Tag Archives: Justin Martyr

Christmas: the hidden story

All early records state that Jesus was born in a cave (caves were common throughout Palestine: Cf. Massie in Hastings, James, et al. (1909), Dictionary of the Bible.  New York: C. Scribners Sons, III, p. 234; Expository Times, May, 1903, 384; Bonaccorsi, Giuseppe (1903). Il Natale: appunti d’eseqesi e di storia, Roma, Desclée, 16-20; caves were praised as the birthplace of the New Testament Jesus by Origen: Origen. Contra Celsus, Book I, Chapter 51, that Jerome picked up in issuing a cry for the paramour of the fertility goddess Venus, in his Ad Paulinus Letter 58, Chapter 3)—not in an inn as fabricated by the part-time “Christian” Justin Martyr in the second century (cf. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 78; cp. Joan E. Taylor, (1993). Christians and the Holy Places: The Myth of Jewish-Christian Origins. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 99-102).

Origen of Alexandria, writing during the second century CE in his book Contra  Celsus vol. 1, that: “…there is shown at Bethlehem the cave where He was born and the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling-clothes. And this sight is greatly talked of in surrounding places, even among the enemies of the faith, it being said that in this cave was born that Jesus who is worshipped and reverenced by the Christians” and others—all copying from the ancient testaments of the favored god of Roman soldiers: Mithras (a.k.a. Mitra, Meitros, Mihr, Mehr, and Meher). Cp. Ulansey, David (1991). The origins of the Mithraic mysteries: cosmology and salvation in the ancient world. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1991, p. 36. 

The reason that the birth of the New Testament Jesus was celebrated on December 25 was a deliberate act of Constantine’s church that rigidly followed his dictates and ideas and accepted unequestioningly his radical  introduction of a pagan form of Christianity (Paulinity) by using the date of the birth of the Son God (Mithras) in order to better control the priests and bishops who were imperial courtiers (“Scholars link 1st yule church to pagan shrine.” Washington Times, Deceember 23, 2007 ROME-AP).  The grotto was an old, long-accepted birth place for gods who would be born and laid in a manger, to rise up, teach, and be put to death.

The Grotto of the Nativity endowed by Helena was an underground cavern. Its access was to steep to allow any cattle to enter as later Christian myths fashioned so that it would appear that the infant described in the Gospel of Matthew was Lord over all things.  The grotto was not new, in fact there are numerous other similar grottos scattered around Palestine, the home of numerous crucified saviours and even several who were called Jesus  (Sanders, Léon (1903). Etudes sur S. Jérome : sa doctrine touchant l’inspiration des livres saints et leur véracité, l’autorite des livres deutérocanoniques, Paris : V. Lecoffre , Bruxelles : Becquart-Arien, [both editions are in French), p. 29f).

The canonized gospels (those allowed to be entered into the bible by the Eastern Emperor Constantine I in the fourth century does not list any building (inn), nor is there a referenced to any room, not even a cave.  In all the words and phrases  that are recorded in Matthew 2:1: Τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γεννηθέντος ἐν Βηθλέεμ τῆς Ἰουδαίας ἐν ἡμέραις Ἡρῴδου τοῦ βασιλέως, ἰδοὺ μάγοι ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν παρεγένοντο εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα that is even found in the Romanian text: După ce S’a născut Isus în Betleemul din Iudea, în zilele împăratului Irod, iată că au venit nişte magi din Răsărit la Ierusalim and Jerome’s Vulgate: cum ergo natus esset Iesus in Bethleem Iudaeae in diebus Herodis regis ecce magi ab oriente venerunt Hierosolymam; cp. Luke 2:4-7: 4 Ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἐκ πόλεως Ναζαρὲθ εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν εἰς πόλιν Δαυὶδ ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλέεμ, διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς Δαυίδ, 5 ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ. 6 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν, 7 καὶ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον καὶ ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἀνέκλινεν αὐτὸν ἐν φάτνῃ, διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι, reference the Vulgate: et peperit filium suum primogenitum et pannis eum involvit et reclinavit eum in praesepio quia non erat eis locus in diversorio (there is no other reference in any text that the emperor did not burn in an effort to erase conflict parts when he established his “catholic [universal] church” Eusebius, Vita Constantini 36-37) where the Jesus of the New Testament was born “at Bethlehem”: a city that did not yet exist save as a very small military outpost–its heyday being in the distant past as a entrepot. 

Theocrats and theologians who are determined to prove the authenticity of Constantine’s redaction and glosses in the bible, attempt to argue that Bethlehem existed at least in the days of the Jewish Prophets (i.e. around 700-300 BCE), claiming that it was then known as Bit-Lahmi.  This is a translation/linguistic and interpretation error, as the reference (in the Amarna Letters (c. 1400 BCE) actually are a reference to Beit Lachama, meaning “House of Lachama” (in Hebrew, it means “house of bread”: בֵּית לֶחֶם‎, and in Arabic it means “house of flesh (or meat)”: بيت لحم) with Lachamo being the Akkadian god of fertility that the ancient Apiru (predecessors to the Hebrews), mercenaries in the Akkadian army in Egypt after leaving Chaldea

This find verifies that Baal & Asherah worship was common in Samaria

This find verifies that Baal & Asherah worship was common in Samaria

(Iraq), worshiped with Qadesh (male sexual-prostitutes dedicated to Asherah to whom the soldiers wedded their bull-god Yah to create the future Yahweh on the Hill of the Nativity: a place for sex (beastiality was not condemned); Richard R. Losch (2005). The uttermost part of the earth: a guide to places in the Bible (Illustrated ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing; cp. Ide, Arthur Frederick (1991). Yahweh’s Wife: Sex in the Evolution of Monotheism; a Study of Yahweh, Asherah, Ritual Sodomy, and Temple Prostitution. Las Colinas, TX: Monument Press) from at least 15000 BCE to 30 CE; cf. Galpaz-Feller, Pnina. “Private Lives and Publi Censure: Adultery in Ancient Egypt and Biblical Israel”, Near Eastern Archaeology, Sep., 2004, vol. 67, no. 3, p. 152-161.  Knight, R. Payne; Wright, Thomas; Montagu, Ashley (1966).  Sexual Symbolism: A History of Phallic Worship. New York : Matrix House.

Amarne Letter, no. 290

Amarne Letter, no. 290

The problem here in the Amarna Letter is that Jerusalem was “land” and on it were towns.  Jerusalem was neither a heavenly city nor the capitl of Apiru who had litle regard for it.  Here, too, we read of the Apiru where not yet considered Hebrews and whose own inglorious, brutal and bloody Holocausts were well-known and documented and became the battle cry of such monsters in history as Joshua and Gideon.

Amarna Tablet 12

Amarna Tablet 12

There are those who claim that a discovered clay bulla (a seal with an inscribed signature attests to their being a city 700 years before Jesus,  but the source is more of a polemic than a researched fact (Israel Antiquities Authority, May, 2012, and was published May 23, 2012 in the Los Angeles Times, but there is no record of it existing between 7 – 4 BCE, the alleged time of the birth of Jesus (c. 6 BCE) and there is no record of a worldwide census claimed by Luke). Mark contradicts Matthew’s claim that Jesus was “from Bethlehem” as Mark states that Nazareth was the birth place. John contradicts both writers, claiming in the gospel that is accorded to his penmanship but does not follow the style but in a redaction at 7:41-

Mithras Son of God (Mithraeun at Marino) The Sun God

Mithras Son of God (Mithraeun at Marino)

43 that Jesus came from Galilee (on the counter claims to pious hagiography, consider Aviram Oshri, “Where was Jesus Born?,” Archaeology magazine, Volume 58 Number 6, 2005-NOV/DEC, at: and Marisa Larson, “Bethlehem,” National Geographic, 2008-JUN-17.  All that is recorded is a manager—that were worshipped by ancient Canaanites–and that would have been a hollowed stone since wood was scarce, and the word for manager; today it is known as the Altar of the Manager and matches the description of the altar/manager of the far older and more respected god Mithras who was frequently pictured with a stylized alpha to the left of his head and omega on the right of his head, antedating the declaration in Revelation 1:8 and 22:13 by centuries–being but another plagiarism of “John of Patmos”.  The actual reading was the baby rose from the manager—out of stone, as did the god Mithras.  

James Ossuary

James Ossuary

Many of these mangers were actually Ossuaries: the served the needs of the entire family.  Infants were laid in them along with the bones of dead ancestors, and were later buried there when they died, as found in the records of the Jewish Antiquities.  It is here we find Ossuaries for numerous people named Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, of which many are buried in the same Ossuary, the most famous being the Ossuary of James (the blood brother of Jesus, according to the inscription).   These

Ossuary of Yehoshua bar Yehosef  (Jesus son of Joseph)

Ossuary of Yehoshua bar Yehosef (Jesus son of Joseph)

Ossuaries were frequently known as crypts and were in caves where wealthy people were placed, usually with two men dressed in white sitting on guard at the feet and head of the tomb’s occupant(s).

That Mary would go to Bethlehem or Nazareth is absurd since women were considered equal to slaves and only the husband was seen as the spiritual and legal head of the house, and women did not accompany men to register with any government (“Life of Jesus – First Century Context of Palestine (Israel), Jesus Central). Furthermore, most of the Jews remained in Babylon and could not have traveled to their birth place following the extermination of and scattering of Jews in the Northern Kingdom brought on by many of the Jews demanding to live under a theocracy rather than a king (H.H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976:  The Crisis Under Gaius Caligula, pages 254-256, 334).

Mary is the final problem, as no woman who was nine months pregnant could have made the 100 mile trip, as basic medical knowledge notes that no woman who was in the last days of her pregnancy could have ridden a donkey that far without losing the baby. (Jonathan Cook, “The search for the real Bethlehem,” Aljazeera, December 20, 2004). No woman was required to take part in a census before that time, and men found it demeaning to have a woman with them, as they leagued together in bands for self-protection as crime and murder rates were high.

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Apostolic Succession and the Papacy–separating fact from fiction

No “bishop of Rome” or “Roman pontiff” existed before the second century—with the first record of their being a Linus, successor of Peter, a fictional character in the Bible who was the least saintly of all the alleged Apostles.  The word “pontiff” never had the meaning of “pope” (papa, which is Latin from the Greek: πάππας (pappas), a child’s word for father) but in Rome came from the term “pontifex maximus” (ἱεροδιδάσκαλος, ἱερονόμος, ἱεροφύλαξ, ἱεροφάντης) but was a “heathen” title for high priests (their number swelled from four: Livy, X.6,9: Livy, X.6, to at least sixteen)  of the College of Pontiffs (Collegium Pontificum) in ancient Rome. The position of pontifex maximus was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, but was open only to patricians until 254 BC when a plebian (Tiberius Coruncanius: Livy, Epit. 18) occupied the position; Sulla increased the number to 15 in 81 BCE: Livy, Epit. 89; Julius Cesar, who was elected Pontifex Maximus in 63 BCE, raised that number to sixteen (Dion Cassius XLII.51).  The last to use the title was Gratianus (Orelli, Inscript. n1117, 1118).  The rulers styled Pontifex Maximus were:

712 BCE

Numa Pompilius It was claimed that the office began during the tenure of the Kings of Rome. The first Pontifex Maximus is recorded as Numa Marcius but it is difficult to determine if it was a different person, or the actual second king of Rome.

509 BCE

Papirius Complete dates in office unknown.

449 BCE

Furius Complete dates in office unknown.

431 BCE

Cornelius Cossas Complete dates in office unknown.

420 BCE

Minucius Complete dates in office unknown.

390 BCE

Follius Flaccinator Complete dates in office unknown.

332 – 304 BCE

Cornelius Callissa  

304 – ? BCE

Cornelius Scipio Barbatus Complete dates in office unknown.

254 – 243 BCE

Tiberius Coruncanius First Plebeian Pontifex Maximus

243- 221 BCE

Caecilius Metellus  

217 – 213 BCE

Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus  

212 – 183 BCE

Licinius Crassus Dives  

183 – 180 BCE

Servilius Geminus  

180 – 152 BCE

Aemilius Lepidus  

152 -150 BCE

No Pontifex Maximus  

150 – 141 BCE

Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum  

141 – 132 BCE

Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio Plutaech describes Serapio as the first Pontifex to break the religious law not allowing him to leave Italy.

132 – 130 BCE

Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus Also noted as the first to leave Italy, during the social disorder of the Gracchi Brothers, after which, it became increasingly common and certainly not against the law for the Pontifex to leave Italy.

? – 115 BCE

P. Mucius Scaevola Complete dates in office unknown, but assumedly shortly after his predecessor.

114 – 103 BCE

Caecilius Metellus Delmaticus  

103 – 89 BCE

Domitius Ahenobarbus  

89 – 82 BCE

Q. Mucius Scaevola  

81 – 63 BCE

Caecilius Metellus Pius  

63 – 44 BCE

Gaius Julius Caesar  

44 – 13 BCE

Aemilius Lepidus  

12 BCE

Augustus With Augustus’ accession, the election of the Pontifex Maximus ceased as each successive emperor held the office. In 382 CE, when the Eastern emperor Theodosius established Christianity as the official religion of the empire, the Western Emperor Gratian relinquished the office to the Christian bishops of Rome, who have held it since that time.

The College of Pontiffs, the antecedent to the College of Cardinals, lasted until Constantine outlawed it with his creation of his imperial catholic [universal] church in 325 CE (Arnobius IV.35). 

Ancient Roman pontiffs were known for luxurious living, maintenance of “nephews” who were known as secretaries or pontifices minores: “quos nunc minores pontifices appellant” as Livy detailed (XXII.57; compare Jul. Capitol. Opil. Macrin. 7; Cicero (de Harusp. Resp. 6) mentions the name of three minor pontiffs) and abandoned (licentious) living un unexcelled luxury (Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace): Horat. Carm[ina]. II.14.26] Martiales. XII.48.12:

Non Albana mihi sit comissatio tanti

Nec Capitolinae pontificumque dapes;

Inputet ipse deus nectar mihi, fiet acetum

Et Vaticani perfida vappa cadi.

 cp. Macrob. Sat. II.9), similar to that of Alexander VI, Julius II and other renaissance popes.  Emperors frequently assumed the title of Pontifex Maximus as late as 238 CE, when the two emperors Maximus and Balbinus assumed this dignity (Capitol. Maxim. et Balb. 8).

A Roman pontifex did officiate at religious ceremonies, but that was only one duty. A pontifex, like all the members of the great priestly colleges, was permitted by law hold any other military, civil or priestly office, provided the different offices did not interfere with one another. Thus we find one and the same person being pontiff, augur, and decemvir sacrorum  were elected for life. Their chief duty was to take care of the Sibylline books, and to inspect them on all important occasions, by command of the senate, as recounted by Livy at XL.42:

Eodem anno L. Duronius, qui praetor anno superiore, ex Illyrico cum decem nauibus Brundisium rediit. inde in portu relictis nauibus cum uenisset Romam, inter exponendas res, quas ibi gessisset, haud dubie in regem Illyriorum Gentium latrocinii omnis maritimi causam auertit: ex regno eius omnes naues esse, quae superi maris oram depopulatae essent; de his rebus se legatos misisse, nec conueniendi regis potestatem factam. uenerant Romam legati a Gentio, qui, quo tempore Romani conueniendi regis causa uenissent, aegrum forte eum in ultimis partibus fuisse regni dicerent: petere Gentium ab senatu, ne crederent confictis criminibus in se, quae inimici detulissent. ad ea Duronius adiecit multis ciuibus Romanis et sociis Latini nominis iniurias factas in regno eius, et ciues Romanos dici Corcyrae retineri. eos omnes Romam adduci placuit, C. Claudium praetorem cognoscere, neque ante Gentio regi legatisue eius responsum reddi.

