Christianity’s Criminal History, 86

Saint John the Evangelist, a painting by the Italian Baroque painter Domenichino. The problem with the splendid Christian art is that the painters have Nordicized the Semites of the 1st century. Had photography existed in the 1st century of our era, the Aryans would never have projected their beautiful physiques on the ugly rabble of Palestine.

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Neither the Gospel of Matthew, nor the Gospel of John, nor John’s Book of Revelation come from the apostles to whom the Church attributes them

Due to the great importance of the ‘apostolic tradition’, the Catholic Church published all the Gospels as books of the apostles or their disciples, which justified their prestige. But there is no proof that Mark and Luke, whose names appear in the New Testament, are disciples of the apostles; that Mark is identical to the companion of Peter, or that Luke was Paul’s companion. The four Gospels were transmitted anonymously.

The first ecclesiastical testimony in favour of ‘Mark’, the oldest of the evangelists, comes from Bishop Papias of Hierapolis, in the middle of the 2nd century. But today there are many researchers who criticise the testimony of Papias; call him ‘historically worthless’ (Marxsen), and even admit that Mark ‘has never heard and accompanied the Lord’.

The apostle Matthew, a disciple of Jesus, is not the author of the Gospel of Saint Matthew which appeared between the 70s and 90s, as is generally assumed. We ignore how he got the reputation of being an evangelist. It is evident that the first testimony comes from the historian of the Church, Eusebius, who in turn accepted the claim of Bishop Papias: about whom he writes that ‘intellectually, he should have been quite limited’. The title ‘Gospel of Matthew’ comes from a later period: we find it for the first time with Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian. Both died at the beginning of the 3rd century. If the apostle Matthew, contemporary of Jesus and witness of his works, had written the Gospel that is attributed to him, would he have had to borrow so heavily from Mark? Was he so forgetful? Did he have so little inspiration?

All critical biblical research considers that there is no reason why the name of the apostle Matthew should appear on the Gospel, since it was not written in Hebrew, as the tradition of the ancient Church affirms, but in Greek. No one is known to have seen the Aramaic original, nor is anyone known to have translated it into Greek; nor in the manuscripts or citations is the slightest remnant of an original Aramaic text preserved. Wolfgang Speyer rightly includes the Gospel of Matthew among ‘fakes under the mask of religious revelations’. K. Stendhal ventures that it is not even the work of a single person but of a ‘school’. According to an almost unanimous opinion of all the non-Catholic researchers of the Bible, that gospel is not based on eyewitnesses.

The most recent Catholic theologians often painfully turn on these facts. ‘In case our Greek version of the Gospel of Matthew had been preceded by an original version in Aramaic…’ writes K. H. Sohelkle. Of course, ‘in case’, says Hebbel with irony, is the most Germanic of the expressions’.

‘An original Aramaic Matthew must have been written several decades before the Greek Matthew’. Not even they themselves believe this. Lichtenberg was not the first to know but was the first to say it accurately: ‘It is clear that the Christian religion is supported more by those people who earn their bread with it than by those who are convinced of its truth’.

It is interesting that the first three Gospels were not published as apostolic, the same as the Acts of the Apostles, whose author we also ignore. The only thing we know is that he who wrote these Acts of the Apostles simply puts on the lips of his ‘heroes’ the most appropriate phrases: something common in old historiography. But these inventions not only constitute a third part of the Acts of the Apostles but are also their most important theological content and, what is particularly remarkable, the writing of this author represents more than a quarter of the entire New Testament. It is generally supposed that the author of the Gospel of Luke is identical to the travelling companion and ‘beloved physician’ of the apostle Paul. But neither the Gospel of Luke nor the Acts of the Apostles are very Pauline. Researchers do not believe today that either of these two works was written by a disciple of Paul.

The Acts of the Apostles and the three Gospels were not signed with the true name or even with pseudonyms: they were anonymous works like many other proto-Christian works, such as the Epistle to the Hebrews of the New Testament. No author of the canonical Gospels cites his name, not once does he mention a guarantor, as the later Christian treatises so often do. It was the Church the first to attribute all these anonymous writings to certain apostles and their disciples. However, such attributions are ‘hoaxes’, they are a ‘literary deception’ (Heinrici). Arnold Meyer notes that ‘with certainty only the letters of the apostle Paul are authentic, who was not an immediate disciple of Jesus’. But it is well known that not all those epistles that appear under his name come from Paul.

 
John

Since the end of the 2nd century, from Irenaeus, although at first not without controversy, the Church attributes without reason the fourth Gospel to the apostle John: something that all critical researchers have questioned for more than two hundred years. There are many weighty reasons for raising questions.

Although the author of this fourth Gospel, who curiously does not mention any author, affirms having leaned on the chest of Jesus and being a reliable witness, he assures and repeats emphatically that his ‘testimony is true’, that ‘he has seen’ and that he ‘knows’ he is telling the truth so that we ‘may believe’. But this Gospel did not appear until about the year 100, while the Apostle John had been killed long ago, towards the year 44 or, probably, in 62.

The Father of the Church, Irenaeus, who was the first to affirm the authorship of the apostle John, has intentionally confused him with a priest, John of Ephesus. And the author of the second and third epistles of John, which are also attributed to the apostle John, calls himself at the beginning, ‘the presbyter’ (a similar confusion also occurred between the apostle Philip and the ‘deacon’ Philip). Even Pope Damasus I, in his canonical index (382), does not attribute two of John’s epistles to the apostle John, but to ‘another John, the presbyter’. Also, even the Father of the Church Jerome denied that these second and third epistles belonged to the apostle. The arguments against the authorship of the apostle John as ‘the Evangelist’ are so numerous and convincing that even Catholic theologians are starting to manifest, little by little, their doubts.

The same could be said about the Book of Revelation of John, whose author is repeatedly called John both at the beginning and at the end of the book, who also appears as a servant of God and brother of Christians, but not as an apostle. The book was written, according to the doctrine of the ancient Church, by the son of Zebedee, the apostle John, since an ‘apostolic’ tradition was needed to guarantee the canonical prestige of the book. But it did not last long given that the Book of Revelation, which appeared in the last place of the New Testament, was rejected by the end of the 2nd century by the critics of the Bible who otherwise did not deny any dogma.

Pope Dionysius of Alexandria (died 264-265), a disciple of Origen and nicknamed ‘the Great’, categorically denied that John was the author of the Apocalypse. Pope Dionysius points out that primitive Christians have already ‘denied and completely rejected’ the ‘Revelation of John’.

They challenged each and every one of the chapters and declared that the work lacked meaning and uniqueness and that the title was false. They affirmed, in particular, that it did not come from John and that they were not revelations since they were surrounded by a multitude of incomprehensible things. The author of this work was not one of the apostles, no saint and no member of the Church, but Cerinthus, who wanted to give a credible name for his forgery and also for the sect of his own name.

The theologian and Protestant bishop Eduard Lohse comments: ‘Dionysius of Alexandria has very accurately observed that the Revelation of John and the Fourth Gospel are so far apart in form and content that they cannot be attributed to the same author’. The question remains whether the author of the Book of Revelation wanted to suggest, by his name John, to be considered a disciple and apostle of Jesus. He does not say that explicitly: it was done by the Church to confer apostolic authority and canonical prestige on his text. And so falsifications started: the falsifications of the Church.

