Nativity fiction

Gerard David (Flemish painter, 1460-1523) The Nativity
 

Two of the four canonical Gospels—Matthew and Luke—give accounts of the conception and birth of Jesus. John tells us only of the Incarnation—that the Logos “became flesh”—while Mark says nothing at all about Jesus until his baptism as a man of perhaps thirty. Either Mark and John know nothing about Jesus’ background and birth, or they regard them as unremarkable.

Certainly Mark, the earliest Gospel, knows nothing of the Annunciation or the Virgin Birth. It is clear from 3:20-21 that in Mark’s view the conception of Jesus was accompanied by no angelic announcement to Mary that her son was to be (in Luke’s words) “Son of the Most High” and possessor of the “throne of David” (Luke 1:32 NEB [New English Bible]).

According to Mark, after Jesus had openly declared himself Son of Man (a heavenly being, according to Daniel 7:13), his family on hearing of this “set out to take charge of him. ‘He is out of his mind,’ they said.” Surely Jesus’ mother and brothers (so identified in Mark 3:31) would not have regarded Jesus’ acts as signs of insanity if Mark’s Mary, like Luke’s, had been told by the angel Gabriel that her son would be the Messiah.

But Mark’s ignorance of Jesus’ conception, birth, and background was no hindrance to the first-century imagination. Many first-century Jewish Christians did feel a need for a Davidic messiah, and at least two separate groups responded by producing Davidic genealogies for Jesus, both to a considerable extent imaginary and each largely inconsistent with the other. One of each was latter appropriated by Matthew and Luke and repeated, with minor but necessary changes, in their Gospels. Each genealogy uses Old Testament as its source of names until it stops supplying them or until the supposed messianic line diverges from the biblical. After that point the Christian imaginations supplied two different lists of ancestors of Jesus.

Why, to show that Jesus is “the son of David,” trace the ancestry of a man who is not his father? The obvious answer is that the list of names was constructed not by the author of Matthew but by earlier Jewish Christians who believed in all sincerity that Jesus had a human father. Such Jewish Christians were perhaps the forbears of the group known in the second century as the Ebionites.

The two genealogies in fact diverge after David (c. 1000 B.C.) and do not again converge until Joseph. It is obvious that another Christian group, separate from the one supplying Mathew’s list but feeling an equal need for a messiah descended from David, complied its own genealogy, as imaginary as Mathew’s in its last third. And like Mathew’s genealogy, it traces the Davidic ancestry of the man who, Luke insists, is not Jesus’ father anyway, and thus is rendered pointless.

Moreover, according to Luke’s genealogy (3:23-31) there are forty-one generations between David and Jesus; whereas according to Mathew’s, there are but twenty seven. Part of the difference stems from Mathew’s remarkably careless treatment of his appropriated list of names.

Thus we have a fascinating picture of four separate Christian communities in the first century. Two of them, Jewish-Christian, were determined to have a messiah with Davidic ancestry and constructed genealogies to prove it, never dreaming that Jesus could be thought of as having no human father.

But gentile Christians in the first century, who came into the new religion directly from paganism and were already infected with myths about licentious deities, had a much different understanding of what divine paternity meant. Plutarch speaks for the entire pagan world when he writes, in Convivial Disputations, “The fact of the intercourse of a male with mortal women is conceded by all,” though he admits that such relations might be spiritual, not carnal. Such mythology came with pagans converted to Christianity, and by the middle of the first century, Joseph’s paternity of Jesus was being replaced by God’s all over the gentile world.

“The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he shall be called Emmanuel,” a name which means “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:20-23)

The Septuagint, from which Matthew quotes, uses, at Isaiah 7:14, parthenos (physical virgin) for the Hebrew almah (young woman) as well as the future tense, “will conceive,” though Hebrew has no future tense as such. Modern English translations are probably more accurate in reading (as does the New English Bible), “A young woman is with child.” We can scarcely blame the author of Matthew for being misguided by this translation (though Jews frequently ridiculed early Christians for their dependence on the often-inaccurate Septuagint rather than the Hebrew). We can, however, fault him for reading Isaiah 7:14 quite without reference to its context—an interpretative method used by many in his time and ours, but a foolish one nonetheless. Any sensible reading of Isaiah, chapter seven, reveals its concern with the Syrio-Israelite crisis of 734 B.C. (the history of which appears in I Kings 16:1-20).

It is clear, however, that though the mistranslated and misunderstood passage in Isaiah was Matthew’s biblical justification for the Virgin Birth, it was not the source of the belief (indeed Luke presents the Virgin Birth without reference to Isaiah). The doctrine originated in the widespread pagan belief in the divine conception upon various virgins of a number of mythic heroes and famous persons in the ancient world, such as Plato, Alexander, Perseus, Asclepius and the Dioscuri.

Matthew writes that Joseph, having been informed in his dream, “had no intercourse with her until her son was born” (Matt. 1:25). Luke gives us a different myth about the conception of Jesus, in which the Annunciation that the messiah is to be fathered by God, not Joseph, is made to Mary rather than to her betrothed. Embarrassed by the story’s clear implicit denial of the Virgin Birth notion, Luke or a later Christian inserted Mary’s odd question (“How can this be, since I know not a man?”), but the clumsy interpolation makes hash of Jesus’ royal ancestry.

In due course, Jesus was born, growing up in Nazareth of Galilee, a nationality different from the Judean inhabitants of Jerusalem and its near neighbor, Bethlehem. After Jesus’ death, those of his followers interested in finding proof of his messiahnship in the Old Testament worked a Christian reinterpretation of Micah 5:2 concerning the importance of Bethlehem as the birthplace of David and his dynasty:

You, Bethlehem in Ephrathah, small as you are to be among Judah’s clans, out of you shall come forth a governor for Israel, one whose roots are far back in the past, in days gone by.

That is, the one who restores the dynasty will have the same roots, be of the same ancestry, as David of Bethlehem. Prophesying, it would appear, during the Babylonian exile, Micah (or actually a sixth-century B.C. interpolator whose words were included in the book of the eight-century B.C. prophet) hoped for the restoration of the Judaean monarchy destroyed in 586 B.C.

But since some first-century Christians did read Micah 5:2 as a prediction of the birthplace of Jesus, it became necessary to explain why he grew up in Nazareth, in another country, rather than Bethlehem. At least two different and mutually exclusive narratives explaining this were produced: one appears in Matthew, the other in Luke.

Matthew has it that Mary and Joseph lived in Bethlehem when Jesus was born, and continued there for about two years, fleeing then to Egypt. They returned to Palestine only after Herod’s death. For fear of Herod’s son, they did not resettle in Bethlehem but moved rather to another country, Galilee, finding a new home in Nazareth.

Luke, on the other hand, writes that Mary and apparently Joseph lived in Nazareth, traveling to Bethlehem just before Jesus’ birth to register for a tax census. They left Bethlehem forty days later to visit the temple in Jerusalem for the required ritual of the first-born, returning then to their hometown of Nazareth.

Examination of these two irreconcilable accounts will give us a good picture of the creative imaginations of Luke, Matthew, and their Christian sources.

In most of Matthew’s Gospel, the major source of information about Jesus is the Gospel of Mark (all but fifty-five of Mark’s verses appear in Matthew, either word-for-word or with deliberate changes). But Mark says nothing about Jesus’ birth. When one favorite source fails him, Matthew inventively turns to another—this time to the Old Testament, read with a particular interpretative slant, and to oral tradition about Jesus, combining the two in a noticeably uneasy way.

We must remember that for the Christian generation that produced our Gospels, the Bible consisted only of what Christians now called the Old Testament, and a particular version thereof, the Greek Septuagint. But before they wrote the New Testament, Christians created another entirely new book, the Old Testament, turning the Septuagint into a book about Jesus by remarkably audacious and creative interpretation. Meanings it had held for generations of Jews, its historical and poetic content especially, ceased to exist; it became not a book about the past but about its own future.

Of course, other groups such as the Qumran sect also read the Bible oracularly, but Christians specialized this technique, finding oracles about Jesus of Nazareth. If a passage in the Septuagint could be read as a prediction of an event in the life of Jesus, then the event must have happened. Thus, if Micah were understood to mean that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, then Jesus must have been born there, no matter what his real hometown. But as it happens, the Bethlehem birth story, dependent upon the Christian interpretation of Micah, and the magi-and-star legend, dependent upon Hellenistic and Jewish oral tradition, fit together very uneasily. The story of the magi (“astrologers” is a more meaningful translation) says that “the star which they had seen at its rising went ahead of them until it stopped above the place where the child lay” (Matt 2:9).

In all the stories, the astrologers point to a special star, symbol of the arrival of the new force (Israel, Abraham, Jesus). Says Balaam: “A star shall rise [anatelei astron] out of Jacob, a man shall spring out of Israel, and shall crush the princes of Moab” (Num. 24:17 LXX). The astrologers in Matthew likewise point to a star: “We observed the rising of his star” (Matt. 2.2).

Now the source of the story of the king (Nimrod, Herod) who wants to kill the infant leader of Israel (Abraham, Jesus) shifts to the account of Moses in Exodus, the classic biblical legend of the wicked king (Pharaoh) who wants to slay the new leader of Israel (Moses). Indeed, the story of Moses in the Septuagint provided Matthew with a direct verbal source for his story of the flight into Egypt. As Pharaoh wants to kill Moses, who then flees the country, so Herod wants to kill Jesus, who is then carried away by his parents. After a period of hiding for the hero in both stories, the wicked king dies:

And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, “Go, depart into Egypt, for all that sought thy life are dead” (tethnekasi gar pantes hoi zetountes sou ten psychen—Ex: 4:19 LXX).

When Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel for those who sought the child’s life are dead” (tethnekasin gar hoi zetountes ten psychen tou paidiou—Matt 2:20).

Of course, Moses flies from Egypt to Midian, while the Holy Family flees to Egypt through Midian.

“This was to fulfill the words spoken through the prophets: ‘He shall be called a Nazarene’” (Matt. 2:23). There is, however, no such passage in all the Old Testament. Matthew had apparently vaguely heard that such a verse was in the “prophets,” and since he really needed to get the Holy Family from the supposed birthplace to the known hometown, he reported the fulfillment but left the biblical reference unspecified.

