On progressive Christianity

The hatnote of my articles on the chronologically ordered New Testament links to a book by the late Marcus Borg, a representative of the liberal movement called ‘progressive Christianity’. Like other progressive Christians, Borg was a stepping-stone between old-time Christianity and what we are calling ‘secular Christianity’ or ‘neo-Christianism’. In other words, the theology of Borg and other progressives is at the midst of the traditional Christian and the secular humanist who actively destroys the white race.

Yesterday I watched this Borg conference, originally recorded in the year 2000:

In this talk, Borg presents to liberal Christians a classic book that we have been discussing, The Quest of the Historical Jesus by Albert Schweitzer, published in Germany more than a century ago.

Schweitzer was the clinical case of how, once the educated Christian starts doubting the historicity of the Gospels, the doubter contracts an ethnosuicidal mental disease: out-group altruism. In extreme cases, such as Schweitzer’s, the semi-apostate literally ends up giving his life for the well-being of blacks, believing that the noblest cause is thus pursued (see my 2013 article ‘Schweitzer’s niglets’).

Schweitzer was a German. The ethnically Aryan Borg, raised in a Lutheran family, followed that same path although without Schweitzer’ eccentricity of leaving the West in search of the poor peoples of Christ in Africa. I find fascinating how, once the exegete of the New Testament questions the historicity of some Gospel stories, he suffers a call to sublimate his previous theology into secular altruism, which includes feeling compelled to help, with all his might, the Other.

When visitors of this site see me using, in the hatnote of my New Testament articles, a link to Borg’s book it should not be believed that I endorse his theology. I can use his chronology about when the New Testament books were written. But unlike him and the nutty Schweitzer, I believe that we need an axiological apostasy, like the one preached by Nietzsche, whom I quote at the end of ‘Schweitzer’s niglets’.

Ultimately, Schweitzer, Borg and other representatives of progressive Christianity are more dangerous than the fundamentalists. Axiologically, they are closer to the ethnosuicidal ethos of secular humanists than, say, our parents and grandparents (I speak as a boomer). Their writings may be useful to see that, from the historical point of view, the Gospels cannot be trusted. But from the survivalist viewpoint they are, to put it bluntly, race traitors. Even the Wikipedia article has them as champions of ‘social justice’.

Very interesting, in the video embedded above, to see how Borg sublimates Christian ethics even after recognising that the historical Jesus was wrong to believe that the eschaton would happen within his lifespan (‘Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death until they see the son of man coming in his kingdom’). Yes: the eschaton failed to occur in Jesus’ time, but nowadays the progressive Christians try to make it possible through Orwellian social justice!

Christian love is murdering the white race.

As in a novel by Agatha Christie, I am increasingly seeing that Christianity is the real culprit of white decline (something like an HIV virus), and Jewish subversion is simply a secondary infection (like pneumonia).

I will continue to comment on the twenty-five remaining books of the New Testament. It is necessary to provide a Nietzschean view on those texts that leaves behind the Anno Domini of Borg et al and inaugurates the Anno Hitleris, even in biblical studies.

Saint Paul, that tiny seed

To what should we compare God’s imperial rule, or what parable should we use for it? Consider the mustard seed. It is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth—yet when it is sown, it comes up and becomes the biggest of all garden plants, and produces branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade.

—Mark 4:30-31.

On Wednesday night I added a disclaimer to my post about the Epistle of James. I confessed that, mistakenly, I had used the New Testament (NT) chronologically ordered by a Christian fundamentalist. Instead, I’ll be using the order of Marcus Borg (1942-2015), a more reliable scholar, for the 27 books of the NT.

The earliest book in the NT according to this more serious scholar is not the Epistle of James but 1 Thessalonians, an original letter of Paul’s. The last book in the NT is 2nd Peter, not the Book of Revelation. Borg died three years ago but in the website of the Marcus J. Borg Foundation we can be read:

Chronological means ‘contextual’. What we see is how the message about Jesus developed or ‘evolved’. Paul’s letters to the early ‘Christ communities’ were written some 20 years earlier than the first gospel. And some letters attributed to Paul were written after his death!

The gospel of Mark was written around 70 and the other gospels written later, Matthew in the 80’s or early 90’s. They are obviously not firsthand accounts. And their stories don’t match. Does this surprise you?

Our New Testament [in the common Bible] is not chronological. Why do you think the NT was ordered the way it was?

In my forthcoming NT series the goal is to read the NT in the order the books were written, and share my impressions. Once it is understood that the oldest NT texts consist of fewer legendary layers about who the historical Jesus might have been, it is a real treat to read them.

Instead of the list that mistakenly I had published (the list by a Christian fundamentalist) the order that I will be using appears in Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written. Letters in grey below mean that these books are forgeries in the sense that the real authors are not those that the NT book claims authorship. The following dates are taken from the last pages of Evolution of the Word.

The 30s CE. Jesus is executed in ca. 30. His followers continue his mission in the Jewish homeland, especially in Galilee. Somehow, Christ-communities reached Syria, in the Jewish Diaspora beyond the homeland and Paul is converted in ca. 33-35.

The 40s CE. Emperor Caligula orders the erection of a statue in the Jerusalem Temple, sparking massive Jewish resistance while Paul is in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). The controversy about whether gentile converts need to become Jewish—that is, circumcision for males—means that the Jerusalem church differed in principle from the incipient Pauline church.

The 50s CE. The seven genuine letters of Paul were apparently written in Greece and Asia Minor:

First Thessalonians

Galatians

First Corinthians

Philemon

Philippians

Second Corinthians

Romans

The 60s. Armed revolt against the Roman occupation in the Jewish homeland begins (cf. the essay that is still the masthead of The West’s Darkest Hour: ‘Rome vs. Judea; Judea vs. Rome’).

The 70s. In 70, Roman legions re-conquer Jerusalem and destroy the temple. Probably a majority of Jesus’ followers live in the Diaspora. Although the four gospels were anonymous writings and the later Church invented the names of the evangelists, I am not using grey letters for them because the intention of the authors was not to claim authorship for Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. (This does not mean that books in black letters are reliable biographical or historical accounts.)

Mark

The 80s and onward. The centre of Judaism in the homeland moves to Galilee. Judaism and the followers of Jesus begin to separate into two different religions. Second- and third- generation Christians struggle in an alien, Gentile world.

James

Colossians

Matthew

Hebrews

The 90s. The earliest reference to Jesus in a non-Christian source (Josephus), albeit tampered by the Christian scribes in the extant copies of Josephus. The extreme anti-Roman—i.e., anti-white—stance of the Christ cult by the end of the siècle is manifest in the lyric and stunning book by John of Patmos, inspired by the literary genre known as Jewish apocalyptic.

