Christianity’s Criminal History, 88

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

 
All the ‘general epistles’ of the New Testament, seven in all, are fakes

Among the so-called general epistles are the first and second of Peter; the first, second and third of John, that of James and that of Judas. Still in the 4th century, at the time of the Father of the Church Eusebius, although they were read in most of the churches, only two were unanimously considered authentic: the first of John and the first of Peter.

It is not until the end of the 4th century that all the general epistles are considered canonical in the West. The situation is now different and all of them are designated as ‘anonymous or pseudo-epigraphic writings’, no matter how much the ancient Church introduced them with the name of several authors (Balz).
 

Peter

Under the name of Peter, a Christian falsified two epistles. This is certainly true for the later writings of the New Testament such as the Second Epistle of Peter, something that even Catholic scholars no longer doubt.

This letter, which, suspiciously, is almost a literal copy in many passages of that of Judas, enjoyed little confidence in the old Church. Throughout the 2nd century it is not quoted. The first to affirm its indisputability was Origen, but still in the 4th century Bishop Eusebius, the historian of the Church, states that it is not authentic, and Didymus the Blind, a famous Alexandrian scholar whose disciples included Rufinus and St. Jerome, says it is faked.

‘Simon Peter, servant and apostle of Jesus Christ’, thus begins the forger to legitimise himself as a witness, has ‘seen himself’ the magnificence of Jesus and also heard the call of God ‘from heaven’ in his christening. He not only warns the faithful that God finds them ‘without spot or worthy of punishment’, but attacks the ‘false prophets’, the ‘false teachers’ and advises to capture and kill them ‘as irrational animals’.

The Second Epistle of Peter, which is intended to be taken as the testament of the apostle, was written long after his death, perhaps three generations later; and was attributed to St. Peter in order to counteract the doubts about the Parousia. The letter is full of controversy against the ‘heretics’, especially the blasphemers ‘who go through life freely and say: where is your promised return? Since the parents died, everything remains as it was at the beginning of creation’. The daring forger, who claims the same apostolic authority as Paul, simulates from the beginning to the end of the epistle the fiction of a Petrine origin. He supports it with his own testimonies seen and heard, and appeals to ‘the deep feelings of his beloved ones’. He also claims for himself the First Epistle of Peter, even though the great differences between both letters exclude the possibility that they come from the same author.

But it is notorious that the First Epistle of Peter is also falsified notwithstanding the fact that, for Luther, it is ‘one of the noblest books of the New Testament and the authentic Gospel’. It is precisely the evident kinship with the Pauline epistles, confirmed by modern exegesis (for what Luther was so enthusiastic) that makes Peter’s authorship unlikely.

Moreover, the place where it is written is apparently Rome, because by the end the author expressly greets ‘from Babylon’: a frequent secret name in the apocalyptic literature for the capital of the Empire, where Peter should have been when he suffered martyrdom in 64 AD. However, the name of Babylon to designate Rome appears in all likelihood because of the impression caused by the destruction of Jerusalem, and this happened in AD 70, that is, several years after the death of Peter. It is also extremely strange that the famous canonical index of the Roman Church, the Muratorian Canon (around 200), does not mention this epistle of Peter: a letter of its presumed founder. We will not review other criteria, also formal, that make less and less likely a Petrine origin of this document.

About the First Epistle of Peter, whose word ‘Peter’ carries the tagline of ‘an apostle of Jesus Christ’, recently Norbert Brox has stated in Faische Verfasserangaben (book author information) that, by its content, character and historical circumstances, it shows ‘no connection with the figure of the historical Peter; nothing in this epistle makes this name credible’. Today it is considered ‘completely a pseudepigraphic’ (Marxsen), ‘without any doubt a pseudonym writing’ (Kümmel). In short, another falsification of the New Testament, conceived between the years 90 and 95, in which the deceiver indiscreetly invokes Christ, and demands to be ‘holy in all your life’s journey’, ‘to reject all evil and falsehood’, not to say ‘lies’ and ‘always demand pure spiritual milk’.
 

John

According to the ecclesiastical doctrine, three biblical letters come from the apostle John. However, in none of them the one who writes cites his name.

The First Epistle of John started to be quoted as early as the middle of the 2nd century; and in those times it was already the subject of criticism. The Muratorian Canon reviews, around the year 200, only two epistles of John, the first and one of the so-called small epistles. It is not until the beginning of the 3rd century when Clement of Alexandria notarises the three epistles. However, in the 2nd and 3rd centuries they were not considered canonical everywhere. This only happened well into the 4th century. ‘They are not recognised unanimously’, Bishop Eusebius writes, ‘they are ascribed to the evangelist or to another John’.

The First Epistle of John is so similar in its style, vocabulary and ideology to the Gospel of John that most Bible researchers attribute both writings to the same author, as tradition has always done. But since the latter does not come from the apostle John, neither can the First Epistle of John be his. And since the second epistle is, so to speak, an abbreviated edition (thirteen verses) of the first one, which is almost unanimously attributed to the same author, nor can it have been penned by the apostle John. And that he even wrote a third one is something that the ancient Church already questioned.


 
Note of the Ed.: This handsome 1526 painting by Albrecht Dürer, The Apostles in the Alte Pinakothek of Munich shows Peter and John. It cannot be more deceptive from the historical point of view. Not only the Semites of the 1st century looked like Untermenschen as we have already seen, but the Apostle John did not even write the gospel attributed to him.

Even conservative bibliologists admit today that the author of the three epistles of John is not the apostle, as the Church has been teaching for two millennia; but that he was one of his disciples and that the ‘Johannine tradition’ had transmitted it. About the main epistle, the first, which from the beginning was not the subject of discussions, Horst Balz says: ‘Just as the apostle John, son of Zebedee and brother of James, cannot be considered author of the homonymous Gospel, so much less he may be behind the First Epistle of John’.

 
Other apostles

The alleged epistle of James was also falsified. Like most of the ‘general epistles’ it only imitates the epistolary form. This text, which is especially difficult to fix temporarily, contains proportionately few Christian features. It borrows numerous elements from the Cynic and Stoic philosophies and even more from the wisdom of the Jewish Old Testament, for which many authors consider it a slightly retouched Jewish writing.

Although the epistle claims to have been written by James, brother of the Lord, many important reasons exclude this possibility. For example, he only quotes the name of Jesus Christ, his divine brother, twice. He does not miss a syllable while writing about the laws of Jewish ritual and ceremonial, but, unlike most authors of biblical letters, he uses the formalities of Greek epistolary. He writes in good Greek, something unusual for a New Testament author. It is a surprising text with rich vocabulary and many literary forms such as paronomasia, homoioteleuron, etc. This and many other features show that this epistle, which constantly preaches those who apostrophise as ‘dear brothers’, the ‘faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord in Glory’, is a ‘more elaborate version of literary falsification’ (Brox) than the First Epistle of Peter.

It is curious that the epistle of James, later canonised in the West, is absent in the Muratorian Canon, Tertullian and Origen. Bishop Eusebius reports on the little recognition it enjoyed and the questioning of its canonicity. Luther also dismissed it. He even comes to threaten to ‘throw the rubbish into the fire’ and ‘expel it from the Bible’.

Finally, the brief Epistle of Judas, the last of the epistles of the New Testament which in the first verse claims to have been written by ‘Judas, slave of Jesus Christ, the brother of James’, is also included in the numerous falsifications of the ‘Sacred Scriptures’. This epistle also betrays ‘clearly later epochs’ (Marxsen).

It is a matter of fact ‘that in the early times falsifications were made under the name of the apostles’ (Speyer); that authenticity is claimed about them, that the ‘apostles’ give their names and that the texts were written in the first person. It is also a fact about ‘all the writings of the New Testament’, as the theologian Marxsen emphasizes, that ‘we can only provide the exact names of two authors: Paul and John (the author of the Book of Revelation)’. And, finally, it is also a fact, and one of the most worthy of attention, that more than half of all New Testament books are unauthentic, that is, they have been falsified or appear under a false name.

In the next section we will show pars pro toto (part of the whole) that, in addition, in the ‘Book of books’ there is a whole series of counterfeits in the form of interpolations.