Inter multos alios, quos pestilentia eius anni absumpsit, sacerdotes quoque aliquot mortui sunt. L. Ualerius Flaccus pontifex mortuus est: in eius locum suffectus est Q. Fabius Labeo. P. Manlius, qui nuper ex ulteriore Hispania redierat, triumuir epulo: Q. Fuluius M. f. in locum eius triumuir cooptatus, tum praetextatus erat. de rege sacrifio sufficiendo in locum Cn. Cornelii Dolabellae contentio inter C. Seruilium pontificem maximum fuit et L. Cornelium Dolabellam duumuirum naualem, quem ut inauguraret pontifex magistratu sese abdicare iubebat. recusantique id facere ob eam rem multa duumuiro dicta a pontifice, deque ea, cum prouocasset, certatum ad populum. cum plures iam tribus intro uocatae dicto esse audientem pontifici duumuirum iuberent, multamque remitti, si magistratu se abdicasset, uitium de caelo, quod comitia turbaret, interuenit. religio inde fuit pontificibus inaugurandi Dolabellae. P. Cloelium Siculum inaugurarunt, qui secundo loco nominatus erat. exitu anni et C. Seruilius Geminus pontifex maximus decessit: idem decemuir sacrorum fuit. pontifex in locum eius a collegio cooptatus est Q. Fuluius Flaccus:inde pontifex maximus M. Aemilius Lepidus, cum multi clari uiri petissent; et decemuir sacrorum Q. Marcius Philippus in eiusdem locum est cooptatus. et augur Sp. Postumius Albinus decessit: in locum eius P. Scipionem, filium Africani, augures cooptarunt.

Cumanis eo anno petentibus permissum, ut publice Latine loquerentur et praeconibus Latine uendendi ius esset.

Instances of a pontifex maximus being at the same time consul, are very numerous (Liv. XXVIII.38; Cic. de Harusp. Resp. 6; compare Ambrosch, Julius Athanasius (1839). Studien und Andeutungen im Gebiet des altrömischen Bodens und Cultus. 1es Hft. Breslau: Hirt, p. 229, note 105; in German).

Petronilla daughter of Peter (13th century)

Not only was Peter different from the other Twelve Apostles (he was married (Mark 1:29-31, cp. Matthew 8:14; cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata III.vi, ed. Dindorf, II, 276) and had a legendary daughter named Petronilla (De Rossi, Giovanni Battista (1864-1877). Roma sotterranea cristiana. Roma, Italia: Cromo-litografia pontificia. vol. I, pp. 180-181; in Italian) who was the source of the story of the maiden Rapunzel locked in a tower to be rescued by a handsome prince; this legend became the hagiography for St. Barbara, and by the tenth century story was the insipriation of the Persian tale of Rudāba, included in the epic poem Shahnameh (شاهنامه) by Ferdowsi (whose poetry has been praised as being equal to the heavenly Eden: در بهشت عدن فردوسی نگر). Rudāba offers to let down her hair from her tower so that her lover Zāl can climb up to her) and the daughter is mentioned in the Gnostic apocryphal Acts of St. Peter, dating from the 2nd century but no name is given (Lipsius, Richard Adelbert  (1887). Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten u. Apostellegenden:  ein Beitrag zur altchristlichen Literaturgeschichte 2,1 in II, i, Braunschweig, Germany: Schwetschke, pp. 203 sqq.). 

Having children was commonplace.  It was expected of the early “bishops of Rome” (culminating with Siricius) for they were married and expected to having numerous children (with the exception of Alexander I).  This gave rise to the belief that Roman Catholic families had to be large and birth control discouraged. In spite of this, Siricius, it is written, wrote a letter to Bishop Himerius of Tarragona (c. 385 CE) to stop cohabiting / living with their wives: Coustant, Pierre (1721) ed. Epistolae Romanorum pontificum: et quae ad eos scriptae sunt, a S. Clemente I. usque ad Innocentium III … Tomus 1, abanno Christi 67 ad annum 440. Parisiis [Paris] France: L. D. Delatour, A. U. Coustelier, et P. Simon, 1721; reprint by Farnborough, 1967, pp. 623-638, no. 16, 9-12 (it is a forgery)—but the Epistle, No. 8, also talks about rampant sexual abuse among the clergy, especially with young girls; the text can be read in Somerville, Robert and Brasington, Bruce (1998). Prefaces to Canon Law Books in Latin Christianity.  New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press, 1998), pp. 36-39; I am using my copy of the original Latin version printed in 1721), but was the first to deny his relationship with the Jesus of the New Testament (John 21:15-17, Mark 14:70-72, Luke 22:60-62), had limited (Mark 14:38), if any, faith in the New Testament Jesus (Matthew 14:28-29 where Peter walks on water—and sinks, Mark 14:66-68), was overly boastful without substance (Mark 14:69-70), etc.

Simon bar Jonas (or, Peter: Greek: Πέτρος, or Cephas: Greek: Κηφᾶς; they are sometimes combined as in the Syriac ܫܶܡܥܽܘܢ ܟ݁ܺܐܦ݂ܳܐ) was anything but a saint.  He was proclaimed a saint only because he allegedly suffered martyrdom that he could have avoided, making his martyrdom a deliberate suicide (there is no contemporary record of any Simon or Peter being executed in Rome, but would have been in the imperial records by law; the earliest record of this alleged death appears in Tertullian at the end of the second century CE (hardly a reliable source) and then of Origen Adamantius (born in Egypt and died in Phoenicia in the third century) in Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica III.1, written in the fourth century).  While Christian apologists cite these records, their reliability is at best questionable since they are written hundreds of years after the event, and there is no record of the crucifixion of Peter in the Bible–the Book of Acts of the Apostles drops all mention of Peter less than half-way through, as the writers turn their attention to Saul of Tarsus/Paul.  (No legitimate historian would use one book to prove the contents of the same books; this fact makes the Bible an untrustworthy source as it is not history nor its contents verified elsewhere during the times it was written. 

Peter walking on water (painting by Francois Boucher, 1766)

As for Peter being the stone or rock for believers, that fiction is rejected in Acts 4:8-12 (cf. Matthew 16:18 that is mistranslated, as Peter and stone are the same word in Greek: πετρος).  Furthermore, the advent of this “rock” is but a reflection on the birth of the god Mithras, favored by Rome’s soldiers, who was born out of a rock (Vermaseren, Maartan J. (1951). “The miraculous Birth of Mithras”, in László Gerevich. Studia Archaeologica: Publicationes Instituti archaeologici Academiae scientiarum Hungaricae. Red.: L[ászló] Gerevich 0. Besitzerspezifische Fußnote. Budapest, Hungary; reissued as Studia Archaeologica: Gerardo van Horoon Oblata (Studia von Horoon), a festschriften, Leiden, Netherlands: E J Brill. pp. 93–109).

God Enki walks out of the water to the land

Various religions in the days that it is claimed that Peter lived have similar accounts of miracles and walking on water–as the records are about how the earth was formed and how people were born.  The legend of Peter “walking on water”, as it appears in current Bibles, is nothing new in the world’s religious literature, and it did not occur only with the Jesus of the New Testament nor with Peter.  It is not a story of faith but of the power of the god(s) current at the time.

Walking on water is found in universal non-Christian theologies: Egyptian (Horus and his son Hapy who ruled over the Nile, and Naunet who was the god of wells and later of all water, especially the ocean, (a prototype for Neptune / Poiseidon) in Etruscan theology and known as Nethuns), Hindu (Huang-Po), Greek (Orion), Canaanite (in Mesopotamia, Enki was god of water and walked on it and saw it to be the “birth water” that flowed out of his wife, calling faithful fishermen from their boats to walk on water to prove their faith; and in numerous Asian religions, the gods were avatars—those who control elements—and walked on water),

Pre-Inca (Peru) God of creation who walks on water

which also appears in Pre-Inca (Peru) theology as Viracocha (also known as Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqutra) who created the world flood while the Inca god Kon controlled the rain.  Pre-Inca theology had Virachocha as “a man of medium height, white and dressed in a white robe like an alb secured round the waist, and that he carried a staff and a book in his hands” (De Gamboa, Pedro Sarmiento.  History of the Incas translated by Clements Markham, Cambridge, MA, USA: The Hakluyt Society 1907, pp. 28-58).  Virachocha (the name means “sea foam”) had one son (Inti) and two daughters, a trinity, who destroyed the earth and all the animals on it with a universal flood because of the sinfulness of people, pardoning only two people to bring civilization to the rest of the world: Manco Cápac, the son of Inti (sometimes taken as the son of Viracocha), which name means “splendid foundation”, and Mama Ocllo, which means “mother fertility”.  In another account, Viracocha had two sons, Imahmana Viracocha and Tocapo Virachocha. After the Great Flood and the Creation, Viracocha sent his sons to visit the tribes the sons created to the Northeast and Northwest to determine if they still obeyed his commandments (Viracocha traveled North). During their journey, Imaymana and Tocapo gave names to all the trees, flowers, fruits and herbs (there was no first woman). They also taught the tribes which of these were edible, which had medicinal properties, and which were poisonous. Eventually, Viracocha, Tocapo and Imahmana arrived at Cuzco (in modern-day Peru) and the Pacific seacoast where they walked across the water until they disappeared.

At the time the Gospels were being written, Asian theology was present in the Roman world), and throughout the Scandinavian world (with Ahti the most important water deity, but also Thor, Odin, etc who ruled over everything), and O-Wata-Tsu-Mi of Japan, Chac in Mayan theology, and so forth.  

Moschophoros (Athens 570 BCE)

“Borrowing” religious symbolism was common and took on an unusual urgency by the middle of the fourth century for the emerging groups of “brethren” who would people the congregations of “the lovers” when the Emperor Constantine decided to formally create his catholic [universal] church, calling a council of warring bishops to Nicaea to thrash out details and decide on a uniform code.  From this, and other such state-controlled councils in the East, symbolism played a critical role, such as the symbolism of Jesus carrying a lamb which is a part of the theology of Attis, Dionysus, Mithras, Apollonius of Tyana, and so forth, and is known both as μοσχάρι-κομιστή: calf-bearer and αρνί-κομιστή: lamb-bearer (Hermes: Ἑρμῆς. is the lamb-bearer (Hermes Kriophoros: Ερμής αρνί-κομιστή) and one of the crucified saviours of the ancient world).  In each case the lamb carrier /calf carrier is representative of a shepherd or cowherder who was in charge of protecting the flocks from predators (from the Latin praedātor:  plunderer and was used for “flock stealing” or taking from one religion to another by using lies).  From this symbol those who would proclaim themselves (or be proclaimed by others) as leaders (bishops: ἐπίσκοποι episkopoi, but does not become a recognized category until 108 CE, as defined by Ignatius of Antioch who held that a bishop had greater authority than a priest) or council of advisers (presbyters who exercised teaching, priestly, and administrative functions; from the Greek πρεσβύτερος (presbuteros), the comparative form of πρέσβυς (presbus), “old man”) determined that they would have to ensure purity of faith by expelling (and ultimately killing) heretics and apostates.

Justin Martyr (acclaimed a saint under the most dubious of circumstances, rewrote the Bible on his own, substituting Latin words that were/are not the equivalent of the Greek Koine) wrote in his First Apology 21: “When we say that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.”  The actual New Testament text matches that of Buddhism.

Linus does not appearing in any document before the highly questionable writings of Irenæus of Lyons (d. 200 CE).  Linus is not mentioned again until Eusebius, the Arian bishop of Caesarea (ca. 339 CE).  In fact the original (old) Liber Pontificalis (Book of Popes: the oldest copy that I have in my private library is emended/edited by de Lutiis, Jacobi [bishop of Cajazzo] and Burckardi, Joannis (1497-16 Aug), Liber Pontificalis. Romae, Italia: Stephan Plannck, (dated) 16 Aug. 1497; the actual imprint reads: Per Magistrum Stephanum Plannck sedente Alexandro. vj. Pontifice Maximo, anno eius. v. M. CCCC.lxxxxvij. [1497] Die xvj. Augusti; text is in Latin and is published in two parts: I: the Popes to 715 CE, and II: Popes to 817 CE) bound in signatures) does not list Linus—but Clement (who never claimed to be a papa); Linus does not appear until the third-century spurious document Apostolic Constitutions surfaces (VII.iv.xlvi). 

There was no monoarchical Episcopal structure of church government in Rome until the fourth century (McBrien, Richard P (2005). Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI.  San Francisco, CA, USA: Harper, pp. 33-34).  There is but one mention of a Linus in the New Testament (2 Timothy 4:19-21: Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus…: 19Ἄσπασαι Πρίσκαν καὶ Ἀκύλαν καὶ τὸν Ὀνησιφόρου οἶκον. 20Ἔραστος ἔμεινεν ἐν Κορίνθῳ, Τρόφιμον δὲ ἀπέλειπον ἐν Μιλήτῳ ἀσθενοῦντα. 21Σπούδασον πρὸ χειμῶνος ἐλθεῖν. Ἀσπάζεται σε Εὔβουλος καὶ Πούδης καὶ Λίνος καὶ Κλαυδία καὶ οἱ αδελφοὶ.  The majority of the new converts were women who had women leaders.  In the Letter to Timothy,  Linus plays a minor role and is recorded only as an afterthought (as is found in an early fifth century scroll in my private collection). 

There is no reference there that Linus was ever a bishop or ever at Rome—the closest one can speculate is the Linus mention in 2 Timothy (4:21) lived in Corinth, along with Pudens, Claudia (a female prophet/priest), “and all the brethren” (brethren was a word for “believers”).  More precisely, since others were mentioned before Linus, that situation shows that he was not considered “first” even among equals—but was a minor player in the emerging community.

Tertullian of Carthage (Africa)

Contemporary papalography is filled with errors. Lopes (Lopes, Antonino (1997), The Popes: The lives of the Pontiffs through 2000 years of History. Roma: Futura Edizoni, p. 1) makes the error of writing “Tertullian maintains that Cletus and not Linus was the successor to St. Peter”, while, in fact, Tertullian lists Clement (in some redactions Tertullian argues that the succession went first through Polycarp (Tertullian, De Prescriptionibus, in Patrologia Latina, xii; cf. Jerome, De vir. III., xv), not Cletus as the successor (Liber de praescriptione haereticorum).  Tertullian, however, does not use the word “papa” nor πάππας (pappas).  The first to carry the title of pope was the Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heracleus (232–249 CE), the 13th Alexandrine Patriarch.  The first historical first record is assigned to Pope Heraclas of Alexandria in a letter written by the bishop of Rome, Dionysius, to Philemon: τοῦτον ἐγὼ τὸν κανόνα καὶ τὸν τύπον παρὰ τοῦ μακαρίου πάπα ἡμῶν Ἡρακλᾶ παρέλαβον (I received this rule and ordinance from our blessed pope, Heraclas), as recorded by Eusebius the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, Historia Ecclesiastica VII.vii.7. 

Irenæus of Lyons, in his Adversus Haereses (III.iii.2-3, written about 180 CE–which makes it less valuable as it is not an eye-witness account nor a verifiable historical record of an incident that took place, allegedly, around 120 years earlier)—is on the order of the fable of George Washington cutting down a cherry tree—a tree that Japan would not send to the USA until 1912; the first trees imported in 1910, had to be destroyed because of an infection.  Irenæus bases his list upon tradition and there are no dates for his entries; his only reference to Linus, is in reference to Paul’s mention of Linus in his Letter of Timothy (itself of dubious origin).  Irenæus is not a reputable or valid source, for he claims, in error, that Paul and Peter started the church in Rome, but in Romans 15:20, Paul claims that he “should [not] build upon another man[’s] foundation (cf. Sullivan, F. A. (2001), op. cit., pp. 35, 147). Even more startling is Irenæus claim that “Peter and Paul” did not ordain or commission Linus, but appointed him, as Irenæus did not see either Peter or Paul as bishops (Sullivan, op. cit., p. 148). 