Like Matthew, Luke faced the same problem of reconciling known Nazarene upbringing with supposed Bethlehem birth. His solution, however, was entirely different, and even less convincing. Whereas Matthew has the Holy Family living in Bethlehem at the time of the birth and traveling to Nazareth, Luke has them living in Nazareth and traveling to Bethlehem in the very last stages of Mary’s pregnancy. Though Luke 1:5 dates the birth of Jesus in the “days of Herod, king of Judaea,” who died in 4 B.C., he wants the journey from Galilee to Bethlehem to have occurred in response to a census called when “Quirinius was governor of Syria.”

As historians know, the one and only census conducted while Quirinius was legate in Syria affected only Judaea, not Galilee, and took place in A.D. 6-7, a good ten years after the death of Herod the Great. In his anxiety to relate the Galilean upbringing with the supposed Bethlehem birth, Luke confused his facts. Indeed, Luke’s anxiety has involved him in some real absurdities, like the needless ninety-mile journey of a woman in her last days of pregnancy—for it was the Davidic Joseph who supposedly had to be registered in the ancestral village, not the Levitical Mary.

Worse yet, Luke has been forced to contrive a universal dislocation for a simple tax registration. Who could imagine the efficient Romans requiring millions in the empire to journey scores of hundreds of miles to the villages of millennium-old ancestors merely to sign a tax form!

Needless to say, no such event ever happened in the history of the Roman Empire.

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This is part of the chapter “Nativity legends” in Gospel Fictions by Randel Helms that I typed directly from the book. I omitted adding ellipsis between unquoted passages.

Christians: clueless about Judaism

Below, “The Conspiracy of Man,” forward to The Tabernacle and its Sacrificial System, posted by Arch Stanton as a comment in this blog:


The problem with Christianity is that people do not understand the Jewish mind behind it. To understand the New Testament, one must understand Jewish culture, history and religion. Of course the Jews make no effort to enlighten the ignorant goyim on these subjects. In fact they prohibit the transference of their religious texts under penalty of death!

Long before the Temple came the era of the Tabernacle, where the sacrifice was ceremonial bloodlust. It was a place where priests butchered animals to atone for sins against their God, Yahweh.

The Torah originally referred to the first five books of the Old Testament. The books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy are Levirate laws forming the basis for Judaism’s sacrificial system. This system is naturally founded on the sacrifice of both blood offerings, in the form of specified animals, and non-blood offerings in the form of specified grains. In the early days of the sacrificial system, the Tabernacle was nothing more than a moving slaughterhouse, a place where priests butchered animals. It is telling that only the best animals, the least “blemished,” could be offered for sacrifice.

The indication as to the true purpose of the sacrificial system lay in the fact that priests took ten percent of the choicest cuts of meat for themselves and burned only the fat and viscera upon the altar as “sweet savor” to the Lord. The remaining meat was then returned to the sinner. Think about this for a moment, the Lord preferred fat and viscera to the prime cuts commanded by the priests.

Imagine for a moment, your priest as a butcher. Imagine going to church on Sunday and seeing your priest at the altar slitting the throat of various parishioners’ pets, catching their blood in a golden bowl and then splashing it around the altar as he dances around in a trance-like state chanting pleas to God for the forgiveness of sins and begging for salvation. After the service, you say to your spouse, “Boy that certainly was a different sermon this week wasn’t it dear?” Your spouse replies, “Oh I don’t know, next week is communion, when we eat the body Christ and drink his blood. Speaking of that, let’s hurry to the restaurant before the church crowd gets there.”

marked-bloodAfter making their sacrifice, the Hebrew sinner was marked with blood, mixed with other bodily fluids, on either the forehead or the big toe. This mixture ensured longevity of the mark. The blood marking was visible proof that a tribesman had paid his “sin tax.” Later, this mark was washed off in a ritual purification bath called the Mikveh, at which time the sacrificial cycle began anew.

However, this marking system had one obvious, glaring drawback. Blood is a commonly available substance produced by the higher organisms. In their attempt to control the easily counterfeited blood marking, priests forbade their followers from butchering their own animals or even possessing the instruments for doing so. This was the primary reason for the kosher slaughter, a process where the living animal’s throat is slit to ensure the pumping heart will drain the blood as completely as possible. This also led to the prohibition of various implements and practices used in the butchering process. The priests defined these as “clean” or “unclean,” but think “legal” or “illegal,” as these are in fact legalistic dictates that have almost nothing to do with hygiene.

Any contact with blood was strictly prohibited, like that produced by menstruating women or “lepers,” which meant anyone with running sores. As a result, a Byzantine legal structure arose to control the minutiae of everyday life. There is a forgettable tract in the Mishna that elaborates on the cleanliness of a bowl. The upshot of this legal commandment is that if a bowl in intact, then it is unclean; but if the bowl is smashed into pieces of which the largest piece is no larger than the tip of a man’s finger, then it is clean. This makes absolutely no sense unless one understands the bowl in question can be used to hold and mix blood products.

Eventually the phylactery replaced the blood marking. This was a small box attached to the forehead or the back of the wrist holding a scroll with a passage from the Torah. The scroll changed in accordance with the sacrificial cycle; and like tabs on a license plate, it could be checked as proof that Temple followers were current on their sacrificial tribute. Despite this modification, Levirite laws concerning blood products remained in full force.

Imagine yourself as a very young child of a primitive, nomadic, tribesman. Having heard only stories, you are dimly aware of the importance of a much talked about, upcoming ritual. You are aware this ritual occurs on regular basis and the anxiousness of your parents is palpable when discussing the subject.

On the prescribed day, the day the ritual begins. You follow your parents down to a running stream. A man richly attired in strange garb stands in the middle of the stream. One by one, your neighbors walk into the stream where the man mutters strange words as he immerses them in the water while rubbing their forehead with the palm of his hand. After your father has undergone the ritual immersion, you note the red mark he always wears on is forehead has disappeared. The ritual continues until every adult in the village has undergone immersion. You hear someone nearby whispering that the sacred cycle has ended.

The following day, your mother wakes you earlier than usual and your family spends the morning in careful preparation for the day’s activities. You want to play with your friends, but your mother insists you attended to her demands. You accompany your father as he goes out among his meager collection of animals. He spends quite a bit of time inspecting the herd until he finally chooses a prized sheep. This animal happens to be one of your favorites. You have often played with the sheep, chasing them around the meadows and finally catching one, you buried your face in its soft wool. Your nose takes delight in the earthy smell of the sheep. It is the smell of life, and life seems to be everywhere among the hills where the herds roam.

tabernacleLater that morning, your father takes you by the hand and with animal in tow, you are dragged to a portable slaughterhouse your parents refer to as the “Tabernacle.” Here you are to witness the important ritual they have been discussing over the preceding weeks. You enter a large enclosure surrounded by a fence made of cloth. In the middle of the enclosure is an odd tent-like structure with rude wooden columns and entry doors. A number of wooden tables, sagging oddly along the longitudinal center line, are set up in the makeshift courtyard directly in front of the tent. Soon, other families begin arriving with their animals.

Finally, the ceremony begins. A neighbor of yours steps forward and presents a prized calf to one of several strangely dressed men, like the men you saw at the stream the day before. Your parents refer to these men as “priests.” One by one, the sinners step forward and present their animal to a priest who then hoists it upon one of the many tables. Your neighbor drops to his knees in front of the priest, closes his eyes and begins chanting something unintelligible. As you are witnessing this, your father grabs your hand and places it alongside his on the prized sheep. You can feel its heart racing. The animal transmits its terror though the palm of your hand. The priest takes hold of the struggling animal and with quick, practiced motion, slits its throat with a razor sharp knife. The animal struggles, kicking and bellowing in protest, as geysers of blood erupts from its jugular vein. A froth of blood spews forth, splattering you and everyone present. You can feel the spark of life draining through its hide as the stillness of death overcomes the animal. You look down at the viscous red fluid splattered on the front of your robe. You stare with revulsion at the red stains soaking into the fibers as the stench of death assaults your nostrils and addles your sense.

blood-sacrifice-covenant

Even before the animal has ceased struggling, you look up from your bloodstained robe to see the head priest/butcher moving quickly to catch the animal’s blood in a golden bowl. Now you realize the sagging tabletop forms a trough that allows the blood to flow from the end, where the priest awaits with his bowl. With eyelids half closed and muttering some strange incantation, he seems to be in a trance. Shouting, he lifts the golden bowl skyward at arms’ length before splashing the rapidly congealing blood over and around the base of the altar. The priest then comes out of his trance and begins eviscerating the animal. During this process, the animal’s bloody guts are laid aside so they can later be burned on the altar as sweet savor to the lord, who evidently has an abiding taste for burnt fat and viscera.

In just a few strokes, the priest/butcher finishes his gory task. Working rapidly, he begins cutting the animal’s joints. As he separates the portions of meat, he carefully lays aside a large portion of the best cuts for himself. He then returns the remaining meat to your neighbor, who by now has given the priest full admission of his sins.

After the sacrifice is complete, the priest produces a smaller bowl with a cupful of the animal’s blood. The priest mixes it with another bodily fluid that appears to be semen. He uses his thumb to smear a large daub of the mixture on the forehead of the entranced, chanting sinner kneeling before him with closed eyes. Then, with a loud shout, the priest/butcher declares that by this act, your neighbor’s sins have been atoned. Your neighbor staggers to his feet and like a drunk, lurches away from the butchering table with a beatific look on his face, even as the priest calls for the next sinner to step forward with his animal.

Suddenly you feel the full emotional horror of the fate awaiting the other animals brought to the ritual. All the while, these men called priests, howl, chant and dance about, reciting their ritualistic incantations that beg god’s forgiveness; it must have been a bloody spectacle. The bloodlust continues well into evening.

BundesladeWhat you never witness is the secret ceremony inside the Tabernacle’s tent where the high priest in a final act of crazed bloodlust drinks the sacrificial blood before the mercy seat. The Levirate injunction against consuming blood is a public admonishment to restrict the use of blood products. However, the priesthood exempted itself from its own laws and secretly does not observe such restrictions. This covert act, along with the acceptable act of consuming sacrificial meat, will later be replayed by Yeshu during his last supper, when he symbolically offers wine and bread representing his blood and body to his disciples.

yeshu A few days later the priests fold their Tabernacle tent and move on. They will move to the next tribe where the sacrificial cycle will be played out once again.

Consider the effect of this gruesome spectacle on a child. Blood spewing everywhere, chanting priests mesmerized in their crazed bloodlust, driven by the howling and grunting of animals bleeding out the last of their life on the ground. The restless bleating of animals, now aware of their fate. Sinners raising their hands towards the heavens as they cry out for god’s forgiveness. Imagine your parents continually consumed with the thought of blood and the avoidance of it, thoughts that translate into an unnatural obsession about the stuff.