John

Ephesians

Revelation

The 100s. These NT books were written already in the second century of the Christian Era.

Jude

1 John

2 John

3 John

The 110s. Earliest references to Jesus and Christianity in Roman sources: Tacitus, Suetonius and Pliny. Unsuccessful Jewish revolt in Egypt because of tensions between Jews and white Hellenes.

Luke

Acts

Second Thessalonians

First Peter

First Timothy

Second Timothy

Titus

The 120s. A century after the preaching career of Jesus the last canonical NT book is written.

Second Peter

The 130s. The Jewish revolt against the Roman rule in the Jewish homeland is brutally suppressed by the Romans. The surviving Jews are exiled from Jerusalem (132-135). Since the Romans could not be defeated physically, the exiled Jews resort to psychological warfare through the universalist, Pauline version of the Jesus cult (‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Yeshua the anointed one’).

Catholic means ‘universal’ and, after centuries of infiltration that culminated in a hostile takeover, Constantine and his Christian successors would enforce universalism throughout the Roman Empire even though it would mongrelise whites in Constantinople: something unthinkable in the early Roman Republic.

Putting aside for the moment the catastrophe that represented Constantine’s House for the Greco-Roman gene pool, in a chronologically ordered NT everything started with the Semite Paul. Therefore, let us take a closer look at the first mustard seed that would conquer Rome.

As can be seen in the above list, the seven genuine letters of Paul are the earliest NT writings. But the epistles are highly problematic for the traditional Christian. Unlike the four gospels, replete with Jesus sayings and stories about his deeds, shocking as it may seem the earliest phase of NT writings provide almost no substantial information about Jesus. Gifted writers Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, who were kind of novelists, would fill the gap decades later with moving Jesus narratives.

The Christianity that bequeathed us Rome was not the Christianity of the Jerusalem Church led by Peter and James, but the Christianity of a newcomer from Tarsus who never met Jesus in the flesh. But who was this Saul, whose version of Christianity was the one that eventually triumphed over the competing sects throughout the Roman Empire? Certainly he was a man with a religious imagination of a high order who managed to transform Jesus’ prosaic death into something fantastic for the Hellenes.

These decadent gentiles, some of whom thought that the god of the Jews was the most powerful of all gods, loved mystery cults: the New Age of the degenerate Roman Empire. In a chronological reading of the NT, Paul, not Yeshua, is present from the very first word of the movement that resulted in Christianity. Compared to him the twelve apostles, the genuine depositaries of the Jesus cult, are shadowy figures in the NT epistolary, as none of them left authentic epistles according to modern scholarship (cf. the first chapters of our translated book of Karlheinz Deschner’s Christianity’s Criminal History).

Saul moved to Jerusalem as a grown man. Christian scholars have him in very high regard and take his word, that he stood for the Jewish tradition. But Saul, who became Paul after his mental breakdown on the road to Damascus, fits the words in Rome vs. Judea; Judea vs. Rome: ‘This was a sinister Jewish and Greco-decadent schizophrenia that is evident in the very name of Jesus Christ: Yeshua, a Jewish name, and Christos, ‘the anointed one’ in Greek. To give examples of the insane Romanisation of Judea that echo the hybrid Yeshua-Christos…

Hermann Samuel Reimarus was the first NT scholar that glimpsed who the historical Yeshua might have been, an apocalyptic seer that became frustrated when the eschaton did not occur. This historical Jesus, discovered by Reimarus and popularised by Albert Schweitzer, never had the intention to found a new religion. It was Paul the one who abrogated the Torah and created an amalgam between a mystery cult (that some scholars surmise he heard of in Tarsus) and esoteric Judaism. In his letters Paul claimed to be a Jew. Since Jews are the masters of deceit it does no harm to quote a modern (((scholar))) who specialised in the NT:

Paul, as the personal begetter of the Christian myth, has never been given sufficient credit for his originality. The reverence paid through the centuries to the great Saint Paul has quite obscured the more colourful features of his personality. Like many evangelical leaders, he was a compound of sincerity and charlatanry. Evangelical leaders of his kind were common at this time in the Greco-Roman world (e.g. Simon Magus, Apollonius of Tyana). [1]

Unlike the real disciples of Jesus who spoke Aramaic, Paul’s Greek is that of one who is a native speaker of the language. Hyam Maccoby (1924-2004), the author of the above paragraph, also said that Paul’s letters were written at a time when his break with the Jerusalem leaders was almost complete, and that Paul ‘refers to these leaders with hardly veiled contempt’.

The triumph of Pauline Christianity was overwhelming. After Paul’s death the teachings of the disciples of Peter and James were suppressed by the Romans, especially after Jerusalem was converted into Aelia Capitolina. In later generations, the remaining disciples of Peter and James were derogatorily called ‘Ebionites’ by the triumphant Church. The Ebionites regarded Jesus as messiah while rejecting his divinity and his virgin birth, and insisted—as precisely those that Paul criticises in his epistles—on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites.

The Ebionites revered Jesus’ brother James and rejected Paul as an apostate from the law. Since the Pauline Church eventually destroyed all texts of the competing denominations, Ebionite beliefs are only found in the writings of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Origen, Epiphanius and Jerome: church authors discussed in Deschner’s Christianity’s Criminal History (cf. the September draft of Deschner’s book). Although we don’t have the Ebionite texts themselves, all of the above authors confirm that they opposed Paul as a pseudo-apostle and—most telling of all—claimed that Paul knew nothing about the true teachings of Jesus.

Analogous forms of exegesis moved Schweitzer and other exegetes reach the conclusion that the historical Jesus is unknowledgeable as the four gospels would be written under the influence of Pauline Christology; not of those who knew Jesus. In the opinion of several white men Paul was a superb mythologist, the real inventor of Christianity:

‘Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus’. —Thomas Jefferson

‘Paul hardly ever allows the real Jesus of Nazareth to get a word in’. —Carl Jung

‘Paul’s words are not the Words of God. They are the words of Paul—a vast difference’. —Bishop John Spong

‘The new testament was less a Christiad than a Pauliad’. —Thomas Hardy

‘Paul created a theology of which none but the vaguest warrants can be found in the words of Christ… Fundamentalism is the triumph of Paul over Christ’. —Will Durant

‘Where possible Paul avoids quoting the teachings of Jesus, in fact even mentioning it. If we had to rely on Paul, we should not know that Jesus taught in parables, had delivered the sermon on the mount, and had taught his disciples the “Our Father”.’ —Albert Schweitzer

But of course, in The Quest of the Historical Jesus Schweitzer casts doubts about the historicity of most sayings attributed to Jesus. It is paradoxical that if the Romans had not destroyed Jerusalem and built on its ruins Aelia Capitolina, the original Yeshua cult, represented by Peter and James, might have conserved a few manuscripts refuting the claims of the opportunist from Tarsus.