Ignatius of Antioch makes no mention of Linus or other successors in any of his writings, including his Letter of Polycarp of Smyrna.  Polycarp, who thinks well of Ignatius, makes no mention of Linus, Cletus or anyone who became “bishop of Rome” nor does he acknowledge in any of his eight epistles any “bishop of Rome” by name or title.  The Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) does not mention Linus, Cletus or anyone who became “bishop of Rome.”  At best, Rome was led by a college of presbyters (Sullivan, op. cit., pp. 13-15)—or teachers that included women.

Clement of Rome never declared himself to be a “bishop of Rome” nor did he ever sign any letter with that title (cf. Duffy, Eamon (2001). Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes (2nd ed.) London, UK: Yale University Press, pp. 9-10, 13), and he made no reference to a Linus as a bishop—not even as an elder—of the church in Rome. The Roman Catholic scholar J. P. Kirsch (1910) writing in The Catholic Encyclopedia (vol. IX), notes that “Linus…his pontificate dates from the death of the Apostles Peter and Pau, which, however, is not known for certain…”  Even the “tomb” of Linus is rejected as historical (De Rossi, Giovanni Battista (1857) Inscriptiones christianae urbis Romae septimo saeculo antiquilores, Romae: Ex Officina Libraria Pontifica [real date: 1861]-1888, vol. II (published 1888), pp. 23-27).  In short, there is no historical evidence for either Peter or Linus. 

This is made clearer when reading the writings of John the Beloved—who, allegedly, was alive throughout the first century.  At no time, in no epistle or gospel, does John mention a “bishop of Rome” or a “vicar of Christ” by title.  No where is the name Linus found in any writing of John.

If there had been a bishop of Rome, a far more appropriate choice would have been John (if he even lived), as tradition tells us that he was the last of the Apostles (as with all the Twelve Apostles, who represented the known twelve constellations, there is no physical evidence that John ever lived nor wrote). John, however, would not accept such a pretension as it would be apostasy in his age.  Not even the madman John of Patmos (a creation of writers), who was definitely not John the Beloved but frequently confused as being the same man, in the Apocalypse makes no mention of a “bishop of Rome” nor the writings of any “pope”.  The only comment Patmos makes of the “leadership of the church” is the church that exists in Asia Minor (Revelation 1-3) with its leadership going back to the elders of Jerusalem, Antioch, and so forth.  Rome is not mentioned.

Various Roman Catholic scholars equally contest the assertion that Peter founded the Roman Catholic Church and established a see in Rome.  F. A. Sullivan (Sullivan, Francis (Alfred) (2001). From Apostles to Bishops: the Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church.  Mahwah, NJ, USA: Newman Press; and, New York: Newman Press, pp. 80, 221-222) notes: “the available evidence indicates that the church in Rome was led by a college of presbyters, rather than by a single bishop, for at least several decades of the second century.”  Sullivan is supported by Richard P. McBrien (Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. San Francisco, CA, USA: Harper, 2005, p. 34).  McBrien writes: “Early sources, including Eusebius, claim Linus held office for twelve years, but they are not clear about the exact dates or his exact pastoral role and authority.  …the Episcopal structure of church governance … still did not exist in Rome at this time.”

Contrary to the apologists for Linus and the myth of apostolic succession, history does not record either a “pope” or a “bishop of Rome” until late in the fourth century CE.  Such a pretentious claim does not appear until Siricius (384-399) who took the Greek word for father (papa) as his title (Lopes, A., op. cit., p. 13; cp. Epistle vi in Patrologia Latina (Migne, Jacques-Paul [1844-1891?]. Patrologiae cursus completes. Series Latina: sive bibliotheca universalis … omnium ss. Partum, doctorum scriptorium que ecclesiasticorum qui ab aevo apostolic ad usque Innocentii III tempora floruerunt. Parisiis [Paris, France]: Apud Garnien Fratres, editors et J.-P. Migne successors; hereafter cited as PL) XIII, col. 1164.)

No superiority was accounted for the “papa” in Rome.  Rome’s bishop, a personage slow to emerge, was but one “father” or priest (countering my own 1968 thesis An Apology for the Petrine Doctrine. Cedar Falls, IA, USA: University of Northern Iowa).  Rome’s bishop, once one was declared, was never considered infallible on any teaching or question of morality (infallibility does not become an article of faith in the Roman Catholic Church until 1870 at the First Vatican Council, and then over the protestations of the majority of clergy (cp. the bull Qui quorundam (1324) that condemned the doctrine of papal infallibility put forth by Franciscans as the “work of the devil”: Hasler, August Bernhard, (1981) How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion (Doubleday; Garden City, NY), pp. 36-37); he was never seen as primate over other bishops nor even “first among equals” (Latin: Primus inter pares; Greek: Πρῶτος μεταξὺ ἴσων) and does not appear in Western tracts until 1054 (cf. D’Agostino, Michele Giuseppe (2008).  Il Primato della Sede di Roma in Leone IX (1049–1054). Studio dei testi latini nella controversia greco-romana nel periodo pregregoriano. Cinisello Balsamo, Italia: Edizioni San Paolo). It was blasphemy to consider such a pretender as supreme even in the early Middle Ages; cp. Bayer, Axel. Splatung der christenheit das sogenannte morgenlandische schisma von 1054. Köln : Böhlau Verlag, 2002) when the bishop of Rome attempted to impose his own interpretation on the “filioque” clause, and whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used in the Eucharist (cf. Hergenröther,  Joseph (1869) Monumenta Graeca ad Photium eiusque historiam pertinentiam, quae ex codicibus manuscriptis… Regensburg, Germany: Georg Tos. Manz, pp 62–71, reissued Farnborough: Gregg, 1969, who argues that Photius attempted to insert this divisive issue into the controversy; and, Hans-Georg Beck, Byzantinisches Lesebuch, München 1982, pp 245–247).  Rome had the “prerogative of honor” only because Rome was the imperial capital–until the New Rome (Constantinople) was built in Turkey (Second Ecumenical Council, Canon III), but that was heatedly debated that numerous other councils were called to wrestle with it.  The only bishops existed in Jerusalem by the end of the first century, and in Asia Minor by the second century.

Linus’ alleged successor Cletus (Anacletus: a Roman, also called, in error, Anencletus: a Greek; Irenæus, Eusebius, Augustine, Optatus, use both names indifferently as of one person) is also fiction.  There is significant work necessary to understand the name of this alleged pope, as in ancient Greek, Cletus translates as “one who has been called” while “Anacletus” translates as “one who has been called back.” Tertullian never mentions him, nor does anyone else within the first two centuries, yet later apologia, praises this pope that even the Bible does not mention nor any civil record, for requiring “priestly dress”—but there is no record of a priestly costume until the days of Constantine in the fourth century (Braun, Joseph (1912). Vestments translated by Michael T. Barrett, in The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. XV, New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).

What is clear is that there never was an “apostolic succession” as later popes claimed, as there is no record of direct succession, nor even agreement of who were popes. The entire Roman Catholic hierarchical structure is based on lies, mistranslations and pseudo-interpretations of documents: the majority of which are forged or redactions incorporating glosses into the text.  It was the same for the fabrication of persecutions in the early church, that even Roman Catholic scholars have been admitting for more than one century,  For example: “For between Nero and Domitian there is no mention of any persecution of the Roman Church; and Irenæus (1. c., III, iv, 3) from among the early Roman bishops designates only Telesphorus as a glorious martyr” (read: Kirsch J.P (1910). Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Linus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX) notes:

Hic temporibus suis, rogatus a quadam matrona Lucina, corpora apostolorum beati Petri et Pauli de Catacumbas levavit noctu: primum quidem corpus beati Pauli accepto beata Lucina posuit in praedio suo, via Ostense, iuxta locum ubi decollatus est; beati Petri accipit corpus beatus Cornelius episcopus et posuit iuxta locum ubi crucificus est, inter corpora sanctorum episcoporum, in templum Apollinis, in monte Aureum, in Vaticanum palatii Neroniani, III kal. iul.

(read: Edmundson, George (1913). The Church in Rome in the First Century: an Examination of Various Controverted Questions relating to its history, chronology, literature and traditions; eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the Year 1913 on the foundation of the Lat Reve. John Bampton known as The Bampton Lectures for 1913; London, UK and New York, NY, USA: Longmans, Green).

All those who died between Nero and Domitian, who were very few in number despite the histrionics of papal apologists, of and have subsequently been called and praised as “saints” (a title for anyone who, living or dying, believes in “the Christ”–it was not yet a part of the name of the Jesus of the New Testament in the first century–as found in 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 3:14-19; 2 Corinthians 13:5; in the Christian Bible there is only one person who is declared to be a saint: Aaron the brother of Moses Psalms 106:16-18, as even Saul of Tarsus/Paul said he was no saint:  Ephesians 3:8) left no record of testifying, and many sought death to end their earthly existence (suicide), yet their “martyrdoms” becoming the backbone of the Roman Catholic church and cause célèbreof Roman Catholic persecution of non-Roman Catholics—especially as seen in the unholy life and actions of the odious opportunistic founder of Opus Dei, Josemaria Escriva (among the greatest liars and propagandists within the Roman Catholic Church who required unwavering

Josemarie Escriva: the end justifies the means

and absolute obedience in all things; Josemarie Escriva, founder of Opus Dei wrote in his The Way: the faithful will use secrecy to obtain end results (The Way, No. 839), compromise is a form of laziness and weakness (The Way, No. 54), true Roman Catholics must follow blindly “in obedience” all Church teachings (The Way, No. 617 and in 941): “Blind obedience to your superior, the way of sanctity. Obedience in your apostolate, the only way; for, in a work of God, the spirit must be to obey or to leave.” Submission to religious authority is understood to be a good in itself, while calling non-Catholic schools, “pagan schools” (The Way, No.866). Escrivá de Balaguer, José María [also Josemaria] (1954, 1962 and 1979). The Way. Chicago, IL, USA: Scepter), Opus Dei cardinals (especially in the USAwhere deception is the rule, and Latin America where

Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru

thinking for one’s self (dissent) is rejected and denied as defended by the Peru College of [Roman Catholic] Bishops, whereas before 1971, dissent was recognized and even championed; this all was stopped with the elevation of nefarious Juan Luis Cipriani as archbishop of Lima who has even attacked the Pontifical University in Lima as “not Catholic” enough to suit his Opus Dei following, for he is a staunch member of the Opus Dei movement that seeks to suppress freedom of speech, inquiry, and advancement of the individual) and parasitic popes Urban II, Alexander VI, Leo X, Pius IX, Pius XII, John Paul II, and the ultimate predator propagandist Benedict XVI. 

Christianity took its concept of saints from Hinduism, a polytheistic religion that considers holy people to be “saints” derived from the Sanskrit sat (सद) (truth, reality) has overlapping usages, its root meaning being “one who knows the truth” or “one who has experienced Ultimate Reality” and ennobles them with the term Mahatma, Paramahamsa, or Swami, or with the titles Sri or Srila (cf. Pruthi, Raj and Ram, S(2008). Hindu Saints and Mysticism.New Delhi : Crescent Pub. Corp.; cp. Lāla, Rāma; Poddar, Hanuman Prasad; and Sampūrnānanda (1957). Bhārata ke santa-mahātmā : Bhārata ke 114 santa-mahātmāom ke jīvana kī rūparekhā. Bambaī : Vorā enda Kampanī Pabliśarsa; in Hindi).  What most Roman Catholics either do not know or reject is that “St. Cletus” was removed from the office General Roman Calendar as a saint in 1969 (although he does continue to appear in the Roman Martyrology as one of many saints of April 26; cf. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 121).

Clement of Rome

The fourth “bishop of Rome” is equally a phantasmal being.  Contemporary lists of popes give Clement as the fourth successor or Peter—but the only Clement in the Bible is found as an afterthought in Philippians 4:2-3: coming after (showing that Clement had little status) the salutations to the women Eudodia and Synthyche—but the reference is to a worker—not to an elder, presbyter or a bishop.  No where does it (or any contemporary document) say Clement was a preacher, priest or pope, not even in Rome.  Instead the text only claims that Clement resided in the Greek city-state (polis: πολίς) of Philippi.

Clement is not mentioned by John or any secular source in the first century.  Jerome comments that a Clement was “the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter” not in the sense of fourth successor, but fourth in a series that included Peter, and adds that “most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle” but makes no affirmation of the rightness of this claim but in a redaction indicates that he came fourth—but without serious agreement (this disagreement is read easily in Irenæus’ Adversus Haereses III.iii.3).  Most of the biographical references to Clement were written in the fourth century as defense works attempting to justify the existence of an emerging bishopric of Rome, and there is no tie between this Clement and the Clement mentioned by “Paul” in Philippians 4:3 until the late third and into the fourth century CE. It is stated that Clement instituted the formulary of “the Trinity” for the Old Testament “The Lord lives”.  The Trinity is far older than Christianity.  

Osiric Trinity of ancient Egypt (Horus, Osiris, Isis)

The word Trinity is not found in the Bible.  The concept is far older–as old as ancient Egypt.  The Egyptians more than 3000 years ago had a belief in a life after death, a divine judgment, heaven and hell, and gave prayers to their gods with the invocation “the Lord lives” long before there were Hebrews or Christians. 

Much of what ancient Egypt had fashioned in its theology was plagiarized by the second century Christian church–when it did not take from its Jewish roots those parts it found economically beneficial in winning converts.

In Egyptian theology the trinity is a concept that  proclaims the inseparability of Osiris, Isis, and Horus.  Horus, the son, is recorded as having said, “My father [Osiris] and I are one” (cp. John 10:30). 

By the time of Judas Maccabeus the Egyptian Trinity was heralded as Isis (goddess of creation), Ra (god of the sun), El (husband or teaching spirit): Is-Ra-El (Yahweh was a war-god from the southern desert regions of Palestine, and later fashioned into an agricultural god that married the Canaanite goddess Asherah: Astarte; cf. Delitzsch, Friedrich (1903). Babel und Bibel. Leipzig, Germany: J. C. Hinrich and his Anmerkungen zu dem Vortrag Babel und Bible, 1903; Delitzsch was an Assyrian specialist).  Closer to Christianity is the Hindu Trinity, consisting of the TriGods:  Lord Brahma (the creator), Lord Vishnu (the preserver) and Lord Shiva (the destroyer). They are aspects of Iswara the manifest Brahman, the highest God of Hinduism.  The Hindu Trinity is not native to the Vedas, but were a part of the ancient Indian culture, and is thought to have appeared at least 2000 years before the advent of Vedic Aryans who settled in the north.  The Hindu Trinity is one god with three different abilities or personalities / purposes–much like the Christian Trinity.

“In Scripture [the Bible] there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together…The word trias (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A.D. 180…Afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian (“De pud.” c. xxi)”. (The Blessed Trinity. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV, 1912 by Robert Appleton Company. New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).

Clement is also noted for the introduction of liturgical vestments—but they did not exist at that time, nor even at the time of Stephen I (254-257), as noted by Mann (Mann, H. (1912) transcribed by Kenneth M. Caldwell, “Pope St. Stephen I” in The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. XIV. New York City, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company), who wrote: “In his days the vestments worn by the clergy at Mass and other church services did not differ in shape or material from those ordinarily wore by the laity.”