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 87

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

 
In the New Testament there are six counterfeited ‘epistles of Paul’

None of the Gospels was written by any of the ‘first apostles’. Neither the Gospel of Matthew comes from the apostle Matthew nor that of John from the apostle John, nor is the Revelation of John of Patmos due to the apostle. But if in the Old Testament there were men who did not stick at nothing (instead, they spoke as if God were speaking), why should there not be others, in the New Testament, capable of putting everything imaginable on the lips of Jesus and his disciples who, together with the Old Testament and Jesus, were the third authority for Christians?

In this way, several writings of the New Testament pass as works of the apostles. Although in some of them the intention to cheat may be doubted, in others it is evident and in others, plainly obvious. Nevertheless, and against all evidence, their authenticity is expressly attested. The main idea is to describe as ‘apostolic’ everything that has already been accepted and to make it binding as a norm.

Several epistles were thus falsified in the New Testament under the name of the oldest Christian author: Paul, who openly confesses he is only for proclaiming Christ ‘with or without second intentions’.
 

The Pastoral Epistles

Totally false in the Corpus Paulinum are the two epistles ‘To Timothy’ and ‘To Titus’, the so-called Pastoral Epistles. They were known in Christianity from the middle of the 2nd century and ended up in the New Testament among the other epistles without any qualms… until the beginning of the 19th century. In 1804-1805, J.E.C. Schmidt questioned the authenticity of the First Epistle to Timothy; in 1807 Schleiermacher rejected it completely, and in 1812 the scholar of Göttingen, Eichhorn, verified the falsity of the three epistles.

Since then, this idea has been imposed among Protestant researchers and lately more and more among Catholic exegetes, although there are still a few known authors who continue to defend their authenticity, or at least a partial authenticity (i.e., the ‘hypothesis of fragments’).

In the three epistles, which were probably written in Asia Minor at the beginning of the 2nd century, the forger calls himself, from the beginning, ‘Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ’. He writes in the first person and boasts of having been named

preacher and apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—: master of the pagans in faith and truth.

He lashes out harshly against the ‘heretics’, of whom more than one ‘surrenders to Satan’. He whips ‘the stories of old irreligious women’, ‘the hypocrisy of the liars’, ‘the useless and charming charlatans, in particular the Jews to whom it would be necessary to close their mouth’. But he also silences women: ‘I do not allow a woman to indoctrinate, nor to raise her above a man, but to remain silent’. And the slaves must submit and ‘respect their lords’.

These three falsifications, which are significantly lacking in the oldest collections of Paul’s epistles, were already considered apocryphal by Marcion when referring to Paul. It is very likely that they were written precisely to rebut Marcion through Paul, as happened in the 2nd and 3rd centuries with other ecclesiastical falsifications. And it speaks for itself the fact that these false ‘epistles of Paul’, much later than Paul and therefore from the theological and canonical point of view much more evolved, soon enjoyed great popularity in Catholicism; that the most important writers of the Church quoted them with predilection and used them against the true Pauline epistles; and that precisely these falsifications made the almost heretic Paul a man of the Catholic Church. With them, countless times the popes have condemned their ‘heretics’ and fought to have their dogmas recognised.

Against the authenticity of these pastoral epistles there are historical reasons, but even more theological and linguistic reasons that have not only increased over time but become more precise. ‘For evangelical researchers’ writes Wolfgang Speyer, one of the foremost connoisseurs of the falsifications of antiquity, ‘the pseudoepigraphy of the Epistle to Timothy and the Epistle to Titus is considered proven’.

The theologian Von Campenhausen speaks of a ‘falsification of extraordinary moral height’ and attributes them to St. Polycarp, the ‘ancient prince of Asia’ (Eusebius). The Catholic theologian Brox, also an expert in this field so little appreciated by researchers, writes about ‘the literary manipulation that is perfect’ although ‘it is recognisable as fiction’, a ‘methodically executed deception, a presumption of conscious authority done in an artistically, refined way’, and of course ‘the crowning work’ of forgery within the New Testament.

More conservative scholars, in view of the discrepancy with the authentic Pauline epistles, resort to the ‘secretary’s hypothesis’: according to which the author would have been Paul’s secretary who had to accompany him for a long time. ‘It is true that tradition knows nothing of such a man’ says the Bibel-Lexikon (Bible Dictionary). In the ‘hypothesis of the fragments’ the assumption appears that among the false texts of Paul there are also authentic pieces. Even for Schelkle the Pastoral Epistles ‘not only seem to be different from Paul’s epistles but subsequent to them’.
 

The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians

As is often supposed, it is very probable that the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians was ‘conceived premeditatedly as a falsification’ (Lindemann) attributing it to Paul. The authenticity of Two Thessalonians was put into question for the first time in 1801 by J.E.C. Schmidt, imposing definitively the thesis of falsehood, especially thanks to W. Wrede in 1903. In the early 1930s, researchers like A. Jülicher and E. Fascher were of the opinion that, by establishing a non-Pauline authorship of the epistle, ‘we have not lost much’.

Not us, but this has implications to the faithful of the Bible. What would they think if, for two millennia, falsification has existed in their ‘Holy Scriptures’? The counterfeiter, who above all tries to dispel the doubts about the Parousia (that the Lord’s return does not occur) testifies at the end of the epistle its authenticity by emphasizing the signature of Paul’s own hand:

I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters.

In order to avoid the doubts about authenticity in his case, the forger does not hesitate to warn his readers about the falsifications with these words: ‘Do not let anyone confuse you, in any way…’ He is fully aware of his deception. With a falsified epistle of Paul the author wants to disavow an authentic one. This is why there are ‘very few’ who today defend the authenticity of Two Thessalonians (W. Marxsen).

 
Colossians, Ephesians and The Epistle to the Hebrews

Most researchers consider the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians as ‘deutero-Pauline’, and also as ‘non-Pauline’. And very probably the Epistle to the Ephesians was also ‘consciously’ falsified, closely related to the previous one: an epistle which, from the beginning, was considered authored by Paul. It is significant that reminiscences of all the important Pauline epistles are found here, especially the one destined for the Colossians, from which almost its complete formulations are derived. The style is very rhetorical and, actually, more than an epistle it is a kind of ‘meditation on the great Christian themes’, a ‘discourse on mysteries or wisdom’ (Schlier). And in no other epistle of Paul is the word ‘Church’ used so exclusively in the Catholic sense.

The Epistle to the Hebrews, written perhaps in the 1st century by an unknown author, was originally transmitted anonymously and no old writing related it to Paul. It does not even contain the author’s name, but in the end it shows ‘intentionally the final formula of a Pauline epistle’ (Lietzmann). In spite of the fact that until the middle of the 4th century it was not considered apostolic, Pauline or canonical, it appeared nonetheless in the New Testament as a letter from ‘Paul’, and as such was taken until Luther. The reformer put it in doubt, finding in it straw and wood, ‘an epistle formed by numerous pieces’. At present, even on the Catholic side, the epistle to the Hebrews is rarely attributed to ‘Paul’.

However, since the 2nd century it was accepted by the tradition. It appears in the liturgical and official books of the Catholic Church as ‘Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Hebrews’. It also appears in the Latin translation of the New Testament, but not in the Greek text. We do not even know who wrote it, and all the names that have been quoted or can be cited about the author are only speculations.

Although critical theology considers authentic other epistles of Paul, the fact is that the books of the New Testament contain various forgeries. No less than six epistles attributed to Paul by his own name are actually deutero-Pauline, that is, not authored by Paul; but they appear anyway as such in the Bible. If the Epistle to the Hebrews is added, it would be seven.

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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, 75

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

 
In addition to the Old Testament books unjustly attributed to Moses, David, and Solomon, other earlier parts—Judges, Kings, Chronicles, etc.—are also the anonymous products of a much later period. And they were compiled in a definitive way long after the events they relate.

Many Bible scholars deny that the book of Joshua, which the Talmud, many Church Fathers, and most recent authors ascribe to Joshua himself, has any historical credibility. But even for those who view it with benevolence, as a historical source, ‘it must be used only with prudence’ (Hentschke). It is composed of a multitude of legends, myths and local transmissions that were completed at different times and arbitrarily linked and related to Joshua. Calvin already deduced that Joshua could not have written the book. The definitive edition comes from the 6th century BC, from the time of the exile in Babylon (which according to a Bible passage lasted 67 years, another passage says 73 years, and still another 49 years).