Saul of Tarsus must have amalgamated a sort of proto-Gnostic ideas within Judaism with the bloody cult of a sacrificed god in his native town. For example, in death and Resurrection the god Attis represented, through his Resurrection, salvation for the degenerate inhabitants of the Greco-Roman world. The celebrants of Cybele’s mystery cult achieved salvation through the Resurrection of Attis. ‘When they are satisfied with their fictitious grief a light is brought in, and the priest, having anointed their lips, whispers, “Be of good cheer, you of the mystery. Your god is saved; for us also there shall be salvation from ills”,’ wrote Firmicus Maternus.

__________

[1] Hyam Maccoby: The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity (Harper & Row, 1986), p. 17. I read this book thirty years ago when I was living in San Rafael, California.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 81

Below, an abridged translation from the third volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

 

Fabrications in the New Testament

‘Forgeries begin in the New Testament era and have never ceased’.

—Carl Schneider, evangelical theologian

 

The error of Jesus

At the beginning of Christianity there are hardly any falsifications, assuming that Jesus of Nazareth is historical and not the myth of a god transported to the human being. However, historicity is merely presupposed here; it is, independently from some exceptions, the communis opinio (common opinion) of the 20th century. But there is no actual demonstration. The hundreds of apologetic nonsense in circulation, such as that of the Jesuit F.X. Brors (with imprimatur), are as gratuitous as brazen: ‘But where is a personality somewhere whose existence is historically guaranteed as the person of Christ? We can also mythologize a Cicero, a Caesar, even Frederick the Great and a Napoleon: but more guaranteed that the existence of Christ is not theirs’.

On the contrary, what is clear is that there is no demonstrative testimony of the historical existence of Jesus in the so-called profane literature. All extra-Christian sources do not say anything about Jesus: Suetonius and Pliny the Younger on the Roman side, Philo and, especially important, Justus of Tiberias on the Jewish side. Or they do not take into consideration, as the Testimonia (Testimony) of Tacitus and Flavius Josephus, what even many Catholic theologians admit today. Even a well-known Catholic like Romano Guardini knew why he wrote: ‘The New Testament is the only source that reports on Jesus’.

Insofar as the judgment that the New Testament and its reliability deserves, critical historical theology has shown, in a way as broad as precise, a largely negative result. According to critical Christian theologians the biblical books ‘are not interested in history’ (M. Dibelius), ‘they are only a collection of anecdotes’ (M. Werner), ‘should be used only with extreme caution’ (M. Goguel), are full of ‘religious legends’ (Von Soden), ‘stories of devotions and entertainment’ (C. Schneider), full of propaganda, apologetics, polemics and tendentious ideas. In short: here everything is faith, history is nothing.

This is also true, precisely, about the sources that speak almost exclusively of the life and doctrine of the Nazarene, the Gospels. All the stories of Jesus’ life are, as its best scholar, Albert Schweitzer, wrote, ‘hypothetical constructions’. And consequently, even modern Christian theology, all of which is critical and does not cling to dogmatism, puts into question the historical credibility of the Gospels; arriving unanimously at the conclusion that, regarding the life of Jesus, we can find practically nothing. The Gospels do not reflect, in any way, history but faith: the common theology, the common fantasy of the end of the 1st century.

Therefore, in the beginnings of Christianity there is neither history nor literary fabrications but, as the central issue, its true motive, error. And this error goes back to none other than Jesus.

We know that the Jesus of the Bible, especially the Synoptic, is fully within the Jewish tradition. He is much more Jewish than Christian. As to the others, the members of the primitive community were called ‘Hebrews’. Only the most recent research calls them ‘Judeo-Christian’ but their lives were hardly different from that of the other Jews. They also considered the sacred Jewish Scriptures as mandatory and remained members of the synagogue for many generations.

Jesus propagated a mission only among Jews. He was strongly influenced by the Jewish apocalyptic—and this influenced Christianity mightily. Not in vain does Bultmann has one of his studies with the title Ist die Apokalyptik die Mutter der christlichen Theologie? (Is the apocalyptic the mother of Christian theology?). In any case, the New Testament is full of apocalyptic ideas and such influence has its mark in all its steps. ‘There can be no doubt that it was an apocalyptic Judaism in which the Christian faith acquired its first and basic form’ (Cornfeld / Botterweck).

But the germ of this faith is Jesus’ error about the imminent end of the world. Those beliefs were frequent. It did not always mean that the world would end, but perhaps it was the beginning of a new period. Similar ideas were known in Iran, in Babylon, Assyria and Egypt. The Jews took them from paganism and incorporated them into the Old Testament as the idea of the Messiah. Jesus was one of the many prophets—like those of the Jewish apocalypses, the Essenes, John the Baptist—who announced that his generation was the last one. He preached that the present time was over and that some of his disciples ‘would not taste death until they saw the kingdom of God coming’; that they would not end the mission in Israel ‘until the Son of Man arrives’; that the final judgment of God would take place ‘in this same generation’ which would not cease ‘until all this has happened’.

Although all this was in the Bible for a millennium and a half, Hermann Samuel Reimarus, the Hamburg Orientalist who died in 1768 (whose extensive work, which occupied more than 1,400 pages, was later published in parts by Lessing), was the first to recognise the error of Jesus. But until the beginning of the 20th century the theologian Johannes Weiss did not show the discovery of Reimarus. It was developed by the theologian Albert Schweitzer.

The recognition of Jesus’ fundamental error is considered the Copernican moment of modern theology and is generally defended by the critical representatives of history and the anti-dogmatics. For the theologian Bultmann it is necessary ‘to say that Jesus was wrong in waiting for the end of the world’. And according to the theologian Heiler ‘a serious researcher discusses the firm conviction of Jesus in the early arrival of the final judgment and the end’.

But not only Jesus was wrong but also all Christendom since, as the archbishop of Freiburg, Conrad Gröber (a member promoter of the SS) admits, ‘it was contemplated the return of the Lord as imminent, as is testified not only in different passages in the epistles of St. Paul, St. Peter, James and in the Book of Revelation; but also by the literature of the Apostolic Fathers and the Proto-Christian life’.

