Tag Archives: Osiris

Christmas, Jesus, December 25, and making merry

On December 20, 2011, I received an e-mail from Fred Edwords, National Director of the Coalition for Reason.  In his e-mail, Edwords cited a passage in an oral presentation that he made to two groups in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey.  One line struck one of the listeners with concern.  The line in question that Edwords delivered was:

Isis and Horus (Egypt) and Mary and Jesus (Christianity)

The Madonna and Child icon was developed from the mother and child imagery of Cybele and Attis (Mother of God and Sun God), in use at Rome, itself rooted in the older Egyptian imagery of Isis and Osiris–the child in each case being born on December 25th.”

The individual who was troubled by Edwords’ assessment and initially spoke with the National Director then sent Edwords an e-mail.  The cognoscenti queried:

“…you used Osiris in your talk, but the information on Osiris is very, very limited and our source pool comes from the Classical period, which predates Christianity, and from late antiquity, a la Plutarch (who is extremely unreliable as a source).  While some similarities between Jesus and Osiris exists (for example, the resurrection account between Mark and Plutarch dealing with Jesus and Osiris, respectively), there is no record of a date of birth for Osiris, per se.  Plutarch claims that he was the first of the gods of Egypt born during the five-days Egyptians attributed to their births.  It assuredly was not during the solstice, but if you have a source on the matter I’d be interested in giving it a look. I poured over my copy of the ANET trying to find any reference of a seasonal connection to the birth dates surrounding the Egyptian deities. That isn’t to say a source does not exist, but I certainly don’t know of it.

 While I do not claim the luxury of having personally met with Fred Edwords or knowing him as a personal friend, I am quite aware of his objectivity, dedication to track down and determine the veracity of all resource citations (he called me down on a statement I made about Justin Martyr that I  initially  appended to a comment on two of my blogs that I later expanded to demonstrate that Martyr was never a traditional Christian (in fact he was banished for a time by the very church he claimed to defend, and whose life and writings are not certain today) and had created the fantasy of a cross (crux) whereas in the scrolls Jesus of the New Testament was executed on a pole), and works tirelessly to dispel myths and folklore.  I wrote back with these comments (the questioner’s comments are in black, my response is in red): … you used Osiris in your talk, but the information on Osiris is very, very limited (…from the darkest ages in Egypt until its hostile take over initially by the Hyksos (who may have either been or incorporated the Habiru/Hebrews) or the Ptolemy dynasty that included Cleopatra.  The reason is clear, that the individual is referring to one or two papyrus, but (1) there are over 100 different papyrus …, (2) there is tomb and pyramid art with inscriptions that have been … been translated [usually into German] that deal with this subject, (3) there are extra-Egyptiological works left in cuneiform, most likely by Hittites, Hyksos, Phoenicians, etc, (4), etc. which I address in my newest work) and our source pool comes from the Classical period (… your authority is obviously citing Herodotus [“Father of History”] but while there is material, he [like Trajan] recorded what he heard–not saw–and the adiaphora details and references did not exist at that time as a part of the academic buttressing of arguments. …we also have Strabo and his Geography, Plinar and his History (which only specialists seem to know of its existence) and various other writers, but they are writing in the last 500 years BCE, and never entered Egyptian of Mesopotamian tombs, etc, nor studied the work.  Today, for example, there are a growing number of scholars who are refining and redefining the various Mithras/Mithraic works that decorate walls in underground “churches” of Mithras detailing how the Christians were kept busy burning the original texts of the Mithras religion…  I hope I showed in my last article that the first century CE writers, especially Justin Martyr were not considered “Christians” in the first century not only in the East but the west, and that Constantine I ordered in 325/326 the destruction of most “heathen” texts.  …), which predates Christianity, and from late antiquity, a la 

Constantine and Council of Nicaea burning Arian books

Plutarch (who is extremely unreliable as a source [actually no–… NGL (Nicholas Geoffrey Lempriere) Hammond, Chester G. Star [whom I studied ancient History under] and others all cite Plutarch and note his reliability. Plutarch’s Nine Greek Lives (now entitled “Rise and Fall of Athens”) rejects most of your antagonist’s … objections, as do most German and [other] scholars …].  While some similarities between Jesus and Osiris exist (for example, the resurrection account between Mark and Plutarch dealing with Jesus and Osiris, respectively), there is no record of a date of birth for Osiris, per se (actually that is incorrect, [existing records]  all give Osiris’ birth as December 25 [but do not use the current Christian calendar; read about that below]… but it was not proclaimed throughout the Roman Empire until the first century BCE … read). 

Ancient Egyptian calendar

All ancient cultures had different calendars. Most were lunar and dating matched rising and falling of tides, seasonal variations, and so on.  Nearly everything else would officially conform to Roman rule, but not the dating of nativities, resurrections, or holy days.  These would not be suppressed until the Emperor Constantine would seek to strengthen his rule by creating a  church in 325 CE that he could dominate and control: this would be the reason for establishing Christianity as a faith, one that Constantine rejected (the claim that he converted on his death-bed and was baptized by the Arian Bishop Eusebius is fantasized decades later). 

Osiris with shepherd staff and serpent rod (serpent represents wisdom)

Osiris was among the more current gods of salvation within the Empire, where his devotees proclaimed that “his burden is light” and “his rod and shaft” caused no pain.

Osiris pine cone staff

Osiris is a savior-god who had been worshipped as far back as Neolithic times. “He was called Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God of Gods…the Resurrection and the Life, the Good shepherd…the god who ‘made men and women be born again’”  Three wise men announced his birth. His followers ate cakes of wheat that symbolized his body. Many sayings associated with Osiris were taken over into the Bible and the emerging Christian Church adopted his symbols, token, and promises, while incorporating the dress of Mithraist priests for their own sacerdotal leaders. This includes, for example:

Papal pine cone staff

Parts of Psalm 23, where the Egyptian hieroglyphs read: “We appeal to Osiris as the good Shepherd to lead believers through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and to green pastures and still waters”

  • Part of the “Lord’s Prayer”, that in various ancient Egyptian text reads: “O Amen /Amen-Ra [sometimes Amun], who are in the heavens, we keep your name holy…”

Relief of Rameses III "smiting enemies" before Amen-Ra at the God's temple at Thebes

(Cairo Amen Hymn  (Papyrus Cairo CG 58038= Papyrus Boulaq 17)  that  dates, at least in parts, to the late Middle Kingdom: early 17th century BCE) The name of the Egyptian God Amen translates as “the Hidden One” whose name was so holy that only a select few were allowed to pronounce it (ref. Sarcophagus Texts, Formula 44 (CT I, 189f-g)).  He is one of the antecedents of Yahweh/Jehovah/YHWH of the later Jews who would become the Hebrews. Amen and his consort, Amenet were the gods of creation

Rameses II with the gods Amun/Amen, son Khons, wife Mut

Amen was part of the Theban Trinity (along with Mut and their son Khons the moon-god; cf., Brunner, Hellmut, and Beyerlin, Walter (1975).  Religionsgeschichtliches Textbuch zum alten Testament, Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985; Kees, Hermann (reissued 1956)  Der Götterglaube im alten Ägypten, Leipzig, Germany, 1941: Berlin : Akademie-Verlag, 1956; Lurker, Manfred (1998).  Lexikon der Götter und Symbole der alten Ägypter. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 2005; originally published in Bern, Switzerland: Scherz, 1987; newest edition: [München], Germany: Barth, 2011).  It was from the Egyptian theology concerning three supreme deities that Constantine would create his Christian Trinity.

Osiris had numerous similarities to Jesus of the New Testament–similarities that Christian apologists deny or brush over.  Osiris was a god who turned water into wine, forgave fallen women, cured blindness and illness and did most things that Jesus did (Frazer, James George (1962). Adonis, Attis, Osiris: studies in the History of Oriental Religion. Reprint, New Hyde Park, NY, USA: University Books; original printing New York, NY and London, UK: The Macmillan Company, 1906).  On the power of Osiris and his champion Horus, read Pyramid Texts, utterance 356, §§ 581-582. 

Western Christianity does not adopt December 25 as the birthday of Jesus of the New Testament until 336 or 379/380 (depending on what document is being read).  The Eastern churches did not accept December 25 until 386 CE, while Egypt (primarily the See of Antioch) did not concur until 432, and Jerusalem more than a century later (the Armenian Christians never accepted the date, but continues to celebrate Christmas, “manifestation of the magi” and baptism on January 6; read more here).  

Orthodox Armenians, Copts, Russians, Georgians and Serbs celebrate the Nativity on January 7th

The year that the Jesus of the New Testament was born was never recorded as the year zero for more than 500 years after his alleged birth; the “Christian” calendar did not exist before the eighth century at the earliest.  Religious scholars and serious, trained historians place the assumed nativity somewhere between 7 and 2 BCE (cf. Carson, D. A. Moo, Douglas J, and Morris, Leon (1992) An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Zondervan).

There is no mention of birth celebrations in the writings of early Christian writers such as Irenaeus (c. 130–200) or Tertullian (c. 160–225). Outside of mythology, there is no historical evidence of there ever being a “bishop of Rome” before the end of the first century.  There is a similar lack of evidence even into the second century, and there are no surviving (if there ever had been) documents from any presbyters or other leaders on a nativity of a Jesus of the Testament or on any other son of god anywhere in the City of Rome or on any of the pagan hills of the Vatican that was home to numerous gods from Vulcan to Mithras, who, according to Herodotus, History Bk. 1, c. 131, goes back to the seventh century BCE. 

Initiation into Mithraism (serpent represents being surrounded by wisdom)

Mithras had an inscription on his altars, on his cave walls where rituals were performed, and in numerous other places.  The inscription reads: “He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made on with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation.”  It was later plagiarized by the writers of John 6:53-54.

Origen of Alexandria (c. 165–264) goes so far as to mock Roman celebrations of birth anniversaries, dismissing them as “pagan” practices—a strong indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with similar festivities at that place and time (Origen, Homily on Leviticus 8).  Among the most convoluted arguments for December 25, comes from the Father of the Church Tertullian—who would leave the church and become a born-again pagan—of Carthage.  He tried to determine the date Jesus died, placing it at the 14th of Nisan (day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John that did not exist in its entirety. That would make it March 25 in the Roman solar calendar—which is precisely nine months before December 25, making March 25 the date (and later commemoration) of Jesus’ conception (Luke 1:26; ovulation was not a science, but it was commonly known that a pregnancy lasted nine months, and that date was determined by referencing Elizabeth’s conception of John the Baptist: Luke 1:10-13; that was based on duties Zacharias performed on the Day of Atonement during the seventh month of the Hebrew lunar calendar, now lunisolar [הלוח העברי], Ethanim or Tishri (Leviticus 16:29, 1 Kings 8:2) which falls in September–October but the precise date is uncertain given the calendar at that time), as apologists for the New Testament Jesus argued that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day of the year—thus the birth was pegged at December 25.  This argument appears in an anonymous “Christian” treatise entitled On Solstices and Equinoxes that was appears from fourth-century Africa: De solstitia et aequinoctia conceptionis et nativitatis domini nostri iesu christi et iohannis baptistae.  It is based on Augustine of Hippo (only late in life, after whoring and fathering a bastard did he become a Christian under the scolding of his mother), as found in Augustine, Sermo CCII.

Stone manger to feed cattle in Iran (200 BCE - 2011 CE)

There was no stable, nor any farm animals present at the birth, and the “manger” was a feeding troth in a cave—not in a barn near a hotel (Luke 2:7).  That there were “shepherds in a field” does not indicate that the shepherds were near-by, but that the season was warm and not raining nor cold—this would exclude winter months.  Matthew 2:11 reports that an indefinite number of astrologers visited the cave, not three wise men nor magi. The fantasy of Jesus being wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger comes from the theology of the Persian/Zoroastrian God Mithra/Mithras. As with Christianity that has its trinity composed of the Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Ghost/Spirit; Mithra/Mithras was a part of the Zoroastrian Trinity: along with Rashnu “Justice” and Sraosha “Obedience”, Mithra is one of the three judges at the

Mithras Chinva Bridge of Separation (separating souls)

Chinva (or Chinvat) bridge, the “bridge of separation” that all souls must cross, and as with what became Christianity without Jesus (better known as Paulinity), no one could go to the Father without first turning to the Son, nor could one achieve eternal life without confessing the name of Mithra/Mithras as he “quiets the waters and makes the pastures green” (Avestan hymn to Mithra (Yasht 10) and Yasna 1:11-3:13).

Saturnalia celebrated with alcohol and sex on December 25 to initiate fertility

Christmas “traditions” are of recent vintage.  They were never a part of the early, medieval, or renaissance periods. The word “Christmas,” in fact, does not appear in word-formation until 1038, and then only in medieval English. All Christmas celebrations and traditions can be dated back at least 4000 to 15000 years BCE from Egypt to Scandinavia, Eastern Russia to France, Ethiopia to Mesopotamia, and elsewhere. These are found in Scandinavia worship celebration of the God Odin, in the Roman Empire recognizing the joyful sounds of Bacchus and the riotous merrymaking of Saturnalia, in Egypt where fertility rituals were the sport of the day, and numerous other occurrences.  

Nicholas bishop of Myra

The innovation of gift-giving (originally ascribed to a Greek bishop named Nicholas (Νικόλαος) of Myra who left socks of money to poor girls for dowries) whose relics were transferred to the Italian town of Bari (for that reason he is also known as Nicholas of Bari); he has always been favored by fishermen, sailors, and masters of ships and has been considered the Christianized version of the god of the seas: Poseidon. 

Dionysios/Bacchus god of wine: Triumphal Chariot (Tunisia) 200 BCE

Merrymaking goes back to the worshipful practices of the priests of Saturnalia and Bacchus (Roll, Susan K. (1995). Toward the Origins of Christmas, Kampen, The Netherlands: Kok Pharos Publishing House. p. 129 has Pope Benedict XIV being the first to roundly defend December 25 as being the birth of the New Testament Jesus).  Fernand Cabrol, “Les Origines du Culte catholique. Le Paganisme dans la liturgie” in Revue pratique d’apologétique 3 (1906-1907), pp. 210-211 note 2, and 212, note 3 with page 281 is among many who reject Christmas as being a Christian celebration and as an invention in the seventh century but not crystallized into popular canon until the seventeenth century; cp. Blötzer, Joseph (1907), “Das heidnische Mysterienwesen und die Hellenisierung des Christentums,” in Stimmen aus Maria Laach 72, pp. 41-42).  The most frequent use of other religions’ feasts and celebrations was among the Arians, with the established (Constantinian) church incorporating them to battle against Arianism. 

It is not before the seventh century, at the earliest, and continues through the nineteenth century, that Christianity has attempted to justify the mythological birth date of Jesus of the New Testament as December 25—which even science reviewing the New Testament accounts reject (Francis Pagi, Breviarium historic-chronologico-criticum, illustriora Pontificum Romanorum Gesta, Conciliorum Geralium acta, vol. 1 (Antwerp, The Netherlands: Van der Hart, 1717), pp. 89-93, cf. Patrologia Latina  128:24-30, under Anastasius, Vitae Romanorum pontificorum.

Christmas Day 1830: Farmer Giles' Establishment (UK)

Nativity scenes do not appear anywhere in any record until the tenth century CE, and homes are not decorated with “green” (shrubs, ivy, decorations, mistletoe (Viscum album) that was originally hung in honor of Nordic gods in petitioning for greater sexual fertility for poor families so that there would be more hands to work, and so forth) until the sixteenth century.  Commercially produced adornments/ornaments do not appear until 1860 and then only in Germany. When I was a young man attending St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa, there were no Christmas trees allowed in the church in the 1960s. Father McMullan blasted the practice as pagan.  In that the priest was correct, as the tree was adorned in honor of the Nordic god Thor (Allhoff, Fritz; Lowe, Scott C.; and, Nissenbaum, Stephen  (2010). Christmas – Philosophy for Everyone: Better than a Lump of Coal. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons).  The word “Christmas tree” does not appear in the German language until the eighteenth century, and in English it is first recorded in 1835, brought in and translated by Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III,

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (UK) 1846 Christmas tree

and acculturated by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  The Christmas tree, grudgingly, is accepted in the USA by the 1870s, and in South America in the twentieth century. Poinsettia doe not appear outside of Mexico until the nineteenth century, and they were a symbol of an ancient pagan god under the name of Cuitlaxochitl and carried to ancient Chile and Peru. It was initially attacked, then held in reverence by Franciscan friars and fathers who saw it as a symbol of the blood of the New Testament Jesus.

Joel Poinsett

The plant was and is used to produce a red dye and an antipyretic medication.  When the plant was introduced into the United States in 1825 by Joel Poinsett it took the name of Poinsettia.

Christmas carols (religious music) do not appear in any Christian church or community until the fourth century, and then as a means to popular counter Arianism. It is argued by apologists that Ambrose, archbishop of Milan wrote the first Latin hymn: Veni redemptor gentium.  Popular Christian songs do not appear until the thirteenth century and then they were heard only in France, Germany, and Italy.  They appear in England in 1426, and were sung by wassailers who went from house to house in quest of food and drink.