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Jesus’ love is murdering whites

Or:

The Jesus Seminar’s red letters

I have read The Five Gospels (pic left). It has bold letters in black (words attributed by the evangelist to Jesus but not of Jesus), letters in gray (ideas that might or might not come from the historical Jesus), letters in pink (ideas that could have come from the historical Jesus), and red letters (words that, according to the authors, probably were used by the historical Jesus).

The book was published by the Jesus Seminar, a group of professional exegetes of the New Testament. The Seminar was founded by the academic Robert W. Funk (1926-2005). It is interesting that the book puts almost all the gospel of John in black and gray print. That is to say, the consensus in New Testament scholarship is that very few actual Jesus words found their way in the fourth gospel. As a reviewer put it:

Funk… said that, in all, 31 sayings in the four biblical Gospels and several apocryphal sources fell into the “red” category of authentic sayings (only 15 of which are actually different, due to parallel versions in more than one gospel). They included the good Samaritan and mustard seed parables, the advice to love your enemies and some Sermon on the Mount pronouncements such as, “Blessed are you poor, for you shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Another 200 sayings were accorded pink votes, meaning that Jesus said something similar to the recorded words. Together, the red and pink sayings constituted about 20% of the total; another 30% fell into the gray class. “A gray vote meant that some of the ideas may have gone back to Jesus, but not those words,” Funk said.

I am sceptical of the Jesus Seminar. I agree with Joseph Hoffman’s comparison of the Seminar with a talking doll: “The Jesus of the [Jesus] Project is a talking doll with a questionable repertoire of thirty-one sayings. Pull a string and he blesses the poor.” Nevertheless, the main product of the Jesus Seminar, The Five Gospels, is a gem to understand the zeitgeist that is destroying the white race.

Pay attention to the subtitle of this site, ‘Love is murdering the white race’, a quotation from what Alex Linder wrote not long ago in Gab (I believe that out-group altruism, ultimately inspired in the words of Jesus, is destroying the Aryan DNA). Why not quote those verses in red and some pages of the book’s introduction to illustrate my point? Keep in mind that the liberal scholars of the Jesus Project, well versed in the Greek language, did not actually break away from Christian ethics that, according to the Führer, has taken mankind a giant step backwards.

In the Preface the authors explain: ‘The Five Gospels has many authors. It is the collective report of gospel scholars’ that ‘produced a translation of all the gospels known as the Scholars Version. And finally, they studied, debated, and voted for each of the more than 1,500 sayings of Jesus in the inventory’. A few pages ahead, in the introduction, these scholars say, ‘among the reasons for a fresh translation is the discovery of the Gospel of Thomas’. However, in this blog post I’ll concrete myself to quote the ‘talking doll’ sayings of the canonical gospels, omitting both the Gospel of Thomas which has some verses in pink and red, and the Gospel of John which has none in red.

It’s very refreshing to read a translation that employs colloquialisms. Unlike the Shakespearian King James Bible, the Mark gospel is very colloquial in the original Greek. For instance, in the Scholars Version, when the leper comes up to Jesus and says, ‘If you want to, you can make me clean’, Jesus replies, ‘Okay—you’re clean!’ Also, the term ‘Kingdom of God’ in most Bibles is translated from the original Greek as ‘God’s imperial rule’. I agree on this point with the Jesus Seminar, as even the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible strikes the ear ‘as faintly Victorian’, not fully vernacular. Moreover, in the Scholars Version, which is free of ecclesiastical control, the term ‘son’ is not capitalised when referring to Jesus.

Because New Testament scholars believe the Gospel of Mark was written first, they placed it first among The Five Gospels (red colour means that the colour actually appears in this 553-page book):

Pay the emperor what belongs to the emperor, and God what belongs to God! (Mark 12: 17).

The scholars also used red letters in the parallel Matthew and Luke quotations of the above saying.

Don’t react violently against the one who is evil: when someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other as well. When someone wants to sue you for your shirt, let that person have your coat along with it. Further, when anyone conscripts you for one mile, go an extra mile. Give to the one who begs from you… Love your enemies (Mark 5: 39-43).

This is what is murdering whites. Non-whites don’t believe such nonsense. But nowadays even the staunchest atheists unconsciously subscribe these words of Jesus. On page 143 of the book the words ‘Our Father’ appear in red. The next words is red appear fifty pages later:

Heaven’s imperial rule is like leaven which a woman took and concealed in fifty pounds of flour until it was all leavened (Matthew 13: 33).

The Parable of the Leaven appears in Matthew and Luke. In both places it immediately follows the Parable of the Mustard Seed. In Heisman’s Suicide Note it was interpreted thus: ‘In Jesus’s parable, it was the way of the Kingdom of God: a dangerous, pungent shrub with fiery effect that takes over where it is not wanted. Love was not only beneficial, but also necessary, to the health of the Roman patriarchal-imperial order. However, too much of a good thing can become absolutely deadly if not controlled within proscribed bounds’. Incidentally, this late Jew, Heisman, seemed to harbour a morbid pleasure on the subject of how the Jews infected whites with ethnosuicidal ethics.

I won’t quote the next words in red, thirty pages later, because it is the entire Parable of the Vineyard Labourers (Matthew 20: 1-15): too long for this blog entry. But let’s quote the next red letters that appear in the Gospel of Luke (6: 20-21):

Congratulations, you poor!
God’s domain belongs to you.
Congratulations, you hungry!
You will have a feast.
Congratulations, you who weep now!
You will laugh.

A couple of pages ahead we see again in red ‘love your enemies’ and in the same Luke chapter, another quote of that we have seen above:

When someone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well. When someone takes away your coat, don’t prevent that person from taking your shirt along with it. Give to everyone who begs from you (Luke 6: 29-30).

Again, I won’t quote page 323 even though the long Parable of the Samaritan appears in red. But this unquoted parable is the perfect example of out-group altruism—and the exact opposite of in-group altruism in the Old Testament! (Remember the Bible in a nutshell: Ethnocentrism for me but universalism for thee.) Twenty pages ahead we see once more the Parable of the Leaven in red, but this time it’s the Luke version of it. On pages 357-58 we see, all in red, most of the Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16: 1-8) that I won’t reproduce here either to keep the entry short.

My two cents. As to the hypothesis if the actual words of Jesus are retrievable or not it’s irrelevant who’s right: Hoffmann or the Jesus Seminar. What matters is that whites have been programmed, by Christianity, to commit ethnosuicide. To me, these words in red, whoever they came from—a Jew named Jesus or a Semitic evangelist—beautifully depict the Western zeitgeist.

Love is murdering the white race.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 82

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

 
The ‘Holy Scriptures’ are piled up

No evangelist intended to write a kind of revelation document, a canonical book. No one felt inspired, neither did Paul, and in fact none of the authors of the New Testament. Only the Book of Revelation: the one that, with difficulty, became part of the Bible pretends that God dictated the text to the author. But in 140 Bishop Papias did not consider the Gospels as ‘Holy Scriptures’ and gave preference to oral tradition. Even St. Justin, the greatest apologist of the 2nd century, sees in the Gospels—which he hardly quotes while he never ceases to mention the Old Testament—only ‘curiosities’.