(Note of the Ed.: The face that Richard Neave constructed from skulls of typical 1st century Palestinian Jews suggests that Jesus, if he existed, must have differed significantly from the traditional depictions in Western art, which invariably ‘Nordicize’ the Semites.)

Marana tha (‘Come, Lord’) was the prayer of the first Christians. But as time passed without the Lord coming; when doubts, resignation, ridicule and discord were increasing, the radicalism of Jesus’ affirmations had to be gradually softened. And after decades and centuries, when the Lord finally did not arrive, the Church converted what in Jesus was a distant hope, his idea of the Kingdom of God, into the idea of ‘the Church’. The oldest Christian belief was thus replaced by the Kingdom of Heaven: a gigantic falsification; within Christian dogma, the most serious one.

The belief in the proximity of the end decisively conditioned the later appearance of the Proto-Christian writings in the second half of the 1st century and in the course of the 2nd century. Jesus and his disciples—who expected no hereafter and no state of transcendental bliss but the immediate intervention of God from heaven and a total change of all things on Earth—naturally had no interest in taking notes, writings, or books; for whose writing they were not even trained.

And when the New Testament authors began to write, they softened the prophecies of Jesus of a very imminent end of the world. The Christians did not live that end and this is why questions arise in all ancient literature. Scepticism and indignation spread: ‘Where, then, is his announced second coming?’ says the second Epistle of Peter. ‘Since the parents died, everything is as it has been since the beginning of creation’. And also in Clement’s first epistle the complaint arises: ‘We have already heard this in the days of our fathers, and look, we have aged and none of that has happened to us’.

Voices of that style arise shortly after the death of Jesus. And they are multiplied in the course of the centuries. And here there is how the oldest Christian author, the apostle of the peoples, Paul, reacts. If he first explained to the Corinthians that the term ‘had been set short’ and the ‘world is heading to the sunset’, ‘we will not all die, but we will all be transformed’—later he spiritualised the faith about the final times that, from year to year, became increasingly suspicious. Paul thus made the faithful internally assume the great renewal of the world, the longing for a change of eons, was fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Instead of the preaching of the kingdom of God, instead of the promise that this kingdom would soon emerge on Earth, Paul thus introduced individualistic ideas of the afterlife, the vita aeterna (eternal life). Christ no longer comes to the world but the believing Christian goes to him in heaven! Similarly, the gospel authors who write later soften Jesus’ prophecies about the end of the world and make the convenient corrections in the sense of a postponement. The one that goes further is Luke, who substitutes the hopeful belief for a history of divine salvation with the notion of previous stages or intermediate steps.

______ 卐 ______

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On Christian nationalists

Because Amazon is already printing my books, and in another account The Fair Race will even be available, I removed the ads from my books that I had on the addendum to this site. I had titled it Daybreak Press but recently I modified it to, in my mother tongue, criticise Eschatology: a cult derived from Christian Science in which I was alienated throughout my twenties.

The founder of that sect, one William Walter, had crossed by a great agony in his youth to expurgate from his mind the idea of a personal god. Even during my perdition in Walter’s sect, I had already abandoned theism, as the idea of ‘God’ for the eschatologists is similar to that of the New Age in which each individual, not only Jesus, is Vere homo, vere Deus.

Although on the Addenda I now criticise Walter’s cult, his new vision of divinity is a clear advance compared to the idea of the volcanic demon worshiped by the ancient Hebrews: an idea that whites internalized with extraordinary ferocity since Constantine and his successors, except Julian, destroyed the classical world. Thus, the beautiful gods of the Hellenes were replaced by an exceedingly proud and primitive god, in whose Talmud it is said that the best among the Goyim must be exterminated.

But the idea of the providence of the ignorant Walter was not really new. It resembles, in a way, the new understanding of God of German philosophers such as Schelling and Hegel. Thanks to their philosophers, when Hitler created National Socialism, some Germans already had not only an idea of the divinity much more mature than the tribal god of the Hebrews (and of traditionalist Americans). The Germans also had a long history of exegetes who had subjected the New Testament to the highest possible scrutiny that one could imagine.

(Reimarus, who restarted the criticism on the historicity in the gospel narratives since the subject had been suppressed when the Christians burned Porphyry’s books.)

On this site I have criticized Albert Schweitzer for having migrated, as a good neo-Christian, to Africa to help blacks after abandoning traditional Christianity. However, his book, in which he reviews the long history of German exegetes who studied the gospels, is a classic. Many, like Schweitzer himself, had no choice but to abandon traditional dogma after such an undertaking.

Culturally but not geographically, I am closer to Europe and National Socialism than to the United States. For the same reason, every time I approach the new posts of pro-white sites in America, I am astonished to see how backward they are compared, say, to Hitler’s anti-Christian table talks (whose excerpts I find myself moving to Ex Libris). Hunter Wallace of Alabama, for example, concludes his entry today with these words ‘The solution to all this is found in Jesus the Christ’.

Compare his words with what I recently said in Pilate or Jesus?: ‘You do not realise that, with that admiration [of Jesus], you, like so many white nationalists who are still clinging to their parents’ religion, are doing something harmful to the white race’. It was in that same post where I added: ‘It is this kind of thing that produces a tectonic earthquake, it opens a grand canyon so to speak, between me and the [American] nationalists’.

Years ago, it seems to me that on Radio Free Mississippi, Wallace discussed with Alex Linder the theme of Christianity throughout the podcast. But Linder is monolingual: he did not know, at least when he argued with Wallace, the Spanish texts of Evropa Soberana and Karlheinz Deschner in German that we have been translating for this site. As I have said elsewhere, the masthead of this site is Soberana’s essay; what the ten volumes of Deschner provide is a huge bibliography that validates Soberana’s claims.

I do not harbour any illusions. I know that pro-white Americans will die addicted to the Judeo-Christian drug until their race finishes dying. But perhaps my work may be of some use to those who, as Walter and I suffered while repudiating the volcanic demon, are in the process of apostasy.

Pilate or Jesus?

Or:

On purple-pill addicts

This post is a response to Arch Stanton: Pay attention to what I said today in the hatnote of the 60th entry of Kriminalgeschichte: ‘In a nutshell, any white person who worships the god of the Jews is, ultimately, ethnosuicidal’.

Jesus of Nazareth is considered ‘god’ by Christians, mysteriously the same as the first person of the trinity, the god father: the same Yahweh of the Jews, right? Well, if the hatnote that accompanies the entries of Deschner’s series describes reality, you yourself, by holding Jesus high, are an ethnosuicidal white.

