and rabbis in pain”, American ImagoVol 51(1) Spring 1994, 3-36, and Charme, S. L. (1983). “Religion and the theory of masochism” in Journal of Religion & Health Vol 22(3) Fall 1983, 221-233). Origen was among the best known controversial adherents to the new faith (Duchet, C. (2006). “Between life and death drives: Masochism tested by traumatic experiences”, Psychologie Clinique et Projective Vol 12 2006, 101-117; Grassi, A. (1986). Masochism and individuation” Psichiatria e Psicoterapia Analitica Vol 5(1) Apr 1986, 35-50). He was among the earliest teachers in the emerging church that did not agree with everything bishops or councils declared. For example, he found errors in “the inerrant book” (Bible), and taught that there were layers within Scripture:

… And when God is said to “walk in the paradise in the cool of the day”… I don’t think anyone will doubt that these are figurative expressions which indicate certain mysteries through a semblance of history and not through actual events. (De Principiis iv.3.1)

Origen found three levels of meaning in the Scriptures: the common or historical sense, for the simple-minded or beginning reader, the “Soul” of the Scriptures that edifies those who perceive it, and a meaning hidden under those passages that are repugnant to the intellect by means of allegory.  What Origen did not concur with was the transmogrification of individual identity as one cannot hide from god–however, this is what Saul/Paul did after his trip to Damascus.

Saul/Paul changes his name to Paul occurs only in Acts 9:11, 21:39, 22:3. This record exists because of his favored disciple.  The only references to “Paul” are within the Pauline epistles, no other communications exist, correspondence, public record, or government record where it is used, nor is there a Saul of Tarsus on any document.

The claim in Romans 11:1 and Philippians 3:5 merely suggests that he was of the tribe of Benjamin due to the similarity of his name with the first Israelite king.  This is a false later inclusion, done in a trembling effort to justify that which did not exist.  There were no tribal lists at the time that Saul/Paul lived, and such a list does not appear before the fourth century (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesia” i.7, 5; Pesahim 62b; Sachs, Michael (1852). Beiträge zur Sprach- und  Alterthumsforschung: Aus jüdischen Quellen. Berlin, Germany: Veit und Comp, ii. 157).

Gamaliel's council (Acts v)

Saul/Paul’s quotations from scripture show only that he knew Greek scripture

Rabbi Gamaliel's test on the "Glorioous and Horrorfying"

(that he was allegedly taught by Gamaliel I; cp. Book of Wisdom and other Apocrypha, as well as Philo (see Hausrath, Adolf (1956) Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte, Berlin [dann] Hamburg, Germany: Furche-Verlag. ii. 18-27, originally published at Heidelberg, Germany: F. Bassermann, 1872—I am using the original edition; Siegfried, Carl (1875). Philo von Alexandria aks Ausleger des Alten Testaments: an sich selbst und  nach seinem geschichtlichen  Einfluss  betrachtet: nebst Undersuchungen  über die Grecitaet Philo’s. Jena: Hermann Fufft, 1875, pp. 304-310; Jowett, Benjamin (1894). The Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, Galatians and Romans. London: John Murray. i.363-417) as it show none shows any familiarity with the original Hebrew text.

Josephus, neither a reliable historian, nor an eye-witness, does claim that a Saulus went to visit Nero in 66 CE, leading a delegation as an intermediary between the Chief Priests and the Pharisees to Agrippa II to petition the emperor to suppress an uprising during the 60s (the date is not clear). If the account is true, it would have been known to the Jews in the late first century and Saul would have been considered untrustworthy and disreputable—and for that reason is referred to as Saul in the early parts by the authors of the Acts of the Apostles. Saul/Paul’s Hellenistic background is betrayed by his distinguishing between an earthly and a heavenly Adam (I Corinthians xv. 45-49; cp. Philo, De Allegoriis Legum, i.12 in Philonis Judaei Opera Omnia 1. Contiens libb. De opificiis mundi, De allegoriis legume libb. i-iii, De cherubim, De sacrifisiis Abelis et Caini, De eo quod deterius potiori insidiatur (the work is in Greek). Lipsiae, Germany: Schwickert, 1828) that is neither found in Hebrew scripture nor thought.

Saul/Paul’s state of mind shows the influence of the theosophical or Gnostic lore of Alexandria, especially the Hermes literature recently brought to light by Reizenstein in his important work “Poimandres,” 1904 (Reitzenstein, Richard (1904). Poimandres: Studien zur griechisch-āgyptischen  und  frühchristlichen Literatur. Leipzig, Germany: Teubner. see Index, s. v. “Paulus,” “Briefe des Paulus,” and “Philo”); hence his strange belief in supernatural powers (Reizenstein, loc. cit. pp. 77, 287), in fatalism, in “speaking in tongues”: γλωσσολαλία (I Corinthians xii.-xiv.; cp. Reizenstein, loc. cit. p. 58; Dieterich, Albrect; Usener, Hermann; and Societas Philologa Bonnensis (1891), Abraxas: Studien z. Religionsgeschichte d. spāteren Altertums. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, pp. 5 et seq.; Weinel, Heinrich (1899) Die Wirkungen des Geistes und der Geister im nachapostolischen Zeitalter bis auf Irenāus. Freiburg i B, Germany: J.C.B. Mohr. pp. 72 et seq.; I Corinthians xv. 8; II Corinthians xii. 1-6; Ephesians iii. 3; the verses in Mark xvi:9-20 were not written by the author of Mark; the passage is a later addition by an unknown forger and are unreliable,with open controversy between Acts ii.1-21 and Saul/Paul’s later commentaries, as the author(s) of Acts state(s) that the visitors all heard the preaching in their own language (verse 13 refers to some skeptics in the audience who stated that the men were drunk), in contrast to Saul/Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians where he mentions that people speaking in tongues cannot be understood by most observers, but have to be first interpreted), and in mysteries or sacraments (Roman xvi. 25; Colossians i. 26, ii. 2, iv. 3; Ephesians i. 9, iii. 4, vi. 19)—a term borrowed solely from heathen rites. Jews do not have sacraments.

Saul/Paul used frequently the Gnostic term τέλειος meaning “perfect,” “mature” (I Thessalonians v. 4, 10; Philippians iii. 12, 15; I Corinthians ii. 6, xiii. 12 et seq., xiv. 20; Ephesians iv. 13; Colossians i. 28). This term, taken from the Greek (see Lightfoot, Joseph Barber (1876). St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, London, UK: Macmillan, ad loc.), and used also in Wisdom iv. 13, ix. 6, suggested an asceticism which in some circles of saints led to the unsexing of man for the sake of fleeing from lust (Wisdom iii. 13-14; Philo, De Eo Quod Deterius Potiori Insidiatur, § 48; Matthew xix. 12; see Conybeare, Frederick Cornwallis. (1894). The Apology and Acts of Apollonius and Other Monuments of Early Christianity. London, UK: S Sonnerschein & Co., New York: Macmillan (reissued in 1896 under the revised title The Armenian Apology and Acts of Apollonius: and other monuments of Early Christianity, my copy having the imprint: London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co.), p. 24). Paul’s “gnosis” (I Corinthians viii. 1, 7; II Corinthians ii. 14; I Timothy vi. 20) is a revival of Persian dualism, which makes of all existence, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, a battle between light and darkness (I Thessalonians v. 4-5; Ephesians v. 8-13; Colossians i. 13), between flesh and spirit (I Corinthians xv. 48; Romans viii. 6-9), between corruption and life everlasting (I Corinthians xv. 50, 53). This lead to the revival/continuation of asceticism and the denial of reality and life in the real world that Max Weber defined as ausserweltliche (a form of mental illness leading to withdrawal from reality; Masson, J. M. (1976). “The Psychology of the Ascetic,” in Journal of Asian Studies. XXXV.4:611-625; cf. Russell, Bertrand (1946). Ideas that have Harmed Human Kind; asceticism leads to subjectivity and reductionism in the psychology of the ascetic; cf. Brown, Peter (1989). The Body and Society; Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity.  London, UK and Boston, MA, USA: Faber and Faber; Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and its Discontents; translated by J. Strachey. New York, NY, USA: Norton, 1961; and, Glucklich, Ariel  (2001). Sacred Pain; Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul. Oxford [NY and UK] and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press).

Saul/Paul’s whole state of mind shows the influence of the theosophical or Gnostic lore of Alexandria, especially the Hermes literature. It was the intensity of conflict within his mind, that today we define as classic schizophrenia that led to repeated epileptic seizures. The reality of these seizures—or the denial of one’s own self (as I have written in my biography of Saul/Paul) can be found in the writings allegedly completed by Saul/Paul, who speaks of “a thorn in the flesh” that came as a heavy stroke by “a messenger of Satan” (2 Corinthians xii.7). This “thorn” made Saul/Paul realize his utter helplessness, and made him an object of pity and horror (Galatians iv.13). Max Krenkel (Krenkel, Max (1890). Beiträge zur Aufhellung der Geschichte  und  Briefe des Apostels Paulus. Braunschweig, Germany: C.A. Schwetschke und  Sohn, pp. 47-125) argues that the pressure described by Saul/Paul shows epilepsy, which the Greeks called “the holy disease” and would appeal to Greeks/Gentiles, but it would frighten away Jews who believed that god is above all and such a disease would indicate that Saul/Paul was being punished by the god of the Jews (cp. 2 Corinthians v.13, x.10, xi.1 and 16, xii.6). I offer a different analysis, for Saul/Paul speaks of a “thorn in the flesh” that was a common expression of one “wrestling with evil” (homosexuality) and was unwilling to give into his natural passions and selected, instead, the abnormal and unnatural state of celibacy (cp. Maslow, Abraham H. (1970) Motivation and Personality. New York, NY, USA: Harper & Row; Goleman, Daniel (1985). Vital Lies, Simple Truths–the Psychology of Self-Deception.  New York, NY, USA: Simon & Schuster; Ogden, Sofia K. and Biebers, Ashley D.  (2010). Psychology of Denial. New York, NY, USA: Nova Science Publishers). I base this argument, more so, on the passages that Saul/Paul shrinking from life and normal social discourses and proclaiming that he longed for redemption by deadening all desires for life while striving for another world that he claimed he saw in ecstatic visions. This, in psychological terms, is classic self-denial and the rejection of self-acceptance and self-actualization that was used for to entice others to follow his lifestyle of celibacy that had no coinage in the Jewish world at that time. Saul/Paul had as his goal ensnaring young men and maidens (assumed virgins) as he encouraged them to be celibate and remain single (Galatians iii.18, 1 Corinthians vii.34-36, Matthew xix.12; cp. Clement of Rome, Epistle ii. § 12). Either way, the “seizures” resulted in the variegation within his writing and/or dictations (it is highly likely that Saul/Paul was like the classic Muhammad: totally illiterate and thus was required by necessity to employ a scribe) to Luke or other favored disciples (cp. James, William (1902). The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, being the Gifford Lectures on natural religion delivered at Edinburgh in 1901-1902. New York, NY, USA: Modern Library), and hallucinations leading to bad plagiarisms (a neuronal dysfunction).

It is not only chronic neurological dysfunction that can cause religious and supernatural beliefs. Some of the founding experiences leading to the creation of new religions and cults, such as Joseph Smith’s (1805-1844) Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) who dictated “reformed Egyptian” to his wife from behind a curtain (Howe, Eber Dudley (1834), Mormonism Unvailed: Or, A Faithful Account of that Singular Imposition and Delusion, from its Rise to the Present Time, Painesville, Ohio: Telegraph Press; in this author’s private library), Charles Taze Russell’s (1852-1916) Jehovah’s Witnesses who after his death was declared “ruler of all the Lord’s goods” (Watch Tower, March 1, 1923, pages 68 and 71), to the contemporary Harold Camping (1921- ; who retired from his radio station in October 16, 2011) can be based on single neurological events such as isolated strokes or seizures.

Many types of fits or seizures do not involve the motor area of the brain but the transference and transmogrification of thoughts brought on by stress, so they do not result in obvious, physical signs of seizures that usually are associated with epilepsy. They can be purely sensory in nature, involving sights, sounds and feelings that range from subtle through to overwhelming. As psychologists and psychiatrists have explained: “Seizures explain most “religious experiences” as with Partial seizures can […] cause clonic movement of part of a limb [ … or] may trigger an abnormal sensation, or aura, such as an odd smell or sparkling lights. Most bizarre are the partial seizures that elicit more well-formed auras such as déjá vu (the feeling that something has happened before) or hallucinations.” (cf. Bear, Mark F.; Connors, Barry W.; Paradiso, Michael A. (1996). Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. Baltimore, MD, USA: Williams & Wilkins. p. 464).

As is the case with the New Testament Saul/Paul, the most plausible explanation of the erratic writings of Saul/Paul is that a brain malfunction led the alleged man from Tarsus (in truth, a school of second-class writers in that city) to incorporate many Greek myths and legends, many of which were copied, placing Jesus at the center of them (this is known as mythologizing or fantasizing reality or teleology; cf. Giegerich, Wolfgang; Miller, David;  Mogenson, Greg.  (2005). Dialectics and Analytical Psychology. New Orleans, LA, USA: Spring Journal Books. pp. 43-44, cp. Bruhl, Lucien Lévy (1978). Primitive Mentality. New York, NY, USA: AMS Press, Inc., and Giegerich, Wolfgang (2005). The Neurosis of Psychology: Primary Papers toward a Critical Psychology. New Orleans, Spring Journal Books. p. 115). It was from these myths and other misinformation that Tacitus, never a discerning researcher or reputable historian, added his legends. This shows a strong form of schizophrenia where an individual or a group can create a phantom to express their collective ideas, as with the invention of Paul/Saul (“Emotions and Mind” by Daniel Nettle (2004) in Toates, Frederick; Mackintosh, Bundy; and Nettle, Daniel (2004). Emotions and Mind. London, UK: Open University and Milton Keynes, chapter 3 “Schizophrenia” p. 113 arguing how biochemistry and neurology account for feelings or emotions without the need of a “soul”, deity or accompanying adiaphora of religion; cf. Haselton, Martie and Nettle, Daniel, “The Paranoid Optimist: An Integrative Evolutionary Model of Cognitive Biases,” in Personality and Social Psychology Review 10.1 (2006), pp. 47-66). There was no reason to create a new religion. Judaism had opened its Temple doors to all who would learn. It even incorporated Hellenistic literature to entice Gentiles to convert to the path of Moses (Matthew xxiii.15, cp. Romans iv.3-18, Acts x.2, xiii.16, 26, 43, 50, xvi.14, xvii.4, 17, and xviii.7; cf. Seeberg, Alfred (1903), Der Katechismus der Urchristenheit. Leipzig, Germany: pp. 1-44). The difference had little to do with theology differences; the Jewish life was political and social, while the Christian existence was eschatological. The symbol of circumcision was required, and Saul/Paul removed that commandment given to Abraham claiming authority from a single vision that he referred to as a state of entrancement when he was carried into paradise to the third heaven where he heard “unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians xii.2-4)—but this is not unique with Saul/Paul or Christianity. It comes from the same set of visions experienced by Metatron (Mithra) and Akteriel  and is found in the minds of many including some Jewish mystics. Embedded in the writings of Saul/Paul we read that Jesus was not god, but in the Gnostic sense “the image of god” (2 Corinthians iv.4; Colossians i.15)—almost as “the heavenly Adam” (1 Corinthians xv.49) who would be mediator between god and the world of man (1 Corinthians viii.6) “the first-born of all creation, for by him were all things created (Colossians i.15-17) who was identical with the Holy Spirit that Saul/Paul saw as a magical power that works sanctification and salvation and was void of ethics or ethical consideration, playing favorites as a child who possess a ball determines who will play with it (1 Corinthians x.4, 2 Corinthians iii.17; cp. Wisdom x.1-xii.1; Philo, De Eo Quod Deterius Potiori Insidiari Soleat, § 30). The Holy Spirit, at best, is a selfish demigod who awards salvation, as the congregations (churches) of Saul/Paul are awarded salvation by an arbitrary act of divine grace that justifies one class of people and condemns others (Romans ix). For Saul/Paul, an all-loving and all-forgiving god (as was known and taught by the Jews at that time) did not exist—it was an intangible substance known as πίστις that will determine the fate of each mortal—much like the magic feather of the goddess Maat in ancient Egypt or the Mandaean-Bablonian King of Light descending to Hades to free the faithful (Brandt, August Johann Heinrich Wilhelm (1889). Die māndaische Religion, ihre Entwickelung  und geschichtliche Bedeutung, erforscht, dargestellt und beleuchtet. Originally a thesis/dissertation (Proefschrift) in Dutch; Utrecht: Repelius, in German; pp. 151-156).

Schizophrenia allows people to believe in that for which there is no scientific evidence, no concrete rationality, and the conditioned desire to follow someone or canon/codex blindly as with Martin Luther’s “Faith alone”: sola fide confession that hinges on monergism. Luther argued a part of one technicality in Romans: the doctrine articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae (“article of the standing and falling of the church”) (Luther, Martin (1532-1533). XV Psalmos graduum in WA 40/III.352.3 now a part of Augsburg Confession, Article 4, “Of Justification” but the term “faith alone” appears no where in any Protestant (or other) Bible (Luther added it to Romans 3:28), and is, in fact, rejected by James 2:24; cp. Paul Kurtz, Skeptical Inquirer (2006) Sep/Oct) vole 30: Issue 5). It is for this reason that Christianity became an “exclusive”  (rather than an inclusive [as Jesus commanded; Mark xvi.15]) religion. As Lester Kurtz explained: “Elites in virtually every culture use religious legitimation to explain why they are in control and others are not. Similarly, the most effective dissident movements often employ religious arguments to legitimate their own positions.” (Kurtz, Lester R. (1995). Gods in the Global Village: the World’s Religions in Sociological Perspective. Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Pine Forge Press, p. 17)

Jesus similarly schizophrenic in the writings of Saul/Paul. Jesus was the “king of glory” (1 Corinthians ii.8), although Jesus claimed to be a man (Matthew xxvi.63-64) on the water planet: Earth.  It took Church Fathers until the fourth century to declare Jesus equal to god citing Mark 13:32, an issue and scripture that Arius will debate in 325 CE). The Jesus of Saul/Paul was cosmic in nature and a power more forceful than would ever be known. Jesus would annihilate Satan or Belial, according to Saul/Paul—but not once did Jesus state this future as his own in any work anyone knows of—not even among the Gnostic writings. Not only was Jesus to evaporate Satan, he would destroy Satan’s armies of evil (1 Corinthians xv.24-26), as if he were the reincarnation of the ancient Persian dualism of Ahura-Mazda (1 Thessalonians v.4-5, Ephesians v.8-13, Colossians i.13). In the Final Battle, Jesus would separate flesh from spirit (1 Corinthians xv.48, Romans viii.6-9; quite similar to the way the ancient Egyptians separated flesh from bones and placed basic organs in urns) and end mortal corruption while giving everlasting life (1 Corinthians xv.50, 53).

While the Jesus of the New Testament spoke of peace (e.g. Matthew v.9), Saul/Paul, who claimed he spoke for Jesus, announced war and the need of the faithful to put on the armor of light, the breastplate of love, and the helmet of hope (Romans xiii.12, 2 Corinthians x.4, Ephesians vi.11, 1 Thessalonians v.8, Wisdom v.17-18, Isaiah lix.17), following the interjection by later glossers of Matthew, adding that Jesus came to bring a sword, not peace (Matthew x.34).

Like most fanatics, Saul/Paul believed that Jesus’ Second Coming would be soon. His prophecies were no different from Harold Camping or David Koresh. It would be speedy, and separate the saved and the unjust. Saul/Paul believed he would restore the Gan Eden of Genesis birthed in Babylonian mythology. Once this would happen “believers” would be miraculously lifted up into the clouds and transformed into spiritual bodies that would live forever (1 Thessalonians iv, 1 Corinthians xv, Romans viii). In the revitalized, restored Gan Eden, all would be young and full of light–a future that Saul/Paul was impatient to know and embrace, as long as he was in the company of Barnabas.