Panetón Todino (Perú) Translation: Let us go, eat, drink, dance, it is party time.

Eating special foods, especially pastries and confections do not reappear until the late Middle Ages and then as a means to wean the common people away from a return to pagan Bacchanalia in honor of the god Bacchus whose ministry and celebration included lavish feasts, drunkenness and sexual license. To this end there became the ritual consumption of bûche de Noël in France, panettone in Italy, and panetón in Spain and its conquered nations, especially in South America.

Martin Luther's Christmas tree

Gift giving was always a part of most pagan celebrations, and in the Roman west gift giving was associated with the theology and ritual of the god Saturnalia.  It was banned by the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages because of its non-Christian origins (it was reinvented by Martin Luther to counter St. Nicholas day, that was actually a Norse legend around the god Odin), but later rationalized in Roman Catholic communities as being a part of the presents to the New Testament infant Jesus by the men who visited him (in bad translations, these men are called magi).  While the magi/astrologers were considered wise, it is because they preached an Apocalyptic end of the world since the days of Zoroaster–and the Star that they followed they believed was the light of the End Times (Yasna 30:3-4).

Zurvan emerged as a deified version of the concept of Infinite Time.  His name may have been borrowed from an earlier Phoenician deity, and is 

Bodleian Ms. J2 fol. 175 Y 28 1: End Times would come with birth of a child

translated as both “fate” and “fortune.”  The Zoroastrian god prophesied that there would be those who would cause a great war between two forces: good and evil (Nyayisn, 1.8), both of whom are his sons: Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, the prototypes for Israel and Ishmael, the children of the ancient Hindu god Brahama (Abraham; see the Pahlavi literature including the Denkart (cf. Dresden, Mark Jan (1966). Denkart: a Pahlavi text: facsimile edition of the manuscript B of the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute Bombay. Wiesbaden, Germany:  Harrassowitz; the original Pahlavi text, that I am using, was published at Bombay, India: Duftur Ashkara Press, 1874-1928), the Menok-i Xrat (Zaehner, Robert Charles (1955). Zurvan: A Zoroastrian Dilemma. Oxford : Clarendon Press; it was reprinted New York, NY, USA: Biblo and Tannen, with a new introduction by the author; multiple languages), and the Selections of Zadspram (a glossary to the ancient text is available from Teheran, Iran: Iranian Culture Foundation, 1973), as these works are a part of what would be generated as Islam and the Qu’ran; they exist in Farsi and Syriac).  Far from Christmas being a time of joy and fulfillment, it was to be a time of warfare, hunger, strife initiated by the gods who did not follow the laws of Zoroastrianism.  The Eternal War promised has not been realized, and “fate” has not found its destiny. It is truly the “mirror of religion”, the “cloak of ignorance” as prophets foretold as people have rejected old gods and they have vanished along with their apocalyptic visions and promises save for those who continue to follow Sharia Law and the damnation of the individual.

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Filed under Ancient Egypt, Bible, Bishop of Rome, Christmas, Church history, crucifixon, Islam, History, Jesus Christ, Jewish history, Martin Luther, Muhammad, Old Testament, Papacy, Roman Catholicism

Is the Rapture coming?

Rapture in a field, etched by Jan Luyken for the Bowyer Bible

The word “rapture” does not appear anywhere in either the Old or New Testament of the Judaeo-Christian bible  Rather, it is a misinterpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17, that has been badly translated/mistranslated over the centuries: “…and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which [sic] are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”.  While I have argued that Saul/Paul of Tarsus never existed, and that the bible is nothing less than a cut-and-paste case of bad plagiarism, this is especially true with the “rapture” evangelicals read into one more of the letters allegedly authored by a man from Tarsus.  The source for 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (επειτα ημεις οι ζωντες οι περιλειπομενοι αμα συν αυτοις αρπαγησομεθα εν νεφελαις εις απαντησιν του κυριου εις αερα και ουτως παντοτε συν κυριω εσομεθα ) is from the Gospel of Matthew 24:29–31 (ευθεως δε μετα την θλιψιν των ημερων εκεινων ο ηλιος σκοτισθησεται και η σεληνη ου δωσει το φεγγος αυτης και οι αστερες πεσουνται απο του ουρανου και αι δυναμεις των ουρανων σαλευθησονται και τοτε φανησεται το σημειον του υιου του ανθρωπου εν τω ουρανω και τοτε κοψονται πασαι αι φυλαι της γης και οψονται τον υιον του ανθρωπου ερχομενον επι των νεφελων του ουρανου μετα δυναμεως και δοξης πολλης και αποστελει τους αγγελους αυτου μετα σαλπιγγος φωνης μεγαλης και επισυναξουσιν τους εκλεκτους αυτου εκ των τεσσαρων ανεμων απ ακρων ουρανων εως ακρων αυτων), and is considered to be equal the day that the Jesus of the bible, as believed by chrestianos (not by christianos) will return in full armor, wielding a sword of destruction and death to end a battle staged at Armageddon, though possibly fought at the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

Tombs in the Valley of Jehoshaphat

The ancient chrestianos saw the Jesus of the New Testament not as a meek and mild world savior, but as a great and wrathful general who would slaughter all dissenters and reward those who stayed true to him, were willing to die for him, and looked forward to a battle of gruesome proportions (Matthew 10:34-36).  Armageddon is a Mountain (Hebrew: הַר מְגִדּוֹ‎, Har Megiddo; Ancient Greek: Ἁρμαγεδών Harmagedōn, Arabic هرمجدون, Persian آرماگدن, Late Latin: Armagedōn) where ancient mythology claims that god (for Christians: Jesus) will fight the Final Battle with Satan (Hebrew:  הַשָׂטָן ha-Satan), “the accuser”–a celestial prosecutor who was numbered among the Sons of God (Job 2:1) and carried out the enforcement of his spiritual Father’s orders. 

Satan (a noun preceded by the definite article “ha” (the; cp. 1 Chronicles 21:1, Job 1-2; and Zechariah 3:1) and is joined to the beloved son (Ha-Satan): Numbers 22:22, 1 Samuel 29:4, Psalms 109:6) was never the “Fallen Angel” (that becomes the Devil, and although evangelicals use the term interchangeably, they were never identical) but a member of the Divine Council advising the father god.  The evil that befalls Job is not the fault of  The Satan–but rather the transgression and crime of the ancient agricultural god Yahweh; Yahweh says to The Satan, ‘You have incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.’ (Job 2:3).  The Satan is blameless, the fault is that of the head of the council: Yahweh who had a reputation of being wrathful, unjust, quick to anger, and prone to violence, and maintained his leadership, like ancient potentates, by his assassinations, constant warfare, and siege of cities and communities, sparing no one, not even the infants, young, pregnant women, or the elderly as he wrecked havoc upon the planet that far superior deities (elohim) created (Genesis 1-2; elohim is a plural noun and the most common reference in the Old Testament).  Much of the merging of The Satan with the Devil and the exoneration of the vile Yahweh comes with the incorporation of old Babylonian myths, especially the Testament (Book) of Daniel: Daniel XII. 4:9 (cp. Assumption of Moses I. 16:17; The Assumption of Moses is a Jewish apocryphal pseudepigraphical work that is dubious at best, as it is known from a single sixth-century incomplete manuscript in Latin that was

Antonio Maria Ceriani (1828-1907)

discovered by Antonio Ceriani in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan in the mid-nineteenth century and published by him in 186 (chapter 7 discusses the End of Days); the handwriting and word choice does not match any of the texts from antiquities and it should be discarded, in much the same manner as the various eighth and ninth century CE copies of the works of Tacitus, since none of the originals exist today that can be compared fully–but then there is next to nothing–only fragments–of the bible that date back somewhat near the first two centuries, with the oldest being mere fragments of the Gospel of John written in the late second to third centuries CE–Matthew, Mark and Luke did not even exist until later).   The Devil is a relatively modern invention: the title (it is not a name) descends from Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, borrowed from an early Germanic source that plagiarized the Latin diabolus that comes from  the Greek diabolos (διάβολος) “slanderer” (contemporary Greek has slander as συκοφαντία that actually should be translated as calumny).  Diabolus  and Dæmon are distinct in the ancient world, but became synonymous with the poor translation of the Vulgate bible.

Map (1874) of Gog and Magog

Satan will gather Gog and Magog (Hebrew: גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג‎; Arabic: يَأْجُوج وَمَأْجُوج‎ Yaʾǧūǧ wa-Maʾǧūǧ are terms that do not even exist before the sixth century BCE, and end with the 1st century CE, until they appear in the Quran, c.622 CE, and then referred to people of two specific nations) from the four corners of the earth where the sons of Noah allegedly moved.  According to the mythology of Genesis 10, Magog is one of the sons (the second) of Japheth:  This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, (which is a worldwide myth and found in every culture (and reflects the legend of Oedipus who married and fathered children by his mother), who themselves had a variety of sons (the word is ambiguous and does not mean, necessarily, only males but indicates females) within the forty-days on the high seas)

Hebrew map of the known world

sons after the flood. Genesis 10:2 notes: The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras ( בְּנֵי יֶפֶת גֹּמֶר וּמָגֹוג וּמָדַי וְיָוָן וְתֻבָל וּמֶשֶׁךְ וְתִירָס׃ ).  Compare 1 Chronicles 1:5 and Ezekiel 38:2 (1 Enoch, following Ezekiel, states that the final battle will be a war waged by the Medes and Parthians (Persians) who will attack Jerusalem and in the bloodsoaked battle and amid the carnage that was to be “a joyful spectacle for the favor of the gods” be destroyed; read: Bøe, Sverre (2001). Gog and Magog. Ezechiel 38-39 als Vortext für die Offenbarung 19,27-21 und 20,7-10 [Gog and Magog: Ezekiel 38-39 as pre-text for Revelation 19,17-21 and 20,7-10]. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, p. 178, on-line at http://books.google.com/books?id=vettpBoVOX4C&pg=PA91&dq=Gog+Magog+Gyges&hl=en&ei=19s0TbqqEYmIvgPF7JnqCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Gog%20Magog%20Gyges&f=false).  The lust for blood and violence has always been universal in all cultures from the Middle East through the “frozen lands” of the north.

Jesus the Warrior

The word Armageddon appears only once in the Greek New Testament (Revelation 16:16) as discussion of past wars was not the purpose of the New Testament that was to refocus Hebrew attention away from battle (“messiah” means “warrior”) to a more eschatological (end of all battles and of time) interpretation.  Because of its similarity to preparedness for battle as promised by the Prophets, the various writers of Revelation may have incorporated a refined (Hellenized) version of the Hebrew har məgiddô (הר מגידו), meaning “Mountain of Megiddo”.  Far from being a mount or mountain har was actually a Tel: a small mount or hill on which ancient forts were built to guarded the main highway (the Via Maris), that connected Ancient Egypt with Mesopotamia and over which numerous armies passed, giving further support to the martial fervor of the chrestianos (a group of Alexandrian Jews who would relocate to Rome by the first century CE in anticipation of a warrior messiah).

Tel Megiddo (Egyptian battle ground)

Tel Megiddo was the location of many decisive battles in ancient times including one in the 15th century BCE ( fought between Egyptian forces under the command of Pharaoh Thutmose III and a large Canaanite (pre-Hebrew) coalition under the king of Kadesh; Thutmose III reestablished Egyptian dominance, leading small nations worried about another fight at the same location; cp. Eric H. Cline (May 2002). The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age. University of Michigan Press, and cf. Paul K. Davis (1999), 100 Decisive Battles from Ancient Times to the Present: The World’s Major Battles and How They Shaped History.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 1) and one in 609 BCE (with Necho II of Egypt leading his army to Carchemish to fight with his Assyrian allies against the Babylonians at Carchemish in northern Syria.  To give battle against the Babylonians required passing through territory controlled by the Kingdom of Judah and Necho requested permission from its king, Josiah.  Josiah refused, and most likely stood with the Babylonians and in the battle that took place Josiah was killed; read:  Herodotus, Histories 4:42 2, Kings 23:29-30 and II Chronicles 35:20-35. cp. Cline, Eric H. (2000), The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age, University of Michigan Press). 

Yggdrasil (Scandinavian Tree of Life with powers of regeneration)

From this account and similar records, with the advent of the Apiru (Hebrews) from India, would filter south into the Middle East the Scandinavian legend of a Tree of Life that was not to have “its fruits eaten by mere mortals, nor by the workers of the land”.  It is from the far north that we find a special tree in the center of a garden that was the center of the earth and would produce food so special that it was only for the grounds’ keeper–the godhead who would oversee the work of mortals molded out of red earth: Adamah.

The two nations will encamp surrounding the “holy ones”, meaning the “true believers” or “elect” and “saved” and the “beloved city” (Jerusalem). Fire will come down as wrathful rain from God filled with so much hatred that the deity will destroy without mercy or compassion all those who do not bow to his cruelty.  The fires that will be the torch of hell will flare out of heaven and devour Gog and Magog after the Millennium (1000 years that Jesus is to live and reign as King of the Universe), and the Devil (not The Satan) who deceived the angels and unbelievers is thrown into Gehenna (Gehenna is an Egyptian word for the Lake of Fire [She en Amu {on the Papyrus of Nu}]

Gehenna is an Egyptian word for Lake of Fire

and brimstone, or a more fiendish version of the Greek Hell) where the Beast and the False Prophet (a term that appears in The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:15–23; cp. Deuteronomy 13:1–5 and the penalty for being a false prophet–as determined by the priests–is death, as decreed in per Deuteronomy 18:20) have been since before the 1,000 years.  To make clear that Jesus was not the False Prophet as many believed, the writers of the Letters of John argue that Jesus alone would protect them (1 John 1:18 f, 2:7-8, etc.).  All of the interjections of the name of Jesus do not appear anywhere in relationship to the concept of a rapture (or being caught up and snatched away: ἁρπαγησόμεθα or harpagēsometha). 

Jesus never used the term.  The word “rapture” is neither based on the Koine Greek text of the Bible, nor found in the Attic where it is a form of κατοχή or ownership.  If κατοχή is the case, that would best be interpreted as meaning that people are mere possessions and have no free will at all; that people are toys and items that are at the whim of a god, not beloved by a god.  Even the Latin rapere means “to seize” or “to steal” and with this the individual has neither value nor importance but is a commodity and follows more of the ancient Arabic influence where people are subjected to (islam) the whim of a tyrant.

Cotton Mather

The concept of a rapture is a relatively recent novelty, an invention by a father and his son: Increase and Cotton Mather.  Their line of argument actually reflects a strong ancient Egyptian idea, where Ra determines the fate of each individual.   The Mathers argued in sermons and in letters that believers would be caught up in the air, followed by judgments on the Earth, and then the millennium (Kyle, Richard G (1998). The Last Days Are Here Again: A History of the End Times. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker. pp. 78–79, and Boyer, Paul (1992). When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 75).  By the end of the eighteenth century “the Time of Tribulation” was introduced, and with it the grotesqueness of Rapture winnowing out the few from the many, coming as a misreading of Matthew 24:21 (εσται γαρ τοτε θλιψις μεγαλη οια ου γεγονεν απ αρχης κοσμου εως του νυν ουδ ου μη γενηται ) following Ezekiel 5:9 and Daniel 12:1, both being inspired by insipid Babylonian theology.  While Baptists (Marotta, Frank (1995). Morgan Edwards: An Eighteenth Century Pretribulationist. Morganville, NJ: Present Truth Publishers), Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Adventists and several pentecostal movements use this passage (along with the two aforementioned passages in the Old Testament) to proclaim a long period of suffering, the text does not state that.  There is no time frame, no time line, no description of the suffering–it is an over-reaction to one line badly translated because of careless hands in medieval scriptoria. 

Emmanuel Lacunza

Roman Catholic clergy also clung to this method of mind control, as seen in the spurious and poorly organized writing of  Emmanuel Lacunza (1731–1801), a Jesuit priest, born in Chile but moved to Italy in 1767, and prevaricated the truth by claiming to be  a converted Jew by the name of Juan Josafat Ben Ezra.  He wrote, in Spanish, a lengthy apocalyptic work entitled La venida del Mesías en gloria y majestad [The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty] that was not published until 1811, ten years after his death.

The concept of there being a supernatural rapture found fertile soil to grow with the writings of John Nelson Darby (18 November

John Nelson Darby

1800 – 29 April 1882), an Irish lawyer turned Anglican preacher.  Darby developed a method of biblical interpretation called dispensationalism and became “the father of the rapture doctrine.”  He was the first to develop a theology that incorporated the teaching that Jesus would return secretly (His “second” coming) to rapture His true followers, leaving the rest behind to be ruled by an evil antichrist for seven years, and then return again (His “third” coming) in a visible, glorious coming to destroy antichrist, save those who were converted during the seven-year tribulation, and establish His own kingdom.

