Atheism In The 1700’s

 ABSTRACT OF THE TESTAMENT OF JOHN MESLIER

By Voltaire

Excerpted from a longer volume

In regard to the Lord’s Supper, the first three Evangelists note that Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of His body and His blood, in the form of bread and wine, the same as our Roman Christ-worshipers say; and John does not mention this mysterious sacrament. John says that after this supper, Jesus washed His apostles’ feet, and commanded them to do the same thing to each other, and relates a long discourse which He delivered then. But the other Evangelists do not speak of the washing of the feet, nor of the long discourse He gave them then.

On the contrary, they testify that immediately after this supper, He went with His apostles upon the Mount of Olives, where He gave up His Spirit to sadness, and was in anguish while His apostles slept, at a short distance. They contradict each other upon the day on which they say the Lord’s Supper took place; because on one side, they note that it took place Easter-eve, that is, the evening of the first day of Azymes, or of the feast of unleavened bread; as it is noted (1) in Exodus, (2) in Leviticus, and (3) in Numbers; and, on the other hand, they say that He was crucified the day following the Lord’s Supper, about midday after the Jews had His trial during the whole night and morning.

Now, according to what they say, the day after this supper took place, ought not to be Easter-eve. Therefore, if He died on the eve of Easter, toward midday, it was not on the eve of this feast that this supper took place. There is consequently a manifest error.

They contradict each other, also, in regard to the women who followed Jesus from Galilee, for the first three Evangelists say that these women, and those who knew Him, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary, mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s children, were looking on at a distance when He was hanged and nailed upon the cross. John says, on the contrary, that the mother of Jesus and His mother’s sister, and Mary Magdalene were standing near His cross with John, His apostle. The contradiction is manifest, for, if these women and this disciple were near Him, they were not at a distance, as the others say they were.

They contradict each other upon the pretended apparitions which they relate that Jesus made after His pretended resurrection; for Matthew speaks of but two apparitions: the one when He appeared to Mary Magdalene and to another woman, also named Mary, and when He appeared to His eleven disciples who had returned to Galilee upon the mountain where He had appointed to meet them.

Mark speaks of three apparitions: The first, when He appeared to Mary Magdalene; the second, when He appeared to His two disciples, who went to Emmaus; and the third, when He appeared to His eleven disciples, whom He reproaches for their incredulity.

Luke speaks of but two apparitions the same as Matthew; and John the Evangelist speaks of four apparitions, and adds to Mark’s three, the one which He made to seven or eight of His disciples who were fishing upon the shores of the Tiberian Sea.

They contradict each other, also, in regard to the place of these apparitions; for Matthew says that it was in Galilee, upon a mountain; Mark says that it was when they were at table; Luke says that He brought them out of Jerusalem as far as Bethany, where He left them by rising to Heaven; and John says that it was in the city of Jerusalem, in a house of which they had closed the doors, and another time upon the borders of the Tiberian Sea.

Thus is much contradiction in the report of these pretended apparitions. They contradict each other in regard to His pretended ascension to heaven; for Luke and Mark say positively that He went to heaven in presence of the eleven apostles, but neither Matthew nor John mentions at all this pretended ascension. More than this, Matthew testifies sufficiently that He did not ascend to heaven; for he said positively that Jesus Christ assured His apostles that He would be and remain always with them until the end of the world.

“Go ye,” He said to them, in this pretended apparition, “and teach all nations, and be assured that I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Luke contradicts himself upon the subject; for in his Gospel he says that it was in Bethany where He ascended to heaven in the presence of His apostles, and in his Acts of the Apostles (supposing him to have been the author) he says that it was upon the Mount of Olives.

He contradicts himself again about this ascension; for he notes in his Gospel that it was the very day of His resurrection, or the first night following, that He ascended to heaven; and in the Acts of the Apostles he says that it was forty days after His resurrection; this certainly does not correspond.

If all the apostles had really seen their Master gloriously rise to heaven, how could it be possible that Matthew and John, who would have seen it as well as the others, passed in silence such a glorious mystery, and which was so advantageous to their Master, considering that they relate many other circumstances of His life and of His actions which are much less important than this one?


How is it that Matthew does not mention this ascension? And why does Christ not explain   clearly how He would live with them always, although He left them visibly to ascend to heaven? It is not easy to comprehend by what secret He could live with those whom He left.

I pass in silence many other contradictions; what I have said is sufficient to show that these books are not of Divine Inspiration, nor even of human wisdom, and, consequently, do not deserve that we should put any faith in them.   JEAN MESLIER

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Jesus Was/Is A Myth

If one follows the many earth sciences closely enough you are presented with facts that if followed deeply enough and cogitated about long enough, reveals to you that all is not as it seems.

For example, science tells us that actual humans (Homo-sapiens…us), have walked the earth for near 200,000+-  years. Among scientists this is pretty much an un-disputed fact, Other, almost humans, walked the earth for several million years…some modern day European and Asian people have actual DNA from some of these ancient ancestors, meaning there was inter-breeding and viable, fertile offspring.