Much of the prophetic literature appears, consciously or by chance, under a pseudonym, although other parts come from the prophets under whose names the authors have visions and auditions, subjectively true, that could be ‘authentic’ disregarding the subsequent literary elaboration. This cannot be proven or discussed with certainty. But many things, even the prophetic books that rightly carry the name of their author, are difficult to delimit and have been altered in later periods; that is, passages have been added and the text modified, taken out of context; much of it has been falsified without generally knowing when and who did it.

This is especially true for the book of Isaiah, one of the longest and best-known books of the Bible. Luther already pointed out that Isaiah ben Amos did not write it.

The so-called great apocalypse of Isaiah (chapters 24-27), a collection of prophecies, songs, hymns, was added relatively later (its last form was received in the 3rd century BC or the beginning of 2nd BC), evidently trying to imitate the Isaiah style. And precisely chapter 53, the best known and most influential, does not proceed, like the rest of the 40-55 chapters, from Isaiah who had been considered the author (until Eichhorn, 1783). It is more likely that an unknown author wrote it two centuries later, in the time of the Babylonian exile: a man who probably appeared at the celebrations of the lamentations of the exiled Jews, between 546 and 538. This author is generally called Deutero-Isaiah (second Isaiah) and, in many ways, is more important than Isaiah himself.

But precisely this added text—in which the questioners of the historicity of Jesus (together with the figure of the ‘Just’ of the equally falsified Wisdom of Solomon) already see embryonically the figure of Jesus—was a broad and univocal example for the passion of Jesus.

(An idealised engraving of Isaiah by Gustave Doré.)
 
Chapter 53 tells how the servant of God, the Ebed-Yahweh, was despised and martyred and that for the forgiveness of sins he poured out his blood. The New Testament contains more than 150 allusions of it, and many early Christian writers quote the entire chapter 53 or in extracts. Luther also interpreted this ‘prophecy’ as referring to Jesus as it had really been fulfilled. Naturally, the papal biblical commission also confirmed this traditional point of view on June 29, 1908. However, almost all Catholic exegetes admit the Babylonian dating. And the last chapters of Isaiah (56 to 66) are from a much more recent period.

Since the times of Duhm in 1892 Scholars speak in a somewhat confused way about a Tritojesaja (Third Isaiah, chapters 56-66), which the research greets with an ironic vivat sequens (long live the pursuing). It is probable that these chapters come from several authors after the exile. In any case, Is. 56, 2-8, and 66, 16-24 are not from a Third Isaiah either; they were added later!

Up to 180 BC, the book of Isaiah did not appear ‘essentially in its current form’ according to the Biblisch-Historisches Handwörterbuch (Biblical-Historical Hand Dictionary).

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Published in: on July 26, 2018 at 3:29 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 75  
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On the 1st proposed US seal‎

Why the Jews have so much power over the West?

• Because the United States, the most powerful nation on Earth, has empowered them.

Why they empowered them?

• Because of what on this site we have been calling ‘the Christian problem’.

Judge it by yourself. The next post of Deschner’s Christianity’s Criminal History, a long one that I’ll probably reproduce next Monday, will be about the figure of Moses. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress asked Adams, Jefferson, and Franklin to design a seal that would represent a symbol for the new United States. They chose the symbol of Moses leading the Israelites!

Isn’t the Canadian Sebas Ronin right that in order for the race to survive Murka must burn? The big truth is that Jews and Israel are admired in America, especially by evangelical Christians because, as a nation, the US got up from its very start on the wrong side of the bed.

Covingtonistas for example are dreaming. They want to use a Christian hymn written by Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God as the national anthem of the Northwest American Republic; that is, a newly founded white ethnostate. Like Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and also those pilgrims who previously had fancied themselves as the new Israelites who would found a city upon a hill, even revolutionary secularists still cannot break away from Judeo-Christian tutelage. (The new national anthem still has the god of the Jews as the god to worship!)

What American racists need is the exact opposite: Nietzsche’s Law Against Christianity. Full apostasy is the only to see the Jewish problem from an eagle’s point of view, starting with the history of Christianity that is being reproduced, step by step, in this most humble site.

If you Americans fail to become apostates like Julian, you can kiss your race goodbye.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 72

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

 

Fabrications in the Old Testament

The boldest, daring and of greatest consequence of this type was to attribute to the spirit and dictation of God all the writings of the Old and New Testaments.

—Arnold Meyer

 

The bibles of the world and some peculiarities of the Christian Bible

The ‘book of books’ of Christians is the Bible. The German translation Bibel appears for the first time in the moral poem ‘The runner’ of Bamberg’s school teacher and verse builder, Hugo von Trimberg (born around 1230, he was also the author of a collection of homiletic fables and about two hundred hagiographic almanacs). The term coined by Hugo derives from the Latin biblia, which in turn has its origin in the neutral plural ta biblia (the books).

The Bible is a ‘sacred’ scripture and texts. Books and sacred writings form, in the history of religions, part of the trade, of the business on which it depends closely and not only the monetary but also the political and, ultimately, anyone sheltered by the human heart.

The bibles of mankind are therefore numerous: the three Vedas of ancient India, for example, the five Ching canonical books of the Chinese imperial religion, the Siddhanta of Jainism, the Typitakam of Theravada Buddhism, the Dharma of Mahayana Buddhism in India, the Tripitakam of Tibetan Buddhism, the Tao-tea-ching of Taoist monks, the Avesta of Persian Mazdaism, the Qur’an in Islam, the Granth of the Sikhs, the Gima of Mandeism. There were many sacred writings in the Hellenistic mysteries, which were already referred to in the pre-Christian era simply with the word ‘writing’, or with the formula ‘is written’ or ‘as written’. In Egypt the sacred writings go back to the most ancient times and a sacred text has already been cited in the 3rd millennium BC, Words of God (mdw ntr).

Of course, we know that the Bible is not just a book among other books but the book of books. It is not, therefore, a book that can be equated with Plato’s, the Qur’an or the old books of Indian wisdom. No, the Bible ‘is above them; it is unique and unrepeatable’ (Alois Stiefvater). In its exclusivity, the monotheistic religions insist with emphasis—and that is precisely why they are, so to speak, exclusively intolerant! ‘Just as the world cannot exist without wind, neither it can without Israel’ says the Talmud. In the Qur’an it is said: ‘You have chosen us from among all the peoples; you have raised us above all the nations’. And Luther also boasts: ‘We Christians are bigger and more than all creatures’.

In short, the Bible is something special. But Christianity did not have its own ‘Sacred Scripture’ in its first 150 years, and for that reason it assimilated the sacred book of the Jews, the Old Testament, which according to the Catholic faith precedes ‘the Sun of Christ’ as the ‘morning star’ (Nielen).

The name Old Testament (Greek diathéke, covenant) comes from Paul, who in 2 Cor. 3:14 talks about the Old Covenant. The synagogue, which naturally recognizes no New Testament, does not speak of the Old but of Tanakh, an artificial word formed by the initials of Torah, nevi’im and ketuvim: law, prophets, and remaining writings.

The Old Testament, as they were transmitted by the Hebrews are, to date, the Holy Scriptures of the Jews. The Palestinian Jews did not establish the final received texts until the Council of Jamnia, between the 90s and 100 AD: twenty-four texts, the same number as the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. (The Jewish bibles of the 15th century were the first that proceeded to a different division and gave rise to thirty-nine canonical books.) In any case, God, to whom these Sacred Scriptures refer and from which they come, needed more than a millennium to compile and finalise the Bible.

The unique thing about the Christian Bible is that each of the different confessions also has different bibles, which do not coincide as a whole; and what some consider sacred, to others seem suspicious.

The Catholic Church distinguishes between Protocanonical writings, that is, never discussed, and Deuterocanonical writings whose ‘inspiration’ was for some time ‘put into doubt’ or was considered uncertain. This Church has a much wider Old Testament than that of the Jews, from which it proceeds. Besides the Hebrew canon, it collected within its Holy Scriptures other titles. In total, according to the Council of Trent in its session of April 8, 1546, confirmed by Vatican I in 1879: forty-eight books, that is, in addition to the so-called Deuterocanonics, Tobias, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch and letters of Jeremiah, Maccabees I and II, Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Holy Children (Vulgate, Daniel 3:24–90), Story of Susanna, Bel and the Dragon (Vulgate Daniel 14; Septuagint epilogue), Esther 10, 4-16, 24.

