Tag Archives: Fred Edwords

Roanoke, Virginia’s Christian cabal and the words of the New Testament Jesus

Some of Roanoke, Virginia’s Christian cabal has publicly demonstrated that they do not believe in the Jesus of the New Testament and have never heard or studied the message ascribed to him in what is today known as the New Testament.  Odiously opportunistic, in suppressive stealth, these calloused, cold, cruel covert canonists came with spray paint cans in hand or with wrapping paper and duct tape at the ready, to undo a message of good will to people.  Being more in keeping with veiled votarients vying for the selectivity of a jealous god who favored a few but not all as recorded in Luke 2:14 (written by Saul of Tarsus companion long after the inscription of Mark and Matthew): “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!” (Holman Christian Standard Bible 2009; cp. New International Version (NIV): “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” compare with Stephanus 1550 Textus: Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία or the Vulgate: gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis).

This is not a god for all people.  The deity worshipped by the cabal in Roanoke, Virginia is more like the Republican candidate for President of the USA in 2012, when the candidate rejected the idea that he would represent all of the citizens of the USA (read here and here and here and here with video with the promise to represent 100% here).

Roanoke’s staid and ossified orthodox partisans have defied every word that the Jesus of the New Testament is reputed to have said, the message allegedly preached, and the compassion and love that the magnetic leader of a small sect of pacifist Hebrews heralded.  Instead of using the spears, swords, and knives described in the Torah and Prophets, those who would root out evil in the form of any writing they found disfavor with, used paint and tape and paper.

The rogue Roanoke remonstrators rabidly wrote with slashes of black and tribulations of red during the unhistorical birth date of their god on December 25, 2012 (a month and date artificially created by the Imperial Church invented by the pagan Emperor Constantine I, their scorn for the message commonly found, seldom read, and even less understood in the Gospel ascribed to the authorship of a Matthew (7:1: Μὴ κρίνετε ἵνα μὴ κριθῆτε and the Vulgate: nolite iudicare ut non iudicemini) while with their actions denounced the spirited injunction in the Book of Acts of the Apostles (Πράξεις τῶν Ἀποστόλων, the title was not a part of the original composition but added by Irenaeus late in the second century CE; it is commonly ascribed to Luke, although the authorship is under debate and the earliest records do not make this notation before the second century CE to the fourth century CE; cp. Epiphanius, Panarion 51.11 where it is suggested that he was one of the “Seventy” disciples; with Luke’s historical accuracy questioned in Powell, Mark Allen (1989). What are they saying about Luke? New York: Paulist Press. p. 6. It is argued that much of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles is plagiarized from far older Greek accounts phraseology and plot elements from Euripides’ play The Bacch, cf. Helms, Randel McCram (1997). Who Wrote the Gospels? Altadena, CA: Millennium Press.  The debate on the authorship is summarized by Brown, Raymond E. (1997) in his Introduction to the New Testament, New York: Anchor Bible (1997), pages 267–268, and can be furthered with an analysis of the use of the plural first person pronoun “we” indicated multiple authorships and is sprinkled heavily in the Book of Acts: 16:10–17; 20:5–15; 21:1–18; 27:1– 28). 

The text in question is Luke 10:34: Ἀνοίξας δὲ Πέτρος τὸ στόμα εἶπεν Ἐπ ἀληθείας καταλαμβάνομαι ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν προσωπολήπτης ὁ θεός or in the Vulgate: aperiens autem Petrus os dixit in veritate conperi quoniam non est personarum acceptor Deus).  Even English “translations” differ, and interpretations are as poor as in any department of language interpretation throughout the Third World universities and most schools of higher education in the First World.

Conversion of Saul (Caravaggio)

Conversion of Saul (Caravaggio)

Far worse is tortured truth that these weathered Christians, heralding back to the past when their ancient colleagues tore the flesh off of those who did not share their own sadistic séances with readings of Saul of Tarsus who never met the Jesus of the New Testament (1 Corinthians 9:1-2; Galatians 1:13-14).  Saul’s “conversion” was actually a temporal lobe epilepsy that most likely ended in a convulsion that led to temporary blindness (Landsborough, D. (1987). “St. Paul and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy,” Journal of Neurology Neurosurgury & Psychiatry 1987; 50; 659–64; Geschwind N. (1979). Cp.  “Behavioural changes in temporal lobe epilepsy”. Psychological Medicine. 9 (2: May): 217–219; and Stern, A. (1957). “Zur Problem der Epilepsie des Paulus”. Psychiatria et Neurologia (Basel) May;133(5):276–284; this problem may have affected the prophet Ezekiel: cf. Altschuler, E.L. (2002). “Did Ezekiel have temporal lobe epilepsy?” Archives of General Psychiatry 59 June (6): 561-562).  Saul, who admitted he never met the New Testament Jesus, allegedly wrote letters that rejected and raped the original message of tolerance, and were incorporated by imperial decree when they were not denounced and unpunished since they gave greater grandeur and authority to the male with the subordination of the female.

Paganism outlawed throughout Europe (390 CE). Christians began systematic holocaust of non-believers.

Paganism outlawed throughout Europe (390 CE). Christians began systematic holocaust of non-believers.