Extrapolate this horror out over the generational millennium and you have the foundations of a psychopathic bloodlust that is not a preference, not a peculiar, incidental twist in a few exceptional personalities: it is a culturally inbred condition, one that can neither be altered nor escaped. This culture of blood has permeated the very core of Judaism until it has become a genetic component of their race.

The Bible is a book whose stories have influenced humanity in the most profound manner. Few would argue the statement that it has been the single most influential book in history. Yet few truly comprehend the true breadth and depth of its influence. Fewer still stop to consider why this ancient book has had such a powerful influence when other similar books of antiquity faded into complete obscurity; curious artifacts examined only by experts. What is it about the Bible that is different? Why is this particular book considered relevant to modern man, when its contemporaries are considered irrelevant, archaic works of ancient, primitive, tribes? What is it about these stories that drive modern man in the same manner as they drove the men of ancient times?

The original book was known to Jews as the Torah. These were the first five books attributed to Moses. “Torah” is an interesting word. Many words in Jewish culture have multiple constructs. Therefore, to understand the intent, such words must be taken within the frame of reference to the context in which they are used. To Jews, Torah can refer to anything from the first five books of Moses to the entire linage of Hebraic religious works, ranging from Genesis to the last volume of the Talmud. For our purpose, Torah will refer to those five books of the Old Testament attributed to Moses. This collection is commonly known to Christians as the “Pentateuch.”

Hyman-Bloom-Still

The actual definition of “Torah” is likewise interesting. Again, we find a double definition in that the word is defined as both “law or legal” as well as “instruction.” From this definition, we find the Torah is in fact books of legal instruction. The reader is asked to keep this definition in mind while reading this book.

The Torah spawned three of the most influential religions on the planet today: Judaism and her unwanted daughters, Islam and Christianity; unwanted because the Jews never intended their book or beliefs to be adopted by non-Jews. It is truly ironic how few Christians realize that these two daughters have far more in common with each other than they do with their mother religion. All three religions are based on the original stories found in the Torah. All three recognize and revere the ancient patriarchs of the Old Testament. All three pay tribute to these stories as their foundational beliefs about monotheism. All three base their concepts of God upon the descriptions found in these stories. One only needs to compare these three religions with a religion like Buddhism or Hinduism to find the close relationship of mother Judaism and her two daughters.

Yet, while Western civilization has been profoundly influenced by these stories, the book in fact addresses the issues of the ancient Jews. The Bible was written by Jews, about Jews, for Jews. The information in the Torah was never intended to play any part outside Jewish culture for as it is written in the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 59a, (“Gemara… Johanan said: A heathen who studies the Torah deserves death, for it is written, Moses commanded us a law for an inheritance; it is our inheritance, not theirs”).

cross-and-star-of-david-togetherIt has been written that the worst reference source for information about water is a fish, for a fish is immersed in the fluid. The immersion of the fish is so complete that it does not even perceive that water exists. Thus, the fish’s immersion and dependence on water precludes any objective analysis of the fluid by the fish and so is the case with the Bible. Western civilization has been so profoundly influenced by its immersion in these stories that it can no longer see the original, objective truths behind them. The Bible is not a book about the history of the Jews: it is a book about the culture and beliefs of a people instrumental in shaping our world. Essentially, the Torah is a cookbook that might well be titled in the same manner as the one in Rod Serling’s play, To Serve Man.

Throughout their history, Jews have been renowned storytellers. Much of their superior verbal skills are undoubtedly derived from the history of their religion’s long oral tradition. Storytelling has long been the common method used by primitive cultures to pass down traditional beliefs and law, but the Jews elevated storytelling to the highest level possible. For Jews, storytelling goes well beyond even an art form, it is in fact the very thread from which they weave the fabric of their culture.

From the first millennia of their existence, Hebrew law and religious beliefs were passed down in the form of storytelling. Around the time of Yeshu, heated debate arose among the Sadducees and Pharisees over whether or not to continue adhering to the oral tradition. By the time of the second Temple period, a major point of friction between the Pharisees and the Sadducees was the validity of the oral law, since the Sadducees only adhered to the written law. Attempts were made to codify a collection of rulings, but the Sadducees rejected the Pharisees’ notion of abiding by the Oral tradition before it was later committed to ink.

There are some interesting considerations inherent to this disagreement. First and foremost, an oral tradition can be much more closely controlled as to who is allowed to receive the information. By this, one can see that had these stories not been committed to the written form, modern Christians would have no more idea of their content than they have of the Hebrew language. Secondly, oral traditions lend themselves to modification far more easily than written traditions. Orwell pointed out this difficulty in his book 1984, where an entire ministry is devoted exclusively to changing the written history of a culture. The Pharisees eventually won the argument as the modern Talmud teaches “God made a covenant with Israel only for the sake of that which was transmitted orally.” Yet, to this day, Jewish boys devote much of their time memorizing and reciting long, torturous, Talmudic tracts and arguing the legal precedence set by these laws, doing so in the very same manner as their ancestors.

Today, Hollywood’s writers, producers, and directors are predominantly Jewish; so it comes as no surprise to find the Torah’s influence clearly visible throughout most Hollywood productions. This marvelous ability to fantasize and tell tall tales can be visibly witnessed in numerous Hollywood and TV shows written and produced by these Jews. While names like Spielberg, Lear and Katzenberg have replaced Biblical names like Moses, Ezekiel, and Saul, the same form of story telling is still much in evidence. When one examines the fantastic and fanciful stories written and produced by those like Spielberg or Serling, or morality plays written by Norman Lear, one has a direct window into the mind of the Biblical storyteller.

 

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My two cents:

The author of the above foreword restricts his critique to animal sacrifice. More recent scholarship has established that those sacrifices, which would be condemned by any animal rights advocate today, were the sublimation of the ancient Hebrews’ filicidal impulses toward their own children: sublimation of actual child sacrifices in even more ancient Israelite history. See the pages of my book where I address this extremely disturbing subject: here.

Infanticide in the historical Israel

by César Tort

Below, a Spanish-English translation of pages 602-608 of my book Hojas Susurrantes. For a broader context of the subject of infanticide, see the Metapedia article (here).


In the past, the shadow of infanticide covered the world, but the Phoenicians and their biblical ancestors, the Canaanites, performed sacrifices that turn pale the Mesoamerican sacrifices of children.

The Tophet, located in the valley of Gehenna, was a place near Jerusalem where it is believed that children were burned alive to the god Moloch Baal. Later it became synonymous with Hell, and the generic name “tophet” would be transferred to the sacrificial site of the cemetery at Carthage and other Mediterranean cities like Motya, Tharros and Hadrumetum, where bones have been found of Carthaginian and Phoenician children.

Semitic-offering-to-molech

According to a traditional reading of the Bible, stories of sacrifice by the Hebrews were relapses of the chosen people to pagan customs. Recent studies, such as Jon Levenson’s The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity have suggested that the ancient Hebrews did not differ much from the neighboring towns but that they were typical examples of Semitic peoples of Canaan.

The cult of Yahweh was only gradually imposed in a group while the cult of Baal was still part of the fabric of the Hebrew-Canaanite culture. Such religion had not been a syncretistic custom that the most purist Hebrews rejected from their “neighbor” Canaanites: it was part of their roots. For Israel Finkelstein, an Israeli archaeologist and academic, the writing of the book of Deuteronomy in the reign of Josiah was a milestone in the development and invention of Judaism.

Josiah represents what I call one of the psychogenic mutants who firmly rejected the infanticidal psychoclass of their own people. Never mind that he and his aides had rewritten their nation’s past by idealizing the epic of Israel. More important is that they make Yahweh say—who led the captivity of his people by the Assyrians—that it was a punishment for their idolatry: which includes the burning of children. The book of Josiah’s scribes even promotes to conquer other peoples that, like the Hebrews, carried out such practices. “The nations whom you go in to dispossess,” says the Deuteronomy, “they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.” (12: 29-31). “When you come into the land that the Lord is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering.” (18: 9-10).

This emergence, or jump to a higher psychoclass from the infanticidal, is also attested in other books of the Hebrew Bible. “The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim” (2 Kings: 17: 30-31).

There were kings of Judah who committed these outrages with their children too. In the 8th century B.C. the thriving King Ahaz “even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites” (2 Kings 16: 1-3). Manasseh, one of the most successful kings of Judah, “burnt his son in sacrifice” (21:6). The sacrificial site also flourished under Amon, the son of Manasseh. Fortunately it was destroyed during the reign of Josiah. Josiah also destroyed the sacrificial site of the Valley of Ben Hinnom “so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech” (23:10). Such destructions are like the destruction of Mesoamerican temples by the Spaniards, and for identical reasons.

Ezekiel, taken into exile to Babylon preached there to his people. He angrily chided them: “And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and made them pass through the fire” (Ezekiel 16: 20-21). The prophet tells us that since his people wandered in the desert they burned their children, adding: “When you offer your gifts—making your sons to pass through the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will not let you inquire of me” (20:31). Other passages in Ezekiel that complain about his people’s sins appear in 20: 23-26 and 23: 37-39.

A secular, though inspired by Jung, way to see God is to conceive it as how the ego of an individual’s superficial consciousness relates to the core of his own psyche: the Self. In the following diatribe by Ezekiel (16: 35-38) against his people we can hear this inner daimon, the “lord” of the man Ezekiel:

Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your nakedness in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children’s blood in sacrifice, therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see all your nakedness. I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring upon you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger.

When a prophet—that is, an individual who has made a leap to a higher psychoclass—maligned his inferiors, he received insults. Isaiah (57: 4-5) wrote:

Whom are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars? You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags.

Ezekiel wrote in the 6th century B.C.; Isaiah in the 8th B.C. Although Julian Jaynes would say that their visions were bicameral, it has been said that some of those diagnosed with schizophrenia have a much higher moral standard of values than the average individual. The very psalmist complained that people sacrificed their children to idols. But what exactly were these sacrificial rites?

Since the 10th century B.C. the spoken tradition of what was to be collected in biblical texts centuries later complained that Solomon “built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites,” and that his wives made offerings to these gods (1 Kings 11: 7-8). And even before, from the third book of the Torah we read the commandment: “Do not give any of your children to be passed through the fire to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God.” (Leviticus 18:21). A couple of pages later (20: 2-5) it says:

Say to the Israelites: “Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.”