I will be very frank. I do not believe that what you say in your novel about Jesus was historical. It could have been historical, as it could be historical the version of Jesus that appears in Evropa Soberana’s ‘Rome vs. Judea’: two different and irreconcilable visions of the historical Jesus.

I do not believe any. As I let you know in other discussion threads, there are as many Jesuses as New Testament students who fall into the temptation to write a ‘Jesus life’, as if that were possible.

It’s not possible. Already from the times of Albert Schweitzer it was known that it was impossible. The New Testament is a very problematic text because it is a kerygma. It is not a true and objective testimony about biographical facts: it preaches a new doctrine. Wanting to extract history out of such a text is like wanting to extract real history from what the Old Testament says about Moses; what the Buddhist texts initially passed on orally by monks say of Buddha, or what the Qur’an says of Muhammad.

Let’s go to the point regarding your novel. The fight between Jesus and the High Priest that appears in the gospels, which culminated in the expulsion of the merchants from the temple and eventually in the crucifixion of Jesus, is to be understood as a quarrel between Jews. Every Aryan who takes sides in such a quarrel is Judaised.

Even if the story is non-fictional whatever happened between the preacher Yeshu—whose mother Miriam was Jewish—and the temple authorities does not concern us in the least. What concerns us is what the Romans thought: Our people, the representatives of our culture. As Nietzsche said, the only decent character in the entire New Testament was Pilate.

Limestone block discovered in 1961 with Pilate’s
tribute in Latin to Tiberius. The words […]TIVS
PILATVS can be clearly seen on the second line.

But you do not have the white Pilate as the man to admire of the New Testament. You have a fucking Jew. You do not realize that, with that admiration, you, like so many white nationalists who are still clinging to their parents’ religion, are doing something harmful to the white race.

It is this kind of thing that produces a tectonic earthquake, it opens a grand canyon so to speak, between me and the nationalists. The white nationalists who maintain vestiges of Christianity are not aware of the fact that they are as much part of the problem as of the solution.

Very few racists, like Hitler in his after-dinner talks and Pierce on this side of the Atlantic, came to take the red pill. As I said elsewhere, the Alt-Right people prefer the purple.

Jesus

In the next entry of the series ‘Apocalypse for whites’ we will see the theme of the historical Jesus in the context of the Roman reaction against the Zealots of Jerusalem. Before translating his article I must invite visitors to become familiar with the subject of Biblical criticism and overall scepticism about Saul/Paul’s Christological claims.

The crucial point is to distinguish the historical Jesus from the Christ of the dogma (although fictional, my previous post ‘Kazantzakis on Paul’ hits the nail from an artist’s point of view). Of course, for Christians there is only one: Jesus Christ. A casual read at Wikipedia’s featured article on the most influential Jew in Western history will introduce the neophyte to the subject. But it is a biased article: it has a lot of Christian and Jewish input.

Albert Schweitzer’s The Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906)
demonstrated that the “lives of Jesus” were projections
from the authors’ personal views.

In my life, the quest of who Jesus really was meant a struggle against the religious introjects of my father. Now I agree with the secular authors that I have quoted in this site: Randel Helms and Joseph Hoffman. However, lately I have been inclined to the criterion of Rudolf Bultmann that the verses that go against the theology of the evangelist in question, might be historical.

There are quite a few statements that counter the evangelist’ POV within the New Testament itself. For example: the mention of Jesus’ brothers and sisters. The NT describes James, Joses, Jude and Simon as brothers of Jesus. Also mentioned, but not named, are the sisters of Jesus in his native town. ‘If it runs against the theology of the evangelist then it is historical’ may be a mere conjecture. But conjectures are also the educated guesses of those who say that the Jesus of the gospels is one hundred percent fictitious, and that not even the crucifixion that Pilate ordered was real.

Let me be crystal-clear: I do not believe that the god of the Jews exists. But whoever the historical Jesus was, if he existed at all, this subject is fundamental to understand the darkest hour of the West.

Schweitzer on Paul

‘Where possible Paul avoids quoting the teachings of Jesus, in fact even mentioning it. If we had to rely on Paul, we should not know that Jesus taught in parables, had delivered the sermon on the mount, and had taught his disciples the “Our Father”.’

—Albert Schweitzer

Published in: on December 17, 2017 at 11:45 am  Comments (8)  

Two ways of looking at history

The following is the introduction to the fourth part of the forthcoming 2017 edition of The Fair Race’s Darkest Hour. As in my introductory article to that compilation, “The word racism,” regular visitors to this site will recognize that I have been merging and recycling different pieces that have already been published here.

______ ______

 

Part IV:

Ethno-suicide: Christian ethics

Why were you so ungrateful to our
gods as to desert them for the Jews?
—Julian (addressing the Christians)

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK:

Two ways of looking at history

Note of September 2017: I have relocated the first paragraphs of this post: here. The 2018 edition of the book will be much shorter than the below one:

The life of Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) illustrates the phenomenon of deranged altruism, that Kevin MacDonald has called pathological altruism. Schweitzer was a New Testament scholar and a medical missionary in Africa. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life,” expressed in many ways but most famously in founding the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Africa. We are greatly indebted to Schweitzer and the other Germans who started a secularized research on the New Testament texts since the 18th and 19th centuries. Personally, these Germans were of great help for me in my late twenties during my inner struggle with my father’s Catholicism. But at the same time we should note that the biography of Schweitzer illustrates what is wrong with those who abandon faith in the gospel only to become out-group altruists. Eric, a Swede who used to comment at the blogsite Gates of Vienna, commented in a July 2009 thread:

Our progressivist paradigm is based on Christian ethics. The Left is all about Christian ethics. What the left-wing is doing is not destroying Western civilization, but completing and fulfilling it: what I call “The Finish of the West.” The current order is the last and terminal phase of Western Christian civilization. Western Christian civilization is in fact the worst enemy of what I call European civilization: another reason for wanting the Western Christian civilization to go away. For the very same reason that Christian ethics abhors infanticide, it causes the population explosion in the world.

Christian ethics cannot stand the sight of little brown children dying. They must help them, or they will freak out. According to Christian ethics it is forbidden and unthinkable to think in terms of not saving every little brown child across the planet.

schweitzers-pickaninniesBut the consequences of this mindset are catastrophic, not only to us but also to them, as I have already explained. But since people are so programmed according to Christian ethics, what I’m saying does not seem to enter their heads. The thought is too unthinkable to be absorbed. It’s an utter taboo.

This is derived from the deepest moral grammar of Christianity. The population explosion is not caused by liberalism, it is caused by Christianity in its most general form.

