Tag Archives: Trinity

Apostolic Succession and the Papacy–separating fact from fiction

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

712 BCE

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

509 BCE

Papirius Complete dates in office unknown.

449 BCE

Furius Complete dates in office unknown.

431 BCE

Cornelius Cossas Complete dates in office unknown.

420 BCE

Minucius Complete dates in office unknown.

390 BCE

Follius Flaccinator Complete dates in office unknown.

332 – 304 BCE

Cornelius Callissa  

304 – ? BCE

Cornelius Scipio Barbatus Complete dates in office unknown.

254 – 243 BCE

Tiberius Coruncanius First Plebeian Pontifex Maximus

243- 221 BCE

Caecilius Metellus  

217 – 213 BCE

Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus  

212 – 183 BCE

Licinius Crassus Dives  

183 – 180 BCE

Servilius Geminus  

180 – 152 BCE

Aemilius Lepidus  

152 -150 BCE

No Pontifex Maximus  

150 – 141 BCE

Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum  

141 – 132 BCE

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

132 – 130 BCE

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

? – 115 BCE

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

114 – 103 BCE

Caecilius Metellus Delmaticus  

103 – 89 BCE

Domitius Ahenobarbus  

89 – 82 BCE

Q. Mucius Scaevola  

81 – 63 BCE

Caecilius Metellus Pius  

63 – 44 BCE

Gaius Julius Caesar  

44 – 13 BCE

Aemilius Lepidus  

12 BCE

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

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

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

Non Albana mihi sit comissatio tanti

Nec Capitolinae pontificumque dapes;

Inputet ipse deus nectar mihi, fiet acetum

Et Vaticani perfida vappa cadi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Petronilla daughter of Peter (13th century)

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

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

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

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

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

God Enki walks out of the water to the land

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

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

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

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

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

Moschophoros (Athens 570 BCE)

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

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

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

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

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

Tertullian of Carthage (Africa)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Josemarie Escriva: the end justifies the means

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

Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru

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

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

Clement of Rome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amrit Sanskar

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

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

Holy Water for Purification in the theology of the Goddess Isis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Babylonians honored the resurrection of their god, Tammuz

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

Lupercalia: the ancient custom of Lent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miniature shrine XVIIIth Dynasty ca 1325 BCE darkness to hide deity

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

Seti I consecrating offerings ca 1285 BCE XIX Dynasty

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

Commemorative Taurobolium Altar (Rome ca 295 BCE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Justin: “‘You are right,’ I replied.

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

Justin: “‘It does not appear so.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Siricius

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hieroglyphic at Abyd

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resurrection, Immortality, Trinity

Christians today argue that Jesus was the first and only person resurrected from the grave, that immortality is part of Jewish and Christian theology, and that the concept of three-gods-in-one-god (the Trinity) is unique to and with Christianity.  None of that is true.

Resurrection, immortality, and the Trinity are thousands of years older than Christianity or the establishment of the Christian church by the Emperor Constantine at his Council of Nicaea in the fourth century CE (325 CE).  We find the accounts of all three theological concepts going back to ancient Egypt (see Pleyte and Rossi, Papyrus de Turin. Facsimilés par F. Rossi de Turin, et publiés par W. Pleyte de Leideplates. Leide, E. J. Brill, 1869-76, plates 31, 77, 131, 138; cp. Wiedemann, Die Religion, p. 29, with summaries in Erman, Adolf (1934). Die Religion der Ägypter, ihr Werden und Vergehen in vier Jahrtausenden, Berlin, De Gruyter; and Erman, Adolf (1923). Aegypten und aegyptisches leben im altertum, von Adolf Erman; neu bearb. von Hermann Ranke, mit einem farbigen titelbild, 100 abbildungen auf 42 tafeln, sowie 276 strichzeichnungen, 2 karten und Schriftproben im text. Tübingen, Mohr, p. 359; cp. Maspero, Gaston Camille Charles (1901?). Histoire ancienne des peuples de l’Orient classique”, [1] Les origines, Égypte et Chaldée. [2] Les premières mêlées des peuples. [3] Les empires. London, The Grolier society [1901?], Vol. 1, pp. 162-164; original English translated from the French published under the title of Life in ancient Egypt and Assyria. From the French of G. Maspéro. With one hundred and eighty-eight illustrations, New York, D. Appleton and company, 1892: an abbreviated version).