Using Pauline transmogrification of the Jesus message, the merchants of deceit moved toward Roanoke to add havoc to the winter holidays.  They tightened their theologically taught terrorist Christian act of vandalism and hooliganism so typical of the ancient imperial “catholic [universal] church” (that the Emperor Constantine created in 325 CE (Eusebius, Vita Constantini 36-37) when the centers of worship and homes of charity to the poor and elderly were dedicated to other gods were destroyed or forcibly converted into the pagan temples of Christianity, beginning under the emperor Theodosius I in 381 CE (Theodosian Code 16.10.11) that none were safe) that the right to express an opinion was sacrificed on the stained altar of fanaticism of blind faith in defiance of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the USA.

Christianity has never been a tolerant religion.  Like the bastardization of the ministry of Jesus fetiditly foisted onto the backs of the ignorant by the original Elmer Gantry (the tent revivalist Billy Graham) and subsequent televangelists from G. Pat Robertson to the Bakkers of PTL, today no one knows basic boundaries of decency and carnivorously cannibalizes the cerebrum abilities once thought to possibly exist in the corpus of the community of alleged human beings (at least in name).  The Roanoke, Virginia vandals, as if fresh out of the ancient Sunday school (a pagan institution in origin that was an institution to celebrate, capitalize on and capture the majesty of the Sun God: Sol Invictus, introduced into Roman religion by emperor Heliogabalus (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, ca. 203 – 11 March 222; the name is a reference to the god Elagabalus and is the Latinized form of the Syrian Ilāh hag-Gabal, which derives from Ilāh (“god” the prototype for Allah: الله‎ that translates as the God, not God, from the Aramaic “Alaha” or “the [supreme] god/goddess of the moon” (cf. Herodotus, Histories Apodexis, lines 131-132), and Allah’s three daughters: Lat (goddess of fate whose temple was at Mecca, and whom Muhammad worshipped until forbidden to continue with his prayers by the tribal deity Allah), Uzza (Venus, goddess of love and sex) and Manat, goddess of destiny).  These are found in the Qur’an (an-Najm 53:19-22) and constitute the infamous Satanic Verses that read in the earliest copies of the Qur’an but have been deleted in later versions (original text to the left, the redacted text is to the right):

Allah (god of the moon) and his three daughters (goddesses)

Allah (god of the moon) and his three daughters (goddesses)

Near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!) (His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong! For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest! Have you seen Lat. and ‘Uzza, And another, the third (goddess), Manat? Near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!) (His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong! For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest! Have you seen Lat. and ‘Uzza, And another, the third (goddess), Manat?
These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries) Whose intercession is to be hoped for. [Words of Satan Deleted]
What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair! (an-Najm 53:19-22) What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair! (an-Najm 53:19-22)

In the ancient world, the crane was a god or goddess (usually naked, since nudity represented purity as with the original “Adam and Eve”–clothing always has represented a sinful condition) who flew to heaven and the throne of the chief god or goddess with the prayers of mortals.  The crane (or stork) is also discussed in the ancient Apiru/Hebrew world (Isaiah 38:14 כְּסוּס עָגוּר כֵּן אֲצַפְצֵף אֶהְגֶּה כַּיֹּונָה דַּלּוּ עֵינַי לַמָּרֹום אֲדֹנָי עָשְׁקָה־לִּי עָרְבֵנִי׃; Jeremiah 8:7 גַּם־חֲסִידָה בַשָּׁמַיִם יָדְעָה מֹועֲדֶיהָ וְתֹר [כ וְסוּס] [ק וְסִיס] וְעָגוּר שָׁמְרוּ אֶת־עֵת בֹּאָנָה וְעַמִּי לֹא יָדְעוּ אֵת מִשְׁפַּט יְהוָה׃) and in medieval (Roman Catholic) Christianity’s bestiary.  In Mecca and the evolution of the myth of Allah, the daughters were the primary messengers for people’s petitions to the god/goddess of the moon (who became Allah).

Add to this the gabal (“mountain” (compare the Hebrew: גבל bul and Arabic: جبل‎ jabal)), and the result is “the God of the Mountain” being the Emesene manifestation of the deity formatted after Heliogabalus, the patron god of Emesa (modern Homs) in the Roman province of Syria, c. 220 CE as an offshoot of the earlier Sol Indiges. 

The Roanoke miscreants’ ministry manifested its Machiavellian materialism in its use of spray paint to deface one of the four Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason billboards in the Roanoke area. Their god is so weak, so petty and so jealous that its Stoßtruppen (whose Obersturmbannführer remained in hiding) had to defend the unholy name by vandalizing the misperceived aspersions on a billboard that merely stated scientific investigational logic: that which cannot be proved most likely does not exist.  Many accept science over faith and find no reason for the existence of a god that even Stephen W. Hawking argued against in his A Brief History of Time: from the Big Bang to Black Holes (Toronto ; New York : Bantam Books, 1988).

First vandal attack on reason in Roanoke, VA (December 2012)

First vandal attack on reason in Roanoke, VA (December 2012)

During the third week of December, 2012, the billboard at Virginia Route 419 at 1420 Lynchburg Turnpike, in Salem, facing east, originally read: “Don’t believe in God? Join the club.” The word “Don’t” was blacked out by paint on December 21, 2012. 