I must acknowledge that my axiological approach to Christianity and civilizational suicide originated from studying Eric’s texts carefully. The following is the crux of his views. This POV explains why, once Schweitzer researched honestly the New Testament texts to the point of abandoning his faith, he found himself irrationally compelled to help the downtrodden, like the pickaninnies that he holds in his arms above, to fulfill a form of secularized Christianity:

With Christ as part of the equation, the Christian ethics of the Gospels became balanced. Humans were seen as imperfect and it was Christ who covered for us with his self-sacrifice. In Secular Christianity each person has to be like Jesus himself [emphasis added], doing self-sacrifice, since there’s no other way to realize Christian ethics. On top of that, with the Industrial Revolution and the surplus it created in our societies, we came to the point where all the good deeds of Christian ethics could finally be executed by giving off our surplus to all the poor and weak foreign people around the world: food, Western medicine, and other aid.

We should remember that our progressivist paradigm, which is always going left, is based on Christian ethics. And Christian ethics means the inversion of values [emphasis added]. So it’s the weak that is considered good, while the strong is considered evil.

“Inversion of values” is a Nietzschean concept. The keynote of Schweitzer’s personal philosophy, which he considered to be his greatest contribution to mankind, was the idea of Reverence for Life (Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben). Like millions of “secular Christians” today, Schweitzer inverted healthy Aryan values when he questioned the historicity of the gospel narrative to elaborate an ethical foundation for his new tables. Instead of helping the crown of the evolution in Germany—for instance the nymphs that have inspired my site, The West’s Darkest Hour—, he moved to a savage part of the world to help the cloaca gentium of Africa.

Schweitzer died in 1965 at his beloved African hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon. His grave, on the banks of the Ogooué River, is marked by a cross he made himself. This, in spite of the fact that in his most famous book, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, it is clear that he had ceased to believe in the gospel stories. But the cross was appropriate: internally, Schweitzer never gave up Christian ethics, only Christian dogma. Like millions of liberals today he was a partial apostate from Christianity; his apostasy was not complete. It is my belief that only complete apostasy from Christianity and its secular offshoot will save whites from extinction. And by total I mean what Nietzsche said:

In England one must rehabilitate oneself after every little emancipation from theology by showing in a veritably awe-inspiring manner what a moral fanatic one is. That is the penance they pay there. —We others hold otherwise. When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one’s feet.

I have quoted the retired blogger Eric above, that Lawrence Auster used to call the “Nietzschean of the North.” Presently I fully agree with Eric that what we are witnessing is nothing else than the historical demise of Christianity. The metaphor that he used explains it all: “When a star dies, in its last phase it expands into a red giant, before it shrinks into a white dwarf. Liberalism is the red giant of Christianity. And just as a red giant is devoid of its core, it expands thousand-fold while losing its substance and is about to die. The world I live in consists of Christians and liberals. It’s their world and I do not belong to them.”

But paradigms do not die: they are replaced. William Pierce for one said that Christianity and a pro-white ethos are mutually exclusive and added:

We need ethics; we need values and standards; we need a world view. And if one wants to call all of these things together a religion, then we need a religion. One might choose instead, however, to call them a philosophy of life. Whatever we call it, it must come from our own race soul; it must be an expression of the innate Aryan nature. And it must be conducive to our mission of racial progress.

The Spaniard Manu Rodríguez, with whom I have exchanged a copious correspondence, has told me that we do not need a new religion in the American sense; only to be aware of our pre-Christian cultures. We must recover such cultures, says Rodríguez, to educate our children according to the varied heritage that these cultures represent. He had in mind the Edda, the Mabinogion; Homer and Virgil—not to mention our tragedians, our poets, our philosophers. We must extract that immensely rich heritage and moral maxims.

We also need… temples!—Rodríguez told me—: enclosures for re-connection as he calls them. This is my Spanish-English translation of what Manu wrote to me: “An ever living fire in these areas will suffice. We need places where we can gather and remember our stories: readings of texts, commentaries, discussion panels and more. Something collective and social; religious and cultural centers where our people may have psychological or spiritual support, or get truthful information about our ancestors, or the incidents of our history. We need dividing the year with special celebrations related to happy or tragic milestones of our past; our own calendars of days of ‘saints’ (our heroes and those most representative). We need to retrieve the Greek, Roman, Celt, German and other names…”

That is, we need what we could not do in Christendom: having our own history because our history was usurped by the Christian clergy. We only have had a Judaic narrative inimical to the Aryan spirit. In one of his blog posts “The sublime Indo-European heritage”, Rodríguez wrote:

For hundreds of years our cultural genius was forced to speak in alien terms for our being. Think of the literature, the music or the architecture we would have had if we had not been dominated by a foreign ideology or culture; if we had remained Persians, Greeks, Germans, Slavs…

In short, for Rodríguez we need to create the Aryan community (ecclesia) which, for the above circumstances, we never had. The Aryan ecclesias need to thrive in our towns and cities. Our “priests” will be, according to my Spanish friend, not experts in theology but in history, anthropology and Indo-European linguistics. The priest of the 14 words must be skilled in the various Indo-European traditions. Such bonding in quasi-religious temples will only be for whites. The rest of the peoples or races are excluded. This won’t be a universal ideology but an ethnic one.

Rodríguez graciously allowed me to translate and publish his epistles and philosophy for the present book. On the other hand, American white nationalists seem to be living in another age. While visiting their blogsites it never ceases to surprise me the enormous quantity of Christians among them. I have already said that Pierce was the best mind that the United States has produced. I would go as far as blaming American Christianity for the fact that Pierce’s association, the National Alliance, disbanded after his death on July 23, 2002.

In sharp contrast to the prevailing paradigm in white nationalism, in a February 1989 bulletin for National Alliance members, Pierce said:

The greatest obstacle to the survival of our race is Christianity. Even with all their malice and cunning, the Jews would pose no real threat to the race were it not for their Christian collaborators. In the U.S. just as in South Africa, the Jews may be pulling a lot of strings behind the scenes, but the troops in the war against the White Race are mainly White Christians filled with religious guilt and obsessed with the need to expiate that guilt by sacrificing their own race on the altar of “equality”.

Let us never forget… that Christianity itself is an alien, hostile, racially destructive creed of Jewish origin, and in the future most of those who have fallen under its spell will continue to be our enemies and the enemies of our race.

Apparently, those Christian sympathizers who inherited the National Alliance censured the above memo, which Pierce wrote twenty-seven years ago. In this section we will see how, more than seventy years ago, Adolf Hitler also showed far more enlightened views about Christianity than American white nationalists today.