On the contrary, Protestantism, which gives authority exclusively to the books that appear in the Hebrew canon, does not consider as canonical or manifested by God, the Deuterocanonics added by Catholicism. It grants them little value and calls them ‘apocryphal’, that is, that what Catholics call books never had canonical validity.

Luther, in defining what belonged to the canon, relies on the ‘inner spiritual testimony’ or the ‘internal sense’. He eliminates, for example, the second book of the Maccabees because Luther was disturbed by the passage on the purgatory, whose existence he denied. On that same book and also on that of Esther, Luther opined that ‘they have too many Jewish and pagan remnants’. Nevertheless, he considered the Deuterocanonical writings to be ‘useful and good to read’ although were not inspired by God, in any case by the ‘internal sense’ of the reformer.

An early German translation by Martin Luther.
His translation into the vernacular was highly influential.

In the Synod of Jerusalem, the Greek Church included, in 1672, among the divine word four other works that did not appear in the Council of Jamnia: Wisdom, Ecclesiastical, Tobias, and Judith.

Much broader than the Old Testament was the canon of Hellenistic Judaism, the Septuagint (abbreviated: LXX, the translation of the seventy men). It was elaborated for the Jews of the Diaspora in Alexandria by various translators in the 3rd century BC: the book for the Greek-speaking Jews, the oldest and most important transcription of the Old Testament into Greek, the language of the Hellenistic period, and the official Bible of Diaspora Judaism. It became part of the synagogue.

The Septuagint, however, collected more writings than the Hebrew canon and more also from those later considered valid by Catholics. The quotations of the Old Testament that appear in the New (with the allusions 270 to 350) come mostly from the Septuagint and it constituted for the Fathers of the Church, who used it with insistence, the Old Testament or Holy Writ.

______ 卐 ______

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Heisman’s suicide note, 3

Rupture: How Christ hijacked
the moral compass of the West

The English word “virtue” is derived from the Roman word virtus, meaning manliness or strength. Virtus derived from vir, meaning “man”. Virilis, an ancestor of the English word “virile”, is also derived from the Roman word for man.

From this Roman conception of virtue, was Jesus less than a man or more than a man? Did the spectacle of Jesus dying on a Roman cross exemplify virtus; manliness; strength; masterliness; forcefulness? Consistent with his valuation of turning the cheek, it would seem that Jesus exemplified utterly shamelessness and a total lack of the manly honor of the Romans.

Yet the fame of his humiliation on the cross did, in a sense, exemplify a perverse variety of virtus, for Jesus’s feminine, compassionate ethics have mastered and conquered the old pagan virtues of the gentiles. Jesus’s spiritual penis has penetrated, disseminated, and impregnated the West with his “virtuous” seed. And it is from that seed that “modernity” has sprouted.

Jesus combined the highest Roman virtue of dying honorably in battle with highest Jewish virtue of martyrdom and strength in persecution. This combination formed a psychic bridge between pagan and Jew, i.e. between ideal cruelty in war and ideal compassion in peace. This is one way in which Christianity became the evolutionary missing link between the more masculine ethos of the ancient pagan West and the more feminine ethos of the modern West.

The original Enlightenment notion of revolution reflects a quasi-creationist view of change that makes the sudden rupture between the moral assumptions of the ancient and modern world almost inexplicable. However, if we take a more gradualistic view of social change wherein modern egalitarianism evolved from what preceded it, then the origins of modern political assumptions become more explicable. The final moral-political rupture from the ancients became possible, in part, because Christianity acted as an incubator of modern values.

Christian notions of “virtue” were not an outright challenge to pagan Roman virtue by accident; these values were incompatible by design. To even use the Roman term “virtue” to describe Christian morality is an assertion of its victory over Rome. The success of the Christian perversion of the manliness of Roman “virtue” is exemplified by its redefinition as the chastity of a woman.

A general difference between ancient Greco-Roman virtue and modern virtue can be glimpsed through the ancient sculpture, the Dying Gaul. The sculpture portrays a wounded “barbarian”. Whereas moderns would tend to imitate Christ in feeling compassion for the defeated man, its original pagan cultural context suggests a different interpretation: the cruel defeat and conquest of the barbarian as the true, the good, and the beautiful.

The circumstances of the sculpture’s origins confirm the correctness of this interpretation. The Dying Gaul was commissioned by Attalus I of Pergamon in the third century AD to celebrate his triumph over the Celtic Galatians of Anatolia. Attalus was a Greek ally of Rome and the sculpture was only one part of a triumphal monument built at Pergamon. These aristocratic trophies were a glorification of the famous Greco-Roman ability to make their enemies die on the battlefield.

A Christian is supposed to view Christ on the cross as an individual being, rather than as a powerless peasant of the despised Jewish people. If one has faith in Jesus, then one “knows” that to interpret Jesus as the member of a racial-religious group is wrong and we “know” that this interpretation is wrong. How do we “know” this? Because we have inherited the Christianity victory over Rome in that ancient war for interpretation.

Liberalism continues the Christian paradigm by interpreting Homo sapiens as individuals, rather than members of groups such as racial groups. If it is wrong to assume Jesus can be understood on the basis of group membership, then the evolutionary connection between Christianity and modern liberalism becomes clearer. Jesus was a paradigmatic individual exception to group rules, and his example, universalized, profoundly influenced modern liberal emphasis on individual worth in contradistinction to assumptions of group membership.

Love killed honor. The values of honor and shame are appropriate for group moralities where the group is valued over “the individual”. Crucially, such a morality is inconceivable without a sense of group identity. Jesus’s morality became liberated from a specifically Jewish group identity. Once it dominated gentile morality, it also eroded kin and ethnic identity. The Christian war against honor moralities became so successful and traditional [that] its premodern origins were nearly forgotten along with the native pagan moralities it conquered.

Jesus’s values implicated the end of the hereditary world by living the logical consequences of denying the importance of his hereditary origins. This is a central premise underlying the entire modern rupture with the ancient world: breaking the import of hereditary origins in favor of individual valuations of humans. In escaping the consequences of a birth that, in his world, was the most ignoble possible, Jesus initiated the gentile West’s rupture with the ancient world.

The rupture between the ancient and the modern is the rupture between the rule of genes and the rule of memes. The difference between ancient and modern is the difference between the moral worlds of Homer and the Bible. It is the difference between Ulysses and Leopold Bloom.

On Nero’s persecution of the Christians, Tacitus wrote, “even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man’s cruelty, that they were being destroyed.” The modern morality of compassion begins with Christianity’s moral attack on the unholy Roman Empire. Christianity demoralized the pagan virtues that upheld crucifixion as a reasonable policy for upholding the public good.

If, as Carl Schmitt concluded, the political can be defined with the distinction between friend and enemy, then Jesus’s innovation was to define the political as enemy by loving the enemy, and thus destroying the basis of the distinctly political. The anarchy of love that Christianity spread was designed to make the Roman Empire impossible. The empire of love that Paul spread was subversive by design. It was as subversive as preaching hatred of the patriarchal family that was a miniature model for worldly empire.

Crossan and Reed found that those letters of Paul that are judged historically inauthentic are also the ones that carry the most inegalitarian message. It appears that their purpose was to “insist that Christian families were not at all socially subversive.” These texts “represent a first step in collating Christian and Roman household ethics.” For these historians the issue is “whether that pseudo-Pauline history and theology is in valid continuity with Paul himself or is, as we will argue, an attempt to sanitize a social subversive, to domesticate a dissident apostle, and to make Christianity and Rome safe for one another.”

What could be more ridiculous that the idea that Jesus’s attack on Roman values would not need some “modification” before making themselves at home in Rome? Jesus and Paul were heretics of mainstream or Pharisaic Judaism and rebels against Rome. Since the purity and integrity of the internal logic of Christianity is hostile to purely kin selective values, there is no way whatsoever that Christianity could survive as a mass religion without corrupting Jesus’s pure attitude towards the family. Jesus’s values subvert the kin selective basis of family values.

That subversion was part of the mechanism that swept Christianity into power over the old paganism, but it was impossible that Christianity maintain its hold without a thorough corruption of Jesus’s scandalous attacks on the family. If not this way, then another, but the long-term practical survival of Christianity required some serious spin doctoring against the notion that Jesus’s teachings are a menace to society.