Martinsville, VA - Klan leaders Amanda and Chris Barker

Martinsville, VA – Klan leaders Amanda and Chris Barker

Faith was no longer a matter of choice for those who worked for understanding rather than bowing before indoctrination by an Inquisition as terrifying as it was in the darkest ages known to Europe.  This troop of tormenters that had spawn the Ku Klux Klan, adopted neo-NAZI symbolism and revered the machinations of US Senator Joe McCarthy (R-WI) and his gaggle of priests was invigorated once more in the State of Virginia. Matching the theological students in Afghanistan known as Taliban (Pashto: طالبان‎, identical to the Hitlerjugend spawned by the Sturmabteilung; cf. Klee, Ernst (2005). Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945, Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Zweite aktualisierte Auflage), the firebrands of evangelical extremism bred on hate and swallowed poisoned draughts of bigotry, creating their current curdled culture of predatory practitioners, pastors, priests, and pandering paternalizing  people taking up the challenge of the religious right to dismantle the Constitution of the USA and its First Amendment.  

Michael Jock

Michael Jock

Those who attacked reasoned debate, an environment of inquiry and dialogue were solid supporters of the NRA and those who argue that all teachers should arm themselves and that every home should have a gun so the homeowner could “stand your ground” if she or he felt threatened, as has happened throughout the USA.  Michael Jock, a man in Florida shot a customer, Randall White who was complaining about slow service  at Little Cesar’s Pizza and raised his hand against Jock’s pushing him, leading Jock to pull a .38 Taurus Ultralight Special Revolver and fired a shot into the White’s torso, claiming that he “feared for” his life.

George Zimmerman (left) shot and killed unarmed Trayvon Martin (right)

George Zimmerman (left) shot and killed unarmed Trayvon Martin (right)

George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin who on December 28, 2012, was exposed for concocting an escape plan as if it was a scenario for a Hollywood film to get out of paying a security firm $27,027, according to court documents, to send armed bodyguards from Associated Investigative Services (AIS) to meet Zimmerman at the Seminole County jail and dress him in body armour before speeding him off in a rental vehicle previously checked for hidden GPS tracking devices, put him in a disabled stall in a major hotel’s main bathroom, change his clothes and put on dark glasses so that he could walk to a different vehicle that would carry him to a “safe house”.

Michael Dunn kills teen Jordan Davis over loud music in Florida

Michael Dunn kills teen Jordan Davis over loud music in Florida

Michael Dunn, also of Florida, used the Stand Your Ground law to murder an unarmed teenager over loud music (read here and here).  All of those who “Stood Your Ground” are god-fearing, “good Christians” with no tolerance for racial or other minorities.

New studies show more people are shot to death with ALEC/NRA “Stand Your Ground” laws.  The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a private non-profit and the largest economics research organization in the United States released a working paper showing that deaths due to the law increased between 4 and 8 additional deaths each month, and Texas A&M University researchers also released a study in June 2012, finding states that passed the laws saw an increase in homicides between 7 and 9 percent annually, which amounts to between 500 and 700 homicides cumulatively, with no drop in violent crime rates.  This is but an extension of the religious wars that have bloodstained history since the inception and invention of religion by mortal men.

dying for the same godThese are the people who claim to be men and women of god (but which god? or goddess?) who bark out demands that god be put back into school rooms, that prayers are made mandatory, and that reason and investigation be curbed.

Second attack on Coalition of Reason billboard (Roanoke, VA, December 28, 2012)

Second attack on Coalition of Reason billboard (Roanoke, VA, December 28, 2012)

A second of the four Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason billboards in the Roanoke area was found vandalized on December 28, 2012. The billboard at 32 Boulevard Street near the underpass and just north of Patterson, in Roanoke, facing south, originally read: “Don’t believe in God? Join the club.” But the “n’t” was blocked out with wrapping paper and duct tape, leaving the text to read “Do”, in keeping with the Christian assassins in Alexandria who pulled the famed mathematician, philosopher and librarian Hypatia (c. 350/370-415 CE), skinning her alive with their finger nails and throwing her onto a pile of burning ancient and new scrolls that did not praise their concept of a warrior Christ (Matthew 10:34) when she screamed “Do not destroy the works of the greats for the arrogance of the ignorant [the bishop Cyril was named the new Coptic [pope] Theophilius]”  Her murder marked the end of classical antiquity and academic scholarship for the next 1000 years (Wider, Kathleen (1986). “Women Philosophers in the Ancient Greek World: Donning the Mantle” in Hypatia, Vol 1 No 1 (Spring, 1986): pp. 21-62; Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press p. 49–50; Mangasarian, Mangasar Mugurditch (1915). The Martyrdom of Hypatia: The Death of the Classical World: A Lecture. Chicago, IL: Independent Religious Society; Teruel, Pedro Jesús (2011). Filosofía y ciencia en Hipatia. Madrid. Spain: Gredos.).  