The first to speak about an inspiration of the New Testament, which designates the Gospels and the epistles of Paul as ‘holy word of God’, was the bishop Theophilus of Antioch at the end of the 2nd century: a special luminary of the Church. On the other hand, in spite of the sanctity and divinity that he presupposes about the Gospels, he wrote a piece of apologetics about the ‘harmony of the Gospels’, as they were evidently a little too inharmonious.

Until the second half of the 2nd century the authority of the Gospels was not gradually accepted yet. Still, by the end of that same century the Gospel of Luke was accepted with reluctance; and that of John with was accepted with a remarkable resistance. Is it not odd that proto-Christianity did not speak of the gospels in the plural but in singular, the Gospel? In any case, throughout the 2nd century a fixed canon ‘of the Gospels did not yet exist and most of them were really considered a problem’ (Schneemelcher). This is clearly demonstrated by two famous initiatives of that time which tried to solve the problem of the plurality of Gospels with a reduction.

In the first place, there is the widespread Marcion Bible. This ‘heretic’, an important figure in the history of the Church, compiled the first New Testament in Sacred Scripture, and was the founder of the criticism of its texts, written shortly after the year 140. With it Marcion completely distanced himself from the bloodthirsty Old Testament, and only accepted the Gospel of Luke (without the totally legendary story of childhood) and the epistles of Paul; although, significantly, the latter without the forged pastoral letters and the epistle to the Hebrews, also manipulated. Moreover, Marcion deprived the remaining epistles of the ‘Judaistic’ additions, and his action was the decisive motive for the Catholic Church to initiate a compilation of the canon; thus beginning to constitute itself as a Church.

The second initiative, to a certain extent comparable, was the Diatessaron of Tatian. This disciple of St. Justin in Rome solved the problem of the plurality of the Gospels in a different way, although also reducing them. He wrote (as Theophilus) a ‘harmony of the Gospels’, adding freely in the chronological framework of the fourth Gospel the three synoptic accounts, as well as all kinds of ‘apocryphal’ stories. It had great success and the Syrian Church used it as Sacred Scripture until the 5th century. The Christians of the 1st century and to a large extent also those of the next century did not, therefore, possess any New Testament. As normative texts they used, until the beginning of the 2nd century, the epistles of Paul; but the Gospels were still not cited as ‘Scripture’ in religious services until the middle of that century.

The true Sacred Scripture of those early Christians was the sacred book of the Jews. Still in the year 160, St. Justin, in the broadest Christian treatise up to that date, almost exclusively referred to the Old Testament. The name of the New Testament (in Greek he kaine diatheke, ‘the new covenant’, translated for the first time by Tertullian as Novum Testamentum) appears in the year 192. However, at this time the limits of this New Testament were not yet well established and the Christians were discussing this throughout the 3rd and part of the 4th century, rejecting the compilations that others recognised as genuine. ‘Everywhere there are contrasts and contradictions’, writes the theologian Carl Schneider. ‘Some say: “what is read in all the churches” is valid. Others maintain: “what comes from the apostles” and third parties distinguish between sympathetic and non-sympathetic doctrinal content’.

Although around 200 there is in the Church, as Sacred Scripture, a New Testament next to the Old—being the central core the previous New Testament of the ‘heretic’ Marcion, the Gospels and the epistles of Paul—, there were still under discussion the Acts of the Apostles, the Book of Revelation and the ‘Catholic Epistles’. In the New Testament of St. Irenaeus, the most important theologian of the 2nd century, the book Shepherd of Hermas also appears which today does not belong to the New Testament; but the Epistle to the Hebrews, which does belong in today’s collection, is missing.

The religious writer Clemente of Alexandria (died about 215), included in several martyrologies among the saints of December 4, barely knows a collection of books of the New Testament moderately delimited. But even the Roman Church itself does not include around the year 200, in the New Testament, the epistle to the Hebrews; nor the first and second epistles of Peter, nor the epistle of James and the third of John. And the oscillations in the evaluation of the different writings are, as shown by the papyri found with the texts of the New Testament, still very large during the 3rd century.

(Papyrus Bodmer VIII, at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, showing 1 and 2 Peter.)

Even in the 4th century, Bishop Eusebius, historian of the Church, includes among the writings that are the subject of discussion the epistles of James, of Judas, the second epistle of Peter and the so-called second and third epistles of John. Among the apocryphal writings, Eusebius accepts, ‘if you will’, the Revelation of John. (And almost towards the end of the 7th century, in 692, the Quinisext Council, approved in the Greek Church canons, appear compilations with and without John’s Book of Revelation.) For the North African Church, around the year 360, the epistle to the Hebrews, the epistles of James and Judas do not belong to the Sacred Scriptures; and according to other traditions, neither belonged the second of Peter and the second and third of John.

On the other hand, prominent Fathers of the Church included in their New Testament a whole series of Gospels, Acts of the Apostles and Epistles that the Church would later condemn as apocryphal but in the East, until the 4th century, they enjoyed great appreciation and were even considered as Sacred Scripture, among others, Shepherd of Hermas, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Didache, etc. And even in the 5th century it is possible to find in a codex some ‘apocryphal’ texts, that is, ‘false’ together with the ‘genuine’ ones.

The so-called Catholic epistles needed the most time to enter the New Testament as the group of the seven epistles. The Father of the Church St. Athanasius, the ‘father of scientific theology’ was the first one to determine its extension (whom the investigators also blame for the falsification of documents, collecting the 27 known writings, among them the 21 epistles). St. Athanasius lied without the slightest hesitation when affirming that the apostles and teachers of the apostolic era had already established the canon. Under the influence of Augustine, the West followed the resolution of Athanasius and consequently delimited, almost about the beginnings of the 5th century, the Catholic canon of the New Testament in the synods of Rome in 382, Hippo Regius in 393 and Carthage in 397 and 419.

The canon of the New Testament, used in Latin as a synonym for ‘Bible’, was created by imitating the sacred book of the Jews. The word canon, which in the New Testament appears only in four places, received in the Church the meaning of ‘norm, the scale of valuation’. It was considered canonical what was recognised as part of this norm, and after the definitive closure of the whole New Testament work, the word ‘canonical’ meant as much as divine, infallible. The opposite meaning was received by the word ‘apocryphal’.

The canon of the Catholic Church had general validity until the Reformation. Luther then discussed the canonicity of the second epistle of Peter (‘which sometimes detracts a little from the apostolic spirit’), the letter of James (‘a little straw epistle’, ‘directed against St. Paul’), the epistle to the Hebrews (‘perhaps a mixture of wood, straw and hay’) as well as the Book of Revelation (neither ‘apostolic nor prophetic’; ‘my spirit cannot be satisfied with the book’) and he admitted only what ‘Christ impelled’.