Despite these admonitions, the influential anthropologist James Frazer interpreted some biblical passages as indicating that the god of the early Hebrews, unlike the emergent god quoted above, required sacrifices of children. After all, “God” is but the projection of the Jungian Self of a human being at a given point of the human theodicy. Unlike Larry S. Milner, a Christian frightened by the idea, I do not see it impossible that the ancient Hebrews have emerged from an infanticidal psychoclass to a more emergent one. In “The Dying God,” part three of The Golden Bough, Frazer calls our attention to these verses of Exodus (22: 29-30):

Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

A similar passage can be read in Numbers (18: 14-15), and this one (3: 11-13) seems revealing:

The Lord also said to Moses, “I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord.”

The psychohistorian Howard Stein, who has written several scholarly articles on Judaism since the mid-1970s, concludes in an article of 2009 that the gathered information suggests a particular interpretation. According to Stein, the substrate of fear for the slaughter “helps to explain the valency that the High Holiday have for millions of Jews world-wide,” presumably echoes of very ancient happenings.

In contrast to what we were taught in Sunday school as children, Moses did not write the Torah: it was not written before the Persian period. In fact, the most sacred book of the Jews includes four different sources.

Since the 17th century thinkers such as Spinoza and Hobbes had researched the origins of the Pentateuch, and the consensus of contemporary studies is that the final edition is dated by the 5th century B.C. (the biblical Moses, assuming that ever existed, would have lived in the 13th century B.C.). Taking into account the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible—for example, Isaiah abhorred animal sacrifice—it should not surprise us that the first chapter of Leviticus consist only of animal sacrifices, which the “Lord” called holocausts to be offered at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. After killing, skinning and butchering the animal, the priest incinerates everything on the altar “as a burnt offering to the Lord; it is a pleasing aroma, a special gift presented to the Lord.” A phrase that is repeated three times in that first chapter, it also appears in subsequent chapters and reminds me those words by Cortés to Charles V about the Mesoamerican sacrifices (“…they take many girls and boys and even adults, and in the presence of these idols they open their chests while they are still alive and take out their hearts and entrails and burn them before the idols, offering the smoke as the sacrifice”). In the book of Exodus (34:20) even the emerging transition of child sacrifice to lamb sacrifice can be guessed in some passages, what gave rise to the legend of Abraham:

For the first foal of a donkey, they should give a lamb or a goat instead of the ass, but if you do not give, you break the neck of the donkey. You must also give an offering instead of each eldest child. And no one is to appear before me empty-handed.

Compared with other infanticidal peoples the projection of the demanding father had been identical, but the emergency to a less dissociated layer of the human psyche is clearly visible. As noted by Jaynes, the Bible is a treasure to keep track of the greatest psychogenic change in history. The Hebrews sacrificed their children just as other peoples, but eventually they would leave behind the barbaric practice.

isaac sacrifice

After the captivity in the comparatively more civilized Babylon in 586 B.C., the Jews abandoned their practices. In his book King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of Historical Realities, published in 2004, Francesca Stavrakopoulou argues that child sacrifice was part of the worship of Yahweh, and that the practice was condemned only after the exile. Like their Christian successors, the Jews had sublimated their filicidal desires in the Passover ritual. Each year they celebrate the liberation of their people and remember how Yahweh killed the firstborn Egyptians: legendary resonance of the habit of killing one’s eldest son.

But the biblical Moloch (in Hebrew without vowels, מלך, mlk), represented as a human figure with a bull’s head was not only a Canaanite god. It also was a god of the descendants of the Canaanites, the Phoenicians. The founding myth of Moloch was similar to that of many other religions: sacrifices were compensation for a catastrophe from the beginning of time.

Above [i.e., in my book] I said that Plutarch, Tertullian, Orosius, Philo, Cleitarchus and Diodorus Siculus mentioned the practice of the burning children to Moloch in Carthage, but refrained from wielding the most disturbing details. Diodorus says that every child who was placed in the outstretched hands of Moloch fell through the open mouth of the heated bronze statue, into the fire. When at the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. Agathocles defeated Carthage, desperate and immersed in the most abject magical thinking the Carthaginians began to burn their children in a huge sacrifice as a tactical “defense” before the enemy. The sources mention 300 incinerated children.

Blake-Moloch

Had I run a career of film director, I would feel the obligation to visually show to humanity their infamous past by filming the massive red-hot bronze statue while the Greek forces besieged the city, engulfing child after child, who would slide down to the bottom of the flaming chimney. In addition to Carthage, the worship of Moloch, whose ritual was held outdoors, was widespread in other Phoenician cities. He was widely worshiped in the Middle East and in the Punic cultures of the time, including several Semitic peoples and as far as the Etruscans. Various sacrificial tophets have been found in North Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, Malta, outside Tyre and at a temple of Amman.

Terracotta urns containing the cremated remains of children, discovered in 1817, have been photographed numerous times. However, since the late 1980s some Italian teachers began to question the historicity of the accounts of classical writers. Tunisian nationalists took advantage, including the president whose presidential palace near the suburban sea is very close the ruins of the ancient city of Carthage.

The Tunisian tourist guides even make foreigners believe the Carthaginians did not perform sacrifices (something similar to what some ignorant Mexican tourist guides do in Chiapas).

Traditional historians argue that the fact that the remains are from very young children suggests sacrifice, not cremation by natural death as alleged by the revisionists. The sacrificial interpretation of Carthage is also suggested by the fact that, along with the children, there are charred remains of lambs (remember the biblical quote that an evolved Yahweh implies that the slaughter of sheep was a barter for the firstborn). This suggests that some Carthaginians replaced animals in the sacrificial rite: data inconsistent with the revisionist theory that the tophet was a normal cemetery. To make matters worse, the word mlk (Moloch) appears in many stelae as a dedication to this god. Had there been simple burials it would not make sense to find these stelae dedicated to the god of fire: the graves are not marked with offerings to the gods.

Finally, although the classical writers were bitter enemies of the Carthaginians, historical violence is exercised by rejecting all accounts, since the time of Alexander to the Common Era. The revisionism on Carthage has been a phenomenon that is not part of new archaeological discoveries, or newly discovered ancient texts. The revisionists simply put into question the veracity of the accounts of classical writers, and they try to rationalize the archaeological data by stressing our credulity to the breaking point. Brian Garnand, of the University of Chicago, concluded in his monograph on the Phoenician sacrifice that “the distinguished scholars of the ridimensionamento [revisionism] have not proven their case.”

Nonetheless, I must say that the revisionists do not bother me. What I cannot tolerate are those individuals who, while accepting the reality of the Carthaginian sacrifice, idealize it. On September 1, 1987 an article in the New York Times, “Relics of Carthage Show Brutality Amid the Good Life” contains this nefarious phrase: “some scholars assert, the practice of infanticide helped produce Carthage’s great wealth and its flowering of artistic achievement.” The memory of these sacrificed children has not been fully vindicated even by present-day standards.

The Carthaginian tophet is the largest cemetery of humans, of boys and girls in fact, ever discovered. After the Third Punic War Rome forced the Carthaginians to learn Latin, just as the Spanish imposed their language to the conquered Mexicans. Personally, what most worries me is that there is evidence in the tophets of remains of tens of thousands of children killed by fire over many centuries. I cannot shudder more over imagining what would had become of our civilization had the Semitic Hannibal reached Rome.

P.S. for this blog:

And the traitors of today are planning to make a movie depicting the non-Aryan Carthaginians as the good guys and the Romans as the bad guys of the film…

The Bible in a nutshell

Kevin MacDonald’s first book of his trilogy opened the doors to my understanding of what the Christians call the “Old Testament,” the sacred book of the Jews. In a nutshell, the Old Testament message promises a strictly racial ethno-state for a Semitic tribe: a message by Semitic writers for a specific Semitic people.

In contrast, the New Testament message for the gentiles seems to say, also in a nutshell, An ethno-state for me but not for thee; your reign is not of this world.

Jesus (and by this I don’t mean the historical Jesus—whoever the hell he was, if he did exist after all—but the Jesus of the gospel) is presented to us as an universalist. At least that’s how the Jew Saul (the most influential author of the New Testament as far as the extent of his writing compared to the other apostles), called “Saint Paul” by the Christians, preached his good news. In Galatians for example he says: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

In other words, throughout the OT the Jews teach ethno-centricity for the Jewish people, but in the NT the Jew teaches universalism for us gentiles. Right? That’s the Holy Bible in a fucking little nutshell.

Below, a recent exchange on Christianity in a non-American, racialist blog:

saint-paul-preaching-in-athens


Saint Paul delivering the Areopagus Sermon in Athens, by Raphael, 1515.






aijahlon68 says…

I was banned for life from Stormfront.org by a Christian Identity zealot / moderator, for having the audacity to write a post saying that Yeshua was a Jew.

Christian Identity, and Christianity as a whole, represents the biggest disadvantage the white race has in overcoming the Jewish problem. Christianity (in any form) is nothing more than self-inflicted Jewish Supremacy. As a race, we will never overcome the Jewish problem, until the Christian problem is solved first. How does one battle against emotions fueled by religious devotion, which is the most dangerous kind of devotion, because it leaves no room for questions or common sense, and is devoid of truth.

Waking a race of people up from a deep dream state based on Jewish lies would truly be a miracle, but impossible as it seems, there must be a way, and those of us who are fully awake need to find it.


mk8 says…

Attacking Christianity is a bad idea before every other problem has been dealt with. Even Hitler said so, and we all like Hitler, don’t we? There would just be some form of spiritual vacuum which would soon be filled by Islam and various other dangerous cults. As it stands now Christianity is actually the least of all evils.

Varg Vikernes says…

No it is not a bad idea at all. Christianity is the problem we have today. Christianity is not the least of all evils; it is the indirect cause of all evils. The Christians allow their “chosen people” special rights to destroy us all. If it hadn’t been for the Christians the Jews would not have been able to do anything to us at all. Go to Thulean Perspective for more on that, and search for posts about Christianity.

Christians even revolted against the NS regime, in 1942, causing instability and many other problems too, so maybe Hitler should have dealt with them first?

If Europe had been Pagan we would not have had any of the serious problems we have today in the first place.

mk8 says…

Varg, you are right that much of the resistance against the Third Reich was by Christians, and their grip on the churches was not tight enough. Hitler was not that wrong about leaving Christianity alone though, as he saw what happened to the Alldeutsche Vereinigung in Austria-Hungary (a political party supporting the Anschluss of the German part of Austria to Germany). The movement fell apart soon after they started to openly attack the church, failing to reach the common people and losing most of their followers. Even if it was the right thing to do, it was a very bad strategic move in hindsight.