Fred Edwords (National Director Coalition of Reason)

Fred Edwords (National Director Coalition of Reason)

Roanoke avengers with as little skill and intelligence as the ancient chrestianos, felt compelled to silence dissent, dissolve the conduct of inquiry, and demonstrate their own prejudice in raw refutation of John 13:34 and Ephesians 4:32. The prejudice in Roanoke against any one who would question religious faith is very real, leading Fred Edwords, national director of United Coalition of Reason to respond: “Prejudice against non-theistic and other non-religious people continues to be very real in America, so we are forced to speak out whenever these unfortunate incidents occur.”  This is more in keeping with the rage of Jeremiah 4:7 (עָלָה אַרְיֵה מִסֻּבְּכֹו וּמַשְׁחִית גֹּויִם נָסַע יָצָא מִמְּקֹמֹו לָשׂוּם אַרְצֵךְ לְשַׁמָּה עָרַיִךְ תִּצֶּינָה מֵאֵין יֹושֵׁב׃) and the segregation of Leviticus 13:44 (אִישׁ־צָרוּעַ הוּא טָמֵא הוּא טַמֵּא יְטַמְּאֶנּוּ הַכֹּהֵן בְּרֹאשֹׁו נִגְעֹו׃ : where lepers are condemned as “unclean”) demonstrating that nothing within the book matches the message of Jesus of the New Testament who even ate with “the unclean”—that had nothing to do with the lack of a bath—and visited with the adulteress in John 8:1-11.

On its website at www.BlueRidgeCoR.org, the Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason declares its purpose as “a joint outreach effort” to help the public connect with “local freethought [sic], humanist, atheist, agnostic, rationalist” and other such groups. It provides interested people “with information and a sense of community.” The coalition was officially launched December 19, 2012, when the billboards were announced.

2 Comments

Filed under atheism, atheists, Bible, Bullying, Christian Terrorists, Church history, Jesus Christ, separation of church and state

Invention of the Bible and Christianity

Fred Edwords

Fred Edwords (born July 19, 1948, in San Diego, California) and one who has worked tirelessly to end the adoption of superstition has fact and to remove the lack of logic from discourse in open conversations and lectures. Fred Edwords is currently national director of the United Coalition of Reason (“Fred Edwords, a longtime atheist leader who directs an umbrella group, the United Coalition of Reason,” “More atheists shout it from the rooftops” by Laurie Goldstein, New York Times, April 26, 2009 at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/us/27atheist.htm (accessed May 17, 2011) passed me an account he read on http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&&note_id=118151618265408 raising questions about the authenticity of the Bible. This article put together the missing pieces I had been searching for in my own critiques of the Bible and its history, both in books and on this blog. The article that Fred Edwords sent to me is the headlined:

17 YEAR ADVISOR TO THE POPE EXPOSES BIBLE FRAUD AND FORGERY

by Samuel Butler on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 5:12pm

Retired highly regarded priest, who for 17 years (1980-1997) served as an advisor to the Pope, exposes bible forgery and fraud.

Dr. Miceal Ledwith achieved distinction as a catholic theologian who received international recognition for academic and professional accomplishment. An esteemed professor of Systemic Theology, president of the University of Maymooth , Ireland (National University of Ireland-Sam) and fulfilling a seventeen year appointment as advisor to the Pope on the Holy See’s international Theological Commission. Yet at the height of his career, he walked away to pursue a completely different kind of spiritual life – one of humble, internal initiation and transformation. He talks about an enormous upheaval after the Second Vatican Council:“I think most of my contemporaries were doing the same thing that I was and pondering the same thoughts, maybe not as intensely, but they were certainly as aware of those theories as I was. There were many people in positions of authority in the church that were contemplating the inconsistencies, and a lot of them ran afoul of religious authority. This is of course something that had always occurred throughout the history of Christianity.“I spoke with someone the other day that insisted on the importance of holding on to some permanently valid religious truth. I asked “And where might we hope to find that in the gospels of the New Testament, for example? Let me suggest something.”

“Go to the Vatican Library today and look at the oldest manuscript that we have of the New Testament, which is known as the Codex Vaticanus’, and was probably one of the bibles commissioned by Constantine. Another one to look at is in the British Library called codex Sinaiticus’ which was discovered in Mount Sinai at St. Catherine’s Monastery. Look at those two texts, both from the 4TH century, and try to find the famous story of Jesus rescuing the lady who is being stoned for adultery in John’s Gospel Chapter 8. It is a very powerful story, but it is not contained in either of those manuscripts, which means that story was inserted into the text of the New Testament for the first time at least as late as the 4th century if not later. I can give you a hundred other examples.”

(Above from SuperConsciousness Magazine Fall 2010 page 64)

Dr. Micael Ledwith

Butler does not mention that much of Ledwith’s situation changed because of the sexual abuse scandal that broke out in Ireland. Ledwith was nominated to be President of St. Patrick’s by the then Bishop of Ferns, Dr. Brendan Comiskey. Comiskey resigned in disgrace on account of sex abuse cases in his constituency, and Ledwith paid compensation in 2002 for allegedly abusing a child. Ledwith vehemently denied it, but was urged to make a financial settlement over which he protested by paid; later the trustees were informed of another allegation of abuse by solicitors on behalf of a former student of the college between 1992 and 1994. Monsignor Ledwith vehemently denied it saying he was not even in the country at the time of the alleged abuse (http://www.rte.ie/news/2002/0531/maynooth.html).

