Tag Archives: Virgin Mary

When religion triumphs over reason, faith, psychology, investigation, and research, learning dies

Calvin burns Servetus

Religion is a destructive and totally negative force in life as defined by all official “Church Fathers”, Protestant leaders, and emerging Muslim clerics.  John Calvin wrote: “We cannot think of ourselves as we ought to think without utterly despising everything that may be supposed an excellence in us.  This humility is unfeigned submission of a mind overwhelmed with a weighty sense of its own misery and poverty; for such is the uniform description of it in the word of God [i.e. the Bible]. (Johannes Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, 1928), p. 681.)

Lake of Fire adopted from Arabian mythology into Constantine’s Christianity (c. 335 CE)

The Calvinist faith, like the all Protestant religions, birthed in the sixteenth century, was a revision of the hell-fire and brimstone theology of the Roman Catholic Church that was dragged into the world 1200 years earlier.  The scattered closed communities of the followers of the Jesus captured in the numerous gospels–before they were decreed and canonized as four–had no need of anger or debasement.  With Constantine I at Nicaea, everything changed for the worse with horror and fear replacing peace and hope.

Threats of torments (200 BCE – 285 CE) a part of most world religions as pictured in this mosaic

Everything was bad in this world, and in this environment that mortals lived, people were plagued with temptations and anger.  All they could do was waiting impatiently for a better world (a “world to come” (עולם הבא) a term or phrase that appears nowhere in the Hebrew Bible)–promised, but one that never would come (Matthew 12:32, Hebrews 2:5, both written more than one generation after the Jesus of the New Testament had, according to various gospels, died).  Antecedents stem from older hieroglyphic writing and cuneiform inscription and are directed toward marginalized people as well as individuals who are seen as “opposing the will of god” or “defying the ruler” who usually was the same authority figure.

Acts of faith? Self-flagellation before crucifixion in The Philippines (2012 CE)

It was the impact of thinking of perdition, rejection, and self-abasement that made people willing to die in the folly of religious wars and suffer various forms of martyrdom in body and spirit as well as mind from enduring church-sanctioned torture of the Inquisition to self-flagellation and crucifixion—giving over to the terrorist tactics of ecclesiastical eunuchs preying for misery who determined rubrics of ritual and righteousness. With this hortatory hounding by the dogs of faith, the psychology of man was cannibalized carnivorously.  The strength of good intention was left circumspect for others to glean fruit from with ritualistic rapiers and capture and mutilate the essence of the original thinker.

John Calvin (Tyrant of Geneva)

John Calvin (French: Jean Calvin, born Jehan Cauvin: 10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564), being trained as a humanist lawyer found his faith uncertain.  Wide fluctuations in the faith gave little stability to a man whose mind was fixated on absolutes.  He broke from the Roman Catholic Church in 1530, and causing an uprising by denouncing the religion of his parents, fled to Switzerland where he attempted to set up a Kingdom of God—a belief that many shared hoping that the Jesus of the New Testament would return to the water planet Earth with a sword to kill unbelievers (Matthew 10:34).

Michael Servetus (drawing c. 1509-1511)

To this end, Calvin, when he took over the canton of Geneva, agreed with the murder of Michael Servetus (also known as Miguel Servet, Miguel Serveto alias Revés, or Michel de Villeneuve and in Spanish as Miguel Serveto Conesa).   Servetus was born 29 September? 1509 or 1511 and was executed for questioning the existence of the Trinity, as he could not find Biblical evidence of this novel idea that originated in ancient Egypt, on 27 October 1553.  Servetus was an Aragonese cartographer, physician and theologian, but most damning to his contemporaries was that he was neither a loyal son of the Roman Catholic Church nor a believer in many of the pagan innovations within the Roman Catholic faith as he had become a Renaissance humanist who put mortals before mythology.  For this the Roman Catholic Church and all existing Protestant sects determined that he had to die.

Calvinist text used in Colonial New England schools

Vilifying Servetus was easy for Calvin who seldom had a kind word for anyone. Calvin was determined that he would be recognized as a priest of a god similar to the ones his parents had worshiped–but without the trappings of Rome and the papacy.  To accomplish this feat, Calvin revamped the concept of education, taking it backward in time, rejecting research and exploration, and identical to the Taliban (the singular is talib and must be translated as a theological student or a student at a religious Islamic school: طالبان .  Initially they were Afghans of Aghanistan–until 1993.  After 1993, the rigid Calvinistic-like religion of Muslim Taliban students of the Qur’an spilled over into Pakistan and spread like a noxious virus throughout the Muslim world with the primary purpose to keep the sexes separated–a goal of Calvin in his schools, and like Calvin stop the enjoyment of music, arts, and refined clothing).  Calvinists modified some of their austerity, but not the Taliban of the twentieth and twenty-first century who commanded that learning be based on and around and on the Qur’an as Calvin had demanded that his version of education be centered on the Protestant Bible and the articles of faith that he invented and wrote down to be printed.

Calvin’s adoption of faith was unique inasmuch as he was the center of that faith, although he always demurred before the godhead as the absolute sovereign.  His faith was monarchical without a shred of democracy anywhere–a prototype for evangelical extremists of today.  Calvin mused on his own “conversion”—giving two different accounts in conflict with one another.  Later in his life, John Calvin wrote two different accounts of his conversion that differ in significant ways. In the first account he portrays his conversion as a sudden change of mind, brought about by God. This account can be found in his Commentary on the Book of Psalms: “God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame, which was more hardened in such matters than might have been expected from one at my early period of life. Having thus received some taste and knowledge of true godliness, I was immediately inflamed with so intense a desire to make progress therein, that although I did not altogether leave off other studies, yet I pursued them with less ardour” (Calvin, J[ohn] J. Calvin, preface to Commentary on the Book of Psalms, trans. James Anderson, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1948), pp. xl–xli).

In his second account he speaks of a long process of inner turmoil, followed by spiritual and psychological anguish.  He wrote: “Being exceedingly alarmed at the misery into which I had fallen, and much more at that which threatened me in view of eternal death, I, duty bound, made it my first business to betake myself to your way, condemning my past life, not without groans and tears. And now, O Lord, what remains to a wretch like me, but instead of defence [sic], earnestly to supplicate you not to judge that fearful abandonment of your Word according to its deserts, from which in your wondrous goodness you have at last delivered me” (Gordon, Bruce (2009).  Calvin. New Haven, CT; London, England: Yale University Press, p. 34.)  The difference between the accounts strongly suggests that the epiphany was over a period of years, as contended by Ganoczy, Alexandre (1966) in his book Le Jeune Calvin. Genèse et evolution de sa vocation réformatrice, Wiesbaden, Germany: F. Steiner, p. 302.  He argues that Calvin conversion took place over several years and that it was not a biographical or chronological event. Many factors played a role: economic, social, family, and personal desires both mental and physical.

Rejecting oneself as “each person is a sinner and evil” requires separating the genders to avoid temptation.

By despising the self as Calvin chortled, the mind impoverished itself by failing to strike out and learn that which was forbidden or prohibited by clerics thriving fat on the ignorance of their followers.  Religion became a new form of authoritarianism, and the gods of each ontology became the symbol of power and force that shadowed the denizens of despair and death of individuality.