On the contrary, the Council of Trent, through the decree of April 8, 1546, clung to all the writings of the Catholic canon, since God was its auctor (author). In fact, the real auctor was the development and the election through the centuries of these writings along with the false affirmation of their apostolic origin.

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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.

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On the risen Jesus

People do not know how the mind works. Virtually all white nationalists who are Christians believe that the stories of the Resurrection have to do with the empirical world: an event in 1st-century Palestine. Now comes to my mind an oil painting of the risen Jesus that Andrew Anglin chose for his Daily Stormer in the days of Easter a few years ago.

In reality, the stories about Jesus that Christians believe, and revere, have nothing to do with the empirical world but with the structure of the inner self. I’m not going to give a class in this post about what introject means, or how our parents can program us malware without us knowing. Suffice it to say that, in my long odyssey in the fight against dad’s introjects, I had to read a lot of literature to convince myself that what the Gospels say must be questioned.
 
The resurrection of Jesus
 
The ordinary Christian does not have the faintest idea of the studies about the narratives of what they call the Resurrection and the Pentecost apparitions—research by those who have taken the trouble to learn ancient Greek to make a meticulous examination of the New Testament. The way secular criticism sees all these Gospel stories is complicated, but I will summarise it here in the most didactic way possible.

The oldest texts of the New Testament, like one of the Pauline epistles to the Corinthians, better reflect the theology of original Christianity than the late texts. Therefore, it is important to note that Paul does not mention the empty tomb or the ascension of Jesus. Modern criticism says that, if Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians was written by the 60s of our era, in that decade these legends had not yet unfolded.

Of the evangelists, Mark is the oldest and John the latest. (The Christian churches confuse the order in their Bibles by placing the Gospel of Matthew before Mark.) As Matthew and Luke copied and pasted a lot of verses from the Gospel of Mark when putting together their own gospels, these three evangelists are known as the Synoptics to distinguish them from the fourth gospel. Take this very seriously to see how the writers of the New Testament were adding narrative layers throughout the 1st century. To the brief visions that Paul had, collected in his first epistles some three decades after the crucifixion, in the 60s, the Synoptic evangelists were adding greater legends in the following decades and, in the case of John already in the dawn of the 2nd century of our era, more sophisticated Christologies.

I said that the oldest texts of the badly ordained New Testament in the traditional Bible are some of the epistles of Paul, who, while mentioning the ‘risen Christ’, does so within his dense and impenetrable theology. The Paul question is very important. Unlike the apostles, he never met Jesus in flesh; he only claimed that he heard his voice in a rare vision he had on the road to Damascus. And it is this little fellow who never knew Jesus the first one to speak of the ‘risen Christ’ in a chronologically ordered New Testament.

Unlike Paul the author of the Gospel of Mark, who wrote after Paul, does mention the empty tomb; but not the apparitions of Jesus.[1]

Matthew and John, who wrote after Mark, do mention the risen Jesus speaking with his disciples; but not the Ascension to the heavens.

It is Luke who already mentions everything, although he does not develop Christology at such theological levels as those of John the evangelist.

Another thing that uncultured Christians ignore is that Luke wrote his Gospel and Acts of the Apostles as a single book. The way both Catholic and Protestant churches separate the book of Luke is contrived. And it was precisely Luke who popularized the idea of the Ascension of Jesus: an obviously late legend insofar as, had it been historical, such a Hollywoodesque achievement would have been narrated not only by Paul; but by the other writers of the New Testament epistles, and by Matthew and John the evangelist (and let’s not talk about the other John: John of Patmos, the author of the Book of Revelation).

In short, serious scholars see in the diverse New Testament texts a process of myth-making: literary fiction that, in layers, was developed throughout the 1st century of our era. He who knows the chronology when the books and epistolary of the New Testament were written, and reads the texts in that order—instead of the order that appears in the Bibles for mass consumption—can begin to glimpse the evolution of the myth. Ultimately, there is no valid reason to suppose that what is told in the New Testament about Jesus’ resurrection and apparitions was historical.

It took me years to get oriented in the best literature about the Bible, including everything miraculous that is alleged about Jesus. The truth seeker could consult these selected texts.
 
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NOTE:

[1] To the bare ‘empty tomb’ narrative of the original Markan text in Greek, the church interpolated the verses that, in the common Bibles, we see at the end of Mark’s gospel; but the exegetes detected that trick a long time ago.

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 16

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Christianity: the grandmother of Bolshevism?

In 1933, the German historian Oswald Spengler wrote: “All Communist systems in the West are in fact derived from Christian theological thought… Christianity is the grandmother of Bolshevism.” This alone makes Christianity one of the most destructive forces in world history, a force so radioactive it destroys everything within its immediate vicinity. But how is this even possible?

Equality is such a fundamental aspect of the church’s kerygma that if it were removed the entire ideological structure of Christian orthodoxy would collapse like a house of cards. The “catholicity” of the church signifies that membership in the body of Christ is open to all men, regardless of ethno-linguistic or socio-economic differences. Salvation, because it is equally available to all, means that all men possess the same innate capacity to achieve it. There is also universal equality in sinful depravity, as well as in the possession of unmerited divine grace. Jesus’ commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself is merely the application of universalist and egalitarian principles to human social life. In the New Testament, believers are asked to serve one another, with the aim of achieving social equality within an ecclesiastical setting.

Assimilation of Platonic idealism by Ante-Nicene theologians added a metaphysical dimension to the egalitarian pronouncements of the New Testament. When God created man, he imparted the breath of life through his nostrils. This “breath,” psyche, or anima, translated “soul,” served as the life-principle of the animate body. The equality of souls before god obtains because all bear the same imago dei or image of god. In the Garden of Eden, man lived in circumstances of natural equality. St. Augustine writes that before the Fall, no one exercised dominion or lordship over anyone else, but that all ruled equally and indifferently over the inferior creation. The natural equality that once existed in this mythical prehistory was lost because of sin, which corrupted human nature. This brought slavery and other inequalities into the world. The church believed that the kingdom of god would restore Edenic conditions at the end of time.

To the Ante-Nicene church, belief in spiritual equality was not some ossified formula to be recited by rote like the Apostle’s Creed, but an ever-present reality with real-world, “anticipatory” consequences. Gospel narratives that incorporated elements of primitive communism were received favorably by the church and declared canonical. In Luke 3, John the Baptist, a member of the communist Essenes, exhorts his followers to share their clothing and food with those who are destitute. The communist pronouncements of John foreshadow the more explicit primitive communism of Jesus.

In Luke 4, Jesus begins his ministry by inaugurating an acceptable “year of the Lord’s favor.” This is a direct reference to the Hebrew Jubilee, which came every fifty years after the completion of seven sabbatical cycles. The proclamation of Jubilee signified manumission of slaves, absolution of debt, redistribution of property, and common ownership of the land’s natural produce.