Since the allegations were never fully investigated, the Irish Senate checked into the matter, and in November 2005, Dr Mary Elizabeth Frances Henry (born 11 May 1940 in Blackrock, Cork)  a former Independent member of Seanad Éireann, who, by profession she is a University Professor and medical practitioner, said: “With regard to Monsignor Ledwith, I was dismayed to read the response of the bishops to whom complaints were made by six senior seminarians, as they are described in the report, as well as the senior dean of Maynooth College, Fr. Gerard McGinnity. Cardinal Daly, one of the surviving bishops, indicated in his statement to the inquiry that it was entirely untrue that any seminarian had mentioned homosexuality to him in connection with Monsignor Ledwith” (http://homepage.eircom.net/~maryhenry/debates/05-nov10a.htm). 

Later Ledwith was appointed during the tenure of Tomás Cardinal O’Fiaich, Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, himself a former President of the College who had served Ledwith on the College staff until his appointment to Armagh in 1977. Ledwith was also supported by O’Fiach’s successor, Cahal Cardinal Daly, who having been a Bishop since 1967 was well-versed with his career at the College. So popular a theologian and researcher, Ledwith was frequently spoken of as a future bishop and indeed Archbishop of Dublin especially in 1988 when Cardinal Desmond Connell was appointed. However, by this time, Ledwith had strong doubts about the Bible and Christianity, especially with the enormous upheaval after the Second Vatican Council that gave theologians greater freedom of inquiry.  At that point he began to publicly question the Bible, its origin(s), and message(s)—ultimately turning to New Age Thought. Ledwith was laicized by the Catholic Church in 2005 following his “defection” to a “new age” sect. 

Caspar René Gregory (1894)

The Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana is a part of the Vatican Library that has 75,000 codices from throughout history, and the document Codex Vaticanus is found as Vat. gr. 1209; no. B or 03 Gregory-Aland, δ 1 von Soden.  The numbering of this document is the result of a Caspar René Gregory (November 6, 1846 in Philadelphia – April 9, 1917 in a field hospital in Neuchâtel sur Aisne, France being the oldest volunteer soldier to fight in World War I—for Germany) who was a German-American theologian, and a Protestant. An American by birth but German by choice, Gregory published several cataloging lists/criterion, the most important being his cataloging system in 1908 detailed in Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, which is the system still in use today. Gregory divided the manuscripts into four groups: papyri, uncials, minuscules, and lectionaries (among his works are Prolegomena zu Tischendorfs Novum Testamentum Graece (editio VIII. critica major), 2 Vols. 1884-94 (German revised edition: text criticism of the New Testament, 3 Vols., 1900-09; and, Vorschläge für eine kritische Ausgabe des griechischen Neuen Testaments, 1911).  Teodor Cressy Skeat believed that Vaticanus was rejected by the emperor, for it is deficient in the Eusebia canon tables (dividing the gospels into sections), contains many corrections (made in scriptorium), and lacks the books of Maccabees (see: Teodor Cressy Skeat, The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine, Journal of Theological Studies 50 (1999), pp. 583–625; Skeat (15 February 1907 — 25 June 2003) was a librarian at the British Museum, where he worked as Assistant Keeper (from 1931), Deputy Keeper (from 1948), and Keeper of Manuscripts and Egerton Librarian (from 1961 to 1972)

Kurt Aland (1915-1994)

After Gregory’s death in battle, his work was picked up by Kurt Aland (28 March 1915 – 13 April 1994) who was also a German Theologian.  He was a Professor of New Testament Research and Church History, and established the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung (Institute for New Testament Textual Research) in Münster where he served as its first director from 1959 – 1983.  

Hermann Freiherr von Soden

The final part of the numbering system for ancient codices was invented by Baron Hermann Freiherr von Soden (16 August 1852-15 January 1914).  Like his predecessors, von Soden was a German biblical scholar, and like Gregory was born in the USA at Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 16, 1852.  He was educated at the University of Tübingen and became the Protestant minister of Dresden-Striesen in 1881.  In 1887 Baron von Soden became minister of the Jerusalem Church in Berlin and two years later became privatdozent in the University of Berlin.  Four years later was appointed extraordinary professor of divinity. His popularity waned then was rejuvenated and waned again as he advocated for a more democratic presbyterian constitution of the congregations within the Evangelical State Church of Prussia’s older Provinces.  During this time he published a complex cataloging system for manuscripts in 1902 – 1910.  Grouping manuscripts based on content, von Soden assigned them a Greek prefix: δ for the complete New Testament, ε for the Gospels, and α for the remaining parts.  His assignment of numbering was seriously flawed as some manuscripts grouped in δ did not contain Revelation, and many manuscripts grouped in α contained either the general epistles or the Pauline epistles, but not both. Following the Greek prefix, Von Soden assigned a numeral that roughly corresponded to a date (for example δ1 – δ49 were from before the 10th century, δ150-δ249 for the 11th century). This system proved to be problematic when manuscripts were re-dated, or when more manuscripts were discovered than the number of spaces allocated to a certain century.