On a smaller scale, I’ll just assume the same thing happens in places like Stormfront.org. It’s an American site after all, it must reek of Christians. Confronting them with the truth about their religion is like a cold shower for them. Maybe it’s not so bad to be banned from there after all…

David Friedrich Strauss, 2

The following is excerpted from Albert Schweitzer’s The Quest of the Historical Jesus, published in 1906: a scholarly yet readable introduction to the field of New Testament studies from a modern viewpoint. Schweitzer’s eight chapter is titled “Strauss’ first Life of Jesus”:

DF Strauss

The distinction between Strauss and those who had preceded him upon this path consists only in this, that prior to him the conception of myth was neither truly grasped nor consistently applied.

The principal obstacle, Strauss continues, which barred the way to a comprehensive application of myth, consisted in the supposition that two of our Gospels, Matthew and John, were reports of eyewitnesses.

The main distinction between Strauss and his predecessors consisted in the fact that they asked themselves anxiously how much of the historical life of Jesus would remain as a foundation for religion if they dared to apply the conception of myth consistently, while for him this question had no terrors. He claims in his preface that he possessed one advantage over all the critical and learned theologians of his time without which nothing can be accomplished in the domain of history—the inner emancipation of thought and feeling in regard to certain religious and dogmatic prepossessions which he had early attained as a result of his philosophic studies. Hegel’s philosophy had set him free, giving him a clear conception of the relationship of idea and reality, leading him to a higher plane of Christological speculation, and opening his eyes to the mystic interpenetration of finitude and infinity, God and man.

He sees evidence that the time has come for this undertaking in the condition of exhaustion which characterised contemporary theology. The supernaturalistic explanation of the events of the life of Jesus had been followed by the rationalistic, the one making everything supernatural, the other setting itself to make all the events intelligible as natural occurrences. Each had said all that it had to say. From their opposition now arises a new solution—the mythological interpretation. This is a characteristic example of the Hegelian method—the synthesis of a thesis represented by the supernaturalistic explanation with an antithesis represented by the rationalistic interpretation.

In the stories prior to the baptism, everything is myth. The narratives are woven on the pattern of Old Testament prototypes, with modifications due to Messianic or messianically interpreted passages. Since Jesus and the Baptist came into contact with one another later, it is felt necessary to represent their parents as having been connected. The attempts to construct Davidic genealogies for Jesus, show us that there was a period in the formation of the Gospel History during which the Lord was simply regarded as the son of Joseph and Mary, otherwise genealogical studies of this kind would not have been undertaken. Even in the story of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple, there is scarcely more than a trace of historical material.

In the narrative of the baptism we may take it as certainly unhistorical that the Baptist received a revelation of the Messianic dignity of Jesus, otherwise he could not later have come to doubt this. But if the baptism of John was a baptism of repentance with a view to “him who was to come,” Jesus cannot have held Himself to be sinless when He submitted to it.

We have, therefore, in the Synoptists several different strata of legend and narrative, which in some cases intersect and in some are superimposed one upon the other.

The story of the temptation is equally unsatisfactory, whether it be interpreted as supernatural, or as symbolical either of an inward struggle or of external events (as for example in Venturini’s interpretation of it, where the part of the Tempter is played by a Pharisee) ; it is simply primitive Christian legend, woven together out of Old Testament suggestions.

The call of the first disciples cannot have happened as it is narrated, without their having known anything of Jesus beforehand; the manner of the call is modelled upon the call of Elisha by Elijah. The further legend attached to it—Peter’s miraculous draught of fishes—has arisen out of the saying about “fishers of men,” and the same idea is reflected, at a different angle of refraction, in John xxi. The mission of the seventy is unhistorical.

Whether the cleansing of the temple is historical, or whether it arose out of a Messianic application of the text, “My house shall be called a house of prayer,” cannot be determined. The difficulty of forming a clear idea of the circumstances is not easily to be removed. How freely the historical material has been worked up, is seen in the groups of stories which have grown out of a single incident; as, for example, the anointing of Jesus at Bethany by an unknown woman, out of which Luke has made an anointing by a penitent sinner, and John an anointing by Mary of Bethany.

As regards the healings, some of them are certainly historical, but not in the form in which tradition has preserved them. The recognition of Jesus as Messiah by the demons immediately arouses suspicion. One cure has sometimes given rise to three or four narratives. Sometimes we can still recognise the influences which have contributed to mould a story. When, for example, the disciples are unable to heal the lunatic boy during Jesus’ absence on the Mount of Transfiguration, we are reminded of 2 Kings iv, where Elisha’s servant Gehazi tries in vain to bring the dead boy to life by using the staff of the prophet. The immediate healing of leprosy has its prototype in the story of Naaman the Syrian. The story of the ten lepers shows so clearly a didactic tendency that its historic value is thereby rendered doubtful.

The cures of blindness all go back to the case of the blind man at Jericho. But who can say how far this is itself historical? The cures of paralytics, too, belong rather to the equipment of the Messiah than to history. The cures through touching clothes, and the healings at a distance, have myth written on their foreheads. The fact is, the Messiah must equal, nay, surpass, the deeds of the prophets. That is why raising from the dead figure among His miracles.

The nature miracles, over a collection of which Strauss puts the heading “Sea-Stories and Fish-Stories,” have a much larger admixture of the mythical. His opponents took him severely to task for this irreverent superscription.

The repetition of the story of the feeding of the multitude arouses suspicion regarding the credibility of what is narrated, and at once invalidates the hypothesis of the apostolic authorship of the Gospel of Matthew. Moreover, the incident was so naturally suggested by Old Testament examples that it would have been a miracle if such a story had not found its way into the life of Jesus. An explanation on the analogy of an expedited process of nature, is here, as in the case of the miracle at Cana also, to be absolutely rejected. Strauss allows it to be laughed out of court. The cursing of the fig-tree and its fulfilment go back in some way or other to a parable of Jesus, which was afterwards made into history.

More important than the miracles heretofore mentioned are those which have to do with Jesus Himself and mark the crises of His history. The transfiguration had to find a place in the life of Jesus, because of the shining of Moses’ countenance. In dealing with the narratives of the resurrection it is evident that we must distinguish two different strata of legend, an older one, represented by Matthew, which knew only of appearances in Galilee, and a later, in which the Galilaean appearances are excluded in favour of appearances in Jerusalem. In both cases, however, the narratives are mythical. In any attempt to explain them we are forced on one horn of the dilemma or the other—if the resurrection was real, the death was not real, and vice versa. That the ascension is a myth is self-evident.

Such, and so radical, are the results at which Strauss’s criticism of the supernaturalistic and the rationalistic explanations of the life of Jesus ultimately arrives. In reading Strauss’s discussions one is not so much struck with their radical character, because of the admirable dialectic skill with which he shows the total impossibility of any explanation which does not take account of myth. On the whole, the supernaturalistic explanation, which at least represents the plain sense of the narratives, comes off much better than the rationalistic, the artificiality of which is everywhere remorselessly exposed.

In section after section Strauss cross-examines the reports on every point, down to the minutest detail, and then pronounces in what proportion an alloy of myth enters into each of them. In every case the decision is unfavourable to the Gospel of John. Strauss was the first to take this view. Strauss does not scruple even to assert that John introduces imaginary characters. If this Gospel relates fewer miracles, the miracles which it retains are proportionately greater; so great, indeed, that their absolutely miraculous character is beyond the shadow of doubt; and, moreover, a moral or symbolical significance is added.

Here, therefore, it is no longer the unconscious action of legend which selects, creates, or groups the incidents, but a clearly-determined apologetic and dogmatic purpose.

On this point, he contents himself with remarking that if Jesus had really taught in Jerusalem on several occasions, it is absolutely unintelligible how all knowledge of this could have so completely disappeared from the Synoptic tradition; for His going up to the Passover at which He met His death is there represented as His sole journey to Jerusalem. From the triumphal entry to the resurrection, the difference between the Synoptic and Johannine narratives is so great that all attempts to harmonise them are to be rejected.

The most decisive evidence of all is found in the farewell discourses and in the absence of all mention of the spiritual struggle in Gethsemane. The intention here is to show that Jesus not only had a foreknowledge of His death, but had long overcome it in anticipation, and went to meet His tragic fate with perfect inward serenity. That, however, is no historical narrative, but the final stage of reverent idealisation.

The question is decided. The Gospel of John is inferior to the Synoptics as a historical source just in proportion as it is more strongly dominated than they by theological and apologetic interests.

The Synoptic discourses, like the Johannine, are composite structures, created by later tradition out of sayings which originally belonged to different times and circumstances, arranged under certain leading ideas so as to form connected discourses. The sermon on the mount, the discourse at the sending forth of the twelve, the great parable-discourse, the polemic against the Pharisees, have all been gradually formed like geological deposits. “From the comparison which we have been making,” says Strauss in one passage,

we can already see that the hard grit of these sayings of Jesus (die kornigen Reden Jesu) has not indeed been dissolved by the flood of oral tradition, but they have often been washed away from their original position and like rolling pebbles (Gerolle) have been deposited in places to which they do not properly belong.

And, moreover, we find this distinction between the first three Evangelists, viz. that Matthew is a skilful collector who, while he is far from having been able always to give the original connexion, has at least known how to bring related passages aptly together, whereas in the other two many fragmentary sayings have been left exactly where chance had deposited them, which was generally in the interstices between the larger masses of discourse. Luke, indeed, has in some cases made an effort to give them an artistic setting, which is, however, by no means a satisfactory substitute for the natural connexion.

It is in his criticism of the parables that Strauss is most extreme. He starts out from the assumption that they have mutually influenced one another, and that those which may possibly be genuine have only been preserved in a secondary form. The tendency of the work to purely critical analysis, the ostentatious avoidance of any positive expression of opinion, and not least, the manner of regarding the Synoptists as mere bundles of narratives and discourses, make it difficult—indeed, strictly speaking, impossible—to determine Strauss’s own distinctive conception of the life of Jesus, to discover what he really thinks is moving behind the curtain of myth.

From all this it may be seen how strongly he had been influenced by Reimarus, whom, indeed, he frequently mentions.

Strauss’s Life of Jesus has a different significance for modern theology from that which it had for his contemporaries. For them it was the work which made an end of miracle as a matter of historical belief, and gave the mythological explanation its due.

We, however, find in it also an historical aspect of a positive character, inasmuch as the historic Personality which emerges from the mist of myth is a Jewish claimant of the Messiahship, whose world of thought is purely eschatological. Strauss is, therefore, no mere destroyer of untenable solutions, but also the prophet of a coming advance in knowledge.