Priests, bishops, and the pope or patriarch of Orthodoxy became the sacrosanct soothsayers for deities clouded in marble and painted on wood, with saints who had been ancient gods clustered around them in whittled or chiseled relief.  The Führer—the beloved “father of his people” since 374 BCE—became the temporal overlord and determined everything from whom had sex with who and at what time (with the overlord frequently claiming the “right of first night” (droit du seigneur or jus primae noctis is found only in the literature of the 13th to 16th century in Europe, but there are no written laws or statutes that exist today to prove its authenticity, and is sourced only to the epic of Gilgamesh in 1900 BCE) to know that the woman was a virgin before handing her over to a waiting bridegroom), what was eaten by whom, what hours were worked, what taxes were collected, and when belfry bells tolled tidings that thought was to be forsaken, the individual self was to merge into a sterilized community of like-thinkers, and all pawns and serfs would grovel their way to the churches supported by flying buttresses as if the arms of each were holding up the roof so that the unseen god could perch like a bird and listen to praises of his divine name since he was uncertain if mortals truly knew his magnificence and glory.

The gods of the past were never strong enough to protect themselves.  They required spiritual warriors who would pick up swords and later shoulder guns to fight in defense of the names that mortals gave the deities to assure that conformity was (frequently masqueraded as with the Moors of fifteenth century Spain) devotion.

Caravansarai, ca. first half of 8th century BCE. Drawing on a potsherd of Yahweh and the goddess Asherah and her consorts (she would ultimately marry Yahweh).

The young calf nursing at the teat of the great cow became the Yahweh of future generations, and the bastard son of a young girl would be sacrificed on a poll in imitation of the would-be slaughter of another youth who was tied to an altar to prove his devotion to a god (Genesis 22:1-12, where the Jews claimed the youth was Isaac; in Islam, it is Ishmael, the first born of Hagar: Qur’an XXXVII: 100-107; the story is found in many ancient Semitic cultures including early Babylonia and Minæn) all became beams holding up the decaying timber supporting air that was the heart of religions.  The gods in each tale were not omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, nor unique. They were much like the great Arabian desert barbarian would punch his seven year-old bride in the chest for mirth and pleasure and laugh at her anguish and horror (Qur’an Sahih Muslim 4:2127).

Inbred into this are the false submission of matter or holy books over mind and the conduct of free inquiry that furthers the enslavement of the thought process behind a prison of contrived regulations and rules, commandments and pronouncements from pontiffs and pastors who demand uniform submission to the word of their particular god(s) (Erich Fromm (1941). Escape from Freedom. New York, NY: Farrer & Rinehart, p. 441 f).  The surrendering of personal prerogatives and rights to another is a sign of insecurity and masochism.  Self-renunciation was adopted by many as a means of pain, but by rejecting reality lead and continues to lead people into an unnatural world and a breakdown of human consciousness as pleasure and pain that are both motivators for the individual, like aging, agony and other normal experiences including death (that must be accepted as a part of living) leads to additional neurosis and further complicates adjustment to self and society (ref. Maudsley, Henry (1902), “Pain–life–death” in Life in mind & conduct: Studies of organic in human nature (pp. 394-435). London, Great Britain: Macmillan and Co. xv, 444 p).

John Wycliff (14th century) celebrated pain as surrender to god.

The antithesis of these mortal-created religions is humanism.  Humanism centers on the individual and the individual’s strength of mind, purpose, and being. A strict code or list of prohibitions of what can be read, studied, or done limits the individual and the individual’s growth toward personal self- actualization and contribution to society as a whole.  This idea was repugnant to Wycliffe (14th century translator of the Bible into English, and theologian), Calvin, Luther and other reformers, as well as the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches, repeating the actions of the ultra-orthodox Jews who argued that life was a testing ground to show the individual’s worthiness for eternal life and to win the favor and forgiveness of the “fearful Lord” who was supreme judge and one who would cast the non-repentant into Hell to experience eternal damnation.

Modern psychology sides with the early humanist movement, but goes further. The individual, alone, develops a sense of power of reason, first to understand the self, then to comprehend those people near and far.  Truth is realized as limited, both in understanding the limitations on the self as well as the potentialities of the self, and reaches out to others in solidarity and friendship.

With the hand extended forward, not raised up in salute to violence as used in ancient Rome, the Second and Third Reich, or to invoke the despicable image of a means of torture, be it pillar, pole, or cross, the mind realizes strength and does not recede into a learned sense of powerlessness and subjection. Virtue becomes self-realization and self-actualization, not groveling in obedience to the whim or will of another: parent, sibling, teacher, governor, religious leader or would-be god of a cult.

Faith is not a memorized or read from catechisms or other holy texts of a brand or branch of theology.  Faith is internal and separate from sectarianism and sadism. Instead, the certainty of one’s conviction based upon experience of thought and action by the body attuned with nature that is the divine brings enlightenment and knowledge of the self and the rights of others.

The epiphany that a person experiences when he or she discovers the inward self arrives with joy and renewed quest for additional knowledge, not labored under a whip and chain plied to the torn skin in a frenzy of self-flagellation as was the custom of Josemaria Escrivá de Balaguer who beat himself severely until his bathroom was anointed with his blood in a feigned sense of religiosity to purge his vile and venal thoughts of the flesh of young women in his quest to understand and create cult-practices in an elitist movement known as Opus Dei in the name of a false sanctity.  There are many priests, especially in Opus Dei, who justify, defend, and encourage physical mortification and abuse of the body, citing” “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Corinthians 9:27), but it is translated in Catholicism’s New American Bible as “I drive my body and train it” referencing to a spiritual, not physical, exercise.  It is the same with the Opus Dei credo that mistranslates other words of the legendary Saul of Tarsus: “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (Colossians 1:24). The Opus Dei affirmations (read here and here and here being a call to give up personal values, interests, growth, and identity: read here) gave rise to Dan Brown’s historically accurate (although, as far as I know, there are no albinos in the mummery at least at this time) book The DaVinci Code (Brown, Dan (2003). The DaVinci Code. New York, NY: Doubleday) that is a measured account of the secretive organization, and its practice of self-flagellation that even Pope John Paul II practiced regularly.  Mortification of the body through starving, thirsting, or flagellation serves no good and causes paranoid behavior.  Many times such paranoia arises, especially among older people, who see personal physical abuse as tantamount to being in a war zone: this time an eternal war between good and evil. Psychologists have studied post-traumatic stress disorders especially among those returning from war fronts that the sufferer equates as being in a near Armageddon situation, and finds it difficult to relate to the traditional family or a more conventional life-style. The perceived evils of the earth and people on the planet are seen as being near to devils, and only by mortification can the PTSD find release from presumed entrapment (ref. Roberts, William R.; Penk, W. E.; Gearing, M. L.; Robinowitz, R.; Dolan, M. P.; Patterson, E. T. (1982). “Interpersonal problems of Vietnam combat veterans with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.” doi. 10.1037/0021-843X.91.6.44. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol 91(6), Dec 1982, 444-450).