The idea that Clement had authority over any other presbyter is absurd, especially by those who claim such a stature based on Epistle from Rome to the Corinthians that is surreptitiously ascribed as 1 Clement.  As Sullivan wrote, “1 Clement certainly does not support the theory that before the apostles died; they appointed one man as bishop in each of the churches they founded. This letter witnesses rather to the fact that in the last decade of the first century, the collegial ministry of a group of presbyters…was still maintained in the Pauline church of Corinth. This was most likely also the case in the church in Rome at this period” (Sullivan F.A. From Apostles to Bishops: op. cit. pp. 91, 101).

The fourth pope is alleged to have had the name of Evaristus.  He is not mentioned in the Bible or in any other document (civil or ecclesiastical). It is claimed that he instituted a group of seven deacons (one for each of the hills of Rome) to write down “the popes utterances” to avoid disputes over what each said, but these decretals are now known as Peudo-Isidore and considered forgeries and the general consensus is that they were written in the ninth century by Carolingian supporters to free the church and bishops from interference by the state and metropolitan archbishops (Kirsch J. P. (1909). Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Evaristus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. V. New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company; cp. Williams, Schafer (1973). “Codices Pseudo-Isidoriani, A Palaegraphico-Historical Study,” Monumenta Iuris Canonici Series C vol. 3, New York, NY, USA: Fordham University).  Nothing that the seven recorders where to have written down survives—nor a list of any popes, not even Evaristus—who was allegedly martyred, but there is no mention of any persecution in the Roman Church at this time (Irenæus, op. cit., 1.c. III, iv. 3).

Evaristus is alleged to have been followed by Alexander.  The only mention of an Alexander who followed Evaristus appears in one place: Irenæus, Adversus Haereses III, iii,3.  Legend has it that Alexander was only 20 years old when he was elected pope, and was quick to institute the use of Holy Water (dating from prehistoric and Paleolithic religions, known as chernips among ancient Greeks, the ancient Jews used it to determine purity in a woman (Numbers

Amrit Sanskar

5:12-31), the Sikhs use the term (Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ) for a ritual baptism ceremony known as Amrit Sanskar or Amrit Chhakhna.  It was popular among Mithraists from which Alexander took the concept; and, it would later be a part of Shi’a Islam as it is thought that by drinking the “healing water” the person would be cured of both physical and spiritual illnesses (Virani, Shafique (2007). The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. p.107-108). 

Legend states that Alexander also prescribed that the “host” (bread) be made from unleavened dough (without yeast)–which would erupt into a battle of words and swords between Christians in the West and East.  The only other thing he is noted for is the continuation of ancient Roman superstition, such as the custom of purifying a house from evil influences by sprinkling salt on the structure and its rooms (constituit aquam sparsionis cum sale benedici in habitaculis hominum).  

Holy Water for Purification in the theology of the Goddess Isis

Duchesne and Tillemont (Duchesne, Louis; Vogel, Cyrille (1886). Liber Pontificalis, Paris, France: E. Thorin, I, 127. Tillemont, Louis-Sébastien Le Nain de (1693-1712), Memoires pour server à l’histoire ecclesiastique des six premiers siecles, par le Sieur D.T. [i.e De Tillemont]. Paris, France: Chez Charles Robustel, II, 590 sqq) both claim that Alexander came up with neither the idea of holy water or salt or similar superstitious practices, as none are biblically sanctioned—and none are in any contemporaneous records.  Holy Water and salt to purify a home, person, or temple is found in ancient Egypt with the worship of the Goddess Isis, in Pompeii and Rome–thousands of years before the invention of Christianity or any writing by its apologists.  Both were regularly used in places of worship, homes, businesses, and even public baths.

 Why Alexander, the alleged bishop of Rome was beheaded is unanswered in ancient records, but there is a subtle inference that he died because he was a young man who was subject to military service and refused to fight.  This would, in most cases, lead to execution.  A stronger argument against Alexander is that he could have been beheaded because of his age (he was, according to legend, the youngest–some claimed he was only 20 years-old–bishop of Rome, and there exists graffiti suggesting scandal during his term) and being single, which was seen as a threat to the Roman family and continuation of its people as with the dwindling population, reproduction was expected: celibacy and chastity were equally seen as unnatural and abnormal behavior.  It may have been that Alexander was seen as an Archigallus by the Romans. 

Priest of Cybele (courtesy of V Roma) Archigallus burning incense to the Magna Mater terra-cotta relief of the Isola Sacra cemetery 3rd century CE

The priesthood of the Archigallus is described as either being instituted sometime during the Imperial reign of Claudius (41-54 CE) or Antoninus Pius (137-161 CE). The Archigallus was always a Roman citizen chosen by the Quindecemviri Sacris Faciundis (fifteen [quindecim] members of a college (collegium) with priestly duties, from which, ultimately, would come cardinals–cardinālis–a word that originally meant ” door hinge” on which the gates to heaven swing open and shut), whose term of service lasted for life and the Archigallus was forbidden to be celibate or avoid human sexuality.  It was through the Archigallus and his rites that the Magna Mater’s blessings of health and well-being were conferred on the Emperor, the Imperial family, the Senate, the army and the Roman State and people as a whole, and to avoid sexuality and stay a virgin would bring down the wrath of the gods. This was especially critical as by the time of the death of Marcus Aurelius (180 CE), a plague—most likely smallpox—spread fast, killing approximately 2000 people a day.

The next pope, Sixtus I (originally spelled Xystus) is a further illusion—one with the least credibility. There is no existing records to his existence or the claims that he ordered holy furnishings be touched only by priests, the triple chant of Sanctus (common in ancient Etruscan theology and later imported into ancient Roman rituals where it was known as carmen (Putnam, Michael C. J. (2001). Horace’s Carmen Saeculare. New Haven, CT, USA and London, UK: Yale University Press. p. 133; Frances Hickson Hahn, “Performing the Sacred: Prayers and Hymns”, in Rüpke, Jörg (2007) A Companion to Roman Religion. Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publishers); it even was a part of the Hawaiian Kahunas before the unfortunate invasion by Christian missionaries), or the writing of two letters that are now considered universally to be apocryphal.     

Sixtus may never have existed, but was a part of numerology that was a part of all world religions.  The earliest list of bishops of Rome to survive is the one supplied by Irenæus who was known as a systematic writer who put everything into order.  The first twelve “popes” represented the twelve original Apostles, but with the loss of Judas Iscariot, there was vacancy, and that vacancy was the sixth from which the Latin name Sixtus comes. (Duffy, Eamon. Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes. Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 2002, p.14).                

Telesphorus is the eighth pope recorded after the fourth century by Eusebius of Caesarea: Historia Ecclesiastica iv.7; iv.14, in Greek: Εκκλησιαστική ιστορία), but that record we only have far later redactions on, as the originals were “lost”—most likely burned by apologists for Rome.  It may be have been, in part, reconstructed from later chronographers of the Byzantine school who made excerpts from the work. The tables of the second part have been preserved completely in a Latin translation by Jerome, but the Latin shows serious flaws with knowledge of the Greek and polemics did play a part in the translation and copying of the work. Both parts are still extant in an Armenian translation) places the beginning of his pontificate in the twelfth year of the reign of Emperor Hadrian (128–129) and gives the date of his death as being in the first year of the reign of Antoninus Pius (138–139). 

What other references to Telesphorus that exist are fragments—and are only recorded (as such) by later writers, such as Eusebius (for example: in a fragment of a letter from Irenæus to Pope Victor I during the Easter controversy in the late 2nd century, preserved by Eusebius, Irenæus testifies that Telesphorus was one of the Roman bishops who always celebrated Easter on Sunday, rather than on other days of the week according to the calculation of the Jewish Passover), who claims, as it is alleged by many Roman Catholics today, Telesphorus created the Christmas Eve Mass and its songs.  There is no proof of this, as both Irenæus and Tertullian (the latter who ultimately renounces Christianity and becomes a Manichean) omit Christmas Eve from their list of feasts–and they wrote the earliest records on the history of the church. 

Origen was insulted by the idea, claiming in Lev. Hom (Homilies on Leviticus) viii (Migne, Patrologia Graeca, XII, 495) that only sinners, not saints, celebrate their birthday.  Arnobius (VII, 32, in PL, V, 1264) ridicules such “birthdays” as reminiscent of pagan gods—which had as its source ancient Egyptian rites (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, I, xxi in P.G., VIII, 888) says that certain Egyptian theologians “over curiously” assign, not the year alone, but the day of Christ’s birth, placing it on 25 Pachon (20 May) in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus (Martindale C (1908). Transcribed by Susanti A. Suastika. Christmas. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III.  New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).   

All references to Telesphorus in the Liber Pontificalis are considered to be forgeries.  The Feast of Lent, and its fasting, does not appear anywhere before the fifth century CE.  Lent is a Teutonic word that denotes the forty days’ fast preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season culminating in the worship of the goddess Oester (Easter).  (Thurston H (1910). Transcribed by Anthony A. Killeen. A.M.D.G. Lent. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX. New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).    Until the 600s, Lent began on Quadragesima (Fortieth) Sunday, but Gregory the Great (c.540-604) moved it to a Wednesday, now called Ash Wednesday, to secure the exact number of 40 days in Lent—not counting Sundays, which were feast days. Gregory, who is regarded as the father of the medieval papacy, is also credited with the ceremony that gives the day its name, and is credited with establishing chanting as a way of appeasing god. 

Irenæus knows nothing about lent, and most contemporaries condemned it and chanting as pagan (it has existed in nearly every ancient religion, and is common in Buddhism, Hinduism (Vaishnavism where chanting is included to free the body from “sins” especially by calling on the god Krishna, known as “the Christ”, where it is written: “One who fasts, follows the Janmastami vow, and keeps an all-night vigil on this day becomes freed from the sins of ten million births”,  all Mesopotamian/Abrahamic religions, and now in Islam where it is known as Ramadhan), as with Arnobius:

“What say you, O wise sons of Erectheus? What, you citizens of Minerva? The mind is eager to know with what words you will defend what it is so dangerous to maintain, or what arts you have by which to give safety to personages and causes wounded so mortally. This is no false mistrust, nor are you assailed with lying accusations: the infamy of your Eleusinia is declared both by their base beginnings and by the records of ancient literature, by the very signs, in fine, which you use when questioned in receiving the sacred things,—” I have fasted, and drunk the draught; I have taken out of the mystic cist, and put into the wicker-basket; I have received again, and transferred to the little chest”

(Arnobius [of Sicca]. Adversus Paganos or Against the Heathen (also known as Against the Pagans and as Against the Gentiles), V.26; the original is in Latin; a good translation, in German, is Des Afrikaner’s Arnobius sieben Buecher wider die Heiden Landshut: v. Vogel, 1842).

Arnobius further notes: The feast of Jupiter is tomorrow. Jupiter, I suppose, dines, and must be satiated with great banquets, and long filled with eager cravings for food by fasting, and hungry after the usual interval (Adversus Paganos, VII.32).  The emerging Christian communities rapidly adopted the heathen custom of having great banquets at the end of Lent.

Alexander Hislop was among the first to write of Lent’s pagan antecedents:

The forty days’ abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty days, “in the spring of the year,” is still observed by the Yezidis or Pagan Devil-worshippers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from their early masters, the Babylonians. Such a Lent of forty days was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: “Three days after the vernal equinox…began a solemn fast of forty days in honour of the sun.” Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt, as may be seen on consulting Wilkinson’s Egyptians. This Egyptian Lent of forty days, we are informed by Landseer, in his Sabean Researches, was held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god. At the same time, the rape of Proserpine seems to have been commemorated, and in a similar manner; for Julius Firmicus informs us that, for “forty nights” the “wailing for Proserpine” continued; and from Arnobius we learn that the fast which the Pagans observed, called “Castus” or the “sacred” fast, was, by the Christians in his time, believed to have been primarily in imitation of the long fast of Ceres, when for many days she determinedly refused to eat on account of her “excess of sorrow,” that is, on account of the loss of her daughter Proserpine, when carried away by Pluto…

Babylonians honored the resurrection of their god, Tammuz

Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called the “month of Tammuz”; in Egypt, about the middle of May, and in Britain, some time in April. To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity–now far sunk in idolatry–in this as in so many other things, to shake hands…

Lupercalia: the ancient custom of Lent

Let any one only read the atrocities that were commemorated during the “sacred fast” or Pagan Lent, as described by Arnobius and Clemens Alexandrinus, and surely he must blush for the Christianity of those who, with the full knowledge of all these abominations, “went down to Egypt for help” to stir up the languid devotion of the degenerate Church, and who could find no more excellent way to “revive” it, than by borrowing from so polluted a source; the absurdities and abominations connected with which the early Christian writers had held up to scorn. That Christians should ever think of introducing the Pagan abstinence of Lent was a sign of evil; it showed how low they had sunk, and it was also a cause of evil; it inevitably led to deeper degradation. Originally, even in Rome, Lent, with the preceding revelries of the Carnival, was entirely unknown; and even when fasting before the Christian Pasch was held to be necessary, it was by slow steps that, in this respect, it came to conform with the ritual of Paganism. What may have been the period of fasting in the Roman Church before sitting of the Nicene Council does not very clearly appear, but for a considerable period after that Council, we have distinct evidence that it did not exceed three weeks.

(Hislop, Alexander (1862). The Two Babylons, or, The papal worship proved to be the worship of Nimrod and his wife: with sixty-one woodcut illustrations from Nineveh, Babylon, Egypt, Pompeii, &c. Edinburgh, Scotland: James Wood, pp. 104-106, a revision of the 1858 publication that was printed privately in Edinburgh under the title The two Babylons: their identity, and the present antichrist also the last).

Telesphorus was, allegedly, succeeded by Hyginus.  Of him or his reign there is neither evidence nor the claim that he decreed that all children were to be baptized with godparents in attendance.  The only reference for Hyginus is in Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica IV.xv-xvi, but it is not credible, being written two hundred years after the alleged bishop of Rome reigned.  Baptism is among the most ancient practices in all primitive religions, predating Christianity by at least 5000 years. Homer describes baptism as a “full body immersion” that initially was reserved for the gods, then the demigods (such as Achilles), and ultimately for mortals; baptism could be by water or fire (war, and flames).  The Tablets of Maklu saw baptism as a “spiritual cleansing” in the cult of Enke, lord of Eridu. 

Book of Going Forth by Day (Papyrus of Ani) preparing for Baptism

In the Book of Going Forth by Day in ancient Egypt, an entire treatise is devoted to baptizing newborn children to purify them of any blemishes acquired in the womb—an ideology that had as its source the theology of Osiris drowning in the Nile and being brought back to life by the washing of the water over his entire body. 

Ritual instruments for a crucified saviour (Cairo Egypt) 1285 BCE XIXth Dynasty

This ultimately led to the crucifixion of Osiris, as well as the invention of a special house to hide the god or the resurrection when he was not being worshipped.

Miniature shrine XVIIIth Dynasty ca 1325 BCE darkness to hide deity

Supreme Priests/Pontiffs, such as Seti I would oversee the receipt of special tithes and gifts to the crucified god.

Seti I consecrating offerings ca 1285 BCE XIX Dynasty

In the cult of Cybele—which became one of the parts of the great God Mithras—baptism was by blood in the right of sacrificing the bull (Taurobolium) to give the faithful greater vitality and virility (baptism has always had a sexual context, from rising from the water symbolizing the fetus leaving the womb to become a baby, to being covered with blood to endure hardships such as being wrongly beaten or being crucified, as with the ancient Akkadians: אַכַּד). 