Criminal History of Christianity – II

A Spanish version of this entry can be read: here.

Below, a few excerpts from the first chapter by Karlheinz Deschner of his maximum opus, the ten-volume Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums (in English, “Criminal History of Christianity”):


Deschners maximus opus

But not even this was enough for Moses, a character that a tract of 1598, On the Three Great Liars, blamed for “the largest and most egregious crimes” (summa et gravissime Mosis crimina) insofar as when “angry with the commanders of the army” he asked how they had spared the women and children. “Therefore kill all those men, even the children, and cut the throat of the women that have known a man; keep only girls and all the maids… And it was found that the booty was taken by the army of six hundred and seventy-five thousand sheep, seventy-two thousand oxen, donkeys, seventy-one thousand, and thirty-two thousand female virgins”—tremendous killings and robberies that also were contrary to the fifth and seventh commandments by Moses himself.

In a word, they perpetrated the most horrible atrocities and praise themselves for it, and burned towns and villages to leave no stone unturned. Today, when excavating the ancient Canaanites doublings, it is common to find a thick layer of ash that confirms the destruction by fire. One of the most important Palestinian cities in late Chalcolithic, Tell-Isdud or Ashdod, located in the international route of the sea (via maris) and that would become the capital of the Philistine Pentapolis, disappeared, destroyed by fire in the thirteenth century B.C., like its neighbor Tell-Mor.

Sometimes exterminating whole tribes spread because it was common to throw at the enemy the most severe form of war decreed by the Lord, the accursed (Hebrew herám, which was the negation of life itself, and which root derives from a word meaning “sacred” to the Western Semites): something offered to Yahweh as a kind of vast hecatomb or “ritual sacrifice.” Not by chance the biblical descriptions of “settlement” have been compared with the later campaigns of Islam (not nearly as bloody as those), when it is said that the conquerors should truly feel “custodians of the word of God” and protagonists of a holy war. “Just these, not the profane wars, end the anathema which means the extermination of all living in the name of Yahweh” (Gamm). Precisely, the “destruction at the roots can only be explained by the religious fanaticism of the Israelites.”

Those are the cases where the Lord expressly commands: “For in the towns that you shall not leave a living soul, but without differentiation you shall kill by the sword, namely: the Hittites and the Alamorreo, and the Canaanites and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to make all the abominations that they have used with their gods, and offend your Lord.”

Such excesses of faith had their origin, in the first place, in nationalism of that ancient people, undoubtedly one of the most extremist ever known, combined with the rigor of a monotheism unknown in those regions. Both elements mutually potentiated the claim to be the chosen people.

The Israelites of the pre-Davidic time committed the most terrible crimes, and celebrated the genocide as a pleasing action to the Lord’s eyes, almost as a symbol of faith. And that “holy war,” then and later was carried out with particular vehemence, without admitting negotiations or agreements. Only the extermination of the enemy, the uncircumcised (or unbaptized, the “heretic,” the “infidel”) is “a typically Israelite trait” (Ringgren).

In most respects, the description of the Old Testament book of Judges, dated between 1200 and 1050, i.e., a century and a half after the “settlement,” is a source of information if not entirely reliable, quite valid, and it barely mentions anything but “holy wars.” These always began with blessings, after a period of sexual continence, and usually ended with the total liquidation of the enemy: men, women and children. “The ruins of many villages and towns, repeatedly destroyed during the twelfth and eleventh centuries, provided the most graphic of archaeological commentaries” (Cornfeld / Botterweck).

The Ark of the Covenant, assurance of God’s presence, accompanied the massacres.

Hermann Samuel Reimarus

The following is excerpted from a classic in Christological studies, Albert Schweitzer’s The Quest of the Historical Jesus, published in 1906: a scholarly yet readable introduction to the field of New Testament studies from a modern viewpoint. Schweitzer’s second chapter is titled “Hermann Samuel Reimarus”:

Hermann_Samuel_Reimarus

“Von dem Zwecke Jesu und seiner Junger.” Noch ein Fragment des Wolfenbuttelschen Ungenannten. Herausgegeben von Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Braun- schweig, 1778, 276 pp. (The Aims of Jesus and His Disciples: A further Instalment of the anonymous Woltenbiittel Fragments. Published by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Brunswick, 1778.)



Before Reimarus, no one had attempted to form a historical conception of the life of Jesus. Luther had not so much as felt that he cared to gain a clear idea of the order of the recorded events. Speaking of the chronology of the cleansing of the Temple, which in John falls at the beginning, in the Synoptists near the close, of Jesus’ public life, he remarks: “The Gospels follow no order in recording the acts and miracles of Jesus, and the matter is not, after all, of much importance. If a difficulty arises in regard to the Holy Scripture and we cannot solve it, we must just let it alone.”

When the Lutheran theologians began to consider the question of harmonising the events, things were still worse. Osiander (1498-1552), in his “Harmony of the Gospels,” maintained the principle that if an event is recorded more than once in the Gospels, in different connexions, it happened more than once and in different connexions. The daughter of Jairus was therefore raised from the dead several times; on one occasion Jesus allowed the devils whom He cast out of a single demoniac to enter into a herd of swine, on another occasion, those whom He cast out of two demoniacs; there were two cleansings of the Temple, and so forth. The correct view of the Synoptic Gospels as being interdependent was first formulated by Griesbach.

Thus there had been nothing to prepare the world for a work of such power as that of Reimarus. It is true, there had appeared earlier, in 1768, a Life of Jesus by Johann Jakob Hess (1741-1828), written from the standpoint of the older rationalism, but it retains so much supernaturalism and follows so much the lines of a paraphrase of the Gospels, that there was nothing to indicate to the world what a master-stroke the spirit of the time was preparing.

Not much is known about Reimarus. For his contemporaries he had no existence, and it was [David Friedrich] Strauss who first made his name known in literature. He was born in Hamburg on the 22nd of December, 1694, and spent his life there as a professor of Oriental Languages. He died in 1768. Several of his writings appeared during his lifetime, all of them asserting the claims of rational religion as against the faith of the Church; one of them, for example, being an essay on “The Leading Truths of Natural Religion.” His magnum opus, however, which laid the historic basis of his attacks, was only circulated, during his lifetime, among his acquaintances, as an anonymous manuscript.

In 1774 Lessing began to publish the most important portions of it, and up to 1778 had published seven fragments, thereby involving himself in a quarrel with Goetze, the Chief Pastor of Hamburg. The manuscript of the whole, which runs to 4000 pages, is preserved in the Hamburg municipal library.

The following are the titles of [some] Fragments which he published:

• The Passing of the Israelites through the Red Sea
• Showing that the books of the Old Testament were
not written to reveal a Religion
• Concerning the story of the Resurrection
• The Aims of Jesus and His Disciples

The monograph on the passing of the Israelites through the Red Sea is one of the ablest, wittiest, and most acute which has ever been written. It exposes all the impossibilities of the narrative in the Priestly Codex.

To say that the fragment on “The Aims of Jesus and His Disciples” is a magnificent piece of work is barely to do it justice. This essay is not only one of the greatest events in the history of criticism, it is also a masterpiece of general literature. The language is as a rule crisp and terse, pointed and epigrammatic—the language of a man who is not “engaged in literary composition” but is wholly concerned with the facts. At times, however, it rises to heights of passionate feeling, and then it is as though the fires of a volcano were painting lurid pictures upon dark clouds. Seldom has there been a hate so eloquent, so lofty a scorn; but then it is seldom that a work has been written in the just consciousness of so absolute a superiority to contemporary opinion. And withal, there is dignity and serious purpose; Reimarus’ work is no pamphlet. This was the first time that a really historical mind, thoroughly conversant with the sources, had undertaken the criticism of the tradition.

[Chechar’s note: Because the Christians destroyed all copies of Porphyry’s book, we don’t really know if Porphyry’s anti-Christian polemic was also “thoroughly conversant with the New Testament sources.” From a few fragments discovered by the end of the 20th century I believe it was. One could barely imagine the revolution in thought that could have occurred since the later phases of the Roman Empire and the Early Middle Ages had Porphyry’s biblical criticism been allowed to survive 1,300 years before Reimarus…]

It was Lessing’s greatness that he grasped the significance of this criticism, and felt that it must lead either to the destruction or to the recasting of the idea of revelation. He recognised that the introduction of the historical element would transform and deepen rationalism. Convinced that the fateful moment had arrived, he disregarded the scruples of Reimarus’ family and the objections of Nicolai and Mendelssohn, and, though inwardly trembling for that which he himself held sacred, he flung the torch with his own hand.

Reimarus takes as his starting-point the question regarding the content of the preaching of Jesus. “We are justified,” he says, “in drawing an absolute distinction between the teaching of the Apostles in their writings and what Jesus Himself in His own lifetime proclaimed and taught.” What belongs to the preaching of Jesus is clearly to be recognised. It is contained in two phrases of identical meaning, “Repent, and believe the Gospel,” or, as it is put elsewhere, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

Jesus shared the Jewish racial exclusiveness wholly and unreservedly. According to Matt. x. 5 He forbade His disciples to declare to the Gentiles the coming of the Kingdom of God. Evidently, therefore, His purpose did not embrace them. Had it been otherwise, the hesitation of Peter in Acts x. and xi., and the necessity of justifying the conversion of Cornelius, would be incomprehensible.

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are no evidence that Jesus intended to found a new religion. In the first place the genuineness of the command to baptize in Matt. xxviii. 19 is questionable, not only as a saying ascribed to the risen Jesus, but also because it is universalistic in outlook, and because it implies the doctrine of the Trinity.

The “Lord’s Supper,” again, was no new institution, but merely an episode at the last Paschal Meal of the Kingdom which was passing away, and was intended “as an anticipatory celebration of the Passover of the New Kingdom.” A Lord’s Supper in our sense, “cut loose from the Passover,” would have been inconceivable to Jesus, and not less so to His disciples. Miracles have no basis in fact, but owe their place in the narrative to the feeling that the miracle-stories of the Old Testament must be repeated in the case of Jesus, but on a grander scale. It is useless to appeal to the miracles, any more than to the “Sacraments,” as evidence for the founding of a new religion…

For [a] popular uprising, however, He waited in vain. Twice He believed that it was near at hand. The first time was when He was sending out the disciples and said to them: “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (Matt. x. 23). He thought that, at the preaching of the disciples, the people would flock to Him from every quarter and immediately proclaim Him Messiah; but His expectation was disappointed. The people in Jerusalem refused to rise, as the Galilaeans had refused at the time when the disciples were sent out to rouse them.