According to Leviticus, no one owned the land, except YHWH; only its usufruct could be purchased. This was not a literal year of Jubilee inaugurated by Jesus. The passages being quoted in Luke are from Isaiah, not Leviticus which contains the actual Hebrew legislation. The imagery associated with the Jubilee is used to describe the realized eschatological features of the new age inaugurated by the coming Messiah. His return symbolizes the complete reversal of the old order. The new age will bring about communistic social relations through the ethical transformation of believers. From a biblical hermeneutic standpoint, the Torah Jubilee foreshadows the greater Jubilee now realized in Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus’ economic teachings go far beyond Levitical communal sharing. They necessitate large-scale re-organization of society along egalitarian and communist lines. In Luke 6, Jesus commands his audience to give to all those who beg from them, without distinction as to friend or enemy. His condemnation of violent retaliation is closely linked to this ethic of universal sharing; the communist social arrangement envisaged by Jesus cannot flourish in an atmosphere of violence and suspicion. The eschatological age inaugurated by the Messiah is one where lending without expectation of financial reward has become a new moral obligation, one that must be carried out if one wishes to obtain treasure in heaven.

That early Christian communist practice was morally obligatory is supported by numerous passages from the New Testament. According to 1 John 3:16-17, true believers will sacrifice their lives for the good of others, especially by giving to those in need; anyone who refuses to do this cannot claim to be a Christian in good moral standing.

In the Ante-Nicene church, fellowship was not only spiritual, but included mutual aid in the form of concrete material and economic assistance. The canonical epistle of James defines true religion as caring for “orphans and widows,” an ancient Hebrew idiom for the economically disadvantaged. Those who favor the rich over the poor, instead of treating both equally, are sinners in need of repentance. They have transgressed Jesus’ great commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” James says that “faith without works is dead.” What do these “works” consist of? We are informed that true faith is shown by those who feed and clothe the wretched of the earth. If one refuses to do this, one’s very identity as a Christian is placed in jeopardy.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul provides additional theological justification for early Christian communist practice using the kenosis of Christ as a reference point. Christians were expected to follow the example of Jesus, who was “rich” in his pre-existent state, but willingly “impoverished” himself so that believers could become “rich” through his “poverty.” This meant that wealthier Christian communities were morally obligated to share their abundance of riches with poorer ones. The purpose of re-distributing wealth from one Christian community to another, writes Paul, was the achievement of economic equality between believers.

The apostolic identification of “true faith” with material re-distribution led to the establishment of the world’s first welfare system and centrally planned domestic economy. While some form of primitive communism existed before the institutionalized Christian communistic practices of the first three centuries AD, these were reserved for small communities of Greek-speaking intellectuals or Jewish religious fanatics. What made Christian communism unique was its moral universalism and non-ethnocentric orientation. Given the egalitarian thrust of early Christian communist ideology, it should come as no surprise that the central organizing principle of classical Marxist economics, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” was lifted verbatim from the pages of the New Testament.

Marxism-Leninism, a murderous 20th century ideology that led to the deaths of over 100 million individuals worldwide, was directly inspired by the ethical pronouncements of the New Testament. This is a source of great embarrassment to the Christian religionist. In defense, apologists emphasize the voluntary nature of communist practice in early Christianity. Yet this apologetical evasion is clearly anachronistic.

Freedom defined as the ability to choose in the absence of external coercion is a uniquely modern idea inherited from post-Enlightenment philosophies of liberalism. This idea of freedom affirms the sovereign will as one obedient to itself, but also reducible to the basic laws of the free market. However, this understanding of freedom is diametrically opposed to the one encountered in the ancient Greek philosophical tradition. In this context, there is no sharp distinction between voluntary action and involuntary obligation; individuals are not conceptualized as autonomous agents with a multitude of options to choose from.

Instead, freedom is the ability to pursue the Good without impediment; only a properly functioning will, in which the subject has fully realized his true essence, can do this. To do evil goes against the proper functioning of the will; it is not an expression of one’s individual capacity for freedom. No one willingly or voluntarily refuses to pursue the Good; rather, they lack sufficient moral training or the appropriate self-restraint.

The Christian in the ancient world was free to not worship or consume meat sacrificed to idols; he was not free to do the opposite because he was no longer pursuing the Good. A Christian who violated the prohibition against idolatry was not legitimately exercising his capacity for free will, even though the prohibition had been violated in the absence of external coercion. Instead, such an action was the result of moral ignorance or error.

The same could be said of the early Christian practice of communism. This was only “voluntary” in the sense that Christians were freely pursuing a morally acceptable outcome. If freedom is pursuit of the Good without obstruction, Christians were morally obligated to participate in the communist socio-economic practices of the church, otherwise they would not be considered righteous before god.

Acts 17:26, Ellicott’s commentary

And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

‘And hath made of one blood all nations of men’. —Literally, every nation. The previous verses had given what we may venture to call St. Paul’s Philosophy of Religion. This gives his Philosophy of History. And the position was one which no Greek, above all, no Athenian, was likely to accept. For him the distinction between the Greek and the barbarian was radical and essential. The one was by nature meant to be the slave of the other. (Aristotle, Pol. i. 2, 6.)

In rising above his own prejudices of fancied superiority of race, the Apostle felt that he could attack, as from a vantage-ground, the prejudices of others.

He naturally accepted the truth as it was presented to him in the Mosaic history of the Creation; but the truth itself, stated in its fullest form, would remain, even if we were to accept other theories of the origin of species and the history of man.

There is a oneness of physical structure, of conditions and modes of life, of possible or actual development, which forbids any one race or nation, Hebrew, Hellenic, Latin, or Teutonic, to assume for itself that it is the cream and flower of humanity.

Published in: on March 24, 2018 at 12:38 am  Comments (4)  
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Apocalypse for whites • XII

by Evropa Soberana [1]

 

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel’.

—Matthew, 2:6

‘…which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel’.

—Luke 2: 31

‘You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews’.

— John 4:22

‘Christus, from whom the name [Christians] had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular’.

—Tacitus, Annals, 15: 44, about the persecution decreed by Nero.

 

Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm

Yosef (a.k.a. Joseph), Jesus’ father, was a Jew from the House of David. But since Yosef supposedly did not intervene in the Virgin’s pregnancy, we will go on to examine the lineage of Miriam (a.k.a. Mary).

Luke the Evangelist was an individual from Antioch, in present-day Turkey. According to him, this woman was from the family of David and the tribe of Judah, and the angel who appeared to her predicted that a son would be born to whom Jehovah ‘will give him the throne of David, his father, and he will reign in the house of Jacob’.

According to the gospel story, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. In the Gospel of Matthew (1: 1) he is associated with Abraham and David, and in that same gospel (21: 9) it is described how the Jewish crowds in Jerusalem acclaim Jesus by shouting ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ without mentioning, of course, the ‘wizards of the East’ who visited the Messiah by following a star and asking ‘Where is the king of the Jews who was born?’ (Matthew, 2: 1-2).

Jesus, who never intended to found a new religion but to preserve pure the Orthodox Judaism made it clear, ‘I have not come to repeal the Law [of Moses, the Torah] but to fulfil it’ and, enraged to see that the Jerusalem temple was being desecrated by merchants, he threw them with blows. This Jewish agitator, like an Ayatollah, did not hesitate to face—with the authority given to him by being called rabbi—the other Jewish factions of his time, especially the Sadducees.[2]

Jesus surrounded himself with a circle of disciples among whom we could highlight the mentioned Simon the Zealot, Bartholomew (of whom Jesus himself says in the Gospel of John, where he is called Nathanael, ‘here is a true Israelite’); Judas Iscariot (who betrayed him to the Sadducees for money), Peter, John and Matthew.[3] Although there is not much information about the rest of the Apostles, it is necessary to remember that, until the trip of Paul (also Jewish) to Damascus after the death of Jesus, in order to be a Christian it was essential to be a circumcised, orthodox and observant Jew.