Commemorative Taurobolium Altar (Rome ca 295 BCE)

The Emperor Theodosius the Great made Mithraism the only religion in the empire at the expense of Christianity, although the inscription appears no later than 134 CE and was widespread: from Asia Minor, Middle East, and so forth (Vermaseren, Maartan J. (1977).  Cybele and Attis: the Myth and the Cult. London, UK: Thames and Hudson p. 102).  By being baptized, the one receiving the water or blood gained “eternal life, being born again”.  The pagan origin of baptism was even noted in the early Christian communities that adopted the rite into their own ritual and rules:

“[Non-Christians] ascribe to their idols the imbuing of waters with the self-same efficacy [of purification]. … For washing is the channel through which they are initiated into some sacred rites–of some notorious Isis or Mithras…

Moreover, by carrying water around, and sprinkling it, they everywhere expiate country-seats, houses, temples, and whole cities: at all events, at the Apollinarian and Eleusinian games they are baptized; and they presume that the effect of their doing that is their regeneration and the remission of the penalties due to their perjuries.

Among the ancients, again, whoever had defiled himself with murder, was wont to go in quest of purifying waters.” –i.e. Washing away sin! [Tertullian, On Baptism, 5.]

Facts show that every sacrament, every act, every canon in the early Church was taken from ancient (“pagan”) religions and incorporated into Christianity before it became Paulinity.  This is seen in the legends laurelled around the first century popes—for whom there is no evidence, as Christianity borrowed salvation, baptism (including baptism of the dead in ancient Corinth (DeMaris, Richard (1996). Corinthian Religion and Baptism for the Dead (1 Corinthians 15:29): Insights from Archaeology and Anthropology. Provo, UT, USA: Maxwell Institute, p. 675) that gave rise to the ideology of the Mormons: Hugh Nibley, “Baptism for the Dead in Ancient Times,” in Nibley, Hugh; Compton, Todd; and Ricks, Stephen (1987). Mormonism and Early Christianity (Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Deseret Book and FARMS [Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies]), pp. 100-167), the Eucharist, heaven, hell, a virgin born Son of God—and more—from ancient Pagan religions. This matured under the mythological Pius I.

Legend has Pius I following Hyginus as pope. Concerning Pius I, there is no concrete information and no records.  The claim that he established Easter as a Christian celebration is wrong; that he decreed that Jews who converted to Christianity and” should be admitted and baptized) are forgeries.  It is said that Pius was influenced by Justin Martyr—but Justin has not been universally accepted as a Christian as he was judgmental, xenophobic and as his Dialogue with Trypho (especially chapter 80) shows, Justin was out of touch with the Greek world where Christianity began.  The only existing record of Pius I comes from a spurious source: Shepherd of Hermas (also known as The Pastor), written between the late second century and early third century and thus of no value to the discussion, save to note that it includes the line “The Pastor, moreover, did Hermas write very recently in our times in the city of Rome, while his brother bishop Pius sat in the chair of the Church of Rome.” The problem with the Pastor is that the author claims he was a former slave—and if he was the brother of Pius, both would have been slaves, which would be a stumbling block towards the papacy. (Caius, translated by S.D.F. Salmond, in Muratori, Lodovico Antonio (1738-1742) V.C. Antiquitates Italicae Medii aevi. Sive dissertations de moribus, ritibus, religion, regimine, aliisque faciem … Mediolani, Italia: Ex typographia Societatis Palatinae in regia curia. Vol. 3, col 854). Outside of that one line, nothing else exists.

Anicetus, it is claimed, followed Pius I.  Everything attributed to this claimant who has no documentation of having been a bishop or even having lived, can be traced to a different pretender or a later innovator. Anicetus’ main claim to fame was that he “dealt with” the Gnostic “heresy”—a heresy that lasted for generations more (Irenæus. Adversus Haereses III.iv.3 and iii.4).  What the Gnostic texts show is that few Roman Christians and no “bishop” had power over neither the Gnostics nor their theological interpretations. Other heretics included Justin Martyr (Eusebius Historia Ecclesiastica  IV.11). Justin, for example, did not believe in the immortality of the soul:

Trypho: “‘Therefore souls neither see God nor trans-migrate into other bodies; for they would know that so they are punished, and they would be afraid to commit even the most trivial sin afterwards. But that they can perceive that God exists, and that righteousness and piety are honourable, I also quite agree with you,’ said he.

Justin: “‘You are right,’ I replied.

Trypho: “‘These philosophers know nothing, then, about these things; for they cannot tell what a soul is.’

Justin: “‘It does not appear so.’

Trypho:“‘Nor ought it to be called immortal; for if it is immortal, it is plainly unbegotten.’ …

Justin: “God alone is unbegotten and incorruptible, and therefore He is God, but all other things after Him are created and corruptible. For this reason souls both die and are punished: since, if they were unbegotten, they would neither sin, nor be filled with folly, nor be cowardly, and again ferocious; nor would they willingly transform into swine, and serpents, and dogs and it would not indeed be just to compel them, if they be unbegotten” (Dialogue. IV-V).

Justin argued that the Jews (from which all Christians descended) erased parts of the Old Testament:

“And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the translations effected by those seventy elders who were with Ptolemy…

Trypho remarked, “Whether [or not] the rulers of the people have erased any portion of the Scriptures, as you affirm, God knows; but it seems incredible.”

“Assuredly,” said I, “it does seem incredible”

(Justin Martyr. Dialogue with Trypho, LXXI, LXXIII). If “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), how can Justin claim parts were lost?  Furthermore, while the early Christians assumed that Jesus was a “new man”, the congregations held that the world was only about 3000 years old, yet Justin wrote: “And He was predicted before He appeared, first 5000 years before, and again 3000, then 2000, then 1000, and yet again 800; for in the succession of generations prophets after prophets arose” (The First Apology. XXXI).

Justin did have much in common with other pagan religions, especially Mithras, in his claim that Jesus was born in a cave:

And when those who record the mysteries of Mithras say that he was begotten of a rock, and call the place where those who believe in him are initiated a cave…they have attempted likewise to imitate the whole of Isaiah’s words?…’he shall dwell in the lofty cave of the strong rock. Bread shall be given to him, and his water [shall be] sure…’ (Trypho, LXX).

But when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him. I have repeated to you what Isaiah foretold about the sign which foreshadowed the cave (Trypho LXXVIII).

The greatest apostasy found in Justin Martyr is his claim that Jesus died on a cross  (crux):

“And the physiological discussion concerning the Son of God in the Timæus of Plato, where he says, He placed him crosswise in the universe, he borrowed in like manner from Moses; for in the writings of Moses it is related how at that time , when the Israelites went out of Egypt and were in the wilderness, they fell in with poisonous beasts, both vipers and asps , and every kind of serpent, which slew the people; and that Moses, by the inspiration and influence of God, took brass, and made it into the figure of a cross , and set it in the holy tabernacle , and said to the people, If you look to this figure, and believe, you shall be saved thereby. And when this was done, it is recorded that the serpents died, and it is handed down that the people thus escaped death. Which things Plato reading, and not accurately understanding, and not apprehending that it was the figure of the cross, but taking it to be a placing crosswise, he said that the power next to the first God was placed crosswise in the universe. And as to his speaking of a third, he did this because he read, as we said above, that which was spoken by Moses, that the Spirit of God moved over the waters. For he gives the second place to the Logos which is with God, who he said was placed crosswise in the universe; and the third place to the Spirit who was said to be borne upon the water, saying, And the third around the third. And hear how the Spirit of prophecy signified through Moses that there should be a conflagration. He spoke thus: Everlasting fire shall descend, and shall devour to the pit beneath” (First Apology, LX).

The cross, however, comes from Plato’s Timaeus (Robert Grigg, “Symphōnian Aeidō tēs Basileias”: An Image of Imperial Harmony on the Base of the Column of Arcadius” The Art Bulletin 59.4 (December 1977:469-482) p. 477, note 42).

Martyr is a cornucopia of absurdities who went so far as to have Jesus becoming equal to the god Prometheus:

“And then, when Jesus had gone to the river Jordan, where John was baptizing, and when He had stepped into the water, a fire was kindled in the Jordan” (Dialogue. Chapter LXXXVIII).

There is no fire in mentioned in any biblical account of Jesus’ baptism (see Matthew 3:1-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34). Justin simply taught this without biblical support.

The actual attack on those who twisted reality came from other groups or individuals, such as Polycarp of Smyrna.

While one can labor over all the other popes that the Roman Catholic Church claims to have sat in the chair of Peter (a chair more mythological than real), none can claim the title before Siricius (d. 398) who was the first to use it (Epistle VI in P. L. XIII, 1164), and then only with imperial permission. The Bishop of Rome (later called the Pope) the senior religious figure in the Western Empire which was drifting into a Dark Age of superstition while enlightened thinking and dialogue continued strong in the East at Constantinople. 

Siricius

The Bishop of Rome was seen officially as the chief Christian cleric only by imperial proclamation postulated in 380 by the Edict of Thessalonica. The fact that Siricius did not to set himself apart, but assumed the role of a spiritual father or leader—unlike today’s bishops, cardinals and popes who have made the outlandish, unbiblical and unhistorical claim initiated by Pius IX that they speak infallibly and have primacy over other bishops, endeared him to the imperial house and to the people. The claim that all bishops of Rome spoke infallibly, based on Matthew 16:18, is neither biblical nor provable by history in any of its facets.

The only Supreme Pontiff was the Emperor, as Justin Martyr noted: 

The Emperor Caesar Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, Supreme Pontiff, in the fifteenth year of his tribuneship, Consul for the third time, Father of the fatherland, to the Common Assembly of Asia, greeting: I should have thought that the gods themselves would see to it that such offenders should not escape. For if they had the power, they themselves would much rather punish those who refuse to worship them; but it is you who bring trouble on these persons, and accuse as the opinion of atheists that which they hold, and lay to their charge certain other things which we are unable to prove. But it would be advantageous to them that they should be thought to die for that of which they are accused, and they conquer you by being lavish of their lives rather than yield that obedience which you require of them. And regarding the earthquakes which have already happened and are now occurring, it is not seemly that you remind us of them, losing heart whenever they occur, and thus set your conduct in contrast with that of these men; for they have much greater confidence towards God than you yourselves have. And you, indeed, seem at such times to ignore the gods, and you neglect the temples, and make no recognition of the worship of God. And hence you are jealous of those who do serve Him, and persecute them to the death. Concerning such persons, some others also of the governors of provinces wrote to my most divine father; to whom he replied that they should not at all disturb such persons, unless they were found to be attempting anything against the Roman government. And to myself many have sent intimations regarding such persons, to whom I also replied in pursuance of my father’s judgment. But if any one has a matter to bring against any person of this class, merely as such a person, let the accused be acquitted of the charge, even though he should be found to be such an one; but let the accuser he amenable to justice.

(The First Apology. LXVIII; Epistle Of Antoninus To The Common Assembly Of Asia). The letter (epistle) is considered spurious.  A future bishop of Rome would not usurp this title until late in the fourth century. 

The earthquakes were interpreted by many early Christians as a sign of the End Times when god would return to the earth and purge it of evil and evil-doers, leading to a great war—a war that fleshes out the horror story of John Patmos.  The letter argues that such a thought is nonsense and that End Times is a concept created by those who feel themselves persecuted.  The Emperor was not a Christian, as noted in his words, “some others also of the governors of provinces wrote to my most divine father, to whom he replied that they should not at all disturb such persons, unless they were found to be attempting anything against the Roman government.”  The word “atheists” meant anyone (basically the various Christian cults) who did not accept the official gods; it should be translated as “without the gods” not as “against god”; the problems of translation and interpretation are numerous here as the people to whom this letter was addressed were basically illiterate and seeking immediate answers written down for them, without having to use their own marginal reasoning intellectual powers.

While numerous historians consider the character of Antoninus a success and his reign “a blessing”, there are others who take a different, unfavorable view, as with Schiller, Hermann (1887). Geschichte der rom. Kaiserzeit. (Handbücher der Alten Geschichte: Ser. 1., ; 3. Abt. 2) II, p. 138. Eusebius op. cit. IV.26.10; Marcus Aurelius forbade “spontaneous” outbreaks of violence against Christians as it was disruptive of the pax or peace of the realm, loc. cit. IV.13, which later Christian apologists have attempted to define as an acceptance of Christianity and subtle reference to imperial approval—that is a misreading of the document—as Christians did die, either because of being found guilty of inciting others, or because of their determination to commit suicide, which “the brethren of believers” declared to be “martyrdoms” even though the deaths did not qualify as martyrdom—a situation that even present day apologists acknowledge:

“The pages of the contemporary apologists, though lacking in detail, are ample proof that capital punishment was frequently inflicted. The passive attitude of Antoninus had no small influence on the internal development of Christianity. Heresy was then rampant on all sides; consequently, in order to strengthen the bonds of discipline and morality, and to enforce unity of doctrine, concerted action was called for. The tolerant attitude of the Emperor made possible a broad and vigorous activity on the part of the Christian bishops, one evidence of which is the institution of synods or councils of the Christian leaders, then first held on an extensive scale, and described at some length by Eusebius in his Church History. In this way, it may be said, the Emperor contributed to the development of Christian unity”

gives the contemporary reader more insight into the charges brought against Christians as being “workers” against the empire, withdrawn, exclusive, and unsupportive.  The synods were anything but peaceful, with bishops drawing weapons, congregants screaming, participants impeaching opposition parties and philosophies and theologies, and the bans against “heresies” returned in kind and extent.  Under stronger secular rulers, such nonsense and barbarity of the early congregations was not tolerated (Tertullian, Ad Scapulam, ix: the last treatise Tertullian wrote as a Christian before he left the cult in disgust and became a “born again pagan”, being attracted to the New Prophecy (Montanism with a theology similar to contemporary Pentecostalism and the New Apostolic Reformation; as Eusebius wrote:

“And he [Montanus] became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning.”

Eusebius, op. cit., V.xvi,7, who noted such actions have no biblical foundation; later Tertullian in De Resurectione Carnis (On the Resurrection of the Flesh) argued that the New Prophecy cleared up ambiguities in scripture, which the traditional church rejected; recognized female bishops and presbyters, and other “worldly” activities denounced by Epiphanius, Against Heresies, 49.2.5, thereby acknowledging its existence) despite being the teacher of Cyprian (and predecessor of Augustine); cf. Quacquarelli, Antonio (1957). Tertulliani Ad Scapulam. Prolegomeni, Testo Critico e Commento. (Opuscula Patrum, i.) pp. 131. Paris, France: Desclée et Cie., 1957; the only existing copies are dated from the fifteenth century.  My personal copy is Q. Septimii Florentis Tertulliani Apologeticus et Ad scapulam liber: accessit M. Minucius Felicis Octavius Cantabrigiæ: Ex officina Joan. Hayes … : impensis Henr Dickinson & Rich. Green …, 1686 . [8], 135 p.).  What is unique in this document is the introduction of “holy oil” to be used by and for extreme unction by “the brethren” facing death (Tertullian, Ad Scapulamiv): an old and pagan custom going back at least 3000  years from Pharaonic Egypt (the

Hieroglyphic at Abyd

Pharaoh is depicted being anointed by Horus (sun-god and “father” of Pharaoh) and Thoth (god of wisdom), the oil of which is symbolically depicted as a stream of ankh); the Abhishekionians believed that the virtues of one killed could be transferred to survivors if the latter rubbed themselves with his caul-fat: the fatty membrane that surrounds internal organs; such anointing has a long history in Hindu theology, as well as most other religions.  It was a major part of Gnosticism and is discussed in the Gospel of Philip as well as the Acts of Thomas.  In Buddhism, butter (including that of yak) is commonly used.  Hindus use anointing oils to get rid of illness and bad luck as well as demonic possession.