Cyrus Ingersoll Scofield (1843-1921)

Cyrus Scofield, a disciple of Darby’s, later published a Bible with explanatory notes in which he incorporated Darby’s views on the rapture.  The Scofield Bible is still the most popular Bible sold today, complete with Scofield’s additions and deletions, errors and interpretations. Within this one can even prick out the unique concept of Tribulation (this extrabiblical/pseudepigraphical rendition ultimately was included in the curriculums of well-known and greatly loved institutions such as Moody Bible Institute and Dallas Theological Seminary; read: Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/981788, cp. MacPhearson, Dave (1975). The Incredible Cover-Up: the True Story of the Pre-Trib Rapture. Plainfield, N. J. : Logos International, with much of this being the result of a hallucination by Margaret Macdonald (1815-1840) who styled herself a prophetess and claimed to “speak in tongues” known only to Jesus; Flegg, Columba Graham (1992). Gathered Under Apostles: A Study of the Catholic Apostolic Church.  Oxford:

Thomas Ice quotes MM (Margaret Macdonald) in error

Clarendon Press; some have found her “comments” to be demonic: Wilkinson, Paul Richard (2007). For Zion’s Sake: Christian Zionism and the Role of John Nelson Darby. London: Paternoster,  p. 192-193; MacPherson acknowledges that Darby knew this. And MacPherson attempted to argue that Darby knew the demonic origin of the rapture and incorporated it into his theology anyway. MacPherson also argued that there existed a conspiracy among dispensationalist leaders in order to “cover up” the fact that Darby supposedly borrowed the idea from MacDonald, ibid., pp. 151-154) in contradiction of Matthew 24:36.

The Tribulation is to be, according to those who believe in a “rapture” a relatively short period of time.  During this period of time, those who do not chose to follow the Christian God before the Rapture will be left behind and experience worldwide hardships, disasters, famine, war, pain, and suffering. This act, considered a “mercy of the true God” will wipe out more than 75% of all life on the earth before the Second Coming takes place so as to purify the world for the “Spotless Lamb of God”, a thesis that follows the earliest Tribulationists who proclaimed that they would prepare themselves for the Second Coming in 70 CE–the majority being chrestianos: those seeking a warrior-savior who would create a new empire over the ruins of Rome.

While many evangelical extremists, like Hal Lindsey (author of The Late Great Planet Earth) have attempted to calculate the Second Coming and how long the Tribulation will last before the Rapture, their calculations are based on various non-agreeing mathematics in the Bible. For example:  In the Old Testament there are to be 1290 days of tribulation according to Daniel 12:11:  וּמֵעֵת הוּסַר הַתָּמִיד וְלָתֵת שִׁקּוּץ שֹׁםֵם יָמִים אֶלֶף מָאתַיִם וְתִשְׁעִים׃, but 1260 days if calculations are to be taken from the New Testament: Revelation 11:3:  και δωσω τοις δυσιν μαρτυσιν μου και προφητευσουσιν ημερας χιλιας διακοσιας εξηκοντα περιβεβλημενοι σακκους.

Watch Tower waiting for the Rapture (1914) Jehovah’s Witnesses

Michael William Miller (founder of the Adventists)

Among the many cults of Christianity, the Rapture has caught the attention of the fundamentalist fanatical fringe groups.   Michael William Miller (1782-1849), an American Baptist preacher who was worried about mortality and an afterlife  and, after reflecting upon his own mortality followed the recent deaths of his father and sister, claimed that Jesus was coming back in 1844 (basing his calculations on Daniel 8:14, not realizing that Daniel had not been in the original Old Testament and that it was an ancient Babylonian myth) in a flurry of fire (this was based on the seventh seal being finally broken, and an angel hurling a golden censer, filled with fire, towards the earth as written in (Revelation 8:1-5). 

When Jesus did not return in 1844, Millerism as his sect was known before changing it to Adventist, a Miller-defined church split and  several spin-off religions formed after “The Great Disappointment” (when Jesus did not return).  Among the offshoots were the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Both groups, appealing to the poor and uneducated, began to calculate the date the world would end.  The Adventists initiated a novel theology based on Miller’s writings that included the unconsciousness of man in death, conditional immortality (this actually follows ancient Egyptian theology that argues that  the dead sleep unconscious

Egyptian theology on the Last Judgment

Helvete (Hell)

until the Resurrection of the Dead to stand for a Last Judgment before the God Osiris, using Genesis 3:22-24 that teaches that human beings will naturally die without continued access to God’s life-giving power; this annihilationistic ideology argues, further, that the souls of the wicked will be destroyed in Gehenna (often translated “hell”), an atoning ministry of Jesus Christ in the heavenly sanctuary (it is the 24th of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of the Adventists (like most non-traditional Protestants, most of the Adventist theology is Old Testament based, as with this example and the Adventist citation of Heb. 8:1-5; 4:14-16; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; 1:3; 2:16, 17; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev. 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:12).  James White and Ellen G. White wrote extensively about this concept when they purified and finalized the formation of the Adventist church.  

James and Ellen G. White (founders of the Seventh Day Adventists)

Along with other Sabbatarian Adventist leaders, such as Joseph Bates Ellen Gould White and her husband James White, formed what is now known as the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Ellen White had frequent “visions” and claimed each vision as a biblical gift of prophecy as outlined in Revelation 12:17 and 19:10, equating herself to be nearly on par with Jesus of the New Testament and a modern-day Apostle.  Having been struck in the head by a rock thrown by another student when she was nine years of age, Ellen Gould White  wrote about creationism (as the literally true way the earth was formed), agriculture, theology, evangelism, Christian lifestyle, education and health (cf. Ellen Gould Harmon White (1860). My Christian Experience, Views, And Labors In Connection With The Rise And Progress Of The Third Angel’s Message. Battle Creek, MI: James White, 1860; her visions made her a sought-after preacher, See: Shaw, Horace (1959). Doctoral dissertation, “A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speaking of Mrs. Ellen G. White, A Pioneer Leader and Spokeswoman of the Seventh-day Adventist Church” (Michigan State University), p. 282f).

Adventists argue that Jesus was a High Priest in the Hebrew Temple who provides cleansing for human sins by the sacrificial shedding of his blood), and an “investigative judgment” that commenced in 1844.  Adventists further cite select verses allegedly written by Saul/Paul of Tarsus, such as  1 Timothy 6:15-16 that reads: “God… alone is immortal,” coupling it with 2 Timothy 1:10 where the authors of the Second Letter (now proven to be written after the fourth century CE) writes that immortality only comes to human beings as a gift through the gospel.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been predicting the end of the world since their beginning. 

Charles Taze Russell (founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (WTBTS), also known as the
Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) was formed as Zion’s Watch Tower in 1879 by Charles Taze Russell.  Russell rejected the traditional (orthodox) concept of Hell, the idea of an afterlife (the soul sleeps after death which is more in keeping with the early Hebrews than Christianity) for those who are not members, there is no salvation outside of membership, and are to avoid music, television, movies, drinking alcohol, smoking, sports, school activities such as clubs, and girl/boy scouts and similar groups. No crosses are to be displayed (they reject the deity of Jesus who was the physical incarnation of the archangel Michael), organ transplants and blood transfusions are expressly forbidden.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses accept the Rapture, based on Matthew 24:41-42, and assert that Jesus came to prophecy his kingdom to be of this earth, and to give his life so that he could be resurrected to prepare to rule his kingdom made up of believers from heaven. According the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the body of Christ is a very select group of people. It ultimately will consist of 144,000 and all others will perish. What the Jehovah’s Witnesses forget is the prophecy they quote is about the 144,000 who are already in heaven (12,000 from each of the 12 Hebrew tribes)–so there is no room for them or anyone else. 

Papyrus of Nes Min (At the end of the fourth century BCE, a Theban priest and scribe named Nesmin who held numerous positions without ever becoming a member of the upper hierarchy took with him to the tomb some of his own books instead of the more usual Book of the Dead to be with 144,000 of the elect)

What is ignored is Revelation 7:9, 10, 14. Even the number is suspect, as 144,000 is common in nearly all religions (for example, it is 1 b’ak’tun on the Mayan calendar), it is a prime number for the ancient Egyptians literally passing from this life to an afterlife, and it is a part of ancient Canaan (Attridge, Harold. W., and R. A. Oden, Jr. (1981), Philo of Byblos: The Phoenician History: Introduction, Critical Text, Translation, Notes, CBQMS 9 Washington: D. C.: The Catholic Biblical Association of America), Samaria, and Akkadian civilizations (Moscati, Sabatino (1956, 1960, 1962, 2001).  Il profilo dell Óriente mediterraneo [Torino], (1956) translated as Face of the Ancient Orient: Near Eastern civilization in pre-classical times  Mineola, N.Y. : Dover Publications, p. 174: “The first, called ‘Kingship in Heaven’, tells how this kingship passes from Alalu to Anu, … was king in heaven, Alalu was seated on the throne and the mighty Anu, first among the gods”).

Duat (Rapture) of the Egyptian gods/goddesses

The ancient Egyptians also had a rapture, when each person was called individual, or an entire community fell to a natural calamity, after which the gods would determine the fate of the dead and undead. When a person died, upon arriving in the realm of the Duat (Land of the Gods), the deceased had to pass through seven gates, breaking seven seals in order to pass to the next plateau. The Duat is sometimes described as the ‘reversed world’ or ‘inverted precinct’, and in the Pyramid Texts we read: ‘O Osiris the King, I am Isis; I have come into the middle of this earth, into the place where you are’. Osiris was the Egyptian phoenix, which was ‘the bringer of the life-giving essence, the hikê, a concept akin to our idea of magic, which the great cosmic bird carried to Egypt from a distant and magical land beyond the earthly world.’ This was the ‘Isle of Fire’, ‘the place of everlasting light beyond the limits of the world, where the gods were born or revived and whence they were sent into the world’. This is a reference to the Duat. The Duat (or Hidden Place) was sometimes conceived as a completely closed “Circle of the Gods” formed by the body of Osiris.

Book of the Dead of Nakht (18th Dynasty)

At the final level, the dead would bow before forty-two gods who listened to the confessions of the deceased who claimed to be innocent of crimes against the divine and human social order. The person’s heart was then placed on a scale, counterbalanced by a feather that represented Maat, the goddess of truth and justice.

Anubis and Last Judgment

The weighing of the heart was overseen by the jackal-headed god Anubis, and the judgement was recorded by Thoth, the god of writing. If the heart was equal in weight to the feather, the person was justified and achieved immortality. If not, it was devoured by the goddess Amemet. This meant that the person would not survive in the afterlife. When a pharaoh passed the test, he became one with the god Osiris. He then travelled through the underworld on a solar bark, accompanied by the gods, to reach paradise and attain everlasting life.  Where is there a difference between this and the concept of death and afterlife in Christianity?  How much destruction of lives, fortunes, property are involved with the myth of a rapture done over the years?

Harold Camping (2011)

In the USA and elsewhere, self-styled evangelists and predictors of the end of the world, such as Harold Camping (born July 19, 1921), and radio evangelist whose study of the Bible convinced him and his followers that the world would end on May 21, 2011 (as of this writing, Camping is stating that the world will come to an end of October 21, 2011).  But it did not–but destroyed countless lives of those who would not think for themselves but followed the lunacy of one man who chose selective quotes from his bible to prove his own limited knowledge.  While Camping had urged people to pray, at the same time he taught that people had to leave the churches to prepare themselves for the Tribulation and Rapture–and his call was sent out both in English and in the

Camping's Judgment Day (It just occurred to me that praying looks a lot like defecating)

Spanish languages.

Judgment Day 21 May 2011 in Spanish

Like early twentieth-century Jehovah’s Witnesses and Adventists, He has also predicted earlier failed-to-appear judgment days on May 21, 1988, and September 7, 1994 (Radio host says Rapture actually coming in October – (UK) Globe and Mail. May 23, 2011, and Nelson, Chris (18 June 2002). “A Brief History of the Apocalypse; 1971 – 1997: Millennial Madness” on-line at http://www.abhota.info/end3.htm, and International Business Times, “Harold Camping Says End did come May 21, spiritually; Predicts New Date: October 21” on-line at http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/150707/20110524/harold-camping-says-end-did-come-may-21-spiritually-predicts-new-date-october-21.htm).  Camping’s failed prophecy, that reverberated all around the world and even had evangelicals in Perú preaching the firey end of the planet on local television, are criminals who have destroyed life and limb of many, causing death and serious injury to true believers.  In California, a woman named Lyn Benedetto was one of millions who heard Camping’s message.  A bible-totting, bible-believing, self-taught bible expert fervently believed the prophecy of Camping and became concerned that her daughters would suffer terribly in the coming apocalypse. As if she were the mythological Abraham of Genesis who was commanded by a mericless deity to slay his son, Lyn Benedetto  forced her daughters, 11 and 14, to lie on a bed and then cut their throats with a box cutter. Benedetto then went further than the old man from India, for unlike Abraham (Brahama), Benedetto then tried to kill herself before the police arrived.  Rather than the rapture coming, the police pushed into her home and arrested the out-of-control mother and all three survived without the interference of a god who was unconcerned about the event.

On September 6th 1994, a group of [Camping’s] followers dressed up for the Sabbath and filed expectantly into a war veterans’ building in Alameda, California. They prayed and held their open bibles to the skies, but nothing happened. Fifteen years later, the explanation of their leader that he simply got his sums mixed up is generally accepted. 

The god of Camping was indifferent to the suffering of others who believed firmly in the rapture–one predicted for thousands of years, each time not to occur. The prophecy of the 89-year-old Camping wrecked havoc in the poorest nations on this planet.

The rapture devastates thinking in Kahusma, Ghana

In Ghana, cars were tailgating to get away from the rapture as if it was an option (http://www.thedailymaverick.co.za/article/2010-05-21-its-all-over-in-a-year-may-21st-2011-doomsday-cult-rocks-on).

Nigeria Christians spend money difficult to obtain to buy billboards proclaiming the Rapture.

In Nigeria, full-billboards were sponsored by fundamentalists Christians who worried that they would not be among the elect because of their lethargy and slowness in “killing the gays.”  Prayers to be “swept up” were more common that prayers begging for protection, and when May 21 passed without incident, those determined to “root out evil” became more determined to destroy sin in their nation so that only “the pure of heart” would survive untainted by the existence of homosexuals who are equated with The Devil.

Religious fanatics in Nigeria awaiting the Rapture May 21, 2011

Master Wang's prophecy of a tsunami destroying Taiwan May 11, 2011 (cinema production)

An elderly man in Taiwan reportedly killed himself on May 5 ahead of the Rapture by jumping out of a building.  The dedicated Christian had heard that doomsday was imminent, and had taken recent earthquakes and tsunamis as early warning signs, for natural phenomena such as the movement of tectonic plates, toronados and heavy rains has long been considered proof that god is angry and the end is near.  “Wang Laoshi” or Master Wang, a local fortune teller, tried to surpass Harold Camping–at an earlier date–by taking the Rapture a step further: he’s predicted that a powerful earthquake will virtually destroy Taiwan on May 11th, 2011 by god ripping Taiwan into two separate islands by sending a devastating tsunami against the island nation. A small band of believers are so convinced by the accuracy of his fortune telling that began building a series of fallout shelters to protect themselves from the coming tsunami.  ( http://tw.video.news.yahoo.com/video/lifestyle-19458046/14-25050632 and http://www.la-fin-du-monde.fr/2011/05/un-prophete-taiwanais-annonce-la-fin-du-monde-pour-le-11-mai-a-10h42-et-37/).

Central Weather Bureau Chief Shin Tzay-chyn refutes Wang Lanshoi predicting the division of Taiwan into two islands on May 11, 2011

Wang Laoshi in his 70s

Unlike the USA that allows unbridled free speech even if it is harmful to the safety and well-being of its citizens, Taiwan is not that liberal.  After Wang’s outrageous prediction, more than 100 shelters converted from cargo containers were being built in Puli, a town in the county.  Wang had advised people to stay in cargo containers, which he said would be safer than regular buildings once the alleged imminent catastrophe happened, according to local media reports.  The government opined that Wang “could also be violating the Social Order Law by spreading rumours to cause public panic”.  Fraud convictions carry a maximum five-year jail term while breaking the law on social order is punishable by a fine of up to Tw$30,000 ($1,000).  Taiwan’s weather bureau on Thursday also warned that Wang risked a fine of up to Tw$1 million for issuing unauthorised disaster warnings on his blog — remarks Wang later removed (read: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110429/od_afp/taiwandisasteroffbeat_20110429044555).

It is the mythology that the ultra-conservative groups, such as the Tea Party in the USA, thrive on in their drive to turn each nation into a nation of believers while destroying individual incentive and efforts.  Today, the Tea Party, is moving rapidly with millions from the Koch Brothers of Kansas to “bring back” Christianity to the classroom, and backward states such as Texas, Iowa, Ohio, New Jersey, and so forth are digging up the fabrication that the USA is a “Christian Nation” (first articulated by US Supreme Court Sandra Day O’Connor).

The mass media was saturated by other unconfirmed reports of doomsday-related suicides around the world as well.  They filtered into the Associated Press from Russia, Ethiopia, and elsewhere, with the illiterate and undereducated being the bulk of those confused and willing to seek death over not being swept up in the rapture with the few, the elite of god, to a new life.