Saul/Paul found his ties with Barnabas, a native of Cyprus, to be quite uncomfortable. Barnabas was older than Paul and (apparently) of a more imposing stature (Acts xiv.12). He left Barnabas to travel with a younger and more attractive co-laborer who had the name of a god: Apollos (1 Corinthians i.10, iii.5-23, xvi.12).

At this point, the rift in the emerging group of believers began to appear. The work of spreading the “good news” (gospel) was divided between Peter and Paul. Peter would preach to those who were circumcised (whom Saul/Paul calls “dogs” in Philippians iii.2). Saul/Paul would preach “the gospel of uncircumcision” to the others. Saul/Paul was not well-received; he was stoned by angry mobs, imprisoned, whipped (“punished with stripes”; he claimed he received thirty-nine stripes in the synagogue five different times), and beaten with rods three times (cp. Acts xvi.22) that made him “groan” for deliverance (1 Thessalonians ii.2, 19-iii.1, 2 Corinthians i.8-10, iv.7-v.5, xii.7, Galatians iv.14). He could not make a living as a missionary—he had none of the stellar qualities of a Pat Robertson nor a James Dobson.

Because Saul/Paul had few financial supporters, unlike today’s televangelists like the now-disgraced Jimmy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, he made his living as a tent-maker at night (Acts xviii.3, 1 Thessalonians ii.9, 2 Thessalonians iii.8, 1 Corinthians iv.12, ix.6-18). Sound academic studies he called “folly” (1 Corinthians i.17-24) and preferred the ignorance of the masses in Rome (Acts xviii.12-17, xix.35-40). The phantom of Saul/Paul directed the authors of what would be attributed to his authorship, to write the hallucinations they experienced when group psychosis prevailed in an environment that made them uncomfortable: that of Mithraic congregations and similar resurrection-oriented societies. In many ways it is like being drunk “on the Gospels, that were not yet written. 

Saul/Paul was in a state of denial, or as William James wrote: “Knowledge about a thing is not the thing in itself. …to understand the cause of drunkenness, as a physician understands them, is not to be drunk [but to observe it objectively]. A science might come to understand everything about the causes and elements of religion, and might even decide which elements were qualified, by their general harmony with other branches of knowledge, to be considered true: and yet the best man at this science might be the man who found it hardest to be personally devout (William James (1902). The Varieties of Religious Experience From the Gifford Lectures delivered at Edinburgh 1901-1902, first Edition printed 1960. Quotes here are taken from the fifth edition, 1971, Collins. p. 467). As Vexen Crabtree noted:

Emotional and societal factors influence our thinking much more than we like to admit. Our expectations and recent experiences change the way we recall memories. Even our very perceptions are effected by pre-conscious cognitive factors; what we see, feel, taste and hear are all subject to interpretation before we are even aware of them. Our brains were never meant to be the cool, rational, mathematical-logical computers that we like to sometimes pretend them to be.

  • People easily misperceive random events as evidence that backs up their beliefs.
  • We attribute causes to events based on our beliefs even when we don’t know we’re doing it.
  • Physiological causes can lay behind even profound supernatural experiences.
  • Our perception of reality is distorted by our expectations and beliefs.
  • Our experiences are not objective, but are informed by our mindset and culture.

We can take preventative steps. Learning to think skeptically and carefully and to recognize that our very experiences and perceptions can be coloured by societal and subconscious factors should help us to maintain our cool. Beliefs should not be taken lightly, and evidence should be cross-checked. This especially applies to “common-sense” facts that we learn from others by word of mouth and traditional knowledge. Above all, however, our most important tool is knowing what types of cognitive errors we, as a species, are prone to making.

(Crabtree, Vexen (2008). Errors in Thinking: Cognitive Errors, Wishful Thinking and Sacred Truths. On-line

As is the case with William James’ studies, the letters ascribed to Saul/Paul show us a tortured mind filled with confusion and schizophrenia—a trait that is inherent in all religious extremism and its practitioners. Many aspects of religion are drawn-out ideas of childhood—of what the child seeks but does not find. When the child matures and realizes the fantasies are phantoms of the mind, the child puts away the illusions (a distortion of sensory perception; in psychiatry the term illusion refers to a specific form of sensory distortion such as hearing voices that take place when there is the sound of water running or an earthquake is taking place; it is different from a hallucination, which is a sensory experience in the absence of a stimulus, e.g. hearing voices regardless of the environment would be a hallucination and there is no auditory source that would generate the sound of voices; cf.  Bower, J.E. et al. (1998) “The optimal margin of illusion” in Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 8:176-189; Alicke, M.D. (1985). Global self-evaluation as determined by the desirability and controllability of trait adjectives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49:1621-1630; John, Oliver P. and Robins, Richard W. (1994). “Accuracy and Bias in Self-Perception: Individual Differences in Self-Enhancement and the Role of Narcissism.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 66.1: 206-219)—but not completely.

People tend to hang on to those mysteries and allusions that seem most comforting at a time of crisis. It is in this psychology that we find the Pauline, the human idea of an ever-present (omnipresent), all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient) and all-loving parent, with a plethora of antitheses: the feeling of guilt when no-one is looking, the lack of death, the feeling of abandonment and the need to put away our toys. This is the message we find in the Letter recorded as being by Saul/Paul:. 1 Corinthians 13:11: “when I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me”. The putting away of childish (sometimes translated as “childlike”) things is painfully destructive. It removes the security blanket that Linus of the cartoon Peanuts was most reluctant to do, and which most religious devotees still hang onto, as seen among Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, evangelical Christianity as expressed most grotesquely by Bradlee Dean Smith, drummer for the Junkyard Prophets and self-proclaimed pastor and his patron Congressional Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), and Islamic fundamentalism of Taliban and al-Qaeda groups. It is the way that the emotionally insecure, such as Dakota Ary of Fort Worth, Texas, the late David Koresh of Waco, Texas, Maggie Gallagher, and the ramblings of Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa, hang on to in a conspiratorial effort to maintain superiority when they know of their own inferiority and inability to cope in a real world.

Al-lat from Palmyra (with palm branch and lion)

Conversion to a new religion when done at a low point in one’s life, often leads to an improvement, but that improvement is short-lived and the stain and strain of zealotry takes over with the confessor declaring that he or she has the absolute truth and speaks for and illusionary god as with Allah (الله‎; who had sons: Qur’an 6:100, and daughters: Qur’an 53:19-22; 16:57; 37:149) who is the incarnation of three goddess of ancient Arabia: el-Lat or al-Lat (اللات‎; Qur’an Sura53.19; in older sources, Allat is an alternative name of the Mesopotamian goddess of the underworld, now usually known as Ereshkigal), el-Uzza or al-Uzza (العزى‎), and Manat (مناة‎; chief goddess of Mecca; Ibn al-Kalbī; (author) and Nabih Amin Faris (translator & commentary) (1952): The Book of Idols, Being a Translation from the Arabic of the Kitāb al-Asnām. Princeton, NJ, USA:

Al-Uzza of Manatu Temple at Petra

Princeton University Press. pp. 12-14) who are not defrocked until the sixth century CE as a pagan female trinity (Qur’an an-Najm 53:19-22). Muhammad acknowledges this when he refers to it as the “Satanic Verses” (Qur’an 17:73-75, and 22:52-53; ref. Finegan, Jack (1952) The Archeology of World Religions: the background of primitivism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Islam, and Sikhism. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. pp. 482-485, 492; cp. Sura 53.19-20; Tabari [Abū-Ga’far Muhammad Ib-Garīr at-Tabarī], Annals of Prophets and Kings. Leiden, Holland: E. J. Brill, distributed by Extenza Turpin (Biggleswade) 2010: i.1192-1193/Tabari vi.108-109 (the original is in Arabic تأريخ الرسل والملوك ; a Persian copy is available, published in Tihrān by Bungāh-i Tarjamah va Nashr-i Kitāb, 1351 [1972]), cf. Peters, Francis Edward (1994). The Hajj: the Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca and the holy Places. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press, pp. 3-41).

Asklepios god of health with snake god of wisdom

The majority of what Saul/Paul and Gospel writers wrote came from the stories of miracles performed by Asklepios (fifth century BCE), although some of his miracles come from the ontological writings about Dionysios in the eighth century BCE. Dionysios was the son of god (Zeus) and a mortal woman, who had compassion on the poor and sick, summoned little children, healed the lame and blind, turned water into wine at a marriage ceremony in a city called Kana, was mortal until he died at which time he rose from the crypt a god and ascended into heaven. Asklepios would heal the blind (he was considered the god of medicine, and had four daughters: Hygieia [goddess of hygiene]. Iaso  [goddess of medicine], Aceso [goddess of healing], and Panacea [goddess of universal remedies] and was one of Apollo’s sons), raise the dead including his “beloved” companion (a prototype for Lazarus), rebuke an adulteress but then tell her to “go forth and do not commit adultery again”, and free slaves, encourage the rich to share their wealth with the poor, and so forth. He was later killed by his heavenly father, the god Zeus, but raised from the dead on the third day. Most of the documents on this deity and his medicinal remedies were destroyed by Constantine’s Christian bishops.

Hercules (Musei Capitolini) 11th feat was to capture the apple (cp. Genesis iii.6-7; a misunderstanding of the Latin "malum") of Hesperides (gilded bronze, Rome, 2d century CE, found in a church)

We find in the theology and mythology surrounding Herakles (fifth century BCE) a male baby born of a virgin who was impregnated by a god (Zeus), and as a young man walked on water, died with the words “father, it is done” (cp. John xix:30 and Matthew xxvi.42) on his lips (and chiseled in stone), before rising into heaven. Most of the Herakles mythology finds its way into the Infancy Narratives of Jesus as with the Gospel of James that is also known as the Protevangelium of James. The early Christian church (fourth century) even dated its calendar and festivals from cult of Hercules, with Eusebius writing (Preparation of the Gospel x.12–in Greek) that Clement of Rome offered historical dates for Hercules as a king in Argos: “from the reign of Hercules in Argos to the deification of Hercules himself and of Asclepius there are comprised thirty-eight years, according to Apollodorus the chronicler: and from that point to the deification of Castor and Pollux fifty-three years: and somewhere about this time was the capture of Troy.”

St. Jerome does the same in his Chronicon. Statues, including those of Herkules and Apollo, covered in gold, were even erected in Christian churches in the second century CE. Documents (epistles) attributed to Saul/Paul are 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon and Romans, but none of the originals exist and what theologians base their arguments on are from the fourth century. Furthermore, by the middle of the second century the communities to which Paul had written his letters are known to have been centers of Marcionite  Gnosticism. Marcion Christians where more tolerant and generous than Pauline Christians and because they followed the precepts allegedly stated

Fragment of Gospel of Marcion

by Jesus of the New Testament, they were persecuted and murdered by Pauline Christians. Marcionite Christians believed in two gods, since the gods of the Old Testament and the New Testament were uniquely different (Gospel of Marcion). The gods of the Old Testament were murderous (Exodus i-iv; Deuteronomy xiii.13-19, xvii.12, xxii.20-21, xxxi.12-15, Numbers i:48-51, Leviticus xx.13, 19), demanding (Nahum i.2, jealous (Exodus xxxiv:14), vocal, and constantly interfering with its people (Leviticus ix), and one who creates evil (Amos iii:6). On the other hand, the gods of the New Testament were more peaceful and reasoned, and the Marcionites believed Jesus came into the world to save them from the wrath of the Old Testament gods (Ehrman, Bart (2003). Lost Christianities. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press, pp. 104-105 sq). In this regard, the diligent reader can find in Saul/Paul Marcionite leanings, for Saul/Paul wrote that Jesus came only “in the likeness of flesh” (Romans viii:3) and not as a man—as would become the later confession of Paulinity that adapted itself to the will of the Emperor Constantine. Pseudonymous writings that are attributed to Saul/Paul (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Ephesians, Colossians and 2 Thessalonians) do not have the same style or composition techniques as the others.

First and Second Timothy, and Titus, were written long after Saul/Paul is alleged to have died (Ehrman, Bart (2003), Lost Christianities, New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 235-236). Many contain totally fraudulent commandments, especially as found in the First Letter to Timothy:

  • Don’t wear gold, braids, expensive clothes (1 Tim. 2:9 – Fake)
  • Don’t let women teach/have authority over men (1 Tim. 2:12 – Fake)
  • Don’t give welfare to women under sixty (1 Tim. 5:9 – Fake)

Contradictions exist in Galatians v:2 vs. 3; 1 Timothy v:8 vs. 9; 1 Corinthians viii:1 and 4 are repetitive; women are not prohibited from praying, prophesying, preaching, or being priests—provided that their hair is covered (1 Corinthians xi:5-6 being a tenant from Mithraism—but later, in 1 Corinthians ix:5 women are permitted to prophesy and pray aloud in the church provided they have their heads covered; and then, once more, this is contradicted by 1 Corinthians xiv:34, where the writers state “Let your women keep silence in the churches” that is redacted in 1 Timothy ii:12—a much later addition). Celibacy (1 Corinthians vii.1-8) is declared to be the preferable state, and marriage is allowed only for the sake of preventing fornication (Ephesians v.21-33; cp. 1 Corinthians vii.8-9 and Hebrews xiii.4 where marriage is exalted). Saul/Paul was the first to refer to “Jesus Christ”—two words that do not appear in the original Greek as a unit, but come from the theology of Mithraism that was practiced as early as 67 BCE (according to Plutarch) had a Hellenic Christ as opposed to the Judaic messiah (Freke, Timothy and Gandy, Peter (1999). The Jesus Mysteries 2000 paperback edition published in London by Thorsons, p. 199). Paul mistook the Jewish “Messiah” to mean the Hellenistic “Christ”. The former was a ruler who was to be a great warrior in keeping with Matthew x:34. Prior to the writing of Matthew, a messiah was to be a person who is a great leader who leads your people to freedom.

Cup (ca. 300 BCE) found in Egypt engraved with "dia chrstou o goistais," that translates as “through Christ the magician.”

The title of Christ was taken by Jews from Persian and Egyptian cultures. The later was to be a great magi(cian) who would perform miracles. A christ is a god-king who dies as an offering to some divine being as a sacrifice in return for prosperity, especially agricultural prosperity. Both are anointed with oil as a mystical, sexual rite, as seen in the final days of Jesus when he was followed from The Garden by a naked male youth (Mark xiv:51-52). This happened before anything was written down. It happened during Paul’s conversations with people as he was working through what had happened.

That Saul/Paul of Tarsus would turn to Mithraism is not hard to understand. Tarsus was a seaport that was more than 2000 years old at the time that Saul/Paul allegedly lived, and it was the chief center for the Mithraistic rites that were religiously observed in its numerous popular shrines and seen in the images its craftspeople created to send as far west as to the Danube (Freke, Timothy and Gandy, Peter, op. cit.). It was in Tarsus that the worship of Attis,

Sculpture of Attis. Museum of Ephesus, Efes, Turkey

son of the goddess Nana acclaimed a virgin, was born and taught that he would be a sacrificial victim (he would be sacrificed on a pine tree) and saviour who would bring salvation to the planet (Herodotus, Historia (i.34-45): Ἄττις or Ἄττης). Attis priests were eunuchs, and served as temple priests in sexual rituals (they were passive recipients and frequently wore the clothing of women), as explained by original theology pertaining to Attis who encouraged castration so that they would remain “chaste and celibate for a greater place at the Table in the sky”.  This theoloy would be adopted by many Christians, such as Origen.  Known as the Sun God, Attis was eventually slain by a boar’s tusk (in the shape of a cross) late in the winter (the date is uncertain, but convention puts it at December 25).

Attis was told that his body would be eaten by worshippers who would see it in the form of bread, and only after his death would be resurrected from a tomb to become the “most high god” who would hold the universe together. To this would be added the cult of Osiris of Egypt who would be tricked, killed, returned to life, and for a period of time allow his enemies to rule before returning to claim his throne (cf. Revelation xx).

The worship of Mithra was first recognized by Emperor Aurelian (215-275, emperor 270-275). It was the emperor who instituted the cult of “Sol Invictus” or the Invincible Sun: it had nothing to do with Jesus—as there were no scrolls or official records of a man who as not important to anyone but a few in Judea and Galilee. Even the citations have been repeatedly proven to be forgeries. The Emperor Diocletian also a worshipper of Mithra, the Sun God, burned much of the Christian scriptures in 307 CE. Even Constantine was not a Christian although there are some who claim he was baptized on his death bed—by an Arian bishop (who was considered to be a heretic). No where is there in any existing writing a mention of a Saul/Paul.

The adherents of Mithras were very much like Christians. They believed that by eating the bull’s flesh and drinking its blood they would be born again, just as life itself have been created anew from the blood of the bull. Christians argued that they, too, ate the body and drank the blood of their god in secret ceremonies that they publicly referred to as “love feasts” who practiced cannibalism restricted to believers.  The followers of the god Mithra all people to enter and participate publicly and in the open; it had no secret “love feasts’), and the believers of Mithra were never accused of cannibalism. Participation in this rite would give not only physical strength but lead to the immortality of the soul and to eternal light.

Justin the Martyr mentions the similarity between the Mithras ritual and the Eucharist (Cumont, Franz Valery Marie (1903). Die Mysterien des Mithra, ein Beitrag zur Religionsgeschichte der romischen Kaiserzeit, Leipzig, Germany: Teubner. pp. 101, 118-119).  He argues that it was a part of the mystic conception of faith, πίστις (cp. Reizenstein, Richard (1904). Poimandres: Studien zur griechisch-āgyptischen und frūhchristlichen Literatur. Leipzig, Germany: Teubner. pp. 158-159). According to Mithraic theology, the god Mithra would undergo a cultic transformation into a bull [or] a ram. Mithras would be killed and his flesh and blood would be consumed by the faithful (there are times where the meat was merely singed and eaten, as in a very rare steak). The pictorial and sculpted scenes presenting this sacred meal were the ones that enraged Christian sensitivities, and many smashed-up Mithraeums show the traces of the fury of Christian iconoclasts. Tertullian (160 CE – 240 CE) mentioned (De praescre., 40) this ritual of the Mithras which was a ‘devilish imitation of the Eucharist’. He also mentions that the Mithraists enacted the resurrection (Reynolds, Alfred (1993). Jesus Versus Christianity; originally published in 1988; London, UK: Cambridge International Publishers, pp. 77-78).  Mithra is an ancient vedic deity who was worshipped along with Varuna. Varuna was worshipped in the ancient vedic times as the lord of heavens, and Mitra was worshipped as the lord of light. The birth day of Mitra was celebrated in those days in Rome as the Sun Festival (called dies natalis solis invicti meaning Birth of Invincible Sun) on the Winter Solstice which was on December 25 in those days. Note that winter solstice is one of the most important sacred days in the vedic hindu calendar too. The celebration is to mark the longer days that arrive in the northern hemisphere after winter solstice.

Carvings representing Mithraism in Rome 300 - 400 CE

Mithra’s worship spread from ancient India to ancient Iran ( Zoroastrianism / Parsis where Varuna and Mithra were worshiped), and from there to ancient Rome. Mithra was popularly called Sol Invictus in ancient Rome, and in 274 CE, the Emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. It matched emerging Christianity in every way, from a Trinity to a Divine Feast where the believers drank the blood and ate the flesh of their sacrificed god, to waiting for the Last Day when those who were “faithful unto death” would be united with their saviour.  The Emperor Constantine was a strong believer in the god Mithra, and tried to reconcile it with the hand of Judaic-Christianity that was gaining in popularity as it adopted an increasing number of rituals and messages of Mithraism, as Christianity appeared more exclusive than the universality of Mithraism, and thus those who had been accorded little preference in society (while the military received increased recognition at the expense of the poor) turned to the various cults within the Christian community.