The Gods anointing, sanctifying, and bestowing authority on Egyptian Pharaohs

Anointing is not unique to Judaism nor Christianity, but was incorporated into both by “pagan” cultures and theologies.  Judaism adopted it for the ritual of enthroning a king from the Pharoahs, Hyksos and ancient Sumerians, while Christianity incorporated it from the various rituals current in Alexandria, Egypt and the cult of Horus where much of the Jesus story is found.

What can be discovered in existing records is not only the absence of information for apostolic succession and the papacy, but equally important is the reality that most of what is allegedly Christian is far older than the Bible.  Its message is found throughout the Roman Empire in earlier civilizations.  The creation of the Bible was nothing less than an attempt to revise or rewrite history so as to control an ignorant people.

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Filed under Ancient Egypt, Bible, Bishop of Rome, Church history, Roman Catholicism

How to make learning exciting

Death of Socrates by Giambettino Cignaroli (National Museum, Budapest, Hungary)

For thousands of years, in nearly every culture, clime, region, and country, teachers at all levels of education, students from primary through post-graduate education, and their individual and collective society have been taught that there exist “basic truths” that are “immortal” and cannot be changed by any mortal.  What these people have been taught by clergy, politicians, and educators has been and remains at best a fabrication.  In reality, is a lie. All things have always, do now, and will change in the future.  What is considered true today was heresy in the past, and may be considered fantasy or shortsightedness in the future.  What was passed as truth (such as the Ptolemaic Theory {based on the writing and astronomy of Claudius Ptolemy (Greek: Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, Klaudios Ptolemaios; Latin: Claudius Ptolemaeus; c. AD 90 – c. AD 168), a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek:  the language of the educated class}, on astronomy, based on the geocentric model (also known as geocentrism, or the Ptolemaic system), is the superseded theory, that the Earth is the center of the universe) has been proven false by Nicolaus Copernicus (German: Nikolaus Kopernikus; Italian: Nicolò Copernico; Polish: Mikołaj Kopernik; who was known in his youth as Niclas Koppernigk; born February 19, 1473 – died May 24, 1543).  Copernicus was the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe and thereby challenge church teaching.  The Roman Catholic church demanded he recant and destroy his works or forfeit his life; he obliged weakly, prohibiting the book to be printed until he was dying.  He saw his finished work shortly before he died, knowing that he had proven Ptolemy wrong and that all things, including “defined truth” is relative and all things will continue to change.

Anaximander (Ancient Greek: Ἀναξίμανδρος, Anaximandrosc. 610–545 BCE; he was the first Greek to write down his philosophy) was correct in declaring: “Everything changes but change itself” from which Heraclitus of Ephesus (Ἡράκλειτος ὁ Ἐφέσιος ) created his doctrine of change being central to the universe.  Heraclitus became famous, in time, for stating the obvious but that which others could not or would not understand: “You cannot step twice into the same stream [or water]” (ποταμοῖσι τοῖσιν αὐτοῖσιν ἐμϐαίνουσιν, zτερα καὶ ἕτερα ὕδατα ἐπιρρεῖ) as the water is never the same.

Educators are now, as they have always been, more preoccupied about keeping a job than truly working at motivating their students to study, learn, understand and use knowledge for their own well-being and the advance of civilization. This was the case in ancient Athens, although one man, Socrates, rejected the idea and argued the education came with questioning everything.  This resulted in Socrates being tried for “corrupting the youth” and the City Council of Athens ordered Socrates to remain silent and never encourage his students to question everything.

Socrates knew that without questioning everything there is no learning as there are no absolutes in the world and definitely none in education and learning.  When Socrates would not be quiet, the City Leaders ordered Socrates to commit suicide, basing the verdict on two notoriously ambiguous charges: corrupting the youth and impiety, but charges that a majority of the 501 dikasts: Athenian citizens chosen by lot to serve as jurors, accepted and voted to convict him of committing.  Some knew the charges were untrue but dared not stand and denounce the proceedings.  What worried the leaders of Athens was the fact that a teacher, a philosopher, Socrates by name, exposed the community leaders ignorance and debunked their reputations for wisdom and virtue by his questions (Read:Plato. Apology, 21d-e, 23a, 23e).

Socrates accepted the jurors’ judgment and verdict, in testimony to his personal belief and affirmation that all people must be subservient to the state “because the rule of law must supersede the desire of the individual”.  Socrates drank the hemlock and a prolonged death that slowly crept through his body as he walked around his lecture chamber he succumbed.

My argument is that Socrates was wrong: he should have questioned the misguided judgment of the Council, refused the hemlock and escaped Athens to continue to encourage people to learn. The one drawback with my argument is that if he had not done this, Socrates would not have been a martyr, and without his death he might have been forgotten. It was because of the death of Socrates that his student and disciple, Plato, wrote about his professor’s acceptance of death and with that made Socrates a martyr to education.

While I admire Socrates, I would not do the same thing, because, for me, continuing teaching even in exile, affords the opportunity to encourage others to question everything.  Thinkers (philosophers, politicians, religious leaders, and so forth) of note have argued for generations that the leaders of every society seek a passive people who willingly submit or subject them to the authority of the state or religion without question by enslaving or murdering the people who questioned or defied their leaders and attempted to rebel or escape the unjust rules.  Most leaders chose annihilation of entire villages and even nations. But there was one ruler who had a different approach when he conquered new people and subjected nations not under his control.

The Cyrus cylinder, an ancient Akkadian cuneiform script proclaiming Cyrus as legitimate king of Babylon.

He learned early that the quickest way to win their affection and loyalty is to give them food: wheat, barley, and, other staples and grant them forgiveness in opposing him, letting them maintain their old gods and forms of worship, but educate their young according to the new order.  This unusual monarch was Cyrus of Persia who left instructions on melding conquered people into the empire, not by slaughtering or enslaving them. His work, when published in the eighteenth century CE was read and used by Thomas Jefferson of the Colony of Virginia.  Jefferson took parts of Cyrus’ book when he was tasked with writing the US Constitution (Read: Boyd, Julian P. “The Papers of Thomas Jefferson” on-line at (the original copy is in the USA Library of Congress)  http://www.archive.org/stream/papersofthomasje015727mbp/papersofthomasje015727mbp_djvu.txt). The United Nations has declared the relic to be an “ancient declaration of human rights” since 1971, and the British Museum describes the cylinder as “an instrument of ancient Mesopotamian propaganda” that “reflects a long tradition in Mesopotamia where, from as early as the third millennium BC, kings began their reigns with declarations of reforms.” (Ref: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/me/c/cyrus_cylinder.aspx). Cyrus’ work was distinctively different from the early Renaissance tract of kill them all (a phrase used by numerous Middle Eastern nations throughout their blood-stained history) as “the end justifies the means” (attributed to Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (May 3, 1469 – June 21, 1527) from his book Il Principe (written c. 1513) {see: Strauss, Leo (1958). Thoughts on Machiavelli, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 297)}; it was actually first said by Ovid, Heroides, ii. 85: exitus acta probat; Machiavelli’s use, correctly interpreted means: “My aim for greater good makes all the evils I have done right.”).  It continued to plague Europe and filtered fast into the north where nobility were on a constant war footing, and while a one-time monk never cited Machiavelli by name, his works reflect the thesis of the Italian philosopher.  The monk was Martin Luther who had total scorn for Jews, the poor, and the peasants whenever they demanded rights or took up arms to defend themselves.  These people, the future leader of the Lutheran Church would call “the rabble” (Martin Luther; cp. Niekisch, E., Deutsche Daseinsverfehlung, Aufbau Verlag, Berlin, 1946; Hanstein, von W., Von Luther bis Hitler. Ein wichtiger Abriss deutscher Geschichte, Dresden: 1947; cf. http://www.projektwerkstatt.de/religion/luther/luther_vorbild.html in German) and his thoughts became the foundation for the pogrom pushed and preached by the Austrian-born Adolf Hitler. 

History shows that passivity, unwillingness to take part in the political process no matter how marginal, and submission leads to the rise of dictators.  This is true of such tyrants as Charlemagne (German: Karl der Große, Latin: Carolus Magnus or Karolus Magnus, 742-814 CE who was beatified on his death by a court bishop, which was later confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV and was canonized in 1166 by Antipope Paschal III), Napoléon, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, Alberto Fujimori, George W. Bishop and Tony Blair, and the Tea Party of Dick Armey, James Inhofe, James DeMint and the Koch Brothers.  In each case, these

Countess Elizabeth Bathory (age 15)

men and women such as Marie de Valois, Elizabeth of Hungry (Countess Dracula Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian, Alžbeta Bátoriová in Slovak; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) who began to murder virgin girls, up to 650 young females, after her husband was killed in battle; she was the original and titled “Dracula”; read: Nemere, István (2009). Báthory Erzsébet magánélete. Könyvmolyképző Kiadó, and Dvořák, Pavel (1999). Krvavá grófka: Alžbeta Bátoryová, fakty a výmysly. Slovart), and Margaret Thatcher who waged war over the Falkland Islands to save a herd of goats, while further impoverishing the United Kingdom in the name of conservatism, have covered the light (deluxe) of learning in favor of external tranquility while society recoils and retreats into an academic and societal Dark Age.

No topic should be taboo, forbidden, restricted, or censored for any student. What is incumbant is that teachers need are trained in the art of leading and facilitating inquiry. They must be subject-matter experts: not only proficient in their own fields, but knowledgeable in all other fields and have the ability to intertwine both arts and sciences into their curriculum as did the Renaissance teachers who were truly uomini universale

The art of mastering knowledge and wedding arts and sciences, all disciplines, falters and is destroyed by those who use one book exclusively as the text, or fear tredding away from its words as if each word is gospel and cannot be challenged.  The weak teachers preach one message–that being determined by a board who may or may not be competent in the specialty of the teacher or who are weak in the knowledge of the area.  These men and women who teach to earn a living but not to educate their wards seldom if ever entertain a plethora of opinions, seek a multiplicity of responses and encourage each student to participate auricularly and write original compositions.  They fail to question reasoning, demand full citations of two or more sources (no single source is valid as it can be biased, distorted, convoluted, contrived, and misapplied) and investigate the sources veracity and credibility to understand if it is presenting reality.  Too many teachers are like Copernicus who had a provable hypothesis but were in terror for their position so do not question for fear of expulsion or being ridiculed. Worse yet are the teachers who require papers, glance at them, put a numeric or alphabetic score on the paper but do not spend the time to read and mark the papers for errors or infractions of judgment or miscitations, and seldom look for deliberate plagiarism.  For example, to claim that Justin

Latin text allegedly from St. Justin Martyr: "Beati Ivstini Philosophi & martyris opera omnia," (1554)

Martyr is a true spokesman of the early Christian church (that used Greek as its official language for all communications until the days of Jerome, yet Justin wrote in Latin) and writes about the death of Jesus is fraud of the worse kind; it is the acceptance of a past pronouncement of someone untrained in philology or calligraphy or other sciences that determine the authenticity of documents. 

  Justin Martyr (103-165 CE) was a chrestiano (a person determined to be martyred and one who identified with the apocalyptic wars of Revelation, anticipating and expecting the return of a warrior god (the word “messiah” means “warrior”; cf. Apology 2:12, cp. his death in J. Quasten, Patrology vol. 1, p.196-7.) not a christiano who was waiting for a returning spiritual savior).  Justin Martyr’s Latin commentary on the crucifixion does not follow any other ancient text; he  used the Latin word crux, which means  cross–a word that is not found in the original Greek scrolls, nor does the Latin word crux detail an event that would have been common in the days of the Jesus of the New Testament.  It does not depict the same event in the same manner  as in the fragments we find tje σταυρός [stake] which was a more common means of execution.  Thus Justin Martyr’s use of crux is not what educated people who would enter the emerging church that was founded by the Emperor Constantine in 322 CE as christianos would read in vulgar Greek by Xenophone,where the text is clear, cogent, concise: Ποιος είναι ότι που είναι σχετικά με το να αντιμετωπίζουν το ποντάρισμα ή λιθοβολισμού.  It is not even syntactically correct, for what Justin wrote his commentary in Latin in the second century CE (two to three or more generations after Jesus died applies more to the chrestianos than to the christianos–two groups of believers: one in a warrior Jesus, the other in an apocalyptic forgiving Jesus. Yes, Justin’s death is recorded in Irenaeus (2d century – 202 CE,  Adversus Haereses (180 CE) I., xxviii. 1 but the account by Irenaeus was written more than a generation after Justin was allegedly executed by being beheaded, and later by Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 220 AD; a Carthaginian who never met Justin [he would have been too young] in his Adversus Valentinianos.

The Bible, as I have written at length, was originally written in Greek, and it does not appear until the fourth century (at the earliest: 331 CE; cf. Eusebius, Vita Constantini, IV,36-37 sq, ref. Novum Testamentum Graece ad Antiquissimos Testes Denuo Recensuit, Tischendorf, Editio Octava Critica Maior, Lipsk 1884, vol. III, p. 348) and then only under and because of the commission of the Emperor Constantine who used the title pontifex maximus until his death, a title emperors bore as heads of the pagan priesthood, as would his Christian

Codex Sinaiticus (an early 4th century Bible prepared by the Arian Bishop Eusebius)

successors on to Gratian (reigned. 375–383 CE) by Eusebius bishop of Caesarea who was the first Greek to recognize Justin in the fourth century (cf. Eusebius, Εκκλησιαστική Ιστορία (Historia Ecclesiastica), iv. 18). This limited background can promote debate.  If the debate turns sectarian, the responsible teacher entertains all viewpoints while requiring each student to explain why his or her concept/belief is valid. This will require legitimate research and syntactical training by language experts as well as encourage the study of languages, linguistics, philology and more, including at the minimum a thorough and carefully detailed and vouched

Earliest Lord's Prayer (Egypt, c. 350 CE) lines 13-19

analysis of sources, and a presentation of concrete and coherent facts that present all sides (thesis and antithesis) before reaching a synthesis (basically, the rule of Thomas Aquinas who argued Veritas est adaequatio rei et intellectus (“Truth is the equation [or adequation] of things and intellect” and comes from the Greek Apophatic theology (from the Greek ἀπόφασις from ἀπόφημι – apophēmi, “to deny”) that Plato initiated in his (Πολιτεία, Politeia or The Republic 508d-e, 511b, 516b).

The same is true with politics (or any other controversial subject such as human sexuality that was not openly discussed until the middle of the twentieth century)–generally taboo in most educational environments where tranquility is prized more than research by inquisitive minds seeking to advance learning and society. 

“Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophise, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide, while the many natures who at present pursue either one exclusively are forcibly prevented from doing so, cities will have no rest from evils,… nor, I think, will the human race.” (Republic 473c-d)

Plato defined “philosopher kings” as “those who love the sight of truth” (Republic 475c), and to ensure that tyrants, dictators, mass-murderers and those given to graft with unscrupulous courts and spies do not rule or advise.  Plato recommended that schools be set up to teach genuine education: knowledge of the past and present with understanding of how the future can be bettered. 

In Phaedrus (276 c) Plato criticizes the written transmission of knowledge as faulty, favoring instead the spoken logos since later generations may translate what is written but misinterpret it in favor of a contemporary definition out of keeping with the original intent: “he who has knowledge of the just and the good and beautiful … will not, when in earnest, write them in ink, sowing them through a pen with words, which cannot defend themselves by argument and cannot teach the truth effectually.” At the same time, what is fit for one generation may not be fit for a second or third or later generations since time does evolve; thus, the man who turns to paramilitary forces to silence (usually by death) dissenters will do as told but they may easily erase the intellectual saviors of the day as the leader might be a tyrant seeking only to rob the national treasury and enrich the leader’s family.  This remains de jure as long as real schools of interpretation do not require students to do more than learn how to translate from one language to another.  The expert interpreter must know the culture, customs, idiosyncracies of the language to be interpreted; all aspect must be respected, anticipated and used to give a valid periphrastic epexegetication.