Heaven's Gate mass suicide (March 26, 1997)

This was not the first time that failed doomsday predictions  have led to tragedy. The most famous pre-apocalypse suicides in recent times occurred in 1997 when the Heaven’s Gate Christian UFO group came to believe that the comet Hale-Bopp was a sign that Jesus was returning, based on the fantasies in the Book of Revelation plagiarized from ancient Egyptian, Akkadian, Etruscan and other sources that earlier had declared the world would end soon.  Heaven’s Gate was an American UFO religion that believed that flying saucers would take those who left their bodies on earth would be transported to a better place in space. The group was based in San Diego, California.  It was founded and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997 who was the oldest to commit suicide) and Bonnie Nettles (1928–1985, whom was his nurse after having a heart attack; he saw himself and Bonnie as “The Two” as the two witnesses recorded in the Book of Revelation 11:3, and determined they were destined for salvation). On March 26, 1997, in a period when Comet Hale-Bopp was at its brightest, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed suicide in order to reach an alien aircraft which was supposedly following the Hale-Bopp comet. This prompted copy-cat resurgency of rapture radicals demanding an immediate preparation for the Final War and gave credence to Camping and others, encouraged in part by scripture but basically by radio talk shows and evangelist-controlled television programs, that led  to fundamentalist fanaticism which created a stir especially in poor Latin American and Asian nations pushed by Biblical illiterates such as Pat Robertson (700 Club), Pentecostal preachers preying on the poor while either working fulltime jobs or serving as legislators in state legislatures, and the nationally registered organized hate group American Family Association. 

In Perú, where nearly half of the programming is controlled by televangelists who preach Old Testament hate, groups gathered to witness the rapture, many prepared to kill themselves if they were not a part of the elect, with Jehovah’s Witnesses passing pamphlets to the literate but uneducated in open-air markets and on street corners.  This is the price for attempting to read an ancient myth and give it current coinage.

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Filed under Ancient Egypt, Bible, Church history, Evangelical Christianity, Jesus Christ, Roman Catholicism

Chrestianos, Christianos, Jesus, Paul, Pharisees and Myths

Over the years I have written at length that Saul of Tarsus never existed.  What has been written by others about Saul/Paul shows that he was an intolerant and bigoted man.  Orthodox Jews rejected the Paul of the New Testament, even though he came out of a Pharisee background: he was a man “cut-off” from the general Israelite community.  As a Pharisee (פרושים perushim/פרוש parush, meaning “set apart”; cf. (Ernest Klein (1987). Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language. Jerusalem : Carta ; [Haifa] : University of Haifa), Saul/Paul represented a group generally associated with being undesirables: tax collectors for the hated Roman occupation forces and the Roman Empire as well as relying on  prophetic or Mosaic authority for their interpretation of Jewish laws, while the Sadducees represented the authority of the priestly privileges and prerogatives established since the days of Solomon, when Zadok, their ancestor, officiated as High Priest.  There was also a form of class struggle between the two groups; the Pharisees were seen as poor and uneducated, while the Sadducees were seen as a “chosen people” who were among the elect of their god  YHWH since the Sadducees included the wealthy and aristocratic families who collaborated with the Romans at the expense of the general community, dined with foreign occupants and even ignored cultural traditions(read: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/deadsea.html#Essenes).

Tel Dan stele inscription

The Pharisees developed as a party within orthodox Judaism shortly after the time of the revolt of Judas Maccabaeus against the Greek overlords in the middle of the second century BCE. The Pharisees separated themselves from other forms of religious belief within Judaism to be the ‘godly people’ who would be saved, and unlike most Israelites, believed in an afterlife and a warrior savior (a messiah: מָשִׁיחַ) who would be anointed with the holy oil reserved for kings and generals and come to the earth to reign over all Israelites (Exodus 30:22-25) as a descendant of a King “David” (דָּביתדוד)   but the word has more than one meaning and actually is two words (a compound noun) meaning “beloved house” and indicative not of a man but of a dynasty or prophecy.  The Tel Dan stele tells of the victory of an Aramean king over “the king of Israel” a triumph that was not foreseen and in fact promised would never occur (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/sadducees_pharisees_essenes.html).  The promise of the Israelite god was that David’s House would rule “forever” was short-lived, as  John Hyrcanus established a new monarchy in the form of the priestly Hasmonean dynasty in 152 BCE — and putting into place priests as political as well as religious authorities.  While the Hasmoneans were heroes for resisting the Seleucids, their reign lacked the legitimacy conferred by descent from the Davidic dynasty of the First Temple Era.  This generated dissent among the group who would emerge as Pharisees largely out of the group of scribes and sages who harked back to Ezra and the Great Assembly and rejected all Hellenistic influences that they saw as corrupting Israelites.

Pharisees were known, frequently derisively, for their extreme public piety and literal obedience to the Law while ignoring its message. The Pharisees observed 365 commandments concerning the things they must not do, and around these they added a protective barrier of oral instruction and prohibition deigned to protect themselves from inadvertently breaking the Law of God.  This “addition” infuriated the more staid and ossified Sadducees as adding new laws had been prohibited in Babylonia and among Jews who survived the “captivity” as it was “adding to the Book” and thus against the original plan of “Moses”.  The Pharisees held them as authoritative—which in time became the extra works of Judaism known as the Talmud (Hebrew: תַּלְמוּד).  Oral Law, however, was not written down until Rabbi Judah the Prince’s, noting the extensive number of rabbis killed in the various revolts against non-Israelite force, decided to correct this omission c 200 CE.

Rabbi Judah codified the Oral Law in a work known as the Mishnah (Hebrew: משנה, “repetition”, from the verb shanah שנה, or “to study and review”). In the Mishnah Rabbi Judah wrote sixty-three tractates and unlike the Torah, systematically codified it by topic. The first of the six orders is called Zera’im (Seeds). They focus on agricultural rules of ancient Palestine (many coming from Babylon), particularly with the details of the produce that were to be presented as offerings at the Temple in Jerusalem, but the most famous tractate in Zera’im is Brakhot (Blessings) and it has little to do with agriculture; it records laws concerning different blessings and when they are to be recited. Other tractates include: Nezikin (Damages), which contains ten tractates summarizing Jewish civil and criminal law; Nashim (Women), covering issues between the sexes, including both laws of marriage (Kiddushin), and of divorce (Gittin); Kodashim, outlining the laws of sacrifices and ritual slaughter; Taharot, containing the laws of purity and impurity. (Cp. Source: Telushkin, Joseph (1991). Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History. New York: William Morrow and Co., 1991.)  This ordering made it easier for Pharisees to look up any prohibition and know what not to do.

Yerushalmi (Jerusalem) Talmud

This Mishnah was not considered authoritative until 400 CE when the rabbis of Palestine edited their discussions of the Mishna and released (“published”) it as the Palestinian Talmud (in Hebrew, Talmud Yerushalmi, which literally means “Jerusalem Talmud”). More than a century later (c. 500 CE), some of the leading Babylonian rabbis compiled another editing of the discussions on the Mishna, but it was a late intervention as deliberations had been going on some three hundred years.

Tractate Berachot in the Vilna edition of the Babylonian Talmud

The Babylon edition, however, was far more extensive than its Palestinian counterpart, so that the Babylonian Talmud (Talmud Bavli) became the most authoritative compilation of the Oral Law (See, Strack, Hermann (1945). Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, Jewish Publication Society, pp.11-12. “[The Oral Law] was handed down by word of mouth during a long period…The first attempts to write down the traditional matter, there is reason to believe, date from the first half of the second post-Christian century.” Strack believes that the growth of a Christian canon [the New Testament {that did not appear in book-format  until 380 CE at the earliest, according to Eusebius of Caesarea}] was a factor that influenced the Rabbis to record the oral law in writing).

Uniquely, while the Sadducees declared they were the descendents of Moses, the Pharisees traced their origins to those spoken about by the prophet Malachi:

Then the people who feared the Lord spoke to one another and the Lord listened and heard what they said and in his presence there was written down in a book a record of those who feared the Lord and respected him. ‘They will be my people,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘On the day when I act, they will be my very own.’ (Malachi 3:16-17)

There was no love in Malachi’s message, rather the prophet articulated the wrath of god and told people who unless they “feared the lord” (as repeated by Saul/Paul, Luther, Hitler, and others who would be god when they addressed their own constituency) they will not be among the “chosen race”: Israelite, Aryan, and so forth.  It was essential that the individual surrender himself to his god and his temporal leader to be saved (Gen 3:1-15, 12:1, 22:1-18; Ex 3:1 through 4:13; compare Heb 11:25; as “god’s people” had to be “set apart” from all other people: Ex 19:5,6; 22:31; Lev 20:7; Dt 7:6; 14:2 regardless of the sacrifice Lev 1), and thus go to war as did the crusaders, those who followed the Nazis into battle, and those who follow the Koch Brothers–without sense or self-thinking or self-judgment. It was as if “The hand of the Lord was upon me” (Ezek. 1:3; 3:14) implying a complete divine mastery over all things, leaving the individual without freedom of choice or selection, without determining his or her own direction or life–it was to become a robot.

The “people” were those educated in the Torah and the Talmud—adults trained in the law, and generally among the oldest males within the community, and there was no room to listen to a child speak, thereby making it illogical (if not impossible) for the Pharisees to listen to the child Jesus who the various writers of the Gospel of Luke (2:46-47) argued “instructed” them on the law.  The most that could have happened is that he went to school there, but that does not fit the text, as his parents were returning to their home, therefore if he was to have had an education it would be at the local synagogue.

The Pharisees believed that they belonged to this chosen group who would be spared from the wrathful judgment of God and that they would become foot soldiers for the final battle against evil: foreigners in the land of Israel. Jesus was not the man who promised to drive out the foreign occupiers; on the contrary, he told the people of Israel to “love your enemy”–a message not a single Pharisee would understand as for centuries the message was “A great Messiah [warrior] will set you free.”

Out of this group of Pharisees came the mythological Paul who would transmogrify Christianity so much so that there would be numerous conflicts, bloodshed and wars between chrestianos and christianos who made up the early community of Christians, most desiring martyrdom, or like the Essenes (in modern Hebrew only אִסִּיִים as it did not exist in ancient Hebrew) who were a small group of Israelites who, according to popular convention, lived from the second century BCE until the first century CE and were prepared for martyrdom (the Roman writer Pliny the Elder (died c. 79 A.D.) in his Natural History(N’H,V,XV) argues that the Essenes, as a group of various numbers do not

Constantine I "the Great" (Byzantinischer Mosaizist in Hagia Sophia)

marry, possess no money, and had existed for thousands of generations in Ein Gedi, next to the Dead Sea), while others were waiting for the day that the Emperor would recognize their sect—and some hoping that the Emperor himself would become a Christian, promising him eternal life in heaven and offering him the title of “Saint” (with him being pictured with a halo around his head, similar to the past Roman emperors who were hailed as gods).  Constantine (272 – 337 CE) never converted to Christianity, but the followers of Saul/Paul would invent the tale that he converted on his death-bed to give them legitimacy.

Who were the chrestianos? Chrestus was a familiar personal name throughout the Roman Empire. It was not, however, Israelite in origin. Instead it was the name of the Egyptian Serapis (Ancient Greek: Σάραπιςa, Graeco-Egyptian god. He was invented during the 3rd century BC on the orders of Ptolemy I of Egypt as a means to unify the Greeks and Egyptians in his realm, and whose main temple was in Alexandria, Egypt {read: Pausanias, Ἑλλάδος περιήγησις or Description of Greece, 1.18.4, second century CE}. The god was depicted as Greek in appearance, but with Egyptian trappings, and combined iconography from a great many cults, signifying both abundance and resurrection) or Osiris who would have a life and death similar to (but not identical with) the Jesus of the New Testament not yet written. 

Chrestus and his followers, the chrestianos, were numerous and strong, dedicated and determined.  They believed in an afterlife when their god would return riding a wild horse with a sword in hand. They would be numbered among “the elect [or chosen]” and in a rapture of light be appointed to senior positions in the next kingdom of the messiah.

The chrestianos had a large following at Borne, especially among the common people, as it was the common people who demanded a better life and no group other than the chrestianos offered them hope. This hope led the commoners, the poor, to envision a classless afterlife where all would be equal and quickly adopted the Egyptian promise of a life after death where their promise of enjoying the fruits of those save would be found when they would go to a special garden (paradise).  In the chrestianos paradise they would find it filled with all earthly delights including unlimited amounts of honey, lamps filled with oil that would stay lit permanently, and ease without the need to work.  There sole task was to sing praises and hymns to the Egyptian god once  their souls were individually weighed on Resurrection Day (the soul would be on one scale of the balance, and their good deeds the counterweight on the other scale).  If their endurance, faith, and good deeds weighed more than their transgressions they would be invited to join in a rapture of unexplainable intensity and fervor. 

Egyptian immigrants that flooded into Rome, who were primarily from Alexandria where the cult originated, were unwelcome and quickly received the title of being “evil”: people who could not be trust.  From this came the name “gypsies”.

History details the evil repute the The cult of Serapis and Isis had, and it exposed the chrestianos repeatedly to persecution: not merely to political considerations (Rome and Alexandria had been enemies for years), but also to moral and police suspicions and attacks. The lax morality associated with the worship of the Egyptian gods, especially the goddess Isis who married her brother Osiris, and from his dead body conceived a son (Horus), giving foundation to Roman revolution to the incestuous affair that was common everywhere.  More exactly it was the fanaticism of the chrestianos worshippers that repelled the Romans, and excited the suspicion that their cultus might be directed against the State. As Cumont noted:  “Their secret associations, which were chiefly recruited from the poorer people, might easily, under the cover of religion, become clubs of agitators and the resort of spies. These grounds for suspicion and hatred [!] contributed more, no doubt, to the rise of the persecution than purely theological considerations. We see how it subsides and flames out again according to the changes in the condition of general politics” (Burckhardt – Brandenberg, August and Cumont, Franz Valery Marie (1969) Die orientalischen Religionen im römischen Heidentum; nach der vierten franzosischen Aufl. Unter Zugrundelegung der ubersetzung Gerichs. Darmstadt : Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969; Cumont, Franz and Sehrich, Georg (1910) Die orientalischen Religionen im römischen Heidentum, Leipzig and Berlin, NP. by Gehrich (1910), p. 98.) The Roman people called the followers of Serapis-Chrestus “good” because they were precisely the contrary, and thus they damned them with feigned praise.

Pomoerium (Rome)

The problem of the chrestianos is their long and bloody history which they both experienced and caused.  In 48 BCE, the Roman Senate ordered that all chapels devoted to Isis and other images of Egyptian gods be broken. The hatred for Egyptians as demonstrated by Roman senators and carried out by Roman born citizens and its military took another sinister turn in 28 CE.  In 28 CE, the Roman senate launched another attack upon the Egyptians, excluding all Alexandrian divinities from the limits of the Pomoerium (the sacred boundary of the city of Rome: beyond the walls of Rome, Romans considered the rest to be “just land”)—a proscription that Agrippa extended for an additional seven years and increased the sphere a thousand paces from the city.  By 49 CE, the feeling against the Egyptians ran so high, on account of a scandal in which Egyptian

Goddess Isis of Alexandria Egypt on bronze coin

priests were involved, that the most drastic proceedings were taken against the followers of Serapis and on any Jew who was from Alexandria (the majority of Jews in Rome came from Alexandria) or other cities in Egypt.  Frustrated Romans riled against the rabble whom they labeled as “Chrestiani.” Tacitus stated in Annals, ii, 85, that at that time the proscription of the Egyptian and Jewish religious practices was discussed, and the Senate decided to send “four thousand men infected with their superstitions,” who were from “the class of freedmen,” to the island of Sardinia, to fight bandits in the hope that the unhealthy climate of the island would make an end of them. Josephus confirms this in his Antiquities xviii, 3, 5.

 A few years later, under Claudius, “the Senate decreed the expulsion of all “mathematicians” from Italy, though the decree was not put in force” (Tacitus, Annales xii, 52).  The mathematicians (actually, astrologers) were, once again, Egyptians and Egyptian Jews, the followers of Chrestus, as Flavius Vopiscus wrote in the letter dictated by the Emperor Hadrian to his brother-in-law Servius: “Those who worship Serapis are the Chrestians, and those who call themselves priests of Chrestus are devoted to Serapis. There is not a high-priest of the Jews, a Samaritan, or a priest of Chrestus who is not a mathematician [astrologer], soothsayer, or quack. Even the patriarch, when he goes to Egypt, is compelled by some to worship Serapis, by others to worship Chrestus. They are a turbulent, inflated, lawless body of men. They have only one God, who is worshipped by the Chrestians, the Jews, and all the peoples [sic] of Egypt.” Today, this letter is considered a fourth century forgery—as are most of the statements of persecutions, martyrdoms, and the hostilities shown to “Christians”.