All this implies that the time of the fulfilment of these hopes was not thought of by Jesus and His disciples as at all remote. In Matt. xvi. 28, for example, He says: “Truly I say unto you there are some standing here who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” There is no justification for twisting this about or explaining it away. It simply means that Jesus promises the fulfilment of all Messianic hopes before the end of the existing generation.

Thus the disciples were prepared for anything rather than that which actually happened. Jesus had never said a word to them about His dying and rising again, otherwise they would not have so played the coward at His death, nor have been so astonished at His “resurrection.” The three or four sayings referring to these events must therefore have been put into His mouth later, in order to make it appear that He had foreseen these events in His original plan.

Inasmuch as the non-fulfilment of its eschatology is not admitted, our Christianity rests upon a fraud.

Such is Reimarus’ reconstruction of the history. We can well understand that his work must have given offence when it appeared, for it is a polemic, not an objective historical study. But we have no right simply to dismiss it in a word, as a Deistic production, as Otto Schmiedel, for example, does; it is time that Reimarus came to his own, and that we should recognise a historical performance of no mean order in this piece of Deistic polemics. His work is perhaps the most splendid achievement in the whole course of the historical investigation of the life of Jesus, for he was the first to grasp the fact that the world of thought in which Jesus moved was essentially eschatological.

In the light of the clear perception of the elements of the problem which Reimarus had attained, the whole movement of theology, down to Johannes Weiss, appears retrograde. In all its work the thesis is ignored or obscured that Jesus, as a historical personality, is to be regarded, not as the founder of a new religion, but as the final product of the eschatological and apocalyptic thought of Late Judaism. Every sentence of Johannes Weiss’s Die Predigt Jesu vom Reiche Gottes (1892) is a vindication, a rehabilitation, of Reimarus as a historical thinker.

Even so the traveller on the plain sees from afar the distant range of mountains. Then he loses sight of them again. His way winds slowly upwards through the valleys, drawing ever nearer to the peaks, until at last, at a turn of the path, they stand before him, not in the shapes which they had seemed to take from the distant plain, but in their actual forms. Reimarus was the first, after eighteen centuries of misconception, to have an inkling of what eschatology really was.

The sole mistake of Reimarus—the assumption that the eschatology was earthly and political in character. Thus theology shared at least the error of the man whom it knew only as a Deist, not as an historian, and whose true greatness was not recognised even by Strauss, though he raised a literary monument to him.

The solution offered by Reimarus may be wrong; the data of observation from which he starts out are, beyond question, right, because the primary datum of all is genuinely historical. He recognised that two systems of Messianic expectation were present side by side in Late Judaism. But what matters the mistake in comparison with the fact that the problem was really grasped?

The attitude of Jesus towards the law, and the process by which the disciples came to take up a freer attitude, was grasped and explained by him so accurately that modern historical science does not need to add a word, but would be well pleased if at least half the theologians of the present day had got as far.

Further, he recognised that primitive Christianity was not something which grew, so to speak, out of the teaching of Jesus, but that it came into being as a new creation, in consequence of events and circumstances which added something to that preaching which it did not previously contain; and that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, in the historical sense of these terms, were not instituted by Jesus, but created by the early Church on the basis of certain historical assumptions.

Still more remarkable is his eye for exegetical detail. He has an unfailing instinct for pregnant passages like Matt. x. 23, xvi. 28, which are crucial for the interpretation of large masses of the history. The fact is there are some who are historians by the grace of God, who from their mother’s womb have an instinctive feeling for the real. They follow through all the intricacy and confusion of reported fact the pathway of reality, like a stream which, despite the rocks that encumber its course and the windings of its valley, finds its way inevitably to the sea. No erudition can supply the place of this historical instinct, but erudition sometimes serves a useful purpose, inasmuch as it produces in its possessors the pleasing belief that they are historians, and thus secures their services for the cause of history.

In truth they are at best merely doing the preliminary spade-work of history, collecting for a future historian the dry bones of fact, from which, with the aid of his natural gift, he can recall the past to life. More often, however, the way in which erudition seeks to serve history is by suppressing historical discoveries as long as possible, and leading out into the field to oppose the one true view an army of possibilities. By arraying these in support of one another it finally imagines that it has created out of possibilities a living reality. This obstructive erudition is the special prerogative of theology, in which, even at the present day, a truly marvellous scholarship often serves only to blind the eyes to elementary truths.

Reimarus’ work was neglected, and the stimulus which it was capable of imparting failed to take effect. He had no predecessors; neither had he any disciples. His work is one of those supremely great works which pass and leave no trace, because they are before their time; to which later generations pay a just tribute of admiration, but owe no gratitude.

Thus the magnificent overture in which are announced all the motifs of the future historical treatment of the life of Jesus breaks off with a sudden discord, remains isolated and incomplete, and leads to nothing further.

Matthew Kersten’s hilarious review

Of the Holy Bible

1-First-Edition-King-James-Bible-1611

Poor editing, logical fallacies, one-dimensional characters, and narrative inconsistencies ruin an otherwise imaginative dystopian fantasy novel in which a vengeful deity enslaves humanity into worshipping him. The King James Bible has an extremely intriguing premise, but the execution of that premise is poor and doesn’t do it justice at all. Regardless, the King James Bible is one of the world’s bestselling books of all time and has garnered a massive cult following, and understandably so, as it comes with a provocative promise of eternal life after death for anyone who believes it to be true. After reading it for myself, I find belief in this book’s alleged validity to be impossible.

It is worth noting that the King James Bible is not simply one book but an anthology of books (which are categorized under two iterations labeled as the Old and New Testaments) spanning many generations, all written by different authors at different points in time. And it shows. Oftentimes books in this collection offer redundant information and, at other times, contradictory information. In fact, the very first two chapters of the first book, titled Genesis, which lays out the origins of the book’s fictional universe, heavily contradict each other, and it all goes downhill from that point on. The editing in this book is absolutely atrocious.

The story starts off simple enough. There’s an omniscient, omnipotent, immortal celestial entity that has existed before the universe even began. This being, known as God, is bored and lonely and decides to create the universe to amuse himself. He creates light, which he calls day, followed by darkness, which he calls night, before he creates the sun. He then creates a flat earth of water, followed by dry land, grass and plant life, two great lights (one to rule the day and one to rule the night, even though the latter of which—the moon—isn’t actually a light and the former of which—the sun—would have been vital to the survival of the previously created plant life); firmament through which precipitation may occasionally be allowed to pass, creatures, and man. There’s also a tree with fruit that gives knowledge to whoever eats it and a sneaky, malicious talking snake, so if you’re into fantasy novels, the creation story at the beginning of Genesis should hold your interest.

It doesn’t take long before things go awry. The talking snake convinces the first woman, Eve, to eat fruit from the knowledge tree. Eve then convinces Adam, the first man, to do the same. God, despite supposedly being omniscient, is shocked to learn that they have done this and starts laying down the law on them, saying that men will be forced to work all the days of their life and women will be subservient to men. (To add insult to injury, childbirth will also be painful.) He punishes all of humanity for the disobedience of the first humans.

It seems puzzling that an omniscient God couldn’t devise a better creation plan. Even more puzzling is that the humans who disobeyed him were punished, along with all future members of humanity, for what they did despite not having any knowledge of what the consequences would be beforehand. Besides, if a creation is bad, does the blame rest upon the creation or the creator? Still more puzzling is that God doesn’t bother to attempt to refine his human design but sticks with the original failed one.

Things get all screwed up and a few chapters later. God, despite being omniscient, comes to a realization that his creation plan was a massive failure and that most of humanity is a lost cause and decides to destroy the world in a giant flood. That’s right; the world is destroyed at the very beginning of the book, and only a select few of each species are allowed to survive, somehow all crammed into an ark made from gopher wood. (How the plant life survives is not explained, nor is it explained how aquatic life survives salt water and fresh water mixing together, nor is it explained where the excess water ends up after the flood is over.) Why this omnipotent God couldn’t just stop the hearts of all humans who displeased him is quite beyond me. This flood plan is remarkably inefficient and serves as filler material, as the surviving human family needs to engage in incest to repopulate the world just like the first humans needed to engage in incest to originally populate the world. It’s just the same scenario rehashed. I can’t help but feel as though the contrived flood account was interpolated into the beginning of Genesis to dress it up and make it appear more impressive. It might help hook some readers early on, but I found it to be unnecessary.

Through various semi-comical, semi-irritating mishaps involving a giant tower, a child sacrifice practical joke, and a sold birthright, a tribe known as Israel arises. Israel is the tribe that God favors over all others, though it doesn’t take long for the Israelites to become enslaved in Egypt despite possessing the guidance of this omniscient God.

The second installment in the anthology, Exodus, deals with their emancipation from Egypt. God decides to give this guy named Moses some cheat codes for the universe, so that he’ll be able to use them in an attempt to intimidate the Pharaoh into allowing the Israelites to go free. Whether or not this plan would have actually worked is anyone’s guess, as God decides to violate the Pharaoh’s free will to allow the Israelites to leave (Exodus 4:21, 7:3, 7:13, 7:22, 8:19, 9:7, 9:35, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, and 14:8), giving himself an incredibly flimsy excuse to send ten plagues on all of the Egyptians, punishing them for the Pharaoh’s compulsory obstinacy, just to show off. After this fiasco, the Pharaoh is finally allowed to let the Israelites go. Very shortly thereafter, the Pharaoh changes his mind about letting them go and chases them with his army. He almost catches them, but Moses uses his magical powers that God gave him to divide the waters of the Red Sea so that the Israelites can walk through them. There’s also a pillar of fire separating the Egyptians from the Israelites. If you enjoy fantasy epics, Exodus should be right up your alley.

Once the Israelites are through, the fire pillar dissipates and the Egyptians very stupidly charge into the path between the parted waters. The waters collapse onto the Egyptians, drowning them, and the Israelites celebrate the grisly deaths of their enemies before setting up camp in the desert.

This is where the real fun begins. From the remainder of Exodus and all throughout Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the vindictive, tyrannical God establishes a delightfully sinister theocracy under which basic happiness is impossible. He endorses slavery (Exodus 21:2-27, Leviticus 25:44-46, and Deuteronomy 20:10-14), public execution by stoning for failure to worship him on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36), stoning of unruly children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21), and death as punishment for nearly every crime, usually by stoning. (Stoning seems to be his preferred method of execution.)