That the doctrine of Jesus was addressed to the Jews is evident in Matt. 10:6, when he says to the twelve apostles: ‘Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel’. The phrase implies to rescue those Jews who have strayed from the Law of Moses. This was because ‘if you believed in Moses you would believe me’ (John, 5:46).

In the year 26, Tiberius, who had expelled the Jews from Rome seven years before in times when the zeitgeist was fully anti-Semitic, appointed Pontius Pilate as a procurator of Judea, a Spaniard born in Tarragona or Astorga: the only decent character of the New Testament according to Nietzsche.

After the incident with the banners of Pompey, the Jews had obtained from previous emperors the promise not to enter Jerusalem with the displayed banners, but Pilate enters parading in the city, showing high the standards with the image of the emperor. This, the golden shields placed in the residence of the governor, and the use of the money of the temple to construct an aqueduct for Jerusalem (that transported water from a distance of 40 km), provoked an angry Jewish reaction. To suppress the insurrection, Pilate infiltrated the soldiers among the crowds and, when he visited the city, gave a signal for the infiltrated legionaries to take out the swords and start a carnage.

In the year 33, after various skirmishes of the Jesus gang with rival factions—particularly with the Sadducees, who at that time held religious power and saw with discomfort how a new vigorous faction arose—, Pontius Pilate orders the punishment of Jesus, at the request of the Sadducees. Jesus is scourged and the Roman legionaries, who must have had a somewhat macabre sense of humour and who knew that Yeshua proclaimed himself Messiah, put a crown of thorns and a reed in his right hand, and shout at him with sarcasm ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ (Matthew 27: 26-31 and Mark 15: 15-20). When they crucified him they placed the inscription I.N.R.I. at the top of the cross: IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDAEORVM (Jesus Nazarene King of the Jews).

Yeshua of Nazareth, known to posterity as Jesus, was one of many Jewish agitators who were in Judea during the turbulent Roman occupation. Executed around the year 33 during the reign of Tiberius, his figure would be taken by Saul of Tarsus (a.k.a. Paul): a Jewish Pharisee marvelled at the power of subversion that enclosed the sect founded by Jesus.

Jesus was, then, one of many Jewish preachers who, before him and after him, proclaimed themselves Messiah. Only that, in his case, Saul of Tarsus (now Turkey) would soon call him, instead of masiah, Christus: the Greek equivalent of ‘Messiah’. After changing his name to Paul he preached the figure of ‘Christ’, indissolubly linked to the rebellion against Rome, throughout the empire, deciding that Christianity should be spread out of its narrow Jewish circle and introduced in Rome.
 
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[1] Slightly modified by the Editor of this site.

[2] Note of the Ed.: The split of early Christianity and Judaism took place during the first century CE. Traditional Christian doctrine aside, it is more likely that the point of conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities was political rather than religious. It had its roots right after the driving of the traders from the Temple of Jerusalem. Jesus thus came into direct conflict with the High Priest, a Sadducee: the one who officiated the Temple.

The texts known as the ‘New Testament’, written not in Jesus’ Aramaic but in Greek, are Christian propaganda when, later, the early church entered in conflict with the Pharisees. (At the time that the gospels were edited the Sadducees had lost their leadership and the Pharisees were the sole repository of religious authority.) Although the evangelists specifically mention the Pharisees as those who Jesus scolds—even the author of this essay (which is why I modified his text)—, modern scholars postulate that the fight of the historical Jesus was with the Sadducee faction of Judaism: the bourgoise priesthood that represented the Temple, the collaborators with Rome.

On the other hand Talmudic Judaism, as known today, is the offshoot of Pharisee theology with Jews already in the Diaspora.

No Sadducee documents survived Titus’ conquest of Jerusalem. It is likely that, by editorial intervention, the name ‘Pharisees’ was substituted for the original ‘Sadducees’ in several gospel verses, in times that early Christians clashed with the Pharisees. In future instalments of the Kriminalgeschichte series (Volume III) we will see the extent of the tampering of gospel verses by the early Church.

[3] Note of the Ed.: Not to be confused with Matthew the Evangelist, a Greek-speaking author who never met Jesus in the flesh.

Gospel Fictions, 6


 
Below, part of Gospel Fictions’ sixth chapter, “The Passion narratives” by Randel Helms (ellipsis omitted between unquoted passages):


The story of the garden of Gethsemane is one of the most moving fictional creations in the New Testament. Though Mark’s Gospel is the first to tell the story in written form, its origins in the Old Testament are more clearly revealed in Luke’s version, whose vocabulary betrays its origins in Septuagint III Kings 19, the story of Elijah’s fleeing from Ahab and Jezebel.

The account is obviously fictional, since there could have been no witness to Jesus’ agony in the garden after he left his followers; they were all, according to the story, asleep.
 

Judas’ suicide

Mark had said nothing about the fate of Judas Iscariot after Jesus’ arrest, only that the priests promised to pay him money, not even indicating whether the money was ever paid. But the Christian sense of retribution could not rest with this, and soon legends were circulating that Judas died horribly. Luke knew one of these legends:

This Judas, be it noted, after buying a plot with the price of his villainy, fell forward on the ground, and burst open, so that his entrails poured out. This became known to everyone in Jerusalem, and they named the property in their own language Akeldama, which means “Blood Acre.” (Acts 1:18:19)

[Matthew on the other hand wrote:]

So Judas threw the money down in the temple and left them, and went and hanged himself. (Matt. 27:5)

That there were two such legends also accounts for the two different stories about Judas’ death: he hangs himself in Matthew and burst open in Acts. Both versions of the death are based on oracular readings of the Old Testament.
 

The Crucifixion

That Jesus was crucified by the Romans—the usual method of executing rebels—is the historical basis of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death (Mark 15, Matt. 27, Luke 23, John 19); the accounts are nevertheless fiction, composed for theological purposes.

If, as many hold, the author of the Fourth Gospel knew Mark’s work, why did he assert so strongly, contradicting Mark, that Jesus carried his own cross? Again the answer is a matter of theology rather than history. The Fourth Gospel was written, in part, as an attack upon Gnostic Christianity, which held that the Son of God was not really crucified; some Gnostics in fact held that Simon of Cyrene not only carried the cross, but was himself killed upon it. John dealt with that argument simply by eliminating Simon altogether.

Moreover, John had an entirely different picture of Jesus’ condition at the crucifixion. In the Synoptics, the implication is that Jesus is too weak, following his scouring and beating, to carry his own cross; but for John, Jesus is entirely triumphant throughout the passion. John presents no cry of dereliction from the cross (“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”) but instead insists that the dying words were a cry of triumph: “It is accomplished!” (19:30). Such a figure was quite capable of carrying a cross.