Codex Vaticanus (end or Luke)

The Codex Vaticanus’ that Ledwith was referring to is written on 759 leaves of vellum in uncial letters.  It has been dated palaeographically to the 4th century CE— which means that it was not written by any of the alleged apostles (including Paul of Tarsus) or any early church/Christian community figure.  Furthermore, its text differs from the Vulgate and the Textus Receptus (which actually follows a sixteenth century Byzantine tract) and is considered more reliable by some scholars: (See: S. P. Tregelles, An Introduction to the Critical study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, London 1856, p. 108). 

Codex Vaticanus B (2 Thess 3:11-18; Heb 1:1-2)

It was probably one of the earliest bibles commissioned by the pagan Emperor Constantine. Personally I have problems with accepting its authenticity because of numerous errors in the text. For example: Matthew 10:8 it has Alexandrian reading νεκρους εγειρετε (raise the dead) omitted by the Byzantine text. Acts 20:28 it has Alexandrian reading του Θεου (of the God) instead of Byzantine του κυριου και του Θεου (of the Lord and God).  Furthermore, it has some additions and variants that do not exist in the Byzantine text before the sixteenth century. One of the best known examples is the Comma Johanneum in 1 John 5:7, but there are other texts like: Matthew 10:8; 27:35; Luke 17:36; John 3:25; Acts 8:37; 9:5; 15:34; and some readings (“book of life” (βιβλίο της ζωής) instead of “tree of life” (δέντρο της ζωής) in Revelation 22:19; the text is: και εαν τις αφελη απο των λογων του βιβλιου της προφητειας ταυτης αφελοι ο θεος το μερος αυτου απο του ξυλου της ζωης και εκ της πολεως της αγιας των γεγραμμενων εν τω βιβλιω τουτω) which the Byzantine text does not have.

Codex Sinaiticus

The other citation by Ledwith is Codex Sinaiticus (Hebrew: קודקס סינאיטיקוס‎, Greek: Σιναϊτικός Κώδικας).  It is dated c. 350 and contains the oldest complete copy of the New Testament, as well as the Greek Old Testament, known as the Septuagint. It was most likely one of the fifty original bibles that the Emperor Constantine compile to send to the Eastern Church to insure conformity within his corpus Christianorum (literally: “body of christians” a group ultimately known as the Christian Community—the Emperor had not yet created the “Church of the Christ [Magi(cian)]”). Constantine wanted a Bible which would be acceptable to pagans (“country people” or non-Christians) as well as Christians, and Eusebius (the Bishop of Caesarea and a follower of Origen) was assigned to direct this task in 322 CE.  The Emperor wrote to the Christian Bishop Eusebius:

I have thought it expedient to instruct your Prudence to order fifty copies of the sacred Scriptures, the provision and use of which you know to be most needful for the instruction of the Church, to be written on prepared parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient, portable form, by professional transcribers thoroughly practised in their art. (Vita Constantini, IV, 36)

  According to Eusebius:

Such were the emperor’s commands, which were followed by the immediate execution of the work itself, which we sent him in magnificent and elaborately bound volumes of a threefold and fourfold form. (Vita Constantini, IV, 37 [4.36.37])

There is a problem with Eusebius and later translators and interpreters of Eusebius, especially with the phrase εν πολυτελως ησκημενοις τευχεσι τρισσα και τετρασσα διαπεμψαντων ημων as it has numerous meanings, including:

  • Codices were prepared in three or four volumes –Bernard de Montfaucon (January 13, 1655 – December 21, 1741) a French Benedictine monk, and the scholar who founded a new discipline known as palaeography (he is also regarded to be one of the founders of modern archaeology); and who was an editor of numerous works of the Fathers of the Church;
  • Codices were sent in three or four boxes – Fridericus Adolphus Heinichen who was a nineteenth century editor of Eusebius: Eusebii Pamphili Historiae ecclesiasticae libri X / adiecit Fridericus Adolphus Heinichen. Lipsiae : Kayser, 1827-1828. 3 volumes;
  • Codices were prepared in with three or four folios – Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener who argued that Eusebius was “unclear” and should not be used as a reliable authority in Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose (1894).  A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, George Bell & Sons, London, vol. 1. pp. 118-119;
  • Text of the codices was written in three or four columns per page – the thesis of Constantin von Tischendorf, discoverer of Codex Sinaiticus, who believed that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were among these fifty Bibles prepared by Eusebius in Caesarea. According to him, they were written with three (as Vaticanus) or four columns per page (as Sinaiticus), see: Novum Testamentum Graece ad Antiquissimos Testes Denuo Recensuit, Tischendorf, Editio Octava Critica Maior, Lipsk 1884, vol. III, p. 348; Oscar Leopold von Gebhardt (1844–1906) was a German Lutheran theologian who 1893 he became chief librarian and professor of paleography at the University of Leipzig. He published Theile’s Novum Testamentum Graece (1875–1900) and Das Neue Testament griesch und deutsch (fourth edition, 1896); edited The Miniatures of the Ashburnham Pentateuch (1883); with Adolf von Harnack, Texte und Untersuchungen zur Gerschichte der altchristlichen Literatur (1882–1905), a serial devoted to New Testament and patristic criticism, Gregory (already discussed above), and Kirsopp Lake (1872 – 1946), a British biblical and patristic scholar, textual critic. After 1914 he was a professor of early Christian literature at Harvard University. In 1919 he was appointed to a Harvard chair as Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History, and authored The Codex Sinaiticus, 2 vols, 1911-1922, Six Collations of New Testament Manuscripts, Oxford University Press, 1932, among other works. Kirsopp Lake argued against Sinaiticus being Greek in origin as Sinaiticus has a curious spelling of the word κραβαττος as κραβακτος; Sinaiticus spells Ισραηλειτης as Ισδραηλειτης, Vaticanus as Ιστραηλειτης; these forms have been regarded as Latin, and they can find in papyri from Egypt.  This gives greater weight to the argument that the original bible is from Egypt, and as I argue, that Christianity developed out of ancient Egyptian theology;
  • Codices were sent by threes of fours—which is the least plausible of all the theories because all imperial shipments were heavily guarded and there was no secret that the texts conformed more to the Eastern interpretation than the political aspirations of the churches of Rome.