These, then, are the two options: the pure ethics of Jesus must be perverted or obscured as models for the majority of people or Christianity will be considered a menace to society. The very fact that Christianity did succeed in achieving official “legitimacy” means its original subversive message was necessarily subverted. State-sanctioned Christianity is really a joke played upon on a dead man who never resurrected to speak on his own behalf.

Official Christianity was making Jesus safe for aristocracy; falsifying Jesus; subverting Jesus. Rome subverted his subversion. Jesus attempted to subvert them—and they subverted him. (Bastards!) Yet without this partial subversion of subversion, Christianity would never have taken the deep, mass hold that is its foundational strength.

This insight, that pure Christianity must be perverted in all societies that wish to preserve their kin selective family values, is a key to understanding the process of secularization. Secularization is, in part, the unsubverting of the evidence for Jesus’s original social program from its compromised reconciliation with Rome. The first truly major step towards unsubverting Rome’s subversion of Jesus’s message was the Protestant Reformation.

The Roman Catholic hierarchy contains elements of a last stand of the old Roman pagan virtue, a reminder that it had and has not been subdued completely. The Reformation begun by Martin Luther was directed, in part, against this last stand. While Luther partially continued the containment of Jesus by checking the advance of the idea that heaven should be sought on earth, this German also continued the work of the Jewish radical he worshiped in attacking the hierarchy of Rome.

Secularization is the unsubverting of Jesus’s message subverted by Christian practice. Modern liberal moral superiority over actual Christians is produced by unsubverting the subversion of Jesus’s message subverted by institutional Christianity. There is an interior logic to Jesus’s vision based on consistency or lack of hypocrisy. Liberal arguments only draw this out from its compromises with the actual social world. In this role, Protestantism was especially influential in emphasizing individual conscience over kinship-biological imperatives based on the model of the family.

The average secular liberal rejects Biblical stories as mythology without rejecting the compassion-oriented moral inheritance of the Bible as mythology. That people, still, after Nietzsche, tout these old, juvenile enlightenment critiques of Christianity would seem to be another refutation of the belief that a free and liberal society will inevitably lead to a progress in knowledge. The primitive enlightenment critique of Christianity as a superstition used as a form of social control usually fails to account that its “social control” originated as a weapon that helped to bring down the Goliath of Rome.

Still, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, this old enlightenment era castigation of Christianity for not being Christian endures without realization that this is actually the main technical mechanism of the secularization of Christian values. When one asks, what is secularization?, the attempt to criticize Christianity for its role in “oppression”, war, or other “immoral” behaviors stands at the forefront. Liberal moral superiority over actual Christians commonly stems from contrasting Christian ideals and Christian practice. This is what gives leftism in general and liberalism in particular its moral outrage.

Secularization arises as people make sense of Christian ideals in the face of its practice and even speculate as to how it might work in the real world. Enlightenment arguments for the rationalization of ethics occurred in the context of a Christian society in which the dormant premises of the Christian creed were subjected to rational scrutiny. To secularize Christianity is to follow Jesus in accusing God’s faithful believers of a nasty hypocrisy:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. (Matt. 23:27-28)

To charge Christians with hypocrisy is to relish in the irony of Jesus’s biting charges of hypocrisy against the Pharisees. Jesus’s attempt to transcend the hypocrisies inherent in Mosaic law’s emphasis on outer behavior was one germinating mechanism that produced Christianity out of Judaism. The same general pattern generated modern liberalism out of Christianity. Just as Jesus criticized the Pharisees for worshipping the formal law rather than the spirit of the law, modern liberals criticize Christians for following religious formalities rather than the spirit of compassionate, liberal egalitarianism. It was precisely Christianity’s emphasis on the spirit that helps explain how the spirit of liberal compassion evolved out of the spirit of Christianity even if the letters of the laws are different.

To recognize hypocrisy is to recognize a contradiction between theory and action. The modern ideology of rights evolved, in part, through a critique of the contradictions of Christian theology and political action. Modern ideology evolved from Christian theology. Christian faith invented Christian hypocrites, and modern political secularism seized upon these contradictions that the Christian hypocrisy industry created. Resolving these moral contradictions through argument with Christians and political authorities is what led to the idea of a single, consistent standard for all human beings: political equality. The rational basis of the secularization process is this movement towards consistency of principle against self-contradiction (hypocrisy).

Modern ideas of political rights emerged out of a dialogue; a discourse; a dialectic in which Christianity framed the arguments of secularists, defining the domain upon which one could claim the moral high ground. The “arguments” of Christian theology circumscribed the moral parameters of acceptable public discourse, and hence, the nature of the counterarguments of “secular” ideology. Secular morality evolved by arguing rationally against the frame of reference provided by the old Christian Trojan Horse and this inevitably shaped the nature of the counter-arguments that followed. Christianity helped define the basic issues of secular humanism by accepting a belief in the moral worth of the meek of the world.

The Roman who conquered Jesus’s Jewish homeland could feel, in perfect conscience, that their conquest should confirm their greatness, not their guilt. Roman religion itself glorified Mars, the god of war. Pagan Roman religion did not automatically contradict the martial spirit—it helped confirm the martial spirit.

Chivalry, the code of honor that tempered and softened the warrior ethos of Christian Europe, is the evolutionary link between pagan virtue and modern virtue. Yet the imperial vigor of the Christian West was made, not by Christian religiosity, but by Christian hypocrisy. Christianity planted in its carriers a pregnant contradiction between Christian slave morality and Christian reality that was just waiting for the exposé of the “age of reason”. Christianity made the old European aristocracies “unjust” by dissolving the prehistoric and pagan assumptions of its existence.

Jesus himself contrasted his teachings with the ways of pagans:

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matt 24:25-28)

To reverse the high political development of kin selection represented by Rome leads towards sociobiological primitivity; to an immature stage where human ontology is closest to a more primitive phylogeny; when humans are closest to our common evolutionary ancestors; when humans are biologically most equal to one another since genes and environment have not yet exacerbated differences.

Christianity reached a state of fruition called “modernity” when a kind of justice was reaped for the ancestral betrayal of a Christian’s pagan forefathers. The pagan values that genuinely supported an ancestral chain of sacrifice for their kin kind and the patriarchal kingdoms of this world were betrayed.

A war of generations broke Christianity from Judaism, and left wing humanism from Christianity. These are only peak points that matured from the gradual kneading of cultural dough; from change guided by visions of the moral high grounds in heaven or on earth. Out of a conflict between generations that Christianity helped leaven, the modern social idea of progress rose.

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 18

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Karl Marx, chief interpreter of the “Protestant Aquinas”

Marxist ideology is neither rationally explicable nor empirically verifiable. This means that Marxism is not subject to revision when its prophecies fail to materialize, or its cardinal doctrines are disproven; instead, like the Christian religionist, the Marxist ideologue is forced to engage in mind-numbing apologetics to maintain a thin veneer of ideological respectability. Despite claims of being “scientific,” Marxism requires a rigid doctrinal orthodoxy that demands excommunication of heretics who deviate from the established creed. Marxism is, in fact, a neo-Christian religious cult with its own prophets, saviors, holy books, holy days, and holy sites, as well as sacred rituals and devotional music.

Marxism shares the same basic doctrines as Christianity, albeit in materialist garb. The Garden of Eden finds its Marxist counterpart in the egalitarian social arrangement preceding the rise of civilization. The Fall from paradise occurs with Adam and Eve’s disobedience; in the Marxist worldview, the Fall occurs with the introduction of the division of labor. In Christianity, there is the devil; in Marxism, the villain is the capitalist. Marx’s historical materialism is merely the eschatological framework of Christian orthodoxy in secularized form. In Christianity, god works through history to redeem the elect. This leads to an apocalyptic showdown between the forces of good and evil, the millennial reign of Christ, and the re-establishment of utopian conditions on earth. The same teleological view of history is found in Marxist ideology. The internal contradictions within the flow of capital resolve themselves in favor of proletarian liberation from capitalist exploitation. The continuous valorization and concentration of financial resources in the hands of the capitalist, combined with the “immiseration” of the proletariat, generate apocalyptic conditions or “revolution.” This leads to the overthrow of the capitalists, seizure of the means of production, dictatorship of the proletariat and finally, the establishment of communist paradise at the end of history.