Mark continues: “The hour of the crucifixion was nine in the morning” (the third hour, Roman time—Mark 15:25); John, however, tells us that “It was the eve of Passover, about noon,” when Pilate “handed Jesus over to be crucified.” Thus, we cannot know the hour of crucifixion. Nor, in fact, did the evangelists know: their times were fictional creations, parts of a theological framework.

Gospel Fictions, 7


 
Below, part of Gospel Fictions’ seventh chapter, “Resurrection fictions” by Randel Helms (ellipsis omitted between unquoted passages):


 
The earliest extended statement about the Easter experiences appears not in the Gospels but in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. It dates from the early 50’s, some twenty years after the crucifixion. Paul’s statement is as interesting for what it does not say as for what it does:

I handed on to you the facts which had been imparted to me: that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised to life on the third day, according to the Scriptures; and that he appeared to Cephas, and afterwards to the Twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred of our brothers at once, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, and afterwards to all the apostles. (15:2-7)

None of these appearances, in anything like the sequence Paul lists, is depicted in the four Gospels. Moreover, not one of the Gospel resurrection appearances is identical to those listed by Paul. Paul did not know the Gospel resurrection stories, for the simple reason that they had not yet been invented, and the four evangelists, who wrote twenty to fifty years after Paul, either did not know his list of appearances or chose to ignore it.

Perhaps most surprising of all the differences is Paul’s failure to mention the legend of the empty tomb, which was, for the writer of the earliest Gospel (Mark), the only public, visible evidence for the resurrection. Though Paul vigorously attempts to convince the Christians at Corinth, some of whom apparently doubted, that Jesus indeed rose from the dead (“if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain”), he never mentions this most striking piece of evidence.

Indeed, he had probably never heard of it; it was a legend that grew up in Christian communities different from his own. It may even have post-dated his death, for Mark wrote almost twenty years after his letter to Corinth. Worse yet, Paul would not have agreed with Mark’s theology even had he known it; for Paul, resurrection meant not the resuscitation of a corpse involving the removal of a stone and the emptying of a tomb, but a transformation from a dead physical body to a living spiritual one. “Flesh and blood can never possess the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 15:50).

Not only is St Paul apparently unaware of the resurrection narratives recorded in the Gospels, but his own list of appearances is irreconcilable with those of the evangelists written later. Paul has it that the first appearance of the risen Lord was to Cephas (he always calls Peter by his Aramaic name, and apparently knows no stories about him in Greek). The Gospels describe no initial resurrection appearance to Peter (some women, the number varying from three to two to one, see him first), though Luke says that Peter did see him. According to equally irreconcilable accounts on the Gospels, the first appearance was to Mary Magdala alone (John), or to Mary Magdala and the other Mary (Mathew), or to Mary Magdala, Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James (Luke). Again, Paul declares that the second resurrection appearance was to the “twelve,” whereas both Mathew and Luke stress that the appearance before the disciples was to the “eleven,” Judas being dead. Either Paul did not know the story about the defection and suicide of Judas Iscariot or else the “twelve” meant something different to him.

In other words, different centers of early Christianity produced their own collections of evidence of Jesus’ resurrection; these grew up independently and had, in the cases considered so far, almost nothing to do with each other. Of course, the most famous of the stories appear in the Gospels. Already in the mid-first century A.D., when Paul first wrote to the Corinthians, the idea was well established that Jesus rose again “on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (15:34). That is to say, Christians had scoured the Old Testament for passages that could, out of context, be interpreted as ancient oracles about the career of Jesus.

This involved interpretative methods that to modern eyes seem bizarre. Matthew’s assertion, in 21:4-5, based on his failure to understand the parallelism in the language of Zech. 9:9, that Jesus rode into Jerusalem astride two animals at once, is such an example. Moreover, the length of Jesus’ stay in the tomb was computed by reading Hosea 6:1-2 out of context, it being the only passage in the Old Testament with an “on the third day” allusion:

Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us and will heal us,
he has struck us and he will bind up our wounds;
after two days he will revive us,
on the third day he will restore us,
that in his presence we may live.

Hosea is, in these verses, not discussing the career of a holy man seven hundred years in the future. He is addressing his own countrymen in his own time, calling upon a corrupt people for moral and religious reform, berating people of whom one could say:

Their deeds are outrageous.
At Israel’s sanctuary I have seen a horrible thing:
there Ephraim played the wanton
and Israel defiled himself. (Hos. 6:10)

Some early Christians were aware of the paucity of Old Testament predictions about the length of Jesus’ stay in the tomb, and set about to invent more. Matthew’s additional evidence contains a prophecy in conflict with his own resurrection narrative. According to this evangelist, Jesus was buried on Friday just before sundown, and the tomb was found empty at sunrise on Sunday; thus, Jesus was presumably in the tomb two nights and one day. Nonetheless, Matthew imputed to Jesus the following, composed out of the Book of Jonah: “Jonah was in the sea-monster’s belly for three days and three nights in the bowels of the earth” (Matt. 12:40).

The oldest Christian narratives describing the discovery of the empty tomb on the third day appears in the Gospel of Mark:

When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic oils intending to go and anoint him; and very early on the Sunday morning, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb. They were wondering among themselves who would roll away the stone for them from the entrance to the tomb, when they looked up and saw that the stone, huge as it was, had been rolled back already. They went into the tomb, where they saw a youth sitting on the right-hand side, wearing a white robe; and they were dumbfounded. But he said to them, “Fear nothing; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here; look, there is the place where they laid him. But go and give this message to his disciples and Peter: ‘He will go on before you into Galilee and you will see him there, as he told you’.” Then they went out and ran away from the tomb, beside themselves with terror. They said nothing to anybody, for they were afraid. (Mark 16:1-8).

The most ancient manuscripts of Mark end at this point, one of the strangest and most unsatisfying moments in all the Bible, depicting fear and silence on Easter morning and lacking a resurrection appearance. But within about fifty years, at least five separate attempts were made by various Christian imaginations to rewrite Mark’s bare and disappointing story; they appear in the Long Ending and the Short Ending of Mark, and in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John.

The first two are second-century interpolations in some texts of Mark and are identified as such in any responsible modern text. They are Mark 16:9-20 (in the King James version and others based on late manuscripts), an unskillful paraphrase of resurrection appearances in other Gospels; and Mark 16:9 in few other late manuscripts, in which the women followed the youth’s instructions to tell the disciples, a statement that conflicts with verse 8 of the original text.

Probably the first large-scale effort to rewrite Mark’s account and make it more pleasing to the faithful took place when the Gospel of Mathew was written in the last two decades of the first century. Although the major written source information was the Gospel of Mark, Matthew made up striking changes in Mark’s resurrection narrative. Mark’s account ends with the women running away from the tomb in terror and in their fear say nothing to anybody. Matthew did not like this ending, however, so he changed it, consciously constructing a fictional narrative that more closely fit what he and his Christian community wanted to have happen on Easter morning: “They hurried away from the tomb in awe and great joy, and ran to tell the disciples” (Matt. 28:8). How did Matthew feel justified in making such a major change in Mark, a source he obviously regarded, for the most part, as authoritative?