Eusebius rejected the deity of Christ and claimed that Christ was a created being which made him more acceptable to the emperor who was trying to restore peace and harmony in a crumbling empire.  There were about 50 copies of this bible made by Eusebius, and they ended up in Rome and Alexandria, where there was a very large scholarly community that was research oriented and found numerous similarities in the Christ myth and their own ancient theologies.  (Eusebius may not have been the only one whom Constantine commissioned or Constantine may have sent more than the fifty bibles, for Athanasius (c.340) wrote: “I sent to him volumes containing the holy Scriptures, which he had ordered me to prepare for him” Apologia ad Constantium 4.)

Reputable scholars of the codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus readily admit that these two codices are remarkably similar, so similar as to compel one to believe that they were of common origin. Dr. Gregory argued that the Vatican and Sinai manuscripts are two of Constantine’s 50 bibles, writing: “This Manuscript (Vaticanus) is supposed, as we have seen, to have come from the same place as the Sinaitic Manuscript. I have said that these two show connections with each other, and that they would suit very well as a pair of the fifty manuscripts written at Caesarea for Constantine the Great” (Gregory, Casper René (1907). Canon and text of the New Testament. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907, p. 345).  Dr. A. T. Robertson concurred with Gregory’s assessment in his Introduction to Textual Criticism of the New Testament. Dr. A.T. Robertson wrote, “Constantine himself ordered fifty Greek Bibles from Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, for the churches of Constantinople. It is quite possible that Aleph (Sinai) and B (Vatican) are two of these fifty.” (Robertson, Archibald Thomas (c. 1925).  An introduction to the textual criticism of the New Testament. London, Hodder & Stoughton, Limited [c1925]). 

What is noteworthy is that these documents follow or are a part of the Alexandrian text that is also called the “Egyptian” or “Hesychian” type text and incorporates many Egyptian theological stories that have been passed off as Christian truths and historical facts—which they are neither truths nor historical fact. Because of this Protestants, led by Martin Luther, made a concerted attack upon the original documents to “purify” them of “pagan influences” whereas there were no pagan influences, but the actual documents as determined by the warrior bishops meeting at Nicaea on orders of the Emperor Constantine to form a new state church—much in the manner of Luther who called the Germans to create their own brand of Christianity—a call originally denounced by Henry VIII of England (thereby winning the papal designation of “Defender of the Faith” (Fidei Defensor) that UK rulers still use) which ultimately found its apologists in those commissioned to create the unreliable and poorly (and in many cases wrongly) translated King James Version of the Bible that is the foundation for most Protestant Bibles, the worse being that of the Watch Tower (Jehovah’s Witnesses) Society and the Gideon Society.

The fifty copies of Constantine’s bible, all were uniform as deviation in color, type and adornment was strictly controlled, thereby exercising a great influence on great influence on future copies, at least within the bounds of the patriarchate of Constantinople.  Since Constantinople was considered the New Rome, the bibles that arrived in the capital city were the foundation for future bibles, and helped forward the process of arriving at a commonly accepted New Testament in the East, most of it mythology, as the oldest known fragment of the New Testament is from the Gospel of John—and it dates late in the second century CE.

Oldest known fragment of Gospel of John (2d century CE)

The significance of the Gospel of John cannot be understated, for it is the earliest record that we have fragments of.  All references to Mark being the first gospel recorded come from secondary sources, as does the early dating of Matthew and Luke. Why is this significant? I am asked that frequently when I have argued the case, but with Ledwith’s few comments and subsequent rereading of Eusebius and other ancient writers and filmed scrolls it became clear with the nudge of Fred Edwords.