While Jesus is portrayed as a man, the god Mithra was seen as a bull: the original Egyptian Yah. Mithra is described in the Zoroastrian Avesta scriptures as, “Mithra of wide pastures, of the thousand ears, and of the myriad eyes,”(Yasna 1:3), “the lofty, and the everlasting…the province ruler,”(Yasna 1:11), “the Yazad (divinity) of the spoken name”(Yasna 3:5), and “the holy,”(Yasna 3:13).  The Khorda Avesta (Book of Common Prayer) also refer to Mithra in the Litany to the Sun, “Homage to Mithra of wide cattle pastures, “(Khwarshed Niyayesh 5), “Whose word is true, who is of the assembly,Who has a thousand ears, the well-shaped one,Who has ten thousand eyes, the exalted one,Who has wide knowledge, the helpful one,Who sleeps not, the ever wakeful. We sacrifice to Mithra, The lord of all countries,Whom Ahura Mazda created the most glorious, Of the supernatural yazads. So may there come to us for aid, Both Mithra and Ahura, the two exalted ones,”(Khwarshed Niyayesh 6-7), “I shall sacrifice to his mace, well aimed against the skulls of the Daevas,”  (Khwarshed Niyayesh 15). Some recent theories have claimed Mithra represents the sun itself, but the Khorda Avesta refers to the sun as a separate entity as well as the moon with which the sun has “the best of friendships,”  (Khwarshed Niyayesh 15).

The sacrifice of the god Mithra

One of the greatest problems with the Jesus of the New Testament and Mithra is in the last statements of the two gods—both from a pole: σταυρός (defined by Justin Martyr as a “cross” crux), for both cried out “El! Why have you forsaken me?” Both were sons of god–Jesus being “made flesh” (John i:14, there is no divine creation mentioned; he is neither all-knowing: Mark xiii:32 and Matthew xxiv.36, nor all-powerful: John v.19 and subordinate to god: John v.30, rejecting the claim that he was a good man: Luke xviii.19, cf. xxii.42 and John v.30 and was never god but would ascend to god: John xiv.28 and v.30 as god is a spirit John iv.24 while Jesus a man)–while Mithra born a bull to be sacrificed by a knife on a pole that would pierce his side, from which would come holy blood believers would drink to gain eternal life (Boyce, Mary (2001), “Mithra the King and Varuna the Master”, Festschrift für Helmut Humbach zum 80., Trier: WWT, pp. 239–257; cp. John xix.34). It is first recorded in Psalm xxii:1 and has a variety of spellings: אל, إل or إل. It is Akkadian in origin (from ‘ilu) and was a part of the ancient Canaanite religion before Palestine was conquered by the Hapiru/Hebrews (originally mercaneries) who incorporated it into their lexicon of names for their gods: אֱלהִים (it is both a

Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah (found on a pottery fragment)

singular and plural noun) as the husband of Asherah (Venus), as recorded in the clay tablets of Ugarit (Syria) by whom he had many children, the most famous being Ba’al Hadad (cf. Institute of Religious Iconography. Iconography of Religions. Section 15, Mesopotamia and the Near East, Fasc. 8, Ugaritic religion. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill. p. 12); Ba’al translates as “master” “lord” and “god” as well as “husband” giving Saul/Paul the foundation to build his case that the husband is master of the house and lord over his wife—an old Mediterranean and Mesopotamian mythology).

Ba'al Hadad: ancient carving of the crescent deity: husband, lord, god

After the fourth century many mistranslations of the crucifixion have the cry as Eloi, Eloi, lema  sabachthani?’ (Mark xv:34); it means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? El is a term for a pagan Messiah—a word found used for pagan kings who assumed they were give a divine right to rule. Even in the Gospels, those near the stake/cross questioned if Jesus was calling upon Eli, Elias, or Elijah (Matthew xxvi:46-48): prophets—not gods nor the King of Gods (a phrase that is made more clear in the mythology of Moses in what today is known as the Book of Exodus, where the primary commandment reads: “You shall have no other gods before me”—after the god, it was acceptable to have additional gods in keeping with all ancient religions.

Arch of Constantine (Rome, Italy)

It was the emperor Constantine who officially fused Mithraism into Christianity in an effort to stabilize his empire in the fourth century before he established his “catholic [universal] church [(Εκκλησία; a Congregation): a group to oversee the enactment of secular laws (νόμος) codified as divine]”.  The

Carvings on Arch of Constantine

permanent influence of Mithra and Mithraism is apparent in the Arch of Constantine, built to honor his triumph in the name of the God Mithra. The monument displays no symbolic relevance to a Judaic or Christian God, but does have images of Mithra.  Such an imperial action went against the heart of the message of Saul/Paul who declared that all statutes are worthless human teachings (Colossians ii.22) Saul/Paul incorporates he idea of a sacrificed saviour from Mithraism with its symbolism of bulls, rams, sheep, the blood of a transformed saviour washing away sins and granting eternal life, the seven sacraments (in honor of the gods of the seven hills of Rome), the banishing of an evil host from heaven, apocalyptic end of time when God/Ormuzd (Ormuzd is also known as Ahura Mazda—a name that means Light and Wisdom—

Darius I the_Great's inscription "The Behistun Inscription" contains many references to Ahura Mazda

Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, Hurmuz, Aramazd and Azzandara and was proclaimed the “uncreated God” by Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism (c. 3000 BCE; he is addressed in Plato’s First Alcibiades 1221a1) that still exists in Persia and is the source for the myth of Armageddon and the eventual and ultimate destruction of evil “although no man shall no the hour of my coming” that is a part of the oldest Avestan and Sanskrit words in the Proto-Indo-Iranian language: mazdhā meaning “wise”) sends the wicked to hell and establishes peace.

Repoussé silver disc of Sol Invictus, Roman, 3rd century, found at Pessinus (British Museum Disc_Sol_BM_GR1899_12-1_2)

What would become the Catholic Church, based in Rome and founded on top of the most venerated Mithraist temple, was nothing less than a transmogrification of ancient deities—requiring its warrior bishops to transform the Pantheon into a temple to the god of Saul/Paul. The religion that was born out of this transmogrification was based on Mithra and other Greek mystery religions (see Aurich, Gustav (1894). Das Antike Mysterienwesen in Seinem Einfluss auf das Christenthum. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck u. Reuprecht; Wobbermin, Georg (1896).  Religionsgeschichtliche Studien  zur  Frage der Beeinflussung des Urchristenthums Durch das Antike  Mysterienwesen.  Berlin: Germany: E. Ebering, p. 153; Hatch, Edwin (1890). Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church. London, UK: Williams and Norgate. pp. 281-296; Cumont, Franz (1903), Die Mysterien des Mithra, Deutsch von Gehrich  Autorisierte  deutsche  Ausgabe  von  Georg Gehrich.   Zweite  vermehrte  und  verbesserte  Auflage.  Mit  26 Abbildungen  im  Text  und  auf  4  Tafeln,  soiwe  einer  Karte.  Leipiz,  Germany  [n.p.]  1903 (reissued  1911),  pp.  101,  118-119;  Anz,  Wilhelm  (1897).  Zur  Frage  nach dem  Ursprung   des  Gnostizismus.   Ein  religionsgeschichtlicher  Versuch. Leipzig,  Germany:  J. C.  Hinrichs,  pp.  98-107).

Mosaic of a Christ (anointed one) Sol or Apollo-Helios in Mausoleum M in the pre-fourth-century necropolis beneath St. Peter's in the Vatican — misinterpreted by many as representing Jesus

Constantine’s lack of interest in Christianity (save as a tool to control a growing “rabble” element of poor who turned to the new religion out of the Middle East) can best be seen in his worship of the Sun.  Constantine decreed (March 7, 321) dies Solis—day of the sun, “Sunday”—as the Roman day of rest:

On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost. (Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, 3c)

Constantine’s triumphal arch was carefully positioned to align with the colossal statue of Sol by the Colosseum.  The Sol formed the dominant backdrop when seen from the direction of the main approach towards the arch.

There was never a historical Paul, nor a Peter or any other apostle—any more than there was a historical Moses, Muhammad or Jesus. While the Pantheon is real, as was the transformation of the temple into a church, nothing else is historically correct or provable. If it is Christian duty to ‘turn the other cheek’ (Matthew v.39), ‘resist not evil’ (ibid.), ‘love your enemies’ (Matthew v.34) and ‘love your neighbors as yourself’ (Mark 12:30-31), then it is clear that the Pauline Christians, who eliminated Marcionism and got to choose the books of the Bible, were not the true Christians any more than are the Christians, like Dakota Ary who does not understand, respect, or practice Matthew vii:1 or Revelation v.9, Acts x:34, 1 Peter i:17 as Dakota Ary of Fort Worth, Texas, has declared himself to be a vengeful and hate-filled deity (Psalm v.5, Proverbs vi.16-19, Leviticus xx.23, Hosea ix.15, Zechariah viii.17 exposing that Yahweh is but mortal and prerogative; cp. John iii.36) much like the mythological Saul/Paul or Mormons or other sects of today (an interesting perspective is Devi, Savitri (1958). Paul de Tarse, ou Christianisme et juiverie. Calcutta, India, privately published 1958, who makes the observation:

Le vrai fondateur du christianisme historique, du christianisme tel que nous le connaissons en pratique, tel qu’il a joué et joue encore un rôle dans l’histoire de l’Occident et du monde, ce n’est ni Jésus, de qui nous ne savons rien, ni son disciple Pierre, de qui nous savons qu’il était galiléen, et simple pêcheur de son état, mais Paul de Tarse, de qui nous savons  qu’il était juif de sang, de formation et de coeur, et, ce qui est plus, juif lettré et «citoyen romain», comme tant d’intellectuels juifs sont  aujourd’hui citoyens français, allemands, russes ou américains.

9 Comments

Filed under Bible, Church history, Homosexuality, Jesus Christ, Jewish history, Language, Old Testament, Roman Catholicism

Viki Knox: a Study of Ignorance and Hatred

By definition from its first English appearance in 1250 CE, a teacher is an individual who instructs by seeking out knowledge that known or not imparted.  It is the individual who leads in a course of study to learn that which is not only known but not yet known. A teacher is a subject-matter expert in the continuous pursuit of inquiry to test and evaluate, re-test and re-evaluate all things in quest of what is–not what one wishes there to be in existence.  Just because for more than three thousand years people thought that the water planet was fixed and the sun orbited around the Earth (geocentric Ptolemaic system that achieved its full expression in the second century), it was a teacher, a searcher after knowledge, and a sage, the Catholic monk Nicolaus Copernicus who rejected the memorized thesis and advanced heliocentricism (from the Greek ἥλιος or helios “sun” and κέντρον or kentron “center”).  Viki Knox, it appears, prefers a marriage to the discredited past.

New Jersey Teacher Viki Knox

Viki Knox, a 49-year-old teacher at Union High School in Union Township, New Jersey, is the antithesis of a teacher.  Sadly, she teaches special education, but ignores that the prerequisite for a teacher is to present information that can be scientifically investigated and not rely on fantasy or mythology unless it is used in a course in literature.  No teacher has the right to interject her or his religious beliefs in any classroom without full tolerance of divergent and differing opinions. 

Viki Knox Facebook page

A poster in Facebook, as noted in the New York Times, Knox wrote that while she had friends and loved ones who were gay, she believed that the way they lived was “against the nature and character of God” and that the high school was “not the setting to promote, encourage, support and foster homosexuality.” 

LGBT display that caused outrage by Viki Knox

Knox posted on Facebook a photo of a school display recognizing October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History month. It included photos of Virginia Woolf, Harvey Milk and Neil Patrick Harris.

According to the Star-Ledger Knox declared, furthermore, that homosexuality is “a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation,” and a “sin” that “breeds like cancer.”  What was generated by Knox was the cancer of hate that now fills entries on Facebook in the Garden State and throughout the nation.

Viki Knox’s full text is here, including bad grammar (I note only the worst parts of her incorrect use of the English language):

“Homosexuality is a perverted spirit [sic] that has existed from the beginning of creation. The word of God refers to it often. That’s if you believe the Word to be truly God’s intended blueprint for his people.  I have friends and loved ones who are practicing/ living as homosexuals. Yes[,] I love [and] can care about them. We hug and exchange gifts. We have family dinners. But [sic: it is incorrect to begin any sentence with a conjunction] how they live and their actions, behaviors [sic] -CHOICES are against the nature and character of God! Do I [sic] tell me so? Yes, of course. Do I treat them bad? If course not! Jesus never did that to ANYONE he meant [sic]. He spoke to them of their situation and offered them life eternal. He didn’t say it was okay[,] but we’ve all sinned and come [sic: tense agreement] short if [it is] God’s will for us[,] daily. That’s why we Christians [who are] true followers pray, repent, and spend time with Christ daily. The Word of God instructs us to die daily to our flesh-meaning our will. What we want; what feels good to us; what we like; what we can rationalize and justify [run-on fragment]. I do not pretend to know ALL things. Nor [sic] do I pretend not to have biases, failings and faults. But I know sin and it breeds like cancer!”

The local newspaper responded, in an editorial, noting:

She might as well have hopped on a soapbox across the street from the school and screamed her anti-gay rant into a bullhorn. Or [sic] stapled posters to telephone poles around town.

While we all should be allowed an inner circle with whom we can speak freely, Knox gave up those protections when she posted her comments on the most public forum there is — the internet. She created a fearful, hostile environment for students. That’s unacceptable.

Knox has the right to a hateful view, but once her beliefs are made public, she doesn’t have the right to a taxpayer-funded, $70,688-a-year job in which she is expected to treat all students equally and with respect. She should absorb the harshest action possible, suspension or firing.

The problem is not with Ms. Knox’s freedom of speech, when it was in a classroom or the private homes of others, but when she made it public by ranting on Facebook–which is accessible by any member or others who have access through friends with accounts on Facebook.  Ms. Knox’s poor judgment goes further, however, for she wrote copiously about various perceived infractions without any documentation.  For example, Knox wrote about her relationship with her colleagues and her employer.  She openly admitted that she was “pitching a fit.” Her poor writing makes some of her comments difficult to parse, but she at one points seems to accuse colleagues of “talking behind backs, calling names, laughing in faces and stabbing in backs.” She appears to suggest that past faculty and administrators were openly racist. Perhaps worst of all, she wrote that “lesbian gym teachers introduce and experiment with female students/athletes.”  These sorts of remarks may well provide grounds for discipline at the school and in a civil court as being libel.

Viki Knox’s lack of sensitivity that is essential in a teacher, especially of young people, was non-existent at one point.  It has been reported by Scott Weingart, that “Viki Knox spouted her bigoted and ignorant ideas in the classroom and violated a student’s First Amendment rights by ordering a student who wore a rainbow bracelet to leave the classroom.”  There was no harm done by wearing the bracelet–it only signified solidarity with a specific group. It could have been worn by a supporter of LGBT rights; the adornment used was not a statement of being heterosexual or homosexual, and there is no reference to the individual wearing it being LGBT.

There is no tangible proof nor observation by any student that the school was “setting to promote, encourage, support and foster homosexuality.”  The school was only recognizing the existence of the LGBT community and allowed posters to display diversity.  As for homosexuality being “against the nature and character of God”, there is no proof in any Bible, Torah, Vesta, or other holy book that any deity was against homosexuality (cf. Conner, Randy P.; Sparks, David Hatfield and Sparks, Mariya (1998). Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit. London, UK: Cassell), although most volumes portray the god(s) as being sexual: heterosexual, bisexual, and even homosexual (especially in ancient Greece and the ancient Near East) as with Zeus and Ganymede (Γανυμήδης, the word translates as “rejoicing in virility” and is Etruscan in origin; ref. Homer, Iliad, 5.265ff), or in ancient Egypt with Seth and Horus (Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride).

Ms. Knox is not a trained nor registered psychologist and has given no evidence of education in human character appraisal. Psychologists and psychiatrists agree that homosexuality is natural and normal in all species. It is also nature’s perfect method of natural birth control.

To argue that homosexuality is against the character of God implies that God has the psychology of a heterosexual and thus must have mortal attributes: a penis, scrotum, anus, breath, muscle, and so forth–which is taking a quite liberal literal interpretation of ancient Hebrew scripture. This is taking biblical literalism to new heights where the deities of the bible sit on clouds on thrones that defy the laws of gravity (Psalm 46:8, cp. 110:1) or will ride horses out of the heavens to conduct war with swords (Revelation 19:11) as Jesus came to earth to bring a sword and wage war, separating families and friends (Matthew 10:34).

Tyler Clementi committed suicide at Rutgers U

To introduce her comments for public consumption lessens her effectiveness as a teacher.  The State of New Jersey has a strong anti-discrimination statute, a law that Viki Knox defied.  By promoting hatred in a public place, Ms. Knox forfeited her right to freedom of speech, and on that charge could be, and in my opinion, should be dismissed from public teaching.  I am confident she would be far more comfortable teaching in a parochial school that shares her own biases and bigotry.  Knox’s comments are tantamount to bullying, and New Jersey has one of the strongest anti-bullying laws on record in the USA, adopted last spring in the wake of the suicide of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers student who killed himself after learning he had been watched, via webcam, kissing another man. 

As I wrote in previous blogs, bullying leads to more suicides than most other reasons, as seen with the bullying of Phoebe Prince, age 15, in Massachusetts, and Jamey Rodemeyer in New York.  If a suicide (singular or plural) should result because of her ill-chosen words that were not open to rejoinders, she should be considered an accessory to that person’s death.

Ms. Knox, by 2010, had 12 years of experience in the district and earned $72,109 in that year. In addition to teaching courses in special education, the New York Times reported on October 13, 2011 (published on October 14, 2011, on page A28), that some residents and parents said that she also advised a student prayer group, an evangelical extremist group known as The Seekers Fellowship.  In her Facebook profile, Ms. Knox considers herself more than a teacher; she sees herself also as a preacher–and her gospel alone has value.

The only positive incident was that Ms. Knox was escorted off of the campus. She is under investigation.

1 Comment

Filed under Bullying, Christian Terrorists, Education, Evangelical Christianity, Homosexuality, Language

“Be fruitful and multiply”–how mistranslations lead to errors in interpretation

In what seems now to be a distant stained past, I was taught that everyone had the right to read the Bible and interpret it for himself or for herself.  I was wrong.  It was ideal.  It also lead to millions of separate interpretations, and with each pronouncement came anger, hostility, violence and worse.  Young, foolish, and not frightfully undereducated, and read literally–but did not understand the fine points of a message, the true meaning of words, or what they meant in their original context.  The real problem was that the Bible was not a unified subject but had been rewritten so often and from so many different sources during various times that it was not even a legitimate work–and certainly did not express the will or wisdom or hatred or love or any other value or emotion of any single god of any particular people.  Education in the Bible afforded me an insight into a work of mass confusion by demented and tormented writers and would be soothsayers.

G. E. Melchert (1936)

Like Charles Taze Russell, whom I consider to be the least trained, worse educated, and most incompetent man in the recent past, I would engage, like he, in “Bible Study.”  Faithfully, I read my King James Bible (KJV), thinking that it was the “word of God” and for myself and all others to follow as a test text personally written by “god’s own finger” (Exodus 31:18, Deuteronomy 9:10) but it could easily have been the “arm” of god (Job 40:9), the hand of God (Job 19:21), the face of God (Job 13:24), the eyes of God (Deuteronomy 11:12), the ears of God (Psalm 130:2), the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3), the voice of God (Job 40:9), or any other appendage: all covering for the ancient Egyptian theology that had the creative force and ultimate writing tool being the penis of the god Min: a symbol reproduction and with it creativity during which time Min was known as Khnum, creator of all things, “the maker of gods and men”; cf. Frankfort, Henry (1978). Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press. pp. 187–189 sqq), following my pastor’s definition that he gave at Trinity Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Iowa.  I adapted my thinking to his.  G. E. Melchert seemed like a god: old, articulate, cruel when angry (with me that was most of the time) and assumed wise.  The idea that he was a sage and saint disappeared fast the more I knew him, and listened to him.