He also demands that virgin women who are raped marry their rapists (Deuteronomy 22:28-29), calls for genocide (Exodus 23:23-27, Leviticus 26:7-8, and Deuteronomy 7:1-5 and 12:2-3), and condones all sorts of other atrocities. The Israelites, who witnessed his power during the plagues and parting of the waters, have no choice but to submit to this new horrific celestial totalitarian regime.

After the death of Moses, Joshua takes over as leader of the Israelites. In Joshua, the sixth installment, the Israelites fulfill God’s call for genocide by fighting battles with other tribes all throughout the desert, winning them simply because God rigs them in their favor. After some initial victories, the Israelites forget about God’s power and start worshipping other gods.

In the next book, Judges, God, who freely admits to being jealous (according to Exodus 34:14, his very name is Jealous), punishes them for doing so and delivers them into bondage. When they repent, a “judge” is sent to free them. This happens multiple times throughout Judges, making for repetitive reading. (God also allows a man named Jephthah to sacrifice his daughter to him in exchange for a battle victory in Judges 11:30-40; a testament to how much he loves human death.)

After this nonsense goes on for awhile, delaying exposition, the Philistines arrive on the scene and pose a major threat to the Israelites. A guy named David scares them away by killing a Philistine giant by firing a rock at his head with a slingshot. He then becomes Israel’s king. (There’s also a disgusting yet somewhat amusing anecdote in which David slays two hundred Philistines, cuts off their foreskins, and gives them to Saul as a dowry for his daughter, Michal, in 1 Samuel 18:25-27. This seems like a very poor deal to me. I’ll bet that Saul later had buyer’s remorse.)

Some less important, not particularly memorable (save for God’s killing of King David’s illegitimate seven-day-old son in 2 Samuel 12:15-18, a census mishap in 2 Samuel 24:1-15, and an incident involving two she bears in 2 Kings 2:23-24) events take place throughout the next nine books before the reader is forced to trudge through 150 chapters of dull, repetitive, excessively slavish poetry written to God by one of his more abject followers in Psalms.

The author of that book has the audacity to claim that both God and his statutes are perfect (Psalms 119:142, 119:151, 119:160, and 119:172), even though this would mean that God would need to follow his own rules, which he doesn’t. It is also claimed in Psalms that happiness can be derived from bashing children’s heads against rocks (Psalms 137:9), which is a proclamation that thoroughly baffles me. I’m not sure what the author was going for here. Perhaps this verse is supposed to be some sort of black comedy joke intended to express the impaired judgment of those living under the theocratic dystopia depicted in this collection of books, or it might have been included to emphasize the ghastly nature of the aforementioned theocratic dystopia, or it might just be there for shock value.


[Chechar’s interpolated note: I think I have psychoanalyzed well those barbaric Semites in a passage of my book Hojas Susurrantes. Just click on this link and then scroll almost to the bottom of that entry until you hit the subtitle “The historical Israel”.]


Whatever the case may be, it’s far too mean-spirited. The author of Psalms also frequently and redundantly berates anyone who is not a member of the tribe(s) that God favors, making for tiresome and irritating reading.

The next three books provide even more dull reading material. After slogging through these books, the reader arrives at the writings of the Old Testament prophets.

Throughout Isaiah and Jeremiah, God ruthlessly annihilates entire nations that fail to submit to his terrorist demands. Isaiah also mentions unicorns (Isaiah 34:7), dragons (Isaiah 34:13), and satyrs (Isaiah 34:14) and identifies them as legitimate safety hazards, so if you enjoy fantasy novels, you should enjoy chapter 34 of Isaiah.

Furthermore, Jeremiah 10:1-5 forbids cutting trees out of the forest, adorning them with decorations, and displaying them as a holiday custom. A substantial portion of the cult followers who claim to live by this book’s teachings fail to uphold this passage, which is puzzling. (In fact, there are many passages that they fail to uphold.) It’s almost as if they don’t even realize that decorated trees are explicitly forbidden by their highly revered literary work, but that would mean that they haven’t actually read the entire book for themselves and are blindly accepting the subjective interpretations of others, which would be just plain absurd. Right?

The next book in the series is Lamentations, which is just as pathetic as it sounds. (The entire Old Testament is excellently summarized in one sentence by Lamentations 2:21.)

The celestial terrorism continues throughout Ezekiel, in which God sinks to a new low by demanding that Ezekiel eat cakes containing human excrement (Ezekiel 4:12). (The entire Old Testament is excellently summarized in one sentence in Ezekiel 25:17.) Ezekiel also sees creatures that each has four faces, four wings, and straight feet with calf’s soles in Ezekiel 1:5-28, so if you enjoy fantasy novels, you should enjoy that passage.

Some more less important events happen throughout the next ten books, which consist mainly of more divine terrorism and ultimatums. Jonah, in which a man survives being swallowed by a giant fish and is vomited up three days later, is amusing.


The second (much shorter) iteration of the King James Bible, the New Testament, starts off with this guy named Jesus, who is supposed to be God in human form, gathering followers on Earth and spreading his word to them.

Given how much of a tyrannical, ethnic-cleansing maniac God was in the Old Testament, one would most likely expect Jesus to be a Terminator-style infiltrator who goes on killing sprees, but instead he’s a hippie. This almost complete character reversal makes the main protagonist (I use that word loosely) seem even more contrived and unbelievable.

Granted though, traces of God’s evil do remain within Jesus, as he brings his followers the most horrendous news of all; that anyone who fails to accept him as his or her totalitarian slave master will be tortured for all eternity after death! It is the epitome of horror, revamping God’s vindictive, petty, unforgiving nature that was established in the Old Testament.

The inherent problem with the premise of the Jesus story is that a man who is an omniscient deity incarnate would have extremely advanced knowledge; knowledge far beyond that of the humans who wrote this collection of books, called gospels. However, the gospel authors were able to work around it in an extremely clever way. The four authors telling the story of Jesus and his time on Earth all pieced together a generalized account of his life from minor, disjointed details and the four resulting accounts all heavily contradict each other. Brilliant!

Some fans of this book claim that Jesus abolishes the atrocious laws established in the Old Testament, making up for them. This, however, is not the case, as Jesus himself states in Matthew 5:17-18 and Luke 16:17 that he came not to “destroy the law” but to fulfill it and that not “one tittle” of the law would fail until “heaven and earth pass.” Once again it seems as though those who claim to admire and adhere to this book don’t actually know it very well. Go figure.

Two of the gospel authors claim that Jesus was born to a virgin, which is rather far-fetched, but then again, it is a fantasy novel. Jesus also claims that anyone who has faith in him will be able to magically transfer mountains and trees into the sea (Matthew 17:20 and 21:21, Mark 11:23, and Luke 17:6), further emphasizing the alternate, fictional universe (where sorcery is possible) in which this story is set.

Also, in this universe, all ailments are caused by demons, which Jesus is able to cast out of the ill and physically deformed.

The end of the story of Jesus and his time on Earth, however, ruins the whole thing, as it is completely nonsensical. Jesus (also God) is there to die for the imperfect nature of all humans (in which God created them) as a blood sacrifice to God (also himself) simply so that he can ask God (also himself) to forgive all humans for involuntarily existing in an imperfect nature in which they were created by God. It is supposed to be a noble sacrifice, but it instead comes across as utterly absurd and obscene.

It isn’t even a sacrifice, because Jesus magically comes back to life three days later, which he knew ahead of time would happen. Besides, given the other resurrections throughout this anthology of books (1 Kings 17:21-22, Ezekiel 37:9-10, Matthew 27:51-53, Mark 5:41-42, Luke 8:54-55, and John 11:41-44), the Jesus resurrection doesn’t seem all that significant. It would have had greater effect if those other completely random resurrections had been omitted. As I’ve already stated, this book would have benefited tremendously from better editing.

The next 22 books describe the actions and teaching of the followers of Jesus. The writings of his followers contradict each other numerous times regarding what is required to attain salvation. (Is it faith or works or both?)

Most of these books are written by some guy named Paul and are comprised of rambling about how faith is the only way to attain salvation (even though Paul apparently was made witness to the spirit of Jesus in Acts 9:3-6, making faith for him impossible, making him a hypocrite) and how sex is evil and women are inferior and must be submissive to men and all kinds of other crap that Jesus doesn’t say in any of the gospels. The writings of Paul are irritating and dull. (Although 1 Corinthians 1:18-29 is good for a laugh.)

After these writings, the final book, Revelation, describes the end of the world when Jesus comes back to kill all nonbelievers. Revelation is replete with cartoonish imagery and prophecies more vague than an astrology horoscope. It feels to me as though it was tacked on as an afterthought so that the book could have a climactic ending, no matter how contrived. What exactly was the point of adding all of this extra material to the end of the book if the savior of humanity was already dead and resurrected?

As far as dystopian novels go, I prefer George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four by a long shot. That book isn’t self-contradictory, poorly written, fallacious, or outright absurd and it doesn’t insult the reader’s intelligence by claiming that Big Brother is good.

Perfect syllogism

Old Testament + New Testament → Christianity

Old Testament + New Testament → White suicide

Therefore,

Christianity → White suicide

Bicausal formula

Now that I have been translating articles and letters of the Spanish blogger Manu Rodríguez for The West’s Darkest Hour a thought arrived to my mind today.

Couldn’t the Protestant, specifically the Puritanical version of Christianity that the Early Founding Fathers brought to this continent be the perfect operating system, complete with an in-built bug, to undermine the Aryan spirit?

Judge it by yourselves my dear readers. It was the Yankees sans Jews the ones who horribly betrayed their kinsmen during the American Civil War on behalf of the Negroes: the seeds of what would happen big time in the next century with American betrayal of Germany on behalf of the Jews.

silly evangelical

After all it was the American Puritans, as Tom Sunic demonstrated in his latest book, the ones who introduced Old Testament (OT) values in the Low Culture: something that explains the runaway Zionism in the contemporary evangelical scene. If in addition to the Holy Book of the Jews subtly introduced to the Aryan psyche after the Reformation you add the New Testament’s (NT) non-ethnic but universal message, Love your neighbor, help the poor and disadvantaged, etc., the perfect recipe for Indo-European suicide has been formulated, right?

OT + NT = White suicide

If this interpretation of Western history is correct, Christianity in general, and Murka in particular, must burn to save whites from extinction.

Any objection to this reading of Western history (before jumping to the below thread please read at least this text by Sunic and this one by Rodríguez)?

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