David Irving, the famed historian of the Third Reich, wrote:

The Table Talk’s content is more important in my view than Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and possibly even more than his Zweites Buch (1928). It is unadulterated Hitler. He expatiates on virtually every subject under the sun, while his generals and private staff sit patiently and listen, or pretend to listen, to the monologues.

Hitler’s talks were transcribed from 1941 to 1944. His remarks were recorded by Heinrich Heim, Henry Picker and Martin Bormann in shorthand. The book has been translated to English and the Ostara Publications edition should be read to understand the historical Hitler in contrast to the fantastic Hitler of the media. In this section I will include Hitler’s table talks about Christianity; the first one taken from what the Führer said in a night of July of 1941.

I will also include some texts by a commenter who posted under the penname of Jack Frost. I find hilarious that at the white nationalist webzine The Occidental Observer other commenters still believe that the US started unpolluted. Jack Frost rubs salt into their wounds. The fact is that the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States violated, or allowed among one of the male members of his family to violate, our First Commandment: thou shalt not mix your blood with non-whites, let alone a nigger. Replying to his angry critics, Frost said: “The fact is that the Jefferson Y chromosome entered the Hemings line [a Negro family], and it is still true that it came either from Jefferson himself or one of his male relatives. In the latter case, either he knew his slave was being used sexually, which makes him a pimp, or he didn’t know, which makes him a fool. The Hemings case was not unusual.”

Most American blacks today have higher IQs than African negroes precisely because such happenings among slave owners were not unusual. What infuriates me the most about miscegenation is that the comparatively smart blacks and mulattoes we see on TV have been using their Anglo-Saxon genes to subvert what remains of Anglo-Saxon culture. This was a gift of compassionate Christians who did not castrate the slave negroes while arriving into the shores of the New World.

Young Americans who are starting to question the worldview of the Founding Fathers are realizing that men are not created equal, nor are women equal to men; that these beliefs are religious beliefs, and that society is just as religious as ever it was—I am quoting them—with an official state religion of progressivism: an evil religion. I would go as far as claim that egalitarianism, equality, universalism, the brotherhood of man, the purported inexistence of races and its corollary, non-discrimination as the central value constitute the faith of the worst generation ever since prehistory!

Genuine post-Christians do not propose that the West went wrong forty or fifty years ago, or even two-hundred years ago after the French Revolution; but millennia ago with the debasement of the Aryan gene pool among the Roman citizenship and the eventual destruction of the hard ethos of the classic world. Christianity introduced universalism and the Byzantine Empire, originated by the first Christian Emperor, soon became a mongrel empire. A thousand years later the remaining whites had a choice to revaluate Christian values after the Renaissance, but the Reformation did the exact opposite: it brought the monkey of the Old Testament onto the whites’ backs (cf. Nietzsche’s text in this section). The Enlightenment was dangerously optimistic about human nature and the State, another “good news religion, telling us what we wish to hear, but about this world instead of the next.” Furthermore, the Enlightenment does not actually represent a clean break from our ancestors’ religion.

There are two ways of looking at western history. The accepted view is that Christianity reached its peak in the times of St Francis of Assisi and St Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. This is only true if our glance is purely dogmatic (Aquinas), not axiologic (St Francis). The novel approach is that Christianity did not decay; it mutated like a virus for the white mind. To put it succinctly, the so-called Enlightenment and liberalism are but Secular Christianity. From the axiological viewpoint, Christianity, a red giant star that is about to die, that fateful experiment that started with Constantine, has reached its peak in our twenty-first century. Essays by Revilo Oliver, Manu Rodríguez and Tom Sunic explaining this claim will be included in this section.

This section also reproduces translated excerpts of the general introduction of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums (Criminal History of Christianity). I must note that Deschner, who died when I was editing this book, was a liberal and probably would have disapproved my inclusion of his translated text in the present collection. Hadn’t Britain declared war to Germany in the last century we would have now thorough German studies on the criminal history of Judaism and Christianity not from the pen of liberals like Deschner, but from National Socialists. The point of including an abridgement of Deschner’s introduction to his incredibly erudite, ten-volume work, is that most white nationalist Christians ignore the history of the Church. Finally, I include Nietzsche’s last pages of his book The Antichrist and a post by a well-known commenter in nationalist forums, Franklin Ryckaert, asking if Christianity is redeemable.

The next article reproduces excerpts from the remains of Against the Galileans by Julian the Apostate, Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 C.E. Remains I say, because the Imperial Church did not even respect the writings of one of their emperors if he happened to dismiss Christianity. Julian only reigned twenty months. In 364 his friend Libanius stated that Julian had been assassinated by a Christian.

David Friedrich Strauss, 3

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 ninth chapter is titled “Strauss’s Opponents and Supporters”:


DF Strauss


Scarcely ever has a book let loose such a storm of controversy; and scarcely ever has a controversy been so barren of immediate result. The fertilising rain brought up a crop of toad-stools. Of the forty or fifty essays on the subject which appeared in the next five years, there are only four or five which are of any value, and even of these the value is very small.

If his opponents made no effort to understand him rightly—and many of them certainly wrote without having carefully studied the fourteen hundred pages of his two volumes—Strauss on his part seemed to be stricken with a kind of uncertainty, lost himself in a maze of detail, and failed to keep continually re-formulating the main problems which he had set up for discussion, and so compelling his adversaries to face them fairly.

Of these problems there were three. The first was composed of the related questions regarding miracle and myth; the second concerned the connexion of the Christ of faith with the Jesus of history; the third referred to the relation of the Gospel of John to the Synoptists.

It was the first that attracted most attention; more than half the critics devoted themselves to it alone. Even so they failed to get a thorough grasp of it. The only thing that they clearly see is that Strauss altogether denies the miracles.

The fear of Strauss had, indeed, a tendency to inspire Protestant theologians with catholicising ideas. One of the most competent reviewers of his book, Dr. Ullmann in the Studien und Kritiken, had expressed the wish that it had been written in Latin to prevent its doing harm among the people. An anonymous dialogue of the period shows us the schoolmaster coming in distress to the clergyman. He has allowed himself to be persuaded into reading the book by his acquaintance the Major, and he is now anxious to get rid of the doubts which it has aroused in him. When his cure has been safely accomplished, the reverend gentleman dismisses him with the following exhortation:

“Now I hope that after the experience which you have had you will for the future refrain from reading books of this kind, which are not written for you, and of which there is no necessity for you to take any notice; and for the refutation of which, should that be needful, you have no equipment. You may be quite sure that anything useful or profitable for you which such books may contain will reach you in due course through the proper channel and in the right way, and, that being so, you are under no necessity to jeopardise any part of your peace of mind.”