G.E. Melchert, like Charles Taze Russell, was a product of his time and its ignorance.  In the year 1936, In the year 1936, “felt the call” to start a radio ministry for the elderly and those who could not leave their home (“the shut-ins”).  on September 6, 1936, the first Christian Crusaders radio program aired live from Trinity on WMT-AM. From that time on the distortions within the current KJV became more than gospel, they became the inerrant “word of god”.  Because of lack of funds, the hour program became a 30-minute sermon, and changed its name from “Your Hour of Worship” to “Christian Crusaders”.

Bruno Schlachtenhaufen

Following Melchert’s retirement in 1956, Bruno Schlachtenhaufen, pastor of First Lutheran Church, in Waterloo, Iowa, became the second Christian Crusaders radio voice, and the bible continued its devolution.  Schlauchtenhaufen, like modern evangelists, introduced the concepts of the depravity of man, need for repentance, and most of the comments showed little of the compassion or love of the Jesus of the New Testament, thereby helping to build the Pentecostal credo of weeping for sins and storming heaven for divine forgiveness of natural human acts.  Sadly, many still believe that god sits in the sky (usually on top of a rainbow, defying the law of gravity), and will come to earth riding a horse followed by four other horsemen for the Final Battle).  The “gentle saviour” no longer exists, and hate increases.  Luther was a warrior who openly advocated assassination of those who took up arms against unjust nobles and vile governments ( Wider die räuberischen und  mörderischen Rotten der Bauern), dissented from his sermons or defied the nobility (An den christlichen Adel deutscher Nation), whom he encouraged to kill all Jews (Von den Jüden und jren Lügen), giving a reason to Adolf Hitler to exterminate more than six million Jews and millions of other people.   Luther was a martial mercurial madman whose songs, that I sang as a boy and felt triumphant, were hate-laced battle-cries to kill for

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott: a rare early printing (1527) of "A Mighty Fortress" in the private collection of Dr. Arthur Ide

those in an army going to war, as with his battle hymn “A Mighty Fortress” that had god’s strength was ultimate, paraphrasing Psalm 46.  Its military message was quickly released and used by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden who had it played as his forces went to battle in the Thirty Years’ War.  Luther was a firm believer that the End Time would be during his lifetime (Martin Luther, The Sermons of Martin Luther Volume 1 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996), 62).  Luther did not have a firm command of the Bible, even though he did translate it, but his interpretation skills were unrefined as were those assembled at Hampton Court at the summons of King James VI [Scotland] & I [England] and his boyfriend, “Stinky” the Duke of Buckingham, and other translation centers from Geneva to Rome and elsewhere.  

Fred Edwords

Graciously, ever thoughtful, Fred Edwords (National Director of the United Coalition of Reason: (202)550-9964 E-mail: fredwords@unitedcor.org) sent me news of how Hebrew scholars, known as the Bible Project, at Hebrew University in Jerusalem were discovering numerous intentional and deliberate errors in ancient scripture.  For example: “An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events happened.”  The scholars are more interested in their research than the outside world, so that “in more than five decades of work the scholars have published a grand total of three of the Hebrew Bible’s 24 books. (Christians count the same books differently, for a total of 39.)” A fourth “book” is due out during the upcoming academic year.  Among the most dramatic frauds in the contemporary bible, as the Bible Project notes is in “The Book of Jeremiah [that] is now one-seventh longer than the one that appears in some of the 2,000-year-old manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some verses, including ones containing a prophecy about the seizure and return of Temple implements by Babylonian soldiers, appear to have been added after the events happened.”  Luther’s edition is even more inaccurate, and reflects his own interests.

Most of Luther’s theology came from his private fears (Pass, Ewald M. (1959). What Luther Says: An Anthology Volume Two. Saint Louis, MO, USA: Concordia Publishing House, p. 696). In a Table Talk Luther says also, “It is my firm belief that the angels are getting ready, putting on their armor and girding their swords about them, for the last day is already breaking, and the angels are preparing for the battle, when they will overthrow the Turks and hurl them along with the pope to the bottom of hell. The world will perish shortly. Among us there is the greatest ingratitude and contempt for the Word…As things are beginning to go, the last day is at the door, and I believe that the world will not endure a hundred years. For the light of the gospel is now dawning. That day will follow with thunder and lightning, for the voice of the Lord and of the trumpet are conveyed in the thunder. It will come from the east, and the earth will be severely shaken by the crash with such horror, that men will die of fear. I believe that the last day is not far off, for this reason: the gospel is now making its last effort, and it is just the same as with a light which, when it is about to go out, gives forth a great flash at the end as if it is intended to burn a long time yet, and then it is gone. So it appears to be in the case of the gospel, which seems on the point of widely extending itself, but I fear that it also will go out in a flash, and that the last day will then be at hand. It is just so with a sick man: when he is about to die he often appears most refreshed, and in a trice he has departed”.  This led Luther in preparing his people for the final battle, with his hymn.  The opening lines are:

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never-failing;
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe —
His craft and pow’r are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal….

Homer Larsen

Schlachtenhaufen’s brutalization of the Bible accelerated under the third generation when Homer Larsen, senior pastor of Nazareth Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls, Iowa, succeeded Rev. Schlachtenhaufen as radio speaker in 1962.  His church, situated across from what was the university’s golf course on old Highway 218, was a haven for those who needed reasurrance of forgiveness before they repeated the acts they repented.  I visited the church many times, and watched its construction.  Each visit made me more uncomfortable for the pastor and congregation were convinced that they alone were among the saved, and that any deviation from the teachings of Martin Luther was tantamount to a grave sin.  More than once I was told I was going to the hell they had in their minds, for mercy and love was no where at Nazareth.

Larsen had a long career, and continued his lectures until 2005, when the Board of Directors of Christian Crusaders asked Steven Kramer (he only preached six times each year), who was serving as the senior pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Afton, Minnesota, to become the radio host of the Christian Crusaders.

The name “Christian Crusaders”(2), which was printed on billboards throughout Waterloo and Iowa, soon drew the attention of the Baptists who formed their

Propaganda mill of Hate

own Campus Crusade for Christ.  In 2011, the name was shortened to Crus in an effort to win young, ignorant and impressionable believers to their cause.  Differing from the leaders of Crus brought scorn and open bullying, and many neophytes attempted suicide.  The problem continued to be that people were reading the Bible for themselves and bigotry and hatred was pouring out of the passages while demigods from the early days of the Christian communities of the chrestianos and christianos  to Martin Luther to Adolf Hitler and Charles Taze Russell pushed the transmorgrification of the words in the original texts to suit their biased personal preferences.

Wartburg Chapel at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa

Melchert knew German for Iowa Lutherans studied at Wartburg  College  in Waverly (where several of my family studied and others worked), and those who wanted to enter the ministry studied at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, where German was one of the main languages as Iowa Lutherans were primarily of east German descent.  Greek, Hebrew, and Latin were offered, but the popularity of the courses was weak.

Small Catechism (1912 ed. now "rare"; in author's private collection)

When I began my Biblical studies, more than 55 years ago, my education was in reading Martin Luther’s Small Catechism and the Bible in English.  We memorized it, and my father, Herbert Frederick Ide who was a heavy financial pillar for Ascension Lutheran Church in Waterloo/Cedar Falls (leaving their school more than $1 million when he died that was given to the school after the death of his last wife, Mildred) made his children memorize it, especially the Martin Luther’s definition of the Fourth Commandment: “We should fear….”  I had to repeat that particular commandment and definition nearly daily as I was always rejecting some truth that Luther had divined miraculously.  Only later did I realize how hate-filled Luther was, and then I understood the bitterness and hatred that my father had for me–and I returned it by ignoring him. 

By the time I was seven I would delete “and father” and recite only “Honor thy … mother” which infuriated my father and made my mother anxious for her own security as violence was a way of life after my father’s short stay in the Independence Mental Health Center, about forty miles from the family home.  My mother would be overwrought and query: “Are you afraid of nothing?”  I never was, and I still am not afraid to write or speak what I understand.

Love had little role in our daily religious life. Even at that time many things puzzled me as I discovered numerous contradictions within the Bible.  Each contradiction I noted on the blank pages in the front of my Bible–a practice I continued through my confirmation classes in the Lutheran church and even when I converted to Roman Catholicism and read the Douai-Rheims edition.  The one contradiction that stood out starkly for me was the word “multiply.”

G. E. Melchert lectured us not only on the sin of masturbation because of a man named Onan “spilled his seed upon the ground” (Genesis 38:9 f)–even though the Hebrew texts shows that the act was not masturbation but coitus interruptus: “And Onan knew that the seed [semen impregnating the ova] should not be his, when he went in unto [had sex with] his brother’s wife [incest was accepted and expected at that time], that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother”. 

The word masturbation (אוננות or αυνανισμός) does not appear anywhere in the Bible (it is of Latin origin from masturbatus, the past participle of masturbari and is actually of Etruscan origin from the ablative of  manus “hand”  + stuprare “defile” and, therefore, is a hybred), yet as a convert to Roman Catholicism, I would confess that “I touched myself in an impure way” to the priests in the Confessional at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I felt dirty; it made no sense to speak of private matters with another man, so I began to read more carefully the scriptures cited justifying confession–and found them wanted (that is another essay).  How strange, I have found it in my later years, that the argument against masturbation was an attack upon the

Min hieroglyphics

theology of the Egyptian god Min, where masturbation was a singularly special ritual that occured in public.  The Pharaoh was expected to demonstrate that he could ejaculate — and thus ensure the annual flooding of the Nile, and those who wanted a bountiful harvet would masturbate over their fields–giving an entirely new meaning to the Genesis myth of Onan, for in context with

Min, god of fertility in animals, crops, and people

Sumerian and Babylonian, and even Egyptian thought, to “spill one’s seed upon the ground” was an offering to the gods for fertility and reproduction–what Onan was fighting for was his own advance in wealth, not to bring up “grains” for his dead brother since the brother could not guarantee how the “new stalks” would handle their responsibilities or respect the gods of old. It was in ancient Egypt that the worshippers and followers of the god Min took his image  out of the temple, around which was a red ribbon (representing sexual energy)  trailing to the ground from which mortals were formed, and carried it joyfully to the fields in the festival of the departure of Min, that was similar to many believers as the death of the god Osiris who was depicted in art and hieroglyphics in a similar way, when they blessed the

Osiris (statuette)

harvest, and played games naked in his honor–the most important of these being the climbing of a huge phallic pole that was in the center of a great tent symbolizing the world as it was known.

G. E. Melchert, and Homer Larson who despised me openly when I entered Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, was equally determined to lecture against sex, and went from onanism (the theological term for masturbation) to harangues against abortion (an act that I have always supported since I was eleven years of age, having a cousin being not only forced to carry the unwanted fetal development by her father, but also rejected by her father and not allowed to return home until she put the unwanted child up for adoption).  Each pastor, like the priests at St. Patrick’s, and others I knew when I taught at the Roman Catholic University of San Diego (California) 1974-1977, told me that the single purpose of sex was procreation.  They based this idiocy on a mistranslation and misinterpretation of Genesis 1:22, 28, and other verses that read that the lords or god(s)/goddess(es), in the Hebrew the word is Elohim (אֱלהִים; the singular is El {אֱל} or Baal {בעל} that meant not only “god” but “husband”, “master” and “lord”.  These terms that were used by the ancient Hebrews not only as a reference to Moloch but in everyday conversation.  That is why the “husband” (baal), in the New Testament, is considered the representative of god on earth, or the Lord; wives are to submit themselves to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22) in the same manner as mortals are to submit to god.  The husband is deemed as tantamount or equal to god “the Lord”) in the New Testament–not the plural noun found in the myth of the Garden in Iraq (Eden).

Cuneiform tablet with the Atra-Hasis Epic in the British Museum

Solitary sex (masturbation) or sex between people practicing contraception (or family planning) is not discussed in the Bible except as a form of “beget” (yalad (ויולד): a transitive verb used for “generations” after a fetus is carried to term, is delivered from the uterus, and lives) as a form of amorphousness (chaos) or to libel as an act of selfishness since it denies the “right” of semen to impregnate the ova. Sex is more animalistic in the Bible as it is in most civilizations including in the New World (ref.: Amrhein, Laura Marie (2001). An Iconographic and Historic Analysis of Terminal Classic Maya Phallic Imagery. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Richmond: Virginia Commonwealth University; few know that a phallic festival is still celebrated in Greece on the first day of the Christian season of Lent), with pastors quaintly chiming, “if you play, you have to pay”.  Yet, sex starts with “Creation” (that is a universal story and not original with the Hebrews who copied it from the Atra-Hasis epic) and if fluid throughout the Book of Numbers. Many ancient pictures portray “creation” as the union of a god and goddess.

Union of earth god Geb with sky goddess Nut (Egypt)

The Old Testament / Torah clearly states that it is the animals that are to “multiply”: not mortals: And God blessed them (see verse 21 where god “created whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind…) saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth”.  Man is not fashioned from the red earth (אָדָם or אבק, אדמה אדומה: dust) until verse 26, the female follows (verse 27) but is created from a strong substance: bone (Genesis 2:21, added more as an after-thought).

The Sumerian god Ningizzida accompanied by two gryphons. It the oldest known image of snakes coiling around an axial rod, dating from before 2000 BCE

The injunction for mortal multiplication is one of control and harvest; the “original sin” was lust for sex (Genesis 3: 16b) and with it knowledge of death that was the “penalty” for everyone, for the Serpent was ancient Sumerian god of Wisdom who was called “lower than cattle” as the original Yahweh was symbolized as a gold calf–following the Egyptian and Mithra tradition and theologies–a rival of the gods of the nomadic Hebrews.

Israel multiplies (Genesis 47:27) only because the ancient Habiru were mercenaries in the Egyptian army, and adopted the ancient Egyptian Trinity: Is[is]-Ra-El.  There fecundity was essential so that Egypt would have numerous generations of soldiers; to this end each “child” actually represents a tribe (Numbers 11:12; for example, the Tribes of Simeon included the Ain, Ashan, Azem, Baalah, Balah, Beth-birei, Beth-lebaoth, Beth-marcaborth, and so forth in Numbers 1:22 f), but not of the Hebrews, but of other nations who were ultimately seen as a threat–the “sea people” (Ezekiel 26:17, but the sea people were considered pirates many of whom were Philistines: Exodus 23:31) who would come after natural calamities defined as plagues (Exodus 1:20, 32:13).

As for the Hebrews being in Egypt, “multiplying” (Exodus 1:7, 10, 12, 20, here the Hebrew word changes to rabah (רבה) meaning “to be(come) many”: להיות הרבה).  This did not happen, as there is existing record, anywhere in Egypt, including in scriptorums within the pyramids and other tombs, that mention the plagues that a legendary Moses caused to destroy the land and first-born son of the pharaoh and his people, nor of any Hebrew exodus.  The Egyptians were strong bureaucrats who recorded everything, including the most damaging information that affected the empire, but all documents mention nothing of a Joseph, the arrival or leaving of his people, or any plague, not even of Pharaoh and his army perishing in the Red (probably the Sea of Reeds) Sea–nor are there any artifacts in any body of water surrounding Egypt that offer even a shard or other evidence of their existence.  If multiplication of a tribe occurred that would definitely have been recorded.  It is not found anywhere.

Neptune (Poseidon) calming the waves when commanded

“To multiply” was a fantasy used by many tribes to exaggerate their numbers so that they might appear stronger than their enemies.  It was used as propaganda to defend weak groups from being overtaken and their people enslaved. 

“Sea monsters” were invented as dragons, howlers (werewolves) and jackals to entertain children and the insane (Lamentations 4:3).  We find the Leviathan (לִוְיָתָןwho was one of the seven princes of Hell and its gatekeeper (Hellmouth, an Ango-Saxon creature that appears in Anglo-Saxon Vercelli Homilies (4:46-8) where it is a dragon swallowing the damned: “… ne cumaþ þa næfre of þæra wyrma seaðe & of þæs dracan ceolan þe is Satan nemned”). It became a “whale” only in the Babylonian epic found in Job 41.  The Leviathan, however, is far older and I was never taught that as a child or young man.  Only late in life, while pouring over ancient script did I learn that this mythological monster that would ultimately take a central role in John of Patmos’ nightmare (the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse) as a seven-headed serpent (cp. Isaiah 27:1) being overcome by a hero-god developed as early as the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumerian iconography and theology and then as a rite of sexual passage.  It matches Job 41:2-26, and with the intensity of the same chaos-combat theme that appears on second millennium Syrian seals, where the storm-god is shown in combat with a serpent like Poseidon / Neptune struggling against the forces of nature.  It also appears in the Ugarit tablets, where Lotan, the sea-monster appears as a naked helper of the sea-god Yamm in his Final Day battle with the weather-god Haddad Baal who was the father and husband of the world.  Only in later scripts by rabbis who had to make Israel appear supreme was the tale twisted torturously so that Leviathan became a symbol of sin that, according to the Talmud Baba Bathra 74b would be slain and its flesh served as a feast to the righteous in [the] Time to Come, a horror story that would find ultimate darkness in the dementia of John of Patmos’ Apocalypse and the fanatical fantasies of the New Apostolic Reformation’s G. Peter Wagner and Texas Governor Rick Perry.  The more corrupt Israel became as a state, and the more infested were the minds of redactors, the more odd the account became with

Dhul-Qarnayn with the help of jinn, building the Iron Wall to keep the barbarian Gog and Magog from civilised peoples. (16th century Persian miniature).

the Midrash called Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer stating that the fish that swallowed Jonah ( יוֹנָה; in (Arabic Jonah is known as Dhul Nun: ذو النون; meaning The One of the Whale, but he appears only once: Qur’an 10:98) narrowly avoided being eaten by the Leviathan, which eats one whale each day.  Jonah’s origin, as so many others, is found in ancient Babylon (Campbell, Joseph (1988). The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. pp. 90–95) and other areas of ancient Mesopotamia (Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae 8 vol. in 16. Zürich, Switzerland: Artemis, c1981-<c2009>).

Like the legendary ancient Greek Titan Cracken, subject to the god Neptune / Poseidon (who is the source of the Great Flood, earthquakes and horses, and who stilled the waters when a Young Man ordered them to be calm: the source of the myth of Jesus calming the waters, that is equally found in Homer’s Odyssey when Odysseus (Ὀδυσσεύς, we get an understanding of the name when it is a verb: ὀδύσσομαι {literally translates as “hate”}, meaning “hateful” or “wrathful” and was an indication of his anger toward the gods and himself; he was a hero to the Greeks, but to the Romans: “pellacis“: deceitful) calms the ocean storm with the help of Athena), the Kraken, actually has its counterpart in ancient Iceland (cf. Örvar-Odds saga that is a source for or of embelishments on John Patmos’ Apocalypse ) and Norway and feeds off the heads of children (Pontoppidan (1752–53), Versuch einer natürlichen  Geschichte   Norwegens. Copenhagen, Denmark).  The German word Kraken means “octopus”, and it takes ships to the “hell” of the bottom of the “sea.”  In Norwegian it means “old, withered tree” both tht swallowed/absorbed children.  