We read the account of the resurrection in the Papyrus of Nekht (British Museum, No. 10471, Sheet 21): O Ra, who are Heru-Khuti, the divine man-child, the heir of eternity, self-begotten and self-born, king of the earth, prince of the Tuat [Other World] … you are the god of life, you the lord of love, all men live when you shine, you are crowned king of all the gods … [You are the] lord of eternity, the prince of everlastingness, you sovereign of all the gods, you the god of life, you creator of eternity, you maker of heaven wherein you are firmly established.  The Company of the Gods rejoice at your rising, the earth is glad when it beholds your rays; the people who have been long dead come forth with cries of joy to see your beauties every day [as they resurrect from their earthly graves] in this rapture:

Papyrus of Kekht (British Museum No. 19471 Sheet 21)

While the Trinity (Osiris, Isis, and Horus) have always played a unified role in ancient Egyptian theology, they are not unique.  The Trinity, however, had a special role in preserving the body and guaranteeing the faithful immortality. This ran from the first dynasty up to and including the Ptolemaic period were there was a common theme: “Soul to heaven body to earth” (5th dynasty), “The essence is in heaven, your body to earth” (sixth dynasty), to “Heaven has your soul, the earth has your body” (Ptolemaic period).  All of these are reflected in the Papyrus of Ani, Chapter LXXXIV (Plate XXVIII.1.15) which reads: “I am Shu or divine company. My soul is God [and] my soul is eternity.” (Cp. Recueil de travaux relatifs à la philologie et à l’archéologie égyptiennes et assyriennes. 1870-1888: Paris : F. Vieweg, Libr., [1870-1923], t. IV, p. 71, l. 582, and V, p. 45, l. 304; an online translation, minus the hieroglyphics, is at http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/ebod/ebod05.htm; the original was printed in 1866 in Paris; my copy is to fragile from constant reading and reference to reproduce for this blog).

The concept of the soul appears in the Hymn for Sunrise (Papyrus of Ani pl. 21):  [26b] “You mould your limbs as you advance, you bring them forth, you who never was brought forth in the form of Ra [you are eternal], who ascends into the highest part of heaven.  Grant that I may reach the heaven of eternity [everlasting life], and the region where your favored ones dwell. May I unite with [l. 28] those holy and perfect Spirit-souls of Khert-Neter. … [l. 29] My two hands are raised to you in praise and thanksgiving [l. 30] when you set in life  (i.e. as a living being, or in the Land of Life]. Behold, you are the Creator of Eternity (or Eternal Creator), who are adored when you set in Nu [deified celestial waters: holy waters]. I have set you in my heart, without [l. 31] wavering, as You are more divine than the [other] gods”, with the papyrus as presented here:

"Hymn for sunrise" (Resurrection of the dead), Papyrus of Ani pl. 21

 The Holy Egyptian Trinity:

While Egyptian theology believed in immortality, few others did, and no tribe in the Middle East had a concept of an afterlife. The Apiru (who would become the Hebrews) saw death as opening to darkness.  Ancient Arabs saw life as stopping and consciousness evaporating. But one thing all cultures had in common, save for the most backward in the Middle East after the fall of the advanced civilization of Babylon, was the concept of a Trinity–which began both in ancient Egypt and India and spread outward but did not take hold in what would become ancient Israel until after the fifth century CE.

All ancient civilizations in Africa, Asia and Europe had three gods leagued together: one was always a child who was growing in intelligence and thus considered to be Knowledge (logos).  Statues of these Trinities are common place.  The most common came out of India and Hindu theology. 

Trimurti (Hindu Trinity)

YHWH weds Asherah (ancient Canaanite art)

From India came the Apiru, a disgruntled agricultural lot of migrant marauders led by a mythological father known as Abraham (the Hindu god Brahma) who sold his wife only to reclaim her with demands of extortion to gain cattle, sheep, and other forms of wealth. Even the Apiru came to Cana they came with their gods, the favored being the agricultural god YHWH (2 Kings 18:4; 21:7; cf. http://blog.eteacherbiblical.com/2008/05/25/married-deities-asherah-and-yahweh-in-early-israelite-religion/).

Yah of Samaria and his Asherah (old potsherd)

 There were many Yah gods throughout the lands of Egypt (where the word originated), Canaan,  and Assyria.  Yah is associated with the moon-god of Egypt and is symbolized with the heifer/cow gods of Jeroboam reflecting the ancient India cultural theology of worshipping the cow (in Egypt the cow was associated with the goddess Isis and a part of sexual ritual that included homosexuality and bestiality–both which were commonly accepted formats of worshipping the deity and not condemned), and accompanied by goats (those easily led).  The consort of Yahweh was not the one playing the flute–but the cow (which is why some societies still refer to the wife as a cow or heifer).   There is no validity to the claim that Yahweh was unique nor the real God of Israel–as archaeology and ancient texts shows that Yah belongs to the pantheon of Egyptian deities. 