Marx’s vision of history is so deeply rooted in Christianity that his philosophy would be more accurately classified as a branch of liberal Protestantism. This would situate Marx within a Christian theological tradition beginning with the Jew Saul of Tarsus. Even Marx’s atheism does not exclude him from the Christian tradition; the dialectic in Marx’s philosophy of history possesses the same function as the triune godhead of Christianity; both are abstract agencies whose purpose is to bring the salvation plan of history to its final consummation in apocalyptic conflict, returning all humanity to an imagined golden age that once existed in the remote past. Marx, like the primitive Christians and their Reformed inheritors, takes the anticipatory view of human spiritual equality to its final logical conclusion.

From whence does Marxism acquire its character as a secularized version of the Christian gospel? The philosophical method of dialectical materialism, the cornerstone upon which the entire edifice of “scientific” socialism was constructed, is derived from Hegel’s use of dialectic in Phenomenology of Spirit. Hegel, called the “Protestant Aquinas” because of his systematization and unification of a wide variety of topics in philosophy and Christian theology, first conceived of dialectic in his early theological writings. According to the philological and historical evidence, Hegel, after having spent years immersing himself in St. Paul’s Letters as a Protestant seminarian, appropriated the term Aufhebung from Luther’s commentary on Romans. This was Luther’s translation of the messianic term katargesis in the Pauline epistles. Hegel made the term the fundamental axis of his dialectic because Luther’s use of Aufhebung had the double meaning of abolishing and conserving, like its koine Greek equivalent katargesis.

Of greater significance is Hegel’s use of Protestant trinitarian theology to elucidate the underlying structure of objective reality. For Hegel, the Absolute is the complete totality of everything in existence; if this is considered as a unity, the Absolute is god, or the self-consciousness of the universe. The world of sense and experience is necessarily triadic because, as Absolute Mind, it reflects the trinitarian structure of the Christian godhead. This makes everything in the known universe amenable to rational explanation. “Mystery” has no place in Hegel’s version of Protestant theology because faith has been replaced with knowledge.

Hegel’s logical system is divided into three parts, each corresponding to the three persons of the trinity: I. Logic II. Nature III. Spirit. These are each further subdivided into three more categories and so on, reflecting Hegel’s belief that any systematization of philosophical and theological knowledge must faithfully mirror the underlying triadic structure of objective reality to achieve some degree of rational coherence. Even Hegel’s dialectical method, the cornerstone of his philosophy, is triadic in structure. The dialectic has three “moments”: (1.) a moment of fixity; (2.) a dialectical or negatively rational moment and; (3.) a speculative or positively rational moment.

In Hegel’s dialectic triad, a fixed concept (first moment) becomes unstable because of a one-sided or restrictive character (second moment). In the process of “sublation” (or Aufhebung), the concept of the first moment is overcome and preserved, but an inherent instability within the concept leads to the creation of its direct opposite. In the third moment, a higher rational unity emerges from the negation of the original negation. Hegel’s teleological vision of the historical process unfolds according to this three-stage dialectical process of contradiction, sublation and unity of opposites.

This system is by no means strictly deterministic; in Hegel’s view of history, the trinitarian god is revealed as transcendent in the dynamic relationship between historical necessity and contingency, which subsist as overarching unity on a higher rational plane of existence. Without this crucial ingredient of contingency, the telos of history would remain outside humanity’s grasp, frustrating the divine plan of a trinitarian god who reveals himself through the logic of the historical dialectic. The Hegelian telos is the universal self-realization of freedom through the historical development of man’s consciousness of the divine, attaining its highest stage of fulfillment in the elimination of all Christian “mysteries” through complete rational self-knowledge of god. Given the role of freedom in this dialectical view of history, the pivotal significance of the Protestant Reformation for Hegel is easily comprehended. Luther’s iconic enunciation of the doctrine of universal priesthood, combined with his repudiation of medieval ecclesiastical authority, meant that freedom was on the threshold of achieving full actualization within the historical process as a universal phenomenon, bringing us further toward the telos of history in modern times.

Like St. Augustine’s linear view of history in City of God, Hegel’s view is also fundamentally Christian, permeated by the eschatological and soteriological elements of Protestant orthodoxy. The central miracle of Christianity, the Incarnation or Logos made flesh, is further reflected in the unfolding of the historical dialectic. The dialectical overcoming of particularity and universality, finite and infinite at the end of history, when man achieves rational self-knowledge of the absolute, is patterned on the Incarnation, or the dialectical overcoming of the opposition between god and man. The self-manifestation of god in the historical process makes man co-agent in the divine plan of post-historical redemption. This occurs despite man’s alienation and estrangement from god. The “unhappy consciousness,” yearning for god, finally becomes aware of his individual co-agency in god’s plan of universal salvation and achieves liberation from despair. This realization, which is really a collective one, ushers in the end of history by ensuring man’s salvation through the establishment of god’s kingdom on earth.

For Marx, the Hegelian dialectic suffered from an internal contradiction. The logic of dialectic presented human history as an evolutionary process, one of constant motion and change, with no final, absolute form. Yet paradoxically, the laws of dialectic that structured historical development within Hegel’s idealist system were absolutes in a system that was itself final and absolute. How was this contradiction to be resolved? “With [Hegel],” Marx wrote in Das Kapital, “[the dialectic] is standing on its head. It must be inverted, in order to discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.” Inversion of Hegel’s speculative idealism resolves this internal contradiction by recasting the logic of evolution as an open-ended process. The materialist dialectic replaces the idealist teleological-conceptual framework of Hegel’s system with an evolutionary form of human social and biological development. Nothing is absolute in Marx’s system, except the need for continuous dialectical progression through contradiction and unity of opposites. If all substantial being is relative and transitory, it follows that the laws of dialectic can only be applied to it in a relative fashion. If evolution is a continuous and open-ended process, no idealist resolution of its objective material contradictions is possible without fetishizing them as part of some hermetically sealed, closed system. Thus, Marx’s inversion of the dialectic rescued it from Hegel’s absolute Christian idealist framework, giving it a thoroughly natural, anthropological foundation within an evolutionary materialist framework. With a materialized dialectic, Marx was able to formulate a philosophical methodology that could analyze capitalist economic relations from a scientific perspective.

The eschatological conceptualization of history as both linear and teleological is a uniquely Judeo-Christian “contribution” to Western culture. This replaced the earlier Greek view of history as a cyclical process. Hegel translated the eschatological framework of Lutheran Protestant theology into a well-organized philosophical system. The laws of dialectic were simply contradictions within the Christian narrative of redemption. The Marxist theory of historical materialism assimilated this Christian eschatological framework, in “demystified” and rational form, precisely because its philosophical methodology incorporated Hegel’s dialectic as the motor force of historical development. Thus, we have primitive communism for the Garden of Eden, capitalist oppressors for the devil, man’s self-alienation for the effects of original sin, a classless society for the kingdom of god and so forth. In Marx’s secularized Protestant theology, historical evolution proceeds by way of class conflict, leading to proletarian emancipation and communist paradise. In Hegel, man achieves rational self-knowledge of god, whereas for Marx, man achieves rational self-knowledge of himself at history’s end, which is really the beginning of man’s “true” history according to the Marxist plan of salvation.

Marx’s philosophy, when stripped of all socio-economic elements, is the trinitarian and Christological dimension of Hegel’s speculative Protestant rationalism in materialist form. The eschatological and soteriological framework of orthodox Christianity remains intact, although secularized and inverted. Like every good Protestant, Marx acknowledged the influence of the Reformation upon his own ideas, tracing his revolutionary pedigree through Hegel to the renegade monk Luther.

The global dissemination of Marxism has revealed Karl Marx as one of the most influential Christian theologians after St. Paul. This neo-Christianity is potentially even more destructive than the patristic Christianity that infected and nearly exterminated the Western civilization of antiquity. Economic Marxism has killed an estimated 100 million people in the 20th century; if trends continue, cultural Marxism will lead to the civilizational and cultural extinction of the West.