The loss of the children (future military), ancient tribes, universally, were ordered to be “fruitful” for the word “fruit” is from para (פורה) and means “living sperm” (Ezekiel 19:10).  To do anything that would cause the loss of male progency in many simple communities was a cause for alarm, and thus masturbation was considered the killing of baby boys (girls were not considered in medieval literature in damnations of the solitary practice).  This this does not follow the original scrolls as it is not a part of the far more ancient texts of Sumeria or Egypt on which they were based. 

Sexuality was for everyone: mortals and gods (Genesis 15:8).  It was used for ransom (Genesis 19:8) as well as pleasure (Genesis 38:9) including prostitution (Genesis 38:16).  In every case, sexuality was to know (the pure meaning of the word) another person, culture, custom, or tribe.  The word “sex” does not appear in the Bible (it uses various variants of “to know”), nor are their prohibitions against sex, only against ruses to excuse sex as in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 where the reading actually is “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman…” (NIV, ESV, NAS, KJV, etc); while the word “homosexual” does not exist in any lexicon before 1892, the New Living Translation (2007) wrongfully uses the word that does not exist, and the Bible in Basic English does not even include the word “woman” as one of its more than ten thousand “translation” errors, making it the least authentic or reliable Bible available; the original line or sentence is:  וְאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁכַּב אֶת־זָכָר מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה תֹּועֵבָה עָשׂוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם מֹות יוּמָתוּ דְּמֵיהֶם בָּם׃; Romans 1:27 discusses “lust” associated with idol worship: ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες ).  Rather, the denunciations are against using sex as a form of worship (where men dressed as women; read: Patriarchs 2:2, coming from the Egyptian goddess Entu and the Battle of Qadesh, where Qadesh translates as “goddess/goodness of love”, which is the original telling of the War of Gog and Magog that first appeared in the Book of Ezekiel (chapters 38-39) as (Hebrew: גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג‎; Arabic: يَأْجُوج وَمَأْجُوج‎ {Qur’an: “The Cave” 18:83–98} and later in Revelation 20:7-10) or as denial of reality and of escape from depression and estrangement from another. Every civilization and religious “scholar” has claimed that the evil empire is the one that opposes its empire, which came most recently with George W. Bush’s claim as president of the USA that he would war against the “axis of evil” that has helped make the USA the most hated and untrustworthy nation on the planet.

Syrian goddess of fertility Qadesh in Egypt (stele)

Qadesh was a minor deity in Egypt and was probably an Asiatic import.

Goddess Hathor of agriculture (Egyptian/Persian source for story of Ruth)

The Egyptians regarded her as an aspect of Hathor and pictured her as a nude woman holding flowers and standing on the back of a lion.  Qadesh is reminiscent of the Persian Anahita, or the Phoenician Anat who is also called Qadesh.  This Middle-Eastern goddess was the protector and inventor of sacred ecstasy and sexual pleasure.  Because she elevated sex above the chance-possibility (she defined it as accidental-action) of procreation, Qadesh was adopted in the New Kingdom by the Egyptians into a triad or Holy Trinity (of which there were many) with the gods Min and Reshep.

The name Qadesh means ‘holy’.  It references sacred actions to maintain a bountiful harvest of grain and fish, and the goddess was symbolized at times as “bread and fish”.  In existing iconography of the theology of this goddess we find the manifestation of the sensuousness inherent in the goddesses Astarte and Anat–who were the prototypes for Asherah–the wife of Yahweh.

The Egyptian god Min

Qadesh rides naked on the back of a lion and holds out symbols of eroticism and fertility to her companions:  lotuses for Min and snakes or papyrus plants for Reshep, as snakes (in Hebrew: נחש) in ancient Middle Eastern religions were symbols for education and health and for that reason appeared the staffs of professors of astrology and guarded temples that served as schools (King, Leonard W (1969). A history of Babylon, from the foundation of the monarchy to the Persian conquest. New York, AMS Press, p. 72) and medical practitioners such as Hippocrates and the rod of Asclepius complete with the caduceus (entwined serpents), the Greek god of medicine. It is written that: “Asclepias’ reptile was a healing creature: in ancient mythology the snake, whose skin was shed and rejuvenated, symbolized eternity and restoration of life and health” (Jonsen, Albert R. (1990). The New Medicine and the Old Ethics.  Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press, p. 122).

Marriage of Min, Qedesh/Qadesh, and Reshep (Egypt)

In the Levant the cult of Qadesh, like that of Astarte, involved her acolytes simulating the sacred marriage of the goddess with Reshep.  Reshep was the Egyptian version of the Semitic Aleyin/Amurru, who was originally a vegetation god (the Canaanite Osiris) but transformed by the Egyptians into a warrior that would become the Jesus of Revelation, carrying a sword and riding on a white horse as found in Egyptian art.  While John Patmos’ Jesus wears a crown of gold, the Egyptians have the deity crowned with gazelle’s horns.

Reshep, as a war-god whose origins are Syrian, was heralded into the Egyptian pantheon in Dynasty XVIII. Initially, Reshep’s characteristic stance is one of brandishing a mace or axe over his head. He wears a beard in the Syrian style and he normally wears the Upper Egyptian crown adorned with a gazelle head in front and a ribbon behind.  While, iconographically, the gazelle connects Reshep with the god Seth (the mythological third son of Eve), it is the Theban war-god Montu with whom Reshep has the greatest affinity. His martial temperament and sexual escapades makes him an ideal royal deity, especially in an era boasting of the military and sporting prowess of its monarchs. This is seen on the stela of Amenhotep II (Dynasty XVIII) set up near the Sphinx at Giza where Reshep and the goddess Astarte are described as rejoicing at the crown prince’s diligence in looking after his horses even while engaged in sexual pleasures. Reshep received numerous Egyptian epithets, including ‘Lord of the Sky’ and ‘Lord of Eternity’.  He appears on Theban stelae alongside the Egyptian god Min (1) and the Syrian goddess Qadesh. Reshep becomes (possibly because of Syrian enclaves amoung the Egyptian population) an approachable deity who can grant success to those praying to him. His force for destruction of royal enemies in battle can be turned against diseases affecting ordinary people. If there had ever been the plagues of Moses, they would have been recorded at this time, for there was great attention to details of any plague, infirmity or illness, as this was the era for the birth of medical studies.  Instead it is no other god than Reshep and his wife Itum who are called upon in a magical spell to overpower the ‘akha’- demon causing abdominal pains.  It is he and Itum that are the polarities of life and death, and he is known both in Egypt and the Near East as Reshep-Shulman.

Temptation of Eve; serpent is female representing knowledge

This sexuality displayed by Qadesh naturally led to an identification between her and Hathorthe Egyptian goddess of Love.  The serpent is phallic in nature and art.  In ancient civilizations the serpent is always presented as female, which may be the reason that most medieval artists (sculptors and painters) presented the serpent in the garden as a female), as she is a temptress; in patriarchial societies, the serpent is male and symbolized as an erect phallus.  In Arabic, serpent means “life” and “life-giver”.  Depending if the serpent is pictured or represents a male, a female or androgynous god it has different qualities to different people: death, destruction, rebirth, authority, sin, trickery, temptation, wisdom, prophecy, mystery, fertility, healing, medicine, poisoning, warning, renewal, mortality, and immortality.  The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is the wisdom to know that all things are mortal and will perish: both people and gods will die.

Eve, The Serpent, and Death (by Baldung)

The Egyptians had the serpent as encompassing the world, and the Greeks called that Ouroboros (οὐράβόρος) although it actually comes from the Norse

Jormungandr, Norse sea serpent, Norwegian sea monster,

Jormungandr (it does have a Mesoamerican equal in Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent deity represents both the earth and the sky).  In all cases it circles around the global in quest of knowledge and swallows its own tail.

Quetzalcoatl "feathered-serpent god" of the Aztecs (400 BCE - 600/900 CE)

Quetzalcoatl has a father known as Mixcoatl. Mixcoatlis the Cloud Serpent deity who is identified with the heavens and the Milky Way, and in most cultures is depicted with a sacred tree: usually coiled around the base waiting for a man to debate it, but always discovering that a woman is far more intelligent than any man, and so the serpent debates the woman–and loses (Black, Jeremy & Anthony Green  (1992). Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia, An Illustrated Dictionary. Austin, TX, USA University of Austin Press).

Since most ancient theologies had sexual rites of passages as well as sexual celebrations of victories of gods and goddesses, pregnancy was always a risk if the Qadesh was a woman.  The ancient world had no problem with abortion for the zygote (known as a “seed”) was not considered human, but seen as unwanted “particles”.  To this end, abortion was commonly practiced and no one but the woman carrying the unwanted evolving fetal cells could make a decision to retain the development within the uterus or abort it.

A leaf from the Ebers Papyrus (ca. 1550 BCE), the oldest extant manuscript detailing abortion procedures.

We find records on abortion no later than 1550 BCE in Egypt, as they were recorded in what is called the Ebers Papyrus (Potts, Malcolm, & Campbell, Martha (2000).  “History of contraception.” Gynaecology and Obstetrics, vol. 6, chapter 8).  Potts and Campbell discuss the Ebers Papyrus as it contains the earliest known description of abortion (ca. 1550 BCE).  It is an ancient Egyptian medical text drawn, ostensibly, from records dating as far back as the third millennium BCE, and suggests that an abortion can be induced with the use of a plant-fiber tampon coated with a compound that included honey and crushed dates; later herbal abortifacients included the long-extinct silphium, the most prized medicinal plant of the ancient world.  This text was used widely throughout Egypt and its conquered territories, and ultimately made its way into ancient Greece and Canaan where the Habiru nomadic tribes were struggling to conquer and take control of lands that belonged to the Philistines and Phoenicians for centuries. One aspect that is frequently silenced is the Ebers Papyrus Prescription E618 on the medicinal cannabis especially during an abortion procedure, as read here:

Ebers Papyrus 78: text on medical cannabis

Every ailment was discussed.  The above text on Cannabis being employed as a poultice on a toenail (E 618, Ebers Papyrus 617- 618): If you find a painful finger or a toe, from water having been around them (serosity), their odor being malignant, whereas they have formed maggots [worms], you must say to this patient: “A problem that I can treat”. You must prepare for him treatments to kill the vermin [. . .]. Another for the toenail: honey: 1/4; ochre 1/64; cannabis: 1/32; hedjou resin: 1/32, ibou plant: 1/32. Prepare as for the preceding, and dress with it’…” and goes from one infirmity to another.  An unwanted pregnancy was considered only another infirmity that could be cured by a medical practitioner.

Even in ancient Hebrew society there was a rite of passing the unwanted egg from the woman (Numbers 5:18. “And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which [is] the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse….”). 

In ancient China we also find detailed records of abortion c. 500 BCE  (Glenc, F. (1974). “Induced abortion – a historical outline.” Polski Tygodnik Lekarski, 29 (45), 1957-8. 1974). In China, folklore dates the use of mercury to induce abortions to about 5,000 years ago (Christopher Tietze and Sarah Lewit (1969), “Abortion”, Scientific American, Issue 220, p. 21).  Mercury, of course, is extremely toxic, but not as lethal as the denunciations by men who sit in clerical positions and have no chance whatsoever of becoming pregnant.

Today’s anti-Choice crowd are not only hypocrites but ignorant of history, language, and the evolution of the fetus.  May claim they oppose abortion because of Hippocrates and proclaim wrongly that doctors cannot perform abortions having taken the Hippocratic oath.  The ignorance of such people, especially prelates, priests and pastors in the churches is exposed easily, as Hippocrates offered abortion to his patients despite being opposed to pessaries and potions which he considered too dangerous. Furthermore, Hippocrates is recorded as having instructed a prostitute to induce abortion by jumping up and down (that is safer than some other methods, but rather ineffective). There is solid evidence that Hippocrates also believed in and used dilation and curettage to induce abortions as well (Lefkowitz, Mary R. & Fant, Maureen R. (1992). Women’s Life in Greece & Rome: a Source Book in Translation. Baltimore, MD, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press; and Ide, Arthur Frederick (1986). Abortion Handbook: The History, Legal Progress, Practice & Psychology of Abortion; 3rd ed., with an introduction by Carlotte Taft and illustrations by Nicholas Lashmet.  Las Colinas, TX, USA: The Liberal Press).

Abortions were equally common, and no churchman wrote out against abortions as there were Biblical statements determining when a soul entered a fetus/baby depending upon its age.  But to avoid the toxicity of many remedies, herbal methods were likely more common and many of the traditional herbs and mixtures are in use even today. There are numerous manuscripts not destroyed by the church that date as early as 1200 CE that show herbalists how to prepare Pennyroyal (Riddle, John M. (1992). Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press), but the oil is extremely dangerous and modern herbalists avoid it. Deaths from its use were recorded in the US in the 1990’s.

As the churches in Eastern and Western Europe became more gyneophobic and misogynistic, women, in desperation, turned to other measures to induce abortions.  These remedies included iron sulfates and chlorides, hyssop (a drug

Herb Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis

that the Bible claims Jesus drank to lessen the pain: John 19:29; today used as an ingredient in eau de Cologne and the liqueur Chartreuse. It is also used to color the spirit Absinthe, along with Melissa and Roman wormwood. Medically, hyssop has the properties of being antibacterial, anticapillary fragility, anti-inflamatory, etc., and can help with about 81 different medical conditions including cancer, bronchitis, insomnia, edema, colds, etc.  As an expectorant of mucus from the respiratory tract, it relieves congestion, regulates blood pressure, and can dispel gas. It helps with circulatory problems, epilepsy, fever, gout, and weight problems, but it will abort most fetal tissue at an early stage of pregnancy), dittany, opium, madder in beer, watercress seeds and even crushed ants. Probably the herbs most commonly mentioned were tansy and pennyroyal. We know that tansy was used from at least the thirteenth century.

One of the most brutal methods to induce abortion was practiced in the Orient in ancient times required the woman carrying the unwanted fetal tissue to violently knead or beat her abdomen to cause abortion, a procedure with great peril to the woman who used it. Wealthier women were able to hire professional “beaters” but if the woman died, those who had been hired were usually cut in half.

There are some particular herbs that have been recorded as efficacious for centuries. One plant is called the worm fern (it was also known as “prostitute’s root”).   Some women in Europe used thyme, parsley, lavender, and savin juniper, but these seldom aborted a zygote or fetal tissue–but the women did find them to be quite favorable in teas and soups. Some desperate women in desert countries, especially Arabia and what had been Mesopotamia used concoctions of camel saliva.  In Scandinavia, women had little difficulty in finding or brewing deer hair but those “cures” seldom worked (London, Kathleen (1982). The History of Birth Control. The Changing American Family: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press).

The right of women to seek abortions was not restricted in many places until fairly recently, with most restrictions being related to the time of “quickening” or fetal movement. Even Plato proclaimed the right of women to seek early terminations of pregnancies in “Theaetetus”, but specifically he spoke of the right of midwives to offer the procedure. In early times, most pregnancies were not managed by doctors so it was logical that abortion be provided by midwives and herbalists.  Philo of Alexandria (Chayyei Moshe 1, 11) documents a fairly common Hellenistic belief that babies do not have human status until they start to eat regular food. Almost eight hundred years later (circa 800 C.E.), the Council of Metz did not impose any punishment for killing infants, and only after baptism was the child’s life to be guarded (Jakobovits, Immanuel (1959; 2d ed. 1975). Medicine and Judaism: a Comparative and Historical Study. New York, NY, USA:  Bloch Publishing Company). Even in the 21st century, women are still trying Hippocrates’ jumping up and down method (especially in Third World nations in South America and Africa), with as little success as their ancient sisters (London, loc. cit.; cp. Riddle, John M. [Chair of the History Department and Alumni Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University] (1994). Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press; it is reviewed in Medical History. 1993 July; 37(3): 349–350 with a pdf available here). The word “abortion” does not appear in the Torah or Old or New Testaments, although the practice was common throughout Judah and Babylon. On the contrary, “ripping out the fruit of the womb” was demanded by the “jealous” gods of Israel frequently (Read: Ide, Arthur Frederick (1993). Catechism of Family Values Based on the Bible. Arlington, TX, USA: Liberal Arts Press, pp. 237-258).

—————————————-FOOTNOTES—————————————–

(1) Min, the ithyphallic god of sex, is another form of Amun.  He was chiefly worshipped at Coptos and Panoplis. He wears the plumed head-dress of Amun and holds a whip-like sceptre, and is frequently shown holding his erect phallus in his left hand. Min is a proud, regal and arrogant figure. His ancient symbol was the thunderbolt (that led some to equating Min with Zeus/Jupiter) and he was sometimes considered to have been the creator of the world (another form of Horus). Coptos became an important entrepot for desert trading expeditions and Min became the god of roads and travellers (the prototype for Saint Christopher). 

Min, Egyptian god of fecundity

Min was a god of fecundity and crops; the first sheaf of wheat was offered to him by the Pharaoh at harvest time, after that action a sexual ritual was performed in his honor. His sacred animal was a white bull while the games of Panoplis were held in his honour during the period of Greek influence, at other times the serpent-god Apep who was the god of chaos before creation.  He battled the Son of God known as Ra (who transformed himself into a cat) and was killed at the Final Battle (End Times; read: Assmann, Jan (1995).  Egyptian solar religion in the New Kingdom : Re, Amun and the crisis of polytheism, transl. by A. Alcock. London, UK; New York, NY, USA: Kegan Paul International; New York, NY: Distributed by Columbia University Press, 1995. p. 49-57; Kousoulis, Panagiotis I. (1999). Magic and Religion as Performative Theological Unity: the Apotropaic Ritual of Overthrowing Apophis, Ph.D. dissertation, Liverpool, UK: University of Liverpool, chapters 3-5).

The Final Battle, Ra (in the form of a cat) slays the snake-like Apep (Egypt)

(2) Christian crusaders, officially first appearing as a term and a group of armed thugs and mass murders, were commissioned by Pope Urban II at the Cathedral Church in Clermont, France in 1095 for a Church Council (Chalandon (reprint 1925), Histoire de la première Croisade, Paris, France. pp. 19-22; the council lasted from 18-25 November, and the majority of the discussion was on End Times and an Apocalyptic battle, see: Fulcher de Cartres (1095). Gesta Francorum Iherusalem Peregrinatium (ed. Jagem,euer). Heidelberg, Germany, 1913, I.iii, pp. 130-138).  As the number in the cathedral swelled, the conference was later moved to an open field, where the speeches were interrupted with cries of “Deus le volt!” (God wills it!; read: Robert the Monk,  Historia Hierosolymitania in Recueil des Historiens des Croisades. Historiens Occidentaux 5 volsParis, France: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, 1872-1906). vol. III: I.ii-iii, pp. 15-16). The purpose was to enlist the second and later sons of nobility currently involved in fratricide battling older brothers in quest of obtaining the father’s lands and titles (patrimony).  While Peter the Hermit spoke of atrocities against Christians by Muslims in the Holy Land, most of what the Hermit claimed were bold lies, as Jerusalem (a city sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, and where all three groups lived in basic harmony with each other) was considered a legendary city of riches in bullion, relics, and other valuables.  The crusades were anything but holy or staffed with an enlisted army of spiritually minded people.  Instead, the crusades were among the bloodiest and vilest epochs in human history, with the Christian crusaders more terrorist than theologians, giving vent to rampage, rape, sodomy, and the murder of women and children–leaving the Muslims and Jews of the time (and to this day) to understand the word “crusade” to mean “slaughter and defilement of women and children” (Albertus Aquensis [Albert of Aix], Liber Christianae Expeditionis  pro Ereptione, Emundatione et Restitutione Sanctae  Hierosolymitanea in  Recueil des Historiens des Croisades. Historiens Occidentaux 5 volsParis, France: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, 1872-1906). vol. IV: I, 16-22, pp. 284-289).  When George W. Bush used the word “crusade” in his speech before

Jihad is an “Islamic war on the western world”

Congress after the tragedy of 9/11, united the entire Muslim world against the USA, and the rise of the terrorist organization New Apostolic Reformation and its anointed savior, Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), the USA will forfeit even more friends and the USA will become even more hated than it is today.