Babylonians used an equilateral triangle to represent this three-in-one god. Babylonians worshiped a trinity of gods: Ea – the god of water, Anu – the god of the sky, and Enlil – the storm god. Later, a second trinity developed – Sin, Shamash and Ishtar.

King Melishipak I (1186–1172 B.C.E.) presents his daughter to Shamash, the sun, represented at the right, next to Nanna and Ishtar.

From the Babylonian culture came the ontology and theology of the Sumerians.

Sumerian gods (wings depicted rapid movement in flight)

According to the Sumerians their gods came from a distant planet they were told was called Nibiru (Planet of the Crossing.)  The Assyrians and Babylonians called it ‘Marduk’, after their chief god.  Sumerians left a long history of these space travelers, whom, they were told, developed their astrology and told the Sumerians that one year on planet Nibiru, a sar, was equivalent in time to 3600 earth years.  The Nibirus also claimed that Anunnaki lifespans were 120 sars which is 120 x 3600 or 432,000 years, and that they had been on the planet we know as Earth for 440,000 years. According to the King List 120 sars had passed from the time the Anunnaki arrived on Earth to the time of the Flood that covered Sumeria (it did not cover the earth). However when the Lofty Ones [space travellers] came to Earth their lifespans began to sync with Earth’s faster orbit and they faced rapid aging compared to that on Nibiru. The Sumerians never called the Anunnaki, ‘gods.’ They were called din.gir, a two-syllable word. ‘Din‘ meant ‘righteous, pure, bright’ while ‘gir‘ was a term used to describe a sharp-edged object. As an epithet for the Anunnaki ‘dingir’ meant ‘righteous ones of the bright pointed objects:’ which many have interpreted as being swords or spears–and with them came the beginning of foundries of weapons and the Bronze Age heralded by gods who came like birds in groups of three.

Birth of Athena from head of Zeus

The Greek triad was composed of Zeus, Athena and Apollo.   Greek religion was different from many others in that it had no great founder, no sacred books and no priestly caste system. Rather than just belief, Greek religious worship was a matter of cheerful practice incorporated into daily life, and their gods were very “earthly” with the same carnal lusts, desire for wine and other alcoholic drinks, committed adultery freely, and more (see: http://www.suite101.com/content/understanding-the-worlds-religions-a62138).

Three Goddesses

One of the largest pagan temples built by the Romans was constructed at Ballbek (situated in present day Lebanon) to their Trinity of Jupiter, Mercury and Venus.  Jupiter did have a son (Vulcan) by his wife Juno, and the son was acclaimed by the ancient Romans to be “the Son of God” and recognized as “sitting on

Vulcan son of Jupiter crossing the heavens in a winged chariot

the right hand of his Father who is in the heavens … giving guidance through the ministrations of his Holy Wife”–Vulcan was a part of the early Roman Trinity that would take on various shapes through the passing of time until this ancient theology influenced the emperors of the decaying empire to insist on the incorporation of a Trinity into Christian theology.  What is unique is that the image of Vulcan was portrayed commonly as a god riding in a winged chariot across the heavens, in the same way that Old Testament prophets

Prophet Elijah's Chariot of Fire (Icon courtesy of http://www.eikonografos.com used with permission)

are said to have traveled or seen wheels in the heavens in their eagerness to see their god YHWH (cp. the prophet Elijah (Hebrew: אליהו), also Elias (NT Greek Hλίας), in 2 Kings 2:11;  in many Slavic nations Elijah is sometimes referred to as Gromovik (literally “Thunderer” which is the Slavic god of storms, snows, and rains).

There is no evidence the Apostles of Jesus ever heard of a Trinity. The Bible does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity. 

The disciples viewed Jesus as the ‘one mediator between God and men,’ (1 Timothy 2:5) not as God himself. A mediator by definition is someone separate from those who need mediation.

While Christians since the sixth century liked to proclaim that Egypt was one of the original Christian bastions, that was not true, as the old religion of the past remained strong until the sixth century and only caved into the worship of “the Messenger” (Jesus) because of imperial force.  Augustine of Hippo was neither Egyptian nor respected in Egypt but seen as a mad man who lusted openly and wrote about his sexual conquests in his Confessions.

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