On Bardamu’s essay

Instalment 17 of Ferdinand Bardamu’s essay revealed things I did not know about the history Christianity. It also reminds me of one of the passages that most haunted me of Nietzsche’s The Antichrist, which I have already quoted a couple of times but it’s worth re-quoting:

§ 61

Here it becomes necessary to call up a memory that must be a hundred times more painful to Germans. The Germans have destroyed for Europe the last great harvest of civilisation that Europe was ever to reap—the Renaissance. Is it understood at last, will it ever be understood, what the Renaissance was? The transvaluation of Christian values: an attempt with all available means, all instincts and all the resources of genius to bring about a triumph of the opposite values, the more noble values…

To attack at the critical place, at the very seat of Christianity, and there enthrone the more noble values—that is to say, to insinuate them into the instincts, into the most fundamental needs and appetites of those sitting there…

I see before me the possibility of a perfectly heavenly enchantment and spectacle: it seems to me to scintillate with all the vibrations of a fine and delicate beauty, and within it there is an art so divine, so infernally divine, that one might search in vain for thousands of years for another such possibility; I see a spectacle so rich in significance and at the same time so wonderfully full of paradox that it should arouse all the gods on Olympus to immortal laughter: Cæsar Borgia as pope!… Am I understood?… Well then, that would have been the sort of triumph that I alone am longing for today: by it Christianity would have been swept away!

What happened? A German monk, Luther, came to Rome. This monk, with all the vengeful instincts of an unsuccessful priest in him, raised a rebellion against the Renaissance in Rome…

Instead of grasping, with profound thanksgiving, the miracle that had taken place: the conquest of Christianity at its capital—instead of this, his hatred was stimulated by the spectacle. A religious man thinks only of himself. Luther saw only the depravity of the papacy at the very moment when the opposite was becoming apparent: the old corruption, the peccatum originale, Christianity itself, no longer occupied the papal chair! Instead there was life! Instead there was the triumph of life! Instead there was a great yea to all lofty, beautiful and daring things!…

And Luther restored the church.

By the way, it is nice that Jack Halliday, as a kind of spokesman for The West’s Darkest Hour, is trying to communicate, in other forums, our message as in this thread of Occidental Dissent. I wonder if the admin of that site, a Lutheran, has been following what we have been saying about Luther, the Reformation, and Christianity in general.

But I understand the distant neighbours of the North. Here in the south all secular intellectuals, without exception, are idiots, including the criollos (in English see here and in Spanish here). It seems that the apostates of Christianity fall automatically into a much worse ideology: ethnosuicidal liberalism and cultural Marxism. But that is also courtesy of Christianity itself, as we have been seeing in Bardamu’s essay.

Since I mentioned Jack Halliday, I would like to take this opportunity to mention another commenter of this site, Spahn Ranch, who is keen to see aspects of Christianity that I couldn’t say better.

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 17

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
The Christian origins of modern liberalism and socialism

The “anticipatory” consequences of spiritual equality meant social and economic equality for the church, leading to the establishment of formal communism in the early Christian communities. This was not just philanthropy, but a highly organized social welfare system that maximized the redistribution of wealth. Early Christian communism was widespread and lasted for centuries, crossing both geographical and ethno-cultural boundaries. The communist practices of the ante-Nicene church were rooted in the Jesus tradition of the 1st century. The existence of early Christian communism is well-attested by the Ante-Nicene fathers and contemporary pagans.

After Christianity became the official state religion, the church became increasingly hierarchical as ecclesiastical functions were merged with those of imperial bureaucracy. The communist socio-economic practices of the early church were abandoned by medieval Christians. This was replaced by a view of inequality as static, the result of a “great chain of being” that ranked things from lowest to highest. The great chain was used by theologians to justify cosmologically the rigidly stratified social order that had emerged from the ashes of the old Roman world. It added a veneer of ideological legitimacy to the feudal system in Europe. In the great chain, Christ’s vicar, the pope, was stationed at the top, followed by European monarchs, clergy, nobility and, at the very bottom, landless peasantry. This entailed a view of spiritual equality as “antipathetic.” St. Thomas Aquinas provided further justification for inequality along narrowly teleological lines. In the Summa Contra Gentiles, diversity and variety in creation reflect the harmonious order established by god. If the universe only contained equal things, only one kind of good would exist and this would detract from the beauty and perfection of creation.

The antipathetic view of Christian equality was the dominant one until the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Martin Luther’s iconic act—the nailing of the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Castle door in 1517—began an ecclesiastical crisis of authority that was to have tremendous repercussions for the future of Western history. The pope was no longer the supreme representative of Christ on earth, but an irredeemably corrupt tyrant, who had wantonly cast the church into the wilderness of spiritual oblivion and error.

Access to previously unknown works of ancient science and philosophy introduced to an educated public the pagan epistemic values that would pave the way for the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. The humanist cry of ad fontes! was eagerly embraced by Reformers. It allowed them to undermine scholastic hermeneutical principles (i.e. the Quadriga) and the major doctrines of medieval Christianity. The rediscovery of more reliable manuscripts of the Bible served as an important catalyst of the Reformation.

Reformed theologians, armed with humanist textual and philological methods, studied the New Testament and the Ante-Nicene fathers in the original languages. This led to a Christian “renaissance,” a rediscovery of the early Christian world. Compared to the lax morality and spiritual indifference of late medieval clergy, the first 4 or 5 centuries of the primitive church seemed like a golden age, one that maintained the doctrinal purity of Christian orthodoxy until Pope Gregory I, unencumbered by the gross distortions of scholastic theology and ecclesiastical tradition. Early Christian teachings and practices, forgotten during the Middle Ages, became popular once again among Protestants.

Reformers sought to recapture the spirit of primitive Christianity by incorporating egalitarian and majoritarian principles into an early modern ecclesiastical setting. Egalitarian thought was first enunciated in Luther’s teaching on the universal priesthood of all believers. In contrast to medieval Christian teaching, which viewed the clergy as members of a spiritual aristocracy, Luther proclaimed all Christians equally priests before god, with each one having the same capacity to preach and minister to fellow believers. On this basis, Luther demanded an end to the differential treatment of clergy and laity under canon law. He also defended the majoritarian principle by challenging the Roman ecclesiastical prerogative of appointing ministers for Christian congregations. Calvin, the other great Reformed leader, acknowledged the real-world consequences of spiritual equality, but approached it from the perspective of universal equality in total depravity.

Protestant radicals viewed the egalitarian policies of the mainstream Reformed churches as fundamentally inadequate; any concrete realization of Christian spiritual equality entailed a large-scale revival of the communistic socio-economic practices of the primitive church. Muntzer, an early disciple of Luther, is representative of this more radical egalitarian version of the gospel. In 1525, a group of religious fanatics, including Muntzer, seized control of Muhlhausen in Thuringia. During their brief rule over the city, they implemented the program of the Eleven Articles, a revolutionary document calling for social justice and the elimination of poverty. Idols were smashed, monks were driven out of their convents and monastic property was seized and redistributed to the poor. From the pulpit, Muntzer delivered fiery sermons ordering his congregation to do away with the “idol” of private property if they wished the “spirit of God” to dwell among them. A leader of the Peasant’s War in Germany, he was captured in May of 1525 after his army was defeated at Frankenhausen. He was tortured and then executed, but not before his captors were able to extract the confession: “Omnia sunt communia.” Whether the confession represents the exact words of Muntzer is controversial; nevertheless, it accurately reflects Muntzer’s anti-materialistic piety and view that the teachings of the gospel were to be implemented in full.

The Munster Rebellion of 1534-1535, led by Jan Matthys and Johann of Leiden, was far more extreme in its radicalism. After the Anabaptist seizure of the city, Matthys declared Munster the site of the New Jerusalem. Catholics and Lutherans were then driven from the town, their property confiscated and redistributed to the poor “according to their needs” by deacons who had been carefully selected by Matthys. They set about imposing the primitive communism of the early church upon the town’s inhabitants. Money was abolished; personal dwellings were made the public property of all Christian believers; people were forced to cook and eat their food in communal kitchens and dining-halls, in imitation of the early Christian “love feasts.” Ominously, Matthys and Johann even ordered the mass burning of all books, except the Bible. This was to symbolize a break with the sinful past and the beginning of a new communist era, like the Year One of the French Revolutionary National Convention. In the fall of 1534, Anabaptist-controlled Munster officially abolished all private property within city limits. But the Anabaptist commune was not to last for long. After a lengthy siege, the Anabaptist ringleaders, including Johann of Leiden, were captured, tortured and then executed by the Bishop of Munster.