Mortification and harm to the body is the sign of mental illness, and those who practice it out what they consider to be religious zeal, are excusing their masochism under the guise of religiosity.  Masochism is the surrender to a dominant authority, and when the authority is one in religion, the religion becomes a god by itself and the individual surrenders personal identity and individual growth.  Masochists seek to atone for transgressions by accepting abuse of any nature by anyone in a position of authority, especially in religion (ref. Inbar, Yoel; Pizarro, David A.; Gilovich, Thomas; Ariely, Dan (2012). “Moral Masochism: On the Connection Between Guilt and Self-Punishment.” doi: 10.1037/10029749. Emotion, September 17).  If the one being punished is attacked by the religious authority, the victim sees himself or herself as being a surrogate for the artificial Christ in Mel Gibson’s fantasy “The Passion of Christ” (ref. Hoffman, Thomas (2005). “Freud and Gibson: ‘A child is being beaten’ and the Passion of Christ”. doi: 10.1037/0736-9735.22.1.107. Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 22(1), 2005, 107-112).  Such actions, especially being the subject of abuse or mortification, frequently are surrogates for repressed sexual desires, and lead to unbalanced thinking and the rejection of self-actualization and give way to masochistic fantasies and frequently have masochistic-themed dreams (cf. Silverstein, Judith L. (1994). “Power and sexuality: Influence of early object relations.” doi: 10.1037/h0079513. Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 11(1), 33-46; cp. Bears, Michael; Cartwright, Rosalind; Mercer, Patricia (2000). “Masochistic dreams: A gender-related diathesis for depression revisited.” doi: 10.1023/A:10094800907418.  Dreaming, Vol 10(4), December, 211-219).

Giles Tremlett of The Guardian

Escrivá is a prime example of the Janus complex of faith, as detailed by British journalist Giles Tremlett, who wrote: “biographies of Escrivá have produced conflicting visions of the saint as either a loving, caring charismatic person or a mean-spirited, manipulative egoist” (Giles Tremlett, “Sainthood beckons for priest linked to Franco“, The Guardian (UK), 5 October 2002).  French historian Édouard de Blaye concurred with Tremlett’s analysis noting that Escrivá was a “mixture of mysticism and ambition” (Blaye, Edouard de. (1976), Franco and the Politics of Spain, Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, p. 262).  All

Escrivá with Pope John XXIII

biographers have noted that Escrivá labored to be a part of the world and exercise the strengths that he and his discipleship had, but remained torturously tied to Roman Catholicism that unleashed the schizophrenia in his mind, as Spanish architect Miguel Fisac, who was one of the earliest members of Opus Dei who remained close to Escrivá for nearly twenty years before breaking with him and Opus Dei, gave in his summation–a very different picture of Escrivá than what John Paul II wanted the public to read.

Miguel Fisac

Fisac painfully detailed the obscure mentality of what many considered to be a pious man who in secluded times and places and even at times in public was a vain, secretive, and ambitious man, given to private displays of violent temper.  Fisac wrote that this split personality lead the self-sacrificed soul to demonstrate or offer little charity towards others or genuine concern for the poor who he claimed he served and loved (Fisac, Miguel (1992).  “Nunca le oí hablar bien de nadie”, in Escrivá de Balaguer – ¿Mito o Santo? (Madrid: Libertarias Prodhufi).  Using this criteria, neither Escrivá nor John Paul II would qualify as saints.

While many theists attempt to make humanism a theology, it is not.  Humanism glorifies the magnificence of mortals and what they do for others, their community, and the world, for whom a god is not necessary.  When this is the case any and all gods are ignored along with the various strains of theology that support deities. At the same time, while not wishing to waste moments speculating on that which cannot be known or determined scientifically, humanists do not preoccupy their time with speculation for or against the existence of such a being as a god.  Like Stephen Hawking, the true humanist concentrates on what can be determined and see in such wondrous evolutionary epochs as the unrecorded time of the Big Bang, the emergence of black holes that consume stars and universes, and the unabridged expansion of the universe (Stephen W. Hawking (1990). A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. New York, NY: Bantam Books; I am using the Spanish edition: Historia del Tiempo del Big Bang a los Agujeros Negros (trans. Miguel Ortuño, esp. p. 180-181, chapter 8 as the English edition is not available here).

“God” is but a symbol of the powers of the individual.  It is the individual who creates god, not god creates the mortal.

Stephen Hawking and Benedict XVI

Even though Pope John Paul II warned the renowned astrophysicist and Cambridge scholar not to research too deeply into the origins of the universe, the professor ignored the pontiff and continued his investigation–upsetting many in the Roman Catholic and other religious communities (read here and here).  Hawking quoted the pope as saying, “It’s OK to study the universe and where it began. But we should not inquire into the beginning itself because that was the moment of creation and the work of God.”  Later, Hawking noted, no god was necessary to start the universe or anything within it. Gravity and collision did that. Hawking found a slightly more cordial greeting with Benedict XVI.  No friend of “modernism” nor liberty of the individual and individual thought, Benedict XVI, who has been charged with crimes against humanityat the World Court at the Hague, leagued with royalty as had past popes to silence dissent as with

Baroness Warsi meets Pope Benedict XVI (Photo: EYEVINE)

Baroness Warsi (the first female Muslim Cabinet member in the UK and leader of the Conservative Party who gave the Ratzinger a Qur’an) who has criticized the writings and speeches of Richard Dawkins and others.

Hans Kung, senior Swiss Roman Catholic theologian officially silenced by the Roman Catholic Church

The German pope has come out against those who differ with him, and demands obedience in all things, including the closure of schools and societies (such as the Society of St. Pius X), and has written a book on the infancy of Jesus–for which there are no historical records but is conjured from old myths and pseudo-apocrypha secreted in questionable Pseudepigrapha.  The German pope also wants to restore the Latin Mass (that had kept millions of people away from the worship service and sent millions more seeking a more modern responsive church) and a free standing altar (that permits priests to face the people), use of pop[ular] music and guitars, and banishing women from actively participating in the rites and rituals of the church and silence opponents, especially gifted scholars and researchers like Hans Küng who criticized the pope as isolated and out of touch with reality as did Cardinal Martini of Milan who told reporters that the Roman Catholic Church is 200 years out-dated; Küng furthermore accused Pope Benedict of direct responsibilty for “engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests“, and others who are still entitled to opinions no matter how wrong they are when faced with facts (cf. Küng, Hans (2007). Umstrittene Wahrheit. München, Deutschland: Piper, and Kung, Hans (1988). Theologie im Aufbruch: eine okumenische Grundlegung. München, Deutschland: Piper).

Benedict XVI crusades for a return to a pre-Vatican II church

Benedict’s attacks on free and universal education, secular education, and definition of who is qualified to teach further limits individual choice, the ability to conduct research unhampered, and the degradation of scholarly debate ending individual intellectual advances.  It is tantamount to returning to the days when the Roman Catholic Church tried Galileo for affirming the thesis of Copernicus, and marks the current pontificate as a return to the Dark Ages when god ruled cruelly over all people as a tyrant and not a benefactor or protector.

Hesiod: Theogony

Benedict uses outdated theology yet expects total conformity to what he has ordained as definitive, silencing dissent. Even the ancient Greeks recorded that the gods were created by mortals (Hesiod, Theogony).  Socrates did not believe in any god, but visited the Oracles as required by law–before Athens City Council demanded he die: drinking hemlock, on the charge of insulting the gods.