Violence of Christian Crusades: reason for al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Christian Terrorists, Church history, Evangelical Christianity, Language, Martin Luther, NAR, New Apostolic Reformation, Old Testament, Roman Catholicism

John of Patmos and the Final Battle: conspiracy and mental illness

Patmos Island (marked with yellow arrow)

What has become known as the last “book” of the New Testament, Revelation, has its authorship attributed to John of Patmos (Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It is one of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanesecomplex).  While “Justin Martyr” claims that this John is the same John who allegedly was the brother of Jesus and the author of the Gospel of John (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 81.4) that is not written until the second century, after John of Patmos died–an account that was never intended to be read universally.  Justin had little critical scholarship, and any theological student today would note numerous grammatical and textual errors and inconsistencies.  The author of Revelation identifies himself as “John” several times, but the author of the Gospel of John never identifies himself directly where it would be more imperative and substantive.  While both works liken Jesus to a lamb, they consistently use different words for lamb when referring to him, for example: the Gospel uses αμνος: amnos, Revelation uses αρνίον: arnion (Revelation 5:6, 8, 12, 13; 6:1, 16; 7:9, etc). Lastly, the Gospel is written in nearly flawless Greek, but Revelation contains grammatical errors and stylistic abnormalities which indicate its author may not have been as familiar with the Greek language as the Gospel’s author.  Church Father and bishop Irenaeus (d. 185), gives an even more interesting detail.  He says that the Revelation “was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign” (Adversus Haereses 5.30.3), who according to Eusebius had started the persecution (not Nero!) referred to in the book, but the “persecution” was Domitian’s demand that people revere and address him as a god (Cary, E. (trans.) “Dio Cassius’ Roman History, Epitome of Book LXI-LXX.” Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge MA, USA: Harvard University, 1995. p.349; Touilleux, Paul (1935) L’Apocalypse et les cultes de Domitien et de Cybèle. Paris, France: Paul Geuthner, puts the date of authorship to the time of Domitian or Vespasian, and is concurred with by Feuillet, A. (André). L’Apocalypse: état de la question. Paris, France: Desclée de Brouwer, ©1963).

Justin’s Christology was, in the majority of citations, wrong.  His knowledge of the period when Jesus allegedly lived is choppy. Writing in Latin (while the scrolls and early records were written in Greek), Justin’s frequently invented or misused/mistranslated words to meet his own spiritual agenda.  From the writing within the first “chapter” (chapters and verses to the Bible are a modern invention), we read that Patmos was instructed to write to the Seven Churches of Asia (referring to the Roman province of Asia, not the entire continent): Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea (Revelation 1:11)The letter was to be read immediately.  The “Second Coming” (Parousia: παρουσία, a word used in the New Testament twenty-four times, but only seventeen times for Jesus; the last time it is used is to talk about “the lawless one” and not about Jesus–it is a reference to a bandit, not Nero, and the word translates as a “presence”–not as a person) was at hand–not in the future.  Eusebius bishop of Caesarea and the monk/saint Jerome ascribe the authorship to John the Presbyter who was an obscure figure in the early church (cf. Ehrman, Bart D. (2004). The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. p. 468, and Harris, Stephen L. (1985), Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto, CA, USA: Mayfield. p. 355).  The word used in the New Testament for the physical return of the Jesus of the New Testament is epiphany: ἐπιφάνεια (epiphaneia, that translates as appearing) and is in the present tense meaning now.  In both cases the word and the “prophecy” is a contemporary plagiarism from the Greek word παρουσία (parusia) used as early as the 3rd century BC to describe the visit of a king or dignitary to a city arranged in order the show his magnificence to the people.  John of Patmos was aware of this as it was common term while he lived, being reinvigorated in common speech and appearing on Roman Advent (adventus in Latin) Coins struck by the cities of Corinth and Patras for Nero’s visit.  The word παρουσία is not used in any contemporary document dated on or around the alleged years of life and death of the New Testament Jesus, except among money changers and Roman soldiers who celebrated any ceremonial visit from a representative of the “Divine King”  (another name for the Emperor Domitian): the emperor of Rome, who Jews saw as a whore since it was commonly known that a petitioner could buy a favorable judgment from Cesar (Emperor).

Patmos was an island for traitors. Traitors were defined as those who practiced magic (associated with Egyptians and especially the chrestianos of Alexandria, Egypt), astrology, and “prophecy” (Pliny Natural History 4.69-70; Tacitus Annals 4.30).  Prophecy was viewed as a covert way of instigating riots against Rome and its citizens as prophecies were read with political implications.  Among Jews, numerology, signaled the Roman Emperor Nero (666)  and  “seven” coupled with mountains (in reality hills) referenced Rome and its foundation and government.  Patmos was never used or sought out as a refuge for “the faithful” of any god.

The “lawless one” (who, in 2 Peter 3:10, is the “Lord Jesus”) was to be destroyed by the “brightness” (education) of the “returning one” (who might have been the Holy Spirit or higher enlightenment) according to the authors of II Thessalonians 2: 8.  This was not intended nor written as a promise of a holocaust of people–only of one person.  This single soul has been incorporated by many theologies.  Each calls “the one who will return” by various names, although in Islam, Muslims refer to this person as Jesus (Qur’an 43:61) since much of the Qur’an is a plagiarism from the Old and New Testaments as Muhammad spent years speaking with and then attempting to convert Jews and Christians who lived and labored in Mecca to his own brand of faith. The name of “Jesus’ is only used as “the spirit of prophecy” Revelation 19:10 to which a Jesus Christ is a “faithful witness” (Revelation 12:17).

The “coming” appears, uniquely in the New Testament as a return only once, and then in Aramaic: Maranatha (either מרנא תא; maranâ’ thâ’ or מרן אתא; maran ‘athâ’ ) in 1 Corinthians 16:22.  It is hinted at in Revelation 22:20: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” The original Greek word was “anathema” (from Koine Greek ἀνάθεμα meaning “something dedicated” from ἀνατίθημι anatithēmi, “I set upon, offer as a votive gift”) originally meant something lifted up as an offering to the gods) and meant a supplication that offers a gift or sacrifice to the god(s) (which is what the word meant in early emerging circles of christianos: the acceptance of the death of Jesus of the New Testament and a pledge to remember the “Lamb of God.”  In II Machabees 9:16, Antiochus promises to adorn with precious gifts (anathemata) the temple he has pillaged; and in Luke 21:5 (it is the only time that it appears in the New Testament) where it details how the temple was built of precious stones and adorned with rich gifts (anathemata).  Anathema did not mean “expulsion” until Constantine I created his catholic (universal) church in 325 CE, at which point it was used to refer to an evil or heresy, or something forbidden and reserved to the god(s): herem (חרם) as found in Leviticus 27:28. It does not become a law within the Roman Catholic church until the pontificate of Pope Zachary (741-52) and then appears only in the chapter Debent duodecim sacerdotes, Cause xi, quest. iii.  The New Testament Jesus makes no use nor mention of it or the acts associated with it in the past, during his life, or in any conversation after he allegedly rose from the dead.

The use of the word ἀνάθεμα in Luke 21:5, has only one rendering: ‘gifts’.  This entry follows the text of the Book of Judith written during the time of the Maccabees (and is a prototype for the beheading of John the Baptist under the name of Holophernes who was a devout soldier of his king. The story can also be compared the stories of Samson (the Greek Hercules) and Jezebel ( אִיזֶבֶל / אִיזָ from a Phoenician legend, as the name is from the Syro-Phoenician language; cf. Ilana Fine, Women reading the Bible backwards (in Hebrew נשים לקרוא את התנ”ך מהסוף להתחלה), p. 86.), where a brave man falls to the deadly charms of a woman.  We read: “The blessed Judith, when her city was besieged, asked of the elders permission to go forth into the camp of the strangers; and, exposing herself to danger, she went out for the love which she bare to her country and people then besieged; and the Lord delivered Holofernes into the hands of a woman” (First Epistle of Clement, chapter 55; cp. Ambrose, Concerning Widows, 7:38). 

The Greek version argues that the work was composed during the kingship “Nebuchadrezzar”, a “King of Assyria,” who “reigns in Nineveh”–a self-serving fiction to excuse the libel about the rule of Tiberius Cesar of Rome).  Judith was neither a popular nor a universally recognized “canon” of the Bible until  Pope Gelasius I demanded that Jerome obey the canons of the dubious third Council of Carthage, held in Africa under Augustine of Hippo in 397.  More in keeping with Augustine’s Manichean background the council declared the canonicity of the Deuterocanon and Jerome reluctantly added Judith to his Vulgate translation (a work with numerous errors and inconsistencies), despite the fact that it was being translated from a different text (in Chaldean) then the Septuagint (LXX) version used in the early centuries for the Old Latin translations.  It is used in conjunction with maranatha since the early christians were “reformed/converted Jews”.

While many modern evangelical extremists, especially those affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) of C. Peter Wagner, argue that the Revelation is a blueprint for the End Times carnage known as Apocalypse, there is no justification for this interpretation in the text.  The Revelation is two stories, or two nightmares, that John Patmos experienced while in captivity.  It is not a sequence of tales nor visions, except in the classic sense that they were foretelling of what the dreamer believed the dreamer would experience.  In both cases, there is classic dementia praecox (schizophrenia) that is a severe mental disorder characterized by intellectual deterioration brought on by social isolation, disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations. The primary disturbance in dementia praecox is one of thinking or cognition  that leads to weeping (Revelation 5:4-5) and self-accusations that John describes of himself (such as fear of “the Great City of Babylon” [Rome] in Revelation 18:10, as John’s god/Jesus represented only terror, fear and other phobia: Revelation 15:4, 19:5, etc. as John’s Jesus was not a god of love for John’s saviour rebukes and chastises those he loves: Revelation 3:19, making the Lord equally demented). Cognitive disintegration refers to a disruption in cognitive or mental functioning such as in attention, memory, and goal-directed behavior, with the end state being Verblödung (deterioration) of mind and body.

The first vision (chs. 1:11-3:22), related by “one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle”, speaking with “a great voice, as of a trumpet”, are statements addressed to the seven churches of Asia.  It is not a reference to the New Testament Jesus, for it is a reference to one like unto the Son of man (in this we do not find a single reference to John’s Jesus being the Son of God).

In the fourth century CE, John Chrysostom and other bishops argued against including the Revelation in the New Testament canon.  They argued such an inclusion unnecessary and unwarranted, primarily because of the difficulties of interpreting it and noting how easily it could be abused to justify suicide cults that were springing up throughout the known world–similar to what happened in Japan and California several  years ago, and Texas with the Branch Davidian,

David Koresh leader of Branch Davidians Seventh Day Adventists awaiting End Times

led by David Koresh, born Vernon Wayne Howell, was the leader of a Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventist religious sect that believed the End Times had arrived.  On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located nine miles east-northeast of Waco, Texas. An exchange of gunfire resulted in the deaths of four agents and six followers of David Koresh.  A subsequent 51-day siege by the Federal Bureau of Investigation ended on April 19 when fire destroyed the compound. Seventy-six people (24 of them British nationals) died in the fire, including more than 20 children and two pregnant women, along with then-Davidian leader Vernon Wayne Howell (David Koresh) who had forcibly married several young girls and fathered numerous children in the name of the god of the Bible he read. 

Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas destroyed by fire

The question is Biblical: does a parent have the right to condemn a child to death–as Abraham attempted to slaughter Isaac/Ishmael, etc.  According to Revelation, all people will engage in battle, and according to Matthew 10:35, Jesus will set children against parents and families against each other and that there would never be a time of peace.  It is this message that the Alexandria, Egypt Jews held when they accepted the message of Jesus and carried it with them to Egypt to force Jesus to return on a horse with a drawn sword and kill all non-believers.

Jonestown, Guyana: Peoples Temple mass suicide

The Peoples’ Temple Agricultural Project led by cult leader Jim Jones in Jonestown, Guyana had a similar situation.  Jones, claiming to be the ultimate prophet before the Apocalypse and End Times ordered 918 people committing suicide or murder those who were unwilling to die  on November 18, 1978.  Those sacrificed included babies and small children in quest of achieving Rapture that has no Biblical foundation. A total of 909 Temple members died in Jonestown, all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in an event termed “revolutionary suicide” by Jones.  The poisonings in Jonestown followed the murder of five others by Temple members at a nearby Port Kaituma airstrip, including the murder of United States Congressman Leo Ryan, the first member of Congress assassinated in the line of duty in the history of the United States. Small children were killed based on the faith of their parents (Chidester, David (1988). Salvation and Suicide. Bloomington: Indiana University Press; Sargeant, Jack (2002). Death Cults: Murder, Mayhem and Mind Control (True Crime Series). London, UK: Virgin Publishing). 

Heaven's Gate cult members wore Nike shoes to enter the Rapture

A similar fantasy, from misreading texts, came with the mass suicide of the Heaven’s Gate cult led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997), who believed he was directly related to Jesus and therefore special and partially divine, and Bonnie Nettles (1928–1985), his nurse after his heart attack, who believed that they were the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3.  Before the group took the name of Heaven’s Gate, it was known as Human Individual Metamorphosis (HIM) and believed they were destined for an immediate Rapture–an insanity preached by Beverly and Tim LeHaye–that has led others to suicide. 

Tim and Beverly LaHaye

Thirty-nine members of the group who had committed suicide in order to reach an alien space craft which they believed was following the Comet Hale-Bopp so that they could appeal directly to Jesus to take up his sword and clean evil from the earth.  For the cult members suicide was nothing more than a purification ritual of “cleaning the vehicle” of the body that contained the soul (Vallee, Jacques (1979). Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults. Berkeley, CA, USA: And/Or Press, 1979; cf. Wojik, Daniel, “Apocalyptic and Millenarian Aspects of American UFOism,” in Partridge, Chistopher, ed. (2003). UFO Religions. London, UK; New York, NY, USA: Routledge).

Harold Camping Doomsday prophecy for May 2011

Harold Camping declared the Rapture would occur Saturday, May 21, 2011

Harold Camping on May 21, 2011 broadcast on his California-based Family Radio Worldwide that he had used mathematical predictions to the Bible to predict dates for the end of the world. He first predicted the End Times for September 1994, but when nothing happened, he said he had made a miscalculation.  When his god of Revelation did not completely destroy the Earth and the Universe five months later on October 21, he again claimed an error in his math and is revising his table for Doomsday.  Hundreds committed suicide; others gave everything they had to others–and when the Rapture promised by Camping, the LeHayes, the NAR and its anointed pick for president of the USA Rick Perry, and other defenders of the Rapture did not happen, many were left penniless and homeless.

Ronald Weinland

Ronald Weinland, a Church of God preacher wrote in his book God’s Final Witness, in 2008, that “by the fall of 2008, the United States will have collapsed as a world power and no longer exist as an independent nation”.  A follower of

Herbert W. Armstrong

Hebert W. Armstrong who repeatedly predicted the end of the world and proclaimed that Jesus would return to rule over the entire Planet Earth, Weinland has a new edition planned with a revised forecast.

Michel de Nostradamus, a medieval soothsayer and demented coupleteer, predicted, according to many, that the world would come to an end in July 1999, and a “great king of terror will come from the sky”.  Nostradamus is still being read and believed.

No parent has the right to kill a child, nor does any parent have the right to teach the falsehoods in the name of religion as occurs daily among evangelical extremists and particular fundamentalist cults, such as the Jehovah Witnesses and the NAR.  Compare the cult-directed deaths of over 900 People’s Temple cult members in Jonestown, Guyana in one year (1978), and the about 90 Branch Davidian cult members at Waco in one year (1993), with the below conservative estimate that “between five thousand and twelve thousand” JWs have died “every year … for … fifty years.” Which works out to be an estimated total of between 250,000 and 600,000 unnecessary cult-directed deaths that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is blood-guilty of. That is a death toll which is between50 and 120 times the

Jehovah Witness Medical Alert medal

combined total of Jonestown and Waco deaths in one year, repeated every year for fifty years and continuing! All because of the Watchtower’s refusal to allow Jehovah’s Witnesses to have blood transfusions.  There is nothing in the Bible that prohibits blood transfusions–which are a modern medical practice and was not known in the days of either the Old or New Testament.  The Biblical prohibition is against eating blood, only, and the sole Biblical reference Jehovah’s Witnesses site is Genesis 9:3-6 and it is grossly mistranslated in the Jehovah’s Witness version of the Bible (verse 3 permits the eating of all vegetables, fruits, and animals–which is strengthened by 1 Timothy 4:3, verses 4-5 details that blood is the soul, and verse 6 rejects murder):  כָּל־רֶמֶשׂ אֲשֶׁר הוּא־חַי לָכֶם יִהְיֶה לְאָכְלָה כְּיֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב נָתַתִּי לָכֶם אֶת־כֹּל׃  אַךְ־בָּשָׂר בְּנַפְשֹׁו דָמֹו לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ׃  וְאַךְ אֶת־דִּםְכֶם לְנַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם אֶדְרֹשׁ מִיַּד כָּל־חַיָּה אֶדְרְשֶׁנּוּ וּמִיַּד הָאָדָם מִיַּד אִישׁ אָחִיו אֶדְרֹשׁ אֶת־נֶפֶשׁ הָאָדָם׃ שֹׁפֵךְ דַּם הָאָדָם בָּאָדָם דָּמֹו יִשָּׁפֵךְ כִּי בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה אֶת־הָאָדָם׃. 

Charles Taze Russell (1852–1916). Photograph 1911.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrine is novel and new: it was not introduced into the cult until 1945 (Be Guided by the Living God”, The Watchtower, June 15, 2004, page 22; cf. Keep Yourself in God’s Love, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2008, page 77; ref. Lee Elder, The Associated Jehovah’s Witnesses for Reform on Blood, “Why some Jehovah’s Witnesses accept blood and conscientiously reject official Watchtower Society blood policy”, Journal of Medical Ethics, 2000, Vol 26, pages 375-380).  The Jehovah Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity and believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, and that the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humankind (Michael Hill, ed (1972). “The Embryonic State of a Religious Sect’s Development: The Jehovah’s Witnesses”. Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain (5): 11–12), and is more radical than most cults.  Founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell with the formation of Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society and has its own “translation” of the Bible that does not match any other version, but expresses millenialism and the ideas of Russell.  They reject inherent immortality of the soul, and hellfire, and consider secular society to be morally corrupt and under the influence of Satan.  Charles Taze Russell believed that the year 1914 would mark the end of a 2520-year period called “the Gentile Times” and a new age would be born but without warfare: the Apocalypse was to be spiritual and only for Jehovah Witnesses who would usher in a monarchy of Jesus (read: Zion’s Watch Tower, July 1, 1879, pg 1: “This is the first number of the first volume of “Zion’s Watch Tower,” and it may not be amiss to state the object of its publication. That we are living “in the last days”—”the day of the Lord”—”the end” of the Gospel age, and consequently, in the dawn of a “new” age.” Cp. Bible Examiner October, 1876 “Gentile Times: When Do They End?” pp 27-8: “The seven times will end in A.D. 1914; when Jerusalem shall be delivered forever … when Gentile Governments shall have been dashed to pieces; when God shall have poured out of his fury upon the nations and they acknowledge him King of Kings and Lord of Lords”).  All of Russell’s predictions of the End Times and the Restoration were proven wrong, but his believers are convinced with each passing generation that they are living in the Final Days, even when there was a sizeable rift in the cult (Penton, M.J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed. Toronto, ON, Canada: University of Toronto Press. pp. 53).