The Diggers (or “True Levellers”) and the Levellers (or “Agitators”), active during the English Civil Wars (1642-1651) and the Protectorate (1653-1659), were strongly influenced by primitive Christian teaching. The Diggers, founded by Gerard Winstanley, were inspired by the communist socio-economic practices of the early Christians. They tried to establish agrarian communism in England, but were opposed in this endeavor, often violently, by wealthy farmers and local government officials who dismissed them as atheists and libertines. The more influential Levellers, a radical Puritan faction, tried to thoroughly democratize England by introducing policies of religious toleration and universal male suffrage. Their rejection of the arbitrary monarchical power of King Charles I in favor of egalitarian democracy was ultimately informed by Christian theological premises. Prominent Levellers like “Freeborn” John Lilburne argued for democratic egalitarian principles based on their exegetical interpretation of the Book of Genesis. All men were created equal, they said, with no one having more power, dignity and authority than anyone else in the Garden of Eden. Since no man had the right to exercise authority over others, only popular sovereignty could legitimately serve as the underlying basis of civil government. Many Leveller proposals, as written down in the Agreement of the People, were incorporated into the English Bill of Rights of 1689. This document later influenced the American Bill of Rights of 1791.

John Locke was the founder of modern liberalism, a political tradition soaked in Christian religious dogma. He drew many social and political implications from Christian spiritual equality. His belief in equality was rooted in the firm conviction that all men were created in the image of god, making them equal by nature. Church fathers and medieval theologians had long argued that all men, whether slave or free, were “by nature equal,” but that social inequality among men was god’s punishment for sin. John Locke agreed with the patristic and medieval authors on natural equality but repudiated their use of original sin to justify the passive acceptance of human social and economic inequality. Like the Protestant reformers before him, he believed that spiritual equality was not merely eschatological, but entailed certain real-world implications of far-reaching political significance.

Locke’s argument for universal equality was derived from a careful historical and exegetical interpretation of the biblical narrative. The creation of man in god’s image had enormous ramifications for his political theory, especially as it concerns his views on the nature of civil government and the scope of its authority. From his reading of Genesis, Locke argued that no man had the right to dominate and exploit other members of the human species. Man was created by god to exercise dominion over the animal kingdom. Unlike animals, who are by nature inferior, there can be no subjection among humans because their species-membership bears the imprint of an “omnipotent and infinitely wise maker.” This meant that all men are born naturally free and independent. Locke’s view of universal equality further entailed the “possession of the same faculties” by all men. Although men differed in terms of gross intellectual endowment, they all possessed a low-level intellectual ability that allowed them to manipulate abstract ideas and logically reason out the existence of a supreme being.

In Locke’s view, all government authority must be based on the consent of the electorate. This was an extension of his belief in mankind’s natural equality. Any abuse of power by elected representatives, when all judicial and political avenues of redress had been exhausted, was to be remedied by armed revolution. This would restore men to the original liberty they had in the Garden of Eden. Freedom from tyranny would allow them to elect a government that was more consonant with the will of the people.

Locke’s theory of natural rights was based on biblical notions of an idyllic prehistory in the Garden of Eden. Contrary to monarchical theorists like Filmer, man’s earliest social organization was not a hierarchical one, but egalitarian and democratic. If all men were created equal, no one had the right to deprive any man of life, liberty and private property. In Lockean political philosophy, rights are essentially moral obligations with Christian religious overtones. If men were obliged to surrender certain natural rights to the civil government, it was only because they were better administered collectively for the general welfare. Those rights that could not be surrendered were considered basic liberties, like the right to life and private property.

Early modern Christian writers envisioned in detail what an ideal communist society would look like and how it would function. The earliest communist literature emerged from within a Christian religious context. A famous example is Thomas More’s Utopia, written in 1516, which owes more to patristic ideals of communism and monastic egalitarian practice than Plato’s Republic. Another explicitly communist work is the Dominican friar Tommaso Campanella’s 1602 book City of the Sun. These works form an important bridge between pre-modern Christian communism and the “utopian” and “scientific” socialism of the 19th century. For the first time in history, these writings provided an in-depth critique of the socio-economic conditions of contemporary European society, indicating that only through implementation of a communist system would it be possible to fully realize the humanist ideals of the Renaissance. They went beyond communalization of property within isolated patriarchal communities to envisage the transformation of large-scale political units into unified economic organisms. These would be characterized by social ownership and democratic control. Implicit in these writings was the assumption that only the power of the state could bring about a just and humanitarian social order.

“Utopian” or pre-Marxian socialism was an important stage in the development of modern leftist ideology. Its major exponents, Blanc, Cabet, Fourier, Saint-Simon and Owen, were either devout Christians or men profoundly influenced by the socio-economic and ethical teachings of primitive Christianity. They often viewed Jesus of Nazareth as a great socialist leader. They typically believed that their version of communism was a faithful realization of Jesus’ evangelical message. In the pre-Marxian vision, the primitive communism of the early Christian church was an ideal to be embraced and imitated. Many of these writers even defended their communist beliefs through extensive quotation from the New Testament.

Louis Blanc saw Jesus Christ as the “sublime master of all socialists” and socialism as the “gospel in action.” Etienne Cabet, the founder of the Icarian movement, equated true Christianity with communism. If Icarianism was the earthly realization of Jesus’ vision of a coming kingdom of god, it was imperative that all communists “admire, love and invoke Jesus Christ and his doctrine.” Charles Fourier, an early founder of modern socialism, viewed Jesus Christ and Isaac Newton as the two most important figures in the formative development of his belief-system. He grounded his socialist ideology squarely within the Christian tradition. As the only true follower of Jesus Christ, Fourier was sent to earth as the “Comforter” of John 14:26, the “Messiah of Reason” who would rehabilitate all mankind along socialist industrial lines.

Henri de Saint-Simon, another important founder of modern socialism, believed the true gospel of Christ to be one of humility and equality. He advocated a “New Christianity” that would realize the practical and economic implications of the just world order preached by Jesus. Saint-Simon was also an early precursor of the Social Gospel movement, which sought to ameliorate social pathology through application of Christian ethical principles. The early Welsh founder of modern socialism, Robert Owen, although hostile to organized Christianity and other established religions, regarded his version of socialism as “true and genuine Christianity, freed from the errors that had been attached to it.” Only through the practice of socialism would the “invaluable precepts of the Gospel” be fully realized in contemporary industrial society.

The earliest pioneers of socialism, all of whom maintained socio-economic views grounded upon Christian religious principles, exercised a profound and lasting influence on Marx. His neo-Christian religious beliefs must be regarded as the only real historical successor of orthodox Christianity, largely because his ideology led to the implementation of Christian socio-economic teachings on a scale hitherto unimaginable. Muntzer, the radical Anabaptists and other Christian communists are considered important predecessors of the modern socialist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. For example, in Friedrich Engels’ short monograph The Peasant War in Germany, Muntzer is immortalized as the man whose religious and political views were way ahead of his times. He even possessed a far more sophisticated “theoretical equipment” than the many communist movements of Engels’ own day.

The primitive communist transformation of the socio-economic order under Christianity is based on 1.) the elimination of all ethno-linguistic and socio-economic distinction between men—unity in Christ—and; 2.) the fundamental spiritual equality of all human beings before god; it is the mirror image of the modern communist transformation of the socio-economic order under classical Marxist ideology, which is based on 1.) elimination of all class distinction between men and; 2.) a fundamental “equality” of access to a common storehouse of agricultural produce and manufactured goods. The numerous similarities between Christian communism and Marxism are too striking to be mere coincidence. Without the dominant influence of Christianity, the rise of modern communism and socialism would have been impossible.

The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century links the socio-economic egalitarianism of the early Christian communities with the socio-economic egalitarianism of the modern West. As a religious mass movement beginning in late medieval times, it profoundly affected the course of Western civilization. The Reformation played an instrumental role in the initial formulation and spread of liberal and socialist forms of egalitarian thought that now serve as the dominant state religions of the modern Western “democracies.” Without Luther and the mass upheaval that followed in his wake, Christian spiritual equality would have remained an eschatological fact with no direct bearing on the modern secular world.

Spengler’s observation that “Christian theology is the grandmother of Bolshevism” is a truism. All forms of Western communism are grounded in the Christian tradition. The same applies to liberal egalitarian thought, which was also formulated within a Christian religious milieu.