Mortals create gods to explain what they are too lazy to discover for themselves.  It is the irresponsibility of mortals, like most students who do not enjoy reading or read for knowledge, to seek the easiest escape from having to think.  Most people want a job with the least work, like students who do as little as possible to  obtain recognition (a degree or a position).  What is sought is immediate gratification that is sought out not a long-term enlightenment.  This occurs because teachers do not challenge students sufficiently.  Teachers do not constantly demand questions and answers from their charges for fear of dismissal, yet demand that their students pass rigorous state-sponsored examinations without having learned the information required.  This is the modus operandi of organized religion: follow others, do not question, just obey. Blind obedience by indoctrination is stifled propagandization and it is child abuse, regardless if the indoctrination is done by parent, teacher who makes a major impact on a student as the teacher is seen as the fountain of knowledge and corrupt the learning process (cf. Torrance, E. Paul; Mason, Raigh (1958). “Instructor effort to influence: An experimental evaluation of six approaches.”doi: 10.1037/hoo47830. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 49(4), Aug 1958, 211-218 and Torrance, E. Paul; Mason, Raigh (1958). “Instructor effort to influence: An experimental evaluation of six approaches.” doi:10.1037/h0047830. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 49(4), August, 211-218), military leader (Johnson, W. Brad; Wilson, Ken (1993). “The military internship: A retrospective analysis.” doi.10.1037/0735-7028.24.3.312. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 24(3), August, 312-318) especially when it is covert racism or pits race against its own ethnicity (Loo, Chalsa M.; Singh, Karam; Scurfield, Ray; Kilauano, Bill (1998). “Race-related stress among Asian American veterans: A model to enhance diagnosis and treatment.” doi:10.1037/ 1099-9809.4.2.75. Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, Vol 4(2), 75-90), clergy, or others to insure conformism (Kuenzli, Alfred (1952). “Conformism in Contemporary Psychology.” doi:10.1037/h0053921. American Psychologist, Vol 7(10), Oct 1952, 594-595). Collective (or group) indoctrination, especially in the case of religion, can lead to selective or collective suicides, murders, rapes, and other acts of violence in times of conflict, war, and doctrinal disputations (Grimland, Meytal; Apter, Alan; Kerkhof, Ad (2006). “The phenomenon of suicide bombing: A review of psychological and nonpsychological factors”  doi:10.1027/0227- 5910.27.3.107.  Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, Vol 27(3), 107-118).

Many students remain mere shadows of what potential they could have and become if they furthered the advance of their mind and worked to better their civilization by rejecting old gods and worn-thin truths to be responsive to new ideas and arguments.  Students at every age are eager to obtain a score that is recognizable and laudable, but few students have the willingness (although many do have the capacity) to study independently, read broadly and thoroughly, write copiously,  and question authority.  This is a reality learned as small children tied to priest, pastor, rabbi, mullah or other authority figures in the world’s religions as it is easier to memorize and repeat that which is expected than to proffer new concepts and dispute established facts.  Unfortunately leaders are seldom (if ever) examined for leadership qualities and sound psychology, as seen with the election of the last two popes and the first two presidents of the USA, most South American nations (especially in Perú),  or prime ministers in the UK, in the 1980-1990 period (cp. Lambert, Lisa Schurer; Tepper, Bennett J.; Carr, Jon C.; Holt, Daniel T.; Barelka, Alex J. (2012). “Forgotten but not gone: An examination of fit between leader consideration and initiating structure needed and received.” doi: 10.1037/a0028970. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 97(5), Sep 2012, 913-930).

Ancient Assyria: home of the myth of Daniel

Authority figures, especially those who promise peace in times of conflict, or suggest that learning takes a different avenue when academic standards are diminished, know that it is easier to indoctrinate than educate, and for that reason all theologies and all religions start off with texts written by an authority figure (a deity, plural or singular): either with his/her/their hand or finger, as found in the Babylonian myth of Daniel and His Companions that was copied into the canon of the Old Testament (Daniel 5:5).  The account of lions was a symbol of ancient Assyria where a pair of lions were stationed at the entrance of an Assyrian temple dedicated to Ishtar, the goddess of warfare, and fertility: Daniel was understood to be a portrayal of the people, and the lions guardians of sexuality and sexual pleasure.

The Ishtar gate (the Lion Gate) was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon

The Daniel myth began as pornography but was later sanitized and made “wholesome” by adding subjection to the will of the gods (accepting sex) but was redacted in its present format hundreds of years after the original writing by Assyria’s mercenary soldiers (Apiru–who become the Hebrews) and was  later plagiarized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Book of Mormon (Alma 10:2-3).  Both tracts give answers that others refuse to speculate on: a mythological happening that has no proof and original documentation to support the story.  This leads to mental collapse rather than vigorous inquiry, as the student is exhausted quickly if not accustomed to the rigors and riches of real research that demands investigation, analysis, and projection.

Knowledge is both desirable and despised.  This truism has been recorded as a fact for over 5000 years, as learning has become private property of wealthy interests and education has transmogrified into elevating the id of ownership and partisanship over objectivity as seen in the dramatic case of the censorship of Hans Küng of Switzerland, and the rise of  pseudo-scholars such as Stephen C. Meyer, David Barton, Bob Vander Plaats, and other revisionists who lack any credentials.  Much of this temerarious in dishabille of education is because of the lack of desire to achieve more than what is expected; to this end trite and barren words are repetitively used, vocabulary is underdeveloped, thinking truncated to that which is accepted by authority figures, and the conduct of inquiry abandoned for a cheap and worthless grade.  This is especially true in languages, interpretation and translation courses, and the study of roots and origins of words and concepts.

In Genesis (3:4-5), “woman” (Arabic: امرأة, Greek: γυναίκα, Hebrew: אישה, Armenian: կին that refers to a helpmate), and later “man” (3:22; Arabic: رجل, Greek άνθρωπος, Hebrew גבר, Armenian մարդ) is promised knowledge but forbidden to sample it (eat the forbidden “fruit”–a word for obtaining an education–of the Tree of Knowledge). This is Teutonic (in the broad sense

Tree of Knowledge from an Assyrian cylinder, showing its god-priests

primordially antediluvian) religion: offering the temptation but rejecting any attempt to obtain what is extended by a Tempter or Temptress. The mythological Eve was actually the superior being (far surpassing the cowering man), arguing scripture (before it was written, thereby demonstrating that Genesis was written after the Torah so that “she” could incorporate parts within her debate) with the “Serpent” (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1982). Woman in ancient Israel under the Torah and Talmud, with a translation and critical commentary on Genesis 1-3. Mesquite, TX: IHP). The watchman faulted the man, reflecting the patriarchy of the time, but man, weak and obsequious to the authority figure blamed the superior and copacetic woman for the transgression that the Serpent knew would free mortals.

The Serpent, in all ancient religions, is the Guardian (and sometimes the author) of Knowledge.  The Serpent is the greatest of the gods for it is λογος , from λέγω lego “I say”: meaning the voice of god or wisdom–god was never considered in the earliest days a divine mortal but a teacher) than the garden keeper, or watchman, who walked through the garden in quest of delinquents who were stealing that which was forbidden: knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17, a reference to peace and strife or conflict: the unquestioning acceptance of gods or the rejection (conflict) with superstition that comes with ignorance from lack of learning and obtaining knowledge).