The actions of the leader like the actions of the teacher who is the leader of the young into the world of the future must be scrutinized as well as the word, for words can be feigned or false while actions are certain. To solve the problem of interpretation of what is written or said, Plato offered a solution: the dialectic.  Plato’s dialectic is the process of eliciting the truth by means of questions aimed at opening out what is already implicitly known, or at exposing the contradictions and muddles of an opponent’s position. It is the teacher’s responsibility and avocation to find out what is confused, contradictory and muddled (strangled with nonsense and without empirical evidence) so that learning can take place.  (For a different reading of social and economic processes in the Nicomachean Ethics and Politics see Polanyi, K. (1957) “Aristotle Discovers the Economy” in Primitive, Archaic and Modern Economies: Essays of Karl Polanyi ed. G. Dalton, Boston 1971, 78–115).

Where I part with Plato, and find him to be blatantly wrong, is Plato’s consistent expression of  hostility to observation and experiment. He taught contempt for the real world and disdain for the practical application of scientific knowledge, yet it is through science we learn of the things that make up the real world and enable mortals to see what the man can differ on if the mind is allowed to expand beyond the fantasies of the past and travel beyond the temporary truths of the moment. It is through observation we can tell what exists and what is temporary, and it is through repeated experimentation we can find out if what was assumed correct remains correct or changes, transmogrifies, or abandons its original foundation.  To be true, something must be consistent, it must be repeatable, it must be verifiable and it must hold up to anyone’s analysis, investigation, and research.

In Aristotle’s work entitled Πολιτικά (Politics), Plato’s student, Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BCE) considered the city to be a natural community that he considered to be prior in importance to the family, which in turn is prior to the individual, “for the whole must of necessity be prior to the part” (Politics 1253a19-24). He argued that “man is by nature a political animal,” and taught that politics is an organism that grows, diminishes, expands, and takes on different characteristics rather than like a machine that merely functions according to the plan that created it.  For this reason the “state” (πόλη or city) is a collection of parts none of which can exist without the others.

The function of the city/state was to be a political “community” or “partnership” (κοινότητα or koinōnia). The city’s aim is not just to avoid injustice or for economic stability, but more so to allow at least some citizens (since all cannot be helped simultaneously) the possibility to live a good life, and to perform beautiful acts: “The political partnership must be regarded, therefore, as being for the sake of noble actions, not for the sake of living together.”  This is distinguished from modern approaches, beginning with the social contract theory that will go beyond Aristotle and require that society work for the good of all (cf. John Locke, who incorporated natural law into many of Aristotle’s theories and philosophy and then expanded upon them, using them as a foundation cornerstone on which to build a stronger house in which all of mortal kind can live and benefit; see, especially, Locke, John (1689). Two Treatises of Government(1689), and read also: Ashcraft, Richard. Locke’s Two Treatises of Government. Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1987, the on-line edition at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7370).

John Locke added a twist to the concept of government, arguing that if the ruler went against natural law and failed to protect “life, liberty, and property,”  (the foundation for the Constitution of the United States of America) people could justifiably overthrow the existing state and create a new one–as the French people did in 1789.  John Locke viewed “property” not only as land and goods, but uses the word property in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, it covers a wide range of human interests and aspirations; more narrowly, it refers to material goods. He argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labour), according to which individuals leave the state of nature because of “fear of violent death” or its “inconveniences.”

While Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, and Martin Luther argued that the citizen was obligated by moral/religious law (Luther cites St. Paul in his An den christlichen Adel deutscher Nation [1520]: “Address to the German Nobility”, and, later, in his Von den Jüden und jren Lügen; in modern spelling Von den Juden und ihren Lügen,is a 65,000-word antisemitic treatise written

Einblattdruck mit Darstellung der Wittenberger Judensau (Wittenberg: Wolfgang Meissner 1596)

in 1543,  the former Augustinian monk turned pastor and husband of a nun gave and in fact instructed, commanded, and ordered the German nobles to take violent action against anyone who disobeys them or the German [Lutheran] church.  Far more vitriolic, Luther wrote, a few months later: Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (Of the Unknowable Name and the Generations of Christ, in which he equated Jews with the Devil.

From his earliest days as a seminarian (in keeping with sixteenth {and earlier} century German psychology of the clergy and upper-class {aristocrats} was openly hostile toward German peasants (Deutscher Bauernkrieg).  We read of his hatred for the people who toiled for a bleak to a modest living on the large estates of the German nobility in Martin Luther’s Wider die räuberischen und mörderischen Rotten der Bauern [1524] and ) that the peasants, to be truly saved, must follow their leader(s), both civil and religious, regardless of the quality of the leader(s) or righteousness of the leader(s), Jews had to convert to Lutheranism or die, and those who did “evil and wrong things” including not marry, not paying tithes to the State Evangelical (Lutheran) Church, rebelling against local lords or taking up arms against nobility or joining the forces of other doomed protesting prophets as would come in the form of Calvin, Zwingli, et al., or honoring Protestant pastors were guilty of crimes against Jesus. 

Luther commanded the German peasants to denounce, renounce, fight against and avoid their homespun preacher, Thomas Müntzer (ca. 1489, born at Stolberg, Saxony-Anhalt – 27 May 1525) , an apocalyptic apostle who used Daniel 2:44 to base his theology (antecedent to Adventists, Pentecostals, and Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as more modern groups such as Heaven’s Gate and Camping), denied infant baptism, transubstantiation (the Roman Catholic position where the bread and wine physically turn into the body and blood of Jesus and stay that way forever) and consubstantiation (the Lutheran position where the body and wine become the body and blood of Jesus for the faithful while attending worship services), and did not accept infant baptism or confirmation.  These “innovations” Müntzer denounced as “inventions” by the wicked who strayed from the true teachings of Jesus, even after capture and being grotesquely tortured before he was decapitated.  So fervently did Müntzer believe in the Babylonian legend of Daniel, that he saw his own death as being one that would open paradise for him.  Thomas  Müntzer  followed the theology of the chrestianos movement, noting that Jesus said he came to bring a sword, not peace as found in Matthew 10:34 (read: Rosellini, Jay (1978). Thomas Müntzer im deutschen Drama: Verteufelung, Apotheose und Kritik. Verlag Peter Lang, and Bloch, Ernst (1960). Thomas Münzer als Theologe der Revolution. Berlin, Aufbau-Verlag; cp. Engels, Frederick. The Peasants War in Germany. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1956, p. 70; cf. Stayer, James M. (1991). The German Peasant’s War and Anabaptist Community of Goods. McGill-Queen’s University Press), that he had no problem with fighting back–but he could not wage his holy war alone. He turned against Luther with several anti-Lutheran writings, and supported the Anabaptists (for runners of the American Baptist community that has changed dramatically from a sect that wanted isolation from government to the current brand that insists on lowering the wall separating state and church. In the Battle of Frankenhausen, Müntzer and his farmers were defeated.  Claiming that the god of Luther would show no mercy and demanded vengeance, the Roman Catholics who held him prisoner, forced him to “reconvert” to Roman Catholicism and then accepted the Roman Catholic mass prior to his beheading in Mühlhausen in Thuringia on 27 May 1525. Under torture he confessed that he believed that omnia sunt communia, that the people should share “all things are in common.”  He was one of the forerunners of communism that Marx and Engle would write about, but his belief was firmly based on Acts 2:44 and 4:32 which is pure communism and was the foundation for the early monastic communities for monks and nuns.  His head and body were displayed as a warning to all those who might again preach treasonous doctrines.

Map of the Peasants' War (1514-1600)

Later, Luther later adopted some of the rhetoric of Müntzer when he came out against the peasants.  Angrily, Luther wrote:

The peasants have taken upon themselves the burden of three terrible sins against God and man; by this they have merited death in body and soul… they have sworn to be true and faithful, submissive and obedient, to their rulers… now deliberately and violently breaking this oath… they are starting a rebellion, and are violently robbing and plundering monasteries and castles which are not theirs… they have doubly deserved death in body and soul as highwaymen and murderers… they cloak this terrible and horrible sin with the gospel… thus they become the worst blasphemers of God and slanderers of his holy name” [in Wider die räuberischen und mörderischen Rotten der Bauern]

John Locke

John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) did not accept such a debasement of mortal kind as did the continental reformers three generations before his time, and four generations before he began to write. Instead, the English philosopher and physician who was regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers expressed an opposite opinion.

Locke declared that under natural law, all people have the right to life, liberty, and estate; under the social contract, the people could instigate a revolution against the government when it acted against the interests of citizens, to replace the government with one that served the interests of citizens. In some cases, Locke deemed revolution an obligation. The right of revolution thus essentially acted as a safeguard against tyranny.  Locke was one of three of the British Thinkers that Thomas Jefferson turned to and quoted from Locke when writing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of what would become the USA (“The Letters of Thomas Jefferson: 1743-1826 Bacon, Locke, and Newton” on-line at http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/P/tj3/writings/brf/jefl74.htm, note especially:  “Bacon, Locke and Newton, whose pictures I will trouble you to have copied for me: and as I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical & Moral sciences.”).

For educators to avoid controversial subjects limits and belittles true education, but at the same time the teacher must know the limits of the students’ desire to learn, advancement in academia, and receptiveness to new ideas.  While more challenging questions can be asked of a more enlightened, more learned group of students, it is risky, at best to attempt to enter serious conversations with those who have not been exposed to more than a mere memorization of material without having been instructed in critical thinking, analysis and interpretation.  What is imperative is that all schools, at all levels, initiate classes in critical thinking, analysis and interpretation so that their students are not left behind in a world of half-seen images as reflect on Socrates’ Den (Cave; Book X of The Republic) but learn how to break free from their chains of limited learning to march past the fire casting the shadows on the walls and into the sunlight of knowledge (γνῶσις) and wisdom (σοφία as fortified by the God Saa of ancient Greece, or the “rays of light” (נקודת אור) as invoked by the Samaritans and ancient Hebrews (cp. the Arabic Qur’an [Surat al-Baqarah: The Cow] 2:269) and is found even in the teachings of The Buddha: Sutta Nipata 261.

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Filed under Education, Language, Martin Luther

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.

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

“The Cross”–a lie? a hoax? or real?

Most of what is known about the life of Justin Martyr comes from his own writings, yet they are filled with contradictions and distortions, giving pause to reflect that he might easily be like other early christian “saints”–such as Christopher, which the Roman Catholic church “took down” from its altars in the twentieth century. That he is not fully factual can be seen in his claims that he was a Samaritan, but his father and grandfather were probably Greek or Roman, and there is no record of his mother being from Samaria.  Justin claims that he converted to Christianity, which denied all “pagan” philosophies, yet he devoted the rest of his life to teaching what he considered the true philosophy while wearing his philosopher’s gown to indicate that he had attained the truth–a custom that marked nonchristian teachers.  It was not until 1882, when Pope Leo XIII had a Mass and an Office composed for his feast day, which he set at 14 April, that he was actually declared a saint in the western Church (although in the Greek Orthodox communion he does appear in the litany, but not before the ninth century). See: Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 94.

Roman Catholics, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Anglicans and many mainstream Protestant communions cite Justin’s declaration that Jesus allegedly died on a cross (crux)–but such a novel idea is found only in his writings. Tertullian (a sometime christian; in later life he became a Montanist–a neo-Pentecostal movement that the church later declared to be heresy), in his Adversus Valentinianos, calls Justin a philosopher and martyr, and the earliest antagonist of heretics.

Justin Martyr was unique–and among the first to attempt to declare the ancient philosophers were proto-Christians (christians before the Jesus of the New Testament was born): especially commenting that Socrates and Heraclitus were Christians (Apol., i. 46, ii. 10) and prophesied that Jesus would die on a cross. That would endear him to those who sought a special mark for the Galilean magician, but not to those who would think more carefully and who studied the original scriptures in the Greek (Attic and Koine [Greek: Ελληνιστική Κοινή, also known as “common Greek”; or ἡ κοινὴ διάλεκτος, “the common dialect”) reflecting Hellenic, Alexandrian, Macedonian, Macedonic, Hellenistic, Patristic, Common, Biblical, and New Testament Greek, that emerged in post-Classical antiquity (c.300 BCE – CE 300), being distinct from the Attic dialect of antiquity).

This variation of language and misuse of Greek was not lost on Origen the self-Castrated (Eusebius reported that Origen, following Matthew 19:12 literally, castrated himself); see: “Origen of Alexandria”. ReligionFacts. 2006-02-20. http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/people/origen.htm; it should be noted that self-castration was a capital crime in Roman law, but Origen claimed that “god’s law is greater than any man’s law”.  Origen (Greek: Ὠριγένης Ōrigénēs, or Origen Adamantius, c. 185–254 CE; his name probably means the “child of Horus” [from Ὡρος, “Horus”, and γένος, “born”].) was an early Christian scholar and theologian. To many he was one of the most distinguished writers of the early christian community (the “Church” did not come into existence until the fourth century when the Emperor Constantine created it at a meeting with warring bishops at Nicaea). Because he castrated himself to “retain personal purity” Origen was not considered a Church father by some in his own time nor by theologians in the twenty-first century.

Being an Egyptian, he won the favor and support of the patriarch of Alexandria, but when he refused to pay a special fee to be ordained, the patriarch expelled him for being ordained without the patriarch’s permission.  Using his knowledge of Hebrew, he produced the Hexapla (a comparative study of various translations of the Old Testament and is the precursor of the contemporary parallel bible) and a corrected Septuagint (bible), and wrote commentaries on nearly every book of what was then considered to be a part of the canon of the bible.

He refused to read the early writings of church fathers as being literal accounts of what happened, and questioned most of scripture, preferring to interpret scripture allegorically. This enabled him to develop certain doctrines with similarities to Neo-Pythagorean and Neo-Platonist thought, claiming (as had Plotinus earlier) that the soul passes through successive stages of incarnation before eventually reaching God who was the combination of all souls (good and bad–the latter he referred to as “demons”).

The role of Jesus of the New Testament has a special place in the writings of Origen. For Origen wrote passionately that the Jesus of the New Testament spoke from a “skolopos” which was Greek for an impaling stake (Origen, “Against Celsus,” Bk II, Chap 55, Pgh 68-69): σκόλοψ as in τίς έσθ ό μέλλων σκόλοπος ή λευσμου τύχειν or ανασκολόπιση του πασσάλου. Never once does Origen use “cross” save in its original context and meaning: σταυρός (an upright stake for impaling).

Origen was universally recognized as the leading scholar on biblical matters. He succeeded in converting Beryllus, bishop of Bostra, from his adoptionistic (the belief that Jesus was born human and only became divine after his baptism) views to the orthodox faith and was in correspondence with the bishop of Rome (Fabian) and most other bishops. According to Epiphanius, Origen wrote about 6,000 works (i.e., rolls or chapters). Eusebius in Ecclesiastical History 6.25.7 strongly implies Origen disputed the authenticity of the Letters of Paul when he wrote that Paul did not write to all the churches that he taught and even to the ones he wrote he only sent a few lines. However, Origen’s own writings refer often to the words of Paul, and argues that Paul also argued that Jesus of the New Testament was impaled on a stake. See: Trigg, Joseph Wilson (1985). Origen: the Bible and philosophy in the third-century church. London: SCM Press; and Sträuli, Robert (1987). Origenes der Diamantene. Zurich: ABZ Verlag. pp. 71, 355–357. Original texts in Greek and Latin are online at http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/30_20_0185-0254-_Origenes.html.

A thorough study of all ancient writings finds no reference to the contemporary cross as being the means of crucifixion, nor was the original church  unanimous that the biblical Jesus suffered and died on a cross–or was even martyred. Those are far later inventions.