Dionysius of Alexandria (247 CE) rejected the “Book of” Revelation, upon doctrinal rather than critical grounds. Christians in Syria rejected Revelation as the Montanists relied heavily on it and were opposed to Syrian Christianity. Eusebius (315 CE), the Arian bishop of Caesarea and confident of the Roman Emperor, suspended his judgment, hesitating between the external and internal evidence. Some canons, especially in the Eastern Church, rejected the book, while most others included it. In the ninth century it was included, grudgingly with the Apocalypse of Peter  as being one of the “disputed” books in the Stichometry of St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople.  It was accepted and adopted only late, and then only because of bribes strategically placed among weak bishops at various counsels and conferences. 

With the advent of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, the Revelation was once more in dispute. Martin Luther initially wrote “Christ is neither taught nor known in it”  (For the preface of 1522 see Luther’s Works volume 35 pp. 398–399. Luther later did accept it, as he wrote in his 1530 preface to the same volume, p. 411, most likely out of politically expediency than any true affirmation, but Luther was known to play politics regularly in religion as shown in his An den christlichen Adel deutscher Nation or Address to the German Nobility written c. 1520).  John Calvin wrote about all books of the Bible, but not about Revelation.

John Potmos’ second vision comprising the rest of the book (chapters 4-22) begins with “a door opened in the sky” (Revelation 4:1) and describes the end of the world-involving the final rebellion (battle: πόλεμος) by Satan at Armageddon. The battle is not unique and follows the mythology of numerous civilizations.  In Revelation 16:13-16 “frogs” come out of the dragon and the great beast, a point in Adventist mythology; however, the reference is neither new Christian nor original Hebrew but from ancient Egyptian theology.  

Heqet's discourse on the miracle of birth (ancient Egypt; ref. d'Hatchepsout - IV Urk IV 223)

The frog goddess Heqet was often shown as a

Heqet (Frog Goddess): Egyptian Museum, Caior (664-332 BCE)

frog-headed woman or as a frog and was associated with fertility and resurrection and part of the Nile that renewed the soil each year–for that reason Heqet was a goddess of childbirth. There are four male primeval gods of the Ogdoad – Nun (water), Amen (invisibility), Heh (infinity) and Kek (darkness) and also reflect the Nile’s renewal of the soil), God’s (not Jesus, although the authors claim that there will be and are many false men claiming to be Jesus (Revelation 2:9, 3:9 the latter being more of a repetitive copying than a true verse) final defeat of Satan (Revelation 12:9), and the restoration of peace to the world (Revelation 20:1-15).  The writing about the “beast” and “frogs” follows myths popular at the time.  In each case the dragon or serpent (both representing great worldly knowledge) are considered destroyers, whereas they were creatrix and determined to educate a world away from fantasy toward science and knowledge.  Though the destroyer is a terrifying force as she argues with the guardians of faith and deacons of religion, she brings renewal and new growth after the destruction. 

Kali, Hindu goddess (precedent for the story of Salome and John the Baptist)

As Jane Caputi has written: 

These goddesses were metaphor who expressed their culture’s awareness of the universal Powers of Chaos. They represented the original churning womb  or Crone-stirred cauldron or birth, death, and transmutation—the gaping Hole or spiraling Eye associated with the primordial female Powers in which all of us originate and to which all of us will return, to change once more.

(Caputi, Jane (1993). Gossips, Gorgons, and Crones. Santa Fe, NM, USA: Bear and Co., p. 281). 

Medusa holding Perseus (Museo Archeologico Regionale di Siracusa) 560 BCE

The dragon goddess appears in every religion throughout the Middle East and known Asia, and was a threat to the Jews as many found greater solace in her than in Yahweh or Jesus, leading prophets like John to promise a great war to rid the earth of these deities: Tlazolteotl, filth eater and queen of witches on whom many legendary whores are based; Pele, Hawaiian volcano goddess; the Phoenician/Canaanite dragon-goddess Tiamat (the original Babylonian beast with 5 (or 7) heads; the Norse Angerboda, or Hel, The Hag of the Iron Wood, the Morrigan, Caillech, the Veiled One, with a black face, red teeth and white hair, and Nephthys, wife to Egyptian Set who is the source for the legendary third son of Eve: Seth.

Near the End Times Tiamat "Dragon Beast" carries Whore of Babylon (Russian gloss)

As a writer or writers, or dreamer or dreamers, the author(s) known as John Patmos had no concept of time nor of sequential organization, indicating that the work is the composition of many hands who wrote parts and then the parts were assembled by scribes into what they assumed was a unified work.  More unsettling is the constant intermixture of Hebrew lore with the legends of other people and places. To this end the writer(s) talk about “beasts” and give vivid descriptions of each, such as “the first beast” who is a composite animal with parts from a leopard, bear and lion, thus linking it with the symbolism of Daniel 7, but in reverse order. The time allotted to the “beast”  Revelation 11:3-5: “I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophecy [preach] 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” The length of the ministry of the two witnesses is 1260 days, which is the length of 42 thirty-day months) parallels the time given

Greek sphinx from the Delphi museum: head of a woman, wings of an eagle, body of a lion.

the “little horn” in Daniel 7:25, and the wilderness experience of the woman who has the wings of an eagle (Revelations 12:14; cp. Isaiah 40:31) and was a reference to the time the writers were experiencing–there is no reference to any other century, which is buttressed by  Matthew 24:14 (this has led many to suggest that the account was written within 3-4 years after Jesus died, but Nero was not emperor, Patmos was not a jailed island, and nothing in either texts suggests a cataclysmic end.  More damning is that the “two witnesses” are named in the Old Testament, long before the New Testament Jesus was invented.  The prophecy in Zechariah 3-4 gives the names “Joshua” and “Zerubbabel” to the two men called the “two olive trees” in Zechariah 4:11, and it reveals that they are alive at a time “the foundation of this house” (verse 9) has been laid down. 

Prophet Haggai and the Twin Olive Trees (Zerubbabel and Joshua)

Zechariah and Haggai were two prophets who lived at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezra 5:1, 6:14).  What the witnesses do in Revelation matches that of the actions of Joshua and Zerubbabel (c. 538 BCE) in Zechariah (Haggai or Aeggeus 1:1:  בִּשְׁנַת שְׁתַּיִם לְדָרְיָוֶשׁ הַמֶּלֶךְ בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשִּׁשִּׁי בְּיֹום אֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הָיָה דְבַר־יְהוָה בְּיַד־חַגַּי הַנָּבִיא אֶל־זְרֻבָּבֶל בֶּן־שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל פַּחַת יְהוּדָה וְאֶל־יְהֹושֻׁעַ בֶּן־יְהֹוצָדָק הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדֹול לֵאמֹר׃ , 2:1-3; cp. Ezra 5:1-2).  The promised battle is nothing more than tribal warfare with swords and rocks–no atomic bombs or twenty-first century weapons.  Moreover, the powers of Joshua and Zerubbabel is identical to that of Moses and Aaron, who had very similar power to plague the world’s dominant power at that time: Pharaoh’s Egypt. Exodus 7-12 describe the famous smiting of Egypt with a series of plagues which turned water into blood which was nothing more that Chromatiaceaebacteria, which thrive in oxygen-deprived water and will kill fish who lead to the more frequent appearance of frogs who live on “lice” a term for flying insects, who if are not killed will appear in swarms to feed on the blood and flesh of people and on grain that becomes moldy if it is not removed from being stored too long in a bin, and if the grain is eaten can lead to death; in ancient Egypt, during times of famine, the first-born male was always fed double portions to preserve the boy’s life so he could reproduce while the rest would die of starvation: the mythology of the plagues of Exodus repeated in Revelation.  Each of these plagues can scientifically be explained.  Each plague is repeated throughout various texts in what became the Bible, not the least of which appears in the fantasy of Elijah’s curse of a plague on the sinful kingdom of Israel with a deadly drought for three and ½ years (I Kings 17:1-18:46, ref: 17:7:  וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ יָמִים וַיִּיבַשׁ הַנָּחַל כִּי לֹא־הָיָה גֶשֶׁם בָּאָרֶץ׃).

Chromatiaceae bacteria, which thrive in oxygen-deprived water and kill fish, in OC Fisher Reservoir in San Angelo State Park in West Texas July 2011

A similar event occurred in Texas in the last week in July, 2011.  Due to unrelenting drought in Texas, the OC Fisher Reservoir in San Angelo State Park in West Texas almost entirely dried up, leaving thousands of dead fish behind because bacteria had turned the stagnant dregs of the lake red the result of Chromatiaceae bacteria, which thrive in oxygen-deprived water.

Patmos refers to “Israel”, but not as a tribe or a people.  Israel, in Revelation 2:14, 7:4, 21:12, is a nation.  In this context it is a reference from Egypt where the Trinity of the ancient Egyptians (Is[is]-Ra-El) is defined as the source of the invasion of the Habiru, a nomadic people who were mercenaries and stole the lands of Canaan (a settled, civilized, advanced people known as Canaanites) because their agricultural god (Yah-weh) who was symbolized as a golden calf (1 Kings 12:28, 29, where Jeroboan sets up two golden statues of the gods Yah in the alleged year 974 BCE. This action was denounced by Ahijah (1 Kings 14:7)  leading to regicide of Nadab (1 Kings 15:27) leading to mass “confusion”–actually a separation of  people and rejection of national unity (1 Kings 16:19-20) that allows the King of Syria [Syrian translates as “high land”] to invade and conquer the nation (2 Chronicles 6:4) being termed the “Beast”. 

Bronze Figurine of Canaanite Nobleman 15-13th century BCE

Syrian rule lasts until 885 BCE, but in 721 BCE the Ten Tribes that Patmos discusses are carried off to Assyria (a word that means “land”: 1 Kings 17:6) an action that Patmos attempts to claim as prophecy for his period of time while awaiting the Lord who never comes following Ze[a]chariah 10:10-11) and his priests were intent to be supreme.  Patmos was a fervent opponent of Syria as in 6 CE Rome added Judea and Samaria to the Syrian nation, and thereafter it becomes a battle ground being overrun by King Sapor I, king of Persia in 258 CE, Chosroes II destroying Antioch in 611 before subduing Palestine in 614 CE.  Muhammad takes parts of Sapor’s domains in 630, leading to further collapse of the Israelite dream of a homeland that was never their land legally.  In the Bible the full-grown City of Hatzor is called the “head of cities (Joshua 11:10).” It commanded a watering spot on an important crossroads along the trade route connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia. Hatzor is mentioned in several old texts from the ancient library in Syrian Mari. They reveal that it was a trade city, merchandized tin, and that Mesopotamia sent two ambassadors to it. Hatzor is also mentioned in Egyptian texts.  Hatzor was the only Canaanite city that the Israelites conquered by fire (Joshua 11:13).

Europe as Gog and Magog

While religious Christian and Jewish fundamentalists attempt to define the Ultimate Battle to be on the lands of Gog (Revelation 20:6) and Magog (Revelation 20:8), the Bible nor history agree.  Gog (translating as “mountains”) was grandson of Joel  (c. 1600 BCE; 1 Chronicles 5:4), and later a prince of various principalities in Scythia (Tartary: Ezekiel 38:2, 3, 14, 16, 18; 39:1, 11).  The same is true with Magog (a word with no major translation), but was the second son of Japheth, grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:2, 1 Chronicles 1:5) who was not a person but the name of tribes (Ezekiel 38:2, 39:6) leading the Israelites to calling it, symbolically, “Pashur” (“terror is on every side”): Jeremiah 20:3:  וַיְהִי מִמָּחֳרָת וַיֹּצֵא פַשְׁחוּר אֶת־יִרְמְיָהוּ מִן־הַמַּהְפָּכֶת וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו יִרְמְיָהוּ לֹא פַשְׁחוּר קָרָא יְהוָה שְׁמֶךָ כִּי אִם־מָגֹור מִסָּבִיב׃ ף, cp. Isaiah 8:3, heightening John of Patmos xenophobia–a form of mental illness (as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, read; and here) as read in Revelation 20:8: καὶ ἐξελεύσεται πλανῆσαι τὰ ἔθνη τὰ ἐν ταῖς τέσσαρσιν γωνίαις τῆς γῆς, τὸν Γὼγ καὶ Μαγώγ, συναγαγεῖν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν πόλεμον, ὧν ὁ ἀριθμὸς αὐτῶν ὡς ἡ ἄμμος τῆς θαλάσσης a clear statement of panic disorder and related mental illnesses especially comorbidity in times of assumed or experienced battle and predictions of war as detailed in the : Brian Engdahl, Ph.D., Thomas N. Dikel, M.A., Raina Eberly, Ph.D., and Arthur Blank, Jr., M.D. (1998). “Comorbidity and Course of Psychiatric Disorders in “Community Sample of Former Prisoners of War Comorbidity and Course of Psychiatric Disorders in a Community Sample of Former Prisoners of War”  American Psychiatric Journal 155 (12): 1740.

Eurasia seen as Gog and Magog

To use or cite Revelation as being a prophecy is natural for millions, but negates the understanding of reality and trauma and its effect upon the prophet and those who accept the prophecy.  It is not healthy mentally nor physically.  The Revelation of the New Testament is as mentally unsound and indicates manic depression and deteriorating mental stability on the order of the later

Anna Katharina Emmerick an Apocalyptic seer

case as the Passion of Christ authored by Anne Catherine Emmerich (Ide, Arthur Frederick (2004). Crucifixion: What the Bible Really Says. Chicago, IL, USA: Sepore; much of the fraud in Emmerich’s writing is discussed in Emmerich, Anne Catherine, and Clemens Brentano (2005). The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Anvil Publishers, Georgia, pages 49-56; Gibson’s mental state can be found at Neff, David (March 2004). “The Passion of Mel Gibson,” Christianity Today, pp. 30-35). Only a small portion of what the woman wrote has ever been considered factual, a finding even by Roman Catholic priests (Hümpfner, Winfried (1923). Clemens Brentanos Glaubwürdigkeit in seinen Emmerick-Aufzeichnungen; Untersuchung über die Brentano-Emmerick-frage unter erstmaliger Benutzung der tagebücher Brentanos Würzburg, St. Rita-verlag und -druckerei; on Brentanos fraud, see: Suzanne Stahl, “Between God and Gibson: German Mystical and Romantic Sources of ‘The Passion of the Christ’ “, The German Quarterly [published in the USA] Vol. 78, No. 4, Fall, 2005, with the full-text with a subscription (a single copy is available for $12), click here).  Slipping into Alzheimer’s Disease, Pope John Paul II, however, October 3, 2004, raised this delusional woman to the ranks of “Blessed” and on the Vatican website include: “Her words, which have reached innumerable people in many languages from her modest room in Dülmen through the writings of Clemens Brentano, are an outstanding proclamation of the gospel in service to salvation right up to the present day” (Quote from 18th paragraph of Vatican online biography Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824, at http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20041003_emmerick_en.html). There is not a single sentence written by this woman who has either Biblical or historical fact as it basis.

For as long as there have been written records in any language, there have been horror stories of a Final Battle.  Such an End Time has been predicted by all religions and by all religious leaders.  We are still here.

5 Comments

Filed under Bible, Church history, Evangelical Christianity, Islam, Doctrines, Jesus Christ, Jewish history, Language, Martin Luther, Muhammad, NAR, New Apostolic Reformation, Old Testament, Rick Perry, Roman Catholicism

Adam and Eve

Tree of Knowledge (Michelangelo: Sistine Chapel, Vatican)

Ever since 385 CE, when the pagan Emperor Constantine commissioned the Arian (non-Orthodox) bishop Eusebius to prepare fifty copies of the Bible, the legend of Adam and Eve has been read, in most cases, as the glorification of Adam who remained true to the rule of the Great Lord of the Garden: not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge that would lead to understanding what was good or evil (Genesis 2:16-17).  It is not the goal nor the purpose of this article to expose its pagan roots, nor to indite an exegesis on the first two chapters of Genesis.  I save that challenge for another paper.  Instead I wish to look at the two primary “characters” of the fable: Adam (in Hebrew אָדָם‎, meaning “dust” or “red earth) and Eve (in Hebrew חַוָּה‎, meaning living one, who was to be a “helpmeet”/”helpmate”) with neither being a term referring to gender or gender action (sex). 

What is usually ignored is that Adam was neither created nor born in the Garden of Eden.  This action happened elsewhere.  He was “placed” in Garden only later (Genesis 2:7): once he had command of basic intellectual faculties.  At first (Genesis 2:7) Adam was little more than a statue, but the word “statue” originally was used to describe someone who was out of work or did not have a job.  Once Adam was introduced into the garden (hired) he had work, but it was more than one person could do.  For that reason the helpmate/helpmeet was fashioned from a rib as the equal to Adam (Genesis 2:18). 

Tree of Knowledge (Medieval painting)

There are two accounts of the creation, installation into the Garden, transgression or sin of the first two workers, and their being expelled into a void/wilderness/wasteland, and they do not match.  These two accounts make up what today are known as the first two chapters of Genesis–although in their original writing they were two separate stories on scrolls or passed down as legends by word of mouth, much as was the fate of Homer’s famous poems.

No where in the original records do we read that woman is subordinate to man, nor is the female to be submissive before the male (that comes with the miscopying of “St Paul” in the eighth century). Instead, we read: both male and female the gods created them.  Neither was superior to the other, nor was one inferior to the other (Genesis 1:27: וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמֹו בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתֹו זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בָּרָא אֹתָם׃).

Rather than the sexism of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and other religions, androgyny was the rule, with the gods (אֱלהִים) of Genesis being both male and female: Yahweh was a dressmaker (Hosea 11:9), nurse (Genesis 3:21), supplier of water (Nehemiah 9:21; a function reserved for women), cook and culinary artist (Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:2-13), who experienced birth pains and gives birth (Exodus 16:4-36; Nehemiah 9:15), as well as a carpenter, gardener, planter, and so forth (II Isaiah 42:14, 66:9). Differentiation between tasks and gender is a later invention and added as an afterthought (Genesis 2:21-23), as before that time both are referred, collectively, as adham (Genesis 5:2: זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בְּרָאָם וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁםָם אָדָם בְּיֹום הִבָּרְאָם׃ ס the plural pronoun is them and the title for the two was “mortal kind” or “human”).

Adam and Eve in Garden talking to "the Lord"

One part that evangelical extremists miss is the order of the Hebrew language and culture, their ability in translation marginal, their comprehension of interpretation not even embryonic–as it sadly remains in most schools and universities today.  In the world from which this tale originates, those who are mentioned last are acknowledged because they are first and the most important person or character in a story or recitation.  This remained the cultural import and value through the days of the early Gospels, as seen most graphically in Matthew 20:16 (So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last” [emphasis mine, as the text refers to both genders]: οὕτως ἔσονται οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι  ἔσχατοι ; cp. Mark 10:31, Luke 13:30).  The authors of Genesis knew, as shown by their writing, that Eve was far more important and of greater value than Adam, as was in keeping with the matriarchy and matrilineal culture of the ancient Middle East (and explains why Mary was the mother, but Joseph only the stepfather, of Jesus) and theology of the ancient Canaanites, Hyksos, Egyptians and Babylonians who have similar accounts.

Lorenzo Ghiberti: Creation of Adam

While man was created out in the rustic wilderness, away from any refinement or creature comforts and out of dust, it is woman who was delivered in the Gan (garden: paradisio) as befitting her station and worth.  Woman was the culmination of creation–not an afterthought–creation was to bring about the appearance of woman, not man–he was merely to be a worker (for a translation from the ancient Hebrew and Greek, see Ide, Arthur Frederick (1982). Woman in Ancient Israel under the Torah and Talmud; with a translation and critical commentary on Genesis 1-3. Mesquite, TX USA, pp. 10-17).