If the garden keeper was a god, that deity in the denizen of superior beings (man and woman) had no god-like characteristics but was more like the ancient pontifex maximus of pre-Republic Rome.  The watchman was not omniscience, omnipresence, or omnipotent.  At best the watchman was an interrogator in quest of information that the watchman failed to note.  The prowess the watchman did not possess belonged to the mortals who learned by “eating the forbidden fruit” that was, by various definitions: an apple (the fruit appears nowhere in Genesis, and its first use is in Proverbs 25:11 in referring to apples of gold in a setting of silver; more significantly, in the sexually charged and erotic Song of Solomon the apple is an erotic symbol indicating sweetness, desire, and the female breast), a pomegranate (going back to Greek mythology), a fig, the carob (the word is a pun for “destruction”), an etrog (in Hebrew a pun on ragag, “desire” or sexual arousement) or citron, grapes (that made Noah drunk and sin) and a pear, and, more recently, the datura and grapefruit; wheat is also denounced by some as a forbidden fruit as it was/is used in making beer and is khitah in Hebrew and thus a pun on khet, “sin” (Genesis 2:16-17;  however, in the Qur’an both Adam and Eve are considered equally culpable: Surah Al-A’raf 7:19-22): a euphemism for study, debate, dialog, and mastery of information.  This “fruit” (פרי a word for “result” or “gain” as in the obtaining of wisdom from the “Tree of Knowledge” another euphemism for “learning center” since a tree was the base and to advance in knowledge the student had to climb into the branches–taking a risk to obtain enlightenment) was only relinquished in exchange for a more placid and less commanding life that ignorance affords: no teachers, no debate, no dialog, no learning required, no questioning demanded; all that was necessary was blind obedience.

Iraq’s Garden of Eden marshes in 2003

The ignorance of the watchman (one of the many אֱלֹהִ֔ים) in the garden comes to fruition when the servant of the Serpent realizes that mortals no longer need a god (a trickster who offers mortals an immediate gratification rather than the ability and encouragement to progress to understanding) and conduct themselves as equal to any savant or sage such as the Serpent. This causes the guard to regret “creating” (actually watching after) mortals and in an hysterical fit vows vengeance and promises to erase all trace

Iraq’s Garden of Eden marshes in 2012 after they dried up.

of his mistake  (Genesis 6:5 ff) with a giant holocaust: a Great Flood.  The actual text notes that the Serpent god does not make mistakes:  The Serpent as the teacher instructs, debates and weighs what the student says.  It is the watchmen who fell asleep, misjudged the wards he was to oversee, and failed in numerous way (Genesis 3:9, proving the absence of knowledge by asking “Where are you?” as well as admitting the lack of omniscience and other godly attributes that come with learning).

Ur of the Chaldees outside of Eden (fertile crescent in Iraq)

It is only after the slaughter of the innocents in the Great Flood that the watchman steps down (Genesis 9:5, 11) and realizes that mortal are equals (Psalm 8:5, plagiarized by the writers of Hebrews 2:7).  This action takes place only after the mortals (people, not one man plus one woman–a mistranslation carried since 331 CE) questioning the watchman with the protestation of the Akkadian created myth of

People of Ur worshiped the moon and a golden calf

Abraham (from the Ur of Chaldees: (אוּר כַּשְׂדִים) in modern day Iraq) accusing the gardener/watchman of violating his own principles: “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25 KJV).

Even the ancient Jews knew that the Law was not written in heaven.  It was commonly understood that mortals wrote the Torah, not Moses, as no mortal could write of his own death and burial (Deuteronomy 3:23-29; Numbers 27:15-23), but by man.  This was forcefully articulated by Rabbi Jirmijahu who told a congregation of rabbis (teachers) that it was no longer essential to pay attention to the voices from heaven “because it is written: You make your decision according to the majority opinion.” (Talmud, Baba Meziah, 59b).

Humanism demands democratic methods, unlike the totalitarian plutocracy that the reprehensible Congresista Martha Chavez attempted to create as a permanent government in Perú for the scandalous rogue and mass murderer Alberto Fujimori, his graft-accepting colleague and chief spy and extortionist Vladimiro Montesinos, and their death squads of Las Colinas who murdered children, students and teachers without any compassion.  It surprised many that the thoroughly corrupt and contemptible Peruvian Supreme Court, led by the monstrously mercenary court President César San Martin, in a 3-2 decision, cut back their prison time in a distorted and unjustifiable act of compassion. The Perú court ultimately overturned its own ruling and annulled the diminution of the sentences after a public outcry.  What happened with justice in Perú proves that there is no justice in Perú until the people make their voices heard. Power, wealth, and authority speaks louder than fairness, ethical treatment, or responsibility for what is right for the churches in Perú control its politics, police, and government–the people of Perú are as impoverished today as were the Inkas after the arrival of Pizzaro and his band of Franciscans, Dominicans, and other cut-throats and brigands.

Jesus with weapons on evangelical mailings

Today the Christian churches have nothing in common with the teachings of the Jesus of the New Testament.  Simple statements such as “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9) are smothered under the bellicose promises of Matthew 10:34: Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν· οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν; the Latin Biblia Sacra Vulgata reads: nolite arbitrari quia venerim mittere pacem in terram non veni pacem mittere sed gladium.   Religion has become an increasingly prevalent neurosis. Instead of enabling people to think and be freed from their own grief and self-abasement, the majority of early followers of Jesus who were poor Am aarez (slaves) the Imperial “catholic [universal] church” of Constantine I was reserved for the wealthy that continued to enslave the poor and rule over them as authority figures once they were entrenched as the guardians of the new state (military imposed)

Bible verses on USA military weapons

religion (325 CE).  Ultimately the authority figures claimed to be intercessors of Constantine’s god, the beginning of numerous lies pushed on the believers that culminated in the nineteenth century when at Vatican Council I, Pius IX was acclaimed a god: infallible, primary, and supreme in matters of faith and morals, removing the last of free will from the people and furthering the

British prelate Newman flip-flops on Infallibility

neurosis of those who claimed to be Roman Catholic.  Infallibility was heatedly contested, but papal politics played passionately among dissenters, many of whom won promotions and a few the cardinal’s hat.  Those who suffered were those struggling to understand reality through thorough investigation and study and did not accept the novel idea that a mortal was as infallible as a god. Dissent was not new in Constantine’s church, but the Doctrine of Infallibility intensified the debate that began in 325 CE at Nicaea.

First Council of Nicaea – 325 CE – Cannon 8 Concerns Cathars (the damned do not have halos)

After the notorious Council at Nicaea, the bishops began an open assault on dissent that would increase yearly to the present day.  The former pagan and later self-proclaimed bishop of Hippo: Augustine who had a child out of wedlock with a whore (and wrote to stifle intellectual growth, citing only established canons and writings that did not offend the empire, glorifying a city no one had visited and of which there was no empirical evidence, and harmonizing his rants with others who blasted dissent as attacks against the Imperial Church) attacked the monk Pelagius (ca. CE 354 – c. CE 420/440) an ascetic who opposed the idea of predestination championed by Augustine but received its greatest boost under the misrule of Jean Calvin in Geneva and John Knox in Scotland, and asserted a strong version of the doctrine of free will.