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Jesus, Crucifixion and Justin Martyr

I received a personal e-mail in response to an article I published on this blog. I wish the letter had come here (rather than to my private e-mail account) so I could address it for everyone. But the contents of the e-mail are noteworthy, and I am grateful that the author took time to write it. What that author wrote is a response to my line (in italics, below):      

“The myth of the cross does not appear in Christian lore until the fourth century CE.”     

He responded:     

But you might want to read the first Apology of Justin Martyr, which can be found numerous places on the Web. Here is one:     

  http://earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-firstapology.html      

Since it is addressed to the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, it was written between 150 and 155 CE.      

Not only is this work full of references to the cross, it has long been of interest to freethinkers because many of Justin’s arguments are in the vein of, “we ALSO have a crucified savior, so we aren’t that different from you non-Christians.”      

 I am always grateful when someone replies, regardless if it is to praise or damn me, for true scholarship requires peer review and to know all opinions, reflect and research on them, and either acknowledge the opinions as better than my own, or to gently offer other information to substantiate what I wrote. My initial reply to this patient person of goodwill was:      

I appreciate your response. However, the editions we have of Justin Martyr are not the originals (especially the First Apology) written in 151-160 CE, and while the “cross” does appear frequently (especially Chapter 55) it is coupled with numerous historical inaccuracies as in chapter 60 on Moses being borrowed by Plato; but much of this matches bishop Eusebius’ Praepartio Evengelica II.571f. “Crux” appears in fifth century copies of Justin which is more in keeping with torment by hanging (abi in malam crucem) which even the one-time Christian Tertullian used in reference to a gallows; but, third century scrolls show “transversus” rather than “crura” (of a person/people crucified). The main problem here is that Justin’s writings are in Latin, while the scriptural accounts are in Greek and not all were completed thus disabling Justin’s Defense or “Apology”.
 
The original Greek text in the Gospels (all) is stauros which means “stake.”  Latin redactions appear as crux and crucis. But even Justin the Martyr confuses this (in later editions) with the Hebrew pereq which means “crossways” (chapter 60), which is a juxtaposition of gods (Justin uses the singular format) in the universe but universe was not a common term and then not as we understand today. Universe in Latin is universum, mundus, universitas which is closer to “beloved [in universum]” or “the whole [universitas]” as defined in Cicero, while “mundum”  is “earth” or “world”.
 
What I am proposing in my forthcoming book is the much of what the “Ancient Fathers” wrote are actually redactions from the 4th and 5th century and made to appear as if written in the first century CE. There numerous “Christian Classic Libraries” online (e.g. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.viii.ii.lv.html) but they either give a rendition or repeat a translation by a clergyman–but as with the NIV, which most biblical critics agree, there are addenda, amendments, add-ons, and glosses to cover “missing” parts, words, or phrases to make contemporary translations more agreeable.
 
… I have spent a lifetime discovering things I did not believe exist or was taught, and in blind faith, accepted as existing. …I find that reading original documents (some published by E J Brill of Leiden, others which can be ordered for various fees from “repositories” etc) and reading redactions and redactions of redactions, has changed my thinking. Back in the 1960s I actually wrote a thesis defending the Petrine Doctrine–which I firmly reject now. I have found too many errors (based on my own scholarship and interest in ancient languages) in Justin Martyr to accept the online editions or texts published in the last 200 years. Yes, I do own the entire Patrologia edited by Migne (all languages published in the 19th century), and I find even typos that missed readers. My book is to point out these problems.
 
As for “cross” appearing in Justin–yes–in contemporary (1890-present) editions, but not so in older incunabula or scrolls. But I do hope you added a comment or two to my blog site so I can respond more fully as I think other readers will be interested in our continuing discourse. For a bibliography consider: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc2.v.xv.xv.html?highlight=justin,martyr,latin#highlight
 
Thank you for the kindness of writing. Best to you and your group….
Justin Martyr frequently cited the Old Testament (OT)–but he knew neither Hebrew nor Aramaic. While most of the OT was originally written in Hebrew, there are a couple of small sections that were written in Aramaic (Ezra 4:8-6:18, 7:12-26; Daniel chapters 2-7, and one verse in Jeremiah), Justin Martyr neither knew nor used Aramaic or Hebrew (although he did, later in life, study Hebrew with a Jew who converted to Christianity).

  

Aramaic is similar but not identical to Hebrew.  Justin makes no reference to it, but it would have been the language of Jesus–which means the sayings of Jesus are redactions by later writers.  Jesus was not educated in Greek or Latin, and the parables and prayers are in Greek.
Some contemporary scholars claim that Church Father Papias argued that at least the Gospel of Matthew was written in Aramaic.  Papias wrote: “So then Matthew composed the oracles [in Aramaic “oracles” would be “sayings”] in the Hebrew [which can be, provisionally, translated as Aramaic] language, and each interpreted them as he could.”
 
Justin calls on the Gospels to support his theories–but Justin did not know early Greek and thus did not know specific words that he incorrectly used to build his own theology.  The Gospels were favourite citations, but the authorship of the Gospels is not even discussed.  Matthew was “a tax collector”.  To engage in such a business, Matthew would have had to known Aramaic to be able to speak to the Jews, but he also would had to have known Greek (and maybe Latin) to have spoken to the Roman officials.  How literate he was is a point of debate–with most evangelicals claiming that Matthew was a key writer (of the Gospel of Matthew).
 
The Apostle “Luke” is considered not only the author of the Gospel that carries his name, but also of the “Acts of the Apostles” or “Acts” and in Acts, Luke salutes or greets “most excellent Theophilus.” (Acts 23:26; 24:30) But Luke was not alone, for Philip, one of the apostles, was able to converse with Greeks, and according to the Gospel of John, he brought Greeks to Andrew and then to Jesus (John 12:20-23).
 
Peter is, allegedly, the key apostle (Matthew 16:18), but there are problems with his letters, which I consider to be forgeries from a far later date.  There is a startling difference between the Greek of Peter’s two epistles.  The first epistle is written in highly stylistic Greek.  The second is written in very simple Greek.  That indicates the first letter was written by someone very familiar with the Greek language, while someone (most likely “Silvanus, the faithful brother as I consider [him], through [whom] I wrote a few [words]”; 2 Peter 5:12) for whom Greek was a second language probably wrote the second.  Later redactors up to the publication of the NIV Bible by Zondervan of Michigan adds missing words that do not exist in the original documents.
 
What is known of the original New Testament shows the texts being composed in kione [common] Greek (Ελληνιστική Κοινή) which was known throughout the Mediterranean world and is an ancestor to modern Greek–but like all ancestors is not equal to the current generation (cf. Κοπιδάκης, Μ. Ζ. (1999) ed.,  “Εισαγωγή στην Ελληνιστική Κοινή”, in Ιστορία  της  Ελληνικής Γλώσσας, Athens, 1999, pp. 82-92). It was a “street language” spoken from Egypt to the fringes of India, and like most vulgar (common) languages did not follow any grammar rules or organisation. It was in this street language that the New Testament was set and written. The reason for this was that the teachings of the Testaments were aimed at the most common (uneducated/undereducated people), and for that reason the authors of the New Testament used the most popular language of the era.  (It is tantamount to contemporary publishers strangling the English language by printing in books such vulgar language as “gonna”, “wanna”, and so forth.)
 
Patristic Greek is sometimes used to describe the Greek written by the Church Fathers. These “Church Fathers” were early Christian theologians in late antiquity who tended to use a simple register of Koiné.  When it was later “purified” (cleaned-up) textual errors were found and changed to fit current ideas.  Justin shows no recognition of either form of Greek, any more than Hebrew or Aramaic. If that is the case, which I am convinced of, Justin would have had to read the Scriptures in Latin.   But the question becomes: which Latin edition of the Bible?
 
There are various “Vetus Latina” Bibles, before Jerome who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations. These Bibles have numerous errors and equally as numerous variations within the texts. Because of this, most texts are suspect of not only being inaccurate but counterfit–a reality that Augustine of Hippo lamented in De Doctrina Christiana (2, 16).  For example one can compare a single bible verse (Luke 6:1) with the two forms of Latin. The verse in question is translated by modernists as “And it came to pass on the second first sabbath, that as he [Jesus] went through the corn fields, his disciples plucked the earns, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.” (Douai, 1609). In the Vetus Latina (Codex Bezae) we read:
 
Et factum est eum in Sabbato secundoprimo abire per segetes discipuli autem illius coeperunt vellere spicas et fricantes manibus…
 
But in the Vulgate we read:
  
Factum est autem in sabbato secundo, primo, cum transíret per sata, vellebant discípuli eius spicas, et manducabant confricantes manibus.
 
(cf. Wordsworth, I., White, H.I., Sparks, H.F.D., Novum Testamentum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Latine secundum editione S. Hieronymi, Oxonii 1889-1954.)
 
As noted earlier, there are numerous grammatical idiosyncrasies and variations on words, the handwriting is frequently run-together, and without punctuation (there are no crosses separating sentences, for example) meanings can change (see illustration from the Codex Bezae)    

Codex Bezae for Luke 6:1

 and can be found easily in any writing for the christian communities before the third century CE. This practice and style continued through the thirteenth century CE.  Into this lot of errors falls the writings of Justin Martyr–who evangelical fundamentalist delight in citing in their defense of Christ being crucified on a cross, that he willingly surrendered his life at the command of his Heavenly Father, and that he released his spirit (soul/life) at the hour of his own chosing.   The on-line translations of Justin Martyr (originally known as Justin the Martyr) are, for the most part, supplied by Roman Catholics and Roman Catholic institutions/universities (e.g. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08580c.htm).   

Conservative Christians usually turn to particular manuscripts that they argue represent the writings of Justin Martyr, implying a large number of such manuscripts.  However, there are but two–and both are corrupt with glosses and addenda (cp. Opera quae feruntur omnia. Ad optimos libros MSS. nunc primum aut denuo collatos recensuit, prolegomenis et commentariis instruxit, translatione Latina ornavit, indices adiecit Io. Car. Th. eques de Otto. Wiesbaden, M. Sändig [1969]).
 
In a reading of any treatise by Justin Martyr, it is easily noticed that most of his ideas are borrowed from Plato and other Greek schools of philosophy. For example, Justin embellishes the ancient Egyptian and Mycenean concept of the Trinity and claims that Plato had a prefigured understanding of the Trinity of God and the redemptive Cross of Christ:
 
And the physiological discussing concerning the Son of God in the Timaeus of Plato, where he says, ‘He placed him crosswise in the universe,’ he borrowed in like manner from Moses.
 
(Quote from Roberts, Alexander Rev. and Donaldson, James (1867).  Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325. Edinburgh: L & T Clark, 1867, p. 58.) 
 
In his First Apology [it should be First Defense of Christianity], Justin pronounces a Trinitarian devotion to  “. . . the most true God, the Father of righteousness . . . and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of other good angels who follow and are made like to Him), and the Prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore . . . ” (cf. Placher, William (1988). Readings in the History of Christian Theology. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, p. 32.)  Not only does Justin again take his concept of a Trinity from ancient philosophers, but he makes many into proto-christians as well as christians.  This was a theologically-innovative suggestion that the “seeds of Christianity” (manifestations of the Logos acting in history) actually predated Christ’s incarnate existence, as can be seen in this tract he authored:
 
those who live according to the Logos are Christians, even though they may have been counted as atheists-such as Socrates and Heraclitus, and others like them, among the Greeks  
 
(rev. McGrath, Alister E. (2007).  The Christian Theology Reader, 3rd. ed. Malden, MA.: Blackwell Publishing, p. 3).  This  doctrine was later repudiated by the emerging state church (McGrath, Alister E. (1998). Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, p. 88.) 
 
Justin saw the Logos as a being separate from god and subordinate to god: “For next to God, we worship and love the Logos who is out of the unbegotten and ineffable God, since also He became man for our sakes, that, becoming a partaker of our sufferings, He might also bring us healing” (2 Apology 13).  To strengthen his claim that the Logos was separate from the unbegotten god, Justin wrote:
There is, and that there is said to be, another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things who is also called an Angel, because He announces to men whatsoever the Maker of all things, above whom there is no other God, wishes to announce to them…. I shall endeavor to persuade you, that He who is said to have appeared to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to Moses, and who is called God, is distinct from Him who made all things, I mean numerically, not in will.
(cf. Dialogue with Typho 56; on-line at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-dialoguetrypho.html) (in time this was declared heresy)
 
From this point it is but a short leap of unguided faith that Justin introduces the novel idea of Jesus Christ dying on a cross (actually a “instrument of torture).  This was necessary to refute the arguments of various non-Christians who argued that their god(s) were also crucified and that Christianity was merely borrowing from established theologies/myths.  What is unique with Justin is that his crucified saviour was separate from the Father and subordinate to the Father. For example, in chapter 129 of his Dialogue with Trypho (a Jew), Justin makes a clear distinction, indicating that the “God” he refers to as Christ, is distinct from and subject to another, who is “Lord of the Lord”, and causes the “God” Christ to have his power and authority.  This is not the theme of any other early Christian writer: from the Apostles through the first two centuries, but did give credence to sects within christianity that debated on whether or not Jesus was the adopted son of God (a concept that made its way into Islam), or a ghost, or some other manifestation such as the theory put forth by the priest Sabellius who argued the nontrinitarian belief that the Heavenly Father, Resurrected Son and Holy Spirit are different modes or masks or aspects of one God (Greek πρόσωπα prosopa; Latin personae), as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons in God Himself (which is the orthodox concept ultimately defined by the bishops of the early church)–and which the majority of early Christians accepted and believed in (see:  Tertullian, Against Praxeas, III, c.213 at  http://christiandefense.com/Tertullian.Prax.htm#3; cf. The Biblical Repository Andover: Gould and Newman, 1835; vol. V, No. XVII – XVIII, pp. 35-36 at ).   The early christian community was not united.  For example: Nestorianism taught that Jesus was two persons.  Monophysitism taught that Jesus had one nature, rather than two.  Docetism, conversely, taught that Jesus’ humanity was merely an illusion (that Jesus was a ghost).  This forced the Emperor Constantine to create a united imperial church and compel all sects into accepting his decision as what was a matter of faith and practice.

  

Tertullian, another Father of the Church (who also left the “communion of saints”) wrote in Adversus Praxean III, there was no separation between the Father and the Son, noting St. Paul’s admonition (that completely discredits Justin): “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ: for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2.8-9).   The idea of a tripartite God was utterly foreign to the universal [catholic] Church well into the third century, and issue of “the cross” a novel point that outside of Justin one cannot find elsewhere until it appears after the Emperor Constantine created the Christian church. 

 
When Justin Martyr was beheaded beside his students (cf. Birley, Anthony. (2000).  Marcus Aurelius: A Biography, London: Routledge, page 152ff.),  and although the actual record of the trial no longer exists, from his other writings, attacking the Jews on a no-longer existing tract in a Midrash, condemning Greeks for worshipping gods he rejected, and calling on the Roman Senate and the emperor to convert, he was definitely seen as a threat to law and order and the rule of the day.  The force of his convictions, especially in declaring his firm belief in a millennium and the overthrow of the established order overwhelmed basic sense when the empire was already being set upon by numerous revolutions and problems.  When he condemned the “anti-Christ” many assumed he was talking about the Emperor (Marcus Aurelius), and detailed a “second coming”:
 

“But if so great a power is shown to have followed and to be still following the dispensation of His suffering, how great shall that be which shall follow His glorious advent! For He shall come on the clouds as the Son of man, so Daniel foretold [7:9-28], and His angels shall come with Him.”  

This was easily construed as treason.  

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Filed under Augustine of Hippo, Church history, crucifixon, Roman Catholicism