Immediately after the appearance of Strauss’s book, which, it was at once seen, would cause much offence, the Prussian Government asked Wilhelm Neander to report upon it, with a view to prohibiting the circulation, should there appear to be grounds for doing so. He presented his report on the 15th of November 1835, and, an inaccurate account of it having appeared in the Allgemeine Zeitung, subsequently published it. In it he censures the work as being written from a too purely rationalistic point of view [Schweitzer refers to the naïve “rationalistic” attempts to explain miracles away], but strongly urges the Government not to suppress it by an edict. He describes it as “a book which, it must be admitted, constitutes a danger to the sacred interests of the Church, but which follows the method of endeavouring to produce a reasoned conviction by means of argument. Hence any other method of dealing with it than by meeting argument with argument will appear in the unfavourable light of an arbitrary interference with the freedom of science.”

The pure rationalists found it much more difficult than did the mediating theologians, whether of the older or younger school, to adjust their attitude to the new solution of the miracle question. Strauss himself had made it difficult for them by remorselessly exposing the absurd and ridiculous aspects of their method, and by refusing to recognise them as allies in the battle for truth, as they really were.

Paulus [the major exponent of “rationalism” of the time] would have been justified in bearing him a grudge. But the inner greatness of that man of hard exterior comes out in the fact that he put his personal feelings in the background, and when Strauss became the central figure in the battle for the purity and freedom of historical science he ignored his attacks on rationalism and came to his defence. In a very remarkable letter to the Free Canton of Zurich, on “Freedom in Theological Teaching and in the Choice of Teachers for Colleges,” he urges the council and the people to appoint Strauss because of the principle at stake, and in order to avoid giving any encouragement to the retrograde movement in historical science. It is as though he felt that the end of rationalism had come, but that, in the person of the enemy who had defeated it, the pure love of truth, which was the only thing that really mattered, would triumph over all the forces of reaction.

Accordingly Hengstenberg’s Evangelische Kirchenzeitung hailed Strauss’s book as “one of the most gratifying phenomena in the domain of recent theological literature,” and praises the author for having carried out with logical consistency the application of the mythical theory which had formerly been restricted to the Old Testament and certain parts only of the Gospel tradition. “All that Strauss has done is to bring the spirit of the age to a clear consciousness of itself and of the necessary consequences which flow from its essential character. He has taught it how to get rid of foreign elements which were still present in it, and which marked an imperfect stage of its development.”

Hengstenberg’s only complaint against Strauss is that he does not go far enough. He would have liked to force upon him the role of the Wolfenbiittel Fragmentist [Reimarus], and considers that if Strauss did not, like the latter, go so far as to suppose the apostles guilty of deliberate deceit, that is not so much from any regard for the historical kernel of Christianity as in order to mask his attack.

Even in Catholic theology Strauss’s work caused a great sensation. Catholic theology in general did not at that time take up an attitude of absolute isolation from Protestant scholarship; it had adopted from the latter numerous rationalistic ideas, and had been especially influenced by Schleiermacher. Thus, Catholic scholars were almost prepared to regard Strauss as a common enemy, against whom it was possible to make common cause with Protestants. In 1837 Joseph Mack, one of the Professors of the Catholic faculty at Tübingen, published his “Report on Herr Dr. Strauss’s Historical Study of the Life of Jesus.” In 1839 appeared “Dr. Strauss’s Life of Jesus, considered from the Catholic point of view,” by Dr. Maurus Hagel, Professor of Theology at the Lyceum at Dillingen; in 1840 that lover of hypotheses and doughty fighter, Johann Leonhard Hug, presented his report upon the work.

Even French Catholicism gave some attention to Strauss’s work. This marks an epoch—the introduction of the knowledge of German critical theology into the intellectual world of the Latin nations. In the Revue des deux mondes for December 1838, Edgar Quinet gave a clear and accurate account of the influence of the Hegelian philosophy upon the religious ideas of cultured Germany. In an eloquent peroration he lays bare the danger which was menacing the Church from the nation of Strauss and Hegel. His countrymen need not think that it could be charmed away by some ingenious formula; a mighty effort of the Catholic spirit was necessary, if it was to be successfully opposed. “A new barbarian invasion was rolling up against sacred Rome. The barbarians were streaming from every quarter of the horizon, bringing their strange gods with them and preparing to beleaguer the holy city.

With Strauss begins the period of the non-miraculous view of the life of Jesus; all other views exhausted themselves in the struggle against him, and subsequently abandoned position after position without waiting to be attacked. The separation which Hengstenberg had hailed with such rejoicing was really accomplished; but in the form that supernaturalism practically separated itself from the serious study of history. It is not possible to date the stages of this process. After the first outburst of excitement everything seems to go on as quietly as before; the only difference is that the question of miracle constantly falls more and more into the background. In the modern period of the study of the Life of Jesus, which begins about the middle of the 1860s, it has lost all importance.

Few understood what Strauss’s real meaning was; the general impression was that he entirely dissolved the life of Jesus into myth. The only writer who really faced the problem in the form in which it had been raised by Strauss was Ch. G. Wilke in his work Tradition and Myth. He recognises that Strauss had given an exceedingly valuable impulse towards the overcoming of rationalism and supernaturalism and to the rejection of the abortive mediating theology.

“In making the assertion,” concludes Strauss, “that the truth of the Gospel narrative cannot be proved, whether in whole or in part, from philosophical considerations, but that the task of inquiring into its truth must be left to historical criticism, I should like to associate myself with the ‘left wing’ of the Hegelian school, were it not that the Hegelians prefer to exclude me altogether from their borders, and to throw me into the arms of other systems of thought—only, it must be admitted, to have me tossed back to them like a ball.”

In regard to the third problem which Strauss had offered for discussion, the relation of the Synoptists to John, there was practically no response. The only one of his critics who understood what was at stake was Hengstenberg.

But there is no position so desperate that theology cannot find a way out of it. The mediating theologians simply ignored the problem which Strauss had raised. As they had been accustomed to do before, so they continued to do after.

In this respect Strauss shared the fate of Reimarus; the positive solutions of which the outlines were visible behind their negative criticism escaped observation in consequence of the offence caused by the negative side of their work; and even the authors themselves failed to realise their full significance.

Published in: on September 21, 2013 at 11:52 am  Comments Off on David Friedrich Strauss, 3  
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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.