Jesus

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“In the entire first Christian century Jesus is not mentioned by a single Greek or roman scholar, politician, philosopher or poet.

His name never occurs in a single inscription, and it is never found in a single piece of private correspondence. Zero! Zip references.”
Dr. Bart Ehrman, Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Yeah, Paul invented Christianity.

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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Go To Seminary…Lose Your Faith

“…It’s true, here are these young people in seminary, they have come with the purest of hearts and the noblest of intentions and they’re going to devote their lives to God. And one of the first things they learn is textual criticism. They’re looking at all the existing papyruses and scrolls and so forth and learning about the recension of the texts — the tortuous and often controversial historical path from Hebrew, Greek, and Latin versions of the books of the Bible — and all the Apocryphal books that got rejected — to the King James Version and all the later English translations. And that’s not what they taught you in Sunday school.”

That’s the joke that we often provoke from people when we talk about this: Anybody who goes through seminary and comes out believing in God hasn’t been paying attention.”–  Daniel. Dennett  [my emphasis]

Bart Ehrman writes about this in his book “Jesus Interrupted”.  He says that he believed in God and that the Bible was inerrant and that he was a full blown fundamentalist.  Then he went to Princeton Seminary and learned the real story behind the Christian religion. He still teaches religion at UNC Chapel Hill, but he is no longer a believer.

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Egypt, Ethiopia and the Beginning of Biblical Time

Recent DNA Genome studies of the human race, from all over the world, have shown that, long ago, we all came out of Africa.  From North and South America, Australia, China, Asia, Europe, India–All the world’s bloodlines converge in Africa, and the approximate time they came out of Africa can be tracked. This technology is less than three decades old now and it has changed genealogy and criminology forever. Looking into our human past is now very easy and I’m sure many more uses will be discovered.

Below are some short excerpts from a very smart lady writing of Egypt and Ethiopia in 1920’s/1930’s that I think is remarkably prescient. Science and archaeology seems to continue verifying her conclusions, as scientists have been saying for some time now that the Ethiopian area is probably the ‘Cradle of Life’, and we know that Egypt is the first truly great civilization. Much evidence coming out now that Libya, Egypt, and Ethiopia have been populated more than 10,000 years.

“Out of anthropology, ethnology, geology, paleontology, archaeology, as well as history, I have dug up an irrefutable arsenal of facts that Harvard or Yale or cowardly scholarship in our race dare not refute. How can a leadership point the forward way that is utterly ignorant of the past?”

“Stephanus of Byzantium, voicing the universal testimony of antiquity wrote, “Ethiopia was the first established country on earth and the Ethiopians were the first to set up the worship of the gods and to establish laws.” The later ages gained from this ancient empire, the fundamental principles upon which republican governments are founded. The basic stones of that wonderful dominion were equality, temperance, industry, intelligence and justice.”
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“The priests of Sais said to Solon, “You Greeks are novices in all the knowledge of antiquity. You are ignorant of what passed here or among yourselves in the days of old. The history of eight thousand years is deposited in our sacred books, but we can ascend to much higher antiquity and tell you what our fathers have done for nine thousand years. I mean their institutions, their laws, and their brilliant accomplishments.” Baldwin points out that neither Solon nor Plato thought this improbable. The Greeks could tell nothing of their progenitors and but little of the Pelasgian race that preceded them in Hellenic lands. “There can be no doubt,” says Baldwin, “that the Egyptians preserved old records of the early period of their history extending beyond Menes.” This knowledge was lost to our times by the destruction of the Alexandrian library and the fanatical zeal which destroyed all pagan manuscripts.”
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“Egypt falls into natural divisions, Lower and Upper. Lower Egypt stretches from the Mediterranean to the limit of the Delta. Upper Egypt extends six hundred miles south of the Delta to the first cataract. The broad plains of the Delta and the comparatively narrow valley higher up make up the divisions of Egypt. In the primitive days Upper Egypt was wholly Ethiopian. Bunsen says that the early monuments reveal the primitive Egyptian, with head low and elongated, the forehead not amply developed, the nose short, thick, the lips full and large, the chin short and receding. In those days the rulers of Egypt were wholly Ethiopian. Look at authentic plates of early Egyptian Pharaohs, they are undeniably Cushite. The Great Sphinx, emblematic of an earlier king, is the full featured Ethiopian type. Look at the astounding countenance of Cheops. The counterpart of such a face can only be found among Ethiopians today. He is a perfect representation of the Cushite Ethiopian race that cast such giant shadows on time’s dawn.”  Drusilla Dunjee Houston, writing in late 1920’s to early 1930’s, in public domain.

This is a pretty fascinating read for anyone interested in human beginnings and our path to civilization.  One thing I found interesting was that the Egyptians and Ethiopians were circumcising male children-before the Hebrews and their gods even thought about it.

“Circumcision was a rite universally practiced as a part of the religion of the old Egyptians, as long as the native institutions flourished. It was a rite of the ruling Ethiopian element. Under Greek and Roman rule it fell into disuse but was always retained by the priesthood and those who desired to cultivate ancient wisdom. Herodotus said that all Ethiopians circumcised. Lenormant calls it original with them. The Coptic Church practices it to this day. Abyssinians do the same. They did not adopt it from the Jews for they circumcise both sexes. Oldendorpe finds the rite in western Africa. It must be a relic of ancient African customs. It is older than Mohammed, who did not regard it as a religious rite. Southern Arabia had the rite from Ethiopia. Himyartic Arabs (Cushites), circumcise their children on the eighth day. Pocock found that other Semitic Arabs circumcise between the tenth and fifteenth years.”

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