Far more important is the order of the words, a reality that any philologist or grammarian knows is of utmost importance.  Genesis 1 details the actual creation.  Genesis 2 begins with creation nearly complete: all that is lacking is the employment of mortals.  The gods/lords in Genesis 1 are kind, loving, compassionate, and understanding, but the gods/lords in Genesis 2 are selfish, dictatorial, and cruel and did not provide clothing to their employees.  They were kept ignorant so that they did not know they were naked.

In Genesis 2, woman is created to keep man quiet so he will not leave his job and go elsewhere; thus woman is there to help him so his toil is not so hard or the hours so long.  The equality of man and woman is given in Genesis 2:18 (neged) and verse 20 (ezer): וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים לֹא־טֹוב הֱיֹות הָאָדָם לְבַדֹּו אֶעֱשֶׂהּ־לֹּו עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדֹּו׃  וַיִּצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים מִן־הָאֲדָמָה כָּל־חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וְאֵת כָּל־עֹוף הַשָּׁמַיִם וַיָּבֵא אֶל־הָאָדָם לִרְאֹות מַה־יִּקְרָא־לֹו וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָא־לֹו הָאָדָם נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה הוּא שְׁמֹו׃  וַיִּקְרָא הָאָדָם שֵׁמֹות לְכָל־הַבְּהֵמָה וּלְעֹוף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וּלְאָדָם לֹא־מָצָא עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדֹּו׃ .  Note well: the gods/lords are making a helper–not a woman–to afford the laborer (“Adam”) relief. 

Adam hides from the gods of Eden

A small fraction of the Egyptian and Akkadian stories creep in here, for “man” is created from the fragile element of dust, while woman (ishshah) is created from the stronger element of bone and is called Kara (a verb that does not function as a synonym for “name” but follows Genesis 2:19-20). This explains why man is weak, does not debate the “serpent” nor reprimands the woman, but ultimately hides behind a bush in shame of his venal status and lack of force.

Memphis (Egypt) theology of creation

The story of the Temptation has fascinated story tellers and artists for centuries and is found throughout the world’s religious literature.  In the Torah it has variety and force, for in the Torah it is woman who is pre-eminent and dominant.  It is woman who is the theologian.  She knows and is able to quote scripture (similar to Isis addressing Seth in ancient Egyptian theology).  She and the serpent (a god in ancient Egypt known as Apep who was considered evil as Apep was constantly demanding answers from mortals (Apep was in a constant war with the god Ra; cp. Assmann, Jan (1983). Re und Amun : die Krise des polytheistischen Weltbilds im Ägypten der 18.-20. Dynastie. Freiburg, Schweiz : Universitätsverlag ; Göttingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (the serious student is encouraged to use

Atum and the snake god Apep

the original edition in German); in English it is: Assmann, Jan (1995), Egyptian solar religion in the New Kingdom : Re, Amun and the crisis of polytheism;

Creation theology at ancient Heliopolis Egypt (c. 2000 BCE)

translated from the German by Anthony Alcock.  London ; New York : Kegan Paul International ; New York : Distributed by Columbia University Press. pp.  49-57); in the Genesis account is a teacher questioning a student to solicit responses and determine the extent of the student’s learning and knowledge) dispute throwing scripture (allegedly not yet written, demonstrating that Genesis is not the first book of the Torah, but the last; it is placed first only because of its first word(s): In the Beginning).  While emerging theologies in Constantine’s Christianity portray the serpent as a female, originally, as noted in Milton’s Paradise Lost, the serpent was a more aggressive male and represented sexual knowledge.

Not only can woman interpret scripture, she demonstrates a powerful and masterful understanding of fine hermeneutic points of scripture and its subsequent debates.  This demonstrates that Genesis was written at least 500 to 1000 years after the rest of the Torah was composed.

Woman is ambitious while man is a coward. She covets the fruit of the Tree of

Fruit of all Vedic knowledge

Knowledge and Wisdom ( עֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע Genesis 2:9: haskil, which should be translated as Tree of Consciousness or Tree of Conscience; cp. with the Egyptian Tree of Life and Knowledge that follows the Vedic Fruit of Knowledge that includes knowledge of death).  It represents an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong: an understanding that comes with education.  (From this allegory came the idea of giving a teacher an apple in representation of the knowledge that teacher imparts to the student.  Knowledge and learning has always been considered a link to the divinity, as education was the monopoly of the gods; cf. Ninian Smart (1989). The World’s Religions: Old Traditions and Modern Transformations.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press. UK. pp. 10–21; cp. Shankara (1978). Crest-Jewel of Discrimination (Viveka-Chudamani) (trans Prabhavananda S and Isherwood C). Vedanta Press.  Hollywood, CA USA. 1978. p. 119; the original is  विवेकचूडामणि {in Sanskrit} and is 580 verses).

Without remorse, knowing that the gods/lords of the garden are selfish and wish their workers to remain uneducated except in mythology (so equal to WELS and fanatical fundamentalism in the world today), the woman grabs the fruit (a word for education: (Genesis 3:1-6: וְהַנָּחָשׁ הָיָה עָרוּם מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה אַף כִּי־אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן׃  וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה אֶל־הַנָּחָשׁ מִפְּרִי עֵץ־הַגָּן נֹאכֵל׃  וּמִפְּרִי הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר בְּתֹוךְ־הַגָּן אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא תִגְּעוּ בֹּו פֶּן־תְּמֻתוּן׃  וַיֹּאמֶר הַנָּחָשׁ אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה לֹא־מֹות תְּמֻתוּן׃  כִּי יֹדֵעַ אֱלֹהִים כִּי בְּיֹום אֲכָלְכֶם מִמֶּנּוּ וְנִפְקְחוּ עֵינֵיכֶם וִהְיִיתֶם כֵּאלֹהִים יֹדְעֵי טֹוב וָרָע׃  וַתֵּרֶא הָאִשָּׁה כִּי טֹוב הָעֵץ לְמַאֲכָל וְכִי תַאֲוָה־הוּא לָעֵינַיִם וְנֶחְמָד הָעֵץ לְהַשְׂכִּיל וַתִּקַּח מִפִּרְיֹו וַתֹּאכַל וַתִּתֵּן גַּם־לְאִישָׁהּ עִמָּהּ וַיֹּאכַל׃) and she became like the gods/lords:  educated not by repeating what the gods/lords said but by debating, questioning, pursuing the conduct of inquiry that so few universities even entertain today (sadly rote memorization is destroying contemporary education as can be seen in the demands of students to debate those in running for the USA presidency and misquote history and science, literature, philosophy, theology and languages).

Woman is fully aware of what she was doing.  Man was in awe and dumbfounded.  Woman ate and delighted in what she saw.  She had no regret.

Woman gave man the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.  He ate it reluctantly. His eyes were opened but he did not like what he “saw” (learned):  the nakedness was his ignorance.  He was required to think–with the greater of his two heads, and that was difficult so he fashioned an apron to cover his “sin”.  In Genesis 3:7, the “apron” is a group of fig leaves that cover the genitals; but in Acts 19:12, it is a girdle or half-girdle worn by artisans and servants round the waist for the purpose of preserving the clothing from injury, which is more in keeping with the Babylonian and Sumerian accounts as we find in Ruth 3:15, where it is correctly rendered “vail” or “mantle.”  It indicates that mortals began to take care of their bodies and to protect the bodies from injury while working in the Garden. 

What is of especial note is that the “apron” only covered the front of the person (the genitals).  No where is nudity damned, until quite late, when we get to the Ethiopian story of Noah/Noe who was drunk and naked–but this account reflects strongly the story of Oedipus and his marriage to his mother in ancient Greek legend–a rendering that I shall offer later. As I authored in a different article, nowhere in the Old Testament is marriage defined as one man with one woman (Abraham had no less than two wives, David had eighteen wives, and Solomon had 700), nor is incest denied (Jacob married two of his first cousins)

3 Comments

Filed under Bible, Education, Evangelical Christianity, Language

Translation, Interpretation and the Misuse of words to start wars and create hate

Interpretation is neither identical with nor synonymous to translation—any more than synonymous is equal to identical. On the contrary they have nothing in common with each other, contrary to the erroneous preaching of such demagogues as Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Bradlee Dean, Charles Grassley, Bob Vander Plaats and Maggie Gallegher, and groups such as Focus on the Family, FAMiLY Leader, National Organization for Marriage and DOMA, Abiding Truth Ministries, American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council, Sovereign Citizen, Ku Klux Klan, Westboro Baptist Church, American Nazi Party and other recognized hate organizations (http://splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/the-hard-liners, and http://www.splcenter.org/search/apachesolr_search/kkk, and http://www.splcenter.org/search/apachesolr_search/American%20Nazi) who misguided or deliberately mangle, marginalize, and

Bill O'Reilly

Andres Breivik

misuse the language, are incapable of exacting translation and correct interpretation of material.  This is clearly seen in Bill O’Reilly’s tirade that Anders Breivik could not be an evangelical Christian and commit mass murder in Norway, despite the fact that the Norwegian admitted to be “an evangelical” (here meaning a “messenger”” who committed the to rid Europe of Muslims (like the medieval crusaders) and return the national Lutheran church of Norway to the Roman Catholic fold (http://nation.foxnews.com/norway/2011/07/26/oreilly-blasts-media-branding-norwegian-maniac-christian-extremist) The account is by Fox News, owned by Rupert Murdoch, and is notorious for distorting the news to meet Murdoch’s private agenda to transubstantiate its listeners thinking patterns and perceptions (cp. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/26/bill-oreilly-media-breivik-christian_n_909498.html).  What O’Reilly disparages is the word “crusade” (e.g.

Battle of Nicopolis (last crusade)

“Christian crusader” that  in Arabic/Islam is jihad and both the medieval Latin and late Arabic originally meant “any vigorous, emotional crusade for an idea or principle”).  From the eighth century the word “crusade” had the definition of “a personal struggle of the individual believer against evil and persecution”.  By the eleventh century both words mean a “holy war” (although the latter continued to mean an inward struggle to purge one’s sins until the fall of Acre.  In Latin crusade was originally meant to “any of the military expeditions undertaken by the Christians of Europe” (e.g. in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Muslims) or “any vigorous, aggressive movement for the defense or advancement of an idea, cause” (from croisade).  Today it is defined as “to carry the cross into warfare” such as the manufacturer, Trijicon of Michigan, of war weapons for the USA wanted US military personnel to do when deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan carrying their rifle scopes containing Bible references; https://arthuride.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/christian-terrorism-how-evangelical-fundamentalism-destroys-people-and-civilizations/; their crusading zeal matches that of Breivik, as seen on their website, that reads: “Guided by our values, we endeavor to have our products used wherever precision aiming solutions are required to protect individual freedom.”We believe that America is great when its people are good.  This goodness has been based on Biblical standards throughout our history, and we will strive to follow those morals”), but not all USA soldiers are Christians: many are Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, agnostics and atheists.  

On page 1037 of Breivik’s manifesto, the Norwegian mass murderer, Breivik, wrote:

If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.” [Emphasis mine.]

Breivik claims to be a Christian on his Facebook webpage; he also claims to be a member of the Knights Templar who followed first century Egyptian migrants to Rome and formed the first movement of chrestianos with rigid adherence to Matthew 10:34.  His actions justify both of his assertions, with without the personal envelopmental relationship with god (he did not see himself as a physical part of god which was a claim only by pharaohs and Roman emperors). 

A “personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God” is the confession of evangelical fundamentalists, such as Pentecostals, which fundamentalists base on John 14:7-10 refining John 3:3.   The problem here is in translation and interpretation.  To use the word “relation” (Latin, relatio; the Greek is σχέση that is on the order of a comparison) is to follow the vocabulary created by the early Fathers to denote the way in which the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity are united and connected to each other within the perfect unity of the one Godhead. Here relatio carries the strong sense of that which is objectively in existence and necessarily true of the reality of God, the Holy Trinity and not the intimacy of a mortal with a deity; what is called for is an understanding (κατανόηση).  It is not an intrinsic part of all Christian denominations.

When a professional interprets he or she is interpreting a message (a speech, a note, a document, a brief, or any other form of communication) that professional takes a message from a source language and renders that message into a different target language (for example: English into French) not as a translation verbatim a literatim (word for word and letter for letter) but seeks the Geist (spirit; not σοφία [wisdom] nor γνώση [knowledge] and never λογός [logos = reason] but is used for λέξη = word: and a fantasy is developed that is carried on for centuries) of the word(s) to create an understandable message that is not thwart with numerous inconsistencies. Much of this is the result of repetitive copying in scriptoriums by semiliterate monks who draw characters they did not understand (cf. (Christopher S. Celenza, “Creating Canons in Fifteenth-Century Ferrara: Angelo Decembrio’s “De politia litteraria,” 1.10″ Renaissance Quarterly 57.1 (Spring 2004:43-98) p. 48; the Cistercians were the first to codify the copying process: literae unius coloris et non depictae (“letters of one color and not ornamental”) cp. Yolanta Załuska (1989), L’enluminure et le scriptorium de Cîteaux au XIIe siècle. Brecht: Cîteaux).

In interpreting, the interpreter take a complex concept—not just a group of words—from one language and then chooses the most appropriate vocabulary in the target language to faithfully render the message in a linguistically, emotionally, tonally, and culturally equivalent message. This is significantly different from the art of translation that is the transference of meaning from text to text (text textum or κείμενο σε κείμενο either written or recorded). Unlike the interpreter who must make a message sensible and sensitive, the translator has time and access to resources (such as dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses, etc.) to produce an accurate document or verbal artifact. Lesser known, fortunately, is “transliteration.” It is used within sign language interpreting and takes one form of a language and transfers those same wordsinto another form (for example: spoken English into a signed form of English, Signed Exact English (підписали точного англійської), not ASL)—it is not, by any means a form of vulgar (common) English where a person finds a street-savvy sentence or phrase and metamorphosis  it into something popular (for example, taking the Latin word negro and drastically and wrongfully making it into nigger—which is a pejorative).

A very common misconception of interpretation is that it is rendered verbatim, as a word-for-word syntactic translation of an utterance. In linguistics, syntactic is from the Ancient Greek (Attic as opposed to Kionic from Ionic or other forms of Greek) σύνταξις “arrangement” or “retirement” from σύν [syn], “together”, and τάξις [taxis], “an ordering”) is the study of the principles and rules for constructing sentences in natural languages, neither can they be translated directly along nor across linguistic lines such as σταυρό (that actually derives from گرو coming from удел) for crux.

The term syntax is also used to refer directly to the rules and principles that govern the sentence structure of any individual language, as in “the syntax of Modern English.” The problem with this is that words that are coinage today and changed to meet a select sect or section of speakers distorts what others understand (for example, Mick Jaggard of the Rolling Stones always asks about his “bird” (girlfriend), but to most people a bird has wings and usually flies; American slang uses the word “chick” for girlfriend).  There are 36 different forms of English; the most common are UK and USA, but even here there are differences (“lorry” [UK} = “truck” [USA], etc).  Modern research in the emergency expansion of schools where pushing out degree holders is more important than mastering a language fits comfortably in this venue and the language devolves in syntax attempts to describe languages according to terms of such rules. Many professionals in this discipline attempt to find general rules that apply to all natural languages, while science and observation shows that there is no single rule that applies to all languages any more than one culture or one god or one government can rule one world.

Needless to say, syntax once distorted finds little comfort among those outside of the select group and language devolves and the true meaning of something said or written is uncertain and painfully misunderstood (for example: the difference between the prepositions in and at within the phrase “I am at the museum” compared with “I am in the museum.” The person who is at the museum may be in front of the building, while the person who is in the museum continues to await the arrival of the person who has not yet entered. True interpretation and professional interpreters will know this, not only in traditional language settings and usages (for example, note the distinct difference between the words “use” and “usage”) as the term syntax is also used to refer to the rules governing the behavior of mathematical systems, such as logic, artificial formal languages, and computer programming languages.

As I noted in my book The Difference in Mastering and Teaching Interpretation and Translation Skills (Chicago: Sepore, 2003, vol. 2, p. 479), a literal, verbatim interpretation of a source-language message becomes unintelligible to the target-language recipient when and if as well as because of grammar differences, cultural and syntactical context. Thus the fluid, subject-matter-expert (the teacher) will bring into focus all disciplines so that the interpreter and translator will fit comfortable in all times, climes, and formative processes (for example, the Spanish phrase: Está de viaje, rendered verbatim to English translates as: Is of voyage (which is humorous if not senseless in English). The intended meaning of the message is: “you are traversing” or “you are out-of-town”. The same goes for such delightful expressions as Tengo sed that would be translated as “I have thirst” indicating that someone can retrieve it and carry it; but in correct English it is “I am thirsty.” That is the overall meaning, tone, and style in the target language rather than a senseless word-for-word translation. In any class of interpretation and translation it is imperative that the educator clearly, cogently, carefully, correctly and concisely notes that all examples used can be singular or plural, past or present tense, or indicative (denoting the mood of verbs in explaining or clarifying statements) or insignificant (repetitive, redundancies, deadwood, and so forth) depending on context: it is but one more responsibility of an interpreter).

A course in interpretation requires various texts from various fields—with the first objective being the understanding of what the author is writing about or what people are saying if a video or program were played or shown. The second part requires the student to go beyond the basic interpretation of what happened to find a causal relationship: why did it happen. The third challenge is to state what may be the subliminal message or the tacit rejoinder (what is really being said; for example “No one may eat before Mary eats” does not mean that no one may eat but that all people must wait for Mary to begin dining. At this point the question rises to “what is the most important word in the sentence: most will select the direct object as it is a noun/subject (Mary)—and they would be incorrect; as the most important word gives permission (the verb may), and that verb is essential as if it were can the question would invite such dialogues as “do those in the assemblage/assembly have arms, hands, eating utensils, and so forth.

Sumerian tablet c2000 BCE

(The tablet translates:  “‘The Lord put the [first] human in the brick mould, and Enlil’s people emerged from the ground [adamah: red earth]” (cp. Gen. 2:7).”)

Hammurabi's cuneiform code of "les talionis" or "law of retaliation"

Depending on the length of the course and the participation ability (is fluid in the language, is not shy, is eager to talk, and so forth) of the individual will define the actual syllabus. I would recommend a few short British comedies, clips of audience reactions, and select readings, especially from Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Adams, Isaac Asimov, and others including select religious texts such as the Bhagavad Gītā (Sanskrit: भगवद्गीता) a 700 verse tract, Papyrus of Anu, or Book of Job, or Hammurabi’s Code, the original lex talionis (law of retaliation from which people get “an eye for an eye” (Leviticus 24:19-21  וְאִישׁ כִּי־יִתֵּן מוּם בַּעֲמִיתֹו כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה כֵּן יֵעָשֶׂה לֹּו׃ שֶׁבֶר תַּחַת שֶׁבֶר עַיִן תַּחַת עַיִן שֵׁן תַּחַת שֵׁן כַּאֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן מוּם בָּאָדָם כֵּן יִנָּתֶן בֹּו׃ וּמַכֵּה בְהֵמָה יְשַׁלְּמֶנָּה וּמַכֵּה אָדָם יוּמָת׃) coming from a 6000 year-old Egyptian papyrus: all of which leads to discussion, debate, and student interchange and learning. This is especially prominent, and misused, in theology, ontology and related fields.

Bibliography:

Ide, Arthur Frederick (2011). Misuse and Bias in Mistranslations and Misinterpretations of Documents for Partisan Purposes, Chicago, IL: Sepore, p. 527 © 2011 Arthur Frederick Ide.

Ide, Arthur Frederick (2012). The Logic and Philosophy of Grammar in Teaching a Foreign Language (Las Colinas, TX: Tangelwüld Press © 2011 Arthur Frederick Ide.

1 Comment

Filed under Christian Terrorists, Education, Language