Chrestianos inscription

For that reason “Chrestiani” may be either the followers of a man named Chrestus, or of Serapis as the documents that existed either are buried in the Vatican vaults or have been destroyed. What they had in common with the christianos was the belief in a warrior messiah who would return, and whose affairs on earth would be carried out by a surrogate who would eventually become Paul.  What would happen, as a way of encouraging the chrestianosto accept the Paulinity of the new church was to adopt some of the Egyptian deities.  Ultimately, the Egyptian Trinity (Osiris, Isis, Horus) would become part of

Etruscan deities including the Trinity of Tinia, Uni and Menrva (1500-1400 BCE)

the theology of Christianity, but with the Etruscan order (Tinia [chief Etruscan God, the ruler of the skies, husband of Uni, and father of Hercle; he was associated with the Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter with characteristics similar to Yahweh {Egyptian deity frequently depicted as a cow}], Uni [Uni was the equivalent of the Roman Juno, whose name Uni may be derived from, and the Greek Hera and was both a warrior and a healer and was supreme goddess of the Etruscan pantheon] and Menrva [(also Menarva) was the Goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools, and commerce, and, like Athena, was born from her father’s head; Menrva found men distasteful; she decided that a man was a woman inside and shouldn’t be allowed to roam the lands as a “man”] that undoubtedly came

Three Mycenae goddess (1500-1400 BCE)

from the matriarchal theology of ancient Mycenae where the chief goddess was the Creatrix, the daughter the savior, and the sister/grandmother the Inspirer or Ghost of Promise, as defined in fifteenth century BCE Hieroglyphs and Linear B tablets; see: Corpus speculorum Etruscorum. Città del Vaticano. Roma : “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, c1995- (multivolumes) , and Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae with the more authoritative reading of Helmut Rix, Etruskische Texte : editio minor / herausgegeben von Helmut Rix, in Zusammenarbeit mit Gerhard Meiser ; unter Mitwirkung von Fritz Kouba [et al.] Tübingen : G. Narr, c1991, 2 vols. ) but change the sacred three from being female to becoming male in keeping with the patriarchy of Israelite theology.

Chester Beatty Papyrus (P46) recounting Paul's Letter to the Romans (c. 200 CE)

Saul of Tarsus/Paul was a fourth century invention that condemned the church established by the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, and has been both a plague on mortals as well as a bastardization of the message of the alleged Jesus of the New Testament. Saul/Paul is an invention is easily proved. Paul is not known outside of the New Testament and he is given authorship of thirteen writings (letters/books) in the New Testament that have the name Paul (Παῦλος) as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle, none which were initially accepted as authentic or valid, but went into the canon (and the back of the Bible) because of political and ecclesiastical pressures (The Letter to the Hebrews, today, is commonly thought of as a forgery or not written by Saul/Paul, while 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus are held to be pseudepigraphic by the majority of modern scholars (New Testament Letter Structure, from Catholic Resources by Felix Just, S.J.: http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Paul-Disputed.htm). 

There are no writings by Greek, Jewish or Roman scholars about Saul/Paul during his lifetime. There are no true records (letters) that he wrote, as all show numerous different styles of composition, word choice, and plagiarisms and read as though they were written as an official statement for public reading. They are similar to that which came out of the writing centers where scribes recorded the commands, commandments, and injunctions (edicts, for example) of the Imperial House from the time of Constantine and his successors). The authors of the day did not notice anything profound or of significant influence in what Saul/Paul wrote, and, indeed, it took three centuries before the impact of his work was such as to change the history of the Roman world (http://www.gordonmoyes.com/2009/07/01/paul-the-pharisee/).

The only Biblical record of Saul/Paul is in the “Acts of the Apostles” that is also a record of uncertain origin.  As for Saul/Paul being the author, it is commonly know that Paul used to dictate his letters to a secretary or “amanuensis” (Once the amanuensis identified himself as Tertius; cf. Romans 16:22: ασπαζομαι υμας εγω τερτιος ο γραψας την επιστολην εν κυριω) who would take down in a form of shorthand the dictation of Paul, scribing with a stylus on a waxed tablet the notes that were then written in longhand, transcribed by pen and ink onto papyrus scrolls. It is possible that Luke and Timothy also acted as secretary to Paul.

It has been claimed that Paul always personally signed his letters – as he indicated a number of times (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:21: ο ασπασμος τη εμη χειρι παυλου), and considered, with great arrogance, that he was specially chosen (similar to the Jesus of the Bible) to do the work of the Israelite god.  There is little that is original in the Letters of Saul/Paul, for they are in most cases a of a graduate’s plagiarism, taking from previous Hebrew texts and making his Christ to appear as the promised Messiah.  For example, in Galatians he used the following ideas of Jeremiah: “I chose you before I gave you life, and before you were born I selected you to be a prophet to the nations” (Galatians 1:15: οτε δε ευδοκησεν ο θεος ο αφορισας με εκ κοιλιας μητρος μου και καλεσας δια της χαριτος αυτου, using Jeremiah 1:5:  בְּטֶרֶם [כ= אֶצֹּורְךָ] [ק= אֶצָּרְךָ] בַבֶּטֶן יְדַעְתִּיךָ וּבְטֶרֶם תֵּצֵא מֵרֶחֶם הִקְדַּשְׁתִּיךָ נָבִיא לַגֹּויִם נְתַתִּיךָ׃).

What is universally accepted now is the fact that Saul/Paul did not write the Letter to the Hebrews.  Most of the rest of the Letters ascribed to Saul/Paul are suspected to be forgeries planted to make Constantine’s’ Christianity and the Christian Church created by the Emperor Constantine at his Council of Nicaea to be supreme to buttress his throne and keep together his fragile empire.

The letters of Saul/Paul (none of the originals exist, as what is known is the report from secondary and tertiary sources, including the “apostle Luke” who is given authorship of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, which “Luke” admits he had to do research to complete: Acts 1:1-4: τον μεν πρωτον λογον εποιησαμην περι παντων ω θεοφιλε ων ηρξατο ο ιησους ποιειν τε και διδασκειν αχρι ης ημερας εντειλαμενος τοις αποστολοις δια πνευματος αγιου ους εξελεξατο ανεληφθη οις και παρεστησεν εαυτον ζωντα μετα το παθειν αυτον εν πολλοις τεκμηριοις δι ημερων τεσσαρακοντα οπτανομενος αυτοις και λεγων τα περι της βασιλειας του θεου και συναλιζομενος παρηγγειλεν αυτοις απο ιεροσολυμων μη χωριζεσθαι αλλα περιμενειν την επαγγελιαν του πατρος ην ηκουσατε μου; Luke 1:1-4: επειδηπερ πολλοι επεχειρησαν αναταξασθαι διηγησιν περι των πεπληροφορημενων εν ημιν πραγματων καθως παρεδοσαν ημιν οι απ αρχης αυτοπται και υπηρεται γενομενοι του λογου εδοξεν καμοι παρηκολουθηκοτι ανωθεν πασιν ακριβως καθεξης σοι γραψαι κρατιστε θεοφιλε ινα επιγνως περι ων κατηχηθης λογων την ασφαλειαν) were meant to entertain, not to educate, correct, inspire, and so forth. This can be seen in Paul’s use of chiasmus – the lyrical device of developing a theme in one sentence word-by-word, then reversing the order in the remaining half of the sentence (look, for example, at 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20). Some scholars have identified many places where the form of Paul’s sentence goes abc-cba. 

Paul frequently quoted other authors, even on occasions quoting hymns from the early church. One such hymn is found in the great passage on the incarnation of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11); another is in his letter to Timothy, where he encouraged loyalty to Christ (2 Timothy 1:11-13). When he addressed the philosophers in Athens, he quoted Greek poets and quoted on other occasions extensively from the Old Testament.  This is why many biblical scholars and theologians argue that today’s Christianity is really Paulinity, and rather than read the words of the Jesus of the New Testament, Christians read the words of Saul/Paul with his Hellenic background.

Hitler's Baptism Certificate

Adolf Hitler once said of Paul: “Christ was an Aryan. But Paul used his teaching to mobilise the underworld and to organise an earlier Bolshevism” (Hitler [Table-Talk, p. 143] in Trevor-Roper, H.R. (1953). [Introduction], Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-44: His Private Conversations, Redwood Press, Ltd.).  Whenever Hitler mentions Christ, Hitler has nothing but admiration, his words glowing, pulsating with a rich vigor that was nearly apocalyptical and foretelling of his own identification with the one many called Jesus of Nazareth, for Hitler saw himself as a popular leader of “the people of the Lord”:

Lutheran Bishop Ludwig Muller, leader of Reich Church in Germany greets Hitler

“Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism the destroyer. Nevertheless, the Galilean, who later was called Christ, intended something quite different. He must be regarded as a popular leader who too up His position against Jewry. Galilee was a colony where the Romans had probably installed Gallic legionaries, and it’s certain that Jesus was not a Jew. The Jews, by the way, regarded Him as the son of a whore– of a whore and a Roman soldier.”  Hitler went on further with his blisteringly baited attack on Saul / Paul of Tarsus contending in the harshest tone, for Hitler became like Martin Luther was in his last years, strongly antisemitic, pounding his political pulpit as Luther pounded his pen against parchment when writing that Jewish homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed (ref.:  Hendrix, Scott H. “The Controversial Luther”, Word & World 3/4 (1983), Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, p. 393: “And, finally, after the Holocaust and the use of his anti-Jewish statements by National Socialists, Luther’s anti-semitic outbursts are now unmentionable, though they were already repulsive in the sixteenth century. As a result, Luther has become as controversial in the twentieth century as he was in the sixteenth.” ), Hitler roared:

Vatican clergy with Nazis Goebbles and Frick

“The decisive falsification of Jesus’s doctrine was the work of St. Paul. He gave himself to this work with subtlety and for purposes of personal exploitation. For the Galilean’s object was to liberate His country from Jewish oppression. He set Himself against Jewish capitalism, and that’s why the Jews liquidated Him.”

As tortured as Hitler’s logic is, He never condemns Jesus. On the contrary, he sees Jesus as an Aryan, a liberator against Jewish oppression! If Hitler did not see himself as a Christian, then why doesn’t he condemn Jesus? Why doesn’t he accuse Christ as being a Jew? Why does he see Christ as a liberator?

Those who would have the world believe that Hitler was at worse an atheist, or at least anti-Christian base their fabrications on quotes taken out of context in the German text of the Hitler’s Table Talk (or Conversations) that do not include them—they were made up by François Genoud, the translator of the French version who openly avowed he would expose Hitler in the worse way (see: The testament of Adolf Hitler; the Hitler-Bormann documents, February-April 1945, edited by François Genoud. Translated from the German by R.H. Stevens. With an introduction by H.R. Trevor-Roper [2d edition] London, Cassell {1961, c1960}).  Hitler’s hatred for the Jews is well documented in the German, especially in Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf.  Hitler was following his mentors, especially and primarily the German renegade month Martin Luther.  Hitler also turned to, in a limited extent Frederick Nietzsche, who in turn wrote: “A God who died for our sins; redemption through faith; resurrection after death – all these are counterfeits of true Christianity, for which that disastrous, wrong-headed fellow Paul must be held responsible.”

Martin Luther's "Final Solution" to end "Jewry" in Germany

Martin Luther, who was once a Catholic monk, denounced the Catholic hierarchy as the work of the anti-Christ and established by the Devil [Against the Papacy established by the Devil (1545)]. Hitler said: “Luther had the merit of rising against the Pope and the organisation of the Church. It was the first of the great revolutions. And thanks to his translation of the Bible, Luther replaced our dialects by the great German language!” (Hitler, Adolf, Table-Talk [p. 9]).  It must be remembered that not only did Martin Luther praise Saul/Paul, but cited him more frequently than any other figure in the Bible.  Hitler did this, without qualms, as Hitler knew (as he was informed by Protestant theologians and religious supporters; read: Richard, Steigmann-Gall (2003). The Holy Reich: Nazi conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, pp. 5-6.), it gave him his biblical foundation on which to build the reign of terror of the Third Reich under the stated purpose of erecting a magnificent new capital at Berlin (Welthauptstadt Germania), has been described as attempting to build a version of the New Jerusalem (Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (1895, 1992, etc).  The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology: The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany, 1890-1935. New York University Press paperback).

"The cross will become a sword" Nazi Catholics and Protestants

Those who knew Hitler remarked about his Christian views. For example, Minister Rust, in a speech to a mass meeting of German Christians on June 29, 1933 [Helmreich, Helmreich, Ernst Christian (1979). The German Churches Under Hitler, Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, hereafter cited as Helmreich, p. 138] declared: “If anyone can lay claim to God’s help, then it is Hitler, for without God’s benevolent fatherly hand, without his blessing, the nation would not be where it stands today. It is an unbelievable miracle that God has bestowed on our people.”

Hitler leaving German church

The established (officially recognized) Methodist church paper, Friedensglocke, vouched for the authenticity of a story about Hitler where he invited a group of deaconesses from the Bethel Institutions into his home at Obersalzberg: “The deaconesses entered the chamber and were astonished to see the pictures of Frederick the Great, Luther, and Bismarck on the wall. Then Hitler said: ‘Those are the three greatest men that God has given the German people. From Frederick the Great I have learned bravery, and from Bismarck statecraft. The greatest of the three is Dr. Martin Luther, for he made it possible to bring unity among the German tribes by giving them a common language through his translation of the Bible into German….’ [Note that Hitler’s own words about his admiration for Martin Luther are expressed in Mein Kampf.] One sister could not refrain from saying: Herr Reichkanzler, from where do you get the courage to undertake the great changes in the whole Reich? Thereupon Hitler took out of his pocket the New Testament of Dr. Martin Luther, which one could see had been used very much, and said earnestly: ‘From God’s word.’ “Helmreich, op. cit., p. 139).  Even the Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich who visited Hitler at his mountain retreat in Obersalzburg confessed: “Without a doubt the chancellor lives in faith in God. He recognizes Christianity as the foundation of Western culture…” (Helmreich, op. cit. p.279).

The English philosopher and democratic apologist who wrote on freedom, John Stuart Mill, commented: “I hold St Paul to have been the first great corrupter of Christianity.” (https://www.westminster.coresense.com/pdf_files/9780852346266.pdf) The German psychologist, Carl Jung, said: “It is frankly disappointing to see how Paul hardly ever allows the real Jesus of Nazareth to get a word in.” (For other critiques and criticisms of Saul/Paul read http://www.metalog.org/files/paul_p1.html cp. a critical response at http://www.innominatesociety.com/Articles/The%20Thorn%20In%20The%20Flesh.htm)  

The only reason that “Paul” was successful was because of his transmogrification of the words of the New Testament Jesus—taking the bitterness, hatred, and war mongering of the Jesus of the Gospel,  and refining them into a gentleness that the christianos demanded to counter the martial mentality of the chrestianos (which, as detailed by Roger Viklund at http://rogerviklund.wordpress.com/category/erik-zara/, we find in Epistulae genuina e S. Ignatii Martyris, printed by Isaak Vossius in 1646, stating: Ἐκ τῶν ἐπιστολῶν τοῦ ἁγιωτάτου Κλήμεντος τοῦ Στρωματέως Θεοδώρῳ,with the word being recreated in 1050 CE in the Second Medicean Manuscript(M. II) while  the sentence ”Auctor nominis eius Christus Tiberio imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat” is removed from the current text, in accordance with the hypothesis that Tacitus never wrote this, and a text equivalent to ”Auctor nominis eius Christus Tiberio imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat” was created and inserted in the margin, in accordance with the theory that such a text only existed as a marginal note, a gloss, in the beginning, before it was inserted into the text when a new transcript was made of the manuscript; plagiarism and false-copying [marginalia: also translated as marginal comments] was common in what passed for scholarship), of Rome and the empire that was leading followers of a Christ (the word actually means “senior magician”) into a docile and nearly effeminate Jesus that would create peace among war factions of the new cult and stabilize the empire. Here is a modified image of M.II, containing the Christus-passage. Montage and drawing ©2010, Dr. R. A. Daniel Pihl.

2d Medicean manuscript (unmodified)

Why the mention of Christ in the Annales of Tacitus cannot be considered a part of the original text is simple: (1) Christians until (or for centuries after) Sulpicius Severus did not refer to the passage – it was not about them; and (2) Pontius Pilate is in the Christus sentence mentioned as a procurator, but there is not one other Roman historian who deemed it necessary to even mention Pilate. The only argument for this is that the readers of Tacitus did not know who he was and needed additional information.  Christians of course knew who Pilate was and erroneously called him procurator and not prefect (“Pontio Pilato, Syriam tunc ex parte Romana procuranti” (read: Tertullian, Apologia XXI.18, “Pontius Pilatus procurator Judaeae a Tiberio mittitur”, and Eusebius’ Chronicle in Jerome’s translation) thereby ignoring Pilate’s real function. Uniquely, Tacitus, who Christians claim knew the story of Jesus, never mentions Saul/Paul nor the self-proclaimed Apostle’s journeys, imprisonment, and so forth. Roger Viklund shows precisely how the document was altered.