The first three gospels in the current canon of the New Testament that are published by Watch Tower, Gideon, and other groups including mainstream presses of the Bible all begin with the narrative of a birth of an alleged Jesus who was miraculously conceived by a young girl (virgin) Mary, but as I have published, this follows the ancient Egyptian account of Isis who was artificially inseminated with the sperm of her brother/husband Osiris after he had been killed by his brother Set (he is later resurrected and sits on the back of his mother to rule over the dead at a Last Judgment). The traditional three gospels then record, however briefly, the flight to Egypt (paralleling the Old Testament move of the family of Joseph to Egypt, as well as symbolic of the return of the Israelites from Egypt), and one glimpse of the early childhood of the boy Jesus who was found lecturing the teachers in the Temple. Only after this parallel do the gospels drop their biographical accounts until Jesus begins his “ministry”.  None of these accounts are found the Gospel of John. John, singularly, begins his tale (what is left of it from the small fragment) with the adult life of Jesus, prefacing it with a parallel to Genesis 1:1 (εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος cp.  בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ׃) the difference being between “Word (λóγος)” and “sky [heaven] and earth”.  In the original texts, “Word (λóγος)” means “discourse” between two objects or people, and it reflects the ancient theology of the early

Goddess Nut (sky) God Geb (earth) ancient Egypt

Egyptians who saw Nut (the oldest goddess in the Egyptian pantheon, for they, like the early Israelites (Apiru) were polytheists) as the creator—in direct contrast to other theologies who saw the sky as paternal and a distant creator.  Nut is often pictured as a cow (Yeh) and from the union of sky and earth (the god Geb) became Yahweh.  From that point on the gospels follow the message of savior gods throughout the Mediterranean lands, for all had ministries, apostles, disciples, crucifixions, and so forth.

The issue of the crucifixion itself has been a point of argument. Fred Edwards wrote me a while ago concerning my article on Justin the Martyr (Justin Martyr) as I discounted Justin’s alleged first century use of the word crux (cross) for the Greek word σταυρός (stake).  What many have overlooked in error, or by intention, is the difference between the two communities chrestianos (see: Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum identity number CIL VI 24944; cf. Lodovico Antonio Muratori, Novus Thesaurus Veterum Inscriptionum, vol III. Class. XXIII, Mediolani (Milan) 1739-1742, p. 1668, no. 6) and christianos.  They were two different groups (both whom claimed to follow an anointed (Christos) leader for various causes, one being war (cf. Matthew 10:34; the only ancient difference in the translation of this passage appears in the Book of Kells that uses the word “gaudium” meaning “joy” rather than “gladium,” which means “sword” — rendering the verse in translation: “I came not [only] to bring peace, but joy”), the other being peace, and so forth. Even the early Church Fathers recognized this difference, as with Tertullian, Apologeticum 3.5-6: Christianus vero, quantum interpretatio est, de unctione deducitur. sed et cum perperam Chrestianus pronuntiatur a vobis, nam nec nominis certa est notitia penes vos, de suavitate vel benignitate compositum est. oditur itaque in hominibus innocuis etiam nomen innocuum. at enim secta oditur in nomine utique sui auctoris.  (Christian [as a word] indeed, as much as it is to be interpreted, is derived from [the word] anointing. And even when it is falsely pronounced Chrestian by you, for neither is there any certain notice taken of the name among you, it is made up of sweetness or benignity. Thus even an innocent name is hated among innocent men. But indeed the sect is hated in the name of its author.) 

The people put to death by Nero were not christianos but chrestianos: those who rose up against his rule; and Justin Martyr is more of an apologist for the latter than the former. It is an error to claim otherwise.  The persecutions began during the reign of Claudius (41-54 CE) and at that time it was too early for Christians to be in Rome. The word chresto is more likely the ablative form of chrestes “usurer”. This leads to a far more likely alternative translation: “Claudius banished from Rome the Jews, who were practicing usury and by that continually created unrest”. The Bible confirms that Jews, not Christians were expelled by Claudius: Acts 18:2: Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome.  In the ancient world there is but a single source that calls these people “Christians”: Tacitus Annals (Book XV.44).  Nero persecuted “usurpers” or Chrestianos, not Christians. Persecution of Christians does not begin until the third century and fourth centuries according to the writings of the Church Fathers, and then only on the eve of Christian hegemony.

Martyrdom became fashionable for the most radical fundamentalists in the Christian community. Tertullian (Ad Scapulam, 5) tells us that a group of people presented themselves to the Roman governor of Asia, C. Arrius Antoninus, declaring themselves to be Christians, and calling out for the Roman the governor to “do his duty” and put them to death. He executed a few, but the rest demanded it as well, which so exasperated the governor that he responded, “You wretches, if you want to die, you have cliffs to leap from and ropes to hang by” (Quoted in Bowersock, G. W. (1995). Martyrdom and Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 1). 

The fixation on and for martyrdom was so strong it even took over the schools established by Christians. Because of the urgency of many Christians to be martyred, the Emperor Septimius Severus issued an edict in 202 “dissolving the influential Christian School of Alexandria and forbidding future conversions to Christianity” (http://countrystudies.us/egypt/14.htm). From this milieu Justin Martyr comes and with it the invention of the cross, in patterning himself and his people after what was known from the only existing gospel: John 15:20: μνημονευετε του λογου ου εγω ειπον υμιν ουκ εστιν δουλος μειζων του κυριου αυτου ει εμε εδιωξαν και υμας διωξουσιν ει τον λογον μου ετηρησαν και τον υμετερον τηρησουσιν (in an effort to be “Christ-like”). This required the other gospels and the alleged letters of the New Testament to be invented.

2 Comments

Filed under atheism, Bible, Church history, crucifixon, Jesus Christ, Roman Catholicism