Pelagius of Wales

Pelagius, a tonsured Culdee Monk from the British Isles who was known as a dedicated ascetic,  was far more “Christian” than Augustine (cf. Pelagius. The Letters of Pelagius: Celtic Soul Friend; edited by Robert Van de Weyer. (Little Gidding books.) Evesham, UK: Arthur James, 1995, and Pelagius’s Expositions of the Thirteen Epistles of St. Paul; edited by A. Souter. (Texts and Studies; 9.) 3 vols. in 1. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1922-1931 1: Introduction – 2: Text – 3: Pseudo-Jerome interpolations).  Pelagius argued that humans were not wounded by Adam’s sin (the eating of the fruit: the acceptance of knowledge) and were perfectly able to fulfill the law apart from any divine aid–a theme Augustine coveted and wrote at lengths on calling on “sinners” to perform good works (a thesis that Martin Luther would reject in the sixteenth century, when he followed Pelagius in arguing that all that a human needed was faith).  He denied the more specific doctrine of original sin as developed by Augustine, but was declared a heretic and felt the weight of the church crush him, while the writings of Arius were burned at the feet of the Emperor.

While Pelagius encouraged studying and intellectual growth (he was fluent in Greek, Latin, and theology, and was even called “saintly” by Augustine) to rid oneself of being robots to rigid religion, Augustine wanted blind faith and good works that increased the wealth of the church and set clerics apart from those they served.

Tridentine Index defined three basic classes of prohibited books

Burning books and silencing dissent is always the sign of tyranny–one that the Roman Catholic Church elevated to an art with its Index of Forbidden Books.  Censorship is not scholarship but a sign of a threatened institution determined to maintain its prerogatives and rule over others by lowering standards and forbidding true scholarship and the conduct of inquiry.  Discovery of the self, the very foundation of psychology and psychoanalysis, was forbidden and mortals have ever since 325 CE been commanded by priests and potentates to follow the rigorous writing of self-proclaimed leaders of “the church”.  The acceptance of definitive forms of censorship, such as book burning, is a collective adherence by an irrational society to drab and erroneous beliefs or doctrines and leads to the lowering of expectations, desires to advance, and rejection of sound scholarship that is especially true in nations and states under religious control (Jahoda, Marie (1956).  “Psychological Issues in Civil Liberties.” American Psychologist, 11, 1956, pp. 234-240).  While Donofrio concurs in part with Jahoda (Donofrio, Anthony F. (1957). “Conformity–Good and Bad”. doi: 10.1037/h0047469. American Psychologist, Vol 12(1), Jan 1957, 37-38), he attacks “liberals” as being nearly anarchists who reject all conformity in government, religion, and other places where rules maintain civility; this I disagree with because rules are valid only for specific times since eternality is not possible for any mortal and thus there must be revisions to constitutions, laws, applications, and so forth as time grows and with it there must be a modification, change, or deletion in rules (something that Antonin Scalia disagrees with emphatically, claiming that the wording of the Constitution of the USA is chiseled in stone and cannot be deviated from: a reason he, like Texas Governor Rick Perry, want to eliminate the 14th and 17th amendment from the US Constitution).  If rules do not change, then Jews, Christians and others who pattern themselves after the Torah and Prophets cannot eat shell fish, wear mixed fibers (such as rayon), and so forth. This will stifle society and intellectual growth.  Similarly, Drenth (Drenth, Pieter J. D. (1993). “Prometheus chained: Social and ethical constraints on psychology”. doi: 10.1027//1016-9040.4.4233.  European Psychologist. Vol. 4(4) December, 233-239), argues that the psychologist and other researchers do not have the freedom to amass knowledge at any price and without any restrictions.  Again, I disagree, as when knowledge is guarded, limited, denied, then society and individuals cannot intellectually, morally, or socially evolve to a high plateau.

In the early days of reformed Judaism that had been the faith of those who proclaimed themselves followers of Jesus, presbyters and women priests nourished and watch grow a strong anti-authoritarian principle especially against political power rejected the “church.  This changed in 325 CE, when bishops were ordered to be men (although there were women bishops in the Roman Catholic Church as late as the fifteenth century) and the term “church” was not used by the embryonic community.  The earliest followers of Jesus referred to their meeting places in gardens, alleys and private homes as αρχοντικού, Κυριάκος (lord’s house) where meetings were held to celebrate life (Matthew 18:20), not to recite prayers and endow the pockets of priests and bishops. What few records exist, these followers were more humanists than religious disciples, as their goal was to help the poor, feed the hungry, give drink to those who had thirst, comfort those who grieved, and fulfill the injunctions given in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  All that mattered was that they loved each other regardless of gender or other outward qualifiers (John 13:34-35: [34] ἐντολὴν καινὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους, καθὼς ἠγάπησα ὑμᾶς ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους. [35] ἐν τούτῳ γνώσονται πάντες ὅτι ἐμοὶ μαθηταί ἐστε, ἐὰν ἀγάπην ἔχητε ἐν ἀλλήλοις).  Marriage was a private celebration and not a part of the church; sacraments had not yet been defined.  What counted was to be charitable with and toward all people.  There was no rush to martyrdom–that is a later invention; there was no priestly hierarchy (Matthew 20:16) and there was no pope.  Emphasis was on each person reaching his or her fullest potential.

While the early Jesus communities in Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and elsewhere were satisfied with meeting in Κυριάκος (homes filled with the lord [spirit]), with the rise of an exclusive and exclusionary state religion it became “church” or εκκλησία.  Church/ecclesia meant “gathering of those summoned” and represented a court or at least an assembly or law court/government as found in ancient Sparta and other Greek states, Rome and throughout the Roman Empire.  With the formal support of the Emperor, the “church” (ecclesia: εκκλησία) was elevated to novel level of being where “bishops” sat (cathedrals) to sit in judgment against heretics—in total contradiction to Matthew 7:1 and Acts 10:34.  By 331 CE, any semblance of Christianity to the teaching of Jesus were obscured, transmogrified, or deleted.  Books, scrolls and tracts denouncing the abandonment of the message of the New Testament Jesus were publicly burned.  Those who dared question the authority of the Church faced Socrates fate by state or church.  Numerous popular and widely copied and read gospels were refused canon (authenticity) including major gnostic works: Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Mary Magdalene, and so forth.

As the church grew in power, freedom diminished, and popular delusions, illusions, hysterics and signs of mental illness appeared with “talking in tongues” that were gibberish and not the Glossolalia in the Jerusalem community where the brothers of Jesus followed the beloved brother James and their mother, Mary, sat with the Apostles in the upper room and received (or realized) the ability to “speak in the tongue of each person who had gathered” with them (Acts 2:1-11).  The “descent of the Spirit” was an opening to learning, in this case simple language so that all people could understand (The Greeks recognized five languages but 70 “tongues” or dialects–so the speaking was not difficult as most of the people understood some form of Greek; it was similar to an elementary language course at most universities).  The Church in Rome created a new universal language–Latin–that few of the poor or those enslaved understood: it was the lingua franca (or working language of the wealthy that kept them apart from the people), and thus the Mass became a “mystery rite” and the sacraments were born where blind faith was required if a person was to be saved.