Chrestianos is changed to Christianos by erasure of part of a character

To assume that  Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus, writing in 117 CE, two full generations after the mythological Jesus died a legendary death, was a careful researcher or had access to historical archives is absurd to say the least.  J. Weiss noted: “Archival studies,” as printed in the Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, (München : C.H. Beck, 1920-<2004>) “are not very familiar to ancient historiography; and Tacitus has paid very little attention to the acta diurna and the records of the Senate.” (J. Weiss, ibid. viii, 2 Abt., Heft 2, under “Tacitus.”) Some historians even claim Tacitus never researched his claims, studied in any archive or did more than copy and paste the work of others. (Schiller, Hermann (1872) Hermann Schiller says, in his Geschichte des Römischen Kaiserreichs unter der Regierung des Nero. Berlin, Weidmann, 1872 and also under the imprint of Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1872, p. 7). As Weiss argued: “The execution of a Nazareth carpenter was one of the most insignificant events conceivable among the movements of Roman history in those decades; it completely disappeared [sic] beneath the innumerable executions inflicted by the Roman provincial authorities. It would be one of the most remarkable instances of chance in the world if it were mentioned in any official report” (Weiss, loc. cit. p. 92). 

Tacitus MS 68.2 on christians (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence, where it is MS. plut. 68.1.)

The issue of “Christians” in the time of Tacitus is more ambiguous.  Moreover, there must be serious doubt about the accuracy, veracity, and content of Tacitus (as well as Josephus) as the oldest extant manuscripts of Tacitus and Suetonius come from the ninth century, while those of Josephus date back only to the eleventh century. We’re talking about a time gap of 800 to 1,000 years between the autographs and the extant manuscripts.  To give unlimited and unquestioned authenticity to such documents defies the imagination–it is tantamount to using the bible chronology to claim that the planet Earth is only 6000 years old.

The expression “Christians,” was by no means common in the time of Nero. Not a single Greek or Roman writer of the first century mentions the name: neither Juvenal nor Persius, Lucian or Martial, the older Pliny or Seneca. Even Dio Cassius never uses it, and his abbreviator, the monk Xiphilinus, sees no reason to break his silence, but speaks of the Christians who were persecuted under Domitian as followers of the Jewish religion and the were the chrestianos who sought an immediate confrontation with Rome to ensure the rapid return of a warrior messiah.  The chrestianos called themselves Jessaeans, or Nazoraeans, the Elect, the Saints, the Faithful, etc., were universally regarded as Jews. They observed the Mosaic law, and the people could not distinguish them from the other Jews and they were looking for immediate “salvation” by means of carrying the sword. 

Even the word the word Christus did not mean Jesus of Nazareth, it only meant an anointed warrior.  All Jews without exception looked forward to a Christus or Messiah warrior, and believed that his coming was near at hand. It is, therefore, not clear how the fact of being a “Christian” could, in the time of Nero or of Tacitus, distinguish the followers of Jesus from other believers in a Christus or Messiah, general acceptation of the name Christian can, according to Harnack, only be traced to the end of the reign of Hadrian and that of Pius (Harnack, Adolf von (1902). Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christenthums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten, Leipzig: Hinrichs, p. 296).  The use of the Christians as “living torches,” as Tacitus describes, and all the other atrocities that were committed against them, have no credence, and suggest an imagination exalted by reading stories of the later Christian martyrs and the base works of Juvenal and Seneca that have no bearing on this as neither writer was connected with the Christians, and need not in the least be regarded as references to the members of the new sect sacrificed by Nero. The victims cannot possibly have been given to the flames in the gardens of Nero, as Tacitus says for Tacitus admits that the imperial gardens were the refuge of those whose homes had been burned.  The gardens were full of tents and wooden sheds.

It is beyond logic that Nero would incur the risk of a second fire by his “living torches,” and still less probable that he mingled with the crowd and feasted his eyes on the ghastly spectacle. For Tacitus, or anyone else, to write that the gardens were used for mass slaughter is not only unhistorical but illogical; at best it was later propaganda for the future site of today’s Vatican that was chosen as the theatre of the deed merely to strengthen the legend that the holy of holies of Christianity, the Church of the apostle Peter—but even Peter is a legend with no foundation for being a real person except for passages in the Bible, and within the Bible (1 Peter 5:12; the second letter [2 Peter] is an absurdity, because its internal structure shows that it could not be written before 150 CE at the earliest,  it incorporates almost all of Jude in 2:2-17, it mentions the death of “the fathers” of the early church in 3:4, and it alludes to

Fragment of Paul's Letter to the Galatians written late 3rd century CE

Pauline epistles as “scriptures” (3:15-16) which was a term (γραπτώς for “writing”) that is used only once in the New Testament. Furthermore, “scriptures” was applied during the Apostolic Age only to books of the Old Testament), Peter admits he is neither writer nor a great thinker (only a fisherman). Furthermore, when one considers what is claimed to be the writings of Peter, a careful study of these writings shows them to be an incorporation of far older (ancient) mythology into Christian scriptures. For example: 2 Peter 2:4 is one of the most classic examples, with “angels” (actually messengers) cast into hell: ει γαρ ο θεος αγγελων αμαρτησαντων ουκ εφεισατο αλλα σειραις ζοφου ταρταρωσας παρεδωκεν εις κρισιν τηρουμενους. The word “Tartarus” (ταρταρωσας), in Greek mythology, is used to describe a subterranean place or region, allegedly the lowest realm of Hades, or perhaps even lower than Hades, where, it was claimed, that the immortal souls/spirits of the vilest people were supposed to go after death. Peter introduces Greek mythology in an effort to strengthen the weak credentials of Christianity. This mythology is carried further by the various writers of the Letter to the Ephesians (2:2 εν αις ποτε περιεπατησατε κατα τον αιωνα του κοσμου τουτου κατα τον αρχοντα της εξουσιας του αερος του πνευματος του νυν ενεργουντος εν τοις υιοις της απειθειας) where spirits are lighter than air and still exist in the air seeking to spark havoc against and amongst mortals. It is bad scholarship, at best, but more realistic it is fraud, to attempt to prove or disprove the bible. No scholar would ever attempt to prove any book by citing the book itself that was to be proved, as the Bible (like the Koran/Qur’an, Torah and other holy scriptures) is based on far older mythologies and spurious authorship.

Yale Papyrus Fragment from the Nag Hammadi Gnostic Library Codex III, containing The Dialogue of the Savior (Yale Beinecke Library) a fourth century CE Coptic copy of a lost original that the established church was attempting to destroy

None of the evangelists applies the name Christians to the followers of Jesus.   It is never used in the New Testament as a description of themselves or other believers in Jesus, and the relevant passage in Acts 9:26 ( παραγενομενος δε ο σαυλος εν ιερουσαλημ επειρατο κολλασθαι τοις μαθηταις και παντες εφοβουντο αυτον μη πιστευοντες οτι εστιν μαθητης) does not call believers Christians but disciples—and “Paul” is still called “Saul”. The name change (from Saul to Paul) does not happen until the fourth century, and then it is a term that comes after the Imperial Council of Nicaea.

The titles Annales and Historiae are 16th century, as the manuscripts present both works under the title Ab excessu divi Augusti. Historiae 1-5 appear as books 17-21 in the MS.  The first six book of the Annales were written (or copied in a scriptorium) around 850 CE in Germany.   The script is a pre-carolingian hand. It is generally agreed that it was copied from a text written in ‘insular’ script which was copied from a manuscript in ‘rustic capitals’, and it has been suggested that this latter was at least 4th and probably 3rd century; it is not the script of Tacitus.

The distinctive type of script suggests the event took place in the scriptorium of the Benedictine abbey of Fulda, and this is supported by an explicit reference to Tacitus in the Annales Fuldenses for 852 (Cornelius Tacitus, scriptor rerum a Romanis in ea gente gestarum) that seems to show knowledge of Annales 2,9.  The entire issue in Tacitus is a well-conceived but poorly executed fraud. Even among the most pedestrian, and profane writers, the atrocities that martyrologists would embellish, especially Justin Martyr, ignores reality and even invents the martyrdom of “Peter”—a reverse (upside-down) crucifixion that never took place. 

Tacitus "Annales" 15.44.1 on "Christus" and Nero's fire (written allegedly 116 CE, long after the incident; but existing copy the result of numerous scribes over 800 years)

The first unequivocal mention of the Neronian persecution in connection with the burning of Rome is a blatant and easily discovered and proven forgery found in the corrupted correspondence of Seneca to the wayward apostle Paul, but even that belongs to the fourth century. A fuller account of these atrocities is then given in the Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (died 403 CE), but it is mixed with the most transparent Christian legends, including the death of Simon Magus, the bishopric and sojourn of Peter at Rome (who never left Jerusalem as he was married at the time and Jewish law and custom required that he provide for his wife), and so forth and used as the background for Tacitus, Annales 15:44 f. (Cf. Hochart, Polydore (1890), De l’Authenticity des Histoires et des Annales de Tacite Paris: Ernest Thorin, 1890, points out that, whereas the Life of St. Martin and the Dialogues of Sulpicius were found in many libraries, there was only one manuscript of his Chronicle, probably of the eleventh century, which is now in the Vatican (only Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini {February 11, 1380 – October 30, 1459}, an Italian intellectual who lived at the beginning of the Italian Renaissance and had the privilege of studying Latin under Giovanni Malpaghino of Ravenna, the friend and protégé of Petrarch, and some Greek in Rome was known as a superior copyist of old manuscripts, seems by some lucky chance to have discovered and read this manuscript (ibid, p. 225).

Bracciolini’s hobby was unearthing lost manuscripts of Lucretius, Columella, Silius Italicus, Manilius and Vitruvius that he copied by hand and communicated to the learned. (Cf. Hochart, Polydore (1897) Nouvelles Considerations au sujet des Annales et des Histoires de Tacite, Paris: Thorin, 1894. pp. 142-72.)   Hence the work was almost unknown throughout the Middle Ages, and no one was aware of the reference in it to a Roman persecution of the Christians as such a persecution did not exist).  What has been forgotten (or, more exactly, deliberately erased) was the memory of the numerous savior gods and sons of gods who claimed allegiance of faithful “Christians”  (chrestianos and christianos) throughout Rome and the Empire, so the word “Christian” actually meant little in the imperial or judicial courts (Bauer, Bruno. Christus und die Caesaren. Der Ursprung des Christenhums aus dem römischen Griechenthum … Zweite Auflage (Berlin: NP), p. 216).

Truth is the first to suffer at the hands of the unscrupulous in government and religion, and this was the clearly the case in the efforts of warrior bishops who sought power and control over the masses, much in the same manner as Pope Julius II would in the days of the Renaissance.   The lies grew, as Hochart detailed, under a threefold influence: (1) The apocalyptic idea that transformed a tragic but not evil emperor, Nero, into the mythological Antichrist: The embodiment of all evil, the terrible adversary of the Messiah and his followers, by being the first to persecute a sect (chrestianos) which sought out, deliberately, martyrdom so that they could libel Nero as claiming that he was pure evil, or, as Sulpicius puts it, “because vice is always the enemy of the good” (Compare Eusebius,  Historia Ecclesiastica, ii, 28.)  (2) The political interest of the chrestianos in representing themselves as Nero’s victims so that they could win the favor and protection of his successors on that account. (3) The special interest of the bishops of the Roman Church who were hardly saints and required the invention of the two chief apostles who history was rewritten to include their martyrdom at Rome: Peter and Paul.

Copy of early tract by Seneca in Coptic written in Latin on Egyptian papyrus in the fourth century CE

The author of the letters of Seneca to Paul enlarged the legend in its primitive form, brought it into agreement with the ideas of this time, giving it a political turn. The vague charges of incendiarism assumed a more definite form complete with a background of the character of the Antichrist and graphic details of how he inflicted pathetically horrible martyrdoms on the chrestianos so that their fantasy would become the Chronicle of Sulpicius. Finally a clever forger (Poggio? He was a copyist and had the talent to match handwriting and sentence structure) smuggled the dramatic account of this persecution into the Annales of Tacitus, and thus secured the acceptance as historical fact of a purely imaginary story. But before the secret document could be made public, there had to be antecedents, and the early community of Christians had their own apologists and agenda—by declaring that the Emperor Constantine had converted and was baptized (by an Arian) on his death-bed (although the Emperor denied such a claim), and sought the persecution of Arians and others who opposed Rome. To this end an entire new theology would be founded, built on falsification of ancient documents known as holy scripture.

To change this popular plebian perception, if such a Jesus ever did exist, required near Herculean prowess to change the course of history.  This was achieved only when the emperors of the empire wanted to silence the rioting chrestianos and turned to the more pacific christianos to gain their support.  In exchange for the latter’s support, the emperors legalized the sect in the empire, but as a religion plagued with bitter divisions there was consternation among the emperors as what they should do.  The emerging Christian Church was so divided that there was no unity from 325 – 787 CE (a final rupture between east and west toke place in 1054 CE) that Christianity was not recognize as a state religion until 380 when the Emperor Theodosius issued the Edict of Thessalonica (known as Cunctos populos, was delivered on 27 February 380 by Theodosius I, Gratian, and Valentinian II in order that all their subjects should profess the faith of the bishops of Rome; Ferguson, Everett; McHugh, Michael P.; Norris, Frederick W. (1999). Encyclopedia of early Christianity, New York: Taylor & Francis, p. 1126), establishing Christianity as the official state religion.  The new state religion specifically was that established at the Council of Nicaea in 325 following the instructions and interests of Constantine. 

By creating a national religion it was the imperial goal to settle the blood wars between sects over the persistent debate between the homoousian (μοούσιος, from the Greek: ὁμός, homós, “same” and οὐσία, ousía, “essence, being the theory put forward by Athanasius, thereby known as the Athanasian thesis) viewpoint that the Father and the Son are one and the same, eternal, and the homoiousian (from the Greek: ὅμοιος, hómoios, “similar” and οὐσία, ousía, “essence, being”), or Arian interpretation that the Father and the Son are separate, but both divine. The ultimate ruling was that Jesus was “like [the Father] in all [respects]” (ὅμοιον κατὰ πάντα, hómoion katà pánta), and those who refused to accept this judgment were openly persecuted and put to death.  

Thousands were butchered over the single letter “I” and the understanding of the words “same” and “similar” which actually have nothing in common (sadly, in contemporary education many professors teach and students believe words to be compatible and identical and fail to recognize the fine-line of distinction between words that can, if wrongly interpreted, lead to conflict, bloodshed, and the carnage of wars; cp. Halsall, Paul (June 1997). “Theodosian Code XVI.i.2”. Medieval Sourcebook: Banning of Other Religions; the code is on-line at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/theodcodeXVI.html).

Edict of Toledo forbidding freedom of thought

At the same time, by the Council of Toledo, it became a crime to think independent of the church, or to question a “doctor of the church” or a mere ecclesiastical functionary.  This was in celebration of Saul/Paul’s quest for there to be universal ignorance:

“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 the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness …
But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Colossians 2.8

Lucius Lactantius wrote

What purpose does knowledge serve – for as to knowledge of natural causes, what blessing is there for me if I should know where the Nile rises, or whatever else under the heavens the ‘scientists’ rave about?”

 “What does it matter by which wisdom each of us arrives at the truth?
It is not possible that only one road leads to so sublime a mystery.”

– A plea from one of the last pagan senators, Aurelius Symmacus, to the boy emperor Valentinian II in 383, asking for freedom of thought.

 “What you are ignorant of, we know from the Word of God. And what you try to infer, we have established as truth from the very Wisdom of God.”

– Bishop Ambrose replies on behalf of the emperor


Ignorance was returning full strength with the advent of Constantine’s Christian church.  Free thought, scholarly research and writing was prohibited, and the people who lived within the empire were given no choice but to believe lies, based on the line included in a later edition of the Bible that a Boy Jesus taught lawyers and learned men in the Temple. Returning to this issue of whether or not the Jesus of the New Testament ever taught in the Temple (Luke 2:39-53) there is no document that can be dated to 20 CE (given Jesus’ age which would be under twenty), nor is there any record of any quarrel among the Pharisees about a youth instructing his elders.  However, the story of Jesus teaching in the Temple follows the theological line and mythologies of Hinduism, Greece, Rome, Tibet and other  areas.  It is simple to find tales of young teachers preaching to their elders in Ganesha; of  Minerva/Athena as a young goddess of wisdom and learning teaching in temples that would be ultimately dedicated to her; in India Acharyadevo Bhava is a teaching as a Son of God; and, in Buddhism (also out of India), The Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama [सिद्धार्थ गौतम] or in Pali: Siddhattha Gotama), who had a beginning and life identical to the Jesus of the New Testament [The Mahāpadāna Sutta and Acchariyaabbhuta Sutta both recount miraculous events surrounding Gautama’s birth, such as the bodhisattva’s descent from Tuṣita [Heaven] into his mother’s womb, for example; at age 29/30 The Buddha would begin his public ministry; and, according to the holy scriptures of The Buddha, his father approached him and said: “Ours is the warrior lineage of Mahamassata, and not a single warrior has gone seeking alms” equal to the chrestiano belief in a warrior messiah], and was the spiritual teacher who founded Buddhism) but explicitly rejected a creator god, denied endorsing any views on creation and stated that questions on the origin of the world are worthless.