DNA and the old bones are telling this story…this is indisputable, non-judgmental,   unbiased science that is narrating the story of our ancestors life, not a book written by goat-herders–millions of years after the real beginning of the tale.

All of the above, and more, leads us to the necessity to re-examine and measure many old tall tales that have been passed off as truth to billions of people…namely the Biblical myths of our earthly Genesis.  Moses nowadays is thought to be pretty much a mythical figure.  His “contribution” to the Bible (The Pentateuch) is probably a product of earnest Jewish scholars of the sixth or seventh century BC …long after the reputed time of Moses…trying to keep a tribe together

We know that the essential stories of Genesis…Adam/Eve, Noah, dispersion of language, slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, Exodus, exploits of Joshua, etc. are mythical or allegorical tales.  Some people may think this is not a big deal, but some cogitation on the subject proves otherwise.  In fact if these stories are not true, the consequences ricochet through time…to the story of Jesus, and then go even greater lengths to prove the whole chapter–maybe the whole book–is only myth.

Follow this: there was no Adam/Eve as portrayed in the Bible. The Bible gives clues that much of civilization and early technology was miraculously “there” almost as soon as the story got going. This irrevocably puts the stories into the fifth or sixth millennia BC…a time that is extremely well researched and known about by our earth sciences.  The bone evidence and DNA evidence agree in their respective branches that there was never a time when our ancestors only numbered 2 in the case of Adam/Eve, and further out, the 6 mythical procreating members of the mythical Noah’s Ark.

As stated above man/womankind has walked the earth for 200,000 +- years…there was never an Adam/Eve couple six or eight or ten or fifty thousand years ago.  No Adam and Eve mean no “Original Sin” which irrevocably means there was no need for a Jesus to die as “blood atonement” for non-existent sins.  If you think about it God said, before Paul invented Original Sin, that children are not guilty of the sins of the father. Also the blood atonement think is kind of stupid…it’s nothing but theater, a contrivance to batten up a weak plot line.

With that thought in mind we go to some thoughts of people who are, or were, in the front lines of scholarship in matters of the Christian religion.

“It is important to recognize the obvious: The gospel story of Jesus is itself apparently mythic from first to last”Robert M. Price, professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute

“We can recreate dimensions of the world in which he lived, but outside of the Christian scriptures, we cannot locate him historically within that world”Gerald A. Larue, The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You to Read.

“The question must also be raised as to whether we have the actual words of Jesus in any Gospel”Bishop John Shelby Spong.

“According to the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, a faithful account of the actions and words of Jesus is to be found in the Gospels; but it is impossible to reconcile this with the existence in the text of contradictions, improbabilities, things which are materially impossible or statements which run contrary to firmly established reality”Maurice Bucaille, The Bible The Quran And Science

“Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it”C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic, The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy

“Even if there was a historical Jesus lying back of the gospel Christ, he can never be recovered. If there ever was a historical Jesus, there isn’t one anymore. All attempts to recover him turn out to be just modern re-mythologizing of Jesus. Every “historical Jesus” is a Christ of faith, of somebody’s faith. So the “historical Jesus” of modern scholarship is no less a fiction”Robert M. Price, Jesus: Fact or Fiction

“So unreliable were the Gospel accounts that “we can now know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus”Rudolf Bultmann, University of Marburg

So Prof. Bultmann is saying that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are unreliable, so bad that we can’t be sure about Jesus. Just how much faith can we put in the Gospels?  Let’s see what some other scholars believe…

“We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John”Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, The Gnostic Gospels.

“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 classics, history and religious studies at York University.

“The gospels are so anonymous that their titles, all second-century guesses, are all four wrong”Randel M. Helms, Who Wrote the Gospels?

“But even if it could be proved that John’s Gospel had been the first of the four to be written down, there would still be considerable confusion as to who “John” was. For the various styles of the New Testament texts ascribed to John- The Gospel, the letters, and the Book of Revelations– are each so different in their style that it is extremely unlikely that they had been written by one person”John Romer, archeologist & Bible scholar, Testament.

“Paul did not write the letters to Timothy to Titus or several others published under his name; and it is unlikely that the apostles Matthew, James, Jude, Peter and John had anything to do with the canonical books ascribed to them”Michael D. Coogan, Professor of religious studies at Stonehill College.

“Yet today, there are few Biblical scholars– from liberal skeptics to conservative evangelicals- who believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually wrote the Gospels. Nowhere do the writers of the texts identify themselves by name or claim unambiguously to have known or traveled with Jesus”Jeffery L. Sheler, The Four Gospels

“The bottom line is we really don’t know for sure who wrote the Gospels”Jerome Neyrey, Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass.

“The world has been for a long time engaged in writing lives of Jesus… The library of such books has grown since then. But when we come to examine them, one startling fact confronts us: all of these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a single scrap of contemporary information — not one! By accepted tradition he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustan age historians flourished; poets, orators, critics and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions the name of Jesus Christ, much less any incident in his life”Moncure D. Conway, Modern Thought

Some really bad press for a few people from the Christian religion. They keep saying there is all this evidence that their religion is the true one.  I’m wondering where it is.

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