With this reinvention of religion as a rope to strangle dissenters—an act that took place regularly with state sanction.  All aspects of divinity were exchanged for writs of power and tyranny.

Constantine’s Christianity quickly became an exercise in mind control.  Constantine’s bishops and priests theological terrorists demanding blind obedience in everything, similar to the autocracy of John Nienstedt bishop of St Paul / Minneapolis, and the German Pope Josef Ratzinger.

As the minority (the new Christians) gained in power, the masses of believers were forced into subjection.  This subjection led to the spread of acute mental malaise.

Worship became a punishment if prayers were not recited carefully and according to religious rubrics.  Striving to select one’s own destiny was forbidden under penalty of death (a penalty realized with the forced introduction of the unholy Inquisition, that was abandoned until it was restored by Joseph Ratzinger (read here and here  and here and here).

Individuals became dependent upon the Roman Catholic Church for everything from food and drink to psychological comforting from sadistic and dominating authoritarian structures.  Given the impoverishment of the economy the early reformed Jews accepted the novel title of “Christian” (a word that suggested a magician) and role of masochists bowing to the greater authority of bishops who replaced presbyters and with their submission accepted their own mental collapse to the point of losing basic motor skills including speech as speech was not welcomed unless voices were raised in prayer and praise.  The poor were told that Jesus wanted people to follow a man, misquoting a mistranslation of Matthew 16:18, and relate only to the power source: priests and bishops.

Giving up the need to relate oneself to and with others is a classic form of insanity (Erich Fromm (1950). Psychoanalysis and Religion. (New Haven, CT and London, England: Yale University Press, p. 54).  This classic form of insanity, the inability to relate to others outside of the self, led to the invention of saints and the worship and adoration, clothing and anointing, bestowing of flowers upon or around statues of various people the official church considered holy.  Many of these were declared to be “virgins” (a mistranslation of people who had not engaged in coital intercourse; the word means a young girl or a young boy in most situations–as with Mary the mother of Jesus, who the church Greek styles as παρθένος and is later styled Μήτηρ Θεοῦ or Mother of God, a term originally used 3000 years earlier as a reference to the goddess Isis)–who had other sons (Acts 1:14) disproving the claims that Mary remained “ever virgin” (Coogan, Michael (October 2010). God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says (1st ed.). New York, NY and Boston, MA: Twelve. Hachette Book Group. p. 39; Tabor, James D. (2006). The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity. New York, NY and other cities: Simon) & Schuster, pp. 46-47, 73-75 sqq). Sex is a part of the psychology or all living beings; the Christian God is conceived of as a God of love, and chastity and continence are regarded as states of perfection, yet sexual fulfillment and experience is a part of self-actualization and leads to a normal and psychologically balanced life as there exists a connection between the emotions of affection and love, on the one hand, and sexual activity on the other; to that end Moses and most of the Prophets had wives and sex, and led to Coptic writers of the fourth century CE to pen that Jesus had a wife.

Sex is a normal function and experience for all people.  To deny anyone sexual expression and pleasure is tantamount to denying its normality and claiming sex is abnormal and dangerous to the psyche of the individual (Leuba, James H. (1924). “The sex impulse in Christian mysticism”. doi: 10.1037/hoo65o91. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, Vol 19(4), January 1924, 357-372).  A reading of St. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castlereveals

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of St. Teresa, 1645-52 (Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome)

subliminal references to sex as with her comment “my heart was pierced and I felt strangely warmed” (a phrase used later in Wesleyan theology) that the sculpture Bernini captured in marble.  The Interior Castle also has the pregnant line: “Here also forces of evil are felt more deeply” with illustrative phraseology defining penetration. Studies show that the younger the person is who engages in sex tends to have a negative attitude toward sex if it was abusive or unwelcomed by a older person/parental figure, and lowers psychosocial adjustment in selected domains in young adulthood and inhibits educational quests and mastery of attaining knowledge (Haase, Claudia M.; Landberg, Monique; Schmidt, Christoph; Lüdke, Kirsten; Silbereisen, Rainer K. (2012). “The later, the better? Early, average, and late timing of sexual experiences in adolescence and psychological adjustment in young adulthood.”doi: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000082. European Psychologist, Vol 17(3), 2012, 199-212).  The only plausible excuse to avoid sexual intercourse is if the penetration was traumatic and unwelcomed (Petry, Nancy M.; Ford, Julian D.; Barry, Danielle (2011). “Contingency management is especially efficacious in engendering long durations of abstinence in patients with sexual abuse histories.” doi: 10.1037/a0022632. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Vol 25(2), Jun 2011, 293-300); there is no record in any sanctioned gospel that Mary approved or rejected the sexual advance of god (similar to the rape of Europa by the god Zeus in the form of a bull, etc.) and follows numerous far older legends from Crete to Egypt and the Middle East.  To deny the reality of sex and its desirability is to reject the psychology of mortal beings.

By cherishing the virgins, lkerwanderung (wandering, or migration, of the peoples), and enforced celibacy, Europe nearly extinguished itself until the absence of labor forces required the church to reinvent the rubric on celibacy and chastity only for those men and women who took positions in the church hierarchy (holy orders)—even though there were no less than 38 married popes (Jean Mathieu-Rosay (1991).  La véritable histoire des papes. Paris, France: Grancher; Rendina, Claudio (1983).  I Papi, Storia e Segreti: dalle biografie dei 264 romani ponteficirivivono retroscena e misteri della cattedra di Pietro tra antipapi, giubilei, conclavi e concili ecumenici. Roma: Newton & Campton, p. 589), and at least eleven homosexual popes, many of whom raised their male lovers to the cardinalate (Burkle-Young, Francis A., and Doerrer, Michael Leopold (1997). The Life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte: A Scandal in Scarlet, Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen). Education declined with the rise of scriptorum that copied deteriorating texts and inserting words, phrases, and sentences that were out of character with the author and now found to be falsifications by contemporary scholars, as with the claim by the Roman Catholic Church that Tacitus argued for the person Jesus of the New Testament, and other ancients, such as Josephus, gave evidence to support the existence, life and ministry of Jesus.  Education further deteriorated with emphasis on memorizing the Bible, and the rejection of science, mathematics, and secular arts (Pierre Riché, Education and Culture in the Barbarian West: From the Sixth through the Eighth Century, (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1976), pp. 100-129, 307-323).