The Buddha taught at a young age.  Those who followed and still follow the teaching of The Buddha sought / seek the advice of children for answers.

The Buddhist who was changed into a Christian saint: Josaphat

The Buddha has been integrated into numerous other religions: The Buddha is regarded as a prophet by the Ahmadiyyas and a Manifestation of God in the Bahá’í faith. Some early Chinese Taoist-Buddhists thought the Buddha to be a reincarnation of Lao Tzu. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches integrated the Buddha, as so many other religious figures in other faiths were merged into the choir of martyrs and saints in Christianity (such as “St. Christopher (Reprobus) who lived during the Christian persecutions of the Roman emperor Decius.  He was captured and martyred by the governor of Antioch. and according to legend was a Canaanite 5 cubits (7.5 feet (2.3 m)) tall and with a fearsome face and for that reason is frequently pictured with the head of a dog;

Icon of St. Christopher (Russian icon of Saint Christopher. Мученик Христофор. XVII в.; Museum of Rostov Kremlin)

in the Eastern Orthodox faith, Christopher is remembered on May 9th, with the salutation: “Thou who wast terrifying both in strength and in countenance, for thy Creator’s sake thou didst surrender thyself willingly to them that sought thee; for thou didst persuade both them and the women that sought to arouse in thee the fire of lust, and they followed thee in the path of martyrdom. And in torments thou didst prove to be courageous. Wherefore, we have gained thee as our great protector, O great Christopher” in the Kontakion in the Fourth Tone (hymn) Holy Transfiguration Monastery, (translation), “Kontakion in the Fourth Tone”, Saints, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 2009; Although the Roman Catholic Church still approves devotion to him, listing him in the Roman Martyrology among the saints venerated on 25 July, Pope Paul VI removed his feast day from the Roman Catholic calendar of saints in his 1969 motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis), into their faith through St. Josaphat and Blessed Barlaam both males being acknowledged as being “enlightened” [“along the difficult path of seeking ultimate truth”–Buddhism] (Read: “Barlaam and Josaphat”. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1913 on-line at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Barlaam_and_Josaphat; see also: Conybeare, F. C. (2007). The Barlaam and Josaphat legend in the ancient Georgian and Armenian literatures. Piscataway: Gorgias Press).  Although Barlaam was never formally canonized, Josaphat was, and both were included in earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology (feast day 27 November) but not in the Roman Missal; both, however, appear in the Eastern Orthodox Church liturgical calendar (26 August).  While preaching was acceptable in many ancient civilizations, and youths did take religious vows to speak for (interpret) gods, as occurred in Egypt and India, there is no mention of it in any Jewish record; therefore, the answer from a historical or logical perspective of whether or not Jesus did teach and / or preach in the Temple at Jerusalem, is negative, and the Bible does not state that Jesus was teaching at a young age (legend has it that he was twelve years of age).

Jesus, age 12, teaching in the Temple (popular contemporary art) without scriptural foundation

On the contrary, as opposed to some current Sunday School art, the passage is quite different in Luke 2 (it is the only account to carry the story) for it details that his parents, finding their son missing went back to Jerusalem and “[46] After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. [47] Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers” (και εγενετο μεθ ημερας τρεις ευρον αυτον εν τω ιερω καθεζομενον εν μεσω των διδασκαλων και ακουοντα αυτων και επερωτωντα αυτους εξισταντο δε παντες οι ακουοντες αυτου επι τη συνεσει και ταις αποκρισεσιν αυτου).  Jesus is, according to the current versions of the Christian Bible, an adult before he attempts to teach (Luke 5:17 Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διδάσκων, καὶ ἦσαν καθήμενοι Φαρισαῖοι καὶ νομοδιδάσκαλοι οἳ ἦσαν ἐληλυθότες ἐκ πάσης κώμης τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ Ἰουδαίας καὶ Ἰερουσαλήμ· κὰι δύναμις κυρίου ἦν εἰς τὸ ἰᾶσθαι αὐτόν).  The reason is simple:  Children were never allowed to preach or teach in the temple or a synagogue, for they were not trained in the laws or writings of prophets.

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Filed under Ancient Egypt, Bible, Church history, crucifixon, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther, Nazis, Roman Catholicism

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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Noah, the Ark and the Flood

Drunken Noah by Michelangelo (Sistine Chapel ceiling)

The story of a man named Noah (actually the Egyptian god Osiris) who built a boat to save animals is a worldwide myth and found in every culture, but with slight variations.  According to the Jewish and Christian bibles, this 600 year old man (Genesis 7:6) was able to coax from two (Genesis 6:19) – or seven (Genesis 7:2) of every living animal on to his wooden ship that was to be the home even to termites, depending on which scripture in the “infallible Word of God” one reads. as well as his family to survive an enormous global flood that slaughtered millions of innocent animals as well as people who did not confess to the same agricultural gods (elohim is a plural noun) as worshipped in fear by Noah. 

God Osiris is enclosed in his Ark

Interestingly, Noah was “shut up in” the Ark on the same day that the Egyptian God Osiris was enclosed in his boat to survive a worldwide flood (Acharya S [D.M. Murdock] c(2004). Suns of God : Krishna, Buddha, and Christ unveiled. Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, p. 90) along with eight passengers reflecting the solar system. These eight are equivalent to the Egyptian octet of gods, who sail the ocean in a ship.

While Christian conservative biblical literalists claim that the ark rested (when the waters subsided) on a ‘Mount Ararat,’ the Bible actually stating that the Ark came to land on the “mountains of Ararat.” (Genesis 8:4: הָרֵי אֲרָרָט it is plural). The distinction is unique and significant, as one is a rock and the other a range of mountains.  These barren mountains produced a vineyard that Noah planted (the vines were on the ark) which miraculously (overnight) with fully grown and ripe grapes that miraculous turned into wine–a wine so good that Noah gets drunk, strips off his clothes, and falls into a drunken stupor. It is at that time that Noah is seen naked by his son Ham, who runs to tell his two brothers (Sem and Japheth), who return with Ham and see the naked “loins” (the penis and testicles) and only after looking at them, cover up their father and walk out backwards from the tent that covered Noah (even though it did not exist on the ark). The act of Ham seeing Noah naked (cp. http://www.salvationhistory.com/documents/scripture/JBL%20Gen9.pdf and an apologetic at http://www.ukapologetics.net/canaan.html) and laughing at his sex organ so infuriated the drunk patriarch that he curses allowed–not his son Ham who saw the penis and testicles, but Ham’s son Canaan for all eternity (Genesis 9:21-27):

כ  וַיָּחֶל נֹחַ, אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה; וַיִּטַּע, כָּרֶם. 20 And Noah the husbandman began, and planted a vineyard.
כא  וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מִן-הַיַּיִן, וַיִּשְׁכָּר; וַיִּתְגַּל, בְּתוֹךְ אָהֳלֹה. 21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
כב  וַיַּרְא, חָם אֲבִי כְנַעַן, אֵת, עֶרְוַת אָבִיו; וַיַּגֵּד לִשְׁנֵי-אֶחָיו, בַּחוּץ. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
כג  וַיִּקַּח שֵׁם וָיֶפֶת אֶת-הַשִּׂמְלָה, וַיָּשִׂימוּ עַל-שְׁכֶם שְׁנֵיהֶם, וַיֵּלְכוּ אֲחֹרַנִּית, וַיְכַסּוּ אֵת עֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם; וּפְנֵיהֶם, אֲחֹרַנִּית, וְעֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם, לֹא רָאוּ. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
כד  וַיִּיקֶץ נֹחַ, מִיֵּינוֹ; וַיֵּדַע, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה לוֹ בְּנוֹ הַקָּטָן. 24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his youngest son had done unto him.
כה  וַיֹּאמֶר, אָרוּר כְּנָעַן:  עֶבֶד עֲבָדִים, יִהְיֶה לְאֶחָיו. 25 And he said: Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
כו  וַיֹּאמֶר, בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי שֵׁם; וִיהִי כְנַעַן, עֶבֶד לָמוֹ. 26 And he said: Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be their servant.
כז  יַפְתְּ אֱלֹהִים לְיֶפֶת, וְיִשְׁכֹּן בְּאָהֳלֵי-שֵׁם; וִיהִי כְנַעַן, עֶבֶד לָמוֹ. 27 God enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents

This lay the ground for hatred that has since then caused an enormous amount of racism and suffering based on a pernicious and deleterious biblical fable.  Much of this legend comes from the twisted tales centered around Japheth. As Oxford University Hebrew professor George Henry Bateson Wright has written (Wright, George Henry Bateson (1985). Was Israel ever in Egypt? London: Williams & Norgate, page 51):

JAPHETH – Ewald…shows, with great probability, that this was a god of the north, as Ham was of the south, once again in imitation of Hindu mythology. Moreover, the fact, that in the Armenian legend, derived from “Assyrian or Babylonian documents,” the three sons of Xisuthros, who corresponds to Noah, are Zervin, Titan, and Japetosthe, is very instructive, suggesting that the unknown foreign word was retained in its original form…

While the bible does condemn seeing a parent’s “nakedness”, the word “nakedness” does not mean nudity; rather it refers to a sexual act.  The phrase “exposing or uncovering nakedness” is used several times elsewhere in the Pentateuch as a euphemism for sexual relations: the story may therefore be obliquely describing Canaan’s origin as the result of an incestuous relationship between Ham and Noah’s wife (his own mother–plagiarized from the account of Oedipus.

Oedipus slaying the Sphinx (British Museum Vase E696)

Oedipus (in Greek: Οἰδίπους which means “swollen foot” symbolic of fertility and excessive sexuality) had a daughter by a women he did not know was his mother, Jocasta {they had four children: two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, and two daughters, Antigone and Ismene which helped enrich the land and bring prosperity} slaying her husband, and marrying her to gain the kingdom, as was common in that epoch. Oedipus became especially popular when he slew the sphinx, and there was no concern about his marriage until much later.

The relationship or marriage between Oedipus and Jocasta was declared a curse only when the kingdom fell under a plague. Being a superstitious people, many believed that the marriage was against the will of the gods since Jocasta was much older than the new king. This popular concept became the foundation for tragedy written in 467 BCE by the Athenian playwright, Aeschylus.

It does follow the script put out in the various redactions of the book Genesis–including the rather hidden sexual side. Seeing the nakedness of a parent was forbidden, but not an action cursed. That is because “seeing the nakedness” implied illicit (or priestly prohibited) sexuality.  The Genesis story may easily have been describing Ham sodomising his father (or in his drunkenness, unknowingly as was the case with Lot whose daughters made him drunk so they could have sex with him and conceive his children (Genesis 19:33ff), Noah unwittingly sodomising Ham. Sodomy was wrong inasmuch as an emerging nation needed soldiers and to stop the act of procreation was considered more of a crime against the nation than any of that nation’s gods (in Genesis, “god” is elohim which is a plural noun for gods and goddesses). Worse yet for later generations, sodomy was considered a pagan act of worship reserved for “false” gods (see: 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: Monument). The possibility of Genesis 9:20-27 is a concept that has been pushed through by a more radical Jewish rabbinical group, who created the original racist overtones. The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 108b states: “Our Rabbis taught: Three copulated in the ark, and they were all punished—the dog, the raven, and Ham. The dog was doomed to be tied, the raven expectorates [his seed into his mate’s mouth], and Ham was smitten in his skin.” {Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 108b} The nature of Ham’s “smitten” skin is unexplained, but later commentaries described this as a darkening of skin. A later note to the text states that the “smitten” skin referred to the blackness of descendants, and a later comment by rabbis in the Bereshit Rabbah asserts that Ham himself emerged from the ark black-skinned while the Zohar states that Ham’s son Canaan “darkened the faces of mankind”. (cp.  בראשית רבה and Book of Jubilees  7:7-13; cf. Solors, Werner (1997), Neither Black nor White Yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature, Oxford University Press, p. 87; cf. Ide, Arthur Frederick (1992). Noah & the Ark: The Influence of Sex, Homophobia & Heterosexism in the Flood Story and its Writing. Las Colinas: Monument). Much of this comes from each more ancient Egyptian legends, which depict a select group of military (each of the men represented a zodiac symbol) carrying the ark so that no sexuality can take place until after the flood and then only among the chosen pairs.

Carrying the Ark over the turbulence of the flood (Egyptian)

The biblical account was neither new nor unique, but like most parts of the Old and New Testament, plagiarized from far older scriptures of far older civilizations from Egypt to Akkadia and beyond.  The Sumero-Armenian Ziusudra/Xisuthros had three sons, including one named “Japetosthes,” essentially the same as Noah’s son Japheth, also related to Pra-japati or Jvapeti, son of the Indian Menu, whose other sons possessed virtually the same names as those of Noah, i.e., Shem/Sem (the ancestor to all people who speak a semitic language: Akkadian, arabic, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Hebrew, and Phoenician; the semitic language actually is a subfamily of Afroasiatic languages) and Ham. None of it is original. The story can be found in every illiterate community that has existed anywhere on this planet.

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USA the most racist nation on the Water Planet (Earth)

Lynching of Larua Nelson (Okemah OK) May 25, 1911, after she tried to rescue her son from the brutality of the sheriff and ended it by helping her son kill the sheriff.

Racism has been the backbone of USA history long before there was a USA. The colonies were racist from the beginning, viewing anyone who was not white or Protestant as being unfit for heaven or equal treatment. Black people, especially in Oklahoma were primary suspects when ever a crime was committed; it was common and standard practice throughout Oklahoma in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to seek out a Black person who could have been anywhere near the scene of the crime, and arrest the individual “for questioning” even if the Black suspect was with family, in a church, or visiting with friends. In Oklahoma, Black people were considered to be guilty before any trial and it was the obligation of the accused to prove his or her own innocence, as court appointed defending lawyers were lackluster at best (as became a subject for the books by John Grishom).  Once accused by a Oklahoma sheriff, the Black person has two options: go peacefully and face either judicial murder or to be lynched by a gang of white Oklahomans who would be allowed to enter the jail where the Black was being held and remove the accused while the sheriff went to lunch, or to strike back and either kill or disable the sheriff and flee. 105 Blacks were lynched in 1901, and 85 om 1902, and so forth (see: http://themidnightdj.tripod.com/1900-1940.htm; Oklahoma refused to let the story of Black suffering appear in its textbooks until recently: http://www.globalafrica.com/BlkHlcst.htm. Little has changed since 1900: http://www.helium.com/items/683100-comparison-of-racism-today-to-racism-of-the-early-1900s).

Lynching of Jasper Landry (William Stark) and his wife Mattie Edwards 1919.

Legally sanctioned racism imposed a heavy burden on Native Americans (who were forced to live on reservations), African-Americans (who were not made free until after the American Civil War–and then only by a constitutional amendment–but in fact remained enslaved to low wages, separate drinking fountains, schools, and so forth), Asian Americans (who were marched into concentration camps (euphemistically called “internment camps” that are particularly associated with World War II, but also occurred during World War I. Most significant was the Japanese American internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during WWII. There was also internment of almost 11,000 German Americans in German American internment during WWII, see: Arnold Krammer, Undue Process: The Untold Story of America’s German Alien Internees (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), p. 14; and some Italian American internment camps, see: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/50/21.html; cp. Riley, Karen Lea (2002). Schools Behind Barbed Wire : the Untold Story of Wartime Internment and the Children of Arrested Enemy Aliens. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield) especially during World War II), and Mexican Americans and Arab Americans (the former were reserved for agricultural work with Arabs being in the colonies and early days of the Republic allowed to manage small businesses; In a 2009 survey, 52% agreed there is “a lot of discrimination” against Hispanics; 49% agreed when asked the same question about Blacks; 58% when asked about Muslims. Pew Center for People and the Press, “Muslims Widely Seen As Facing Discrimination,” September 9, 2009) were the most oppressed by legally sanctioned racism, and all groups were for various periods of time were enslaved, raped, and murdered by white people who were never charged with the crime nor punished.

Eastern and Southern European, Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Christians were second class citizens by law, and American Jews, Irish Americans, suffered xenophobic exclusion and other forms of racism in American society.  Seminaries that catered to Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists, openly preached that sin could be seen in the color of a man’s skin: the blacker the man, the greater the sin. The text used by the seminaries to justify discrimination was the biblical account of the sin of Ham, son of Noah (Genesis 9:18-10:32 with special reference to 9:20-27; Daly, John Patrick When Slavery Was Called Freedom: Evangelicalism, Proslavery, and the Causes of the Civil War (Religion in the South The University Press of Kentucky (31 Oct 2004), p. 37; and, Sylvester A. Johnson (2004). The myth of Ham in nineteenth-century American Christianity: race, heathens, and the people of God. New York: Macmillan. p. 37). At the same time white European Protestant Americans were privileged by law in matters of literacy, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, and criminal procedure over periods of time extending from the 17th century to the 1960s when it took the courage of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson to bring about equality.

