Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels

The Christian religion has had a few thousand years now to make a case for the fundamental concepts it pushes upon our world.  It has failed spectacularly to show ANY evidence for supernatural or magical forces, the existence of angels or demons or Satan, the efficacy of any ones prayers, the infallibility of heavens emissaries on earth (the Popes). It has failed horribly, and has never done what it claims it can do.

Of course I am not, by any means, the only person to understand this and note the inconsistencies and illogic that runs rampant throughout their beliefs.  Despite this several thousand years of apologetics and trying to clean up their Bible of the many mistakes it continues to be an unproven hypothesis.

“Many people– then and now– have assumed that these letters [of Paul] are genuine, and five of them were in fact incorporated into the New Testament as “letters of Paul.” Even today, scholars dispute which are authentic and which are not. Most scholars, however, agree that Paul actually wrote only eight of the thirteen “Pauline” letters now included in the New Testament collection: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Virtually all scholars agree that Paul himself did not write 1 or 2 Timothy or Titus– letters written in a style different from Paul’s and reflecting situations and viewpoints in a style different from those in Paul’s own letters. About the authorship of Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians, debate continues; but the majority of scholars include these, too, among the “deutero-Pauline”– literally, secondarily Pauline– letters.”
Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University

“When the Church mythologists established their system, they collected all the writings they could find and managed them as they pleased. It is a matter altogether of uncertainty to us whether such of the writings as now appear under the name of the Old and New Testaments are in the same state in which those collectors say they found them, or whether they added, altered, abridged or dressed them up”.   Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

“All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions.”
Steve Mason, professor of religious studies, York University,  Toronto

“A generation after Jesus’ death, when the Gospels were written, the Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple (in 70 C.E.); the most influential centers of Christianity were cities of the Mediterranean world such as Alexandria, Antioch, Corinth, Damascus, Ephesus and Rome. Although large numbers of Jews were also followers of Jesus, non-Jews came to predominate in the early Church. They controlled how the Gospels were written after 70 C.E.”
Bruce Chilton, Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College

“Other scholars have concluded that the Bible is the product of a purely human endeavor, that the identity of the authors is forever lost and that their work has been largely obliterated by centuries of translation and editing.”
Jeffery L. Sheler,“ Who Wrote the Bible,” (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

“The clerical confessions of lies and frauds in the ponderous volumes of the Catholic Encyclopedia alone suffice …to wreck the Church and to destroy utterly the Christian religion…. The Church exists mostly for wealth and self-aggrandizement; to quit paying money to the priests would kill the whole scheme in a couple of years. This is the sovereign remedy.” Joseph Wheless, Forgery in Christianity

“Enterprising spirits responded to this natural craving by pretended gospels full of romantic fables, and fantastic and striking details; their fabrications were eagerly read and accepted as true by common folk who were devoid of any critical faculty and who were predisposed to believe what so luxuriously fed their pious curiosity. Both Catholics and Gnostics were concerned in writing these fictions. The former had no motive other than that of a Pious Fraud.”  Catholic Encyclopedia

“The Christian Fathers deemed it a pious act to employ deception and fraud.” “The greatest and most pious teachers were nearly all of them infected with this leprosy.” Johann Lorenz von Mosheim, “Ecclesiastical History”, Vol. I, p. 347

Many scholars think that Eusebius interpolated his writings. In Ecclesiastical History, he writes, “We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwords to posterity.” (Vol. 8, chapter 2). In his Praeparatio Evangelica, he includes a chapter titled, “How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived” (Vol. 12, chapter 32).

There is not the slightest bit of physical evidence that supports a historical Jesus; there are no artifacts or dwellings, no works of carpentry, no written manuscripts (by Jesus), nothing.  All we have are writings from other people and there is no contemporary recording of the man/God nothing written while he was alive.  All documents about Jesus came well after his supposed life on earth from people who had never even met him, from unknown authors, or from fraudulent mythical /allegorical writings.  There are no Roman Records that show Pontius Pilate executed a man named Jesus.

“The gospels are all priestly forgeries over a century after their pretended dates.” Those who concocted some of the hundreds of “alternative” gospels and epistles that were being kicked about during the first several centuries C.E. have even admitted that they had forged the documents.”  Joseph Wheless, Forgery in Christianity

“Pauline/Roman Christians: When the Roman-backed instance of Christianity went in search of the ancient centers of Christianity, they discovered to their horror that the Ebionites and Gnostics pre-dated them. Their un-Christian answer was to edit verses, burn books, arrest and harass the other poverty-stricken Christians until no opposition was left. The form of Christianity that we have inherited from the Roman Empire is far from what Christianity originally was.”  Vexen Crabtree, Types of Christianity: Who were the original Christians? (2006)

According to the Gospels several things happened around the time that Jesus died on the cross.
His death was supposedly accompanied by a three hour blackout of the sun, earthquakes, and the rising of the dead. No record of these events can be found anywhere outside the Bible.

So what is a person to do? It seems to me that  anyone searching for something greater than oneself, a belief to offer hope and help, a God who’s always there to comfort and relieve stress is out of luck.  There are a little over 2.2 billion believers in the Christian God and only 1.1 billion non-believers, but those non-believers actually took the time to research their position and beliefs.  They didn’t come to that conclusion as a result of what they were born into. Of the 2.2 billion Christians in the world the vast majority have never researched one little bit of religion.  Their fathers and mothers were Christians…so they are too. They believe in some nebulous creator God who made the world 6,000 or so years ago and listens to their prayers and somehow watches over all of them.

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God…Bad Jesus…Good

God has a hissy fit. He still hasn’t learned to stay out of Hebrew affairs
Leviticus 26:27-34
” ‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters. I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you. I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries, and I will take no delight in the pleasing aroma of your offerings. I will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled. I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins.”

1 Chronicles 21:14
“So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.” These were innocents by the way.

Somehow I’m missing the love here.

Hosea 13:16
“The people of Samaria must bear the consequences of their guilt because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords.” I think I’m going to be sick here. Are we seeing the love yet?

These, of course, are just a few of the scriptures that illustrate the love that courses throughout the OT part of the Bible. How people can read past these things and not be suspicious of the supposed God behind them is beyond me.

Is it any wonder that Paul, in his New Testament takeover, quickly steers the focus of the faithful away from this Old Testament Ogre, and into the different world vision of his supposed encounter with Jesus on the road (in a beam of light) to Damascus. Using the established OT world vision that many/most people of that culture were acquainted with, and building a new mythology, a new religion based on a kinder, gentler God image. Jesus…a God of Love…yea, that’s the ticket. Well, he didn’t really work out Jesus being God…that had to wait until the Catholics got into power. The early theology was a little rough and had to be tweaked a bit to make it more believable

I think Paul was looking around at all the religious fervor going on in his time, and got to thinking that if he could somehow meld the established OT religion (which Jesus was espousing) into the new mold of a milder spiritual personality that didn’t go around killing, raping, and torturing …he just might achieve lifetime employment for himself. The apostles didn’t seem to be doing much with their inheritance, why not fudge a little and scoop up this opportunity and run with it.

The concept of ‘original sin’ was pure genius on his part. Oh, the possibilities of this for sermons, placing guilt on the masses, and solidifying his place in history. A new concept that heretofore was not even thought of or mentioned in OT writings, or by Jesus, and he was able…by himself… to get it accepted by the theologians and common folk. What a guy.

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