Rationalize behavior is the counterfeit of reason and is a form of paranoia.  Rationalization has no place in psychoanalysis or psychology as it denies some facts and taints others thereby not giving a true picture of what happened or what the mind was thinking.  People, like cattle, follow a leader; this is known as herd psychology and is a form of mental illness as the German people exhibited from 1933 to 1955 spanning the years of Hitler whom most ignored but did understand what was happening—and said nothing.  With racism rampant in the USA, people excused the KKK not for excess but for outcome: the slaughter of Black people, Jews, LGBT people, and marginalized minorities (Brown, S. (1921). “The herd instinct”. doi: 10.1037/h0072279. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology,Vol 16(4), October-November, 232-242.; MacCurdy, J. T. (1921). “Synthetic view of ego, herd, and sex instincts”. doi: 10.1037/h0075069. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, Vol 16(4), October-November, 249-268.  Also see the problems of collective behavior: Swann Jr., William B.; Jetten, Jolanda; Gómez, Ángel; Whitehouse, Harvey; Bastian, Brock (2012). “When group membership gets personal: A theory of identity fushion”. doi: 10.1037/a0028589. Psychological Review, Vol 119(3), July, 441-456. The problem with collective behavior is the character (strength and weakness) of the leader, as detailed by Johnson, Russell E.; Venus, Merlijn; Lanaj, Klodiana; Mao, Changguo; Chang, Chu-Hsiang (2012). “Leader Identity as an Antecedent of the Frequency and Consistency of Transformational, Consideration, and Abusive Leadership Behaviors”. doi: 10.1037/a0029043. Journal of Applied Psychology, Jun 25 , 2012).

Both psychoanalysis and psychology are applicable to an understanding the facts as they occur and in the order that they occur.   When a person attempts to rationalize behavior it is essential to minutely investigate the rationalization to obtain a complete understanding of the individual and what happened.  This seldom occurs, and mental illness grows especially among those most hate-filled, such as the Tea Party, the Birthers and the men and women who are violently anti-Latino/Latina in Arizona in the twenty-first century and are opposed to all Middle Easterners as if they all were Muslims and jihadists.  The psychoanalytic approach to religion must work at understanding mortal reality behind thought systems. It must understand emotional matrices from which opinions develop and determine the strength or weakness of those opinions.  Rick Perry’s mass hysteria at his Day of Prayer shows the significance many feel when they are a collective group and cannot be held responsible for what they do or how they act.

Many of those who are preoccupied with concepts of the soul declare that they find living difficult.  This is a reflex towards uncertainty and the fear that if they live in any way that is not ordained by religion they will go to some imaginary uncomfortable place such as purgatory or hell—which for those in hot lands is a place of eternal fire, but in winter-cold lands is a place of ice.

Pope Paul V forced Jews into a ghetto that flooded regularly

Jews were especially singled out as “Christ killers”.  Jews were restricted to ghettos (the giudecca), work variances at lower wages, and discussion with Christians (save for the “opportunity of conversion”–which many did to escape drudgery of life and poor living conditions, but continued their Jewish celebrations at night in the darkness of their homes and in whispers). The papal Bull Cum Nimis Absurdum created a second ghetto known as Vicus Iudacorum in Rome, consisting of a few narrow, dirty, and unhealthful streets that soon became painfully overcrowded.  The ghetto was an intentional, understood by the pope and curia, and the Christians of Rome as a death trap as it was flooded each year by the Tiber.  As the Jewish population grew, the only way to accommodate it was to build taller and taller buildings, which shut out the light in the narrow streets.  The Jews were restricted from learning as learning was memorizing the New Testament (primarily the writings of Paul), but in the evenings, Jewish families read and recited the Torah (first five books ascribed to Moses created the preface for the Old Testament; they are followed by the writing/sayings of the later Prophets).  On the Jewish Sabbath, the Jews of the Rome ghetto were forced to hear Catholic sermons and recite Catholic prayers under penalties ranging from excessive fines and beatings to death of the one not praying and his or her family.  With the advent of Protestantism (that also turned against the Jews), the corpus Christianorum (body of all believers in Christ [Jesus]) became even more violent and exclusionary toward Jews, with Pope Paul V(17 September 1552 – 28 January 1621), born Camillo Borghese, issuing, on February 26, 1569, the Bull Hebraeorum gens sola. This nefarious document restricted Jews in the Papal States to Rome and Ancona.  Hebraeorum gens sola was made more painful with the printing of Caeca et Obdurata Hebraeorum perfidia – (Blind and obdurate is the perfidy of the Hebrews) of February 25, 1593.  It expelled the Jews from all Papal states and territories other than Rome, Ancona and Avignon, and in particular from Bologna and several other cities.  Similar assaults on the Jewish population of Europe occurred in the North, as seen in the open hatred and antisemitism of Martin Luther and his preamble to the writing and legislation of Adolf Hitler:  Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen (On the Jews and Their Lies) and Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (Of the Unknowable Name and the Generations of Christ), being under the convert to Christianity, Anton Margaritha, who wrote the grotesque (a word that originated in ancient Greece as κρυφό (hidden place) that took the definition of κρύπτη  (crypt, meaning dark and forbidding) book Der gantze Jüdisch Glaub (The Whole Jewish Belief) whose book was discredited in 1530 leading to Margaritha’s expulsion from the Empire–but Luther used it anyway in the same manner Hitler used the works of Luther with the purpose of retrenching and destroying the conduct of inquiry similar to that of Bryan Fischer and the Tea Party in the USA that champions the unhistorical works of David Barton who has had no formal education in history, and the pseudo-science of Stephen C. Myer and his Intelligent Design Institute.

Hitler was supported by many western powers, including the United Kingdom and the USA with US Senator Prescott Bush helping to finance Hitler’s death camps (read here and here).  The UK refused refuge to Jewish emigrants, and boarded many on planes to Warsaw, Poland where they were arrested and sent to death camps.

While Europe was marginalizing Jews and proceeding down the path of ignorance, the same Jews, along with Muslims (who were Christians by day) maintained many ancient texts, including Plato and Aristotle along with Greek mathematicians and scientists, that the Roman Catholic Church was damning and consigning to the flames to erase “pagan influences” (Lebedel, Claude (2006), Les Croisades, origines et conséquences, Editions Ouest-France, p. 109).  For this reason, the Jews and Muslims of Europe rose to be the intellectual class, and by the seventeenth century began to number among the greatest authorities and authors of the age leading into the Age of Enlightenment from Baruch Spinoza (he later changed his name to Benedict de Spinoza (24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) to .

What is essential is to enable the person distressed by the “difficulties of life” to understand that life is what the individual makes of it and how the individual perceives life.  In most cases, these difficulties are the result of an irrational fear of death—a fear generated by an uncertainty that there is a life after death even though the individual religious adherent professes to believe in a heaven or other-worldly place. To conquer this fear is to engage in a discussion on whether or not such a positive or negative place can be proven, and whether or not the test or provability even has value for living today.  Too many people suffer dread from that which no one has proof and that which cannot be proven.

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Filed under Bible, Bishop of Rome, Christian Terrorists, Church history, Education, Homosexuality, Jewish history, Martin Luther, Papacy, Roman Catholicism

Invention of the Bible and Christianity

Fred Edwords

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

17 YEAR ADVISOR TO THE POPE EXPOSES BIBLE FRAUD AND FORGERY

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

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

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

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

(Above from SuperConsciousness Magazine Fall 2010 page 64)

Dr. Micael Ledwith

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

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

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

Caspar René Gregory (1894)

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

Kurt Aland (1915-1994)

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

Hermann Freiherr von Soden

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

Codex Vaticanus (end or Luke)

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

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

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

Codex Sinaiticus

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

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

  According to Eusebius:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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