Women and children celebrating a midnight lynching

Black people, who were considered property by law and under the original Constitution of the USA, had no rights. Black men, particularly, were not allowed to even go out on the street without “identity papers” that were used against them as a form of harassment, intimidation, and discrimination throughout the years of the American empire. This did not change until the 15th Amendment at enfranchised Black males over the age of 25.

A young girl proudly wears her KKK robes to attend a cross burning

Children were the special targets for KKK indoctrination. From infancy on, the children of KKK members dressed their children in KKK robes, took them to cross-burnings, taught them a rigid Old Testament theology of the sin of Ham (who saw his father naked, for which not he but his son Canaan was “cursed” and his skin turned black as a sign of his father’s sin), and were taught to hate all non-Protestants and those whose skin pigmentation was not white. They were and continue to be supporters of Nazi ideology, have become a new hate group known as Sovereign Citizen, and are adamant supporters of Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Annette Sweeney, James Inhofe, and others on the far right.  The KKK now has a firm foothold in all midwestern states, with the KKK flourishing in Iowa cities Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Boone, Des Moines, Alden, Marshalltown and others where there are growing groups of minorities. The Southern Poverty Law Center has a detailed map (http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map#s) outlining the spread of the Nazi movement.  The movement has taken over many fundamentalist churches and sects and has led to the formation of such groups as Focus on the Family, The Family Leader, and The Family of C Street.

John Heith lynched in Arizona in 1884

White people had no qualms lynching any black person (although more males than females were hung to the gleeful squeals of white “Christian” women and the enthusiastic applause of evangelical Christian  men while little white “Christian” children made hanging ropes and invented the grotesque game of “hangman’s bluff” in a way to learn language). IN the United States, the lynching of Blacks (male, female, old, young, children as young as four years of age) was considered a “photographic sport” and in such backward states as Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana, parties were held to “watch the niggers kick.” Lynching, in fact, in such outlandish areas as rural western Texas were excused even if the lynching

Will James lynched in a circus atmosphere in Cairo, IL on November 11, 1909.

Will James lynched in a circus atmosphere in Cairo, IL on November 11, 1909.

dragged Blacks behind “cowboy trucks” until the skin was removed by the rocks and dirt that made up the roadways from bar to bar. In 1871, at least 18 Chinese-Americans were killed by the mob rampaging through Old Chinatown in Los Angeles, after a white businessman was inadvertently caught in the crossfire of a tong battle. Between 1848 and 1860, at least 163 Mexicans were lynched in California alone. (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2005/is_2_37/ai_111897839/pg_9/) One particularly infamous lynching occurred on July 5, 1851, when a Mexican woman named Josefa Segovia was lynched by a mob in Downieville, California. She was accused of killing a white man who had attempted to assault her after breaking into her home Jews and Orientals were not treated with the same degree of severity, but were equally assaulted for not being “White and Christian” that became the most celebrated hate organization in this evil empire’s history: The Khristian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan who daily sought to lynch those of Italian descent as being equal to any Black “scum”.

Evangelical Christian rioters breaking into New Orleans parish prison 1891

The New Orleans lynching of eleven Italian immigrants was precipitated by this open hatred in 1891 New Orleans.  It was the largest mass lynching in the history of the USA. (See: Milestones of the Italian American Experience, National Italian Foundation; cp. “An Extreme Prejudice: Anti-Italian Sentiment and Violence in Louisiana, 1855-1924,” by Alan G. Gauthreaux, History4All, Inc.) The crime of the Italian immigrants was that they were Roman Catholic and foreign-born.

Adolf Hitler leaving church after praying with Lutherans and Catholics

When Hitler rose from obscurity to become the leader of the Third Reich, racists throughout the USA applauded his election and flew the Nazi flag beside the USA, while lynching black women, men and children in celebration.

Adolf Hitler and Prescott Bush (grandfather of George W. Bush)

Most commented on the greatness of Hitler who would restore the white race, and US Senator Prescott Bush (R-CT) rushed to fund Hitler’s cause, especially on learning that Hitler proclaimed himself (repeatedly) to be a good Christian and proudly noted that he always carried with him Martin Luther’s New Testament with him and waved it at his rallies, identical to Vander Plaats use of the Bible at his rallies: Helmreich, Ernst Christian (1979), The German Churches Under Hitler, Wayne State University Press, p. 139).  Southern Baptists, especially in Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama celebrated the “rebirth of freedom from the sin of Ham” and saluted their co-religionists in Germany. German Baptists openly acclaimed Hitler was a Christian, and in the USA “U.S. Baptists said surprisingly nice things about Hitler”, Baptist Standard, by Professor Lloyd Allen – Church History at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky — May 27, 2002; As Allen noted:

“This focus on [Hitler’s] personal piety resulted partially from a frontier religious ethic. On the American frontier, where Baptist strength arose in the Second Great Awakening, the most crucial ethical decisions were personal–alcoholism, spousal abuse and violence. Few complex social structures existed on the frontier to attract a sustained moral critique. Baptists equated eliminating the sins of the flesh with Christian living.”

 Mass evangelism was a second factor in Baptist blindness to the Nazi evil. Some Baptists believed that evangelism and the world order were two circles that never intersected … “Evangelical Christianity transcends all political and social systems,” according to an Alabama Baptist article that appeared that same year. As long as governments, even fascist governments, did not interfere with soul-saving, they could be tolerated.” [Ibid.]

The intolerance of the evangelicals in Germany lit the fires of hatred in numerous states throughout the Third Reich, a fire that carried over to the 2008 election in the Midwest USA, funded by Koch Industries money funneled into the campaigns of Scott Walker (R-WI), Terry Branstadt (R-IA), and others from Indiana to New Jersey and Florida. The Protestants and Roman Catholics through the Nazi empire pointed to the numerous records attesting to Hitler’s piety and Christianity and hatred for Jews, Blacks, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Adventists, etc. and demanded and supported the state sanctioned holocaust of the Jews, Adventists, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Polish and White Russians.

Today the fires of racial hatred are fanned by would-be-president of the USA, real estate mogul Donald Trump who shields his well-heeled superrich on luxury golf courses behind foreboding forests and thick underbrush.  Donald Trump’s racism is, and has been easily exposed but the media refuses to call Trump’s spade that turns over trash for what it is: garbage.  At the Daily Beast, Andrew Sullivan observes that Trump had thrown down “the affirmative action card to pump up the GOP base,” and it’s time to take stock: “We might as well concede it: these are racist smears.” (http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/04/trumps-not-so-great-relationship-with-the-blacks.html) Sullivan notes, furthermore, “We can and should dismiss this man as a clown. But what’s so riveting is that he is testing just how powerful a clown can be when pressing every populist, racist button the GOP has deployed for years – and doing it with a crudeness that Karl Rove would never quite deploy.” Donald Trump questioned, repeatedly, how Obama, as a black man from a modest background could enter Columbia and Harvard–while conveniently, like most Birthers and racists, ignore that Obama was the editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated from Harvard magna cum laude (with the highest honors).

Alex Pareene, at Salon‘s War Room blog, wrote a crisp lede in his story on the emergence of SATs on Trump’s publicity tour: “Donald Trump added a blatantly race-baiting component to his already racially charged campaign against Barack Obama’s Americanness this week….based on things he heard”:

“How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records,” he said, without providing backup for his claim.

Trump added, “I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and they can’t get into Harvard.”

President Obama, Jared Krushner, Donald Trump

Trump trounced what he sees as the affirmative action of Harvard for someone who is unqualified (Obama, because he is Black) but never mentions that there truly was one male who was so dull, and such a below-average student who (without any explaination) made his way into Harvard: Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.  Kushner’s father, real estate developer Charles Kushner, bought Jared his Harvard acceptance, which cost the senior Kushner $2.5 million (after bribing jurors and evading taxes–for which reason he was sent to jail; http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/17/books/review/Wolff2.t.html?_r=1 commenting on Daniel Golden, The price of admission : how America’s ruling class buys its way into elite colleges–and who gets left outside the gates; 1st pbk ed., New York : Three Rivers Press, c2007). The junior Krushner went on to buy the New York Observer with additional “dirty money” gleaned by money laundering.

Over on cable, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell has been especially strong in calling out Trump, noting that he has become a “hero” to racists, O’Donnell charged on Wednesday’s “The Last Word” that NBC knows if Trump will run for President.  He insisted that NBC settle the question right away and avoid being part of what he called Trump’s “campaign to legitimize hatred and racism.” (http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/politics/msnbc-host-has-latest-trump-racism-charge-042811)

CNN blogger, Fareed Zakaria, opting for truth than the fake “balance” defined by the network, flatly dispatched Trump’s birther crusade as “shame[ful] coded racism” (http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/22/fareed-zakaria-on-the-donald-trump-fantasy/). In this he is joined by former Philadelphia mayor Wilson Googe, and numerous other national figures including Bob Schieffer who has been at CBS since 1969.

It is no surprise that Donald Trump tells no one that the Department of Justice of the government of the USA is suing him over racial discrimination in housing when he was in his 20s, and openly refused to rent to Blacks. 

The Government contended that Trump Management had refused to rent or negotiate rentals “because of race and color.” It also charged that the company had required different rental terms and conditions because of race and that it had misrepresented to blacks that apartments were not available. While he claimed that he had nothing to do with the actual renting of homes, certificates, titles and other papers has his name and signature as the lessor. While he has falsely claimed he settled with the US government, even into the 1980s charges were brought that at least 95% of all residences in his Trump Villages were rented by white people. (See: http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/04/28/donald_trump_discrimination_suit)

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The Ancient Story of the Birth of A Saviour

Nearly 16000 years ago, there was fashioned a fascinating portrayal of a young woman, some who now call her the Maiden Queen, Mut-em-ua, the future mother of Amenhept III, and who was believed to be the incarnate of Isis—the sister/wife of Osiris. Both Mut-em-ua and Isis were specially impregnated: Mut-em-ua by angels, who were gods, and Isis who would fertilize herself with the seed of her slaughtered brother/husband Osiris, so that each would give birth to the baby Horus or Amenhept. 

Goddess Isis who self-impregnated to become Mother of God

This scene we find upon the innermost walls of the most sacred chamber in the Temple of Luxor, built by Amenhept III, Pharaoh (a word that translates and means “Sons of God”) of the 17th dynasty.  Mut-em-ua was hailed as a “virgin-mother” (as was the Goddess Isis, without sexual (penile intromission) intercourse since her husband had been murdered by his evil brother; ref. Luke 1:26-33); because neither Isis nor Mut-em-ua sexually “knew” (experienced vaginal penetration) a man each woman was given the title of Goddess of Creation and Mother of God.  In the Greek it appears as Theotokos (Θεοτόκος: giving birth to [or, Mother of] God and is found on the Rosetta stone; it is close to the Slavonic Богородица).  Here are the panels that began the Story of the Nativity:

Temple of Luxor (Egypt) Nativity Scene

While these panels have been subject of much debate (proactive and detractive, to support and condemn the Egyptian antecedents to the Jesus of the New Testament), what has not been established is why the story in ancient Egypt parallels that in the New Testament. The “virginity” of Mary had nothing to do with her hymen, but rather age: the word “virgin” means “young girl” and does not require sexual purity, abstinence or other unnatural and abnormal sex habits such as chastity. For that reason, we take a closer look at the panels.

In the bottom scene we see the God Taht (Thoth) who would become the Latin god Mercury who would be Micha-el in Hebrew.  In the next panel we see the god Kneph (the Egyptian Holy Ghost) and the goddess Hathor hold crosses which were in ancient Egypt a sign of life (not death nor crucifixion) and were originally to symbolize the head and nostrils  (cf. Genesis 2:7, cp. Luke 1:31-35) of Isis and mystically impregnate her.  The third panel shows the birth of the child who was known as Karst (Son of God) and born on a footstool (better translated as a “manger”: being made of wood on which to place the midwife and newborn child). The fourth panel shows the child receiving homage from gods and gifts from men: magi (an Egyptian word for magicians) who present gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (the latter to be used at the time of death).  See: Gerald Massey, Gerald (1907), Ancient Egypt: Light of the World, Vol. II, p. 757 [London, T. Fisher Unwin], and for the “Mother of God” development in Methodius of Patra, Speech on Symeon and the Holy Theotokos:  Λαβομένη η Θεοτόκος των εκ του αχράντου και παναμώμου αυτής θυσιαστηρίου σαρκωθέντα ζωοποιόν και ανέκφραστον άνθρακα ως λαβίδι … επί τούτοις παρουσιασάμενος ο δίκαιος και τη προτροπή είξας της διακονησαμένης Θεώ προς ανθρώπους Θεομήτορος … περιφανώς ιερά θεομήτωρ εξετέλει, which is also found in the Armenian Աստուածածին and the Georgian ღვთისმშობელი.  Such a woman “who is ever virgin…and holy and pure (Ἄξιόν ἐστιν ὡς ἀληθῶς μακαρίζειν σὲ τὴν Θεοτόκον, τὴν ἀειμακάριστον καὶ παναμώμητον καὶ μητέρα του Θεο μν [emphasis added])” can be traced back 16,000 years to ancient Egypt, although Plutarch does discuss the nativity and life of Horus in his essay On Isis and Osiris (Plutarch, Moralia, Part 1 which is available in the Loeb Classical Library or at http://platopagan.tripod.com/plutarch_essay.htm). 

Concerning the virgin birth we find:

Isis the powerful, protectress of her brother, who sought him tirelessly,
who traversed this land in mourning and did not rest until she found him;
who gave him shade with her feathers and air with her wings;
who cried out, the mourning woman of her brother
who summoned dancers for the Weary of Heart;

who took in his seed and created the heir,
who suckled the child in solitude, no one knew where,
who brought him, when his arm was strong,
into the hall of Geb — the Ennead rejoiced:

“Welcome, Osiris’ son, Horus, stout of heart, justified, son of Isis, heir of Osiris.”

(Hymn to Osiris, Dynasty 18, stela Louvre C 286; from Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt by Jan Assmann, trans by David Lorton (Cornell University Press, 2001), p. 24-25)

This Egyptian title for Mary does not appear until the third century CE in the Christian church founded by the Emperor Constantine, as to do so invited charges of unlawful and unwarranted entry into matters left for the Emperor, which even Eusebius of Caesarea affirmed in his History of the Christian Church. Dionysius of Alexandria used Theotokos in about 250, in an epistle to Paul of Samosata. What becomes the Roman Catholic church does not transmogrify history by rewriting entire chapters of ancient Egyptian theology into the mythology of Paulinity that emerges as Christianity until the days of Theodoret who wrote in 436 the unusual (and highly condemned) appellation calling the Virgin Mary Theotokos, and then going so far as to desecrate historical accuracy and truth with the lie that it had always been an apostolic tradition—even though it is found no where in the New Testament nor anywhere in the original ancient scrolls.  The Patriarch Nestorius (Νεστόριος; c. 386 – c. 451) of Constantinople, who was more knowledgeable about Christianity than anyone else in his era, argued that Mary should be called Christotokos (Χριστοτόκος), meaning “Birth-giver of Christ,” to restrict her role to the mother of Christ’s humanity only and not his divine nature, summarizing that Mary never gave birth to any god (which he wrote in his third letter to “Celestine of Rome” a bishop among bishops, not supreme, absolute, primary, or infallible (see: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/nestorius_two_letters_01.htm which is a fifth century translation into Latin by Marius Mercator [Loofs, Nesotiana, 181-182)—as that was a pagan (country or non-Christian) belief (there has been found an ancient manuscript copied from the writings of Nestorius and known as the Bazaar of Heracleides which is in Syriac and at http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/; fragments, in English, are at http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/nestorius_bazaar_99_appendices.htm; synopses in Spanish are at http://mb-soft.com/believe/tsc/nestoria.htm ).

The First Council of Ephesus in 431 was called by the Emperor Theodosius II (401-450).  It was neither an ecumenical council nor one that was brought about to establish or restore harmony, but one that was corrupted by the venal Pope Celestine I. Ever greedy for additional revenue, Celestine deposed the Archbishop of Constantinople before the contingent of Eastern bishops from Antioch arrived—all of whom supported Nestorius. In retaliation for the usurpation, John I of Antioch and the eastern bishops convened their own council and deposed the crafty Cyril who led a group of renegade clergy intent on crafting their own theology. Cyril was allowed to return only after bribing numerous bishops and courtiers (John I., McEnerney (1998). St. Cyril of Alexandria Letters 51-110. Fathers of the Church Series: 77.  Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press. p. 151).  The Latin Fathers were worried that the Eastern bishops were too close to Egypt and the Coptic, Syriac and Ethiopic brands of Christianity that did too little homage to the bishop of Rome who was working to making his see paramount and princely over all other sees. For this reason, Celestine needed to work ancient Egyptian theology into the fabric of Christianity over the rejection and objection of Eastern primates and bishops. The Eastern rites knew that Jesus came from Egyptian lore thousands of years before any Jesus was crafted by any hand in the writing of the basic book on The Christ: the senior magician of ancient Egypt who could change water into wine and multiple loaves of bread which he would proclaim were his own body and blood.

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