The answer is that Matthew was a conscious literary artist who sincerely believed in the resurrection; moreover, he believed he had the authority, granted him by his church and by its interpretation of the Old Testament, to “correct” Mark’s Gospel and theology. Indeed, he had corrected Mark many times before, often doing so on the basis of what he regarded as his superior understanding of the oracles in the Old Testament. For since Jesus’ life happened “according to the Scriptures,” early Christians were confident that in order to find out about him, they did not need to engage in historical research or consult witness (in our understanding of these two approaches); they found detailed history in the ancient oracles of the Hebrew Bible, read as a book about Jesus.

Matthew was a careful student of both the Old Testament and of Mark, which in his time was not yet accepted as canonical Scripture and thus could be changed at need. His study revealed how frequently Mark’s Gospel was transparent upon Scripture (or based upon it), and in ways that Mark himself apparently did not recognize. Mark had composed his Gospel on the basis of earlier oral and written sources, which in turn had found much of their information about Jesus in the Old Testament. Though Mark seems not to have realized that this was so, Matthew readily recognized the relationships between Mark and the Old Testament, and even took it upon himself to extend and correct them.

In this case he saw Mark’s resurrection narrative as transparent upon de Book of Daniel, especially chapter 6, the story of the lion’s den. On recognizing the relationship, Matthew seems to have consulted the Septuagint version of Daniel and believed that he found there details of a more accurate account of the happenings of the Sunday morning than could be found in the pages of Mark; never mind that Daniel’s narrative is a story in the past tense about presumed events in the distant past. Matthew ignored its narrative and historical content and turned it into a prophetic oracle, as had the originators of Mark’s story.

It seems clear that in a literary sense at least, Matthew was right: the account of the empty tomb used by Mark was indeed structured on Daniel’s story of the lion’s den. In the 30’s and 40’s, the empty tomb story was not part of the tradition about the resurrection: Paul was unaware of it. The legend grew in Mark’s community, or one from which it borrowed, as part of its stock of evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. As Matthew was to do again nearly a generation later, certain Christians, perhaps in the 50’s and 60’s, searched the Old Testament, a major source of what was for them authoritative information about Jesus, in order to construct their account of the passion and resurrection, and found in the Book of Daniel much of what they needed. Consider the parallels. […]

[Helms’ text cannot be copied and pasted in the internet. Above I typed directly pages 129 to 135 from his book, Gospel Fictions, Prometheus Books, 1988. But I’ll omit Helms’ detailed account of these parallels and jump to page 142:]

In sum, we may say that Matthew’s account of the resurrection is a fictional enlargement of Mark’s fictional narrative, produced, at least in part, because of what he saw as the incomplete and inadequate nature of Mark’s last chapter. Certainly, Matthew sincerely believed in the resurrection; he also believed that his version of the story was more authoritative, more “scriptural,” than Mark’s, but his sincerity does not make the story less fictive. The same may be said of Luke’s enlargement of the Markan resurrection account.

The Gospel of Luke is, like that of Matthew, an expanded revision of Mark. Of Mark’s 661 verses, some 360 appear in Luke, either word-for-word or with deliberate changes. Some of the most dramatic of these changes appear in Luke’s version of Mark’s resurrection narrative.

Luke’s most significant change from Mark—the totally different angelic message at the tomb—finds its origin not in the Old Testament, however, but in Luke’s need to prepare his readers for the story of Pentecost in the Book of Acts, which he also wrote. In the version of the story Luke wishes to present, the disciples cannot be ordered, or even allowed, to leave Jerusalem for Galilee; they must remain for the all-important Pentecost experience.

Matthew composed a Galilee resurrection appearance using the Book of Daniel as the source of what Jesus would have said. But Luke eliminates the angels’ statement that the risen Jesus is going to Galilee; in contrast to Matthew, who composes a new statement for Jesus out of the youth’s speech in Mark (“take word to my brothers that they are to leave to Galilee”—Matt. 28:10), Luke imputes to Jesus a new saying that demands quite the opposite: “Stay here in this city until you are armed with the power from above” (Luke 24:49).

Luke thus presents resurrection appearances only in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Mark implies, and Matthew specifically declares, that Jesus, followed later by his disciples, left Jerusalem immediately after his resurrection and went to Galilee some eighty or ninety miles to the north, where they all met. Luke writes (Acts 1:3-4) that the risen Jesus “over a period of forty days… appeared to them and taught them about the kingdom of God. While he was in their company he told them not to leave Jerusalem.” For Luke, the story of Pentecost, described in the second chapter of Acts, overshadowed any assertion that the disciples were in Galilee meeting Jesus; they had to be in Jerusalem, so he placed them there and constructed a saying by Jesus to justify this change.

The fourth evangelist, John (who was not the Apostle, but a Christian who wrote at the very end of the first century), possessed a collection of resurrection narratives different from those used by Matthew and Luke, and irreconcilable with them.

In Luke, when the women returned to the disciples with the joyous news that the tomb was empty and that two angels had declared Jesus risen, “The story appeared to them to be nonsense, and they would not believe” (24:11); but in John, when Peter and the other disciples hear the women’s message, they run to the tomb and find it empty, whereat, says John, they “believed” (20:28). […]

The Gospel of John , as originally written (circa 100 A.D.), ended immediately after Jesus’ appearance before the doubting Thomas. Early in the second century, however, certain Christians to whom the gospels of Mathew and Luke were important, recognized that both these earlier works stress, in opposition to John, that the resurrection appearances occurred in Galilee as well as Jerusalem. They took it upon themselves to reconcile John with the others by adding a twenty-first chapter.

That this section is not by the author of the rest of the Gospel is clear from the prominence it gives to the “sons of Zebedee” (John 21:2), who are mentioned by this name nowhere else in the Fourth Gospel, though they are central figures in the Synoptics. A major propose of this addition, and another sign of its late date, is betrayed by the last saying attributed to Jesus in the chapter. For no reason apparent in the narrative, we are told that Peter “saw” an unnamed disciple, the one “whom Jesus loved,” and asked Jesus, “What will happen to him?” Jesus’ response was, “If it should be my will that he should wait until I come, what is that to you? Follow me.”

The saying of Jesus became current in the brotherhood, and was taken to mean that the disciple would not die. But in fact Jesus did not say that he would not die, he only said “If it should be my will that he should wait until I come, what is that to you?” (21:21-23)

Obviously, this disciple (in fact all the first-generation Christians) had long since died, and Jesus showed no signs of returning. The tradition persisted, however, that those were the words of Jesus, for the first generation indeed confidently expected the early return of their Lord (had he not said, in Mark 9:1, “There are some of those standing here who will not taste death before they have seen the kingdom of God already come”?). A saying had to be constructed that would not only demystify and reinterpret this persistent legend, so troubling to the faithful, but solve the apologetic problem it presented. Chapter 21 exists, in part, for this purpose; and though the attempt is an unconvincing quibble, it had to be made.

The resurrection narratives in the last chapters of the four Gospels are effective stories that have given solace and hope to millions of believers who have not read them carefully.